How to Quit Diet Soda…And Other Bad Habits

How To Quit Diet Soda | The Bombshell Files

Quitting diet soda is not easy.  At first.  But soooo worth it in the end.

I even knew all of the crappy, unhealthy, facts about it and how bad it is for your body, and I still kept drinking it.

Instead of being really grossed out by all of that info, I just chose to ignore it because I love a Diet Pepsi with lunch, and dinner, and as my 2 o’clock pick me up.  It was definitely an addiction of sorts.

It wasn’t until I started feeling physically sick to my stomach (like, nauseated sick) after I’d have my afternoon soda, that I knew something had to change ASAP.  I finally felt what all those unhealthy facts were all about.  And it grossed me out.

So let me tell you how I quit diet soda.  

This is what worked for me, so I hope it can help someone else out too!

Two main things that helped me to quit diet soda (and possibly other bad habits):

  1. Limit it (But don’t completely eliminate it)
  2. Find substutions

Let me break it down:

LIMIT IT (But don’t completely eliminate it):

So here I am, I know I want to stop drinking so much diet soda because it’s making me feel like crap, but straight up quitting has just never worked for me.  Instead of no more diet soda, I told myself that I could only have a soda at lunch time, 3 times/week.  This way, I could still get my fix, but would definitely be cutting way back.

And let me tell you, it was hard.  But at the same time, not that bad.  Confusing?  Well, when I’d pick up my sandwich for lunch, I’d be thinking, “you know what would go really well with this sandwich?…a diet pepsi.”  But I sucked it up because I knew I could have one tomorrow.  And midway through my meal, I wouldn’t even be missing it.

And slowly but surely, I actually preferred water to soda.  Not only was I feeling so much better on my water days.  I was saving a few bucks everyday.

And on my soda days, I would still sometimes get that sick nauseous feeling.  My mind was in tune with my body > > > Soda makes me feel like crap >>>  Water makes me feel good and healthy.

Soon enough, I was on board with water at all times.  I just had to be extremely conscious about my choices in the beginning.  And now my subconscious chooses water.

Start with whatever rules work for you.  Maybe you decide to only have some during the day but not at night, great!  Or you only drink one when you’re eating out, good start.  Just keep modifying it and cutting back over time.

The important thing is to make your rules and stick to it!  Don’t be wishy washy, use some discipline here.

Sparkling Water with Fruit | The Bombshell Files

SUBSTITUTIONS:

Another thing that makes quitting a bad habit easier, is finding a healthier/better alternative to get excited about.

Quitting diet soda got me to play around with other drinks.  I started squeezing lemon or grapefruit into my water and adding other fruits to it too.  Then I discovered sparkling water <<< best drink ever.  Why was I never into it before?!?

This shift in my diet soda habit was actually the start to a much healthier diet all around.  I  started looking at food differently and substituting bad snack habits with ones that were just a tiny bit healthier.  And I still keep looking at ways to tweak my diet to get more bang for my buck.  Making these small changes led me to feel much healthier and happier.

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These are some ideas that really worked for me when quitting diet soda.  Hopefully, they can help you out too.  I cut diet soda out a few years ago but will still have one every now and then.  It’s all about balance.

Do you have any tips for quitting bad habits?

♦ Stephanie

Quick Wellness Tip for Your Eyes

Wellness Tip For Your Eyes | The Bombshell Files

Today, I wanted to share a quick wellness tip for those gorgeous eyes of yours.  My husband JUST shared this tip with me, and I’m kinda like,  I could’ve used this tip months ago, babe.

Anyway, I started reading a bit about blue light and what it does to your eyes.  You know, the same blue light that comes off of your electronics, like your phone, TV, computer screens, and tablets.  This is the same blue light from the sun.

So imagine, you’re getting this sunlight effect during the day, which is cool, but you’re also getting it at 10pm or so, when you’re trying to wind down for the night and relax.  The blue light affects your melatonin production and makes it harder to fall asleep.

“At night, light throws the body’s biological clock—the circadian rhythm—out of whack. Sleep suffers.” {source}

So if you’re catching up on your social media when you’re about to get your sleep on, the blue light from your phone or computer will trick your brain and keep you up longer.

Well, sorry, but I’m still gonna be on my laptop at night.

Which leads me to this little program (f.lux) I downloaded that warms up the color of the computer screen and makes it easier on your eyes, especially at night when the blue light is harsher.

The application says:

“it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.” {source}

It’s amazing, because I can feel my eyes relaxing when I’m on my laptop now, instead of the squinty look I had going on before (not hot).

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Definitely check this out and let me know if you enjoy the soothing view of your screens now.  I will sometimes disable it, just to see how bright and gross the blue light was before, and you guys, it was intense.  You will not believe how your screens used to look and how you could even stand it (a little dramatic?).  But seriously, it makes a huge and positive difference.

If you want more info on blue light, I liked this article.

♦ Stephanie

{Picture via}

5 Desk Stretches to Loosen Up

5 Great Desk Stretches | The Bombshell Files

Never underestimate the power of the stretch.  Especially the desk stretch.

I love stretching in the mornings, before going to sleep, and before and after a workout.  But the most important stretch of the day, for me, is the desk stretch.  If you work at a desk for the majority of the day, you have to incorporate these stretches.

Whenever I actually pay attention to my posture at the computer,  I’m almost always hunched over like an old lady.  I will straighten up when I notice it, but it’s usually going unnoticed for, who knows how long?  Hours??  No bueno.

Queue the stretching.

I will try to do these 5 stretches at least 1-2 times per work day.  I found these stretches below on Lauren Conrad’s blog and have been doing them for the past 6 months, and always feel better afterwards.

High Altar Pose

Take a deep inhale and raise your arms above your head. Clasp your hands together with your palms facing upward. Lean to your left for a deep stretch for about 30 seconds and then repeat on your right side.

Side Twist

While placing your left hand on the back of your chair, twist your body to the left making sure to sit up straight. This exercise can help alleviate some of that awful back tension.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Having tight hip flexors not only affects your legs, but your back as well. Try stretching them by sitting at the edge of your chair while positioning your torso to the left. Take your right leg and extend it backwards, making sure to keep your knee straight. Sit up straight, lift your sternum, and tuck your tailbone under for optimum stretching. <<<Hip flexor stretches are my favorite.  Think of how much sitting you do everyday, including your drive to and from work.  I stretch my hip flexors every chance I get!

Chest Opener

This exercise can be done in a couple different ways. The easier of the two is to clasp your hands behind your back and pull backwards. Another way you can perform this stretch is to bring your right arm over your shoulder while bringing your left arm behind you back. Clasp your arms together if you can. Be sure to inhale and exhale deeply for an even deeper stretch (you’ll be able to feel the difference!).

Ankle To Knee

Another great way to stretch both your back and hip flexors is to place your right foot on your left knee, making sure to keep your knee at a 90 degree angle. Lean forward for about 30 seconds and then switch sides.

{All stretches via}

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After I do a round of these stretches, I feel noticeably better.  I definitely feel more limber and get a little burst of energy.  I also like to grab a quick, 10 minute walk, around my office building at 2 o’clock.  That’s my crash time, so I like to get my body moving around then.

I would really love to bring my rebounder into the office, but think I might look a little ridic bouncing around in my office  :)  I’d also like to try one of those exercise balls as a chair instead of my regular old rolling chair.  Gotta keep working that core!

What do you do for your health and wellness in the office?  Any other stretch tips or ideas to feel better at work?

♦ Stephanie

{Picture via}

MELATONIN | For Your Best Night of Rest

Melatonin-For-Your-Best-Night-of-Rest-_-The-Bombshell-Files

Sleep is obviously one of the most important things you can do for yourself, all around.  A good night sleep helps with every part of my being.  I look better,  I feel better, I’m more refreshed, my skin looks better, my eyes are clearer, no bags or dark circles under them.  But more importantly, my mood is noticeably better, I make quicker and better decisions (including diet choices), and I hit more goals for the day because I am just more motivated in general.

My whole day can feel like a waste if I’m lacking in the sleep department, so I always make it a priority.

If I know my sleep is going to be effed up, I am ready to take care of business and pop a melatonin.

What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone “that’s main job in the body is to regulate night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles. Darkness causes the body to produce more melatonin, which signals the body to prepare for sleep. Light decreases melatonin production and signals the body to prepare for being awake. Some people who have trouble sleeping have low levels of melatonin. It is thought that adding melatonin from supplements might help them sleep” (source)

It is super useful for those nights you just can’t fall asleep, for whatever reason.  You know those nights where your mind is going a mile a minute, thinking about work, or an issue, or something you’re excited about, and you keep tossing and turning and just know you will be up for the long haul.  This is when I would take a melatonin supplement.  Usually within 20 minutes, I can feel it working and I start relaxing and then doze off.

Melatonin-For-A-Great-Night's-Sleep-|-The-Bombshell-Files

I also like to use melatonin when I’m traveling.

It really helped me get used to the time zone when I went to Europe and had to adjust to a 7 hour difference.  But I even like to bring it with me when I go to Miami to visit J’s family.  Even though there isn’t much of a time zone adjustment (it’s one measly little hour), there’s just something about traveling and sleeping somewhere different that can trick up my sleep schedule.  I am big on sleeping in my own bed aka “the cloud”  So I’m kind of a bed snob.

Melatonin would also be helpful for someone who’s work schedule shifts.

Back in my restaurant working days – when I lived in Chicago – one night, I would be closing out and leaving at 2AM and then a day or two later I would have the morning shift.  I would suffer one of those nights for sure.  I wish I knew about melatonin back then, because it would have majorly helped out.

I don’t use melatonin very often, but every month or so the situation will arise where I will need to take one.  There are differing dosages that run from 1-10 mg.  Now 10 mg is pretty high.  I initially bought the 10 mg pills and they knocked me the fuck out.  Like, deep ass, heavy sleep and I felt hungover the next day.  My head was so heavy and groggy.  So I slept a lot but I felt like crap, not what I was going for.  So instead of tossing the bottle I decided to cut the pills in half, so it was more like 5 mg.  MUCH BETTER.  Next bottle of melatonin, I’m going to go with the 3 mg and see how that goes.  I’ll update you when I get to that one.

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That’s pretty much how I use melatonin to my advantage.  Let me know how it works for you or if you have any other sleep tips!

♦ Stephanie

BEAN SALAD: Quick and Easy Snack

Bean Salad

I wanted to share one of my favorite snacks that is super easy to make and on the healthier side.   I call it, bean salad.  I have been so into it lately.

AND it’s so much better for you than eating cookies and donuts and all of that crap that can be so tempting when it’s sitting around your office.

Once again, it is super simple to make (you can find everything at the grocery store), it’s packed with fiber (hell yea!) and fills you up.  These are all things that win at life.

One batch makes enough to last me the week.  In the morning, I will fill up a little tupperware dish to take to work.  I keep it in the refrigerator there until it’s time for my 2 o’clock snack.  After that, I’m usually good to go until dinner.  Do you guys snack around 2 or is that just me?  If I don’t, I am ravenous when I get home.

Bean Salad Ingredients

Here’s what you need:

◊  1 can of garbanzo beans

◊  1 can of cut green beans

◊  1 can of kidney beans

◊  1 can of corn

◊  ½ cup of champagne dressing (I like Girard’s and get the ‘light’ champagne)

Here’s what you do:

  1.  Pour one can into a colander and rinse the beans under water, then let it strain and put them into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Repeat with all 4 cans.
  3. Once the 4 cans of beans and corn are in the large mixing bowl, add the champagne dressing and stir it up.

First, rinse the beans

Second, put beans and dressing in a large bowl

Balsamic Glaze and Bean Salad

Then, to finish it off, you can add a bit of balsamic vinegar.  When I put the concoction into my tupperware in the mornings,  I drizzle a little bit of balsamic glaze (that I’ve talked about before)  on top and then mix it in.  Then, when hunger strikes at work, I will grab this and I am good to go.

I love this recipe because it’s straight forward and easy, it makes enough to last me through the week, tastes delicious, and fills me up.

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Let me know if you guys have any snacks that keep you going through the day.  I’m always looking for something  healthy, delicious, and easy to make.

♦ Stephanie