Goal #4: Sleep More.

As I said in my original post about Becoming My Own Client this is a challenge with a four month old. I imagine that it doesn’t get much better until she moves out, so what am I going to do for the next 18 or so years?

So why is sleep important?

  • When you are tired or stressed, your body will crave energy. These cravings are often a result of being sleep-deprived, going to bed late, waking up early, for months and years on end. So getting more sleep would help with goal #3.
  •  Sleep helps to improve memory, prevent weight gain, improve your mood, strengthen your immune system, and cardiovascular system.

Action Steps:

First off I need to go to bed when I am tired. Most nights I push myself to stay up later so that I can finish up freelance or coaching work, spend time with Neil, workout or just relax. Instead of pushing myself to stay up I need to go to bed when I am tired, even if that’s 8:30pm.

The second thing I can do is nap during the day when possible. E is getting to be a better napper which means that instead of running around doing 500 things while she sleeps I need to take a moment and sleep if I am tired.  It really is true you do need to sleep when the baby sleeps.

Are you getting enough sleep? Challenge yourself to go to bed 10 minutes earlier tonight and every night this week.

 

Goal #3: Break my sugar craving.

So on Monday we took a deeper look into Goal #2 to increase my energy now lets move on to Goal #3: Break my sugar craving.

Sugar is addictive for 2 reasons. 1: eating a small amount makes you want more. 2. Suddenly quitting causes withdrawal symptoms like headaches, mood swings, cravings and fatigue.

I honestly was never a huge fan of sweets until my pregnancy and then something changed. I read somewhere that when you are pregnant with a girl you crave more sweets and for me this ended up being true.  I wanted everything sweet especially fruits, coconut milk ice cream and chocolate.  Unfortunately this craving has stuck with me postpartum. Now my goal is to kick the sugar habit.

I have already been making strides to improve this by not making Oh She Glows amazing chocolate chip cookies once a week, or should I say have Neil make them for me. It was awful at one point we were making them at least once per week.  I am glad to say it’s been about five weeks since we made our last batch -win!

Although it has been five weeks since I enjoyed those yummy chocolate chip cookies it hasn’t stopped me from making a number of other baked goods, enjoying coconut ice cream and chocolate. I have been using natural sugars as much as possible and my cravings have been reduced but I am still craving a piece or two of dark chocolate most nights.

Action Steps.

  • Eat Balanced Meals.  Make sure to create meals focus on vegetables and then have ¼ of your meal be a whole grain (brown rice, quinoa, barley, millet, bulgar, etc) ¼ should be high quality protein such as beans, tempeh, or tofu. Additionally, add 1-2 tbsp of a healthy fat (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nut butters, nuts, etc); this will help to feel satisfied and curb your cravings.
  • Replace processed snacks (anything with a long ingredient list or filled with sodium, sugar and HFCS) with whole foods such as fruits, nuts, veggies, etc.
  • Think before eating. When a craving comes on rather than give into it try to deconstruct the craving to figure out the actual cause.

What do your crave? Why do you crave it?

Goal #2: Increase my Energy.

Now that I’ve laid out my goals in my Becoming My Own Client posts it’s time to put things into action. I am purposely going to skip over, Goal #1: Lose Weight. I’d like to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by October 2013, because my action step to make this happen is to focus on working on goals 2-7. As you will come to see that all of my goals overlap with one or more other goals, to be successful I must find balance in all aspects of my life.

Increase energy by eating more greens

Goal #2: Increase my Energy.

en·er·gy/ˈenərjē/

Noun:
  1. The strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.
  2. A feeling of possessing such strength and vitality.
Synonyms:
power – vigour – vigor – vim – zip – strength – pep

Action steps to increase my energy:

  1. Reduce or eliminate caffeine. Caffeine can cause dehydration and the rise and fall of blood sugar which can cause mood swings and cravings.  I don’t have a lot of caffeine, most days just one cup of coffee but more and more I am finding myself having a second cup of coffee to “make it through the day”.  That being said my goal is to replace that second cup of coffee with a glass of water or herbal tea.
  2. Drink water. If there is one thing that most people don’t do enough of it’s drink enough water. Most Americans are in a constant state of dehydration which can have a number of negative effects including cravings.
  3. Eat dark leafy green vegetables. Greens a filled with vitamins and nutrients that make you feel refreshed and energetic. They help improve circulation, purify the blood and strengthen the immune system. I love greens but for some reason I don’t eat enough.  My goal is to eat dark leafy greens, such as broccoli, collards, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, arugula and dandelion greens, 5 days per week.
  4. Use gentle sweets. I am going to avoid processed sugars and use natural sweeteners like maple syrup, agave nectar, dates, and coconut sugar. Also I am going to increase the number of  sweet vegetables such as yams, carrots and beets, that I eat to help reduce cravings for sweets.
  5. Get physical activity. Simple activities, like walking or yoga, can help increase energy by doing as little as 10 minutes per day.  I have increased the frequency of my workouts but now I want to do more yoga and increase intensity.
  6. Get more sleep and rest and relaxation. A tired and stressed body craves energy and often we turn to food for energy instead of what we really need- a nap. Lately I have been staying up later at night once E goes to sleep but really I need to go to bed earlier so I get more rest.
  7. Take time for myself. Finding activities that restore your energy, such as a walk, a bath, a museum, or a movie helps to increase energy.  I haven’t been taking nearly enough time for me so my goal is to take 30 minutes per day to do something just for me.

How do you increase your energy?

Supporting Your New Year’s Resolutions

Many people begin the New Year by making resolutions. Most times these resolutions are around loosing weight, exercise more or improving your over all health. Resolutions are a great way to start the year with great intentions, but it is easy to fall back into our old habits.

(Source)
Why is it so hard to stick to those New Year’s resolutions?

Here are some ways you can make your intentions a reality this year:

1. Write down your intentions, share them with a friend and then put the list in a visible place such as the bulletin board in your office or on the refrigerator.

2. Be clear about what your life would look like once you achieve your goal. If you resolve to go to the gym more, how will this benefit you? Get connected to the result of your action, and you will be more likely to stick with your plan.

3. Find someone to support you.  This maybe a friend or family member, or a professional such as a certified holistic health coach.

Big changes do not require big leaps. Permanent change is more likely to happen gradually than through one big restrictive plan. Allow yourself to climb the ladder one rung at a time.

To help you get started on achieving your goals for the New Year I am offering my  4 week web-based series. 

This five-week teleclass program is designed to start your 2012 off on the right foot; moving you toward a life of optimal health and wellness. Each week covers a key theme that is essential in achieving optimal health.

In just four weeks you’ll learn:

– the tools to losing weight naturally without deprivation
-how to shop and prepare foods that nourish you
-the steps to take to manage your time so you can take care of your body both inside and out
-ways to exercise that you’ll love
-how to boost your self-confidence

This 4-Week program includes:

-Each week you will receive a 15-20 page workbook guiding you towards making positive steps for your health.
-Additional weekly handouts to help guide you in reaching your goals.
-Weekly e-mail support from me.
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This 4-week program values at $150 today I am offering it to you for only $24.99 until 2/14/2012. 

Are you ready to make 2012 your best year yet? 

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