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As many of you know, over the last year I have really committed myself to pursuing a healthier lifestyle. I post a lot about my daily routine on Snapchat, everything from my meals, workouts, journaling, and skincare. The question I get most often is, “Where should I start?”
Here’s my answer: Start small to create habits. I didn’t make the lifestyle changes I did all at once because not only would I have burned out, but I also would’ve been super grumpy! Here are the five very small, very manageable switches I made to slowly integrate more natural, healthy habits into my day-to-day for big lifestyle changes.
One of my vices over the past year was soda. I loved Sprite, Dr. Pepper, and Coke. I realized that the sugar was really messing with my digestion and the darker sodas were yellowing my teeth, so I decided I needed to find a substitute. If I’m honest, I don’t love drinking water. Obviously, I drink it, but with meals I really love to have a “fun” beverage. So I started looking for ways to sub out soda with healthier options. I’ve talked about this brand before, but Poppi sodas have been a lifesaver for me. Where regular sodas contain hidden chemicals and toxins, Poppi is loaded with a hidden gut-happy helper, Apple Cider Vinegar. The strawberry lemonade flavor is my FAVORITE and I can’t keep enough of it in my house. When I’m trying to get more water in, I drink sparkling spring water to satisfy the bubble craving without losing out on hydration. This switch has helped me avoid sugar crashes, yellowing teeth, and dehydration. It was hard at first, but after a few months, I really don’t crave my traditional sodas anymore!
Poppi sodas in a refrigerator in the grocery store
I used to get up and have a cup of coffee straight away. That was before I found out that drinking caffeine on an empty stomach can seriously increase your cortisol levels, which can lead to inflammation, digestive issues, and anxiety. Even if I did eat before my coffee, it was often carb-dense and contained very little protein, like a bagel, croissant, or toast. Carbs in the morning (or anytime) are not bad by any means, but our body needs protein paired with carbs in order to optimize the amount of energy we are able to pull from our food. One small change that has made a HUGE difference in my energy throughout the day and lower inflammation overall has been eating protein first thing in the morning. Right now, my favorite way to integrate a protein early in the day is steak and egg breakfast tacos. So delicious and filling every time, check out the recipe below!
Recipe card for breakfast tacos. 6 oz steak, 4 tortillas, 4 eggs, avocado, 1/4c onion diced, 1/4c bell pepper diced, avocado oil, garlic to taste. Cook all ingredients minus tortilla and avocado in a pan until meat is cooked through and veggies are sautéed. Place in tortillas and top with avocado.
This a small switch I’m currently trying to make! I’ve always been a night owl, but I notice such a difference in my energy levels when I regulate my circadian rhythm and get up early. I’m a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to packing for trips especially, and I tend to wait until night time to do all my packing. Then, I’m wired and can’t fall asleep so I end up going on my phone, or watching movies and T.V. I’m trying to be better about organizing my day in a way that prioritizes sleep, and staying off of my electronics for at least 30 minutes before bed. I thought about making a sleep challenge on Snap, so if you want to do this with me, let me know and we can all do it together!
Girl laying in bed with the words "I need sleep" across the screen
This one was probably one of the most important shifts I made in the last year and a half or so. I was fortunate enough to meet people who cared about themselves, and who also care about me. In my experience, people who aren’t taking care of themselves – mind, body and soul – don’t really care if you are. My community now is made up of people who are dedicated to their health, and a lot of our social activities revolve around outdoor time like surfing, working out, or hiking. We cook healthy meals together, share information about what’s working for us and what isn’t, and just generally try to help each other better ourselves. I realize this is often out of our control. You can’t magically procure people into your life. However, what you can do is separate yourself from people who don’t want to care for themselves, or at least support you in doing it for yourself. Even if you’re doing it alone, you will attract what you are. Creating space for people who align with you to come into your life is so crucial.
I have a major sweet tooth. I am so accustomed to having a little sweet treat at least once a day, and when I started paying attention to my sugar intake and trying to eat less processed foods, I had to switch out my traditional sweets for less processed options. This one was honestly so hard, and still is. I still love chocolate, cookies, and ice cream. However, I’ve found an everyday sweet treat that keeps me satisfied most of the time: my go-to sweet smoothie. The secret to this recipe is coconut cream added to the cup. It reminds me of whipped cream and makes the smoothie feel more like a fun dessert. I have the recipe below for you guys!
I made these small switches one at a time, and each one took me about two-to-three weeks to get into the swing of. If you choose one small habit every few weeks, in 10 weeks your habits—and your lifestyle—could look a lot different! Remember, start small, keep trying, and stay consistent! If I can do it, you can too<3
Sienna Mae Gomez