10 Tips to Live Better
By Contributor Cher Hanusiak

1. DRINK WATER: drinking water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach purifies the body’s internal system and cleanses the colon, which makes the body much more able to absorb nutrients from food. (1)

2. EAT WHOLE FOODS: preferably local and/or organic. Avoid buying packaged foods with ‘mystery’ ingredients; if you can’t pronounce it, don’t know what it is and wouldn’t stock your cupboards with it, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Cooking from scratch using real ingredients is always the best road to health. (2)

3. STRETCH: stretch out all the kinks on the morning, stretching increases blood flow to all your muscles, including your brain and can help keep you sharp. If you feel any part of your body is sore or tense, pay extra attention to it, don’t ignore it; stretch it out (gently and safely). (3)

4. BREATHE: don’t forget to focus on breath, a few deep breaths can make all the difference when you’re feeling tense or not focused. Take this a step further and MEDITIATE – it has been proven that meditation makes people happier and reduces stress and promotes longevity (4) (5)

5. LAUGH: whether you’re happy or sad, laughter is always the best medicine. Find something funny, find someone funny, watch a comedy, laugh at yourself and with friends or laugh at that little pug wearing a sweater. Whatever it takes, laugh and laugh some more. (6)

6. CLEAN WITH NON-TOXIC PRODUCTS: the air inside the average home is more polluted than the outside air. Don’t bring in chemical cleaners to clean your house – or your body. The best cleaners for your home are vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice; and for your body, use a plant-based soap, scented naturally without ‘fragrance’. (7)

7. BE KIND (TO EVERYONE): your kindness matters – especially when it might be hard to do – it’s disarming to a less than friendly person and it usually surprises them. A smile is contagious; refuse to be sour, even when everyone else is. (8)(9)

8. BUY LESS AND BUY BETTER: Reduce, reuse, recycle – pretend it’s your grandparent’s era and reuse what you can. Reduce your spending. Buy quality over quantity; you will be more satisfied with an item you love and that will last, instead of buying the cheap product over and over again. (10)

9. BE DEBT-FREE:  If you don’t have the cash, don’t buy it. Credit = Debt. This is a HARD lesson to learn, especially in this era of credit card ‘convenience’. A lot of retail therapy goes on these days, refer to #8 and keep it real. (11)

10. EVERYTHING IN MODERATION (including moderation): Give yourself a break. Remember to have fun and be in the moment, every moment possible.

Cher is a “striving to be greener everyday” Mom to a toddler. Her blog, EcoBravo, was started with a passion for celebrating good people, good places and good products.