Carson’s Blog

Posted in wellness

The Key Component For Satisfying Meals

Volume foods are the secret weapon to any recipe.  They are the nutrition choices that allow you to have generous amounts of food without blowing your macros. There is nothing worse than eating within your macros, and still feeling hungry after your meal is over.

One’s appreciation for volume foods grows exponentially because of the PERKS!  My struggles with food were never coming from a place of deprivation, but rather, lack of portion control. I would over eat, consume far more than my body needed, and used food as a source of comfort. Honoring my hunger and fullness, learning to intuitively eat  and creating balanced meals helped me understand how to have the best of both worlds!

Some refer to high volume foods when in a caloric deficit to increase satiety and fullness. I, however, use them all the time! I love feeling satisfied and enjoying healthy portions of food on my plate. Most people assume a satisfying meal needs to be large, heavy and full of calories but that is not the case. Incorporating high volume foods encourages the consumption of whole, nutrient dense foods that also conquer hunger, provide satiety that lasts and give you the best of both worlds regardless of your goals!

Examples of high volume foods include:

  • Salads with as many veggies as possible instead of cheese, croutons and creamy ranch
  • Riced cauliflower in place of or added to any rice, bread, pasta dish
  • Zoodles, lentil pasta or black bean noodles have half the calories with a bigger serving size
  • Rice cake snacks instead of bread or chips
  • High fiber wraps, tortillas, or thin crust pizza or
  • Swapping the bun for your burger for portobello mushrooms or a lettuce wrap
  • Sparkling, calorie free drinks like water, la Croix, etc.
  • Stevia, cocao nibs, popsicles
  • Mustard, salsa, lemon and lime juice, almond milk and herbs/ spices

Volume foods don’t have to taste like air. Consuming hig volume foods will result in feeling more satisfied, larger portions and enjoying meals without compromising the taste! Don’t be afraid to get creative with your ingredients! These foods are extremely nutrient dense and easy to use for even those most challenged chefs.

For FREE recipes, meal ideas and more visit http://www.carsonlainefitness.com

Posted in How To's

Maximize Your Time & Productivity By Working Smarter, Not Harder

“It’s not too late. Time is not running out. Your life is here and now, and the moment has arrived at which you’re finally ready to change.”- Cheryl Strayed

Between owning my own business, enjoying hobbies, being present in my marriage and my friendships, I often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. My life is full and time is limited! The worst part? I find myself in a position when evaluating what I have on my plate that I am not willing to give any of it up! My secret weapon is to work smarter, not harder. I have become a master at maximizing every hour of my day in order to honor the choices and commitments in my life. Below are some of the habits I have formed to keep me sane, manage my time, and feel successful regardless of what life throws my way!

Imagine starting each day feeling organized, knowing where to focus your attention while having ample time to do all the things. Now, let’s make this vision your daily reality by being proactive. Each night before bed consider your schedule for the following day and identify the top 3-4 priorities or tasks that will require most of your time and attention. Write those top tasks on a list, they represent the tasks that MUST be addressed that day. Do not strive to over achieve on your top task list! Having more than 3-4 tasks on your plate puts you in a poor position to have a manageable day. It also results in throwing off your sleep, stress levels, schedule and ability to be your most productive self. Identifying your top tasks also allows you to wake up each day with intention, a plan for your day already in place, making it easy for you to dive right in! Feeling like your list will never end? Train yourself to remember that there is ALWAYS more to be done. By identifying what on your list can truly wait you will cross each task off in order of importance without sacrificing your sanity. Spend your precious time moving forward, not side to side.

Setting boundaries is essential for great time management and productivity. Establishing a task timeline or even a “cut off time” to have things accomplished is the key to reducing stress, eliminate the feeling of “rushing around” and most of all maintaining a work life balance. Boundaries, limits and prioritizing your time allows a seamless transition into family time, social hour or whatever is next without additional work stress. If you are someone that struggles to meet deadlines or conclude things in a timely fashion, start by implementing a “cut off time” each night. This “cut off time” is the deadline and your productivity reminder that your tasks should be finished and not costing you time that you do not have. It will help you stay on track for completing tasks, maintain a manageable schedule and encourages great balance. My “cut off” time alarm is my favorite sound of the day! It holds me accountable and on my most stressful days creates a “light at the end of the tunnel.” I set an alarm on my phone and make it my biggest  priority to honor that deadline. When working smarter, not harder one can easily accomplish their tasks while also creating much needed balance on a daily basis.

Prioritize being proactive at all times. We spend a lot of time time each day being reactive, especially in work settings by Responding to emails, sitting in meetings and solving other people’s emergencies. Although some of this can be avoided, some of it is completely out of your control and operating from a place of reaction will road block your ability to accomplish your top tasks in a timely fashion. A great solution that will increase your productivity and focus when unavoidable disasters strike is setting a time limit for each task. Identify the most important task and set a timer for 25-30 mins (or the time your schedule allows) to dedicate your entire focus on that single task. When the timer is up, you will have been far more productive than if you were thinking about the task, working on it while checking your email, answering your cell phone while simultaneously scrolling social media. That stop watch or timer is more than a time limit. It is what creates a guaranteed window of time throughout the day to be productive,  laser focused and free of distractions that otherwise compete for your time and energy.

It is a proven fact that the average office worker loses about 2 hours a day due to distractions. They can’t be eliminated completely, but limiting distractions is a key component for optimal productivity. Silence your cell phone, close the extra windows on your desk top, close your door and create a space that truly sets you up for success. I strategically turn my message and email notifications off on my cell phone during working hours. Even better, turn it off! Your boss and schedule will thank you simultaneously for being the most efficient worker in the room.  Not to mention, the benefit of increased productivity and efficiency will far overpower the additional scrolling, text messaging, or daily 35 minute snooze that never actually makes you feel more rested.

Using these tips and establishing habits that encourage you to work smarter and harder will positively impact your life in every way. Enjoy more free time, have more fun, take care of yourself and see the people in your life that matter the most. Life is for living, after all.

For additional tips, helpful resources or information please visit http://www.carsonlainefitness.com.

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Secrets For A Perfect Day

Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we all start our day at some point. Some of us hop online to check social media, others dive in to email, still others eat breakfast, exercise, or pack lunches for the kids. There’re a million different ways a morning could go, but the most important thing is that it “goes” in a way that serves you.

The MAJORITY of Americans find that many of the following apply on a regular basis:

  • Feeling rushed, late, or scrambling
  • Lacking structure, consistency or any type of a routine
  • Snoozing until the last minute and feeling sluggish most of the morning
  • Lacking motivation and intention for the day and the slow start didn’t help
  • Living off coffee to perk up
  • Skipping breakfast, sometimes lunch and dinner feels like a black hole
  • Doing just enough to keep your head above water
  • Wondering why each morning feels like such a production to get out the door

While there is not an ideal morning routine that fits everyone, we can learn a lot from the research and inspiration behind starting a morning on the right foot. They key to a solid morning routine is making sure it fits your day. If you are short on time, it needs to be fast. If you are in a position to move at a slower pace, giving yourself the space and structure to do so in a way that makes you feel good is key.

Regardless of how busy you are, how early the morning or how overloaded your plate may be, here are 5 simple ways to maximize each morning by ending and starting each day with mindfulness and intention!

  1. Lay your clothes out before bed the night before. Whether it is workout clothes, business casual or a full blown suit, making less decisions in the morning is key.
  2. Have a breakfast or morning snacks that work with your schedule. If you have a need for speed, thinking ahead about breakfast will make all the difference. You need portable, effortless and INSTANT! Overnight oats or a smoothie that you can take in the car are good options. Yogurt & fruit can also be convenient and will give you the fuel to start your day on the right foot. If you have more time, plan to make yourself a meal before the day gets away from you.
  3. DO NOT hit the snooze button. Research has proven that snoozing is the absolute worst thing you can do for your mind and body. Hitting the snooze button makes it harder for your body to wake up, encourages late starts and makes it nearly impossible to have a sleep schedule. You’re also giving your body mixed signals by simultaneously knowing you need to get up, not honoring that commitment and then going back to sleep! You will feel more tired, less organized and less motivated throughout your entire day when you snooze. Move your phone out of reach for the night, find a wake up time to which you can commit and get up on that first alarm. Little adjustments such as a new alert sound, having to get up out of bed and even allowing your body to get up at the same time consistently will do wonders for your day.
  4. Identify your “Top 3” priorities. We are all famous for stacking a few too many things on our to do list. Somewhere along the way we were taught that busier is better and the more we can cram into a day is a direct reflection of our success. No one can do everything well! Be intentional with your energy by choosing the top three tasks you must accomplish and focus your attention there for the day. You will be more efficient, have more energy and be so much less stressed when you easily complete your task list without staying late, being overwhelmed or getting held up by errands that truly don’t need to happen that day.
  5. Set a routine that works for you! I savor my morning time and have to be very intentional to make sure that my day starts on the right foot. My morning routine is fast, simple and makes the rest of my day 100% more productive, enjoyable and successful.

Here is an example of a morning routine to try!  It can be completed in 10 minutes or an hour. The important thing is that it is something you can commit to daily, works for your schedule and creates the structure needed to start each day feeling perfectly prepared for whatever life decides to throw your way.

  • Wake up on first alarm
  • Brush my teeth & wash my face
  • Put on the clothes that were set aside the night before
  • Take vitamin(s) with a large glass of water (water before coffee is KEY)
  • Grab breakfast
  • Set the “Top 3” for the day
  • GO!

Feeling inspired to start your own routine? Feel free to copy this example to get started! For additional guidance on creating routines (morning and night) or finding a better balance in your everyday life please visit www.carsonlainefitness.com

Posted in Uncategorized

Navigating Travel, Meals Out & Social Events Stress Free

It is not uncommon that weekends are the hardest to “survive” when you have health and fitness goals. It was the same for me, and its something I hear ALL the time with my clients. It is easy to stay on track during the week while we stick to our routine. Work, gym, sleep, repeat. Then, the weekend comes and it seems as though our will power and decision making skills evaporate completely. The evaporation of skills is a mentality. It derives from fear and intimidation of feeling capable of making choices that align with your goals when social gatherings occur, or dinner is at your favorite restaurant. There is, believe it or not, a happy medium between YOLO and “I’m on a meal plan, I can’t have that.” That black and white mentality is typically to blame for set backs. Learning to account for meals out and how to fit foods in without blowing my macros or progress was one of the most empowering tools I developed during my fitness journey. Don’t be a prisoner to your meal plan, and don’t allow intimidation of trying as an excuse to fall off the wagon. Below are some tricks that help me navigate my weekends and social time without compromising my progress. My goal in sharing them is to help others break this frustrating cycle.

  1. You can’t out train a bad diet: The first step to finding a better weekend balance is understanding that you cannot out train a night of binge drinking and eating whatever your heart desires. You can be as diligent as you want to throughout the week. But, consistency is what your body craves the most and is also what will bring you the best results. Knowing that repeating those nights weekly are making all of your work and efforts during the week go to waste should be some motivation to start to tone it down.
  2. Check the menu ahead of time: Knowing your options and eliminating the pressure to make a quick decision can make a huge difference. Most menu’s are available online if you know where you are headed in advance. Going to a friends house? Ask them what is being served, and offer to bring something! That is a great way to add in healthy foods or things that you know will work for you that day. Lots of menu’s are available on My Fitness Pal and have the macro information on there. If you don’t see it, you have the option to request it on your tracking app. If you have a favorite spot and the menu isn’t available yet, request away! TheMacroExperiment.com is another outstanding resource for this. You can also call the establishment and ask them how things are prepared. If you had a serious food allergy, you wouldn’t hesitate to do this. Your goals and progress are not any different!
  3. Menu Manipulation: Half the battle to successful ordering is knowing what to look for and request. When reviewing a menu, request options that are baked or grilled. Most menu’s will also have things that are on the “lighter side” to select as well. If you want something low fat, request chicken or fish instead of beef. Low on carbs? Request double the veggies instead of the starch it comes with. Here is a little list of quick tips I use every single time I am out to eat.
    1. Eat before you go! That way you aren’t starving when you sit down
    2. Double the water, drinking as much as I can helps me with portion control
    3. Skip the bread basket- don’t hesitate to ask them to hold the chips or bread, you don’t need that crap on your table!
    4. Request a baked/ grilled option, and ask them to hold the butter and oil. That way, you can ensure your protein was cooked simply with herbs and spices only, and not injected with additional crap for which you cant account.
    5. Sauce on the side- when in doubt, ask them to either hold the sauce or put it on the side for you. You can always dip your fork in it, or pour it yourself so that you can better estimate serving sizes, etc.
    6. Double the veggies- Most entrees come with a starch and a vegetable side. If you are low on carbs or want to add volume, request double veggies! The brighter and more colorful your food, the better.
    7. Request a “half” size! This is a GREAT way to aid with portion control, especially if you are someone that struggles to not pick at your plate. Get half the burger, or half the salad, or half the entrée. You can take the other half home, or give it to your Husband, if he is a bottomless pit like mine!
    8. You don’t HAVE to finish your plate. Eat slowly, and eat until you are satisfied. If you know the portion was massive, section off the amount you’d like to eat and then make a mental note that you are finished after that point (I will sometimes even cover my plate with my napkin once I know I am really full. That prevents me from continuing to pick and eat when I know I should be finished).
  4. Portion sizes: In order to track accurately, you need to have an idea of typical portion sizes. For meat, a 4-5 oz serving is typically the size of a closed fist. When in doubt, track for a bigger portion. 1 cup of veggies is about the size of your palm as well. It is always better to over shoot in this instance. A typical pour of wine is 5 oz., etc. When in doubt, ask your server! It is their job to relay any information you need about what you are putting in your body. Knowledge is power.
  5. Tracking on the fly: There will be plenty of times at social gatherings, when traveling or attending dinners out where you have to just guess and go. Yo can always insert each menu item individually! Tracking SOMETHING is so much better than throwing in the towel and ignoring your choices for the night. Any accountability is better than no accountability. It doesn’t need to be perfect! Family dinner at your favorite burger joint? You can enter your burger like this: 1 hamburger bun, 1 oz cheddar cheese, 1 tomato slice, 6 oz chicken breast, 1 oz ketchup, 1 lettuce leaf, etc. You can do that with ANY meal that you order. The menu items have to list all ingredients, so take note and enter that stuff in!
  6. Be Needy: Restaurants expect special requests. They are used to serving people with severe food allergies or intolerances and are happy to cater to their needs. You are no different, and there is no shame in making special customizations to your order! Don’t be afraid to request different variations of what you need. The will be HAPPY to accommodate you, and you will feel so much better for it!
  7. Ignore the haters: People will ask you questions or comment when you take your health into your own hands. They will ask you “does that fit your plan?” or why you made special requests. Don’t let this deter you from putting your goals first. When this happens to me, I remind myself that they are usually curious and wanting to learn. People envy that kind of self control, and want to emulate it. Own your choices, and shout them from the rooftops. The people that matter will always support your choices and help you stay the course!

As this weekend approaches, try implementing these tricks. You will be shocked at how much you can enjoy your social life and weekend without the guilt that you completely bulldozed your fitness goals.

For more information on nutrition, healthy recipes and meal planning please visit www.CarsonLaineFitness.com

Posted in Uncategorized

Everything You Need To Know About Essential Oils

Allow me to introduce to you the most powerful products on the planet. Essential oils and other similar products are not only the newest addition to my supplement, self-care and vitamin routines, but also have completely replaced everything I used to use before. The information below is a complete introduction to essential oils including the benefits, common uses, facts and the scientific research explaining the ways essential oils can change your life, starting with my own experiences!

WHAT ARE  ESSENTIAL OILS?

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds that are distilled from plants (bark, flower, seeds, roots, leaves, etc.) Essential oils harness the protective, immune-strengthening and regenerating properties inherent to each plant. Additionally, they are highly concentrated and 50-70 times more powerful than herbs.

Example: 1 drop of peppermint oil holds similar benefits as 28 cups of peppermint tea

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Let’s compare Essential oils to other products and remedies commonly found in a medicine cabinet! I used to have a cabinet FULL of vitamins, minerals, and capsules for a million different things. These oils allowed me to streamline everything, not to mention they work 100 x better and are less expensive in the long run! For reference, Essential oils provide superior care, treatment and recovery solutions using methods that are 100% plant-based and natural. The quality and purity of essential oils are completely unmatched by any other product while providing superior results and benefits than other commonly used products. The information below explains the comparison of Essential oils to other commonly purchased remedies. I am currently using vitamins, minerals and both single oils and blends on a daily basis, and will never go back for these reasons!

  • Fillers and synthetics in other products will increase the chance of reactions and sensitivities while essential oils will not
  • Essential oils come from plants are grown in their native environment to ensure the highest level of quality and purity unlike other products
  • Not all essential oils are the same! Many companies add fillers or use a process (high temps and pressure) completely eliminating the desired therapeutic effects to reduce the cost of production

HOW THEY WORK

Here is the short version of the science behind how Essential oils interact with the body on a cellular level and why they are so much more effective than other remedies.

  • Essential oils are small in molecular size and lipid soluble, allowing them to quickly penetrate the skin and the cell membrane
  • Because essential oils are small and lipophilic, they rapidly penetrate the cell membranes
  • Oils are able to pass through the blood brain barrier and interact with neurotransmitter receptors including glycine, dopamine and serotonin
  • Once the oils pass through the skin they are distributed into the circulatory system without being compromised. That is why the benefits and effects of essential oils are astronomically higher in comparison to other products or remedies

USING ESSENTIAL OILS

The list below introduces the most common ways to use Essential oils in your daily life. Car air fresheners, hand sanitizer, bath/beauty products and even “roll on fragrance tubes” for those “on the go” are also available for purchase! I am currently using all three uses on a daily basis depending on my goals and needs that day.

Essential oils can be used aromatically, diffused or via inhalation:

When Essential oils are inhaled they pass through the (Limbic) system which is responsible for connecting memory, smell and emotion. I use my diffuser in the morning to uplift my mood and energy (Typically eucalyptus or peppermint), in my office for productivity and stress management (a citrus blend with lemon, etc) and in the evenings to ensure quality sleep, relaxation, or the at home spa experience I was dying for that day! My nightly relaxation oils are Lavender, Serenity, and Frankincense. 

Essential oils can be applied topically:

Essential oils can be applied topically to the skin for use. The fastest absorption with topical use is though the feet, back of ears and wrist.  I have used peppermint topically for both headaches, nausea and upset stomach. It worked better (and faster) than anything else I have ever used in my life. 

Essential oils can be used internally:

Sublingual application (a drop on the tongue) or adding essential oils to water is the most effective way to get the oils into the bloodstream. I have done this with “On Guard,” an immune boosting oil and Lemon for powerful detoxification. The options and uses here are truly endless!

THE FACTS ABOUT OILS

Below is a small (and incomplete) list of Essential oil facts that you don’t want to miss! This information played a huge roll in my decision to implement Essential oils in my own life and share them with my family and friends!

  • Hundreds of medical facilities are using essential oils to augment, replace, or enhance traditional therapies and pharmacological interventions
  • Research has proven use of essential oils yields positive effects on neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Certain oils have proven to suppress tumor progression while also containing anticancer properties
  • Essential oils can penetrate every cell in the body within 20 minutes and then metabolize like other nutrients
  • Other remedies or products drastically reduce in potency and effectiveness once ingested. They also leave your body within hours, unlike essential oils
  • Using essential oils daily or in small doses provides maximize benefit and results
  • Inhalation or topically applying Essential oils is similar to an IV injection in terms of how quickly it will penetrate the cells

REASONS TO START USING ESSENTIAL OILS

Just a FEW reasons why millions of people have switched to Essential Oils!

  • Improve sleep, insomnia and other sleep disorders/symptoms of fatigue
  • Improve  metabolic health and supports weight loss goals
  • Improve symptoms of common mood disorders including seasonal affect, anxiety, depression
  • Improve and enhance daily mood, stress and overall energy levels
  • Improves mental performance and symptoms of attention disorders including ADHD
  • Enhance athletic performance while also providing joint/muscle support, injury prevention/remedies and the perfect supplementation used by athletes worldwide
  • Improve and support gut health, immune health, thyroid function and even adrenal fatigue
  • Reduce pain, feelings of discomfort and physical ailments including nausea, etc.
  • Proven healing powers including cancer, tumor suppression and more
  • Manage and improve even the worst symptoms pertaining to women’s health including menopause, fertility, hormone imbalances/fluctuations, menstrual cycles and other commonly experienced symptoms

Eager to learn more? Contact me directly using the link below to claim your FREE essential oil gift!

For more information on living your best life in your best body please visit www.carsonlainefitness.com

Posted in Uncategorized

Stock Your Pantry With A Starting Line Up

“You aren’t stuck because you can’t. You are stuck because you won’t.” -Anonymous

One of the largest obstacles for those embarking on a health and fitness goal is nutrition choices. Most people assume that in order to make any kind of progress, your plate must be filled with peanut sized portions of white fish and asparagus. They will follow their “diet” for a small string of days and be so tired of the tasteless food that they throw in the towel and head out to their favorite neighborhood restaurant. Sound familiar? My biggest piece of advice to those ready and hopeful to start a successful chapter of healthier choices: (drumroll, please)… Prepare better tasting food!

There are endless ways to spice up the healthiest of meals so that you are eating flavor packed treats, not tasteless cardboard that only leads to frustration and failure. Enjoying the food you eat and being free from feeling restricted is the key to any successful health and fitness journey. Here are a few tricks to get you started!

  1. Don’t drink your calories: Keeping low or calorie free beverages at home can help you stay the course. Swap out soda, beer, and calorie filled drinks with La Croix, sparkling water, or tea. You will stay more hydrated and have more calories to put toward your food, rather than wasting it on choices that have no nutritional value.
  2. Think herbs and spices, not sauce: Most first time health pursuers make the same common mistake. You can fill your plate with the cleanest of choices. But, as soon as you cover it with your favorite sauce or dressing, it’s game over. There are better alternatives that add just as much flavor! Food seasoned with fresh herbs, spices, lemon juice or anything from a regular spice rack packs more punch than you’d think! Cilantro, cinnamon, garlic, mint, thyme, ginger, lemongrass are all ways to add endless flavor to even the most bland chicken breast. Put that spice rack front and center in your kitchen, and shake away. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to throw away your old favorites!
  3. Sauce Swaps: When it comes to dressing, the real version is best. Go for the good stuff filled with what your body needs like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut butter, honey, molasses, liquid aminos, salsa, apple cider vinegar, mustards and more. Hummus or greek yogurt products make fantastic dips. You can add more flavor by adding spices and herbs as well. These choices are superior in taste and better for your health.
  4. Bake Smarter: Love to bake? No problem! Making small adjustments in your ingredients of choice will improve your recipe collection. Coconut flour and almond meal are excellent alternatives to traditional baking flour and are much better for you. Applesauce and greek yogurts make for great “fillers” for certain recipes and adding raw honey or molasses will not only make the recipe taste better, but also keep you alive much longer than other processed sugars. Experiment with cacao powder, unsweetened coconut, extra dark chocolate and nut milks to take your recipes (and health) to the next level.
  5. Be Carb Smart: Swap out white, enriched carbs with something more nutrient dense like quinoa, brown rice, millet, or whole grains. In addition to fruit and veggies, these options will be packed with fiber to help keep you satiated, aid in proper digestion and provide you with far more essential nutrients than your previously processed go-to.
  6. Don’t Deprive Yourself: A successful nutrition plan doesn’t require restriction or deprivation. Enjoy ice cream, milkshakes, and other tasty treats within moderation! There are plenty of options that will satisfy your sweet tooth and benefit your body at the same time, sans guilt. Look for organic popsicles with real fruit, yogurt based ice cream or get creative with your toppings! Cacao nibs, 70% or darker chocolate chips or even all natural gummy bears will give you the best of both worlds. Check the bulk food section for tasty treats and enjoy real chocolate instead of the fake, processed stuff. You will reach your goals with happy tastebuds and food freedom.
  7. Check Your Plate: You should have a combination of protein, carbs and fats in every meal. When serving yourself, aim to fill your plate with 50% fresh produce, vegetables & bright colors. 25% of the plate should include a quality protein source (about the size of your palm) and the remaining 25% is for complex carbohydrates and whole grains. No need to restrict an entire food group, just be mindful of your portions and choices.

For more information on nutrition, healthy recipes and meal planning please visit www.CarsonLaineFitness.com

Posted in How To's

My Favorite Products For The Best Night’s Sleep

Getting a good night of rest is more difficult to come by than ever. Between the hectic schedules, managing kids, husbands, commitments, the increased screen time & chronic stress levels it truly doesn’t come as a surprise. Night time routines, among other things, are still in high demand and an imperative part of learning how to sleep like a superhero. Without proper rest, it is nearly impossible to tackle the day ahead to the best of your ability.

 

I have personally battled insomnia (in addition to high stress, demanding schedules & life in front of screens) for over 10 years. Sleepless nights and resulting fatigue are miserable! Over time, I have found several products that have helped me wind down, improved my sleep and have become some of my biggest tools to prioritize restfulness & turn my sleepless nights into the 7-9 hours of restoration that our minds and bodies so desperately need.

 

Below are my favorite products (and links to purchase) to help you wind down, unplug and get a better night of sleep. Let’s dive in!

 

  1. For those using melatonin, habit forming sleep aids or a prescription to encourage sleep you may notice that their effectiveness wears off rather quickly. The body quickly identifies these “false” substances and builds up a tolerance because of their limited ability to “hack” into cellular structures. Exchange your old sleep aids for Serenity capsules, a completely natural, plant based capsule filled with essential oils and coconut oil that will give you an incredible nights rest without the harmful chemicals or tolerance build up. An equal alternative is using the Serenity essential oil blend as a pillow spray, on the wrist or under the tongue.
  2. If you are spending a fortune on bedding and sheets with little to no return on investment, return them for a set of bamboo sheets. These sheets are silky soft, absorb more moisture than cotton and allow for the perfect temperature while you rest. The fabric allows them to keep cool when needed and also provide warmth easily as an alternative. They are a small investment compared to other high thread count sheets and are a must have staple in your linen closet.
  3. Allergy season, climate changes, germs and dusty air vents all contaminate the air we breathe. At night, this can result in sleepless nights of coughing, scratchy throat or other common allergy systems preventing you from sleeping like a superhero. Investing in an air purifier will eliminate those symptoms and ensure that every breath is free of anything keeping you from a good night of rest. They range in price, function and size. We have one in each bedroom of our home!
  4. In addition to bamboo sheets, sleeping under a weighted blanket has proven health benefits that you won’t want to miss. These blankets, usually ranging from 15-20 lbs ease insomnia, help with sensory processing disorder, fight back against stress, reduce anxiety, improve focus for ADHD, encourages calm, aids in PTSD, panic disorders and symptoms of OCD and depression all while improving your sleep. In my experience, the added weight doesn’t equate to either additional heat or an increase in temperature. These blankets have built in temperature control systems to provide you with all of the benefits without sacrificing any comfort.
  5. Sleeping soundly involves more than a solid night time routine and the products above. The way we wake up each day has an equally profound impact on our energy levels, focus and ability to fall asleep naturally again the following night. Our bodies are designed to rise with the sun and begin to wind down after sunset. We have trained ourselves to wake up to harsh alarms, loud noises and snooze buttons, all of which have absolutely no benefit to our natural sleep cycles or circadian rhythm. The more effective and beneficial alternative is using an light alarm clock with light simulators. These simulators create the natural lighting of a sunrise (and sunset to aid in winding down) each morning rather than alarming our bodies with loud noises and rude awakenings. Waking up to light rather than racket encourages your body to wake up naturally as it would if you had left the windows open and the sun was peeking through, nudging you awake to start another day.

For more information on sleep, natural remedies or to gain access to helpful resources designed to improve your health and wellness, please visit www.carsonlainefitness.com