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.
Avatar of Hilary Rowland

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 lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 85 Comments

  1. Avatar of james nash

    I love amazon echo it’s like a bigger Siri. Thanks for this wonderful blog by the way.

  2. Avatar of Kristen Wright

    Kristen Wright

    Being in a busy city like NYC gives you all the opportunities that you ever wanted but at the expense of your own health sometimes. People are busy chasing their dreams without even realizing that they are starting to kill themselves. Regardless of how busy our schedule is, preparing our own food at home with the freshest products are still the best way to treat ourselves.

    • Avatar of Rosalie Wade

      Rosalie Wade

      I have been ordering food from different fast-food chains because I am always busy at work. And truthfully, I always feel heavy. Thank you, Hilary, for this article, you just gave me a tap to reevaluate my lifestyle. More power!

  3. Avatar of Lori Savage

    I admire you Hilary for being such a strong woman. I think you have made the best decision by going vegan because I am sure your body will recover eventually. And living in NYC is really toxic, I envy you that you can go to France hehe! I wish you all the best and good health.

  4. Avatar of Geraldine Pettigrew

    Geraldine Pettigrew

    I am a vegan for more than 2 years now and I have seen big changes in my body and life in general. I lose weight, clearer skin, unbloated feeling and I was so shocked at how much energy I can have in a day by from plant-based products. More people have a misconception on vegan food. Do not be afraid to try and change your lifestyle. It is never too late to choose the healthier way.

  5. Avatar of Earline Wilham

    Earline Wilham

    Once you go Vegan, you will never turn your back on it. Being vegan is one of the best decisions we can make. We will just realize how plant-based food can give us so much energy and can cure some risks in our health plus the fact that we can have a cruelty-free life. #govegan

  6. Avatar of Karen Hyde

    It is sad to know that you have learned your lesson the hardest way. But in God’s healing, you will be just fine. Please continue this healthy way of living, because a lot of us do not know how food affects our body. Food can make or break us. Learning is always the key, researching for good food and eliminating the bad ones, like meat.

  7. Avatar of SUSMITA


    Restaurant food have a lot of preservatives in them especially fast food. It’s convenient and all but getting sick after awhile isn’t worth it. They usually put taste enhancers and extenders and that’s not healthy at all. You also can’t control how much sugar and salt are in it, so you can’t really count your calories because of that. You also can”t control your portions because you’ll be obligated to eat more if you were served more.

  8. Avatar of Jeni Morgan

    Jeni Morgan

    I love my Amazon Echo. Wouldn’t want any other speaker other than that. Enjoying my audible so much with it.

  9. Avatar of Felicia Blake

    Felicia Blake

    We won’t realize what we’ve done to our bodies until we’ve gotten sick and there’s no turning back. Even at a young age we should already be conscious about what we’re eating. It doesn’t manifest immediately

    • Avatar of abby sire

      abby sire

      Having a nutritionist at a very young age is quite expensive but if you think of it health is wealth. Why not invest for a longer and healthier life right?

  10. Avatar of Donna Tate

    Donna Tate

    Audible is a nice website. I love that they have free trials because I’m such a cheapskate. Haha ?

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