by Dr. Jill Blakeway, DACM, L.Ac

5 Healthy Ways to Start Your Day

yinovablog6101I have an admission to make…

At the Yinova Center we are not paragons of virtue. Patients visiting us for the first time sometimes imagine that we will be scarily macrobiotic women who will pour scorn on their efforts to take care of themselves. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We are all working-women who, like you, are trying to do the best we can to support out own health and that of our families. We understand our patients because they are like us. We too struggle with our weight, get stressed out, drink too much coffee, enjoy a beer and find it hard to fit an exercise program into our over-scheduled lives.

All our practitioners have an M.Sc. in Traditional Asian Medicine and are Licensed Acupuncturists and Herbalists. All have access to the time-tested wisdom of Chinese Medicine when it comes to giving you advice. We know a thing or two about staying healthy but rest assured that you won’t get any “attitude” from us. We understand what its like to juggle a job, kids and a partner because we do it too.

In my own life I have found it less overwhelming to make small lifestyle changes rather than try to tackle everything at once. So with that in mind I want to suggest 5 ways to start your day in a healthy way.

1. Before you get out of bed set a tone for the day.

dreamstime_2167484Close your eyes, take a deep cleansing breath and allow yourself to feel grateful for the good things in your life. As you exhale release all the tension and negativity that you are holding on to and consciously relax your body. Set yourself one small achievable goal that will be the theme for your day.
“Today I will make sure that I express appreciation to the people I love”
“Today I will reach out to someone I don’t know”
“Today I will not allow myself to get resentful”
“Today I will smile”
“Today I will be conscious of nourishing myself with the food I eat.

2. When you get out of bed take a moment to stretch.

yinovablog6042By all means do some yoga stretches or some tai chi, if you have the time and the know-how, but bear in mind that you don’t need special knowledge in order to move your body. All of us are able to get out of bed and open up our joints by reaching for the sky then bending over to try to touch our toes. Don’t worry about doing this perfectly just move in a way that extends your spine and lengthens your limbs.

3. Drink an 8oz cup of hot water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed in.

dreamstime_658191This small cleansing ritual helps bile formation, which is essential for fat metabolism and promotes peristalsis, which is the movement in your intestines that keeps waste moving along and out of the body.

4. Enjoy a water massage.

dreamstime_3639530For many of us, particularly those with small children, the shower is one of the few places where we can find some peace in our hectic day. Try to be conscious of the warm water massaging your muscles and use this time to cleanse your body and your mind.

5. Eat a healthy breakfast.

dreamstime_37793061Many of us skip breakfast thinking that this will help us lose weight but research has shown that those who start the day well nourished are less likely to binge later on. Successful dieters will tell you that a filling breakfast is one of the ways that they manage to control their weight. Try to choose whole-grains, fruit or veggies and some low-fat protein. Here are some of our favorite breakfasts: –

  • Whole grain toast with nut butter and an apple
  • Oatmeal with ground flaxseeds, banana and some almonds
  • A healthy cereal such as Kashi golean crunch with low fat milk or soymilk and some blueberries
  • A poached egg on wholegrain toast with some frozen spinach
  • A shake made from protein powder whizzed up in the blender with frozen organic berries
  • Eggs scrambled with veggies such as red and green peppers, broccoli and spinach
  • Cottage cheese with whole grain toast and an apple

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