Anyone who knows me can attest to my constant need to cut the fat – to operate with efficiency – maximizing output while minimizing time and work. I don’t believe getting and staying healthy means slaving away in the kitchen, meditating for hours or doing 50 reps at the gym, that is, unless you want to do all of those things. Healthy activities should be enjoyable, effective and giving you the most value for your effort. What’s the best way to getting healthy? Hacking your way there.
My favorite hack can be summed up in one word: wishing.
No, I’m not talking genies in lamps or blowing dandelion clocks. I mean wish listing. Truthfully, I’m not a big fan of wish lists. I want gifts that come from the heart, picked up because the gift giver remembered a nugget from a conversation or because they were thinking of me. However, present exchanges with my in-law’s and Secret Santa with my cousins tend to run more smoothly with a wish list. So putting my personal feelings aside, I create a wish list every year, and when I do, I use it as an opportunity to get healthy by including healthy eating/living/being items on it.
Aren’t wish lists about indulgence, excess, and things you wouldn’t get yourself?
Now you may be thinking that I’m wasting precious wish list real estate with all that healthy stuff on it. But in reality, I don’t see the point of wishing for something that does not make me a better version of myself. Maybe it is my practicality or the fact that I totally geek out on health or because I’m constantly striving to improve myself.
Wish lists can still be about indulgence and excess but the items change when you make a healthy wish list. For instance, raw coconut butter, an indulgent treat on my pancakes, and a cast iron bundt pan that costs in excess of a month’s worth of cable have both made it on my wish list.
The beauty of this hack is that it can be used multiple times throughout the year. There are the winter holidays, of course, but there is also your birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, first day of school, basically any occasion they’ve got a Hallmark card for. Registries for baby, wedding, or a new home are additional lists you can apply this hack to. (More posts to come on those soon.)
Let me set the record straight – healthy lifestyle does not necessarily require anything. However, our knowledge, mindset and willpower can be supported with the help of some items. Also, there are things that can make healthy living easier like an awesome blender or a new non-toxic makeup set. A wish list is a great tool in our healthy living arsenal.
Now that you know the hack. What should you put on your list?
There are no rules on healthy wish listing. Anything goes. From my experience in healthy wish listing, I’ve found that my items generally fall into three categories.
Getting and being healthy is all about taking action but sometimes just having an item makes you healthier. Okay, I am not selling snake oil here. I mean, some items simply replace something you are currently using, and making the ol’ switcheroo from the old thing to the new one automatically makes you healthier.
For instance, this past Christmas, I put wool dryer balls on my list. When I think of how to live well, laundry is kind of an afterthought. For the past several years, I’ve been using fragrance free dryer sheets from Wegman’s thinking I had avoided the evil of fragrances in mainstream dryer sheets; however, dryer sheets’ evilness goes beyond fragrances. They have a large number of neurotoxins and carcinogenic chemicals linked to depression, headaches, nausea, and dizziness! With a new baby, I’ve been doing more laundry than ever and finding an alternative shot up on the priority list. I found out wool dryer balls make a great, eco-friendly substitute for dryer sheets. By circulating in the dryer with your clothes, it dries them faster, softens the fabric and reduces static cling. You can DIY some of your own or if you’re like me and would actually never get around to DIY-ing it, you can buy some on Amazon. Since receiving these balls for Christmas, I have seamlessly transitioned to healthier laundry! A totally simple and smart substitute.
Food is a popular wish list item for me. I’ve been known to include a superfood or two on my list. Also, you can’t go wrong with picking up something random at Whole Foods for me (like this spicy Indian-inspired ketchup my husband got for me one year). My raw cacao powder supply has been consistently replenished on holidays and my birthday. I have a sweet tooth and love chocolate. Can you relate? By requesting raw cacao, I get to satisfy my chocolate cravings while getting a major dose of antioxidants. I love making a green peanut butter chocolate smoothie in the morning with 1 1/2 bananas, whatever organic greens I have on hand (usually Swiss chard, salad greens, kale, or romaine), peanut (or almond or cashew) butter, raw cacao, chia seeds, and almond milk. Occasionally I’ll add in maca powder or lucuma powder. I also love making these delicious gluten free chocolate banana pancakes by Meghan Telpner and eating it with real maple syrup and raw coconut butter.
This third category of wish list items are not the need-to-have’s or even the want-to-have’s but the nice-to-have’s. Don’t let me fool you for a second, my wish list definitely has some things I’d never justify buying but totally would love to receive. After all, that’s what wish lists are for, right?
After two years on my list, my in-law’s got me a Himalayan salt lamp this year! Yes, this is a pretty hippie dippy thing to ask for, but Himalayan salt lamps are supposed to emit negative ions in the air – which recreates that awesome energy you feel during a rain shower. I thought this would be a really easy thing to have that would create a little mood lighting, improve the air quality in my condo, especially in the winter, and remind me of being in a spa or massage studio which is where I’ve seen a lot of salt lamps.
Another complete un-necessity was a Shakti mat I impulsively added a to my wish list several years ago. The Shakti mat is a cushion about 3/4 the length of a yoga mat covered with sharp plastic rings which when laid on, trigger healing properties in your body via acupressure. It’s an interpretation of a bed of nails. I found that I could only lay on it for a short while at first but as I used it more often, I could lay on it longer. This supposedly means your body has slowly rid itself of toxins. I found it good for sore back muscles and for my restlessness. This mat really forced me to be present and be with the discomfort. I used it on and off for about a year but since, it’s been under my bed and I probably won’t pull it out again until my daughter is a little older and won’t try to chew it or otherwise injure herself with it. While I love the mat, it’s a lesson learned to put items that I’m more apt to use.
Be careful what you wish for because that wish list real estate space is precious!
I love healthy wish listing and plan to use this hack forever. Have you practiced healthy wish listing before? What are some of the best gifts you’ve received that have helped you live a healthier life? What are some you’d add to your wishlist right now? Share in the comments below – I’d love to know!
All of the product links in this article are actually items from my previous wish lists. Here are some you should add to yours.
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