Oof. You guys. Writing this blog, I try to be a good example for you but sometimes it is hard. I fell off the fitness/wellness wagon pretty hard this month. I was only in New York maaayyyybe a seven days in December, and all of that travel took it’s toll. I realized that I have to be better at saying no when I travel. I’m such a foodie at heart, so I want to try and experience all of the things when I go somewhere. This month, that was mostly in liquid (cocktail) form. Fancy wines on the cruise ship, the most incredible sangria in Cartagena, piña coladas on the beach, fancy frozen drinks by the pool on the cruise, decadent lunches in Cabo… okay just writing this is making my mouth water (and you can tell I clearly have no regrets about any of it) but as I write this, I am sitting in my sweatpants and there is a little pooch of chub perched atop my waistband and it DID NOT USED TO BE THERE. I hate it and feel mad at myself. I worked so hard with my trainer and feel like I just destroyed all of our hard work.
But anyway, onwards and upwards. In this Instagram I talked about mistakes. Health wasn’t what I was referring to, but it’s applicable here too. I think you just have to embrace your mistakes and learn from them. For me, I know that I want to keep traveling, but I also need to figure out a way to maintain a balance while traveling. I also know that with (a lot of) hard work, and making some changes to my diet, I will get back to where I want to be. At the end of the month, I am going to the SAG Awards with L’Oreal (!!!) but I don’t have any trips planned until then. I want to look (and feel) amazing in my dress. I’m taking the rest of January to recommit myself to being healthy.
For me, making small changes makes the biggest habit. They say that it takes 21 days to make a habit, so I will do lots of little things and see how they add up. Of course I am now back at the gym five days a week and eating healthily, but here are ten ways to be healthier that are easy but will still make a difference.
ONE // Have a mostly dry January. I said to Alex (my trainer), something that is so me. “I’m going to try to not drink so much this month!” She very nicely told me that is not an acceptable goal. So, together we set a four drink a week limit. I realize that to some of you, four drinks still may sound like a lot, but for me it is a massive reduction. It’s not as though I’m getting wasted every night (or even every week) but I have social plans (blog events + dates) most nights every week. A good date can easily turn into four or five drinks, and champagne is typically flowing at most press events. Completely cutting out alcohol is not an option for me, but cutting back certainly is. We set a rule as well that only two of those drinks can be red wine or champagne (my fav, but so sugary). The other two (ideally all four) are clear alcohol (vodka or tequila) with club soda, which is the least caloric alcohol option.
TWO // Get into the habit of regularly doing pushups, every day. I once exclaimed to Alex how hard pushups felt, no matter how long we have been doing them. The thing is… I only see her two or three times a week. She told me that if I want them to get easier, I have to do them every day. And so I set a goal of doing at least 20 push ups on the days I don’t see her. Not thirty, not fifty… twenty. That’s manageable but will still make a difference.
THREE // Spa Water and Ginger Tea. My favorite thing in the world is having a big pitcher of lemon/cucumber water at home. I use this pitcher or my Bobble, and is so much more delicious than regular water. It also keeps me reaching for wine and/or coffee… sometimes those cravings are brought on by wanting something “more interesting” to drink than water. For the same reason, I love ginger tea (I am a big fan of this one, my mom got me hooked). It settles my stomach and is a great way to wind down the day (as opposed to reaching for a glass of wine).
FOUR // Start each morning with a big stretch. Another thing is, when I am working out constantly, my muscles get very tight. Like I said earlier, it takes 21 days to form a habit so I am committing to wake up 10 minutes earlier every day (such a tiny change) and stretch it all out. My hamstrings and lower back get especially bad. I have a foam roller (a total game changer/best $13 you’ll ever spend) but often forget about it… if I can just spend ten minutes stretching and rolling out knots + tight muscles I know my workouts will be so much more effective.
FIVE // Take one day away from tech. I took four days off (Friday – Monday) over the New Year, and felt like a brand new human. I am always looking at my phone, which is necessary for this job. I like the idea of stepping away from tech every Sunday and am going to try that this month. Even if I do end up doing a little work on my computer, sitting at my desk writing or editing photos is something I find relaxing and enjoyable. Being on my phone, not so much. This month, Sundays are going to be for reading, friends, working out, going to church or art museums, trying healthy new recipes, and so on and so forth.
SIX // Soups! I love, love, love making soups. They are easy and healthy, and so delicious. On top of that, they are affordable to make. My favorite recipe of all time is this tomato soup, but I also love this cauliflower soup (my own concoction!). As a single girl, cooking a big meal is annoying as there is so much cleanup and the leftovers never taste as good the next day. If I make a big soup on Monday, I will eat it all week long for lunch. There isn’t much mess and the leftovers are just as good every time. (As an aside, would you guys like to see more soup recipes here?? Maybe I’ll start playing around in the kitchen to devise a few of my own recipes for you). I’m kind of amazing when it comes to making soup. 😉
SEVEN // Oil Pulling. I used to be really, really into oil pulling and then stopped. But when I did it, my teeth were whiter, my breath was always fresh as a daisy, my hangovers were lessened, and I just felt really good. Doing it takes a bit of getting used to but I would just do it while showering. I’m starting back up this month. I wrote a post about oil pulling, which gives more of the benefits.
EIGHT // Always have healthy snacks on hand. Having freshly cut up cucumber, snap peas, + celery (my personal favorites) makes for a healthy snack. I’ll buy healthy dips or make my own (I love making a yummy + fresh tzatziki dip with greek yogurt) and munch on that throughout the day. My other favs: string cheese, Quest Bars, and homemade kale chips.
NINE // Get on a regular sleep schedule. One of the best and worst parts about living alone, combined with working for myself, is the complete and utter lack of accountability. I am naturally more of a night owl. Sometimes I will work on my blog until midnight and then stay up til two or three in the morning reading or watching TV (or just looking through Instagram) and that really needs to stop. One of my big goals (that’s coming in a future post) is to get off of email by 7pm, so that will help here… but I really want to be asleep by midnight every night and up by 8:30. I have two great posts here… nine tips for a better night’s sleep, and ten ways to make mornings better. I am recommitting myself big time to both of these practices!!!
TEN // Sleep with your phone in a different room. This goes back to tip #9, but I wanted to include it as its own separate point because it makes such a difference in your overall wellbeing. There is no need to have your phone next to your bed. There just isn’t.
photo via Unsplash.