I love taking time in January to reflect about everything that I accomplished the previous year and also to make plans for the coming year. It’s good to focus on both what you’re proud of and also think of a few things to work on!
Looking back on 2015, I think I made great strides in taking care of myself. A lot of people ask how I balance being a physician full time with also being a blogger almost full time! Honestly, my biggest secret is prioritizing my health. I could never pack so much into a day if I didn’t get 8 hours of sleep in true comfort and some exercise regularly.
Here are a few more things I want to continue doing well, and a few goals for things to do better!
Continue to take care of my body on the outside: I work really hard to stay slim. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’m a huge foodie. It takes a lot of work to make sure calories in = calories out. My current routine is a combo of running and YouTube pilates. I love finding new workout videos on YouTube. It’s like having a fitness instructor come to your own home! Cutting out all that to-and-from the gym time is huge. Right now I’m really into the Blogilates videos. I love that they are short (3-10 minutes) and super intense. Anyone can fit 3 minutes of exercise into their day, so it’s impossible to make excuses!
Take better care of my body on the inside: As a physician, I know the importance of avoiding processed foods and eating a balanced diet. It’s definitely something I prioritize. That being said, I’m far from perfect. I still go to the grocery store and get sucked in to bad choices. Valentine’s candy – I’m looking at you. I need to get better at always reading the labels of my food before I buy it.
This especially goes with juice. I feel like there are two traps that you can fall into when you buy juice without reading the ingredient label. You get a juice that has a bunch of additives, like corn syrup or worse, stabilizers (chemicals, not food!). Or, you pick a juice that lists all sorts of healthy ingredients, but it’s actually mostly water. It’s so disappointing to pick a juice that boasts a bunch of green veggies only to find that it’s thin and watery.
That’s why I love the Sea Greens Juice Smoothies that Naked Juice sent to me to try. They are thick and taste amazing, and the ingredient label speaks for itself – apple juice, orange juice, banana puree, coconut water, strawberry puree, passion fruit juice, celery puree, spirulina and dulse. Things not on the list – added sugar and preservatives.
Dulse and spirulina are ingredients that I haven’t seen in juices before. Dulse is actually edible seaweed – so cool. I’ve had seaweed salads before and I love the taste. This is like eating seaweed, but without that strange rubbery texture. It’s also packed with vitamins and minerals.
Spirulina is also edible seaweed, and is actually a great source of protein. It’s about 60-70% protein (crazy right?) and has all essential amino acids. It’s also high in iron.
I also need to get better at staying hydrated. TMI moment: often when I’m stuck at the hospital for a 12 hour shift, I’ll only pee once! I’ll go hours without drinking, which is just not healthy. Throwing a Naked Juice into my bag on my way out the door in the morning will ensure I have a quick hydration boost even on the busiest days. It will also ensure that I have a healthy morning snack so I’m not ravenous by the time lunch comes around.
Continue to take care of my skin: This is part of taking care of myself on the outside, but it’s so important it’s a separate goal! I’ve always tried to take good care of my skin, because I know that what you do in your teens and early twenties is a huge determining factor for how your skin will age. Recently, I had the revelation that what my skin was missing was actually moisture. Many facial products (like Retin-A, which I use religiously), actually dry out your skin.
I’ve started using facial oil to wash my face – it’s super gentle and doesn’t strip the natural oils your face produces. I’ve also changed to a thick facial cream instead of a lotion. When my skin is feeling extra dry I’ll even put on two coats! The result has been smooth, dewy skin with less wrinkles! I think my skin might be better now than it was in my early twenties, which is phenomenal.
I highly encourage you to add more moisture to your skin routine, even if you skin doesn’t feel dry right now. When your face is too dry, your body overproduces oil, clogging your pores and leaving you shiny. It won’t be until you make the transition that your skin will change and you will notice how dry it really is. You can check out the products I’ve been using at the end of the post.
Compartmentalize Social Media: Being constantly connected is part of my job as a blogger. Let’s face it, a good part of my life is online! Especially with the advent of Snapchat (P.S. – follow me at @ASideofSweet!), there’s always some sort of social channel that I should be checking or updating. I’m not going to even try to make a goal like cutting down on social media, but I do want to compartmentalize it better. I find that I’m always picking up my phone and checking in. It takes my focus away from important things, like quality time with Pat. I want to limit myself to checking everything at once a few times per day instead of constantly!
Become a Better Writer: Writing has always been one of the parts of blogging that I’ve struggled with. Much of the other parts, like taking photos and cooking, are things that the more you do, the better you get. If you take 1,000 pictures, you will definitely become a better photographer. If you write a thousand words, I’m not sure you’ll have the same guarantee. I’m thinking I should take a creative writing class.
So that’s my ‘State of the Union’ for 2016! Continue doing some things well and improve at others. And continue prioritizing my health, both on the inside and out. Tell me, do you have any goals for 2016? Any advice for me to help me achieve my goals?
Thanks to Naked Juice for sponsoring this post and thanks to YOU for reading A Side of Sweet! For more Sweet in your life, you can find me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Bloglovin‘, Snapchat (@asideofsweet), or Twitter. You can also subscribe to receive a weekly email with new posts.
Shop the Post: Running Shoes – Brooks Running // Pens – Muji // Cleansing Oil – Bare Minerals //Anti-Aging Serum – Bare Minerals // Thick Facia Cream – Bare Minerals // Sea Greens Juice – Naked Juice //