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Moving My Needle

Welcome to the second installment of digging deeper into my health.



 

Last week I let you in on how easy it is to drift - the slide back into habits that are not serving me well. Unfortunately, motion happens always and when we stop paying attention to how we move forward, we slide back fast!

But there's good news - Our body is always working toward balance, even when we get off our game.

The Powerful 5.

I'm so encouraged by this truth and it helps me to continue experimenting and learning all about how the foods I eat, and my lifestyle choices I make actually affect how I feel.

  • prioritize real whole foods that have a balance of fats, protein and complex carbs

  • going to bed and waking at the same time - aiming for 8 hours

  • getting outside especially in the morning

  • moving my body every day in different ways

  • closing the kitchen early.


Are you confused by all the "health influencers"? Every day I read another new hack or trend that's gaining traction on the internet and I'm wondering ,if this is something I should do?

Simple is always best, remember your body actually knows what to do.

I can be easily distracted with information overload and I find myself considering another supplement, food or potion that will finally break the code on my health issues. But, the truth is far simpler than spending boatloads of money....

Eat whole real foods- most of the time.

This is the golden ticket to solving most of our health complaints.

So let's break down this super simple saying into what it actually means for us each and every day.


  1. Begin at the beginning with meal #1.

One of the most helpful changes I've made is getting out of the habit of thinking that my first meal - breakfast needs to look like breakfast! Did you know that before World War 2, breakfast might have looked a lot like dinner but smaller. Usually leftovers from the previous night's meal, a piece of cheese and some bread.

The Breakfast of Champions - cold cereal was a new kind of breakfast.

Poured from a box into a bowl and doused with milk this provided an inexpensive and was efficient meal for families that now needed to adjust to the quicker pace of an industrialized nation. Unfortunately the refined grains have a high glycemic load that causes a sharp spike in post-meal blood sugar which means you'll need to eat again soon. The roller coaster ride we experience on this high sugar diet every day is one of the major reasons we experience fatigue, brain fog, climbing weight, rising blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. Then we generally add non-fat milk and some juice - oh my!!!

I like to eat within 2 hours of waking and make sure my first meal is a balnaced combo of quality fats found in grass-fed meats, pasture raised eggs, avocados and raw milk cheese. This also provides me with a good amount of protein which I do pay attention to, trying to hit 30 grams. I also might add some roasted veggies like asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower or broccoli. Or I'll choose some berries & nuts to bump my fiber which feeds my gut with all those healthy bugs.

2. Try 2 Meals a Day.

One of my newest changes is eating only 2 meals each day when it works. I want to emphasize this because my choice isn't to keep me in the diet dogma that soon becomes a rule that's broken and I find myself feeling like a failure. So on most days I eat breakfast around 8-9am and my second meal before 4pm. I have found amazing benefits and realize that I was eating 3 meals plus snacks out of habit instead of actually considering my hunger. Some days I need more food and definitely eat another meal. But when I close my kitchen early, I find I have improved sleep, digestion and more stable blood sugar. Another reason this is helpful for me is because I struggle with extra belly fat that doesn't want to budge.

Remember - every time you eat, insulin is signaled. Insulin is a fat storage hormone, so when it's active, fat burning is slilent.

3. Sweet Dreams.

Our bodies operate best when we go to bed and rise at the same time each day. This isn't always easy to accomplish but re-training can happen and soon our internal clock will begin working again. Here are a few hacks I'm using;

  • Use the app - Circadian. I have found that these simple reminders to go out side to see the sun rise and set helps me to actually do it!

  • Try blue light glasses. I put on my orange glasses when the sun has set and wear them until I go to bed. Blue light lenses effectively regulate the sleep-wake cycle and can indirectly support improved mental health. I have experienced healthier sleep patterns and hopefully improved hormone regulation which can support less depression and anxiety.

  • Go to bed by 10 pm and wake with the sun. I'm natuturally an early riser and bedtime much after 9:30 isn't hard to follow. But if you love the nightlife, I'd suggest dialing your bedtime and waketime slowly.

  • Cool room, sleep mask and magnesium. I take magnesium every night before bed as it's a relaxing mineral and most of us are sadly lacking in this important mineral. I also use a sleep mask to keep the bedroom dark. As nighttime approaches, our body tempeture naturally drops, signally that it's time to slow down and get some rest. By keeping the bedroom cooler, it reinforces the body's natural instinct to sleep.

  • Sunny days - breakfast outside. Now that winter is past, the mornings are beautiful here and I find eating outside works really well. Not only do I enjoy a protein-rich meal, but experiencing the sun is very energizing.


4. Get moving. I do best if I set a regular schedule, so after breakfast, I usually walk for 30 - 45 minutes. When I keep my pace up, I can accomplish over half of my steps goal of 10,000-12,000 steps every day. When I get home I find I'm more energized to accomplish tasks and moving helps me to sleep better at night too. I also have found rebounding to be another fun way to get in some movement after my second meal so that all that energy can fuel my muscles instead of adding more fat to my body.


5. Close the kitchen early. This is a new direction I'm taking to support health improvements. I love how I feel when I go to bed and my stomach isn't too full. I know that my body is free to do all the important clean-up duties that include; improved weight management, blood sugar control, better digestion, more energy the next day, heart health, improved metabolism and digestion to name a few!


Life is a journey - not a destination and when we choose to view our health outcomes through this lens we will look at the big picture, not every bump in the road.

I am still learing every day and know that this is exacly how I will continue to become a healthier me.

I'd love to help you find a path to walk that will support your health concerns and be the encouragement you need to keep going.

Please reach out - I can help.

You can find me here: https://www.janlindquistntp.com

Thanks for reading,

Jan



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