Monday, March 20, 2017

Dr. Grimes' 20-1-7 Challenge Week #12: CLUTTER CONTROL!

                           *"AFTER" Pic of my Closet                *Roll up Magazines for Boots

Dr. Grimes' 20-1-7 CHALLENGE: 
  • For the first TWENTY weeks of this year,
  • Pick ONE healthy change every Sunday, and
  • Commit to that change for SEVEN days.
20-1-7 Challenge Week #12: CLUTTER CONTROL

My family is NOT inherently neat and tidy. Paper clutter engulfs our kitchen counters, home office and dining room table ten times faster than I can sort, record, and recycle. Scientific studies have well documented that visual clutter ADDS significantly to stress/anxiety, and that LACK of clutter does the reverse. I tend to be an all or nothing person, so when I start to spring clean, I obsessively purge one closet or room, taking the entire day. Point in case- in January, I literally took every single thing out of my walk-in bedroom closet (which had not been emptied since we moved in 20 years ago!), and then re-filled starting from scratch. It took NINE HOURS...but I am happy to report it has stayed beautifully neat with relative ease, especially since I donated an SUV carload to charity, considerably thinning out my wardrobe. Every morning, my clean closet makes me smile, and even motivated me to clean the adjoining bathroom drawers and linen closet- but I never reached beyond the master bath. 

So- this week's challenge canNOT be to clean a room every day, because like the rest of you, I can't spend a ton of hours on this! Since I have an "ahem" SLIGHTLY competitive nature, I decided to go with a ten minute, stopwatch (phone timer) controlled cleaning/organizing spree per day, racing the clock to see how much I can accomplish. I realize I have drawers that can't be touched in ten minutes, but I'm betting I can find at least 7 areas in my home that concentrated 10 minute purging can make a significant impact. 

What method should you use? Right now, the Marie Kondo method is certainly sweeping my Facebook pages, and I'll admit though I laughed at the "does this item spark joy" approach initially, I actually have found it to be very liberating, allowing me to "release" many things- especially clothing- to new owners, rather than tucking that old beloved shirt back into my stuffed drawer. I will confess that I now have three boxes set aside to mail off to create t-shirt quilts for our girls (yes, there's a groupon for that! I will no longer save this in the garage for that day that I take up this new craft.) As I cleaned, I ironically unearthed  The Clutter Diet from my clothing shelves- and found useful tips there as well, like using a rolled-up magazine to make your boots stand up (great use for my journals!) Whatever works for you!

BOTTOM LINE: This week I will challenge myself to daily 10-minute cleaning attacks on my clutter clusters, in the hope of decreasing visual clutter to decrease stress!  (*and I will actually DO last week's YOGA challenge. Typing this to hold myself accountable!)

20-1-7 Challenge Week #1:
At EVERY meal, I added one more COLOR (translation, one more serving of fruit or vegetable that is a different color than whatever I started with on my plate.)   

20-1-7 Challenge Week #2: 
Put a new "twist" on my vegetables by using a new veggie spiralizer ($6 at the grocery store). I replaced pasta and rice with spiraled zucchini or yellow squash.

20-1-7 Challenge Week #3:
USE a medication dispenser (for prescription AND my recommended vitamins).

20-1-7 Challenge Week #4: 
Daily 12 minute meditation (Kirtan Kriya guided meditation).

20-1-7 Challenge Week #5:
Drink a glass of water four times every day (meals plus afternoon snack).

20-1-7 Challenge Week #6:
Exercise boost- add in a 10 minute BOOST to whatever your daily routine is for exercise. 

20-1-7 Challenge Week #7:
FLOSS. Honestly, putting a visual reminder with my pill dispenser worked like a charm for me- should have done this decades ago! 

20-1-7 Challenge Week #8: ZZZ Using the app"Sleep Cycle" is a great way for me to increase my awareness of sleep quantity and quality, and to actively take steps to improve.

20-1-7 Challenge Week #9: RESIST
Light weights every other day (at least two days minimum per week.)

20-1-7 Challenge Week #10: No W(h)ining
No alcohol for a week.

20-1-7 Challenge Week #11: YOGA Well, once I started vacation, I completely dropped the ball on this one. No point in lying, right? LOL! Good news is I am making the rules, so...I am actually adding the yoga challenge to this week's challenge, doubling up. Sometimes we all need "do-overs!" 



Monday, March 13, 2017

Dr. Grimes' 20-1-7 Challenge Week #11: A Bit O' Yoga

Dr. Grimes' 20-1-7 CHALLENGE: 
  • For the first TWENTY weeks of this year,
  • Pick ONE healthy change every Sunday, and
  • Commit to that change for SEVEN days.
20-1-7 Challenge Week #11 

YOGA...As a family physician, I have recommended yoga for many of my patients. Honestly, I'm hard-pressed to think of anyone who might NOT benefit from yoga. For myself, however, yoga falls into the flossing teeth category- I KNOW I should do it, I know that "older me" is going to be mad at current me for not doing it, but I haven't been able to find a way to make it stick. So, here I go again- it's well worth another shot! Full confession- I have never actually attended a yoga class, partly because I am not blessed with the "flexible" gene, and have always been embarrassed when stretching in other aerobics classes. I have, however, purchased and used multiple yoga tapes and DVDs, so I am familiar with the basic poses and truly have found yoga beneficial...but have not managed to keep it an ongoing priority. For this week's challenge, I am shooting low and going to download a few different apps that target a brief yoga daily stretch. 

BOTTOM LINE: This week I will bring back a "bit 'o yoga" in my life by adding in daily guided yoga stretches through using 5 Minute Yoga & Daily Yoga Apps. 

20-1-7 Challenge Week #1:
At EVERY meal, I added one more COLOR (translation, one more serving of fruit or vegetable that is a different color than whatever I started with on my plate.)   

20-1-7 Challenge Week #2: 
Put a new "twist" on my vegetables by using a new veggie spiralizer ($6 at the grocery store). I replaced pasta and rice with spiraled zucchini or yellow squash.

20-1-7 Challenge Week #3:
USE a medication dispenser (for prescription AND my recommended vitamins).

20-1-7 Challenge Week #4: 
Daily 12 minute meditation (Kirtan Kriya guided meditation).

20-1-7 Challenge Week #5:
Drink a glass of water four times every day (meals plus afternoon snack).

20-1-7 Challenge Week #6:
Exercise boost- add in a 10 minute BOOST to whatever your daily routine is for exercise. 

20-1-7 Challenge Week #7:
FLOSS. Honestly, putting a visual reminder with my pill dispenser worked like a charm for me- should have done this decades ago! 

20-1-7 Challenge Week #8: ZZZ Using the app"Sleep Cycle" is a great way for me to increase my awareness of sleep quantity and quality, and to actively take steps to improve.

20-1-7 Challenge Week #9: RESIST
Light weights every other day (at least two days minimum per week.)

20-1-7 Challenge Week #10: No W(h)ining
This was tough! It's amazing how much we can associate a beverage or food with relaxation/celebration/reward, and I definitely missed my wine with dinner. As I head off to spring break vacation in California, I will enjoy wine- but this is a great exercise to repeat every few months to be sure that I am not exceeding medically recommended limits.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dr. Grimes' 20-1-7 Challenge Week #10: No W(h)ining!


Dr. Grimes' 20-1-7 CHALLENGE: 
  • For the first TWENTY weeks of this year,
  • Pick ONE healthy change every Sunday, and
  • Commit to that change for SEVEN days.
20-1-7 Challenge Week #10 No W(h)ining!

Do you enjoy a glass or two of wine with your dinner? Me too! Wine in small amounts is happily shown to be medically beneficial. However, many of us do not limit ourselves to the "up to one 4-oz glass of wine for women, and up to two 4-oz glasses of wine for men." How much wine is too much? If you stop at 2 glasses every night with dinner, and have no hangover or other obvious ill affects, is that okay? Well...

Medically, the evidence shows us what I already stated above- women should not exceed one 4-oz glass, and men should not exceed two. (Grab a measuring cup next time you pour wine at home, because odds are good that your "one glass" is actually two servings.) During my training, when a fellow medical student asked "how much is really too much", a wise older attending physician taught us a helpful rule of thumb. What's "too much"? If your doctor told you today that you MUST completely give up (insert substance or activity of choice here) for a month, and your first reaction is a small sense of panic...then you are drinking/eating/doing too much of that item. As such, throughout the year I periodically do a self-check and give myself at least a week long break from whichever food/drink/activity has crept up to "need" levels. [Note to self...social media check-ins during the day are likely next on my list.] 

BOTTOM LINE: This week, no wine! (If you are playing along, please note that this means no alcohol of any kind...I simply do not drink beer or hard liquor, outside the occasional margarita.)

20-1-7 Challenge Week #1:
At EVERY meal, I added one more COLOR (translation, one more serving of fruit or vegetable that is a different color than whatever I started with on my plate.)   

20-1-7 Challenge Week #2: 
Put a new "twist" on my vegetables by using a new veggie spiralizer ($6 at the grocery store). I replaced pasta and rice with spiraled zucchini or yellow squash.

20-1-7 Challenge Week #3:
USE a medication dispenser (for prescription AND my recommended vitamins).

20-1-7 Challenge Week #4: 
Daily 12 minute meditation (Kirtan Kriya guided meditation).

20-1-7 Challenge Week #5:
Drink a glass of water four times every day (meals plus afternoon snack).

20-1-7 Challenge Week #6:
Exercise boost- add in a 10 minute BOOST to whatever your daily routine is for exercise. 

20-1-7 Challenge Week #7:
FLOSS. Honestly, putting a visual reminder with my pill dispenser worked like a charm for me- should have done this decades ago! 

20-1-7 Challenge Week #8: ZZZ Using the app"Sleep Cycle" is a great way for me to increase my awareness of sleep quantity and quality, and to actively take steps to improve.

20-1-7 Challenge Week #9: RESIST
Adding light weights back in to my routine is a keeper- love how quickly I can see improvement. Down side- because this was not every day, I needed extra reminders. I think I will be more consistent if I keep this as a set time every day, but alternate weights and stretching.