This year I was determined to change my lifestyle into a healthy one. It wasn’t exactly a resolution as it was a needed life goal. My relationship with my body, with food, and with health have been an emotional and physical rollercoaster. When I was younger, I ate terribly — fast food constantly, terrible snacks, etc. After I graduated college, everything in my life changed, including my diet and physicalities I never had to be concerned about before. The changes were not immediate. It has been an uphill battle of slowly realizing what I needed.
- Health: Out of nowhere, I woke up with allergies. Year. long. allergies. My skin and body have become so sensitive. I would feel sluggish, depressed, tired….and just felt gross. I felt constantly stressed and tense.
- Environment & Animal Welfare: When I took the time to really see where my food was coming from, I was truly upset with myself for supporting and perpetuating this destruction of environments and therefore the existence of entire species — just so I could have a bag of potato chips. We’ve all known for a very long time the horrible conditions animals live, and I use that word loosely, and I finally just cared enough.
- Small & Local Business: There are always exceptions, but most corporate companies are not companies I believe in on a morally & ethically standpoint. As a consumer I have a responsibility to really chose wisely on companies (and people) I want to support — and again, there are always exceptions, but I’m a firm believer in local & small usually is better.
These were the main reasons why I wanted to really change my lifestyle, but I will totally admit that it was hard just to get to this point, and it’s still tremendously difficult. I’m never going to be perfect. I’m not a vegan, I continue to use toxic beauty products, I eat out at places that I cannot know every single ingredient and measurement, I eat some of Alex’s popcorn at the movies, I do not drive an electric car, I haven’t become as dedicated as I need to be in terms of composting and choosing less harmful polluted prone products, and on & on.
I want to continue to share this journey I am on in a very honest way. It isn’t to promote brands or trends, but just share the steps I am taking to becoming better for myself. Here is where I am…
- I started a health journal, where I keep recipes, lists, ingredients to avoid, concerns I am having towards my body, health & diet, things I love, and how I am feeling after meals or just in general.
- I will most likely never have a plant-only based diet, but I am trying to rely more on plant based foods. I am in now way financially well-off so it does take a good amount of work to find affordable organic food, but I clip coupons, I make meal plans, I utilize ingredients I already own, I frequent multiple stores/markets.
- I check the ingredients in everything. I have done a lot of research on my own because the list of ingredients you should avoid and the reasons why are ridiculously long and for me, right now, it seems impossible to avoid ALL of those ingredients. So I wrote a list down in my health journal of the ones that are most important to me right now and can refer to it when I am looking at a product.
- I utilize my personal instagram to follow people who are vegan or just committed to clean food for recipes, ideas, and inspiration.
- I try to remain on a schedule for my workouts. This is the hardest part for me, but the more it becomes a part of my weekly routine the less difficult it is to just start. I also have a fitbit that challenges me to keep up with my goals.
- I am constantly researching and learning new things. Not everything that works for others will work for me, and I know that. So right now I am really just in a trial and error mode and trying things I normally wouldn’t to acclimate to new tastes and ruling out things I just don’t like.