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  • Writer's pictureGina M. Oakley

Self-Care: 21 Days to Reset Good Habits


As obnoxious as it may be, I was taught in my personal training program to encourage clients to never skip a Monday workout (or whatever day the start of your work week is). Thirteen years later, I still try to abide by and encourage others to live by this rule. My Monday workout was weak and short. I was tired and coming off the rough week I ranted about in my last article. But I made myself do it, and I felt better afterwards.

Day 2 was a new, brighter day. My wonderful, supportive husband had the day off, so he did all my normal Jhet Maverick (our baby) duties.. If you know me at all, you’ll know how hard it was not to use word play there with duty and doody since babies are notorious for… well, anyway, I digress. He did all the things I normally do so that I could go workout, take my shower, and get ready for work. I miss my morning workouts. I used to wake up at 4 a.m. to work out every single day, and I loved it. I am a morning person through and through, and working out in the morning is my jam. Plus, by the end of the day I find myself extra exhausted, sleepy, weak, and “MSy,” as I like to call it when my MS symptoms flare, if I don't workout in the mornings.

So, Day 2, my full, heavy-duty (there it is again, doody) workout and shower are both complete before 6:30am. Fantastic! I decided to continue the positive wave into my morning nutrition.


I’m trying to rediscover my love for clean, nutritious eating. This morning I enjoyed my Spark (my AdvoCare Mom juice approved by my neurologist-check it out HERE) and a piece of avocado toast and coffee (roughly 2.5 hours after drinking my Spark).

For lunch I enjoyed a stacked salad, stacked with veggies, that is. My dinner is yet to be determined (Check out my salad info below or HERE)

My biggest piece of nutrition advice (it’s literally the most basic thing I encourage others to do):

  • DRINK WATER! I drink 120 ounces of water a day (at least). I LOVE water.

  • Monitor your sugar intake (not so much your complex carbs, which we can get into later, but more your simple sugars)

  • Monitor your sodium intake.

Lowering your sugar and sodium, and upping your water will make a huge difference in how you feel, in your energy levels, and in your ability to lose fat % or lean up. Not to mention health benefits relating to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.


Sleep is tough with a small baby, duh. For me, not getting enough sleep (6.5-7 hours is my perfect sweet spot) causes my symptoms to flare, so I’m trying to offset that with things that settle my symptoms, which brings me to caffeine.

I intake caffeine in the mornings and have for years. I drink Spark (Advocare/contains 120 mg of caffeine for one full scoop/serving). I drink ½ scoop (half serving) every morning when I wake up. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 400 mg of caffeine is considered safe for healthy adults (Today’s Resources found HERE). That is equivalent to roughly 4 small cups of coffee. Each of us is different, of course, so consult your physician if you aren’t sure how caffeine will affect you. I also wouldn't suggest maxing out your coffee allowance each day. Caffeine can be good, but it can do harm, as well.

Getting enough good, solid sleep and rest is the number one way to increase energy and is great for overall health. However, that isn’t always possible. I start my days with Spark, but here are some other things you can try to increase energy.

  • Eat a well-rounded breakfast- let me start with this: Eat breakfast. Make sure it isn’t junk that will cause sludge that weighs you down. My favorite is something that includes fruit, protein, and some substance, like a smoothie or avocado toast and some fruit, yogurt with fruit and nuts, that kind of thing.

  • Stand up at work (or sit down if you are already standing all day). I literally have SO MUCH energy from doing a morning workout today when I’m normally so tired by this time of day.

  • Take your breaks- I am bad about working through my breaks at work- take your breaks! Walk around, move around, take your eyes elsewhere. Do it.

  • Eat -skipping meals or snacks isn’t healthy, it’s going to make you tired and unbalance your blood-sugar levels.

  • Eat clean, light meals and snacks that are again, well-rounded.

  • Drink Water- I will repeat this 2,000 times until you do it.


I LOVE early morning workouts, but you should do yours at a time that works for you. I would prefer to do my intense workout first thing in the morning, then complete a shorter one just to boost energy midday or right after work. Again, do what works for you. I wanted to feel that good burn today, so I did a weight lifting routine with cardio/heart-rate boosters built in. I was sure to start and end with dynamic stretching (that’s stretching that involves movement rather than standing or sitting still stretching). Today’s workout is below (or click HERE)!

TIP ALERT! Boost your self-confidence and keep motivation going by following this tip!


No tears today. Today was great. The warm weather and sunshine definitely help. I am less irritable, happier, more energetic, and more productive. I still wish money was no object so I could do the job I love most, but I chose not to stress over work today. I only did the things I could without rushing or feeling stressed, and I pushed other things to my tomorrow to-do list sans guilt. Sometimes it takes getting to a breaking point, an enough is enough point to make a change. So, here we are.

Day 2 was a success! How was yours?

Lunch Salad

  • Chopped Mixed greens (I like using spinach, kale, and other greens all combined, and I chop it)

  • Carrots (not many, cut into very small pieces or shredded)

  • Cucumbers (as many as you want- I chop mine into small pieces)

  • Tomato (I used tiny grape tomatoes chopped up)

  • Some kind of protein: My favorites include (crisped turkey bacon chopped, grilled chicken, chopped hard-boiled egg)

  • Nuts: today I used unsealed walnuts and sunflower seeds

  • Fruit: It’s not for everyone, but I like fruit on my salad. Today I used unsweetened dried cranberries, but I also love mandarin, apples, blueberries, or strawberries finely chopped

  • Peppers: sweet chopped peppers, banana peppers, or jalapenos are great!

  • Cheese (if you please)-I don’t always use cheese, but today I used fresh shaved parmesan

  • Choose a light or homemade dressing- today I used French (Tip: If you use store bought, purchase the kind in the refrigerator section. It typically contains fewer preservatives).


Dynamic stretch (Short- 2 mins tops.I was on a time limit)

First round of workout was a warm up round where I touch/sample each workout for today with light weights to warm up the right muscles. Then I broke into 4 rounds (1 of each workout group) with heavier weights. Then cooled down/stretched again.

Set 1:

Squats (slow/close stance)

Squats (regular paced/close stance)

Squats (time under tension pattern/close stance)

Repeat, then do those same sets with medium and wide stances

Set 2:

Slow dead lifts

Slow upright row

Slow dead row

Repeat all at pace

Add in clean and press and triple press

Set 3:

Chest presses slow

Chest presses at pace

Chest presses with time under tension

Set 4:

Short core workout standing then on the floor.

End with dynamic stretch, and to be honest.. A little dance party 🙂

Today’s Resources:

Food and Drug Administration

Spilling the Beans: How much Caffeine is Too Much- Read the full article HERE

Advocare Product information- HERE

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Bethany Joy Lechlitner
Bethany Joy Lechlitner
Feb 16, 2023

Thank you for the reminder on water. I've had soda in the house for hosting, and have caught myself slipping back into going for the sugar instead of my water!!

My sleep cycle is out of whack with hubs shift change... gotta find a new happy medium.

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