Happy New Healthy Year!
As I’m writing this post, it’s my last day of vacation. I’m in LA, and it’s time to wrap this trip (and pig season) up. Last night was my final day of letting go during the holidays. Usually, I live a very healthy life; I train, keep a good diet, and I’m conscious of what I do with my body. But twice a year I let go and stop caring about anything that has to do with being healthy. That happens during my summer trips and Christmas period. The rest of the year I’m an angel, so I deserve to cut myself some slack once in a while…
I’ve realized however that having a pig fest twice a year has actually been quite beneficial to me. Besides enjoying the perks of being naughty, I get to feel all the side effects that an unhealthy lifestyle gives you. I sometimes forget how it is to feel sluggish, so it works as a positive reminder that makes me appreciate the Gwyneth Paltrow life that I’ve adopted.
When I don’t train, eat bad foods, drink too much, sleep too little, this happens:
- My skin is terrible, My face is puffy, I don’t look great.
- My stomach is bloated almost to pregnancy level, add some stomach pain to it…
- I feel heavy, sluggish, tired, slow, no productivity what so ever.
- My mind is not clear, I get anxiety easily, I feel disconnected from myself.
- I gain weight in a second. It’s enough for me to have two unhealthy pizza or pasta meals, to have it show on my body.
- My immune system is low, I get sick much faster.
- I get heartburn, headaches, stomach cramps, and other negative health effects.
…and so on.
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Going through a short period of all these side effects makes me understand why I avoid living like this. It makes me appreciate the healthy regime that I have and not see it as a burden, but instead see it as a blessing.
These days I’ve gotten used to my new lifestyle (I did a major lifestyle change in 2014 and kept it up ever since), so I don’t find it to be difficult anymore. The initial time can feel challenging, but when you get used to the positive effects of being healthy, the “happy feelings” of all the bad stuff does not even compare anymore.
A temporary sugar rush is not as pleasant as the stable “natural high” you get from sports and nutritious food. You quickly understand how much more the latter is of benefit to you because you feel the difference in both your mind and body.
I’m glad my holiday season is now over, and it’s time to get back to reality, those new year resolutions and healthy living once again.
This year I’m going to continue with my Vegan and Raw Vegan diet 5:2 that I have going for myself. I don’t follow a particular program; I try to eat as mindfully as possible without being fanatical about it. This is why I keep it to 5 days a week raw vegan (fruitarian mostly, raw vegan when I need variation or a cleanse, and vegan If I’m craving hot food or I’m eating out where there are no raw options.)
2 days a week I eat “normal food.” For me, normal is eating vegan + fish/seafood. I don’t like meat products (never did since childhood) and I try and avoid dairy as much as possible. But anything from the sea is my guilty pleasure, so I add that to my diet on “normal” days.
My philosophy is that it’s essential to have a healthy diet, but it’s impossible to be 100% healthy if you have a social lifestyle (dining out, etc.) The important part is to have a majority in your diet of good foods, it can be a ratio of 90/10, 80/20 or 70/30 – just not below 60/40!
Unless you have the discipline of an army officer, 100% strict diet is not going to work in the long run. People can only sustain it for an X amount of time before throwing in the towel. It’s better to be realistic and set easily achievable goals for oneself. Your diet should never be a rat race to a number; it should be the healing you give to your body, your organs, and your cells. It’s medicine and fuel for you, so it’s important you see it as a method for nurturing your health.
As an addition to my diet, as previously mentioned, I do fasting. 5 days a week I do intermittent fasting (I eat between 12-6pm), and once a week I do a 36 hour dry fast (without food or drink intake.) The principle is to give your digestion a break so that the cells in your body can focus on repairing themselves instead of digesting food. This has helped me so much with health issues, food cravings, performance and wellbeing – which is why I will continue with this practice in 2018. To read more about my dry fasting, go here.
Training wise I will focus on pilates this year. Before I used to be a cardio & HIIT junkie (5-6 days a week, couldn’t live without it), but now I’ve moved away from that as I understood it did me more harm than good. I will do a separate post about this, but to summarize, I was getting myself injured and started eating a lot because I was always hungry due to all the cardio I did. I ended up gaining weight as a result, which was not the initial point of my intense training routine.
Pilates reformer and powerwalking became my new best friends in 2017, and I shall continue with them in 2018. Thanks to this new training regime I felt balanced, got nicer muscles, stopped getting injured, lost weight, and didn’t overeat as a result. But I also cut down on the intensity and only train 4 days a week now, which feels like a good number to strive for. I’m never going back to intense cardio! What a fail!
Lastly, my other health resolutions will be all about getting enough sleep, cutting down on alcohol and be more regular with my meditation practice. I know what wonders that will make for my inner peace and well-being!
I want 2018 be the year where I’m my strongest and most balanced self – as I know, that will lay the foundation for me to be able to conquer the goals I’ve set for myself. When I’m weak, when I’m off-balance, I can’t deliver. And if I can’t deliver, then I won’t be able to achieve my goals. The work must therefore always start with me. To prepare my inner self for what’s coming next and being fit to jump any hurdles.
For that reason, let’s have a Healthy Happy New Year! 2018, we’re ready to make our dreams come true! What will you work on yourself in 2018? What are your healthy resolutions? Write me a comment!