Confession time. I started writing this article last week and it was hard. Five things? I do way more things than that! How can I choose just 5? I’m a Libra, for heaven’s sake! So I made this long list and I narrowed it down to 7 things – many of which were actually combinations of at least 3 things – and I started writing. It was taking forever to write and I couldn’t understand why. After all, I had chosen such great things to share! It should have written itself! So why did it feel like I had to drag every word out of a deep muddy swamp?
The answer came to me yesterday in a sudden flash of inspiration. I had just spent an hour staring at my computer, having managed to write all of three sentences. Enough was enough! I closed my laptop and moved to the couch where I was planning to watch Netflix for a hour before I had to cook dinner for my teenagers. And then I saw the light. I was making it too damned complicated – not for you, but for myself! This is not my magnum opus. This is not the last thing you will ever read of mine (I hope).
So I did what I always do when I’m about to write a poem. I asked myself, “What is the essence of the thing?” I closed my eyes and dove into my mind. I’d like to say it was quiet in there, but it seldom is! So many thoughts and ideas floating around in there all of the time… But it was time to cut through them all and choose the five simplest ones. Many of them are part of my morning routine because in my experience, how you begin your day determines how you will feel for the rest of it. So, without further ado, here are:
5 Things I Do Every Day To Look (And Feel) Young, Vibrant And Energized!
1. MORNING EXERCISE
Every morning, I get up earlier than I would otherwise have to and I go for a brisk 15-20 minute walk (20-40 minutes on weekends). I love it and there are so many benefits.
- It wakes me up better than coffee ever could.
- It burns through all of the thoughts, worries, stress, and emotions running rampant inside of me and leaves me with a totally clear head.
- It leaves me with the ability to concentrate and focus for the rest of the day.
- It leaves me feeling happy, positive, and ready to take on the world due in no small part to the fresh air, the green of nature, the sunshine, and even the rain, which releases negative ions into the air.
- It makes me fit without making my muscles ache. This is good news because having sore muscles has always made me feel debilitated and exhausted!
- It raises my metabolism for the rest of the day.
- It leaves me energized the rest of the day.
- It gives my skin that glow you get from sweating out impurities, deeper breathing, and improving your blood circulation.
I started this habit many years ago and it was hard to get up earlier at first, but I learned to lay my workout clothes out the night before so I could get ready quickly. And I would ask myself, “Is lying here awake (and guilty) for another 20 minutes going to make me feel any more rested?” No. It wasn’t.
2. WARM LEMON WATER
Every morning I drink a cup of warm lemon water on an empty stomach. This has several benefits, but here are a simple few.
- It flushes the mucous from my body.
- It raises my metabolism, which also energizes.
- It helps my liver to rid my body of toxins.
- It strengthens my immune system.
- It makes my skin clear.
- It has extra hydrating properties.
Need I go on? This is how I make it: I take half a lemon and juice it into a mug. I add mostly boiling water, then some cold to make it drinking temperature. To give it time to do its job, I wait at least 30 minutes before eating anything.
3. LIGHT BREAKFAST
As much as I enjoy bacon and eggs, pancakes, and the like, I feel (and look) a lot better when I eat a light breakfast. I’m not talking about going hungry – this breakfast keeps me feeling full until lunch time. It’s very filling, but it doesn’t land in my stomach like a ton of bricks, it doesn’t make me feel bloated or groggy, and I don’t crash an hour later. When I eat this, my body feels light, energized, and satisfied.
THIS IS MY USUAL BREAKFAST
1/4 cup full cream organic yogurt
1/3 cup gluten-free muesli (my favorite is amaranth muesli)
1 banana, sliced
1 cup of jasmine green tea
This may not sound like a lot, and feel free to play around with the amounts if you decide to try it, but I honestly can’t eat more than that because I feel so full.
By the way, I also avoid bread/gluten for lunch, which tends to give me a massive energy crash!
4. STAY HYDRATED
In addition to the lemon water, I drink 2 liters of water or herbal tea per day. There are literally thousands of studies, articles, books, and courses which tell you why you need to drink plenty of water. Google it, if you don’t believe me. My ex-father-in-law used to refuse all offers of water saying, “Water is for fish.” Old people…
Here are the main reasons I am a fish:
It keeps me energized throughout the day.
It helps keep me regular.
It helps me stay clear-headed throughout the day.
It makes my skin look clear and fresh.
It flushes the toxins from my body.
It helps me regulate my body temperature – so, less hot flashes ladies!
5. FRESH VEGGIE JUICE
Number 5 was tough. I had three very strong alternative choices here. Should I tell you them anyway? No. I said 5 and 5 it shall be! So, where was I? Ah yes – fresh veggie juice.
I drink a fresh glass of fresh veggie juice every mid-afternoon. This stuff is AMAZING. And I don’t mean store bought, by the way. I mean actual fresh squeezed veggie juice that was either made by me or the nice person at the juice bar I wish I had near my house!
I’ve had people jump down my throat when I recommend this. Not sure why this makes them so excitable – it’s not as if I’m asking them to wear Crocs in public…
Their main objection is that juicing removes the fiber. And to this I say, “So what?” I am not drinking it for the fiber. I get plenty of fiber elsewhere. And no, I don’t save the leftover pulp to make gluten-free vegetarian vegan soup, burgers, fritters, muffins, cakes, breads, granola bars, crackers, raw pizza crust, trail mix, or dog treats. Eeuw. However, if I had chickens, ducks, or pigs, I would gladly feed it to them.
Why do I do it? Juicing my veggies allows me to absorb large amounts of nutrients in one go. There’s no way I’m eating an entire bunch of celery per day, but when I turn it into a glass of juice, I can down what used to be a week’s supply in moments.
Drinking a glass of fresh vegetable juice feels a bit like taking a pep pill, only without the nasty side effects! Because I remove the fiber when I juice, the vitamins and minerals get absorbed directly into my bloodstream.
Within 20 minutes, it reaches my cells, where it increases my energy almost immediately
It strengthens my immune system
It flushes the toxins from my body
It provides me with essential enzymes and antioxidants
Resist the temptation to mix fruit into your veggie juice. You want the slow release sugar from veggies, not the quick high then crash and burn from sugary fruit. Also, combining the two causes fermentation and bloating in your gut.
So there you have it. 5 things I do every day to look (and feel) young, vibrant and energized! It was tough to choose, but now I can also write 5 MORE things I do every day to look (and feel) young, vibrant and energized! Haha!
Let me recap:
- MORNING EXERCISE – brisk 20 minute walk first thing every morning.
- WARM LEMON WATER – juice of 1/2 a lemon with boiling water 30 minutes before breakfast.
- LIGHT BREAKFAST – quick and easy, no cooking, and gluten-free, this breakfast keeps me going until lunchtime.
- STAY HYDRATED – without enough water, I feel tired, hungry, and foggy.
- FRESH VEGGIE JUICE – much better than coffee, cookies, or a candy bar to get me through the afternoon!
All of these things together give me lots of energy. And frankly, I have even more energy now at 54 than I did when I was in my teens and 20’s! These rituals are not only great for clear supple skin and bright eyes, which help me to look youthful, they also keep me fit and healthy.
So now you know (part of) my beauty secret. Try it for yourself and I promise it will make a huge difference in your life!