Where you grew up, the people you were surrounded with, and the things that you experienced all affected the person who you are today.
Unfortunately, as you grow up you’re not really in control of your environment and so you are more or less being influenced by external forces.
You ate the food that your parents bought, you hung out with the people who happen to go to the same school as you and you were mostly just reacting to whatever came your way with whatever limited experience you had.
This can have disastrous consequences for a lot of people because during this highly sensitive time of our life we develop poor habits that contribute to unhealthy and unsatisfying lifestyles.
However, as we get older, we start making some money, we finally move out, and we gain the power of choice over what our environment looks like.
This is very exciting because now we have the opportunity to set up the ideal environment to properly reflect the type of lifestyle we want. You will notice, as I have, that your environment has a direct influence on how you think, feel, and what your level of health is.
The Importance of a Clean House
Some questions you should ask yourself are: How does your house make you feel when you walk in the door? How clean is it?
What kind of food do you keep in your kitchen? I believe that a messy, dirty house, filled with junk food has a huge impact on your state of mind and health.
All of these factors can either wear you out or keep on the self-improvement path. Here is how to set up your house to achieve a healthy lifestyle that you want.
In terms of improving your health, the kitchen is where the magic happens. Getting healthy is 80% diet so your kitchen will be the focal point of your journey.
The first thing you should do is throw away anything that is holding you back or sapping your willpower. This means throwing away:
- vegetable oil
- refined junk foods
- frozen processed meals
- sugary pop and juices
- sugar and sweeteners (even the natural ones such as honey and coconut sugar)
- empty containers and condiment bottles that are sitting in your fridge or cupboards
Now that your kitchen has been primed it is now time to fill it full of the foods and products that will ensure healthy eating. Here are some essentials your kitchen should have:
Cooking: coconut oil, cvocado oil, cacadamia nut oil, bacon fat, olive oil, grass-fed butter, ghee
Healthy Snacks: fruits, nuts, dark chocolate
Drinks: tea, coffee, soda water, coconut water, kombucha tea, zevia zero calorie soda
Sweeteners: erythritol, stevia, xylitol
Now, if you’re constantly eating out this set up will not be as effective. For this, to work, you actually have to make whole food meals.John Hopkins recently published a study that suggests that home cooking is the main ingredient in a healthier die.
They found that people who cooked at home more often consumed fewer calories overall even if they weren’t trying to lose weight.
If you’re looking for some simple and healthy recipes I recommend the cookbook Transforming Recipes: The Ultra-Low Carb Edition.
This kitchen set up also drastically reduces your sugar intake and foods that cause inflammation which combined with home cooking will cause a synergy of optimal health.
I use to be one of those people who was always tired, could never get a good night’s sleep and was always sleeping in. I could never figure out why my sleep was so poor until I realized that it was just my sleeping environment that was poor.
All it took was altering a few things in my bedroom and now my problems with sleep have been completely solved. The thing about sleep is that it directly affects your overall health. If you have optimal sleep, you have more energy to maintain healthy habits.
Here is how your bedroom should look:
Sleeping surface: The ideal sleeping surface is one that is firm. The firmer the better so if use memory foam I would suggest getting rid of it. I would also suggest experimenting with sleeping on the floor like I have. I sleep on the floor most nights now and consider it a part of my wellness routine just because of how good it makes my body feel in the mornings.
Make Your Bed: Crawling into a nicely made bed that feels clean can affect how well you sleep. Think about how much better you sleep when you stay at a hotel. There is definitely something more comforting about getting into a neatly made bed compared to pulling a pile of ruffled blankets over your body every night.
Scent: Studies have shown (and I can personally vouch for) that the scent of lavender can improve one’s ability to enter deep sleep. The scent of freshly cleaned sheets I find also contributes to better sleep so be sure to clean your sheets more often.
Temperature: As we fall asleep our body temperature drops which is a signal to our body that it is time for sleep. However, in the mornings our body temperature rises to signal that it is time to wake up.
This means that the best way to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night would be to keep your room cool before bed. Usually keeping your window open is an easy way to achieve this effect.
Light: The darker you can get your room the better. Try putting a blanket on your window or buying a sleeping mask.
Clean: If you walk into your room and there are clothes, dirty dishes everywhere and your bed is messy I find that that has a direct effect on my attitude.
If you’re too lazy to clean your room, which is the simplest of tasks, chances are you’re going to be too lazy to keep your diet clean as well. If your room is clean and organized you simply feel better, sleep better, and your health will reflect that.
This might all sound arbitrary to you but in 2011 the National Sleep Foundation ran a sleep survey which included responses from 1,500 randomly selected adults in the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 55. Their results confirm that all of these factors contribute to improved sleep. And improved sleep contributes to improved health.
The bathroom is a place that not a lot of people think about but there are definitely a few things to consider that you may not have noticed. Here is how your bathroom should look:
Lights: The lights in most bathrooms are unusually bright. This is great for every part of the day except bed time. Since our brains did not evolve with bright artificial lighting, they assume that any bright light is coming from the sun.
Bright lights trick our brains into thinking that it is still mid-day which causes it to release stimulating chemicals to keep us alert. This is not the effect you want when you’re getting ready for bed.
Have you ever experienced being very tired, so you go to brush your teeth and then find yourself wide awake once you finally get into bed? It’s because you spend a few minutes staring into the very bright lights in your bathroom.
To avoid this, try dimming your bathroom lights at night or brushing your teeth in a room that isn’t as bright.
Weigh Scale: GET RID OF IT! One of the most disheartening devices in your house is your weigh scale. It’s inaccurate, it doesn’t take in all the other factors such as muscle gains, and it can become obsessive which can destroy your motivation.
The best way to determine progress is your mirror and how you feel. Do you feel like you have more energy? Do you look slimmer in the mirror? These are the best ways to determine progress.
Toothpaste: This step isn’t all that necessary but I found that switching from conventional toothpaste to homemade coconut oil toothpaste to be far superior. If you would like to know the benefits of coconut oil toothpaste and how to make it then check out my guest post 6 Reasons to Start Using Coconut Oil Toothpaste.
If we are all products of our environment, yet we are unhappy with our product (our life), could we improve our product simply by improving our environment? This is the hypothesis I would like you to test.
This entire set up can be accomplished within one day so I recommend running an experiment and seeing what happens. Feel free to share your results or any other suggestions in the comment section.