Whoosh! I’m back! Or should I say, I’m baaaa-aaaack!?! I love summer but it has me all out of sorts and come August, I’m ready for that party to be over. I live a slightly nomadic, albeit lovely, existence for over two months every summer made possible by 1.) being able to work from home and 2.) having family conveniently located in fantastic places to visit during the summer months. This summer’s travels took me from my home in Connecticut to Rhode Island, down to New Orleans, up to Maine, over to New Hampshire and out Montana. Every year the kids get older, the more fun it is to jet around with them and see these experiences through their eyes. Top of the list this summer? Seeing the total solar eclipse under the Grand Teton in Wyoming – a definite must for your life bucket list (seeing the total eclipse AND visiting the Tetons)! That said, a consistent work schedule is nearly non-existent and my health and fitness routines and habits are truly put to the test! It actually started to look a lot like Where’s Waldo with my workouts – the location of my exercise space was a surprise almost daily!
So you are probably wondering, how the heck do I stay on track with fitness so that I don’t get steamrolled by the summer and end up miles behind the starting line come fall?! I’ve got one word for you – STREAMING. Now I certainly love checking out a new class (of any sort!) when I can but with kids at home and constantly being on the move, streaming is where it’s at. There are a lot of streaming options out there but Beachbody’s On Demand platform (HERE) truly works for me. There are HUNDREDS of workouts to choose from, from many of the top trainers in the country, of varying lengths, for all levels, with and without equipment. This summer there was back porch yoga, HIIT in the wine cellar, cardio in a hotel room, weights in the garage, pilates in the front hall. Yes, those all happened and coming back to a post summer routine has been all the easier because of it.
If I were graded on howe well I stayed on track with my fitness routine this summer, I’d give myself a solid “A”. Now nutrition, on the other hand, is a whole other ballgame. I mean, how do you resist the constant temptations?! Sunset cocktails, beach cocktails, backyard cocktails, french fries and chicken fingers at the snack bar, BBQ’s, picnics, eating on the go (in the car, on a plane, in a boat?!) — there is just only so much will-power to be had and life to enjoy so I’m a huge support of the 80/20 rule. You know, clean eating 80% of the time and making a place for those indulgences 20% of the time. I can’t tell a lie though…my summer looked a bit more 70/30 but all said and done, I feel good about it and within just a few days of getting home and cooking in my own kitchen, I usually feel pretty darn good! I’m all for enjoying that ice cream cone or the specialty cocktail but maybe just not every day, right? Right?!
So here I am, back in the saddle after a whirlwind summer with the intent of battening down the hatches for a bit, 80/20-style. Task Numero Uno? Meal planning!
I can hear you already…
“But I can’t meal plan!” “My kids won’t eat that!” “I’m a terrible cook!” “This is too stressful for me!” “HOW?!?!” “What if my plans change?”
This is a habit that I have gotten into but resisted for the longest time because I just didn’t think I could plan like that (and I’m a planner!). The first couple times it took me a while but now I can jot down a plan in a matter of minutes. Meal planning will ultimately save you time each day, it will save you money because you will be shopping from a list, you will eat better (um, less takeout and cereal dinners!) and save you stress at the end of each day about what to throw on the table. Some of my biggest tips to start are: stick with what you know and aim for maybe one new recipe a week to keep it interesting, look at your schedule and plan accordingly (if you have the soccer carpool till 7:30pm, putting together a lengthy dinner after that is probably NOT on your docket), shop for half the week at a time because, well, plans change…constantly. In fact, if planning a whole week scares the bejesus out of you, just plan half at a time and go from there.
Jot that plan down on a piece of paper, make an Excel sheet if your a digital kinda person, get a meal planning pad…whatever works. I have a great spreadsheet for meal planning HERE, but lately I’ve been a big fan of these meal pads. They are also magnetic so stick that baby up on the fridge and everyone in the family knows what the deal is. I don’t wanna hear, “what’s for dinner!”
Task Numero Dos? Create a workout calendar that you can stick to and that will force you to get some exercise each day. Please note, all yoga or all running or all of anything ALL THE TIME is not going to get you results. Make sure your workouts include strength training (girls, don’t worry, you won’t turn into a beast with weights), high-intensity interval training (cardio, gotta do some and this is the best bang for your buck), yoga and stretching. Just like you can’t eat just one thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner and expect to be healthy, you can’t do the same kinda workout and expect to hit your fitness goals. Sorry! The way I stay on track and get the workouts I need each week is by 1) joining a monthly challenge group for accountability. I mean, it’s one thing if I decide to skip my workout because I want to binge watch a new series but if I am committed to showing up every day for myself AND others, I have no excuses. And then I just try to do both…exercise THEN binge on crappy tv. 2) have a workout calendar. I usually pick a program from the incredible array of workouts on Beachbody on Demand. They have 21-day , 30-day, 60-day or even 90-day programs to choose from. I like an end goal in sight so I prefer the 21- or 30-day options myself.
Alternatively, you can customize your workout. Perhaps there’s a hot new studio in town you want to fit into your routine or you are training for a 5K and need some runs thrown in, THIS site is great for creating a custom schedule to make sure that you get a variety of workouts you need.
If all of this still seems overwhelming to you well guess what? I can help! Each month I run a challenge group that will teach you how to meal plan, how to feed your family, give you tips on eating while traveling, how to handle the holidays, snack and meal go-to’s as well as helping you create a better fitness routine to meet YOUR individual goals — from losing the last 5lbs, to ditching the soda habit to overhauling your lifestyle! I’ve also got my Ultimate Kitchen Guide direct to your inbox once you sign-up for the challenge that includes my pantry must-haves and easy recipe staples from salad dressings to ideas for breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as some of my most favorite lunchbox staples including THIS recipe that gets a two thumbs up in my house!
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give you the scoop on the groups, let you know when my next one is or just answer some questions you might have about getting on track!
Welcome back to routine everyone!