My Healthiest Daily Habit - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


My Healthiest Daily Habit

How I managed to integrate this super-healthy habit into my life, while being productive at the same time.


Nobody in NYC cooks. Or so they say, anyhow. Which makes sense. With so many restaurants, so little time, and such tiny kitchens, it’s easier to go out or order in. Like, really really easy. People work hard all day in NYC so at the end of the day most people just want to blow off steam. And that’s okay… that is, until you get sick. I mean, really sick.

Almost five years ago, not long after I got married, my whole world changed. I’d been living in NYC for almost six years, going to events and having meals out 90% of the time. I had yet to discover the important connection between what we put in our mouths and how the human body operates. After over a year of seeing nearly every specialist in the city, I still didn’t know what was wrong with my body. Finally, my mom figured out that I had the C word. Long story short, I learned a lot about healthy living in the process.

My Healthiest Daily Habit

I now have an intimate understanding of why an organic plant-based diet is so important. I learned why even small amounts of meat, dairy, sugar and gluten contributed in a big way to making me sick. I’ve since committed to a ritual of daily research about how the body heals and how to detoxify my life.

Through this ordeal, I learned that cooking the right foods, at home, is the most effective way to influence how healthy your body is.

The primary the reason I decided to spend time in France was so that I could be in a healthier environment. Every time I visited, I felt healthier. It may have been the fact that, in France, farm-to-table is the norm, not the exception. Or that toxic GMO farming is banned here. Or the dramatic decrease in pollution… But I think it’s mostly because of my new daily ritual…

Nearly every morning, I go to the farmers market. It’s just down the street, along the river. It’s packed with vendors selling all types of flowers, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and anything else you could imagine a food market having. I’ve discovered new vegetables and fruits I didn’t know existed (ever heard of a trompette de la mort??) and embraced French cuisine (minus the meat/dairy).

My Healthiest Daily Habit

It took me a while to get over the “but shouldn’t I be doing something more productive — like working?” mentality. Listening to audiobooks while I cook has really helped with that. It gives me a sense of accomplishment (because, hey, I’m learning and cooking!) but it’s also relaxing at the same time. I use my Amazon Echo to broadcast them in the kitchen. Right now I’m listening to The Cheese Trap, and learning all about how cheese is addictive (in a nutshell: a cow’s breast milk is addictive in order to keep the calf from wandering too far. Concentrate it into cheese and it becomes like crack, creating a similarly addictive response in our brains) and how cheese affects our body (in a nutshell: it’s super inflammatory and depletes our bones, causing all kinds of problems).

I used to think of food as a means to an end. Something to grab on the go. Now, more than ever, I understand the power of a healthy lifestyle. For me there’s no going back. And I’ve never felt better.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time in France, NYC, London and Switzerland, and travels extensively around the world. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She’s always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 53 Comments

  1. Luisa Rodriguez

    An audiobook is godsend fora long trip!

  2. Ani Hoker

    I generally prefer to read but I also listen to audiobooks. I’m trying to get more into them because they’re more eco-friendly (and every time I move, I have to box and lug all these books — it’s a pain!)

  3. Katherine Donnelly

    I eat heathy, lots of water and NO MEAT. I also listen to music to reduce stress. BUT I don’t listen to audiobooks. I just find them switching off my imagination (not helpful for me).

  4. Lancy Stanford

    Your article got me thinking… reconsidering my eating and other daily habits…

  5. Marina Josef

    I salute you for being healthy! You’re a survivor and an inspiration! You’ve proven that everything is possible!

  6. Marina Bozek

    Thanks for introducing me to Audible! Ever since I was a kid, I enjoyed “books on tape.” I’m slightly dyslexic so it’s really helping me. I want to learn and better myself, and aside from watching YouTube videos, this is the best way I’ve found.

  7. Jesse Wyss

    I have developed the habit of listening to audiobooks before going to bed. I find it relaxing and a great way to end my day. I’ve listened and finished about 20 audiobooks from Audible. So far, my favorite is: The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

    • Hi Jesse, Just a note — I listened to that one and recommended it in my article about Motivational audiobooks! So, thanks!!

  8. I love audiobooks because they strengthen my learning and memory! I don’t learn well by reading — I definitely learn better by listening. I’m so glad that you introduced me to audiobooks because I would never have realized that otherwise. xoxo

  9. Jurik Smith

    Same with music, I find audiobooks as my refuge. I listen to audiobooks whenever I’m depressed.

  10. Selli Coaze

    Audiobooks are solutions to many woes. I listen to them when I commute to work and I think it decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol in my body, which counteracts the effects of chronic stress. Scientifically speaking, that’s HEALTHY!!!

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