five healthiest habits

when i saw the headline for this article on, i got a little scared. i was all, "oh crap, i bet i don’t do any of them! i’m a failure at health!" now that i’ve read the article i feel a little better–except for the fact that as a vegan, i’m sorely lacking in the habit i should have down pat. the five habits are:

1. tobacco avoidance. done. i’ve never even tried smoking, not even once. yes, i’m that girl.

2. BMI in the "healthy range" (i.e., between 18.5 and 25). i’m at 19.5 right now.

3. at least 5 servings of fruit/veggies per day. ahem. *looks around guiltily* i suck at this. on a regular day i count the jelly on my pb&j as one fruit. on good days i have a banana or an apple for a snack, and maybe a serving or two of veggies with dinner. that’s like 3 servings on a good day. honestly, i should be ashamed of myself.

4. 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 times a week. i’ve been bad lately (the past couple of months), but in general i’m pretty good at this. my ideal week includes 3 days at the gym for 90 minutes, 1 day at the gym for 60 minutes, 2 hours of dog-walking once a week, and if i’m lucky, two days of ashtanga yoga (60-90 minutes). i also like to walk places when i can, and i’m a big fan of taking the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator.

5. moderate use of alcohol (sometimes defined as "no more than one drink per day"). i don’t drink, so i’m covered here. i’m not a weirdo about it; it’s just that i don’t like beer or wine or most hard liquor, so i’m pretty much relegated to the girly drinks (tastes like kool-aid? okay then!). but then there’s the fact that i don’t hold my alcohol well and i don’t enjoy the feeling of being drunk. and i really, really hate throwing up. i’ve been drunk twice in my whole life and that was enough for me.

all in all, this list is making me feel a lot more healthy than i probably should. i was sure i’d fail miserably because i thought there would be items like "sleep 8 hours per night" and "reduce stress in day-to-day life" and "stop procrastinating, dumbass." maybe someone should publish a list like that, just so i can refer to it and make myself follow it.



  1. 1. check.
    2. BMI: check.
    3. dead easy, got good at this over the winter, lost 15 pounds without trying.
    4. hmmm. in the summer, no problem. When it is -30F outside, only when I’m feeling crazy enough to snowshoe (that word always looks wrong to me for some reason).
    5. I don’t much like getting drunk myself, but I do like beer. Nevertheless, I never drink more than 2 or 3 beers a week of late.
    so, looks like I’m in okay shape. But I hear you on the sleep, procrastination, and stress factors. Academia and the 60-plus-hour weeks are never good for anyone.

  2. vegenaise, maybe someone needs to do one of these studies but gear it toward “healthy habits for not-yet-tenured professors.” then they could study all the stuff we know we’re bad about, and call us on it.
    Harmonia/Jennair (which do you prefer?), thank you! welcome. 🙂 of course you can link here, thanks for the compliment!

  3. my concern is the BMI.
    i’m a pretty solid fella. and i have maintained a weight of 185 to 195 for about ten years . I exercise everyday and eat a healthy vegan diet. Don’t drink, smoke, or use any drugs.
    So what the heck is the BMI telling me i’m overweight?
    is there another test for body mass? cause i sure don’t know how i could lose at least 20 lbs and still be healthy and barely make it into the BMI rating for normal weight. heck if i wanted to get down to a BMI of 21.5% i would have lose at least 40 pounds.
    something about the BMI tells me it might not be for everyone.
    at any rate great post. love the site

  4. todd x, thanks for the compliment! i’m glad you visited. come back soon!
    i have heard some controversy about the BMI, actually. for one thing, it doesn’t take body fat percentages into account, which i think is probably the main achilles heel. having said that, i’m not sure what the alternative “standard” would be; everyone seems pretty stuck on the BMI these days.

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