Day 1. Use a Calming Nutrient to Ease Anxiety
- Holy Basil: Also called tulsi, holy basil comes from an Indian plant that’s been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine for its calming properties. According to modern studies, holy basil helps address psychological stress, improves memory and cognitive function, and offers powerful anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects.
- Passionflower: Several studies, including human trials, support the use of this climbing vine as a treatment for restlessness, nervousness, and anxiety-related disorders. In one study, researchers compared passionflower with a prescription anti-anxiety medication; no difference in effectiveness was found between the herb and prescription drug, and subjects from the passionflower group reported lower job impairment performance than those in the drug group. There’s also some research supporting passionflower’s use for reducing PTSD symptoms.
- L-theanine: This amino acid has a measurable calming effect on the brain; it helps increase the body’s production of GABA and dopamine, neurotransmitters that induce feelings of well-being. In one study, people were given L-theanine or an anti-anxiety drug, and subjected to experimentally induced anxiety. The people who received L-theanine had lower anxiety throughout the trial than those who took the prescription.
Day 2. Cook with Coconut Aminos
Once you try this savory condiment, you may never go back to soy sauce. Made from coconut sap, coconut aminos are naturally free of gluten, wheat, and soy, making them a great alternative to soy sauce. The seasoning has a deep savory flavor with a hint of sweetness that pairs well with stir-fries, marinades, sautéed dishes, soups, fish, turkey burgers, chicken, steak, and dips. For recipe ideas, visit coconutsecret.com.
Day 3. Layer Your Sunscreen for Added Protection
This couldn’t be easier: Moisturize with an SPF facial cream, then apply a zinc oxide-based SPF foundation or tint, followed by SPF lip color or balm. Or, you can also skip the cream, apply a light foundation, and dust generously with SPF powder or bronzer.
Day 4. Make Your Own After-Sun Relief Spray
Stayed in the sun too long? To ease sunburn pain, and cool skin, we love this simple recipe from Jules Aron’s new book, Fresh & Pure: Organically Crafted Beauty Balms and Cleansers:
- ¾ cup distilled water
- 1 holy basil teabag, or 1 tsp. holy basil leaves
- ¼ cup aloe vera water
- Juice 1 lemon
- Bring the water to a boil, then remove from the heat. Steep the teabag or tea leaves for 1 hour. Strain the infusion into a small bowl and add the aloe water and lemon juice. Stir together and transfer to a spray bottle.
- To use: Shake well and spray onto your sunburned or wind-burned skin as often as necessary. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Day 5. Travel with Triphala to Stay Regular
Travel can wreak havoc on your body, leaving you jet lagged, dehydrated, and constipated. If regularity is an issue when you travel, meet triphala. It’s an Ayurvedic herbal formula that helps regulate the bowels. “Triphala is not a laxative, but it frequently has the effect of softening stools and keeping things moving,” says Suhas Kshirsagar, MD, author of Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life. “If you suffer from constipation after long flights, this supplement is a must.” Follow label instructions for dosage.
Day 6. Position Your Bed for Better Sleep
“This is important for harmony and a good night’s sleep,” says Sara-Chana Silverstein, RH, author of Moodtopia. Here are a few of her suggestions for placing your bed:
- Have access to both sides of the bed.
- Position your headboard so there’s a solid wall behind it. “This creates strong, protective energy around your bed, gives you the ability to have more power while you sleep, and allows you to hold on to your energy,” says Silverstein.
- Buy matching nightstands to help create grounding and balanced energy.
- Make sure you can see the door while you’re in bed, but don’t have the bed aligned to face the opening.
Buy matching nightstands to help create grounding and balanced energy.
- Place the foot of the bed against a wall, as this can cause foot and ankle problems, according to feng shui principles.
- Align the foot of your bed directly with the doorway.
- Shove junk under your bed—this can allow negative energy to get stuck under your bed, where chi should flow freely. Use boxes or closed containers instead if you need the storage space.
Day 7. Lower Blood Sugar, Reduce Sugar Cravings with Chromium
This trace mineral helps regulate blood sugar, according to clinical research, and it’s also been shown in several studies to lessen cravings for sugar and carbs in general. Take 200 mcg daily. Avoid chromium chloride, which is a poorly absorbed form of the mineral. Instead look for chromium picolinate, chromium polynicotinate, chromium histidinate, chromium dinicocysteinate (Zychrome on labels), and chromium chelavite. Brewer’s yeast, wheat germ and bran, and whole grains are all sources of chromium.
Day 8. Know the Best Plant Sources of Protein
Beans, grains, nuts, seeds, and even some vegetables contain protein. Here are 10 plant foods high in protein, excerpted from Plant Protein Recipes That You’ll Love by Carina Wolff.
- Lentils: 18 gram per 1 cup
- Beans (black, white, kidney, lima, pinto): 15 grams per 1 cup
- Chickpeas: 15 grams per 1 cup cooked
- Hemp seeds: 9.2 grams per 1 oz.
- Peas: 9 grams per 1 cup cooked
- Quinoa: 8 grams per 1 oz.
- Wild rice: 7 grams per 1 cup cooked
- Almonds: 7 grams per 1 oz.
- Peanuts: 7 grams per 1 oz.
- Corn: 5 grams per 1 cup cooked
Day 9. Try Vitamin B for Arthritis
This water-soluble vitamin has been shown to help relieve arthritis pain, particularly mild arthritis in the hands, fingers, and shoulders. Vitamin B is also a natural diuretic that has been used by holistic practitioners for years to help reduce swelling in the hands and feet. It’s also great for PMS-related water retention. Use 50 mg daily, and take for at least four months for the best results.
Day 10. Detoxify with a Mustard & Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt is “the gateway to natural beauty,” says Janice Cox, natural home and beauty expert and author of Natural Beauty at Home and other books. She recommends Epsom salt to help relieve stress, soothe sore muscles, improve sleep, fight colds, and prepare feet for pedicures. The following mustard-infused Epsom salt bath is one of her favorites. “The mustard’s warmth opens your pores, allowing you to sweat out impurities,” says Cox, who relies on this healing soak when she feels a cold coming on. You can also use this as a footbath.
Warming Mustard Bath
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- 2 Tbs. powdered mustard
- 2 drops rosemary essential oil
- 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- Mix ingredients and pour into a clean, dry container.
- Add a quarter cup to the bath under running water.
- For a footbath: Add 1 tablespoon of the bath powder to a basin of hot water, then soak your feet for 15 minutes.
Day 11. Use Essential Oils Carefully if You Have Pets
“While essential oils can be used safely with many animals, please be aware that cats and birds, in particular, are extremely sensitive to them, including to the vapors from a diffuser, and could have severe adverse reactions,” says Stephanie Tourles, author of the upcoming book, The Healthy Way to Use Essential Oils. Tourles suggests shutting cats, birds, and puppies under one year of age out of the room when diffusing essential oils. If you are using a diffuser around an adult dog, make sure there is plenty of ventilation, and avoid diffusing for more than 20–30 minutes. Never use a diffuser in a room with caged animals, says Tourles.
Day 12. Boost Your Energy with the 3 “Cs”
Fix your energy crisis by adding the following three “C” nutrients to your daily regimen—each one helps support optimal energy levels and overall vitality.
- Chlorophyll (use a green foods powder with spirulina, chlorella, and wheat grass)
- Cordyceps (a medicinal mushroom that enhances energy without causing that familiar jittery feeling)
- CoQ10 (use the Ubiquinol form for better absorption)
Day 13. Protect Against Heart Attacks with Vitamin C
According to the late Linus Pauling, a vitamin C expert and Nobel prize-winning chemist, vitamin C plays a key role in heart disease. Pauling took the position that fats and cholesterol could not be incriminated as the only—or even the chief—cause of heart complications. He believed low levels of vitamin C in the diet contributed to cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks. There is research to back this up: people who consume more vitamin C are less likely to suffer from both heart and circulatory diseases. You can safely take from 500 to 1,000 mg daily.
Day 14. Discover Unexpected Benefits of Probiotics
Jo A. Panyko, BS, MNT, has uncovered 100 uses for probiotics in her new book, Probiotics for Health. Here are 7 probiotic benefits you might not know about (some of them surprised us!):
- Improves anemia
- Lessens risk of gallstones
- Enhances fertility
- Diminishes cold sores
- Makes nails stronger
- Addresses headaches
- Enhances sports performance
Panyko discusses the science behind these and 93 other uses for probiotics in her book, or visit PowerofProbiotics.com.
Day 15. Think Multivitamins for Stress Relief
A simple daily multi can go a long way to decreasing stress. Previous studies have linked stress with micronutrient deficiencies, so multis with a wide range of nutrients can boost mood. In one study, men who took a daily multi with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants showed a significant reduction in anxiety and stress scale, and an improvement in alertness and general daily functioning, compared with the placebo group. Another study showed similar results, and suggested enhanced B vitamin status played a large part in the findings. A review of eight studies found multivitamin supplementation reduced levels of perceived stress and anxiety, as well as fatigue and confusion.
Day 16. Try the Exercise Calorie Converter App
AthleteInMe.com lets you see how much exercise it takes to burn off the calories in what you eat. For example, a double burger, fries, and a 16-ounce soda with about 1,200 calories could take:
- Walking: over 3 hours
- Biking: over 2 hours
- Swimming: nearly 2 hours
- Jogging: nearly 1.5 hours
The app includes more than 5,000 foods, drinks, and meals from popular chain restaurants and is personalized for your weight.
Day 17. Consider a Keto Diet
Keto diets are all the rage right now, but what does keto even mean, and why are so many people jumping on the keto bandwagon? A keto diet eliminates carbohydrates completely and focuses instead on fat and protein, with an emphasis on healthy, clean fats. It’s designed to put the body into a state of ketosis, wherein your body starts burning ketones for energy. According to Vivica Menegaz, author of The Keto Paleo Kitchen, following a keto diet:
- Removes hypoglycemia-induced hunger and cravings
- Stabilizes blood sugar, thereby reducing stress to the body, especially the adrenal glands
- Provides a steady, optimal source of fuel to the brain
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Reduces inflammation
- Eliminates candida
- Stops feeding glucose-hungry cancer cells
- Reduces symptoms of menopause
Day 18. Got Hot Flashes? Get Ginseng
Chinese doctors often prescribe ginseng for ailments associated with any kind of sweating or heat stress. In particular, ginseng is an especially helpful herb for hot flashes, stress, and other menopause symptoms. It’s thought to work by helping to normalize the pituitary gland, which is involved in hot flashes. The dosage range for ginseng is 500–1,000 mg daily.
Day 19. Prevent Sore Muscles
Staying hydrated helps reduce muscle soreness related to exercise. And, within 15 minutes of a workout, consuming about 10 grams of protein and some healthy carbs (e.g., half a banana) helps enhance muscle repair and recovery. A lack of sleep can make you sore, too, as your body isn’t able to repair itself through deep sleep. To head off muscle soreness, take an anti-inflammatory herbal formula with turmeric (or curcumin), boswellia, and/or ginger before working out.
Day 20. Get a Handle on Chocolate Cravings
Dark chocolate has been shown to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. And chocolate’s high magnesium content has been shown to boost mood and alleviate anxiety. The next time a chocolate craving hits, try magnesium powder or a magnesium supplement instead. Or, munch on raw cacao nibs—they are pure chocolate, sans sugar.
Day 21. Catch on to Charcoal
General detoxification, gas, bloating, and hangovers are a few of the top uses of charcoal supplements, but there are many other uses. The capsules work by helping to absorb toxins and eliminate them from the system. You can keep charcoal capsules on hand in emergency situations involving poisoning while waiting for further medical help. In oral care products, charcoal works as both a tooth whitener and breath freshener. And topically, charcoal helps tone and tighten skin, and helps clear breakouts.
Day 22. Extend the Shelf Life of Vitamins
Always keep vitamin bottles away from any source of heat—e.g., the kitchen stove, the bathroom heater, a sunny window. Check labels for expiration dates, and be sure to have the lids on tightly. You can refrigerate fat-based nutrients to keep them fresh longer: vitamins A, D, and E.
Day 23. Steer Clear of the Dirty Dozen
Every year, The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) releases its “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” list—fruits and vegetables with the most and least pesticides. The list for 2019
|Dirty Dozen (Always buy organic)||Clean 15|
2. Sweet corn
4. Sweet Peas (frozen)
See Also How to Find Good Food
Day 24. Build Better Teeth with Fat-Soluble Vitamins
People in traditional cultures with strong teeth, jaws, and overall health tend to eat diets high in fat-soluble vitamins, explains Steven Lin, DDS, author of The Dental Diet. “A little-known fat-soluble vitamin that works in conjunction with vitamins A and D, K helps the body to place minerals into bones and teeth,” says Lin. “Vitamin K is a crucial in the process of jaw growth and is fundamental to mineral balance in organs throughout the body.”
Day 25. Glow with Saffron
In her new book, Nourish & Glow, Jules Aron spotlights a range of beauty-boosting foods and recipes. Here’s what Aron has to say about saffron, a top beauty spice: “The exotic spice is highly prized for its color, flavor, and medicinal properties. The dried stigma of the crocus flower, saffron contains high concentrations of nutrients that stimulate the immune system’s production of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defense against illness, and that are also crucial to the production of collagen, essential for healthy hair, pretty nails, and glowing skin.”
Day 26. Share What You Have to Get What You Want
“Whatever it is that you most want, share it,” says Andrew Matthews, author of How Life Works. “If you want love, share yours. It’s how you create a flow. When you are simply loving people with no strings attached, love comes back. It has to. It always will.” This principle applies to almost anything in life—give freely, wanting nothing in return.
Day 27. Buy Good Garlic
Here are three tips for finding the best garlic at your local store, excerpted from The Goodness of Garlic, by Natasha Edwards:
- Always buy the bulbs intact and without cloves missing. Once the bulb is broken up, its life is shortened.
- Test the bulbs for firmness—the firmer the cloves, the better.
- Avoid any garlic with green shoots. You can still use the garlic, but it won’t last as long as a fresher bulb.
Day 28. Eat with the Seasons
With fresh blueberries and watermelon available year-round now, it’s easy to get out of sync with nature. Seasonal foods taste better, and they help create internal harmony. “In each season, nature provides the foods that will allow us to maintain balance,” says Kimberly Larson, author of The Simple, Healing Cleanse. “The seasons themselves create a system of balance, with a season of growth and rest, a season of heat, then cold, and a season of wetness, then dryness.” To find foods that are in season in your area, visit .
Day 29. Look to Your Gut for Depression Relief
Scientists are increasingly learning about the gut-brain connection, and they’ve discovered that depression and other mood disorders originate in your gut. “The bacteria in your gut both secrete and respond to neurotransmitters including dopamine, serotonin, and GABA, all of which can have antidepressant properties in the brain,” says Scott C. Anderson, author of The Psychobiotic Revolution. “It’s likely that this is one of the primary ways gut bacteria influence your mood.” In addition to cleaning up your diet, taking a probiotic supplement daily is one of the best ways to improve gut health.
Day 30. Cleanse Your Body for a Clearer Mind
Many of us follow detox-style diets to shed water weight and fat and brighten skin. But there’s another bigtime benefit to completing a cleanse: clarity of mind. “There is a link between our minds and bodies: if one is clogged or unwell, so is the other,” says Habib Sadeghi, DO, author of The Clarity Cleanse. “Remember what Socrates said: ‘There is no illness of the body apart from the mind.’” View more Cleanse suggestions.