It’s so easy to get caught up in the every day. Waking up before the sun rises (after a few hits of the snooze button), showering, dressing, commuting. Then a day at the office, commute home, cook, eat, sleep. Repeat. Your own well being gets pushed aside. Priorities somehow get lost after months on end of a similar schedule.
That’s why it’s so special to me when I get the opportunity to take a day off, just for myself. To hit pause. To pass on the early morning and the commute, just for a day, while the world around you continues with their normal routines.
Today was an extra day off work for me. My house is clean, the laundry is done, fridge is full, and I am prepping healthy lunches for the work week ahead.
For me, I am at my healthiest and happiest when I put effort into planning. We have a cleaning schedule, and a weekly menu posted on our fridge at home. Mostly they’re followed, sometimes they’re not, but all I know is that taking the time to plan in advance means my week runs more smoothly. It means we eat more healthily. It means we spend more time doing and less time ho-humming. That’s how having one extra day makes a difference for me.
Planning always starts with inspiration. I need to be motivated. For meals, I do that by looking through my recipe books or browsing my Pinterest boards. For fitness, I have a board called “Health” that features inspirational quotes as well as healthy food options and workout routines.
So, given my extra day, what’s in the plan for this week?
Quinoa salads, like the one pictured below, are so easy to make and really fill me up at lunch time. I feel like I’m eating a big bowl of freshness. My salad for the week ahead includes dates, cherry tomatoes, grated carrot, feta cheese, red onion, green onions, edamame, and I’ll toss with a balsamic vinegar dressing.
I also purchased some whole wheat tortillas, so will switch-it up mid-week by having a wrap with the salad and some canned tuna.
As long as you have the right ingredients at home, making smoothies for breakfast is super quick and delicious. For a commuter like me, I find it much more efficient to eat while driving (I know, I know… but at 1 to 1 1/2 hours each way, do you really blame me!?). Having your breakfast in liquid form makes the whole process a lot easier.
Again, prepping is key for me. I combine all ingredients in my magic bullet before bed, placing it in the fridge until ready to blend on my way out the door the next morning.
Pictured here is a thick and creamy vanilla date smoothie.
I get major snack cravings. When I get home from work, before dinner is made, or sometimes before bed, I get the urge to munch. When I’ve planned ahead and there are healthy and quick-to-prepare snacks at home, I can usually avoid the cookie jar or the bag of chips in the pantry. On my list for this week – apples with sesame butter, dates and nuts, avocado and gluten-free crackers.
I’m not someone who is naturally athletic, or thin. On the shorter side, I also have a naturally curvy frame. Birthing hips, apparently. (lol)
And I really, SERIOUSLY LOVE food.
Combine those characteristics and weight and fitness are something I will always struggle with. Even when I am in my target weight, I will forever be a recovering food-addict.
What works to motivate me is the FEELING I want to achieve. Being comfortable in my own skin, feeling fit and healthy. What it feels like to swim in a lake or have the wind blowing in my hair on a bike ride. Being out on the water in a canoe, or running just a little bit further than last time without having to stop.
That’s SO much more motivating than a number.
That’s why planning plans a role for me. So, in addition to getting some actual fitness in, I was able to spend the time thinking about, and looking forward to, activities for this week. Yoga, a night time run, a walk on my lunch hour. And the time to find some inspiration: