Healthier, Happier and Stronger Me: Chapter 1

If if every 'good' story starts with a introduction chapter, I figured that is where this story should begin. Usually introduction chapters are filled with more background information than necessary, very little results and no big surprises. Pretty much sums up this chapter in a nut shell. So welcome to my story of my journey to a healthier, happier, stronger me.

Let's rewind a bit to the beginning shall we:

If you have been following me long on here you know that April/May lent itself to pure craziness: we decided to try and buy a house. the plan fell through. we gave our 60 day notice. started the horrible process of apartment looking. had a garage sale. went to Chicago for a wedding. oh and it was the end of the school year. 

So I found myself drinking a bit more than normal, we found ourselves eating out 2-3 times a week which has never happened in 7 years of dating and all together skipping gym work outs to deal with the 'stress'. Basically not eating healthy and not very happy.

In the midst of the craziness I had a doctors appointment, one of those regular girly check ups. It makes total sense to schedule an appointment the evening before a garage sale that you hadn't prepped for. I totally make sense sometimes. Regardless, at the end of the appointment the doctor mentioned my weight was too high and I should probably lose 10 or so pounds to be back in the healthy range. Not once in my life has anyone besides my mother or grandmother ever mentioned I needed to lose weight, we do tough love in my family, so I was shocked. And annoyed. 

Disclaimer: I never focus on the numbers just how I feel in my own skin and clothes. So I did what any normal girl does, pushed away this tiny piece of information until I had time to deal with it. But reality was I wasn't that happy in my own skin or clothes, just trying not to dwell on one more pile of to do.

After our trip to Chicago I was miserable, all of the eating out, drinking and stress had turned my gut into a horrible rotten no good very bad mess.

So I thought I would share with you five easy changes I did in order to set myself on the road to a healthier, happier and stronger me.

one. Change up the probiotic(acidophilus). 
I have been taking probiotic's for years, if you haven't heard of these before they are essentially good bacteria that assist in digestion. I would imagine like most things your body slowly builds up a defense to the probiotic your currently taking and a change can be just the thing your body needs. So if you find yourself still having digestion issues I would suggest starting here if you are looking for a change.

These are all probiotic's that I have taken and would recommend looking into.

Please note that I would read before you make any drastic changes, I am in no way a doctor. Although doctor box has a nice ring to it...

I am extremely lucky in the fact that my mom takes classes about this sort of thing and passes her wealth of information onto me, at 16 I found it annoying but now I can't get enough of it.

two. Start your morning off with warm lemon water. 
Not only is it an amazingly calm way to wake up each day but it helps your digestion system. I have played with adding coconut oil and apple cider vinegar to mine, I enjoy all three versions, so pick your poison.

three. Try out a cleanse.
I decided to do a cleanse to kick start my system in the right direction. I would consider this the most important step especially if you eat a lot of processed foods, breads, cheese or dairy. 

I know that juice cleanses are all the fad BUT they are expensive, like more than my weekly grocery budget for just 3 days of juice so that was not an option for me. I also knew that with the last few weeks of school I needed energy and 'fasting' wasn't something I was really interested in. So after a bit of research I combined a few recipes and designed a menu that worked for me. 

Breakfast: Detox Smoothie or Blueberry And Almond Smoothie
Morning Snack: Beet, Carrot, Apple And Ginger Juice
Lunch: Alkalizing Spinach Salad and Broccoli And Arugula Soup
Afternoon Snack: Cucumber, Basil And Lime Juice
Dinner: Cleansing Veggie Soup and Detox Teriyaki Chicken

I will say while doing the cleanse my energy levels were higher, my digestive system started to clear up and I was handling my stress so so much better. aka happier.

Because I made such a drastic change to my overall eating habits and enjoyed it I decided to pursue the interwebs in search of a meal plan I could jump on board with past the cleanse. My mom is a big Gaps fan, too restrictive. 

Somewhere in the midst of pinterest I discovered this website and knew that whole30/paleo would be the perfect route for me to keep my digestive system on track.

four. Make changes you can live with.
Real talk: I love cheese, chips and booze. I also know that if I cut out all the goodness in my life I would end up binge eating them at midnight. Insert classy. 

So I have made changes I can live with: 
during the school year I only drink 3 nights a week.
I only eat cheese at dinner.
I do grains occasionally but in true moderation, like croutons on my salad. Or if we go out for Mexican food I will eat the chips and queso. Knowing that its one meal in a day of many meals and I will be able to make smarter choices earlier/later on in the day.

My biggest piece of advice would be to find what works for you, your home life and your work schedule. Try cutting out one thing and seeing after 7 or so days how much easier it is to have it in moderation rather than at every meal.

five. Change your mindset. 
I had a horrible tendency to eat healthy during the week and over the weekend allow myself to cheat. Really that means I was eating healthy 60% of the week and cheating 40% of the week, that really isn't being healthy.

I also would eat a salad for dinner and then not be hungry until 9:00, thus making ghetto nachos...aka chips with melted cheese and avocado...another habit that isn't really being healthy.

So in May I resigned myself to the fact that even though I couldn't necessarily get to the gym as we were in the midst of moving, training for summer school, cleaning my classroom I could at least eat healthy. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You don't have to wait until a Monday, a new month/week, or after the big move to start making the healthier choices.

I am not going to lie and say I have been perfectly following down this path, its a lifestyle change not a diet so of course there will be a few bumps in the road.

But I know that despite going to St. Louis for the 4th, drinking too much and allowing boys to pick all of the food joints I didn't gain a pound. And jumped right back into my whole30 lifestyle and working out without the need for a cleanse or any major changes. 

Next week I plan to introduce you to the amazing recipes I have been trying on the whole30 plan, not for one minute do I feel like I am 'missing' something in my meals when I make these recipes. And a big plus, the mister has gobbled them all up, so they must be yummy!

I am so excited to be linking up with Katie this week for her Healthy Habits link up, I have been following her for awhile and LOVE her fashion, bachelorette man quotes and she pretty much introduced me to Tone It Up which has been my latest obsession...but I think I will save that for chapter 3 or 4!

What pieces of advice do you have for someone making their way to healthy?
What are your favorite healthy tips/tricks?

1 comment

  1. Is it bad that I'm super annoyed with your doctor for even mentioning your weight? I was with you in Chicago, and I literally cannot see where you can stand to lose 10 pounds. Of course, I'm 100% supportive of you being healthy and feeling good about yourself... even if I think your perfect just the way you are! I'm just honestly shocked to know that a doctor made that comment about YOU!