Set your priorities right. 

Your health comes first! No, that does not make you selfish. You simply cannot take care of others well if you’re not taking care of yourself first. Whether that be a family member, your pet, work, your own business, whatever it is you are giving, it has to come from a place of love. A place that is well taken care of. Not out of stress, anger, or misery. 

One important way of taking care of yourself is by feeding your body right. The food you choose to eat and your digestive system has a huge impact on your mood, energy,  skin, hair, and the clarity of your thoughts.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
― Hippocrates

The last five months or so, I have been working two jobs, on top of my small business and blog. I don’t encourage anyone to be this busy. I believe that we all need at least half of our days to ourselves. Personal time, resting, and playing. Being very busy can burn you out, suck your creativity, cause insomnia, mess up your priorities, and limit your social life. 

On most days, it's either sleep or being social.

Going backwards when I first graduated, I was unemployed for nine months. Honestly, one of the best things that ever happened to me. At the time when my plans fell apart, I was devastated. Then, when I accepted the situation, I knew that I can make the best of any circumstances if I choose to, well, I did. Those months of lots of free time, made me realize what I really want to do with my life. What I’m good at, and even what is my purpose on this world. Questions many don’t know how to answer. Not because we are not intelligent enough or “enlightened”. No, simply because we are too busy. Too distracted.  

 Dirab, Saudi Arabia

Dirab, Saudi Arabia

I found this interesting article called The Disease of Being Busy, I resonated with it very much. It made me finally accept that not just because my schedule isn't full, doesn't mean that I am being useless. Being very productive can be destructive; if you cross the line. Life isn't all about working and chasing dimes, enjoy the sunshine, enjoy your family, your friends, and get to know you neighborhood.

However, if you are in my state right now. Stuck in a busy schedule. Then here are some tips I have developed the last few months that have helped me stay healthy and vegan when I was barely home.

(btw, this is my last month in my full time job, so after that I will go back to having lots of free time!) 

So here are some tips, take what you think you can apply in your life and please share with us your methods in the comments below!

Food

  1. Wake up 20 minutes earlier and have a filling breakfast and prep snacks and lunch to take with you.
  2. If waking up 5 minutes earlier is just a no no to you, then prep your breakfast a night ahead. Recipes such as overnight oats, chia pudding, prepped smoothies are all great things to just grab in the morning.
  3. Fill your kitchen with fruits. When I'm running late, I would just grab one of my grocery bags and fill it with fruits. Mangos for lunch? YES PLEASE!
  4. Dates and nuts or nut butters are also one of my go-to meals or snacks.
  5. Set reminders on your phone to prep tomorrow’s breakfast/lunch.
  6. Dehydrated fruits, dates, and nuts. Yeah, make them your best friend
  7. Make a big batch of rawnola and bliss balls and store them in your fridge or freezer.
  8. Take turns with your roommate or coworker bringing in lunch or breakfast. Therefor, you don’t have to make food everyday and when it's your turn, you just have to double the amount. Less work and more time for everyone at the end. 
  9. Make big batches. If you are the kind of person who gets bored eating the same thing twice in a row, then suck it up. I’m just kidding, well not really, but I have a solution for you. Make plain dishes, such as plain rice, pasta, noodles, quinoa, boiled potatoes. Then each day mix it in with different kind of sauce, beans, spices, or turn it into a salad.
  10. Schedule in time to prep food. This way you can’t forget or make other plans and not prep meals for the days to come.
  11. Invest in a Vitamix or any high-speed blender. Only if you want to make ice cream in two minutes.
  12. Get some mason jars, reusable zip bags, insulated food containers, and of course a water bottle! 
  13. Dinner can be a quick and healthy recipe that doubles as leftovers. Examples:
    1. Pasta with tomato sauce, basil, a can of beans, and any veggies you have on hand
    2. Soups and stews! Just cut whatever veggies you have, add some spices, and let them simmer. Meanwhile, you can shower, change your clothes, etc. When you're done, (after 30 minutes or so) your stew will be ready. Blend it up or eat it as a stew. Freeze the rest or eat it within the next few days.
    3. Steam or boil some potatoes (any kind) and then you can spice them different ways, mash them, turn them into salads, cold sweet potatoes for breakfast with almond butter. Get creative!
    4. Some days, I’d take a whole avocado with salt, pepper, and a lime, then lunch time I'd make guacamole at work and eat it with some pita chips or some veggies.

Wellness

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  1. Wake up early and preferably at the same time every morning.
  2. Have a morning routine. I like to start my day by meditating, journaling, and then practicing yoga. 
  3. Make physical activity a part of your day. Even if it's just walking. Another quote by Hippocrates, "Walking is man's best medicine".
  4. Do your job well. Exceed your abilities. Do not half ass anything.
  5. Alternate between deep work cycles and complete rest. Don't stay in the grey area. For that I like to use time blocks of 25 minutes and 5 minutes rest. 
  6. Be of service to others. At least, cause no harm.
  7. Connect with others. Face to face.
  8. Turn off technology two hours before you go to bed. Trust me, try it and see how it improves the quality of your sleep.
  9. Have a bedtime routine. I like to journal and read before I sleep.
  10. Keep your phone away from your bed, so when your alarm goes off, you have to get out of bed if you want to snooze. Works like magic. Otherwise, just drink plenty of water before sleeping and your bladder will get you out of bed haha.