I started a new job this past week – so I’ve been pretty dang busy! But I have some killer recipe ideas and can’t wait to get the recipes just right so I can share them!
On this week’s edition of Monday Musings, I have (unintentionally) focused more on food and products rather than actionable items such as intentions and mindsets. This wasn’t something I set out to do, just what I have realized reflecting back on the week and what caught my attention.
Before moving on with this post I want to set a goal of posting at least three times a week. Once on Monday for the weekly Monday Musings post and hopefully two new recipes throughout the week! That way I can create and get new content out while also challenging myself in the kitchen while sharing what I make!
Okay phew, maybe next week I’ll focus on intentions more but for now, let’s recap last week and what I’m into!
1. Sleep Tracking
So fascinating!! Like really. A totally detailed, personalized report about how well you sleep is an invaluable tool you can use to help greatly improve your health.
Personally, I love the Pillow app (here) and pay for the upgraded version so I can track patterns over time. It shows you the quality of your sleep, how often and for how long you were restless and even lets you hear if you snore!
If there’s one single thing you can do to improve your health, I’m pretty convinced it’s improving your sleep. Did you know improving your sleep can help cut down on sugar cravings (and cravings in general) throughout the day? When we get enough sleep, our brains don’t have to work as hard to choose between potentially unhealthy and better for us choices. We are able to use less of our self-control muscle to make better choices because you aren’t starting out the day exhausted.
Add that to the fact that a full and good night’s sleep can enhance memory and mental clarity as well as boost your mood and overall energy levels! On the other hand, when we get less sleep we are less able to handle stress, maintain our immune system and manage our mood.
We all know how important sleep is for kids, but it seems adults have forgotten the importance of sleep for themselves! Sleeping for under 7 hours a day is like running on a less than full tank. It will work for a while, but eventually the tank runs out, the body runs out of “gas” and we need to call in for help. Sleep time and quality is so important for our everyday lives and I love that the Pillow app can keep track of all the details for me! I hope to write a more in depth post about sleep later, so stay tuned!
2. Taro Fries
Have you had taro before?! Probably those amazing little chips by Terra that are sold in most grocery stores? Well, this last week I have been experimenting in making my own chips and fries and I am getting close to nailing down a perfect recipe for crispy and amazingly flavorful ones soon.
Taro is a starchy tuber that is a great source of carbohydrates. Often, the insides are scooped out, cooked and made into yucca for either dough or flour. I have posts about both carbohydrate levels here and yucca dough here.
3. Magic Mushroom Powder
YOWZA!! Michelle of Nom Nom Paleo has the most incredible recipe for mushroom powder here. I just followed the recipe for my own sprinkle-able powder and I am blown away. I have used it on everything from chicken, pork, roasted veggies to eggs and rice!
It adds a fantastic umami flavor (think deep and meaty almost) and health boosting properties of porcini mushrooms. These little mushrooms contain B vitamins, are excellent sources of riboflavin, selenium, manganese, lysine, zinc and iron just to name a few! I think the number one benefit of porcini mushrooms has to be their anti-inflammatory property, while being high in antioxidants.
Little mushrooms packing a big punch! I whipped up a big batch of Michelle’s powder and have been using it on everything! Try it, you will love it ❤
4. Mini Meal Prepping
Soooo into this! Since starting a new job, I need to be ultra prepared when it comes to meal time and don’t have much time to spare for lengthy preparations before meal time. Tupperware and glassware have become my new best friends and I feel so much better knowing I have healthy options waiting for me in the fridge when I don’t feel like cooking!
This last week I prepped a bunch of Asian marinated pork (recipe soon, promise!), cauliflower rice, roasted carrots, sweet potatoes and lots of spiralized zucchini. Need more meal prep ideas? Head here for my top 10 tips for weekly meal prepping! Doing a few mini meal prep times throughout the week has really been saving my butt lately!
5. Olive Leaf Extract
There is no way I want to get sick and I feel invincible when I take olive leaf extract lately!! This stuff is absolutely fantastic for preventing colds and sickness while also boosting the immune system!
I’ll be swearing on olive leaf from now on as a preventive measure. Olive leaf also has an antimicrobial effect which helps to kill bacteria and fungi that could potentially mean to do us harm. You know that itchy, scratchy, “uh oh my throat hurts” feeling? After just taking one dose of olive leaf extract it disappeared for me and I actually felt a boost of energy instead!*As with any supplement, you should consult your doctor before taking or starting any supplements to determine if it is right for you.*
6. Checking in With My Hunger Levels
Okay, this is a mindset one! After listening to Robin Youkilis a few weeks back talk about being mindful when it comes to food I have been intrigued by her very realistic approach to not only cravings but why we do what we do around food. Robin brought up a great point around late night snacking (which for me happens right after dinner and is ALWAYS sweets) due to an insufficient amount of calories earlier in the day.
This caught me in my tracks! It make so much sense. If you fill your body with the food it needs and craves earlier in the day, those empty feelings won’t return later and beg for treats or salty snacks.
As a health coach, I firmly believe that instead of decreasing or getting rid of foods in the diet, adding a bigger majority and healthier options can really help to crowd out the less healthy choices. This idea along with Robin’s theory blend seamlessly to solidify the fact that the body is trying to convey messages about what it wants and needs, we just need to learn to listen.
The past week or so I have been trying to be more conscious of checking in with myself when I feel cravings for sweets. Have I eaten enough today? Did something happen to make me emotional and am looking to food as a comfort? When really, most of the time it simply takes a little bit of talking with someone we trust and feeling a loving connection.
I hope these six things have inspired you to add something new to your day or diet! By adding good in, we crowd bad out.