Yoko Ono, Original typescript with manuscript additions and emendations for seminal Fluxus publication Grapefruit. On 151 Japanese postcards. Ca. 1952—1964.
Does this illustration look familiar? The journey towards a healthier lifestyle is not a straight line, however, it does not need to be a jumbled mess. When there is no clear plan it is difficult to stay on track. Success requires CONSISTENT hard work, eating well, and rest. When you’ve set goals and expectations for yourself in this new year, make every decision count towards accomplishing them.
Last week we talked about PREPARATION, this week we focus on CONSISTENCY. The two go hand in hand. Preparing in advance and identifying all known obstacles allows you to solve problems before they happen. Need help? #TBWClub’s Jumpstart 30 provides exactly that, a CLEAR, FOCUSED, and SUSTAINABLE program designed specifically for your goals.
DON'T SKIP A MEAL
Eating CONSISTENTLY throughout the DAY keeps your metabolism up, which directly contributes to the burning of excess fat. Skipping a meal and letting yourself go for more than 3 hours without eating, even if you don’t feel hungry, leaves your body wondering when the next time it will be fed. In turn, whatever you eat next, will be stored as fat and kept as reserves in the event that you skip another meal and leave your body feeling starved again. You can prevent this from happening!
Being hungry in the middle of the day and running between two meetings that are directly across town from each other with no healthy and quick options in sight!
Pack an easy source of PROTEIN (eggs!), HEALTHY FATS (unsalted almonds!), COMPLEX CARBS (Mary’s Gone Crackers!) that you can easily eat in the car, cab, or bus ride over.
DON'T SKIP A CHEAT MEAL
Eating clean CONSISTENTLY throughout the WEEK doesn’t come without any rewards! A cheat meal is waiting for you so plan accordingly. Don’t go off the rails! If you’re in the mood for a burger, go somewhere that will give you 100% grass fed beef, a whole wheat roll, and all natural fixings NOT a fast food chain. Foods that are overly processed can set you back much longer than the same meal made with preservative free whole foods. Weekly cheat meals are crucial for maintaining CONSISTENCY because you need to have THOSE moments ONCE IN A WHILE to satisfy your cravings so you don’t completely fall off the wagon.
DON'T SKIP A WORKOUT
At the start of any project there is an unrivaled energy and confidence. This is especially true when it comes to health and fitness. We tend overcommit and burn out after 2 or 3 weeks of going to the gym everyday, eating a strict diet with no cheat meals, and not allowing for proper recovery time. When you commit to a healthy lifestyle remember that it is for LIFE. Of course there will be fixed goals to achieve along the way, but the focus should be creating a SUSTAINABLE way of living that can allow for life’s surprises.
Here are some tips on how to set up a sustainable workout schedule:
- Get a calendar
- Identify all fixed obligations/responsibilities (work, school, pick up kids from school, date night, weekend brunch, etc.) for each day and pencil them onto the calendar
- Identify the windows where it is possible to fit in a workout ranging from 15-60 minutes (this may require you to wake up earlier or reevaluate what you wrote above as an “obligation/responsibility.” Find ways to integrate health and fitness into some of these responsibilities. Get active with your partner or kids, add squats throughout your day, etc.)
- Chose 1-2 days of rest (typically those can be the weekend, but if those are the days you have the most time to workout, place each rest day after a day of working out.
- For the smaller periods of time focus on cardio/interval/circuit training
- For the longer periods of time focus on strength training
- Evaluate and finalize your calendar
BOOM! Stick with this schedule for 2 weeks. If you’ve completed every single task through a 2 week cycle, go on for 2 more. Once you’ve reached 30 days, congratulate yourself! Continue until you reach your initial goals. If you need help #TBWClub’s Jumpstart 30 is perfectly designed with you in mind. Join the club today.
When it comes to eating well, meal planning is one of the easiest things you can do to set yourself up for success. The beauty of it is there are no rules and, you can’t really mess it up. The key is just to start, and to set aside a little bit of time each week to do it. There are so many ways to approach meal planning that, after practicing just once or twice, you’ll begin to find what works for you and your family too.
To help you get started, we’ve broken down some of the basics. We’ve even included two practice exercises to help you map out your next week’s worth of healthy meals!
PART 1: ASSESS YOUR EATING SITUATION
Our eating situations can vary greatly from week to week depending on work schedules, after school activities, evening commitments, travel plans–the list goes on. Here are some things to consider as you assess your eating situation.
How many meals you need to plan for Take a few moments to think about what you have going on next week. Taking a quick inventory of your plans will quickly give you a rough idea of how many meals you’ll need to get through the week, and how much mileage you can get from each recipe.
What you have time for If you have a crazy busy week coming up, make a mental note to be on the lookout for quick, slow cooker or make-ahead meals that can served up in a hurry. We’re big fans of the cook once, eat twice (or thrice) approach.
Your food mood Things like the weather, a change in seasons, and food cravings can impact what sounds good on any given day. Thinking about these things beforehand will make recipe selection process faster and meal times easier on everyone. The most important thing is to focus on getting LEAN PROTEINS, HEALTHY FATS, and COMPLEX CARBS.
Your grocery budget If you want to eat better for less (and who doesn’t) think seasonal produce and sales.
MEAL PLANNING PRACTICE: MAP OUT YOUR WEEKLY EATS
1. Grab a pen and paper. Write the days of the week on the left side of the page and the meals you want to plan across the top (BREAKFAST/SNACK/LUNCH/SNACK/DINNER/SNACK).
2. Sketch out your weekly eats. Vague descriptions like quick dinner, leftovers, or packable lunch are fine for now. Don’t forget to plan for leftovers and make note of special dietary restrictions here as well.
3. Tally them up. Note how many meals you’ll need, grouping together similar ones. For example: 5 quick dinners, 3 packable lunches, 8 easy snacks…
PART 2: COLLECT AND PREP
Now the fun part! Once you know how many meals you’ll need, it’s time to find some healthy recipes and fill in your calendar for the week. Here are some tips to help.
Create a master recipe list Having a list of go-to meals is one of the easiest ways to expedite the meal planning process. Consider trying one or two new recipes and use a few old favorites to fill in the gaps. Every time you find a new meal you love, add it to the rotation! Remember to keep it CLEAN & SIMPLE.
Find a few new dishes to try Finding delicious, healthy recipes isn’t hard–you just need to know where to look. Health-conscious cookbooks and food magazines are great but the internet can literally provide millions of healthy recipes at your fingertips. Here are some that we love:
Write your grocery list Save yourself some time and write your grocery list while you fill out your calendar–and don’t forget to jot down quantities for each ingredient. Before you head to the store take a quick inventory of what you have on hand and cross off the ingredients you don’t need to purchase.
Chose a meal prepping day Sundays are the best days to do your grocery shopping and prep for the week. Have enough containers for all of the meals you need to prepare and lay them all out before you start cooking.
Methodical cooking Start cooking the things that take the longest FIRST. If you plan on roasting sweet potatoes or other veggies, start prepping and getting that into the oven before all else. Depending on the type of proteins you are preparing for the week, they should take less time to cook. Once all of your food is done, portion them out into your containers. Make sure you have a balance of protein, healthy fat, complex carbs in every meal, with snacks in between.
As they say, IF YOU FAIL TO PREPARE, PREPARE TO FAIL.
Greek yogurt, with its beneficial probiotic bacteria, high protein content and rich flavor, is one of the most popular health foods in America, comprising a billion dollar market.
But few people have as much appreciation for Greek yogurt – or expertise in making it – as Maria Loi, an acclaimed chef, author and host of television cooking shows that have aired in her native Greece and on PBS.
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 2 to 3 tablespoons hot or boiling water (enough to just cover the oats)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, or 1/3 cup light coconut milk and 2/3 cup almond milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 frozen banana, sliced
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon soaked chia seeds (1 teaspoon dry unsoaked; see note)
- Combine the rolled oats and hot or boiling water in a small bowl or ramekin and leave until the oatmeal is soft, about 15 minutes.
- Place all of the ingredients (including the soaked oatmeal) in a blender and blend at high speed for 1 minute. Serve at once.
- To soak the chia seeds place in a jar or bowl and add 4 tablespoons water for every tablespoon of chia seeds. Place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. The seeds and water will be become gelatinous but the smoothie you make with them will not be. To add to a smoothie, scoop up a tablespoon of the gelatinous mixture and add to the blender jar.
Recipe via cooking.nytimes.com