With it being the third week of fall semester, my days have been full. Trying to balance being a student, a part-time employee, and having a social life is nothing short of challenging. Maybe I’m the only one, but one of the first things that I sacrifice when life gets hectic is taking time for myself and focusing on my health. When I have to be at work at 7 it’s hard to eat a filling, healthy breakfast unless I wake up extremely early. Then only have an hour between work and class makes it very difficult to pack a lunch and usually leaves me grabbing something quick. Not to mention, with a packed schedule that demands late nights, early mornings and focus for school work, it’s very easy to become best friends with caffeine. Oh, and working at a coffee shop doesn’t help very much.
Can anyone relate?
For a second there I forgot to spend any time working on myself, and I’m the type of person that if I continue to forget about bettering myself for more than two weeks I start drowning. I won’t even notice it sometimes until subtle things become apparent and I have to stop and realize that the cause of them are from neglecting certain aspects of my life. You guessed it, the first place I see a negative change is my skin… whether it’s from stress or cheating slightly in my diet, I notice direct correlation with breakouts.
Just this past week I looked in the mirror, and all at once, realized wow, when was the last time I did something for me? Mind you, I suddenly became aware of this because of a breakout that gave me a flashback of the years I struggled with acne. I slowly had been losing sight of my health and skincare roots. For the first time I felt as if I could relate to everyone who’s told me their countless excuses as to why they don’t eat a clean diet- “I’m too busy” “I work too much” “School is hard and I can’t worry about that” “My schedule doesn’t allow for me to eat good”. So, if you’re in the same boat as me, rowing down a fast-paced river with lots of rapids, I want you to know that you can still eat clean, but don’t stress about being perfect.
My best tips to live healthy while being busy
1.Make the best possible choices
It’s okay that you’re not super woman and don’t have time to meal prep every single meal seven days a week, and it’s okay that you want to sleep in the extra thirty minutes instead of cooking a full breakfast spread. I understand that life is busy and unpredictable and sometimes you don’t want to worry about working a full day and then coming home to cook dinner. However, what you do have control over is choosing healthy restaurants to get takeout from, and picking the best options when it comes to food. Opt for gluten free whenever possible (almost everywhere should have at least one option nowadays), ask for the dairy free option, and try to go away from processed, sugary foods. Start ordering coffee with honey instead of a sugary syrup sweetener, or switch out cream for an alternative milk like coconut.
2. Have healthy snacks on hand
Trust me, I know how tempting it is to eat the quickest thing while you’re running around town doing errands, studying or find yourself hungry at work… but one of my best recommendations is to always keep quick, healthy snacks on hand for those times when you’re in a pinch. Some of my favorites are RX bars, macro bars, lara bars or perfect bars. Fruit, or trail mix is a great choice, or even hummus and veggies is simple to pack as a snack. Instead of getting fast food, plan ahead and stock up on healthy food when you’re at the grocery store, so that you have healthy options within reach.
3. Drink water
Of course this one should be a no brainer, but for some reason I know that when I’m non-stop busy, I forget to stay hydrated. There are so many benefits to drinking water it’s crazy: clearer skin, increase energy, flushes toxins from the body, aids in weight loss (just to name a few).
3. Get healthy sweets
If you’re anything like me I have the biggest sweet tooth, like ever. So, I think I would die if I didn’t have healthy sweets available to me. Sometimes we need to be rewarded- whether it’s for a hard day at work, or school, or you’re on your period, or maybe you just feel like eating chocolate and watching the office… you deserve it. But instead of indulging in overly sweet, fake, or processed sugars I recommend opting for the alternatives (and yes, they still taste great, I promise!).
Chocolate: Lily’s Chocolate, Evolve chocolate
Simple Mills cookies– these are the best cookies ever- sweetened with coconut sugar, grain free, and freakin’ delicious
Coconut Bliss ice cream: better than regular full dairy ice cream… this stuff is addicting and only sweetened with agave nectar. What the heck!
4. Invest in yourself
Take time for yourself. Take a bath, put on a face mask, watch your favorite show or listen to your favorite music, light some candles and remember your worth. I find it much easier for myself to stay in a healthy mindset and continue to pursue goals when I practice self care. I love to read the bible and write in my prayer journal. We have to remember to love ourselves and be kind to our bodies because they’re the only ones we have. Don’t be so hard on yourself: it’s okay if you eat chocolate or have something other than a salad, just listen to your body.
5. Be thankful
Count your blessings. From personal experience, I know that I am most happy and healthy when I remember to be positive and have a grateful heart always. If you let negativity creep in it can be easy to lose sight of health goals and caring for our bodies- inside and out.
thank you for the support, and thanks for following me.
I began eating healthy on the first day of 2016, otherwise known as January 1st. I made the unthinkable choice to cut all dairy, sugar and gluten out of my diet. And just to clarify, when I say sugar-free (which in my opinion, has developed a bad rap), I do not mean that I was okay with fake sugars like ‘sweet and low’, sucralose, aspartame, etc.. Also, on top of cutting these things out of my diet, I began eating healthier, whole-foods that benefitted my body. The reason behind my extreme diet was that I hoped to completely cure, or simply subdue, my mild acne. However, at that time I did not know nearly as much about the pesky skin condition as I do now, for example, the fact that my acne in-particular is mostly caused by genetics and hormones.
During the first few months of my lifestyle change, I learned many things and experimented A LOT. For the first three months, I was eating maple syrup and honey in small quantities in place of “sugar”, however, after doing my research, I found that these two natural sweeteners both have a high glycemic index. This really just means that when honey or maple syrup are consumed, they turn into (pretty much) the exact same thing as sugar in your body. And since I was trying to get rid of my acne, which is many times made much worse from sugar, my body couldn’t tell the difference from these natural sugars compared to white, refined sugar. That was my first mistake of many.
After about four months of strict eating, I decided it was time to invest in an actual food allergy test in order to find out exactly what foods my body had a hard time processing. For this, I was recommended a blood test, because it is said to be quite accurate. I went to my natropath, who drew my blood, sent it off to the lab, and voila! three weeks later I was greeted with my results in my mail box. And I’m not going to lie, what I saw really surprised me. The test results show a select number of foods in which many people are commonly allergic to. They are broken down into mild, moderate and avoid categories (but I was only instructed to really worry about the moderate and avoid foods). Eggs and peanuts were the two foods that I was told to avoid. All dairy products, except for goat’s milk, landed in my moderate range, along with almonds and a grain called gliadin. I was very thankful for these results, because for the four months leading up to my test, I was still eating eggs on a normal basis and had been consuming close to 1 and ½ cups of almond milk per day in my breakfast smoothies. Also, I freakin’ love peanut butter, and I may have had an unhealthy addiction. Needless to say, I was sad to find out my body does not process peanuts well and that I shouldnt’ be eating them.
After my blood test, I made another drastic change to my already-strict diet by eliminating all nuts, eggs and honey/maple syrup. In all honesty, I wanted to cry just a little bit after finding out that I was allergic to foods I thought of as “healthy”, and hearing from my natropath that I should steer clear from sugar for as long as possible to help my acne. Even though I had no intention of incorporating sugar back into my diet, this was still hard to hear since I have a major sweet tooth and sometimes I just really want an ooey gooey homemade cookie, ya know?
Now, fast-forward 2 months, equalling a grand total of healthy eating for six whole months, or half a year. I have continued to eat a strict non-dairy (including eggs), non-sugar and non-nut diet. However, I do sneak in very small quantities of gluten once in a while due to the fact that my body can handle a moderate amount of it. I just make sure it’s all natural and organic. In addition to all of the non’s I mentioned, I try to eat whole foods, such as organic, or free range meat, that is not pumped with hundreds of unneccessary hormones. I also try to limit my red meat and pork intake, leaning more towards small portions of chicken and fish whenever possible. I make my best effort to include dark, leafy greens in most of my meals, whether it’s in smoothies, salads, or stews.
As for extra vitamins, I try to remember to take my iron supplements, vitamin a, b-complex and calcium each morning. because I don’t eat dairy, I try my best to incorporate enriched, unsweetened rice or coconut milk at least once each day for the added nutrients and calcium that I am lacking.
My diet is constantly evolving and being minisculey tweaked. This is not a bad thing, it just means that I am continuing to learn from my mistakes and build upon my healthy foundations that I have laid for myself.
What I Have Learned Along the Way.
There is no doubt that my healthy lifestyle changes have impacted me in a way that I never could have imagined. I can 100% say that at the start of this journey I did not believe in myself, and did not think that I could achieve the place where I am at today. I can proudly say that I’ve grown so much as a person while on this journey; I have developed impeccable self-control and have learned how to listen to my body and adapt to fit my own needs.
Of course I’ve gone through hard seasons while being on my diet. Times of unhappiness, cravings, deficient self-worth and the impatient desire for clear skin and a toned body. But in the end, everything has been worth it, and I can now say that I have never felt better. That being said, no my acne has not completely disappeared, and do I expect it to soon? Not really. Like I said, even with my radical diet, I experience breakouts due to the fact that my acne is caused by genetics and hormones. Does it suck? Yes. But does acne define me? No. And hey, even though my dreams of magically waking up with clear skin have prominently let me down, I am in no way saying that I regret my lifestyle change. I have benefitted from my lifestyle change more than I ever thought possible, and I hope to continue with my progress and journey for many months to come. I have experienced unintended weight loss which is an obvious plus and an obvious decrease in acne, which I am very grateful for.
If I had the opportunity to inspire even just one person by my healthy habits, nothing would make me happier.
What’s the number one tip you would give to someone wishing to begin a healthy lifestyle?
You can do it. You are stronger than you think, and have everything it takes to be healthy. I am not special in any way, and it does not come easier to me than it does to you. I believe in you. Begin small and keep progressing until you’re happy with where you’re at. Don’t completely deprive yourself, or think that counting calories is necessary. Just listen to your body, and eat what makes you feel good (things that are healthy, of course). I promise you, you will see a world of difference if you’re consistent and patient with the process of becoming healthier.
I encourage you to never be too hard on yourself. I can say from personal experience that some days it does not make me happy to look in the mirror and only be able to focus on the bad things. For me, my biggest struggle has always been my unclear skin, but for many others’ it can be their weight, hair, teeth, height, etc.. Honestly, anyone can find something to be unhappy about. But before you put yourself down and tell yourself your unworthy, ugly or not good enough, just remember that you were created for a purpose and your flaws are not what define you. You are so much more than your insecurities, even if you don’t feel like it. I believe that trying to better yourself, whether it be through health, spirituality or things like education, is always a good idea, but it should be done with grace and patience.
When I first opened the Fit Snack healthy snack food subscription box that was delivered to my door, I was impressed by the variety and assortment of packaged treats.
I was lucky to work with Fit Snack, a company that encourages their costumers to stay active and live a fit and healthy lifestyle. Of course eating clean and working out are things I strive to do, but with the hectic life I live and the lack of time I have definitely don’t always help myself keep my goals in view. They are a monthly subscription box that costs $15 per month plus shipping and handling in return for a wide range of clean eating snacks that normally have a value of over $30 in the store. Fit Snack provides healthy alternatives for people who live busy lives and a wonderful support system to go along with their creations.
Most of their snacks, if not all, are:
nutrient dense- high in protein and complex carbohydrates and low in sugars.
consciously made- GMO free, produced organically and sustainably farmed.
diversified energy- gluten free, clean eating, paleo and raw.
Visually, the box is very engaging, decorated with bright colors and motivational pictures.
My two favorite things that were included was the guide for a full body workout (something that I’ve been meaning to do) and the sporty tanktop.
I was very excited to try out the various snacks because most of them sounded delicious.
However, I was quite disappointed with some of them, finding they either didn’t have a lot of flavor or their taste didn’t fit the description.
Since the box was packed with 9 different items, I am only going to share a few memorable ones with you, unless you are interested in hearing my opinion on more; in which case you could tell me in the comments.
Nogii Protein Powder
I enjoyed the protein powder, it tasted similar to many I’ve tried in the past, nothing special, but it does the job and tastes good. It is made with whey and quinoa, and is certified gluten free. Both vanilla and chocolate come in the box, ready-to-use on the go or at home in small, convenient pouches.
The Protein Bakery
Chocolate Chocolate White Chip Cookies-
These were one of my favorite food items, packed with protein and chocolate, they are a great on-the-go snack that tastes delicious and is easy to grab. Best of all, the baked cookies are also gluten free, following the wide-spread health craze that many people stick to. Wonderful product! Peanut Butter Blondie-
I have always loved a good blondie, but when I sunk my teeth into the Protein Bakery’s I was very disappointed. It had a slightly grainy texture, I did not taste one hint of peanut butter, that it claims to be made of, and what I did notice was an eggy after-taste. Maybe it’s because the treat was made without gluten, or blondies are hard to perfect, but I couldn’t even finish the whole square.
Fit Snack- Veggie Chips
I really enjoyed the veggie chips even though I could imagine other people could dislike them. They are pack with fiber and vitamin A, and are low in sodium (unlike many other chips). The chips are good for your body and taste simply like a crunchy vegetable, something I have no problem with.
Simply Seven Snacks- Quinoa Chips
I liked the quinoa chips because they reminded me of sunchips, or chips that aren’t healthy for you (always a plus). They are gluten free and made with simple ingredients, perfect for people who are trying to keep a nice figure, but still crave a salty pick-me-up during a hectic day. I would repurchase the quinoa chips for an easy fill-me-up.
Oven Baked Orgaincs- Gluten Free Pancake Mix
I found that I really enjoyed the pancakes, they are gluten free (always a plus!), fluffy and light, moist and easy to make. They turned out slightly grainy, but nothing to worry about once you drench them in butter. I sifted powder sugar over mine, but obviously add whatever toppings you like best. Also, the idea behind the wet ingredients you’re supposed to add is that most of them are substitutable with even healthier ones such as vegan milk, or applesauce.
The mix is easily comparable to Pamela’s, which my house is never without. My family liked them, and I ate quite a lot. I give them an A in my book.
Thank you for listening to my thoughts on this trusted company, I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to test their products out for yourself and let me know your conclusions.
well well well.
first off, I’ve been extremely busy. why, you may ask?
currently, I am enrolled in two college courses (and yes I am only a sophomore in high school), geology 102 and Spanish 202. my second semester in Oregon just started at the beginning of last week, so luckily my finals are already over. but since I’m into a higher spanish class now (I’ve taken all of them up to this point) and I’m new to geology all together (I didn’t take 101 first) I’m not entirely sure what to expect.
who knows, maybe the tests will be harder than I’ve ever experienced or my teacher could grade my presentation as if he majored in speech.
basically, I have been studying quite a lot since both of my first tests are this upcoming week. just to make sure I don’t fail (lol). close to 70 different spanish verbs and two new verb tenses; preterite and imperfect (which, if you’ve ever taken spanish, you’d know those are the hardest things to learn). I’m not always the star student when it comes to the studying department, I tend to procrastinate quite a bit. but this weekend I got my butt in gear and dove in head first. I’m proud to say, I made a flash card for every single verb and vocab word. woohoo! ¡Yo estoy muy cansada ahora!
I’ve been working on my blog a lot. I’ve been having so much fun experimenting with various content and improving my photo quality. and best of all, I’m teaming up with multiple independent companies/brands at this very moment in order to give you guys the most spectacular results. I hope you guys are looking forward to it just like me. and stay tuned for a giveaway in the near future as a way for me to express my love and thankfulness to you all.
and last but not least, I’ve been eating crap. literally crap. so last night I decided to knock that off and start clean on my glorious Sunday. so far it has been a success, if you were wondering! and I’ve pushed myself to drink more water for a more refreshed and healthier body. who wants to get clean with me?
I’ll jog with you. in spirt, I mean. I’m hoping to get in a three mile jog at least five times this week. fingers crossed.
well, that’s all I have for today. isn’t it funny that you go through each day thinking, wow my life is so interesting and full of meaning….
and then you write it all down and you just laugh? ha, me too.
what have you lovely readers been up to lately? exploring? eating? excersizing? studying? photo taking?
I’d love to know.
love all. love Madeline.
follow me on Instagram🌻http://instagram.com/madeline.explored/
I was recently introduced to the Hyperbiotics Immune formula vitamins. I am always on the search for new health supplements with beneficial factors such as one that help keep your immune system strong, therefore, when I found this new product I was ecstatic. the first quality that amazed me was the claim that the tablets used in the vitamins are “15x more effective than capsules”. that alone is a large statement, which always makes me wonder how true it is. at the bottom of the container the brand also claims they are 100% vegetarian, lactose free and gluten free, and the list goes on, which all sound like pluses to me. hyperbiotics says they supply the only products in which a person’s good bacteria, commonly diminished by today’s overly-processed foods, is repopulated in the body. the prominent ingredients that make up the supplements are Bioavailable Vitamin C, Zinc and Echinacea. another good thing about Hyperbiotics Immune is that they don’t require refrigeration and they hold a shelf life of up to 18 months.
if you’re looking for a great health supplement, I would definitely recommend the Hyperbiotics Immune to keep away bacteria and sickness during the last few flu season months.love all. love Madeline.
I hope you like this product as much as I do, feel free to buy it here: