Leah Vanderveldt is a wellness writer and recipe developer based in Brooklyn. She’s the author of the cookbooks The New Nourishing and The New Porridge and loves learning and writing about food, travel, body image, meditation, tarot, and much more. She's the former Food Editor of mindbodygreen.com and is certified in Culinary Nutrition from the Natural Gourmet Institute. You can find her cooking up vegetable-centric meals and exploring wellness in ways that are affordable, fun, and a little woo-woo over on her blog, The Nourish Exchange and Instagram @leah.vander.
Feeling good every day comes down to a few basics: Getting enough sleep, water and nourishment. Today, let's focus on everything under the nourishment category — giving ourselves enough nutrients, movement, inspiration, and breath is really important for our energy levels and peace of mind.
Let’s figure out what we can add to our day that makes us feel great. It doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take awareness. Try adding one or two of the below to your schedule and see how it impacts you. Play with your routine and see what little shifts make a big difference to you. Have fun with it — it’s about feeling good after all!
Kicking the morning off right is one of the best ways to make your entire day better — no matter how busy you are.
Just 5 minutes of stretching can lift your mood and get your body buzzing. If you want to commit to a workout, awesome, but do what feels best to you on any particular day. That could be walking around the block or dancing to a couple of songs in your kitchen while your coffee brews (seriously, try it).
2. Get inspired
I love combining my movement with a podcast, YouTube video, or audiobook, depending on what I’m doing. Starting the day by listening to an inspiring conversation or by learning something new can add an element of positivity.
3. Nourish yourself
Consider making your mornings plant-based or ditching dairy from the equation to see how you feel. One of my favorite ways to do this is with a high vibe vegetable-packed smoothie bowl. When you combine vegetables, fruit, healthy fat, protein, and a plant-based milk (I love Califia's Toasted Coconut Almondmilk), you’ll have everything you need to keep your mood up throughout your morning.
A great morning is one thing, but as we face obstacles in our day it becomes harder to maintain that good feeling we harnessed from listening to a TED Talk over breakfast. Make sure to plan for stressors and energy dips in the afternoon so you can reset and finish your work day strong.
4. Breathe and meditate
While many people swear by a morning meditation, I totally understand it's often not realistic. Maybe you can make a little time in your afternoon instead. Replace a social media break with 5 or 10 minutes to sit quietly and breathe. Taking this time out can work wonders for creativity and productivity, especially when you feel stressed out and under the pump.
You can use a meditation app like Insight Timer or Headspace to guide you or just take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed and tune into your body.
5. Energize naturally
Instead of an afternoon coffee or soda, reach for nutrients that naturally enhance energy. I love an adaptogen-fortified hot cacao for a sweet treat that carries me through my afternoon feeling calm, energetic, and happy. Cacao and maca are my most used super powders for energy and mood-boosting.
Cacao Maca Hot Chocolate
Adaptogen hot chocolate for calm, natural energy.
- 1 cup Califia Farms Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
- 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
- Generous dash of cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
Stovetop: Whisk everything together in a saucepan over a low heat until heated through.
Microwave: Place everything together in a jar with a lid and shake to combine (keep the lid on and take it to the office with you). When you’re ready to serve, shake again, transfer to a mug and heat for 45-60 seconds in the microwave.
I believe we all need to indulge in a bit of lazy indulgence in the evening, but I think we can add more simple, conscious practices that help us wind down.
6. Consider airplane mode
Airplane mode has been a revelation for me personally, as I’ve tried to cut down on screen time. I switch it on around 9 p.m. and don’t turn it on until after I’ve had my coffee the next day (which makes my mornings better!). We’re so inundated with screens and the internet all. day. long. that this practice in shutting off a little feels liberating.
7. Find a go-to evening drink
No, I’m not talking about a cocktail. While there’s totally room for that, when you’re ready for bedtime, consider something that’s truly relaxing and filled with anti-inflammatory ingredients that will chill you out on a cellular level. I love a vanilla rooibos tea or a turmeric golden milk.
8. Practice gratitude and reflection
Try pulling a tarot card, reading a few paragraphs from an inspiring book, or thinking about what you learned today and write about it in your journal. If you’re not a journal person, say what you’re grateful for to a partner or a roommate, or to a friend in a text (this may seem weird at first, but I promise people get on board quicker than you might think!). This doesn’t have to be a big production, just 5 minutes right before bed will help you release tension and turn on those good vibe hormones.
Feeling good every day is actually more simple than we realize, we just need to be present and tune into our needs in the moment. Try pausing (or even putting a reminder in your phone) three times a day and ask yourself: How am I feeling? What would make me feel really good right now? See where it takes you.