Healthy Habits

I'll let you in on a little secret: sometimes I am not a strug. Yes, I did give my coworker an accidental black eye last night. But todays blog is not about that. Sometimes I figure stuff out. And in these times, I like to share with people the things that I've figured out. 

Today is day 27 of Whole 30 and I am feelin’ great. I have survived! I’m sure my boyfriend can’t wait for me to stop saying, “Sorry I can’t eat that” and finally split a bottle of wine with him and watch Netflix like our normal routine. I have to give him credit though - he has been very supportive and even ate some paleo meals with me. I know, I am #blessed. I’ll stop rubbing it in your face. 

I have lots to say about Whole 30 and why I am singing it’s praises, but I think the biggest thing that has changed for me is exactly what I wanted to change, and that was my habits. Woo hoo! All that Gretchen Rubin obsessing has paid off! Maybe I’ll finally shut up about her (neverrr!)

Here are some of my new habits:  

I wake up in the morning and make breakfast. 

It’s not always the same exact breakfast but it almost always involves eggs, sweet potatoes and a green vegetable. This helps me get my day started on the right foot, and I’m not even kidding you...my energy is completely different. I don’t crash at 3pm like most people, it’s amazing! You know that feeling you get when you’re working out and you feel dizzy or you want to give up because you are exhausted? That doesn’t happen to me anymore. Because I’m not all carbed up, my energy is more sustained throughout a workout, and throughout the day in general.

I pack a snack for work. 

My usual routine pre - Whole 30 was to not pack a snack for work. I would get there and family meal would be bland rice with overcooked vegetables and questionable meat, so I would load up on focaccia bread, olive oil, and coffee. At the end of my shift I would be starving and get home and order Seamless in order to keep myself from eating my hand. Lets be honest, nothing healthy ever came to your door from Seamless. That’s not a thing. Also, it’s just boring to order delivery if it’s healthy. Delivery is supposed to be greasy and indulgent, because Seamless is the highest, most decadent form of lazy. It’s fine every once in a while, but not multiple times a week. 

I go to the grocery store the same day each week. 

Sometimes I have to make small trips in between, but making trips to the grocery store part of my routine has been very helpful. I usually go on my day off (Mondays) and cook one meal that will last me through the week. The more prep the better. I got better with knowing what I’d actually eat & pack with me to go, so I feel less overwhelmed with what to buy when I get there. 

Those are the three major changes, and they really are so simple. Anyone can do these things, but I don’t think I would have done them if I wasn’t forced into it by Whole 30. The bottom line is- health is about preparation. Whole 30 isn't for everyone, but anyone can maintain these healthy habits. If you make eating healthy convenient, you wont even think about making a run for fast food or ordering pad thai. 

When I’m done with Whole 30 on Monday, I don’t plan on changing any of these habits. I actually can’t wait to keep them because it’ll get even easier with time. I’m obviously excited to have some alcohol and ice cream (maybe together...?) but I’m not even really thinking about gorging on all of the things when it’s over. I’m thinking about how great I’ll feel 6 months from now when I still have these healthy habits. 

Being healthy isn't about not eating and it isn't about being obsessed with being skinny. It's about eating food that makes you feel great and having a positive relationship with food & your body. 

my spirit animal...

my spirit animal...

The Best Time to Start is NOW

Lets get this out of the way: I've been sucking at the blog thing. I feel like I say this a lot. I feel like I don't want to say it anymore. I hate when people say sorry over and over again. It's like yeah, we get it, either get over it or don't do it...right? 

The best time to start a new habit is now. That's what Gretchen Rubin's podcast said this week, and she's right about everything. All hail the habits guru. The second you start saying you are going to start doing something tomorrow, the further and further it gets pushed back. So, as of today I am going to blog every day. They may not be beautifully crafted or edited, but let's be honest - I had typos in most my blogs anyway. 

So now that we've gotten that out of the way, lets get on to the struggles and solutions of the one and only e strugs. 

Ok - this is what I've realized about myself and this Happiness Project that I've undertaken. I can't divide my life up in monthly increments. It's hard enough with all the other stuff I have to do monthly like pay rent and wait for my Birchbox to come in the mail. I feel like I should just be working on all the things I want to work on one at a time and take on a new endeavor once I'm ready....yeah? 

Right now the newest project I've undertaken is the Whole 30. In the past twelve days I have not consumed sugar, grains, legumes, soy, dairy or alcohol. I did have a dream I ate sugar, but I checked the rules and dream sugar does not count. ;)

I know this sounds cray cray. I am also pretty anti-dieting, which is cray cray-er. But I am not treating this like a diet, I am using it as a tool to help me create better eating habits. 

Aside from the fact that I caught a not so attractive view of my butt in the mirror at H&M a few weeks ago (those mirrors are HORRIBLE), I am undertaking this for the health benefits. First off, I believe that food is medicine, and I love documentaries about food. Fed Up, Food Inc, King Corn... I've seen 'em all. I love healthy food, and I always have. But I've had a hard time practicing what I preach for one reason: convenience. 

The main reason most people don't have good habits is because they are inconvenient. People like fast food because it's quick and cheap and people don't like eating at home because it is time consuming and takes effort and planning. People are less likely to exercise if their gym is far away... the list goes on and on. Habit research is pretty unanimous about this. If you make a bad habits inconvenient for yourself and good habits more convenient you are much more likely to succeed. 

So this is my way of challenging myself to eat healthier foods, cook for myself, and stop ordering Seamless once and for all. I think Whole 30 works for me because If I just was just "trying to cook more", I promise you I wouldn't do it. Being the obliger that I am, I need accountability and a kick in the butt. 

And full disclaimer - I don't think any foods are "bad". I think it's perfectly okay to have a cookie, drink a beer, and I am not afraid of gluten. The Whole 30 is an elimination diet - after you've eat a diet of non inflammatory foods you introduce these things back in slowly and monitor your reaction to them. My goal is to have more awareness about how my body reacts to certain foods so that it'll help me figure out when it's worth it to indulge, etc. 

I'll be posting more about my experience with Whole 30 as I continue on my journey to form new habits. And I'll assure you the struggles will continue, and they will be REAL. 

^ just in case it wasn't clear

FLOW

What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.

I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot this month. (Surprise, surprise, it's another Gretchen quote). I think this is where the power lies in habits. Once in a while I sit down and write a blog post, but when I imagine what it would be like if I did it every day - I know I would get a lot more mileage out of it. But doing something every day seems difficult, right? Maybe not. 

My boyfriend, Nick and I talk a lot about work flow, creating good habits, etc. His job surrounds him with some very motivated tech/creative types who have lots of different methods in order to get things done. Once he told me about this meal replacement called Soylent that his coworkers drink. They drink it so they can keep working and don’t have to break for lunch. I couldn’t get over how ridiculous this sounded. “Food should be enjoyed, not replaced with some random boring shake! Take lunch, people need to take a break!” I yelled. However, today something clicked. I kind of get it. 

Today is my day off, and I woke up this morning with a really horrible headache. I sat there for a few minutes and decided to make a choice. I could choose to be lazy and watch Orange is the New Black in the dark cave that is my bedroom, or I could get up and do something with my day, and fight through the headache. I chose the latter. 

I didn’t do anything particularly mind blowing with my day. I spend most of it cleaning and organizing things in my room and doing various creative projects I’ve been meaning to do. But I got in a flow. Time was passing by and I didn’t want to stop. By 4:30 I got more done in a day than I usually ever do. And that’s when the Gretchen Rubin quote ran through my mind yet again, What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.

And then I got hungry and didn’t want to stop my work flow. Oooohhhh. I thought to myself. Now I get it. 

I don’t want to stop eating solid meals, but I want to keep exploring this type of flow. I’ve experienced it plenty of times before, but I don’t think I realized that I could get into it every day. Like I said, nothing I did today was earth shattering work, but I was productive and it really didn’t take that much effort aside from the choice and the intent to get things done. 

So as July is approaching, I’m shifting towards breaking this project down and making it more simple. I’m going to focus on one new habit each month, something I’ll do every day. And then, hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have lots of new daily habits that make my life...well...better. It’s a little more mundane, but its definitely more manageable. 

July, here I come! 

^^ One of my projects today! I rehung this hook that fell out of my wall (oops) and now I'm using it to hang my necklaces and headbands. (Hook is from Anthropologie)

^^ One of my projects today! I rehung this hook that fell out of my wall (oops) and now I'm using it to hang my necklaces and headbands. (Hook is from Anthropologie)