The 3 Minute Rule For Better Health

The 3 Minute Rule For Your Health

Let me start this by saying:

1. Don’t be intimidated by that kettlebell.

2. No, this is definitely NOT a sponsored post for Nike (I just really like my cute new shoes).

Alright, before I tell you how to use The 3 Minute Rule I have to tell you the backstory for how I developed it. This started because I really hate doing dishes. No, really. 

The truth is I will do anything in my power to avoid doing dishes. I suppose this wouldn’t really be a problem except for the fact that I write a food blog and all and really need a working kitchen with clean dishes. Hmm.

Since I don’t have a dishwasher I’m constantly forced to do dishes by hand. And every time I would walk by my sink and see the dishes piled up I’d cringe. I then would add another dish to the pile, feel guilty, whine to myself, and walk away again. I finally told myself it was time to change my bad habit and this was how I created The 3 Minute Rule:

The 3 Minute Rule says that you only have to do an activity for 3 minutes. Then if you want to stop, you get to stop. But, if after 3 minutes the activity feels tolerable, you can choose keep going. 

It sounds really simple and it is, but for some reason, this absolutely changed my relationship to doing the dishes. Instead of avoiding it, whining, and coming back to an even bigger pile, I started committing to 3 minutes a day. And you know what? After three minutes, I’m usually halfway through the sink full of dishes and am willing to just finish it and get it done. How awesome is that?

I’ve been using a similar technique in my workouts for years where I tell myself that I only have to commit to 20 minutes and then if I’m miserable I can stop. Most often I find myself happily making it to the 45 minute – 1 hour mark, but some days, I really do stop my workout at 20 minutes and I’m really happy with it because I’m just proud that I showed up and committed to that time in the first place.

Some of my favorite posts on this blog involve sharing simple ways that we can be healthier, encourage others in our lives to be healthier, and support each other in our own health goals. I wanted to share this idea of The 3 Minute Rule with you because there are so many ways to apply it to better health, whether it helps you to keep your home cleaner and more organized, get more physical activity into your day, or eat a little better.

How will you apply The 3 Minute Rule to your life to create better health? Leave a comment and share below!

3 Simple Ways To Take Better Care of Yourself

Ingredients 9

Unfortunately I think there are times in everyone’s life when you feel like you’re at the end of your rope. You’re hanging on by a thread. Totally overwhelmed. Stressed out to the max. And completely at a loss for how to deal with it.

If you’re in this place, you’re not alone.

I found myself in this place this week. I woke up in the middle of the night panicked, crying, and a completely irrational mess. All I will say is that it wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t fun.

When you find yourself feeling this way, it forces you to have to take a hard look at your life. It means it’s time to re-evaluate and re-prioritize. For me, I always come back to the basics, which means making sure that I’m taking the best care of my body that I possibly can. If you’re in the space, or even if you’re just looking to take better care of yourself, here are 3 simple ways to get started:

1. Drink a green smoothie. My favorite recipe is my fruit-free green smoothie because it’s high in fiber, low in sugar, and is incredibly nutrient dense. To put it simply? This means it’s going to make your body feel really, really good. Dark, leafy greens are one of the most important foods to add to your diet, especially if you aren’t getting enough vegetables already.

Make sure you stock your fridge with ingredients to make smoothies and then it’s easy enough to commit to 5 – 10 minutes a day to making a smoothie and drinking it. I always see a difference on the days when I drink my green smoothies and I can’t say enough positive things about how my body feels afterwards. And, if your’e really in  a time crunch? Then make a double batch at once and keep your extra smoothie in the fridge for tomorrow.

2. Get a little more sleep. Alright, I know you know this already: sleep is so important for our health and mental wellbeing. But, I also understand the reality that the majority of us struggle to get eight hours of sleep a night. Even getting 15 – 30 minutes more sleep a night can make a huge difference. Ready to take this sleep challenge? Check out my posts here for How to Get Better Sleep, How to Relax Before Bed, and How to Create a Bedtime Routine.

3. Get more movement in your day. Go for a walk. Do some squats while brushing your teeth. Do some yoga stretches for ten minutes when you wake up. Ride your bike to work. The point here isn’t what activity you do, the key is to pick an activity you enjoy and do more of it.

Contrary to popular thinking, I believe you don’t have to join a gym to be healthy (although I personally love my gym) – the point is that you need to get more movement into your life in general and if you don’t like going to the gym then don’t let that stop you. There are plenty of other ways to stay active and healthy even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.

Now that I’ve shared my favorite three ways to take better care of yourself, I hope you can join in the conversation. Leave a comment below and share you favorite way to practice better self-care!

Warby Parker’s Home Try-On Program

Warby Parker's Home Try-On Program

Alright, I know this might seem a little strange at first. Why am I blogging about glasses? Just bare with me a moment and it will soon become clear.

Bad eyesight runs in my family. By the time I was in fourth grade I couldn’t see without glasses and I felt traumatized by them until I reached junior high and finally got contacts. Finally.

But most days, I really hate wearing contacts because I find them uncomfortable. (Apparently this is totally normal since you don’t blink as much when you stare at a computer screen for hours, but that’s besides the point.) I typically opt for wearing glasses a few days a week and contacts a few days a week. However, over the years as my eyesight continued to decline, this meant that I was getting my prescription updated yearly and new glasses can be really, really expensive. Even with health insurance benefits. In fact (and please don’t tell my mother this), there were a couple of years after college I wore the wrong prescription because I couldn’t afford new glasses and insurance only covered a quarter of the costs. Yikes.

Then one day a few years ago, I complimented a co-worker on her super cute pair of glasses and she told me about a company called Warby Parker. Warby Parker is an online glasses company based in New York that makes super cute, SUPER AFFORDABLE glasses. We’re talking about $95 a pair ($125 for me because I need special lenses). Holy cow. I immediately jumped on their website, picked out some frames, and signed up for the (free!) Home Try-On.

That was three and a half years ago and now I’m on my third pair of Warby Parker glasses. I love this company because they make high-quality glasses which are actually affordable and really cute! The other cool things is that they donate a pair of glasses for every pair that’s purchased. I love companies that care about doing good things.

Since taking care of your eyesight is part of taking care of your body and your health, I decided it was time to blog about my awesome glasses and this awesome company. My favorite part of ordering glasses from them is using their Home Try-On Program so I wanted to show you how easy it is and, honestly, how much fun it is to try on cool glasses! Let’s get to it!

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How do you treat yo self?

How Do You Treat Yo' Self? Easy ways to practice better self care.

These past couple of months have been a bit rough. With lots of professional changes as well as a ton of personal stress, it’s been a little crazy around here.  And that’s putting it nicely.

In light of this, I think it’s time we officially talked about Self Care. As in, healthy ways to nourish our bodies, minds, and souls during times of transition, stress, and just everyday life.

So, let’s talk about how you treat yo’ self…

For anyone who is a big Parks and Recreation fan (like me!) you might remember the episode where Tom and Donna have their annual “Treat Yo’ Self ” spa and shopping excursion (you can watch a clip on YouTube here). It’s hilarious and completely over the top in some ways, but I love the idea of taking the time to pamper yourself.

Of course, I also think it’s important that we talk about “treating ourselves” in a healthy way that doesn’t involve putting ourselves into debt, indulging in senseless consumerism, or eating a ton of unhealthy food.

I want you to take a moment and answer this question: When was the last time you “treated yourself”?  What did it look like? What did you do? And, how did you feel?

For many of us, food becomes a quick, easy, and cheap way to “treat ourselves.” Think about it: we don’t often reach for a donut or a cookie when we had a great day at work and just returned home from the most relaxing yoga class. No way. We reach for that sweet treat when we’ve had a stressful day filled with a long commute, no time for lunch, and a sleepless night the day before.

We’re only human and when we’re under stress, let’s be honest here… willpower just doesn’t work. In these moments, it’s vital that we find healthy and truly nourishing ways to treat ourselves that doesn’t involve sugar or destructive foods.  Click to tweet it!

Here are some of my favorite ways to treat myself and practice self-care when I’m under stress and life is crazy.

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The Trader Joes Healthy Meal Plan

The Trader Joe's Healthy Meal Plan: Recipes for Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan, & Gluten-Free Diets

Let me start by saying that this is NOT a sponsored post for Trader Joe’s. :)

If I had things my way, I’d probably only shop at the farmers market and my local co-op, but with some recent career changes, life feels busier than ever. And you know what this means? It means a lot of shopping at Trader Joe’s.

A couple of times a month I get emails from readers with questions about how to make healthier decisions at the grocery store. I also frequently get asked to create meal plans with servings. This isn’t something I normally do, but since I’ve been focusing on my own food budget lately and doing a lot of shopping at Trader Joe’s, I thought this would be the perfect chance to create a Trader Joe’s Healthy Meal Plan!

In this post I’ll show you what my typical shopping list for the week has been looking like and the recipes I make. These recipes are a mix of some basic prep and pretty simple cooking. Since I’ve been tight on time lately, my goal has been to keep meal prep and cooking time under 30 minutes per meal so these recipes are definitely great for busy folks! Each section shows you the amount of servings along with the total price and price per serving.

I typically only shop and cook for myself so I will do 1 – 2 shopping trips a week and do batch cooking usually twice a week to make sure I always have fresh food on hand. If you are cooking for 2 or a larger family, you can adjust the recipes and multiply the items by how many additional servings you need for the week. Make sense?

So let’s get to it!

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50 Healthy Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

50 Healthy Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

Forget jewelry and perfume. This year, celebrating mom is about helping her to be her healthiest, happiest self.

My own mom will tell you that for every occasion I usually get her:

a) a book about health and wellness

b) some sort of delicious food item or c) a fun self-care treat. Since I’m always brainstorming healthy gift ideas for Mother’s Day I thought I’d share a comprehensive list with you here to get your ideas flowing as well!

Homemade Food Gifts

Because nothing says I love you like fermented cabbage… right mom?   (Please note that most of these items need to remain refridgerated!)

Healthy Kitchen Accessories

Self-Care Essentials

Great Books for Mom

Natural Beauty

Encourage mom to feel her most beautiful, radiant self – without putting chemicals and harsh fragrances on her skin!

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3 Simple Ways to Reduce Kitchen Waste

3 Simple Ways to Reduce Kitchen Waste

April is one of my favorite months because I love the start of spring. I mean, what’s not to love about spring cleaning, fresh greens coming into season, and Earth Day reminding all of us to continue our efforts in more sustainable living?

This month I’ve been focusing my sustainability efforts on reducing waste. It’s amazing how much waste can come out of one kitchen and if you don’t live in area with access to compost, this really adds up! One of the other perks about reducing kitchen waste when it comes to food is that it can definitely save you money so it’s a win-win all around.

My goal on this blog is to provide you with simple, doable steps to improve your health, lifestyle, and overall wellbeing. With this in mind, I wanted to share a post showing you some simple ways to reduce kitchen waste by using all parts of your vegetables. Today we’re going to focus on the three worst offenders: beets, radishes, and broccoli. So here we go!

3 Simple Ways to Reduce Kitchen Waste

#1. Beets

In my opinion, beets and beet greens are one of the most under-appreciated vegetables of all time. Even though I’m usually pretty good at converting beet-haters into beet-lovers, most people simply don’t use their beet greens! It makes me so sad to see these going to waste in the compost bin because they’re a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and calcium.

Beet leaves can be substituted for chard or spinach in any recipe and they also make a great substitute for kale or collard greens. Try blending a few raw greens into smoothies, sautéing them with onions, or adding them to soups!

My favorite beet greens recipe? Try these Sesame Roasted Beets and Greens!

Sesame Roasted Beets and Greens

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How to Create a Bedtime Routine

How to Create a Bedtime Routine

I think most of us could use a bit more sleep… am I right? Or, at the very least, better quality sleep. This is exactly why today we’re talking about creating a bedtime routine!

You might remember that I started a series awhile back on how to get better sleep.  If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the previous posts: Part 1: How to Get Better Sleep and Part 2: How to Relax Before Bed

Alright, here’s the deal: our bodies function best on a consistent sleep schedule.   In order to get the deepest sleep possible, we need to get in touch with our natural circadian rhythm (aka sleep/wake cycle) and have a consistent bedtime and wake-up time every day of the week.

So, here’s how to create a bedtime routine!

1. Set a regular bedtime

I know this first step might seem silly and obvious, but how many of us don’t have a regular bedtime and then wonder why our sleep is inconsistent and our bodies don’t feel rested?

Begin by listening to your body and noticing what time you naturally start to feel sleepy.  What I’ve noticed from my own experiences and talking with others is that each of us tend to have our own sleep schedule that makes us feel rested. Some folks thrive as “night owls” while others prefer to be “early risers.” Although work schedules might interfere with your desired bedtime and rising time, try to follow your body’s natural clock as much as possible.

Once you pick a bedtime, be consistent in following it.  This will help your body to expect sleep and you will have better quality sleep as a result.  If you must adjust your bedtime, try to adjust it in small, 15-minute increments so that it does not cause a huge shift all at once.

2. Create a bedtime routine 

Once you have your bedtime set, assign yourself a time to start getting ready for bed each night.  This can be anywhere from a half hour before bed to an hour and a half.

One of the keys I’ve found to being able to keep a consistent bedtime is planning time to relax before bed. Ideally, I like to start getting ready for bed about an hour before I actually want to be asleep. In Part 2 of this series, I shared my tips for How to Relax Before Bed. Some of my favorites include taking a bath, listening to music or podcasts, drinking Natural Calm (a magnesium supplement) which helps to ease stress, and reading a book.

A lot of us neglect this simple step and then we hop into bed, find our minds still racing from the day, and toss and turn for hours trying to wind down. Instead, be proactive and train your body to relax, which will help to promote consistent and deeper sleep!

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