You avoid fast food and processed junk. You don’t eat grains. You always chose butter over vegetable oil, and you try your best to eat animal products that were responsibly and healthfully raised. And if you don’t, you may want to check out this post, this one, and this one.
If you’re already doing these things, great!
But if you’re doing all of this and a) still aren’t seeing/feeling as many changes as you’d like or b) want to feel even more amazing, this list is for you!
This isn’t a do-or-die list. And although I’ve seen big improvements in my health from incorporating each of these habits into my lifestyle, I don’t do most of these things every day or even every week.
I DO however, try my best to be mindful of them and add them into my schedule whenever possible. And the more mindful and aware I become, the more often I remember to act on each of these health-promoting habits.
So I figured, what better time to revisit them than the new year? Since most of our bank accounts are pretty much empty after the holidays (or maybe that’s just me), I chose things that don’t cost a whole lot. So here goes — I hope these will help you as much as they’ve helped me!
10 Simple & Cheap Ways to Boost Your Health in 2015
- #1: Drink Bone Broth. I’ve sung the praises of this magical bone-juice many times on instagram and in my newsletter. (Did you know that I have a newsletter? It’s great — you should definitely sign up for updates!).
Since bones are cheaper than meat, bone broth is one of the most cost-effective ways to add nutrients from healthy, pasture-raised animals into your diet. These nutrients include gelatin (good for joints, hair, skin, nails and gut), minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, as well as the amino acids glycine and proline.
I usually make one batch of bone broth every week and a half or two weeks, which makes enough for my husband and I to each have one small cup per day.
This awesome recipe from Nom Nom Paleo will walk you through the process of making bone broth at home (it’s super easy)!
- #2: Take Apple Cider Vinegar. Organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (I like this brand) has been shown to kill bad bacteria, improve insulin sensitivity, and aid in digestion (among other things).
I take a teaspoon in the morning and before bedtime most days and have also had success using apple cider vinegar to treat infections. It also makes a great toner when mixed with water!
- #3: Go Outside. Not only does being outside in natural sunlight provide us with immune-boosting vitamin D — it also makes us feel good. For more information on why we so desperately need sunlight (in the right amount), check out this post.
- #4: Eat Sardines. These little fishies (skin, bones and all) are rich in hard-to-find nutrients like omega 3, zinc, taurine, selenium, vitamin D, and much more! Even The New York Times thinks you should eat them!
Plus, they’re inexpensive and PACKED with protein. Vital Choice is an extremely reputable & responsible seafood company with an AMAZING selection of tasty, wild-caught Portuguese sardines to choose from (click on the banner above for 10% off your first order)! I usually go through 2-3 packages of this super-food every week! #5: Drink Tea. I just started getting more into teas after listening to to Dr. Terry Wahls’ Ted Talk and podcasts in which she has appeared as a guest (her story is amazing — definitely check it out). Dr. Wahls is a big proponent of getting as many species (plant and animal based) into your diet as possible.
This really resonated with me. There are so many different organisms out there, each with their own unique nutritional profiles. Why not try to take in as many of those nutrients as we can?
And one of the ways to do that is by drinking teas. I really like Traditional Medicinals Tea. They have a ton of top-notch organic teas that can be found online and in most health food stores. Since I recently started cutting back on coffee, I’ve been drinking a water/full-fat coconut milk mixture with honey and Traditional Medicinals tea in the morning — heaven!
- #6: Move Your Body. This one is obvious, but it can also be a challenge, especially for folks with office jobs (been there).
While organized, planned, intentional exercise is great, it isn’t always a possibility for everyone. The most important thing here is to be aware of your body’s innate desire to move, and find creative ways to let it do so throughout the day. That could mean taking a walk on your lunch break, lifting weights, doing yoga, or using a makeshift stand-up desk for part of the day while taking regular breaks to stretch. Do something.
- #7: Swish Oil Around in Your Mouth. This is something I’m planning on getting back into the habit of doing over the next few weeks. Oil pulling is the ancient practice of swishing oil around in the mouth (I use coconut oil) for 15-20 minutes before spitting it out.
Because oil dissolves oil, oil pulling is said to remove bacteria, plaque, and toxins from the mouth. Many also believe that oil pulling has a cleansing effect on the rest of the body as well (this post from Wellness Mama explains the process and benefits in detail).
While I can’t speak to the science of oil pulling, I can attest to the fact that my mouth has NEVER felt more clean than it did when I used to oil pull every morning before brushing my teeth. Never — not even after a cleaning from the dentist!
- #8: Take Epsom Salt Baths. Stress management is an extremely important part of achieving optimal health that gets put on the backburner far too often.
One of the ways I like to manage stress is by taking 30 minute baths with epsom salt and essential oils. But for the sake of frugality, I’m just going to focus on the epsom salt this time.
In addition to being a big time stress reliever when used in a bath, epsom salt is also rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to promote restful sleep, eases muscle cramps, enhances circulation, and MUCH more. And since up to 80% of Americans are deficient in this important mineral, chances are you could be one of them. Epsom salt baths are an easy and inexpensive way to get magnesium and de-stress. It’s a win-win!
- #9: Eat Liver. Liver is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. It’s rich in all kinds of things that we WANT in our bodies. Things like vitamins A, D, E, and C, B-vitamins, amino acids, and too many minerals to list.
There’s only one problem with liver…it doesn’t taste all that great. At least I don’t think it does. If you like it, I’m seriously jealous of you.
Since my main goal when eating liver is to get it down fast and taste as little of it as possible, I ALWAYS take it in the form of a raw liver smoothie shot (recipe by Real Food Liz — I highly recommend it), which I try to take a few times a week. Since taking liver shots, I’ve noticed an improvement in my energy levels and skin health. And when I go too long without it, it becomes very apparent that I’m missing out on its long list of nutrients.
- #10: SLEEP. Remember what I said at the beginning, about this not being a do-or-die list? That doesn’t apply to this one. Aside from oxygen, sleep is the most important thing needed for survival. Not food. Not water. SLEEP.
The bad news? Most of us don’t get anywhere near enough of it, which can (and often does) cause problems like weight gain, heart issues, depression, and more. The good news? Sleep is 100% FREE! And there are plenty of ways to improve your sleep (to find out what they are, take a look at my post: 6 Ways to Get Better Sleep (Naturally)).
Learning to be more intentional about getting enough sleep has probably had a more positive impact on my health than any other lifestyle change I’ve made (including diet and exercise). I encourage you to make sleep a priority in 2015 — your body, mind, and emotions will be happy you did.
Now I want to hear from you! Are you already doing some of the things on this list? What else would you add?
Disclaimer: Bethany McDaniel/From the Pasture is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please know that I ONLY recommend products that I wholeheartedly support and believe to be of value to my readers.