The One Thing To Do For Yourself Every Day

What do you do for yourself that’s just for you? Do you work out, meditate?

Are you so busy, going, doing and taking care of others that caring for yourself is not only an afterthought but inconceivable?

You may think with all of the responsibilities you have that self-care is selfish.

I assure you it’s quite the opposite.

Consider how you feel when you don’t take care of yourself. You might feel tired, cranky, overwhelmed, have difficulty making decisions or you might get sick.

If you are struggling with any of these how on earth can you take care of anyone or anything.

You can’t!

However, if you practice a little self-care every day you will:

  • Be more productive
  • Experience better health
  • Increase your self-awareness
  • Reduce your stress level
  • Have more energy and time to give

“Almost everything will work again if you just unplug them for a few minutes. Including you!” – Anne Lamott

Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting your well-being and happiness, particularly during periods of stress. If you take care of your wellbeing you can take care of the wellbeing of others.

It can be as simple as going for a walk, taking a nap, meditating or preparing a healthy, nutritious meal.

As difficult as it is, saying NO to obligations that you do not have the time or energy for or is not something you are truly interested in is self-care and it relieves stress, too! NO is an empowering word!

When your daily routine includes self-care those periods of stress become fewer and far between and when they do occur, you are able to deal with them in a more calm and controlled manner.

The Three Essentials:

1.   Make it simple. Especially when you first begin your self-care routine. Take small steps and incorporate them into our life. Take a walk at lunchtime or turn off all electronics at 8 pm.

2.   Plan it. If you’re anything like me, if it isn’t on my calendar it does not happen. Block time in your calendar for your self-care.

3.   Make it count. Don’t do it halfway. When you are engaged in your self-care, turn off the phone, the tv and focus on you!

Self-care is different for everyone and there is no wrong way of performing self-care.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Read a book for fun
  • Start a journal
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime
  • Take your vacation time
  • Exercise regularly.

Please visit the link below for idea from my self-care routine and how the concept of 20/20/20 can change your life!

What will you do for yourself today?

Self Care and Morning Routines

Posted by Living Healthy List on Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The 3 Key Ingredients To Create Consistent, Healthy Habits

In case you missed Debbie Movessians recent masterclass you’re in luck!

Debbie will help you create a plant-based eating plan you can use right away! It can be your go-to plan when you are out of new ideas or the backup plan when you realized you’ve fallen off track.

Here is the replay:

The 3 Key Ingredients To Create Consistent, Healthy Habits

Bonus: Done for you 5- Day Meal Plan
Here is your complete 5-day meal plan.
Suggestion:  Have only 1-2 breakfasts all week (repetition makes it a habit and it also keeps it simple!)
1-2 lunches all week and then save your variety for dinners (pick 5.)
If there is something you don’t like, make a healthy substitution. No specific recipe needed, just eyeball based on your likes.
To flavor veggies, add seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, cumin, or any other seasonings you enjoy!
For fajitas and tacos use chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder, smoked paprika and dried oregano powder plus crushed red pepper for some heat.
Breakfast :

Option 1:

greens (spinach, kale)
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1-2 pitted dates
1/4 cup chickpeas
sprinkle cinnamon
water or unsweetened soy milk
Homemade oatmeal
old fashioned or steel-cut oats (make ahead of time)
frozen blueberries
Option 2
peanut butter
mashed banana
Option 1
Salad greens
variety of veggie toppings: cucumbers, carrots, radishes, peppers,
fruit toppings: berries, grapes, raisins
nuts & seeds
Dressing: freshly squeezed lemon juice and a drizzle of your favorite vinegar
Option 2
Quinoa salad
Prepare this ahead of time and make a few for the week
cooked Quinoa
black beans
diced red and yellow peppers
green onion
sauce made of hummus, lime, cumin, water
Add avocado at serving time
Option 1:
Pesto pasta with roasted veggies
whole-wheat pasta with pesto sauce (contact me for my favorite oil-free pesto sauce recipe!)
roasted veggies
fruit for dessert
Option 2
Soft Tacos
Whole wheat tortillas
brown rice, black bens
corn, salsa
greens & avocado
Option 3
portabella mushrooms
side of black beans and brown rice


  • Banana, apple, orange, any other easy to grab fruit
  • sliced veggies (peppers, carrot, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower) with hummus
  • nuts (unless you’re trying to lose weight)
  • organic dried soybeans


Planks The Shortest Workout EVER!

I don’t know about you but ab workouts are not my favorite. I despise them. Yes, they tend to be short usually 10-20 minutes, but after the first exercise, I’m bored.  I’d much rather do something else. 
Anything else for that matter. Run a marathon (Ok, I’ve never actually done that but you get my point, right?)

Crunches are the most common ab (rectus abdominis muscle) exercise.

However…they along with situps may not be the most effective way to build muscle and strengthen your core.

Strengthening your core (ie. abdominal muscles), can improve stability, reduce injury, and maintain mobility.

A few months ago I gave up crunches of all sorts and replaced them with The Plank.  It’s such a simple exercise that you can do just about anywhere; at home, the gym or in a hotel room.  They are great when you travel!

The best part is they only take a few minutes to do. Actually, it takes me three minutes.  1 minute for a regular plank, one minute for a left side plank and one minute for a right side plank.  See 1+1+1=3 minutes! That’s it.

Plank exercises might be very simple, but at the same time, they have a long list of benefits, too!

When you perform a plank you recruit a better balance of muscles on your front, sides, and back during than when doing sit-ups – which target just a few muscles.

Remember, your core goes far beyond your abdominal muscles.

When you perform a plank you are engaging and working your biceps, shoulders and neck muscles.  And those are just the upper body benefits!

Your lower body gets a great workout, too!  Planks work your chest, lower back, glutes (ie. the junk in your trunk), thighs and calves.  All these separate body parts are working at the same time which make the plank the most time-efficient exercise you can do!

Read more about the benefits of doing planks by clicking the link below.

Benefits of doing planks

Now that you’re excited about how awesome planks are I have an idea…

Let’s do a 30-day plank challenge beginning on August 1st.

30-Day Plank Challenge

The challenge is to perform one exercise per day for a certain amount of time – from 20 seconds on the first day to 5 minutes on the thirtieth day.

I know you can do it!

Check out the entire workout here!

I’ll post on the FB Page every day as a reminder!  Contact me here if you have any questions.

You Are The Master of Your Destiny!

By Denise Stegall

Have you ever felt like you are floundering, like you have no direction in your life?

Are you waiting for something to happen or for someone to come along and make your life the way you dream it should be?

Like the princess who is waiting for the knight in shining armor to come to save her?

Life is reality folks, not a fairytale.

Or is it? Can you create your own fairytale?

Life is about creating something that you love, not waiting for it on the sidelines to see what might happen.

The choices you make, big and small can put you on a path to loving the life you live.

Oh, and BTW making no decision is a decision.  A decision to stay right where you are.  Are you happy with that?

In the video below I talk about 5 key choices that are vital to your success in creating that life you desire.

You are The Master of Your Own Destiny


A guide to better sleep

  • Sleep is that golden chain that ties our health and our bodies together. -Thomas Dekker
  • Sleep! It’s the cornerstone to optimal health and equally important as eating healthy and exercising. Yet 1 in 3 Americans are not getting enough and it’s negatively affecting everything we do!
  • Chronic stress, anxiety, and tension are the leading causes of insomnia and sleeplessness among adults. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea, side effects from medications, and other underlying medical conditions can also contribute to our lack of sleep.
  • Nonexistent sleep routines, exposure to high definition television and blue light from our computers and cell phones are also keeping us up at night, too.
  • So, what’s the big deal if you don’t get enough sleep. If its once in a while then the consequences are minor, you feel tired the next day.  But what if you you dont get enough sleep for days and weeks on end? How do you feel?  How do you function?
  • Without the proper amount of sleep, 7-9 hours per night is recommended, excessive sleepiness interferes with school, work, activities, and your relationships.
  • When you’re frequently tired you are less productive at work, you make more mistakes than normal and may experiences lapses in judgment.
  • While driving a car when you are sleepy may seem relatively harmless, it can have serious consequences! You are four times more likely to get into an accident if you got less than seven hours of sleep the night before.
  • Sleep deprivation can have similar effects on your body as drinking alcohol. Being awake for 18 hours straight makes you drive like you have a blood alcohol level of .05 (At .08 you are considered drunk.)
  • Am I catching your attention, yet?
  • Poor sleep causes serious, long-term effects on your health. Reduced sleep is tied to cardiovascular problems, a depressed immune system (you get sick more frequently), increased inflammation (the stem of all disease) and weight gain.
  • When you are awake your body is essentially breaking down. When exercise or have a job where you do a lot of walking or heavy lifting your muscles suffer small tears in them that need to be repaired.
  • Guess when this repair happens? Yep, when you are sleeping!  Athletes count on this breaking down and repair because it causes them to get stronger and faster. If you are not sleeping your body can’t repair itself so you get the opposite of stronger and faster and you’re more prone to injury.
  • Think of your body like a car. If you don’t clean and care for your car, especially throughout the winter the snow, ice, and salt will cause the metal to oxidize or rust.  Basically, the same thing is happening to your body.

Additionally, staying up all night or having episodes of interrupted sleep is disrupting your circadian rhythm, the natural 24-hour cycle from light to dark. Our hormones are based on mother nature’s cycle and respond to the rhythm of the day accordingly.


Let’s take cortisol, the stress hormone for instance.  In the morning we want our cortisol levels to be high. It helps wake us up and gives us energy throughout the day. As the day goes on cortisol levels should naturally decrease and then reach the lowest levels when its bedtime.


When our cortisol levels are high or “off” we can feel anxious, unmotivated and fatigued. If our cortisol levels don’t shut off and are always at a high level it can lead to real issues as it has a profound effect on our entire body. It effects our hormones, thyroid, insulin, sex hormones, digestion and immune system.


Cortisol also effects the neurotransmitters in our brain chemicals that determine our mood, focus, mental clarity and oh yes, SLEEP!

I mentioned earlier that Sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain. So, if you’re not catching your zzz’s and you’re trying to lose weight you are fighting a “losing” battle.

  • Here’s why:
  1. When you are tired and running low energy, you automatically reach for comfort foods like chips or pizza. Its never carrots and hummus.
  2. When you are sleep-deprived, the level of Ghrelin, the hormone that tells you when to eat, is raised. You have more ghrelin constantly telling you to eat. So, you eat more calories.
  3. Leptin is the hormone opposite to Ghrelin and tells you to stop eating.  When you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.  So, you keep eating.
  4. As mentioned earlier the more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite. Increase appetite means you eat more calories. Too many more calories equates to weight gain.
  5. Sleeplessness can fool your body into thinking you’re in danger and goes into survival mode and your fight or flight response kicks in. Your metabolism slows and holds on to extra calories instead of burning them.
  • What can we do to get better sleep and avoid all of this?


Here is a quick guide to better sleep


  • Try to wake naturally without an alarm clock which is tough at first. Ease yourself wakening by setting an alarm with a peaceful sound like a chime or gong.  Prefer to get up with the sun then get a sunrise alarm clock until you naturally wake on your own.  Also, remove conventional clocks from your bedroom and do not use your cell phone as an alarm


  • Complete your most pressing tasks in the morning; things like exercising, staff meetings stressful projects etc. that require more energy and leave easier task for later in the day.


  • Eat on a regular schedule. Oh, and Eat Real Food. Eliminate all processed refined sugars, grains and anything that comes in a box.


  • Get your daily dose of vitamin D by exposing your eyes and skin to the sun at least 15-20 minutes per day. If it’s not the season to get outside you may want to talk to your doctor about a vitamin D supplement.



  • Eat a lighter meal for dinner before 8:00 p.m. Eat a small protein/fat/carb snack before bed to stop the surge of adrenaline and cortisol that often happens in the night when blood sugar is off if you still struggle with wakefulness.


  • As the day winds down shut your blinds and lower the lights. Light a few candles, turn on relaxing music and take a warm bath with lavender.


  • Turn off ALL electronics by 9:00 p.m. or use BLU BLOCKER glasses sunglasses to read the computer, watch TV or read electronic books. Download Flux for your computer to minimize night time exposure to blue light. Flux makes the color of your computers display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and sunlight during the day.


  • Read, drink chamomile tea, take a bath or shower, use lavender oil, do some relaxing stretching before bed.


  • Remove ALL sources of light from your bedroom (including; televisions, phones, alarm clock lights and light that filters through windows etc.) If this is not possible wear an eye mask for total darkness.  Bucky brand is the softest I have used.  The masks come in a variety of colors and have a concave shape to fit over your eyes.  They look funny but who care, you’re asleep!


  • Be in bed asleep by 10:30 at the latest.


If these steps don’t solve your sleep issues you may opt to get tested for adrenal fatigue by ordering a diurnal saliva test here.

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to contact your doctor whenever you are having issues with your health.  I hope I have made it clear that not sleeping is a major health issue.




Article on How Artificial Light is Disrupting Your sleep

Denise Stegall

Living Healthy List