January – A Healthy Me
Days 7 and 8
Hooray! I am officially one week into my new lifestyle, and I feel great! I feel less tired during the day and more focused when I’m at work – it’s like I was living in a hazy fog and it finally lifted. It’s amazing how fast you can feel and even see change in just one week.
I’ve been relatively health conscious since college – Macalester is the only school I know of where people develop healthy eating habits rather than put on the “freshman 15” – but to be honest, I have never fully committed to any one eating program. Up until last week, my typical day would look like this:
Breakfast – a bowl of Kashi cereal with almond milk; a cup of tea when I get to work
Snack – Lara Bar
Lunch – Turkey, lettuce, and cheese sandwich with hummus and an apple
Dinner (if I decided to go shopping that week) – A recipe found on pinterest like this southwestern chopped chicken salad (Nick’s fave by the way).
I also go out to eat relatively often and consume a few too many alcoholic beverages on the weekends, both of which do not bode well for a healthy lifestyle. Oh, and I drink way too little water on a daily basis. In fact, I don’t drink much of anything.
I always thought I was doing pretty well with my diet, especially in comparison to most, but when I compare that diet to the diet I consumed this past week, I understand my biggest problem. I’m probably not consuming enough calories! A bowl of cereal and a sandwich? Really?? No wonder I’m always feeling tired and sluggish. And when I do consume enough calories by going out to eat and drinking 3 – okay, 4 – vodka cranberries, I’m not filling my body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. Last week my typical day looked like this:
Breakfast: Smoothie- 2 cups of frozen fruit, 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1 cup plain greek yogurt, 2 cups of spinach, a tablespoon of nut butter, and a tablespoon of honey
Snack: hummus and veggies, greek yogurt with flax seed and berries, or a Lara bar
Lunch: BLT salad – salad greens, tomato, avocado, and turkey bacon with homemade creamy garlic dressing (made with cashews!)
Dinner: Skillet salad (my fave so far) – quinoa mixed with sausage, spinach, cashews, garlic, cranberries, cherry tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar (Side note: I never knew that was how balsamic was spelled. I thought it was balsalmic. Thanks spellcheck!)
I also have been drinking an enormous amount of H2O.
And sometimes dessert – One night I made Sadie’s Mexican Chocolate Macaroons. They were TO DIE FOR.
Obviously with this plan I’m consuming a lot more calories than I was before, especially during breakfast. I don’t currently own a scale, or I’d fill you in on whether or not extra calories has translated into extra pounds- though I highly doubt it. Eating more means my metabolism is up and running and being a calorie-burning machine!
I am truly looking forward to continuing on with the remaining 14 days of this plan.
Pay Attention: According to a paper out of Stanford University entitled “Awe Expands the Perception of Time,” when triggered with something inspirational, people’s perception of time actually slows down. In another study, subjects were triggered by fear – each person was asked to estimate the amount of time they were in free fall during a specific amusement ride, and they almost always overestimated the time by about 36 percent. What does this mean? According to Sadie Nardini (my inspiration this month), it means that the more present you are to what’s happening, the more your life will expand. I LOVE THAT.
Today, I decided to try it out. I paid attention to my surroundings all day – Where am I? Why am I hear, and how did I get here? How does this space feel to me? Am I happy? I also paid close attention while I was eating – to the tastes, textures, and smell of my meals (it actually took me a good 30 minutes to eat a salad.) It was a great exercise in staying present and feeling grateful.
Organize your work day: My job requires a lot of juggling of projects and tasks, both big and small. A lot of days, I find myself jumping from one project or task to another, unable to actually complete any of them. A few months ago, I discovered this great site called Trello, which allows you to mega-organize all of your tasks. Though I’ve been using it on a regular basis, I haven’t been using it well. Today I created several lists to try to use the site to its potential:
1. Tasks to complete
2. Tasks to complete TODAY
3. Tasks that have been accomplished
At the beginning of the day, I looked over my to-do list, dragged several over to the To-do today list, and focused ONLY on those for the entire day…even when I was distracted with emails relating to other projects. I found that it worked quite well. I stayed on track and focused. Also, it feels super great when you are able to drag a task into the accomplished list. I highly recommend it! 🙂