For me, when it comes to making a change in my life, my first step is usually to be clear about what I want to change. I did that a couple weeks ago in this post when I wrote about wanting to eat healthier foods and get more exercise.
Sadly, it hasn't led to any change in my life! I've still been indulging in unhealthy foods and not making any time for exercise. Identifying that I have been stress-eating didn't do anything to help abate said stress-eating.
So now it's time for step two. For me, step two--when it comes to making a change in my life--is getting really specific about what the change will look like and when. For diet and exercise, I literally need to map out for myself what I'm going to eat for the majority of the time, what exercise I'm going to do, and when I'm going to do it. Essentially, I have to put myself into auto-pilot mode so I'm more likely to implement the change.
First thing to figure out: breakfast. I had gotten on track by making green smoothies every morning. I love them! Protein, calcium, fruit, and vegetables all in one meal? Amazingness! Sadly, Tate doesn't respond well to that much dairy in my diet, so I'm back to the drawing board.
I thought about peanut butter oatmeal (I love adding apples, pumpkin seeds, and dried cherries to my oatmeal), but I didn't want to give up the greens. A quick search uncovered this green smoothie made with almond milk (which is usually fortified with calcium), a frozen banana, flax seed meal, spinach, mixed berries, and peanut butter. Apparently it has 11 grams of protein. I'm excited to try it!
Next up: morning snack. Depending on how filling breakfast is, I may not need a morning snack because I eat lunch pretty early. If I do need a snack, I'm going to go with a handful of almonds and fruit. I also need to make sure I've drunk enough water. Sometimes I'm actually just thirsty instead of hungry. Another thing I need to do is pre-wash as much fruit as possible on Sunday, so it can be grab-and-go throughout the week. If I have to stop what I'm doing to prepare food, I'm more likely to just eat more almonds and less fruit. I know it sounds pathetic to say I'm too lazy to wash an apple, but when Tate's sleeping and I get to work, I am desperate to fit in as much work as possible.
We usually eat dinner leftovers for lunch, but I need to have a back-up. I've been eating egg sandwiches on bagels, but I am way too tempted by a bag of bagels in the house. Maybe I should go for a salad? I could make it a hearty one with lettuce, beans, cheese cubes, and an additional vegetable (I already have all of those things in containers for Henry's lunch).
And an afternoon snack? I'll go for a cheese stick and more fruit.
We've been using our meal planning process and doing fine with making our meals most night. I'm not a big snacker after dinner, but it's hard to resist a dessert if Matt volunteers to go out and get something. I thought about pushing him towards McDonald's (gross, I know!) because their vanilla ice-cream cones are so inexpensive and low-fat, but when I actually look at the ingredients I am completely repulsed. Maybe I'll just have to muster up some willpower in these situations and say no thank you while he gets something for himself.
As for exercise, it's going to be a little trickier. I feel so stretched thin as it is; I know it's going to be difficult to give up some of my free time for exercise. I'd like to fit in two--maybe three--runs a week. It's been nice going on Saturday mornings. If we leave soon after our 7am wake-up, then I get a run in while the boys hang out at the dog park. It's hard to get out of bed when we're having so much fun just relaxing as a family, but I like to get back in time for Tate's nap so I can have some time to myself for blogging while Tate and Henry go for a run. I wonder if we should repeat the same thing on Sunday, so I'm guaranteed to have two runs a week?
As for the third run, I'm thinking about joining the YMCA. I love the concept of a community recreational center that brings neighbors together for health and wellness stuff, but I have a hard time stomaching the $80 monthly fee for a family membership. It may start to make more sense as the boys get older and can take advantage of more amenities. For now, I think I'll just stick to two runs a week and try to attend one yoga class. It looks like there's a good one just 10 minutes away from my house from 8-9pm. Although I hate to concentrate all my exercise on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I think it would be better for me to get it over with at the beginning of the week so I'm less likely to make excuses as the week goes on. I'm also going to e-mail a neighbor to see if she wants to sign up with me. It would be great to have a carpool buddy and some increased accountability!
If we do need to eat out during the week, I should try and suggest only healthy options:
- How Do You Roll for edamame, miso soup, and sushi
- Chipotle for a salad bowl
- Mother's Cafe for a veggie burger and salad
- Greek food
- Lavaca Teppon for grilled tofu, vegetables, and rice
When it comes to health and wellness, I aim for good choices about 80% of the time. I'm feeling really good about this plan!
Bananas prepared by Henry for freezing