North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

A Day in the Life, Part One


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Getting the proper amount of sleep is important to a healthy lifestyle.

It can often seem overwhelming, confusing, or frustrating to start or maintain a healthy lifestyle. I thought it would be helpful to share what a "day in the life" of a health coach looks like. I have learned tips and tricks along my journey that have helped me stay healthy and I am sharing them in a multi-part series. I hope this inspires you to start somewhere and to give health a try.

Remember, you don't have to be perfect, you just have to start.


My day is best when it begins from a good night's sleep. My goal is to get at least seven hours of sleep in. It's best to stick with your circadian rhythm. If you find yourself tired around 8 p.m., try to get in bed by then or at least start shutting things down. The blue light from technology should be the first to go. I don't look at my phone in bed. It's also best to not fall asleep to the TV. If you do this, set a timer. Challenge yourself to a few nights a week to turn it off before getting into bed. I like to watch TV in bed so this is a challenge for me, but I sleep much better when it's off. If I am ever having trouble with sleep I take Calm, a magnesium supplement before bed and it always helps.

Morning Routine

I start my morning with coffee. There are mixed reviews out there about coffee and its impact on health but I am a fan. I also have a glass of water first thing in the morning as well. This is to balance the coffee as it's dehydrating and the water rehydrates me.

I take my morning supplements with my coffee and breakfast. I currently take an iron, omega 3, magnesium and thyroid support. My supplements change depending on time of year. I add in Echinacea around cold and flu season or if I need to bump up my vitamin C or D, etc.

For breakfast I typically do a protein shake. There are many great proteins on the market but I tend to grab an organic vegan one or an Ideal Complete. When I am not running out the door and have more time I will heat up some overnight oats with fresh peanut butter and some blueberries or strawberries on top.

Exercise Secret

I honestly don't really exercise. I control my weight through diet, however I know exercise is important and I have been working it into my routine. I recently learned the best way to start a new habit is to "anchor" it to something you are currently doing. I own a compact fitness strider. It's about the size of a small laundry basket and you do an elliptical motion on it. Like most people's exercise equipment it was sitting collecting dust.

I decided to start using it and to make sure I did, I anchored it to doing my hair. I wash my hair every other day and on the days I have to blow-dry it, I only do so on the strider. I get in at least 1,500 extra steps. I look ridiculous but it's a great way to do it, and because it was a habit I was already doing and only every other day to start with, it's sticking.

Do you have a habit you can anchor a new healthy habit to?

Staying Hydrated

Getting in enough water was always a downfall for me. In order to get my goal of 100 oz in per day I had to make it a priority. The best way to get my water in is to have it always available. I use a reusable water bottle as often as I can, however I don't drink as much water if that's my only tool. When it was empty I was done drinking water if I was on the go. I started carrying a case of liter water bottles in my car. Now, when I am running from place to place I will grab one and drink it before the next stop. If I do this three times a day I get in all 100 oz of water. If you drive a long distance, time it to where you drink the whole bottle 10-15 minutes before your destination. Then you will have time to digest it and use the restroom when you arrive.

Next month I will talk about my meals and snacks on the go, handling stress, and other healthy habits and tricks to help on your wellness journey, stay tuned!

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville She can be reached online at


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