I love travels to India but India is a place it is nearly impossible to eat healthily. Especially when you are used to California cuisine, salad and lean protein. Good Lord, do I need to start eating healthy in 2023! As much as I love all things ghee and a good savory rich curry, a Mediterranean diet is so much better for my personal lifestyle. And I know that but baked goods and Lamb Biryani tend to sidetrack my healthy ways. Before this global pandemic, while traveling in southern India it seemed like every meal, while so delicious, included fried bread products like puris and parathas and heavy meats like lamb cooked in tons of ghee. I found myself inhaling the most savory calorie-heavy curries every delicious day we spent roaming through the spice route.
By the time we left India my body was trashed. I know I used to have abs under all this butter chicken belly fat but I have not seen them since sometime in December 2019 in Bangalore. I might have left them on the beach in Goa next to a very cute little stray beach puppy. Then I flew into London and got the flu from hell and one would think after the Borough Market cleanse I would have at least felt less bloated and had less Butter Chicken belly but that was not the case. I seriously had to start eating healthy again when we got back to the U.S.
And then we spent three years, no not globally traveling but being socially distanced from all family abroad. Stress eating; It was real. Some folks went hiking more, got a dog, took it hiking every day and started eating better. Not me. I had three years of injury after injury and yes, we too got a puppy.
I tried to limp my way through walks and hikes with the pup with my bad hip and gimpy ankle. Then I slammed my hand in a door and spent weeks wondering if it was broken and trying to walk a very strong fifty-pound puppy with a messed up dominant hand. Good times.
So how on earth do I rebuild my strengths, lose a few lb, and put back on all the muscle that I have wasted away that one month on a butter chicken-filled beach holiday?
Holidays are the wurst, for belly fat
Going on a magical overseas holiday is a great excuse to forget about healthy eating for a few weeks or a month. I remember when I was in my twenties I spent seven days in Munich Germany drinking gallons of fermented barley german beer every day. When I wasn’t enjoying vats of Amber-colored Ayinger I was usually shoving briny mustard-covered knackwurst flavored with garlic at my face. Our mornings in Munich usually started innocently enough with plates of weisswurst and fresh-squeezed out-of-this-world good orange juice.
Chock full of vitamin C and German breakfast sausage we would stumble towards the gates of Oktoberfest, hot glazed nuts and beer tents. Maybe we would stop for a bratwurst with German potato salad on the way. Sauerkraut is a vegetable, right?
I remember sitting on a train leaving Munich one week later and feeling wurst and also I could no longer button my jeans. I had no clue before our holiday in Munich just how delicious German food was. One week, ten pounds and many hazy German beer tent memories later, our shenanigans in München were not something I would easily forget. And plus I had that souvenir muffin top hanging over my skinny jeans! Nowadays as a forty-year-old woman these are not the kind of souvenirs that are easy to lose!
Good morning summer beach body!
This horrible global pandemic is a great excuse not to travel and not to inhale crab ghee roast on Commercial Street in Bangalore or all the Malaysian curry I can find in south London. Now that we have been stuck at home in the U.S. with no worldwide travels or plane rides to exotic places we should be eating healthier than ever, right? Try telling that to my belly fat. So what is a oh so hungry for Indian food and okay also worldwide travel to do? I had to personally put my wanderlust on hold for a bit and concentrate on being healthy in 2023. And put down the butter chicken for the love of God! Putting down the butter chicken and picking up my snowshoes was a good start.
#1, Start your day right!
For the last 370 days I have been safe at home and basically not employed here in California. My hope was to eat healthier and be more fit. To get there I have been trying to start each morning with a hot lemon water while daydreaming that I’m actually on a humid beach in Kerala, India where the majestic trash eagles fly overhead. The road to good health starts first thing in the morning. I try, as often as possible to start my day with a glass of hot water with organic lemon juice. It might not be einen kaffee bitte served outdoors at the Marienplatz central square, but a hot lemon water is a great way to reduce inflammation and cleanse your system each day. Sipping on hot water with lemon in the a.m. decreases acidity in your body. It helps to enhance enzyme function. This simple tonic helps stimulate your liver and flushes out fat-soluble toxins. Another early a.m. tonic to help get your body healthier now is Gut Assist. Gut Assist may not taste great, but it helps tremendously heal your GI tract. This simple powder you mix with water and have on an empty stomach, helps your stomach’s membranes to heal from life’s everyday difficulties. It’s a great way to start to get healthy in 2023. A healthy lifestyle starts first time in the a.m.
Shots, shots, shot!
Really feeling serious about your health this early 2023? Try taking a shot of apple cider vinegar! Apple cider vinegar in the a.m. can help your early morning digestion. You can also try diluting it with water and adding a little lemon juice to it to make it more palatable and less pucker-up sour.
Of course some days I wake up absolutely exhausted and the espresso maker calls my name at five a.m. My personal road to better health means trying to drink less caffeine. I learned the hard way that giving up caffeine cold turkey simply does not work for me. I get headaches if I don’t have a morning cup of Joe. But if you personally can give up coffee or switch to green tea in the a.m. good for you. I’ll just be over here drinking what I call an egg latte then strapping on my snowshoes and powering up the mountain over there in six fresh inches of powder.
One thing that has really helped me cut back on the caffeine though is drinking a hot water with lemon when I am craving coffee. I also have hot water with lemon in the evening when dessert is calling my name. After my morning hot water and lemon, I’ll blend all these ingredients for an Egg Espresso Latte in my nutri-bullet and hit the trails for a snowshoe hike with that puppy.
Egg Espresso Latte
2 shots dark roast espresso
1 teaspoon cream
1/2 teaspoon Kerrygold butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
#2, Drink healthier!
Of course, I can’t be a saint all the time and sometimes I just have to enjoy a Bloody Mary on the weekends. Of all the cocktails I feel like a weekend Bloody Mary is one of the healthiest cocktails you can choose. Bloody Mary’s are chock full of electrolytes, vitamin C and B6. (And maybe a shot of vodka because you know, the pandemic) Low-carb wine and low-carb margaritas are my other go-to keto-ish alcoholic drinks because once again, the pandemic.
# 3, Oh Shit! It’s time to get healthy in 2023!
Believe it or not, undergoing a colonic could really help get your pre-pandemic body back. How much crap did you eat during the global pandemic? It might sound gross but all that corn and all those processed foods are currently sticking to the inside of your intestines and having a colonic done can flush out your whole system. It may not be a pleasant experience but after putting my body through the ultimate flush, my back problems are better, I have so much more energy and most people even lose a few lbs. Or you can always try juicing every veggie in your fridge. I love a fresh homemade green juice with lots of ginger, but I don’t like all that natural sugar from the fruit.
#4, just move!
Doing housework is a godsend to get back into shape for the summertime. That means splitting firewood, stacking firewood for the wintertime, steam cleaning the floors and polishing our boat and our RV. Using your arm muscles on all those pesky household chores, even if it’s just washing the dog will get your arms back into shape in no time. Or spending an entire hour vacuuming dog hair out of your Subaru. What an arm workout.
Go snowshoeing, vacuum all that dog hair out of your car or clean the cat box. It doesn’t matter what kind of household chores or mountain treks you do, just get out and get moving your way to be healthy in 2023. After a morning of working out my arms cleaning up after our plethora of pets, I like to have a healthy lunch like beet hummus with poached cauliflower or one of my favorite homemade salads like BLT Salad with Meyer Lemon Salad Dressing.
#5, Enjoy a spa day
Sometimes you have to just do you. Purchase that organic face mask, enjoy a eucalyptus foot soak or indulge in a spa day at your favorite Korean jjimjilbang! You can even enjoy a yoni steam if that is your thing! I mean come on if it’s written in Sanskrit it must really be detoxifying right?
When it comes to being healthy in 2023 I’m a huge fan of Korean jjimjilbang. I swear by a half day at the naked Korean day spa to refresh my soul (And my pores) Imperial Day Spa is my jjimjilbang of choice to refresh my skin. After a long dry winter, I love to indulge in a full body salt scrub each spring. It leaves my skin feeling silky smooth and refreshed.
How are you changing your lifestyle to be more healthy here in 2023?