Shingles. It’s Not Just For The Elderly

Have you seen that commercial for shingles?  There is an elderly man that has this horrible rash that is all over his face and he constantly wears a grimace of pain and every one gives him these pitiful looks as he winces his way through life and the commercial.  The commercial leads you to believe, as well as everything else you hear, that shingles is an old people disease.

Yeah.  I found out that isn’t true. How? I got shingles! Shingles. It's Not Just for the Elderly | Life Healthfully Lived Continue reading

What You Shouldn’t Stress About

If you’re human, you probably stress out about things.  A big project due at work, giving a speech in class, or dealing with an illness can all be stressful things.  If you’re anything like me, you stress about stupid things.  Like wondering if the people walking behind you just saw you stumble over your own two feet.  Hint: probably, but they don’t really care.

It can feel like stress is a normal part of life and it really doesn’t have to be.  There are certain things that a lot of us worry about that we don’t really need to, especially when it comes to your health.  If you read health articles or magazines or watch the news, it feels like there is a new health claim every day that we have to worry about.  And more than likely over the years, I have worried about it.

But as I’ve gotten older and learned more about my personal health, I have been able to let go of some of the “health” stress and do what works for me.  I haven’t died or gained a billion pounds or detrimentally destroyed some part of my health.  I’ve figured out what I like and what works best.

So here is a list of a few things that you DON’T need to worry about when it comes to your health:

#1- Eating superfoodsWhat You Shouldn't Stress About | Life Healthfully Lived

Kale, acai berries, and quinoa are all delicious and deemed superfoods.  But you know what else is a superfood?  An apple.  Some broccoli.  Even the humble clove of garlic is a superfood.  Focus on eating real food that you actually enjoy and I promise you’ll be just fine.

#2- Sitting downWhat You Shouldn't Stress About | Life Healthfully Lived

Yes, I have actually worried about this.  There have been reports and research lately that say sitting too much has a negative effect on our health.  Even if you workout, if you spend the majority of your day sitting it’s like you haven’t worked out at all.  Cue Katie standing constantly for fear of ruining my metabolism and undoing all the hard work I put into my exercises.  Sure, if you sit all day you should probably get up and move more.  But you shouldn’t stress about sitting down if you’re tired or need a rest.  Find a good balance of sitting and standing throughout your day that works for your body and your schedule.

#3- Making sure your body looks the same at all timesWhat You Shouldn't Stress About | Life Healthfully Lived

I think because we are constantly bombarded with images of perfect bodies and rippling muscles, we feel like we have to look like that too at all times.  I know I would get frustrated when I would look in the mirror in the morning and at night and I would be looking at two different bodies.  Your body shape changes throughout the day due to things like hydration, the foods you eat, and if you’re a woman, your period.  The way your body looks doesn’t determine your worth or even how healthy you are.  You’re long-term habits do.  And remember those pictures of models are just a snapshot of a moment.  They don’t look like that all the time.

#4- Eating at the right timeWhat You Shouldn't Stress About | Life Healthfully Lived

Eat right when you wake up.  Fast for 18 hours.  Don’t eat after 7 pm.  Eat constantly for 6 hours and then don’t eat again for 12 hours.  Who thought when you eat could be so confusing?  Each one of these options has plenty of studies and research that supports their claims and probably, even more disputing them.  You know what you should do?  Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re not.  As long as you’re getting adequate fuel throughout the day and can go about your daily tasks with enough energy, it doesn’t really matter when you eat.  Do what works best for you.

#5- Thinking only one form of exercise can get you resultsWhat You Shouldn't Stress About | Life Healthfully Lived

This is one that I’m currently working on.  If you read my blog regularly, you know that I’m taking a little break from running.  It’s mostly because it wasn’t bringing me the same joy that it used too.  I was dreading my run instead of being excited.  The other part of me taking a break?  I had convinced myself that running was the only way I was going to keep weight off.  I had it in my mind that if I stopped running I would start gaining weight.  My rational brain knew that was silly and wrong, but when do I listen to my rational brain?  There are so many ways to move and exercise, no one way is perfect and no one way will get you results.  Try new things and do what you love and don’t be afraid if those things change over time.

These are just a few of the things I have stressed about over the years and I’ve learned that they weren’t as big a deal as I was making them out to be.  You’re not going to do everything perfectly and that’s ok.  The mistakes let you learn what works for you and create habits and a routine that will keep you healthy for the long haul.

I hope you have an awesome Monday and I will see you back here on Wednesday for an all new recipe!

What are some silly health things you have stressed about over the years?

The Holiday Cycle

holiday-eating-caution-signThursday officially kicked off the holiday season.  It’s also the start of the season of eating and tips, posts, and articles about how to avoid gaining weight or overeating during the holidays.  I’ve even written a few posts like that in the past, but this year I am going to take a different approach.  I’m going to tell you to take a deep breath and just relax.

Believe me, I know just how tough it is to do that this time of year.  It feels like there is food everywhere you look and parties every weekend and it’s almost like you are just eating every single second of the day.  All of these things contribute to an already stressful time.  You feel guilty with every cookie you eat, yet you can’t stop eating those cookies.  You try to eat well in between those parties just to offset the binge that is inevitably going to happen. It’s all a huge, guilty, vicious cycle and no one looks forward to that.



This is why I am going to take a different approach to the holiday eating season this year.  I am not going to worry about every single piece of food that passes my lips.  I don’t want to be spending the most wonderful time of the year thinking about food I have eaten, or shouldn’t have eaten, or won’t eat.  Adding more stress to my life is not going to help my health in any way, so I am going to do my best to keep calm.

This doesn’t mean that I am going to go hog wild with food.  I’m still going to eat real, whole foods and limit my sugar intake.  My meals won’t look much different than normal.  I’m still going to exercise regularly and go about my days like I normally do, but I am not going to sweat the holiday treats.  After years of punishing myself for being “bad” during the holidays, I have learned that it isn’t one meal or treat that will undo all my hard work.  It is what I do day in and day out that will affect my health.  Worrying over food will also affect my health in a negative way.


You can do it too.  Maybe you have spent many a family gathering eyeing all the delicious food and forcing yourself to sit miserably on the sidelines eating carrot sticks.  Or maybe you load up your plate and stuff yourself full of your off-limit foods and immediately regret the massive food baby you currently have.  You don’t have to let something like food have so much control over your life.  Go into this holiday season with that mindset; food does not control you.  Know that one meal doesn’t make you unhealthy and one party isn’t going to ruin your progress.  You can still enjoy yourself and not feel guilty about eating.  Like I said before, take a deep breath and just relax.  Focus on all the other things that are going on during this season and trust yourself to do what is best for you.  You’re stronger than you think!

Be as confident as this cat :)

Be as confident as this cat 🙂

I hope you all had a great start to the holidays and that you have an awesome week!

Don’t Do That, It’ll Kill You

Poison-GardenI don’t know if many of you read as many health related articles and studies as I do, but let me tell you: we are doomed.  At least that is the feeling I get sometimes.  The titles can read all doom and gloom and it would seem that we can do nothing right.  From eating the wrong foods, breathing in the wrong chemicals, and even not standing enough, every aspect of our health is in danger.  It can be overwhelming and cause you to feel like it is a hopeless cause because no matter what there is going to be something that you do that is going to kill you or compromise your health.

I started feeling this way when I really started to dig into making myself healthier.  I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything right so that I could be the best and healthiest.  I wanted to be eating all the right foods, doing all the right exercises, and so I turned to health research.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate and value all research.  It is what helps us learn more about ourselves and the world around us.  Research helps us do better, but it can also be a double-edged sword.  Any study that you find proving one thing, you will undoubtedly find a conflicting study proving something else.  This is especially true with health research.  So when I started in on finding the healthiest life possible, I got confused and overwhelmed.  I was doing everything wrong it felt like and if I kept this up it would lead to a morbid end.


I began to worry about everything I did when it came to my health.  Was I eating at the right time to get the optimal nutrition from my food?  Was I exercising enough or too much?  Did I sit down too often?  Should I ever sit again?  Were the cleaners I used in my house going to undo all the healthy eating I had been reading about?  I second-guessed every choice I made, and fretted over if I would ever be able to do it right.  Ironically enough, all that worrying about doing everything perfect is what led to me not being as healthy as possible.

Stress is one of the biggest health busters and it can wreak havoc over all areas of your life.  It can affect sleep, which can then affect your hormones that help make food choices, which then affect your body, which in turn affects your physical activity.  By stressing over all the research that I was taking in, I was doing the exactly the opposite of what I wanted.

I’ll tell you something I needed someone to tell me: you aren’t going to do it all perfectly.  There is no way that you can eat every super food out there, perform all the most challenging exercises, eliminate every bad habit that is going to be the demise of your health.  It is impossible and it is also ok.  You can’t be perfectly healthy and you shouldn’t expect yourself to be.  Rather than stress over all the things you have to do or suffer the consequences, focus on doing the best you can.  Remember when your parents told you even if you got a bad grade on something as long as you gave it your all and did your best that was what mattered?  The same applies to your health.  Eat as best as you can, whether that is organic or conventional.  Exercise in the way that works for you, whether that is doing CrossFit or yoga.  Make as many healthy choices as you can, whether that is using all natural cleaners or walking more throughout the day.  The little things will add up and you’ll live a healthier life by doing the best you can.

I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, and we aren’t meant to be.  Don’t let all those studies and research get you down and make you hopeless.  Don’t give up or worse, not start, just because it appears to be a lost cause.  Making today better than yesterday is a healthy goal, and research says that’s a good thing!



When Routine Becomes Too Routine

Ask any member of my family and they will tell you that I am a big fan of routine.  I like knowing exactly what I should be doing at each moment in the day.  I like having tasks to do and then being able to check them off my list as I complete them.  Having a routine helps me to feel in control and it also keeps me on track.  It helps me accomplish my goals and gives purpose to my day.  Some people might find having a routine too boring and rigid and like to face the day with no plan in mind and let what may come, come.  That is totally fine, but I am not those people.  In my mind, routine is a good thing.  Until it isn’t.


When you make a choice to be healthier, I would say that establishing some type of routine will be crucial to your success.  It’s good to have a plan set for what you are going to eat for the week, what workout you’re going to do for the day, and what goals you have in mind for your health.  In this sense, a routine will help keep you on track and moving towards what you want.  But we have to be careful to not become so addicted to our routine that it starts to hinder our health.

I began to notice that I was becoming so used to doing the same thing over and over again that my progress had actually stalled.  While I wasn’t losing ground, I definitely wasn’t gaining any either.  I also started to notice that any sort of change to my routine would throw me for a huge loop and cause me a lot of anxiety.  I wasn’t flexible to the little wrenches that might be thrown into my day and it stressed me out.  Stress and anxiety are the opposite of helpful when you are trying to be healthier.  I started to worry about straying from my ideal routine or plan and that was all I could focus on.  What would I do if this happened?  How could I avoid any possible challenge to my routine?  What can I do to make sure that I never have to stray from MY plan?  Those aren’t healthy or helpful questions.


In case you hadn’t noticed, life doesn’t really care too much about your plan or your routine.  It is going to do whatever it wants and you can play along or fall by the wayside.  No matter how much I plan out my day or week, there are going to be things that have to change and I am going to have to adapt.  That is a good thing!  I realized I was missing out on so many fun things because they didn’t fit into what I thought I needed to be doing that day.  I can’t go to the movie at that time, that’s when I’m suppose to be doing yoga.  You want to eat that meal instead?  Sorry I already planned this one out three days ago.  I was trapped in a box that I had made myself and ironically it was causing me to stray from my healthy goals.

I will never be a person that can just fly by the seat of my pants.  I will always have to have some type of schedule or routine because that’s who I am.  But I am working on going with the flow more often.  I am learning to say yes to things that weren’t originally in my plan and letting go of the anxiety that creeps up when I can’t cross something off of my list when I think I should.  It’s ok to have some wiggle room in your life, in fact I would say that it’s necessary.  Say yes to an impromptu meal with a friend from out of town.  Surprise yourself and your significant other by doing something out of the blue.  Don’t worry about not getting in a full hour workout or eating the exact meal you prepped.  Adapt to the situation and make the healthiest choice possible at that time.  You’ll be a more well-rounded person and you’ll get to experience amazing opportunities along the way.  You don’t have to throw all caution to the wind and forgo routines or plans all together.  Instead of a rigid schedule you HAVE to stick to, set a general map for your day or week and make decisions as they pop up.  As long as those decisions are propelling you toward your ultimate goal, don’t stress about the ride!