Be Kind To Your Body, In No Time At All

Guest post by Erika Hackmann of Bohemian Vegan.

Be Kind To Your Body, In No Time At All
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Whether you are a mother, busy student, high profile executive or multitasking blogger, it may often feel like you have no time to eat well and exercise. But being a healthy (and happy) superstar doesn’t have to be a full time job. Here are some tips for achieving optimum wellness, in no time at all.

Plan, Plan and Plan.
Scheduling in time to exercise makes a huge difference. If you see “RUN, 9AM” in big, purple ink in your planner, you have little excuse to say that exercise doesn’t fit into your schedule. The same goes for iPhones and Blackberries; put an alarm in your phone that reminds you of an upcoming workout. This tip also applies to healthy eating. Try your best to plan out your meals for the week, including days you may “cheat” or have a few drinks with friends. Once you have an idea of what you are going to eat for the week, you can grocery shop accordingly, which will help cut down on naughty snacks or multiple take-out meals and save you time. If you need help getting started, I recommend purchasing a healthy eating planner like the ones sold by Lobotme or fitlosophy.

Use What You Have
Creating your own meals might sound daunting, but keep in mind that some of the best recipes have come from a little improvisation. Don’t assume that you always need unusual ingredients only found at health food stores. Adding fruits and vegetables in creative ways can help keep your weight down, and avoid food boredom. Use sites like to find recipes with the ingredients you already have on hand.

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Get Creative
It may sound silly, but I keep a foot pedal exerciser under my desk. When I feel like I’ve been sitting for too long, but am in the middle of something, I’ll start pedaling. It may not burn hundreds of calories, but it helps keeps me moving and motivated. If you can’t squeeze in a workout on super busy days, remember to take the stairs, do crunches while watching TV, do bicep curls with full water bottles or park further away from your destination and walk. Find ways in your everyday activities to add exercise.

Join a Challenge or Get a Coach
Motivation is half the hurdle and the ladies at Kind Over Matter have made it even easier for you with their Be Kind to Your Body Challenge. Sometimes it takes an extra push from peers or a little friendly competition to get started. Up the stakes by creating incentives. For example, for every 50 miles you log, buy a new pair of workout pants or first person to work out all 6 days a week gets a free lunch. If challenges aren’t your thing, sign up for a running group or paid fitness class. There’s a spin class in my neighborhood that I am particularly fond of, but it’s pretty expensive. I make sure not to miss any classes, which would result in a waste of money. If you prefer a more one on one approach, I highly recommend a wellness counselor or health coach like myself. In most cases, health coaches will create a personalized program and provide individualized motivation, which can be essential in achieving your goals and transforming your life.

Remember This is a Journey, Not a Sprint
One of the reasons people tend to fall off their healthy living unicorn is because they approach it with an all or nothing attitude. One missed workout or one extra cookie is not going to kill you. In fact, it’s deprivation that will hold you back from achieving your goals. It’s the small steps like drinking more water, counting before giving into a craving and balancing your meals, that add up to a big result.

Don’t Kid Yourself. But Don’t Go Crazy.
Ok, here comes a little tough love. Remember that you deserve to be healthy, happy and energetic. Exercise and balanced eating should be as important as other daily activities and shouldn’t be excused so easily for an extra episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It may require some adjusting, such as waking up a little earlier or skipping a few couch potato sessions. It may feel difficult at first, but in the end it will be well worth it. That being said, just like everything else in life, your quest for health should be fun and enjoyable. Eat what you love, just take smaller bites. Join a dance or flirty striptease class. Get out your iPod and jump on your bed. Throw some carrots in your cupcake mix. It’s those types of things that make a difference.

By reading this article, you’ve already made a big step in your health adventure. Above all, remember to be kind to yourself all day, every day.


Erika Hackmann is a NYC-based holistic nutritionist who loves mixing good taste with good nutrition and barely sits still. Before sunrise, you can often find her running to her favorite Glee tunes or sweating in spin class. Her blog,, provides recipes, healthy living and fitness tips, fun and a little randomness. In addition to promoting wellness, Erika has a penchant for decorating cakes into fun shapes and polaroid photography. Find a list of her current services here (link: and connect with her on Twitter @erikahackmann or via email at

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