It’s the first Monday of March, and that means it’s time for another edition of my monthly series, Motivation Monday. For me, healthy living is all about motivation. It’s about finding the motivation to cook instead of order takeout, go for a walk, or skip a second helping. Each Motivation Monday features easy tips and a healthy recipe.
Last month, my focus was on developing a consistent exercise routine, and my goal was to exercise 4 days a week. I’m happy to report that, save a missed workout or two, I did really well. I did lots of barre and pilates type workouts, and I’m looking forward to keeping it up in March and beyond (hopefully, spring weather will show up soon so I can get outside!).
For March, my focus is going to be on getting enough sleep (see my tips below). Plus, I’m sharing a recipe for a delicious and easy Asian Dumpling Soup.
I’m not entirely sure why, but since moving to New York, my sleeping habits have been absolutely terrible. Not only have I been staying up too late, but when I do finally get to bed, I haven’t been able to fall asleep. There’s lots of reasons why – stress, staying up too late, a bad shoulder, etc. – but whatever the reason, I need to make a healthy change.
There are a few things that have helped me sleep better in the past, that I’ll be working into my routine:
- Go to bed at the same time every night. My goal is to have the lights out by midnight on most nights.
- Turn off electronics at least an hour before bedtime. I’ve fallen into the habit of watching TV and/or working on the computer, phone, or iPad right up until bedtime and that needs to stop.
- Get anxiety and stress in check. There is nothing worse than laying down to sleep and having your mind kick in to overdrive. Making a to do list for the next day, writing down the days worries (and then letting them go) , and doing a little stretching before bed all help.
- Wind down before bed with an easy routine. I’m usually really tired before bed, but after washing my face and taking out my contacts, I’m wide awake by the time my head hits the pillow. I’m going to start getting ready for bed a little earlier and then doing a little reading, so I can go directly to bed when I’m tired.
One thing that stresses me out during the week is getting a healthy dinner on the table. I have a bad habit of waiting until the last minute and then resorting to takeout. Eating a fatty takeout meal right late at night is not a great way to prepare for bed!
My Easy Asian Dumpling Soup is the perfect weeknight meal. This recipe is so simple that you can have it on the table in 15 minutes. Plus, it’s super light and healthy.
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 carrot
- 1/4 head of cabbage
- 2 green onions
- 1 16-oz. package dumplings (I used Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Gyoza)
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- sriracha, to taste
Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
While broth is heating, prepare vegetables. Peel and thinly slice carrot. Chop cabbage. Thinly slice green onions (green part only; reserve white part for another use).
When broth reaches a boil, add carrots and cabbage. Return to boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 – 10 minutes. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha. Stir well. Season with additional soy sauce, if necessary.
To serve, place dumplings in a large soup bowl. Ladle soup over top and sprinkle with green onions. Enjoy!
P.S. Read my other Motivation Monday posts.