Archive for March 24th, 2014

March 24, 2014

Lunchtime, Simplified

healthy pasta salad

Is meal planning a challenge for you when it comes to lunchtime? Do all your best intentions go out the window when you get to work and your coworkers decide to go out (again!)? How do you follow your healthy eating plan when others make it so much fun to follow another path?

road less traveled

If you are committed to making real changes in your life, you’re going to have to do things that other people won’t do. You will have to make friends with “the road less traveled,” at least by most people’s standards. But let me ask you this: do you really want to live by most other people’s standards? NO WAY! Be a leader, not a follower! It’s up to you to create an abundantly healthy life for yourself. You may have to say “no, thank you” when you’d rather say “yes”—especially when French fries or queso is involved. But other people’s decisions are not your decisions, because their goals are not your goals.

good choice bad choice

Here are a few tips to help you stay the course when surrounded by well-meaning but hungry friends at work:

Get Your Mind Right: No, those half-hearted “I guess I should eat something healthy” lines will not do! If you think that you should try to see if T.G.I.Friday’s has something green and nourishing on its menu, your resolve will crumble the moment your hunger becomes more ravenous than your willpower. Read that last sentence again—see those words “should,” “try,” and “if”? There’s no power there! Commit to feeding yourself well—you’re the only one who’s gonna do it.

Bring Your Lunch: This option is the best one for ensuring that your meal is exactly what you mean it to be. So, what’s on the menu? Lean protein, whole-grain carb or beans, fresh veggies and fruit, healthy fat, and lots of water. Downside: You need to plan ahead to prepare your lunch. So, the next time you get groceries, start thinking about your lunch options for the next few days. If you need to cook your healthy carbs (oatmeal, quinoa, rice, potatoes), give yourself a little bit of time on Sunday night to get ready for the week. I promise you will feel much more in control of things when you bring your fuel wherever you go.

Go Home for Lunch: This may not always be possible for everyone. But if you can do this, you will save so much money and be far better off. If you cannot make it home to eat, see above and bring your cooler! Lately, running home at lunchtime has been a nice break in the day. As long as I’ve prepared my food ahead of time, I can swing home, squeeze in an episode of Sex and the City while I eat, and return to work refreshed. It works for me J Downside: Allowing that I have lunch items ready in my house, the other danger here is home inertia. Once I’m home, I LOVE staying home. It’s tough to go back to work.

Pick Up a Healthy Lunch: This option is an essential for you worker bees out there trying to blaze a happy, healthy trail. Do you know how easy it is to zip into any number of fast food places because you only have 30 minutes to go, eat, and then get back? It’s such a temptation when you’re pressed for time—and let’s not forget the budget aspect here. Almost everyone can find a few spare dollars to throw at the closest drive-thru window, but is this truly serving you? Do your best to find a quick, nutritious restaurant or a convenient grocery store. Whole Foods sits right between my workplace and my home, so I’m kinda spoiled getting to stop off for good and yummy things. Downside: True, a healthier lunch will cost you more than anything on the $1 menu at Mickey D’s, but think about it this way—you can pay for it now, or you can pay for it later (with your health and your hard-earned money). I’m ponying up the dough right now!

Make Healthy Choices at a Restaurant: Sometimes, the lunch bunch cannot be avoided, and you will find yourself at the local lunch spot. Here’s where your knowledge of nourishing foods will be tested:

  • Depending on where you find yourself, you can search for heart-healthy or even vegetarian options on the lunch menu.
  • If you are craving something hearty and warm, choose broth-based soup rather than creamy soup.
  • A big green salad loaded with fresh veggies and a vinaigrette dressing is a great choice, but don’t stop there. A salad is a solid base, but it may not last you the rest of the afternoon.
  • Almost any restaurant will offer vegetable sides, and if you strive to order 2-3 green veggies or a salad and some green veggies, you’ll be doing great.
  • What’s your go-to carb? Instead of loading up on the bread basket, try adding redskin potatoes, a baked potato (unloaded!), or some rice.
  • Don’t forget your protein. Add a side of beans or eggs, or ask for baked fish, grilled chicken, or turkey.

No matter what lunchtime situation you find yourself in, you always have choices. Take care of yourself, one meal at a time, one day at a time. Pretty soon, you’re going to look around and love the life you are living.

To health and happiness!

Brooke

I make good choices

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March 24, 2014

Healthy Housewives Live Transformation Ashley Casalini Garcia Progress

 

Check out my progress since having Beau!

Check out my progress since having Beau!

Hey there! It’s Ashley! I am now 10 weeks post-pregnancy, 4 weeks into eating clean and going into week 3 of training mean. I feel GREAT! I’m learning so much about myself and my body.

I have such a new found respect for working women and mothers, both in and out of the fitness world. Even as a woman who constantly stays busy, as a new mom, I’m discovering what it’s like to juggle so much and still make time for myself. It’s not always easy and I’m SO blessed to have the support system around me that I do! Between Marzia, The Healthy Housewives, my husband, my family and my friends, I’ve been given nothing but love and support. This has allowed me to both be there for my baby, Beau, and husband, Bryan, without having to give up on myself, my dreams and my goals.

I am in competition with myself to live the best life I can!

I am in competition with myself to live the best life I can!

Here is a glimpse of my daily life. As of March 19th I’ll be done with my maternity leave and headed back to work, so this will change slightly. The eating clean will remain the same, but instead of going to the gym in the afternoons/evenings, I’ll go before work in the mornings.

I have to prep my meals to stay on top of my health!

I have to prep my meals to stay on top of my health!

MORNINGS:

I wake up anywhere between 7am and 10am, depending on how many times and how long I was up with Beau during the night (he’s still not sleeping through the night). Once I get up, the first thing I do is drink a glass of water mixed with 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and the juice from ½ a lemon. Then I feed my 2 big dogs so that they’re happy pups!

Breakfast:

Breakfast is either egg-whites and oatmeal with berries or egg-white muffins and protein pancakes with berries. And of course, water!

Egg white muffins and protein pancakes are my typical breakfast

Egg white muffins and protein pancakes are my typical breakfast

The fun/interesting part about ANY of my meals is that I’m either enjoying them by myself or I’m balancing a fork in one hand to feed me and a bottle in the other to feed Beau. As a mom, I would definitely say that I’m taking the art of juggling, balancing and multi-tasking to a whole new level!

I also open up my Facebook fitness page and say Good Morning to friends and new followers, post breakfast photos and/or a motivational message.

Chores:

I try to keep Beau happy and entertained long enough to throw a load of laundry in, empty/fill the dishwasher, clean bottles and/or generally pick up around the house. Sometimes it works out great. Sometimes not so much! Sometimes trying to find time to get anything done, including simply taking a shower, is a real challenge!

Of all my responsibilities, I love being a mommy first!

Of all my responsibilities, I love being a mommy first!

Snack:

For a snack I really enjoy celery, cauliflower and carrots with hummus or Greek yogurt with blackberries and KIND brand vanilla blueberry oat clusters.
AFTERNOON:

Since Beau had such a rough start to his life, he still has doctor appointments each week. It may only be one or it may be more than one. He goes between a gastroenterologist for liver issues, the hospital to get blood work done and his pediatrician for general check-ups. If I take him to the gastroenterologist, I also take him for blood work the same day. This means bottle feedings at doctors’ offices, diaper changes in restrooms and eating while I’m out (I’ll get to this in a minute).

If I’m not at any doctor appointments, I’m continuing with Beau duty, updating my Facebook fitness page, doing chores or working out. Since I’ve been a runner my whole life, I enjoy putting Beau in the jogging stroller and going outside for a run and/or taking him with me to the gym and letting him hang out in the “Kid Zone” while I go through my workout.

I run while Beau sleeps

I run while Beau sleeps

Lunch:

I’m a HUGE fan of meal-prepping, so lunch is pretty easy for me, whether at home or on the go (more on this soon…). I have either 3 oz. of grilled chicken or 3 oz. of turkey burger and 2 cups of steamed or sautéed veggies. Sometimes I add homemade sweet potato wedges or brown rice. And, of course, water!

A typical meal that fuels me for life

A typical meal that fuels me for life

Snack:

I usually have a simple protein shake for my afternoon snack or one of my pre-made raw veggie snack bags.

EVENING:

If I didn’t get a chance to work out during the afternoon, I go to the gym in the evenings when Bryan gets home from work. He takes over on Beau duty and I get “me” time to focus on my fitness! I drink water throughout my workout and a simple protein shake after. Then once I get home from the gym, Bryan goes and gets his fitness on! I take care of Beau, play with the pups, update my Facebook fitness page and have dinner.

 

My happy baby Beau! :)

My happy baby Beau! 🙂

My happy baby Beau! :)

My happy baby Beau! 🙂

 

Dinner:

Dinner is either another one of my pre-made meals or a portabella pizza. I’m a HUGE fan of pizza, so I really enjoy making portabella pizzas. I simply take a large portabella, clean it out, cook it a little, stuff it with veggies and turkey pepperoni (think supreme pizza) and top it with just a sprinkle of cheese and throw it in the oven until the cheese has melted…YUM! And, as always, water with my meal!

Snack:

Depending on how much exhausted I am from Beau and my workout, I may make it to one last snack before bed. If I do, it’s Greek yogurt and blackberries.

SUNDAYS AND MEAL PREP:

On Sundays I spend a few hours doing meal prep. I grocery shop, clean and cut veggies and fruits and weigh out my meat proteins. Then I steam, grill, sauté and bake everything. I use simple seasonings like parsley, lemon, rosemary, paprika, cinnamon, garlic and red pepper. No salt. No sugar. I portion out meals for the week and snack bags of fruit or veggies that are easy to grab on the go (like when I go to doctor appointments or out to run errands). This makes life SO much easier for me and keeps me eating healthy! I have no excuses to stop for fast food or junk food when I already have healthy meals and snacks ready for me!

If you buy good food, you will eat good food!

If you buy good food, you will eat good food!

SAMPLE WORKOUT:

Here is an example of one of my leg workouts:

2 sets/15 reps
Around the world lunges (front, side, and back-both sides)
2 minute jump rope
Plié squats
2 minute jump rope
Bulgarian split lunge (both sides)
2 minute jump rope
Single leg deadlift
2 minute jump rope
Repeat from the top until you have completed 2 sets

I have a while to go to get to where I want to be, but I’m enjoying every minute of it. Fitness has always been my passion and I’m excited that I’m taking steps to make it my career. I’m also excited to share my journey with others and to hopefully continue to inspire others to chase their dreams, whatever they may be!

I’m doing everything I can to do my “homework” and learn as much as I can about all aspects of the fitness industry, including reading about clean and healthy eating and the benefits of all types of healthy foods, researching fitness photographers, reading stories and workouts from women in the fitness industry, following bikini competitions and the women in them and reading about all types of different workouts (TRX, pilates, yoga, weight lifting, stretching, Zumba, rock climbing, running).

I pack healthy snacks so I am not tempted to make a bad decision!

I pack healthy snacks so I am not tempted to make a bad decision!

HOWEVER, while fitness is my passion and I want to make it my career, I am first, and foremost, a mommy and a wife. I love taking care of my little man, playing with my dogs and sharing my love, friendship and faith with my husband. His support means the world to me and continuously inspires me.

I LOVE my husband!!

I LOVE my husband!!

Until next time, eat clean, train mean and follow your dreams! It’s NEVER too late to start!

Ciao,

Ashley Casalini Garcia

Follow my journey on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/F3byACG