Four Healthy Habits that will Kickstart your Year

Four Healthy Habits that will Kickstart your Year

Every year I make a New Years resolution and then I set it and forget it after a few weeks time. This year I’ve decided to set a mantra instead of a resolution and create a list with just four healthy habits to focus on to keep it simple and easy to stick with. My mantra this year is: 

This is the moment to begin.

This mantra really spoke to me. There is no better time than now. This is going to be a year where I will focus more on my health and well-being, as well as challenge myself more, take more risks and try new experiences.

I used to be vegan and gluten free for 7 years before having kids and then I started eating more and more gluten, cheese and sweets. Those are my three biggest cravings. My body has been messed up the past few years due to eating so much of these three things that I’ve decided to cut them all out for awhile to see if it makes me feel more healthy and energized.

The following are health issues I’ve been dealing with ever since having children:

High functioning anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, mood swings, allergies, weight gain, digestion issues, depression and feeling rundown/ low energy. I wanted to try a reset this year using a few new health habits to kickstart my year into gear and see if they would help me find more balance.

My Four Health Habits for 2021:

  1. Juice cleanse 1- 2x a year to detoxify and reset
  2. Intermittent fasting- 16/8
  3. Drink lemon water first thing in the morning
  4. Spend 25 hours a week outside getting fresh air


Juice Cleanse:

Doing a juice cleanse has always been on my list of things I’ve wanted to do at least once in my life. Although, I was hesitant since I love food so much, and I was worried I would be too hungry to complete one. This year I decided it was time to try one since my allergies have been acting up a lot lately and I’ve been feeling very lethargic and run down. I wanted to start the year off with a detox to rid my body of excess toxins and give it time to rest and reset.

This past week I did my first juice cleanse with Squish Juicery and I was honestly a little nervous about how my juice cleanse would go since I’ve never done one before, but it was a lot easier than I thought it would be since the juices tasted so good. I chose to do a 3 day juice reset to get the most out of the detoxification process.

Squish Juicery also offers 1 day, 5 day and 7 day resets. I chose the Original Reset option since it comes with a variety of juices and almond mylks. I love that with this option you get to try most of their juices that they have in store so you will know exactly which ones are your favourite when you go to their storefront in Port Coquitlam. They also have a Super Green Reset if you want to stick with just green juices and almond mylks. It’s hard to pick a favourite out of all the juices, but I was really impressed with the following juices:  Lemon Aid, The Intern, Neptune and Daydreaming.

If you’re interested in trying out a juice cleanse from Squish Juicery, you can use this promo code to get 10% off: brave10

They deliver! Your juices will show up on your doorstep the day before you start your reset.

Here’s a step-by-step of how I got through my juice cleanse with minimal detox symptoms:
  1. I cut out processed foods, dairy, sugar and coffee a couple days before.
  2. I made a plan of what times I would be drinking each juice to spread them out.
  3. I drank lemon water first thing in the morning, and waited at least 30 mins before I had my first juice. I add DoTerra Lemon Oil to mine since it’s not acidic for your teeth.
  4. I drank 8-10 cups of water on top of my 6 daily juices to help with the detoxification.
  5. On the second day I started to get a bad headache, so I used my DoTerra Peppermint Oil and rubbed it into my temples and it disappeared within minutes.
  6. I sipped on my juices to make them last as long as possible. Especially the ones in the afternoon and evening. Using a straw helps you slow down.
  7. I went to bed an hour early each night and took some DoTerra Copaiba Oil and Serenity Softgels to get a good nights rest.
  8. The day after my cleanse I stuck to a vegan diet and stayed away from anything processes. I had a smoothie for breakfast, an apple and seed butter for a snack, a salad for lunch and a rice bowl for dinner.
  9. On the first day of re-introducing solid food I used DoTerra Zengest Oil to help with my digestion, as well as peppermint oil to help with the nausea I was having (one of the fun symptoms you might have after eating solids again).
  10. I will be sticking to a plant based, vegan/ gluten free diet for the next week or two until I reintroduce dairy, eggs and gluten back in.
A few more reasons to try a juice cleanses:
  • Helps with insomnia 
  • Cut out junk food cravings
  • Boosts energy
  • Helps remove toxins
  • Brain fog and chronic fatigue
  • Helps with dry skin and eczema 
  • Increases immunity
  • Allergies


Intermittent Fasting:

The first thing on my list to try this year was 16/8 intermittent fasting. I wanted to see if it would help with my insomnia and digestion issues. I’m currently only eating in an 8 hour window while fasting for 16 hours, 5- 6 days a week. I’ve been sleeping much better over the past 3 weeks which is a huge relief. It also helped me cut out the excessive snacking I was doing at night. I eat dinner around 6:00 and then I don’t eat breakfast until 10:00. Overall, I’ve been feeling much better ever since I started intermittent fasting, so I’m going to stick with it indefinitely.

Here are a few reasons intermittent fasting is worth trying:
  • it helps regulate your blood sugar levels
  • boosts your brain functioning and metabolism
  • reduces inflammation
  • helps with insomnia
  • cuts out excess snacking


Lemon Water in the Morning:

This is the most simple health benefit you can do for yourself and a major perk is that it tastes so good. Starting your day off with lemon in your water has so many benefits:

  • It helps your body with detoxification
  • Aids in digestion and gets everything moving in the am
  • Your immune system gets a boost
  • You get an major energy boost
  • It helps keep your skin clear and blemish free

I used to love adding fresh lemon to my water and I would drink it all day long until my dentist told me that it was a bad idea for my enamel. My teeth were becoming super sensitive due to the acidity from the lemon juice, so I stopped drinking it.

I recently came across DoTerra’s Lemon Oil and I’ve been adding it to my water every morning for the last month. It tastes great and gives me the energy boost I’ve been looking for in the morning, without wrecking my enamel. These past few days I’ve substituted my morning cup of coffee with a cup of lemon water in the morning and it’s been great. I love coffee, but it feeds my anxiety and makes me very jittery and scatterbrained.

If you’re interested in trying DoTerra’s Lemon Oil or any of their other oils, you can reach out to me via email or on social and I can get you some sample oils to try: braveandfreeadventures@gmail.com


Spend at least 25 Hours a Week Outside:

Last year my family spent on average 20 hours a week outside, hiking, biking or just being outdoors. This year I want to add an extra 5 hours to each week. For a total of 100 hours a month or 1200 hours for the year outdoors. I challenge you to do the same. It doesn’t even have to be an activity outdoors. Anytime spent outside counts; playing in the backyard with your kids, or going for a walk around your neighbourhood, or letting them play at a playground.

Time in nature is so good for the whole family. It is proven that the more time you spend outside it is known to boost people’s moods and increase longevity. It also helps families create meaningful connections. There have been many times where members of my family were less than enthusiastic about getting outside for a hike or bike ride, but we stick with our plan and head outdoors and it always ends up being worth it. There hasn’t been a time that I an recall where my family regretted going for a hike or walk together. On occasion, we might go into a hike with bad moods, but we always come out feeling refreshed and happy that we spent that time together.

Here are a few other benefits of getting outdoors (especially in the forest):

  • You feel refreshed mentally
  • Helps reduce anxiety and stress
  • It helps you stay active
  • Can help with memory
  • You get a dose of Vitamin D

Check out my interactive map for ideas of where to explore around the Lower Mainland.

This is just an example of the map. Click the link to access the map on my home page.

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