Moving Forward: Meal Plan + Workout Schedule

Like I mentioned in the previous posts, our summer was stressful and busy with buying a house and packing, unpacking, cleaning, painting, decorating.... agghhh! Now that we are finally settling into the new place, it's time to focus on me again.  I seriously slacked and used moving as an excuse to skip way too many workouts and training runs and have way too much take out food.  I can definitely feel and see the effects of my slacking too.  Anyhow, I am ready to get back on track and that means healthy, clean eating and exercising 4-5 days a week again.  I'm posting it on here because I need to be held accountable to my goals and commitments.  

I feel my best when I am following a Paleo Diet plan.  My skin looks better, I have more energy, bloating goes down, and the pounds start to come off.  I've been eating Paleo since 2013, so it's easy for me to follow and I know what works for me.  That being said, I still want to stick to a meal plan and use it as a sort of reset for my mind and body.  I found this free 4-week meal plan from Paleomagazine.com that I plan to use for this purpose.

The other big factor is getting back to working out regularly.  Again, I know this is best for me.  I feel so much better when I workout.  I have more energy and I feel better throughout the day.  I am more productive and can focus more.  Plus, I feel more confident and stronger.  I am currently not training for any upcoming races, which if you know me, is pretty rare.  I'll be looking to sign up for a race soon :) In the meantime, I'll get back to a regular routine and then I can adjust it depending on the race I choose.  

Below is my plan for weekly workouts.  I'm pretty flexible, so some days may be switched around if there's a group run I want to join or due to my work schedule, but staying consistent and not missing a workout or run is key.


  • Sunday - Rest

  • Monday - 3 mile run

  • Tuesday - H.E.A.T class at gym

  • Wednesday - Bootcamp at park

  • Thursday - Stretching + Ab (yoga, pilates)

  • Friday - Run

  • Saturday - Bootcamp or Rest


It's so crazy how we can become so easily distracted and lose focus.  The important thing for me and anyone else wanting to start getting healthy or get back on track is to just keep going. Sure we got distracted, life happens, but we can't let that stop us from living the life we want and deserve.  Let's do this!

 

Meal Planning for Success

If your home life is anything like our family's it is busy! Weekdays are jam-packed with homework, after school activities, projects, gymnastics practice, and on and on, right?  Add to that: work, doctor appointments, laundry, workouts, shopping, running errands, and the last thing you want to think about is what to make for dinner tonight.  

I find that if I plan out our dinner menu I am more likely to actually get food on the table and not resort to take-out meals or breakfast for dinner on most days!  I mean, come on, I'm no dinner-making machine and some days mommy just needs a break!  Although I try to make dinner most days, it doesn't always happen even when I have a meal plan.  Just imagine if I didn't have a plan! Oh wait, I don't have to imagine, because it totally does happen.  Without a weekly meal plan, it's a lot more take-out than I care to admit.  Not only is this not healthy, it's not good for the budget either.  If you're like and want to work on this too, here are few tips that have helped me get (mostly) better with meal planning.


Meal Planning Sheets: 

I use these handy meal planning sheets I found on jennycollier.com under the freebies tab. I print out a bunch at a time and put them in a binder I keep in the kitchen.  I've been using these for over a year, so not sure if they are still on her blog, but you can check it out.  I'll warn you, she has a ton of content, so you just may end up finding all kinds of other fun stuff!  I've been super happy with the one I have because it also has spaces for my breakfast, lunch, and snack. So although I use it for my own weekly meal prep, I use the dinner space to write down our family dinners together.  

However, if you only need/want to get started on dinner meal planning,  I really like this menu planner pdf I found from design finch which includes the shopping list right beside it.  Talk about super helpful, huh! You can also just google 'free printable menu templates' and a ton of options show up.  

Be flexible: 

I look over the coming week's activities to see how busy weeknights will be.  On super busy days, I will most definitely pull out the crock pot.  If I know we'll be out around dinner time, usually on Saturdays, I don't stress it.  That just becomes our eating out night.  We really do enjoy eating out and so it's definitely something we look forward to.  Being flexible about meal planning is super important to keeping my sanity and not being overly rigid.  Life happens and we gotta roll with it.  

The Recipes:

I like to see what I already I have on hand first, then take it from there.  I'll stick to our tried and true recipes, but I also like to look at a few of my favorite food bloggers, and Pinterest boards for new ideas.  I may even ask the kiddos or the hubs for some suggestions too if I'm feeling especially nice that morning ;) 

Shopping:

After I have all my meals planned, it's time to get the shopping list started!  Fun times for sure! (just so you're certain, that was sarcasm)  We prefer to buy our meats and as much as we can in bulk. Although we still go grocery shopping on a weekly basis, buying in bulk lessens the load. Every other week is a "big" shopping week, I truly mean this in both financially and amount of stuff we get! The other 2 weeks are "small" and just require us to grab items that run out quickly, foods for a specific recipe, and so forth.  I especially like these lighter grocery shopping weeks.  


I really hope these small tips were helpful to getting you and your family on the meal planning bandwagon!  Like I said early, being flexible is super important but I can guarantee that if you plan out your weeknight meals, you'll stick to it more often than not.  Try it out and let me know how it goes!