This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx. All opinions are my own.
I’ll admit New Year Resolutions are NOT things I set for myself each year but like most of us, I think we have the right to make an exception coming fresh off of the worst year ever (ahem 2020.)
My personal reasons for being an anti-resolution setter are pretty predictable – I rarely hold myself accountable to see them through. This is a known thing I’ve learned about myself over the years, and thus taught my brain to react differently to when trying a new approach in choice wording. Instead of resolutions, I call them INTENTIONS and I try to set at least 1-2 very attainable goals for myself to achieve (or begin routinely) each month we’re currently in. I never start thinking about the next month’s intentions until the 1st of said month, as it gives me the focus to deliver what I’m currently working on & also, allows for intentions to be set as I need them to be.
If there’s anything we learned from last year, it’s that every single month has a brand new approach to it. In fact, the ability to adapt and not get my hopes up is in ways on of the best things 2020 has brought to my life. But let me be frank, there’s a lot of negatives that 2020 also brought to my life – bad habits being one of the bigger issues I’m trying to get ahold of in this brand new, hopefully much better positioned year of 2021.
In last week’s post, I briefly shared my January Intentions of getting my health & wellness back on track. I’m not anticipating anything more than forming a stronger routine I can stick to weekly, so I can continue it in the months ahead. Not gonna lie, the pressure of our wedding is helping me mentally push through the dreaded workouts I’m struggling to learn to love again. But that’s all in good time, I feel hopeful about that.
Along with weekly exercise, in my effort of kicking 2020 bad habits to the curb, I’ve been focusing on small additions to my everyday routine outside of the gym – starting with the simplest of changes with how I take my coffee & new ways I spend my morning hour(s) before getting into the work grind. Although these “changes” are brand new, they’ve proven not to disrupt nor take away from anything I’ve enjoyed prior in how I used to go about my day (so far.) Some are easier than others to remember, but none provoke the feeling of dread to go about doing.
Here are a few ways I’m focusing on my overall wellness this month
& hopefully will continue in the months ahead!
COLLAGEN IN MY COFFEE
Every morning I have my cup or two of coffee without fail. There’s rarely a day I don’t make time for it, which made adding a collagen powder into my routine all the easier. I’ve been adding 1 scoop of Physician’s Choice Collagen Peptides Powder to my first cup of coffee for the last 11 days and already have noticed some physical enhancements to my appearance in the hair & skin departments.
Why Collagen? Like I mentioned above, it’s responsible for how our skin looks and feels & can also be found in our muscles, joints, and hair. Since adding my daily scoopful, I’ve noticed my hair looking a lot shinier despite using the same S&C since October & have experienced less breakouts on my chin during my personal “shark week.” It’s also been shown to reduce cellulite & wrinkles which are BIG things I’m excited about seeing less of in the upcoming weeks/months of continued use.
Along with all the benefits happening on the inside & showing on the outside, what I truly love most about this Collagen Peptides Powder brand is the fact that it’s odorless AND tasteless! It dissolves into my coffee immediately and I honestly wouldn’t even know it was added if I didn’t do it myself. My coffee tastes exactly the same, which is all the more reason I’ve been able to continue adding the powder each morning without fail. That & also having it right next to the coffee grounds bag so I don’t forget about it!
Another new addition to my morning routine is taking a daily probiotic with my vitamins (another 2020 habit that’s shockingly a positive one.) As someone with digestive issues since high school, I’ve taken my fair share of probiotics throughout the years & should have never quit taking them; but after a while, you realize certain brands either do it for you or they don’t. After facing with the latter result, I felt like I had other ways that were more effective in treating occasional upset overtime. But of course, I’m putting blame on the entirety of last year with the increase in flare ups/bloat/gas pains happening in my gut every other day due to stress & poor-ish diet. So it was time to once again try another probiotic.
Since I’ve been so happy with the Collagen Powder, I’ve been taking the same brand Physician’s Choice Women’s Probiotic each morning along with my coffee. While researching more about it, one of the things that caught my attention was the inclusion of ProCran in its ingredients – which not only helps restore digestive balance but also supports urinary tract health. As someone who has had too many problems with UTI’s and Kidney Infections in the past, I’ll eagerly take anything that can provide me with combative support in that department too.
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Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be eating some variation of meat for the rest of my days but once & a while, I get a craving for something wholesome vegetarian. Growing up, my sister(s) had several food allergies and we learned as a family to enjoy many alternatives to dairy/gluten. Back then, the options were nothing like they are now – sometimes I can’t even tell the difference between meat & plant-based. Needless to say, I don’t care what most things are made of as long as it tastes good and fulfilling as a meal.
One of my bigger dreads is having to prepare meals (like lunch or dinner) if I’m having a hectic day or simply not in the mood to go about all the steps. Unlike some, I don’t find cooking to be therapeutic – often it feels like more of a chore. Since starting our weekly meal prep, it hasn’t been all that bad cooking dinner we’ve mentally planned for but I’m still struggling with lunch if we don’t have leftovers or anything I can heat up real quick in order to return back to work. Then I was introduced to Veestro.
Veestro is a meal delivery subscription that provides 100% plant-based meals that are freshly & fully prepared, as well as convenient. What truly makes this one different from all the others being marketed, besides offering only vegan meals, is the elimination of chopping/cooking/cleaning. As I mentioned above, not all of us (me) are fans of the actual cooking part expected of most meal deliveries. With Veestro, I can pop one of the prepared frozen meals delivered into the microwave or oven and get a hardy, healthy plant-based meal within minutes!
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JOURNALING TO BETTER HABITS
When I was younger, I used to journal all the time. Now, I blog about most everything happening in my life with the exception of a few things – mostly personal – that journaling was better suited for. A lot of us got into the habit last year of journaling or brain dumping each morning; I personally didn’t get into it myself but wish I did back when things felt most dire. It probably would’ve helped a ton with my anxiety and given me back several sleepless nights.
I sound like a broken record with the amount of times mentioning bad habits but they’re the full reason behind the motive of this post! Also, I want to hold myself accountable for taking control of changing them. 2021 is a chance to access what positive and motivating changes we want/need to embrace in our personal (& professional) lives. The problem is that most of us have so much drive to want to do better this year but like 90% of resolutions, that drive eventually fizzles out and takes a back seat in the priority handbook. Luckily, there’s a way to go about it in micro-doses – as explained by my newest self-help print obsession: The Habit Trip.
The Habit Trip isn’t a journal per-say but rather a Fill-in-the-Blank Journey to a Life of Purpose. I’m using it more as a guide to helping me analyze all my habits (good & bad) when it comes to sleep, fitness, relationships, money, spirituality & more. The emphasis on micro-steps leading to major results is huge and the easy fill-in writing tasks help to solidify the self-care intentions I have & want for myself. I also really like how I can choose my own style of engagement through part-journal, part-quiz, part practical reference prompts.
Each morning, instead of watching the news, I now use 30-40 minutes of that dedicated time to read/complete one section of The Habit Trip while sipping coffee. I keep the book on the living room ottoman (with a pen) so I don’t forget about it & am more likely to complete my intended dedication to it. It’s a new habit in itself to begin journaling about habit-changing, but I’m motivated and excited about all the joy it’s about to bring to my life.
NAIL & HEEL REPAIR
There’s no doubt the winter months are the most intense on our skin, especially our extremities. I personally see the worst of my dry skin type during the months of January & February, and the excessive hand washing doesn’t help much either.
On another dry note, I’ve noticed significant unruly skin around my heels and the balls of my feet. Usually this is worse during the summer months because of all the sand & salt, so having it become a 2x seasonal issue is not ideal. Not that many people are seeing my feet these days..but still, it’s so gross! And trust me, I’ve tried the all the creams/tools targeted to exfoliate & hydrate those stubborn cracked heels – remember the PedEgg!? Never found success with anything long-term unless I got a pedicure and paid someone to literally file/sand the dry skin off.
I honestly didn’t have a lot of hope in trying this at first but after reading multiple reviews, I decided to give Kerasal Intensive Foot Repair a try given its claim of showing visible results in 1 day. So naturally, I wanted to see if I too would have success after one use. Instead of a cream-base, this comes of the tube as an ointment – a different approach to all the things I’ve tried before because I truly wouldn’t think to go the ointment route for a dry skin problem. I applied generously to both my feet and immediately covered with cotton socks to wear to bed. Weirdly, I felt excited about what the results would be in the morning lol.
I stand corrected in my statement that nothing has proven to work for me & my cracked heels until this miracle worker of an ointment came around. I’m honestly SO IMPRESSED how quickly this worked, as well as SO RELIEVED I don’t have to fret about this issue come Spring/Summer when my feet become more exposed to the public. As much as I appreciate pedicures, I can’t justify getting them every week to maintain the dry skin issue alone. So having this overnight treatment is a wonderful discovery, personally.
Along with cracked skin, my nails haven’t looked their best either since receiving a few gel manicures in the last year. Before the salons re-opened following the pandemic lockdown, my nails never looked better in their authentic, paintless form. But of course the minute I could get another professional manicure, I jumped on it (+ 2-3 more times with the holidays.) Seeing how much damage can be done with one gel manicure is more alarming now than it ever concerned me before, probably because I know what healthy unpainted nails look like under the gel coats of disruption.
(left) Before Kerasal – (right) After one week of Kerasal using 2x daily
I started applying Kerasal Multi-Purpose Nail Repair to my nails 2x a day, morning & evening, since the start of the New Year and as you can see from the before & after, one week goes a long way! They’re not 100% repaired but they definitely look a lot healthier than they did before using. I also noticed a thicker, smoother feeling to my nails as well.
In case you’re interested, this is the #1 Dr Recommended Brand for improving the appearance of nails (finger/toe) damaged by any of the following issues: Psoriasis, aging, & fungus along with gel manicures. Visible improvements can be seen after one week of application, continue using 3-4 months for full effect.