Does anyone else get incredibly stressed out when a new topic of health or wellness sprouts up? I mean, I love essential oils as much as the next girlfriend, but sometimes the thought that every. single. thing. in our home could be incredibly toxic and cause cancer – it’s too much sometimes, right? I want to live a healthy life, make wise choices, drink enough water, buy fair-trade, basically do all the things. It leaves me feeling something like this…
A more accurate meme has never been made.
So several months back when Emily Ley started posting and boasting about this new health book she read, I was skeptical. I certainly didn’t need another health trend to try and force into my crazy life. But she kept talking about it and then I saw a couple other friends post about it, so I finally caved and picked up The Wellness Project. And it seriously has been one of the best books on overall health and wellness that I have ever read – it’s not just about not eating sugar or bread, but small lifestyle changes that, overtime, produce incredible health results.
AS PHOEBE DESCRIBES IN THE TAGLINE OF THE BOOK, THE WELLNESS PROJECT IS ALL ABOUT DOING RIGHT BY YOUR BODY WITHOUT FULLY GIVING UP YOUR LIFE.
Phoebe’s entire hypothesis, if you will, is that there has to be a way to slowly and in moderation make tweaks to your diet, clothing, makeup, and overall lifestyle that yields significant results. Yet, those changes don’t necessarily force you to forfeit Friday night happy hour with girlfriends or those beloved sweatpants you’ve had since 7th grade.
This book could definitely use a second or third reading, but for now I thought I’d share a couple takeaways from the book that have simplistically and directly impacted my life.
1 | GO MAKEUP-LESS 24 HOURS A WEEK
Now, I don’t wear a ton of makeup on a regular basis – typically just a little bit of foundation, powder, eye liner and mascara. However, for about 3 months now, I have been designating one day a week to give my face a fresh break and not wear any makeup. I’m not sure if it’s the break from makeup, switching to Beauty Counter foundation, or my new face soap + moisturizer routine (thanks, Blair!), but I can tell a huge difference in my skincare. I typically take my makeup-day-off on Fridays which is also the day of my Sabbath so I’m not doing much anyways and it’s a great reminder to break from the routine of the week and do less.
2 | MAKE YOUR MEALS 50% VEGGIES
Now, I must confess, this has been quite difficult lately. My husband loves him some meat and I have never met a loaf of French bread I haven’t loved. But it makes sense – Phoebe argues that this is the easiest and best way to keep your diet in moderation. Yes, you should probably cut back on carbs (although if you’re going to eat them, make them complex!) and you never really need that second scoop of ice cream. But more than anything, more than cutting stuff out of our diet, most of the time we aren’t getting enough of the right things. So, check your plate proportions, cut back on the bread, and make the green things half of your plate.
3 | MEAL PREP, MEAL PREP, MEAL PREP
Back on the “making changes to what you eat” train. I follow several people on Instagram that boast about the power of preparing your meals for the week on Sunday afternoon (Emily Ley, Rachel Hollis, and Caitlin Wallace, to name a few). I tend to do a pretty decent job planning out our meals each week and only going grocery shopping once (okay, sometimes twice) a week. But spending an afternoon chopping veggies, cooking meat, and doing all that prep work? I’m not quite there yet, though I think that’s primarily because I don’t have a traditional Monday through Friday work week. But I also know that when I take the extra time to prepare for our meals, it makes coming home from work and cooking dinner so much easier!
4| MOVE YOUR BODY WHILE AT WORK
All my sisters guilty of sitting at your desk for hours on end, raise your hand. Me too. We want to work hard, be focused, and hustle like no one’s business. But sitting all day at a desk is literally one of the worst things for our bodies, even if we’re diligent about working out a couple times a week. I have scoliosis so my desk chair is ergonomically friendly and I work hard to have good posture, but I still spend too much time staring at a computer screen everyday. Recently though I find I am still feeling off and fighting headaches by the end of the day. A couple of weeks ago, I started to set reminders on my phone throughout the day to get up, walk down the hallway, and do a couple of quick stretches. It makes a difference, I promise.
5 | TURN OF THE NOTIFICATIONS
Lately my brain has been so scattered. I feel like I barely get working on a project and then 15 other tasks pop into my brain and my distractions are all over the place. One easy way to single-task (because we know multitasking doesn’t really work) is to turn the notifications off on your phone. You don’t need to know when someone posts something new to Facebook or when you get a new email. You can also put your phone into “Do Not Disturb” mode so that incoming texts are silenced until you take a break (and walk down the hallway!) and can respond to them.
With a little motivation, I’m really focused on ending 2017 well. Let’s eat more veggies, put our phones down, stretch a little at our desk, and put a plan in place to ensure we’re taking care of ourselves. I want to get through the holidays and into January well-rested, energized, and good, not burnt out or exhausted. With just a couple small tweaks that add up over time, we’ll get there. Progress, little by little.