5 Ways to Get Healthier and Happier Now


Shirt / Blazer / Boyfriend Jeans

Earlier this week, I had a really bad day. Like one of the worst. Let me explain: I woke up to my poor little pup having diarrhea all over his bed (and himself). Having never had my own dog before, this was not something that I knew how to deal with in a graceful way. Talk about reality check!

So now it’s 7:00am and I’m ready to move forward with my day. Of course I get my period at that very moment. Lovely. I decide to take it all in stride and head to my 10:00am teeth cleaning which I always weirdly enjoy. At the dentist, I learned that I had to have an emergency root canal that afternoon. At just the time when the freezing rain was supposed to begin. Seriously? I couldn’t catch a break.

Sounds like a crap day, am I right? Well it was and I could have spent it feeling sorry for  myself, but instead, in stepped my friend Amanda, one of the few gals that I’ve really connected with here in Connecticut since I’ve moved out of the city. Amanda showed up after my root canal with a bottle of wine and a loaf of my favorite gluten-free bread from Le Pain Quotidien.

After a couple of glasses of wine, I was laughing (albeit with an awk Novocain half-smile) and feeling genuinely happy, which I didn’t think was possible after that sh*tstorm of a day (literally). Since she is a successful holistic health coach who helps people feel healthy and happy every day for a living, we got into a discussion about how to live a healthier and happier life. These five tips were what she came up with.

She recommended that I join her 21-day Healthy Happy Free program, which I’m going to do (yay!), but in the meantime, here is a preview of what she has to offer:

1.  Prepare

Plan ahead and set aside at least two hours on Sunday or Monday to set yourself up for success for the week. Spend 30-60 miutes at the store picking out foods that are easy to batch-cook such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, greens, sweet potatoes, and fruits. Prepare anything that requires more time than you’re willing to put in during the week. Make a batch of brown rice, quinoa, oats for breakfast, and sweet potatoes. Chop as many veggies as you can so weeknight meals are a breeze!

2. Hydrate

It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so when you feel a hunger pang coming on, try drinking 8oz of room temperature water before you reach for the chocolate. The rule of thumb is to consume 1 liter of water per 50 lbs of body weight throughout the day (e.g if you weigh 130 lbs, drink 2.25 liters of water/day). Don’t be afraid to have fun with your H20. Mix it up by drinking tea or flavoring your water with lemons, limes, fresh mint or any frozen fruit.

3. Focus on Nutrient-Dense Foods

One of the fastest ways to see success in any diet is by choosing more nutrient-dense foods. Look for foods that are as close to nature as possible. For example, swap in whole eggs for egg whites, sugars that are natural to our environment (like maple syrup or honey) instead of artificial sweeteners, and real grass-fed butter in place of over-processed margarine. Despite popular belief, sometimes eating foods that are higher in fat but closer to the whole food, will help you lose weight and feel more vibrant.

4. Indulge Cravings

In the past several years, cravings have taken on a negative connotation, but they don’t necessarily deserve their reputation.  Cravings are the body’s way of telling us that something outside of what we’re eating on a daily basis is desired. They are a natural occurence and it’s important to learn how to read them and understand what youe body is trying to tell you. For example, if you crave sweet treats, it could be a sign that something outside of food is missing in your life. If you crave chocolate during “that time of the month”, it could be a sign that you’re deficient in magnesium, so no need to feel guilty. You actually “need” it! Just choose an organic, dark chocolate version.

5. Think Positively

We saved the best for last! Having a postitive mindset is the cornerstone for getting anywhere in your health and wellness journey. People who are “happy” aren’t gifted, they just believe in themselves and skew to a positive attitude no matter the situation.

Want to feel healthy and happy every day of the year? Sign up for Amanda’s 21-day Healthy Happy Free Meal Plan & Lifestyle Program today! Use code LEMONSTRIPES for 15% off.

5 Tips to Get Happier Now

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  • Sorry to hear about your bad day… But sometimes things like that happens 🙁 But I love this post! Love to read about health and so on! 😀


  • Carly A. Heitlinger

    Sounds like THE worst day!!!!!!!! xoxox

  • Loving this post!! I’m sorry to hear you had such a crappy day but on the up side, a good friend, wine and and bread sound pretty awesome. I definitely need to hydrate more and I love the idea of prepping my meals over the weekend. Such a time saver.

    Taffeta & Tulips

  • I’m sorry to hear that Julia! I can relate- I’d add to the list exactly what you did- calling in a friend to help you relieve stress! I had a horrible day on Tuesday and I skyped my best friend in Australia and we just laughed for about an hour. My whole week turned around after that! It really helps 🙂

  • I love these tips, Julia! So helpful!


  • Great tips!! Life is definitely about moderation and not depriving yourself of good or necessarily bad things.


  • Kathleen Harper

    Fantastic tips! Spring is a perfect time to reevaluate your lifestyle.