The healthy living challenge is underway, and while I am missing my fast food and sweets, deliberately living healthily has dramatically improved the quality of my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
My daily routine since I started this challenge starts with me waking up at 6:30 a.m. with at least seven hours of sleep under my belt. Making sure I get to bed before 11:30 p.m. has not only helped me feel much more rested in the morning. It has also helped me budget my time better for homework and studying, which forced me to cut back on entertainment time as well.
I always make sure I eat breakfast before I leave for my first class in the morning. At each of my meals, I have been religiously making sure I am eating at least one serving of fruit or vegetables. I have found it easiest to juice my fruits and veggies in green smoothie form.
I am drinking one of my homemade green protein shakes for dinner now. I start with water and ice; then I add two apples, two oranges, one banana, a handful of strawberries, a spoonful of peanut butter, and, of course, a handful of spinach. The taste, though somewhat like a liquid salad with hints of fruit, has started to grow on me.
As much as I was apprehensive going into it, deliberately eating nutritiously has given me a lot more energy for the day. And while I could eat five McDonald’s cheeseburgers and still be feeling ravenous for more, I am completely satisfied after eating one of my simple ham sandwiches coupled with a green protein smoothie.
I did have to make a quick guilty break at a fast food restaurant once during the week. But in my defense, it was Subway, and I loaded my sandwich with literally every single veggie they offer, which makes it all the more delicious.
I also tried to incorporate as many different types of exercises into my week as possible. I went running, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, lap-swimming and weight lifting all in the last three weeks. The variety of workouts helped me look forward to each one, especially my personal favorite: rock climbing. While my sea-level lungs have been struggling to catch up with the altitude, filling each day with activity has helped me feel much better about myself.
I have not seen major physical changes in myself yet. However, the immediate blessings due to living healthy have already paid off: extra energy invigorating me throughout the day, more time to get stuff done and feeling much better about myself. With benefits like these, I hope to make this healthy living challenge more than a five-week sprint but an entire lifestyle.