“Who do you want to be?” I often ask when faced with opportunities for pettiness. Even when justified, interfering with someone’s master plan by announcing the intricacies of your viewpoint causes a lot of headaches. Let things play out. This is not always easy for me, as a #4 on the Enneagram, I don’t like to be misunderstood. But no one wants to hear your back-story. Do you want to be easy going or high maintenance? Your actions define you. 

And now it’s time to answer this question for quarantine. Who do you want to be?  

I’m not judging either way. I’ve wavered on this myself. Why should I work so hard to stay in shape when I’m hardly in public? Why shouldn’t I bake with the kids and eat it all too?  Why shouldn’t I keep up the status quo without interference? And I have. For four weeks I’ve lived a carefree, eat-whatever- I-wanted binge fest, including items and ingredients I strongly disagree with. This is what happens when CVS becomes a hub of your eco system – marshmallows are a whole new food group I’ve missed out on. When was the last time YOU had Lucky Charms?  

Now, don’t get me wrong. I always maintain a high degree of health. I take great care to fortify my body and keep fit, even to extremes a handful of times a year.  But I can also go the direction and eat recklessly to make up for lost time or to simply not spend so much time prepping food. If there’s one thing about eating healthy – it’s time consuming. And takes planning. Ok – that’s two things.  

So why not continue this carefree course? It’s fun. It’s easy. It comes with built in excuses. Allows more time for binge watching. Why? Because It’s who I want to be. I want to be the high maintenance person in this case. I want to interfere with the path I was on. It’s for my health. It’s for my looks. It’s for my mood. It’s for my ego. It’s for my legacy.  It’s who I want to be. When I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night. Though let’s be honest. At night I do want to munch on cookies in bed, but I also know I’m happiest when I’m fit and eating healthy. It was fun snacking mindlessly for a while and indulging, but now I’m ready to switch gears, stay in this mindset and not turn back.  In a word, I’m ready to commit.  I want to come out of this quarantine with a quaransheen. Eating healthy is the best skincare I know. 

The good news is, after eating poorly for a while, your body is naturally ready for the change, once you make that decision. In fact, eating healthier is probably easier than you think once you put your mind to it.   

Here’s 8 easy ways to be healthier during quarantine: 

  1. Decide. Sounds so easy, right? But that one word is key – it makes all the difference. It’s like quitting smoking, ending a relationship, leaving a job. You have to do it for you. And if you’re not feeling it, then cool. Maybe another time. 
  2. Prioritize. Also sounds obvious. But not many people do it. Make it the most important thing each day: a workout and meal prep for healthy eating should become your #1 goal each day. Schedule things around your workout, not the other way around.  
  3. Buy healthy food. Simple as that. It’s so much easier to eat junk and yes, it does taste good. Too good. But if you keep healthy items in your house, healthy meals are what you’ll eat. It’s like momma always said: eat your veggies. So, buy them and eat them. Make a deal with yourself to eat no processed foods for a week and allow time for the extra meal shop and prep. 
  4. Eat veggies every day, three times per day if you can. It’s so important I’m repeating it from #3.  It’s the number one advice I can give you. It works twofold: 1. It helps makes your cells in your body function properly. Your cells can have good days and bad days too. Don’t you want your cells, the building blocks of everything you are, to have good days? 2. When you start eating more vegetables, you’ll naturally replace some of the more processed foods. A super easy way to do this is by incorporating them into breakfast. Broccoli/egg/scramble, omelet with roasted asparagus and grated Parmesan cheese, roasted butternut squash and hard-boiled eggs, for example. 
  5. Pick a workout plan that is at least two weeks. A workout plan is key because it’s all laid out for you so you don’t have to figure out what moves you’re doing each day. There are a ton of free programs online now for all workout styles.  
  6. Eat protein with every meal, healthy fats a few times a day and a few small servings of whole grains/healthy carbs. I love oatmeal, sweet potatoes and sprouted bread for my carbs.  
  7. Pay attention to your liquids: Drink more water and drink tea. Drink at least 64 oz of water a day. Fill up a large water bottle to in the morning and keep track. A mix of green and black tea keeps your metabolism up and helps curb mindless snacking. Make a big batch of iced tea for easy access. 
  8. Make a point of recognizing your accomplishments and celebrate your wins, no matter how small, each day with self-encouragement. If you have a little set back – don’t self-sabotage and feel you’ve ruined it all – just acknowledge it and move on.