So this is it, you’ve decided that your body has had enough and you are now ready to embark on a brand new journey with it. Well done!

With all of the conflicting information out there, living a healthy lifestyle can sometimes feel overwhelming, confusing and… stressful. However, stress is the last thing you want to bring along in your new adventure. So let me help you.

Here are 8 Ways to Kickstart Your Healthy Lifestyle:

  1. Be Patient & Kind to Yourself

Healthy living  is more like training for a marathon than a 200m race. You will encounter a few setbacks and will probably fail a few times.

Guess what ? It is perfectly fine.

Consistency and baby steps are key here. Be patient and kind to yourself. Understand that it will take time until you become a pro at this. You can do this, though. Believe in yourself and improve as you go.

  1. Learn to Trust Your Body & Its Language

8 ways to kickstart your healthy lifestyle nia magazine for black women
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Everyone is unique, and though there are a few facts about health, it is not one-size-fits-all. For example, some people will thrive on a vegetarian diet and running 5 miles every day, while others may need to consume animal proteins and prefer yoga or dancing as a form of exercise.

The key is to watch out for these physical signs of distress or disease: any inflammatory response (e.g. sneezing, itchiness, congestion, bloating, rash), headaches, lethargy, indigestion, general discomfort or any pain.

Your body is always trying to communicate with you. So pay attention to how you truly feel inside throughout this journey.

  1. Make Daily Movement a Fun Activity

It’s important to incorporate some form of movement into your daily life. The body thrives on being active. This will not only fortify your immune system and aid digestion, it will also give you more energy throughout the day and boost your mood.

How do you ensure that you move at least 30 minutes daily?

Choose a fun way to move your body. You don’t have to be stuck in a gym if you don’t enjoy that type of physical exercise. Why not try speed walking or jogging in a park? A new belly dancing class or even a swim or yoga after work?

Choose what you truly enjoy to guarantee daily movement.

  1. Make Friends with Water

Proper hydration is another staple for your health. The problem is, many of us hate the taste of water.

Here is a neat little trick: infuse your water with fruit, cucumbers and herbs to make it tastier.

8 ways to kickstart your healthy lifestyle nia magazine for black women
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Try this combination for example: a few slices of lemon or lime with fresh mint leaves. And if you enjoy the fizziness of sodas (which you should totally give up on, by the way), try sparkling water instead, with a few slices of strawberries, basil leaves and a little bag of stevia to sweeten your drink.

However, keep the sweeteners (even the healthy options) as an exception more than a rule. Learn to appreciate the taste of water on its own.

Finally, make sure to stay hydrated as much as possible in between meals, to avoid diluting your gastric juices.

  1. Boost Your Immune System with Probiotics

Probiotics are all the craze in the health media lately and rightfully so! Scientists and doctors are realizing the important role that our gut bacteria, also known as microbiome, play in keeping our bodies healthy and strong. Especially when it comes to our immune system and digestion.

To keep your body in tip top shape, get into the habit of either consuming probiotic foods daily or take your probiotics in supplement forms.

Some great probiotic foods are: kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, apple cider vinegar (raw and unpasteurized), kefir, yogurt, tempeh- to name a few.

  1. Eat at least 1 Raw Meal or Snack Per Day

This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. And that is because raw foods (i.e. veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds) are also known as prebiotics. This means that our gut bacteria thrives on raw foods and veggies, which makes them strong and healthy.

Raw foods will also infuse your body with much needed micro-nutrients, which you cannot find in cooked foods.

8 ways to kickstart your healthy lifestyle nia magazine for black women
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Every day, try to have a smoothie in the morning or a salad at lunch, or snack on a few raw vegetables with hummus or guacamole.

  1. Avoid Processed Foods at all Cost

Processed foods are completely devoid of nutrition. They may fill your belly, but they do not nourish your body. On top of that, they are also loaded with harmful chemicals, food additives and preservatives.

They are what I call malnutrition. Avoid them and instead learn to like whole and real foods that have not been packaged or processed. You will feel the difference instantly. Test it out for yourself.

  1. Make Sleep Your New Priority

8 ways to kickstart your healthy lifestyle nia magazine for black women
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Unfortunately for us, sleep is very seldom considered a priority in our daily life. Yet, it is so important to the rejuvenation of your cells, proper digestion, weight management, reduction of stress, mood levels and even for your work performance.

Aim to improve not only the quality of your sleep, but also the quantity. One tip to help you sleep better: create a night time routine to give your body a clear transition into rest mode.

And there you have it! With these 8 tips, you’ll be more than ready to not only kickstart your healthy lifestyle, but stick to it.

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