Green Living

Ten Habits That Make Me Happy and Healthy

Over the years I have picked up healthy habits here and there. Some I would only pull out in an official detox period, like dry brushing, and some have always been a daily habit, like lemon water.

After finally reading the GAPS Diet book (it took me years to get the courage to even read it because it felt so overwhelming!) I decided that I needed to do more daily detox things to help undo some of the damage to my body and digestive system from unhealthy eating during my childhood and early twenties.

Here are ten easy things I do every day to feel great and be healthy:

  1. As soon as  I wake up, I drink a glass of  room temperature or warm filtered water. Sometimes I add a half of a lemon to it. And sometimes I add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to it (I started with 1/2 teaspoon and built up to 1 tablespoon).
  2. I don’t eat breakfast until 10 a.m., to give my body more of a chance to detox from the night time, and give my digestion a break.
  3. I eat eggs every single morning, cooked in raw grass fed butter or bacon grease. I also usually eat several pieces of bacon or sausage. No bread, no oatmeal. I am not perfect, some days I eat a gluten free chocolate chip cookie for breakfast, but 80% of the time I eat really good.
  4. I drink Dandy Blend instead of coffee and have a tablespoon of coconut oil in each cup. I usually drink about two cups a morning, either before or during breakfast.
  5. I do dry brushing before every shower (here’s the brush I use).
  6. I eat an entire avocado every day. Sometimes it’s only  a half, if I am really full and can’t get it down, but most of the time it’s a full avocado.
  7. I eat a soup, stew or a cup of broth once a day. Super easy to do since a ton of my slow cooker freezer recipes are soups and stews.
  8. I eat or drink one fermented thing a day, whether its fermented kimchi or salsa, or kombucha, something that has some probiotics and digestive enzymes in it. I also take digestive enzymes supplements after lunch and dinner. You can see this post to see what other supplements I take.
  9. I do a couple minutes of yoga and stretching every day. Usually when I first get up or before bed. Nothing crazy, just enough to keep my circulation going and lymphatic system working well, my joints lubricated and release tension.
  10. I sleep 7 to 8 hours every night, with an eye mask on my eyes to block all light so I can get into a deeper and healthier REM sleep cycle. I also sleep by myself. I do not sleep well next to my husband, he is always moving around, stealing my blanket, making noises, and otherwise driving me insane. Not only do I get more sleep without him next to me, but I also don’t fantasize about suffocating him with a pillow anymore. So if anyone says that sleeping in separate rooms is bad for your marriage – I disagree. It’s what has kept us together for almost a decade! Just FYI, I did co-sleep with Penelope for two years. I am willing to lose sleep for a baby, just not a man-baby. 🙂

Does doing all these things guarantee I’m going to be happy, healthy, and have a perfect life? Hardly. But after doing them, I know this – they help. A lot! What are your never-forget, make-every-day-better habits?

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  • Alley
    February 13, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Stephanie- when do you manage to make time for intimate time with your husband if you’re not sleeping in the same bed/room? I find that that is when we tend to get stuff going, but how does intimacy work for you? Do you have to plan ahead of time?

    • Stephanie
      February 13, 2013 at 7:12 PM

      Lol, I knew someone was going to ask this question! My husband and I have an active sex life, and if I am being really honest, that is the other big thing that has kept us together all these years! I have never been the kind to want to have sex before bed, if I am at bed at 11p, my husband knows not to come looking for me, because I am going to sleep. So having sex at different times of the day, in different places has always been normal for us.

      • Alley
        February 14, 2013 at 5:00 AM

        So you each have your own room? Or is it like separate beds in the same room? And was this something you guys stumbled upon or did from the beginning of marriage or discussed and researched?

        • Stephanie
          February 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

          Pretty much. I am in the master bedroom and Peter is in the guest bedroom upstairs. We didn’t make it official until Penelope was born, before then we were trying to sleep in the same bedroom because we both thought it was the “right” thing to do for our marriage. But when Penelope was born, he needed to sleep so he could get up and go to work and I wanted to co-sleep with Penelope more safely and easily. Then when Penelope starting sleeping in her own room upstairs, we didn’t like both of us being so far away from her in the house. So the guest bedroom is upstairs next to her bedroom. So even though, I have a video monitor and see what she is doing it makes us feel better to have one parent up there. Penelope is now very aware of it, the master bedroom is Mama’s room and the guest bedroom is Papa’s room. I wish we had done it sooner, sleep deprivation causes such havoc in all areas of your life!

          • Alley
            February 14, 2013 at 5:09 PM

            that is actually pretty neat. my husband and i joke about it sometimes, but dont ever follow through with it. but i find that nights that he is up late doing his work and homework (for his second degree) that i sleep like a log and feel better in the morning than when we go to bed at the same time. and since he’s up late on his own terms, i dont wait for him to go to bed and i get waay more sleep going to bed when i need to as opposed to going to sleep when we both go in.

          • Stephanie
            February 15, 2013 at 12:09 AM

            Totally, there is actually a ton research out there that says that everybody only sleeps best by themselves. Of course there are rare exceptions like my friend who freaks out when her husband is out of town. But yeah, most people just plain sleep better by themselves!

  • Angela
    February 13, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Do you belong to an avocado of the month club or know a good place to get them delivered? I remember reading you grew up on an avocado farm. I also try to eat several avocados a week and try and get my 3yr old to eat half a day but the pickings are never great at the store. I would love if they just came to my door!

    My one thing I do everyday is have warm lemon water with ACV, too!

    And I really want my own bedroom, or a separate bed from my husband. I am a believer! But we have a tiny house so it’s not happening soon. We did invest in a Tempur-pedic mattress after we got married. Best buy in our 11yrs of marriage!!!

    • Stephanie
      February 15, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      I don’t, I just buy them at our local co-op grocery store. When they are in season I buy them from a local farm that has them shipped up from a local farm down south. I buy them once a week, and by the end of the week the last one is pretty mushy but still fine.

  • Lanae
    February 13, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    I was curious what yoga poses you do during your few minutes of daily yoga. I am able to make it to a class at least once a week but would love to start a daily practice. I just have ADD when it comes to home yoga and never know what poses to do and at what times of day (I know there are sun salutations and moon salutations but don’t know the difference).

    • Stephanie
      February 14, 2013 at 1:00 AM

      I usually do some sort of hip opener or back stretch. But really the key to a home practice is tuning into your body and just doing whatever you feel called to do, that pose will be exactly what you need most of the time.

    • Nicole
      March 7, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      I am a member of myyogaonline.com, which is a great site! The first two weeks are absolutely free so you should try it out.

  • Maureen
    February 14, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    I never thought to add coconut oil to my coffee…. Totes going to start doing that! The hot water thing is very interesting…. I drink ginger “tea” quite a bit, and usually add honey and lemon, but I think I’ll try it w/ coconut oil, too! As for butter, I usually save my raw butter for things like baked potatoes or topping off toast or veggies, and use kerrygold/coconut oil/bacon fat for cooking. How hot can you get raw butter and still have it be raw?

    • Stephanie
      February 15, 2013 at 12:26 AM

      Im not sure. I bet if you googled it would come up.

  • Linda
    February 15, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    I am so glad to see someone else saying they sleep separately from their spouse. Currently I sleep on the couch which i know is bad but my husband has a CPAP machine on for his sleep apnea, has to have the radio on and a fan, he kicks his feet constantly and rubs his leg in a dang circle on the mattress almost all night and to top it off when he “turns” over he practically does a flip and could easily bounce me off the bed. ahhh just typing it makes me want to scream LOL

    • Stephanie
      February 15, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      OMG, I think you husband needs to be on the couch with all that going on!! I hope you get your own bedroom soon, you deserve it!

  • Amanda
    February 18, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    I would like to know more about eating breakfast at 10am. I get up very early, about 4:30am-5am. There is no way I could wait until 10am to have breakfast. Is there a certain time you should let your body rest from food? We eat dinner at 4:45pm and I usually have a night time snack at 7pm then in bed by 9pm. I know I’m a crazy animal.

    • Stephanie
      February 18, 2013 at 2:27 AM

      I think its not a hard fast rule, but something that you need to adjust to your own schedule. So for me I get up at 8am and in usually around 10a I am hungry. Sometimes earlier, sometimes a little later. The main point is that I drink lemon water or apple cider vinegar water first thing and then let my stomach settle before I eat. So for you, maybe just wait to eat till about 6 or 6:30a??

  • Christine Taylor
    February 19, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    My husband and I also sleep in separate places. He has a a CPAP machine as well and moves around a lot in the bed. It doesn’t help that I’m a light sleeper. It’s helped our marriage so much! More rest equals happier people!

    • Stephanie
      February 19, 2013 at 3:38 AM

      exactly!

  • ashley
    February 20, 2013 at 4:50 AM

    Two questions. The first is why ACV added to your water?
    The second is one that has been bugging me for a long time… I have made my own ‘bone broth’ before. But I have NO idea what to do with once it’s made. Do I pour it all in a big bowl and keep it in the fridge for a week? Do I scoop some out w/ the fat cap? Do I throw away the solidified fat on top and only drink/use the liquid below? Am I better off pouring into ice cube trays before the fat separates and freezing it? So confused!!

    • Stephanie
      February 20, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      For it’s antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s also a mild detox. I would freeze your stock once you make it. I freeze mine in 2 or 4 cup portions and pull them out as I need them.

      • ashley
        February 21, 2013 at 2:19 AM

        Thank you very much!

  • Ashley
    September 3, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    HI Stephanie – I love this post! I have tried kombucha a few times (purchased at a health store), but how would I go about making it at my home, so I could consume this daily?

    What age can someone start on fermented foods and kombucha?

    How do you eat your avocado – by itself or mixed with something? I ususally have to eat mine with blue chips, but I know this isn’t good.
    Thanks!

    • Stephanie
      September 4, 2013 at 2:56 AM

      Oh girl, you are asking the wrong lady. I can’t make kombucha to save my life. I just drink Dave’s GT original brew.
      I think Penelope was about 24 months old when I started giving her sips of “boocha”. 🙂

      I usually just eat it sliced, salted and sometimes other spices like onion powder or cayenne to change up the flavor. Sometimes I make it into a simple quac and eat it with chips though. If organic, sprouted, blue corn chips are the worst thing you are eating, you are doing just fine!

      • Ashley
        September 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        haha. What is Dave’s GT original brew – is this something you purchase in a store?
        I wish blue corn chips were the worst things I eat, but lately I have been craving chocolate chips, so I put a bag of Enjoy LIfe chocolate chips in the freezer and eat a good bit everyday!

        • Stephanie
          September 4, 2013 at 9:58 PM

          You can get it a Whole Foods and other natural foods store. I think it’s the best kombucha brand and closest in quality to a home brew. It’s expensive though! But I usually only drink one bottle, a little bit at a time over several days.

  • Nancy
    September 7, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    What’s the benefit of bacon/bacon grease?

    • Stephanie
      September 7, 2013 at 2:10 AM

      Um, other than an explosion of yumminess in your mouth? Good fat! Fat has been demonized, but you need lots of fat for your brain and hormones to function and there are lots of vitamins that are fat soluable and you can really absorb them from plants.

      • Nancy
        September 9, 2013 at 9:31 PM

        Ok, the yumminess factor was a given. Just didn’t know that bacon fat was back on the good list. Seems like grandma might have known best after all….

        • Stephanie
          September 9, 2013 at 9:33 PM

          Exactly!! I keep a cup of bacon grease out just like my Granny did. She knew you had to cook greens with animal fat, not just because it tasted good, but because the body can use the goodness of the greens without the fat!

  • Lydia Skoreyko
    October 24, 2015 at 9:55 AM

    Hi Stephanie,
    I wish I knew wahat you know when I was having babies! We pretty well eat the same way you do nowI nursed my babies and was always conscious of eating “well”, making bread and low sugar muffins and lots of veggies, fruit and yogurt but my fourth child had devepmental problems. We eventually discovered the GAP diet and grass fed meat which has benefited us all. I am now 60, am a busy teacher and grandmother. I have no aches and pains, hormonal problems or extra weight. You are onto a good thing!

    • Stephanie
      October 25, 2015 at 12:40 PM

      Awesome, thanks for Sharing Lydia! I hope to an active teacher in my sixties like you!!

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