Saturday, January 22, 2011

Health & Happiness: Now You're Cookin'

Happy Saturday guys! The weekend is here and the time has come to let my brain have some "play time" and relax a bit after a full school week. I'm writing from the comfort of my parents house. I love, love, love mi familia :)  

What're your plans for the weekend? Today I opted to not hit the slopes like last weekend, in favor for some family time and baking.

Today I'm making:
Zuzana's Shweddy Protein Balls.

Jamie Eason's Turkey Meatloaf Muffins.

Both of these recipes I've made before and they're great for bringing to school for lunch and post/ pre-workout fuel. Delicious and nutritious. It sooo doesn't have to be one or the other! Another positive aspect of the protein balls is they're low cost to make. The ingredients: peanut butter, protein powder, unsweetened coconut, and water are all very affordable. The meatloaf muffins are simple and wholesome too. Check out Jamie making them in the video below:

I would like to talk to you guys today about how we're eating. Food affects our lives in a big way because everyone does it at least three times a day. How and what we eat affects our mood, our sleep quality, self confidence, brain and cognitive ability, joints, energy level, overall well-being... the list is endless.

A lot of people have made New Year's resolutions to eat healthier, or start a diet... but diets, have a problem: THEY DON'T WORK!! I don't want to feel deprived, no one does. It's no way to live. Now, my philosophy is: my life is worth living right all the time. Diets fail, and then later there's a new diet.. or you give up all together because you decide your happiness is more important to you than your health and physical appearance. I have news: It's not one or the other.
It's simple, make your health and happiness an integrated lifestyle that work together and compliment each other. You'll be amazed how you don't even want all the things you have to "cheat" your diet to have when you're making food choices based on having lasting, lifelong success and happiness.

The amazingly motivating and inspiring Zuzana @ BodyRock said this about living with passion for fit lifestyle:

 "If you're sick of starting over, then don't quit."
Failure is depressing, and 'dieting' or ignoring your health completely are two surefire ways to fail to live life to the fullest. I want you to think about this important fact: Your lifestyle is how you line up your eating and physical activity with your real goals and desires. Success is defined in terms of how these changes make you feel about yourself. There's more good news: Healthy eating doesn't have to take a lot of time or money. Making recipes like the ones above to have on hand for healthy meals, starts with:
Rethinking How To Grocery Shop

I started doing these things this year to save time, $$ and my sanity at the grocery store:
  • Start at Home- Take Inventory
-Check your cabinets and fridge to take stock of what you already have. To know what you need you have to know what you DON'T need.

  • Make a Grocery List Before You Go
- Keep a running list of staples as your run low on them. Either start with a blank sheet, or I like to circle them on a handy printout already filled with the essentials for healthy meals.
- Don't try to come up with your list after you hit the store! There's too many "deals," marketing fads and overpriced junk there to distract you.

  • Eat Before You Go
- Don't ever shop hungry. You'll end up with way too much junk. Man does not live on snack crackers, cookies, pop, a gazillion other convenience foods.
- Your meal before you shop should be something you really enjoy. Try not to eat in the car on the way there, your brain won't register this as a meal. You may end up digging into everything as soon as you get home and overindulging.
  • Only Go Once a Week- Set a Time Limit
- Armed with your list, make grocery shopping a time challenge. Get in and get out. Set a tangible time, I give myself 30 minutes, so you don't spend 15min ogling all the new cereals. (I've done it!)
- This part makes it fun because you have a real sense of accomplishment when you make it in under time :)

  • Set a Food Budget
-This can be the hardest part at first, knowing how much you should be spending. It's a crucial part though so don't skip it.
-Try going shopping for only a week's worth of groceries a few times and keep your receipts to find out a reasonable amount for your expenditures. I set my budget at $60/week.

  • Only Bring Cash $$
-Don't even bring that debit card! This is the top way to save money at the grocery store. When you hit the limit, you're done. It's as simple as that.
-Research shows that people who spend in cash, spend less money because they can visibly see there money leaving their possession, as opposed to credit/debit cards.

I can't possibly cover all the positives of switching from "diet mode" to "lifestyle mode." To me it means: I Eat Clean. I BodyRock. And then I get out there and enjoy life!

Want to learn more? If you're like me and always want to learn for yourself, here's a good start- In my research I have come across some very interesting and useful web pages on healthy eating, and how to save $$ while grocery shopping I'd like to share with you guys. As fitness and health enthusiasts we have better things to do with our fabulous energy filled lives then fiddling with food :)

Eating Healthy
Food Shopping

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