Getting a Great Night’s Sleep
On Our Minds
Have you ever tried to build or stick to a morning routine? With long to-do lists and personal and work obligations, it’s often overlooked. Having a routine when you wake up has been shown to provide numerous benefits to your productivity and health.
It’s usually the only quiet time before entering the hustle and bustle of the day so we tend to be most productive during the morning hours. It’s a great time to plan, set goals and review that long list of things you are working toward crossing off the to-do’s.
From a health standpoint, the early morning is ideal for practicing mindfulness to help you start the day off feeling relaxed, focused and grounded. This could be anything from journaling, meditating, reading an excerpt from an inspirational book or doing some gentle yoga. You don’t have to spend an hour on your morning routine, you can get more done in 5 minutes than you think! Right now we are loving “Heart Talk” by Cleo Wade for motivational quotes, the Headspace App for guided meditation and our foam rollers for a gentle morning massage.
What’s your morning routine like? Can you change even one thing? Go for it!
In Good Health,
Lisa Brown & Jennifer Medina
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as getting a great night’s sleep.
While we sleep, our body is replenishing and rejuvenating all of our major systems so we feel ready to conquer the following day. Without adequate sleep, it is almost impossible to feel and look our best.
Sleep is important for balancing our hormones, keeping our immune system strong, improving brain function and maintaining a healthy metabolism. It helps us perform better in all aspects of our life, yet millions of people in today’s society are chronically sleep deprived.
How does this relate to nutrition? When you’re doing everything else “right” yet you’re not feeling quite right, it may very well be related to low quality sleep. We’re not just talking about weight either. A review in Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental shows that poor sleep is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome in children and adults. As mentioned earlier, sleep is important for balancing hormones. When we are sleep deprived our hunger hormone increases, telling our body to eat more. Just another reason why we don’t focus on calories with our clients - there’s SO much more involved when it comes to regulating our metabolism.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, start to rethink your bedtime routine. Here’s a few tips to get a better night’s sleep:
- Keep your room cool and dark (this can INSTANTLY help improve sleep). Studies show the ideal temperature for the bedroom at night is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- No screen time at least 30 minutes before bed. The blue light emitting from your phone and TV has been shown to decrease sleep duration and quality.
- Meditate or journal to help yourself relax if you usually feel anxious before bed.
- If you have to be on a screen late in the evening, use blue light blocker glasses or install an app on your phone or computer to block the blue light.
- Drink tea! A cup of chamomile tea before bed has been shown to calm the muscles and nervous system.
- Magnesium is also great for calming the muscles and nervous system and can be helpful in improving the quality of your sleep. Quality is important!
- Be wary of melatonin. While it can be effective for some, it can potentially interfere with your body’s ability to produce its own melatonin.
If you think you need to work on your sleep, choose one or two of these tips to work on and slowly incorporate the rest!
Do you know when you’re full versus satisfied?
There’s a big difference. Sure, you can be temporarily “full” if you eat an entire plate of vegetables, but if it wasn’t what you were either in the mood for and/or a balanced meal you may find yourself left unsatisfied. This can also happen when swapping out something we want for something we think we “should” have instead, leaving you hankering for more. We suggest you to routinely balance your meals pulling from all the food groups and have variety! The goal is find fullness and satisfaction from your intake.
On the Lighter Side
Recipe of the Month:
Salmon and Asparagus Spring Rolls
Ready in: 45 minutes
- 24 thick or 36 thin asparagus spears (about 2 pounds)
- 2 3- to 4-ounce packages smoked wild salmon
- 12 8-inch rice-paper wrappers (see Notes)
- 1 ripe avocado, cut into 24 slices
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint
- ⅓ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
- To prepare spring rolls: Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large skillet. Trim asparagus spears to no longer than 6 inches; add to the boiling water. Partially cover and cook the asparagus until tender-crisp; about 3 minutes. Drain; refresh under cold water. Cut each spear in half lengthwise. Cut salmon slices into 12 strips no longer than 6 inches each.
- Soak one wrapper at a time in a shallow dish of very hot water until softened, about 30 seconds. Lift out, let excess water drip off and lay on a clean, dry cutting board.
- Center a strip of smoked salmon in the bottom third of the wrapper, leaving a 1-inch border on either side. Arrange 4 thick (or 6 thin) asparagus spear halves (overlapping as necessary) over the salmon. Top the asparagus with 2 avocado slices, 1 tablespoon shredded carrot and about 2 teaspoons each basil and mint. Fold the wrapper over the filling and roll into a tight cylinder, folding in the sides as you go. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Cut each finished roll in half.
- To prepare the sauce: Whisk soy sauce, orange juice, lemon juice, mirin and crushed red pepper in a small serving bowl. Serve rolls with the sauce.