7 Healthy Living Tips

June 21, 2013

I am so inspired by the great food stylists and photographers out there – especially those who really push themselves to color outside of the lines and not fall into the generic look that can quickly become redundant and uninspiring. I’m sure it’s hard for food stylists to stay fresh, especially since so many of them are out there, but the cream always rises to the top when one puts forth the effort, right? But this post isn’t just about food styling. It’s also about food and health. And I guess I can add that if more food stylists would make healthy low-calorie foods look gorgeous, they would really stand out – there is a market (and global health need) for that because cake seems to be the most-pinned food ever! And I love cake but if I made as much as I pinned I’d be in trouble! Let’s chat about healthy living for a moment, ok? Remember this post that I wrote about Healthy Living back in May?

7 Healthy Living Tips

la casa sin tiempo

Many of you were really motivated by it so I want to continue with Healthy Living tips and encouragement on decor8 in the months to come to inspire those of you who want to make positive changes in your lifestyle and to keep at it. I don’t want this to be something I talk about once and then it falls off the radar and the Pringles show up and the Haribo party with Ben & Jerry. I know the payback from eating healthy is enormous. So here are some tips from me to you that are random but good.

TIP 1: My mother was a health nut – she dragged me into health food stores and to her chiropractors visits when I was barely out of diapers. She was into herbs and tonics and everything you can imagine – some weird and some very cool. But in the end, I know it works for her and even today, when she “falls off the wagon”, she goes right back to healthy foods, herbs, vitamins, etc. and bam! she looks and feels great. So I guess that is tip one – if you fall off the wagon WHO CARES. Get back on.

TIP 2: Since I started taking good health more seriously, I’ve noticed changes – especially in my overall cravings. I went from craving chips to wanting almond butter on apples or craving a big salad with avocado and chicken. And I’m not avoiding sweets or bread as I had started off thinking I had to do. I enjoy a bagel now and then and love having a slice of cake from time to time. But the thing is, the cravings are gone. I started taking vitamins daily for the past several months and they help, too. And lots of water. Just fill up a bottle and refill it like 4-5x a day and while you’re working, take frequent sips. So to get control of cravings, make sure you are taking your vitamins/minerals and drinking tons of water and eating some healthy foods!

TIP 3: I never miss breakfast. It’s a vital start for me now and I make sure that I always have breakfast foods in stock in advance so I never wake up with an empty fridge.

7 Healthy Living Tips

my little fabric

TIP 4: Good appliances… Speaking of fridges, remember this post about my obsession with SMEG? Well, I still would love to own one but I went with my second choice – a BOSCH (this one), in white. I LOVE IT. And funny thing is, because it works so much better than my previous fridge, I can now make sorbets that actually freeze and keep eggs and meats fresher, longer in addition to crispy lettuce and veggies. What a difference to healthy living a good fridge can make. It’s something I never imagined until I bought a BOSCH. So happy I did, I cannot recommend it enough. And it’s beautiful to look at!

7 Healthy Living Tips

say yes to hoboken

TIP 5: A fall back recipe that is easy and helps your cravings… I mentioned sorbet a moment ago. I want to tell you more about my latest obsession. I was out with my friend Ann last week and she told me how she makes healthy sorbet in her blender and so I went home the same day and made my own, using a recipe I invented, that is unbelievably good and so much healthier than Ben & Jerry’s and super refreshing. You basically dump in a box or bag of frozen raspberries (or mixed berries) into a blender and then add a tiny bit of milk just to smooth it out and keep blending on Puree mode until smooth. Then drop in a tiny bit of vanilla extract, a squeeze of fresh lemon, a few teaspoons of sugar (or faux-sugar, stevia, whatever you want) and a bit of honey. I am not a honey person, so I promise you that you won’t taste it – it helps the texture enormously. You can eat it right away or you can fill freezer pop moulds with it and freeze for 24 hours or put it into individual portion-controlled tupperware cups (like I did, using cute containers from Japan) and store in the freezer. Then, when you have a major craving, remove and eat! Try it, seriously, it’s the best.

7 Healthy Living Tips

Julie Cove

TIP 6: In celebration of healthy living, I thought to pull together the many healthy recipes I find online into a single pinboard, so please check it out! I’m sure you will find some great recipes and be inspired to whip up something other than the thousands of cupcake pins you see on Pinterest. Seriously, sometimes you need to step away from the cupcakes, am I right? They are yummy and wonderful but I found Pinterest was making me have cravings for things I normally never cared about. So even searching more for healthy recipes helped me to split the reality food from the fantasy food. Fantasy foods – potato chips, french fries, cupcakes – they are wonderful but definitely not to be eaten constantly because it seems to really impact energy and even emotional health after awhile. Have you noticed that too? So start a pinboard with healthy stuff you love so you can learn to lust after a big salad as much as you are lusting for ice cream!

7 Healthy Living Tips

kwestia smaku

7 Healthy Living Tips

say yes to hoboken

7 Healthy Living Tips
Araceli Paz

TIP 7: Balance and the fact that stuff doesn’t happen overnight. In the end, it’s all about balance isn’t it? We ALL want a 24 hour magic pill. I’m not fad dieting or doing crazy fitness regimes that I won’t stick to in a year. I may join a gym but that’s still under debate because I’ve always been a gym dropout. What I am doing is investing in something long-term that my family and I can stick to and that is called finding our balance, our center and getting healthier in the process. On a side note, in less than a year, my husband changed his diet completely – he eats super healthy now – and he has a flat stomach, abs, defined biceps, his neck, shoulder and back muscles are rockin’ and he does around 200 sit-ups on an incline bench 4-5 times a week in addition to cycling, push-ups, resistance training and walking. And this is stuff he just makes time for and feels great from as a result. He was once a total sugar junky – I mean he would eat so much candy it scared me. Really scared me. He always had to have something chocolate in the house. This went on for 10 years and I was terrified he’s end up diabetic or something… Then he just decided to change. He’ll bring chocolate home maybe once a week and it’s usually a single dark cocoa organic bar or something not so bad… Or he’ll have some candy once every now and then for a special occasion – like movie night with the guys or something – certainly not daily. It took a long time for him to see progress when he went off of eating so many sweets, but today he SEES the changes and FEELS better and this has motivated him further – now he wants to get even leaner and build more muscle tone (I’m not complain’ hubba hubba), and is super duper determined to keep going for the rest of his life with this and I know he will, I believe in him and support him all the way. He also has lost around 20 pounds since we moved back to Germany from America just through eating out less and not indulging so often – and this was before his fitness regime started last year. He couldn’t believe that he gained 20 pounds when he moved to America – he was so ashamed of that – but it’s off now!

Healthy living is definitely a choice. What are some healthy living changes or improvements that you’ve made recently? Would you like to share?

(images: linked directly beneath each photo, please click on them to find recipes and more!)


  • Reply Ashley Pahl June 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Holly, thanks for this very thorough post. It’s the inspiration I need to keep trying today. I’ve been attempting to eat a more balanced diet for about a year now, but then I’ll have a bad week and the cravings take over again. You’re right that it doesn’t happen over night – I’ve just got to stick with it to feel better! And congrats to your husband for making those positive changes as well!

    • Reply decor8 June 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      @Ashley – Thank you! I’m glad you are inspired – have a nice weekend!

  • Reply Kayli June 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    All great tips! I agree that eating healthy is a lifestyle choice and fad diets have never worked for me. But the motivation to live a healthier, longer lifestyle has!

  • Reply Pauli June 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Holly,

    I keep my fingers crossed for you healthy living plan. I know how difficult is to change your habbits!

    PS. It is Kwestia Smaku not Kwestias maku in polish :)

    May the power be with you :)

    • Reply decor8 June 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm

      @Pauli – Thank you so much! Changing habits is actually very easy, it’s mind over matter, we can do anything if we WANT to.

  • Reply Molly Watson June 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Love the food spreads here! I was suddenly reminded of one of my favorite sandwiches I hadn’t had in awhile… Tomato and sprouts with a small bit of mayo on sourdough. Your post reminds me to add some avocado and to get back on “the wagon” when I fall off with no-so-good food choices :)
    Thanks and have a great weekend!

  • Reply Julie the Alkaline Sister June 21, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Awesome post Holly:) Summer is the perfect time to swing into a more wholesome lifestyle and it’s more likely to stick if you can keep it up and develop a healthy routine over the 4-8 weeks when you are inclined to eat the seasons lovely veggie offerings.
    I can’t stress enough how much a juicer will impact anyone’s health. Juicing is the biggest singular regime that can reform your cravings, taste for veggies, improve your health by reducing many symptoms of ill health, increase energy as well as help shed weight more quickly. It’s not an investment anymore. It CAN be an impulse purchase!! Now a days, one costs no more than a great pair of shoes- of which most of us can live with one less pair or two, right? It need not be fancy, just get juicing! with what ever model you can get your hands on. Then upgrade to the skookum juicer later, your body needs the juice sooner than later! It changed my life and I know it will yours too!
    ps. Oh and thanx kindly for sharing one of my images Holly:)

  • Reply Polly June 21, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    I love these posts, thanks! Although I eat very healthy meals, I need to cut down in sugary snacks and learn to crave fruit and veg as much as chocolate! X

  • Reply Sandra June 22, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Eating well and staying hydrated makes ALL the difference. And yet we still fall of the healthy living wagon! Me too…

    I’ve been drinking more water and working out regularly. My energy has increased and I feel more alert. Good all around.

    And thank you so much for showing the new-to-me food photographers and stylists. I’m drawn to the Europeans – a different aesthetic than what we see regularly here in North America.


    • Reply decor8 June 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      @Sandra – We fall off the wagon, especially in America, because you have more access to junk than to healthy foods. When 80% of everything that is cheap and fast and in your face most of the time is junk, what can one expect really?

  • Reply Peyton June 22, 2013 at 5:58 am

    YUM!! I want to try these recipes this weekend!


  • Reply Sancho Sancho Photography June 22, 2013 at 6:26 am

    I loved it, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Momographica June 22, 2013 at 8:29 am

    I enjoyed this post immensely!

    First, the photos are terrific! I enjoy cooking and food photography so much (in fact, I collect recipes photo books) and this article was an eye candy!

    Secondly, your speech about eating habits and tips: because I gain weight easily, I found this to be very helpful. Eating good and healthy is very important., I do agree on this.

    Last but not least, about my daily eating routine: I started to eat breakfast in the morning in a proper way. I won’t bore you on why I didn’t before (the reasons are several) but now that I do (courtesy of my doctor’s scolding), I feel definitely better during the day and also my concentration has improved, as well as my stamina. I usually go for coffee but I am getting bored of it and I am looking out for alternatives. Any suggestions? :)

    • Reply decor8 June 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      @Momographica – Have you tried teas? What about a coffee called Pino, I think it’s from south america and it’s not really coffee but tastes like it.

  • Reply Jules June 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Wow, thank you for posting links to so many amazing foodie blogs! I’ve bookmarked most of them and can’t wait to explore them in search of pretty pictures. I also have a blog which features healthy recipes, and I’m just starting out in the world of food photography, so them more inspiration I can get, the better. xo

  • Reply Trina June 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Love this Holly. Thanks for sharing and encouraging everyone. I’m working on making changes myself. I’m not a purist and I fall off the wagon but I’m trying to get back up. Another thing that has worked for me is to focus on adding the good things more than cutting out the bad things. The cutting out than kind of happens naturally. And love the idea of dedicating a pin board to healthy foods. I’m def gonna whip up your frozen treat for my little ones. XO

  • Reply Jennifer June 22, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I have just started to make some lifestyle changes and decided to give up refined sugar. I have been following Sarah Wilson’s “I quit Sugar” and she has some amazing recipes. I love experimenting with coconut oil, raw cacao and rice malt syrup-and it tastes delicious!

  • Reply michaela June 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    You are sooo right! I recently started looking for recipes on Pinterest – since my almost husband is trying to lose weight and I want to support him.
    But: every time I looked, I ended up craving sugar. So many recipes for gorgeous looking cakes, muffins, cookies… it’s unbelievable.

    I guess I’d be better off buying a low carb or other healthy food cook book instead. Or else he’ll be lean and I’ll be fat ;-)

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Suzan June 23, 2013 at 1:11 am

    You know, most of my clients adore eating healthy (at least publicly). But nothing makes it feel more special then a properly set table or beautiful every day dishes or china. Having just the right piece makes the food look all the more appealing…. and we really do eat with our eyes first, don’t we?

  • Reply tiffany June 23, 2013 at 2:25 am

    these healthy living posts are so inspirational and useful. i am trying to add more fruit to my diet and it is proving to be a mighty difficult task.
    i must admit though my favorite breakfast is a slice of toasted bread with a little bit of honey and berries on the side. when eating berries i almost immediately see a difference to my skin!

  • Reply Heidi June 23, 2013 at 2:33 am

    At 44, I joined boot camp…..it was killer at first but I lost almost 40pounds and now I love it……I had always been heavier than I should be the first half of my life and now I want to be slim the rest….plus set an example for my kids too! P.s. I covet Smeg’s too along with AGA stoves…..someday!
    great post….Heidi

  • Reply Nicole June 23, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Thanks for this post!

    Gorgous photos :)


  • Reply Katy's June 23, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Dear Holly, I’ve always been into healthy lifestyle including healthy food, workout and products. Thought I had ( have ) occasional trips to like you said fantasy foods as I believe we need to step over the line ( but not to far away ) from time to time. Yet, as a part of schooling life I recently found out about Paleo ( Primal, LCHF) philosophy due to small health issues I’ve had. This lifestyle / food philosophy teach how original, primal food is what our genes ( which haven’t changed in 10000 years) actually are programmed for.. Also I’ve been studying on net Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint fitness philosophy which is very simple to follow and is something we can do for a lifetime. It consists of essential four movements, occasional sprints and lots of play. If you want check out his website.

  • Reply Emelie @florainspiro June 23, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I use to do quite similar sorbets but with no sugar or honey. I never thought about honey for the texture. I definitely have to try that next time ;) I can’t wait until the berries in the garden are ready, because it feels so much better with local-grown or even home-grown berries. In Sweden, where I likve, we import a lot for berries from Belgium and the Balkan countries, which gives me a bad conscience. I want my healthy food to be healthy for the environment too!
    // Emelie

  • Reply egedenne June 24, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Food can be really fun! :)
    Lately it is mostly Jamal cooking food for me ( I have undergone breastcancer operation) and he keep surprising me with very easy food :)

  • Reply Emily June 24, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Online forums are great too, to stay motivated. I drink apple cider vinegar and water every day: one tablespoon of ACV to a pint of water, and a teaspoon of honey. I am NEVER sick!! It keeps your body alkaline, helps weight loss and is overall a miracle food. Great post :)

  • Reply Mary Lawson June 24, 2013 at 4:40 am

    I have been working out for a few years, and have recently increased my workouts to about 6 days a week. I am excited for the results, even though they have not manifested themselves yet. :) I am hoping for results along the line of what I have already seen in the working out I have done so far. My body is in different shape then years back.

    Some suggestions for working out:
    Work out for free long before you join a gym. That way you will already be in the habit, and will use the gym much more when you do join. Often you will find that you don’t need to join once you have found free ways to work out.

    See if you can find exercise equipment that someone is getting rid of. It is cheap or sometimes free, saves it from going to a landfill, and, is right there in your home to remind you to work out. There is also no extra driving necessary. Don’t buy it, there is always a steady amount that ppl are getting rid of.

    Don’t overdo it when you start out. take it easy, and work out indoors or take a walk in the evening around your neighborhood.

    Don’t work out in the wee hours of the morning, because sadly it is too dangerous. Working out in the evening outdoors is much better because there are more people around. I live in a hot climate, so it is necessary to either work out early or late. stick with late.

    Lastly, the advice of “changing your lifestyle, not just going on a diet” is gold. When you approach working out that way, you end up with the best results, and they last for years to come.

    Best of Luck

  • Reply fenny setiawan June 24, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I change my eating habit few month ago and I do exercise more regularly, it is like almost everyday I run about 30-50 min depending on my schedule. I avoid red meat, very seldom had ones, may be 10 days once. I am eating greens for my dinner, I love my salad actually. Also taking some supplement like Evening prime rose oil, it is a good supplement for woman, especially I am in late 30s now.

    I am happier with my new eating habit and always feel good after exercise.

  • Reply what is matcha June 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    The food is so great. I like all of these. It’s really so nutrient. I like this.

  • Reply ARCpoint Labs of Rock Hill June 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    These all look delicious! Making me hungry.

  • Reply Jacqui June 24, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    LOVING the healthy living posts, Holly! It is so refreshing to see bloggers talking about this….especially creative bloggers! I am in this exact business of helping creatives set and achieve healthy living goals….and bloggers are my peeps. And too true that change is easy…it’s all about your mindset! AND, totally agree that there needs to be more beautiful pics on pinterest of healthy food! love and health, jacqui xoxo

  • Reply Teri June 24, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    We recently moved to Germany from America, too! My husband and I have lost 10 pounds- no more fast food- much healthier lifestyle. I am now my original weight prior to 3 children 16 years ago.

  • Reply Courtney June 25, 2013 at 3:38 am

    I just LOVE this post. The photography is gorgeous and everything you say hits home and makes me want to eat clean and healthy- thanks for the beautiful inspiration!

  • Reply Kate June 25, 2013 at 5:23 am

    I was vegetarian for many years but didn’t pay attention to substituting. Going Vegan was one of the best choices I made. I really made a point of making sure I got all my vitamins, nutrients, and micronutrients. I went gluten-free a couple years ago since I found out I had Celiac Disease and I plummeted into a bag of potato chips. I still struggle with totally kicking salt, but this post is inspiring. I have found that drinking lots of water is really helpful.

  • Reply Amy June 25, 2013 at 6:15 am

    thanks for this holly! i am really trying to be more healthy right now and need all of the inspiration and ideas i can get :) bookmarking this for future reference.

  • Reply Shirley Crowley June 25, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Holly –

    These new posts have been super helpful! My husband and I have been on the pursuit of health these past couple of years and it really is a journey/experience! We recently splurged and got ourselves a fancy mixer and have been doing some juicing (with the pulp – that fiber is important) with whatever fresh seasonal stuff we can get our hands on and some reliable frozen berries here and there. That damn sugar – that we all love and crave – that’s been an Achille’s heel for us and sometimes we fall off the wagon but at least it’s always there for us to get back on!

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  • Reply Sally June 26, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I really like this post. this is useful, but kindly so. nothing i couldn’t manage. thank you!!

  • Reply MelodyJ June 26, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I’m doing the WaveShape Challenge. Challenge is the right word. It’s a long long challenge to get fit like surfers. I almost quit in the middle of it. But kept with it.

  • Reply topa June 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks a lot for these tips. I try to only eat fresh and organic food, if it’s possible from a farm close to my place. I also try to walk to places as much as I can, using parks instead of big city streets. And I try to do some sports at least once a week like yoga or workouts at home or tabletennis with friends. But I really know what craving for sugar feels like, I am eating chocolate or cake each day. I really need to get away from that! ;-)

  • Reply eleni June 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Reading the part about your husband really hit home for me. It scares me too seeing him eat so much sugar. Fingers crossed he will ‘wake up’ like your husband did. Since having Georgie I am much more aware of what i bring home and prepare. Organic plays a huge part in our diets and we also home-grow alot of fresh produce. I too have a BOSCH fridge and I agree 100 per cent that it makes a huge difference in making everything easier. And since moving from the city to a little town where not alot is available, i have noticed a massive change in our minds and bodies. Now if only i could stop baking! Thank you for this post. Keep them coming.

  • Reply Dominique July 10, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Inspired!!!! 100%

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