Welcome to REVO life, our new Urban Family series by Lorraine Li, co-founder of REVO by Saucepan. In this series, Lorraine shares practical wellness tips and delicious recipes to give you and your loved ones simple tools to live your healthiest life in Shanghai.
"In a previous life I shall file away as 'my Tai Tai days', 6 days out of 7 you could find me up at 6am in the gym, sipping my iced Americano whilst doing ballet exercises, yoga, Pilates and strength training in one three-hour long session.
"Since getting back to the daily grind, however, getting myself to a full hour workout regularly feels like an achievement in itself. And as much as I often think 'I'll work out twice as hard tomorrow', schedules aren't always predictable, and it's realistic to need to change your plans from time to time.
"But next time you're tempted to beat yourself up over a workout you've just missed, I challenge you to ditch the guilt and try a few of these tips for an equally healthy day.."
1. Treat yourself to a day of clean eating.
Our bodies are constantly healing and recreating cells from the materials we supply it with; our diet. Consuming foods that are nutrient-rich and high in quality will translate equally to the new cells that make up our skin, heart, muscles and every other part of our body. For an entire day of clean eating, try to:
Cut out refined sugars
Tips: Be particularly careful to avoid processed products, in particular those that use the wording 'low calorie', 'diet', 'no sugar added' or 'sugar free'.
- More often than not, these products contain additives and artificial sugars that can be harmful to our health.
- If you need something sweet, choose natural options such as raw, organic honey or whole fresh fruit.
Give processed foods and simple carbohydrates a miss
Tips: Stick to foods made with fresh ingredients, and skip the items that come readily packaged from supermarkets and retail stores.
- If you're consuming carbohydrates, try to swap out pastas, white bread or white rice for complex carbs and gluten-free options like brown or black rice, buckwheat soba noodles, vermicelli noodles and non-wheat products.
- Not only are these choices much higher in nutrient value and fiber, they also won't break down into sugars the way that simple carbs will. Brown and black rice also contain B vitamins which are great for your liver and natural cleansing.
Choose foods that are high in nutrient value, not just low in calories.
Tips: Eat the rainbow. I know you've heard this before, but that's because it's incredibly key when it comes to getting a variety of nutrients.
- I always think of nutrient-rich foods as anti-aging and beautifying creams. For me, a soup made of bright beets and colorful root vegetables, or a salad filled with beautifully dark, fibrous greens is the same as the anti-wrinkle cream I put on when I feel like my skin is dry or tired.
- Nutrients moisturize and nourish your body from the inside-out, and dictate the quality of regenerated cells.
- If your diet lacks nutrient quality and hydration, so will your skin, your hair, your organs, muscle tone and so on. And trust me, a diet low in nutrients starts to show externally, particularly if combined with an unbalanced lifestyle. No amount of exercise can ever undo the effects of a poorquality diet.
- The color pigments in different fruits and vegetables hold the amazing nutrients that our bodies need. The brighter and more colorful a natural food is, the richer in nutrients it will usually be, and each color holds its own unique set of benefits.
- My favorite nutrient color set is dark green. Foods in this group are filled with fiber, low in calories and packed full of vitamin C, A, K, and calcium, all of which are great for fighting aging and the damaging effects of pollution and our environment.
Take a break from alcohol.
Alcoholic beverages are not only incredibly high in sugar and empty calories, they also contain harmful toxins that have been linked to various health issues and diseases.
Whilst some studies show that the occasional glass of red wine can provide benefits, it never hurts to give your body a day off from drinking.
Image via Pexels
2. Make hydration a priority
Tip: Two liters or more a day is a good amount of water to aim for. If you find it hard to drink plain water, try adding lemon, or drinking noncaffeinated teas, or unflavored sparkling or soda water.
- Without enough water in our system to carry out toxins and waste, our bodies would literally break down as a result of our own, poisonous metabolic waste.
- Water is incredibly important for the functioning of every part of our makeup. Drink as much water as you can, as often as you can.
- If possible, it's also great to limit the amount of caffeine you are drinking. For every standard coffee, take in two extra glasses of water.
3. Give your mental health a workout
Tips: Reading is a great way to develop a healthier and more balanced mindset. There are many inspirational books and articles out there that cover gratitude, self-growth and a range of spiritual and wellness topics.
- Often, we forget how important our mental health is. And although you may not suffer from a diagnosed mental illness, the nature of modern living means that most of us cannot avoid experiencing unnecessary stress, anxiety or feelings of sadness from time to time.
- Allocating even as little as 5 minutes of your day to work on your mindset does wonders. And as plenty of studies show, the mind-body connection is strong, and our physical and mental health are often one and the same thing.
- Meditation and breathing are also amazing for the purpose of achieving a calmer and clearer mind.
- If you don't have time to read or know how to meditate, try listening to a quick inspirational podcast in the car, or a guided meditation for a few minutes before bed. You'll be amazed how effective a few minutes spent doing this can be on your mindset and mood.
- If you're looking for a place to start, here are a few of my favorites. For self-growth and inspiration: Read - A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle; Listen to – Oprah's Super Soul Conversations Podcast
- For quick guided meditations: Listen to – (Podcast) Meditation Oasis by Mary and Richard Maddux.
[Cover image via Pexels]
REVO by Saucepan is a new healthy meal plan concept offering nutrient-rich plans designed to transform and rejuvenate. Plans cater to vegetarian, pescatarian and general diets, and begin from just 3 days a week.