Happy weekend! In three days, St. Louis has gone from this:
I am very excited (+a little nervous, +a little bashful) to post my first Running on Sunshine video post. Hopefully it will be the first of many. I am a shy person and prefer to express myself via text, but I think video posts are a great way for you all to get to know me a little better and keep things interesting around here! A big thank you to JWD for being such a wonderful, patient cameraman :)
So, enjoy the video, try not to make fun of me, and scroll down afterwards so we can chat about a few additional tips!
Overnight oats are such a great option for those of us that need to bolt out of the house in the a.m. They’re also a great summer breakfast alternative to traditional hot oatmeal. You can eat it straight outta the fridge, you can take it to-go, or you can microwave it for 30 sec-1 min to take the chill off. I’m a little short on overnight oats (after all, I am usually in a hurry when I’m eating them), but I’ll collect a few and post them for you soon.
- Frozen fruit
- Fresh fruit
- Your favorite cereal
- Pumpkin puree
- Nut butter
- Maple syrup
- Ground flaxseed
- Chia seeds
- Coconut flakes
- Cocoa powder
The possibilities are endless! Enjoy!
Along the lines of “tips and tricks to stay healthy with busy schedule”, I wanted to talk a little bit about meal planning. Although overnight oats are easy to grab in the morning, they do require you to plan ahead the night before. I cannot stress enough how crucial planning ahead is for healthy eating. Yes, it takes some work at first. But soon enough packing your lunch/making overnight oats/packing healthy snacks the night before will become part of your normal routine. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself stranded and starving with the dreaded vending machine as your only option.
A Few “Plan Ahead” Tips:
- Build up a snack stash. Whether it’s in your desk drawer, car, or bookbag, collect a stash of snacks so you always have something healthy within arms reach. My bookbag is full of tea bags, Luna Bars, Larabars, mini trail mix packets, an apple or two, and a packet of instant oatmeal. With my stash at my fingertips, I never have to rely on unhealthy choices or, more importantly, I never have to go hungry.
- Invest 20 minutes today to secure a healthy tomorrow. Every night, I take 20 minutes, usually right before bed, to think about what tomorrow will bring. For me every day is different, so I have to ask myself a few questions. Do I have a hectic morning tomorrow? How long will I be away from home? How many snacks will I need? Do I need to pack a lunch? What is my workout schedule for tomorrow and will it impact my hunger level/eating schedule? This has become part of my routine. Then, I get to work restocking my snack stash, making overnight oats, and packing a lunch. In 20 minutes or less you can secure a healthy day of eating for yourself. Make your health a priority!
- Plan your weekly dinners. This is something JWD and I recently started doing and it saves so much time and money. It also ensures we will have a healthy dinner every night instead of being tempted by our neighborhood brewery for delicious (but heavy) pub food when we find ourselves in a pinch.
Here is how we plan our weekly meals:
- First, we looked at our typical weekly schedules and gave each day a “meal type” label. Mondays are very busy for us, so we labeled Monday as “Leftovers From The Weekend/On Your Own”. Tuesdays and Thursdays are a little more easy-going and we have more time to cook, so we labeled them “Recipe Nights”. Wednesday is slower in the morning, but hectic in the evening, so Wednesday is “Crockpot/Make-Ahead Night”. We like to leave the weekends flexible and plan those week-by-week.
Monday: Leftovers/On Your Own
Tuesday: Recipe Night
Wednesday: Crockpot/Make-Ahead Night
Thursday: Recipe Night
Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Flexible (out to dinner or more involved recipes)
- We’ve tried several methods of planning- a wall calendar, a chalkboard, and an old-fashioned piece of notebook paper- but we found that Google Calendar works best for us. We have a joint calendar that each of us can access and edit. This is where we post our recipe schedule for the upcoming week. I am constantly bookmarking recipes on websites and in cookbooks, so when I find something I want to try I add it to next week’s calendar. We always rotate in staple recipes too.
- We usually grocery shop once per week sometime Friday-Sunday, so we finalize our meal plan on Friday morning. I make a grocery list of the recipe ingredients for the week + breakfast, lunch, and snack staples.
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The little extra time we spend planning each week really pays off for us. It saves us multiple trips to the store when we don’t have things we need, it keeps us from throwing “off the list” impulse items into our cart, it saves us the stress of standing in the kitchen for an hour
arguing discussing what we should cook, and it guarantees a nutritious dinner every night.
This Week’s Meal Plan:
Sunday: Spicy Soba Noodles w/ Veggies and Tofu based on this recipe
Monday: probably leftover soup or soba noodles for me, organic macaroni&cheese for JWD :)
Tuesday: Homemade Black Bean Burgers from The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno + salad
Wednesday: Slow-Cooker Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna w/ tempeh added to the sauce + salad
Thursday: Chicken Piccata from the Flat Belly Diet cookbook w/ garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli
Friday: to be determined
Planning ahead is definitely a key part of healthy living. Invest in your health and set aside a little “plan ahead” time every day!
Please let me know if you find our meal plans helpful/inspirational. I’ll gladly post it every week.
Whew, this was a long one. I’m off to make overnight french toast in preparation for a product review coming at you soon!
Thanks for reading :)