fitness · food

Diet Changes for Colder Months

Hi everyone! I went grocery shopping yesterday and I couldn’t help but notice the higher prices of some of my favorite fresh fruits and vegetables. Yes, summer is officially over and that means that the things I enjoy will cost a bit more since they are no longer in season.

That isn’t a problem, per se – we all make adjustments for our preferences from time to time – but I know that the foods that make me feel light and healthy during the summer don’t necessarily give me the same feeling during the colder months. In fact, I generally crave heartier, warmer foods during the fall and winter, and my body doesn’t feel as nourished by my typical summer fare.

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I figured that now would be a good time to assess my diet and transition from my warm weather palate to my winter one. I’m still doing intermittent fasting (IF) so the timing of meals won’t change. I’m still on a 8-hour (more or less) eating schedule and I enjoy whatever I want during my window. But what I’m choosing to eat will be more suitable for the season.

I decided to consult a website to see which vegetables and fruits are in season during this time of the year. Lifegate has a very convenient breakdown of the fruits and veggies in season by month. I’m finding the website very useful for my dietary planning.

For starters, I’ll be putting most of my tropical fruit preferences (kiwis, mangoes and papayas, specifically) on hold. Instead I’ll reach for pineapple (which, despite being a tropical fruit, is in season right now), apples, and grapes. As far as vegetables go, I’ll still have the occasional salad but it won’t be my go-to lunch. I’m going to incorporate more gourds (squash, pumpkin) and root vegetables (carrots, turnips, potatoes) into my recipes. I’ll also be cooking more beans and legumes, as I find these very satisfying during the chillier months.

Because I’ll be doing a lot more cooking during the winter, I’ll be sharing some of the recipes that I’ve created or tweaked. If you have any meal recommendations, let me know: I’m always looking to try something new! In the meantime, I’ll be shopping with the Lifegate list in mind, and focusing on eating the foods and meals that leave me feeling full and cozy this winter.

I hope you all are doing well! Talk to you all tomorrow.

 

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Wrap-Up: Fitness Challenge

This isn’t a goodbye, per se . . . In fact, I feel like I’m really just beginning my fitness challenge. However, I am going to wrap up this weekly posting because there is a lot of other cool things I want to share with you all and I think you all get the gist of what I’m doing as far as stay healthy and fit.

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I’m delighted to share that intermittent fasting (IF) will remain a staple in my eating plan. I love how easy it is and how much freedom I experience just by eliminating unnecessary eating during my fasting window (around 16 hours per day). I’d love to get to the point where I’m only eating during a 4-6 hour window, and fasting for 18-20 hours per day, but I’m taking baby steps up to that point. IF is now a way of life and I am excited to see the results I get from maintaining this eating plan.

Next, I could really stand to improve my overall gym/fitness routine, but it can be difficult when I have an especially busy schedule. I’m considering either hiring a trainer or getting back into Brittne Babe’s exercise routine during the month of November, since I really want to see drastic results by New Year’s Day. Look out for more info on that in the weeks to come. . .

So that’s my quick wrap-up of my fitness challenge! Thank you all for encouraging me and giving me ideas. I so appreciate you all! It’s still early, so I think I’ll do a couple of laps around the track before it gets too chilly outside. Talk to you all tomorrow!

 

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Days 92 – 98 of My Fitness Challenge

Happy Sunday, friends! I’m recovering from a fun weekend with one of my best friends but I wanted to give you all an update on my fitness challenge.

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This week was far more focused on being active outside of the gym. I knew that I wouldn’t have much time to hit the treadmill so I incorporated more activity into my daily life: taking the stairs whenever possible, parking further away from stores, etc.,. To be clear, I don’t think that moving a bit more will result in drastic changes. But, I hate the thought of losing ground and undoing some of the progress I’ve made, so I’ll taking any extra movement that I can get. Next week is going to more closely mimic my normal schedule, so I’ll be resuming my typical workout routine.

Now, about my eating . . . There were some good choices made. I did, however, end up eating outside of my normal window a couple of times, and I also had some foods that I don’t normally eat (pancakes, anyone?) over the past two days. I’m not beating myself up over my choices – after all, we’re all entitled to some enjoyment – but I am planning to make better choices in the weeks ahead. Part of those better choices hinge upon a grocery store run that I’ll be making in a very few moments. . .

I hope you all are hitting your goals and feeling fantastic. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

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Days 85 – 91 of My Fitness Challenge

Despite being the most stressful week of the year, I stuck to my goals and kept up with my exercise and eating plan! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, mainly because I prepared myself mentally beforehand.

Everything is easier with a little planning. Even if you come up a little short sometimes, preplanning means that you have something to fall back on, which makes a world of difference. I brought lunch to work every day, I had minimal indulgences, and I worked out several times this week. I even upped the ante with my workout, so I’m finally pushing my body a bit more, with the hopes of really amping up my fitness.

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I actually found that I got a lot of benefit from sticking closely to my fitness plan. Exercise seemed to really help with stress management, and eating well made me feel more nourished, satisfied, and calmer during the day. Adhere to the plan was the best thing for me this week.

So, nothing new to report, except the fact that I was on target more this week than in previous weeks, and I benefited tremendously. I can’t wait to see how well things go next week!

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Days 78 – 84 of My Fitness Challenge

How-oh-how did a WHOLE week get by me with NO gym visits occurring? Well, let me tell you all: the end of the fiscal year is going down RIGHT now. Everyone is working longer hours, trying to tie up loose ends, and praying that they don’t fall ill or otherwise have to take off any time until October. Despite having my gym clothes clean and ready to go, I’ve been unbelievably busy, helping various finance teams with making sure that their contracts are showing up properly and ensuring that vendors are being paid timely.

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I’m tired!

This time of year is tough on me, because it’s stressful and you have to be two steps ahead as everyone else is running around a bit crazed and overwhelmed. As a result, I have to make up for things by indulging in some extra rest and lots of fun “diversions” to reduce my stress levels. Along with more sleep and more fun, I’m going to be scheduling a massage, so that I can get a good rubdown and (I’m sure) release all the kinked muscles that I know I’ll be sporting after September 30th has passed.

To be truthful, I completely forgot that I may be too busy to workout this week and next week. Then again, I hoped that I would be able to at least squeeze in one or two workouts . . . However, that didn’t happen. I didn’t move my body as much as I hoped, but I did stick to my healthy eating routine. After all, fit bodies are made in the kitchen, and the gym just builds on that. So, I’m proud that I haven’t “eaten” my emotions in the form of salty and sweet junk food.

Don’t get me wrong: I always factor in a few treats, and everyone needs indulgences now and then. But I’m not scarfing down entire bags of Chex Mix or inhaling Heath bars throughout my eating window. I’d hate to undo all of my good progress by eating lots of junk food and hoping to “burn it off” at a later time. Since I’m focused on continuing to improve my health, I’m still eating lots of salad, drinking tons of water, and having goodies in moderation.

Speaking of water . . . Since Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Major Annoyance Florence didn’t wreak as much havoc in Virginia as initially anticipated, I have tons of water that I’ve been guzzling around the clock. Well, “around the clock” is an exaggeration, but I’ve increased my intake because, well, I hate looking at multiple cases of water near my kitchen door. I love having at least one case on hand at all times, but three is a bit much. Until I figure out a better storage idea, I’m a strictly one-case girl. So these other two cases have to be drank sooner rather than later.

That’s this week’s fitness challenge update. Here’s hoping that I’ll have more thrills, chills and spills for you next week. Take care, and enjoy your Sunday!

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Days 71 – 77 of My Fitness Challenge

Another week, another update … Even though I may not sound too enthused, trust me, I’m still excited and delighted about my progress.

I’m steadily losing ounces on my regimen. I say “ounces” because the losses have been small but accumulative. I feel like I’m not losing any weight then when I weigh myself, I see the scale is shifting, so I know that I’m doing something right. I’ve finally broken through my weight plateau and I anticipating getting extremely close to my weight goals within the next 4 or so weeks.

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I’ve also hit my healthy eating goals for the most part this past week. I had one day that I didn’t eat much – which is unusual for me – but on pretty much every other day, I ate well and gave myself little indulgences here and there. The hardest part of eating well was eating responsibly while I laid low during Tropical Storm (formerly Hurricane) Florence. It’s so easy to eat like an insane person when you’re in the house without much to do! Whenever I wanted to snack, I’d try to remember to work on a chore, instead. I got a lot done while I watched and waited to see if we’d be impacted by the storm.

This upcoming week should go well. I’ve already gotten all of my gym clothes washed and ready to go, and I’m starting my meal prep today, so that I can just grab my meals and go. I also have a light schedule, so nothing should get in the way of my gym time and healthy eating plans.

That’s all for this week’s update. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

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Day 64 – 70 of My Fitness Challenge

70 days in, and things are still going well. I worked out more this week, and I did what I said: I planned out my meals a bit better so that I could more healthily during the week.

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Did I still indulge in treats on a daily basis? Yes, I did, but despite that, I didn’t gain any weight. In fact, I was down a few ounces at my last weigh-in, so things are still moving in the direction that I desire. However, some more intense workouts are on the agenda for the upcoming week: I want to end the last 30 days of my fitness challenge on a strong note.

As promised, I’m sharing my typical menu with you all. For the most part, I eat this way daily, since it’s easy, affordable, and healthy.

Typical Daily Menu

  • Prior to eating: water or hot tea with no sweetener
  • To break my fast: Fresh fruit (this week, it was peaches or a small container of berries)
  • For lunch: Pre-made salad, frozen entree, couple of bite-sized pieces of candy.
  • Snack: Fruit medley or avocado with salt & pepper
  • Last meal/Dinner: Homemade soup, pasta with some sort of protein, one or two glasses of wine, ice cream

For my pre-made salads, I usually purchase something from Ready-Pac Bistro. They make a variety of salads, many of which are vegetarian, that have everything you need for a delicious, satisfying and healthy meal. I typically use only half of the enclosed salad dressing, so that I can minimize my sodium intake.

Speaking of sodium, there tends to be a lot of sodium in any sort of pre-made or frozen food items. As a general rule, it isn’t good to rely upon these too heavily, as too much sodium creates a whole other set of problems. However, when time is short, we do what we must, so I will grab a Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice or (my favorite) Amy’s frozen dinner.

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Too much salt can cause major issues

I don’t believe in depriving myself, so I am sure to eat as much as my heart desires during my eating window. I just eat a lot of “good” stuff and only have a few treats per day.

That’s it for this week’s update. I’ll be back next week with more info on my journey. Talk to you all tomorrow!