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Good habits for a healthy lifestyle require sacrifices like this image. A beautiful bowel of veggies!

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Sitting in a chair at my doctor’s office is unpleasant. The chair itself is large with plenty of cushion. I could fully extend the comfy beast, if I would rather lay down while waiting for my doctor.

But I don’t fumble for the chair controls, instead my mind runs through various unlikely aliments as I wait.


Am I pregnant? Do I have high blood pressure? It’s polio, isn’t it?! Don’t lie to me, doc!


I rarely (yes, rarely) say these thoughts out loud. But if I do, I am met with a laugh. It’s a good way to stop the inner hamster wheel from running off the rails.


I have been fortunate to come back with a mostly consistent clean bill of health. Except, I always have low vitamin D like all the other 1.06 million residents of Montana.

The older I get, the less inclined I am to have these visits drift into awkward conversations about diet, exercise, or if my heart is healthy enough for sex.

To avoid all the awkwardness, I participate in a few good habits for a healthy lifestyle.

Sustenance Saving

It seems like my days revolve around what is being eaten. If I am not eating and drinking there is a good chance I am thinking about it or planning it. Since this occurs so frequently, I have to create sneaky healthy habits to keep the cost low but my health on track.

I am weak-willed and can easily fall into a habit of buying unhealthy yet expensive treats, I try to limit my exposure to the grocery store’s shifty marking ploys by only going once a week.

As I cruise the aisles looking for my carefully crafted list of items, I try hard to stick to the healthy areas and not make eye contact with frozen dairy, candy, or the chip aisles.

I don’t dabble much in meal variety instead I am full throttle with simple, reliably good food. Breakfast is scrambled eggs with veggies, half a bagel, with fruit and yogurt. Lunch is leftovers with salad and fruit. Dinner is the rebel with its cheesy, carb-loaded party. I make attempts to reign in the cheese and carb fest with lean meat, whole vegetables, and wheat-based carbs.

It’s this (mostly) healthy food routine that is chased with the never-ending cup of water, that keeps my lab results looking like they’re from the arteries of a 20-year old.

Nature Based Exercise

I get cranky without exercise.

Just ask my mom or husband, they will readily agree. Probably wide-eyed with a slow-head nod.

Running in nature is how I prevent myself from losing my marbles on fellow humans. Plus, I avoid the fees of a gym membership and save on good habits for a healthy lifestyle.

I love to run on the River’s Edge Trail where I can watch the stately pelicans bob gently in the waves or listen to the gaggle of geese heckle each other. They are really good at heckling.

I also rise before the sun to practice the deep breathing and gentle stretches of yoga. Occasionally, I get wobbly which tends to happen when it’s a long hiking day. Yoga is how I strengthen my core so I don’t crash face-first onto a gravel trail.

Sleep Is Cheap

Nine hours of sleep is what I need but I get seven to eight hours. I wake up feeling groggy and sad to be leaving the comforts of my bed. This discomfort is my not-so-subtle nudge that I need more sleep.

I struggle with getting more sleep because it seems like there is always so much to do but so little time. My body and my bank account would probably prefer if I slept more. I would prefer if I slept more.

A Stealthy Kind of Health

Grey hair, wrinkles, and age spots. These are a few of my testaments to age. It is a burden I gladly bear. But I am greedy because I want to age gracefully not with the average $1200 a year prescription drug price tag.

To do that I will need to keep investing in good habits for a healthy lifestyle, one less awkward doctor conversation at a time!

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