Monday, November 18, 2013

Making a Change

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

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Phae Feaga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phae Feaga said...

Go get em Sara!
This is perfect for me, too, as I have recommitted myself to a healthy lifestyle this week! Yesterday I prepped some hard-boiled eggs and baked sweet potato "fries" to eat for lunch. We also got a ton of fruit and carrots, and I made a batch of hummus last week.

Phae Feaga said...

The hard part is resisting eating leftover PB&J off of the toddler's plate! I think that is honestly part of the problem!

Anonymous said...

As far as exercise I will suggest Momma Strong!

15 minutes a day online program that is a loving and supportive community! Check it out!

Anonymous said...

preach it, sister. I, too, am trying to get back on track for what seems like the millionth time in my life. Willpower is not a naturally occurring virtue for me. I've almost decided that this struggle will be a lifelong one, and as I long as I don't give up completely I can consider myself victorious. ha.

I wish you well!

CB said...

I always make my green smoothies dairy free and prefer them that way. My normal mix is spinach, strawberries, banana, and water. If I'm eating that alone for breakfast I add protein powder, but I prefer to eat real food so I usually have this on the side with eggs.

Alison said...

If you are interested in some slightly less 'naughty' dessert options, these are some I turn to occasionally:
- dark chocolate (though it can be hard to resist during the day if I have it around the house!)
- fresh berries (since raspberries and some others are more expensive, I don't use them much and they feel more special for dessert) - maybe with a little dark chocolate drizzle? (or just about any fruit with a little chocolate drizzle...)
- frozen grapes or other fruit
- applesauce (or a microwaved apple) with cinnamon - good heated up, too
- baked or stewed stone fruit with a little spice if you want
- simple rice pudding - cooked rice heated up in some milk with a little sweetener of your choice
- banana microwaved with a little chocolate or carob, and/or peanut butter (one thing to watch out for with kids is this can get deceptively hot!)
- pureed pumpkin with pumpkin pie spices (but I get plain canned pumpkin so I can make it much less sugary than the pre-mixed stuff), I usually heat this up but I think it would work warm or cold, too
- freeze nonfat Greek yogurt (tends to be better for you than the frozen Greek yogurt products available for purchase, which in some cases don't even contain Greek yogurt) - you can mix in stuff (honey, maple syrup, agave, fruit) and just stick it in the freezer, or make little dots like this:
- I haven't tried these in particular- -but there are some pretty good relatively low sugar/fat cookies out in the internet ether
- hot chocolate or apple cider or chai
- fruity sugar-free chewing gum. Extravagant, I know! Ha. But it can be just that little bit of sweetness I need after dinner, or if I'm just in a munching mood, and hey, it helps clean your teeth. (Don't read the ingredients...) Sugar free hard candies work for some people but I find them really unsatisfying.

Some of the beverages and products with chocolate will contain caffeine, so that's something to keep in mind. Whatever you eat with a spoon, use a little one so it lasts longer. :-)

Sarah @ Affirmaison said...

I am sure you've already thought about it, but have you considered joining the Y as an individual instead of getting the family membership? Just HP and I joined--we knew Neil wouldn't come enough to make it worth it even though it was only a few dollars more. I know running is free though, which is hard to beat!

Becky and Sam said...

Lately we have been crock pot fans..The meals are usually super easy to put together (no more than 20 mins) and I put all the ingredients in the pot and forget about it until dinner time. Then we have plenty of left overs for lunch and dinner the next few days..

I have made tortilla soup (low sodium broth), with organic ingredients.. I put so many veggies and black beans in here, you could make the soup without chicken! It was so yummy

soups are the easiest and healthiest..

but there are soo many options its worth looking into to save time. Pinterest (of course) is a plethora of ideas. I just adapt to our lifestyle.

you can also pre-package your smoothies and throw them in the freezer for the week.

I am sure you already thought of these options, but hopefully they spark something in you!!

Becky and Sam said...

oh and with drinking more water, we went and bought (from amazon) but there are all kinds of deals out there, Klean Kanteens!

They are stainless steel water containers. They DONT have that metallic taste!! plus if you fill them up its about 27 oz of water for you. I find myself drinking more water (I take it inside eateries (chipotle, chicken bowls etc) and drink that instead of sodas and stuff. It's a great option for you!! Easy to clean and maintain, and I am never without now. :D

Anonymous said...

We usually use almond milk, but I recently found almond coconut milk which may make your smoothie taste a bite richer w/o the dairy.

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