Healthy Habit Checklist - 30 Lifelong Habits for Health and Longevity - Barlow Herbal
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by Jane Barlow November 14, 2017

Health made Simple.

You have this one life.  At least as far as we truly know.  Here’s a checklist of habits to help you live your best in your beautiful physical body.

Healthy Habit #1

Your physical body needs exercise and movement.  All day.  Every day. You are not designed to be sedentary for extended periods of time.  All the systems in your body start to die when you don’t move. 

Sound dramatic?

Well, it’s true.  You are giving your body a strong message when you spend hours and hours sitting.  You are telling it that it isn’t important to you.  I know that many of you have jobs that require you to be at a desk, sitting in a chair or being in one place longer than you might like.

When you simply stand up, move around or take a flight of stairs during the day the message is just as strong.  But now you are telling your body that you care about it. 

On the most basic level, you should at least stand up once an hour and stretch and even walk around your office.

Look, here’s the deal.  Every system in your body depends on you to take care of it.  And exercise is something you know you should do. 

Physical exercise improves your health and reduces the risk of all kinds of health problems like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.  It reduces constipation and promotes high quality sleep.  Body fat decreases while heart strength and muscle strength increases.

Don’t pay attention to what everyone else is doing for exercise.

Do what you can do and what you want to do.  It must be something you enjoy.  Something that interests you and keeps you coming back for more.  Remember that it might take a little time to find it.

My best starting point is to simply walk.  Walk as much as you can.  Park in the furthest parking spot when you shop.  Walk around your block.  One of my best morning routine habits is to drink a full quart jar of water (I call this hyper-hydrating) and then walk for 20 minutes.

You would be amazed at how much you can improve your health with this one little shift in your routine.  Most people don’t give their body’s the option to get stronger and healthier.  You would be amazed at what your body can do.  It doesn’t matter how old you think you are.  It’s never too late to improve your life with exercise.

Healthy Habit #2

Pamper yourself on a regular basis.

Get a manicure/pedicure once a month. Or get a weekly/monthly massage. Take a hot bath. Read a juicy novel. Lay in the shade and listen to your favorite music.  Schedule quiet time where you disconnect from your phone and computer.

You really do deserve it.

Being healthy means putting trivial things into perspective and taking some time out of your day to take care of you.  Especially if you are the nurturer of your family. 

The cool thing about implementing this habit is that it doesn’t have to be a big, expensive deal.  Even if you take a solid 15-30 minutes for yourself, away from the hustle and bustle of your life…it will have huge dividends.

Cuddling with the dog might be all the pampering you need some days.

Healthy Habit #3

Drink water.  Hydrate yourself. 

Your body is more than 70 percent water, most your blood and every single cell in your body is composed of water. 

And your brain?  Well, it’s 90% water!  Ninety percent.   When you give your body the hydration that it needs day in and day out, you are sending a very strong message to your body.  You are telling it that it is important to you.
This is one of my favorite habits, it’s such a powerful way to start the day and is critical for everyone.

If you have a headache...you're probably dehydrated.

(Brain = 90% WATER!)

If you are constipated...you're probably dehydrated.

(How can your digestive and elimination system move the waste out of your body without enough water?)

If you feel lethargic, tired and cranky...yep, dehydrated.

Your body requires hydration to function properly.  In every way.

How do you expect it to perform for you if you are chronically dehydrated?

Every system in your body depends on you to give it not only proper nutrition, exercise, sleep and love but proper hydration. Not just sometimes.

Not just when you remember.

Especially not when you realize that you are already thirsty.  But every day.  All day.  Make your glass a quart jar or at least a quart sized glass or water bottle.

Then fill it four times during the day and watch the change in the way you look and feel.

Make the first one your Apple Cider Vinegar, fresh Lemon juice concoction and add three more from there. I'm not talking about hydrating with juice, tea, soda, coffee, milk, almond milk or any of those so-called sports drinks.

I'm talking about pure, delicious, plain old water.

You can live without food for a while but when you don't drink water your life on this planet would end quickly.

For most of us this is true...

Most of the time…you're not sick…. You’re thirsty!  Drink UP!

By making sure you are fully hydrated you will increase energy, relieve fatigue, flush out toxins, improve your skin, help you stay regular, boost your immune system, relieve a headache, prevent muscle cramps, put you in a good mood and even promote weight loss!

Water is such an easy habit.  And unless you live in a third world country where access to clean, plentiful water is a problem…then you have no excuse to finally take this habit of drinking plenty of water to heart.

Healthy Habit #4

Add Apple Cider Vinegar and Fresh squeezed lemon to your water.

Sometimes I add a little local honey and a sprinkle or squirt of Cayenne Pepper.

Here’s why.

The health benefits of this  powerhouse group of ingredients in
this one-quart jar of water is indeed amazing.  
Start with less Apple Cider Vinegar while your taste buds are getting used to it. The honey really does help cut the taste a lot!

Also, most days I use a liquid extract of Cayenne Pepper. It's easier and
I like the little kick it gives this concoction. Cayenne Pepper is good for digestion, metabolism (think weight loss!) and heart health. 

Apple cider vinegar can help cure acid reflux, lower blood pressure and support weight loss.  It has powerful healing compounds which include potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes.  Apple cider vinegar can be a little tough to get used to at first.  The key is to not go crazy once you realize all the health benefits of it.  I always dilute mine heavily.  Usually a couple of tablespoons in a full quart jar of water.  When you do straight shots of Apple cider vinegar it can pose problems for your throat and teeth.  Don’t let this deter you.  I’ve seen amazing health gains from adding a little to one of my quart jars of water every day.  This is where common sense and a little moderation comes in.  I know when I first learned all about Apple cider vinegar and its incredible health benefits, I was completely gung-ho!  Give me more, give me more!  But it’s like anything else.  I believe a little bit goes a long way. 

This also goes for the fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Lemon juice is acidic (but will help make your body alkaline) and can wreck a little havoc on your teeth.  I always drink this concoction out of a straw.  Remember, it takes 66 days to form a new habit.  Habits are not about will power.  They are about the small daily choices we make that compound into big, beautiful, healthy living.

Healthy Habit #5

Organic Peppermint tea with a spoonful of organic Coconut oil. Peppermint tea improves digestion, reduces pain, eliminates inflammation, relaxes the body and mind, cures bad breath, aids in weight loss and boosts the immune system. And Coconut oil is a major player when it comes to healthy benefits- to name just a few...cancer prevention, improve memory and brain function, improve energy and endurance and improves skin issues. On top of this - this drink is delicious!

 Steep your Peppermint tea.  Pull the tea bags out while the tea is still hot.  Put a scoop of coconut oil in, let it melt and then sip away.  I usually keep the spoon in while I’m drinking this so that I can stir it each time before I drink.  The coconut oil floats to the top and I like to have it all though the tea as I drink it.  You can use other types of tea, too.  I also use this tip to stop my sweet tooth especially during the holidays when there’s lots of temptation.  If a sweet tooth hits you and drink a cup of peppermint tea with coconut oil in it…your sweet tooth will literally disappear.  Brilliant!

Healthy Habit #6

An apple a day keeps the doctor at bay.
Everything you've heard and know about apples is true.
I love this one so much because it’s incredibly easy to implement.
Here is what you get with this one simple shift.
Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fiber.
The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
Apples improve neurological health, prevent dementia, reduce your risk of stroke and diabetes.
Researchers from the University of Oxford in the UK found that eating an apple a day everyday could be just as effective as statins in preventing vascular deaths among people over 50. 

How awesome is that?!
The list of benefits of this one super easy habit includes improved digestion, preventing constipation and other stomach disorders.  Apples are naturally high in iron and are known to add vigor and vitality to people who are weak.  It’s true!  Do some research on your own about this.  Apples can help reduce the uptake of carbohydrates by the body, in turn reducing the fluctuation of blood sugar levels that occur in the blood stream…a key factor for helping to keep diabetes in check. 

Stock up on your favorite apples and munch on one every single day!

Healthy Habit #7

One salad a day.

Come on now.  You know this one.  Oh…you hate veggies?  They give you gas, a stomach ache, a headache?  You’re sensitive to veggies and they just don’t sit well with you?

Look…here’s the deal.  It might be true that you have an allergic reaction to a veggie or two.

But all of them?  Come on. 

We have been conditioned to believe that the food that is readily accessible to us is good for us.

Look at the fast food industry, the junk food industry, the sugar industry and all the rest of the food industries.  They are in business to make money.

They are not in the business of keeping you healthy.  They want you addicted to their products so that you will keep buying and consuming them.

It’s not the job of the food industry or the government to help you make healthy food decisions, although they have a very powerful lobby that dictates what is perceived as healthy and what is not.

Do some research and then use your common sense.

Food does not belong in processed and in a package.  For food to last for extremely extended periods of time and look and taste appetizing, it’s pumped full of all kinds of additives, chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors and harmful ingredients that no one should be ingesting on a day to day basis.  Your food should be as close to nature as possible.  Occasionally, it’s okay to eat a box of macaroni and cheese… but every day?  Not so good.

So, here’s your habit.  You might already do this.  You might do it occasionally.  You might be as far from a salad as you can possibly be. 

Well, roll up your sleeves and get ready to be a master veggie chopper!


One veggie salad every day for either lunch or dinner.

The bottom line is this - your body needs the vital nutrients that only a variety of vegetables
can provide.

Every day.

Not once a month.

Not once a week.

Every, single day.

This doesn't have to be a painful habit. You might be used to preparing something  quick or eating out most of the time.

Or cooking the food you eat.

Have you ever thought of the importance of eating raw, organic veggies?

Every day?

I started this habit a long time ago and I must say... it's one that really helps me  slow down my day and really appreciate the act of preparing food for myself.

I know your life is as busy as mine and at the end of the day all we want to do is find something that is quick, easy and delicious.

This habit takes a little bit of slow down time. It can help you disconnect from your phone, your computer and the social media that  sucks us all in.

So, I challenge you -
Unplug from the convenience of fast food and packaged food and make yourself a salad. Put in the things you love. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, radishes, peppers, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, avocados, hempseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkinseeds, and on and on and on.  You can get SO creative here!  The options are limitless.
Drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar on it, a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

 

Healthy Habit #8

Stop the Sugar Addiction. (You're sweet enough already!)

Haven’t you been hearing this forever?  How do you feel when you eat too much sugar?

Gross?  Bloated?  Tired? Wrinkled?  Aren’t you sick and tired of feeling that way?

Here's the deal. The ugly truth about Sugar.  Sugar ages you.

Sugar feeds cancer.

Refined sugar should be classified as a poison...it has been depleted of all its life force.

The intense pleasure you get from eating sugar lights up the same part of your brain that heroin does. 

Did you know that?  And oh, does it make the sugar industry happy!

Because guess what?  That means you’ll be back for more…and more…and more.  Until you’re dead.

Yep.  Customer for life.

Sugar steals your youth and beauty.

Sugar steals your vitality.

Sugar makes you fat, bloated and constipated.

We give it to our kids and the people who we love in massive amounts...because we LOVE them.

How backwards is that?

Taking sugar out of your diet is hard.  Freaking hard.

Any change is hard.  But only in the beginning.

Your body doesn’t really like sugar.

Maybe only for the moment while your tasting it on your taste buds.

Besides that, you know it hurts you.

After every binge, you swear to stop eating so much of it because you know the pleasure only
lasts for a few minutes.

Just know this.

No one is going to do a "sugar intervention" or put you into sugar rehab.

Gather up your family, friends and the people who love and care about you and do it together.

Get a grip on the sugar monster and take care of your addiction.

It’s not about will power.  It’s about education.  Once you know better, you can do better.

PS – I was horribly addicted to sugar for most of my life.  I made the shift right before I turned 40 (I’m 56 now) and took sugar out of my diet completely.  Cold turkey.  Within 2 months I had lost 40 pounds and my transformation was incredible.  Everything started functioning like it was supposed to.  I was no longer constipated, bloated, tired and mad at myself for never sticking with any diet long enough to feel good in my own skin.  Saying I would stop eating sugar on Monday finally stopped being a thing.  Take some time and do some of your own research.  Just type in “why sugar is bad for you” into Google.  Read as much as you can about it.  Go on Amazon and order a book or two about quitting sugar.  When you educate yourself on the “why” then the actual “how” becomes easy.

Healthy Habit #9

Strength training.
Do something every day to keep your strength up. It's called being functionally fit.

Do squats every time you get up from   any chair.

Sit down on the floor and get back up - 20 times in a row.

Do one push-up today every day for a week.  Next week do two.

Little gains become big gains.  Day in and day out.  Every damn day.

If you're already getting creaky then this one habit is critically important.  Remember that your body is amazing and can adapt and change.  It can grow and get stronger.  Don’t let yourself get discouraged.  Not even for one minute.  Every little thing you do, counts.  Every time.

This handstand against the wall is something I've been doing for a long time. It makes me feel strong and keeps me working on my upper body strength so that I can keep doing it.

I do not suggest starting with something like this but I’m showing you what’s possible.  Anything.  Really.  I’m 56 and I’ll be doing handstands when I’m 96. 

Mark my words.

Lift weights first. Get Strong.

You don't want to be 40, 50, 60, 70 or 80 and not be able to simply function like a human being in this human body! Keep your strength up!

Start kids early.  Show them a healthy, active, fitness lifestyle. 

These two cuties are my grandkids.  I bought them some small weights to use when they visit and I’m working out.  This is the best way they learn.  They watch you.

Get strong and stay strong for life!

 Healthy Habit #10

Stop drinking soda once and for all.
I used to drink Diet Coke. Back in the day.   I thought it was an excellent choice.  You know...no calories, no sugar...blah blah blah.

Luckily, I didn't really drink very much and not for that long.

It always tasted like a chemical shit storm to me but I thought it was a better option that full sugar soda.

I'm glad I figured that out a long time ago.

It’s always interesting to me when people ask me what I do to stay healthy and when I tell them that I don’t drink soda sometimes I get this – “It’s my only vice and it’s the only thing that will quench my thirst.” 

Let’s just face it.  You’re addicted. 

I get it.  No one likes to be thought of as an addict.  It’s a horrible label.

But it’s true.  Soda is just like any other bad substance that the soft drink industry likes to make you feel good about doing and consuming.  Don’t forget.  They want you addicted.  It’s the only way they make money.  Do you really think they care about you and your health?  All the soft drink ads show happy, healthy people having fun and drinking fizzy, lovely soda.  How can we resist?  We want to be happy and have fun. 

I’m here to tell you…this is one of those powerful habits that can be life changing.

So…STOP drinking SODA!

Just stop it.

Are you going to get a headache?

Probably.

Are you addicted to the crappy ingredients?

More than likely.

Do you know it's bad for you?  Yes!

Have you seen hundreds of posts, articles etc. informing and educating you about the hazards of soda?

YES.  Who hasn't?

Do you justify Diet Soda over regular Soda?

Do you justify regular soda over Diet?

I'm not even going to go into all the reasons that soda is bad for you.

Because you already know why.

Just stop it.

Drink water instead.

Does it take a physical and mental adjustment? Yes.  But it will be worth it!

 Swap out your soda for fresh green juicing.

Too much?  Too quickly? 

Well, check out my next Healthy Habit on juicing.  This will level it up and you can literally get rid of almost any health problem when you embrace the habit of making and drinking fresh, green juice.

 Here’s a brief list of why you should stop drinking soda.

It’s full of SUGAR (in liquid form, sugar skyrockets your blood sugar and causes an insulin reaction in your  body),  PHOSPHORIC ACID (interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium which can lead to osteoporosis, cavities and bone softening), ARTIFICAL SWEETENERS (linked to almost a hundred health problems including seizures, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, diabetes and emotional disorders…YIKES!), CAFFEINE (irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and other problems), THE WATER (mainly unfiltered tap water with all kinds of chemicals and traces of heavy metals), OBESITY (the overwhelming research shows that regular soda consumption increases the risk of obesity 1.6 times), EXTRA FRUCTOSE, LACK OF NUTRIENTS, DEHYDRATION (due to the sugar, sodium and caffeine which all dehydrate you) and BAD FOR YOUR TEETH.

Getting rid of all types of soda will give you immediate, huge health benefits.

Healthy Habit #11

Become a Green Juice Juicer.

I love fresh, green juice.  It not only tastes good, but it makes my whole body come alive and I feel full of insane mental and physical energy. 

This is one of those habits that might take some time to implement fully.  Just like any other habit, it’s going to feel uncomfortable and there will be a learning curve as you find what different recipes you like, and you get used to the prep and the cleanup.  It can be time consuming and messy, no doubt.

When you extract all the juice from your veggies and fruits the result is tons of vitamins, minerals and the phytonutrients that are found in the whole fruit.  The key to making juicing super healthy is to make sure you’re juicing mainly vegetables with minimal fruits.  Green juice is a convenient, quick way to maximize the amount of nutrients absorbed by your body.  Your gut doesn’t have to digest all the fiber and allows you to consume more vegetables efficiently. 

By juicing you also get a wider range of vegetables which gives your body more nutrients.  Sometimes we try very hard to eat lots of different veggies, but we tend to stick with the ones we like rather than making it a point to improve the variety of our veggies.

Fresh green juice gives you lots of enzymes, prebiotics and helps to detoxify our bodies.  It also lowers blood sugar levels, helps us get better skin and improves athletic performance.  Many people I know have done extensive juicing especially when dealing with life threatening issues like cancer.

Here’s my favorite recipe for a quick, healthy, delicious green juice.

5 stalks Celery

1 Cucumber

1 Granny Smith Apple

5 Kale leaves

1 large handful Spinach

1 Lemon

1 small chunk fresh Ginger root

Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Healthy Habit # 12

Stay clear of FAST FOOD.

Your very life depends on it.

Most people don't realize that even a little bit of fast food, even occasionally, does some severe damage to your body.

You increase your obesity risk and the calories you get from fast food is insane.

But they're crappy calories full of chemicals and sugar. The goal of any fast food company is addiction.

They want you addicted and coming  back for more.

But you'll also starve. You get minimal nutritional benefits from eating fast food.
This food might keep you alive but  with a serious health risk that will eventually kill you.

There is no effortless way to dance around the facts.

By eating a diet of fast food, you'll increase your cancer risk.

I’ve done a lot of research on this topic and long ago I decided to take all the fast food that causes different cancers...out.

Let me just say this.

This are substances in fast food and especially in  the meat that you are served that can just plain  cause you cancer.

If you don't want to get cancer - then please stop giving these “franken food” joints your business.  And keep your children far, far away.

Eating fast food also heightens your risk of heart  disease, you'll be constipated, and your skin will start to deteriorate.

Memory and cognitive function declines with  every bit of this crappy food.  You'll be bloated, and your kidneys and stomach will suffer.

Your teeth will start to decay, and your mental  health will decline. There are studies showing depression in teenagers who consume too much fast food.  Blood sugars spike, you could end up with liver disease and your bones could weaken.

The artificial colors, dyes and chemicals make you lethargic or hyper.

So, here's the deal.

You want a hamburger?

Make one at home. Dress it with fresh veggies and ingredients that you know where they  come from.  Wrap it in lettuce instead of a processed white bread bun. If you've got time...make your own bread.

 Feeding yourself and your family fast food is one of those habits to drop cold turkey.  If you eat there because it’s cheap, I’ll tell you this…you can pay now, or you can pay later.  Being sick from eating a fast food, junk food diet is one of the most expensive things you can do to yourself.

 Every single time you drive through a fast food restaurant you are voting with your money.

You are saying that it's okay to provide this type of cheap, disease inducing food that is making us sicker and sicker.

Take charge of this one now.

Care about what goes into your amazing body and stop eating fast food once and for all.

Healthy Habit #13

Stop drinking ice water with your meals.  Say what?

Consuming ice-cold water with your meal is a uniquely American practice.

A long time ago, I first heard  about the health benefits of drinking water only before or after a meal and the way that your digestion improves.

It all made sense quickly to me.

And then of course...because I'm me and I've always been interested in getting the most health and vibrancy out of everything, I started researching.

There is plenty of information out there about staying away from too many liquids when you are eating.

First and foremost, your digestion  suffers. Drinking ice water or icy water  hampers the process of digesting food because  it causes your blood vessels to shrink.

This can slow down the process of digestion  and as the food is not digested properly, the  nutrients are lost or not absorbed by the body.

It robs you of nutrients: The body’s temperature  is 98.6 and when you drink something at a very low temperature, your body must spend energy  to regulate its temperature. This spent energy is  otherwise used to digest food and absorb nutrients,  thereby leaving your body short of nutrition.

If you feel like you must drink water during your meal, especially while you are getting used to this healthy habit, then at least make it room temperature.

Another excellent choice is tea. Particularly ginger tea, which is very well known for its digestive properties.  And because tea is warm - it doesn't interfere with the digestive process like ice, icy water does.

I love sipping on tea during a meal. Super yummy.  And after a while you can feel the difference it makes.

So, stop consuming tons of ice water while you eat.

An interesting habit to wrap your head around if you've never even heard of this.

Get your hydrating in 20-30 minutes before a meal and then an hour after.

 Healthy Habit #14

The way you take care of your oral health is critical for your overall health.

Besides we all feel better if we have a smile we can be proud of and breath that doesn't offend.

What does the health of your mouth have  to do with your overall health?

In a word, plenty.

Your mouth is a window into what's going on in  the rest of your body, often serving as a helpful  vantage point for detecting the early signs and  symptoms of systemic disease.

Saliva also protects you against disease-causing  bacteria. It contains enzymes that destroy bacteria
in diverse ways, by degrading bacterial membranes,  inhibiting the growth and metabolism of certain bacteria,  and disrupting vital bacterial enzyme systems.

If you didn't already have enough reasons to take diligent care of your mouth, teeth and gums, the  
relationship between your oral health and your  overall health provides even more.

The healthy habit of brushing and flossing every day, twice a day is one I know you already do.

Those are the basics.

So, let's notch it up a little.

Number one - work on getting all your silver fillings removed if you haven't already.

Just one word for having silver in your mouth...Mercury. It's a neurotoxin. Toxic for your brain.

Have them removed safely.

Do some research and find a holistic dentist in your area to remove them properly. You can get lots of exposure to mercury  from the act of having those silver fillings  removed.

A quick tip here – take broken cell wall Chlorella every day before, during and after having your silver fillings removed.  Chlorella attaches to the metals in your body and helps you expel them through your urine.

(It’s available on my website www.barlowherbal.com named “Detoxifier”)

And number two - start doing oil pulling.

Oil pulling. It's powerful but it's not new.

Coconut oil pulling is one of the best ways  to remove bacteria and promote healthy  teeth and gums!

It has taken quite some time, but oil pulling  has finally gained some popularity in the United States.

Used primarily in Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling  is a fantastic oral detoxification procedure that is  simply done by swishing a tablespoon of oil (typically  coconut oil, olive or sesame oil) in your mouth for  
10-20 minutes.

Oil pulling works by cleaning (detoxifying) the oral  cavity in a comparable way that soap cleans dirty dishes.  
It literally sucks the dirt (toxins) out of your mouth and  creates a clean, antiseptic oral environment that  
contributes to the proper flow of dental liquid that is needed to prevent cavities and disease.

How awesome is that?!

A new healthy habit.

Healthy Habit #15

Keep it simple and plan when you travel. Traveling can wreak havoc on anyone's healthy lifestyle. The key?
Pack a few things to eat and travel with an empty water bottle.
Most of the food in airports is quite simply, bad for you.
Processed, refined and full of sugar and empty calories.
I don't know about you but I love to feel good when I travel whether it's for business or vacation.
Be prepared with some smart choices that will fill you up and satisfy the need to munch.
I used to eat like crap when I would travel.  Anything goes when you’re on vacation, right?
I guess it's easy to feel that if you're out of your routine, you somehow deserve it.  That mindset seems strange to me now.  Now I feel so much better when I travel whether it’s for business or vacation I always prepare.  Always.

My favorite ‘go to’ snacks are raw almonds, good protein bars and water.

That's it. I can pretty much get overseas on protein bars and raw almonds and I feel great.  Also, most airports now have filtered water that you can use to fill up your water bottle with once you get past security with your empty water bottle.
Treat your body the same when you travel as you do when your home.  Vacations will never be the same.  You will look and feel amazing.
Travel smart.  PREPARE!

Healthy Habit #16
Get Grounded.

Think about how you feel when you walk on the beach with bare feet.
Stress melts away and it's not just because you are on vacation.
You are connecting magnetically to the earth and its immensely good for you.

The reason the beach is so powerful is because water acts as a conduit.  You are literally connecting to Mother Earth and her healing properties.  This is how we’re supposed to live as humans.
If you're like me and don't live by the beach there are a couple of options that can help you get grounded.
Walk on the grass...heck just stand on the grass in your bare feet.
You don't need a long time- 20-30 minutes and you're grounded.
You can also get a grounding mat to sleep on. I've been sleeping on one for years.
This is a habit that just comes automatically when you simply think about it every time you go outside.
Do some research and find ways to ground yourself.
You'll be amazed at the power of this healthy habit!

Healthy Habit #17

Connect with Mother Nature daily.  Depending on where you live, you might have to get creative to be able to do this.

How you connect is up to you. But get outside at least once a day.
Lay in the grass and stare at the leaves of a tree.
Bring a good book.
Leave your phone at home.
Go walking.
Take off your shoes. 
Sit on a park bench and people watch.
Leave your phone at home.
Take off your shoes and feel the grass, dirt, sand, leaves, pebbles...on your bare feet.
Remember what it feels like to be a kid again and get a little dirty.  Leave your phone at home.
Go for a hike. Stop and eat an apple and give thanks for this beautiful planet we are so incredibly blessed to live on.
And leave your phone at home!
It's GOOD for you.
Step outside...even if it's the balcony of your high-rise condo.  And just sit for 15 minutes and stare at the sky.

You are connected energetically to this planet.  Let it connect with YOU.

Healthy Habit #18

Take your supplements. And be consistent! But here’s the deal.  If you have a poor eating lifestyle, you cannot cover it up by consuming a lot of supplements. 

Maybe you think you can’t afford all the supplements that you need.

Well, start with this.  Nutritious food.  Buy good, nutritious, organic food.

Once you’ve got that dialed in, then start to implement the supplement you need individually.
This habit is a little different for everyone.
While we have different needs there are some supplements that we can all benefit from.
I grew up with natural medicine as a part of my life and I watched my dad pop all kinds of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements.
It seemed natural and normal.
I also watched him change and evolve in the different things he would take as his knowledge grew and his needs changed.
I've modeled my own supplement journey in exactly the same way that my dad did.

I took extra Chlorella when I had my silver fillings removed and I took special vitamins and minerals when I was pregnant with my two boys.

Here's an idea of some of the things I take now and that I believe give me optimal health and longevity.  This has evolved over the years and will probably continue to get dialed in as I get older.

In no particular order...
Turmeric  
Chlorella  
Spirulina
Cayenne pepper/HeartLove
Krill Oil
CoQ10
Probiotics  
Enzymes  
Vitamin D3
Vitamin C
Brain Glow (formulation of 8 brain specific herbs)
Lomatium (liquid or capsule form)

It's a great routine that rocks my health.  I add different things in depending on the time of year and how I'm feeling.  I also take a break from all of my supplements when I fast.  I try to do a 5 day water fast 3-4 times a year.  Once a quarter for health and longevity.
Do some research.
Go see a Naturopathic doctor and get some great personalized guidance.

My take on this habit is two things-
1) you can't get all the nutrients you need unless you have the perfect nutritional environment and that is rare for the huge majority of us.
2) it's always better and less costly to prevent than to wait and try to cure.
So... take your supplements and be consistent.
It's good for you.

Healthy Habit #19

Take care of your body’s largest organ…your skin.
Homemade Soap and natural oils to give your skin some love.

This is one of my favorite habits.

Many years ago, my sister Mary, taught me how to make a basic homemade soap. I have never turned back.

I travel with a bar of my homemade soap because I am so spoiled by how my skin feels when I use it.

To go back to basics and make your own soap is a pretty lovely gift.

This picture is a batch of pure soap with nothing added except some lovely essential oil for smell.

 Sometimes I will add some herbs, spices and minerals for color and variety, but this pure, plain bar is one of my favorites.

It not only feels like heaven on your skin, but it feels like a simpler, cleaner, more pure way to cleanse and take care of your skin.

Remember that everything you put on your skin ends up inside your body. Literally.

Our skin is our largest organ and it absorbs everything we put on it.

I'm going to give a plug for a skin serum that I developed about 10 years ago.
It's called Glowing Vitality and it is full of oils, butters and herbs that are rich and nutrient dense. Your skin drinks it up and there are no chemicals, preservatives, parabens, artificial colors or artificial scents.

You should be able to eat anything that you would be on your skin.

If you have certain lotions, potions, creams and soaps that you've been using for a long time and can't imagine living without start slow.

Just like any other habit or lifestyle change.

You don't even have to make your own soap.

There are so many places that sell homemade soap. Just check the ingredients.
Some are still made with less than optimal stuff - mainly things like artificial color and scents.
Here's to happy, healthy, glowing skin!

Healthy Habit #20

Eat meat sparingly. And choose carefully. I was a vegetarian/vegan for 12 years.

It started out for health reasons and as I dug deeper it became for all kinds of other reasons as well.

My reasons for eating meat sparingly and carefully? Reduce your risk of heart  disease, cancer prevention, weight loss, longevity, reduce global warming and of course animal cruelty.  I am still closer to vegetarian in the way that I eat.   Eating this way helps my body function at its  best and quite simply we just don't need to  consume the massive quantities of meat that we eat.  But here's the thing.

My body started craving the nutrients that I knew only meat could give me.

I knew from all my years as a vegetarian that I needed to supplement with a good Vitamin B-12, I should stay away from un-fermented soy products and that being vegetarian didn't necessary, automatically make me healthy.

I've watched vegans/vegetarians eat a truly unhealthy diet full of processed food, way too much soy and ungodly amounts of sugar.

You only need a small amount of meat and for me only once or twice a week is perfect.

The most important part?

Choose carefully.

Eat local. Grass fed. Pasture raised. Wild caught fish. Stay far away from farmed.  They are given a diet that is not natural for them and then antibiotics for the infections that this horrible diet causes.  Bad news for your body.

Keep in mind that the way we chose to  eat is not about judgement.

It's about education, humanity and personal choice.

As Americans, we eat more than 270 pounds of meat every, single year. More than almost any other country on the planet.

That much meat is just not good for you. I don't care what your argument is.

So, scale back.

All kinds of health benefits will happen for you.  One of my favorites is that your digestive and elimination systems will improve.  Relieving constipation is always a very good thing for good health.

You’ll feel satisfied and nourished without feeling like you need to eat more. 

Healthy Habit #21

Take probiotics daily. 

Make your own.  Kefir and fermented veggies.  I hope you’ve heard of probiotics.   If you haven’t…let me fill you in.

You have more beneficial bacterial cells in and on your body then you do regular cells.  You are crawling with these beautiful, little ‘bugs’ that help you, protect you and give you the ability to live a long, vibrant life.

Here’s the problem.  When you eat too much fast food, junk food, sugar, processed food, soda and take too many antibiotics…these little creatures that give you vibrant life and health are compromised.  They die and sometimes go away completely.

When I first learned about probiotics I was fascinated.  Wow.  We are so perfectly designed, and our bodies are so smart that it knows exactly how to take care of and protect us.  Once I took out sugar, fast food and junk food, I added probiotics into my diet in the form of a capsule.  I went through many assorted brands and forms.  I bought capsules, drinks and fermented veggies.  Good but expensive.  So…

I’ve evolved into fermented veggies and kefir.  All made at home.  And my goodness is it brilliant.  And SO easy.  It’s crazy how we over think EVERYTHING.

I also understand the need for ease and convenience.  While I was learning about making my own probiotics, I had to buy and use the products that were available.

For starters, just start taking a good form of probiotics.

Healthy Habit #22

Stay social. Connect with others for better health.

 We all know that relationships with friends and family  add immensely to the quality of life.

But did you know that such social ties  can help us live longer and  healthier lives?

An integral aspect of overall health, our social lives  are rarely talked about when compared with diet and  exercise, but research suggests they may play just  as important a role.

An analysis of almost 150 studies found that people  with stronger personal relationships were far more  likely to outlive their lonely counterparts.

Researchers looked at information on more than  300,000 individuals and they said that the health risk  that comes with being socially disconnected was  as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a  day and even more dangerous than being obese.

In our crazy society, social ties are far  down on our priority lists, but connection to others  is turning out to be more important than we thought.

Studies indicate that “social capital” is one of the  biggest predictors for health, happiness, and  longevity.

The problem is that often we do not recognize the  importance of social connection. Our culture  values hard work, success, and wealth, so it’s  no surprise some of us do not set aside enough  time for social ties when we think security lies in  material things rather than other people.

Recently in my life, my oldest son, his beautiful wife and two amazing children are built a new house and lived with us for 8 months.

It's was so wonderful sharing life on a day to day basis with them that I've been constantly reminded why other cultures live together in multi-generational households.

The interaction that occurs with just daily living is connection at its finest.

Cooking together.

Reading together.

Playing and cleaning together.

A true gift.

So, make time for your friends and family.

Carve out regular social times to get together and
eat, swim, play games and explore new things together.

It's fun. It's wonderful and as it turns out...Extremely good for your health!

Healthy Habit #23

Get rid of your TV watching habit.
This sounds like blaspheme to some people.  Maybe you just can’t imagine not being able to sit down every evening and disconnect from your day by watching hours of TV.  There are big, beautiful benefits…trust me.  And it’s just like any other addictive habit.  You must break yourself free of it.

There are many reasons to free yourself from the mind-numbing habit of watching TV.

And it goes much further than being good for  your health.

For starters, think about all the time you waste just sitting there. You think you're being entertained but you're letting life pass you by while you binge watch the latest season of whatever it is that everyone is watching.

Admittedly, I watched my fair share of TV in the past.

But being able to break the habit of watching too much TV was started by my mom who would get  frustrated by seeing all her kids turn into zombies in front of the television set.

She would literally get some scissors and cut the electrical cord. And that was that. We had no choice. We had to go outside and play or read a book.

What a gift she gave us.

Here are some convincing reasons to stop watching TV completely or take it down to a minimum.

The average person in America spends NINE years  of their life watching TV – with THREE years wasted on  basically trashy shows and repeats.

Let that soak in for a moment.

Studies have shown that within 30 seconds of television  watching, brain waves switch from predominantly beta  waves, indicating alert and conscious attention, to  predominantly alpha waves, indicating an unfocused,  receptive lack of attention. A state of mind not far from sleep.

The question is, do you want to spend even more of  your precious time asleep while you’re actually awake?

Every hour you spend in front of the TV is another  hour you’re not making the most of your life. You could  be playing with your family, connecting with friends, reading, painting, starting a business, learning another language or  any other activity you enjoy.

Connection is one of the basic human needs we all have,  and it will never be fulfilled by your television set.

Most television shows are filled with negativity and while there are exceptions to this rule they are few and  far between, so choose carefully what you decide to  spend your time watching when you do.

TV can poison your belief systems and create  unrealistic expectations.

We feel like we deserve it. To relax after a long day.

TV uses incredible psychological hooks to reel us in and  can make it very hard to stop watching it.

But remember, you only get one life to live.  For every hour that you stop watching TV it is an investment that has immediate pay offs.

Don't know quite how to give up TV cold turkey?

Well, start with the news.  The health benefits of giving up the news alone will astound you.  I’m not saying to be uninformed.  I haven’t watched the news in more than 15 years and trust me, I know what’s going on in the world.  I just don’t have to listen to every gory detail and watch the media hash out every moment…over and over and over.  Who has time for that?  Seriously?

Besides, you start to think the world is worse than it really is.  The world is a beautiful, abundant place that’s getting better and better, but you’d never know that if you watch the news every day.  The media’s job is to give you information you’ll watch and unfortunately, it’s human nature to watch the train wreck and all the horrible things that slow us down in life to look at.

Be different.  Break out of the addiction of the news.  Your life will never be the same. Give up TV and get out and live your life.

Healthy Habit #24

Have a hobby or two. 

I take   pictures. That's what I do for fun. It's my favorite hobby.

In fact, I got my first camera for my 14th birthday and the rest is history.

I've harassed a fair share of my friends and family members over the years to let me  take their photos.  (and I thank you for indulging me!)

Having a hobby can be a wonderful thing and can have massive health benefits as well.

Never looked at it that way?

Well consider this -

Having a hobby encourages you to take a  break from your busy life and gives  you a sense of purpose.

Hobbies can promote a positive type of stress called "eustress" which is the kind
of stress that makes you feel excited about your life and what you’re doing.

When you're doing something that you love, something that you don't have to do for any  
other reason other than the fact that you love  doing it...you feel a rush of excitement  and joy.

Hobbies can offer you a new challenge and unites you with other people.
We all know how healthy human connection is.

Hobbies can help relieve stress and can also help you stay present.

Hobbies have physical health benefits as well. Research  shows that engaging in enjoyable activities during  down time were associated with lower blood pressure  and body mass index (healthy body weight people!)

Hobbies are good for your mind and your body.

It's not always easy to find a new hobby. Let it come naturally, don't try and force yourself to do something you don’t enjoy.

The human brain is designed to be active and alert. So, get your creative juices flowing.

Healthy Habit #25

Get up early. 

One of the many benefits of getting up early are the incredible sunrises you will see.  Watching the sunrise is different every day.  It feels like you are watching the world wake up and will fill you with happiness.

I can see these mountains from my bedroom window and took this   picture before most people were even awake.

To sleep through this would be a crime.

The world's most successful people get up early and get more done before 8am than most people get done during their entire day.

Here are some of my favorite things to do before 8am.

  • Write in my journal.
  • Exercise, especially yoga.
  • Drink a cup of tea as I watch the sunrise.
  • Watch or read something motivating ( never the newspaper).
  • Make a list of the things I want to accomplish during the day.

The benefits of starting your day at 5 or 6am are huge.

Make sure you get 7-8 hours of quality sleep but then GET UP EARLY!

Such a great habit.

Healthy Habit #26

Become a hugger.  Yep, hugging makes you healthy.  Along with an apple a day, a proper deep hug, where the hearts are pressing together, can also keep the doctor at bay.

Research shows that hugging and laughter is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.

Hugging instantly increases oxytocin levels and can heal feelings of anger and loneliness.  When you hold a hug for an extended period it will lift your serotonin levels and elevate your mood and happiness.

Hugging strengthens your immune system, boosts your self-esteem and releases tension in your body.  Hugs take away pain by relaxing muscles and soothes aches by increasing circulation in the body.

Hugs teach us about the human connection and shows us how to give and receive love.  Hugs teach us to be present in the moment and encourage the flow of energy and life.

I grew up in a big, loving, always hugging family and I love hugging.  Only when I first meet someone and I’m not sure of their comfort level with a hug will I give them a handshake.  Then, after we’ve talked, shared dinner, shared time together I will always hug them goodbye.

Just writing about this wonderful habit reminds me that I need to hug my kids, grandkids and husband longer and deeper today and every day.

Become a hugger.  Your life will become healthier and happier.

Healthy Habit #27

The 80/20 rule.  The importance of life’s enjoyments.

For me, it’s cake (and other things too) but I don’t usually eat cake. On my birthday…I indulge in Birthday Cake.   Especially when it's cake made with love by my husband  and grandkids...then yes.  I eat cake. 

When you break out of the unhealthy food and drink habits you’ll realize that a little piece of your favorite food is really all you need to satisfy.

The joyful part if your taste buds anyway.  Savor it.  Eat slowly.

  You should apply the 90/10 rule to almost anything.  Especially when you’re first getting many of these healthy habits in place.  Soon you’ll notice that you won’t want or crave the things you used to as often as you used to. 

It also makes the enjoyment of these treats even better.  A croissant in Paris?  Heck yes!  Occasionally, rather than daily not only increases your enjoyment but it’s just not good to consume the food or drinks every day, when we know we should follow the 90/20 rule.

Healthy Habit #28

Meditate daily.  Reflection. I don’t know why we feel like we must run a hundred miles an hour from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall into bed.  It’s not supposed to be that way.

Slow down.  Slow down enough to STOP.  Breathe. Focus on the quiet peaceful part of you.  Truly think about being in the present moment.  How do you feel in your human body?  What is it feeling at that exact moment?  Do you remember as a kid you’d lay in the grass and just stare at the blades of grass?  Or look up at the different clouds on a beautiful, cloudy day?  For hours.  How joyful was that?

In the past, I’ve been somewhat stressed about meditating.  It’s never been easy for me.  I’m busy. I’ve got stuff to do.   And my mind won’t be still for very long.   Usually a few seconds.

Sound familiar?

I’ve since realized that meditation is different for everyone.  I find that if I can be alone, where it’s quiet and I don’t have any technology on or near me and I can just sit and BE…then I am as close to meditating as I need to be.  Many times, this involves being outside.  I am happiest when I am surrounded by plants, trees, rocks and dirt.  Usually in the mountains.  Pure bliss.  This is what works for me. 

Do I still aspire to become deeply meditative?  Yes, I do.  I’m working on that. 

That might look different for you.  Find your happy, quiet place at least once a day and watch your inner world shift.  Usually the thoughts that occupy our minds have nothing to do with reality.  Just thinking about them doesn’t change them, action does that.  That’s where the true peace and happiness is.  Go find yours.

Healthy Habit #29

Surround yourself with like-minded, positive people.  Step away from toxic people and relationships.

This is a very important one.  And a very hard one.  Because some of those people might be your family members and people that you’ve known forever.  That’s okay.  You can still love them.  You just don’t have to feel obligated to spend lots of time with them.  Just recognize which people in your life are causing you to be and feel less than you should and then…let them GO.  Seriously.

Why do we feel that we must respect the people who ultimately hurt us?  I’m not talking about physical hurt.  I’m talking about spiritually, emotionally, deeply into our soul hurt.  That is NOT okay.

Remember what I said at the beginning…you have this ONE life.  Why are you trying to please other people at the sacrifice of yourself? 

Don’t do it.

So here it is.  You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with.  If your friends aren’t active, if they eat unhealthy food, if they complain and speak negatively about others, then you are going to do that too.  It’s that simple.

 You don’t believe me?  Next time you’re in a social situation with anyone…family, friends, whomever…be AWARE.  Not beware.  But AWARE.  Be present to what is going on.  Usually we are numb to our situation because it’s what we’re used to. 

Ask yourself – do these people lift me up?  Are they someone you want to be like?  Are they healthy?  Are they fit?  Are they full of love and life?   Do they fill you with happiness and positivity? 

Maybe this has never even occurred to you.  Maybe you didn’t realize you had a choice.  Well guess what?!  YOU DO!!  You get to CHOOSE who you spend time with.  Wow.  What a concept.

Here’s the thing.  You don’t have to be cruel.  You don’t have to hurt the feelings of the current people in your life if they are not lifting you up into your higher self.

You don’t even have to say anything to them.  Just STOP spending so much time with them.  There will be family functions that you will need to attend.  Don’t cut family out cold.  This is not the point.  The point here is long, extended periods of time.  The day to day stuff.

This is a powerful thought process.  Maybe you think this is inhumane.  It’s not.  It’s you…saving you…from what’s holding you back from your highest potential.

Choose carefully the people you spend the most time with.  You will become like them. 

Healthy Habit #30
Forgiveness is crucial for healing and  being healthy. Not just for yourself but for others as well.  As I write this I feel that this habit  could have been the first and most important habit.

We are human.  Our family, our friends, our co-workers...all human.

We screw up. We make mistakes.

I've made my share. More than once.  Many, many times.

Sometimes we mess up in a big, ugly way.

Forgiveness is beautiful. And powerful.

I've known people who are healthy and happy because they can forgive quickly and completely.

When you hold a grudge, and feel anger and resentment at someone else for what they did or didn't do  
to you, you hurt yourself MUCH more than you ever hurt them.

Living in a space of un-forgiveness  hurts your physical body.

Anger needs to be acknowledged and processed. It takes great learning to realize all people  and circumstances are worthy of the power  of forgiveness.

You can't heal a negative action with another  negative action.

To heal a negative emotion feel it fully.

Once the old charge of that emotion is exhausted  the healing power of forgiveness takes its place.

This habit is like any other habit.   It takes practice.  Be like a little child. Forgive quickly.  Start with the trivial things. The easy things.

The cool thing is that once you start practicing the healing power of forgiveness it gets easier and easier.  And it comes much quicker.

Truly beautiful.  Forgive and love.

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read through my 30 best longevity health habits.

If you would like this on a pdf please send me an email - jane@barlowherbal.com

Jane Barlow
Jane Barlow


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