September seems to be the natural start for any new regime, doesn’t it? I guess it’s the new academic year that makes this month feel like a fresh start. Plus, the seasons seem to change the moment that September hits and that’s when we need to address parts of our health and beauty regime to keep ourselves happy, healthy and looking great throughout the autumn and winter. Here are some easy swaps I’ve made this September to cope with the changing seasons to come…
SWITCH TO NATURAL BEAUTY
Ever since switching over to more natural beauty products with fewer chemicals I’ve noticed a massive improvement in my skin. Plant-based formulas contain more antioxidants, oils, vitamins, plant collagen and enzymes – all of which nourish your skin and hair. In the autumn my skin tends to dry out, which must be down to air conditioning and heating but the natural moisturising products I’ve been using keep my skin supple and absorb better than any others I’ve used in the past.
I now try to avoid all parabens and phthalates and opt for plant-based ingredients wherever I can. If you’re thinking of going natural, have a read of this blog post on natural beauty tips. Many natural brands are also cruelty-free, contain organic ingredients and have recycled packaging so there are many reasons to make the switch. I’ve just started using a the new Vinopure range from Caudalie. It’s an anti-blemish, pore minimising natural formula so I’m hoping it’ll suit my combination skin at this time of year.
Colds are rife at this time of year – especially back to school season – and there’ll only be more bugs going around in the autumn and winter. Of course, a great way to protect your body from illness is to increase your vitamin C and vitamin E intake by munching on fruit and vegetables. Eating a rainbow of veggies and fruit (more than 5-a-day, I’d say) is a great way to get all that good stuff into your body, including zinc and beta-carotene.
I like to take a multivitamin with minerals every day and it’s a good idea to have some vitamin C on stand-by if you feel a sniffle coming on. I can’t even remember when I last had a cold, despite my husband getting the full-on flu earlier this year, so the vitamins must be doing something right! Did you know that sugar suppresses your immune system? The effects last for a few hours so if you’re heading out or might be around other people with bugs, avoid sugar to keep your immune system at full capacity.
I don’t drink coffee, coke or energy drinks but that doesn’t mean I’m already living a caffeine-free life. I’m such a tea-aholic that the kettle is already on before I’ve finished the cup I’m drinking. That’s one of the main reasons why I cut out sugar; I was drinking so much tea that, if each one contained sugar, I’d be racking up a lot of calories throughout the day. But all that is about to change as I strive to minimise my caffeine intake.
I’ve already swapped a couple of my regular cups each day for a green peppermint tea instead. And now that I’ve discovered Pukka‘s caffeine-free “Ginger Joy” organic herbal latte, there’s no need to be tempted by a festive gingerbread latte when the Christmas menus hit the high street coffee shops! It contains all my favourite autumnal flavours including cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric and ginger, which are ingredients that help to aid digestion, balance blood sugar levels and curb sweet cravings. I now take it with me in a bamboo cup when I’m heading out for the day, which stops me from splashing the cash on takeaway hot drinks while I’m out.
If you’re studying at university or have begun an online course (like me) this September, you can boost your brain power with supplements. Similarly, if you’re in a fast-paced job or experiencing stress, a fish oil packed full of DHA will help to support healthy brain function, as well as your keeping heart and vision working well. Choose an Omega-3 supplement that contains oil from sustainably sourced fish stocks like the Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Oil I have.
Any amount of extra movement you can fit into your day will help improve your health and fitness this month. I’ve taken to going for walks in the afternoon and I’ve recently renovated my old bicycle so I’ve felt excited to get on my bike and go for a ride. Walking and running are completely free activities so there’s no excuse not to get started on moving your body more. Plus, getting some fresh air and a bit of quiet time is great for your mind too. I often have my best ideas when I’m walking along the coast. If it’s raining outside, don’t skip your workout; you can watch YouTube videos to follow along with a yoga workout at home or join a nearby class. Or just dance around at home in your PJs.
DRINK MORE WATER
I haven’t always been a fan of water and I’ve really had to force myself to drink it over the years. But I’ve finally realised why I didn’t like it: it wasn’t cold enough. Since having water from the fridge, rather than the tap, I’ve finally started to enjoy drinking water without any cordials or flavourings. This has only come about since I got a ZeroWater jug that fits in the door of the fridge, so now I can have fresh, super-cold water whenever I need it. This jug has a 5 stage filter system that I’ve used in the past, and it takes virtually all micro-particles, out of the water before you drink it. The added bonus is that I’m not buying water anymore, so my plastic waste is reduced too. I’m so much happier to be refilling my leak-proof Ion8 water bottle each day rather than buying single-use plastic bottles.
I hope that by sharing my plans for boosting my own health during September you’ll find inspiration to do the same. Of course, my health and beauty needs will be completely different to yours so please listen to your own body and only do what’s right for you – you know yourself best, after all. Let me know what simple swaps you like to do to improve your health in the autumn and winter in the comments below.