Our Journey to Wellness: Crowding Out
After our last wellness checks, there were some changes that we needed to make in order to move towards healthier versions of ourselves. I've been trying to find an overarching method that could help us. Through a friend, I discovered a concept called "crowding out".
The idea is pretty simple. Rather than focus on all the things you need to cut out, start adding healthier habits in. The more healthy habits you add in, the more the bad ones start to fall off — especially once you start seeing and feeling the benefits.
It's so easy for us to get caught up in our daily hustle, that we don't realize the cumulative effect of our habits. Something that seems relatively harmless here and there can add up to something impactful when it turns into a daily thing. So, I've started my crowding out process by looking at the things I'm consuming on a regular basis and asking myself, "is there a healthier option"? If so, I'll try it a few times before deciding to keep going with it.
Here are 2 diet and 2 fitness habits I've just added in to crowd out the less beneficial options, and I'm already seeing and feeling the results!
- Added in a daily Matcha Latte with Almond milk | Crowded out the Vanilla Latte with Almond Milk: It's not that coffee is horrible. Personally, I noticed that coffee was causing me to crash with low blood sugar and was raising my blood pressure. It also doesn't do favors for those of us who deal with digestive issues. At first, Matcha tasted "grassy" to me. I started by flavoring it with caramel flavoring a few times, then moved to cane sugar sweetener a few times, and now I use Stevia to reduce the empty calories.
- Matcha is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
- Boosts metabolism AND burns calories
- One cup of matcha tea equals 10 cups of green tea
- Calms the mind and relaxes the body
- Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
- Enhances mood and aids in concentration
- Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
- Prevents disease
- Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
- Added in a daily gluten free, high protein power food breakfast | Crowded out less beneficial "protein bar": Out of convenience, we had developed a grab and go habit for breakfast - protein bar and a latte. Although a protein bar isn't necessarily bad for you, our doctor informed us there are greater benefits to actually eating a crafted meal made with whole foods that your body has to fully digest. Every morning, I make us a power food breakfast sandwich made with ancient grains gluten free bagels (quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, etc.). Each sandwich has two organic, cage-free, brown eggs with sautéed whole leaf spinach, thyme, and avocado.
- Cage Free Brown Eggs: have higher omega-3 content, vitamin E content, tend to be larger, and are more densely packed with nutrients.
- Sautéed Spinach: Heated spinach allows you to absorb higher levels of vitamins A and E, protein, fiber, zinc, thiamin, calcium, and iron. Important carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, also become more absorbable.
- Avocado: This fruit can improve heart health and digestion, decrease risk of depression, protect against cancer, support eye health, prevent osteoperosis, and lower risk of several chronic diseases.
- Added in more fat burning cardio with High Intensity Interval Training | Crowded out heavy weight lifting: I had grown tired of being bulky and feeling joint pain from my workouts. My fitness goals have evolved and now I'm focused on staying lean and feeling healthy. That doesn't mean I'm leaving weights behind — I'm just making them an integrated part of a more balanced fitness regimen, along with exercises that support heart health, burn fat, and help me stay strong and flexible without unneeded stress on my joints.
- Helps build endurance
- Burns calories and fat in a shorter period of time
- More efficient energy use
- Boosts metabolism
- Longer post-workout fat burning
- Lose fat without losing muscle
- Improves heart health
- Added in post workout cold plunge and dry sauna | Crowded out muscle tightness, soreness, and strain with longer recovery periods: In the past, I always felt rushed with my longer weight focused routines. I would often leave without stretching and would end up dealing with muscle tightness throughout my body. The shorter high intensity workouts now allow me to use the new time gained to stretch in the dry sauna, and then close my session with a cold plunge.
- Boosts immune system
- Improves cardiovascular circulation
- Reduces muscle inflammation
- Improves your mood
- Promotes weight loss
These are 2 diet and 2 fitness habits I've added in this month. And with the results I'm seeing and feeling, I'm sure I'll be adding more over the following months that will crowd out additional less-beneficial habits.
Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to discover new topics worth sharing on "Our Journey to Wellness"!
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