Five Things That Have Improved My Health

When I was very little, I had asthma. The medication for this made me a little chub and then when I got a bit older I thought microwave chips were fine for a snack. As a teenager I suffered really badly with acne and I started drinking alcohol and skipping meals when I was about fifteen years old.

It’s safe to say that I wasn’t the healthiest (or most attractive) child.

Today, things are different and though I’ll probably never be ‘model skinny’, I’m happy with how I look and my skin has never been clearer. I’ve completed a 10k run for charity and I’ve swapped a bottle of vodka for a glass of red wine. I’m also pretty happy these days; it’s pretty great.

Here are five things that I’ve done to improve my health.

Stopped smoking

Yes, yes I know. I smoked from the age of fifteen to around twenty-two. Unfortunately I don’t have any magic tips for stopping smoking; I just kind of got out of the habit over time due to things such as it being banned on my university campus and my now-husband telling me he finds it disgusting. If you do struggle to stop smoking, a lot of my friends swear by e-cigarettes, which are better for you than traditional ciggies.

Eaten a serious amount of salad

Living by myself and buying my own food was a game-changer for me. No longer did I have to eat meals cooked by my family or a partner who thought pasta was a starter, I could buy whatever I wanted, when I wanted. And I bought a lot of salad.

There are so many vegetables and salad foods out there that salads are now one of my favourite meals; add something like smoked salmon, goats cheese or beetroot and you have a fresh, delicious and healthy meal. The beauty of salad food is that you can eat a lot of it – so if you’re worried about not being full, just pile on some more cucumber. Since I’ve incorporated salad into my daily life my skin has improved rapidly, along with my overall health. It’s gotten to the point now, that if I go for a day or two without greens I literally feel terrible. Just goes to show.

Started cooking with alternative ingredients

After treating myself to The Food Medic’s amazing recipe book, I have started to really think about what I cook with, and I’ve spent more time making things from scratch. I’ve incorporated ‘super foods’ such as chia seeds and coconut flour and I go for wholewheat over white. They’re simple changes but unless you research it, it can be very easy to get confused with all the conflicting information out there. Of course I still eat pizza but I make a conscious effort to do so occasionally, and eat well most of the time – you can find my recipe for healthy pizzas made with coconut flour here.

Exercise more

Again, this is pretty obvious but sometimes it is nice to see it spelled out in the most basic manner. When I trained for my 10k, I felt my most fittest. I’m not there at the moment and though I do run, I have not been running to the extent I was then and I need to get back into it! But, regardless, learning to run was a life-changer. I found it incredibly hard at first but I now know that I can do it and that my body is capable of going further than I could have imagined. It’s a far cry from being the first person to leave the dreaded ‘bleep-test’ in secondary P.E…

Spoken out about my feelings

Today I am quite open about my experiences with depression and anxiety, but when I was suffering at my worst I found it very difficult to describe how I felt, and as a teenager I lashed out by not eating and drinking alcohol instead of talking about it. These days I am careful to measure how I am feeling, and if I feel like I am beginning to feel down or stressed, I take the time to look after myself by ensuring I am eating right, doing some exercise, and talking to my loved ones. It’s amazing how much better I feel simply by making these small easy changes.

What do you do to improve your health?

*This is a sponsored post but all words and opinions come directly from me*