This week's challenge involves a few changes in food and finally making a decision to change bad habits into good ones. But when you're faced with temptations and weaknesses, it starts to become a struggle. But small changes do make a difference.
Here are the few changes I've made: Incorporate Pilates into exercise routine. I've done Pilates before but I stopped. I don't know why but I started again this week. I did the first few exercises from Brooke Siler'sThe Pilates Body. These exercises focuses on strengthening the core area but at the same time improves cardiovascular capacity and flexibility. But before doing Pilates, I did some cardio exercise first to really warm up the body. I felt great after doing the Pilates exercise and my breathing has improved. If I'm not cooking by profession, I think I would have become a Pilates instructor.
Reduce coffee intake. I am coffee-free (although not necessarily caffeine-free) this week. I still do have my dark chocolates once in a while because they're not as harmful as the caffeine in coffee which gives me the jitters every time I have a cup. So, instead of coffee, I took some herbal/grain teas such as peppermint, chamomile or barley tea.
Eating brown rice. I'm eating brown rice almost every day. I still do eat white rice and I don't completely eliminate them. Actually white rice can still be a part of everyone's diet and they are used when you are recuperating from sickness. Although eating quinoa and millet are also good, they are more of an additional support because they're more expensive. Eating okra and bitter gourd. Okra and bitter gourd are really cheap here and they are so good for you. But not many people like them because of the taste and texture. I'm not really fond of them either but I'm starting to like them already. It's a matter of eating them in their most natural state and least flavoring to appreciate their taste. How ironic is that. I only eat them a few times a month, but now, I want to eat them a few times a week.
Utilize cilantro and turmeric more in cooking. These two ingredients are wonder foods. We know that turmeric reduces inflammation in the body and it does many wonders to our internal organs and overall health. Cilantro has also many benefits as well. They are good in ridding heavy metals such as mercury, lead and aluminum from one's body. They are also an excellent blood cleaner and promotes healthy liver function. My sister-in-law added that it is also good for people who are suffering from cough (they act as an expectorant). The health benefits are numerous but you have to consume them fresh, not in dried form. And you can add this to almost any dish. You can also check this blog post "Is it Cilantro, or is it Coriander?" at Rouxbe Online Cooking School Blog.
What I've failed to do and need to work on:
Drink more water. I do drink water upon waking up in the morning but when afternoon arrives, that's the time I fail to hydrate. I know it's a bad example. And my body requires more fluid in this tropical country.
Slow deep breathing. Slow deep breathing is a discipline and it should become second nature as you practice. Pilates does help strengthene the lungs but during the days when I'm engaged in doing something else, I became unconscious on how I breathe.
Sleep early. After using the computer reading other wonderful blogs, I still read a book before I go to sleep.
What I can do:
All of the above changes require a decision on my part. So, if I need to hydrate, I have to decide I have to hydrate. If I need to sleep early, I have to decide that I need to sleep early.
Small changes still does make a difference. I don't want to surprise myself by changing all my bad habits drastically but I'll give myself a pat on the back for those positive changes. Assessing what I've done this week can help me come up with a better plan.
How have you done with your challenge? Keep it up because you're doing great.