I don't do all of these things 100% of the time, but being 80–90% consistent with these healthy habits has paid off 110%
Photo by Joshua Gresham on Unsplash
Do you want these things?
Stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, healthy weight, good mental health, less stress, more happiness, etc?
It all started at age 23 for me.
I used to be able to eat an entire chocolate cake in the span of 3 days and get a mocha latte on the daily without gaining weight. But at age 23, that all changed. I started noticing weight gain and soon realized my chocolate cake-eating days needed some adjustments. I am a small human — I am only 5’ 2”. I noticed the extra pounds easily because of my petite frame. But this article isn’t about losing weight. This is just how it all started for me.
It morphed from wanting to lose weight to wanting to just be healthy and live an energetic long life.
At age 23 I stopped eating sweets so often and made it more of an occasional indulgence. And guess what? I lost the extra pounds.
Then I bought an exercise machine for $200 and started using that a few times a week.
At one point, I was doing the Special K diet. Do you all remember that? It worked, but in hindsight, I wasn’t getting all of the nutrients I should have been.
Then I signed up for a supplement subscription. It was 8 different vitamins I took daily and honestly, I don’t even think I knew what vitamins these capsules contained. I was sold on the benefit of more energy. It worked, but did I really need to spend all that money?
All of these things never addressed what I really needed. What I really needed was a focus on sustainable nutrition and movement.
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash
Fast forward 20 + years later (yes I am 48 now) and I currently hold two certifications in holistic nutrition health coaching. I took it a step further and also got my personal training certification.
I am currently working on a women’s coaching certification so that I can focus on women-specific issues. I am also working on my yoga teacher training certification. I’ve taken multiple business courses as well, such as Marie Forleo’s B-school. Admittedly, I am a course junkie! I could add in that learning has contributed to my overall health as it has kept my brain healthy.
More importantly, I am incredibly healthy at 48 years old. Over the past 20 years of educating myself about nutrition, health, and movement, I have created a lifelong sustainable healthy living routine.
Don’t get me wrong, I still eat cake and get takeout from Five Guys. I just do it in moderation. That is part of what keeps my healthy routine sustainable. I don’t deprive myself with a super restricted diet.
Now let’s get to the list of things I do to stay healthy.
1. Drink 60 plus ounces of water daily
Sometimes I add LMNT or Perfect Aminos from Body Health for a boost of nutrition or electrolytes. Water fuels us in so many ways from our brain to our internal organs and skin.
2. Movement every damn day
I take rest days from my more intense workouts, but I try to at least walk daily. It is important to increase lean muscle mass and strengthen our bones as we start to decline in muscle and bone as we age. My routine goes as follows (yes, sometimes I workout twice a day, but I love it):
- Walk 5 times per week
- Jog 2–3 times per week
- Strength training combined with HIIT 3 times per week
- Yoga — 10 to 15 minutes 6 mornings a week (this saves me from back pain)
- Core workout 2 to 3 times per week.
If I can do my workout outside, I go for it. If you are going out in the winter, make sure you wear layers and stay off icy sidewalks/trails. When it is icy out, I use my treadmill or indoor bike.
3. Eat nutrient-dense whole foods most of the time
When thinking about what to eat, I try to think with nutrients in mind. I can tell you this, eating healthy can be so delicious! That is why I share recipes. I want to help as many people as possible to ENJOY eating healthy. As I am getting older, I have made protein a priority in my diet.
Protein is essential for building muscle, repairing muscles after exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and providing energy.
4. Consume sweets and fried or processed food in moderation (this includes sweet drinks)
Did you know that eating processed foods, a lot of sugar and fried foods can lead to excess inflammation in your body, which can lead to chronic illness, joint pain, and brain fog? My goal is to eat delicious healthy food 80–90% of the time, and let loose 10–20% of the time, and indulge in the cake. I sometimes plan a bakery day on Fridays. I look forward to it all week and that piece of cake tastes even better after the week-long anticipation.
Knowing that you have a treat day scheduled can also help you to say no to treats on other days. If you really love a little sweetness after lunch or dinner, try a square of dark chocolate. I have a square almost every day after lunch.
5. Meditation and journaling have been a healthy part of keeping stress under control for me
I start with writing Morning Pages. Have you heard of Julia Cameron? If not, read my article below on Morning Pages. It is such a beautiful, free way of journaling. After I get my head clear through writing, I start my meditation practice that I learned from Emily Fletcher. She is the creator of Ziva Meditation. I was enchanted by her book on meditation and have been practicing Ziva ever since.
My meditation ends with a short manifesting session. I always come out of this practice with a smile on my face — literally! You can buy her book here. If you purchase, I will earn an affiliate commission.
While it’s tempting to get by on less sleep, you need around seven hours every night to function at peak performance. Your body needs sleep as much as food and water. You need time to recover from the day before and prepare for the next one. My goal is 8, but I do well on 7 hours. On the weekends, I am for a few more hours for extra recovery from the busy work week.
7. Socialize with friends, family, and new people
It’s important to find the right balance between being alone and being around other people. Socializing can help improve your mood, which can help improve your overall well-being.
Here are some quick tips to help connect with people:
- Use social media to connect with friends. This really is OK — it is a tool for community. I have been able to meet new people and connect with old friends because of social media.
- Have dinner parties with friends or family. Wouldn’t a theme dinner night be fun?
- Go on group trips (e.g., camping, hiking, skiing)
- Volunteer for an organization that interests you, like Habitat for Humanity or the American Cancer Society, so that you can meet new people who share your interests!
8. I never smoked
I admit, I tried once. It hurt my throat so bad that I never tried again. Ever.
9. Alcohol in moderation
I enjoy a delicious glass of wine or indulgent cocktail on occasion, but have made it a priority to keep it in moderation.
10. Making positivity, kindness and happiness a priority for the best mental health
I have had many ups and down in my life. From failed relationships to incredibly difficult loss. I let myself feel all the feels. I also let myself have bad days. I know its temporary and that allows me to let it happen and not fight it.
But in the end, I find that if I can always come back to positivity, kindness and happiness that I can survive anything.
It’s not as hard as you think to stay healthy and it feels good!
- Drink plenty of water every day
- Get in some movement daily
- Eat nutrient-dense whole foods most of the time
- Consume the not-so-healthy foods in moderation and enjoy fully
- Journal and meditation (manifest too if it suits you)
- Get 7–8 hours of sleep every night (more on weekends)
- Socialize! It’s good for your mental health and can help keep you healthy
- Don’t smoke
- Alcohol in moderation
- Make positivity, kindness and happiness a priority
I hope these tips have been helpful and that they’ve inspired you to make some changes in your own life! I know from experience that when you feel healthy, it can change everything about how you view and interact with the world around you.
Share your tips for staying healthy or ask me anything in the comments.