I am going to share with you the habits and lifestyle choices which I found (along my own personal journey) have lead to the best version of myself.
Eating a High Carb, Low Fat Vegan Diet: For me, eating this way is a magical portal to energy, weight loss, a positive mindset, clear skin, and so much more! Eating HCLF means that 85-95% of my daily macro count comes from carbohydrates. Wait – don’t carbs make you gain weight? In my experience, no. Eating unprocessed, unrefined carbohydrates actually provide energy, micronutrients, and a feeling of satiation. I feel my best when I eat bananas, dates, apples, potatoes, rice, quinoa, etc.
Sleeping Regularly and Enough: Ladies and gentlemen, sleep is important. If you desire clear eyes, an agile mind, ambition, creativity, results from workouts, and ENERGY – you must rest. And you must rest at “normal” times. No, falling asleep at 1am and waking at 10am is NOT the same as being early to bed and early to rise. I did learn this the hard way and have no intentions of letting those habits creep back into my life. For my best life, I strive to be in bed by 10pm and awake before 8am.
Regular Yoga Sessions: For me, it is 5+ classes per week. This is my sweet spot. If I am doing yoga at this rate, I am likely doing everything else in life better and with more clarity. The practice of yoga can mean different things to different people. For me, that hour and a half during class represents meditation in movement; connecting with my body in a nonjudgmental way. The act of thinking about nothing except the asanas and my breath is truly what I strive for.
Positive Thought Patterns: This year, I realized that the majority of my self-talk was negative. For example, while working out, my mind would race with uncertainty: Am I lifting enough weight? Doing enough reps? Is this going to give me the results I desire? I don’t look fit. This probably isn’t doing anything... Changing this mindset provided enormous relief. The point isn’t to be arrogant. The point is to soften these harmful thought patterns into a place of neutrality, and eventually our thoughts can be a voice of encouragement.
Quality Over Quantity: I figured out my favorites. Favorite clothing brands and styles, favorite cosmetic brands, handbags, etc. I’ve stopped buying throw-away clothing because, in the moment, it was cute and inexpensive. Instead, I’ve opted for pieces that may be higher priced, but will last longer and be more flexible within my wardrobe. How do you accomplish this? Try on all of the clothing you own and make three piles: Donate, Sell, and Keep. Learn what cuts/styles look best on your body. Learn what fabrics feel best against your skin. STOP looking inside your closet and not seeing a thing to wear. Next, become brand loyal to a handful of skincare/cosmetic lines and invest in your appearance without having an overwhelming amount of products that you never touch.
Reading: As in, actual books (not online articles). I make the promise to myself that I am going to read at least one page before bed. If I’m tired, I can still convince myself to read only one page. Typically I end up reading about one chapter. It’s important to me to always be learning, and making sure to read every night helps me keep that goal in the forefront.
Meditation: I have two blog posts on this topic here and here. Seventeen minutes per day is what I require. Finding a quiet time of day to light incense or candles and listen to meditative music has become a regularly scheduled date with myself. Quieting our thoughts allows us to move on from momentum that is no longer serving us.
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