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The Well-Nourished Writer: Myth or Mystery?

Happy New Year!

In January, many of us think about ways that we can improve upon ourselves, from being more reliable to eating leafy greens. Speaking of nutritious food, we sedentary writers, especially, need to find ways to incorporate balanced nutrition into our routines.

And this is coming from someone who has been known to workout by walking the dog around the block, have Diet Coke for lunch, and chocolate for dinner.

Time is the most limited resource in my life. Every day, I make choices about how I will spend my time, because there isn’t ever going to be enough of it to do everything that I want to do. At the bottom of that list of choices is cooking for myself.

If I am writing, I am watching the clock to leverage my allotted creative time, not thinking about stopping to make a meal. If I do think about it, nothing typically sounds appealing enough to stop writing. The best way that I’ve found to make healthy choices is to keep healthy options at hand.

I prefer to write in my bed (ask me about the time I interviewed Hugh Hefner about his rotating bed / office), so the bottom drawer of my nightstand contains packets of nuts, trail mix, tangerines, and apples.

I can dash to my refrigerator for a protein shake, or throw a salad kit in a bowl along with pre-prepared baked tofu or chicken slices. I buy packages of pre-peeled carrots to eat with hummus, ignoring the marked-up price because I know I won’t peel the beautiful, pulled-straight-from-the-ground bunch. Also in the fridge is an assortment of La Croix to stay hydrated.

These are all nutritional items that I know I’ll eat. I won’t boil water to make pasta. I might heat a can of soup, but know not to count on it.

And I find ways to take my vitamins. The bloom is off my rose, and a bottle of calcium supplements can mean the difference between a relaxing hike and a foot fracture. Truth.

At times, I power through my increasing pile of vitamins. Other times, when the thought of them turns my stomach, I switch from pills to gummies, change brands, move the bottles from the kitchen to my nightstand to take them before bed—anything to get myself to ingest those vital minerals.

It all comes down to knowing yourself well enough to engineer situations for success.

Be honest with yourself about what you will do, rather than what you wish you would do. It doesn’t have to be big or complicated to make healthy choices, and doing so shouldn’t interfere with your creative flow. So get up and touch your toes. Do some squats and drink some water. It is within your reach to be a well-nourished writer.

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