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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Are you Ready to Make a Change?

September is a month for heralding change, with the arrival of the equinox and segue from summer to fall. It is also the time when students are heading back to school for a new chance at learning and growing with a fresh, clean slate. According to the lunar calendar, the New Year is celebrated this month by Jews and some Christians, representing a time of change and self-improvement.

Just as with the seasons, changes in life are inevitable and represent valuable opportunities for individuals to evolve and grow. So many of us are ready for change in our lives in the areas of work, relationships, finances or achieving greater health.

One of the most important changes a person can make is in the arena of wellness, including the mind, body and spirit. In order to accomplish anything in life, a person needs physical and mental energy. Exercising gives us more energy, even when we feel too tired to start a workout. It also improves mental clarity and feelings of well-being.

When you’re feeling tired and know you need to exercise, start small with a walk around the neighborhood, a leisurely swim or a light workout at the gym. It’s amazing how quickly our adrenalin kicks in, giving us more energy and a feeling of happiness and accomplishment. Kicking a junk food habit is another change that will have a huge impact on energy levels and overall health. It seems very difficult for those who are used to snacking on sweets and salty, fatty foods to go “cold turkey”. The best way to start is by purging the cabinets of these foods completely, and then fill up the shelves with favorite dried fruits, nuts and seeds, along with fresh fruits and vegetables that are quick and easy to munch on when you need a snack. Keep avocado and salsa dip handy, as well as filtered drinking water to help squelch unhealthy cravings and flush out the system.

People become addicted to sugar and also to the way certain foods taste. This means that the first few days or even weeks of making dietary changes will be the hardest. Your body may cry out for what it thinks it wants, but stay strong. Your health is the most important thing you have—it’s literally your life, and you need to do what’s necessary to take care of it.

A sure-fire way to boost your new health goals is to line up a support group or even a tough, but loving friend that will keep you on the right track. Find a buddy that will encourage you, keep you away from bad habits and motivate you to exercise more. Keep track of your progress and your goals with an online health tracker, such as FitDay.com, MyFitnessPal.com or LiveStrong.com. Sign up for a healthy cooking class, learn about the health benefits of raw foods and start mixing up fresh smoothies for a morning boost.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe to get started in creating change and renewing your commitment to a healthier you.

Cucumber Tomato Herb Salad

3 cups cucumbers 2 cups tomatoes 3 Tbsp onion 1 Tbsp garlic 2 tsp fresh mint 2 tsp fresh oregano 3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 Tbsp extra virgin cold pressed olive oil 1 tsp Himalayan salt

Chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, garlic and fresh herb leaves. Combine with the lemon juice, salt and olive oil and toss until all is well coated. If you can’t find fresh herbs, use 1 tsp dried organic herbs as a substitute. Eat right away or put in the fridge to marinate. The fresh lemon juice is a natural preservative, so this will keep well for several days in the fridge.

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