After a day of intense rain, a sunny spring Sunday is always welcomed. In a season of renewal and rebirth, I find that the Spring is a great time refocus.
Sure the New Year brings on heaps of resolutions about being healthy, working, etc., etc. But by mid-February (and for some sooner) all those promises we make to ourselves are all but forgotten. I think part of it has to do with the fact that it’s cold in the winter and those near-freezing temperatures all but motivating for going out. Face it, we barely want to leave our warm cozy beds to head to work let alone the gym. But when snow melts and the sounds of birds chirping finally arrive, we’re like bears emerging from a winter hibernation. We start going out, seeing friends and become interested in getting ourselves back in shape…or maybe the idea that in 2-3 months the summer will be here (which means swimsuit season) kind of squares us back into action. Our wellness renewal doesn’t have to be such a daunting task.
In the midst of Spring Cleaning, I came across the January/February issue of Whole Living. I was about toss it in the donation pile (senior homes and schools appreciate old magazines) when one of the titles caught my attention, Whole Living Action Plan: 28 Day Challenge. Four weeks to a better me? Hmmm, interesting.
Like I said, spring awakens a sense of focus and renewal and sure had in me. I have been thinking about redecorating my home, updating my wardrobe, and of course working on a happier, healthier me. Maybe it was a sign from the universe to help me get myself in gear. All I need is jump start to get back on track!
Now let me make this clear, I’m not expecting any miracles but rather I am looking for little ways to make my life a little healthier…and I’d like to share the journey with you. If you want to follow along, check out the article here: .
WEEK 1: Pare Down and Purify
It’s all about simplicity in what we eat, drink and do– a detox but in an easy way.
So that we can start off with a clean slate, we pare down our meals by omitting things like alcohol, caffeine, gluten, dairy, etc. We need to beef up our fruit and veggie intake and of course don’t forget protein. Simple enough.
My plan for this week:
– Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day (when you’re thirsty opt for water instead of juice and soda). Add a twist of lemon or lime (or any fruit for that matter) for flavor.
– Have fun with salads. Salads are more than lettuce and tomatoes. I love fruit and I love to mix fruits and vegetables. I’m big on baby spinach or mixed greens as a salad base (lettuce just seems so bland) and actually it tastes great with fruit. Throw in diced mangos, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, or whatever fruit you crave with some cucumber and toss with a light vinaigrette. No more boring salad.
– Play with proteins. I might be the only person (besides George Foreman) who still has a tabletop grill and actually uses it. As the weather gets warmer, I grill more (more so because the oven gives off a lot of heat). Grill a piece of fish or chicken and add a side of steamed veggies. There’s lunch or dinner right there.
– Eat mini-meals. Many nutritionists and health experts recommend eating 5-6 mini-meals a day. I think this is the hardest part for me as we’ve been trained to eat three huge meals a day (and snacks). It’s more about changing a mind set than anything else as well as decreasing the size of our plates. Studies have shown that Americans feel full when they see an empty plate. So why not eat on a smaller plate? Our brains still think we’re eating the same amount of food we normally do as our plate still looks full, but we’re actually doing otherwise.
This week is also about paring down what we do. So what do I plan on doing? Well:
– Go to bed an hour earlier. Try to get as close to eight hours or more of sleep a night. I normally don’t, but I’m working on that by working on other things as well.
– Cut down on media time. Ironic as I’m a publicist and blogger whose blackberry is attached to her hip. The article suggests a whole week aside, personally I can’t do that just yet. But I can aim for “medialess” days on the weekends and hours during the week. Weekends shouldn’t be used for work anyway so why not start there? Spend time outside with family and friends. During the week, minimize emails, texts, calls, etc after 6. Have a real “end of day.”
– Say no to at least one thing this week. Reclaim a little personal time. Even if it is just fifteen minutes, I need to do something for me. Maybe take in a yoga class or a walk in the park…or better yet, a non-work related meal (one less lunch or dinner meeting won’t hurt).
Last but not least, this week is about detoxing our space.
– This week I’m spring cleaning. Pick a room a day to declutter and by the weekend, the house should be great.
This is my plan. What’s yours?