What I love about social media channels like Instagram Stories and Snapchat is that it allows me to share moments throughout my day that may inspire you to make healthy choices alongside me!
Of course, some moments are more helpful than others. Lu scrubbing dishes at the end of the day or shots of my cactus Bart probably don’t encourage you to get a sweat in, but there’s time for everything and I like to show a balanced day – and some of the sweet moments in my personal life.
However, I realize not everyone has time to watch my IG stories and some people aren’t even on Instagram, so today, I figured I’d round up some of the healthy things I do throughout the week in tip-form, in case some of you are looking for more inspiration this week!
But first, a What I Ate Today!
What I Ate Today, May 16, 2017
I had a videoshoot at 1pm that I had to prepare for, so I got to eat the leftovers, which was a spiralized sweet potato waffle! I rarely make these on the weekday (because they take a little extra TLC), so it was quite the treat! I had some blueberries on the side!
Raw nuts! Same raw nut mixture I always have (pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews) with raisins.
I had this exact lunch on Monday and then on Tuesday – a quinoa bowl with avocado, brussels sprouts, and roasted carrots and sweet potatoes. I meal prepped a batch of it to enjoy over the week!
I went to Phoebe Lapine’s book launch party (for The Wellness Project) in NYC and she had these little chia pudding cups being passed around, so I had one of those – and a bit of the crudités!
I forgot to take picture, but we went to a Mexican restaurant and we ordered chips and guac, split a chicken taco, and a big chopped salad with the most delicious lemon-avocado dressing.
I had 3 squares of my favorite dark chocolate bar – this one, it’s the best, I have it in my pantry almost at all times for when I’m craving something sweet.
7 Tips To Keep A Healthy Diet & Mindset Throughout Your Week
1. If you haven’t eaten many vegetables towards the end of your workday, squeeze in some drinkable greens.
There are definitely days when I wake up, have oatmeal for breakfast, then a sandwich for lunch with a small serving of veggies, and snack on nuts and fruit throughout the day. By 3pm, I haven’t had a full serving of vegetables – or at least not as many servings as is recommended. Whenever I have a day like this, I squeeze in some greens with a green smoothie (with minimal fruit) or better yet, a green juice.
I like to call this my “3pm greens break” where I’ll leave my office, head to a local juice shop and buy a green juice. It’s a nice little break from work and it immediately rejuvenates me and ensures I get my daily dose of greens in. Getting your veggies in helps your body’s digestion work properly, makes your skin glow, amps up your energy, and psychologically makes you feel like you’ve done good for the day.
If you don’t have time to take a break (perhaps if you’re really having a busy day or your boss doesn’t allow a break in the afternoon), there are other options – like green juice powders you can pack in your bag or superfood vitamins (not drinkable, but accomplish a similar effect in terms of vitamins and nutrients.)
2. Have breakfast and make it count.
Before I started my health journey, I would eat less than 100-150 calories for breakfast. I thought, “Why waste calories on breakfast?” I was allll wrong. I would grab an apple or some sliced up fruit and call it breakfast. By 10am, I was crashing and would end up gorging myself on some sugary granola bar or over-eating at lunch.
Now, breakfast is something I wake up and look forward to every day. If you’re going to pick one meal to go all-out on, it should be breakfast. But I don’t mean “all-out” as in unhealthy, I mean “all-out” as in getting the biggest nutritional boost. Breakfast starts your metabolism, it wakes your body up, it fuels you until your next meal, and it keeps your brain focused. It also stirs the digestion pot and if all else fails that day, at least you had a great big breakfast. Who knows what life will throw at you each day!
However, not all of us have the luxury of working from home and making ourselves whatever we want for breakfast. Heck, I only give myself 10-20 minutes for breakfast each day and I have that flexibility!
If you’re rushing out the door and only have 5 minutes to make breakfast, I can’t recommend Daily Harvest smoothies more. I’ve been drinking them ever since I found out about them last year. They’re my savior on busy weekdays and even on chaotic weekends when I need an extra boost mid-day. They come in so many delicious flavors and are packed with serious superfoods like maca, kale, chia seeds, acai, turmeric, and veggies like kale, spinach, ginger, and other ingredients like coconut oil, cacao, chlorella, and cashews.
What’s great about their smoothies is that they come with a resealable lid – so you just pop the contents into a blender, add your preferred milk (I use almond or cashew), blend, and then pour back in the paper container, seal the lid back on, and go! The container is recyclable, so you don’t have to worry about lugging around your reusable plastic beverage container for the rest of your day. They gave me a coupon code for you all to use – it’s INSPIRALIZED at checkout and you get 3 free smoothies! Check them out here – my favorite flavor is Carrot + Chia.
And they can be a bit pricey, but my health is something I spend money on. I’d rather have a healthy heart and nourish my body properly than spend $5 on a crappy sugary treat later in the day, because I didn’t properly fuel myself that morning.
3. Drink water – just water.
What I’ve realized after constantly giving the same advice of “drink water” is that I neglect to talk about the other things people drink and think that counts as water. You may think tea, coffee, and coconut water all count as ‘water’ because they contain, well, water. That’s not the case.
All other beverages that ‘contain’ water also contain other ingredients that disrupt your body’s hydration processes. For example, caffeine in green tea disturbs your hydration process. Even if you’re drinking decaf coffee, there’s still caffeine in it (did you know that?), so it’s still a diuretic and will still dehydrate you.
You’re supposed to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water a day. Of JUST water, nothing else counts towards that.
Give it a try one day – drinking half your body weight in ounces of water. You’ll immediately realize that you’re not drinking enough water. And if you DO drink enough water, you’ll notice the amazing benefits – digestion, debloating, glowing skin, lack of fatigue, and more focus. It’s truly incredible.
Get bored with water? Add some lemon or cucumbers to your water to help give it an extra taste. Or, try some sparkling water – but be wary of added artificial flavors – just drink regular sparkling water, no added flavors. You won’t get the same debloating effects from carbonated water, but if you’re someone who needs to switch it up, it’s a good option.
4. Don’t go crazy on all the added supplements out there, just try out one a month.
There are some Instagrammers out there who seem hard to keep up with, because they add what seems like an endless amount of supplements to their smoothies, drinks, and meals. Whether it’s just a tablespoon of chia seeds on their oatmeal or it’s five different supplements to their smoothies, you may be left asking, “Should I be doing that?!”
There’s spirulina, chia seeds, hemp seeds, bee pollen, blue majik, maca, matcha, vitamin complexes, collagen, protein powders, and so much more. And guess what: it’s EXPENSIVE. Even if you buy it in bulk, it’s still an expensive habit – and not necessarily necessary. Our body is supposed to naturally detox itself and is supposed to naturally extract the most nutrients from our food and digest it. However, some of these supplements do help, especially if you find yourself not eating very healthy throughout the day- then, supplements can be your best friend.
My approach is this: try one supplement at a time. If you’re adding five different powers, seeds, and elixirs to your smoothie every morning, how will you know if you feel a difference? The only difference you may feel is how much lighter your wallet is.
For me, I started with protein powders. Then, I experimented with chia seeds. I loved both of those and ended up incorporating them, alternating, among my different meals throughout the day or week. Sometimes, you’re just doubling up and there’s no reason to – your body can only process so much.
Collagen was a new one I tried out early in the year, shortly after finding out I was pregnant. I read that collagen could help with the elasticity of your skin and almost immediately (well, within a few weeks) I started noticing the benefits. So now, collagen makes it into my diet 3-5 times per week. I wrote a post on it here.
Try something new each month – but don’t worry about pouring half a cup of magical dusts and powders into your smoothies – it’s not necessary and is pretty much trendy marketing.
My favorite supplements to add to my smoothies are:
- Collagen (you can read more about it here)
- Chia seeds (keeps you fuller longer – the fiber benefits are amazing)
- Protein powder (if not using collagen) – pea protein based (no whey for this girl)
- Apple cider vinegar (helps my digestion)
- Cacao (only if I want something sweet!)
5. If you work a desk job or sit most of your day, get up.
As a food entrepreneur, some of my days are spent from 11am – 3pm in the kitchen, so I’m on my feet all day, cooking, cleaning, bending down, taking photos, step-stooling, etc. Some of my other days are spent writing, strategizing and social media-ing from my desk. On those days, I’m pretty stagnant from 8:30am – 5:30pm.
This year, one of my resolutions was to not be such a slave to the notion of a “9 to 5”, because I don’t have a typical 9-to-5 career and I shouldn’t hold myself to those societal standards.
On days when you are sitting all day long, take breaks – and set your alarm. I set my alarm to get up every 45 minutes. When I get up, I make sure I walk around, fiddle, or do something for at least 3 minutes. Sometimes, honestly, I just stare out the window. Sometimes, I call my mom or Lu and pace while we talk. Sometimes, I take a 3 minute water break where I stand by my water cooler, scroll through Instagram, and drink a glass of water. Sometimes, I do 3 minutes of standing stretches (legs and arms).
These little 3 minute breaks throughout the day add up to around 30 minutes of non-sitting time per day, which is better than ZERO. Plus, disturbing your work flow can be good for your brain – it allows it to catch a breather and refresh itself. Now, if you’re truly in the middle of something and can’t break your sitting stride, just add on a few minutes to your next break. But, just make sure you actually take that break!
This helps with your spine, your focus, and breaks up your day so that it goes faster (it really does!) It’s like a little treat with your alarm goes off – you get to get up and change your pace for a few minutes. It sounds simple, but it really works! You can even get crazy like me and schedule in those 3 minute breaks in your calendar. Did you see my post on time blocking?
6. Figure out what fuels your productivity best, own it, and embrace it.
I am a HUGE proponent of this and I think it helps with the ‘healthy mindset’ part of things. While it’s not necessarily a healthy eating tip, it’s a healthy mind tip (as is tip #7!)
To keep your mental sanity and limit your anxiety, figure out which way you work most productively and start exclusively working that way. Now, if you work in a corporate job and it’s not conduce to your most productive style, have a frank conversation with your manager/boss and let them know – lay out a plan, and explain to them why they’ll benefit more if they agree to it. I’m not saying go to your boss and tell him/her that you work best only working 3 days a week, 12-3pm. I’m saying this….
Some people work better going all out from 9 to 5 – taking a big deep breath in at 9am, focusing and never stopping all day, and then taking a huge sigh of relief at 5pm. They thrive in this hustle environment, they work well this way under the pressures of the 9-to-5 time constraints. These tend to be the kind of people who eat this way as well – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – three big meals, that’s pretty much it, no snacking needed.
Other people like a more zenful working pace – perhaps blocks of time where they’re working, with breaks in between. Perhaps you like to start your day off with a workout, start work around 9:30am, work until lunch time, take a nice long walk after lunch, and then start up again, and then work a little later or do some work after dinner to finish up your tasks. A grazer that probably eats 5 small meals a day.
Whatever works for you and whatever results in you getting the most, best quality work done, own it. Don’t try to force yourself into working a certain pace that doesn’t work with your hustle style, because in that case, you’ll just end up procrastinating on social media or filling in those gaps where you’d be taking that walk or grabbing that afternoon tea with unproductive work at your desk, like online shopping or Facebook stalking.
The best thing I did for my mental work-life sanity is realize that I work best hustling from 8:30am – 6:30pm-ish with only small, 5 to 10 minute breaks throughout the day. I don’t work well with big breaks in between (I find it hard to re-focus and it takes too long to re-gain my momentum and motivation), and the work I do after 6:30pm is CRAP. I might as well not be working and I might as well be doing things to let my mind unwind and rejuvenate itself (like hang out with Lu, read, watch a movie, etc.)
I no longer guilt trip myself any longer for not being one of those people that’s on their laptop at 11pm working. That work I’d do at 11pm would be worthless.
7. If you really need a day off from working out, do something to nourish your mind or spirit, don’t just veg out on the couch.
One of my very obvious tips (which wasn’t listed here, because it goes without being said) is to exercise. Exercise 4-5 times a week. Exercise can mean a 15 minute HIIT workout in your living room, a 1 hour yoga class or a 3 mile outdoor bike. Whatever exercise is to you, just do it – get out there, commit, and soon enough, you’ll be on that exercise high where it feels unnatural NOT to work out consistently.
BUT, if you really need a day off – say you just had a stressful day and are mentally exhausted, that’s okay: take the day off. However, and this part is very important, don’t just grab a bag of Cheetos, hit the couch and click on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. That’s not going to help you relax. It’s going to just give you more anxiety (instead of the gym you’re eating Cheetos) and Kim Kardashian isn’t going to relax your mind – TV is stimuli and doesn’t allow your brain to shut off.
Instead, if you really need to take off a day from the gym – do something to nourish your mind. Something like:
- Curl up in bed with a glass of lemon water and a scented candle or essential oils and read.
- Take a bath with something soothing, like a non-toxic mustard soak. Put some music on your phone, place your phone far away from the bath, light some candles, and just chill.
- Go for a relaxing walk – this is actually a form of exercise that’s really underrated, but is usually doable even on your most exhausted of days. If you’re really tired, walk to a bench, sit, and flip open a book.
- Go to a local nail salon and ask for a 10 minute chair massage. This is one of my secret go-tos when I need a little readjusting. It’s usually inexpensive, I put my headphones on, and I give myself those 10 minutes.
- Color. Coloring books are such a thing now because they really do help your brain relax and release endorphins, like it used to do when you were a little kid.
Do this activity for the same amount of time that you would have given that exercise time block. Recharge yourself and then commit to a killer workout the next day!
I hope these 7 tips help you be your healthiest throughout the week! They sure do help me 🙂