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30 days to a healthier, happier YOU!

Spring forward with a focus on health, wellness

Spring is here, so it’s time to soak up the sunshine — as well as some wellness tips to help you create a healthy lifestyle. The foundation of wellness is in small daily choices. Over time, one decision after another can lead to healthy habits. These new habits can bring about healthy, lifelong changes.

Here are some guidelines that you can try for 30 days. Pick a few that speak to you and that you believe you can commit to for that timeframe. At the end of 30 days, you will emerge a happier, healthier you!

• Drink a glass of water when you wake up. Hydrate — yes, even before your coffee.

• Drink plain coffee or tea, both are amazing sources of antioxidants. They boost mental health and promote a healthy heart, but try to forego the sugar and milk, or try almond milk or coconut creamer. Try organic if you can find it.

• Cook your own meals. Meal prepping keeps you away from restaurant options and connects you to the foods you are eating and their nutritional value. Leave the middleman out and make your own meals.

• Lose the sugary foods. These are not part of a healthy diet, mainly because they are processed and can be addicting. Instead, go for naturally sweet options like strawberries and blueberries, both in season. Plus, sugar ages your skin, makes you tired and moody and is bad for your digestion. You will feel so much better in 30 days!

• Get outside for a 20- to 30-minute walk, jog or swim. Take advantage of this lovely weather, get outdoors and get active.

• Stretch every day. It can improve your mood and much more. Stretching releases tension, improves blood flow that can make you happier and keeps your digestion working well.

• Try yoga or paddle boarding; both have benefits that are crucial to our well-being. These are fluid ways of moving your body, being kind to your body and reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

• Do something to treat yourself every day for 30 days — every single day. Even the smallest thing you enjoy will increase serotonin levels in your body and increase your “feel good” factor every day.

• Eat foods rich in magnesium. It is the anti-stress nutrient for ladies and optimizes mental wellness (found in leafy greens, nuts, bananas, avocados and sweet potatoes).

• Quit the negative self talk. Start creating positive affirmations instead. When you change your mindset, you have the power to change your life. Speak positively to yourself daily.

• Sleep — learn to love it. Sleep is truly a gift, and it is just as vital as the food on our plates and our exercise habits.

• Do something nice for someone when you can. When we give, we get so much in return.

• Quiet time when you wake up can help reduce cortisol in the body, which peaks first thing in the morning. Start each day with a morning prayer or morning devotional or by writing a gratitude list. Do whatever suits you, but do it for 10 minutes alone.

Remember — wellness is the gift you give yourself that begins with one choice after another, day by day. I am wishing you a healthy wellness journey that starts today and builds as the month goes by.

New Orleans native Karol Brandt is an executive host with Scarlett Pearl Casino Resort, as well as co-author of Amazon best-seller “The Struggle is Real: Finally Break the Dieting Cycle, Transform Your Mind and Body, and Evolve into The Person You Have Always Wanted to Be” and the “30-Day Evolve Challenge Journal.” An avid meal prepper and passionate advocate of health and fitness, she lost 110 pounds and strives to be a role model to others in their weight loss journeys and other personal struggles. Contact Brandt by email at, Facebook/ The Struggle Is Real or Instagram at karolbrandtnola.

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