Welcome to Week 3 of Back to School!
Welcome to Week 3! We're gradually building our healthy habits checklist each week. Today, we're focusing on Nobody's Perfect, Sleep and 3 Types of Veggies. 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
Week 3: Weekly Workout
Let me know if you have any questions. Have a a great day!
Weekly Assignment #1: Don't let fears stand in your way of progress.
You've probably noticed we've been talking a lot about behavior change in Well-being 101. Today, we're talking about another common block between ourselves and the things that we often want to do but, for some reason, just aren't accomplishing.
There are some common fears that come up for almost all of us when we're attempting to make a few changes. One common fear is "what if I can't do it perfectly". Another common fear is "I've tried before and failed. What if I try again and fail?". Everyone gets scared sometimes. We may be scared that if we do not do things exactly as planned or as perfectly as planned that we'll be judged by others. Or, we may scared that we'll be judged by our harshest critic; ourselves. These fears can stop many of us from trying at all and can paralyze us.
One question that I always ask people once we identify a fear is to think about the question, "And then what?". In other words, what happens if your fears come true? Barring tragedy, most of us will survive, dust ourselves off and try again.
The military has a saying, "No plan survives first contact.". In other words, we can make a plan. But, inherent in the plan is the need to revise it and make a new plan. It also means that perfection is not an expectation when we begin anything new. And, there are no failures since we know we're going to have to tweak the plan.
The next time you feel those fears bubbling up and standing between you and what you want, follow these 3 steps.
- Ask yourself, "what am I fearing?"
- Then, think about the "and then what?" question.
- Finally, ask yourself, "If I can put this fear aside, what would I do?". This answer will tell you a lot about what you want!
Good luck this week!
How Many Colors Did You Eat Today?
Weekly Assignment #2: Eat 3 different types of vegetables.
Last week, we concentrated on eating 5 servings of vegetables but not necessarily different vegetables. This week, we're upping the challenge and concentrating on eating 3 different types of vegetables!
Why 3 different types?
Remember all of those fantastic benefits of vegetables - Lower levels of inflammation, anti-aging, and anti-cancer? Well, the amount and variety of antioxidants and fiber increases with as the variety and colors of vegetables that you consume increases.
This will require some planning to make sure that you have these on hand. Or, you'll have to be a little strategic when you're eating at a restaurant.
The best tip that I can give you is to take 5 minutes and make a plan. Then, make a list before you go to the grocery store or farmers market.
The next step is a really important step. Do not put your veggies in the crisper in your fridge, a.k.a "the drawer of death". I'm sure we've all experienced that moment when you open up the crisper and think, "wow. I completely forgot this was in here". And, then we often have to drop it in the garbage disposal because it went bad. To make sure we don't forget about the veggies, put them in the main body of the fridge. Take 5 minutes and slice up some vegetables so they are there and ready to eat, grill, saute or even throw in a pan when you make scrambled eggs. The easier they are to use, the more likely you are to eat them.
If you have any questions or need some ideas, let me know. This week's challenge is to consume 5 servings of vegetables of at least 3 different vegetables.
*What exactly is a serving? (I left this from last week)
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.
Getting Your Zzzzzzzzzs!
Weekly Assignment #3: Sleep for 7 - 8 hours/night or increase your sleep in 15 minute increments.
Sleep is essential to human beings. We need it as much as we need water and food. But, for many of us, sleep is also one of our biggest challenges. Whether we're trying to find the time to sleep, trying to go to sleep or trying to stay asleep, everyone has their own unique relationship with sleep.
Unfortunately, lack of sleep has been worn like a badge of honor or a mark of success in our culture. Thankfully, this is beginning to change! When we get enough sleep our memories are sharper, our brains function better, our athletic performance increases, our immune systems are stronger and our moods are better. We can even control our weight better and often reduce our belly fat. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain in the abdominal region.
You've probably noticed that we've been working on goals that will increase our ability to sleep more soundly throughout the program. Exercise, eating well, reducing stress, and getting sunlight outdoors are all associated with better sleep. Even our to do lists for tomorrow help us sleep by relieving our minds of anxieties over what we have to do tomorrow and feel more calm about the upcoming day.
In fact, you may have already noticed that you're sleeping has improved or you have more time for it. This would be great and you'll be one step ahead of this week's goal.
Prepping for Sleep
As you plan out your day the night before, begin to think about how to structure your day tomorrow so that you'll reserve time to sleep. This may sound silly but often the first thing we drop when we get busy is sleep. Begin to think of this time as non-negotiable.
As come to the end of the day, there is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that may help to put the day behind you.
- "Finish every day, and be done with it... You have done what you could - some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as fast as you can, tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it well and serenely, and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.
What's Your Sleep Routine?
- Develop a sleep time routine. Before we tuck little kids into bed, we often give them a bath, dim the lights and read a happy bedtime story. Kids have the right idea! A warm bath or shower relaxes our bodies.
- Read a happy bedtime story. Again, kids have the right idea. A happy story promotes happy thoughts. Upsetting conversations or news programs too close to bed can have the opposite effect. They actually increase stress hormones like cortisol and can disrupt sleep.
- Begin to dim the lights an hour before bed to promote the production of sleep-inducing melatonin.
- Keep your bedroom cool.
- Plan to stop using your computer, IPads, smart phones and video games 30 minutes to an hour before bed.The blue light that's emitted from them can actually suppress our production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.
- Are you binge-watching on your computer? This is becoming really common since we often watch on our computers now. Same rule as above applies to watching shows on our computers too. It's all about the light.
- How bring is your bathroom light? This is a common one. Sometimes, we do all of the above step and we're sleepy and ready for bed. Then, we go and wash up and brush our teeth in a bathroom with really bright lights. When it's time for bed, instead try to use the light from the hallway or invest in a dim light for the bathroom to use before bed. This has been a game changer for people.
- Do you have trouble staying asleep? This is so common. Instead of trying to fight it or count down the hours until you have to get up, try telling yourself that you can fall asleep or stay awake but I'm going to just enjoy this restful time in bed. You're body is still receiving benefits just resting. And, often, with the pressure off of trying to go to sleep, we actually go back to sleep.
I could write a book on sleep but these tips will hopefully get you started on a peaceful slumber. Aim to get 7 - 8 hours of sleep per night, Or, if that's impossible especially if you have a young baby, try to increase your sleep by 15 minutes at night or during the day when the baby is napping.
That's all for week 3! Have a great week!
Don't forget to check out your Week 3 Weekly Workout as well as the Daily Meditation and Stretch!
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