Okay. Let me start off by saying I’m a coffee junkie.
Usually, I drink up to what??? 2 cups a day??? Yup. I can’t go a day without having my cup of coffee. I think I get this from my dad because ever since ever, I’ve never seen my dad without a cup of coffee-morning…night…afternoon, he has his coffee. It’s pretty obvious that he was the one who introduced me to it and ever since then, I’ve been addicted.
It’s funny because this is actually a big problem for me. Unfortunately, I have hyperacidity and so I would get really tummy aches if I drank too much coffee. There was one time, it got so bad that I had to stop for 2 weeks… but that was as long as I could go. I started drinking coffee soon after BUT THIS TIME AROUND, I always made sure to EAT BEFORE I drank my coffee.
So that’s my personal background.
This blog post is for all you who want to live a healthier lifestyle but are hesitant because you think you’ll have to give up the things you love. Coffee for me could be french fries or potato chips for you. Yeah, the internet may say that you should not eat this or not do that but I personally believe that being healthy doesn’t require you to give up what you love. Because in the end, it’s all about BALANCE, MODERATION & DISCIPLINE.
And so, here are 10 ways you can live a healthier lifestyle without having to give up those things you love:
1. DRINK LOTS OF WATER
THIS IS LITERALLY ON EVERY HEALTH SITE BECAUSE IT IT LEGIT. Water is the most important thing your body needs to function.We need to drink at least 9 cups of water=2.2L every single day. This allows our body to receive all the nutrients and vitamins we need while hydrating and cleansing it in the process.
To be honest, I still need to work on this. There are times when I’m thirsty but I choose to deal with it because I’m lazy to go get water. WRONG. If you are lazy, bring a jug with you wherever you go!!! I’ve even seen pictures of people bringing a 2L jug of water with markings reminding them to finish it! That way water won’t ever be out of reach. Also, if you need constant reminding, download apps that could help like PLANT NANNY. My friends started using this and they said that it really reminds and motivates them to drink water. The more water they drink, the more their plant will grow 🙂
Drinking lots of water is a given to be at your tip top shape. I’ve asked friends who started drinking more water how it has improved their lives and they told me that ONE, they barely got sick anymore, TWO their skin cleared up and THREE they felt more energized and hydrated throughout the day.
Here’s a tip: DRINK A GLASS OF WATER FIRST THING IN THE MORNING BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE. It is important to do this because drinking water first thing in the morning helps purify and cleanse our bodies as well as give us the proper hydration!I do this every morning and it really does magic! Not only do I feel cleansed but I feel more awake and energized!
2. EAT BREAKFAST
A lot of health specialists say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is because it is what gives you the energy to make the day AMAZING (really though).
To the people who skip breakfast because they wake up late/have so many things to do/prefer lunch or dinner: I AM YOU.
I like to wake up right when I need to and so I barely have time to eat breakfast. THIS IS NOT GOOD. I learned the hard way when I had really bad stomach pains one day. I thought it was ulcer, LUCKILY it wasn’t. But that’s when I realized it is NOT A JOKE TO SKIP BREAKFAST. Since then, I have always made sure to eat breakfast no matter if I wake up late or I’m busy or I’m in a rush. Because if there’s a will, there’s a way (REALLY).
And so to those who are just like me: find time to eat breakfast! And go for a healthy one! It doesn’t have to be super big or complicated or pretty (like you see in those health blogs hahaha) or anything like that. You could stay really simple. Here are some examples: If you know you’re going to have a busy morning then grab some whole grain cereal (with bananas and strawberries hehe) you can eat while working, if you’re in a rush to leave the house, grab some yogurt on your way out you can eat in the car (try going for zero sugar yogurt!), or if you’re driving, maybe you can get something easy like apple slices or a whole grain sandwich! To be honest, it’s not that hard. And so if you can, go to the grocery store today and get the things you need! So that you can start tomorrow! Trust me, you wouldn’t want to learn the hard way.
3. HEALTHY SNAKCS THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Have you ever had the urge to grab a bag of chips from the pantry? Or a bowl of ice cream from the freezer? Well, I feel you. It isn’t easy. But once you realize that healthy snacks can be yummy too, you’ll never miss those bag of chips again (except maybe after a few days hahaha)
Like I said, it’s about moderation. Make it a point to moderate the junkfood you eat. I like to limit myself to eating junkfood at most, twice a week and the rest of the days I stick to healthy snacks! Healthy food like dried fruits, fruit salad, fruit slices, almonds (hehe) and yogurt! Something I’d like to try are those healthy parfait bowls!!! THEY LOOK SO GOOD. Will find time to try and make them! Will keep you guys posted when I do 😉
4. LIMIT FASTFOOD
This has been the ultimate challenge for me. REALLY. I love Mcdo. I love KFC. I love Jollibee. Like how do I live without them!!! Well, tbh, you don’t have to. Instead LIMIT IT. I limited my fastfood intake to once a week. YUP. And I am telling you now it is VERY HARD. I have to resist and be like NO. Sometimes I give in which ISNT GOOD. But HEY, I’m still human. And I am getting there very slowly!
An idea that will keep you guys SANE is to start at 3 times a week and move down from there. This is especially to those who live in dorms/condos. I know it’s hard to do this but you WILL FEEL HEALTHIER AND HAPPIER when you are able to resist the temptation that is either in the form of super crunchy salty fries or a big-ass juicy burger!!!!! You will feel stronger. I can promise you that! And when you finally do get to eat your one fastfood meal, it’ll taste so much more victorious!
5. CUT OUT SODA & ICED TEA FROM YOUR LIFE
Who here drinks soda/iced tea like it’s their water? Yup. Happens everyday, all the time!!! When you go through a drive through, it’s your default drink. But here’s something to remember for you guys: it’s ALL SUGAR.
Learn to not settle just because you’re lazy to say “no drink” or explain to the cashier that you want bottled water instead. I have given up soda completely and my tummy has never felt better. Iced tea is still a problem for me because unfortunately, it is my default drink, but I am getting there.
Either order water or fresh juice or fruit shakes without sugar! Your body will thank you later and you will feel so much more energized instead of groggy or draggy.
Here we go. My favorite. (Because I am not the type to consistently exercise BAHAHA)
Let’s be real. If you wanna be healthier and lose weight in the process, IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT DIETING. Exercise and dieting go HAND IN HAND. There is not one without the other no matter what. If you stick to just dieting, you’ll end up feeling weak because of the cut down on foods/protein/sugar. Exercise helps your body stay strong and fit. It gets your heart pumping!!! On the other hand, if you just choose to exercise and not moderate your food intake then you’ll have a problem too and that would be the problem of “no effect”. If you exercise but choose to eat all the junk in the world then sure you might look good but you will certainly not FEEL GOOD. It’s different to look good on the outside but feel bad on the inside. Exercise and diet help you feel good both inside and outside.
Here are some tips for those who are just starting out.
– find a type of exercise you enjoy (this could take time – it took me years to find my perfect exercise which I will mention in a bit but trust me you’ll exercise more if you enjoy what you’re doing!)
– take it easy on yourself at the start (if you start so hard on yourself you might be doing more harm than good… take it easy!!! you’ll get to where you wanna be!)
– be CONSISTENT: this is my problem. hahaha I get lazy and so I end up messing up my routine and it SUCKS. If you wanna get somewhere and you want to achieve your “body goals”: BE CONSISTENT. Make a schedule that allows you to be consistent!!!! Do it for yourself because trust me the more consistent you are, the sooner you will see results.
– FIND A WORKOUT BUDDY!!! (THIS REALLY HELPS. I started working out with some of my friends and wow do I feel determined! Because being with them motivates me to do my best. We all have the same goal and we’re reaching it together!)
– be sure to find a routine that covers every aspect: STRENGTH TRAINING, CARDIO & FLEXIBILITY!!!
This is my workout routine, just so you guys know! It is VERY SIMPLE. Even beginners can try it out!
For CARDIO, I run at least 3 times a week. I jog for 30 minutes and then I sprint along my street in front of my house (I do this a few times). I’ve always liked running. It has always been my thing. When I was younger, I was into running sports like softball, handball and relays. And so I knew it would be the perfect cardio exercise for me. Plus my village is BEAUTIFUL and so it inspires me to run! (that’s another tip: find a place to run that inspires you!!!)
For my STRENGTH TRAINING & FLEXIBILITY, I do YOGA. I try to go at least 2 times a week. I started recently and it has been AMAZING!!!! I enjoy it so much! Many people think yoga is just about stretching but NOOOOO. It is way more than that. When I practice yoga, I am able to clear my mind and focus on myself and my body. It makes me stronger inside and out. Also, I love how I am so connected to my teacher during practice. My friend, Cathy Dario, who was also my HS batchmate, is now a yoga teacher after practicing for 2 years. She treats yoga like an art that connects to the mind, body and heart.
All you need to start is a yoga mat, a jug, and determination!
Here’s a tip for yoga: go to a studio/find a teacher who you can connect to. You will appreciate it so much more.
7. NO MEAT THURSDAYS
I recently started this and so far it has been a challenge. I got this idea from an article I read about “saving the world” and so I decided to give it a try. You can actually pick any day you want but try to go meatless once a week. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE NOT GOING TO EAT ANYTHING. Some people get lazy to make a salad or look for healthier food and so they prefer to tough it out and not eat. THIS IS NOT RIGHT. Make the effort to go out and get healthy food!!! You are doing yourself and the world a HUGE FAVOR.
8. HEALTHY DRINKS: SMOOTHIES, JUICES & TEA
This is what you should crave for instead of milkshakes or soda floats!!!! Switch to healthier drinks! Have you even seen the drinks they post on health blogs/sites? THEY LOOK SUPER YUMMY.
I noticed though that a lot of the drinks are hard to make because you need a lot of raw ingredients which maybe you currently don’t have on hand. But if that is the case, then start simple! You could squeeze fruits to make fresh juice or blend fruits with ice to make a yummy smoothie! And then if you want to explore more options, then research the raw foods you can buy to make different drinks! You can buy a lot in Healthy Options or on this site: http://healthyhouseph.com! I bought a few things and I’m planning to release another blog post soon about the different drinks I learn to make and so stay tuned! 😉
Aside from juices and smoothies, you can also start drinking caffeine-free tea! Green tea, chamomile and ginger tea are actually really good for you! And what makes them great is that all it takes to make tea is a cup of hot water! You can buy different kinds from Healthy Options! 🙂
9. FIX YOUR BODY CLOCK
TADAAAA every student/working fresh graduates nightmare!!! I mean, with all the work and things you have to do, how is it possible to have a regular sleeping schedule? The thing is, it is possible but it takes DISCIPLINE. It’s all about time management. Like, if you know you have a lot of work to do, then skip the hangout at night with friends (there is always tomorrow or the next day or the next) or if you have a party the next day and you know you won’t have time to do your homework, then find time to get it done as soon as possible. This way when it’s time to sleep, it’s time to sleep and you’re NOT CRAMMING YOUR WORK INSTEAD. SLEEPING IS IMPORTANT.
I know it’s a hard. I would know because I am an owl. I live during the night. But trust me, you will feel so much better once your sleep patterns are regular. I read an article on Time Magazine that said sleeping between 8pm-12mn ensures that you’ll have a good night’s sleep: “Every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight”. Keep that in mind!
Also, try to keep your waking up times as consistent as possible. Wake up around 8 or 9. You would have had 9 hours of sleep which is PERFECT.
You’d be surprised as to how much work/activities you can fit in the day once you have the right amount of sleep.
10. COFFEE & TEA
Here comes my finale!!! And of course it is about coffee. Going back to the first part of this blog, I am a coffee girl. FOR SURE. NOT QUESTIONS ASKED. And so how can I be healthy? It’s all about BALANCE. I have decided to stop drinking coffee at night and limit it to one cup a day (morning). At night, instead of another cup of coffee, I have switched to detox tea which has been really helpful. It is CAFFEINE FREE btw hahaha. I chose this because detox tea helps clean your system after a long day.
I know that one cup of coffee a day may still seem like a lot but I believe that if I keep going, it’ll eventually go down and I won’t have to be so dependent on it anymore because I will be focusing on other things keeping me healthy. It’s just that you gotta start somewhere. This is where I am… and where I hope to be? Well, that’s still a long way from here. But I’ll get there: slowly but surely.
So those were the 10 ways you could switch to a healthier lifestyle WITHOUT having to give up coffee or the things you love (and staying sane in the process) This is for EVERYONE! Beginners or specialists, young or old, girls or boys, and so GO GO GO.
There’s no better day to start than today!!!
Feel free to comment your ideas on what you can do to live a healthier lifestyle! 🙂
Til the next post xx
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Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions together with facts from several health sites. Again, if it works for you, it works for you and if doesn’t there’s something out there for you! You do you!!! Also, some of the pictures are not mine! Click the caption to see the real source.