100 Day Health Hack Journey (001-007)

For a brief recap:  

Over the past few months, my own wellness was taking a backseat... and I was struggling, to put it lightly.  INSERT the love of my life.  The hubster gave me some tough love + an idea.  He casually mentioned I should focus on simply doing one percent better each day... just 1%.  For a person with a "Go BIG or Go HOME" attitude, this was hard for me to accept.  However, he went on... if I focused on simply being 1% better each day over time, I would be doing 100% better than I am doing today... and how great would that feel?  RIGHT?!?  

This spurred the idea... 1% better each day for at least 100 days.  Now, thanks to my brilliant dear sweet aunt... due to the compound effect, if done consistently over 100 days I'll be doing better than 100%.   However, for the ease of my mind... we are focusing on one new health hack (1% better) each day for 100 days, consistently.  

But WHICH habits, right?  And which area... nutrition? sleeping patterns? fitness? financial? spiritual? relationship-wise?  

Thanks to bookshelves which are loaded to the brim of books... I have collected darn near 100 healthy habits (aka. hacks).  And I made a list in no particular order - I still have a few slots open for health hacks, so if you got some -- shoot me a message or drop it in the comments!

If you would like to hear the FULL story of how the idea began... check it out here

 Days 1-7 of our Health Hack JOurney

Here's how this will go, though... I'll share each DAY'S HEALTHY HACK + MY THOUGHTS, plus if I can remember exactly where I got the idea + research behind it.  Capiche?  Good... moving on!

DAY ONE

HEALTH HACK: Start your day with 8oz of Water

 Health Hack Journey (001): Benefits of Water in the Morning

Honestly.  I choose this one for two reasons... okay, three. 

  1. It's something I actually wasn't doing... I had the water there, but instead would do a zombie walk down the hallway throughout the house to get to the bubbling coffee pot for some liquid caffeine.  
  2. This habit is one I wanted to continue THROUGHOUT the 100 Day Health Hack Journey... I wanted it to stick because I know the importance of proper hydration.  
  3. Um.  It's freaking simple... and whenever most people embrace a journey, they start small.  You don't just run 150 miles across the Sahara desert without training first, that's crazy... wait.  I did that... I'm crazy.  Well, I was... once, before kids.  You can read that adventure here

Anywho.  Here's the Health Hack low-down... drink 8 oz of water FIRST thing in the morning!  I would usually sip on it while doing my ever so attractive zombie walk throughout our house.  The purpose of this... is well, um, hydration.

Studies have estimated 75% of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration.  And you may be thinking... I'm not dehydrated because you think of dehydration as vomiting, passing out, sticky mouth, crusty lips and death.  However, dehydration is a spectrum and even mild dehydration can hinder our performance... by decreasing your memory capabilities + increase levels of anxiety as well as fatigue!

Think about it:  
When you wake in the morning, your body is naturally dehydrated because you most likely do not drink in your sleep, right?  Folks tend to wake up rushed... grabbing a cup of coffee or beverage (not water) and run out the door.
>>> BUT <<< 
When you shift the focus on PROPER hydration first thing in the morning, you can feel your body wake up, your metabolism increase and your head clear!!! 

BOOM CHACKA LACKA 

SOURCES:  

  1. Benefits of Drinking Water Every Morning
  2. Optimize Your Morning Routine:  Hyperhydration

DAY TWO

HEALTH HACK: Skip the phone within the first HOUR of the day!

This may be a wee bit challenging for some... and it is for me; hence, why I am doing it FIRST thing in the 100-Day-Health-Hack-Journey!

How this health hack came to me was in a series of threes, that's how it happens doesn't it?  We joke in the veterinary ER world how things typically come in clusters of threes... three hit by car patients... three heart failures... three, well, you get the gist.  Anywho.  Here were my THREES: 

  1. Chalene Johnson brought it up at a Marketing Impact Academy weekend conference in February.  I was blessed to be attending as a guest for a dear friend.  
  2. Once I got home, a video was popped up on my social media feed... thanks Big Brother... as a video I may be interested in.  It was Mel Robbins and you can read the article here, I couldn't find the darn video again.
  3. Finally, with the excitement of a five-year old on Christmas morning... I run up to the hubster to tell him this revelation... Chalene Johnson + Mel Robbins said, first thing in the morning for me to put down the phone + to focus on ME!!!  His response... "I have been telling you this for years, love.  But I'm glad you are finally listening."   

Key note about my hubster:  he is my biggest cheerleader... and the wisest person I know.  why I never listen to him first, is beyond me. 

 Health Hack (002): Start Your Morning Right&nbsp;


Anywho.  Here's the details:  simply starting the day with my phone OFF: no social medial. no emails. no returning messages. Just starting my day with silence + prayer + my thoughts.

See. 
When you start the day PLUGGING into everything + everyone else around you... you automatically go into DEFENSE.  You start the day on THOSE people's course, not the one God has set out for you.  You start responding to THEIR posts... to THEIR questions... to THEIR messages... and not to YOUR own journey.

In a society where our phones are multi-tools... it's so easy to wake up (with alarm on the phone) + automatically plug into the world around you... Check out news. Respond to messages. See what Sally is wearing this morning. or how far Jane ran this morning before DAWN, is she crazy?!?  

Once you do that... you IMMEDIATELY start responding... reacting. and your body hasn't even WOKEN up yet!!!  Seriously.  Your feet haven't even TOUCHED the floor! 

 

So. 
Here's the health hack tips for you + what I did.

  • Grab an old-school alarm... yep, I did it.  The alarm clock is a wee bit horrendous... but I set my phone in the opposite portion of the room with it set on Do Not Disturb!
  • When alarm goes OFF... I am making it a habit NOT to touch my phone for a solid HOUR after rising!

Spend the time putting on my ARMOR for the day through affirmations + prayer time + setting out my tasks for the day... and not immediately responding to the world around me!

YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?!?

SOURCES:  

  1. Morning Habits
The biggest task in the morning is to try to keep my headspace from being invaded by the outside world.
— Austin Kleon

DAY THREE

HEALTH HACK: Switching up deodorant to a more natural brand!

Deodrant is one of those products that folks typically don't think about... it's a habit.  And with it's application, you get a wee bit of peace of mind that you won't stink up the place and/or there won't be unpleasant sweat stains under your pits during this afternoon's office meeting.  Right?  

Well.  In our journey towards a healthier lifestyle... while our main focus is optimal brain + gut health... I realized nutrition isn't the ONLY thing that contributes to optimal brain + gut health, but also your internal dialogue... your daily habits... and even the products you place ON your body.  

 003 Health Hack: &nbsp;Opt for Natural Deodorant

So.  I started with deodorant... and soon discovered that there were at least THREE common ingredients found in conventional deodorants that scare me, but let's briefly touch base on one today.


ALUMINUM
Aluminum is the primary ingredient included in antiperspirant deodorants which is a metal used to “block” the sweat glands.  There have been concerns with if this is related to serious medical conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease and breast cancer.

Now.  I won't get into the science-y part of things... if you'd like to check out some article to dive a wee bit deeper, I'll source some below.  But my thought is this... why chance it?  If a natural product works JUST as good as a product containing ingredients which scare me + may pose a health concern in the future.... why not opt for the natural product, right?  

This will be a future blog entry from me along with the top natural deodorants I recommend as well as the ones which I have tested + simply do not work (thank you for letting me smell like liver + onions all day long!)

NOTE:  current brand I am trying is Schmidt's Lavender + Sage

Anywho.  Here's the details:  read your ingredients on the products YOU are using... research products and companies... find the ones you love + trust then let me know!  Because the more you know, the more you can grow! 

SOURCES:  

  1. Antiperspirant Safety: Should You Sweat It?
  2. 3 Dangerous Ingredients Found in Common Deodorants

DAY FOUR

HEALTH HACK: make your bed in the morning!

 004 Health Hack: &nbsp;Make Your Bed in the Morning

In a 2014 commencement speech at University of Texas at Austin, Admiral McRaven said:
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.
By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”


BOOM 


Powerful words, love. The simple task of making your bed first thing in the morning also has been linked to increased productivity, lowering one's stress level and improving one's mood as well as better quality of sleep.


It's a small task. Why not try... for a week to see how making your bed FIRST thing in the morning helps you! You in?  If you want to watch the video... here you go!

SOURCES:  

  1. Tips to Getting a Good Night's Sleep
  2.  Video... check below!

DAY FIVE

HEALTH HACK: Aim for at least 1 cup of leafy greens a day.

In the book, “The Better Brain Solution” it mentions eating a cup of green leafy vegetables every day will make you (on average) 11 years physiologically younger than someone who doesn’t!


{ did you hear that... someone just shut the front door }


Some leafy greens include: spinach, kale, brussels, swiss chard, etc.  Now, I like to sneak spinach/kale into smoothies... toss them into scrambled eggs... serve as a big sass salad with a droopy egg on top. DELICIOUS!!!

Anywho. 
Leafy greens are loaded with fiber. vitamin K. folate. potassium. antioxidants. anti-inflammatory props and so much more.

How do you sneak leafy greens into YOUR plate? Need ideas, love.  Just ask below👇🏼or drop me an email...

NOTE:  one of my superpowers is getting my kids to eat veggies (the other superpower is speaking pig Latin fluently.) ightra?!?

Anywho.  Here's the takeaway: um. your cells will be physiologically younger if you eat leafy greens daily... it’s good for heart, brains and bones.

SOURCES:  

  1. The Better Brain Solution by Steven Masley, M.D. 
 005 Health hack: Eat your greens

DAY SIX

HEALTH HACK: End the day with gratitude!

 006 Health Hack: End the day with Grateful Heart

Take a beat to unplug from social media... the tele... what have you + spend a few moments in silence.  Reflecting on the day... and the good which came to be.

Did you grab groceries... bump into an old friend... get a letter in the mail which made you smile... stumbled upon a hilarious quote... wore two socks without holes in the toes... progressed in your handstand project... able to spend a few minutes coloring with your littles... got told "I love you"...


some thing GOOD happened... no matter how big or small. 


Trust me, I have had some pretty shy-tee days with a lot of roadblocks and mountains to climb... but the point is to shift your focus to the good... see the good.  There's something there.

Now. Remember... 
You are sitting in silence. Focusing on the good at the end of the day. You will want to write them down in a journal... not on the back of a receipt, but get an actual journal.  And each day before your gorgeous head hits the pillow... write three things you are grateful for that day. some can be intense... some can be silly.

Here's the details: Let's shift the focus to a wee bit more gratitude... write down three things each night of what you are grateful for on that day! 

A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.
— unknown

DAY SEVEN

HEALTH HACK: Schedule your week!

It's perfect that this health hack falls on Sunday... because it's one I am aiming to do each Sunday- schedule my week.  I simply take 20 minutes to look at my calendar for the next six days and write out my, well, "ta das" as I call them.  The reason I call them "ta-da" is because it's a miracle when I get them all crossed off the list... I'll actually say, TA DA!!!!!  

My "Ta-Das" include:  

 007 Health Hack: Schedule Your week
  • dance classes for little miss
  • therapy sessions for little man
  • veterinary shifts
  • coaching calls with clients
  • date night with hubster
  • webinars I'd like to watch (1-2/week, no more because it can get overwhelming)
  • workout sessions
  • our menu for the week
  • family adventure (at least one a week
  • business hours set for Brain + Gut Health Coaching clients
  • brainstorming session 
  • meeting with accountability partner

It may sound a wee bit, like, duh... schedule your life.  And you may not even do it... or you may only schedule a few things, thinking "I'll just remember ___ (insert mundane task) ___."  

However, if we are being real here...  if it's not scheduled, it is 86% likely to get missed by miss.  So, I schedule it.  

Now.   

What you are scheduling for you this week... what's important to you, love?

 

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.
— Stephen Covey

 

Here's the details:  schedule your life + what you value... you don't want to miss anything!


This week, I was sidelined for the first three days because of a spastic should muscle (the rhomboid), the little bugger.  However, after three days of ice + rest + essential oils + anti inflammatories... I was ready to get back to sweating.  The first few days, I simply walked BUT when the hubster gave me the "okay" to push myself a wee bit.  Here's a look at the workout I tried out!  

NOTE: if you are trying a new workout routine/program, please consult your primary physician FIRST!  you are responsible for your body + actions... this is simply a workout I tried.  you got me?  YOU listen to YOUR BODY + YOUR DOCTOR!

kettlebell and shoes.jpg

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK

GIVE YOUR BEST FOR THREE ROUNDS

0.25mi jog 

50 air squats

15 tricep push ups

10 burpees



If you have any tidbits or health hacks YOU love, then share below or shoot me an email -- I'd love to learn more.  Because the more you know... the more you grow!  Until then...

love + gumption.

a. 

Brain + Gut Health Explorer