Ahhh There’s So Much To Do! We Gotta Get Working On Next Week’s Healthy Living Plan!
Seriously, though, guys! The days are going by fast now! I sit here reflecting back on the last2.5 weeks and it feels like we’ve packed in so much newness – like, around every corner. But I’m so happy that we’ve done this. I feel like we’ve really started to take control over our bodies and our health… I personally feel like I’ve become an active participant in my health, rather than just going along willy-nilly.
We rock… (Bahahahahaha!!!)
But this is just the beginning. I’m looking forward to getting up, the morning after, and really starting fresh! Seeing where the next 21 days will take me. I’m sure I’ll get better at looking at my food choices, resisting temptation, ‘earning’ my treats each week. It’s gonna be good!
A while back, I did a post on the importance of getting food prep into your routine. I believed it then, and I strongly believe it now. In a world of jobs, commutes, kids, family, friends, social lives, cute doggies, it’s almost not realistic to expect to eat really healthy from home on a consistent regular basis without some sort of food plan.
(Well, I mean, I suppose if you’re perfect and you always eat great, then maybe you can do it… But for me… if I didn’t plan, we’d be eating Wendy’s. I know it. This is my weakness. SO… I plan.)
And one thing I’ve found on the 21 Day Fix is that there is not really a whole lotta room for just flying by the seat of your pants on a meal. The whole plan revolves around your containers for the day as a whole – not just individual meals. So you have to get into the conscious habit of knowing what your intention for dinner is in the evening, so you know if you should have that extra yellow or read with breakfast.
Never Skipping Breakfast
So, there have been tons of schools of thought on breakfast over the years: you need it, you don’t need it. And sometimes, you just don’t have time. That’s it. Fact. But when you skip breakfast, there is actually something that happens in your body that does you more harm than good…
Your insulin levels will start to spike because your body is coming off an extended fast (that sleep time we all need and never seem to get enough of), and it is going into shock without food. This can, over time, create an insulin resistance, which I’ll go over in more details in my next post.
But basically, the body’s natural function of turning the sugars from your food into energy is a delicate balance. If you become insulin resistant, your body is no longer as responsive to insulin, therefore not enough is being absorbed for you.
It’s a little complex if you’ve never heard of it before which is why I’ll go into it more tomorrow, but for today, just know that you need to have breakfast within about 2 hours of waking (the 21 day Fix guide book recommends within the first hour). This will set your blood sugars on a good path for the day.
No time for breakfast? Need quick solutions? Try working overnight oat jars into your container counts. Also, you can pre-make your omelettes, store them in little jars in the fridge for a few days in advance, and then just stick them in the omelette maker (no joke – you need one of these… It’ll change your life!) That way, in just a minute or two, breakfast is on the go and you’ll know you’re getting what you need for the morning.
You can also ensure you’re on the right track by starting with a shake. You can put all of the ingredients except your milk into your shake jar at night, add milk and whip it up in the morning with your hand blender – out the door. No more excuses ;o)
Lunches On The Go
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to work from home like we do, or have the ability to spend 30 minutes whipping up a lunch in the middle of the day. But don’t despair… lol… There’s hope for those of you on the go too.
For this one, thinking ahead is a must! If you plan it out, it’ll be quite easy to stay the course.
You can try piling your salads into jars, with your little orange container of vinaigrette. Most salads in jars will keep up to a week! Just use the right size jars so they are packed its ingredients… Less air volume, the longer they last. I’ve included a couple of super awesome, non-boring ones in my meal plan.
If you have a job with access to a microwave, consider bringing a frozen soup or beans with you. In our meal plan, we make big batches, so no thought required – take one out of the freezer and you’re off!
You can also plan one day at a time… Whatever you have for dinner the night before, plan for leftovers the following day. So easy to do this. Just make a little extra the night before and BAM – lunch is served!
This one is big around our house. I mean… If we have time, great. But most of the time, but the end of the day, I don’t want to have to think a whole lot. So, plan everything out in advance. If you have it planned, or the fish is already thawing in the fridge by the time you get home, you’re less likely to falter.
And then there are some days where, fish be damned, you just are not going to put in the effort. Done. There’s no way. (Well, if you’re anything like me, that is). This was another big downturn of mine in the past. Life gets in the way of the day, and the next thing you know, you’ve got Chinese or pizza coming to the door.
Not always, but a lot of the time, these things can be thought of in advance. Plan plan plan! If you know that you’ve got two meetings today, but you’ve gotta wrap your head around your regular job too… Or if you’ve got company coming tomorrow and the house looks like you haven’t cleaned in 6 months and Thursday is just your day to do it… Well, you’re not gonna be bothered with a meal that requires thought, time or energy.
On these days, have meals in the freezer that you can just pop out, thaw while you’re busy throughout the day, and then stick them in the oven at night. Spaghetti and meatballs, sloppy joes, soups, cabbage rolls… The meal plan comes with lotsa options.
And on the rare days when it’s just all gone to hell… You don’t know what your name is by the end of the day and the last thing you can think of is putting any energy into feeding the wanton mouths at home, then swing by your local Japanese restaurant… Order some sticky rice, plain grilled veggies, and some plain shrimp or beef. Avoid the sauces, and you can spice it up when you get home and it’s on the plate. It’s a great, fresh, wholesome way of getting a balanced meal, and you don’t have to think about it.
And often times, the portions they serve are so huge that you can split them between two people to ensure that you are maintaining your counts for the day (and also cutting down on the bill!). For example, our favourite Japanese restaurant, Mikado – we always got the Beef Yakiniku… Rice, veggies and grilled steak. Add buckets of yummy sesame sauce and we’d be happy. After starting this plan, we really took stock – and even though it’s super healthy food (minus the buckets of sauce, of course), the portion was waaaay off. We now split a single order and add an extra side of grilled veggies for good measure.
(If you’re going to do it, I strongly recommend Japanese over Westernized Chinese food as it tends to be ‘cleaner’ in how it’s prepared – not a lot of excess oils, msg, or breading at all… Just good, wholesome food.)
Consider Adding Teas
Teas are a fantastic way to help ensure that you get all of your water in a day, and you don’t need to have them with creams and sugars, just ‘black’ (although very few are actually black in colour). Teas can also give you the kick in the morning (black tea), help with all types of body functions (green tea), aid in fat digestion and boosting metabolism (white teas), and can help you to settle down in the evenings so you get a great night sleep (herbal teas). I’m a huge proponent.
Summing It Up
Basically, you gotta plan, people. Stop thinking of this as a diet, and start thinking of it as just your new way of life. Don’t beat yourself up if you just can’t get to breakfast one day here or there. Make good choices and be conscious of when you’re putting in. Little sacrifices here and there on the junk foods from you past are going to give you giant dividends in the long run!!!
Refer to the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan for a complete outline of today’s food!