While my Husband tells me I am a brave woman, I’ve always thought of myself as lucky. One only need look as far as the people in my life to see my luck is true. I am fortunate enough to have the kind of friends, that you learn from, admire and respect. Just a few years ago two of my best friends (Val and Ayaz) got a case of what I like to call “thefuckits.” Thefuckits are what I named the move you pull when you get wise to the pitfalls of living life by rules establish by masses. You summon your courage and say “Fuck It” and start trying life your way. Sorry about all the cursing Mom.
In Val and Ayaz’s case, they refused to be stuck in jobs that kept them chained to the same desk day after day. With the belief that one’s life should be lived now and not spent believing in The Myth of Later, they decided to trust in their abilities to find work on the road. With Round the World Tickets, they travel together for seven months straight. No finer way to find out you were meant to be together than to thrust yourself into the world’s longest date in history. A heart felt and public congratulations on the recent engagement you too!
I could go on for ages about all the amazing experiences, wisdom they gained and lessons they have shared with us their lucky friends, but I’ll let them do that in their own blogs. Instead what I will share, is a topic that came up during one conversation that stuck with me and in my case a few years later was echoed.
During one of our group Talk Time sessions, Val and Ayaz started commented on how much healthier they felt. Not only from the change in lifestyle to one of movement but also in food. They both said they were eating healthier no longer stuck working in an office. At the time, I was still working in corporate America and stuck in my own office every day. Looking back, I believed I already ate healthy.
Afterall, most days I would just grab a sandwich (processed meat, processed cheese, carbohydrates.) Soup (hello cream and butter) and oyster crackers (salt and bleached flour) which I’ll admit was always delicious, from the Lobster Place. On a good day, a small plastic clamshell full of pre-cut fruit and vegetables from the Manhattan Fruit Exchange in Chelsea Market. Still, even those days I would grab a roll or a cookie to treat myself mainly because I hated working in an office.
All said and done I could’ve eaten a lot worse. Yet still, at least one meal a day contained ingredients that generally, while tasty were definitely not fruits and vegetables and contained very little protein. Whoever told Americans sandwiches are healthy anyway? Sorry Subway.
Just as Val and Ayaz had discovered, I soon found doing the type of work we do, you truly can be a Digital Nomad, work from home or really anywhere and more easily control the influencers in your life, including food. For just over a year, I’ve been working as a consultant which means I can work from anywhere. On most days, it’s my home that I love so much, with my tiny balcony and garden. Which means on the average day, I eat all of my meals at home. No coffee from Starbucks, no sandwiches, no pre-made and practically nothing pre-packaged.
Take today’s lunch for example, the one you see above. A simple salad of Green Leaf Lettuce, Red Tomatoes and Radishes with a side of roasted Cauliflower. Thanks to my CSA Veggie Share Box from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, I have an abundance of fresh, healthy foods in my kitchen.
If the concept of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box is new to you, I encourage you to try it out. You never know exactly what’s going to be in that box, but I’m telling you, if you like to cook at all, it’s like Christmas when you get it.
This one was so much fun, I had to lay everything out and take a picture. Opening it felt like stepping into Maryann’s kitchen in an episode of True Blood, well except without the bloody sacrificing.
Eating healthier and moving around more are two of the biggest perks when you work from home. I may or may not be wearing yoga pants right now as I type this… all I’m saying. The fact that my yoga pants look far better on me at my age than I would have anticipated years ago, that’s still the big one for me. Physically, I just feel better.
I move around the house throughout the day as I work. I sit at my desk, on my balcony, on my couch. My shoulders never hurt the way they used to and I rarely, if ever, get headaches. Considering these were all chronic pain issues for me before, I again am putting myself in the lucky column. I also don’t suffer through what I will call the peer pressure to beat myself up on the job. For anyone working in an office, these will sound familiar.
- I don’t sit at my desk when I eat lunch, I stop, take a break and just eat. My brain gets downtime and my body gets healthy fuel.
- I do not spend the day managing my inbox. I manage my projects and my time to ensure I have enough energy to think.
- I don’t feel the compulsive need to play the “who is busier game” which never felt very good at the end of the day.
Sure there are moments where life is MUCH harder now. I live a life that’s far more active in many ways.
My world can seem smaller and I need to actively combat my introverted nature. Financial security is something I fight for more and the next paycheck is not taken for granted. Saving for retirement is no longer a passive thought, as it no longer comes out of every paycheck automatically and into a 401K. Right now though, I wouldn’t trade it for all the free coffee in the world.
These days, my version of procrastination during the day is taking that one extra minute to make sure the plate I put together for lunch looks as delicious as it tastes. It might seem a little silly but I do love a little food porn (sorry again Mom!)
I mean come on – how pretty is this lunch from Monday.
Okay, I’ll admit it – this one’s pretty hot too…
but that’s an entirely different blog post coming next week about Portland!