Healthy Living

May 7, 2013

I’ve been thinking more and more about healthy living and thought I’d mention it as part of my ongoing series of Blog Tip posts on decor8. What does healthy living have to do with blogging? Everything! Becoming a blogger definitely made me more sedentary than ever before and with sites like Pinterest showing tons of cupcakes, brownies and carb and sugar-loaded foods everyday, I have to say the eye candy hasn’t just been on my screen – I’ve felt compelled to indulge more than I should and it’s just not the lifestyle I want to live anymore. And it has nothing to do with being thin – I know lots of thin people who aren’t healthy and who look 10 years older than they are because of poor nutrition. It’s not about what the scale says, it’s all in your complexion, your level of fitness (can you run up the stairs without heaving?), it is in your eyes (are your eyes glassy and tired or bright and radiant?), etc. One of my new year’s resolutions for 2013 was to become more healthy and active but I got off on a bad start. Then I decided to change that. So I did.

Healthy Living

One downside to blogging and book authorship is that you do a lot of it sitting down and this can definitely impact overall health, back health and even emotional health if you are not balanced. People who are active tend to battle less with negative feelings, too. I personally just want to glow. I want to radiant health and energy. I want to feel great as often as a I can. So I recently hired a nutritionist and life coach who is working with me to change my lifestyle around and who is coaching me with my career plans, too. For instance, after writing this post, I’ll go do something that requires standing – I’ll make a healthy juice smoothie with protein powder, drink it (not sitting, standing), and go use some hand weights for 15 minutes (also standing), then stretch a little, and finally return to my desk to work on some emails.

For my own resolve to live healthier, I’ve started walking regularly again (not strolling, covering 12 miles a weekend- really walking) and have plans to get into running eventually and I want to start spinning classes. I don’t need to be perfect but I want to be my personal best, whatever that “best” will ultimately be, I’ll have to decide that. Each of us has a personal best – the size we looked and felt the best at, the weight we felt the best at, the number of miles we could run comfortably, the amount of time we can swim laps before exhaustion, etc. No one can tell you what your best is and no one can tell me. And no one can do this for us – it has to be something motivated by the individual. We have to want to feel better and really live life instead of just existing, moving from project to project like a hamster in a wheel, and making money but not making a life.

Healthy Living

For me personally, due to food allergies and sensitivities,  I’ve been making lots of changes to my diet which includes adding only healthy food choices, salads, smoothies, loads of veggies, lean protein…  I replaced milk and soy milk with almond milk, replaced my 2 daily coffees with 1-2 coffees per week and am avoiding fatty snacks, sugary foods and “comfort” food. I also only eat out once weekly – we started this months ago and it’s been great for our budget but also our health (my husband and I). In the summer, I’ll eat out more because we tend to do a lot with our friends and we have tons of festivals here in Germany in the summer, but that’s not a problem because their are always salads and grilled meats and other things to choose from without going for the fried or fatty stuff. I’ve allowed myself one indulgence a week (within reason of course), but ice cream or something like that, just to keep it real because sometimes your out with friends and you really want the mojito right? Or you’re at your parents home and you want to enjoy the nice home cooked meal. I’m trying to approach this with a view to HEALTH and HAPPINESS. I’m already seeing results and the great part is, I’m not stressing out over any of it. It’s funny how your body can change from bad habits to good in such a short period of time. We can easily get out of ruts – it’s the beauty of being human and having mind body control.

Healthy Living

I hope that bloggers everywhere will start to think more about healthy living. I already feel so much better and it’s not even been a month yet since I embraced being more conscious of  my health. I hope together we can raise awareness when it comes to healthy living for writers, bloggers, graphic designers and others who primarily use their computers for work. We do so much good in the world through our work, but we need to do good for ourselves too. I have some friends who work morning, noon and night and can barely chase their kids on the playground without getting irritated and tired because they’re just not active anymore. I know the feeling – it’s so easy to fall into your desk chair and grow roots and live through the pages of the internet and Pinterest without consciously thinking about LIFE, as in YOUR life.

How would YOU and YOUR life look on a Pinterest page? Would it inspire you? For me, just eating a bit healthier and taking frequent standing/walking breaks, and incorporating mini workouts into my work day (if you are writing a book like I currently am it’s so important), try to stand up and stretch every 15 minutes or get on the floor and do some crunches or a few yoga moves and then go back to writing. It’s all really good and every little bit adds up.

Healthy Living

We don’t really know what the “after” will be for those of us always working online because most of us haven’t been doing it for long enough to really see how it has impacted our health. But for me, I’ve been blogging for over 7 years and definitely can see that it really does affect your vision, your emotional health and your back health – not to mention numbers on the scale, if you aren’t active physically throughout the day. Thankfully, I have no major health issues or nothing prompting my lifestyle change – just the will to feel great and vibrant and of course, to have a better quality of life. We only live once, right?

Healthy Living

What are your thoughts on healthy living? How do you maintain good health if you are doing a job that requires a lot of sitting? Any eating tips, exercise tips, etc. are welcome below!

(images: holly becker)



  • Reply sue May 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    good for you. I try and live fairly heathily. I cycle to the office a lot, and go to the gym or use the Wii fit. Do you have one of those? it is great. Last month I gave myself a personal challenge month, which I managed to stick to in part – it is on my blog :) This month i wanted to work on my yoga poses, something else I only started last year, but better late than never. I think though it is very important to be concious of our health, especially as we get older. It is way too easy to let the pounds pile on and the condition slip, and much harder to shift it the longer we wait. Good luck with it. You will find plenty of motivating quotes for fitness on pinterest.

    • Reply decor8 May 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      @Sue – Thank you! No I don’t have a wii Fit – I wouldn’t enjoy that though – I try to get away from screens as much as possible!

  • Reply Kristen May 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I love this post, Holly and I applaud you for writing it! It’s a great topic and I agree we all really NEED to be talking about it. In about the middle of February I was the same place you were (I swore I would change in January and didn’t), and I finally thought, I don’t like how I am. It’s been almost 3 months and everything is different – sure I look different, but I FEEL different. When I look at food, I decide how it will make me feel instead of whether I want it or not. It’s made all the different in helping me get healthy!

  • Reply Dave May 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Please share some of you recipes with us! that Shrimp salad looks so good!

  • Reply Amy - Bead Bash May 7, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I had a baby 2 months ago and I am trying to keep my blog and etsy shop going. I have just started to think about getting myself back in shape. I was in the best shape of my life a year ago for my wedding just before I got pregnant. I had found an exercise DVD that really suited me. I can’t even imagine getting time to do the DVD now so I think I will start by taking my baby out for daily walks.

    I just hope the weather picks up as it’s been raining for months! I am definitely healthier in good weather!

  • Reply Valerie May 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I schedule in exercise like I schedule in everything else in my day. This way only something big like a Dr. appointment or what not prevents me from exercising.

  • Reply Audrey - This Little Street May 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Healthy living sounds like such a simple, easy idea….yet it’s hard to implement, right? Takes a lot of effort. I’ve tried to do healthy living for a while, with some success but it never seems to last long term. But I’ll keep on trying until I can make it happen for life! Great post.

  • Reply Rachel May 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Hi! You are totally true! I started baking as soon as I started in Pinterest :P And I have to have lunch in the office every day so it´s very hard for me to keep a discipline (veggies & fish & fruit & meat). I recommend you a lovely cooking blog. The problem is that is in Spanish, wont be too difficult to translate with google, and plenty of the recipes have a video! hope it helps :)

    Rachel xo

  • Reply Nadia May 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    It’s really great to read more people are getting into the healthy living lifestyle. Congrats on that and good luck with your health journey!

    • Reply decor8 May 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      @Nadia – Well this is not really getting into the healthy lifestyle, it’s more like getting back on track. I grew up with a homeopathic and nutrition expert (my mother) and I myself was trained as a health counselor and dietician and worked in that field as a project manager and counselor for several years helping people reach good health. I also worked in the “opposite extreme” field, as a model scout and after seeing all of the health issues with young girls to be extra thin, I couldn’t take it anymore and got out. I’m just trying to get back on the right road again.

  • Reply Sandra May 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    This is it – this is my life and your life and that person over there? It’s their life too. I know it’s SUCH a cliche – time flies and all. But it’s true.

    Like you show, only a few simple changes a day can make a huge difference. I love feeling strong and flexible. I love being able to keep up with my active daughter and husband. But it goes quickly after a few weeks or months of sitting behind a computer!

    A little bit of everything. All in moderation.

  • Reply Seema Krish May 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    thanks for this post Holly. I’m at the same point in my life- trying to live healthier!

  • Reply Kimberly May 7, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I’ve had so many changes in my life recently (quit my job, had my second baby. . . ) that I’m still working to re define my schedule. I’m finally getting to a point where I can get out of the house with two kids, and nursing is making it hard for me to find the correct balance of calories. But I love what you talked about, we need to really be aware of how life changes and how we need to adjust to it.

  • Reply Bai Yang May 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Lovely! Wonderful initiative! You are so inspiring!

    Love from Bai Yang

  • Reply Vicki Archer May 7, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I agree blogging can make you more sedentary. It’s great that you’ve decided to be more healthy, not for size but just purely for health. Keep up the great work! :)…xv

  • Reply kcity May 7, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Those look like some very delicious and healthy options that area quick and easy.

  • Reply Marij May 7, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Wow! I love you post & your new vision on life and health! I’m in the same situation right now (I think)! Due to allergies & like you said sensitivities (lactose) I started acting & thinking different about my health & life more and more. I have a sitting job as well & besides that I spend a lot of my free time blogging etc. I just started to cycle every evening, just as much as I can handle ;) I feel so much better even with the idea of living healthier, it’s becoming more important every day & does infect your mood/happiness!
    Good luck with your new lifestyle! And thanks for inspiring people!

  • Reply Marjory May 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Great post Holly. I applaud your efforts! Healthy living has so many aspects to it; a constant re-balancing act. It also varies with the season, moods and needs. Yoga is a practice that really grounds my energy and brings me back to my center and so is having contact with nourishing people and spending time in nature & bringing this energy home into my space, my sanctuary. Thanks for this lovely meditation on healthy lifestyles! :-)

  • Reply Afke May 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Good for you! i like to bike, that really clears my head.
    good luck writing your book!

  • Reply Bree May 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Holly – I loved this post, it caught my eye and I really enjoyed reading about getting on a healthy track. I am 23 and 1 year out of college and realizing I am not going to be young forever and I have to start taking care of my body now. For the first time in my life I have stuck to a routine at the gym and I feel so much better. My next step is eating better and healthier. Do you have any specific tips on what to eat and what not to eat? I am struggling to find guidelines of what I should be eating. Thanks for the positive post, it was a great encouragement as I spend a lot of time at work at my desk on the computer!

  • Reply Patio Enclosures KC May 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks for the inspriation, I too every year say im going to get healthy but find it hard after some time. Seems its time to get back to it

  • Reply krisha May 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I really, really like your realistic approach to a healthier lifestyle – I recently finished the BYW blog boss class. One of the reasons I took it was that I really want to start writing more earnestly about health with an holistic approach . As a creative, mom, MD and resident in psychiatry I do feel that I have learned a few things over the years that could benefit others. So thank you for this “extra push” Now I just have to carve out the time to actually get started!

  • Reply Silkie May 7, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I really relate to this Holly…8 years of being self employed based mostly at a computer screen is definitely telling now! I recently made a big change by renting a studio away from home..much better for work/life/mum balance and I now cycle to work everyday come rain or shine. ..on the way it helps me clear my head,plan my day and get those creative thoughts flowing …and on the way back it helps me get rid of all that computer fuzz and tired eyes .I’m definitely much happier now I do this…It’s so easy when you are self employed to forget about your “self” ..and you are so right,it’s all about balance and being kind to yourself ..definitely going to do more standing up away from the screen now

  • Reply Jane @ A Pillow For Your Throughts May 7, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    This is a really great post. I think healthy living is essential, not only for a long life but for overall happiness and wellness. The thing that I tend to notice is people talk about healthy living and they only talk about diet and exercise. Yes, getting a good amount of exercise is essential. Nutritional foods are a must, but we forget about sleep a lot. Being well-rested is taken for granted. We live in such a fast-paced society that we often forget the importance of relaxation and how proper rest can really add to your health, wellness and happiness.

  • Reply Joanne Palmisano May 7, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Holly. Totally get it and appreciate your great advice. I started to put the timer on (every 30 minutes) in the kitchen (since I work out a room in my house) and when it goes off it forces me to get up, leave the room, stand up and maybe do a few sit ups or leg lunges. I started getting a bad hip from sitting so much. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  • Reply Magda May 8, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Dear Holly, I have been trying to follow some “healthy lifestyle” principles for a while already, with different results. Some serious health issues, however, forced me to look for new ways to eat and exercise.

    I was never a gym person (and I will never be:)) ), but my physical activity includes:
    -Iyengar Yoga 2x week ( I have some DVDs, but that never worked for me, now I really love my class, the teacher and I am always happy to go there). I know it costs me about 5 hours a week, but, hey, I am so fit afterwards that I manage to do much more on these evenings that I would otherwise be able to)
    -Daily walks in a forest with our dog. I usually go for an hour, it is a moderate pace, but still, I move every day and this regular activity helped me to stay out of any flue for almost two years.I might start jogging a little, let’s see what my knees have to say about that!

    When it comes to eating habits, I have started to cook according to Ayurveda. I have been suffering from some bad acid, but to be honest, since I started eating warm meals for breakfast (in accordance with my profile), the stomach acid problems are almost non-existent. And the meals are soooo delicious! The Ayurveda book that I like is titled: Eat-Taste-Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living.

    I am currently doing a course on nutrition and healthy living habits on coursera. The course just started, so if you have time and want to refresh some data on nutrition, I can highly recommend it. A good way to see wheather we are eating in a way that promotes our health is to track our meals. I do it via FitDay.

    I also bought a juicer and I LOVE making fresh juice every day.

    I hope these ideas help, but I just know how hard is to implement them and be consequent!

    Good luck!

  • Reply Maya May 8, 2013 at 1:10 am

    I think you are absolutely right when you say healthy living is about making choices within reason. Your balanced approach sounds very appealing, well done! Great blog tip.
    I just want to make one final comment: maybe your food posts could be about your healthy choices. The lemon tart looks beautiful and I am sure it’s very tasty, but how about your new recipes? It’s just a suggestion, I hope you don’t mind my saying it.

    • Reply decor8 May 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      @Maya – Great idea! I am thinking to do some heathy food posts. My contributor, Jillian, writes and shoots the recipes for the Delicious Bites column so she’ll keep blogging what she eats and loves to appeal to my readers who aren’t sensitive to certain foods or need to detox, etc. But yeah, good idea for a column for me. I’ll think about it!

  • Reply LornaLove May 8, 2013 at 1:42 am

    I have just LOVED reading your last two blog entries and have really related to them and been inspired. Right on Holly! x

  • Reply Kim May 8, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Oh my gosh, this post just means so much to me! This is exactly how I feel! I also made the same resolution to live a more active and healthy life, and to actually LIVE life. It’s been up and down, and it seems like something always gets in the way, most often that something being myself. Right now though, it’s being sick. I’m going to try to use it as a re-starting place to make and follow-through with ideas and plans.

    You mentioned using a nutrition & life-coach. Any tips or tricks you can share that you’ve found really helpful?

    Thank you again for this post. It’s something I can come back to when I’m in a rut that will re-energize me.

  • Reply Kim May 8, 2013 at 3:20 am

    @Audrey – This Little Street:

    One of the truest things I heard recently was the difference between SIMPLE and EASY. Think about it. They are, in reality, vastly different things.

    Something can be SIMPLE. Get out of bed; Eat more fruits & vegetables; Be active at least 30 minutes a day. But are these things EASY? I think most of us would say no, especially if they are not already habit.

    So the real question is, how do you make something that is simple EASIER for yourself to accomplish??

  • Reply Sabine May 8, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Liebe Holly,
    wunderschön, wie du deinen “Weg” und die Gründe und Gefühle für neue Wege beschreibst. Genau so habe ich vor 10 Monaten meine Lebensweise “optimiert”. Ja, wirklich optimiert, denn es ist unglaublich, was sich damit bewegen lässt. Nicht nur körperlich, sondern auch Gefühle und Gedanken werden freier. Es ist entsteht viel mehr Freiheit und Wohlbefinden. Erst hatte ich das Gefühl, alles würde mir viel Zeit “kosten”: sich informieren, neues Einkaufen, ungewohntes Kochen, Zeit für Bewegung. Nach 2 Monaten war aber klar, dass ich dadurch viel Konzentration und Effektivität gewinne. Alles “funktioniert” einfach leichter, fröhlicher und meine Familie empfindet mich als wesentlich entspannter.
    Es lohnt sich sehr, seinen eigenen gesunden Weg zu suchen und ihn mal eine Zeit lang konsequent auszuprobieren. Gerade als vielbeschäftigte Mutter, Blogger, Unternehmerin…..
    Entschuldige bitte, dass ich auf Deutsch geschrieben habe, auf Englich hätte ich es nicht so ausdrücken können.
    Liebe Grüße und herzlichen Dank für deinen Blogbeitrag

  • Reply Kirsty May 8, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Hi Holly
    It is definitely about getting the sparkle back in the eyes!! I can really relate to everything in your blog and I am now making mostly healthy, clean nutricious meal choices that fuel my body – It makes such a difference!!
    What nutritionist and life coach do you recommend?
    Inspiring post and great to know I am in awesome company

  • Reply Sandy May 8, 2013 at 9:02 am

    I have spent virtually my whole adult life doing daily exercise, mostly walking for 40 minutes. I have always been slim but once I hit menopause and mid 50’s it all went to custard. I have a job that requires sitting at a PC for a part of the day but I do get up and walk everywhere and now I have joined a gym which I go to most afternoons once I finish work. I spend about 40 minutes on the equipment, then swim for 15 minutes and sit in the spa for 10 but I have gained 2 kilos in 10 weeks. My diet is very healthy and I grow all my own vege and alot of my own fruit. Life can be a bitch. I feel sluggish and my clothes are tight. I think I will look at smoothies as they might be filling. MY big downfall is I love bread. Your blog is inspiring.

  • Reply Stefanie May 8, 2013 at 11:03 am

    nutrition is an important factor and i try to eat mostly fresh foods which were not processed in any way before they came into my kitchen. that spares me a lot of additives that i really do not want my body to deal with.

    as an author of historical fiction i also sit a lot due to research and the actual writing. but i try to get out of the house once a day for a walk on weekdays and once or twice a week take a hike of 5 – 10 kms. if i can connect those with some on site research – even better because that makes me most content and happy! another way to balance is gardening. i own a fairly big balcony that requires regular attention from spring to autumn.

  • Reply ishtar May 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Holly congratulations!!
    wow!! I´m impressed!! you´ve nailed it once more!
    Everything you say is SO true!!!
    And I think you have found the PERFECT balance!
    We need to stay healthy and at our personal best but also enjoy life.
    not to struggle and feel guilty, but rather happy and inspired.
    LOVED this post!! HEalhty living and nutrition comes to the core of anything we do!!

  • Reply Matilda May 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Dear Holly,

    thanks for the inspiration in that post! After I read it I went on a 17 km bike ride :-)

    I find it difficult to stay in shape after 40 and right now I’m struggling with the fact that I can’t rely on keeping the flat belly that I always had. It seems you have to exercise on a regular basis after 40 and it has to hurt to be effective. I’m skiing in the winters, and walking, riding the bike and mountain climbing in the summers. But this it obviously not enough anymore. Looks like I need a regular training plan to see any effects. I downloaded the RunKeeper app on my iPhone recently and being able to track my workouts does motivate me to exercise more.

    Eating healthy has never been a problem for me, because I cook daily with fresh ingredients and avoid processes foods. Often I make vegetarian dinners. In the last couple of months I see more and more people switching to a vegan diet. What keeps me from trying it is that I don’t know what to replace soy products with because I’m allergic.

    Good luck with your healthy living and I’m curious to read more blog posts about this topic!

  • Reply Claudine May 8, 2013 at 3:42 pm


    Sandy – gluten in the bread may be the problem! Cayenne extract will increase your energy – do a search about it. However, as we age we do slow down but the culture would have us believe this isn’t true. I can’t believe how much people try to squeeze into a day!! Anyway try a gluten free diet for awhile and the cayenne to see if that will undo that sluggishness. Blessings to you,

  • Reply Lisa | Happy By May 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Such a great post Holly ! We really need to discuss more about our health and life’s qualities in general. We’re trying so hard to make this world a more beautiful and inspirational place, but we often forget where it all starts from : us. I personally suffer from mindless and emotional bad choices and a life long bad relationship with physical activities, so it’s always a breeze of fresh air to read about smooth improvements like yours. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply May 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you Holly for these great bunch of thoughts!

    There are so many self-employed people nowadays who work from home and the fridge is … ‘oh too close’ for regular… ‘let’s see what’s in the fridge’ breaks…

    … and then, boom, you’ve eaten the whole packet/bar/loaf* (*delete as necessarily guilty!) haha..

    That’s why I chose to blog about healthy food – showing everyone that food that’s gluten free, low in sugar and low in oils is full of colour, flavour and ..yummy awesomeness. I love colourful food, it’s more tasty, it’s nutrient packed and it also revs up the metabolism for that teeny tiny summer waistline we’re all wanting this summer! I love the colourful photos that accompany your post Holly! Gorgeous!

    Enjoy every bite!
    Angie xx

  • Reply MelodyJ May 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    My goal is to follow the 80/20 rule. Which is to east clean ( as close to natural as possible) 80 % of the time. Which leaves 20% for YOLO (You Only Live Once) meals, snacks and desserts. I feel people fail with healthy eating because they go to extreme. The 80/20 Rule is a balance, moderate approach.

    My exercise I do workouts from magazines like Shape and Women’s Health while watching tv. On weekends I played the dance and fitness based video games. Also, there some good You Tube trainers. My current to favorites are Fitness Blender (general fitness and sports conditioning) and
    Pop Pilates ( pilates, cardio, and stretching). My next fitness goal will be to add Zumba.

    I hope this helps. Keep us updated.

  • Reply annamaja May 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Keep up the good work!

  • Reply Libby May 9, 2013 at 8:19 am

    This is a great topic for you to share Holly and one that I’ve been considering a lot lately. Last weekend I took part in the MS 24 Hour Mega Swim – no I didn’t swim all 24 hours but I swam 2 hours over that 24 and covered 4.5km or 90 laps of an Olympic swimming pool. Why am I sharing this? According to the experts I am overweight so in their eyes this makes me unhealthy and yet 6 days out of 7 a week I do some form of exercise (cycling, swimming, walking and yoga). I am cursed or blessed with the physiology I have and the metabolism of a very small bug but exercise makes me think, sleep and feel better and it’s part of my day.
    What I loved about your post is that you are making this part of your day and you can achieve a lot in a short space of time. Your 15 minutes of hand weights will show in no time. I wish you well.

  • Reply Anja May 9, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Thank you for this post, Holly! I am at the same point in my life …
    It’s realy inspiring me!

  • Reply Mary Sweeting May 9, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Dear Holly, thank you for such an honest post.

    So many of us are confined to a desk job and it is unnatural for both body and mind. I never thought about this until I started to suffer migraine. It’s made me reevaluate how I live and now I make sure to incorporate healthier habits daily. These include the usuals: eating in moderation, not drinking booze (I know!), moderate exercise. I’ve also been trying acupuncture and Ayurveda which make so much sense.

    Some other tips are below, thank you again for making a point of being healthy!

  • Reply Margarita Lorenzo May 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I am totally with you on this, that is why I suffer so much during Winters in England. Weather is so cold and rainy that I tend to stop my walks and Pilates and eat more concord food. I believe that the only way to have a good work/and personal life is by being as healthy as you can be, without comparing yourself to anyone else. Each of us is different and have a different body type, level of energy, digestion system etc…so what may works for some may not for other. I need to be healthy for myself and in order to run my business and be there for the people in my life. Sometimes it is very difficult to find the right balance and the motivation to stay focus but it is worth every single second we spend trying to achieve it, so from here I send you my support and respect for trying…

  • Reply Sarah @ BODYReDESIGN May 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Holly, good for you! By night I’m learning to be a DIY blogger, but by day I’m a personal trainer and health coach. I’ve been helping people find healthy, balanced lifestyles for over 8 years now, and I love the choices you’ve made. More lean protein, lots more veggies, and avoiding sugar and comfort foods (which are usually carb-based) are the keys to success. Exercise is great too, but nutrition is key–as you probably know, with your background as a dietician and health counselor. :)

    For anyone who’s thinking about making healthy changes but doesn’t know where to start, here are the 5 “tips” I offer to my personal training clients:

    1. Eat protein, vegetables, and legumes. If it falls into one of those categories, eat as much as you want, whenever you’re hungry. If it doesn’t fall into one of those calories, just say no for now.
    2. Keep meal planning simple. If you’re not used to cooking, don’t choose a meal plan that requires you to learn a lot of new stuff. Complicated cooking=complicated lifestyle, which you’re less likely to stick to. If you find a simple, healthy recipe that fits into Rule #1 above, cook it in bulk (if you can) and keep the leftovers handy for when you’re in a pinch.
    3. Eat fruit and dairy carefully. One serving of each per day is enough.
    4. Keep workouts short and simple. High intensity for 10 minutes can get you the same results as moderate exercise for 45 minutes, and it easier to work into a busy schedule.
    5. Once a week, throw all these rules out the window. Like Holly said, allow yourself an indulgence once in a while, just to keep it real. Because sometimes you can’t get by without that mojito. ;)

    Holly, thanks so much for using your blog as a platform to shed a little light on the subject of healthy lifestyles! Your realistic approach is, well, refreshingly realistic! Health and wellness aren’t about the numbers on the scale; they’re about how you feel and they way that affects living your life. I wish you continued success on your journey!


  • Reply Angelia May 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Holly, have been away from your blog for a while, so busy. Great on you for starting early with the life changes, it will make things a lot easier as you get older. I am a little older now, but changed my lifestyle a few years ago, due to food allergies and all. It has so helped me, now I can take on the other body/life changes that can come with aging. Joint pain, skin, headaches, have all dicreased to almost nothing.

  • Reply Katie Truelove May 10, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Good for you! Thanks for your honesty and encouragement!

  • Reply Victoria May 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks for this post. I’ve started working from home and it is just too easy to sit in front of the computer all day. I try to do small things throughout the day – 20 minutes of yoga first thing in the morning to loosen up and get going. I go for a walk pretty much every day and, now that spring has arrived in Canada, bike rides around the city. I also figure skate with friends several times a week. They motivate me because they always want to know what happened to me if I miss a session! An accountability partner is helpful when trying to live more healthful.

  • Reply Yuri May 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    yes, everything looks so yummy. I hope you´ll write a post with the recipes one day. I feel much better since I´ve become a vegetarian. Fresh vegetables and fruits make such a great difference.

  • Reply Desha Peacock May 13, 2013 at 4:55 am

    So awesome Holly.
    I think it’s great you are dedicated to a healthy lifestyle and working with a coach is a great idea. I work with life coach too, and it’s so helpful to have someone there to encourage and support you with those things you struggle with. I’m a life/career coach as well, and help others manifest their big dreams (I’m a bit obsessed with that subject) but when it comes to my personal health- I am SO bad.

    I’m so fortunate to have overall good health, but I will admit that I eat one big sweet everyday with tea at 3pm and I never work out. HOWEVER, I’ve signed up for a yoga/meditation class that starts this month and I’m gardening and walking my daughter to school everyday now that the weather is gorgeous.

    Keep up the good work girl!

  • Reply Claire May 13, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Hi Holly,

    Thanks for a great post. If you’re thinking about getting into running, the NHS have a Couch to 5k programme here in the UK ( I think there are similar smartphone apps too.

    I’m a fan of the 80/20 rule too although I’ve always known it as my Grandad’s wisdom “everything in moderation”!

    • Reply decor8 May 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      @Claire – I don’t live in NH, I moved away in 2009 and relocated to northern Europe, in Germany. :)

  • Reply Kitty May 13, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Dear Holly,
    thank you very much for your beautiful and inspirational words! Just what I needed, a very well written “kick in the butt”. I had so many plans concerning my way of eating and did not really get into turning them into action. However, I would love to read more about your healthy choices. One question: Do you use the smoothies from true fruit or do you prepare them all by yourself? What kind of protein powder do you use and how much? I am sorry for all those questions but I was always looking for the perfect breakfast choice for me and I am guessing this could be it ;)
    Thank you Holly!

    • Reply decor8 May 13, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      @Kitty – I make my smoothies using fruit, almond milk, etc. :) I get protein powder (vanilla) from the organic foods store here in Germany, a gluten-free kind, and use that.

  • Reply Gina May 13, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Great post! I’m sure all of us who are self- employed / and on a computer frequently need to carve out time to move around. About a year ago I started an early morning/ daily work out routine- high intensity for 20 min. Added a green protein smoothie and eventually stuck to a high protein ( vegetarian ) eating habit. Aside from the added energy boost and sleeping sooooo much better, the mental benefit is by far the best return on the work. I always make sure I regularly ad new music to my ipod for extra motivation- but really it’s now just for “ME” time. No email, phone, kids, just me.

    Best on your healthy adventures in the future :)

  • Reply Kitty May 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you for the quick reply, Holly! I will check-out my favourite organic food store here in Dortmund ;)

  • Reply Bee May 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Thank you for writing this, Holly! I completely agree about focusing on healthy living. I have, for the most part, a desk job. Last year my health declined due to increase in frequency of sitting in front of the computer (I was completing a certificate program in editing) and decrease in healthy eating and exercising. This year I put the focus back on myself. I’m cooking more and incorporating new exercise routines. Pilates reformer has done wonders for my lower back! I look forward to hearing more about your journey to healthy living and your “after.”

  • Reply Lou May 23, 2013 at 1:15 am

    What works for me is plenty of stretching, plus a bit of walking and cycling…they all help me balance out my diabolical office job!

  • Reply Rachel May 31, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Congrats on the decision to get healthy – can’t wait for the updates on your journey.

  • Reply Rachel July 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I forgot the link!

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