written by Dr. Marlee Guy ND
As we say goodbye to carefree summer days and welcome the transition into fall, there are so many things to look forward to – the crisp, clean air, the leaves changing colour, the biggest fashion season, the return of school and busier schedules, and of course, everything pumpkin spice! With this transition, we often find ourselves inspired with a sense of discovery and renewal and a desire for self-reflection and improvement.
Hitting the reset button at the end of the summer has always been something I look forward to. To me, September always feels like a second new year, a perfect time to reflect, reorganize and reset, both mentally and physically. As schedules get busier, I am always reminded of how important it is for me to feel my best, so I can keep up with the demands of the daily hustle and reach my goals, without feeling depleted and unable to live my life to the fullest.
With that said, I thought I would share some tips on how to get started on your self-care routine this fall, so that there is nothing holding you back from going about your busy days, while looking and feeling your absolute best!
1) Prioritize a Sleep Schedule!
Sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice when we are pressed for time and stressed out, yet it’s also one of the most overlooked reasons behind those extra inches on our waistlines, those pesky pimples that pop-up, those frustrating episodes of brain fog, or even those intense sugar cravings! Too little shut-eye leads to a cascade of hormonal and other biochemical changes, which ultimately result in a wide array of health, wellness and beauty concerns.
Our body loves routine, and setting up a consistent sleep schedule is one of the simplest ways to establish an internal rhythm that our body will thank us for! Establishing a healthy sleep schedule for your fall reset can be as simple as going to bed and getting up at more or less the same time every day, even on weekends and days off! With the return of school and more hectic schedules in general around this time of year, means that now is the perfect time to set your day up for success by getting more shut-eye and reaping the benefits of that much needed beauty sleep.
2) Start Your Day with Lemon Water!
Before eating breakfast or drinking your morning coffee, it’s important to rehydrate your body each morning! Making my warm lemon water every morning and drinking it on an empty stomach is my favourite way to instantly rehydrate, re-energize, kickstart my metabolism and wake-up my digestive system! Whenever I’ve skipped out on my morning lemon water, I just feel completely off – my digestion gets sluggish, and I feel a sense of heaviness and fatigue! I swear by starting my mornings with lemon water – in fact, it’s one of the most impactful rituals that I have implemented into my daily routine.
Try out my Supercharged Lemon Water Recipe below, which has extra anti-inflammatory benefits from the added ginger and turmeric!
What you will need:
– Juice of half a lemon
– A few slices of fresh ginger
– Dash of turmeric
– Stevia to give it some sweetness
– Hot water
Directions: Juice half a lemon into your favourite cup. Add the ginger, turmeric and stevia and then add hot water to fill! Enjoy your warm cup of sunshine!
3) Get Moving!
Starting your day with some sort of physical activity to increase your heart rate and break a sweat is key! Just 30-60 minutes of walking, yoga, or your favourite YouTube workout routine will do the trick! This helps clear your mind, boosts energy, metabolism & focus, and sets the tone for making more health conscious choices the rest of the day!
When it comes to incorporating physical activity into your daily routine, consistency is KEY! Therefore, it’s important that you set realistic goals and actually schedule in your exercise at a time that suits your daily routine best! Whether that’s early morning before the daily hustle begins, during the afternoon when the kids are at school, or in the evening after dinner, it’s essential to discover what works best for you and then lock it into your schedule!
Once you commit to incorporating healthy lifestyle habits into your daily routine, it becomes second nature, and that’s when you will experience sustainable and transformative changes in your overall health and wellness. And remember, it’s always easier to commit to something that we enjoy, so find fun ways of being physically active and switch it up every now and then to challenge yourself!
4) Fuel Up with Protein Shakes!
Adequate protein intake is essential for our overall health and wellness. Protein is required for some of our most important bodily processes such as cell & tissue repair, hormone & enzyme synthesis, and a wide array of metabolic functions. Protein is crucial for maintaining lean muscle mass & bone mass, as well as promoting fat loss through its metabolic boosting properties and ability to reduce cravings. Although protein requirements may differ based on individual factors, a general rule is to consume between 1.6 – 2.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight each day.
For instance, to maintain muscle mass, use the following calculation to determine your daily protein requirements:
Your weight in kg x 1.6 = grams of protein/day required (divide into 3 or 4 servings/meals)
So, if someone is 150 lbs (~68 kg), they should consume approximately 108.8 grams of protein/day. That works out to approximately 27 grams per meal if divided into 4 servings or 36 grams per meal if divided into 3 servings.
A great way to help reach your protein intake requirements is to begin implementing protein shakes into your diet! If you find eating 3 or 4 meals a day is not for you, you may consume protein shakes as a meal substitute as long as it is well-balanced!
To create a well-balanced protein shake feel free to follow this general recipe:
1 scoop of protein powder
1 scoop of collagen powder
1-2 Tbsp of ground flax seeds
1-2 Tbsp of chia seeds
3/4 cup of frozen berries
1 cup of plant-based milk (almond, cashew, coconut, etc)
Sprinkle of cinnamon and/or sweeten with stevia!
Blend and enjoy!
5) Fill Up with Fiber!
Ensuring adequate fiber intake is essential for proper digestive functioning and gut health overall. Fiber also helps with the regulation of insulin, decreases cholesterol/triglycerides, promotes proper recycling of our hormones, aids in fat loss, reduces inflammation, and the list goes on!
Although fiber requirements may differ slightly based on individual factors, a general rule is to consume 25-30 grams of fiber per day! An easy way to tell if you are meeting your daily fiber intake requirements is by tracking your food intake with apps like MyFitnessPal.
Adding 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds and chia seeds daily to your smoothies/protein shakes is a great way to boost your fiber intake! Other ways to increase fiber intake (especially if you experience frequent bloating) is to consume more COOKED vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. Aim to eat two cups of cooked vegetables twice a day. Eating cooked vegetables, especially as we transition into cooler fall weather, is much more satiating, is higher in fiber content and is much easier to digest in comparison to eating raw vegetables and salads.
6) Keep a Food Diary!
Using a food diary is a great way to get back on track, especially when you feel overwhelmed and in need of a reset. Whether you prefer writing it out in a diary or using an app, monitoring your dietary intake will help support a more mindful approach to your eating habits as well as highlight areas for improvement in your daily intake. One of my favourite apps is MyFitnessPal as it’s an easy way to keep track of your daily food intake, establish weight loss & physical activity goals as well as monitor your progress over time. This enables you to gain insight into your dietary & physical activity trends over time and help you become more aware of how your daily diet and lifestyle habits impact the way you feel day-to-day as well as over the long-term.
7) Get Your Zen On!
Stress is at an all-time high in our society, which can have major detrimental consequences to our health, wellness and beauty. In fact, skin concerns, digestive complaints, hormonal imbalances, and weight management issues all share chronic stress as an underlying factor. So GET YOUR ZEN ON!
Begin incorporating stress reduction techniques into your daily life, wherever and whenever you can. Whether it means starting a daily affirmation, writing out 5 things you are grateful for each
morning, taking 15 minutes each day to meditate, welcoming each morning with your go-to yoga flow, getting out into nature, or even pampering yourself with a cleansing and relaxing skincare ritual each night before bed – whatever it is that makes you feel at peace, do it more often!
8) Ditch the Late-Night Snacks!
For some, late-night cravings are incredibly hard to control and can be quite detrimental to sleeping patterns as well as weight loss goals. The best way to overcome late-night snacking is to prevent cravings from occurring in the first place! One of the best prevention methods is to once again, increase your protein intake because of the satiating effect of protein that keeps you feeling full longer, while eating less!
This ability of protein to curb cravings is partly due to the effect of protein on our appetite-regulating hormones – ghrelin and peptide YY. By increasing protein intake, you can reduce the level of the hunger hormone ghrelin, while boosting the level of peptide YY, a hormone that suppresses appetite and makes you feel full.
9) Buddy Up!
Join weekly challenges with friends and family to keep each other motivated and to create a sense of support and accountability! I love doing the “Work Week Hustle Challenge” with my friends & family on Fitbit. These group challenges are not only fun, but also brings out our competitive edge every now and then, which helps inspire us to push ourselves a bit more than we would when we know that no one is watching. Another tip that helps is to simply share your goals with friends and family – it’s proven that we are more likely to succeed if we say our goals out loud and share our intentions with others.
10) Get Lab Testing Done!
Last, but definitely not least, get your lab values checked! This is especially important if you have particular health, wellness or beauty concerns that are holding you back in your day! It’s difficult to stick to any routine when you constantly feel sluggish and tired, or if you have a sense of heaviness or general discomfort, or even if you suffer from daily aches and pains. Many of us walk around each and every day suffering from chronic concerns without realizing there are ways to identify the underlying causes as well as personalized solutions that will get you back on track to feeling and looking your very best.
That’s why I make sure to take a “NO GUESSING GAMES” approach to health care. Through in-depth investigations and a functional medical approach, utilizing comprehensive laboratory testing, I identify how your unique biochemical and physiological factors may be underlying your health, wellness and beauty concerns. I strive to achieve peak performance on a cellular & biochemical level for my patients and will take the time to educate you on why “within normal range” is often simply not good enough! After conducting a comprehensive intake and lab review I will recommend targeted supplementation with key nutrients designed to meet your unique needs!
If you’re looking to reset this fall and feel you have underlying issues holding you back that you can’t seem to figure out, stop guessing, and start getting the answers you deserve! Book an
appointment with me and we will work together to create a comprehensive and customized treatment plan that targets your individual needs, so you can LOOK and FEEL your ABSOLUTE BEST!
I hope you find these 10 tips useful in getting started with your fall reset and inspire you to create helpful habits that set your days up for success! With that said, there is no one-size-fits all when it comes to achieving your unique health, wellness & beauty goals, and there may be underlying reasons as well as lifestyle factors preventing you from doing so!
If you are looking for an individualized approach to achieving your goals or require some extra support with creating your fall reset plans, let’s chat!
Book an appointment with Dr. Marlee Guy ND today – click here.
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