PHOTO:  Bettina Bogar

I started Misfit Wellness because I want to make a healthier and happier diet and lifestyle more accessible, approachable and sustainable - especially for those of us who have struggled with mental and physical health. Unfortunately the basic fundamentals of living and eating well are often overcomplicated in the media to the point where they seem completely inaccessible and unattainable to the average American. The end result? The people we’re trying to “help” assume they don’t have the time, energy or money required to take care of themselves.

I’m still working out how to leverage various media platforms to market my business in a way that doesn’t contribute to the confusion and overwhelm around being well. How can I attract new clients with appealing content without creating unrealistic standards or isolating audiences that can’t afford dairy-free cream cheese? How can I give women hope for a happier, healthier life without creating anxiety around what it might cost to get there? I don’t quite have the answers yet, but what I do have is a desire to clear a path towards mental and physical health for my community and clients that is approachable and easy to navigate. I might not be able to change the fact that our healthcare system and food supply in this country are beyond broken, but I can help you take your health into your own hands with simple diet and lifestyle choices made each day.

Below are my top tips in the diet and lifestyle areas I believe have the greatest impact on our health. Try incorporating 1 new habit for a few weeks before adding another so you don’t get overwhelmed by too much at once and give up!

  1. Improve the quality and duration of your SLEEP. How to make it happen:

    • Put down the phone, laptop or any electronics 30 minutes before bed. (Start with 30 and work your way up to 1 hour eventually.) Read a paper book or magazine, talk to your partner, do some stretching or take a bath.

    • Cut out caffeine, sugary beverages and foods with refined sugar after 3:00 pm. If you metabolize caffeine slowly, cut it out before noon.

    • Start going to bed at the same time every night (even on weekends).

  2. Start managing STRESS a bit better. A few things to try:

    • Don’t look at your phone or computer for the first 10 minutes you’re awake.

    • Give yourself 15 no-rush minutes each morning, even if it means setting the alarm a little earlier. No one actually notices if you’re 3 minutes late to work so the stress is almost never worth it.

    • Set a reminder on your calendar to get up and do a loop around the office, stretch, meditate or go outside for even 5 minutes mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

    • Try meditation or mindful movement like yoga using a free app on your phone.

  3. Pay a little more attention to NUTRITION. Some great places to start:

    • Add a green vegetable or side salad to at least one meal a day each day. If you live in an area where produce is expensive or poor quality, consider frozen. Frozen veggies are picked and frozen at their peak freshness so have just as many nutrients as fresh, sometimes more!

    • Replace your afternoon boxed/processed snack with whole foods choices like an apple and nut butter, an orange and a small handful of nuts, raw veggies and hummus, or a couple of hard boiled eggs.

    • Swap out sodas and sugary beverages with water with lemon, herbal teas, or club soda with berries.

    • Cook a few extra meals at home each week and bring leftovers to work for lunch. Try simple but delicious combinations like roasted chicken and veggies or one-skillet meals so you’re not overwhelmed with the task or cost.

  4. Set aside a little time for SELF CARE. Some of my favorite forms:

    • Dry-brush before your bath or shower to exfoliate and stimulate circulation and detoxification

    • Take 3 minutes in the morning (or whenever you can snag a moment for yourself) to journal, meditate, or set an intention for the day.

    • Tack on 5 minutes at the end of your workout or daily walk to stretch mindfully instead of rushing out of the gym.

    • Buy yourself some flowers (Trader Joe’s has bouquets for as little as $3!)

  5. Make daily MOVEMENT a priority. The easiest ways to make it happen:

    • Grab a partner that will make it fun (and hold you accountable) and trade off picking new classes, studios or workouts to try together every other week until you find something you love.

    • Walk to and from work or take a break mid-day to go for a walk or head to a gym close-by. Working movement into your routine makes you much more likely to stick with it.

    • Explore fitness apps on your phone or try the free workouts available on demand through most cable companies. YouTube is a great resource for free workouts too!