Photo: Jamar Stephens

Photo: Jamar Stephens

Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

Joy McCarthy & Meghan Telpner

Happy New Year! To start off 2013 on a most stylish note, I checked in with two of the most health savvy nutritionists in Canada, Joy McCarthy & Meghan Telpner, for their Personal Style tips to feel amazing. Because, as we all know, no matter what you're wearing, looking great starts from the inside. 

Coincidentally, both of these charming ladies landed in the world of nutrition as a result of their own personal struggle with good health. Hormonal imbalances, digestive problems, anxiety (Joy) and a diagnosis of Crohn's disease (Meghan) saw each of these nutritionistas independently seek out the root cause and discover the importance of a healthy lifestyle as opposed to fad diets and quick fixes. They each share their fave easy health habits with The Style House.

Joy McCarthy, Joyous Health.

Joy McCarthy, Joyous Health.

Food Journaling

The indulgences you enjoyed during the holidays may be sabotaging your health goals if you have no level of awareness of them in the first place, you know… that daily chocolate fix or one too many glasses of wine? This is when food journaling comes in! Studies have shown us that when people keep a daily diary of their food and drink intake they are more likely to reach their goals. Not only does this help you become aware of bad habits, but also it helps you assess what you might be missing.

Go Green!

Most people do not eat the recommended number of fruit and vegetable servings per day to prevent heart disease, many cancers and prevent the dreaded premature aging. This is why I love green foods including spirulina, barley grass, wheat grass, chlorella and many supplement formulations like Greens+O that contain a variety of green ingredients, tons of fibre, minerals and natural detoxifiers. I personally love my green juice first thing in the morning before breakfast because it fires up my metabolism, balances my blood sugar and it’s incredibly alkalinizing to the body (bye-bye sugar cravings).

Choose positivity.

This may not seem like your typical New Year’s resolution, but it’s one worth considering. Your thoughts create your life. What you think today, literally creates your tomorrow. If you find that negativity takes over more often then you’d like to admit, then there’s a simple habit you can start doing today. Before bed, write down three positive thoughts you want to create for tomorrow.  For example:

I choose foods that nourish my body and my mind.

I love my body precisely how it looks right now.

I choose to surround myself with loving, supportive people.

When you wake up the next morning, read this aloud and continue to do this every night before bed and every morning before starting your day. Create the life you desire and manifest it. This is a very powerful strategy that actually works!

Ditch that non-fat, sugar-free vanilla latte concoction.

This drink may taste good going down, but it's certainly not doing your body any good. Eating low fat products can actually increase your appetite because fat promotes the secretion of leptin, which is necessary for satiety. And sugar-free drinks are usually full of artificial sweetners.

Instead, drink your antioxidants, by feeding your cells with high quality green or white tea. Studies show us that people who consume green tea on a regular basis appear to have less incidents of cancer. Also, green tea is a natural appetite suppressant, increases metabolic rate and is a beauty food thanks to those polyphenols.

Just think, if you set one new goal per week then by the end of four week you will have changed and created four new healthy habits!

Need a little more motivation? Joy is hosting a 10-day online detox, in which you may enroll anytime up until February 15. Visit Joyous Health for more details.

Meghan Telpner

Meghan Telpner

If you keep on sipping, you’ll keep on lightening your load.

Hydration is key to protecting your insides from the effects of heat and exercise. Fluids will keep the ickies cleansing out, the cells happy, the muscles mobile, and the brain functioning.  And it doesn’t have to be just water. It definitely should not be fluorescent coloured, sugar filled, plastic bottled drinks loaded down with sugar and salt, but here are some delicious options. We need hydration when we’re highly active, in hot climates and even cold climates with drying heating systems.

If you take five minutes every day to sit in silence, you’ll realize how much nonsense spins in your brain.

When was the last time you actively did nothing? No music, no TV, no nothing. Sit and be quiet with your thoughts for five minutes. Start to notice the tape recorder we play in our minds, decide whether those thoughts are helping you or hindering you. Once you bring awareness to them, you can start to change them. And when you can change your thoughts and start believe all the positive ones, it all gets a little sweeter.

If you rinse, slice and properly store your veggies when you come home from the store, you’ll be more inclined to eat them.

You only throw out the produce you bought because it rotted away in its bag deep in the heart of your vegetable drawer. If those vegetables were cut, cleaned and ready to eat, you would eat them. What about trying to shop only from your local farmer’s market or produce store for the week? See what happens if you leave the convenience packaged food at the store. You have to eat something- let it be fresh and alive!

If you move gently while breathing deeply, you worry less.

Studies have shown that 20 minutes of gentle exercise combined with deep breathing such as in walking and yoga will increase gaba production in the brain, which helps to slow that spinny brain thing, and also reduce cortisol levels, which is attributed to a multitude of chronic diseases. Gentle exercise will increase white blood cell production and circulation (boosting immune function) and increase lymphatic circulation (hello detox!).

If you are looking for even more goodness to ring in the new year,  Meghan coaches everything from a 2-week Gluten Free Cleanse to a 21 days to health transition program, a super Fab Detox and more. All programs begin together on January 12th along with an extra special Make It Happen Goal Setting Workshop.

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Happy New Year