Tag Archives: sleep

Healthy Lifestyle Challenge #4 – Get Some zzzzz’s!

Although most of us know that eating healthy and exercising regularly are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, many of us underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:

Go to bed a half hour earlier than normal tonight.

Why?

Most people don’t get enough sleep. Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to reap the following benefits:

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How?

Here are some tips to help you get a good nights sleep:

  • Stick to a Sleep Schedule 
    • going to bed at the same time each night, and getting up at the same time each morning  – even on weekends – sets your bodies internal clock to expect to sleep at a certain time each night
  •  Pay Attention to What You Eat and Drink 
    • don’t go to bed hungry to stuffed – you’re discomfort may keep you up
    • limit how much you drink before bed to avoid having to pee in the middle of the night
    • avoid caffeine and nicotine – both are stimulants and can produce alerting effects. Although they may not keep you up, they are most likely disrupting your sleep.
    • avoid alcohol – although alcohol is a depressant, it actually disrupts sleep causing nighttime awakenings
  • Establish a Regular Bedtime Routine
    • do the same things each night to let your body know its time to wind down
    • take a bath, read a book or meditate
    • avoid stressful and stimulating activities
  • Get Some Exercise
    • regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and help you sleep more soundly
    • be sure not to exercise too close to bedtime – you may be too energized to fall asleep!

Going to bed early is not a problem for me! I love being in bed 9, I read for a bit and most nights I’m out cold before 10 – it’s great I get at least 8 hours of quality sleep!

How much sleep do you get each night?
What’s your usual nighttime routine?

Isagenix – My 30 Day Cleanse Update

Last week I finished my 30 Day Isagenix Cleanse, but was so ridiculously busy, I didn’t get a chance to share my final results and overall feelings about the system.

So, let’s look back at the reasons why I chose to do this cleanse and whether or not my needs were met. I was hoping to…

improve my energy level
o This is a definite! I have more energy from the moment I wake up till the moment I go to bed. And not only that, my energy is much more consistent. I have energy all day long, and even throughout my workouts. It’s awesome!

improve my sleep quality
o I am sleeping amazingly! I fall asleep quickly and stay asleep all night. Even on the rare occasion when I was up with one of the kids in the night, I had no problems falling right back to sleep – which is a huge improvement – I use to have so much trouble falling back to sleep and would often by up reading for hours.

decrease my stress level
o Things were super busy for me during the 30 days I did the cleanse, and I actually had a few HUGE family things come up, but I can honestly say I didn’t stress over things. On one particular occasion, I started to feel some anxiety building, but a downed a shot of Ionix Supreme and within about a half hour, it was gone. Man I love that stuff!

kick my sugar addiction
o This is the main reason why I did the cleanse, and I am so happy to have actually kicked my sugar addiction. I have on occasion had a few pieces of candy, but for me to actually walk away from the candy after only a couple of pieces is ah-mazing! The odd time that I did feel like having something sweet, I grabbed an Isadelight and was totally satisfied. Unfortunately I only found out last week that it’s best to take a small bite of the Isadelight and let it melt on your tongue. Let me just say, it is even more satisfying that way! Who would have thought that that little chocolate could actually last 20 minutes!!

improve my digestion
o Without going into too much detail here, I am happy to say I am much more regular and feeling lighter!

build and tone my muscles
o This was another one of the main reasons I chose to do the cleanse. I wanted to get leaner and improve my strength. I am happy to say that not only did I lose 5 pounds and just over 8 inches, but my percent body fat dropped 3.5 %! WooHoo!

• And, on top of all of that…

o I have pretty much been headache free for the last 37 days. I actually had 2 over the month, one of which came on rather quickly after eating a handful of juju’s, and the other im pretty sure was due to going too long without a snack/meal. I am so glad that my body no needs the sugar and the fact that eating it triggered a headache for me, makes me not want to eat it even more!

So, that’s pretty much it! I’m lighter, leaner and cleaner after doing this 30 Day Cleanse. I totally love Isagenix and completely recommend it to anyone who is looking to improve their health!

Ate you interested in taking the next step towards better health and wellness? If so, click here, to browse the products, or if you have questions, send me an email and I will get back to you.

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13 in 2013 – Week 4 Update

Wow, it’s hard to believe we are already approaching the end of January! It’s crazy how fast time is flying by!

I know you are not ‘average’ so you don’t really fit in with this stat, but did you know that of those who make resolutions or sets goals for the New Year only 64% stick with it through the first month!

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Are you part of that 64%? Will you be part if the only 8% that stick with it all year long? I guess it’s time to ask yourself…

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I am happy to say I am still doing well with my 2013 goals. Although I’ve been sidetracked with illness and injury, I feel as though I am still in control and on track. After 4 weeks, here’s where I’m at:

1. Spend less, save more – as always, this is a work in progress. As I was browsing the Internet for easy ways to save money, I came across a couple of great sites that I thought I would share with you:

Money Saving Mom, a blog dedicated to helping you find great deals, stretch your hard-earned dollars, and live on less than you make, so you can save more and give more. Each Monday in 2013 Crystal will be sharing a different way you can save money this year, check it out!

The Nourishing Gourmet is doing something similar with 52 ways to save money on a healthy diet. Check out her site for more money saving ideas!

This weeks money saving focus: do laundry only once this week – on the weekend, during low cost hours.

2. Run a 1:58 half marathon – Things are coming together! I’ve decided on a 12 week training program to prep me for my May 5th half marathon. Training officially starts February 12th! I will post a copy of my training schedule over the next few days if you are interested.

3. Try one new clean eating recipe a week – Last week I made 2 clean eating treats.

I made Dark Fudgy Brownies with Avocado from the January/February 2013 issue of Clean Eating Magazine. They were absolutely delicious! You should give them a try!

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I also made Eat Clean Apple Crisp that was probably the BEST apple crisp I have ever had. You can find the recipe here.

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4. Become a certified RPM instructor – I’ve finally made it back to RPM! It almost killed me after such a long time off, but I loved it! This latest release is intense!

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5. Do 10 chin-ups – Week 3 of my chin-up program was put on hold as I dislocated a rib last Monday and needed to give the surrounding muscles a chance to heal. I will be taking another week off and getting back into it next Monday.

Maybe I’ve finally learned to start listening to my body!

6. Build Strength – I’ve also had to put my strength training workouts on hold too, but will also be restarting those on Monday too.

7. Go to bed earlier – I’ve mastered this one! Last week I went to be ridiculously early – like 7:30 early – on more than one occasion. It was awesome!

8. Blog more – Last week was another great week in the blogging world. I posted 6 times and I’m hosting my first ever giveaway! I am also working on building a Happier, Healthier, More Fit Me Pinterest account and Facebook page.

9. Run 3x a week – Last week was a terrible week run-wise. With the crazy cold front that hung around most of the week, running outside was pretty much impossible. I did make it to the gym for a treadmill run once, but overall, I’m pretty disappointed with my progress last week 😦

Stats: 1 run, 4 miles, 38:29, 424 calories.

Goal Check: 100 miles by February 28

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Yikes! Better get running if I’m going to reach my goal!

10. Drink more water – Getting better, but still need to drink more water!

11. Read 52 books – Last week I finished my 2nd book of 2013 – The House of Sand and Fog – and I’ve now started to read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Run Less Run Faster by Runner’s World Magazine.

12. Take at least 2 family trips – planning in progress

13. Date night once a month – Thinking dinner at the Keg to celebrate hubby’s birthday will be our night out this month!

So, overall, not too bad. I can definitely say some of these goals have become habits and are now no brainers. There are a few things I still really need to focus on, but I feel as though I am moving in the right direction! Now that I’ve made it though the first 4 weeks, I am going to be doing monthly rather than weekly updates.

How are you doing with your 2013 goals? Are you on track? Losing momentum? Or kicking butt? I’d love an update!

13 in 2013 – Week 3 Update

Well, we are a full three weeks into 2013…how are you doing with your goals?

So far, I’d have to say I am doing quite well! Of course there are things I am still struggling with, but I have definitely made progress!

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Here’s where I’m at:

1. Spend less, save more – Although we were on track again last week, we need to get back to meal planning and grocery shopping only once a week. Why? Well, because by meal planning and shopping only once a week we save because…

• I don’t have the chance to buy those on-a-whim, usually not-so-healthy extras – since I’m not in the store!

• I prepare meals that provide leftovers for lunches and/or another dinner which helps us avoid expensive lunches from the school caf and last-minute take-out meals for dinner on busy evenings.

• I plan Friday night treat meals, like Buffalo chicken wraps and sweet potato fries, which satisfies our urge for take-out, without the added expense and extra calories!

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2. Run a 1:58 half marathon – Well, I’ve officially signed up for the Goodlife Fitness Half Marathon in Toronto on May 5th.

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Now to decide on which training program I am going to follow to help me finish in my goal time…

Do you have an awesome Half Marathon training program you swear by? I’d love to see it and find out why you love it.

3. Try one new clean eating recipe a week – I’m totally loving this goal! I can honesty say that if I had not committed to one new recipe a week, I would have skipped out on it for sure! It has been great trying new meals and have found some that will become regulars.

This week I made Kung Pao Chicken from Clean Eating Comfort Foods 2012. The recipe is quick and easy and DELICIOUS!

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4. Become a certified RPM instructor – I didn’t make it to RPM last week, and with it being LMI release week, I may only get there once this week – Friday. I am so looking forward to next week and the beginning of semester 2 when I can go to RPM on my lunch! Woohoo!

5. Do 10 chin-ups – Week 2 of my training program is complete and I can now do 2.5 continuous chin-ups! I am defintley motivated to continue with these results! The program amps up these week, but I’m ready!

6. Build Strength – Week 1 of my strength program went well, however I have decided to switch to a 3x/week program that is very similar to the 5x/week program I started with. The main are reason for the change is that this new program has 3 strength and 3 cardio workouts a week (rather than 5 strength and no cardio). This fits in much better with my plan of running a half marathon in May and getting my RPM certification. I feel that this is a much more balanced workout plan and will only require the odd double workout day as opposed to multiple per week.

This weeks workout schedule looks like this:

• Monday – BodyAttack
• Tuesday – super sets workout
• Wednesday – run
• Thursday – circuit workout and BodyAttack
• Friday – core workout and RPM
• Saturday – fitness blast workout
• Sunday – rest day 🙂

7. Go to bed earlier – Heading to bed before 9:30 is working well. I have a bit of time to tidy up, relax, and hang with my husband. What it doesn’t really allow for is time to read and comment on other blogs, which totally sucks! I think I’m going to have to figure out a way to squeeze that into my lunch, or after work – before picking up the kids.

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8. Blog more – I feel like I have now developed a blogging routine and 5 days a week works really well for me. Finding time to blog on the weekends is a bit harder since I am busy with family stuff, and although I will continue to try and at get in at least one post in on the weekend, I still kinda feel that any weekend blogs are a bonus 🙂

9. Run 3x a week – last weeks run stats (on the right):

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I am hoping to get in a couple of runs this week, unfortunately we are in a crazy deep freeze and temperatures are around -25 Celsius with the windchill! Looks like I will be hitting the treadmill – which is way less convenient 😦

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10. Drink more water – Getting better, but still room for improvement! It’s so darn cold here that all I want to drink are warm beverages!

Click the image below for some great tips to drink more water.

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11. Read 52 books – I’m still on book 2 – my mini goal is to finish this book before the weekend.

12. Take at least 2 family trips – Planning in progress…

13. Date night once a month – Brainstorming February date ideas. It’s hubby’s birthday so maybe a nice dinner at the Keg is in order! Yum!

13 in 2013 – Week 2 Update

1. Spend less, save more – this weeks money saving strategy…making my own tea rather than heading to Starbucks for a chai latte (or two) a week. Since I used up my gift card this past weekend, lattes are back to costing me $4.80 each 😦

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2. Run a 1:58 half marathon – We have pretty much decided to run the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Half Marathon on May 5th. Next step – decide on a training program to get me race ready!

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3. Try one new clean eating recipe a week – Last week I actually made TWO clean eating recipes.

• Clean Eating No Bake Honey Peanut Butter Balls

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• Spaghetti Squash with Chicken, Pears and Parmesan

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Both recipes made a ton! There’s enough for lunch all week!

4. Become a certified RPM instructor – I didn’t make it to RPM last week, but did ride the bike a bit at work. I definitely need to get my riding legs back if I’m going to go for training at the end of March. With BodyAttack release week just around the corner my focus this week will be on learning choreography, so realistically I will only be able to make it to one RPM class this week. I’ve penciled in a bike workout for lunch on Thursday with plans of returning to at least two classes a week starting the week of January 27th.

5. Do 10 chin-ups – After only 1 week of the program, I can already do 2 FULL chin-ups in a row! Crazy! I’m super impressed with my progress and feel like I might actually be able to do 10 chin-ups by the end of June!

6. Build Strength – This week I am starting a 12 week strength training program. It calls for 5 workouts a week, which I think is a bit much considering everything else I am doing. So, for now, I’m planning on doing 3 “hard and heavy” workouts a week.

• Monday – Quads, Glutes, Chest and Biceps – I actually did this one yesterday and loved it!
• Wednesday – Core
• Friday – Hams, Calves, Back, Shoulders and Triceps

7. Go to bed earlier – I did much better at getting to bed earlier last week, making it to bed before 9:30 every night except for Saturday (date night) and Sunday (9pm soccer game). I think this is the biggest contributor to my finally feeling better, and will make it a focus again this week.

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8. Blog more – 6 days last week, yay!

9. Run 3x a week – Last week I actually ran 4x, Tuesday, Wednesday (twice) and Friday. I ran a total of 13.3 miles which took me 2:07:32, giving me an average pace of 9:34/mile. I burned 1356 calories.

I have now completed 27 miles…only 73 to go before the end of February!

10. Drink more water – I’m still struggling with this one. I lost my Nalgene bottle two weeks ago at soccer and was drinking from a metal one and did not like it at all. I could taste the metal when I drank and it was deterring me from drinking. So I bought a new BPA free plastic water bottle over the weekend and I’m trying to drink one full bottle each period while at work. So far, so good!

11. Read 52 books – I’ve just started my second book – House of Sand and Fog, by Andre Dubus III, and am having a little trouble getting into it. I’ve heard it’s a great book – it’s part of Oprah’s Book Club – it’s gotta be good, right? Hopefully after a few more chapters, I won’t be able to put it down!

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12. Take at least 2 family trips – ​Still in the planning stages for this summer’s big adventures.

13. Date night once a month – Dylan and I went on our first date night of 2013 on Saturday, it was awesome! You can read a bit about it here.

How are you doing with your 2013 goals?

Share your successes and struggles in the comments action below! Lets keep each other on track.

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13 in 2013 – Week 1 Update

Well, we are officially one week into 2013…how are you doing with your goals?

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Here’s where I stand after week 1…

1. Spend less, save more – 👍Our budget is pretty much set, money is set aside for saving, pension buy-back and the kids RESP’s. Our home phone is cancelled and we got a better deal on our cable and Internet…bonus!

2. Run a 1:58 half marathon – 👍 Off season training has begun. I’m running regularly and have started lifting weights to build strength.

3. Try one new clean eating recipe a week – 👍 This weeks recipe was Eat Clean Hash Brown, Sausage and Egg Muffins from the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Clean Eating Magazine. They were delicious! I’ve eaten them for breakfast and lunch and still have a few more left!

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4. Become a certified RPM instructor – 👎 I only made it to one RPM class once last week and it absolutely killed me! I am still having difficulty breathing and my endurance has definitely declined from being sick for so long! I’m hoping to build up to 2 classes a week once my pneumonia fully clears up, but in the meantime, I will continue to struggle through one class a week.

5. Do 10 chin-ups – 👍 Week 1, workout 1, complete! I found out I actually CAN do a chin- up, who knew? Workout 2 is tomorrow, and 3 will be on Friday.

6. Build strength – 👍Starting next week I am going to be following a 12 week strength training program, so this week I am doing random workouts. Yesterday I did this workout designed by Fitness Cheerleader, and to be honest, I’m a little sore today!

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Thursday I will be doing the Fitness Blender 1000 rep workout, and Friday I’m doing Tone it Ups, Toned in 12 Ab Circuit.

7. Go to bed earlier – 👎 I totally sucked at this one! For various reasons, I just couldn’t get myself to bed by 9:30! This is definitly going to be a focus this week.

8. Blog more – 👍 Last week I blogged 5 days which is exactly what I was hoping for, but I didn’t blog at all on the weekend, which is something I would like to do.

9. Run 3x a week – 👍 Done! I ran Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for a total of 1 hour 53 minutes, I went 9.6 miles and burned 958 calories.

10. Drink more water – 👎 I do really well with drinking water while I’m at work, but since I wasn’t at work last week, I did not meet my goal of 2L once! Brutal! This too will be a focus this week!

11. Read 52 books – 👍 I am 2/3s of the way through my first book and hope to finish it in the next few days. I have the librarian at my school pulling her favourites and hope to start book 2 by the weekend. Any recommendations?

12. Take at least 2 family trips – 👍 I would really love to take the kids on a beach vacation, but do not want to be using credit to do so. So, I’ve started a little savings account with hopes of having enough saved for a 2014 March Break vacation. As for our 2013 trips, I’m thinking camping for sure, and still need to come up with a few more ideas.

Any Ontarian’s know when bookings open up for provincial parks?

13. Date night once a month – 👍 My husband and I have tossed around a few ideas for our first date night of 2013. We are hoping to go out next weekend and will be securing babysitting tomorrow…hopefully!

Overall, I’d say I’m doing quite well!

I’m reading, I’m running, I’m lifting weights, I’m saving money, I’m trying new recipes and I’m blogging more!

Yes, I realize we are only one week in, but I’m super excited about goals I have set and the plans I have made. I think that my goals are very realistic and attainable.

My focus for this week will be drinking more water and getting to bed earlier.

How did week 1 go for you?
What did you accomplish? What did you struggle with?
I’d love to hear how you are doing! Share your highs and lows in the comments section below!

Three Things Thursday – Being Sick Sucks!

It’s Thursday an I’m crazy sick so this is going to be a quick one!

1. Being sick sucks! – So I’ve had a chest cold for about 2 weeks now – well ever since I went back to work – and it’s killing me! I have no energy, I can barely breathe and I can’t lie down without having a ridiculous coughing fit! It totally sucks! I’m not a medicine person at all, but have actually resorted to Tylenol cold tablets (day and night) and Robitussin. I think they are helping, but I’m not sure masking the symptoms is really the answer.

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2. I actually stayed home from work yesterday because of my cold. I got home from work Tuesday night and could barely help with the kids and dinner. I finally threw in the towel at about 6:20 and went to bed. I grabbed a book and had a bit of a snuggle with my daughter, but was probably asleep by 8 at the latest. It was awesome! I slept about 11 hours, got up to help with the kids in the morning, and was asleep again by 9 for another 3 hours. I definitely needed it, and actually felt a bit better today. I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday – all I want to do this weekend is get some rest – not going to happen, but a girl can dream, right?

3. I’m off to watch Grey’s Anatomy and go to bed! Despite my plan if this being a quick post, that was not the case and now I’m 20 minutes late for the only show I watch on tv. It’s okay though, I’ve got it PVR’d and now I can fast forward though the commercials! I LOVE PVR!

That’s all for tonight, any suggestions on how to beat this lingering chest cold?