It’s National Women’s Health week so it was only fitting that I woke up on Monday feeling like a million bucks. Don’t you love it when that happens? I know exactly what it takes for me to wake up feeling well rested but I don’t always take the steps to achieve that end result. One could call it self sabotage but I call it being human. Unfortunately the last 2 or 3 weeks I’ve been in a rut and haven’t woken up with that refreshed feeling I love so much. So when I woke up on Monday feeling great, I tried to reflect back on the last 48 hours to figure out what I was doing right and here is what I found:
- I didn’t consume any processed sugars (I did consume coconut sugar but I consider that to be less abrasive)
- I worked out
- I fell asleep without screens and took time to wind down before bed and allowed myself to clock 8 hours of sleep.
These are 3 key ingredients for me to wake up in good spirits, and those are the facts but sometimes it’s easier said than done. Lately I have had a hard time shutting my brain down at night, and rather than man up and be alone with my own thoughts, I’ve been falling asleep to Netflix. This habit is something I KNOW contributes to horrible sleep for me, yet I continue to do it. But this weekend I opted to turn off the TV and fall asleep using a bedtime meditation app that talks you through breathing exercises. I actually started using this app just for the nature sounds, but they recently added these sleep meditations that are pretty dang amazing. Not only are you able to fall asleep without complete silence but the breathing exercises put you into a deep state of relaxation similar to meditation. (Happy to share more about the app if you are interested). I never make it past 3 minutes and I’m out like a light followed by a night of restful sleep. It’s pretty dang amazing.
Now, one of the things I’ve become more cognizant of over the last few months is that everything in our lives is a result of something. In most scenarios, we are reactive; it used to be that If I had a headache I’d take aspirin, or if my stomach hurt I’d take Tums. But as I’ve progressed through my food journey, I’ve tried to substitute holistic healing as a proactive measure by understanding the effects certain foods & actions have on my body, and to leverage that knowledge to my benefit. So now when I get a headache or stomach ache, I think back to the last 24-48 hours and try to pinpoint what it is I’ve done & what I could have done differently. Headaches for me are usually a result of increased sugar, or lack of H20. I have learned this from tracking my food & activity during periods where I’ve felt good and comparing my results to those times when I’ve felt sub par.
Balance is hard to come by, but I personally stay on track by keeping a paper planner containing all of my ‘to do’ items for the week along with keeping track of foods I’ve eaten. I also utilize this as a checklist for tasks such as daily workouts, reading & listening to podcasts, and sometimes I even track the amount of water I want to drink. I’m a visual person and this is exactly what I need to make sure my goals are kept in focus. This doesn’t work for everyone, as sometimes being overly-schedule oriented can end up feeling like more of a task itself than a leisure activity. If you are someone who gets anxious looking at a calendar full of ‘to dos’, I encourage you to start small; don’t feel discouraged if you aren’t able to accomplish everything you plan out. I like to think of my planner as a list of suggestions – it’s a guide for my day, but by no means is it the be all, end all for personal success. Life is unpredictable, so a good measure of “go with the flow” attitude will serve you well. Try to find what works best for you – a little trial and error is nothing to be afraid of, because that’s how we make progress!
Happy Women’s health week everyone!
- 1 LB chicken breast
- 10-12 OZ Spring Mix or Lettuce of Choice
- 1 C Cucumbers diced
- 1/2 C Roasted red Peppers (1 pepper if roasting on your own)
- 1/2 C Red Onion
- 1/2 C Kalamata Olives
- Lemon Herb Marinade & Vinaigrette
- 2 Tbsp Light Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon squeezed
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 2 Tbps Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 tsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
- 2 Tbsp parsley (fresh is best!)
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- Substitute herbs for 2 TBSP Italian seasoning if that is easier
- Combine all ingredients for Lemon Herb Marinade & Vinaigrette in bowl & whisk to combine. I like to add my dressing mixes to a jar and shake to mix.
- Optional: Place chicken breasts on cutting board & use mallet to flatten. I follow this step to thin out chicken breasts for even & time reduced cooking
- Place chicken breasts in a glass container or plastic bag & add 2 Tbsp of your marinate mixture. Toss to coat. Allow chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. I recommend overnight for best results.
- To Cook Chicken: Preheat Grill & cook Chicken for 4-6 minutes per side. If cooking on Stove, preheat 1 Tbsp oil in pan & cook for 4-6 per side. I use this Stovetop Griddle
- Remove Chicken from grill and let rest. Place lettuce in serving bowl, followed by all salad toppings. Pour dressing over the ingredients & toss to coat. Top salad with chicken & serve.