August '16 Health Goals
Well, I've just returned from one week spent in the Swedish country side at a yoga festival hosted at the beautiful Ängsbacka retreat center. I spent the my days frolicking in the woods collecting berries and bitter greens, practicing yoga, eating vegetarian/ayurvedic meals, learning about different healing modalities, singing around campfires, swimming in the lake and sleeping in a yurt. It was a pretty life-changing experience and felt like a very healing and rejuvenating week—just what I needed before heading into the last month of Summer. I was disconnected from any sort of technology for the majority of the week and that brought me so much peace of mind. My work is largely revolved around my camera, phone and computer and at times, it can feel like my head is going to explode. A week without the latter two (phone and computer) made me realize that I need to create some boundaries around these beautiful yet addicting and time-consuming pieces of technology. More so than that, I left the festival feeling totally inspired to make some radical shifts to my daily health care. I've definitely let some things slip lately in terms of rituals and habits in trade for late nights with friends, eating out and letting go of any sort of schedule. I returned home on July 31st and wrote a list of some health goals that I know will elevate my life. I'm going to really try to focus on striking that fine balance between staying healthy and indulging in life this month. So I thought today I would share some of my attainable health goals for the month of August.
August '16 Health Goals
1. Phone and computer off between the hours of 8pm and 8am. This is a big one for me. In the past I've definitely been guilty (as many of us are) of lying in bed scrolling through social media before going to bed and upon waking up. To be honest, this gives me a foggy brain and is not how I'd like to start or end my day. When I was at Ängsbacka I noticed how much better I slept and felt by not using my phone. So this is my real-life compromise. At 8pm, I turn off my phone and don't turn it on until 8am. I'm loving this new habit so far and find that I fall asleep so much earlier. In terms of an alarm clock, I just trust my internal clock, which wake me up right around 7:30-8am. If I wake up later, then usually that means I needed. If you don't have this luxury, go old school and switch to a (gasp!) regular clock.
2. Move between the hours of 9am and 11am. While movement is a big part of my day, I have decided to commit to morning workouts instead of seeing how I feel during the day. It's about creating a routine in my very spontaneous and ever-changing daily life. I've decided that everyday at 9am I'm going to move my body in one way or another. That may mean crossfit, yoga, running or simply a walk. But everyday I'm going to be moving at 9am. This is a lifestyle change I'd like to make in the longterm. Not only is working out in the morning great for your health but it also makes sure you get your daily exercise in, which is hugely important for supporting optimal health.
3. Big morning smoothie. This is a bit new to me. But as many of you know, I am always experimenting with my diet for optimal wellness. And these days, smoothies are really resonating with me. So I've been doing a large green(ish) smoothie to refuel after my fasted workouts. I basically sip on it post-workout and into the early afternoon. Here's what I generally put into my morning smoothie (which is subject to daily changes): 2-3 cups steamed kale, 1 cup arugla, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 medium banana, hemp seeds, chia seeds, brazil nuts, coconut oil, coconut milk and two scoops of my favorite protein powder.
4. 10,000 steps per day. In an effort to move more. To walk more. To get out and stretch my legs. This is an extremely achievable goal yet one that takes a bit of intention. This goal has pushed me to get up from the computer and walk around my neighborhood. The best part? It's been the perfect opportunity to practice my foraging skills. On walks this month I've found dandelion greens for green smoothies, blackberries, chamomile, plums and apples. Such a delight!
5. Tracking my nutrients. I'm a big fan of Dr. Mercola and love his straight-forward advice; it really resonates with me. Anyways, thanks to him, I'm embarking on a month of tracking my nutrients via Cronometer, which is a free app. I'm really trying to support my metabolic and mitochondrial health this month and am curious about where I stand in terms of reaching the nutrients my body needs for optimal performance. For example, I've been taking a fat soluble vitamin-c recently but according to cronometer, I am already blowing that daily requirement out of the park so taking that supplement is completely unnecessary. Suffice to say, it's been really interesting to track my daily nutrients. This is definitely something that I will only be doing in the short term (for the month of August!)
So there you have it. Those are my health goals this month. Note that they aren't about losing weight or anything of that sort but rather about implementing strategies to elevate my life and how I feel on the daily. Do you have any current health goals you've recently implemented in your life? I'd love to hear!