Reflections on becoming a quadragenarian
Today’s newsletter stems from reflections I’ve had over the past few weeks. I recently celebrated a milestone birthday and it was wonderful in every way. Three weeks in and not too shabby so far. I was reassured by many that it's a great decade and to cherish this journey. And with a renewed openness, I’m looking forward to new experiences, personal growth and the opportunity to savor life and cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude.
A new year, a new age, a new decade - all come with the opportunity to reflect, reset and pen down new goals. And this is exactly what I did. I kept it simple and asked myself just this one question.
What should I prioritize entering this new decade?
My response, which is nothing groundbreaking, really is to be in the driver’s seat of my health & wellness. Life, responsibilities and obligations can often take center stage and this can lead to placing health on the back burner. It is so important to check in with yourself frequently and assess where you are because the truth is - no one else can do it for you.
Taking the driver’s seat of your health & wellness...with just a few steps
Stay on top of your routine & annual preventive check-ups
There’s a tendency to postpone these important check-ins because, well - ‘I feel fine!’ or ‘nothing is wrong with me,’ or ‘I’m too scared to know’ or simply ‘I don’t have the time.’ But that is exactly the point of ‘preventive check-ups’ - being ahead, having the opportunity to make necessary lifestyle changes when needed, catching an imbalance before it gets out of hand. So if you haven’t already - please schedule your appointment/s. I know I will be and I’ve got a big one coming up - hello mammogram!!! 😬
Prioritize the 3 Pillars of Health - Sleep, Nutrition and Exercise
I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before, but these are three aspects of life that we often take for granted. Keep it simple and don’t overthink what you need to do. Sometimes all it takes is a few adjustments to experience the positive benefits. So here are a few things you can do if you aren’t already doing them:
- Start by focusing on eating whole foods.
- Minimize the availability of processed foods at home.
Health guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. That is just a little over 20 minutes a day. Even if you had to go for a 10 minute brisk walk after each meal, you would have hit the minimum requirement. So I encourage you to get out there, get some fresh air and movement. Also, you won’t be cheating yourself if you decide to squeeze in even 5 minutes of strength training daily
Now this is a tough one right here, isn’t it? If you think about it, sleep should not require much effort. Yet, we frequently wake up feeling groggy and sleep deprived - and immediately look forward to some restful sleep. But when the time comes - we just get in the way! There isn’t a lack of distractions to keep us up late.
Be consistent with your bedtime routine and get to bed at the same time everyday -
even if you're not sleepy yet. Spend some time reading a book, writing or listening to something relaxing and avoid anything stressful or overly stimulating like working in bed.
Additionally, try to wake up at the same time every day - even on weekends. This will reinforce your body’s internal clock which will help you to fall asleep at the same time every day.
Question for you! Could you sit on this stool if one of the legs was cracked or broken?
Are you experiencing any of the above? Don’t wait too long before addressing these conditions. Email me if you have any questions or concerns.
Probably! It wouldn’t be comfortable nor would it be ideal but you could make it work. Oftentimes, that is how we treat the 3 pillars of health. We may neglect some important aspects of our health, but we ‘make it work’ until it no longer works for us.
Nutrition, sleep and exercise - are a solid foundation for good health!
🎯 Quote of the week
All big things come from small beginnings.
The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision.
— Atomic Habits by James Clear
🌿 Recipe - Pho-inspired bone broth
These days, I’m thinking a lot more about joint support and exploring ways in which I can prevent future achy knees. And this is where collagen comes in. Collagen is found in skin, bones, cartilage and tendons - it is the main protein found in all connective tissues in our body and is especially important for the joints. Our body naturally produces collagen, however the amount gradually decreases as we age. So it is definitely something we should aim to replenish.
Bone broth, which is rich in collagen, is a natural and nutritious option. It is versatile and can be included in various meal preparations. Here is a quick and easy way I like to use broth, but feel free to use ingredients and spices that suit your palate :)
2 cups of organic chicken or beef broth
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
⅛ teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
1-2 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
½ carrot peeled and sliced
Sesame oil to taste
Fish sauce to taste 3-4 drops of chili oil
Simmer the ingredients above for 15-20 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!