Or maybe I should have said “For people that don’t have the energy or the time to make the effort”… but that’s too long and doesn’t make for a great header and anyway, lazy people need tips too.
So, why did you open the post? Maybe you think you should lose some weight or start exercising? Perhaps you are aware that you don’t feel as good as you should or don’t have the same energy other people seem to have…maybe you were just bored at work and wanted something to distract you…
Well, in any case this post might help you. The first wall most people hit when trying to improve their health is lack of time and energy to make the effort. Be it a real lack of time, or an excuse not to do something about the problem, the truth is, you are most likely to be saying these words sooner rather than later:
“I don’t have time to make myself breakfast before leaving for work.” You’ll tell yourself and the book that’s trying to get you to wake up 2 hours earlier to have a three course breakfast made out of cereal, freshly squeezed juice, a side of fruit salad and grilled mushrooms on toast.
“I don’t have time to meditate and contemplate the beauty of trees.” You’ll tell the magazine that’s trying to convince you that meditation will solve all your problems, from childhood traumas to an empty bank account.
“I don’t have the time or energy to fix complicated meals/spend 2 hours at the gym/read massive books or take up Zumba.”
“I’m a busy person, with a job, a family, a social life. I simply don’t have the time.”
… I don’t… I don’t… I don’t…
I’ve heard a lot of people using “time” as the reason for not doing things that they clearly need to do (myself included).
So I thought to myself… whaat a wonderful woooorldddd … ooops, momentary song lapse. What I meant is that I asked myself: surely there must be little, effortless changes, that one can make to start creating a healthier life?
I think to myyyyseelllf….(Sorry, song must be finished now) what a Wonderful World…
After posing the question, I put on the thinking cap, metaphorically speaking, for clearly I do not posses such a cap, and came up with these 10 changes which require a minimum of effort and eat up none of your time.
Ready? Here they are:
1.- Replace your white pasta and white rice for whole wheat (or spelt) pasta and brown rice.
Why? Well, whole wheat pasta is higher in fibre than pasta made with refined wheat, or “white,” pasta. Fibre helps remove cholesterol and maintain regularity. Consumption of fibre can help you to feel fuller for longer by slowing down the rate at which your stomach empties.
The refining process that wheat undergoes to be turned into white flour removes iron and many of the B vitamins that are found naturally in whole wheat. One cup of whole wheat pasta contains more thiamin, riboflavin and niacin than a similar amount of white pasta.
White pasta, made out of refined wheat has almost non-existent fibre and unless it has been fortified, has also lost all its natural vitamins. This means that what you are eating is basically empty calories.
What about the rice? Well, white rice is brown rice that has gone through some changes in the milling process: with brown rice, only the husk is removed; white rice on the other hand, is polished and pre-cooked or parboiled and the bran is removed. The bran is what has the fibre, so there is very little fibre in white rice.
Brown rice contains magnesium, manganese and zinc. White rice has less amounts of these nutrients, although it might (might) be fortified with iron and some B vitamins. Brown rice is the only form of the grain that contains vitamin E.
The purpose of eating is nourishing the body, providing the fuel for it to work. Bear that in mind when you choose what to eat. If you only think in terms of “low in calories” “high in calories” there is a good chance you are not looking at the whole picture when choosing your food.
This is a simple one: when at the supermarket choose whole wheat and brown rice. It should take you the same amount of time that choosing their processed versions.
2.- Replace white bread with whole wheat bread or even better, with spelt bread. Why? Pretty much for the same reason you changed your pasta to whole grains. More fibre, more vitamins, less processed product.
Spelt is an ancient species of wheat which has been less modified that the ones that are used in regular breads. Spelt contains dietary minerals and vitamins and only a moderate amount of gluten which makes it easier to digest than regular wheat. Choose the ones that have no strange added chemicals. This is the label for the spelt bread above:
Simple ingredients. All of them recognizable. This is a tasty, tasty bread! Specially toasted with some olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Lovely snack!
Have you ever felt sluggish, groggy or even bloated after eating bread or a particularly big plate of pasta? That’s your body trying to digest the refined carbohydrates. Try spelt breads and whole wheat pasta and you’ll see how different you feel afterwards.
3.- Relax with a shower meditation: Next time you take a shower, close your eyes and imagine that the water falling down on you is coloured energy. Let your imagination tell you which colour or colours this water is going to be. Whichever you choose, that’s the colour you need at that moment to balance and de-stress. Imagine that the water falls down your body cleaning away worries, fear and anxiety. You feel the stress leaving your head, your neck and your shoulders, you feel them relax and un-knot. Your arms and back relaxes too. Concentrate on seeing the colour removing all of these negative feelings from the tip of your head down to your toes and all that stress, worry and fear, just goes down the drain and leaves you. You’ll feel a lot more relaxed after this and it’s possible you may find yourself yawning while you do it. That’s a good sign 🙂
As you do the meditation while you shower you are not losing time, you are actually winning time back by multi-tasking!
More tips next Friday!
“I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world … lara la la la laaaaaa”
I dare you not to sing this song all day long!