- Replacing my morning coffee with hot water, freshly pressed lemon, and honey
- Replacing my afternoon coffee with green tea
- Drinking any herbal tea of my choice in the evening
- Drinking two water bottles throughout the day
Why? Because I noticed that drinking coffee didn't have any effect on me anymore. I was just as tired after drinking a cup of coffee, so what's the point? And I felt like my body could use a good detox from all the junk I'd been eating during the holidays.
Drinking no coffee was the main thing, but I also made a conscious effort to eat a lot more vegetables and a lot less carbs during those three weeks. I also used an exfoliating body wash every day and even tried a hot-cold shower twice a week to detox at every level.
The result: I had headaches and leg cramps during the first week. I'm guessing it's because my body was used to having caffeine every day. That surprised me, because I only drink two coffees per day, sometimes less.
The other two weeks were a lot better. I had more energy (although sometimes I could really have used an afternoon coffee), and I lost four pounds! And best of all, I got used to eating healthier, so it's easier to keep up with the good habits. And now, when I drink a cup of coffee, it keeps me awake a lot more. So I'm planning to keep it that way: just drink coffee occasionally, when I really need it, instead of every day out of habit.
Thirty-Day Yoga Challenge. This is perfect for exercising at home during the cold winter months. All you need is a yoga mat and a computer to watch the daily 10-20-minute video by Erin Motz. And it's free!
I thought yoga was a mild form of exercise, but man, the abs workout was intense! The videos are for beginners, but she also gives tips for those who need a little more. Every day is different. One video focuses on stretching the wrists and hand muscles. Perfect for writers!
Mindful in May
Mindful in May, which is a one-month online meditation course. I did it last year and gained a lot from it. Every day in May, you get an e-mail with links to videos and articles about mindfulness and meditation, and a ten-minute audio meditation download each week for your daily meditation practice. It costs money to register, but it goes to a good cause: building water wells in Ethiopia.
The program was founded by Elise Bialylew, an Australian lady with a beautiful accent, which you can hear on the audio meditation downloads.
The methods have changed a lot since I was a little kid! First, I lie down with a heating pad and a electric muscle stimulation machine (two electrodes delivering a mild electric current to my back muscles) for ten minutes. Then Dr. Eickhoff uses an Activator, a little instrument to realign the bones in my spine and my body. No smelly ointment or cracking bones or twisting neck involved. It doesn't hurt at all, and it's interesting how he can see exactly which bones need to be adjusted just by looking at me and shaking my feet.
At my first visit, they used a scanner connected to a computer to scan my spine and detect the areas where there is tension. My upper back and neck area showed up as red. I learned that my bad posture might have contributed to the problem, so I raised my laptop to be at eye level, and I have to remember to take breaks once in a while.
Now I have some stretching and strengthening exercises to do every day. I'm hoping my back will be better—permanently—once I'm done with all the treatments. One thing I like about chiros: they don't just remove the symptoms, they fix the cause and educate you in the process.
Hopefully, being healthier and more focused will help me gain inspiration for writing, which I haven't done much lately. Sometimes it's good to just take a break and do something totally different.
What are your non-writing goals?