Ah, I have been looking forward to writing this post (and my friends have been asking me for it.... especially lately (must be the Spring air!;). You all know by now that I pull off living a healthy lifestyle all while maintaining a busy schedule at work and enjoying my weekends to the fullest. I don't believe in giving up good times with good people in order to save a couple calories... c'monnn, that is no fun! So, how is it all possible? Allow me to let you in on my secrets. Weekend warriors, workaholics, party girls (boys), and soccer/football/bball/etc parents - this is for you!
First, weekday lunches/dinner (from home or at the workplace). Don't indulge here. I don't find it to be worth it. Monday - Thursday afternoon is the time to be the healthiest. Super, super healthy. Weekends should be saved for indulgences. Pack a lunch on regular days. Don't have time to pack a sandwich or salad? Ya, me either. Here are some of my 'quick' options:
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Frozen berries
- Lara Bars
- String cheese
- PBJ (all natural PB!)
- English muffins
- Ezekiel toast
- Carrots/celery w/ hummus
(I pretty much eat a plain greek yogurt with berries, a slice of ezekiel bread, apple, and either a mini lara bar or another piece of fruit, every day) If you must eat on the fly - check out my "Leaving on a jet plane" post. http://bit.ly/HepqUi
... Anddd if you have to go out for lunch, stick with lean proteins, vegetables. Look for words like "grilled, baked". For lunch, a lean salad with light dressing and minimal toppings is the way to go... for dinner... here are some options:
- Grilled fish
- Caprese salad with a shrimp cocktail
- Baked potato sans extras with a grilled lean protein
- Broth based soups (not creamy)
- Petite filet with salad or steamed vegetables
- Grilled chicken with same sides as listed above
- Sushi - steer away from tempura, and if you get a roll, get some edamame, seaweed salad and/or some sashimi to balance it out.
- Grilled fish tacos (soft shell)
Tips: Start out with a simple salad and drink a tall glass of water before the food comes. Only eat one piece of bread or roll. Stay away from anything creamy, fried, candied, or breaded. Go for steamed, grilled, baked. Remember, just two drinks and try to stay away from dessert during the week.
Drinks/Apps out with friends (during the week)
- Limit to two drinks, Vodka/soda or red wine. Stay away from any multiple ingredient, specialty drinks. They are usually loaded with calories. If you must, have one, then switch to something lighter.
- Appetizers - I always split apps with my friends. Choose wisely. Pick something lean or light as an option in addition to whatever other (tastier) app that you get. Balance! (yes, I am a boneless buffalo wing connoisseur and I will never give that up).
- Hummus platter with baked pita chips and veggies (a lot of places have this now)
- Tuna sashimi
- Shrimp cocktail
- Grilled anything
- Satay skewers (be careful of the sauces - dip lightly)
- Caprese salad
- Raw platter
- Salad/pizza combo (bad pizza - one slice, healthier, grilled pizza - two slices)
(sorry if you don't like seafood - I didn't leave you with much ;)
Tips: Try to eat more of the healthier options, and only indulge a little in the fried stuff and dips. You know you can't avoid ordering that stuff. Control yourself when it's in front of you! **Be mindful**
It's ok to be a little more indulgent on the weekends. Follow the same tips from above, BUT, don't give up at every meal. For example, you had too many bevy's then got late night pizza... don't go out for a gigantic brunch the next day. Or, you had an amazing meal at your favorite restaurant and then want waffles in the am - ah, no. Pick one.
How to deal with a few too many bad decisions?
a) don't beat yourself up
b) well, how bad? haha justtt kidddinggg
c) do this: drink lemon water all day the next day, rest, try to get some sort of exercise in late the next day, down your vitamins, especially b12, drink more lemon water, go to bed super early Sunday night (if possible), drink more lemon water, eat a super healthy lunch/dinner - vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbs, you know the drill. Drink more water.
Last but not least... if you live this lifestyle and plan to stay healthy, you must work out. Even if you follow all of these tips, you are likely still consuming more than you should. I work out 5-7 days a week. I'm not saying you should be that extreme, BUT, try my 15 minute workout rule. Get in AT LEAST 15 minutes of solid cardio, especially on warrior days.
Tip: either go for a 15 minute run. OR DO THIS:
Jumping jacks, squats, squat jumps, criss cross, burpees, lunges, squats, jumping jacks, burpees. If you only work out for 15 minutes - you should be out of breath. You will feel so much better if you do this AND, maybe you'll make it 20 or 25 mins :-)
That's what I got, my friends! It's possible to do it all... just be mindful, make smart decisions, and work out. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Have a great week!