It’s taken me 41 years, but I think I’ve finally come up with a system that keeps both my body and mind feeling mostly good on most days. I’ve tried a lot of things: diets, meal plans, no coffee, lots of coffee, no exercise, way too much exercise. You get the drift. No extreme ever felt right, or worked for long. I needed something with some staying power.
Here are the 5 things that, if I do them, make me feel healthier each day:
1) Eat clean, with room to have some fun.
When I try to eat clean 100% of the time, I get stabby. But, when I eat like crap, I get…stabby. I’m a joy, I tell you.
The solution is a balance. 80% clean foods, few carbs, lots of fruits and veggies, but with some room to have a few treats. For me, that’s a glass of wine at night, or a few Cheez Its if Jackson has some at dinner. That little cushion keeps me honest.
2) Drink lots of water. And put fruit in it.
Wow! You’ve never heard that one! I know. Super boring advice, but I swear, it makes all the difference in my energy level. And, if I don’t hydrate well, I get that low-level headache that just makes me no fun.
My latest hydration inspiration (cue the group groan) is an infusion water bottle. This one works well and looks beautiful when filled with mint, berries, oranges, limes, you name it. And, lots of times, I just throw some lemon in a mason jar with water and ice and call it a day. No special bottle needed.
I find myself less hungry when I’m drinking about 50 oz/day. And that’s my max. I’m not a 64 oz/day girl. Can’t do it. So, I stopped trying. 50 oz gets me where I want to go.
I like 3 meals/day. Always have. I’m a terrible snacker. I don’t have tiiiiiiiime for snacking. It feels like additional calories. But, once I started eating “on plan“, I found snacks to be necessary to keep my energy levels high.
My go to, because I’m lazy, is a handful of almonds (for better or for worse, I like blanched, salted “marcona” almonds, not raw) and half an apple. It’s quick, easy and I can quickly make the same thing for my 3-year-old. We eat together when he gets home from school and use it as a chance to chat. I might also sip some of his chocolate milk. #truth
4) Move for 30 minutes per day… in a way I enjoy.
So, it’s the second part of that sentence that’s key. We all know we need to move. The two things that have helped motivate me and finally make this into a habit are my Fitbit Flex fitness tracker and … podcasts. For some reason, I feel guilty listening to podcasts in my daily life. But I luuuuuuuuuuurve them. So now, I use that to get my booty out the door for a run. The new episode of Startup just loaded? Can’t wait! Gretchin Rubin is chatting with her sister, who I love? Let me lace up my shoes. It’s all about motivation for me.
Yep. You thought I was going to say sleep, didn’t you? I zigged when you thought I’d zag. Sure, sleep is key. We all know that. But for me, sex with my man is the right start to our day. My mood is much better. And, many, many studies have shown that an orgasm a day is a key factor in overall health.
So that’s it. Those are my 5 ways to feel a bit healthier every day.
What are your key habits?