In an effort to save my health, I do not smoke most of the time, I refrain from eating animal products almost always and I work out quite regularily.

However, in order to not even slip one more time (I still slip quite regularily, sadly), I want to enshrine those habits onto my body. I want to get a tattoo that says:

Smoke-free, plant-based, exercising daily.

I am not a native English speaker, though. Therefore, I have some questions.

  1. In German, which is my native language, this would not technically constitute a sentence. Therefore, placing a period at the end would not be warranted, it might even be wrong. The same goes for starting the sentence with an uppercase letter -- it's not a sentence, thus it isn't necessary and might even be wrong. What's the situation in English?

  2. I am worried that "exercising daily" doesn't clearly enough reference sports. I don't want people wondering whether I am exercising, say, my English vocab. On the other hand, "doing sports daily" is more clear but also more verbose. Is there some other wording I could use?

  • It's not a sentence in English either. Instead, it reads like advertising copy. You might want to change exercising to something like physically fit. – David M Sep 17 at 16:47
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    It's a slogan, and can be punctuated any way one wishes. Asking about how tasteful it is ... well, that's purely opinion based, as some believe untattooed skin looks far better. 'No tattoos' probably doesn't work. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 17 at 17:06
  • I would shorten it to "Fit or Fat?" – Weather Vane Sep 17 at 17:31
  • Someone who refrains from eating animal products, including non-meat products like milk and eggs, is called a "vegan," but if you want to stamp your body with something that might appear on a product label, you might put "plant-fed" or "plant-eating." It's hard to say because "exercising daily," or better "daily-exercising," uses a present participle, while "plant-based" uses a past participle, so it's not clear whether you're trying to communicate things you do or things you've done. – user361733 Sep 17 at 18:22
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    People cannot be said to be plant based. Only foods are plant based. Nor can people be smoke-free, only places are smoke free. Perhaps you mean: non-smoking, in-shape herbivore – Lambie Sep 17 at 18:41

It's a list of adjectival phrases ("exercising" is technically a participle, but it functions as an adjective). It has no verb, and no explicit subject, so it is not a sentence. But it's your body. If you want to get a list of adjectival phrases followed by a period tattooed on you, that's your right. Another issue is that the implication is that these adjectival phrases apply to you, but "plant-based" seems to be more referring to your diet than you. I guess in some sense, if you only eat plants, then you are "plant-based", but it would be more natural to say something along the lines of "vegetarian" or "vegan" (you can look up the difference if you're not familiar).

While "exercise" can means using things in general, the primary meaning is using your muscles, so your intended meaning is clear. However, the phrasing is a bit awkward. I think it would be more common to say "exercises daily", even though your version has better parallelism. Or you could say "active".


The OP asks if the following is a complete sentence

Smoke-free, plant-based, exercising daily.

It's the OP's body but those expressions do not refer to a person's body or daily habits.
Instead, the following clearly refers to a person: “I'm a…

…non-smoker, animal-loving, gym rat”

Buildings and public spaces are said to be smoke-free, and a non-smoker is someone who doesn't smoke.

Vegetarians eat a plant-based diet, and a gym rat is someone who looks after his or her body by going to the gym.

  • You can love animals and still eat meat.... – Lambie Sep 17 at 20:56
  • Then he can say vegetarian. – Mari-Lou A Sep 17 at 20:58

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