20 Healthy Living Habits & Practices I’ll do for the Rest of My Life
You know all those podcasts where they ask the successful subject to reveal their “most important healthy living habits” or the “no. 1 health practice” they recommend everyone should do?
…Well that is usually the part where my ears prick up and I get ready to either smile smugly to myself cause, thanks bruh, but I’m ALREADY doing that one 😏….or I’ll get ready to make a note of it for future trial in my routine.
I read and listen to a lot in the health and high performance space and it’s always tempting to add another freshie to my list of health habits and rituals, especially if it’s been backed by research or is recommended by someone I admire.
With that said, I’m also always looking to SIMPLIFY my life, or at least, to Pareto the shit out of my healthy living habits to-do list and just get on with the 20% that make 80% of the difference.
Since my interest in the health space began, I’ve collected and tested bucket loads of healthy living habits, tools, supplements, practices, hacks, and rituals, but I’ve let a lot of these go…
Like body brushing, oil pulling, exercising 30mins everyday, having ACV water before every meal, ditching dairy, 100% GF, fish oil supplements, krill oil supplements, chlorophyll shots, olive leaf extracts, Estroblock, chlorella, spirulina, vitamin supplements, silica, ginseng, bentonite clay, stinging nettle tea, and on and on the list goes.
I’ve spent many hundreds of $$ on this stuff over the years.
And, a lot of these have helped me fo’ sure (usually with a particular health complaint or issue). I may even pick some of these back up in the future, but unlike some other healthy living habits, practices and supplements, they’re not forever embedded in my lifestyle.
Of everything I’ve tried, this is my list of the things that have stuck around, and I feel pretty confident, will be a part of my life forevermore.
There are a number of factors as to why these have gone the distance and here are the main ones:
- The benefit is clearly noticeable and worth the required effort.
- Typically simple and sustainable (albeit not always easy).
- There’s a pattern of this habit, practice or supplement coming up again and again in health articles and interviews with influencers and high performers.
- There’s research and evidence to support doing this, whether to avoid a future negative outcome or create a positive one.
- I can no longer imagine life without it.
They are the things that are so second nature to me now, I don’t even think about it. It’s just part of life.
My List of Lifelong Healthy Living Habits
#1 Drink Half a Litre of H2O Upon Waking
When you wake up from a night (of hopefully 7+ hrs) sleep, you’re body is dehydrated. I keep a bottle of water on my bedside table ready to go first thing in the morning and skull down about 0.5L. I first read this tip in The Woman Code (a book I recommend every teenage girl and woman reads especially if dealing with hormonal issues, menstrual problems or if you want to maximise your fertility ) and it stuck ever since. Not only does this work to re-hydrate your body, but it also signals whether your digestion is functioning properly – basically, you should be prompted to go to the loo within about 30mins. And, if you don’t, it’s a little concerning…
“Your liver goes into self-cleaning mode from 3PM to 3AM. Your first bowel movement should happen soon after waking, because the liver has been working for the past twelve hours to get rid of yesterday’s waste…If you don’t have efficient transit time because your liver or large intestine is congested or you’re lacking the necessary nutrients for them to perform their functions efficiently, the toxins and other chemicals working their way through this pathway can become reabsorbed into your bloodstream and continue circulating throughout your body.”
Alisa Vitti, HCC – The Woman Code
So, yes, it’s bets to get the shit out right away. And on that note…
#2 Take a Probiotic
I used to take a probiotic supplement everyday, but now I like to focus on eating more fermented foods so I can rely on these less. Having said that, knowing the critical importance of gut health to overall health (you’re not what you eat, but what you’re body absorbs in digestion), so I’ll always take a probiotic every few days for ongoing gut support. I recommend Dr Ohira’s range of probiotics – it’s 100% Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Chemical Free, Non- GMO and has hundreds of positive customer reviews. But, check their website to see if it’s right for you.
#3 Eat Fermented Food
Fermented food is pretty much golden when it comes to promoting good gut health and digestion. Not going to get into the nitty gritty details here, but you should definitely incorporate some in your diet – my go-tos include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha.
#4 Read Nutrition Labels
This is a requirement if you want to know what’s in your food. Check everything. Yes, even things you pick up in the “Health Food” isle…especially there. There’s so much fake “healthfood” out there, so educate yourself. At a minimum, check the ingredients list. It should contain names you recognise. Steer clear of ingredients like “soy”, “canola oil”, “sunflower oil”, sugar, syrups, weird numbers, and flavours. These will be lurking in most condiments, peanut butter, dried fruit and basically anything packaged. These days I’m also very suss about “natural colours” and “natural flavours” and will avoid products with these too. I’m definitely not perfect, but I encourage everyone who buys their own groceries to get into this habit and avoid anything suss.
#5 Scrape Your Tongue
I’ve only just started this habit this year, and will never look back! I always hated brushing my tongue with my toothbrush – it was hard to reach the very back and just unpleasant. I find a tongue scraper a lot easier to use and more satisfying. Seriously, scrape off the filth on your tongue in the morning and try not being a convert.
#6 Drink Green Smoothies
It’s hard now to imagine a time where green smoothies were not a thing. Like, there was a solid 18 years where I did not have them at all, ever! My, how things have changed. While I’m not knocking one back every day, they are now a regular part of my diet and always will be, because what easier way to smash the greens?
As I’ve covered before, turmeric is exceptionally badass in the health-giving department. For this reason, it’s one of the few supplements I’ll always take on a consistent basis. Need a way to work it into your life? Start with my turmeric latte recipe.
#8 No Snacking After Dinner
If you haven’t heard, intermittent fasting has become all the rage, but a simpler version of this is really just giving your body and digestive system a bit of a well earned break in the evenings by not eating after dinner. That means no late snacks, or bites before bed. You should be aiming for 12 hours between your last meal in the evening and first meal in the morning, so if you finish dinner around 7:30pm, breakie should start around 7:30am. That’s not always possible if you work late and start or train early, but it should be what you aim for. And weekends are a good time to go the distance.
#9 Meal Prepping
The act of planning and prepping meals and/or elements in advance really is a life changer for everyday easy, quick and healthy meals in our busy modern lives. Honestly, I’m way more lazy than I make out (haha) so this is my best strategy for consistently feeding myself nutritious, energising, healthy food. Need some inspo? Here’s how to do weekly meal prep like a pro.
#10 Carry A Bottle of Water Everywhere
I’ll credit this one to The Wellness Flirt’s sassy mumma who never left the house without a bottle of water. Honestly, I don’t even know a life without this habit. I always have a bottle of water in my bag and it goes with me everywhere. Essential.
#11 Wear a Natural Facial Sunscreen Daily
Whether it’s winter or not, another thing I rarely leave the house without is natural sunscreen on my face. Please avoid the chemical stuff and opt for a natural based sunscreen, because if you’re just slathering chemicals on your face, what’s the point? I’m a fan of the tinted Eco Natural Sunscreen for Face & Body Tan, but it’s not for everybody (some deem it too pale). I’ve recently switched to La Mav’s BB Cream with natural sunscreen built in and loving the consistency for daily use.
Once meditation and/or mindfulness is part of your daily routine, it’s hard to imagine going back to a less aware state. These days I can’t stop thinking about what I’m thinking and how I’m thinking, and it all stems from my meditation practice, which is the grounding habit that reminds me to pay attention to the thoughts coming in and out of my consciousness… Not only when I’m meditating, but when I’m not. There’s so many styles, I truly believe it’s a practice everyone can come to enjoy once they find the right fit for them. Visualisation is a great one to start with – I recommend starting with the free guided 6 Phase Meditation by Vishan Lakhiani (founder of Mindvalley, one of the world’s biggest online personal growth companies).
#13 Essential Oils
I’ve only adopted essential oils in the last year or so, and it’s amazing how incredibly powerful and versatile these oils are in day-to-day life. I’m still going through the learning curve of how to use them, but know that these oils will always be in my health and green living kit. A couple drops in my soda water is my fave way to squeeze them into my day, but the uses are honestly endless.
#14 Seasonal Clean-Out
Decluttering has become somewhat of an addition for me, but that’s not to say I don’t like stuff or have much of it. The thing is, the stuff I own now has a purpose in my life, whether that’s practical, environmental or emotional. Nowadays I try to keep only the stuff I have a need for or gives me joy. Read this post to learn more about the life-changing magic of tidying up and how to start with minimalist living.
#15 Track Your Cycle
Okay lads, you can tune out for this one. Ladies let’s talk vaginas… They’re always doing things and changing it up on us. It’s so important and helpful to keep on top of your cycle and know what point you’re in at any given time. Not to mention, knowing when you’re period is due and when you are ovulating is essential for reproductive health and a less stressful sex life. So, if you’re not doing this already, download a period tracking app and get to know your flo.
#16 Practice Yoga
Not everyone loves yoga. I geddit. But, I think everyone should give it a chance. Because, unlike a lot of other forms of exercise, yoga is safe and beneficial to do at any age, especially as you get older. Yes, I’m sure a lot of you have other preferences and I encourage you to keep doing what works for you, but if you haven’t tried yoga before, I urge you start to make it a practice. Not only does it do wonders for unraveling and releasing stress in the body, increase flexibility and strength, and promote deep breathing, it’s also so much more than exercise. It’s also a spiritual practice and when you’re in the zone, it feels amazing.
#17 Keep a Journal
Writing my thoughts down has always been a instinctual practice for me. I’ve always needed to process my thoughts in written words. “Journalling” was once just a method for me to record the happenings in my life. As Oscar Wilde once said “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train”. What a clever cat. And while that’s still a large part of why I write, it’s also for it’s therapeutic benefits. “Journalling” is the best way I know to reflect, release mind chatter, and get to know yourself. Whether it’s daily, once a week or once a month, this practice will definitely make an impact. If “journalling” is foreign to you, try the 5 Minute Journal, a method endorsed by Tim Ferris.
I’ll keep this one short. We all know we should do it. And when we do, we all see the evidence on the floss as to why we should do it. So take the extra 2 minutes a day and #justdoit.
#19 Default to Nature
I love technology and I love progress, but I know inherently that nature knows best. That our body wants to be healthy and is working 24/7 for us not against us. The more we move away from common sense and a more natural way of living, and instead toward quick fixes and drugs, the sicker we get. When it comes to solutions for health, for the planet or otherwise, I always start with the most natural methods and modalities where possible, which aligns with a preventative approach to health rather than a reliance on “cures” and medicating oneself. Not possible for everyone, but if I have a choice I like to uncover the root cause of a health issue, which is usually a result of imbalance when we stray too far from what’s natural.
#20 Setting an Alarm to go to Bed
Setting an alarm for bedtime was a very novel concept for me not too long ago. But, when I stumbled up on this tip it was like OF COURSE! Too often I get wrapped up in whatever I’m doing and bedtime gets pushed out more and more. It makes complete sense that for good sleep hygiene a trigger to go to, or get ready for, bed will help you stay on track with your #sleepgoals. Yes, that’s a thing thanks to Ariana Huffington. I challenge you to try it, but if you’re not ready, just sleep on it ay (haha sorry that really wasn’t necessary).
I truly hope you’ve taken something away to try here.
Cause, while pretty straightforward, this is a list of healthy living habits cultivated over many many years.
Do you do any of these or have a must-do habit not on this list?
Please leave a comment and let me know what it is!
I find this stuff fascinating 😉