This week is aimed at supporting a good night’s sleep and adding relaxation as an important component to your wellness plan.
Challenge 1. Try sitting quietly with your eyes closed and taking 5-10 slow, deep breaths before going to bed.
Challenge 2. Close your eyes and check in with your body to see where there is any tension. Spend 3-5 minutes relaxing the body, while focusing on your breathing. Remember, use every exhale breath as a reminder for the body and mind to “let go” and relax.
Challenge 3. Fall Asleep with Insight Timer Meditation Smartphone App (also available on your desktop computer. Download both versions here: insighttimer.com – Using the search feature, you can listen to Chantelle’s guided mediation called “The Perfect Sleepless Night” to help you fall asleep or you can choose from other sleep-focused meditations.
This Week’s Recipes
Enjoy these meals and snacks with sleep enhancing ingredients at different times of the day so you can accommodate your shift schedule.
Apple Pie Oatmeal
Oatmeal helps get serotonin flowing, which keeps our sleep and wake cycles in check and helps keep anxiety at bay. Be sure to us the old-fashioned rolled oats and not the quick cooking ones. Rolled oats are higher in fiber and take longer to digest, making their calming effect last longer. Try this comforting version of hot oatmeal for breakfast:
- 1/3 cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free, if necessary)
- 1 large apple, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/3 cups)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups milk or unsweetened almond milk, as needed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extractOptional toppings:
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Brown sugar or coconut sugar
Chia/hemp or flax Seeds
- In a medium sized pot over medium heat, whisk together the oats, apple, cinnamon, salt, milk, maple syrup, and applesauce until combined.
- Cook over medium heat for about 9 to 15 minutes, stirring often. When the mixture thickens and the oats soften, it is ready.
- Stir in the pure vanilla extract.
- Pour into a dish and serve with your desired toppings.
Peanut Butter & Banana Multigrain Bagel
This is as simple as it sounds. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium, both of which are minerals that relax muscles. Bananas also contain as tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in the release of seratonin, making this the perfect snack to eat a couple of hours before turning in for the night.
- 1 multi grain bagel
- 2 TBSP all-natural peanut butter or other nut butter such as almond or cashew (no sugar added)
- 1 ripe banana
- Slice the bagel in half and lightly toast.
- Evenly spread the peanut butter on both halves.
- Slice or mash bananas and spread on top of peanut butter. Eat and enjoy!
Quinoa Salad w/ Walnuts
Lemon Salmon (serves 2)
Salmon is a fabulous source of B6, which helps with producing sleep hormones and because it’s high in protein it will be slow to digest, keeping your appetite satisfied through the night. For this recipe you will need:
- 2 salmon fillets (about 3/4 lbs total, preferably wild alaskan)
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt & pepper
- Line a baking sheet with foil and pre heat broiler (can also be grilled on the bbq)
- Place fish on the baking sheet and drizzle the fillets evenly with oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Broil or grill 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with Quinoa Salad w/ Walnuts
Quinoa Salad w/ Walnuts (serves 2)
Quinoa contains potassium and is a healthy carb, encouraging the production of seratonin. Walnuts contain melatonin, a hormone known to induce sleep.
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water (filtered preferred, but not required)
- 1/2 cup mixed baby greens (pre-washed, pre-packaged mixes work well)
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 6 pitted black olives, sliced
- 1 green onion, finely sliced, green parts included
- 6 Tbsp crumbled feta
- 6 Tbsp chopped walnuts
- salad vinaigette of your choice (mediterranean, citrus or berry varieties work well)
- Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed; about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Toss the prepped vegetables in a large salad bowl. Mix in the cooled quinoa.
- Top with feta and walnuts. Drizzle with salad vinaigerette.
See you next week!