You may or may not have seen the sunshiney, seemingly impossible “That Girl” videos on TikTok and YouTube, but it essentially boils down to a focus on hydration, diet, exercise, skin/body care and some kind of self-improvement through tracking and reflecting. I prefer the ones that are “That Girl Without The Aesthetic” because it’s a lot more realistic for messy folk like me.
You can absolutely apply this ideal whatever your gender identity – it’s essentially looking after yourself well. You DO NOT, I repeat, you DO NOT have to have the ‘perfect morning routine’ to be successful. See each time you complete one of these things as a levelling up. You don’t go backwards – only forwards. And flossing your teeth four nights a week is better than none. Also, you do not need to document this for your social media – you know you’re doing it and you are doing it for you. That being said, if you enjoy documenting it or it gives you some accountability, feel free – but for me, it’s an added stress and another thing to fail at when I don’t keep up my posts about it.
I’ve been living like this for a few years, pre-hashtag, and here are some of my top tips for making it cheaper and easier and more enjoyable to nurture yer noggin and beautify your body.
- Buy loose or bagged lemons – cut into quarters, place in a small Tupperware and freeze. Use 2-4 in your morning glasses/bottles of water.
- You can then reuse the defrosted lemon cubes in your second drink of water for the day – they’ll slowly infuse the water as you drink.
- You can also use these as an alternative to ice cubes in other drinks and in cocktails! I do the same with limes if I am anticipating some rum and cokes in the near future. They keep your drink cool without watering it down.
- Bottles of lemon from concentrate are really cheap and you can add a few squirts of this or apple cider vinegar for extra flavour. Always dilute acids like this, and don’t have more than a tablespoon or two per day.
- Add mint leaves for that extra fresh bouji feel. It grows pretty easily inside or outside – if you’re growing outside then keep it in a pot because mint takes over. You might even be able to pinch some off a friend or find some out and about and propagate it. Free mint!
- Tea is medicine. Start exploring different blends in the shops and online, and look up what you can forage and when. Raspberry leaves have wonderful benefits for the uterus and uterus related pain and grow quite readily in the UK. You can find teas to help with sleep, relaxation, digestion, immunity and pain. These aren’t a panacea, of course – they are just one tool in your arsenal when hydrating and supporting your body’s needs.
- Food is also medicine! What nourishes you? What can you easily do to elevate your diet? I approach a lot of my meals and snacks by asking: ‘can I add some fruit or veg or nuts or seeds to this?’
- Any fruit can be frozen! Most will need to be sliced first – you might have to bash the bag or Tupperware on the side to break apart the frozen pieces when you come to use them. During summer, I pick lots of apples from nearby areas or friends’ gardens and make an apple puree. I then freeze into freezer bags and can break off chunks to add to smoothies. You can forage blackberries and elderberries around September-time. Beyond smoothies, frozen fruit is great for porridge, pudding and on pancakes – you can have frozen or easily defrost in a pan or the microwave. Any with a particularly high water content might be difficult to blend from frozen, however. Look for whatever is in the reduced section or buy bags of already frozen fruit – or forage!!
- The same for greens – look out for when huge bags of spinach or kale are in the reduced section and just freeze them. Grab handfuls for when you’re wanting to add a green boost to your smoothies or soups or sauces. They will splinter once they are frozen but that’s okay if you don’t need whole leaves for your recipe.
- Hand blenders are your friend – much less to clean than a whole blender when making smoothies. You can pick up a decent multi-use one for about £40 – check out the brand Braun.
- Meal prep – this can take many forms! You can make whole lunches or dinners ahead (see what veg is sitting in the reduced section– there’s usually lots of pre-chopped stuff you can use for soups, stews and sauces) or you can just prep parts of your meals for the week. You can pre-make sauces and dressings, you can pre-chop veg, you can bake potatoes ahead of time – the possibilities are endless. Here’s a video to start you off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghsw19qAG1g
- Recommended pantry staples for meal prepping: red lentils, mixed seeds, chopped tomatoes, tinned beans (of any variety), tinned chickpeas, chilli powder, paprika, onions, sweet potatoes, rice, pasta and noodles.
- You can get prechopped frozen garlic, ginger and chillies – these save me so much time with the wee fiddly things.
Read more tips here.
Image courtesy of Viva Luna Studios.