So here we go! First, we need to take care of a few housekeeping issues to help you and your family be successful in this journey. If it sounds like I'm repeating myself, I am. There are a few very important ideas to this Healthy Home Revolution and I'm really trying to drive them home, no pun intended.
- Know your daily caloric needs and stick with it! I'm using the equations provided in the Beach Body insanity program to help me calculate my caloric needs, (and due to copyright issues, I will not be posting that here). However, the average female who is moderately active for 3-5 days a week needs 1800 calories a day. If you are less active, then obviously adjust from there. Here's my situation just to give you an idea: I consider myself a very active person, I don't really sit down during the day, and I workout on most days at a high intensity (hard to hold a conversation because I'm breathing so hard) for at least 30 min. I also still breastfeed 7-10 times in a 24 hour period, (so please add 300-500 cal for that depending on the age of your baby and frequency he/she nurses). My daily number when calculated is about 2300, (sometimes 2100 if I'm not working out as much that week due to sickness, vacation, etc). This means 2300 dividing into 5 meals, so my day might look like this: 400 cal breakfast, 400 cal snack, 500 cal lunch, 400 cal snack, 600 cal dinner. I know that seems like a lot, but its to keep your body fueled and your metabolism soaring. Hope this gives you an idea, but please let me know if you have any questions.
- Make a grocery list for the week and plan ahead! You will be most successful when planning your meals ahead. Pick a few things for breakfast, lunch, and snacks that you can repeat through out the week and purchase the ingredients for those. These meals and "snacks", (although a snack might look very much like a meal), must fit into your daily caloric needs. Please refer to the bullet above for assistance with that. Read labels and use a calorie counting app to help you calculate this. It might seem like a lot of work at first, but as soon as you so it once, then you have that information for the rest of your life. It really does make a difference! And so you don't get bored, change up your dinners each week to keep things exciting. I'll help you with that with my weekly meal plan I'll be posting each weekend. Make extra, and you have leftovers for the next day at lunch or dinner if you don't want to cook each night of the week.
- Remember to eat! I've never had a problem with this, and frankly, don't understand when a person says, "I just forgot to eat lunch today." Forgot to eat??? Me? Never!!! Anyway, back to the 5 meals: Breakfast time, mid-morning snack, lunch time, mid-afternoon snack, and dinner. And remember, depending on your caloric needs, your snacks might look more like a meal. Everything counts including your coffee creamer, end of the day glass of wine, etc. Again, planning is the key to make this a no-brainer. Here are a few ideas to get you started, each based on a 300 calorie meal. Please add more to it to make up for the difference. (And if you are math challenged 5 x 300 = 1500 calories, about 800 less than I would need a day...that means I'm adding an extra 200 calories to 4 of my meals. I might be adding more of one ingredient, or adding a piece of fruit depending on the meal.)
- Breakfast ideas: Fruit and cottage cheese (1 cup of 1%milk fat cottage cheese, 1 cup mixed fruit, 1/2 cup whole grain cereal); Berry Protein Smoothie (1.5 scoops of protein powder, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries, 1 cup skim, almond, or soy milk); Cereal Bowl (1 cup high-protein whole-grain cereal such as Kashi go-lean, 1 T ground flaxseeds, 2/3 cup skim, almond, or soy milk, 1/2 cup sliced bananas).
- Mid morning snack ideas: any of the above, yogurt bowl (1 cup nonfat greek yogurt, 1 dices apple, 2 T chopped walnuts, 1 t honey), nutrition bar with 1/2 cottage cheese (choose a bar with app 200 cal, less than 25g sugar and AT LEAST 10g protein), Deli Sandwich (1 slice whole grain bread with 2 oz turkey breast, 1 slice reduced fat cheese, and as much sliced tomato as you wish. Drink 1 cup of tomato or vegetable juice with it).
I'll be back later this week with lunch and mid-afternoon snack ideas, but I wanted to get you started. Obviously, there are lots of other options out there, so don't be afraid to create your own options. Just remember to keep it whole-grain, high protein, and low sugar.
- Clean out those cupboards!!! Get rid of things you no longer
want/need to eat, or put away your favorite junk food for your cheat
meal or cheat day. Don't keep the nutella next to the natural peanut
butter so that it stares at you every time you make your breakfast
toast. Not fair! Just tuck it away in a special place (perhaps 1 shelf
in your cupboard) where you keep "treats". I totally and
whole-heartedly recommend you give yourself 2-3 meals or one day a week
to eat whatever you want, or add treats to your meal. Now I don't mean
to go ahead and eat 3 donuts for breakfast and an entire pepperoni pizza
for lunch. Just give yourself some leniency to eat your favorite
foods, even if they aren't the healthiest. Just please do so in
moderation so that the rest of your hard work is not for nothing. If
you deprive yourself of the things you like the most, then your body
will natural crave more and you will set yourself up for failure.
Reminder: this is not a diet, this is a life-style change. Eating
well, fresh, un-processed, lower fat, lower sugar, whole grain foods to
help you and your family be healthy from the inside out.
Okay, great! Done with housekeeping for now. I'll be throwing in tips and other ideas through the weeks to come so please stay tuned. In the meantime, I promised you a new exercise routine that you can do in the comfort of your own home and this weeks dinner menu. So you will find both below. I hope you have a fabulous week!!! Thank you for going on this journey with me!
20 min at-home circuit work out: Please remember to consult a doctor before you begin doing any new exercise program. Be mindful of your body and your own limits, and modify the exercises when necessary. Wear comfortable fitting sneakers, and take breaks when needed. Always have plenty of water on hand. Lastly, be sure to warm-up for 5 min before you begin (walking in place, stepping side to side, etc) and cool down with stretches at the end of each workout.
Do each movement for 30 seconds, with 30 second rest in between circuits. Do the list twice through, for a total of 20 min (not including warm-up or cool-down). The second circuit gives the options of adding weights to 3 of the 4 exercises if you have weights in your home. If not, your body weight will suffice. If you are not familiar with any of the exercises listed, please look them up so that your form is correct. Many of them can be found on youtube.
Remember, 30 sec each move with 30 sec rest in between, do list twice through. Use a timer on your cell phone....ready, go!!!
1) jump rope
2) 10 push ups (can modify on knees) alternating with 10 tricep dips
alternating front lunges (using weights)
squat press (using weights)
back row (again, using weights)
side shuffle with tap to the ground
REPEAT again from the top
Congrats you did it!!! It will get easier each time, but you have to start somewhere.
WEEK 1 Dinner menu: Many of my recipes come from my head or from the internet. I'm not posting recipes today, just the menu to give you an idea of how you can plan for your family. Make the necessary adjustments according to their taste (swap out veggies or protein) and go from there. I'll be posting the recipes each day this week as I make them in my home, so you can always follow my dinners a week behind if you so choose. I should mention that we tend to have theme nights in my house. It goes a little something like this, but I don't always stick to it: Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesdays (or something related to Mexican food), Italian on Wednesdays, my pick on Thursdays, Pizza on Fridays). Happy cooking!
Monday: Pan seared salmon, warm red lentil side dish, roasted brussel sprouts
Tuesday: crock pot buffalo chicken soft tacos or lettuce wraps, roasted broccoli
Wednesday: low-fat version of shrimp scampi, whole grain pasta, green beans, salad
Thursday: crock pot orange chicken, stir-fried veggies, brown rice
Friday: pizza night (we order from our local place - this will continue to be a "cheat" meal for me)
Saturday: pork loin, whole wheat couscous, asparagus, salad
Sunday: leftovers or eat out