November marks one year since giving birth to Quinn, and in so many ways, I always feel like birthing a child is also a rebirth of ourselves as women. Pregnancy is… a lot! It’s such an unreal experience but recovering from pregnancy and childbirth is not an overnight process (and it shouldn’t be! It takes 9 months to grow a human, it’s expected to take some time to come back home to our bodies!)
As we bring these little humans into the world, we get a fresh start to reinvent ourselves, take control of our lives, and prioritize what really matters. One of my big priorities after having Quinn has been focusing on my health and taking the best care of my body, mind, and soul as possible. I know there’s not a “wrong” time to focus on our health, but just knowing that Quinn was our last baby — the last time I would be pregnant, give birth, and morph my body in such a beautiful, expansive way — made it a natural transition time to pour my energy into feeling like my best self.
And before we dive in let me be clear: The goal here isn’t losing weight, bouncing back, getting skinny, or getting back to the “old me.” For me it’s how I want to feel: energized, vibrant, awake, and present! That’s the goal and my health plays a factor in all of those spaces!
These are the top 7 health priorities that I’ve been paying most attention to!
#1. Focusing on my nutrition.
I’m not following a specific diet plan (because I truly don’t think “diets” work in that they don’t help you create long-term, sustainable change). But more so, I’m focusing on optimal foods for my body as well as my protein intake.
I see so many people fixate on “what” and “how” when it comes to diet and nutrition: “What are you doing? What are you eating? How are you losing weight?” But more than the what or the how, I knew I needed a strong WHY if I wanted to stick with a change to my nutrition. My why? To be fueled and energized to rock my book launch while still rocking my babes!
Overall, my diet is much cleaner than it’s ever been. Rather than focusing on eliminating certain foods or drastically changing everything I eat, I’m simply trying to eat less processed foods, less sugar, and get more water, protein, and greens every day. I’ve found by adding in more optimal foods, I have less of a desire for filler and processed foods that don’t necessarily serve my health.
My biggest hack: preparing in advance and prioritizing protein! A lot of us aren’t eating enough protein and fast carbs give you the energy but then the crash. Whenever I am eating a meal now, I’m looking at protein and making sure I’m getting good protein with each meal or snack. A few of my fave new additions: hard boiled eggs, tuna with avocado mayo, bone broth packets, beef jerky sticks, and Quest chips!
#2. Biohacking = my new obsession.
If you’re new to it, the concept of biohacking means to change your chemistry and your physiology through science-backed methods in order to increase energy and longevity. This honestly might have been what started my health journey, was this curiosity that led to an obsession to understand new ways to support my body.
Drew and I both listen to a ton of podcasts about biohacking to learn more and we never get bored sharing what we’ve been learning. To me, it’s simply about learning different ways to support your body and help your cells function at their highest level. It might sound a bit out there, but there are studies and methods that are proven to really work, and it’s super interesting and fun for me to learn about!
I’ve made certain biohacking rituals part of my regular routine so they don’t seem like these big “extras” I have to squeeze in every day, like:
- Red light therapy 10 minutes, each side of my body, every day (usually while I meditate)
- PEMF (post electronic magnetic field) mat is very grounding, and I lay on it for 20 minutes a day and sometimes even work on it
- Infrared sauna blanket I use this 2x a week and just get a great sweat and eliminate a lot of toxins
- Red light mask I use this daily, my kids think it’s hilarious, I’ll do it for 10 minutes and it’s direct on my face when I wake up
#3. Finding a form of meditation I love.
I used to be someone who (thought they) could NOT meditate. Too busy, too much to do, too used to being on the go and productive… You name it, I had the excuse.
I also thought meditation was the act of trying to empty the mind, when really it’s having an awareness of your thoughts. This reframe made it make so much more sense; it clicked for me and became something I realized I was absolutely capable of doing.
Emptying my mind feels impossible, but awareness and consciousness of what’s happening in my mind? THAT felt like something that could actually feel good. At this point, I meditate every single day for at least 10 minutes. I’m even on a 100-day streak now!
I use the Hyperice Core device. It’s this little ball you hold in your hand, and it vibrates and keeps you present while kind of also gamifying meditation in a way. It gives you a rating each time you meditate letting you know how your body responded with the deeper breathing and focus, which has been super motivating for an achiever like me.
Now, meditation is something I crave, and I love that I can do it anywhere!
#4. Cutting back on drinking.
I honestly don’t drink anymore. I’ve had this feeling that it’s a step I’ve been wanting to take and so I’ve pretty much eliminated drinking from my diet. It’s funny because I intuitively am in a stage where alcohol just doesn’t even sound good and when I have a beverage or two, I regret it. Drew and I have been drinking less and less, and contemplating cutting alcohol out altogether. We’ve never been big drinkers, and I’ve noticed lately that even after having a couple of drinks, I don’t feel that great.
For the first time in my life, I feel SO good inside and out, so anything that doesn’t agree with my body is something I’m paying hyper-attention to and considering eliminating altogether. Drew is on board with me, which I think will make it easier to have solidarity in this decision. We just make a plan for if we will drink and what that will look like and then support each other (like when I went to my class reunion and he snagged me a kiddie cocktail and later, a tonic water with lemon and lime!)
#5. Finding movement that feels good.
Recently my dad asked if I slimmed down, and the truth is that I have… But not in an aggressive, pushing-myself-for-90-minutes-at-the-gym sort of way like I have in the past. My transformation energetically and in my body has been mostly nutrition related, but I also used to work out way harder, which I realize now probably stressed out my cortisol and adrenal levels (which is known to make you hang onto weight).
This whole postpartum season, I’ve been doing a lot of stretching/yoga/walking/slower movements. Mostly I’ve been listening to what my body needs and doing that. I’m also trying to prioritize movement consistently, even if it’s a walk with the girls or 20 mins of yoga in the morning. At this stage in life, 20 minutes is the goal, but it’s more intuitive now than forced like it’s been in the past.
#6. Retesting labs and bloodwork.
In January, I tracked my metabolism for 30 days using something called Levels to see how different foods affect my blood sugar and the ways my body processes and turns it into energy. On top of doing Levels, I started working with a nutritionist and we did a ton of blood work and analysis to see where I was postpartum. I’m retesting to see where I’m at now after prioritizing my health this year and also getting my routine bloodwork run to check in on things like micronutrients, hormones, and deficiencies.
For me, information is power and I want to see what my new baseline is and how my efforts are paying off. I like doing this review at least once a year but in times of transition, I love doing it twice a year to see where I’m actually at health-wise (rather than relying on faulty indicators like the scale). Baseline bloodwork can give you a ton of insight and information that can guide you forward so if you haven’t gotten an annual physical or checked in on your body in awhile, this is your invitation to schedule an appointment.
#7. (Actually) taking my supplements.
Through my bloodwork and lab tests, I’ve found my micronutrient deficiencies and DNA methylation to figure out which supplements I actually need. A lot of vitamin/supplement companies market everything to everyone, but we all have individual needs based on our unique body systems, and it’s been so helpful learning my own!
For the first time in my life, I’ve also been consistent with taking them both morning and night (when directed). It’s something small that has made a HUGE difference in how my body functions! Here’s my hack: I sort my vitamins and supplements in an ice cube tray and keep it on top of our microwave in our pantry. I see it every time I make a copy and it reminds me to stay consistent (good old habit stack trick!)
Whew, when I list everything out, I realize it seems a bit overwhelming… But honestly, every single health change I’ve made has been the result of SMALL, consistent tweaks over time and listening to how my body responds. If it feels good, I keep doing it, and if it doesn’t, I move on to something else!
The truth is, the compounding effect of allll of these micro-shifts is that I’ve never felt better in my skin and body, or had such vibrant energy! We only have this one life to live and one body to carry us through it, so I might as well take good care of her.