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}

DRY BRUSHING FOR BETTER SKIN

Dry Brushing | The Bombshell Files

Let’s talk about dry brushing.

Basically, dry brushing is using a specific type of body brush to brush your skin.  All you need is yourself and your brush.

The first time I heard about dry brushing was several years ago when one of George Clooney’s super hot ex girlfriends said it was the secret to her glowing skin.

Interest piqued.

AND I heard there were perks for the lymph system, which I am just all about these days.

Benefits of Dry Brushing | The Bombshell Files

First let’s start with the benefits:

◊  Great way to exfoliate and brighten skin

It removes dead skin cells and opens clogged pores (which can help with ingrown hairs).

So far, I am definitely seeing this.  I’ve always been pretty lucky with having soft skin, but after dry brushing, I have noticed an improvement.  My moisturizers are absorbing better and everything is feeling more silky smooth than before.  So thumbs up for this benefit.

◊  Wakes up the lymph system

“The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. It is made up of organs and lymph nodes, ducts and vessels that transport lymph throughout the body. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin and proponents of dry brushing claim that brushing the skin regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and help the body detoxify itself naturally.” (source)

This also brings me back to my post from last week about the benefits of rebounding and the importance of stimulating the lymph system regularly.

◊  Increased energy and blood flow

I feel energized after dry brushing.  Even the process of doing it feels great.

◊  Reduces appearance of cellulite

This little bit of info has not been proven in any of the sources I have read.  Some people claim they have seen a reduction in the appearance of cellulite.  I, however, have not.  So I’m not sure if this is a bogus claim or if it just doesn’t work for me personally.   Don’t you think, if something could actually reduce cellulite, EVERYBODY would know about it?  If I’m wrong here, someone please let me know.  But I have not seen improvement in the cellulite department.

Dry Brushing | The Bombshell Files

When to do it…

This is something that you can do daily.

You should do it right before a shower or bath on dry skin.  I like to dry brush first thing in the morning because of the little energy burst I get afterwards.  Plus, it feels like I’m waking everything up and getting ready for the day.

But, I also like to do it when I get home from work.  If I save my dry brush & shower routine for the end of the day, I think it feels even better.  Probably because my legs have been stuffed in my skinny’s all day and I have those seam imprints on them.  And it feels so good to come home, take my pants off and dry brush. TMI?  Just being real here.  But you can pretty much do it whenever.  Some people suggest against doing it before bed though so you don’t get all pumped up and then can’t fall asleep.

How to do it…

You always want to brush in the direction towards your heart and chest.  The way you brush is very important, so you can get the most benefits from it.

Here’s the video I watched when I first started dry brushing to learn the technique.

What brush to use…

The brush in the pictures is the one I started with and it’s great for beginner’s.  I don’t think it’s too hard and you can adjust the pressure easily.  I might be in the market for one that’s a little stiffer in the future, but so far, this one is still working for me.

You can also find body brushes at health food stores.  You just want to make sure the bristles are natural and not synthetic.

Also, be careful if you have any skin conditions.  Dry brushing can irritate eczema or rashes.  Be sure to ask a doctor before you do it, if that’s the case.

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I absolutely love dry brushing and would recommend this to everyone.  I hope this inspires you guys to give it a shot.  May as well show your skin some serious love.

Have you guys tried dry brushing?  Let me know!

♦ Stephanie

REBOUNDING FOR A FULL BODY TONE UP + MANY HEALTH BENEFITS

Rebounding

Okay guys, I am very excited about rebounding… aka jumping on a mini trampoline.

Rebounding has quickly become my new favorite workout.

It’s the workout I’ve always wanted but never really thought about.

First things first, rebounder’s are easy and accessible.  Which is wayyyy up there on my ‘must have’ list when it comes to new habits.

This great workout doesn’t require you to leave your house, or pay for a super expensive piece of equipment. It doesn’t take up too much space, it’s light enough to move around your place, and it’s actually pretty fun.

Just wait til I get to the health benefits (!!!)

NASA uses rebounding for their astronauts.  After only 14 days in space they can lose 15% of their bone and muscle mass and they use a rebounder to help reverse the damage.  You can read more about that here.

If it’s good enough for NASA it’s good enough for me.

I’ve been reading up on tons of different sites and have consistently been coming across these health benefits:

◊  It aids in lymphatic circulation, which can help remove toxins << I will talk about the importance of this in a future post

◊  Gives you an energy boost

◊  It helps improve your balance

◊  It great for the skeletal system and improving bone mass

◊  Helps with digestion

◊  It’s a low impact workout

◊  It works out your entire body

◊  It’s considered a cellular exercise and is said to stimulate all the cells of the body

If you want to learn about even more benefits (because there are a TON) check out this site.

I came across this site for a 6 week program if you wanted to follow a routine.

Rebounder with a timer and resistance bands

(I bought my rebounder here.   It came with a timer & jump counter and it also came with resistance bands that you can attach to it, although I haven’t used those yet)

Rebounder Counter

When do I use it…

I currently keep my rebounder in the living room.  Having it in the living room makes jumping on it beyond easy.  Since this is one of the main hotspots in my house, I pass by it all of the time.  In the morning, after drinking my lemon water, I will jump for about 5 minutes.  It gets the lymph system moving first thing in morning, which is so important.  Then when I get home from work, I will jump for a few minutes on it.  I am always pretty beat right when I get home from the office, so this gives me some energy when I need it most.  Then after dinner,  I might throw on a tv show (like a Real Housewives…let’s be honest) and I will try to get at least 10 minutes in.  It’s so convenient for my lifestyle.  And if one room is occupied or you need a change of scenery, it takes no time at all to pick it up and move it to another room.  I actually would love to have one of these in my office so I could do 5 minutes on it every hour. The energy boost from it would definitely make me more productive.

I’ve been rebounding for the past 4 or 5 weeks, anywhere from 5-20 minutes per day.  And I am definitely feeling trimmer.  I did not take any “before” measurements, but I can tell my core has tightened and I have noticed a difference in my energy levels.  I am really loving how easy it is to jump without having to pack up a gym bag and drive somewhere, or dress for the weather outside before you go out for a walk or run.  And the easier something is, the more likely I am to stick with it.  And so far, this feels like something I will be doing for a while.

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Do you guys rebound?  If so, in what ways have you benefitted from it?  I kind of have a thing for my little trampoline : )

♦ Stephanie