TOP 3 Things for a Healthy Life: and How They Gave Me the Best Surprise Ever!

Published by Kickin' Vegan on

Top 3 Things For a Healthy Life: And How They Gave Me the Best Surprise Ever

Yes, there are A LOT more than three things you can do to create a healthy lifestyle, But the TOP 3 THINGS to IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH are so so simple, we all need to be constantly reminded! And then we must take action and put our health first. Let’s go!

Number ONE THING you can do to IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH: 

Shocker! It’s DIET and EXERCISE. 

You are what you eat, and being sedentary is not acceptable. But please allow me to take the crazy extreme complication out of it! It really is super simple. 

Diet: I am not talking about “going on a diet.” This will simply never do in my world. I get it, if you are about to enter a bikini contest, get married, or go to your highschool reunion, it is tempting! It is rarely healthy and never permanent. But in all fairness, I have my forms of this, by doing a 30 day sugar detox or a 7 day juice cleanse. I do however, think of them as a “reboot” to reset a failing dietary habit (oopsie, delicious processed vegan junkfood Fall through Winter) and not “going on a diet.” To avoid dieting yo-yo nonsense altogether, make things much easier by following a particular diet lifestyle all the time. Then you would never need a temporary fix that won’t give you lasting results. (Boring! Broken record, I know, but like your Mom always gives you the same advice, it’s just true.) 

But what kind of dietary lifestyle? 

This is a Whole Foods, Plant-Based Vegan supportive blog. So I am going to tell you the truth here. 

  • Avoid processed foods most of the time. Try whole foods 90% of the time or as close as you can shift toward that. This means shop around the aisles and not in the middle of them. Your food should not have an ingredients list, it should be an ingredient. Live enzymes, easier digestion, no refined food paste in your gut. Avoid white foods like sugar, white flour, white pasta, white rice. Go whole grain everything. Think produce aisle and bulk aisle. Canned and frozen are second best. Fruits, Veggies, Grains, Beans, boom. All containing protein, seriously don’t worry about it! 
  • Avoid Meats and Dairy. Especially processed and smoked meats, like deli meats, bologna, jerky, ham, pepperoni, hot dogs, etc. They are actually just as damaging to your health as smoking cigarettes. But don’t kid yourself that grass-fed, humanely raised, organic meats are a huge jump to the positive. They are still animal proteins, and they are not the most ideal in the human diet. We are omnivores in that we can sort of digest it instead of dying, but eating animal protein is very acidic to our bodies and over 60% of Americans cannot even properly digest dairy. It takes a ton of energy to break these animal proteins down into their useful amino acids and nutrients, and that is why you feel fatigued after eating a heavy animal based meal.  Constipation, brain fog, lethargy. When you eat fruits and vegetables, grains, and legumes, the amino acids and nutrients are easily digested and assimilated. You will get all of your essential amino acids by eating a varied plant based diet without having to think too much about it, so don’t worry. Your energy levels will be through the roof, and you will soon find that you get to eat twice as much to get your calories in! Yay! I love eating!!! Again here, just do the best you can, keep it as close to 90% plants as possible.
  • Load the Freak Up on the BIG FOUR: FRUITS, VEGETABLES, GRAINS & BEANS! The best way to arm yourself against temptation is to meal prep- but we will cover that in another post soon! The more food you have ready and cooked in bulk at the beginning of the week, and healthy snacks thought out to bring with you, the less likely you are going to cave at the gas station or checkout aisle, or hit the drive through. Nuff Said. 

Exercise: My advice is to keep it simple, keep it zen and above all else- KEEP IT CONSISTENT.

The key word here is truly CONSISTENCY. When I say “every day” throughout this post- I would advise 5-6 days a week. Athletes at all levels need a day of rest. 

My natural tendency here is to go to extremes, however I am NOT going to advise you to do that! I have been an athlete my entire life. 8 seasons of little league. A lifetime of running, biking, and swimming. Gymnastics, dance, taekwondo, karate, baton twirling. In highschool and college: tennis team, cross country team, crew team, lifeguard. Every kind of yoga, workout aerobics, and weightlifting. I ran marathons through my adulthood. I just retired from a career in teaching martial arts and running a school. Wow, that was a lot of literal blood, sweat, tears, sprains, broken bones and competitive craziness! If that is your jam, then by all means, crack at it! 

I am in a phase of my life right now where all that extreme exercise is complete nonsense to how it fits into my life. I’m not saying I won’t be back, but I am doing my very best to walk two miles a day. But I do it, every day. Some days I get a little jog, or I’ll take the rollercoaster hilly path. Some days I go flat and slow and sleep half a day afterward. If you are just at the beginning of your health journey, go for a walk around the block and work up to a mile, Every damn day! If 5 miles is your jam or 20 miles on a bike, then at least get in a small jog or ride or even walk on your “I don’t have time” days. 

Comparison is the thief of joy and accomplishment. No matter who you are, someone is better, faster, stronger, taller, richer…you get the idea. Be YOUR best self, and how ever you are feeling, BE CONSISTENT! Do some physical activity every single day, get your 10,000 steps, and build from there to see how your weight, endurance, speed, etc improve- compared to you and only you. Even if you are a competitive athlete, you will always get ahead when you are working to beat yourself every time. 

Number TWO thing you can do to IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH: 

Watch That Stress!

Please don’t take this suggestion lightly. Stress is a killer. You can do everything else right, and this will attack you from the inside out. 

Make self-care a top priority. This can be hard to imagine when you think of all the responsibilities you have and the people that depend on you. All of that gets tied up in your identity and you can feel bound and helpless. Did I just describe you? If I did, it’s time for some drastic cuts. What one thing is in the way of all of your goals and you just can’t get to your priorities? What’s holding you back from all the other things? Take an edit, and let it go.  

To get to that place of strength, here are some serious tips: Meditate. Keep a journal. Write in it daily! Visualize and do affirmations every day. This isn’t as huge a commitment as it sounds, choose one and build the habit and add each one in, one at a time. I did this for three years before I finally had the faith in myself to cut out the one thing holding me back. 

Personal story: I was doing everything right. I was running a karate school, I had earned my location and I was on my own to lead a ragtag team to victory. And we did! I fell in love with all of my students, I raised them to become black belts. I taught them more than just karate, they were my heart and soul and I cared so much about changing their lives. I saw miracles happen on that floor as people became the best version of themselves. 

I gave it everything I had, but I was crazy stressed all the time. I felt so blessed and lucky to have this platform to change lives, but I worked so many hours and NEVER saw my family. I was grabbing convenience food (sucky vegan choices), driving all over the place, dealing with overhead, productivity, staff, and sales. I was actually quite killing it, despite the many challenges thrown my way. 

But I was lost. I missed my family. I worked nights and weekends, I often put in 14 hr workdays and holidays, and ran all over several cities setting up tents and events. Not to mention, I barely made enough money to cover the expenses of gas, food on the go, and childcare. My health had stalled out. I was crashing hard and I was lonely and felt like an island. 

I felt this way for two years before I finally let myself know it was time to set this job free. It was a hard and weighty decision, but once I made the decision, I never looked back. 

I decided. That same week, I met a chiropractor from New York that did a workup on me. She told me that whatever I was doing, I needed to stop, immediately. My adrenal system was almost completely blown out. 

Physical proof that my stress was actually going to kill me, I could no longer joke about it like I a proud workaholic, “I workout, I eat right, I’m super healthy but the stress is gonna get me one day, that’s my killer, yuk yuk yuk!”

I gave two more months of my best, and then, peacefully let go.

I hit reset. No, I couldn’t afford it, but I couldn’t not afford it. I put my kids on a plane and went to Hawaii for a month. To Daddy’s house. I rebuilt my health by meditating, running up a mountain and swimming in the sea with turtles every single day. I ate fresh fruits from the farmers trucks, my dad’s garden, and off neighbor’s trees. It did NOT hurt that my Dad has a hot tub overlooking Kaneohe Bay in his waterfront backyard. (Not going to lie. That was a big part of my healing, see if you can get in on that!)

That’s MY story, but we all have one. What is yours? Hey, whatever it takes to release the stress in your life and live it on your own terms, you MUST do it. It can save your life. I didn’t think I could do it either. I am not special or privileged, nor braver than you. But I hit the wall of reality that if I didn’t change it, I would never change, and that was unacceptable. Choose your health right now.

NUMBER THREE THING you can do to improve your HEALTH: 

HYDRATE!

Really, that’s it. Put water into your body every day, and plenty of it. NOT coffee, NOT soda, NOT fruit juice, NOT sports drinks, and obviously NOT alcohol, they do NOT count! Water. H20. The good liquid stuff. Many of our problems throughout the day can be solved by drinking a glass of water. Headaches, brain fog, irritability, hunger, low energy. We need it in every cell in our body, and it facilitates the movement of all of our cellular and bodily functions. OUr body actually goes into a cellular panic when we don’t have enough and begin conserving resources. Most of us are living in that state all the time! We pour other things over it to fix it, when all we need is water. 

We ALL know this is true, but somehow we all seem to fall short of this basic human need. Of the top three things to improve your health, this might be the most important and the easiest! It can help so much with the first two. 

My pro tip here is to go and get yourself a favorite drinking vessel. I prefer those med/large clear drinking canteens with the wide lid that screws off, but is attached by a ring around the opening. I do not care for any drinking lid with parts that you can’t disassemble and clean, I don’t want any technology on my bottle. For me, simplicity is divine here. 

Choose the vessel that makes you happy to look at, and make it your beloved buddy, like a toddler with their favorite woobie or stuffed animal. Never leave home without it, and have a massive tantrum if it gets left behind. (Tantrum optional, lol)  I personally have three of the bpa free nalgene bottles, one is blue and says :’SPIRITUAL GANGSTER” on it. It’s a clear favorite. I can’t go anywhere without them and I drink at least two a day. (That is, when I actually take my own advice.) Drink up! 

How these Three Healthy Habits gave me the Best Surprise Ever!

Ok Now here’s the best part of the story.  and I do sincerely believe that you also will experience miracles by prioritizing yourself and living by the TOP 3 Things for a Healthy Life.

I am a woman in her forties (the late side!) who has always been fit and healthy (except for that stress part that we covered.) Although I lived a mostly vegan lifestyle and made concessions for my fitness, the stress of my job and schedule had me putting on twenty pounds. Yep. 20. 

Moving to the country burbs in rural SC severely limited my eating out options. I was constantly grabbing convenient crap food on the go. Piling up vegan protein cookies, veggie sub sandwiches, chips. Oh. the chips at the gas station across the street. Washed down with a green tea slurpee. Cause, I needed the energy. I was chugging energy drinks like a psycho. Sure, I lit up my classes with a fun false energy, but the tax on my health with these dietary choices combined with my severe lack of sleep and never ending stress and 10 oclock dinner times. 

Geez Louise. I was kind of a mess. When I made peace with saying goodbye to my career, I dedicated all my energy to recovery. I sincerely meditated and prayed every day on these two things: “Health and Family, Health and Family, Health and Family.” Anything that interfered with those was not for me. 

Imagine my surprise when after 2 months of progress, running daily, fueling like a perfect WFPB beast, and zenning out like a Tony-Robbins-following Monk, my run times started getting really slow. REALLY SLOW. I lost 10 pounds, and then, not so much. Stagnant. Frustrating. I figured this was my adrenal system breakdown and repair. I thought I had the flu for about 3 weeks, even though I never had a fever or sore throat, I just felt super sick and weak. 

You know when you pray or ask the universe for something, over and over again, and you receive it in spades but not at all in the way you thought you would?  At 46, and a lifetime of infertility (other than the 5 year science project that brought me my two kids, now 10 and 11) I discovered that I did not have the flu. Nope. I was pregnant! 

My body had healed itself from hormonal illness and mental torcher, caused by a lifetime of stress abuse.  I was truly practicing what I preach- a true Whole Foods, Plant Based Vegan Diet. And of course, I was being a master of hydration. I have my bottle with me right now as I type. My friend, my buddy, my water bottle. I love it. 

What will you receive if you make these 3 small shifts to improve your health?

3 Things that can change your health forever? 

3 changes to put you at your physical best? 

I challenge you to give it a try, how long can you go, a week, a month, a quarter? For LIFE???

With all changes in life, it’s about progress, not perfection. Do your best, and when you get off track, don’t get upset, just redirect to the path. Just like a kid learning to walk or ride a bike. Patience, understanding and consistency will rule the day and you will rule your life. 

Good Luck everyone!

Categories: Uncategorized

Kickin' Vegan

Britt Taylor is a Vegan and a 2nd degree blackbelt. She is a wife, mother, and businesswoman. Currently living in bliss with a healthy vegan pregnancy on the lake in South Carolina. A runner (well, mostly a walker these days!) and a personal development director of opportunity. Once she retired in 2019, she has made the free lancing and self made woman world her passion and joy! All she really cares about is helping people transition to a Plant Based lifestyle in the easiest, most painless way and helping them to see that is is easy, fun, sexy and adventurous! She is passionate that it is the truest way that we can live in the peak of health for ourselves, and bonus! The Planet! Britt has an undergrad in both Theatre Arts and Nutrition and decided against pursuing her Master's in order to focus on a truer path in the health paradigm, so she got her online certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University. A lifetime studier of health and nutrition has led her on this 30 year journey to be of assistance with those who are trying to navigate this often confusing and contradictory world of nutrition information. She is here to help those who are ready to transition be able to do so with a clarity of purpose and understanding.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.