Before we start, can I mention the fact that Apartment Number 4 over here has had a little spruce up people? I’ve been working on this redesign for a while, with a new grown-up logo design, kinda’ profesh profile picture (I needed to desperately replace my standard bathroom selfie, and even though I hate having my picture taken, my photographer friend Chris came through and made the whole process a hell of a lot less painful) and brand new layout courtesy of Pipdig.co.
I’ve been working really hard on my photography recently to get it up to a better standard and I wanted to have a design which showed that off. I think this one does the job – if you’re reading this on your phone you won’t be able to tell any difference as it’s mobile responsive. Get to a computer or tablet now. Anyway, here’s to a new chapter of Apartment Number 4. Now on to the reason why I’m posting today.
It’s very rare that I buy any kind of health or beauty reads – if I’m in a book shop then I’m probably looking for something interiors related. But The Healthy Life caught my eye when I was shopping in Asda last week, mainly because of the pink font and the gorgeous girl who I now know as author Jessica Sepel. Not only is it rare for me to buy something like this, it’s also rare for it to resonate with me so quickly.
As you can probably tell, The Healthy Life is about just that. It’s about making changes in your life for glowing skin, a healthy gut, weight loss, better sleep and to stress less – all of those things I need to work on. I’m only chapter three but I wanted to share with you ten instant updates I’m making. And it all starts with a trip to Holland & Barrett, the fruit and veg shop and Boots.
1. Lemons – Starting the day with hot lemon water is designed to kick start the detox process by flushing out toxins and unwanted materials from the body. It’s easy to just pop the kettle on and let the lemons simmer as you get a shower and that way, you’ll have maximised the amount of goodness found in the fruit.
2. Aloe Vera Juice – Taking 40ml of Aloe Vera Juice in the morning after your hot lemon water really helps to sooth your gut according to Sepel. Although I knew all the crap I ate wasn’t good for anything, I didn’t realise just how much it affects all areas of your body. Aching muscles, shedding hair, dull complexion – all remedied by small changes.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar – OK, so this is going to be challenging as no-one is obviously overly keen on swallowing a tablespoon of vinegar but having one before each meal is known to increase stomach acid and digestive juices, helping you to digest and absorb the nutrients in your food. Do you wolf your food down like there’s no tomorrow? I’m massively guilty of this, but I’m going to try and eat more mindfully when I can – moving away from the TV and registering if I’m actually full instead of munching away without even really tasting the food.
4. Chamomile Tea – This might be a little TMI, but sipping on chamomile before bedtime gets everything moving, let’s just say. It’s also about taking the time at the end of the day to just relax and be in the moment. Stress is a major factor in our everyday lives, and I’m always looking at ways to cut back on situations which make me anxious. This book really promotes just being in the moment and spending some time doing less stressful exercise like yoga and Pilate’s.
5. Probiotic Capsules – This is to repopulate the gut with good bacteria, and although there are natural things you can take, like fermented vegetables – not today thanks – you can buy pretty good capsules at Boots, which does exactly the same. I used to buy these all the time and could definitely feel the benefit of them, including increased energy and going to the loo way more regularly – again TMI, sorry. The only reason I stopped was because I didn’t pass a Boots anymore on my way to work, so today I’ll be popping out and picking up a brand new box.
6. Magnesium – My mum recently mentioned how good magnesium is for the body and if we’re lacking in it, how it can affect us. This book really promotes increasing your magnesium intake to help with hormonal imbalances, helps to increase serotonin in the body, helps you sleep better, gives you better flexibility and helps build strong bones.Who’d have thought one little tablet could do so much.
7. Milk Thistle – I’m a huge promoter of milk thistle and always recommend it to people if they mention feeling sluggish. Milk thistle helps to cleanse the liver, which is the biggest organ in the body and does a huge amount of work. If your liver’s not up to scratch then it can affect so many different areas of your body. I find it really interesting learning about how the liver helps us, and I can honestly say that after taking four weeks worth of milk thistle tablets, you’ll feel what I can only describe as cleaner inside. Other ways to heal the liver include eating more leafy greens, especially broccoli and kale, add onions and garlic to your meals, swap coffee for green tea and avoid processed and packaged food. All pretty obvious, but slightly harder to follow.
8. Vitamin B Complex – This supplement helps to keep our bodies running like a well oiled machine, helping to convert food to fuel to keep energy high throughout the day. This is a great supplement to add to an already good diet – if you’re eating crap, like I have for the past, well, 31 years, there’s no point popping a pill every morning and expecting miracles.
9. Vitamin C – A little Vitamin C goes a long way, including to help absorb iron into our bodies from green leafy veg and red meat. If you’re lacking in iron, which I bet 60 per cent of your reading this are (I am as well), then increasing your intake as well as having more Vitamin C can really help you feel less tired and sluggish. That’s why they always suggest taking an iron tablet with fresh orange juice on a morning. I’m not saying you have to take a supplement for this by the way, you can increase your Vitamin C intake just by adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet.
10. Epsom Salts – Finally, I’ll be throwing some Epsom Salts in my basket later on to add to a nice warm bath. Not only does this help to eliminate nasty toxins in your body, it aids relaxation by relieving muscle tension, including tension headaches which I can become victim to sometimes.
I’ll be updating you with how these changes are helping and giving you my feedback on whether they work or not in a month’s time. Sometimes I feel like it’s more mind over matter, when you believe something is working regardless if it actually is. I’m still on the third chapter of The Healthy Life, but I can see from flicking through there are some gorgeous recipes to try out and essential advice so I’ll break it down into a couple of blog posts to share on here. Have a great Monday and here’s to another four day week.