Diary / Wellness / Oct 6, 2022
Your Fall Wellness Checklist
Written by: Lauren Slayton
Even if it’s been years (or decades) since you were last in a classroom, the back to school mindset tends to persist. With my nutrition clients, I can sense a desire for a little more structure this time of year. While I’ll never pushback when anyone wants to lean in a healthier direction, it’s better to improve than overcorrect. Sports psychologist, Trevor Moawad, called it neutral thinking. Before you accelerate or do anything severe, start by reestablishing your basics. Here are the top baseline behaviors—tick these off the checklist and you’ll be feeling great!
I know “eat your vegetables” sounds basic, but I cannot tell you how many step-tracking, apple-cider-vinegar- sipping people don’t eat enough veggies. Try for two cups of vegetables, twice a day.
And nothing against lettuce, but that’s not how you want to expand your vegetable repertoire. I call cruciferous vegetables “top shelf vegetables.” These include veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Top shelf veggies are hormone balancing, they contain something called DIM (an indole phytonutrient). DIM reduces high estrogen levels and supports estrogen detox. DIM has also been shown to be chemoprotective, leading to lower risk of breast cancer over time. Aim for a top shelf vegetable every day.
It’s common to have your largest meal, at the end of the day. I call this triangle eating. Think of the shape of a triangle. You start your day with a small breakfast, have a light lunch and a larger dinner. Instead, try for diamond days. If you think of the shape of a diamond, it’s widest in the center. Have a larger lunch and a portion-controlled dinner.
Omega 3s, the healthy fats found in fish, are an integral part of a healthy diet. They’re anti-inflammatory and an antidepressant. You can get omega 3’s in walnuts, chia seeds and hemp seeds, but they’re not as absorbable as seafood sources. Shoot for a minimum of four fish meals a week.
1 Liter by Lunch
We can’t talk about healthy habits without mentioning water. But focus on water, in the first half of your day. One reason for an afternoon slump is dehydration. Have one liter or four cups of water by lunchtime.
Aside from the function of certain supplements, there’s also something helpful about gathering your new foods and tools, as you embark on a new chapter, with your wellness. Think of them as school supplies. The three supplements that most people should take are Vitamin D3, magnesium and omega 3s. Make sure you take vitamin D in the morning, with food. It needs fat to be absorbed.
Rituals provide rhythm and there’s something about tea that’s especially soothing. While I’m a fan of green tea and matcha, many clients love an after dinner tea time. Pick an herbal tea, like ginger or mint, dandelion for debloating or rooibos. Have your tea one to two hours before bed, as a signal to your mind that it’s time to unwind.
Set a Bedtime
For many of us, the only time we have to decompress is at night; however, you don’t want to decompress or binge-watch at the expense of your sleep. Set a bedtime that’ll provide you with 7-8 hours of sleep. Your body likes things regular. An hour before bed, turn down the AC, you want to sleep in the 60’s as your body must drop in temperature, in order to sleep.
Routines provide rhythm. Give yourself a couple of weeks to experiment with these items. It feels good to be proactive and unlike a semester in school, I give you an A for getting started.