Well, the gym was busy, busy this morning at 5:30 and I was not surprised one bit. I’ve been a gym rat for quite some time and I’ve been moonlighting as a Pilates and Group Exercise instructor since 2001, so I’m familiar with the trends. The three busiest times for health clubs are:
- The first 3 weeks of January (it dies down by Superbowl)
- Mid-end of April (my sister, Julie, owner of RI Pilates Studio, says it coincides with the warmer weather because women will be baring their arms)
- Mid-September (once the kids are settled in their back-to-school routines, Moms feel they can finally get some “Me” time and after a summer of cookouts, vacations, and cocktails by the pool, we need it)
I’ve always loved September, and to me, it feels like a New Year. In the Jewish faith, it is in fact the New Year. I’m not Jewish, but my Dear Husband tells me that I want to be. Maybe I was in a previous life. In any case, to me, September is the start of a New Year and it is a great time to get back on track, if you’ve strayed at all from your healthy routine. When I’m feeling like I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit, I try to squeeze in some extra workouts, use my online food journal daily, and put only the most nutritious foods on our weekly menu.
Squeeze In Extra Workouts
Whether you are a busy Mom or not, this is not always easy. Even the most devoted of us early risers gets tired now and then. And lack of sleep is not good for weight loss/weight maintenance either. One way I squeeze in extra cardio time is by running on the elevated track that surrounds my daughter’s gymnastics class and my son’s sports class. I figure I can yada-yada-yada with some Moms outside the door, or I can get in 45 minutes of cardio instead. No brainer. And no, chasing the kids does not count as a workout according to a new study presented at a meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.
Use My Food Journal
Now, I’m not a dietitian and I don’t play one on my Blog. But I am a lifetime Weight Watcher and writing everything down (these days, I use the Weight Watchers online tools) is critical whether I’m trying to lose a few pounds or just maintain. Now, of course there are things that don’t count, like a few dark chocolate chips after dinner!
Put Only the Most Nutritious Foods on the Weekly Menu
Working for NuVal opens my eyes to the highest ranking foods according to their nutrient-richness. So, when my DH and I feel we need to get back on the straight and narrow, there’s lots of baked or grilled fish on the menu. Last night, it was baked haddock (which scores a 64). Cod would have been a better choice since it scores an 82. And at a work lunch last week, I chose a spinach salad with grilled salmon since the fish has a score of 87. We also eat lots of grilled chicken breast which scores a 39. My favorite recipe, which I have on a dog-eared card from Martha Stewart Living’s July/August 2000 issue (yes, there once was a time that I actually read that magazine), adds no fat and has a spicy kick. We make it on the weekend and use leftovers on top of salads and in wraps.
Grilled Chicken Paillard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Zest and juice of 2 limes (most of the time I just use bottled lime juice and skip the zest)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
Salt and freshly ground pepper.
Make the marinade in a large resealable plastic bad and add the chicken. Chill in refrigerator 15 minutes or up to 24 hours. Grill 4-5 minutes per side.
The leftover factor gives us some extra time to actually cut up the fruit sitting on the kitchen counter and prepare the fresh vegetables that we bought from the farmer’s market.
So, I guess “squeeze it in and trade up for better nutrition” is my message of the day. I ate breakfast while driving to the office this morning – multitasking is “squeezing it in”. I had a Thomas’ Original Made with Whole Grain English Muffin (scoring a 26) with Teddie Peanut Butter Chunky (scoring a 38). A better choice would have been a Thomas’ English Muffin Light (scoring a 38) and Teddie Peanut Butter No Salt Creamy (scoring a 49). I still need to work on Trading Up.
I would love to hear from you on this topic. How are you squeezing it in? Do you write down what you eat? And are you trading up for better nutrition?