I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but summer is over. It’s officially September.
New school year.
More traffic (and by “more,” I mean “Dear God, help us all”).
New routines and schedules.
Now that I think of it, September sounds an awful lot like January, doesn’t it? Brand new beginnings filled with promise and excitement – yup, sounds just like resolution time to me.
With that in mind, let’s talk about some ways to tackle this “new year” with appropriate goal setting, organization and LUNCH!
TRAINER TIPS: Starting a New Fitness Plan
What would New Years be without a fitness resolution? It would be blasphemy, plain and simple. However, I’d like to approach this with some sanity and intelligence instead of the usual, “I have to lose 50 lbs in 1 month and I have scheduled myself 14 workouts this week to make sure it happens.”
What is your goal?
What does it mean to you and why do you want it?
Does it mean you’d like to be someone who lifts five times a week?
Does it mean you want to create an active lifestyle – start cycling, running, hiking, or rock climbing?
Why do you want to be a person who lifts five days a week?
Why do you want to be active?
How about the beginning?
Pick one small, easy, super attainable step that leads toward your goal and do that. Do that for a while. If your goal is to run a 5K, but you’ve been living on the couch for the last year, starting with a mile run is probably too much. Pick something you KNOW you can do like a walk around your block or a 10 minute walk on the treadmill during your lunch hour. Commit to doing that daily and praise yourself when you finish it each day. It may seem small, but that’s the point.
Set yourself up for success and revel in it when you attain it.
Eventually that first step will no longer feel like a first step. It will just be part of your lifestyle. That’s when you know you’re ready to add the next step. Slow and steady is the key. If your goal is to be fit enough to run around with your kids or grandkids, you don’t just want to reach that goal for a week or a month. You want it to stick.
Slow and steady is how you make it stick.
This is from Nerd Fitness: How the Heck Do I Get Started??? By Steve Kamb. It is PERFECT.
“Your willpower is like your HP in a video game (limited). Fight too many bad guys at once, or fight too tough of a bad guy, and that HP depletes at a rapid pace and you need to restart. Instead, fight ONE bad guy who’s weaker than you, and you survive the fight, get stronger, and build momentum.
And NEVER underestimate the power of momentum.
So, pick ONE thing. Make it small. Make it manageable.”
GOOD EATS: Lunches that Work at Work.
- Plan Ahead: This should be steps 1-10 and it actually may be the hardest part. Before you do your grocery shopping for the week, create a meal plan. You are likely already doing this for dinners – otherwise, what are you getting at the grocery store? Try adding one more tiny step and create a lunch meal plan too.
- Prep Your Meals: Pick a day (Sundays are my go-to days) and prepare as many meals ahead of time as you can. Now, that doesn’t mean I want you to spend your entire day meal prepping; you have to be smart. Pick quick and easy things that you can make once, but eat multiple times.
- Prepackage: Once your meals are made, package them in individual lunch-size servings so all you have to do in the morning is grab it out of the fridge and go!
Does it take a little discipline? Sure, but the benefits are fantastic: delicious, cost effective, guilt-free lunches you can look forward to!
Here are my top three QDE (quick, delicious, easy!) work lunch recipes:
Salad with Rotisserie Chicken
Prep Time: 15 min
Directions: Build a big enough salad to make 5-6 individual salads and separate into lunch containers. Add shredded chicken, egg, cheese. Cover and refrigerate until use.
- Red leaf/green leaf/spinach mix
- Favorite veggies. Mine are: red, yellow, orange peppers, onion, broccoli, carrots (cut in discs instead of shredding to add crunch!) tomatoes, cucumber, snow peas
- Rotisserie chicken – pre-cooked. Shred while still warm for ease
- Hard boiled egg
- Blue cheese or feta crumbles
- Dressing of choice. My faves are Marie’s Blue Cheese Vinaigrette, flavored olive oil (lime is delish!) with raspberry or red wine vinegar
Ground Bison with Hummus and Tomatoes
Prep Time: 15 min
Directions: Add bison to pan and brown. Add diced onion in with about 3 minutes left on the bison. When bison is cooked through, stir in hummus. Separate into separate lunch containers and add chopped tomato after it’s cooled. You can also wait and add the tomato after you reheat at work. I don’t even reheat it, though. I just eat it straight out of the fridge. Who can wait?
- 2lbs ground bison
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 container hummus – I usually use garlic, but I’ve used plain as well as other flavors and have never been disappointed.
- 1-2 plum tomatoes per serving
Prep Time: 15 min
Directions: Add turkey to pan and brown. Add diced onion in with about 3 minutes left on the turkey. When turkey is cooked through, add taco seasoning. Separate into separate lunch containers and add salsa and cheese after it’s cooled. You can also wait and add toppings after you reheat at work. I don’t even reheat it, though! I just eat it straight out of the fridge!
- 2lbs ground turkey breast
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 packets McCormicks Taco Seasoning (it’s the only packet with real seasoning and no chemicals)
- Shredded cheese, salsa to taste
- Optional: taco shells, tortillas or lettuce wraps
You are back to the grind after a beautiful summer. You have decided to start a fitness plan and start eating to fuel your activity level as well as reach your health and wellness goals. How do you make sure your motivation isn’t fleeting?
Remove motivation from the equation, or at the very least, de-prioritize it by creating a routine.
Saying, “I’m going to work out this week” doesn’t always get the job done. Scheduling it increases your probability of actually doing it by about a billion. The same goes for getting those work lunches together. You need more than a wing and prayer – you need a plan!
Take out your calendar.
No really, do it.
Ok, ok, bring up your google calendar or smart phone scheduler or whatever newfangled thing the kids are using these days. I still have a paper, wire binder, appointment book that everything goes into.
I’ll go ahead and label that as “classic” before the rest of you deem me old fashioned.
Now look at the following week. When can you most conveniently fit in a workout or two? Just picking, “Monday” won’t do. I want you to write out all the details.
• Day of the week
• Time of the day
• Location of workout
• Mode (lifting session, group fitness class, appointment with your personal trainer, walk, etc.)
• Which pair of sneakers will you wear?
The more specific you get with your scheduled workout, the more likely it will happen.
If you are able to stick to the same schedule for a few weeks, do it! Once working out is just part of your regular routine, you will start to feel incomplete without it. Changes in your schedule will not throw you off course because exercise has become habit.
You can utilize the same system for packing work lunches. You can probably skip the sneaker step, but keep the rest.
Creating routines will set you up for success week after week. Make it is easy on yourself by planning ahead and being specific. The fewer choices and decisions you have to make throughout the week, the better.