I haven’t gone as far as to make strict resolutions this New Year, however, I am consciously making changes that I really believe will have a long term positive impact on my every day life. It’s so exciting making changes, I wake up every day and it’s so strange not having the same routine but it’s also really uplifting. I’m going to be talking about my progress and struggles for the next few weeks across all areas but I thought I’d start with how I’m hoping to improve my health.
My biggest change is stopping smoking, which is at the same time one of the scariest and most liberating things I have ever attempted. I’m only on day three of cold turkey and today I got a subtle taste of almond in my Chocolate Fudge Cake; if anything is going to spur me on it’s being able to taste more flavours in cake! I think in your late teens-early twenties you get quite complacent about the fact that your body is pretty tolerant of most things you throw at it; alcohol, carbs, little exercise, cigarettes, lots of sugar and a bad skincare regime, but I’m beginning to realise that I need to start looking after myself if I want to stay fresh for as long as I can.
Fruit is playing a massive part in my diet at the moment. I’ve never been a bad eater, I eat a lot of vegetables and I make most meals from scratch with good quality ingredients but I am a massive snacker. Over the festive period my boyfriend and I resolved to snack more on fruit than rubbish and I’m so glad we did, I’m especially shocked at how cheap it’s been because we’ve been getting everything from the local market rather than big supermarkets. I’m finding clementines to be the best, especially for a handbag snack because they’re almost impossible to bruise but I’ve recently discovered a fruit that was completely new to me but is now my absolute favourite: Pomelo. If you’re in the Stoke area they’re £1.25 from the fruit stall in the indoor market and they are to die for, they’re a bit of a pain to prepare but once you’ve peeled the skin and got the huge segments out you’re left with the most refreshing citrus flavour imaginable.
Over the Christmas period I couldn’t drink because of medication and I was amazed that I really didn’t miss it at all, so I’ve decided that I’m going to continue cutting out alcohol as much as I can. The only thing I’ve really missed is the very occasional half a bitter shandy (do not judge) so I’m going to limit myself to no more than 2 units per week which I’m more than confident I can stick to. I’m also planning to drink a lot more water which is potentially going to be as hard for me as stopping smoking. I drink a lot of juice and cordial but I am terrible at drinking water, unless I’m eating food I just can’t seem to find a taste for it but I figure with all the positives that my skin and body will feel from being smoke and alcohol free, a little water will make it feel even more special.
The final thing I’m looking to do is cut back on my caffeine intake. I’m not a massive fan of coke/energy drinks so I’m not too worried there but I am a coffee whore. What I’ve found easiest to do here is to continue using caffeinated instant coffee but to replace my filter coffee with decaf. For some reason instant decaf tastes horrible if you ask me but filter decaf is actually pretty bearable, especially if you use a double shot. In the morning I still have my instant because I’m just not awake enough to contemplate the coffee machine and if I get lazy one or two times in the day I do the same but the rest I replace with decaf in the filter machine which means not only am I drinking less caffeine but I also drink less coffee altogether because it’s that bit more of an effort to be doing every half an hour.
I’m really excited to see where all these things together takes me. Looking back at my early teens my skin was so bright and my teeth didn’t need the scale and polish that smoking and coffee curse us with and the potential of getting a little of that freshness back is enough to keep me going, for the moment at least. The only irritation I’ve really had is when I’m out and in bars or pubs and I order a drink because a lot of the time avoiding caffeine and alcohol works out to be a lot more expensive.
Let me know if you’ve got any tips on anything I’m trying to do, I’m probably going to need them!