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12 habits of healthy women

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

I believe great health is every woman's birthright. Why is it that some women are glowing with health and vitality, while others are in a daily battle with headaches, bloating, acne, PMS or overeating?

I believe the difference often comes down to the day to day routine. Some women radiate good health because of simple everyday choices based on a deep understanding of what their mind, body and soul need to maintain good health. While these tips are all fairly simple, it can take a bit of adjustment to your daily routine before they can become habits.

From working with women over many years and questioning them about their health, these are 12 habits I've uncovered that help them to look and feel younger and more energetic:

1. She makes time for herself

What is life all about if it's not to explore and do the things that you love?

From working with many women in my clinic I can report that most women have far too much on their plates and their stressful lifestyle is a major contributor to their illness.

Balancing your to do list with time for rest is an important step towards good health. Stress is almost a badge of honour in our society and many women overwork and over-care for others on a daily basis, leaving no time for themselves to wind down and enjoy life. Women commonly deny that they are stressed because it's important for us to believe that we are comfortably juggling everything.

Do you feel that there aren't enough hours in the day to get through everything on your list? Do you experience brain fog? Do you feel anxious when you're running late? These are signs that you are doing too much!

When I ask what they do to have fun each day, they realise it's been months or years since they took a break from the busyness of their lives.

When I work with women with any health complaint, I always start with assessing the amount of stressors in their day to day lives. This is because constant stress leads directly to

  • adrenal overload

  • insomnia

  • digestive problems

  • hormonal conditions

  • autoimmune conditions

In a world where we revere people who seem busier and more successful than us, the healthy woman understands balance. She is not fanatical about her work, health or exercise and enjoys time out and treats in moderation.

Healthy women know that life is meant to be fun, and they seek out fun and adventure each day, even if it's in their own backyard, or on the couch reading a favourite novel. Making time for yourself everyday helps you to feel positive about your life and interact with others in a confident and cheerful manner.

Having fun and feeling positive is very good for your health. When was the last time you had a good belly laugh, or spent time enjoying yourself outdoors?

2. She educates herself about health

Nutrition can be a confusing topic, so it's important for you to discern what's advertising and which information is from a reputable source.

Remember that not all foods suit everyone, so it's always best to seek out information that is specific to you and your health condition. It doesn't make sense to take health advice from your best friend or from a instagram influencer.

Your best source of nutrition advice can often be from your own body. Take note of how you feel each day. Do you feel energetic and alive? Do you feel better on the days that you eat more healthy food? Most of us intuitively know when we're eating the wrong foods. Be guided by how you feel and seek help if you need it.

There are any aspects to your health that you feel you could learn more about? Are you menstruating? Women who are menstruating can benefit from understand the importance of regular menstruation, keep a track of their cycles, know which foods can cause PMS, and which nutrients can improve periods.

Do you know what's in your skin care products? Your skin is your largest organ and a key component of your health.

Any product that you put on your face and body are absorbed into your blood stream. This means you can be nourishing yourself with your daily make up routine, or you could be feeding your body toxins and synthetic ingredients.

Healthy women are aware of their own health when it comes to the ingredients in these skin care products.

Remember that anything you apply to your skin should be considered as food. So do your research or get some qualified advice about natural skin care products.

3. She prioritises sleep

Sleep is essential to our wellbeing and is a crucial component of a healthy life. When we're asleep our body is doing essential work in digestion and repair.

Healthy women make sure they stick to a regular bedtime and get 7 to 8 hours sleep most nights so that they can start their day with energy and a healthy glow.

Stress causes poor sleep in women of all ages. So many women put off sleep to get more things done in their day. Insomnia lowers quality of life day to day. If you are experiencing insomnia 2 or 3 times per week it's essential to get to the source of the problem and restore healthy sleep.

Poor sleep can contribute to

  • brain fog

  • poor immune function

  • hormonal imbalances

  • obesity

  • heart disease

  • irritability

  • low mood

  • mistakes and accidents

Do you have trouble sleeping? There are many things that can be impacting your sleep and far too many to list here. These are the most common things that could be depriving you of sleep:

  • inconsistent bed times

  • coffee, alcohol, medications

  • eating too late at night

  • too much stimulus late at night, blue light at night, exercising too late

  • bedroom not ideal for sleep - noisy, too bright, pets in the bed

  • worry and stress

  • hormonal imbalance

Start by establishing a regular bed time routine of turning off your phone, emails, TV at least an hour before you want to go to sleep.

Then start up a healthy wind down routine that might include a bath or shower, herbal tea, reading, stretching or journalling - what ever works for you.

4. She knows that daily exercise is important and it doesn't have to be painful!

There are lots of scientific studies that tell us that daily exercise is imperative to health and longevity. The healthy women I speak to prioritise their daily exercise routine because they know that it's one of the key things that makes them feel good.

Exercise releases endorphins that can immediately boost your mood, lower stress levels and help you to feel more energetic.

Exercise lowers blood pressure, promotes oxygen flow, keeps bones, heart and muscles healthy. Exercise helps us to sleep better and is a key factor in the prevention of many chronic diseases.

Daily stretching also has many proven benefits. Making a habit of stretching every day eases aches and stiffness, promotes joint flexibility and helps you to move more easily which can make you feel younger and more supple.

Many women love to go to a regular yoga class, however stretching at home or at work during the day is also a great habit to get into.

Bootcamp anyone? If that's what you love, then go for it! But you don't have to push yourself, and strain and sweat to be healthy. Too many women think of exercise as a punishment for enjoying food.

Exercise should be a joyful part of your everyday routine. Walking with friends, dancing, tennis, a gentle cycle around your suburb or nature path are all fun ideas. And remember you don't have to do your exercise all at once - 10 minute bites throughout the day are just as effective.

What is your favourite exercise? Do more of that!

5. She pays attention to her symptoms

Healthy women ask themselves what's caused their headache before reaching for a painkiller. Often a neck stretch, fresh air, some slow deep breathing, or a glass of water will soothe a headache.

Symptoms are how your body gets your attention to let you know that there is something wrong.

It's important to know what triggers symptoms in you. Did you notice that you felt bloated after lunch today but yesterday you felt OK? What could be the difference? Is it something you ate, or have you had a stressful morning? Our body sends us messages all the time.

Some common symptoms are headaches, acne, bloating, gas, pain and constipation.

Understanding how to interpret those messages can be life changing. Once you start to pay attention to your body, you can start adjusting the way you eat, drink, sleep, move and rest.

I recommend keeping a simple diary as a way of bringing mindfulness to your day and listening to what your body is trying to tell you.

If you keep a dairy but you can't find the reason for your symptoms, please reach out for help, this is what naturopaths are great at.

6. She enjoys a wide range of healthy foods

Healthy women live by the age old adage that food is medicine. Do you eat a wide range of health foods? Or do you stick to the same 3 vegetables and 2 fruits day in and day out?

I recommend consuming at least 40 different vegetables in your diet and to vary these with the seasons. Why so many vegetables? Vegetables contain:

  • Nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are needed for hundreds of roles in our body. Nutrients are needed to build proteins, hormones, bones, blood, neurotransmitters, immune cells, digestive cells and to make energy.

  • Phytonutrients are not essential to keep us alive, however they play a huge role in keeping us healthy. Phytonutrients include resveratrol, phytoestrogens and carotenoids that help us fight disease and contribute to our wellbeing in many ways. Herbs and spices are particularly high in phytonutrients, so please enjoy adding these to every meal. Phytonutrients are also found in abundance in fruits such as berries.

  • Fibres feed our gut microbiome and keep our digestive system healthy. Gut dysbiosis can occur when we limit the amount or variety of vegetables over the long term.

A particularly wonderful group of vegetables are know at the brassicas, or cruciferous vegetables. This group which contains broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage. I recommend eating one of these vegetables every day for their amazing healing abilities. Cruciferous vegetables contain antioxidants and other compounds for liver health and helping us to fight cancer.

Not sure how to increase the amount or variety of vegetables that you eat? You might like to read my blog - how to eat more plants.

As well as vegetables, I recommend eating mushrooms regularly. Mushrooms such as reishi and shiitaki contain powerful polysaccharides (sugars) called beta glucans that have been found to reduce inflammation and support a healthy immune system. Even just adding one or two mushrooms to a slow cooked meal can increase the food as medicine benefits of that meal.

Proteins and healthy fats are the other components of a well balanced diet and I recommend that you aim to eat some protein and healthy fats at most meals.

  • Healthy fats include nuts and seeds, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, fatty fish

  • Protein includes tofu, seafood, legumes, nuts and seeds, beef, lamb, pork and poultry

7. She eats fresh, home-cooked food

A healthy woman makes time to cook her own food and invests time finding new healthy recipes. When you cook your own meals you can be certain of the quality of the ingredients while also avoiding preservatives and additives that can harm your health.

Cooking is an important life skill and thankfully also an art that is becoming popular again through cooking shows and celebrity chefs. Cooking is a very satisfying way to nourish your body while using your creativity to put smiles on the faces of your family and friends.

Recipes don't have to be complicated. Meals that are simple to prepare, such as salads, can be just as healthy as more complicated ones. If you don't love cooking it might just be that you haven't learnt how or had enough time to develop your confidence.

Investing in, or borrowing a basic cook book is a good way to begin your knowledge of cooking and healthy eating. I love to use flavour thesauruses to learn which flavour combinations work well together, for me flavour is where the magic of cooking begins.

8. She is organised

Eating well at home is easier when you're prepared. I recommend you keep a wide range of nutritious foods on hand in the kitchen, ready for when you need to make a quick healthy meal. Atlantic salmon and salad is a meal that I often hear women mention as their go-to easy healthy meal.

Don't have time for breakfast? This really just comes down to being more organised. Many women find it easier to take their breakfast to work with them and eat it when they feel hungry a little later in the morning.

Making breakfast takes no time at all if the ingredients are at your finger tips. You might set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier so you have time to prepare a meal, or you might make a batch of something such as chia seed puddings on the weekend.

A simple organisational skill is to stock your fridge and pantry stocked with ingredients to make muesli, porridge, omelettes, or mushrooms on toast for breakfast. This might mean you have yoghurt, nuts, oats, eggs, sourdough, pesto and sliced vegetables on hand

Another important piece of organisation is to remember to take your water bottle with you and stay hydrated each day. Dehydration is one of the key things for looking healthy and feeling more energetic. If you are constantly tired, I encourage you to get organised and make drinking water a regular habit.

9. She doesn't snack

Whenever I ask a women who is at a healthy weight what she snacks on, the answer is pretty much always the same: "I don't snack". Instead she eats 2 or 3 satisfying meals per day. This doesn't mean that you can't enjoy the occasional treat, however cutting out snacking for the majority of the week has many benefits for your health.

Snacking can indirectly lead some women to health problems such as weight gain, type II diabetes and other conditions related to blood glucose regulation such as PCOS, psoriasis, eczema and acne.

Snacking between meals slows down your digestive system and can cause constipation and a host of digestive symptoms.

10. She has a strong support network

Relationships are important and healthy women prioritise strong relationships with friends and family. It's the quality of relationships that's important and not the quantity. Hundreds of likes on a facebook post can't compare with an hour with a good friend.

Loneliness is a big factor in poor health. Loneliness is a risk factor for many mental health conditions, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and dementia.

If you don't have many friends, consider joining one or two community based activities such as volunteering, tennis, lawn bowls, business networks, community gardening, P'n'C, or a choir. Meeting people who share common interests is a great first step to making friends and building a support network. Your local council can be a good source of information for what is available to you in your community.

Don't forget pets! Pets are great for our health and I consider them as an important part of a (furry) support network. Studies have shown that having a pet can decrease stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness.

Cats and dogs make wonderful companions and women with pets tend to spend more time outside, where you can also get the benefits of sunshine and nature.

11. She is comfortable in her own skin

When we look for the underlying cause of ill health it can often be emotional. In my work I meet a lot of women who have low self esteem, low confidence, and feel that everyone else is smarter, more popular and better looking.

Unfortunately many women suffer in silence with symptoms that they find embarrassing, without realising that they are extremely common and often quite easy to treat naturally.

A healthy woman is confident and embraces her body because she understands that no matter what it looks like on the outside, it's the body that she uses to get around in every day. This can be hard if you are overweight, struggling with acne, or experiencing recurring vaginal conditions.

Please seek help from a naturopath or counsellor if some aspect of your health is undermining your confidence.

I love to work with flower essences to help you shift negative emotions about your body or your health. Often this can be the key that clears the beliefs that have been holding you back and keeping you stuck.

12. She seeks help when she needs it

There's an old Dutch proverb "sickness comes on horseback but departs on foot". This is a reminder that it is much easier to fall sick than it is to get well again. Healthy women are all about prevention and that's why the develop healthy habits that nourish themselves every day.

If something is worrying you, don't wait for it to become a big problem before you ask for help. It is not normal to have symptoms every day. Your body should feel light and energetic. You should sleep well and wake up with excitement for the day ahead. You should be able to eat a wide range of foods without experiencing digestive symptoms.

It's essential for all women to seek out a great female doctor who has a good understanding of women's health. If possible, take the time to find a GP who is willing to work alongside your naturopath and is open to taking a natural approach to your health.

Becoming the healthy woman you know you can be

I hope you have found some helpful tips in this blog. Please reach out if you need any help with your specific health concerns. I would love to help you to become the healthiest version of yourself, so you can live and enjoy your best life.

Simone :)


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Hi! I'm Simone Jeffries. I am a naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and certified wellness coach. I am also a foodie and an advocate for a whole food diet.

I love to support you with hormonal conditions, histamine intolerance and vaginal imbalances.

I welcome clients to consult with me at my clinic in Manly on Sydney's Northern Beaches, and online from anywhere in Australia.

The information in this blog is from my Bachelor of Health Science degree, experience from working with women in my clinic, and continuing research.

This blog is for information only and not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please seek assistance for any medical concerns.


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