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 spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 49 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.

  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

    Ever since I was a kid, I enjoyed “books on tape.”

  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

  8. I love audiobooks because they strengthen learning and memory!

  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!!!

  11. Hena Taylor

    I’ve read that recent research shows that listening to music improves mental well-being and boosts physical health. I think listening to audiobooks has the same positive effect???

  12. Jessi Agusta

    Let me add that many narrators offer FREE Audible download codes for new releases, usually in exchange for reviews. So those who have never tried audiobooks might want to grab a freebie and give it a listen!

  13. Bela Christo

    I would agree that listening to audiobooks is a healthy daily habit. I feel like accomplishing something during my wasted time (that is, on my way to work… commuting on a train)

  14. Martin Juyes

    My girlfriend gave me an Amazon Echo on my birthday. That’s the best thing I’ve ever received because I love listening to music while cooking.

  15. Olive Williams

    Do we have a farmers market here in NYC? I hope we have one here, so we can buy FRESH vegetables as well. Food in the supermarket contain so many toxins.

  16. Sherry Manust

    I use Amazon Echo in our living room. It can detect my device even I’m in the kitchen cooking, plus it has a loud volume. This speaker is awesome.

    • Patricia Montague

      Yuh! We used the speaker during our camping. It’s amazing!

  17. Jossen Row

    My mom is a vegan, and she’s insisting that I become vegan too. I do like vegetables, but not all veggies!

  18. Eloisa Clay

    With that kind of living, you’ll never have time to cook. Now you know the reason why most of the Americans are obese, or overweight.

  19. George Sumanta

    Eating vegetables will help you to detoxify your body. It’s a natural process when you eat vegetables. You consume too many carbs, and oil when you eat the fast food.

  20. Where can I buy Amazon Echo aside from Amazon? I want to test it first before I purchase the product. I won’t waste $150.00 like that.

    • Kelly Gonzales

      You can join buy and sell groups.

  21. Robert Patel

    My girlfriend is a vegetarian. We are much different from each other, but still, we eat together. I always ensure that the vegetarian restaurant that we we’re going to dine-in has vegetables, and meat.

    • Kris T

      That’s sweet of you. It’s hard to blend in with vegetarian because they have different taste when it comes to food.

  22. Jeweli Prater

    I love eating fresh vegetables. You can feel the freshness of the of the vegetable, and at the same time, you eat healthy food.

  23. Zerin Martin

    Not all the food you buy in the supermarket is healthy. Even though it is being labeled as “Natural” still, don’t believe in that. Even the VEGETABLES in the supermarket contains chemicals that can harm your health.

  24. Paul Daiz

    Amazon speaker is the best! It’s worth it, and I enjoy using it especially when I need loud music inside my apartment.

  25. Luthi Sanders

    I live in NYC for 23 years, and I can say it’s true. The way of living in NYC is very unhealthy. There’s a lot of good fast food, and restaurant here, but it’s never healthy.

  26. Kseniya Tomlin

    Eating vegetable is not just good for your body, but for your brain too. Your brain will function well if you eat more green food than meat.


    • Dawn Katz

      I feel you. I feel you. Fish is better than vegetables, for me.

  28. Jessie Fernande

    The life of an American citizen is this, especially people from New York.

  29. Lana Wiliam

    Whoa. You spend time in France just to be healthy? No more other reasons? That’s a diet routine. Lol

  30. Frederica Pellman

    When you’re young and healthy you don’t give a whole lot of thought to what you eat and how it affects your health. Having had my own moment of reality with the C word, I try to be more thoughtful about what I eat and how I live my life, without making myself sick with worrying about it. It’s not that hard to get healthy food even in NYC, especially in NYC – it just takes that moment when you realize that it actually is really important if you want to live a long and healthy life.

  31. Joss Butler

    And now, my girlfriend is asking me to live in France just like you. Lol.

  32. Nataliya Smith

    If you have no time in buying raw food, then grab on the go food is your only choice.

  33. Angelo Henderso

    France? You live in France just to eat healthy food? Wow! You’re that rich, Hilary.

  34. Our body heals itself, and you have an unhealthy lifestyle, your body’s function isn’t that well. We all know that you are what you eat.

  35. Juli Woods

    My boyfriend is in need of wireless speakers because he’s a music lover. I’ll suggest him this Amazon echo because I think it’s worth buying.

  36. Lusi Martin

    How can you manage to do that? You have a perfect life! I always admire you because you’re the ideal woman of all men!

  37. Honey Smith

    I wanted to become a vegetarian like you, Hilary. But my problem is, I don’t like eating vegetables because I feel like I’m eating grass. I wanted to buy fresh vegetables from the farmers, but the problem is, I have no time for doing such things like that.

  38. Steev Smith

    HAHAHA! Seriously? COOKING? That’s not even in my vocabulary. I hate cooking because I have no idea how to cook even a friend hotdog.

  39. Even if you have a busy life, you still have to think about your health too. A little exercise on your rest day is not bad. That’s only 30 minutes to 1 hour per week.

  40. Frances Shapiro

    The number one source of food in NYC is Mcdonalds. Lol! HAHAHA.

  41. Anila William

    NYC is the busiest city in the whole world, so what do you expect on that? Cooking is not a thing in NYC, that is why we have lots of fast food here. 😂

    • Kimberly Holder

      Still, you should be worried about your health. Health is more important than money. If you can’t cook, at least dine-in with the restaurants that serve one.

  42. Nancy Smith

    I have the same routine every day. I wake up in the morning just to take a bath and drink a cup of coffee. At work, I only eat subway or any sandwich from the fast food. When I got home, I just ordered a box of pizza. Lol, what a healthy lifestyle, isn’t it?

  43. Quin Meri

    I like the idea of buying organic vegetables at the farmers. Aside from you are helping our local farmers, you also avoid eating food with unhealthy chemicals.

  44. Jenifer Jeni

    Oh yeah. With the different restaurants all over NYC, plus the busy working life. You’ll never have a healthy living with that kind of routine.

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