>> Thursday, January 22, 2015
Meal planning and prepping is always the key to my healthy eating. If I don’t shop with purpose, I eat tons of junk. If I don’t chop and cook ahead of time, I grab whatever bread and cheese is closest to my proximity. With the whole attempt at taking better care of myself, I’ve been starting with food, as I (we all) often do. Because even if I exercise like a pro, I’ll feel like crud if my diet is lacking.
I’m trying to remind myself that this is what healthy eating + living looks like. This is the kind of food diary that results in higher energy, a clearer mind, and -- ultimately -- a more stable mood. If I can just keep the momentum going, I think I’ll bust out of some unhealthy habits that were a symptoms of my overall level of stress right now.
When I get tired of my usual bowl of morning oatmeal, I start my days with hardboiled eggs and cinnamon raisin Ezekiel Bread.
Over the holidays, I’d toss in a few leftover cookies in before breakfast for good measure. No wonder my weight was climbing so rapidly. The reason I hard boil eggs versus cooking them on demand is simple: They become mindless protein bombs that I desperately need at the start of the day. I have been eating relatively light because when Ada goes to preschool, I’ve been trying to get my run in versus waiting until the evenings.
(When I find tons of excuses to skip workouts.)
Yesterday I ran 4 miles in 8 degree temps. Today I ran 4 in 28 degrees. Same time of day. Totally different feeling. I’d be lying if I told you I am in love with winter running. It’s wearing on me this year. But the 28 feels quite balmy by now, which will come in handy since the forecast doesn’t look much warmer coming up. That’s so sad to type out. C’mon, spring!
Mid-morning (post-run), I’ve been making green smoothies.
Adding a green smoothie back into my morning has energized me. Not only do I benefit from the added fruits and (more important) veggies, Ada -- too -- loves sipping on them. She’s terrified of the blender, so I try making the smoothie when she’s at preschool. Now when she gets home, she’s basically begging for them.
Blend together (2-3 servings):
- 1 cup frozen mixed tropical fruits (pineapple, mango, strawberry, etc.)
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 2-3 handfuls baby kale and other greens
- Water until you reach your desired texture
I made a nice soup this week with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, wheat berries, chickpeas, and green peppers in a vegetable broth with garam masala to season. I didn’t follow a recipe, I just used my 10 Tips for Slow Cooker Success, and it turned out great using the foods I had leftover from last week’s grocery haul.
Mid-afternoon I’m usually hungry again. But I find when I eat small meals throughout the day, my energy is more stable. I know there is evidence for/against this approach to eating. Right now, I’m finding I eat less junk and feel more energetic when I just eat small meals throughout my waking hours.
I’ve also been adding in a short to medium length barre workout when Stephen gets home from work, so I need fuel to get through that, too.
- I eat peanut butter with fruit or celery.
- Maybe an energy chunk or two (recipe for those next week).
- Or veggies and hummus and a few cubes of cheese.
- Maybe some Morning Glory Muffins
Dinner has always been my healthiest meal. That’s probably because I always try to cook something for the entire family that is more than just assembling a plate (like I do with Ada’s lunches and breakfasts most days).
Here are a few of the recipes we’ve been enjoying lately.
Being no stranger to many amazingly delicious, full-on desserts, I’m trying my best to stick with healthy recipes for “sweets” during the week. Hence the Black Bean Avocado Brownies.
Yes, they’re an adjustment. No, they’re not even close to the ones I can buy at the bakery up the road. But actually taste pretty good and have some nutritional value versus the alternative. Then I’ve decided I’ll enjoy my favorite doughnuts or cakes or cookies on the weekend. (Related: Someone on GOMI said I wouldn’t have such a sweet tooth if I just allowed myself to eat “normal” desserts -- and I laughed so hard I almost fell on the floor. If only you knew what kinds of sweets I eat on the regular!)
Anyway, I used to bake up treats almost every day, I’ve put a short ban on baking in my house. I even ran out of granulated sugar, but decided not to restock it until I get my cravings under control. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies from last week? They were absolutely delicious. But it’s dangerous to have 12 of them calling my name. And now I need to stop thinking about that very last half a bag of confectioners sugar in my pantry.
But any move in the right direction (pulling myself out of my funk, feeding my body better nutrients, taking care of myself) helps lift my spirits and improve my overall wellbeing. So, it’s certainly worth the time and effort.
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