Sneak Peek into the Week #3
Here is our list of interests/learnings/ponderings for the week. Enjoy, and as always, we love your feed back so let us know if you enjoyed this post.
Sleep - getting enough as well as good quality. The more we learn, the more interested we become. Why such a fascination? Well...a short blurb directly out of the book Gregg has been reading, Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker, sums it up pretty well.
"Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You'll feel happier, less depressed and less anxious. Are you interested?"
He is referring to sleep, of course.
Six simple ways to help you get more and better sleep are:
- Keep your room on the cooler side.
- Turn off all screens, ideally 2 hours before bedtime. If you must use a screen, invest in blue blocking glasses.
- Create a sleep cave out of your room. Cover up any and every light in your room, including small rays of light coming in from the streets, lights from alarm clocks, smoke alarms, etc. (These tiny pre-cut light blocking stickers are really helpful).
- Avoid alcohol before bed. It takes your body hours to process alcohol and get it out of your system and it WILL disrupt your sleep, so save drinking for special occasions.
- Create a sleep schedule and stick to it every day including weekends.
- Get outside in natural sunlight at least 30 minutes a day to help regulate daily sleep patterns. If you can, make it first thing in the morning.
FOOD EXPLORATION CONTINUED:
Our Okinawan exploration continues. (The soba noodle soup was AMAZING, by the way. Sorry, it was gobbled up before I could snap any pictures. Email us if you'd like the recipe we used (I made noodles from scratch but some good alternatives are available at Thrive Market or even Amazon).
Next, we tried a little something to satisfy the sweet tooth, Imo Custard. Though not very sweet at all, by "normal" standards, we really enjoyed this recipe. We tried it as written below, and also substituting the sweetener completely with a bit of cinnamon, which changed the flavor profile, but was equally enjoyable...even by 9 year old taste buds.
Imo Custard (Okinawan sweet potato dessert)
- 4-6 Okinawan Sweet Potatoes or Purple Yams, peeled boiled and mashed
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar (we used maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- Milk (cow, coconut or nut milk) as needed
Blend all ingredients until creamy, adding milk to get to desired consistency.
Another helpful takeaway from the Okinawan culture is the concept of Hara hachi bun me (腹八分目/はらはちぶんめ), (or hara hachi bu). As Okinawa has the highest proportion of centenarians in the world, its worth paying some attention to. What exactly is hara hachi bu? It is a Confucian teaching that translates to "belly 80 percent full". Of course this is relative and difficult to quantify, but is simply a wonderful reminder to eat slowly and reap the benefits of chewing your food well, being present and expressing gratitude during mealtime.
MOVEMENT OF THE WEEK:
Dead Hang Plus. Add on to the dead hang from last week and try lifting your chest and squeezing your shoulder blades down and back while hanging. Hold strongly for a few seconds before releasing and repeating. Note that the movement should come from the shoulder girdle, not your arms. Keep your elbows straight.
Inspired by Gabby Reece, my super-hero role model, we, as a family, have declared February a No-Complaining Month. According to research, less complaining = better mood + increased happiness and mindfulness. It's only day 5, but the effects are REAL. It's a great exercise in taking a pause before speaking, and also rethinking and perhaps editing the way we express ourselves. We are each holding each other as accountability partners, just in case we begin to slide down the complaining rabbit hole. Join us. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!
Have a great week!