(Love my Oakley Women Warm-up shades)
A blog dedicated to exercise, nutrition and my life
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(Love my Oakley Women Warm-up shades)
But what we can do is love the life we choose to live. Every day, all day.
When I was growing up my dad always told me that we all have the chance to live to 90 or 100 years of age. As a young child, 50 was "old" so 100 was just super ancient! But now, I feel so young at 31 and I can't even imagine what it would feel like in 20 years or 70 years! Thankfully, age is just a number that does not slow people down.
I'm sure you've seen the "older" athlete tearing it up on a running or triathlon course or the "older" fitness enthusiast hiking, lifting weights or skiing. My dad always told me that just living to an old age wasn't as important as making sure you are living a quality life. What will you be doing at 70, 80 or 90 years of age? Relying on medications while sitting in a wheelchair in an assisted living facility OR traveling the world after working hard for all of your life to enjoy the riches of your success? My dad convinced me at a young age that every day we should be living a great life and to never take a day for granted. Thank you dad for teaching me the best "rule" of life....live it to the fullest!
Because much of my life involves food and exercise and has been dedicated to learning about food and exercise, I thought I'd share some of my best quick, easy and simple "healthy" eating tips.
To live a healthy life, you need consistent actions to override the occasional opportunities. In order to maintain consistency you must set yourself up for success. If you always try to be perfect, you may always find yourself struggling to improve. Life isn't perfect so you don't have to be either. Sometimes quick, easy and simple is the way to go so here are a few of my tips to get you started.
That was easy....TRAIL MIX!!!
Although I put a little thought into every meal and then snack with a purpose, I know I can always count on trail mix to keep me energized, satisfied and happy. And all those things are important on a daily basis but very important while traveling. With delays and a schedule that is off from the normal routine, I always rely on homemade trail mix to keep me fueled while traveling.
The good thing is that on Tues, we are leaving around noon from Tampa International and will be flying through the night when we land in Prague on Wednesday around lunchtime. We have a stop at JFK (3 hour layover) first and then our long flight to the Netherlands to connect. However, I know that even with the best intentions to sleep on the plane, it won't be easy and likely our body will be off and we will need some snacks to help control blood sugar in between meals.
I put together this delicious trail mix and portioned out to 8 bags. Four for the flight to Czech and four for traveling home (or to munch on in Czech - unlikely seeing that we are staying with Karel's family so we won't be without food but instead, filled with lots of yummy Czech food). I divided my creation into 1 cup servings to make it easy to snack but to not overdo-it on calories as trail mix can be very calorie dense and I want to leave room for meals and for snacks like fruit and PB mini sandwiches.
Trail mix (raisins, M&Ms, cashews, almonds, peanuts) - 3 cups
Sunflower seeds (unsalted) - 1 cup
Coconut Flakes (unsweetened) - 1 cup
Trail mix (soy nuts, pumpkin seeds, dates, cranberries) - 1 bag
Cinnamon - 1 tbsp
I did not figure out calories and only estimated on measurements.
If you are interested in calories for your own homemade trail mix, I recommend to make the trail mix "cereal" dense but using more cereal than nuts/raisins for more volume, less energy density. Keep in mind, many cereals are fortified (like Cheerios) to provide the body with vitamins and minerals which may be lacking while traveling or eating on the road (in other words, a yummy multi-vitamin). Combine your calories (total) from your cereal of choice with the total calories of each of your "additions" based on the serving size of the label on your bags. If using raw nuts/raisins/dates/cranberries from a bin at the store, you can look up nutrition facts online and portion control.
As for sleep, athletes often have no trouble falling asleep due to feeling exhausted after squeezing it all in but then again, many athletes struggle with sleep for a host of reasons. Depending on when you eat dinner and your evening routine, my suggestion is to pass on that evening snack around 8 or 9pm, as you wait to watch a show on TV or as you are catching up on emails or searching around on the net. Immediately after dinner, pack your lunch for tomorrow, lay out your morning workout clothes (or work clothes) and try getting to bed 30-60 minutes earlier than normal. It will do wonders for your mind, health and exercise routine.
Consider this suggestion not as "I'm not allowed to eat after 8pm" but rather that you are prioritizing sleep over that snack that is keeping you up a bit longer than necessary. We all have the same number of hours in the day, it's up to you as to how you use them and prioritize your daily activities. If you are eating a snack in the late hours because you are starving, reflect on the evening meal as well as to how you ate during the rest of the day. Don't forget...avoid going into meals starving, when needed, plan for a pre-meal snack around 30-90 minutes before the meal is served.
Next time you are considering a day off from structured training, first remind yourself that the body does not enjoy to be sedentary. Knowing that a day off from weight-bearing activity is a beautiful thing for the body on a weekly basis, it is also nice to just go for a walk or take a yoga class. Not every day needs to include a sweaty workout with intense intervals. Perhaps, next time you are anticipating a day off from training, remind yourself that the day after your "day off" will likely bring a well-rested body and the ability to push hard for 5 or 6 consecutive days of training.
After sleeping in on Monday and working all day in the hospital, I finished my day with a little time in my kitchen....one of my favorite places and things to do.
Sleep was great on Sunday and Monday evening and this morning, I welcomed a tough workout with what felt like a brand new body. Even though last week was a recovery week, I kept feeling as if my body was not able to produce its normal "power". Although my workouts just didn't require a lot of speed, I felt like I didn't have "it" even if I was not asked to give "it". That's one of the many beauties of training. If planned appropriately, with balance in mind, the body will respond when called to action. This morning happpened to be one of those amazing quality workouts.
But, perhaps it was the meal that sat so nicely in my tummy and gave me the right amount of satisfaction to go to bed early and wake up with a body full of energy? I suppose that's part of life..there are so many components that make for quality living. When balance is the key, everything seems to fall into place.
I am so excited about my latest recipe that I had intended to be Karel's breakfast for this morning. However, as I was making it, I couldn' resist having it for dinner so I decided to call it a "breakfast" casserole for those who are seeking something different and really satisfying to fill your tummy in the morning (or evening) hours.
Broccoli breakfast casserole
2 cups broccoli (steamed in microwave) OR enough broccoli to cover the bottom of your glass casserole dish
2 cups leftover bean and veggie soup (
Plbeany crockpot soup) or 1 can vegetable soup or 2 cups mixed veggies (cooked)
4 eggs (2 whole, 2 whites)
1 heaping tbsp plain 0% greek yogurt (or plain non fat yogurt) + 1 tbsp water
Palm-sized baguette (place in bag and crush with bottom of a bowl or cup until you get bread crumps. A few thick pieces can remain) OR 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Pepper, chili powder, dash of sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In casserole dish, layer broccoli and steam in thin layer of water, until soft. Keep any remaining juice.
3. Layer soup or veggies (without liquid) on broccoli.
4. Sprinkle bread crumbs and seasonings (to your taste).
5. Combine eggs and yogurt and water and scramble until slightly thick.
6. Pour eggs over veggie mixture and stir with wooden spoon to combine all ingredients.
7. Cook in oven for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are firm.
Side dish #1:
1. In pot, cook according to package. Allow 1 1/4 hours to cook (prepare ahead of time when making the casserole or the day before).
Side dish #2:
1 bag raw peanuts
1. In oven set at 350-degrees, place peanuts on baking dish until spread evenly.
2. Cook for 20-25 minutes, give a light toss (out of the oven) around 15 minutes.
Finished product.....similar foods, different quantities. Never forget that you are always eating for YOU and what works best for you. You know your body the best. Eating shouldn't be a stressful time. Keep in mind that there are many ways to eat a healthful diet, built on plant-strong foods.
Barely on bottom, casserole and peanuts on top