I definitely don’t have time to think of witty titles! Haha! Anyway, this is an appreciation post for things I’ve discovered, and added, a few things into my regular routine that have improved my life immeasurably.
Tart cherry juice. I heard about it while watching a video about improving energy levels. It’s got a whole heap of benefits (Google it to find out), but for me, it’s vastly improved my after-exercise muscle soreness and allergies.
I do intense workouts at least three days a week. I remember complaining about how sore I was the day afterwards, and would only barely recover enough for my workout the day after that. The first time I took this, I was only slightly sore the next day. It had me questioning if I had exerted enough effort! But it’s been several weeks since I first started taking it, and I’m sure I haven’t been slacking off on the intensity.
Secondly, it’s crazy what it’s done for my allergies! I’ve previously posted about how I was trying to wean myself off my antihistamine pills. Before I started taking this, I was taking half doses every day up to after every two days. After every three days, max. After I started taking this, I went two weeks in between (half doses of) pills. It’s springtime now, and thus, pollen season, so I don’t know if I’ll always sustain the two week intervals, but it’s definitely stretched out the times I take pills!
I get the concentrate in a bottle and mix it with sparkling water. It tastes like a naughty soda treat. Hehe.
FitBit’s sleep tracking. I’ve had my FitBit for a while now, but I always took it off when I went to bed. I didn’t like the feeling of wearing stuff to sleep. It still gets uncomfortable, especially when my wrist gets caught under a pillow. But I love the insights that I’ve been getting about my sleep.
It’s made me more conscious about what time I got to bed. It made me realise that although I was in bed by 11 PM and up at 6 AM, I wasn’t getting the full 7 hours because of the times I’d wake up at night (which is normal). Now, I’m usually in bed a little after 10 PM, and even then I’ve been averaging only 7 hours of solid sleep time. This means I have to start getting ready for bed at 9 PM, but that’s all right. I feel like such an old person writing this, but I do enjoy getting a solid sleep sesh.
An air purifier. It’s a bit pricey but it’s worth it! The first night I used it, I got comments from two people telling me about how refreshed I look. I’ve also been told I snore less with it (haha). I never realised that the air quality in my bedroom had been compromising my sleep, though I guess that should’ve been obvious given my allergy problems.
A thoracic wedge. My posture is not the greatest. When I went to a physio, he pointed out that a section of my back had started getting stiff. :/ I’d actually noticed it myself, but didn’t know quite what to do with it. He recommended getting this wedge to lie on, which I’ve been doing, and I can already see the improvement! I have more flexibility in my back, but I’ve still got a long way to go…
Aussielent. A friend introduced me to meal replacement shakes a few years ago (via different brand). They were all right, but I didn’t really get into it then. Anyway, I noticed that I would always scramble around trying to cobble together a decent meal after my workouts, and this would push out my sleep times further. I wanted to prepare easy but healthy meals quickly, so I bought a few packets of these a few weeks ago.
It tastes like a bland milkshake, but that’s fine by me! It’s good for what it is. I don’t replace all my meals with them — I have four serves a week, usually on weekdays before/after workouts when I can’t be bothered to do full-on cooking. It advertises that it’s a balanced meal with all the necessary vitamins and minerals. I can’t really comment on that since I don’t think I take it often enough, but I do notice that I feel much better after I take it versus eating a not-so-healthy meal.
Steel straws. I originally bought them because I heard that tea stains teeth, and I love tea. (So yes. I drink tea through a straw, haha.) Also that hot water and lemon, while good for you internally, can damage your teeth. But with my tart cherry juice drink and Aussielent, I found that I’ve been getting so much use out of these lately! Makes me feel like I’m having a treat.
And that’s it! After going through the list, I realised that most of them relate to getting better sleep. I did say I wanted to fix my sleep hygiene this year, so sounds like I’m on the right track.