I met Bridgett Blough a few years ago when I interviewed her for a fitness job. We became instant friends. We loved exercising, good food, good wine, and trying anything new we could sink our hands in! Bridgett had been on many adventures in just the short time I’ve know her. The most recent adventure is her Food Truck, The Organic Gypsy. I asked Bridgett to appear as a guest on my blog and tell us how she got started and how she stays healthy.
When I tell people the story of how and when I decided to start a food truck, people seem amazed when I tell them that “it just came to me.” The setting was a weekend on Lake Tahoe with my natural chef girlfriends and red wine. I have been wanting to go to a particular yoga and music festival, called Wanderlust in California for years. I checked ticket prices and they were extremely expensive, and I thought to myself “there has got to be another way.”
I was looking for a volunteer opportunity and found myself on the page to apply to be a vendor. For not much more money than a normal ticket, I got a free pass and the opportunity to make some cash. From that night surrounded by northern California’s beauty, support, and good food- The Organic Gypsy was born.
I assume like any business, mine was no different in the fact that it took twice as long and costed three times as much money to start than I originally planned. My typical work day was and still is about 15 hours a day. When I launched the actual truck doing events, farmer’s markets, and festivals I felt like I gave birth. Instead of an actual baby, I had a huge blue truck that was a living business. I use this analogy because new mothers especially the first time around can relate to the all-consuming aspect of when one part of your life takes over the rest.
In a normal working situation, I’ve always made time to do things for me, to walk/workout/do yoga, and take the time to prepare foods that nourish my body. During this start-up process, I have had much less opportunity to do so. The key I think is that I didn’t give up on these aspects a of health entirely. In my opinion, busy is not an excuse to not be healthy. I don’t care how many kids you have or how many hours a day you work– although It takes serious effort and persistence to actually do this.
My typical day starts at about 7am and I don’t finish working until about 11pm. I break for dinner, but all other meals are eaten during meetings or work emails. Below i list some easy tips on how to stay calm, stay healthy, and stay happy so you can not only carry on, but majorly succeed in whatever path you choose, no matter how many hours a day you work.
1) Take walks. Before dark most nights I break for a walk. Even if it’s 10 minutes. It makes a difference. Our bodies were not meant to sit. I take as many phone calls on walks as I can and mix walks without distraction too (including music!). That break from talking and thinking was when I got some of my best ideas yet. The mind needs space to create new thoughts and ideas, so it is important to give it that space.
2) Have a 5 minute snack. My go to snack for afternoons when I need a little energy boost to get through dinner is my basic raspberry smoothie. It takes about 3 minutes to make. Almond milk, frozen raspberries, and nut butter of choice- almond on a normal day and cashew if im feeling fancy. Cacoa nibs or vanilla powder if I’m feeling creative. Fast prep and fast clean up. Have your go-to snack whatever it is. The worst thing is to skip meals, skip snacks, and end up starving at dinner. Skipping meals translates into overeating at dinner, only making you feel more tired and worse about not getting the ideal or normal workout.
3) Think in the morning, work in the evening. I’ve found my mind works the best in the morning, not in the evening. I focus more on emails and thinking tasks in the morning, and focus more on the physical parts in the afternoon or evening. After dinner is when I haul items in and out of my truck, load, organize materials, and do household chores if I need to. It helps to move after dinner rather than being sedentary. You won’t feel as full after dinner and your food will digest easier. Save your emails and work thinking tasks for When your mind is fresh in the morning. A small change, but worth noting.
4) Sleep at night. Even if it’s 6 hours, focus on getting high quality sleep. In the past, I’ve written about how to get a good nights sleep. A new habit I’ve developed after a big thinking day is to go to sleep in supta Buddha konasana. I sleep alone, so I have room in bed. Those of you that share the bed with a loved one or a dog might find this more challenging for space. Try this on the floor before going to bed. Lay on your back and bend your knees, bringing them into your chest and gently give yourself a hug. Gently drop your feet on the floor with your knees bent. From there slowly and gently let your knees drop out to the sides, bringing the heels of your feet together so your legs make the shape of a diamond. To feel it more, bring your feet closer to your hips, to make it easier shift your feet farther toward the bottom of the bed or further away from your face. Take your right hand and place it on your heart, and take your left hand and place it on your belly. Try and focus on your breathing deeply in and out of your nose and feeling your chest slowly expand and deflate. Deep breathing will ease your mind and relax your body, a crucial step in getting a good nights sleep. If it helps, play your favorite relaxing music.
5) Do something that makes you happy. For me, Sunday morning is my time off when I go to my favorite yin yoga class. It just makes me happy and it was and still is something I look forward to all week . If you are lucky, maybe you get a coffee date with a friend and a workout, having two times a week to do something for yourself. Whatever your schedule allows, try and do something. It might be an hour or it might be five minutes. Staying happy and staying excited is key to maintaining your health so you can be successful. I get up at 6am to do markets and I only have time to do a few stretches before I leave. An ideal yoga practice would be an hour, but most times I’m lucky to be on my mat more than 5 minutes. The key is accepting that 5 minutes is the best I can do for right now, instead of feeling guilty. You might be surprised how much better you feel if you forgive yourself, let go of the guilt, and accept the time that is available for what it is. I’m in the beginning of planning a trip to New Zealand, so some days I set my phone timer for 5 minutes and let myself look up fun stuff for the trip. When the 5 minutes is up, it’s back to work. Believe it or not the 5 minutes makes a difference. Setting a timer also allows you to just enjoy whatever you are doing , knowing it is impossible for you to get distracted or lose track of time. Gossip magazines, online shopping, cookbooks, whatever small little pleasure it’s great to have them.