Holiday Challenge Week 3!
Two weeks in and you're all doing great! I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving week with tons of great memories, great food and great friends. We ate our way through Cincinnati and are rolling ourselves back home today. I feel happy with a healthy balance of activity, mindful indulging, and knowing I have a plan in place to keep me focused on feeling AWESOME.
Let's take this week to rest our defenses and play a little offense. We'll settle back into our healthy routine and work on some new healthy habits to incorporate into our lives!
Now that we have reigned in the sugar, preservatives and food dyes in our diets, let's take this week to really focus on what it means to eat clean. It's not as hard as it sounds! Let's try for an 80/20 approach here. Keep it clean MOST of the time so that when you can't control it or feel like breaking protocol, you feel awesome about that choice.
THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF EATING CLEAN
Eat whole foods: Whole foods are foods that haven’t been tampered with, in the lab or the manufacturing plant. Whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed and free-range meats, low fat dairy products, unsalted nuts, and seeds.
Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are any food that has a label. A label means that more than one ingredient was used to make that food. You don’t have to eliminate all processed foods (like whole grain pasta or natural cheeses), but if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on a label, don’t put that food in your shopping basket.
Eliminate refined sugar: We've been working on this one! Refined sugar provides nothing but calories.
Eat five or six small meals a day: By eating smaller meals throughout the day you can help rev up your metabolism and reduce the chance that you’ll eat some Funyuns rather than that whole grain cracker with nut butter and strawberries.
While you may enjoy that huge meal at the end of a day of barely eating, the goals here is to never get so hungry that you feel deprived. Staying consistent with your food will keep your body feeling great, reducing your stress hormone, Cortisol (which is responsible for belly fat and poor sleep), and all that anxiety and negative thinking will also quiet down.
Cook your own meals: Instead of buying meals in a box, cook meals from scratch. Again, it’s not as hard as it sounds! A little chopping and sautéing makes satisfying, delicious meals your family will love. Check my Pinterest boards for ideas!
Combine protein with carbs: When you do snack or eat a meal, make sure that meal is balanced. For the most satisfaction from your diet, and so you’ll be less tempted to eat junk food, combine protein with carbs or carbs and fat. This simple act will fuel your body and quash hunger pangs.
*You get your point if you eat clean all day (with that one treat still free if you want it!)*
HOW WHOLE FOODS AND EATING CLEAN HELP YOU STAY HEALTHY
Eating a good variety of foods ensures you get adequate amounts of most essential nutrients.
Whole foods keep you satisfied longer so you’re less tempted by junk foods.
Relying on whole foods is the best way to get a good combination of micronutrients.
Foods high in micronutrients can help reduce cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar.
Whole foods help keep your digestive system regular.
Eating a healthy diet makes you stronger so you can stay more active.
Avoiding artificial ingredients keeps your cells strong so your body systems work efficiently.
If you feel good, you’re more likely to take care of yourself in other ways.
Week 3 Wellness Challenge:
Dream it. Believe it. Be it.
We are all busy (that's why you're here, right?!) and need a little help finding time and ways we can take care of ourselves a bit more. This is one of my faves. (Pro tip: This is a GREAT one to do with the whole family!)
Find some sticky notes and create at least 4 (but as many as you'd like!) affirmations you want yourself to know: "I am enough," "I am cherished," "I deserve to feel amazing," "I will [insert goal here]," You get my drift, right?
Place them around the perimeter of the mirror you use the most in the house! Maybe it's the one right by the front door so it's the last thing you see or maybe it's in the bathroom you get ready for the day in. Place them somewhere you can read them while you look at yourself and let the AWESOME start seeping in.
If you want to take this one up a notch, pick an affirmation to say aloud to yourself in the mirror every morning or night. It might not every feel super comfortable (at least for a while), but it does wonders for your self image. Celebrities like Jim Carrey, Denzel Washington, Oprah and J-Lo all credit daily affirmations, at least partially, for their success.
Be who you believe you are and believe in who you are!
"I am strong. I am loved. I am awesome. I am capable of making today amazing!"
Week 3 Fitness:
Let's do 30 mountain climbers a day! You can jump or step the knees in and out from a plank position depending on how you feel! Sore wrists? You can do them on the elbows - just keep that tushie low and in line with your spine and legs!
Too much? Place the hands on a counter, back of a couch, or a sturdy bench or coffee table and lean the body into a plank position there. Bring one knee up toward your chest at a time! These are better to do slowly.
Here's your bonus workout!
1. 20 squats (sumo, sit down stand up, parallel, goblet, whatever floats your boat - add weights or not!) - if you have some weights or a resistance tube, you can add bicep curls or overhead presses here, too!
2. 20 push ups (on knees, toes, against a counter, whatever!)
3. 20 alternating curtsey lunges (or regular lunges!)
4. 20 rows (you can anchor a resistance band around something chest height and do them standing, or sit down with your legs straight in front of you and loop the band around your feet, or stand on the band (or hold weights) and hinge the torso forward at the hips. Use the abs to keep the spine straight for whatever position you choose and then bend the elbows and try to pinch the shoulder blades together and slide them down your spine.) No equipment? You can stand in the bent over row position and lift the arms straight out to the side and back down (hold some cans of soup or full water bottles if you want!)
5. 20 Single leg dead lifts (10 on each side with a weight or 15 on each side with no weight). Stand on one leg and kick the free leg back behind you as you tip forward and reach for the standing toe with the opposite hand (holding a weight or not!). Come back up to stand but DO NOT place the free leg back down (you can use the free hand to hold on to a wall or back of a chair for balance). Bring the free leg through and lift the knee high in front of you to balance for a little extra ab work!
6. 20 Stutter steps (on each side - One side at a time). Start in this position with arms, back leg and spine all in a line. Weight should be mostly in the front leg. Without straightening the front leg, pull the back knee into the chest and bring the elbows down to meet the knee. Your torso should remain in the same position throughout the exercise. Take breaks as needed!
Do this circuit one, two or three times!
Whatever you've got! AND Remember: Some minutes of any form of exercise are WAYYYY better than no minutes! You'll always lap the guy on the couch ;)
Clean(ish) Eating Recipes
Try these out this week and post your thoughts or tips on the recipe on social medial and tag me on Instagram or Facebook @savagewellness and hashtag #swellholidays!