8 Changes I’ve Made to Live a Healthier Life

8 Changes I've Made to Live a Healthier Life: why I stopped coloring my hair, stopped painting my nails and went off birth control. | Thyme is Honey

I think we all have goals of living a healthier life. For me, that started with a complete and life-changing overhaul surrounding my nutrition and hydration. I had to teach myself how to eat properly and in the process I lost around 30 pounds. In the 6 years since that transition, I’ve continued on this journey and have found that small changes can make a big impact not only on your immediate health, but also on your long-term health. Here are 8 small changes that I’ve made in addition to nutrition that have had positive impacts on my overall health:

  1. I stopped painting my fingernails and toenails. It’s been TWO YEARS since my fingernails have seen nail polish and 5 months since I last got a pedicure (not sure I can stick this out over the summer but I think going sans polish in the winter gives your nails a great chance to recuperate). Not only does most nail polish contain toxic ingredients, but your nails aren’t meant to be covered and sealed with a varnish. Benefits: I’ve realized that natural nails can be beautiful, and that I didn’t have “naturally shitty nails”, I was just dousing them in chemicals. It takes a while…but after a few months of regrowth you’ll notice that your nails are really beautiful by themselves (even your toenails!). 
  2. I went off hormonal birth control. I went on the pill at 15, after experiencing a really bad ovarian cyst. The Pill is often used to regulate women’s periods and help with different types of issues (cysts included). I’d been on it for over 13 years when I finally ditched hormonal birth control altogether and have never been happier. Benefits: Actually understanding my body’s natural cycle, the ebb and flow of my own hormones and how they affect me throughout the month. I know what 3 days of the month I’m going to be particularly moody and they are clearly marked on a joint Google calendar between me and my husband (so, you know, he’s been fairly warned). I feel more mental clarity and emotional stability being off birth control and have found it much easier to regulate my weight. Plus, I feel healthier knowing that I’m not putting hormones into my body that don’t need to be there.
  3. I stopped coloring my hair. It’s been about 18 months since I put color into my hair, although I did get a set of partial highlights about 12 months ago. Since then, I’ve been letting it do it’s own thing. Benefits: I have really liked the way the summer sun lightened my hair up and seeing the natural color come through. I’m not sure this is one I can keep up forever, but so far, so good. 
  4. I started paying attention to ingredients in the products I use. Have there been less product reviews around here lately? Yep. When we were in Thailand last fall I read The Green Beauty Rules by Paige Padgett (you can download it instantly and get reading, it’s so good!). It made me realize that being more conscious about ingredients isn’t just about protecting ourselves, it’s also vital to having a safe earth. If we use that crappy shampoo or hand soap, those chemicals go down the drain and back into our ecosystem. This is about more than just us! Benefits: I’ve since thrown out TUBS full of makeup, nail polish, shampoo etc., and have been replacing all of my products with healthier alternatives that are better for me and the environment. 
  5. I stopped getting Facebook notifications on my phone. Yes, I know I do social media for a living, but that doesn’t mean that my days have to be bombarded by my personal facebook notifications or chats. I don’t get notifications for either of them and have had it turned off for at least a year. If I want to see who commented on a photo or who is trying to chat with me, I have to actively open up the app to check. Benefits: Notifications of any kind have a way of bombarding your life and distracting you. Did you know that on average it takes you 23 minutes to get back into “the zone” once you’ve been derailed? Woof. I’ve found a lot more focus and also a lot more joy. I think its more fun to log into Facebook at the end of the day and get caught up on 10 notifications at once, than it is to get beeped at throughout the day for every little thing.
  6. I switched to Drier Balls. This change is so tiny but so worth it.Along with cleaning up my personal care products I realized the value in removing toxins from something else that impacts you all day every day: your clothes. Washing and drying your clothes with chemicals just means surrounding yourself with them all day—breathing it in and absorbing it through your skin. Drier Balls are 100% wool balls that you infuse with a couple drops of your favorite essential oil, then pop into the drier with your clothes. Benefits: I’ve realized that drier balls and essential oils actually work way better than any drier sheet ever has. The balls help your clothes dry a little faster, and the lingering scent of lavender or lemon is so much more pleasant than any artificial scent.  
  7. I found a fitness routine I love. Being active is a lot easier if you enjoy it. I have several hobbies that keep me active, but finding a routine that I would willingly make time for was always a challenge. We’ve been doing Orangetheory Fitness for over a year now and still love it (see my recent post about Orangetheory Fitness here)! Benefits: I never dread going and it’s something Josh and I enjoy doing together, so it doubles as quality time for the two of us. 
  8. I make time to do nothing. I’m not talking about taking a bubble bath or going to yoga (although relaxing, those are still things). Over the past 6 months I have made it a point to take at least one 5-minute break throughout the day to literally do nothing. I just enjoy the quiet and breathe. Benefits: It’s a very simple thing but centering yourself and your energy has the ability to benefit you in countless ways. The biggest change I’ve noticed is that it helps me create an awareness for time. It helps me stay focused on the present rather than letting the day slip away. 

I recently conducted a survey to gather feedback from readers. This post is a result of a question asked on the survey! If you have feedback, a topic you’d like me to cover or a question you’d like me to answer you can submit it here (it’s anonymous!). 


When Should You Have a Baby

"The best time to have a baby is whenever you are ready." | Thyme is Honey

Life is full of lessons and adventures and there are so many things that we have to learn along the way.

When we first got married our plan was to wait at least a year before having kids. 3 months after our wedding my husband started a new job and we relocated. His company has an amazing sabbatical program, sending you anywhere in the world for a month after your 5 year anniversary. It wasn’t hard for us to decide that a family would wait until after that milestone. I think we were both relieved to have such a convenient excuse when people asked when we were having kids. “We’re going on a sabbatical in 2016 and then we’ll think about it!” was our go-to line for 5 years.

I’m a planner by nature so it won’t come as a surprise that having this planned out so strategically and so far in advance appealed to me. When we were a year out from the trip I read “What to Expect Before You’re Expecting” and Josh read “Dude, You’re going To Be A Dad!” I had a prenatal appointment and started taking prenatal vitamins. Those were the things that were supposed to happen a year before conception and I was checking things off the list.

Last summer, as we entered the final countdown to our sabbatical in Japan and Thailand we finally looked at each other one night and realized that this wasn’t what we wanted. We’d been going through the motions and preparing for a baby that we weren’t ready for. When we stepped back we realized that we were doing it because it was the plan we had put in place 5 years ago, hadn’t really reassessed it at any point along the way and because society had made us feel like this was what we were supposed to do next.


Don’t Be Fooled by the Calendar

Free printable design! "Don't Be Fooled by the Calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of." | Thyme is Honey

Yesterday on Instagram I announced that this spring I’ll be collaborating with The Mint Academy to launch an online course! I’ve been totally flattered by the success of my in-person classes and am excited to be able to offer an online option for those of you who aren’t local! We’ll be taping it next week and the course will launch later this spring. More info coming soon!

Prepping for the course along with a lot of exciting life developments (announcements coming soon!), and exciting client projects (did you see W3LL PEOPLE launched with Target!?) has had me working long days and long weeks. Making the most of each day has been vital as of late, and I love having this print hanging in my office as a reminder to prioritize, plan and enjoy.

Want one for yourself? Just enter your info below and the next page will have the pdf file which you can instantly download!

Why We Love Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness Review

Today marks 1 year since we first tried Orangetheory Fitness. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve problem seen me share my workout summary in my Story from time-to-time. I’ve gotten a lot of messages asking “What’s this app?” “What’s this workout?” as well as general inquiries about my fitness routine. Well, I’m no physical specimen, but I am excited to tell you more about Orangetheory Fitness and why we love it!

Josh and I are both pretty active, but most of our favorite activities come to a halt in the wintertime. Josh routinely participates in two weekly basketball leagues, so last winter I decided to start going to Hot Yoga classes on the nights he was at basketball. I did it for a few months and loved it, but come February I felt like I was ready for something that was more challenging and would result in a higher calorie burn and was really interested in finding something we could do together. I had found Orangetheory Fitness through Instagram, so I asked Josh to attend a free class with me (your first one is free).

Well we went, and never really looked back! We’ve been doing their unlimited plan for a year, which gives us access to as many classes per month as we can fit into our schedule. We try to go a minimum of 2-3 times per week, but have gone through spurts where we’ve gone 4+ times each week. We tend to go less during the months when we are biking and Josh is biking to/from work. We honestly just love it, and the classes are so fun and enjoyable.

Undercover Beauty: Review of Eyebrow Microblading by Buttercup Beauty

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When I was in second grade I stood in the entryway of my house and shaved my eyebrows off with a pink Bic razor. I can literally remember the entire process of carefully thinning and shaping my brows, just like my mom and sister (for some reason I thought that’s what razors were for, nbd) and eventually getting to a point of no return…my brows just got thinner and further apart and eventually I just shaved them off entirely and then put on a hat.

Props to my mom who somehow managed to not obnoxiously laugh in my face when she saw what I’d done, and also to my second grade teacher who let me wear a hat for the next two weeks.

And that, my friends, is where my story with eyebrows begins. Over the past 31 years they’ve been shaved off, over-plucked, cursed at, tinted, subjected to $8 wax jobs and then, thank god, totally rehabed. They’ve come a long way, and I love where my brows are at now thanks to my eyebrow coach, Buttercup Beauty, who has spent the past 6 months swatting my hands away from the tweezer and lovingly whipping my brows back into shape. The first time she tinted, shaped and filled my brows nearly brought me to tears. I really had no idea the magic that a true brow technician can work (this is the part where I tell you that if you’re still having your hair stylist wax your brows you need to upgrade to someone trained in brows, especially if you are trying to regrow them or change their shape).

Before Microblading