Updated: May 8, 2021
We start to see the trees turn from dormant to life. Plants emerge from the ground, soak up the sun and crave water, and then bloom. As this spring is ramping up and summer is quickly approaching, I think of the vegetables and other natural foods that are grown, and I think of the idea of life springing from the dormant state of winter.
In the spring we need to plant seeds for our gardens to grow the freshest food to nourish our bodies. In spring we celebrate the Risen Lord and how His life gives us eternal life. In order to be our best-selves now, we need to plant the seeds of habits to be healthier, stronger, and more determined.
This takes me back to 2 Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 9:6 ESV
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
You know - plant our seeds in rich soil and take care of them. Eden, my first grader can tell you what a plant needs to grow: water, sun, soil. As adults, we know that those three key elements are needed for a thriving and fruitful plant. But do we remember that in our lives? We are so busy taking care of everyone else’s gardens (our kids, husbands, etc.) we forget to tend to our own.
I like to think of our seeds as our habits. We need good, purposeful habits to grow within ourselves, to reach our goals, and to be the person God created us to be. We need healthy, nutritious soil, soil that is made up of whole foods and our friends and support groups, and a wholesome mindset. We need water - literally. We need the sun - the light of God and all of our time spent with and for Him. We must sow our seeds in good soil, in a spot where the sun and Son can enhance life.
So how, exactly, can you grow yourself to bloom and live a healthy and whole life this summer?
Yes, you may have seen some or all of these habits I’ve mentioned before, but it is always important to refocus your intentions and go into the summer as prepared as possible. Hopefully you will find a tip or phrase or something to boost your growth - your life size Miracle Grow if you will.
Try these tips to prepare to enjoy the season the most and nourish your body and mind as God intended.
Don’t skip breakfast. There are so many reasons to skip it. Hot summer mornings can make breakfast even less appealing. Although it's not summer yet, spring is the perfect time to set the tone for the good nutrition you’ll need to adjust for the summer.
With a filling and nutritious breakfast, our bodies have an opportunity to refuel after a night without food and receive nutrients that help our minds and bodies function at their best. I’ve talked about breakfast a lot and there will always be some staples that can fuel our mornings. A healthy breakfast that includes protein, fiber, and healthy fats will keep you feeling fuller for longer and keep your energy levels stable throughout the morning.
Try hard boiled eggs. Fresh Fruit. Greek Yogurt. Oatmeal. Whole food based breakfast bars. Shakeology is also a quick, convenient, and delicious option. Explore some great options here.
It is even more important to stay hydrated as the weather heats up. We are lucky with more daylight but as the sun gets hotter we perspire more. Even mild dehydration can make us super tired. Staying hydrated is important and it helps so our energy levels don’t slump.
Don’t like water? I get it. In the winter I suggested sipping on warm herbal teas. In addition to making us hydrated, herbal teas can also help us feel a little perkier. Green tea, peppermint tea, or black tea - warm or cold - can help us with hydration and energy.
I’ve got a lot to say about water. You should check out “Drink Your Freakin Water,” on my podcast.
Rethink caffeine. Caffeine gives us quick energy boosts, but at a cost. The energy boost is quick and is quickly followed by an energy slump that will leave us feeling more fatigued than normal. Caffeine can also contribute to dehydration. This doesn’t mean we have to skip the coffee or the other caffeinated drinks; we should all just be very mindful not to rely on those drinks to keep our energy up.
Prep your water. Water and hydration go hand-in-hand. A way to stay ahead of ourselves is to prep water. Yup. Prep your water. Just like you prep your food. If you have three reusable water bottles, fill them all up in the morning (or the night before if you prefer) and keep a rotation going. Finish that first 24 oz., refill it, put it in the fridge and grab another already to go. On the road, let's prep two and bring them with us. This also helps if the water at your work isn’t very drinkable.
Get or Stay Active
Haven’t been up and moving much in the winter and spring months? Get active! For those who have been active, make a plan to stay active. As it gets hotter, the excuses to exercise may change from the excuses we use in the winter, but with this spring planning is going to stop the excuses.
One way to avoid the drastic heat of the summer is to start your outdoor exercise early in the day or right before the sun goes down.
Exercise, in addition to water, can keep your energy levels higher. Exercise increases blood flow around the body. Try 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises most days for a natural energy boost.
Exercise also increases our moods, thus giving us energy to keep drinking water and eating well and exercising. These steps will help sow our habits - seeds- and make us better each time hydrate or exercise. Consider joining my next bootcamp: Learn more about my bootcamps!
Get Your Kids and/or Peeps involved
Often, many health programs have people focus only on themselves, but eventually the habits that endure and keep us growing and producing fruit are when our tribes (families or friend groups or work groups) join together with a common purpose. Think prepping. Cooking. Exercise.
“They don’t like what I cook.”
“My husband doesn’t want to workout.”
“My kids are too busy with school.”
“I don’t have time in the morning like you do.” The list could go on and on.
Everyone has plenty of reasons not to get involved. But, you know what? All it takes is one reason for them to want to join. Plan an early morning walk or hike that is the appropriate difficulty for your family. Get your peeps to choose an adventure. Set a time together when everyone in the family helps meal prep or snack prep. Even some of our youngest kids can help prep snacks for the week, cut carrots or peel cucumbers. Have everyone drink water together. Cheers!
I know a family who takes a small adventure every weekend, weather permitting, and each week someone different picks the adventure. A hike. A picnic. A playground adventure with tag or something to involve everyone. A kayaking trip. Whatever works for our families is what we should do. Get a group of friends to go for a bike ride together. Do yoga at the same time. Some people are even doing yoga and other activities over Zoom. Who would have thought you could easily workout with your sister five states apart, or your college roommate who lives hours away?
Having choices for our friends and family encourages them to get started and then they become invested. You can nourish their soil to help them and their habits grow.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again - meal prep is a game changer.
Taking care of a plant or garden is similar to taking care of ourselves. Schedule it. Put it on the calendar. Make it a priority. Make meal prep a priority.
Some of us can prep the entire week on a Sunday. If that doesn’t seem realistic to you, try chunking your week. I prep on Sunday for Monday through Wednesday. Wednesday for Thursday and Friday. Friday for Saturday and Sunday. On the busiest of nights these scheduled meal prep times have been real time savers and stress reducers.
Make sure you plan. You can’t prep if you don’t plan. Interested in some recipes? I have several meal plan packages for sale.
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