Welcome to Week 2 of Back to School! 

Welcome to Week 2! We're gradually building our To do list each week to continue to build our healthy habits. Today, we're focusing on Shoulda-Woulda-Couldas, Eating your Veggies and Soaking Up Sunlight. Below is your lesson and assignments!

Each week, we'll have a new workout. But, the old ones will remain active so you can go back at any time. Here are the links:

Week 1:  Weekly Workout 

Week 2: Weekly Workout

Let me know if you have any questions. Have a a great day!



Rid Yourself of the Shoulda-Woulda-Couldas in Life!

Weekly Assignment #1: Learn the lesson of what worked and didn't work and then move forward.

Throughout this past week, we had our daily checklist to give us instant feedback on how we did on our daily goals. If you answered “Yes” to each question each day, give yourself a round of applause! More likely though, you were in the majority and you had some days where you knocked it out of the park and some days where your day and goals just didn’t quite go as planned. So how do we handle unrealized goals so that we don’t get derailed, defeated or feel demoralized?

There is no greater drag on our energy and our moods than the shoulda-woulda-couldas that we can constantly churn over in our heads. What’s an example of a shoulda-woulda-coulda?

  • “I should have taken that job 20 years ago that would have changed the course of my life"
  • “If only I would have said no to that marriage proposal, I wouldn’t be divorced”
  • “I should have gotten up early yesterday, I could have packed my lunch and worked out”.
  • “I could have reduced my added sugar last week but I’m just destined to fail at changing my eating habits”
  • “I should have changed years ago but now it’s too late”

All these statements have one thing in common. When we say them to ourselves, we tend to feel powerless and drained of energy. The only thing we know for sure is that the events in the past can’t be changed. But each day, we can make choices to create the type of day we want. We have new opportunity with each new dawn.

So what do we do when we hear those voices in our heads? 

Instead of beating yourself up with regret, simply think about the event and then think about what worked, what didn’t and take some lessons that can help you as you go forward. Then, leave the past where it always resides, in the past. This is true for the big and little events in life. All that is left to do with the past is to take the lessons that it offers, learn from them and then move forward into today. 

This week, we’re going to add this step to our daily checklist as part of an effort to figure out what works for each of us to achieve our individual goals. 

Eat Your Veggies!

Weekly Assignment #2: Eat 5 servings of vegetables per day.

I recently attended a conference with three top doctors from Johns Hopkins. They were asked by the audience what they do to stay healthy. The consensus was exercise, sleep and eat your vegetables. In fact, one of the doctors said,”It’s really hard to make a case against vegetables.” How true!

Vegetables have been linked to lower levels of inflammation and cholesterol. They are also famous for their anti-aging, anti-allergy, anti-stress, and cancer fighting abilities. A large, 10 year study found that the greater variety and quantity of vegetables was associated with a lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes . In addition, a massive study of 124,086 men and women over a 24 year period found that a diet with a high intake of flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins and flavonoid polymers may contribute to better weight control. These antioxidants are found in foods such as apples, blueberries, blackberries, pears, onions, celery, peppers, tomatoes and even green tea, red wine and dark chocolate. Those last 2 always get people's attention!

Are you wondering why we’re only concentrating on vegetables and not fruits and vegetables? Great question! This is because, in general, if someone is eating veggies, they're also eating fruit. But if someone is eating fruit, they are not always eating their veggies. So, this challenge is all about trying to increase the veggies in our diets by aiming for 5 servings per day of vegetables. 

What exactly is a serving? 

This is a great question, especially since there tends to be some variation for leafy greens.

  • A serving size for most fresh, frozen or canned vegetables is a 1/2 cup, or about the size of a tennis ball.
  • A serving size of leafy greens is approximately 1 cup raw or a 1/2 cup cooked. 
  • If you make smoothies and put the entire vegetable in the smoothie, this counts toward your servings. If you only use the juice though, this won't count towards your total since you lose a lot of the nutrients and fiber.
  • Also, good news, 1/2 cup of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of salsa count towards your vegetable servings.
  • Condiments such as ketchup, relish, and pickles won't be included in your tally though.

That's this week's challenge! Try to mix up the types of vegetables and get as many colors as possible as well. This will serve to increase the number of antioxidants that you're consuming. Bon Appetit!

    Get Ready for Fall By Soaking Up some Sunlight.

    Weekly Assignment #3: Go outside for your 30 minutes of cardio activity.

    We’ve all heard of the winter blues but we can actually start experiencing the side effects of shorter days and less sunlight as early as now. Less sunlight can sometimes disrupt our mood and leave us feeling more tired, irritable, a little blue, and even hungry for sugary and starchy items that are a quick source of energy.

    To help maintain your summertime mood, the assignment this week is to get your 30 minutes of cardio outside in the sunlight. If you’re near greenspace, take a page out of Japanese preventive medicine and practice Shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing’. This is where you experience the sights, sound and smells of nature by taking a walk outside in green space. Shinrin-yoku is associated with greater immune function, lower levels of cortisol, lower blood pressure and promotes less negative thinking. More information on Shinrin-yoku can be found here.

     As an added bonus, this additional sunlight and natural setting can help in achieving our next week’s goal of getting more and sounder sleep.

    That's all for week 2! Have a great week! 

    Don't forget to check out your Week 2 Weekly Workout as well as the Daily Meditation and Stretch!

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