Eating healthily is only one part of the larger wellness picture. Over the years that I’ve been shifting to healthier eating, I’ve also been trying to incorporate other parts of wellness picture to various successes over the years. Some approaches have worked for periods of time, some haven’t, and some are a constant ongoing practice. This year I’m going to start sharing wellness ideas and posts to shed some more light here about that bigger picture.
This season, I’ve been on a mission to stick to a few routines and habits, come hell or high water. I really believe that sticking to my these has really helped me get through the holidays, crunch times at work, and this epic flu season without getting sick or having a major meltdown. Both have happened in the past when I wasn’t sticking to these things.
I want to share some of my wellness habits and routines in hopes that they can give you some wellness ideas you can try to stay healthy this season. The things I do may seem simple, but I’ve lived through so many times of not sticking to these habits and feeling off track, unhealthy, or getting sick, that I need to work at them. They can seem almost too simple, and sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to do! I’ve also include some ways you can add these into your life to see if they work for you.
1. Fruits and Vegetables
May seem obvious for here. This is a predominantly produce-driven site and I strive to cook and eat produce-driven food to be healthier. But I’m still human. When time gets gobbled up by other things and I’m tired, sometimes I don’t want to cook! Shocking, I know. And, with the holidays that just passed, when you’re surrounded by treats and foods you don’t otherwise eat, it’s very easy to overindulge and lean away from fruits and vegetables. I remind myself of the days when I didn’t eat produce-driven meals and how I looked and felt then, which was not great. I was eating lots of food that didn’t help my body become strong or stay healthy. Since I made the commitment to eat healthier four year ago, I’ve felt so much better and keep most sicknesses at bay.
What you can do: Try the fruit and/or vegetable with every meal or snack if you’re new or trying to add more produce to your diet. Use the search bar and recipe index of this blog to find veggie packed recipes to keep you eating well and feeling great. You can also check out Aloha’s site for some good produce-driven recipes. Aloha makes a green drink mix and vegan protein that look amazing, and they’re also a great resource for more produce-driven recipes and wellness topics.
Staying hydrated is important, and as a byproduct of drinking so much water, I get up and away from my desk. The watercooler at work is also on another floor, so that also helps me move around, take a break, and not get too mentally tired throughout the day. When I’m not drinking enough water, I’m more prone to headaches (a common side effect of dehydration) and I think I’m hungry when I’m actually just thirsty.
What you can do: Bring a water bottle with you, wherever you go. If you’re out and about, keep a lookout for drinking fountains or places that offer complimentary water. If you’ve had problems forgetting to drink water, set a timer or calendar reminder on your phone to take a few sips every 15-30 minutes.
3. Green Tea
Tea is a winter habit. The easiest way for me to warm up is to drink tea! Drinking green tea is also great because it has an antioxidant, catechin, that help with immunity and cell damage. I picked up a box of ginger green tea this winter, and didn’t realize until later that ginger is also great for immunity. Double whammy! I drink 1-2 cups a day during the week along with my water. Tea isn’t quite as hydrating as water, and if I drink too much of it I start to feel like I’m drying out.
What you can do: Start drinking unsweetened tea a few times a week. Green tea is a great option, and you can boost it’s benefits with some ginger and a splash of lemon. The lemon helps with the antioxidant absorption. Don’t forget to drink water with each glass of tea, too.
No matter what’s going on, I make getting a lot of sleep a priority. I also function much better on 8-9 hours of sleep. If it’s getting late, I make sure to stop whatever I’m doing, no matter how important I may think it is, and go to bed. I know the times where I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep are the times I’ve lost my cool, felt just bad, and made some bad food choices. If I had a later night, I sleep in rather than going to gym, knowing that rest is important. And there’s always after work for the gym.
What you can do: Get some sleep! Start going to bed a little earlier every night and see how you feel each day. Listen to your body, too. If you body says it’s time to sleep but you’re pushing yourself to keep working or doing whatever you’re doing, listen to your body and do work tomorrow.
Pre-crunch time at my job, I steadily worked out 4-5 times a week for 45 minutes. In the middle of crunch time, I had to pull longer hours at work to meet deadlines. In the past, I would’ve just replaced the gym with work; all or nothing. Instead, I cut my gym days down to 3 days a week. It stressed me out a bit at first, but I knew the crunch time was only temporary and I could go back to my regular schedule soon. I’ve been exercising for consistently for 4-5 days for the past few months, and my body will let me know when I’m not exercising that it doesn’t feel too great.
What you can do: If you’re new to consistent exercise, start small. Start with one day of walking of whatever exercise you feel confident with. As you get a better handle on that, expand it to another day, and then another. Work out with a friend or loved one to help keep you accountable. If you’re exercising regularly and hit a crunch time, look at your schedule and see how many days you can cut back with and still feel comfortable with.
Let me know what you think of this kind of post and if you’re interested in more wellness focused posts in the comments below!