Healthy Holiday

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Lately, I've been taking some important steps to improve my health. I've been reevaluating how I eat, when I work out, when I get up, and my overall daily routine. It's made a huge difference in the way I feel and also my mood, so I thought I'd share in case these tips may be helpful to you as well. For quite a while I was feeling sluggish, tired, moody, bloated, headachy, and overall just not myself. I didn't realize my symptoms until Justin pointed out I was feeling out of sorts or poorly more than I should. So I started doing some research and discovered I have all the symptoms of someone who is dairy intolerant. This led to some major changes in my diet and at the same time changes in my lifestyle habits. Below are some of things I've done to feel better and to improve my health. 

Keep reading or skip to the end for Fourth of July sales!

1. Drink plenty of water. This is so important for many reasons. Drinking enough will relieve fatigue, curb hunger, improve your mood, combat headaches, aid in digestion & weight loss, and flush out toxins. It will also keep your hair and skin looking amazing! Since I've been monitoring my water intake I've noticed a major difference in the clarity of my skin and the shininess of my hair. I like to take two water bottles with me to work, plus a cute tumbler filled with ice water. The cutesy cup encourages me to sip throughout the day.

2. Rethink your diet. Living with someone who eats very healthy magnified my unhealthy food choices. I've been fortunate to have a consistently quick metabolism, but that's no excuse to eat like crap. After moving in with Justin I realized I consume wayyy too much sugar and empty calories. Now when we go to the grocery store I think about what I'm buying before I purchase. I look at the ingredients and ask myself if it's something I want in my body. "You are what you eat." Now I opt for oatmeal for breakfast and regular coffee as opposed to caloric bagels, cream cheese and cream filled iced coffee. For lunch I take a salad & turkey, and for dinner we've been baking chicken, making veggies, and cooking up healthy tacos with ground turkey. To satisfy my sweet tooth I like to keep individually wrapped candies at my desk. Some of my favorites are Werther's Originals, Starburst, and Jolly Ranchers. I can have one or two and feel satisfied...no need for ice cream, cookies, cake, brownies, donuts, etc. 

3. Take medications consistently. This is one you may not think of often, but it can really affect your health. If you are inconsistent about medicine or you don't take it at the right time you can end up feeling pretty sick. I suggest keeping a very strict schedule and sticking to it. Make sure you're aware of how they may interact with different foods, drinks and/or your sleep.

4. Incorporate exercise. Everyone probably knows exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins can lead to a feeling of happiness and accomplishment. Incorporating even 30 minutes of walking or weight training can make a huge difference. You may not see instantaneous progress, but consistency is key and consistency leads to results.

5. Get enough sleep. This is another biggie, much like water. You need sleep so your body can recharge and perform important functions like healing. This tip I have yet to accomplish, but I'm trying my best to get in bed around 10pm, even if I don't fall asleep right away. I've also noticed it's much easier to get up early in the morning when I've given myself an extra hour or two to snooze.

6. Turn off electronics before bed. Again, still haven't mastered this tip, but I have every intention of learning to separate myself from my phone earlier in the evening. The best thing to do is put your phone of airplane mode. It will keep people from calling and messaging, but will still allow your alarm to go off. You'll still get your messages, but it'll be on your own time the following morning.  

7. Create a schedule and stick to it. After I started working here in California I completely changed my schedule. Completely. I have always aspired to get up super early for work so I can get more done and leave the office earlier in the day. I'm proud to say I now get up at 5am (most mornings) and am at work by 6:30am (and that's with a 30 minute commute). I feel so much more productive and have noticed my internal alarm clock is slowly catching up. I even woke up at 7am this past Sunday and actually felt awake! It's a painful process in the beginning, but apparently even the sleepiest of people, like myself, can manage an early morning wake up call. The diet change has also helped me feel less sluggish in the wee morning hours.

8. Listen to your body. When it comes to changing habits you have to listen to your body. If something you're doing makes you feel poorly or your exercises are actually hurting you than reassess. You can always tweak your diet, your schedule and your gym routine. Everyone is different and not everything works for everybody. It's also helpful to keep a food and/or workout diary so you can look back and see what you may have eaten or done that hurt or helped.  

9. Don't skip annual exams. I don't mean to sound like anyone's mom, but don't miss your annual exams ladies and gentleman. A lot can happen to your health in a year and an appointment will only take an hour or two out of your day. I'm a huge advocate of women seeing their female docs once a year, because many cancers and/or diseases may not present themselves until it's too late (sorry to be a party pooper). Be your own advocate and put your health first. I always see my gyno, dermatologist, internal med doc, and dentist once a year (the dentist twice). 

10. Get healthy together. Getting healthy or on the same schedule with your significant other, best friend or family can be incredibly helpful. Justin and I grocery shop together, plan means together, keep a similar work/work out schedule and feel staying healthy is important. Make a standing barre class date with your bestie, plan a fun & healthy Pinterest recipe, take a walk with your pup...make getting healthy fun.

Thanks for making it all the way through this lengthy post! Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July! See below for lots of fun sales.

stock photo background c/o wonderfelle.com
Express - 50% off select styles
J.Crew - 40% off summer styles
J.Crew Factory - 15% off purchase or 50% off clearance  |  code HAPPYSALE
Macy's - 20% off  |  code FOURTH  //  $10 off $25+  |  code FOURTH25
H&M - $4 deals and free shipping $40+  |  code 0040
Tory Burch - 30% off  |  code EXTRA30
Kate Spade - 30% off  |  code SUNSHINE
Gigi New York - 30% off select style and colors
Sole Society - 50% off select styles 
Ashley Brooke Designs - 20% off  |  code STARS&STRIPES
Lulu & Georgia - up to 75% off warehouse sale
Furbish Studio - 20% off everything  |  code FIREWORKS
Alex and Ani - 30% off or more on select items
Lilly Lashes - 10% off  |  code AMERICA

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