Quick and Easy Tips For A Happier and Healthier Spring
Spring cleaning isn’t just for our kitchens, bedrooms and closets. it’s also a great time to detox and “spring clean” our bodies as well. Amanda Bowen, creator of FAWEN Ready-to-Drink Soup and certified yoga instructor, offers five quick tips to reboot our bodies and minds for spring.
MOVE YOUR BODY!
Winter can be plain hard. It’s cold, dark, and can inspire lethargy. As we transition into spring, it’s important to embrace how beneficial movement is in maintaining a healthy, happy body and positive mental well-being. If you’re just getting back into activity, you don't need a gym membership or fancy boutique fitness classes (although if that gives you motivation, do it!). There are many ways to fit in movement right at home. One of my favorite ways is to start the day with a simple 5 minute stretch routine, as it helps to set the tone for making healthy choices throughout the rest of my day. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:
Stand up straight, keeping your feet hips width apart, feet pointing forward. Roll your shoulder forwards 2-3 times, then roll them backwards 2-3 times. Then roll your head in a circle to the right 2 times and then to the left 2 times. Take 1 deep inhale and exhale.
STANDING SIDE BODY STRETCH
Stand up straight, keeping your feet hips width apart, feet pointing forward. Lift your arms over your head. Take your right hand and grab your left wrist. Inhale as you gently pull up and exhale as you bend to the right, keeping your hips in place. Take a 3 deep breaths here, feeling your left lung stretch and expand. Repeat on other side.
STANDING HEART OPENER
Stand up straight, keeping your feet hips width apart, feet pointing forward. Interlace your fingers behind your back, resting around your tailbone. Keeping your hips in place, tailbone pointing down, inhale as you gently pull your knuckles downward and allow your upper back only (behind your lungs) to arch slightly, opening up your heart space. Exhale. Take 3 deep breaths here.
Stand up straight, keeping your feet hips width apart, feet pointing forward. Raise your arms stretched out in front of you and interlace your fingers. Reverse the grip to have the backs of your hands facing towards you (palms facing away). Inhale, keeping your hips in place, and exhale, pushing your hands away from you, tucking your chin and rounding your upper back. Take 3 deep breaths here.
STANDING FORWARD FOLD
Stand up straight, keeping your feet hips width apart, feet pointing forward. Bring a sight bend into your knees. Inhale your arms up overhead, and as you exhale, slowly fold over from your hips, and let your upper body hang heavy. Try to move your body weight towards your toes and draw your hips up. Over the next 5-8 breaths, you can grab opposite elbows with opposite hands, and/or sway gently from side to side - whatever loosens your back and/or hamstrings the most, or simply calls to you. When you’re ready to come back up, take another inhale, and exhale as you slowly roll up, stacking one vertebrae at a time until you reach standing - go slow! Once you get to the top, I like taking another breath, raising my arms overhead and drawing my hands to palm center on my exhale, as it makes me feel centered. Give it a try!
FUEL THE THINGS YOU LOVE
We know our bodies need vitamins to function properly, fight infections and prevent illness. But, incorporating the correct amounts into our busy schedules can be challenging and time consuming (who wants to spend hours slaving in the kitchen when you can be out doing the things that you love?). I struggled with this myself! That’s why I created Fawen Ready-To-Drink Soup. Packed with pure plant energy and fiber from whole organic vegetables, Fawen Ready-To-Drink Soup is loaded with 16 different vitamins & minerals, and tons of natural fiber from vegan and gluten-free superfoods like beets, purple cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato, and coconut. We never juice or press their ingredients, so you get more nutrients and delicious flavor in each sip, not to mention fiber to keep you feeling satisfied without weighing you down. All three flavors include the hydrating benefits of coconut water and are ready-to-drink (no heating or spoon needed). Whether you are on the go, before or after a workout or stuck at your desk during a busy workday, Fawen fuels the things you love!
GET YOUR ZZZZS
Recent studies have shown that lack of sleep – which happens chronically in our fast-paced world – causes impairment in immune function, which can directly lead to other health issues. So, one way or another, make sure you get your beauty sleep! This one is the hardest for me. To change your routine, take baby steps at first. For example, for the next 2 weeks, take 2 minutes on Sunday to plan which weeknight you will get to bed 15-30 minutes earlier. It’s helpful to have the days be consistent if possible. Think of those earlier nights as a special “treat” and a commitment to taking care of your body! See how it goes, and try adding an extra 10 minutes every two weeks until you reach your optimal amount of sleep, which for most of us, is 8 hours.
BOOST YOUR VEGGIE INTAKE
Smoothies and soups are an excellent way to increase your intake of healthy fruits and vegetables in a way that’s equally delicious and nutritious. Try this delicious smoothie made with FAWEN to start your day with a boost of superfoods:
1/2 c Fawen Broccoli & Cauliflower with Turmeric
1/2 c frozen spinach
1/4 c frozen blueberries
1 c unsweetened almond milk
1 serving unsweetened chocolate plant protein
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp maca powder
Pour into a glass and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and a few cocoa nibs. Drink up!
FINALLY - JUST BREATHE.
Mental health is as important as physical health. They work together to bring you harmony, grounding, focus, happiness, health, and overall positive well-being. Sometimes one or more of these aspects are blocked. Rest assured that you have all the tools you need to rebalance. One of the most accessible of these tools is the breath. Every inhale and exhale is an opportunity to connect inward, lower your stress levels, bring oxygen to your body, and feel alive! Try noticing your breath once a day. Check in with yourself and notice if your breath is shallow, or where it might be caught in your body - your nasal path, your throat, your chest, or your belly. From there, just try deepening it. A few breaths will do. If you can, try to put down what you’re doing, close your eyes, and follow the journey of your breath, flowing in and out. Even taking time for one breath can be a powerful tool. The best part is, you can access your breath anywhere, anytime. That’s something to rejoice about!
Here’s to a healthy and happy spring!
Amanda Leigh Bowen is the Co-Founder of Fawen Ready-To-Drink Soup, along with her fiancé, Fabio Fossati. Amanda and Fabio quickly discovered their shared passion for healthy food and living an active lifestyle when they met at a gym in Brooklyn. They then went on to create Fawen to share their delicious, healthy lifestyle with the nation. Amanda is also a certified yoga instructor, who enjoys cooking and creating her own nutritious recipes for family and friends. She thoroughly embraces everything health and wellness related, finds true joy in all matters of the heart, mind, and soul. Amanda and Fabio currently live with their two dogs in Brooklyn, New York.