We all know that I love to run. And lately (well, until Snowzilla arrived), I’ve gotten back into my old gym habit of elliptical and weights. But judging by the way my jeans are fitting and the number on the scale, the saying “you can’t out exercise a bad diet” is definitely a fitting one around here. It’s not necessarily that I’m eating unhealthy foods, it’s more that I’m eating too much in general and far from a balanced diet. Marathon training definitely played a role, but what has really brought the issue to a head is being busier in the evenings. Two to three nights a week I am out at dinner time for practices, rehearsals and social activities. I’m eating at odd times and I’m grabbing whatever is convenient, which usually means way too many simple carbs and not nearly enough in the fruit and vegetable department.
I need to get this under control, so here are some simple changes I’m making to get back on track before serious training (and soccer season, sigh) get back in swing.
- Plan your meals – I mean this both in the traditional meal planning sense, but also in the “when will I eat today” sense. I do this with my running and other workouts, why wouldn’t I do this with my eating on days when I have a billion conference calls and a soccer practice that takes me away from home for almost 3 hours? Some days this will mean I eat 4 small meals instead of my usual 3 meals, but it has to be an improvement over grazing all afternoon and then being starving when I get home from practice.
- Make your own freezer meals – On busy days, I often don’t have the energy to cook a real meal when we get home. Sometimes I need to feed all of us, sometimes I need to just feed me. I’m starting to save leftovers into different sized portions in the freezer. I’ve also pre-cooked some meats and will be keeping more prepped veggies in the fridge and freezer.
- Harness technology – Thanks to Kohls, I just got an Instant Pot – combination pressure cooker/rice maker/slow cooker. Seriously, people, this thing is amazing! The other night I cooked a package of mixed dry beans in 45 minutes WITHOUT presoaking the beans. That’s right. Dried beans to edible in 45 minutes! Then I threw the beans back in the pot with the makings for veggie chili, set it on slow cook for 6 hours, and went about my day. Bam! Veggie chili for dinner from scratch. (Stop by Monday for the recipe!)
Follow my Instant Pot board on Pinterest for more ideas!
- Pay a little extra – I know we all want to save money, but if buying precut veggies or grabbing salad fixings from the salad bar means that you’ll actually eat said veggies – DO IT! It’s still cheaper than most fast food places and it’s a lot healthier!
- Pack some healthy snacks – Life doesn’t always go as planned, especially in an area where an inch of snow can result in a 6 hour commute. (Gotta love DC…) I try to always have almonds, dried fruit, and water with me and I stash a box of healthy-ish snack bars in my car. Eating a small snack BEFORE I get ravenous means I’m much more likely to pull that healthy meal out of the fridge or freezer when I get home rather than stopping at a fast food place on the way home.
My goal is that by planning my healthy meals and having them ready and waiting that I can get back to my comfort zone before serious mileage begins. It’s easier to run when I’m not dragging an extra 10-15 pounds around with me.
Want a chance to take a little shopping spree in Kohl’s Healthy Cooking section as well? Kohls is providing a $100 gift card for one of my readers! Enter below! And if you can’t wait to find out if you won, make sure to use the following codes:
• 1/29-2/3 $10 off $50 home purchase with Promo Code HOME10
• 1/29-1/30 20% off using promo code FORYOU20 (2 days only)
These codes can be stacked! (I love the sales codes from Kohls!)
Disclaimer: Kohls provided me with a gift card to do some shopping. They are also providing the giveaway gift card.