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Curly Nikki

Healthy Habits… Welcome Back!

By January 27th, 202128 Comments
Healthy Habits... Welcome Back!
by Bennii Blast of The Culture Pine

When I arrived back in the UK for the Christmas holidays, I couldn’t wait to rummage through the clothes I left behind and cram as much as I could in my suitcase ready to return the Netherlands. Imagine the shock I received when I found that I no longer fit into my cute little denim skirt or that my favourite trousers stopped half way up legs. Just tragic. Although I was pissed that I had to cross a few items off the list, it was just the wake up call my butt needed.

As soon as I arrived back in the Netherlands, I got down to business. I got myself a gym membership, ordered one of those home fitness DVD’s that always appear around Christmas, and told those extra pounds that it’s time to pack up shop and move onto the next sucker, because they are not welcome here any more. Next on the list was getting to the root of the problem. I use to be a fitness fanatic, and enjoyed exercising regularly. It seems that since I started Uni back in 2009, all knowledge of health and fitness slowly withered away. Making sure there was enough alcohol in my cupboard for the night ahead and using my student card to get free cheese burgers was pretty much my priority. Real classy.

Over the last few weeks I have slowly been revisiting the healthy lifestyle I once lived, and here are some changes,tips and new ways to stay motivated that I have adopted:

No Diets – Just Healthy Eating

Whenever I try to start a new diet, I end up back in line at KFC desperately waiting to place an order like it might possibly be the last bucket of chicken to be made. You see, from my past experiences I have realised that when I feel like I am denying myself something – it makes me want it even more. By choosing healthier options more regularly and allowing myself a treat every once in a while, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything and feel more committed to staying healthy. Most importantly, I haven’t caved in so far and binged on junk food!

Green Tea and Water

It is recommended that we drink around 6-8 glasses of water a day to gain tons of benefits. I probably drunk about 1 glass. Now I have been drinking a lot more water to promote healthy and toned skin, a healthy digestive system and make me feel fuller at meal times. Green Tea is known to speed up the metabolism and promote weight loss, provide antioxidants, and helps achieve clearer skin.


This site has been a gift! The site allows you to track the meals you have eaten each day, as well as any calories you have burned through fitness. It provides you with a recommended daily calorie guide based on your weight goals, and rewards you with little badges along the way so you continue to feel motivated.


I have stocked up on vitamins that aid in looking after the skin, hair, nails and women’s general health. These include Vitamin B6/B12, Biotin, Evening Primrose Oil, Starflower Oil, Folic Acid and more. Making sure I remember to take them every day may be tricky but it’s the thought that counts right?

Stock up on Healthy Snacks

This has been very beneficial so far, believe me! Those moments when you feel like nibbling on something shouldn’t mean you have to pile on a load more calories with crisps, doughnuts, cookies and the rest of the clan calling you from the cupboard. Instead, I make sure there is plenty of healthy snacks like fruit, nuts high in protein, plain popcorn, rice crackers and more.

Okay, okay…so some of them we may have heard over and over again, but remember that listening and doing are two different things. Trust me – my scales said it all. I know what I should have been doing, but needed that final push to do it! Now I’m on the road to recovery and feel great =)

Have you recently taken on a healthier lifestyle? What changes have you made?

CN Says:

Last night I watched ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’- very unsettling. Made me want to run out and buy a juicer. Instead, I stocked up on almonds, fresh fruits and veggies and of course, my black beans 🙂


  • Ashia says:

    The book Eat this, Not that is definitely a good one! 🙂

  • Discovery says:

    Any suggestions on making green tea taste…well, not like green tea?

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a "health nut" and love exercising and eating "right". I am slowly getting the hubby on board. I really want to get my mother (extremely overweight) on board. I told her to start with small changes (ie drinking more water). My problem is I just started grad school and am in class until 10pm Tuesday and Thursday, and interning on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until 8pm. I CAN NOT get up any earlier than what I already do (5:45am) to work out. So I really try and go hard on the weekends. It is so hard to get full meals on the go that transport easy that require no refrigeration or microwaving (I am never home, and usually pack a lunch the night before, consisting of a pb sandwich and fruit). I dont always have access to a microwave or refrigerator. In response to other post: Brazil Butt Lift did nothing for me. It was okay, but too fast paced for me. Food Inc changed how and what I eat. It was a great movie, I will definitely check out fork over knives. Michael Pollan (featured in food inc) has really great books on nutrition. He uses simple ideas (i.e. if it has more than five ingredients be cautious, if you can not pronounce it you shouldnt eat it, etc). Planning is definitely key. That is where my troubles come in. It is hard to plan with not having access to keep my food cold or hot enough to prevent food poisoning and getting home so late most nights. Im definitely always looking for ways to improve!

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm not fasting and I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm cutting back on the meat.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for a great post! I've become so passionate about healthy living and I made a couple of big changes last year – I stopped drinking; adopted a flexitarian lifestyle (and when I do eat meat I limit it to poultry and fish); drink loads of water daily; eat fruits and veggies daily and make sure I exercise at least five days a week (netball, jogging and walking)…I've never felt better! This was a great reminder after the holidays and it's great knowing that so many of us are in pursuit of a healthy, happy lifestyle! All the best ladies

  • Erica S says:

    I think re-evaluating the things that your body doesn't do well with and omitting them from your diet is what has worked best for me. For example I'm allergic to dairy (not lactose intolerant, I literally get sick when I consume dairy) and coming up with dozens of alternatives has helped me tremendously. Also, stocking up on green veggies and fruits make for great snacks. Apples, bananas, green beans, broccoli and asparagus are some of my quick and inexpensive favorites. There are also tons of great quick recipes online for green veggies.

  • LBell says:

    I'm currently halfway through the Whole 30 and I swear it's doing something to my brain because foods I used to love (like cheese) I'm not even tempted to eat. In fact I'm seeing "fast food" and "junk food" in a whole new light. And this is probably the longest I've gone without eating out in my LIFE. Oh yeah…I FEEL GREAT!

  • Marta Daniels (@Marta_Daniels) says:

    I love Livestrong because they have a ton of info on supplements that I refer to. I lost 35 pounds last year with Weight Watchers (what can I say, JHUd got me, lol!) and now I'm maintaining it (hopefully for life) with my own modified version of it. Great post, thanks a lot and God bless!

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm giving up meat, today.

  • Tamika says:

    After a 3 month hiatus from exercising, I decided to get back to working out and also eating much healthier than I ever have. I've always realized that how well I worked out and how much energy I had to workout depended on my diet. Now I eat 4-6 meals/day, small portions, fruits, nuts, veggies, a little meat and eggs on occasion. 'Bad' stuff in moderation. It's been a long road here but it's so worth it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Forks Over Knives and Food, Inc. are two great movies which take an in depth look at the meat industry (Food, Inc.) and (from a a specific medical/scientific standpoint) how nutrition can improve overall health/ reduce cholesterol/reverse diabetes and coronary artery disease (Forks Over Knives).

    I highly recommend these movies for anyone who is absolutely serious about nutrition and learning more about how what we eat affects our health.

    Juicing has been a Godsend for me and my health.

  • Dana says:

    My husband is a big fan of the juicer and I love fruit and/or veggie smoothies. On any given day you'll find me blending away and him juicing away. We rarely eat fried foods, red meat, and watch the processed foods.

    This lifestyle plus moderate exercise several days a week is much easier than worrying about dieting or a specific program.

    The only change I've made was added green tea to my fluid intake because of the awesome benefits.

  • FemmeFox says:

    Great article Bennii! I have seriously started my healthy living journey for 2012. I have joined my local Curves and I am loving it! Still need to work on tracking my caloric intake. For some reason there are no good apps for my phone through att (i don't have an iphone or droid so I guess i'm sol?lol). I also read daily. You should check it out if you haven't. Erica is an inspiration and has a lot of good advice for transitioning to a healthier lifestyle.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm on the same journey. Keep your head up.

  • Kimberly says:

    Planning ahead is the biggest part. In my weight loss journey I have learned the hard way that not planning ahead… will absolutely ruin all of my weight loss efforts. And I LOVE biotin for healthy skin, hair and nails. I have really seen an improvement in the length and strength of my nails after taking it consistently for a few weeks. I try to take 5000mcg per day.

  • Anonymous says:

    I watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead last year. I bought a juicer from the THRIFT STORE. There is a local farmers market near me with EXCELLENT PRICES on kale and ginger and carrots. I stock up for the week and then go to ALDI and get the rest of my produce FREAKIN' CHEAP. I lost 15 lbs last year. I still ate regular food, but when you juice (especially in the summer time when it's so hot you don't really want to eat anything), it's pretty easy.

    I gave up on fast food almost two years ago. I just don't really like the taste anymore. If I want a cheeseburger, I will make it myself.

    I joined this month because I HATE writing down what I eat. I just log it in. You can log in your exercise as well. It showed me that I was eating WAAAAAY to little food. My mom has been after me about not eating enough for YEARS. I am overweight and I always think that if I eat I will get fatter. I know it's not true, but I still think about it every time I put any food in my mouth.

  • Bonnisa Gillings says:

    Hey ladies…Thanks for the responses!

    I just jumped on the scales and I've lost 3 pounds this week WOOHOOOO!

    I'm seeing some of you mention using a juicer and it's definitely something I've been thinking about…we'll see what the bank account is saying though =)

    @Hairscapades Yes! I know exactly what you mean…Livestrong has given me a sense of achievement lol. Being able to track what I'm eating has made SO much difference and I'm also going hard at the gym.

    @newnatural101 Zumba Fitness is the business! I bought it for my sisters just before I came back to the Netherlands and I wish I snuck it in my suitcase!

  • Anonymous says:

    Go to Watch and look at real women change the shape of their bodies in 60 days! It was amazing! Trainer Leandro Calverho tones up famous supermodels and us regular joes.

  • Anonymous says:

    Exercise! Get moving in 2012 and SWEAT daily!

    Instead of swallowing a bunch of pills, I plan on juicing highly nutritious ORGANIC veggies and fruits to get my vitamins. This has been shown to be a more effective and safer way of getting nutrients.

  • newnatural101 says:

    I've been drinking more/enough water daily for the past couple months now. I'm also trying to eat fruit more regularly. Otherwise, I just make sure that I'm eating enough meals in the day, eating a variety of foods, and choosing healthier options when available. But on the whole, I'm not too strict about my diet and I'm comfortable with how I'm currently eating, even though it doesn't consist solely of healthy foods.

    Also, I'm trying to do things that give me a regular workout without just going to the gym. I'm trying out Zumba and Pilates. And I'm still keeping up swing dancing and walking daily.

  • Professional Complainer says:

    I am just going to try to again increase my water intake and eat more fresh fruits and veggies. I'm not interested in juicing at this moment because I am also trying to save money and don't want to incur any further cost just to be healthy. Something to consider for the future though…

  • Anonymous says:

    Excellent article, I couldn't agree more!

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes, I am gradually making the change. A friend went to a holistic wellness person and the information she has shared with me is awesome. I no longer use deodorant – did research and found an alternative. I am now using goat milk soap – Whole Foods and I no longer itch after my nightly shower. Next goal cut out white foods from my diet. And eventually find my way back to natural hair!! : )

  • Hairscapades says:

    Ugggh! Here's the link! LOL!!


  • Hairscapades says:

    "back" … Something "stuck" on the iPhone! Lastly, I had improved my eating until last week, when I went away on vacation for 5 days. Getting back on track today. I've been using The Lose It! App to track my food and nutrient intake, as well as my exercise expenditure. It's okay, but not great. A few have mentioned that there are some better apps, like the one for livestrong, so I may check those out too!

    I did a mini review of the nutrient tracking feature on the Lose It! App.

  • Hairscapades says:

    I love livestrong too! I've been referencing it on my site a lot lately! I'm currently doing a 28 day challenge where you work-out at least 10 minutes every day. Yesterday was day 20. I post when I complete my work-out each day! It's really helped me to stay motivated by being held accountable "publicly."

    I've juiced before and it was amazing the energy level I gained and w/o any mid-day caffeine withdrawal headaches! BUT, it's so much work ( my staple juice was green lemonade), so I totally fell off. But as MissTenesha said, it's always in the ack of my mind that I need to start again or at least do a 2 week juice "detox."

  • Kelly says:

    I agree, dieting is just a set up for failure. I have been cutting back the junk (less temptation if you don't even bring it in the house). I've been buying more green leafy veggies and getting experimental in building great salads w/different toppings. I skip the creamy dressings and swap with oil and vinegar. Cilantro, cranberries, and a few walnuts has really ramped up my appreciation for salad. I stay of atop of my water game by drinking two glasses straight-away to get my day going. I signed up to as well and it's been a tremendous blessing (apps for your phone & iPad so you can log your meals on the go…there's even a food product scanner!) I lost 3 lbs the first week of incorporating it into my day. I finally figured out that this doesn't have to be hard if I don't want it to be. Oh and when I want a sweet treat, I have a cup of hot cocoa made with almond milk and I don't feel cheated at all.

  • Tenesha B. says:

    Give the juicing a try Nik!! It's a wonderful addition to your diet, esp if you're trying to get your healthy on 🙂 I've seen that movie three times already, bought the juicer, and I'm addicted. I've gotten lazy and fallen off, but it's always in the back of my mind like, "dang! I should be juicing!" True Story..I just made a gallon of the 'Green Juice' from the movie last nite..hopefully it'll last me the week. I also plan on upping my veggie intake. My Year's promise to myself was for healthier eating habits and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some weight loss, I want my pre-baby body back!!

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