How did you do with the first three weeks of 100 Days of Crazy Healthy?
For the fourth week of our health challenge, we will continue with tongue scraping, warm water in the mornings, 5 sun salutations, core work, and a smoothie for breakfast. We will add a vegetable soup or vegetarian salad for lunch.
It’s always healthier to make your own soups, with fresh veggies and fruits, but canned or box soups are ok, if you need them to save time. When buying packaged soups, try to find brands with BPA-free liners (Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup, Black Bean Soup, or Chili are good choices), and add fresh veggies to boost nutrient content. When you have time to create your own, some easy homemade soups are gazpacho, cucumber soups, thai coconut soups, and spring veggie soups. Avoid meat and dairy, as they contain fewer nutrients than vegetarian soups. Look for recipes at Epicurious and on the The Whole Foods website.
You may be tempted to eat the same soup or salad every day–try to avoid this, so you get a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (and also so you don’t get bored!) It’s much better, and healthier, to pick 5-10 vegetarian lunches to rotate through the rest of our challenge.
When having salad for lunch, it’s important to make your own dressings with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and a vinegar of your choice. This is not as difficult as it may seem! Dressings are generally 2 parts acid (vinegar) to one part oil, plus spices and sweeteners. If you eat at a restaurant, ask the waiter for balsamic and olive oil, so you can make your dressing yourself–so much healthier! Mix it all up on your side plate, and add a pinch of each of the following: salt, pepper, sugar or stevia.
When preparing your own salads, try these quick and easy salad ideas:
Spring mix with strawberries, cucumbers, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic
Kale with avocado, red bell pepper, red onion, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon
Arugula with blueberries, walnuts, carrots, olive oil, salt, pepper and Trader Joe’s Orange Champagne Muscat Vinegar
Kale with sweet potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, grape seed oil, salt, pepper and white wine vinegar
Spring mix with tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, jicama, sunflower oil, salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar
Arugula with apples, grated parsnips, and candied pecans (make these in a skillet with maple syrup, sea salt, and a splash of oil)
Arugula with grated beets, walnuts, and jicama, grape seed oil and balsamic vinegar
Daily Habits For Week 4
1. Upon waking, scrape your tongue from front to back with a spoon, or tongue scraper. This will remove the ama (toxins) that have built up in your mouth over night. Rinse your mouth with water, being careful to not swallow any of the water, and brush your teeth afterward. Read more about the powerful practice of tongue scraping here.
2. Drink 12 oz. of warm, filtered water, before consuming food. You may add lemon or lime to the water if you would like.
3. Practice 5 B series Sun Salutations, moving intentionally on each inhale and exhale, as shown in the photo from Week 1. Don’t rush, and don’t think about anything besides the breath and the pose. This will feel difficult, if you are new to yoga, but reject this idea in favor of doing the work. For those who have practiced yoga before, doing 5 Sun Salutations every day may feel boring–do it anyway and trust the process. Play the music you love, or use my playlists on Spotify. Make it a moving meditation. Changes will happen on such a deep level in your body, that you won’t even be aware that you are being transformed. It’s a beautiful thing! It is preferable to practice in the morning before showering, but this may be done at night, if necessary. Do whatever it takes, to complete this task every day! Don’t allow yourself to crawl into bed at night, until it is done. It takes me exactly one minute to complete a B Series Sun Salutation, using full inhales and exhales, and it should be the same for you, so this is a 5 minute exercise.
4. Practice 3 minutes of core work every day, comprised of 100 bicycles, 20 toe touches and 6 plank exercises. The bicycles may be broken up into 5 sets of 2 or 2 sets of 50–doesn’t matter as long as you do 100 each day. The same is true for toe touches and planks…break it up if you can’t do them all at once. This may be done after sun salutations, or any other time during the day. No matter what, don’t go to bed at night, until you have completed this work.
To perform bicycles, lie on your back, and bring your right elbow to meet your left knee. Move intentionally, and on the breath, exhaling as the elbow reaches toward the knee, inhaling as you release the crunch. Count every time you reach the right knee to left elbow. Do not let the knee come forward of the hip.
To perform toe touches, lie on your back, with legs straight. Stretch arms overhead, and then lift feet and hands to meet each other, keeping arms and legs straight. Move slowly and intentionally, and take breaks as you need them. Always exhale as you crunch and inhale as you release.
To perform planques, begin in Down Dog, then bring knee-to-nose, knee-to-elbow, and knee to opposite elbow. Shift your hips forward to bring shoulders over wrists. Hold each for 20 breaths (or two sets of ten breaths each), and make sure you do them on both sides of your body.
4. Drink a Crazy Healthy Smoothie for breakfast each morning. Crazy Healthy Smoothies are balanced meals, prepared with awareness and intention to fuel the body. We include pure fruit juice, sweet and sour whole fruit, greens, healthy fat, and protein, for an energizing start to our day. It helps to think about smoothies from an ayurvedic perspective: how many flavors can we fit into one meal? Mixing sweet and sour fruits with bitter veggies, pungent nut butters, and spicy herbs (think ginger and cayenne) can help us start the day off feeling energizing and ready to tackle the world. Learn how to make Crazy Healthy Smoothies here.
5. Eat raw or roasted veggies with a healthy fat for your afternoon snack. Some examples would be celery with almond or peanut butter (organic if possible), bell pepper strips with hummus and organic olive oil, asparagus roasted with grape seed oil and sea salt, spring mix with avocado, lemon and sea salt, or roasted sweet potatoes with grape seed oil and sea salt.
6. Eat a vegetarian soup or salad for lunch. Prepare it (or order it) with the intention of maximizing your nutrient intake. Consider Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Food Pyramid (below) when making your choices.
7. Find daily inspiration to keep fighting the fight on my Facebook page. I will share quotes, and ancient wisdom to support the habits we are creating.
You can do this! It may seem too difficult to some, and too simple to others, but either way, trust the struggle. Don’t think, just do. I’m here to help, so please don’t hesitate to email your questions.