Hi Friends and Family!
I am in an incredibly good mood today 🙂 It’s Sunday afternoon and I am writing from a coffee shop downtown. I slept in this morning and then got up had breakfast and prepped some healthy meals for the week. After that I went to a yoga class for the first time in a while and I loved it! I’m going to continue to go a couple times each week because it really helps clear my head and helps me to focus on the most important things in life.
Today is the first day of spring and the weather is really starting to warm up. Yesterday Aaron and I took a long walk at a park close by and we took some time to just sit and soak up the sun. We were talking about our lives here in Idaho Falls and Aaron mentioned to me that I don’t do any of my hobbies that I used to do. And he’s right. For some reason I’ve been so focused on all the stressful parts of my life that I completely forgot to do the things that make me happy. These things include baking, sewing and just crafting in general.
I decided it’s time to take this blog in a new direction. I still plan on writing post to my future family and sharing all my fun memories with you, but in addition I’m going to blog about some of my favorite hobbies. I thought it might be fun to share some step by step guides to my favorite recipes and also some of the crafts I do in my spare time. So with today being my first post like this I decided to write about the topic of healthy eating and exercise. So here goes-
Here’s my trick (in dorky science terms):
[carbs] ∝ feeling good
The number of carbs you eat in a day is directly proportional to you feeling good about yourself. In my opinion, carbs are bad. When I eat them I feel like crap so I try to limit them as much as possible. I completely understand that this is not always the easiest thing to do. So I made a deal with myself. I can eat a small amount of carbs, but this must be done earlier in the day (like for lunch). Carbs also have this annoying trait of tasting really good but not actually filling you up. So you end up hungry again in just a couple of hours. For me, this is a terrible way to start the day- when I’m hungry all morning I have a tendency to snack and once the snacking begins it doesn’t stop. Here is a typical outline of my meals for a day (keep in mind that I am not a doctor and this is just a rough outline of a healthy meal plan that has been working for me):
Breakfast (the most important meal)- Breakfast jump starts your diet for the entire day. Eating a healthy meal first thing in the morning is important and will help keep you on track for the rest of the day. It’s also important that this meal is high in protein. Protein fills you up and helps mitigate the hunger pains so you can make it through the morning without snacking. I will usually boil eggs and bake turkey bacon on the weekend so I have them available to just grab and go to work. I will eat two eggs and two pieces of turkey bacon with a healthy portion of water (drinking water fills you up too and a lot of time you feel hungry you are actually just thirsty). I’ve tried eating oatmeal for breakfast and also tried healthy fruit smoothies but honestly when I eat these things I am hungry only two hours later and so the snacking begins- so avoid foods that are high in carbs for breakfast.
Morning Snack- I don’t always have a snack but if the hunger is just too much to bear I will have greek yogurt or almonds on hand for a small healthy snack to help get me through to lunch.
Lunch- Salad. I know this doesn’t sound very filling but there are some really good salad recipes out there that will fill you up more than you think. Romaine lettuce with this long list of toppings is a delicious salad I’ve been having: corn, black beans, orange bell pepper, green onions, roasted spicy chickpeas with a avocado/cilantro/lime dressing. I prep all of the toppings on the weekend and put them in a tupperware so I can quickly assemble the salad during lunch. Also the dressing is super easy to make yourself in a food processor (pinterest for a recipe!). This meal is full of healthy carbs that will give you all the energy you need to get through the rest of the day and any exercise you have planned for later that night. Depending on how hungry I am I might also add a banana, hummus/rice crackers, baby carrots, etc. as a little extra snack.
Afternoon Snack- This is an important one for me because I do my workouts at night after work so it’s important that I have a little something to keep the energy flowing. For this snack I will have a protein shake (chocolate malt is my favorite flavor and I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of water because there is only 30 calories in a cup and it tastes way better than water). I may also have any of the following: greek yogurt, apple, banana, roasted chickpeas, almonds, baby carrots, etc. You get the idea- something healthy and a small portion of it just to hold you over until dinner.
Dinner- One rule: NO CARBS. I try to stick to this every night. I will have some sort of meat with a side of veggies. Any recipe that calls for noodles, rice or bread can still be made but I replace those items with a bed of greens (spinach works well). I am terribly bad at making the time to prep a healthy meal during the week so I do a lot of the leg work on the weekends and prep freezer bags that can be put in the crockpot in the morning. I also make a lot of stirfry meals during the week because they are easy. I’m going to start a new page (Healthy Recipes) that has all my favorite healthy recipes on it for easy access (pinterest works wonders for this as well- tons of easy healthy recipes).
Late Night Snack- I avoid this at all costs but I know it can be really hard at times. My rule here is to first drink a HUGE glass of water. Then if the hunger still persists I will go for a healthy snack- hummus/rice crakcers, piece of fruit or greek yogurt. There are a ton of “snacky” type flavors for greek yogurt and this seems to really help with the sweet tooth I have (my favorite flavor is the pineapple one).
Really this is pretty simple. Just get out there and move! Some days it’s hard and I get that- but just think of how good you feel after those workouts. It’s good for your body and good for your mind too. I’ve done strict workouts at the gym, crossfit, P90X, insanity, pilates, yoga, cycling, boxing and running. I’ve got things I love and hate about each of them. Here’s the trick that I’ve found- you have to mix it up. I get really sick of doing the same workout over and over again so I stopped doing it. Right now I am doing the insanity workouts, but I replace two of those works a week with crossfit and then I add running and yoga in whenever I can or whenever the sun is shining. If i don’t feel like doing the insanity workout, I don’t- BUT I replace it with some form of a workout. I workout hard every night of the week, then on Saturday I do a easier workout and I try to take every Sunday off (or do a pilates/yoga workout). I’m excited for summer because it makes working out so much easier. I love warm sunny days and long runs. I’ve found that as long as I do something for at least 30 minutes a day Monday through Friday I feel 100% better about myself. This makes eating healthy and staying positive easy too.
I want to end this post with one more small note: This is NOT a diet. I am not hungry 90% of my day- If I’m hungry I eat. The trick is to make healthy choices. Think about foods that are high in protein and will fill you up for a longer amount of time. If I am absolutely positively in need of an unhealthy snack I will have it (BUT in moderation). I like to think of this healthy eating and exercise as a lifetime goal, not a diet that has an end date. If I have a bad day, I accept it and then begin the next day with a positive attitude and just keep working to be as healthy as I possibly can.
Being healthy is a lifestyle. And it’s a good one that you owe you mind and body. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. Take care of yourself because you deserve to be happy 🙂