No, this isn’t one of those advertisements hiding in the corner of a blog you enjoy reading, it’s just me (pinkie swear). Like I said in my updating “Sorry I haven’t written for a year, don’t stone me to death” post, everything about healthy lifestyles and yoga are my new obsessions. Just for a first little post (to not frighten you amazing book people), I wanted to explain some healthy choices I make and why I do them.
1. Drinking like a thousand gallons of water a day (Okay more like 12-15 cups)
There’s probably a million reasons why you should drink water. I drink like 12-15 cups a day not just because it makes me more alert and wake (i.e. no more caffeine in the morning) but because it’s a great way to feel better almost immediately. Especially in summer, it’s super important to be hydrated. Drinking all the water available in your nearest area also makes people less hungry, which means you are less likely to binge eat macaroons *cough*. My twist on drinking water a lot is that I put lemon and lime juice in mine for the taste (and good god, it tastes amazing). It also makes me personally feel detoxified, though that could all be in my head…
2. Rise-and-Shine Yoga
It’s not that night and afternoon yoga aren’t amazing… but doing yoga right when you wake up (critically before breakfast) is ideal. It’s one of those, oh hey I don’t need coffee in the mornings-moments. True, my practice is only like 10 minutes (if that), but just that 10 minutes of directed breathing and small movement makes all the difference in the day. I usually start with Cat and Cow poses and do a couple Sun Salutations (A and B) before going downstairs to drink some water and feel like I’ve just had the greatest tea cup in the world.
3. Not focusing on calories
Calories are important, no one is disputing that. I mean, they are a great way to track what you’re eating with MyFitnessPal or other calorie counter applications. But one of my more recent healthy practices is not relying on them. Calories don’t tell you how much protein, fat or carbohydrates you are actually eating. It just gives you a simple number and leaves it at that. I use MyFitnessPal still all the time, but I don’t see the benefits by focusing on just that top number. Looking at your protein intake is far more beneficial in the long run (and more optimistic!)
4. Veggies Veggies Veggies
I never used to really like eating lots of vegetables, just didn’t see the point. Now, it’s basically the only thing I eat (okay not counting dairy and meat and all the other things). Vegetables are probably one of the healthiest snacks out there because they are carbohydrate-low but really high in nutrients. Mixing up your colored vegetables can be really fun and give you some freedom in pairing different dishes with different side veggies. I’ve been eating more as a substitute for all of the noodles I used to eat that were just made with gluten and it’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made.
When I’m not eating eggs or vegetables, grapefruit and Icelandic yogurt are my new best breakfast/meal of the day. Even if you use plain yogurt (like me), you can just dip in grapefruit or other citrus fruits like chips into ranch and it’s actually super delicious. Health-wise, grapefruit is fantastic for your digestion and icelandic yogurt is absurdly high in protein without being high in fat or carbohydrates. For me, it’s honestly the perfect breakfast after yoga.
I’m not advocating for vegetarianism by any stretch of the imagination, but since being healthier means being more conscious of what you’re putting in your body – it’s hard to not read about all of the problems that red meat entails. First of all, it’s actually quite difficult to digest – which means additional and unwarranted work for your body. Also, there are many (some proven and others not) studies that show higher blood pressure being connected to higher consumptions of red meat. For me, it boils down to – it’s not hard for me to lessen my meat consumption to turkey and sometimes chicken and if it has health benefits – what is there to lose by doing it?
7. Knowing when to stop
Funny as it is, one of the harder things I’ve taken away from being “healthier” is that rest days are SO NEEDED. It’s easy to psych yourself up and want to work out everyday all day and never giving yourself time to have some chocolate. But ultimately, it’s also one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Your body needs rest, whether that is physical rest or mental rest from never eating sugar. Taking that break allows your body to recuperate and prepare for the next time you overdo it (i.e. my entire day today… because my back and my hamstrings are dead)