Nothing Like a Good Snack

 

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I’m so lucky to have such wonderful women in my life, especially my mom. I wouldn’t be the healthy and active person I am today without her in my life. What better gift than a yoga mat for her on this beautiful day 🙂

 

After a wonderful day celebrating, I spent quite a while in the kitchen preparing meals for the week. There’s nothing better than having that all done and just having to worry about grabbing and going. If I don’t take the time to do this, I tend to spend a lot of extra money buying food on the fly when I already spent plenty on groceries that would last me the whole week.

 

Good wholesome snacks are what get me through days where I don’t have much time for anything but work. I try to pack ‘real food’ snacks for myself to ensure I’m making healthy choices throughout the day. When I say real foods, I mean foods in which I know every ingredient in them… I can spell them, pronounce them etc. The more processed the food, the more likely you’re going to see more ingredients that are hard if not impossible to pronounce. How do you know what is actually in something and how it affects you if you don’t even know what it is. So many aisles in the grocery store are stocked up with food that is processed with additives, preservatives and artificial sweeteners that are not good for your body.

 

So I’ve compiled a list of good snacks ideas to help you stay full and keep you fueled throughout your busy days.

 

  • banana or apple with 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter (peanut butter should have two ingredients, peanuts and salt.)
  • 1 serving of carrots and cucumbers with 2 tbsp. hummus.
  • 1/4 c. mixed nuts and 1/4 c. raisins (make sure the only ingredients are salt and the different kinds of nuts in the package)
  • Larabar (only if you’re in a hurry.  I like the cashew cookie or peanut butter cookie… the only ingredients being dates and the nuts)
  • hard boiled eggs
  • 2 rice cakes with 2 tbsp. peanut butter… if you have a sweet tooth, you can add some honey
  • 1 serving cooked edamame.

Now get in the kitchen and get those meals prepared for the week. I promise you a smoother, less stressful week if you decide to do so.  Besides my lovely snacks, I have baked cod, salsa chicken made in the crockpot, tabouli and portabella mushrooms mixed in spaghetti sauce with quinoa or bulgur instead of pasta on my menu. Be creative, mix it up and be a food label reader this week 🙂

 

Finding Balance

 

While on my vacation I learned the power of just taking a break.  This can relate to any aspect of your life really and maybe one of the hardest things to actually commit to doing. How often do you allow yourself enough sleep, enough time with your family and friends or enough time to simply unplug?  I can say I’m very guilty of making excuses as to why I can’t do these things.  The good thing is it doesn’t have to be that way.  I don’t have to be a victim of my situation because at any time I can change it and work towards making my life the way I want it to be.

 

I know I’m supposed to talk about fitness and things to help you with your exercise endeavors but I’ve come to realize that letting your body rest properly and refresh can have the same positive effects on your life as working out and eating right does. Just imagine how you’d feel if you had all of those things… time to relax, a consistent workout schedule and healthy food choices. I have, for the most part, two of the three of these things and my new goal is to work on the missing piece to the puzzle.

 

There are a few ways I’m going to work towards this goal and I’d like to share them with you. I always tell my clients that when people give you advice you always have the option to use what works for you and let go of the rest. I encourage you to do the same. Things that work for me may not work for everyone but hopefully you can always take something away from it.

 

 1. Plan ahead.  If I don’t do this, I will more than likely back out of it because I’ll find reasons why I shouldn’t. So my next vacation is already in the works and I plan on getting it arranged by mid summer so I have something to look forward to in the fall. It will give me the time I need to save money for it properly. I will also be able to let everyone that is affected by me leaving know in advance so they can plan accordingly. It will also give me something to look forward to on the days where my motivation level is low. I have learned that at the end of the day, work will be there when I get back and everyone understands the importance of some R&R and I will come back feeling refreshed and ready for reality.

 

2. Balance is the key to all around happiness.  I always want to keep the truly important things in focus.  Sometimes when I get consumed in my busy life, I find myself always working and not having time for much else. I am lucky that no matter how busy I get, I can at the very least always find time to workout and stay healthy since I work at the gym. The downside to this is my work to life balance is completely out of whack.  My family, friends and their health as well as mine is the above all the most important things in my life. Money is just money and my job doesn’t define me. I want to love what I do but I want to spend my time with the things more important than work as much as I can. I want to continue to work on this balance as I think everyone should.  As the saying goes, the best things in life aren’t things.

 

3. Sleep.  I think most of the world needs to get more sleep. Allowing your body the proper amount of time each night to rest and rejuvenate for the next day has so many benefits. It helps to keep your immune system working properly, improves your ability to focus as well as it helps to relieve stress. There are many other aspects that sleep helps with as I just named a few. My new goal is to try to get to bed earlier each night even if it is 15 minutes a night.  In four days I’ll be going to bed an hour earlier and slowly but surely I’ll be going to bed at my goal time. It’s realistic to say for me that between 9:30 and 10 is a good start. That would mean on average I would be getting about eight hours of sleep a night. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?  If it’s not more than 7, I strongly suggest committing to a goal similar to mine.

 

So sit down and think about the changes you want to make in your life. These are habits that will not change overnight but in time with focus and dedication you can do anything. There is nothing better than getting the time you need to refocus yourself. Vacation is something everyone should be able to enjoy with proper planning. You work hard and deserve that time for yourself as a reward. In the meantime, think about what the most important aspects of your life are and see if they’re getting the proper attention. If not, find ways to work towards fixing that. Lastly, get that sleep… your body will only thank you when you wake up feeling ready to take on the day rather than just getting through it. Happy relaxing, everyone!