During this time most of us are stuck in our houses and not having a normal routine of meetings and picking up kids from school. Also, a lot of folks are eating way too much. The number one piece of feedback I am getting from most of my clients during this quarantine is that working from home has been detrimental to their waistline. Some have commented how the fridge calls to them each time they walk by. Or, that there is so much more junk food in the house with their kids home that it's hard to resist.
Without a regular schedule it can be easy to overeat. Below are some strategies to start implementing today to help keep you on track and not to over eat!
Plan out your food.
Recently I have gotten in the habit of planning out my food for the following day. Jason has been recording his food daily in MyFitnessPal and it has motivated me to do the same. After my surgery in the beginning of May I realized that all I wanted was sugar. A lot of sugar. Since I can’t really workout for several weeks after the surgery I knew I had to really dial in what I was eating.
After dinner every night I log into MyFitnessPal and set up what I plan to eat the following day.
Then I see what food I need to prep for the following day. We like to make extra servings of dinner so that we can eat them for lunch the next day. So lunches tend not to be a problem for me.
The trouble I find myself getting into is the snacks. To make sure I don’t dive into the sugar, I have my snacks prepped ahead of time. This week I made hummus and cut up carrots and celery for my morning snack and washed blueberries and had string cheese on hand from my afternoon snack. This makes it mindless and less likely for me to eat out of control.
Where are you struggling during the day and how can you plan to make it healthier?
Build a schedule.
After I have my food planned out I plan out my schedule of when to eat the following day. I try to plan around when I see clients and when I have enough time to eat. This way I don’t just mindlessly eat through the day. What tasks or projects could you build a schedule around? Yardwork? Garage organization?
Also, having this plan does not make me want to eat anything as I walk by the fridge or the pantry. I know when I can eat, I know the food is ready and that I don’t need to dive into the sugar.
Experiment with new foods.
My favorite escape from the news right now is to watch cooking shows. I love it because there is nothing sad or political in the entire half hour! Word of caution. Pick shows that feature healthy cooking options.
When watching these shows, which usually feature foods in season, I learn how to prepare foods differently. Or to pair things that I normally wouldn't put together.
The key to weight loss is to learn to cook. It does not need to be complicated but to have a couple of things that you can make easily and well are really helpful if you are trying to trim a couple of pounds.
With the extra time we all have right now this is a perfect time to put a couple of new recipes into your line up.
Is there a new food you have wanted to try? A recipe you have been meaning to make?
Put down the sugar, wine or other food you are self medicating with and find another way to relax.
I know I have probably mentioned this one a couple of times lately but I think it bears repeating. We are all stressed right now. Our normal routines and lives have completely changed. However, take this time to find healthy ways to unwind and destress.
Instead of reaching for the wine glass pick up a good book and sit out on your deck.
Instead of grabbing an extra cookie try a yoga class online.
Find something that boosts your immune system rather than depressing it the way simple sugars do.
This is different for everyone. Experiment and see what works for you.
Give yourself grace. Not everyday is going to be perfect.
This is the most important thing to remember even if you are not stuck at home and battling the urge to overeat. Be kind to yourself. Do not expect perfection but instead make small goals that you can achieve each day.
For Jason it has been to log his food everyday. Is he eating perfectly every day?
No but it gives him feedback on how he is doing. It gives him a sense of a goal he is working toward to help with his health.
So whatever you decide to focus on with your food each day make it a manageable goal that you can track easily. Pick one thing to do today that will help in the weeks to come. If it's planning out your food. Great! Or making a plan every day. Even better.
Pick something that feels manageable, doable and start today.
One of my favorite memories growing up was picking wild fresh asparagus when visiting my aunt and uncle in Nebraska. Picking this strange vegetable fresh and then cooking it up solidified my love of asparagus.
It was because of this fond childhood memory that a couple of years ago I tried growing it to no success. For the past two years I have nurtured and watered and tried to keep my little asparagus plants alive. Unfortunately this spring the plant was just dead.
So, I headed to Trader Joes to pick my asparagus instead of enjoying it fresh from the garden. Since I am constantly trying to get more vegetables into my daily diet as well as preaching to all my clients to eat more veggies I thought I would be a good time to help all of you construct your own Spring Salad.
The base of this salad is a roasted combination of asparagus, shallots, and garlic. This alone can be eaten as a side with protein. However if you really want to elevate your vegetables for a meal you can make an entire salad. Here’s how:
1. Roast the asparagus, garlic, & shallots
First, prepare the asparagus. Asparagus has a woody end to it which needs to be removed before eating. When I prepare the spears I usually grab the end and middle of one and see where it naturally breaks. From there I use that spear as a guide on where to cut the rest of the spears. Then I cut those in half.
After the asparagus is cut and ready, then prepare the garlic cloves and shallots. For the recipes I usually smash and chop the garlic. With the shallots I make thin slices.
Place the asparagus, garlic, and shallots on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil about 1 -2 tablespoons and add salt and pepper. Toss and bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes. The cooking time really depends on how thick the asparagus is. For thicker cook longer.
While the asparagus is cooking make the rest of the salad.
2. Clean the lettuce and toss with some olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
I start with a base of whatever lettuce I have in the fridge. Today I had butter lettuce so I used that as a base but really any fresh lettuce will do. With this salad I add a very simple dressing. It consists of tossing the lettuce only with about ½ teaspoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Then I add a little salt and pepper and toss the lettuce leaves.
If you want to add your own light vinaigrette then go ahead, but I find the roasted veggies and the light dressing add enough flavor.
3. Cut up the rest of the veggies. I looked to see what other veggies I already had on hand to add in and today it was carrots and cucumbers. Other great veggies to add in right now are peas, radishes, avocado, or tomatoes.
4. Make it a meal.
Salad is great just like this but I wanted to make it a complete meal so I
added some sirloin tips (this is the recipe I used) and about a tablespoon of feta. You can add any protein (chicken, garbanzo beans, etc) or nuts. I like to add pine nuts or pecans but really any will do.
Sprinkling cheese over top just helps to add a little more flavor. I used feta but parmesan is also a good one.
Use these instructions for making a single serving, for multiple salads you would need to adjust olive oil and vinegar to dress your greens.
I like to make all the ingredients, store separately and then mix the salad together to make the meal.
So, now its time to construct your own Spring salad! Click the link below for the full recipe.