Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

        "Plan  your meals but always leave room for options."   Much easier said then done right?  I used to be one of those people who always said planning my meals is not meant for me.  I'd plan my meals and then decide that day, I didn't want it.  I'd end up eating something completely different and something completely horrible for me.  That all changed about six months ago.  I was working two jobs.  I had no time to cook.  I had to prep in advance.  I needed to do it this time around for my health.  My health finally became a priority for me.  I wanted to take care of myself bad enough to make this planning ahead work for me.
          This was also around the time I did two things, I did a detox meal plan by Prescribe Nutrition.  They have done multiple rounds since the beginning of the year and continue to do so.  Definitely go check them out! What it is, is a variety of meals given to you by this creative team.  You have access to the two top people who are nutritionists.  They will answer all of your questions.  What I really liked about this was it helped reset my body.  That was the purpose of the plan.  Immediately after this plan, I went 100% gluten free.  This is also the time I discovered I definitely have a gluten intolerance.   The plan allowed for me to do a two week meal plan while being gluten and dairy free.  I had a chance to do it while being guided by two amazing nutritionists! This gave me the confidence to be able to do it on my own.
         Since January I have been following a 100% gluten free, 90% dairy free, 100% processed free, and 100% chemical free diet.  A lot, I know.  It is doable and manageable.  It just requires a bit of planning! What motivates me to continue planning is that I feel great! I no longer deal with headaches, drowsiness, stomach aches or any other ailments.  When I plan ahead, I plan for my health.  I know that I have very little options out in the world that fit my eating criteria.
      So how do I plan and be successful at it?  Easy.  I menu plan over the weekend.  I look through all my recipes and decide on a few that sound good to me.  I generally eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch throughout the week.  I do always have a backup plan.   I make a muesli and boil eggs as options for breakfast.  Lately I've been on a salad kick.  I always have a variety of fruit, vegetables and some sort of protein readily available to throw in.  I ALWAYS have fruit for snacks.  I then will pick out two meals that I want for the week.   Usually then I'll bulk cook on Sundays.  Now keep in mind, this was when I had no time during the week to cook at all.  This was great.  I literally carried around a whole day's worth of meals for myself.  It was cheaper and healthier then having to scramble for food.  It was also a lot less stressful knowing I could eat what I wanted to and still stick to my nutrition plan. Now that I'm not as busy during the week, I generally do the same routine except meals get cooked that night.  
    Now keep in mind, this isn't ALWAYS my meal plan.  I do switch it up, I'll make oat pancakes and freeze them for the week.  I may make soup or chicken.  I'll make whatever I'm feeling for the week but will always give myself at least two options.  I try to make them different from each other so that way I can have whatever it is I'm craving, whether it be something sweet or something sour.  I have my options.   My health is my biggest motivator. If I don't plan, I generally end up eating something that makes me sick.  I prefer to go through my days without headaches or stomachaches.  Wouldn't you? 
    Now you tell me, what works for you?  What are your obstacles to sticking to your nutrition plan for the week?  What motivates you?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Healthy Habits

     So getting back into blogging is not easy when I'm not really doing much fitness related due to foot injury.  I'm also not cooking due to the foot injury.  I'm currently at my mother's house where she is doing my cooking.  I am forced to stay in bed with my foot up. 
     I am however using this time to really focus on my diet and mental health.  I am trying to incorporate healthy habits that I can really continue even as I recover and heal from this injury.
There's menu planning, tracking my food, selecting healthy choices, good night's sleep, staying positive, drinking lemon water in the morning, and so on.  I'll spend the next few weeks discussing healthy habits and how important they are to our overall health.
   The first one I'm going to focus on today is drinking room temperature lemon water when you wake up.  This is something that I've seen all over.  It's been listed in holistic health books, blogs, and so on.  I figured, what's the harm in trying it.  If I don't see any improvement, then I'd stop it.  I see SUCH a difference on the days that I drink the lemon water verses days I do not drink the lemon water. 
    The health benefits of drinking lemon water are listed as followed:

                     1.  It helps increase production of bile in your liver. This is GREAT as I have no gall bladder to aid with the bile production.  This means my liver is doing all of this work alone.     When your body is producing a good amount of bile, it allows for digestion to occur more smoothly.  It aids in eliminating fat and cholesterol.  I notice a difference in how often I go to the bathroom when I have the lemon water verses when I don't.  There is a significant increase in eliminating waste.

                   2.  It helps balance the pH in your body.  Lemons are known as acidic but after you drink the lemon water, they become alkaline.  It's really important to have our pH balance be alkalized because it decreases your risk of inflammation and diseases.  We really want our numbers to be closer to 14 then to 0.  When it is closer to 14, that means your body is not very acidic which is GREAT!  This means you are eating a clean diet and your body is working correctly.  When you start your day with lemon water, you start your day by alkalizing your pH immediately. 
              3. It helps clear the skin.  The vitamin C in the lemons really help the skin clear itself from inside out.  Since it helps eliminate the toxins from the body, this really helps in clearing the skin.  It really helps my acne. 

            4.  Helps eliminate toxins! It helps relieve bloating, constipation, and other gastrointestinal issues.  This is great for me as it helps my digestive system again.  Since I have no gall bladder (It was taken out in 2009 due to a disease - more on that another day) this really keeps my digestive system moving smoothly. 
         5.  Lemon water also helps support the immune system.  Vitamin C is important in keeping our immune system strong.  Lemons also contain ascorbic acid which helps iron absorption in the body.  Iron is also essential in keeping the immune system strong.

               There are several more benefits that I haven't listed.  These just happen to be the top reasons why I'm drinking lemon water in the morning.  I truly notice a difference after a day or two from when I'm drinking lemon water to when I'm not.  One really has to pay attention to their body.  I like drinking the lemon water because it helps me fine tune my body and my digestive system.  It doesn't feel that my body is working hard to process everything.  This aids my system!
        I always make sure I have enough lemons for the week.  During the week, I'll leave a glass out the night before that way it's room temperature the next day.  I pour it in my to go cup and squeeze a whole lemon in it.  I'll drink it on my way to work.  By the time I get to work, it's all gone! That means I get to have my breakfast when I get to work.   (I pack all my meals, that's another post) During the weekend, I do the same thing with my water.  When I get up, I make sure I squeeze my lemon water first thing in the morning.  Then while I'm drinking my water, I'll read the paper, check my emails, etc.  That takes about a half hour.  By that time, I'm done drinking my water and I'm off to start my day.  It's a really easy habit to get into.  Once you get started and see the differences, you'll wonder why you never did this before! I truly hope you add this healthy habit to your day.  Let me know if you see any differences!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Absence from blogging

      My last post was about two and half months ago.  I actually had about three posts waiting to be published at certain times.  I will post them as I get back to regular scheduled postings. SO much as happened personally for me in the past few months.  I'm also hoping to make a new layout for my blog as well.  I'm realizing the blue on blue is not that easy to read.  Newbie blogger mistake!
       Some of the delays were quite honestly, I didn't have the adapter to upload pictures into my new computer.  I felt awkward posting recipes without the pictures.  I learned this from blogging, pictures are ALWAYS helpful when it comes to recipe posts.  I wanted to do a new layout.  I just simply didn't have the time to make all these changes I wanted to do.  I was working two jobs.  I was working six days a week.  All I was doing was working and working out. 
       In the past month, my life has once again, dramatically changed.  Let me rewind to December. I had gotten a temporary position that was supposed to last until November. This job was full time with benefits.  So this job, including my private practice, kept me busy.  I wanted to keep seeing my clients because I knew this full time job was only temporary.   Now fast forward to the end of April/beginning of May.   The full time position ended a lot earlier.  The last day was going to be the middle of May.  Yikes! Around the same time, the private practice that I was working at, that position ended.  We had decided to go our separate ways.  My last day there was last week. This meant my business plans that I wasn't quite ready to go public with, sped up! 
        In the meantime, I had gotten really sick with upper respiratory infection. That kept me out of work for quite some time. My grandmother broke her hip.  She's 93 years old so it was a bit worrisome.  She however is rocking her partial hip replacement.  She's in rehab.  I visited her today and I want to be like her when I'm 93.  My grandmother says she's not walking enough.  Mind you, her fall was about three weeks ago.  She wants to push herself.  This is EXACTLY the mindset we all should have when it comes to our fitness goals.  She definitely inspired me today.   I also got into a bad car accident a few weeks ago.  Those of you who are friends with me on FB saw some pictures and whatnot.  I fractured my foot and have nerve damage right now. :(  I'm currently at my mom's house since I can't do many things on my own.  I was unable to run a 5K I had planned for this weekend. 
        Throughout the past couple of months, I have been able to stay positive.  It wasn't easy.   I did get knocked down but I put my big girl panties on and went about my business.  I had my amazing mom for support.  I used inspirational quotes from Pinterest.  I got myself on instagram.  I follow some pretty inspiration fitness and food people! I focused on what my future goals are.  (another post for another week)  As I establish a new routine for myself, I will be blogging more and doing more.  It's the spring/summer which means FARMER'S MARKETS!!!!!!! whoohoo.  I'm excited about that.   This means new fitness routines, new recipes, new everything.  Thanks for being patient with me and dealing with my absence from the blogging world.