Written By: Lorenza Gil-Kabande
Before I started getting into the habit of taking care of my body, one of the biggest misconceptions I had about my health was that as long as I wasn’t detrimentally sick, I was healthy. I took advantage of the fact that I was young and my body was strong; So I ate and drank what I wanted.
Once I realized that my body is not going to be as strong as it is twenty years from now, I decided to take the necessary steps to preserve my health. In the process of getting to know my body and knowing what signs meant, I discovered a few tell-tales that could potentially help someone who wants to improve their health.
One of the first things that I noticed was that I wasn’t drinking enough water because I was always thirsty. The recommended amount of water intake for the average person is about 2 liters a day. Starting to drink this much water off-the-bat is relatively hard so starting little by little will help ease your body into it.
I recommend getting a 1-liter BHP free bottle and filling it up with enough water and ice to last you through your day. If you carry it around with you to work or school, you will most likely be inclined to drink and be a step closer to achieving your goal. Once you feel comfortable, up your water intake by another liter. If you stick to it, you will most likely come to find that if you stop drinking that amount of water, your body will let you know. Of course, the amount of water intake you need varies from person to person. If you don't know how much water you should be drinking daily, please consult with your primary care physician and/or local nutritionist.
Another thing I noticed my body was trying to tell me was that I was drinking too much caffeine. I was the type of person to do my work in the mornings unknowingly maintaining a steady flow of coffee. As my day progressed, I would get headaches and start to feel tired which would lead me to consume another cup of coffee. Getting out of this habit has been by far, one of the hardest. I started by monitoring how many cups I was drinking in the morning and pacing myself rather than unintentionally downing a whole pot. Next, I started to substitute my afternoon coffee with tea and slowly eliminate it in order to accustom my body to its own energy at its own pace. Once you get into the habit of not consuming as much caffeine per day, you’ll notice that your body will be able to sustain your day-to-day pace without an extra boost.
One of the last things I noticed was when my hair starts to feel drier than usual, my skin paler than normal, and my nails more fragile, I know I haven’t been getting the right amount of vitamins per day. This goes without saying but what you put into your body reflects what it looks like. There are certain foods that benefit your skin, hair, and nails because of the vitamins and minerals they contain. For example, Salmon is good for your hair, berries are good for your skin and nails, leafy greens for all 3, and much more. Choosing to take supplements can also be beneficial but I do not recommend relying on them because since they are not tightly regulated by the FDA, they may not be the most organic. Just make sure that the vitamins you’re taking are natural and/or eat the foods that are directly benefiting your goals.
Starting your journey to a healthier lifestyle may be difficult; However, with perseverance, you will discover that you will feel good on the inside and it will reflect on your everyday life on the outside.
Written By: Lorenza Gil-Kabande