I have been thinking a lot about journaling more on my blog, because I just love reading personal stories from talented bloggers. I also get questions all the time about how I maintain a healthy weight and sometimes I just don’t really know what to say. After thinking a bit more about peoples’ kind words about my appearance, I thought it would be fun to share updates about how I stay healthy, while working from home and also while traveling so much. Since I’m 32 years old, I realize how much my metabolism can slow down, compared to my early 20s. Here are a few simple tips I follow to keep my body feeling and looking its best.
Consume less dairy. I used to be someone who would drink milk several times a day. Bobby and I would go through a gallon or two of milk each week, through eating cereal and just drinking milk by itself or with a meal. It was mostly me who was consuming all this milk, and I was having trouble maintaining the weight I wanted. Also, my skin was terrible! I would get cystic acne out of nowhere, even when I’d wash my face several times a day, and shower every day. I stumbled across a random article talking about getting tips for prepping for your big day. While I was not getting ready for a wedding, I still read the article and I am so happy I did! It explained that dairy can cause acne, and also cause weight gain. Well, a year and a half later, I only drink milk 1-2 times a month if that. I pretty much quit cold turkey. I’ve noticed a huge difference! I do not get that cystic acne anymore and I have maintained a weight I’m happy with, without doing massive amounts of exercise or having to change my diet much. I’m sure that the cereal I was eating was a huge source of unnecessary sugar and calories as well.
walk more. Luckily, our dogs insist we walk them and let them out many of times throughout the day. While I sometimes would rather stay inside because it’s cold out, or I have a deadline looming, I realize the incredible power of simply taking a walk. When I skip walks, I feel stiff - my back and shoulders ache and the dogs get stir crazy. So, we help each other out and I’m so happy about it. I have also learned that winter doesn’t suck nearly as much if you bundle up properly, and once I get out and move around even for 2-3 minutes to get my blood pumping, I’m instantly warmer and I can handle the cold much better. I found that wearing even a cheap pair of leggings under my regular jeans, yoga pants, or sweat pants somehow makes a huge difference in keeping in the warmth. I also tend to wear a long sleeve shirt, my down coat, then a rain coat over top as my outer shell, which helps insulate and also adds wind resistance. I also wear my gloves, scarf, and beanie cap and I’m ready to face the Illinois winter :)
Dont let your body body become a trash can! Realize that it’s alright to not eat those last few bites of a meal if you’re already full. While that does sound wasteful, I’m putting my health first. Also, definitely don’t feel obligated to take food or drink from someone simply because they’re offering it! If you are just trying to be courteous, feel free to try one tiny little bit or sip, and if it offends someone that you didn’t eat the whole portion, don’t feel bad - always put yourself and your health first. And, be extremely conscious of what you’re eating. Even if a fried appetizer or piece of cake, or fast food burger sounds delicious, how will it make you feel afterward? I believe that thinking about the end result (a happy tummy vs. an unhappy tummy) can actually help you make healthier choices and truly enjoy them.
Drink mostly water. I developed this love and craving for water a few years ago when I was trying to cut back on fruit juices and soda intake. One summer, we finally got our ice maker working, and found ourselves drinking huge jars full of ice water all day long. It was like we had discovered gold right in our own back yard or something! I began to crave water more than anything else and I know that also helped clear my skin and maintain a happy, healthy weight. We also invested in a case of larger Ball jars and being able to have a cold glass of water at my desk and on my bed side makes a huge difference. Bobby also got me a beautiful, mint colored Yeti Rambler water bottle this summer and I don’t go anywhere without it. It fits into our cup holder in the car, compared to my beloved Nalgene water bottle, so that makes it really convenient! We also travel with a gallon of water in the car, so we can refill the Yeti or give the dogs water when needed.
Opt for fruit and veggies instead of crackers, carbs, and fat. I’ve always loved fruits and vegetables, but once I became a food blogger a few years ago, I began to branch out and learn new ways to enjoy fresh ingredients. I have always been a picky eater, but I realize that even when I’m shopping for groceries, I’m happiest and most at ease in the fresh section. And I used to think you couldn’t get full without meat, cheese, or bread! My biggest tip here would be that the more often you prepare fresh foods, the more you consume them! Try making an everyday snack much more enticing by simply eating a wider variety of colored ingredients and serving them to yourself and others on a pretty plate or dish. It’s amazing how much more enticing it is to eat a colorful place of fruits and veg if it’s laid out on a pretty plate! It can my be eaten ifnits not prepared! I love making a small platter of carrots and celery, ranch dip, peanut butter, carrots, apple slices, and any other fruits that are in season (grapes and strawberries are also my faves). I get full pretty quickly and I feel so happy that I actually got full from eating raw ingredients! It’s so rewarding.
I know that many people make eating healthy a new year’s resolution, but it’s very easy to make just a few simple lifestyle changes that will ultimately keep you healthy year round.
We are so incredibly fortunate to be spending the first part of 2018 here in Foet Myers Beach with Bobby’s parents, and I’ll continue to bring you interesting posts with healthy recipes and travel tips!