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One of the hallmarks of holistic nutrition is that it is individualized, taking each person’s history, lifestyle and health goals into account to create a unique plan just for them. No two people are alike which means no two diets or approaches to health and wellness should be alike!

However, there are a few things that I find myself repeating to just about every client that I have worked with. Beyond drinking lots of water and eating fresh, natural foods here are the four healthy habits that I recommend to all my clients!

Drink lemon water in the morning

Starting the day with a cup of warm water and the juice of half a lemon is a simple habit that packs a weighty health punch. In addition to giving you a dose of vitamin C, lemon juice is anti-inflammatory and helps to stimulate your liver, supporting digestion. But above all, the reason why I recommend this to everyone is because it sets the tone for your day. By taking less than five minutes to mindfully begin your day with a healthy habit you are setting yourself up for making good choices!

Eat probiotic foods

I feel like it’s rare that a week passes without a new study supporting the importance of probiotics and the human microbiome. From relieving colic in babies to high blood pressure to mood disorders, is there anything that probiotics can’t do? In the same way that taking vitamin supplements can’t compare to eating a good quality, whole foods diet, the best way to get those good bugs into our body are by eating probiotic foods. Sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kvass, kombucha, yogurt, kefir, lacto-fermented pickles… The list of probiotic foods is long and delicious. Try them all and eat a little every day.

Proactively manage your stress

After two years of nutrition school I learned that the most important part of your diet has nothing to do with food – it’s how you manage the stress in your life. Eating a “perfect” diet won’t do you any good if you’re stressed out. When we are constantly operating in “fight or flight” mode our bodies can’t digest our food. Full stop. Reduce as many sources of stress in your life as you can – commitments that stretch us too thin or relationships that no longer light us up, for example – and proactively manage what’s left by taking time to regularly rest and recharge. What’s the best way to relax? Whatever it is that YOU like to do and find relaxing of course!

Work on improving your digestion

We aren’t just what we eat, we are what we digest. Our bodies won’t get the fuel and nutrients we need to function if we aren’t digesting our food. When our bodies aren’t functioning optimally we can experience any number of symptoms that leave us feeling less than our best. Whether it’s headaches or poor skin or infertility or joint pain, ensuring that we are digesting (our whole foods diet, of course) optimally is always a good place to start. Here are a few habits that can help improve your digestion.

While I tailor each of my client’s nutrition and wellness plans to their own unique needs and goals, these are just a few of the things that all of us could benefit from!