See the Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Layer Cake above? That's what a typical work day looks like at The Huffington Post. Between celebratory treats for coworkers' birthdays, sleeves of the latest Oreo flavors and some in-house amateur bakers, our office is a revolving door of sugary junk food.
On top of that, simply living in New York City exposes you to endless trendy yet unhealthy meal options. When I moved here, I began documenting every (photo-worthy) food that I ate and after a few years, my personal Instagram account has become a scrapbook of sugary, gluttonous snacks. As much as I've enjoyed indulging in Cronuts, fried macaroni and cheese balls and using Magnolia Bakery's banana pudding to count as a daily serving of fruit, I've noticed a dramatic change in my energy levels, sleep patterns and general health -- none for the better.
This comes as no surprise to me, given the extensive research on how our diets affect us. Bob Harper, a long-time trainer for "The Biggest Loser," even went so far as to say that for weight loss, it's all about nutrition. I've read that we should apply the 80/20 rule of business to our health -- we should strive to have most (at least 80 percent) of our choices be healthy. I know that pizza, chocolate and ice cream (which are prominently featured on my Instagram account) are considered to be three of the most addictive foods.
I pride myself on being unapologetically infatuated with gluten, sugar and fried food. But I also recognize that I never feel my best when I'm replacing nutritious, healthy meals with empty calories.
I'm using this month's Eat Well, Feel Great Challenge to retrain my tastebuds. I want to be more mindful about what I eat so I crave healthier options that leave me completely satisfied. But I'm not planning on cutting out sweets completely -- I want them to supplement my daily diet, not replace them.
In the next 30 days, starting on March 1, I'm looking forward to learning the tips, tricks and hacks our editors have put together to help me make healthier choices in my everyday life. I'd like to be able to incorporate these small, doable daily challenges into my lifestyle beyond this month -- because fueling my body is more important than the number of likes on an Instagram post.
Ready to sign up and take the challenge with me? Get started here!