If you don't know much about HUX, just know that we are on a quest to try to change the fashion game in our own way. We want to continue to create handmade, luxury, designer products at realistic prices and we want everyone who touches our business, in any way, to be positively affected.
On on a personal level i'm making changes to live a more sustainable, well-rounded lifestyle on the whole. But what does that even mean? If you had approached me three years ago I would have asked the same question. Sure, the conversation on sustainability and balanced lifestyles has got louder, but it's still difficult to understand what steps can be taken to make changes and, more importantly, how to maintain them.
image sourced via Pintrest
Today i'm here to talk about some of the ways in which you can make changes towards a healthier lifestyle. I'm by no means an expert, so I thought I best consult one.. I sat down with Marissa Parry, one of the co-founders and Health & Wellness director of PurelyB to understand more about the nutrition space and getting healthy in Kuala Lumpur. PurelyB, as explained by Marissa, is 'your go to guide for living a healthy lifestyle in Asia. You can find plenty of health and wellness websites, but none with an Asian focus, and that is the gap we are filling'.
In these top 10 tips, i'm not just talking about drinking enough water (which is incredibly important) or how to change your body, but methods you can adopt to consider your health as a whole.
I meet Marissa at Finn's in Publika, my now go-to poke bowl pop-up. Marissa is everything I had heard she would be, open, an incredible communicator, generous in her knowledge share and just so likeable.
1. Just start
When it comes to approaching food choices and exercise, it doesn't matter what you do, just do something. Marissa's advice on this is to, 'stop procrastinating and just start, whether it means going for a walk once a week, or adding something healthy to your diet. The only thing you will regret, is not having started sooner.'
What i've learnt over the years is you don't have to have the perfect routine and diet right away. Things constantly evolve and what you thought was perfect for you two years ago, might be totally different now.
2. Experiment with food choices
Flexitarian, the idea of being flexibly vegetarian. It's now a fairly widespread term and most of my social media feeds are flooded with people dabbling with this and other food trends. Although it's received criticism for being just another fad, I think if it gets people talking and thinking about why they are eating, then it can only be a good thing. The term vegan was once reserved for hippies, but now more people are trying to switch their lifestyles or at least assess the way they approach food.
I've been meat free for almost 2 years. I was forced into reassessing my diet and my health when I became sick from eating too much animal protein. After about a year of tests and analysis I found out that the antibiotics which are fed into animals were being transferred to me. As I am already allergic to antibiotics, and always have been, I suffered severe sickness. Even when I knew meat was making me sick, I still found it hard to give it up and to understand that I didn't need to have meat in my diet. I thought I needed meat for protein and was sure I would simply pass out without enough of it. I didn't want to try something different because I thought I already knew what I liked. Since then i've been interested in food and nutrition and have become more in touch with my body. The most important thing I have gained is knowledge about what we actually need to eat. What we choose to eat is quite different.
Eating more healthy isn't necessarily about cutting out meat, it's about educating yourself on food and feeling how your body responds. As cliche as it sounds, everybody really is different so it's important to experiment with different food groups and discover what suits you best. If you're having allergies, stomach aches, migraines, rashes, lethargy or any other negative problems on a reoccurring basis, it might be an idea to have a look at what you're eating.
3. Experiment with exercise
image via HotYo
You'll realise by now this blog is really about finding out what works for you and 'when it comes to exercise, find something that you enjoy.' I couldn't agree with Marissa more. She continues 'there is so much choice out there, there is definitely something for everyone. Sign up to a class with a friend, make it social. Or set yourself a challenge like signing up for 5km fun run to motivate you to train'.
For me, I desperately wanted to be good at yoga. I promised to practice for one year to see how it changed my body and mind. To be totally honest, I think yoga is more about being in the right headspace than anything else, and with a new start-up on to run, my mind was all over the place. I gave up yoga exactly one year to the day, for better or worse I'm not sure, but after that I discovered different types of fitness that really work for me.
For inspiration on different kinds of workouts you can try in KL or at home, PurelyB has some great articles.
She's a mum of two, runs her own business and manages to stay fit and healthy? Errr how Marissa..!? For Marissa it's all down to planning, 'I plan out my exercise schecule for the week, so that I can ensure I get in 4 sessions in a week. I also plan dinner meals for at least Monday to Friday, this helps with minimising trips to the supermarkets. In fact I get my organic vegetables delivered to me, I buy fruits from the market on one of the days I am at the gym, which leaves me to visit the supermarket once or twice a week.'
For most of us, fitting in time to work out can seem challenging, what with all the demands life throws at us, but making a health schedule really is a great way to commit to a new fitness and food regime.
5. Stay inspired
image via www.purelyb.com
Keep finding things to inspire you. Eating healthier in KL has been a challenge for me. I love to cook, but cooking at home and healthier is always much more expensive than visiting a local mamak for a plate of delicious, local delights. As an expat, cooking with imported ingredients is more expensive, but there are ways to make healthier versions of local food keeping the cost down. PurelyB provides a whole host of recipes using local ingredients, for example 'avocados are extremely healthy, but there are also very expensive in this part of the world. So we want to highlight the use and benefits of more local ingredients. For example a twist on local favourites like Nasi Lemak and Char Kway Teow'. If you're stuck for cooking inspiration, which I usually am, check out the PurelyB website for their collection of healthy recipes, some of my favourites are healthy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Vegan Carbonara and Nori Rolls.
* If you don't like cooking, try and limit the time you cook and meal-prep for the week ahead. It really does work and keeps your healthy eating on track by having healthy food available.
6. Where to eat?
It's good to know where you want to eat before you head out. Although this ruins sponteneity, it will keep you on track with eating. Marissa's favourite spots for healthy food in KL are: Fittie Sense, Rubberduck, SALA, Plantbased Kitchen, Kind Kones (for the best vegan ice-cream) and Real Food.
7. Craft out some time for you
image via Pintrest
In a word full of noise, it's important to make some for quiet and reflection. Over the past few weeks i've consciously been taking time out to switch off from social media and focus on the moment - especially over the holidays. Whether it's sitting in silence for ten minutes, meditating, going for a walk or just relaxing with a cup of tea, it's important to make time where you focus on yourself.
In the same breath I would also stress the importance of getting enough sleep, something which I will talk more about another time. In short, sleep is crucial for mental and physical recovery and without enough of it, not only will we we simply will not function well, but we might not receive the positive effects from any of the healthy changes we are making.
8. Check in with yourself
It's great to live a healthy life, but when you are making new changes you may not be able properly witness or measure these effects unless you make time to consciously check in with your body. Be mindful of how your body is feeling at all times, during working-out, after working-out, when you're about to sleep, when you wake up and whenever possible. By drawing attention to your body you will become aware of it's aches, pains and sensations much more easily. Maybe one of the new changes isn't working for you.
Also, I think it's important to add, along with checking in with yourself, be kind to yourself. If you fall out of routine or want to go out with friends and feast on something you wouldn't normally consider to be a part of your eating plan, it really is ok. Putting pressure on yourself and feeling stressed about it will only impact you negatively.
9. You're in this for the long haul
Your body is yours forever. It's your job to keep it healthy for the long term. That doesn't mean juicing every day and never eating extra-cheesy, truffle fries, it means balance and finding a system which works for you. There is no quick fix. Marissa adds, 'when we want to achieve something, especially long term, we need commitment. Think about marriage, it takes commitment on so many levels (and a lot of patience), and that’s the same when it comes to your health and fitness – you have got to be committed if you want to see the benefits.'
10. Healthy is a whole
Healthy isn't just about considering what we eat and how we exercise, 'it is also about how we care about our environment as our health depends of the health of our planet. If there’s one thing you can do today, stop using plastic straws. Head on over to our FB page: taknakstraw and IG: mytaknak' HUX is a slow-fashion label. We care about how products are made, but the whole conversation about sustainability and a healthy life is a much more holistic one. We'll be speaking more about making conscious choices for a more sustainable fashion industry soon.
I hope this 10 step guide gave you a little inspiration to make some healthy changes this 2018.