How to Find Your Health in College (and Still Have Fun!)

Hi guys!

As I start to plan for Dressember, maintain a busy class/club/work schedule, and continue to figure out my new health goals, I want to share what has gotten me thus far in my journey. All of the above may seem like a lot to handle, and at times it sure feels like it is, but I consistently find little tips and tricks to help me along the way. 5 of those tricks are what I’m going to share with you today! Just to start out, I’m in no way certified as a personal trainer or life coach, this is just what I have found works for me.

1. Make your workout schedule and stick to it!

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Me. Exhausted from a yoga workout.

Figure out what type of exercise you enjoy (yoga, lifting, running, boxing, etc) and plan times and workouts for the week on Sundays. I find that if I have a plan before I go to bed on Sunday, I don’t have to then worry about when and what workouts I do the rest of the week, after all my homework is being assigned and I spend hours doing homework. I also find that if I write my workouts into my planner, I’m more likely to do my workouts because I know I have the time. My tired self then can’t say, “Oh, well, you don’t have the time today” when, clearly, I have plenty of time according to my planner. Also, don’t be afraid to mix up your workouts a little bit! I combine weight lifting with cardio and yoga. That way my body gets worked in a few different ways, and I get the most benefit from my workouts. Remember, that even if you have an injury or restriction, there’s always a type of exercise for you. I have laterally tracking kneecaps (slightly to super painful when running and jumping) so I can’t do a ton of impact exercises. I have found weight lifting to benefit my knees, and for the days my knees hurt too bad to lift, I resort to yoga to stretch out the muscles and bring some peace to the joint. So there’s something out there for everyone, you just have to find it.

2. Find the time of day when you’re most motivated.

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Workout + Coffee = A Great Day!

I’m an early bird. I’m usually asleep by 10:30pm at the absolute latest during the week, so I like to get up early to do my workouts. I try to get to my gym as soon as it opens in the morning because that’s when I’m most awake and ready to work. I find myself more energized the rest of the day when I workout in the morning. Also, I don’t often have club meetings, homework, or have to be at work that early in the morning, so that’s when I can make time to get to the gym. I also do yoga workouts in my apartment on my non-lifting days and those I tend to do right before bed so I sleep better at night. However, I know that not everyone is an early bird like myself, so if evening/night exercise is your thing, go for it! Just remember, you HAVE to MAKE time. You can’t just wing it with your workouts, or you may not always get the most benefit. This is your health, and making the time to workout is SO important.

3. Figure out how to eat healthy, while not depriving yourself all the time.

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I sometimes splurge on sushi dates with my girls.

Food is something that is different to almost every person. That’s why there are so many different ways to eat out there, because everyone has different tastes and tolerances for certain foods. I have spent quite a bit of my college experience trying to figure out what I can and can’t eat. In my two years in college, I have developed a gluten intolerance, and lettuce allergy, and an avocado allergy. I also find that the more carbs I have, the more tired I am and the worse my stomach feels. So I have adopted a lower-carb diet with lots of fruits, veggies, and meat. However, I still allow myself to eat the things I want, within reason. I still eat gluten free mac n cheese and gluten free pizza, I just try to limit them. I go through phases where I just eat all the things I want to, and after a few days I feel like crap and go back to following my diet. All in all, you just have to find what works best for you and stick with it. They say health is 70% diet and 20% exercise, and abs are made in the kitchen, AND in the gym. So find what works for you, and follow it!

4. Know when you need a day off.

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Short vacations make perfect rest days.

Rest days sound like something you’d use an excuse to not do a workout, but rest days are SO important. Especially with such a busy schedule like a college student. Rest days allow your mind and body to rest, recharge, and reset. Sometimes life just gets too hard, or too busy, and you need those rest days to maintain your sanity. So plan during the week to take a few hours everyday, or maybe even just one day to have some “me” time after classes and/or work. Your body will thank you for it every time.

5. Be constantly setting smaller goals, and reaching them.

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One of my favorite places on Earth.

A little cliche for a picture, but the message is important. When setting goals in life, it’s important to make them something you can reach. You don’t want to set a super small goal and after you reach it, that’s it. You want to set a goal that is possible, but difficult. You want to grow on your way to that goal, but you want to be able to get there and then set a new one. This supports constant growth in your life in general, and especially in your health. For example, making it to the gym 3x a week, or not having ice cream everyday (if that’s your thing). You’ll be more motivated and inspired if you’re reaching goals every few weeks/months than if you set year-long goals and don’t reach them by the end of the year. It’s easier to think short term and see long term results than to think long term and see short term results.

Health and fitness while being a working college student is something that I’m still trying to figure out myself, but I’m enjoying every step of the way. I’m a month into classes and I’m finally getting into the swing of my new class, homework, work, and workout schedule. Food has always been a battle for me as well, but I’m finally finding my footing there as well. The goal is always some sort of improvement, and baby steps are perfectly acceptable.

I hope you enjoy and find some use from my 5 tricks to a healthy student life, and I’ll see you next week!

Cami

 

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Quitting Soda? Drink These Instead!

Welcome back, readers!

The past few weeks I have been really trying to cut back on my soda consumption. Since I eat (mostly) according to the Ketogenic Diet, any soda I do have is diet soda. The extra sugar in regular soda upsets my stomach something major, so diet soda used to be what I would fall back on.

However, lately I have been having some seriously annoying stomach problems. I’m slowly finding my way back into a normal diet, and I’m having less and less episodes every day. One thing I have found to trigger these episodes is, you guessed it, soda. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s regular or diet, my stomach just doesn’t want it anymore. So here’s what I’m drinking instead!

Bulletproof Coffee

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Everyone seems to have their own way of making bulletproof coffee, this is mine. I use coconut milk creamer (unsweetened) instead of the normal heavy cream, because the heavy cream doesn’t always agree with me. In the little red bowl is my combo of grassfed butter and MCT oil. Then I add a little bit of Truvia and cinnamon, then blend with some black coffee. That’s it! Tasty, simple, and just one cup of this will carry me over until a late lunch.

Water

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I drink a LOT of water throughout the day. I generally just fill my water bottle and take it with me wherever I go. Some days I like just plain water, and some days I add these little beauties to flavor the water. I use the vitamin line of flavorings because they are sweetened using stevia. Other sweeteners have upset my stomach in the past, so I generally stick to stevia because I know it’s safe for my system. You can use whichever flavorings your heart desires, these are just what I use.

Sometimes I find myself craving the fizz and bubbles from soda. When this craving hits, I like to grab a sparkling water. My favorite flavor is the Coconut from La Croix, but there are tons of brands and flavors out there that don’t use sugar or artificial sweeteners, you just have to read the labels!

Tea

I am a strong lover of most teas. Hot, iced, sweetened, unsweetened; you name it, I’ll most likely drink it. Tea can have lots of great antioxidants and almost healing properties. I drink a lot of tea when I’m sick, but I try to drink lots of tea the rest of the time, too. I’m always looking for new ways to drink tea, flavor tea, etc. Recently I found a recipe for iced matcha tea, which is one of my favorite teas. It kind of smells like grass and looks like you just blended up some spinach, but it is SO good, as well as good FOR you.

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Just mix the matcha powder with the appropriate amount of water (instructions are usually on the bottle/package) and some ice, then shake! I use my Blender Bottle so all the little chunks of the powder get broken up, then pour it into a smaller glass over fresh ice to drink.

Last, but not least, Kombucha!

Kombucha is a funny little beverage, but SO good for you. My parents discovered kombucha a few years back, and I have gone through phases with this adventure of a drink. Kombucha is actually fermented tea. It contains lots of probiotics which help the good bacteria in your stomach. I try to drink some every day. Now, I say interesting because it’s absolutely an acquired taste. Kombucha has a different sort of smell with a very distinct taste to match. Also, there’s sometimes particles at the bottom of the bottle, which won’t hurt you (they’re actually supposed to be really good to drink), but DEFINITELY creep me out. It took me quite a while to get used to, and actually like, drinking Kombucha and I still just drink until I can see the particles on the bottom then dump the little bit left at the bottom with the particles. There are tons of flavors and brands of Kombucha and most are very low in sugar/carbs. BE CAREFUL if you want to start drinking Kombucha. Your body is accustomed to a certain amount of probiotics and good bacteria in your stomach. If you just start chugging a whole bottle or more of this stuff everyday, you’re most likely going to make yourself sick. Kombucha is something to start slow and gradually increase in intake. I started with about a third of a bottle and I’m now closer to drinking about a half a bottle to 3/4 of a bottle a day. It’s all in how your stomach reacts to this wonderfully odd creation. Here’s the one I’m working on currently.

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Overall, there are tons of beverage options out there that aren’t soda. When at restaurants, I try to order either unsweetened iced tea, water, or sparkling water. So whether you’re trying to cut out more sugar in your diet, or just soda altogether, I hope my few ideas help you along your journey!

See you next time!

Cami