Hi everyone! Well, today is the first day of sunshine in almost 2 weeks in Boston, and I had a glorious run/walk home from work and a lovely yoga recovery out on the deck. Then a lovely summer beer I am so grateful for sunshine! I am also a little sad today that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett have passed away. Personal life aside, Michael Jackson was such an icon of the decades that I grew up in, and was an amazing entertainer in his day. I hope they both find peace and rest wherever they may be now.
Over the past month or so, work has gotten extremely busy because over the next few weeks, I have 9 deadlines which include the launch of our new corporate website. In years past, in times when I worked longer hours and was striving to meet deadlines, I would often fall into a trap of drinking loads of coffee, eating sugary or fatty foods because I was working hard and deserved it, and schlumping down on the couch at night doing no activity because I had just done enough for the day. So, even though I normally ate very well and exercised, during these times I would “treat” myself with lots of extra empty calories, caffeine and laziness.
This time is different. Instead of going down that tempting road, I have kept in mind the fact that none of those things helped to boost my energy, and have found replacements that seriously have. I am happy to share with all of you some of the things that have been keeping me not only going, but really thriving, alert, and happy during a stressful time.
1) Plenty of dark leafy greens and antioxidant-rich foods- In addition to the 2 cups or so of spinach that I drink in my morning monstah’, we have been eating salads every night. Last night’s was a gorgeous mix of spinach, blueberries, beets, red onion, chickpeas, goat cheese, one TJ’s chicken sausage, and Frank’s Hot Sauce. Yum! Eating like this rather than plopping on the couch with a bag of tortilla chips (Tostitos Lime Chips- I love you!) has kept me not only feeling full and energetic, but I am not stressing about gaining weight during busy times like I normally do.
2) Amazing Grass products – I can’t say enough good things about these products. I feel such a difference in the way my body feels and works that I can’t believe I was missing out for the past few years. Though young and healthy, I have always felt sluggish and tired with no explanation. It was beyond frustrating to see friends whose diets consisted mainly of diet colas having way more energy than I had. Now I realize (and my mom has been telling me for years) that I was missing key nutrients, especially iron, that I needed to function well. These products are pricey, but if you look around there are discounts online and in several other blogs.
3) Water- I am an avid water drinker, but the lure of coffee becomes massive when sleep hours dwindle and time spent staring at a computer screen increases. Rather than beefing up my coffee intake, I stick to my limit of one cup of coffee or tea each morning. The rest of the time is filled with drinking water or caffeine free herbal tea. Dehydration, as you probably already know, leads to more tiredness and often a false sense of hunger which leads to snacking on everything in sight.
4) Sleep- Learning to listen to myself rather than when I feel like I should go to sleep has been huge. I used to go to bed at the same time and often, though I felt tired, my mind was racing with too many things, and I would get stressed that I wasn’t sleeping yet. I have started staying up a little later if I feel like it, and as a result have been avoiding that stressful “I’m still awake” feeling.
5) Exercise- The temptation to stop walking to and from work and to take the bus or train has been huge, especially because of the awful weather we have been having. I am proud to say that I only took the bus half way once in the past month, and that was because it really was a downpour and I was starving. And you know what? I would have rather walked. Keeping up my exercise has really kept me alert and has helped with falling asleep at night even when I am stressed about the next day.
6) Treats!!! – What’s a long work day followed by more long work days if you have nothing special to look forward to? I have enjoyed some good beer and wine, cupcakes from mom, Lush bath bombs, and horrendously awful reality television throughout this entire time. I indulge in at least one, if not more, of these treats daily, and they really help to prevent any resentment from forming at the day that passed or the busy-ness that is ahead. And what’s even better, is that maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout makes me look forward to and appreciate all of the salads, smoothies, and exercise.