With spring finally here and summer around the corner, it’s time to shed the drab winter blues and to embrace the freshness and sense of renewal that comes with this time of the year. It can be difficult at times to keep motivated when it comes to your health goals. Here are some tips to help get you on track.

Positive Affirmations

Practicing positive affirmations can help you to align your thoughts with your actions. Repeating positive affirmations to yourself and removing negative self-talk can have a powerful impact on your mood by increasing the levels of endorphins or feel-good hormones in your body. When you feel better, you most likely will make better choices for yourself. For example, if you have a goal to lose 10 pounds before the summer, try an affirmation such as ‘I let go of unhealthy eating patterns and embrace healthy eating patterns’.

Pamper Your Skin

The dry winter season can leave your skin dehydrated. Boost your skin’s hydration levels by increasing your consumption of healthy fats. Examples of healthy fats include cold water fish, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, almonds, walnuts and ground flax seeds. Aim to have a small serving of fat with each meal. Secondly, gently exfoliate your skin using a natural chemical such as lactic acid or use a physical exfoliator such as oatmeal. Exfoliating your skin will remove dead skin cells, allowing your moisturizer to more effectively penetrate your skin, revealing your healthy glow.

Boost Your Intake of Fruits and Vegetables

Choose local and organic fruits and vegetables; and the darker the better. Dark coloured fruit and vegetables are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are special chemicals found in plants which work to protect your cells, slowing down the natural aging process. If you are having trouble getting enough fruits and vegetables into your diet each day, try to make a smoothie to combine several servings of dark leafy greens and fruits such as raspberries and blueberries into a refreshing drink.

Include Some Weight Bearing Exercise

Weight-bearing exercises can tone your body in preparation for swimsuit season. If you are not motivated to join a gym, start with some basic exercises at home. According to scientists at McMaster University a little goes a long way. Theses researchers determined that an average of 7 minutes of high intensity interval training is all that is needed to produce a noticeable change in your muscle tone. Choose exercises such as the wall sit, abdominal crunches, push ups, the plank and step ups. Each exercise should be performed for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between. If you are unsure of what exercises are safe for you, consult with a personal trainer who can guide you in the right direction.

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is paying full attention to your eating experience. In order to practice mindful eating successfully, take the time to sit at the dinner table and turn off all other forms of stimulation such as the TV, computer and cellular devices. Take note of the thoughts and feelings that come up while you are eating. When mindful eating is practiced, you may find yourself eating less and feeling more in control of your food choices.

About the Author

Dr. Olivia Rose graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences and in 2006, she graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

In addition to her private practice, Dr. Rose is the director of Fertility Acupuncture Services, a mobile service that brings acupuncture to couples undergoing in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination at Toronto fertility clinics. Her special areas of interest include infertility; children and teen health; stress management; weight loss; heart disease; digestive and immune health; skin rejuvenation and pain management. She is a birth doula and has additional training in cosmetic acupuncture and needle-less therapies for skin rejuvenation and joint pain.

Dr. Rose is a sought-after lecturer for community organizations; a freelance writer and mentor to new graduates. She has been interviewed by various media outlets including Global Toronto’s, “The Morning Show”, “News at Noon” and “News Hour”. In her free time, she unplugs at the spa and she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, son and tea-cup Yorkie. For more information on Dr. Rose's practice and special events, please visit -