Updated: May 27, 2020
Most people's health and wellness journey begins the moment they decide that they are fed up with how they currently feel. For me, it began with being sick of experiencing constant anxiety and panic attacks that left me feeling helpless.
The reason why it's called a wellness journey is because it's exactly that - a journey. There is no ONE thing that will solve all of your problems (and if someone says that there is, then that's a cue that you need to back away from that conversation). But on that note, there ARE small things that you can do everyday to make you feel pretty awesome.
Today, I'm sharing 10 strategies that I have added to my wellness routine over the last 5 years or so that have majorly helped me feel GOOD again.
DISCLAIMER ~ The strategies below are what I utilize for myself and my clients and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Always speak with your doctor and nutritionist before making any changes to your own lifestyle and diet.
1. Eating until satiated.
For a very long time, you've probably heard that counting calories and calorie restriction is just HOW you lose weight, right? First of all, it's not. Second of all, this has likely trained you to ignore your own hunger cues and only eat the amount of food according to calories and/or macronutrients.
This can be a hard habit to break, but it's the first step that you need to accomplish in order to balance your hormones and tap into fat burning mechanisms. Once I realized that weight loss (and health!!) are tied to hormones, not numbers on a calorie tracker, I started to learn to eat the amount my body truly NEEDED. As a result, I feel more energized and less stressed about what I eat. I also maintain a steady weight and body fat percentage without having to count a single thing.
Get started on learning how to eat until satiated with the vid below!
2. Incorporating daily walking.
I used to be a runner. I mean, I ran a lot. I competed in triathlons, half marathons and marathons fairly frequently all throughout late high school and college. But when I realized that my cortisol levels were way out of whack, I decided to cut back drastically on my running and swap it for walking instead. During this time, I also utilized other hormone balancing techniques that I outline in the Hormone Balancing Pro Protocol in the Level Up Guide. As a result of getting my hormones balanced, I experienced reduced anxiety and (surprisingly) reduced body fat percentage... and I wasn't doing any cardio outside of walking!
Get the deets on walking vs. running with the vid below.
3. Removing protein bars.
Boy oh boy, protein bars are an amazing feat of the food industry. Those little plastic wrapped products have had so much of the public deceived into thinking that they are actually healthy for them! In reality, flip over most protein bars and check out the ingredients label and you may be shocked to find just how high up sugar is on the ingredients list.
When my clients ditch protein bars, they immediately feel less bloated and crave less sugar. This is the exact same experience I had.
If you're curious on the science behind this, make sure you watch the video below.
4. Spending 20-30 minutes per day in direct sunlight.
Up to 75% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. I was one of them! The combination of spending wayyyy too much time indoors and wearing sunscreen every time we ARE outside leaves us to be extremely low in this very important vitamin. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased risk of cancer (yup, ironically even skin cancer), increased risk of autoimmune disease and even increased risk of anxiety and depression.
I now make a point of spending 20-30 minutes outside with at least my arms and legs exposed to the sun. Sometimes I'll even throw a bathing suit on to soak up even more vitamin D if I have time.
Plus, you get the added bonus of exposing yourself to cortisol (stress hormone) reducing negative ions by taking yourself outdoors. If you live in an area that is too cold to be soaking up the rays, then you may need to supplement with vitamin D.
5. Utilizing Intermittent Fasting + proper Nutrient Timing.
This alone has had one of the biggest impacts on my anxiety, bloating, sleep, energy levels, mood and body fat percentage. It's also what the #AENpeeps are utilizing with The Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle protocols in order to feel their best (Like Lane, featured above!).
Intermittent Fasting paired with proper Nutrient Timing helps your body shift into fat burning while reducing gut inflammation and stimulating your MMC (migrating motor complex - an essential component to your GI Tract and in the prevention of SIBO).
Check out how you can get started HERE.
6. Ditching electronics 60 minutes before bed.
Your phone/laptop/TV/Kindle/iPad all emit something called "blue light". This blue light tricks your body into thinking that it's day time and effectively shuts off the production of your sleep hormone melatonin. By not using these electronics before bed, it SIGNIFICANTLY helped to improve my sleep and balance my hormones naturally!
7. Not feeling bad about "treat" meals.
I. freaking. love. pasta. And pizza for that matter. I studied abroad in Italy and I am not ashamed to say that I am quite the connoisseur of the pasta/pizza arts. (In fact, if you follow me on Instagram, you'll see me occasionally holding homemade pizza or pasta parties.) But I also know that if I have these foods on the daily, my blood sugar levels will be all over the place, my energy levels will be low and my anxiety will skyrocket.
BUT. I love pasta. And I'm not going to give it up - nor should I. We sometimes forget that happiness is part of being healthy, too. So once a week, I plan out a meal I LOVE (but that I know won't help me achieve my wellness goals). I eat the meal with loved ones and I celebrate it. My attitude towards these meals is exactly as it should be - a fun treat that adds to my life, not subtracts from it.
In fact, studies have found that incorporating one "treat" (NOT "cheat" - BIG difference here!!) meal per week can also help you achieve your weight loss goals better than completely eliminating that meal altogether. I go into the science-y deets on this with the video below.
8. Prioritizing sleep.
Sleep has always been a high priority for me, but it wasn't until recently (about the last 2-3 years) that I realized how MUCH I needed to prioritize my sleep. It's not just about the length of time you're asleep, but the quality of said sleep that matters. You can get 8 hours of sleep but never fully enter deep sleep, making you have a very low quality sleep. I noticed that when I achieved deep, restful sleep, I felt more focused, energized, motivated and positive the next day. Plus, my immune system went way up and I didn't experience as many sugar cravings!
If you're thinking you can achieve deep sleep by taking a melatonin supplement... watch my video below before you take it.
9. Turning off all cell phone notifications (except text + phone call).
This was a tough one for me to do initially. One of my clients actually mentioned to me that she did this and LOVED how she felt as a result. I like to be connected at all times with my #AENpeeps, but I realized that I wasn't able to connect FULLY with them unless I disconnected at times... does that make sense?
Plus, researchers have found that with every notification you receive on your phone (whether it be positive or negative), a spike of cortisol (stress hormone) is released which can throw you into a state of hormone imbalance.
In order for me to be more present and less stressed, I turned off all of my cell phone notifications (other than phone calls and texts). This has been an absolute game changer to my mental and physical health. It may be scary at first, but trust me, you will LOVE how you feel once you have done this!
10. Having my daily cup of Keto Coffee.
No I am not Keto. But you can reap the benefits of stable blood glucose levels, gut healing and fat burning by having this frothy goodness each morning. I used to ditch coffee completely because I thought it spiked my anxiety. Turns out I was wrong. Keto Coffee (or Keto Tea/Keto Matcha) is even a staple in The Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle principles. Literally thousands of #AENpeeps around the world are cheers-ing their hot cups of Keto Coffee each and every morning!
Whip up your first cup today with THIS video!
Join hundreds of AENpeeps around the world and feel GOOD again using the healing principles within The Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle! Heal your gut, repair your cells, reduce bloating, tap into fat burning mechanisms and eat BOMB food!!
Get started today HERE!
Autumn Elle Nutrition