some new healthy habits

lately i’ve been re-focusing on my health.  when we were in europe i didn’t worry too much about what i was eating, i wanted to be present in the experience, enjoy the local foods, forget for a minute that i have crohn’s disease and feel totally normal.  which was brilliant, while we were there.  but when we came home i had a hard time transitioning back to eating really clean, so the new less-healthy habits i picked up on vacation started to infiltrate my regular life.  but i payed the price- i didn’t feel that great for a big part of october and towards the end i decided that i needed to do a cleanse and give myself a fresh start. 

for the first week i started every day with a green juice, ate enough raw veggies and fruit to keep me going through lunch and finished with another juice around late afternoon.  almost immediately i saw my health improve dramatically. (have you seen fat, sick and nearly dead?  it’s amazing and you can watch it for free here). so, i kept it up for another week- doing three and a half days of just fresh juice in the middle.  this is my third week and i’m enjoying lots of fresh juice, veggies and fruits.  i’m also starting to slowly incorporate other things into my diet so that by the end of this weekend i’ll be done cutting out foods and back to my normal, healthy eating! 

at the beginning of the cleanse i also started drinking a glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed in it first thing every morning. it’s supposed to help flush toxins out of your system. whether it works or not i have no idea, but the routine of it and the intention behind it are good enough for me!  and i will definitely keep both the lemon water and the green juice breakfast as part of my daily life even after i’ve finished the cleanse. it’s so helpful to start the day off with really healthy intentions, it makes it so easier to make good decisions later in the day.  so tell me, do you have any new healthy habits i should know about?!

*image via whole living

lunch with us, will you please

when i was recovering from this and eating the cleanest/healthiest way possible, my friends and family used to ask me “what are you eating?!”. i could see the worry in their eyes. and when i gave them my answer (mostly whole grains and vegetables). I knew they pictured me with a boring plate of brown rice and steamed broccoli, plugging along through each meal and suffering like a modern martyr. and they were right, for a minute. preparing meals using only grains and veggies was a new thing for me- i ate a lot of boooorrring food at first. but then i started to play around with whatever seasonal veggies we brought home and imagining up the most delicious meals. like this one, our lunch today: a garlicky pile of sauteed collard greens topped with last nights roasted vegetables, some freshly cooked quinoa, heaps of avocado and dressed with our favorite homemade spicy balsamic vinaigrette. sweet, salty, spicy, WINNING!

i guess the cat’s out of the bag, no boring plates ’round these parts! eating healthy, organic, local vegetables with lots of whole grains doesn’t have to be a snoozefest, you just have to figure out how you love them most. and the possibilities seem endless: roasted, sauteed, raw, steamed, chopped, turned into soup, made into casserole, mixed into salad, piled into a bowl, baked into a patty, turned into a drink, inside outside upside down, wheeeeeeee!