So, I’ve been meaning to write down the details for my first month of the Whole Life Project, so that you can see which new habits I’m going to implement.
The idea is not to try and do a complete reboot of everything, trying to achieve perfection, but rather to add some healthy habits into my normal routine in a sustainable way.
So I have a small list of ideas to implement this month – I’ve already started with a few, and still need to get some properly going.
- Always eat breakfast.
I’m shocking at this – last year, I was massively into the habit of just running out the door without having eaten properly, only to end up starving at around 11am, when I’d end up going out and getting a muffin or something. It was a really bad cycle, and to some degree I managed to break it after taking some time out in Australia, but in London the temptation is always there to have breakfast on the run and late last year I found I was reverting to old habits. Specifically, gingerbread muffins from Costa in the morning! Eek! Sarah Wilson would kill me. So this needs to stop. The idea is obviously to eat healthy breakfasts: something with eggs, or a green juice or something. I just happen to hate green juice. I also used to hate eggs, but I can deal with them more now that I’ve discovered the paleo pancake, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
- Juice more.
I thought this would lead on nicely from the first goal! I actually was given a NutriBullet for Christmas, so I’m drinking quite a bit of juice at the moment. Finding good juice recipes is quite easy as well – I think most juicers like the Nutribullet include recipes in their packs, and I also googled juices and ended up finding these recipes, from Gwyneth Paltrow. I actually particularly like her cucumber, basil and lime recipe, which really does taste a bit like a mojito. I add a supplement to my juices, to amp up the vitamin and mineral content (I’m using the Super Elixir at the moment) and then blitz it all together. So far, I’ve been managing to have the juice in the morning before I leave for work, but when I’m really rushing, I can easily put it into a travel bottle and drink it on the tube (I’m going to find a really nice one like this, which is opaque, so people can’t see me sipping away at my greeny-brown concoction!), so I think this is really good alternative to breakfast. On the days when I have more time, I usually cook up something.
- Eat clean/eat more vegetarian meals.
I actually eat quite a lot of meat at the moment, and I’m not sure I should. I’ve been vaguely following a Paleo/clean style of eating for nearly a year now (and I mean vaguely), but it’s so meat-heavy, and I feel like the sustainability question is getting to me a bit. So, my fiancé and I have decided that we’re going to keep each other accountable and eat less meat (I spend a considerable amount of time having dinner at his house, as he’s a great cook, so I needed to have him on board with this!). I really don’t like lentils and stuff, unless they’re in a spicy curry or something, so I’ll keep you posted on how this goes. Our goal is to cut down to having meat only two or three times a week. We already stick to a fairly dairy, wheat and sugar-free philosophy, but we’re also going to be stricter on this, as there have been far too many cookies being consumed recently! We’re getting inspired with recipes by Hemsley + Hemsley, Jamie’s Everyday Super Food, Eat, Drink Paelo and I Quit Sugar. I’m also (gulp!) going to take the plunge and read the hard-hitting It Starts With Food this month, in a bid to frighten myself into being more healthy. That always works, right?!
- Drink two litres of water a day.
This is definitely one I struggle with. How do people do this? HOW?! I drink a lot of coffee during the day – not super-strong coffee, but filter coffee at work – and it is definitely an important part of my work routine. So to cut back on that and replace with water is going to be hard. One of the ways that I’ve thought I might incorporate this into my day is to drink at least 500 ml in the morning before I go to work – just swig away from my water bottle whilst getting ready, basically – and that will contribute significantly to my goal. Still, I’m not anticipating this being easy.
- Only drink alcohol on the weekends.
Again, something I found easy enough to do in Australia (my parents are teetotal anyway, so there was never any alcohol in our house), but much more difficult in London, where social lives tend to revolve around the pub and cold nights in seem to demand a glass of wine. I’m not a massive juice drinker, but my sister (who is super into eating clean) drinks sparkling water with just a wedge of lime in it, when she wants a treat to drink, and it is really refreshing – so I’m going to make sure to stock up on this as an alternative.
- Drink lemon/ACV detox.
So, something that I’m constantly reading about in magazines and blogs is to have lemon and hot water in the morning, first thing. It’s supposed to kick-start your metabolism and act as a liver cleanser, amongst other things so it’s quite appealing! Then I read about adding in some apple cider vinegar (ACV) on UnFancy, and decided to give this a go – I remember when I was a kid, my dad used to have apple cider vinegar as a kind of detox thing every day, so I’ve decided to give it a try. Apparently it tastes terrible, but you feel great for it, so I’m going to start this asap. The ratio Caroline at UnFancy uses is: 1-2 tablespoons of ACV, plus about 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice in one cup of water. I don’t know whether she uses hot water, but I’m going to, I think – at least, to start with.
- Take vitamins.
So, alongside my Super Elixir (which contains lots of goodies including alkalising greens, B vitamins and fibre), I’m going to do some research this month and find out if I need to take some other supplements too, and figure out which might work for me. This list from Dallas and Melissa Hartwig (the Whole30 guys) includes some supplements which I might look into. They recommend always taking vitamin D, magnesium and Omega 3 in addition to a really healthy diet. I also have heard from friends about how much better they felt when adding in extra iron to their intake; something I should definitely consider if I’m doing a mainly vegetarian diet.
- Make lunches to take to work.
This is partly a health thing, partly a money thing. It’s so much more tempting to get unhealthy stuff when I’m buying lunch, particularly as I’m probably already hungry by this point. And it costs a lot too, when you add it all up, month by month. As I’m getting married this year, I’m trying really hard to save, so this is definitely going on the list.