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.
Really great tips! I’m definitely gonna be following some.
Thanks Marta! x
I want to get on a regular sleeping schedule as well – I sleep as late as 5AM most nights (my record was 7AM…). I also used to oil-pull like you, but for some reason, I stopped.
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
It can be so hard! I love staying up!!
I love this. The holidays are all about indulging, but I definitely needed a kick in the behind this January. I’m cutting back on drinks as well (making cocktail recipes once a week for my own site can be a challenge!), and starting/ending each day by drinking water. And soup! Just made some this week and it really is so easy and tasty. Checking out that tomato soup recipe now!
Thank you Gabriella!! I hope you love the soup – it’s literally my favorite!!!
Great points and I love how well you’ve explained them! I’m hoping to have a much more healthier year ahead too and will implement some of your tips/ ways from this list, that’s for sure. 🙂
Happy to hear it, Natali! Cheers to a happier, healthier New Year!
YES! I want to start oil pulling again too. Let’s be each other’s cheerleaders. I forgot for a minute how great I felt when I used to do it, and you just reminded me. Thanks, friend!
Yessss! So into that!!!
My roommate made a broccoli soup on Monday and it was so yummy! Such a great lunch idea (I’m trying to make my lunch more this year, it’s just so easy not to when there’s a cafeteria in my building!) I also tried oil pulling ONCE and had to spit it out— made me gaggy. But the benefits sound so amazing, I do really want to try it again. My first experience was a few years ago, so it feels like time to try it again!
And girl, I FEEL you on the drinking thing. I rarely do it at home, but between events/dinners/dates/etc it is tough! 4 is a great goal.
Ooh I love broccoli soup! It’s one of those ones that can be healthy if you make it right… and now I am craving it!!!!
Glad you feel me on the 4. It’s sad that 4 is “cutting back” but given my lifestyle, that just is what it is!!! Good luck to you with all of your goals! xo
YES re: healthy soup recipes please!
okay fantastic! Will get testing!!! 🙂 xoxo
And maybe your homemade kale chips recipe 😉 I’m looking for something savory and healthy to snack on, and that sounds like a great option! 😀
That sounds doable 🙂 xo
Another yes in favor of healthy soup recipes!
Oh good, glad to hear it! I will definitely work on a few 🙂 xx
Oil pulling? I had never heard of that until now! I may have to try this… These ten habit shifts sound great, good luck!
Yeah! It’s a weird, weird concept but it really helps!!!
I love the pushup goal as I always want to be better at those but at this moment even 20 sounds like so many – ha! I’ll join ya in trying to get those in though.
I know. If it’s any consolation, I do them from my knees! Baby steps!!!
Some great tips here! I’m with you on the soup. I actually think a lot of leftovers taste better the next day, but it see,s like many people have an aversion to them. Single girl too and although I could, like you be going to a different event every night I don’t anymore. You need to network for your business, for me not so necessary. 6, 8 and 9 for me. And I have to establish a regular workout schedule. 9 will help with that!
I think maybe it depends on the leftovers! I do a lot of stir fries and they’re always soggy and gross the next day. 🙂 Good luck with your goals this year, Cy!!!
great advice a Mom can love 🙂 xox
aw, love you mom 🙂
I am loving some of these tips and many of them are along the same lines as items that I am hoping to incorporate into my new morning routine – notably the stretching and the oil pulling. Also my husband has asked that I join him in Dry January – I’m not massively enthusiastic but willing to try and help him (he needs the moral support!) 🙂
Ahhhh good luck to you!!!
If I were married I think Dry January would be totally fine… it’s just too hard while dating! Good for you guys! xo
These are really great tips! I’m a strong believer in all the little changes overtime add up to big changes and think these small adjustments will have a huge impact on your health and happiness! i definitely need to try a few of these myself 🙂
Thank you Amanda! I really agree with you in the importance of making little changes which will add up over time!! Have a great weekend! 🙂
I love your wellness posts! Please keep them coming! Also, yes to soup recipes!
I shall! Thanks for the feedback Caitlin! xx
I always love reading goals; I just think they are so interesting & fun to think about my own and others!
Love ginger tea. Also love berry and blueberry teas (Celestial makes GREAT ones).
Pioneer Woman has a yummy, healthy soup option that I’ve been making. It’s easy to swap various vegetables: http://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/tomato-chicken-vegetable-soup/. I made it without corn & added a lot of freshly ground black pepper.
Oooh blueberry tea sounds delicious! I have to check out that soup recipe – it sounds yummy! I hate corn so would probably do the same thing. 🙂