Monday, January 31, 2011

You can be busy AND healthy!

Oh my goodness, hellooo!! Don't worry, I'm still very much alive (ha, obviously or you wouldn't be reading this).  I hope you have been following along on Twitter as I'm always able to squeeze in a healthy and happy tweet on most days. It has been far far too long, and oh, how I have missed you and blogging.

As you know, I have been on a little blogging hiatus as a result of my work hours during this time of year. Interestingly, although I didn't like going almost a month without talking to you, I'm glad I did because I have realized something during that time. I have come to realize how much this blog means to me.  As of right now, this is my only avenue for sharing and discussing the topics that I am most passionate about: health, fitness, wellness, and happiness. After each post, a feeling of excitement pours over me as I await to see comments, responses, and traffic visiting my blog.

So  I just want to take a moment to thank you for sticking with me.  Although, I may not post for a little while, it doesn't mean I'm not constantly creating my list of things I want to talk to you about.  I will always come back because this blog is my peace, it is a representation of me and my passion, and it is my home.  Thank you again for hangin' in there.

Major and I appreciate it :) 

Now let's get to it!!  So before these busy work hours began, I did a post on how I plan to stay healthy during the time when I am the most busy.  Here is a the short version of my plan:

1.  Workout in the mornings (aka 5am).
2.  Start the day with a healthy smoothie for breakfast.
3.  Make and take healthy snacks to work.
4.  Take my lunch and not eat out everyday.
5.  Force myself to take time to unwind.  

You all remember report cards from when you were in school.  Well, my busy season isn't over, in fact, I'm almost half way there, but I think it's time for a report card on how I am doing with executing my plan so far.

Workout in the mornings (aka 5am). 

Getting up to work out in the mornings has been rough.  As much as I plan on doing it and as much as I really really want to, it doesn't always happen.  I don't get home until around 8:30pm.  If I didn't get a chance to eat dinner at work, then I eat dinner, let that settle, take care of things around the house or emails, sometimes I get to spend some time with Sam and Major, and the next thing I know it's 11:00.  So my plan to get up around 5 or 5:30 is out the window.  However, this isn't always the case, which is why I gave myself a "B."  I have had several successful days.  I have made it to the 5:30am yoga class a few times, which I love if I can get in bed early enough.  And what's crazy is that it's still dark when I leave class!

Also, I have figured out that you just work with what you have.  Don't over complicate things.  So let's say I planned on getting up at 5:30 and going to the gym and getting in a full 45 min to 1 hour workout.  Well,  I might hit the snooze one too many times, but that doesn't mean I have to throw my whole workout plan out the window.  Instead, I stay home and don't go to the gym, but I go outside for a 30 minute run or a DVD in my living room.

I'm coming to find that this is the best thing for me for right now.  It's not always going to be perfect, and I won't always be able to do what I want or have planned, so instead, I just roll with the punches and do what I can in the time I have.  Sam and I recently went on a 3 mile run during one of those mornings when we planned on going to the gym.... and I must say, the run was perfect, and I ended up being really glad that we slept in an extra 30 minutes and had to run at home instead of working out at the gym.

One last thing, on this topic.  Your body needs sleep just as much as it needs exercise.  So listen to your body.  If you feel like you need sleep, don't sacrifice it in order to get in a workout.  Life goes on, and it will be okay if you miss a day.  That isn't always easy for me to say, but I have gotten much better at recognizing when I need to choose rest over exercise, and it has definitely helped with my stress levels.

Loving these DVDs
You can find it online or at Lululemon stores.

You can find the DVD along with their foam roller & resistance bands at Target.

**I want to add something to this... don't just workout in the morning, workout during the day too!  I'm happy to say that I along with several other co-workers do something active every other hour.  I like to trade off between 20 to 30 push-ups and lunges ending with a couple forward folds and twists.  This makes a huge difference in my energy levels and how I feel overall through out the day.  

Start the day with a healthy smoothie.

Ohhhh yummers.  How I love my morning smoothie.  This is key to ensuring a good start to my day, and I haven't gone a work day without one!  Recently, my morning smoothie has changed, and I like this one SOO much better.  Sam prepared it one day after reading a wonderful post by No Meat Athlete on The Perfect Smoothie Formula.

The Perfect Protein Smoothie 
Serves 1

1/2 Scoop Boku Superfood
1/2 Banana 
1/4 cup frozen strawberries
1/3 cup unsweeted Almond Milk
1/3 cup water
1/2 Tbsp Unrefined Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
1/2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1/2 Tbsp Honey
1/2 tsp Cinnamon 

Make and take healthy snacks to work. 

I take snacks with me to work every day, but some of them are pre-packaged snacks like the gluten free pretzels that I usually munch on around 10:30 or 4:00... or one of my favorites, the PBJ Lara Bar.  I also usually take fresh berries and a banana to always have on hand.  However, I want to try to start making my own snacks.  Everything is usually healthier if it doesn't come out of a package because you can control the ingredients at home.  So with that said, I am happy to say that as I type this very sentence, I have a new snack recipe baking in the oven!  And oh my gosh was this so easy.  And I just went to take a little taste test... scrumptious!  This is the healthiest version of caramel corn you will ever have, and it's a must try!

Maple Pop Crunch
recipe from the Meghan Telpner Blog

1 pack of rice cakes, broken into popcorn size pieces
2/3 cup unrefined coconut oil 
2/3 cup maple syrup 
sea salt to taste

Directions:  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Over medium heat, simmer together coconut oil, maple syrup, and sea salt for about 5 minutes. Pour over rice cakes, mixing well. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes, stirring half way through.  Let cool... they will get crispy!

Take my lunch and not eat out everyday. 

I take my lunch pretty much every day.  You would think after sitting in a desk chair for 12+ hours a day that I would begin to pack on some pounds, well that hasn't happened yet.  Also, I have energy all throughout the day, and last week I had enough energy to come home and squeeze in a second mini workout.  I attribute all of this to taking my own healthy lunch and snacks.

It will either be chickpea salad or dinner leftovers.  I am so thankful that Sam has been able to help with dinners and my lunches, but if this wasn't the case, then Sunday would be a big cooking day.  It's always good to have the chickpea salad on hand or maybe a quinoa salad to throw on greens, bread, or in a tortilla with other veggies when you need a quick/ easy lunch.  Making a big pot of soup, casserole, or my favorite enchiladas comes in handy too because the leftovers last a while.  If you make the meals in advance, then you have no reason not to take them with you!  It also helps if you pack it the night before so you aren't rushing around the next morning.

Also, ladies... if you need a little extra motivation to pack your lunch then splurge on a new lunch bag!! I love this brand of bags.  They are really cute and they don't even look like a lunch bag at all.  I went with this one...

It's a great size for storing a couple glass tupperware containers.  Also, Tone It Up, just came out with their lunch box, get it here!

Force myself to take time to unwind.  

This is what I said back in October: "I'm not the best at slowing down.  If I have things to do, I want to get them done right then.  My body does not like stress and if I get too stressed or if I overwork myself without giving myself time to relax, my health takes a hit...sometimes you just have to STOP.  Your "to-do" list will still be there when you get back.  My "me time" is usually during my workout, but I also need to give myself more relaxing "me time."

Well, I confess... I haven't been doing a very good job at this.  By the time the weekend rolls around I haven't had time to do anything around the house so I create a huge "to-do" list and attempt to check off everything during my only full day off work.  When what I should be doing, is taking that day (or at least part of that day) to relax, read some books I just purchased, and just take time for me.  I know this will help stress levels and just overall mood.  Let's hope that since I have recognized that I am failing at this one, I will make a better effort going forward.  We shall see!

Overall Grade

Considering the busy schedule, I must say, I am quite proud of a B+.  In fact, I would put this one on the refrigerator door like my parents did when I was a kid.  It may not be perfect, and it may not be exactly what I had in mind, but it works.  It's proof that you can be busy AND healthy!  There are no excuses, you just have to figure out what works best for you.  I thought that I could workout 6 days a week with this schedule, but I'm finding that 4-5 days is what is best for me right now in order to give my body the proper balance of rest and exercise.

It takes a little extra time to plan your meals, cook, pack them, and workout, but it's worth it.  You are investing your time in your health, and I would say that's time well spent.  Plus, I find that I am much more productive throughout the day if I exercise and eat right.  It's a win win!

With Love, Health, and Happiness,


P.S.  In my last post, I mentioned that you should get ready to book your flight... well, stay ready!! Details are coming soon! 


Michelle said...

Haha I never knew that your lunch bag was specifically for that lol! I always thought you were just using an old purse! Very clever :)

Mom said...

You are quite the incredible child! Still keeping an eye on your grades! :o) Geeez...I wish I had the ingredients for the Pop Crunch on a day like today! Looking forward to the details coming soon! :-) Oh, AND I'll let you know what I hear about crossfit!!

JenATX said...

Keep on keepin' on! You are doing WAY better than I did during finals (which I bet has comparable hours of sitting/being away from home/stress). I probably only worked out once a week haha & had Chex mix for lunch because I couldn't tear myself away from the library to grocery shop + make lunch.
I think its so cool that your co-workers do physical activity at work. I think the attorneys would look at my like I'm a crazy person if I did lunges in my office haha. Oh funny story, the first day of work they took me to lunch at a BBQ place. When I ordered a baked potato (only non meat item on the menu, I swear) & then had to tell them I was a vegetarian you would have thought they had just seen an alien. HA! They kept offering me slabs of ribs & sausage.

PS: I think it is really great to read a blog with a "professional" perspective. Many of the blogs I love are authored by pro bloggers who don't have 8:30-5:30 office jobs & have time to do awesome workouts & cook elaborate meals. I have no doubt they are busy too but its always helpful to see how someone stays healthy when their life is similar to your own. sooo thanks!

Calotren said...

Nice Blog: Your five plans are very interesting for health and fitness. I inspired by your post.Keep it up.

beautywithin&without said...

You will be the PERFECT health retreat facilitator!! I am so excited for you, and wish I could come experience it with you! So proud!! :)

Cami said...

Thanks so much for all of these amazing comments!! You all are the best and reading your responses makes my day! I love writing, but even more so I love hearing from you!

So glad you are enjoying the posts! Thank you for such kind words and inspiration!

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