Menu Planning

30 Days of Fitness – Day 2

How did you do with Day 1? I understand a lot of people take issue with throwing out their junk food. It’s crazy the emotions (and opinions) junk food brings out in us! But if you’re going to make a difference in your health and be better off in time for the holidays (where there will be junk food aplenty!), I really do hope you can say after this weekend that most of the junk food no longer has a place in your house and you won’t be buying any more.  So now what? Today I bring you Day 2 of 30 Days of Fitness! But first, if you’re just jumping on this train here’s the deal:

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Starting Saturday, November 1st I’m going to be either blogging or Facebook’ing (is that officially a verb yet?) once a day to highlight ONE thing you can do each day in the name of your health. What for? My goal is to keep you – you who are interested and open to it – as healthy and sane as possible before December hits. Maybe it’s a fitness tip, a workout, or a way to be more mindful of what you’re consuming. Maybe it’s just a reminder to take 5 minutes to appreciate your body for what it does for you. I’ve got lots of stuff in this noggin’ and it’ll be good.

I think it’s appropriate to start on November 1st for these reasons:

  1. It’s the day after Halloween. I don’t know about you but my kids have already acquired bags of candy and Halloween isn’t for two more days. I’d love to tell you I have super-human willpower and am not interested in sweets but if they’re in my house someone’s going to eat them and it won’t just be my kids. I’ll be getting rid of most of it on November 1st. And before you might “mean mom” me, please know I do allow my children plenty of sweets. It’s not my fault my 3-year-old loves dark chocolate. Okay, maybe it is a little bit.
  2. November has 30 days in it, what a crazy coincidence!
  3. November brings with it my absolute most-favorite holiday of the year. People eat on that day – a lot. We’re going to do some damage control all month.
  4. I’ve found it nearly pointless to do any kind of fitness challenge in the month of December. People are way too busy. My goal with doing this in November is to hopefully instill some basic good habits in all of us that will stick throughout the holidays, chaos and all.

Here’s how it’s going down:

  1. Look for either a blog post or Facebook post the night before. So this Saturday’s post will be up on Friday night. This way you won’t be waiting on me all day for something you could have done already. If you don’t already ‘Like’ my Facebook page, you can do so here so you get each day’s updates or find the Like button in the left-hand sidebar.
  2. Share with others, please! This keeps you accountable and reminds others who might be interested in their health to do the same. Sharing is caring and around here we care a LOT about not feeling like crap.
  3. Be open. This isn’t some crazy workout challenge. I do those too, but 30 Days of Fitness is meant to encourage you and keep you mindful. So some days it may be little things, other days I may ask more of you. Do what you can and always keep your health in the forefront of your brain every day, because no one else will.
  4. Comment whenever you have questions, concerns, disagree with my approach or love something. If you want more info on a topic, I am happy to dive in for you. I’m kind of a nerd like that.
  5. Subscribe and win. <— See that little sign-up box to the left? That’s a neat tool that, if you enter your email address, will automatically deliver my new blog posts to your inbox for you. All those who subscribe for email updates between OCTOBER 30th  and NOVEMBER 30th will be entered in a drawing to win this REALLY terrific cookbook from Lisa Leake over at the 100 Days of Real Food blog: “100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love.” Um, what’s not to love about winning that book at the most appropriate time of year? Check it out here!

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Day 2 – Meal Plan To Your Ability

Plan Ahead
Photo Credit: Motiveweight.blogspot.com

If you don’t already meal plan I don’t expect you to spend a large chunk of your day doing it for the first time. Once you get meal planning down, it really doesn’t take much time at all and becomes quite intuitive. But if you’re new to meal planning, all I’m asking for on Day 2 is that you assess which foods you already have in your kitchen and build some meals around those for the week. If you can make it to the grocery store to pick up extras, that’s even better. If you’ve done meal planning before but got off the wagon, Day 2 is the time to start it up again. Dig through some of those recipes you clipped that you’ve been wanting to try. Hit up the grocery store or farmer’s market and stock up for the week. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when just starting out meal planning:

  • Go slow. Even if all you mentally have the energy to do is plan for the next two nights, that’s a great start. The point is to get you thinking ahead so that you aren’t grabbing last-minute options come dinner time when everyone is starving and out of time.
  • Be sure to consider your schedule. This may sound like a no-brainer but I think we all try to do too much. After two kids I’ve finally stopped trying to plan elaborate meals. If I know it’s going to be a busy day, followed by a crazy evening mixed with getting the kids in the bath and into bed on time, I’ll opt for the simplest recipe I can find (casseroles, slow cooker dinners, etc.). I save the meals that require more attention for the weekend or when hell freezes over.
  • Look to the experts. We tend to have very basic dinners at my house – a protein, a vegetable and either a grain or healthy alternative to it (quinoa, wild rice, etc.). However, sometimes I get bored and want to try something new without it getting too complicated. These are some of my favorite sources for those recipes:
  • Find a system that works for you. The biggest challenge I see with my clients is when they are cooking for just themselves or only two people. I get it, that’s a lot of meal prep and work. Think about making meals ahead of time and eating on them all week long. You could make 3 things and divide them up into containers for lunches and dinners, then simply pull them out of the refrigerator or freezer when needed. Make muffins or oatmeal in the slow cooker for two week’s worth of breakfasts, buy pre-cut veggies (or cut them yourself) for snacks. Think simple and experiment with what fits in your lifestyle and your kitchen.

Remember, this 30 Days of Fitness challenge is all about small changes, so don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with this one. Start with two days of planned meals and go from there.

See you tomorrow!

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