Welcome back for the 3rd newsletter! Lots on my mind this week (like sleep health) and plenty to share that can help you on your nutrition journey.
Working on improving sleep health with this app. Why you might not want Impossible Burgers to be a staple of your diet. And why I’m adding blueberries into the rotation (lots of nutrients!).
What’s on my mind
Sleep health. I’ve always struggled with sleeping well. As a kid it was getting to bed, but now-a-days it’s staying asleep. Here’s an example of a particularly bad night I had recently, the gray bars are when I’m awake:
Sleep is a foundation of health and it’s not just important for energy and focus. So, over the last few years I’ve been trying some things to improve my sleep quality, and recently testing some new techniques in the last few weeks:
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- Tracking my sleep. I use the Withings Sleep Tracker (sometimes it accidentally tracks my dog, but I really like it overall). This gives me insights into the problem areas and helps me connect the dots.
- Reducing blue light in the evenings. This one is so important because our brains can’t distinguish well between the blue light on our screens and from the sun and your body will think it’s time to be awake. Here are some ways that I do this:
- Having a curfew for my cell phone. (This one is hard!) I’ve been trying to keep my phone out of my bed room and stop using it 1 hour before bed time. This helps to reduce stressors and distractions before bedtime, and it also helps reduce blue light intake. Don’t read that work email before bed!
- Tea before bed. I’ve been using a calming night time tea. Right now I’ve been using one from Organifi, and another from Golde. I like them both, and I’ll be trying rotating in some other ones.
For fun: Here’s one of my favorite sleep tips from tiktok.
I do think that these rituals have been helping, but I’m going to pay close attention to my sleep tracking.
Last week I mentioned the problem that is mouth breathing. This is something I’ve been paying closer attention to over the last week.
Breathing through your nose has so many benefits from fixing sleep apnea to improving the health of your teeth, so I am trying my best to keep my mouth shut. I even got this tape from 3M to make sure my mouth is shut all night long. I’m not sure yet if it’s helping me sleep, but I’ll follow up on that.
Either way, I do think that breathing through my mouth during the day has helped me reduce stress by slowing down my breathe.
What I’m eating
I’ve been trying to skew my diets towards more protein, which has been difficult on a mostly vegetarian diet. Here’s some of the things I’ve been cooking up + snacking on this week:
- Lentils: I made a batch early in the week and then cooked it up a different way for every meal, throwing them into salads or sautéing with greens.
- Eggs: I have an awesome egg steamer, so I steamed a few eggs and mixed them into salads and with the avocado.
- Avocado: Basically used a topper for anything.
- Greens: Swiss chard and spinach, both raw and cooked.
- Olives: As a snack and in salads.
The more I’ve been doing research on nutritious foods the more I see berries and in particular blueberries pop up over and over again. Blueberries can get a bad wrap for being fickle (too mushy or too under ripe), but they might be a food worth reuniting with.
Blueberries are actually pretty low in calories, but they are dense in nutrients:
- Antioxidants, which protect your body from free radicals that can damage your cells and contribute to aging and cancer.
- Fiber, which can aid in fat loss, lower cholesterol, and help your digestive system.
- Vitamin C, which is great for your immune system and sleep health.
- Vitamin K, which is critical for blood clotting and bone metabolism.
- Manganese, which is used for metabolizing amino acids, cholesterol, glucose, and more.
I’ve been using them as an easy snack, or just adding them to salads and smoothies
What I’m listening too
- Extra Spicy Podcast on the new wave of tech-food and why you might want to avoid Impossible Foods.
- Tim Ferriss Podcast w/ Dr. Andrew Huberman on optimizing sleep.
- F.lux: Mentioned this above. Doing what you can to minimize blue light exposure at night is really important and I really like the way that F.lux helps with this. (Note: you actually want this exposure in the morning, but getting real sun light is the best.)
- Thryve: I’ve really been wanting to learn about my personal microbiome health, so I found Thryve. I can’t yet recommend this, but it’s something that I am trying out and I’ll report back on how I liked it when I get the results back!
I have a few other things on tap that I’m just starting to try and will mention in a future newsletter!
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