My Health and Fitness Journey: Update!

My blog has been “dark” for a couple of weeks now as I focused on teaching–finishing the semester strong, grading essays, etc.–but now, I’m on winter break, and it’s high time for an update.

When I first started this blog, my focus was 100% on reducing sugar intake. Since I’d let sodas and sweets creep into my regular routine, it didn’t take much effort to make a dent. My first step was to kick the soda habit, which was easier than I’d expected. Before the blog, I was drinking soda, lemonade, or other sugary drinks about 3-5 times per week, sometimes more. Now, I probably indulge once a week, sometimes less, and when I do choose a soda or sweetened coffee beverage (because let’s be honest, that’s my real problem), I always choose a small portion.

Reducing consumption of other sweets (cookies, pastries, etc.) has been trickier, especially around this time of year, when cookies and chocolate seem to multiply in the dark recesses of the pantry. However, while I haven’t completely eliminated sugary treats, I am much more mindful of what I choose. Last week, after we hosted a party, I threw away THREE FULL BOXES of store-bought cookies. That was a pretty big win. My frugal side thought, “what a waste,” but I decided that they were better off in the trash than in my mouth. Homemade cookies and apple pie might be worth it, but the grocery store specials? Not so much.

Reducing sugar intake is still a big part of my focus, but I’ve also been working on other aspects of my health and wellness recently.

1. I started taking vitamins regularly.

When I was a kid, I sometimes hid the giant Centrum multivitamin tablets that my mom gave me in my room until I could throw them away (sorry, Mom!). I hate taking pills. HOWEVER, I know that my diet is not varied enough to meet all of my nutritional needs, so I’ve been taking these vitamins (SmartyPants Women’s Complete Gummy Vitamins) and these probiotics (SmartyPants Adult Probiotic) every day. By the way, this post is not sponsored by SmartyPants, but I did a lot of research into various brands, and while SmartyPants are definitely not the cheapest, I think they use higher quality ingredients than some of the alternatives (e.g. L-methylfolate instead of folic acid). They have some sugar in them, of course, so I take that into account when deciding whether or not I can “afford” other sources of sugar in my day, but this is the first time I’ve EVER finished a bottle of vitamins. I actually feel better, too. Yeah, I suppose it might be a placebo effect, but it might actually be a real thing, so for now, I’m going to keep on keeping on.

2. I started working out again.

I was an competitive swimmer in high school, but since I graduated more than ten years ago, I’ve tried everything from yoga classes to Crossfit, and I’ve quit every. single. time. Honestly, if it’s not CONVENIENT and FUN, I’m not going to do it. At the risk of jinxing myself, I think I’ve found an approach that will work for me long-term. I’ll be writing more about my workouts in upcoming posts, but in the meantime, check out my Instagram (especially the stories) to see more of what I’m up to, or drop me a message on any platform if you want details.

3. I started cooking more.

Once I started actively reducing sugar, I was inspired to make more from-scratch meals, and I’ve had so much fun cooking for myself and my husband. This is especially enjoyable in our newly-remodeled kitchen, not only because it’s pretty, but because moving everything out and then back in again forced me to declutter, so it’s SO much easier to find things. If you’re looking for a little kitchen decluttering inspiration, check out the video below (from LoveMeg on Youtube). I plan to document more of my culinary adventures in the coming weeks and months, so be on the lookout for more recipes and tutorials in future posts.

All in all, I feel like this low-sugar journey has been a springboard into a much healthier lifestyle overall. I hope you’ll join me on this journey as we head into 2018. For now, I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy holiday season!

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