6 Things I do Every Day to Stay Healthy
Last week I went to a pool party with some amazing pretty entrepreneurs from around the world, working in nearly every industry. We shared advice, stories, and laughing a lot.
After answering the dreadful yet inevitable ‘what do you do?’ question, someone asked me, “what’s your #1 health advice?”
This was a loaded question! I immediately clammed up and responded with the most vague, generic answer possible, “understand out what works for you.”
They looked at me, head tilted to one side with the ‘really?’ face.
I started questioning myself — my knowledge and ability to provide people with advice or support to improve their health or become happier and more confident. I was feeling uncertain and insecure to say the least. As a perpetual over-thinker, I couldn’t get this out of my head. Was this really my #1 piece of health advice?
The answer is two fold — yes, that’s the truth, but no it’s not all of it. Here’s why…
Yes: I could have easily said, eat a moderate, balanced 80/20 diet of mostly plants (cooked), lean animal protein, grains, fats, and limit dairy, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol since those are the choices that works for me. And while there are universal health truths: eat less sugar, fat doesn’t make you fat, and eat more plants, I would have been leading this person completely astray if I told him exactly what to eat based on what works for me. We’re two totally different people with different needs. Our bodies need different nutrients and food groups depending on our gender, height, weight, activity level, blood type, ancestry, mood, emotions, and other variables, so telling someone what to eat without knowing them isn’t going to help them long-term.
No: Long-term, sustainable health isn’t about diet alone. Being healthy means being happy; it means having great relationships, reducing stress levels, getting a good night’s sleep, and feeling empowered to live confidently and passionately.
// You could eat just kale salads and green juice,
but if you’re not fulfilling yourself from the inside out, t
he overarching health benefits will be limited //
At the end of the day, it’s all about knowing yourself, and understanding what your unique body needs and fulfilling them. And at the same time trying not to compare your healthy-you with someone else’s healthy-them. Life would be pretty darn boring if we were all the same.
While I can’t tell you exactly what YOU need to eat be healthy, happy, and feel great in your body here are 6 things I do every day to help me feel like my healthiest, happiest self. When I incorporate these things into my day I’m able to give more love and energy to my day and the people who I love the most! Maybe some of these tips will work for you, too!
6 Things I do Every Day to be Happy & Healthy
Eat Real Food [regularly]
When I put good, whole, real food in my body on regular intervals I have so much more energy, I don’t feel bloated, and rarely hit a 3pm ‘slump’. I focus on eating mostly plants, grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Oh, and my daily dark chocolate. I stray from eating packaged food whenever I can leaning towards home-cooked foods.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll notice that unless I’m out to eat, I tend to eat similar things each day (usually in bowls because you can mix and match ingredients easily and it just tastes better) because it makes it easier for me to make healthier choices. When I have too many choices, I get cognition overload and can’t make a decision.
Not sure what a real food is? Think of it this way, if it came from the ground, a tree, or anywhere in nature, and it’s in its whole form, it’s a real food! I always check the label on anything packaged and shoot for 5 ingredients or less.
Most importantly keep it simple, have fun with it, and don’t be too hard on yourself!
Clear My Mind
Tuning in with my breath has been a game-changer for me especially when I’m feeling stressed or down on myself. I use my breath in moments of stress to calm my nervous system, which tells my body and my brain that it’s all OK! If you’ve never tried meditation or using your breath in this way and you’re skeptical, I totally get it. I was skeptical too. It’s something that takes practice and patience. Meditating for just 10 minutes in the morning or in the evening can really change the course of my day. Try using the Calm App which can be downloaded in the app store. It makes meditating easy and accessible. Next time you’re feeling stressed about something out of your control, take a minute, step back, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths in and out.
Move My Body
Exercise and movement are really important to me and act as a form of active meditation, and I try to fit in something every day. It could be low impact or simple as a walk or yoga or high intensity like a spin class or a long run. I’ll fit it in the morning if my evenings are busy and this is actually what I prefer, but getting out of bed can be another story. I do try to push past the desire to sleep longer because really, when do we want to wake up? But when my body really says sleep, I sleep. Whenever I feel stressed, down, or a little bit under the weather, I lace up my sneakers and head to the gym, out for a walk, run, or to a yoga class to turn my mood around!
Plan My Day
While I’ve slowly learned the important lesson that life is not always in my control and not everything can be planned, I do like to know what the days hold especially during the week. Knowing what to expect from my day helps me be more productive. Planning is especially important when you’re busy so that you can feel like you’re in control of your day. If you want to have a healthy meal, achieve your goals, and get in your exercise, I promise it’s all possible with a little bit of planning. I use a pen, paper, and old fashioned agenda in addition to my google calendar. I like writing things down because it helps me remember.
Have a Great Conversation
Nothing feels better to me than connecting with the people I love. In-person is my favorite, but with my friends and family living all over the world, it’s not always possible. So whether it’s via email, Gchat, text, FaceTime, or in-person, I connect with someone I love every day. Sometimes the last thing I want to do is talk on the phone, but I always feel so good after! Being open and sharing our feelings allows us to become vulnerable with people and deepen our relationships.
Do At Least One Thing That Makes Me Smile
Unfortunately, we can’t do things that we love all day every day…life happens. I don’t really like paying my bills, but alas, I must! However, I do have control over engaging in more things that make me smile — cooking, writing, watching a funny movie, reading a blog, Real Housewives of New York (you caught me), nerding out on Mind Body Green, watching silly You Tube Videos, having a glass of wine, taking a bath, going out to dinner — whatever it may be, I do those things as much as humanly possible. Indulge in yourself, because you’re pretty special.
I hope this was helpful, friends! What are some of your non-negotiables for looking good, feeling great, and being happy every day? Let me know in the comments section below.
If you loved this post but aren’t quite sure how to tune in with your body, choose the right foods, and feel great, feel free to send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and sign-up for my newsletter by clicking here and filling out the form. I’d love to hear from you.