How to Set Micro Goals for a Healthier Life

setting_micro_goals

Many people become mentally overwhelmed striving to achieve their overarching macro-goals. For instance, the thought of losing 50 pounds can seem somewhat daunting, but when you break it down into micro-goals (5 or 10 pounds at a time) it seems attainable. Plus this type of goal setting allows you to celebrate the small victories. Maybe after the first 10 pounds, you treat yourself to a massage and after 20 pounds you cheer with a new dress. This builds momentum and keeps you motivated until you reach your ultimate goal.

Take the hot new fad diet craze. Let’s go with paleo or simply transitioning into a whole foods diet. If you’re someone that lives on sugar and junk food (and hasn’t even looked at a vegetable besides an iceberg lettuce salad in ages) this is going to be a difficult feat for you to stick with for an extended period of time going cold turkey. Your body will experience unpleasant detoxification symptoms, such as sugar withdrawal, headaches, skin irritations, etc. You may also have trouble adjusting to the healthy amount of fiber in your new diet. All of these unpleasant symptoms and the new difficulties in eating out, cooking, etc. may discourage you from continuing on your path toward renewed wellness and weight loss. Therefore, you need to transition in small increments by setting micro-goals.

Slowly crowd out the junk by striving to eat 4-5 servings of vegetables a day and 2-3 servings of fruit. Focus on this for the first two weeks as a micro-goal. This is the only thing you need to change diet wise. Greens are amazing for youthful skin, weight management, immunity and natural detoxification, while colorful vegetables and fruits contain powerful antioxidants that protect against cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Committing to a green smoothie for breakfast each morning is a great way to get some fruit and vegetable servings in first thing.
Weeks three to four: focus on keeping up with your fruit and vegetable intake and adding a healthy protein source (grass-fed meat, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and dairy) at every meal and snack, which will keep your energy up and metabolism humming throughout the day.

Weeks five and six: keep up with your first two micro-goals and now eliminate all white flour products and sugar, empty calories that affect your health, immunity, and pack on the unwanted pounds.

The weeks beyond you may opt to set more micro-goals and eliminate grains (or you may find that full paleo is not for you) but you’re giving your body and mind time to adjust to the new dietary changes, as well as celebrating small victories along the way.

The same idea applies to the beginning of getting back into your new fitness routine. If you haven’t worked out in months and you decide to go to a Cross-fit class 5 days a week, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Your body needs time to physically adjust or you may injure yourself. Not to mention that you will mentally burn yourself out trying to do too much at once. Thus, break it up into small increments. Maybe you start with walking three to four days a week and you build up your time each week until you reach 60 minutes. Or you commit to going to Crossfit once the first week and build up to more days as your body adjusts. The point is developing an exercise routine for the New Year will help with weight loss, heart health and add years and quality to your life.

The best way to work on micro goals for your diet and exercise routine is by creating micro-goals in increments that work for you. Maybe it’s a week, two weeks, one month or 21 days (studies suggest it takes this long to form a habit). Take out your smartphone calendar and schedule in what you want to achieve in each increment and create a reward for yourself. I suggest not using unhealthy food rewards, instead focus on fun life activities and splurges (movie tickets, concert tickets, vacation, something for your wardrobe, spa treatments, exercise class, cooking class, date night, ladies night). Also, put a paper calendar or sticky notes with your goals somewhere visible to you every day (like your bathroom mirror, car visor, desk) to keep yourself motivated and on track. This practice can apply for trying to lose weight to cleaning out your closet. Breaking things down promises less stress and success in the long run.

Posted in Health

Lavender for Sleep

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Lavender is a common herb used for improving sleep and reducing stress in the body. Here are a few ways to include it in your nighttime routine.

Lavender Tea
Ingest lavender in tea form before bedtime to help soothe you to sleep and prevent insomnia. You can make it yourself by boiling some water and letting both the leaf and flower seep. Lavender is easily accessible at your local Farmer’s Market. There are also many teas containing lavender available at your local grocery haunt.

Take a Lavender Detox Bath
Quiet your body and mind before bed by soaking in a bath for 20 minutes using: 2 cups Epson salt, 1 cup baking soda and 8-10 drops lavender essential oil. Going in and out of the warm water will also cool your body’s inner temperature inducing a restful sleep.

The scent of lavender has also been known to increase deep, restful sleep for both men and women. Diffuse it in your bedroom before bedtime or spray it on your pillow. You can do this by diluting a few drops of lavender essential oil in a water bottle or buying a lavender spray at your local health store or online. The scent is also helpful in treating headaches and migraines.

In addition, you can purchase sachets, blankets, neck pillows and animals that contain dried lavender. They give off a subtle scent that can be relaxing to have near you during bedtime. You can even heat some of these items up in the microwave and not have to worry about falling asleep with an electric blanket!

Posted in Health

ECW Tip: DETOX TEA

detox tea

Great for your health and cleansing your body, especially if you’ve been having lots of summer treats. Have one first thing in the morning to start your day in a positive way! Plus it makes your skin glow ladies 🙂

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ECW Tip: Back-to-School Bento Lunch Boxes

BACK -TO-SCHOOL BENTO BOXES

Instead of a boring peanut butter and jelly sandwich, start the school year off by preparing bento lunch boxes with your kids. A traditional Japanese bento box holds rice, fish or meat, and vegetables. BUT you can create custom boxes to accommodate each family member’s favorite cuisine! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Hummus and Pita Plate: Pack 1/3 cup hummus with whole-wheat pita squares, baby carrots, baby tomatoes, and grapes.

Deli Roll-Ups: Roll 3 slices of deli turkey and/or ham around one Laughing Cow wedge and spinach. Serve with bell pepper slices, cucumber slices and cinnamon-sprinkled apple slices.

Wasa Salad Platter: Pack 4 Wasa crackers with one scoop of tuna or chicken salad, celery sticks and strawberries.

Taco Bar: Pack 3 oz. grilled chicken, 2 small corn tortillas, ¼ cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, ¼ cup guacamole, ¼ cup salsa, and 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt. Serve with pineapple slices.

Pizza Box: 1 whole wheat English muffin, top each half with pizza sauce, part-skim string cheese slices (use one piece total) and turkey or vegan pepperoni slices. Serve with broccoli and berries.

Cold Soba Bowl: Pack 1 cup soba noodle salad (recipe below), snap peas and orange slices.

Lunchtime Soba Noodle Salad

Serves 4

  • 12 ounces soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce (such as Sriracha or sambal oelek)
  • Salt
  • 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and edamame and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the noodles and edamame and run under cold water until cool.
  2. Combine the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil and chili sauce in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water and whisk until smooth. Add the noodles and edamame, season with salt and toss to combine (add more cooking water to loosen, if needed). Divide among shallow bowls and top with the chicken, cucumber and scallions.

 

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Champagne Pops!!!

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A FUN adult summer treat!!!

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Mint sprig
  • 1 pint ripe strawberries
  • 5 cups champagne
  1. Make the syrup by placing the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved and turn off the heat.
  3. Add a sprig of fresh mint to the syrup for flavor. Let it sit in there while you prepare the strawberries.
  4. Remove the green tops from the strawberries.
  5. Puree your strawberries in a blender until they are completely smooth.
  6. Discard the mint sprig and stir the sugar syrup, strawberries, and champagne together.
  7. Fill your popsicle molds and freeze the mixture until it is completely solid. This will probably take at least two-three hours.

Enjoy, as long as you are over 21 years old!!!

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Build YOUR Health House

Build YOUR Health House

As a wellness coach I’m constantly perusing articles, videos, television segments and attending conferences to discover new tips to share with my clients and followers. As you can imagine there is an endless amount of contradicting information out there, which can be a bit overwhelming even for me! What’s a girl to do?!

Over time I’ve come to realize that it’s impossible to implement every healthful strategy into your life. Therefore, you need to pick and choose what works for you and compliments your lifestyle.

How many of you played with Legos as a kid? You would dump out the whole box, filled with different colors, shapes and sizes, and construct your own unique creation. This is how I’ve come to view wellness. You need to build your own health house.

At the foundation you need to eat a healthy diet, exercise and mange your stress. BUT how you get there is completely up to you. For instance, if you see an appealing tip, like snack on produce and protein or start your day with lemon water, add it as one brick in your house. Maybe a few weeks later you try a spin class and love it! You then add another brick and commit to going three times a week. Remember Rome was not built in a day and developing a lasting lifestyle takes time.

Now what if you finally get your dream house built, and a few years down the road, you feel like it’s getting a bit outdated? Or what if you feel like your body is changing yet again (thanks hormones!!) and what you’ve been doing for so long is no longer working for you? Or maybe you had a big life change which has completely altered your lifestyle (baby, career, financial)? Or what if you’re just plain bored? Guess what, you can always remodel!

Give ideas that appeal to you a go and make each a building block in the construction of your health house. Make changes when necessary and appreciate that one step forward is a huge accomplishment. It may take some of us a little longer to get there but it was the turtle (and not the hare) who won the race!! 🙂

 

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