I have been sleeping terribly this week. I haven’t been making it to bed until almost midnight and I’ve been waking up really early (like 4 a.m. early) wide awake and not able to fall back asleep. I know this sounds a little crazy but I can usually put myself back to sleep by trying to make up a yoga sequence in my head to teach a class later that day (seriously, works like a charm) but that’s not even working this week. I think my early wake ups are a combination of having a lot on my mind along with hormones/body calendar.
Anyway…so I was feeling ultra lethargic and sleepy Tuesday evening when my 5:30 p.m. client cancelled. Instead of sitting in my office and being a zombie I decided to take my friend Lauren’s spin class instead.
After just five minutes on the bike moving my body and getting my heart rate up, I felt a million times better. I swear, exercise is a remedy for many things. However, what there is not a remedy for is my bruised butt! I even used a gel seat. The spin bike gets me every time.
The University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) actually did a study several years ago that showed the effect of exercise on energy levels. A summary of the research findings on The American Council on Exercise’s website states, “Sedentary, otherwise healthy adults who engaged in as little as 20 minutes of low-to-moderate aerobic exercise, three days a week for six consecutive weeks, reported feeling less fatigued and more energized.”
(Let me state for the record that I do not think exercise is an appropriate substitute for sleep.)
I taught yoga at Metro after spin and it was a perfect way to unwind and destress. I swear, teaching provides me many of the same benefits that practicing does. Especially when classes have good energy and my students brought me lots of good energy last night!
I came home and got to work on dinner. Garlic and herb pork tenderloin with roasted brussels sprouts and mushrooms and mashed sweet potatoes. I tried a new method for making mashed sweet potatoes and steamed them instead of baking or microwaving and then mashing. It was much easier to mash them steamed and I could do it all with a fork. I added a little coconut milk, cinnamon, butter and maple syrup to the potatoes. I lost track of time and cooked the pork a tiny bit longer than I wanted to…I usually like my pork a little pink in the center but it was still good.
I had another early wake up call this morning to teach the 6:30 a.m. hot vinyasa at the yoga studio. I love the early morning crowd because they are all business. They’re like, “we got out of bed for this and need to get it in before work…let’s get this done!” So awesome to see them start their days with yoga.
I needed a breather this morning so I came home after class instead of rushing off to the gym to make a homemade breakfast and enjoy coffee sitting at my kitchen table. Since I didn’t have the foresight to make this the night before, I soaked oats and chia seeds in coconut milk while I showered.
And then stirred in banana, dried cranberries, cinnamon and some plain Greek yogurt. I topped it all off with a swirl of Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter and sunflower seed butter.
These two items go together like peanut butter and jelly!
Paleo Sweets & Treats Cookbook Giveaway Winner:
Congrats Lindsey! Everyone else, don’t forget you can buy a copy of Heather’s awesome cookbook online for just $15.
Busy day ahead. Time to get to it!
Do you have any tips or tricks to get yourself to fall asleep? Does exercise help to energize you when you’re sleepy?