Wednesday, April 13, 2016

6 Simple Changes For Improved Health and Energy This Spring - for the Lazy Entrepreneur

I run eco-friendly businesses for entrepreneurs I admire, run an organic body care line, and blog. I work out (sometimes...), teach tea blending, smoothies/juicing and gourmet raw vegan cooking classes. I'm writing highly-requested detailed nutrition classes for Florida Holisitic School of Health and more online courses. I live and breath healthy living and continue to learn the clinical side of nutrition every day, so you'd think I'm an active gun-ho Type-A person, but I'm not. I'm lazy. I have to actively fight my natural inert state. I'm happiest when I'm sitting on my ass writing, reading, or crafting something. I don't even like to stand too long unless it's for my art markets or in nature. My spirit animal is a sloth. I accept this now. But I've recently made some small changes that help me combat the inner-sloth, I hope they help you this spring!

1. I wrote down every single thing I ate for a few days

I eat clean (vegan, nearly all whole plant foods) so I thought writing down everything single thing I ate would be useless and redundant, but this was a game changer! Try it, you may be surprised how fast things add up! I only had to do this for a week to get an idea for how to portion myself in the future for active days vs. inactive days.

2. I start the day with four cups of water.

Everyone's water needs will vary per individual. I need lots of water or I feel the difference and regret it. (I'm in hot, humid Florida and don't use my car's AC + ride my bike a lot for starters.)  Starting my day with four cups is a helpful boost. How easy can it get for a lazy person? Wake up, drink, be healthier. Win/win.

3. I've made myself catch up on sleep.

I struggle with sleep and used to stay up extra late working keep working. This gets you NO WHERE because your cognitive function is crap the next day. Now I make myself sleep in no matter what and I'm looking and feeling much better for it. All the cells in your body repair when you're sleeping, remembering that helps me let go of work and get the extra zzz's.

4. Cooking ahead of time as much as possible.

I cook in big batches ahead of time as much as possible. I can just stop and whip something up with pre-cooked ingredients instead of stopping to make food in the middle of doing something, halting productivity.

5. I'm using my bento boxes again.

I pulled my bento boxes out of mom's attic (along with other kawaii-collectibles) to sell them but I've ended up using them! They're excellent for portion control and small and portable to take anywhere.

Bonus, Add More Greens and Plants: Wherever possible I like to add more whole plants to the diet. A big green salad for lunch (like my recent fav) and a couple of smoothies for snacks help.

6. More Fitness Classes and Fun Exercise + Make it Fast

Weight lifting alone gets boring. Classes like yoga (SO good for your body's joints/lymphatic system), dance, and spin really help you break a sweat better than you can alone because a professional is leading you. Plus, there's that extra peer pressure element, I'm more likely to do well when being watched than when left to my own devices, we all are. There's always hiking, bike riding, gardening, swimming and other active-rest activities that don't feel like exercise at all.  Break a sweat and do your reps fast so you can get back to the best thing in life...sitting on your ass making stuff. My god, that beats gym-torture hands-down. Hell is a treadmill on high speed that you won't let you off for all eternity. Or an eternal plank.

(The best part, working out hard just three days a week is enough for good health! Yes, more excuses to stay out of there!)

As always: Take small steps, make it fun, and make it work for you. Swap out favorites for healthy ones you enjoy and treat yourself along the way. I'm going to order some vegan protein powder for my smoothies soon, for instance. Writing everything down was humbling for me, no matter where you're at, it's good to evaluate and see if what you're doing is in line with your goals.

Doing anything special for health this spring? Any favorite recipes or tips? Would love to read them.
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  1. I think we have the same spirit animal Vanessa! Hahaha
    Great tips! I definitely need to work on the sleep's funny, I love my sleep but it always seems to go by the wayside.

    1. I knew I had to stop the sleep problem when I was working and literally kept walking in circles because I couldn't remember what I was supposed to do. Sleep. We're useless without it.

  2. I am also very sloth like! I am very diligent about my lifestyle too having been vegetarian for more than 20 years now. Then I have a sensitive stomach so I always have my eyes open for affordable organic products. I wish I discovered yoga in my 20s. I practice it regularly in the comfort of my home with youtube. Those bento boxes are adorable and so handy! Here is an awesome vegan blog full of delicious recipes. I absolutely love every recipes of hers I have tried!

    1. Yaaay thanks for sharing that, always on the lookout. :) Same here, wish I'd have started sooner with healthy lifestyle changes but it's better late than never.

  3. Such a wonderful post. Thank you so much for sharing, you have a very nice blog. :)

  4. My spirit animal is a sloth too, so just reading your list made me tired. But yeah...seriously, your discipline is amazing! 4 cups of water?!?! You go, girl!

    1. Thanks! Keeping up with it has helped so much!

  5. Your spirit animal is a sloth...that made me smile, Vanessa :)
    I completely changed my lifestyle after being very ill six years ago, and I have stuck to it to this day. I know I probably should exercise more, but I do most errands on foot, so I guess walking counts?

    1. Walking definitely counts. I started healthy lifestyle changes when I saw my body aging and changing (yikes!) and feel healthier/younger now in my late 20s than I did in my early 20s.

  6. great tips.. i have already started to make a few changes in my portions and eating..
    and have taken to drink a lot of water.. but i'm still not drinking enough.. goals.

    1. It's truly hard to drink enough :P and you pee constantly, haha. Congrats on your changes and good luck continuing. I had to step back on my portions, I was shocked with how much I was eating added up. Even someone who teaches the subject has to check themselves.


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