5 Epic Hacks to Improve Your Health Right Now

Karen Patten

I’ve been thinking about a few hacks to improve your health this year. These are simple things that I know work – but that I’ve let slip. I’m reinstating these for myself right now. I’d love to have you join me. These 5 epic hacks can help you improve your health immediately!

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Improve Your Health with Movement

I know you think I’m saying “exercise,” but really I’m not. Exercise is terrific – and we should all exercise. But you can still make significant changes even if you can’t find time for the gym. A quick and easy way to boost your health is to simply move more. Don’t put off going upstairs. Park further away from the store. Play chase with your children while dinner simmers. Play catch with your children. Not only will you move more, but you’ll get a little quality time in with the kids!

One of my favorite ways to keep me accountable for moving every day is a step tracker. I got a Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, Black for my birthday in September and it definitely holds me accountable!

You’ll want to aim for at least 10,000 steps per day. On a day that you’re out for a walk, go for a run, or hit the gym – you shouldn’t find this a difficult goal. On days that you don’t get your exercise in, you may have to get creative! I’ve found myself pacing circles around the house while brushing my teeth at night!

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to improve your health. Staying hydrated is important to provide you with energy, flush toxins from your system, improve the appearance of your skin, maintain your immune system, prevent headaches, and so much more! (source)
 So the hardest thing for me about staying hydrated is that I insist that my water is cold. I don’t want bottles with plastic components, I prefer a safer material like stainless steel. The Klean Kanteen Classic Insulated 32-Ounce Stainless Steel Bottle With Loop Cap has become one of my favorites!
Once you start drinking more water, you may even be surprised to discover that you have actually been thirsty at times when you thought you were hungry!

Blanched Vegetables are Quick Healthy Snacks

One of the hardest things for me is grabbing something healthy during the day. I’m usually running errands, picking up the boys, just basically doing all sorts of things that make it hard for me to take the time to prepare a healthy snack. When I don’t do this, then I go way too long during the day without a snack and then I’m just plain hangry. Hangry never leads me to good food choices. So I need a couple snacks throughout the day.

Blanching veggies is one of the fastest ways to cook them – it takes only about 5 minutes. Another plus – once  you’ve blanched them, they will easily hold in your refrigerator for 3-5 days. To keep them as fresh as possible, I line a glass container with a thin kitchen towel or a couple of paper towels to absorb moisture.

My favorite vegetables to blanch are asparagus, sugar snaps, green beans, and snow peas. The beauty of these selections is that none of them need any prep making the process even faster. They are easy to keep and grab for a snack whenever you want them.

So here’s a bonus tip about snacks… Each “snack” or “meal” during your day should include each of the macronutrients – protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. To add to your veggies, a dip with healthy fats and protein is perfect. Bean dips with coconut, walnut, or olive oil are terrific. Guacamole is virtually the perfect choice. Make sure when you’re choosing a recipe for a dip, you include some healthy fats.

Related Post You May Also Like: Best Guacamole – Nutritious, Delicious, and Fast!

 I also like blanching spinach. It’s not quite the grab and go snack, but I love having it on hand to throw into whatever else I’m eating – think: soups, stews, scrambled eggs, omelettes, you name it.

Show Your Gut Some Love

The health of your gut determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens and microbes are kept out, and therefore it is directly linked to the health of the total organism. Intestinal health could be defined as the optimal digestion, absorption and assimilation of food…the bugs in your gut are like a rain forest…They must be in balance for you to be healthy.

Many diseases that seem totally unrelated to the gut, such as eczcema or psoriasis or arthritis, are actually caused by gut problems. By focusing on your gut you can get better.

Your entire immune system (and your body) is protected from the toxic environment in your the gut by a layer only one cell thick. This thin layer covers a surface area the size of a tennis court—yet it’s basically containing a sewer. If that barrier is damaged, you will get sick and create an overactive immune system, producing inflammation throughout the body.

And then there is your second brain, your gut nervous system. Your gut, in fact, contains more neurotransmitters than your brain. It is highly wired back to your brain and messages travel back and forth. When those messages are altered for any reason in any direction – from the brain to the gut or the gut to the brain – your health will suffer.

Then, of course, your gut has to get rid of all the toxins produced as a byproduct of your metabolism that your liver dumps in through the bile, and if things get backed up, you will become toxic.

And in the midst of all of this, your gut must break down all the food you eat into its individual components, separate out all the vitamins and minerals and shuttle everything across that one cell thick layer into your bloodstream for you to stay healthy. (source)

I love these health hacks to improve your health today - quick, easy and effective! #3 is the best! www.themidlifemamas.com
Gut health is both hugely important to your overall health and complicated. However, your gut can be healed to improve your health. Healing your gut is a two step process. First, remove things from your diet that you are sensitive to (the usual suspects are wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, corn, or soy). Second, you can take simple steps to add in healing foods: adding bone broth to your diet (it’s perfect soup weather) is one of the easiest! I’ve collected a couple of wonderful recipes for you, since I haven’t published mine yet!
Nourishing Chicken Bone Broth from Raising Generation Nourished
Nourishing Beef Bone Broth from Raising Generation Nourished
Other great gut foods to add in are small amounts of fermented foods (homemade sauerkraut, pickles, kefir, kombucha, etc.), keep your body at a health pH level, keep your Omega-3 levels  high and supplement if necessary, and consume short and medium chain fatty acids (like grass fed butter and coconut oil). (source)
I’ve been lucky enough to be a patient of one of the world’s foremost authorities on gut health: Dr. Tazneem Bhatia. The 21-day plan she puts forth in her book, The 21-Day Belly Fix: The Doctor-Designed Diet Plan for a Clean Gut and a Slimmer Waist, can be challenging – but the results are worth it!!!! I love her book and highly recommend it!
I love these health hacks to improve your health today - quick, easy and effective! #3 is the best! www.themidlifemamas.com

Add In Some Healthy Fat

Adding at least one healthy fat in at each meal or snack can help improve your health. Healthy fats can actually help improve your blood lipid profile. Healthy fats help you stay full longer. Here’s where you need to hold on and be prepared to un-learn the conventional wisdom that has been hammering us for several decades. Short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids are healthy fats.
Saturated fats – from coconut oil, grass fed meats, and avocados are beneficial. Omega-6 fats are beneficial fats and are found in fatty fish (think: salmon), nuts, seeds, and some types of algae. Try adding a source of healthy fat into your diet at each meal.
 
Related Post You May Also Like: Healthy Fats: These Help Stop Sugar Cravings
Any one of these simple hacks will improve your health right away. You’ll be better off for having done even one! See if you can add in one each week. Remember that taking it slow is the best way to form new habits that will improve your overall health slowly but surely!

4 Comments

  1. diane on January 1, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing my post about bone broth. Every little step we take to get healthy makes a big difference in the long run!



    • Karen Patten on January 2, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      Happy to!!! Bone broth is such an easy thing to add in and is sooooo good for you! Grandma knew what she was doing!



  2. Lindsey on February 11, 2016 at 11:58 am

    These are awesome actionable tips to improve your health! And just in time for spring. 😉 I’m pinning and stumbling this.



    • Karen Patten on February 12, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      So glad you enjoyed this!!! Whenever I feel like I’ve “fallen off the wagon,” it’s so easy to just pick one tip at a time to start feeling better right away!



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Hi, I’m Karen, the Atlanta mama, writer, and creator at Intentional Family Life. I’m a passionate advocate for intentional living so that you can experience all that you deserve for yourself and your family. Here, I inspire moms to chose what matters most and then to only do the things that move them closer to what matters most. Read More About Karen…

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