Shawn and I developed a habit in 2014: when we found ourselves coming up with a hundred different reasons as to why we COULDN'T do something, we challenged each other to think of at least one reason why we COULD. Start at that place, that one reason, and take your first step. It's all downhill from there.
This week, I can think of a hundred different reasons to NOT exercise: it's really cold, I'm on call, the kids are headed back to school and dance and all of the scheduling craziness, I'm tired from the holidays, the list goes on and on. But, I do have one amazing reason why I SHOULD exercise this week:
For the first time in many, many years, I am NOT starting over at the start of the new year. I'm not jumping on a diet, I'm not starting a whole new exercise plan, I'm not climbing my way back up to the top and getting myself back into gear. I'm simply continuing what I started at the beginning of last year. I'm going to continue eating clean, balanced meals and even try a whole list of new recipes. I'm going to continue running, doing yoga, and lifting weights. I'm going to sign up for a bunch of races this spring to continue the fun we had in the fall. I'm going to continue striving for balance in my mental, physical, and spiritual well being, taking care of myself and my family by putting in consistent effort to live a healthy and active lifestyle. I'm going to get adequate rest, take time to recover, hydrate, and eat as many fruits and veggies and whole foods as possible. The cold weather, my busy work schedule, homework and carpool will not keep me from continuing what I've worked so hard to build. Because I CAN do it. One step at a time.
For me, as a busy full time working mom and now graduate student (WOOHOO!), the best way to get it done is to have a plan. One Sunday night, I do a quick inventory of our fridge and pantry and make out my weekly meal plan and grocery list. I try to use what we have first and then work my way out from there. I try to use leftovers to create new meals. I try to keep it simple but delicious enough that I keep my family's taste buds happy and ready for more. My weekly meal plans and exercise routines are very flexible: this list is not set in stone. This is simply a guide to keep us on track and make weeknights less stressful. Because we've been doing this for almost a year now, meal planning moves pretty quickly. I have lots of go-to recipes that I know will be a hit with everyone and I also make lots of freezer meals to save time when we are busy with the kids. It takes practice but the reward is priceless.
Weekly meal plan:
Overnight oats (my fav breakfast because there are SO MANY ways to make them, they never get boring!
Veggie filled scrambled eggs
Monday: Black bean quinoa enchilada casserole (this is the basic recipe. I make my own enchilada sauce using this recipe and I add chicken and go really light on the cheese)
Tuesday: Ground turkey meat tacos served in butter lettuce cups
Wednesday: Taco salads using leftover taco meat, loaded down with tomatoes, avocados, roasted corn, topped with Tessamae's Southwest Ranch dressing
Thursday: Spicy black bean veggie burgers on mushroom "buns" topped with tons of veggies, served with steamed asparagus
Friday: Grilled salmon, roasted red pepper quinoa, broccoli
Saturday: Clean crockpot taco chili
Sunday: Breakfast for dinner, usually gluten free waffles or pancakes topped with fruit
Weekly Workout Plan:
Monday: 3.5 mile easy run, 30 minute inversions practice
Wednesday: 30 minute Tabata/HIIT workout, 30 minutes of stretching
Thursday: 3 mile speed run
Saturday: 4 mile tempo run
Sunday: Rest, recover, meditate, family hike or bike ride
What's your plan this week? Do you have any recipes to share?