Holidays are the best time to develop some healthy lifestyle habits together as a family, and as parents we have to understand the impact we have on our kids. Our behaviour, value system and core beliefs have a big influence on our growing kids and who they eventually choose to be. As a conscious parent yourself, you can have a positive effect on the way your child chooses to live his or her life.
For the next two weeks, make these small tweaks in your diet and your habits for a detox so your family’s health transforms for the better. This detox, I believe, will help you get healthier, happier and closer to each other.
1. Change your cooking oils: Refined vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, rapeseed etc get oxidised easily, which affects your body cells, damages DNA and increases inflammation, thereby harming the gut and increasing the risk of heart diseases. Most vegetable oils are extracted from Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) sources, which are also loaded with pesticides. The vegetable oils contain high amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which should be limited as it negates the benefits of omega-3 fats, further increasing inflammation and leading to diseases such as inflammatory bowel syndrome, irritable bowel disease and leaky gut. Use cleaner fat options like grass-fed butter, organic ghee or coconut oil for cooking.
2. Minimise or completely avoid processed meat: These are the worst type of proteins. Most of it is just the bad kind of fat loaded with antibiotics and hormones that are pumped into the animals. It is most often completely devoid of protein and loaded with saturated fat that leads to heart diseases, hormonal issues and inflammation in the gut. Switch to using lean, preferably organic meats, and free-range eggs.
3. Switch to gluten-free grains: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It promotes inflammation and causes damage to the intestinal wall, which can cause bloating and flatulence. If you have belching and bloating issues or your kids are struggling with auto immune issues, remove gluten completely to see the difference. Eliminating gluten from your diet will help the gut heal and enable better absorption of nutrients as well. Rice, sweet potatoes and fruits can be cleaner substitutes for carbohydrates.
4. Switch to dairy-free milk: Dairy raises blood sugars and insulin levels, making you gain weight, and causing other health concerns such as acne, PCOS and central obesity. Dairy leaves behind acidic residue in the gut, which causes discomfort. If you or your child suffers from acidity or acne issues, getting dairy out for just two weeks will make a huge difference. Dairy-free milk options such as almond and coconut milk leave behind alkaline residue, which is more conducive for your body. These dairy-free options are free from the hormones that are found abundantly in dairy products.
5. Replace refined sugar with natural sugar. Refined table sugar has no essential nutrients and contributes to insulin resistance, cravings, inflammation, ageing, and bad gut bacteria. Raw, unrefined honey and manuka honey have a lot of vitamins, mineral and enzymes that help reduce triglycerides and inflammation. Stevia can be used regularly as it does not affect blood sugars and in small amounts is well tolerated by the gut.
1. Develop morning rituals as a family: The most important relationship we have is the one we have with our own self. It is the basis and foundation of every other relationship we have with anybody else. Based on what we really think about ourselves, we behave in a certain way in every aspect of our life – how joyful we are socially, in our personal relationships and also our spiritual growth. Everyone deserves to strengthen this relationship.
Keeping aside 30 minutes every morning just to be by yourself, without the use of any gadget, can be one of the most powerful changes you can make. Try to sit and do nothing at all. Just observe your thoughts and feelings, process something difficult that’s going on in your life, journal stuff down, listen to instrumental music so the lyrics of the song do not stimulate your thoughts in any way, meditate or engage in some sort of visualisation to set the pace of the day.
If you’re fortunate enough to have access to a park or a beach, go for a walk together as a family. But practise earthing: which means try going barefoot. Walking on a natural surface (soil, grass, sand etc)barefoot helps us feel emotionally grounded.
The earth has its own natural charge and when your naked sole comes in contact with it, you draw electrons from the earth, which improve and change the electrical activity in your brain, moderates your heart rate so you feel more balanced, improves blood oxygenation and removes toxins. You can literally heal your mind and body and change how you feel by exchanging energy with nature.
2. try closet-cleanse Therapy: We all have clothes/accessories/shoes/furniture and other random artefacts and old things in our homes that have absolutely no value or purpose anymore. When your environment is cluttered thinking clearly sometimes becomes harder.
Sit with your little kids and clean out their wardrobes and rooms so you can declutter the environment around them. Make space for some new stuff or just keep it empty. Also, teaching your kids how not to get attached to things and let go of the old stuff they truly do not need is probably one of the biggest life lessons you’ll teach them. Using things but valuing people and not the other way round is something that should be taught from the very beginning. You can also encourage them to donate clothes and stuff to the needy.
After you have given away or discarded things you feel a lot lighter energetically too. It is like an external cleanse of your environment. Ideally, if you haven’t used something or worn something for over six months, you probably won’t miss it when it’s gone. There are some things that have some emotional value attached to it and my rule is if it gives you joy and happiness and takes you back to the good times, keep it; if it does anything other than that, think about why you are still holding on to the pain. Doing the closet cleanse therapy gets rid of the stuff and emotions you don’t need anymore.
3. Use Water memory to your advantage: Water has amazing healing powers. We now know that the molecular structure of water can change without making any chemical changes to the water. Putting in good intentions, very pure intentions into the water before you drink it can have a very powerful impact on your health and overall well-being. We are 70 per cent water and every time we drink water, we have the ability to heal ourselves. Water behaves very differently inside of us if we say a positive little prayer for ourselves or just put in the very best intention for ourselves.
Scientists have done a lot of study and research on this. By examining individual drops of water at an incredibly high magnification, they were able to physically see that each droplet of water has its own individual microscopic pattern, each distinguishable from the next and uniquely beautiful. They also discovered how we can change the microscopic structures to our advantage just by putting in the right intentions or even labelling the water outside with words such as joy, peace, abundance etc.
Every time we eat and drink, we absorb life force from it, and this life force has an influence on how aligned we are spiritually and how balanced our life is.
As a family together during the holidays, in order to grow spiritually together, you can invest in those giant glass mason jars that have a small tap attached to it. Add some lemon, cucumbers and mint leaves to flavour it and encourage every family member to drink water from this jar and say something nice for themselves every time they take a few sips. Not only will your family stay hydrated, they will also be reminded that each of us have the power to heal ourselves if we choose it.
Rashi Chowdhary is a diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop.