Welcome to Week 4!

Incredibly, we're at week 4! This will be our final week of rebooting.

You've already accomplished so much!

We'll be capping everything off this week by upping the intensity of our workouts in short 10 minute bursts, adding beans,nuts, and dark chocolate to our day, and practicing hare hachi bu.

Don't forget to keep up with your steps , 30 minutes and exercise of the day!

Also, don't forget it's time to check-in. Drop me a line to check-in or set up one of our live check-ins. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a a great day! I'll see you tomorrow!



Challenge Yourself with Cardio Bursts!

Challenge #1: Do 3 (10 Minute) Cardio Bursts Each Day

Remember our goal has been 150 minutes of moderate activity each day? Well, this week we're keeping that goal and adding to it! We're just accomplishing the goal in a slightly different manner this week.

Since time is one of the biggest barriers that we all face, the challenge is to add 3 bursts of activity in to your day. One benefit is that it's easier to find 10 minutes at a time rather than a greater chunk of time. 

Another benefit is that by introducing bursts of activity, we also increase our metabolism. As we sit, our metabolisms slow down. But, when we get up and interject some activity into our day, our bodies increase our metabolisms. Yet another benefit is that studies have shown that just 10 - 30 minutes of moderate activity boosts our mood and can have the equivalent effect of a mild antidepressant. Nice!

For women especially, 10 minute activity bursts where we really increase our heart rate (if this is medically cleared for you) will have the added benefit of counteracting some of the changes that occur as hormones change in life. Some of these changes include easy weight gain, difficulty sleeping and an increase in appetite.

Basically, the more we move, the happier we are. 

Need some ideas for your 10 minute activity bursts where you don't even need to change your clothes? 

  • Throw on your sneakers or a comfortable pair of shoes and take a power walk around the block. 
  • Make your own stairmaster by going up and down the stairs at your home or office.
  • Do your exercise of the day and walk or run in place until you hit 10 minutes.
  • If you have a treadmill or stationary bike at your disposal, hop on it for 10 minutes. 
  • Go outside and play "tag" with your kids. Added benefit, maybe they'll get super tired and go to bed earlier and you'll have a few extra minutes of peace.
  • Love yoga like I do? Try 10 minutes of sun salutations. 

Here is a sample  of 10 minute High Intensity burst. HITT exercises have been shown to keep our metabolism elevated for longer after we've worked out. This is something you could try every other day as part of your workout. We'll use our ability to carry on a conversation is a heart rate indicator. Simply follow along to the following:

  • 3 minute: Walking or Running warm-up, conversation is comfortable and a little breathless
  • 1 minute high intensity: Walking/Running, difficult to carry on a conversation
  • 1 minute relief: Walking/Running, comfortable and slightly breathless conversation
  • 1 minute high intensity:Walking/Running difficult to carry on a conversation
  • 1 minute relief: Walking/Running, comfortable and slightly breathless conversation
  • 1 minute high intensity:Walking/Running difficult to carry on a conversation
  • 2 minute cool down: Don't skip this step. It's important. Gradually return your heart rate to where your conversation is normal

Your first challenge is to grab 3 (10 minute) activity bursts each day! This can be as part of or in addition to your 150 minutes of cardio. Your choice! You've got this!

Add Nuts, Beans, and Chocolate to your day!

Challenge #2:  Have a daily dose of nuts, beans or dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate

What??! Did I just say incorporate chocolate in your day? Since this was probably the most eye-catching, let me explain. First, consume less than 1 oz of dark chocolate which has 70% or more cocao. This will insure that there is less sugar and fat and more of the antioxidants that make it so healthy. The reason that dark chocolate is on the list is that dark chocolate has been shown to decrease plaque in our arteries, decrease our blood pressure and even helps to increase the healthy bacteria in our intestines. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder has even been shown to boost our feel good neurotransmitter, serotonin, and have protective effects on our brain and reduction of our risk of Alzheimer's disease. No wonder we often give it to the people we love!


Talk about a dramatic turn from chocolate to beans, right? Well, considering how good beans are for us, we may want to also give them to people we love.

Beans were one of the most common denominators in the blue zones, the areas in the world where people live the longest and healthiest.  

Beans are low in sugar, high in fiber, high in protein and have a low glycemic index. And, they're packed with antioxidants and are inexpensive. Because beans are packed with soluble fiber they also help to lower our LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglycerides too. Because o, which helps lower levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides. Beans also help to lower our risk of Type 2 diabetes, reduce our cancer risk and our risk of heart disease. Pretty great, right?

There are lots of options. Black, red, pinto, kidney, cannellini, garbanzo (chick peas), lentils, peas, and soybeans are all varieties. Though the soybean is the only bean with a complete protein, if you eat a grain during the day and have some of the other varieties of beans, this should supply your body with all of the ingredients to make a complete protein. 

Beans can be consumed in any form. Hummus, added to salads, soups, and veggie burgers are just a few ideas. If you're a little worried about some of the less awesome side effects of eating too many beans, try mashing the beans to reduce the effects. Or, you could try Bean-O which contains enzymes to break down the bean. On the plus side, as you increase your bean intake, your body will increase the production of enzymes to digest the beans. 

Bonus Challenge: Go meatless at least one day this week and swap in beans. You'll help your body and the environment.


Nuts are a great source of healthy fats. Walnuts contain Omega-3s and monounsaturated fats. They have been shown to help lower blood pressure, LDLs and triglycerides and also help prevent bone loss and gallstones. Pistachios have been shown to help lower blood pressure by helping to relax arterial walls! Almonds contain magnesium which has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system and helps us sleep better. Another benefit, people who add nuts to their diet tend to lose or control their weight easier than those who do nut consume nuts.

The key to adding nuts to your diet is to be mindful of your portions. A handful (approximate 12 nuts) is typically a portion.

Your second challenge this week is to have a daily dose of either beans, nuts or dark chocolate. 


Challenge 3: Practice the rule "Hara Hachi Bu".

What is 'Hara hachi bu'?

Remember last week that we discussed the concept of a Moai? This came from the island of Okinawa in Southern Japan which has been extensively studied because of the longevity and health of the population. In fact, more people live into their 100s there than anywhere else on earth. Well, turns out the Okinawans eat a diet high in sweet potatoes, sea vegetables, mushrooms, soy and fish. Their meals are also time for social interaction with family and friends. All of these factors are thought to play into their longevity.(Willcox, D.C., et. al. 2014. Healthy Ageing diets other than the Mediterranean: A focus on the Okinawan Diet, Mechanisma of Ageing and Development) 

The Okinawans also tend to live by the rule, 'hara hachi bu', which means that they eat until they are 80% full. This rule is thought to be another part of their key to longevity and health. 

Don't worry, you won't go hungry. Our brains are about 15 - 20 minutes behind our stomachs when we eat, so when we eat until we think we're 80% full, we're probably full. Our brains just haven't registered it yet. The result is we are mindful of our calories, reduce our intake and keep our waistlines trimmer.(Culinary Culture Club, Idea Fitness Journal, June, 2014)

Your final challenge this week is to practice 'hara hachi bu' each time you eat a meal or a snack. Catchy, right? 

Good luck with your 3 Challenges! 

I'll see you tomorrow with your first exercise of the day!


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