Prepping for a Healthy Week

no pictures of me as a horrid child exist (right, mom?), so this will have to do.

When forced to actively think about what I should eat or how I should exercise mid-work-week, Bratty 4 Year Old Sarah comes out and whines and stomps around, angry that she has to make choices about food and exercise plans, which generally results in one or more of the following happening to Grown Up Fancy Lady Sarah:

1. The allotted workout window is shortened because 4 Year Old Sarah couldn’t decide between gymming or running, and thus Fancy Lady Sarah had to change outfits 4 times.

2. Fancy Lady Sarah has to eat stupid canned tuna on her salad instead of chicken because Brat Sarah was too lazy to cook the chicken over the weekend (which takes about 2 minutes of active kitchen work)

3. Fancy Lady Sarah visits Whole Foods to pick up veggies for dinner every night, thinking doing such classifies her as European. This means she also visits the Whole Foods salad bar every night and spends apprx $239402 extra on food “because it’s so pretty!”. Which she justifies as “just fine,” since spending $239402 on Whole Foods food is a lot better than spending it on fast food, as Sarah Of The Past did.

4. Fancy Lady Sarah spends the week feeling like she constantly has to keep on trying to think one step ahead of Brat Sarah, and thus spends afternoons trying to be decisive about dinner veggies & workout plans, instead of spending the afternoon focusing on more important (and more interesting) things, like what her next blog post should be about.

4b. Fancy Sarah’s brain energy is spend arguing with 4 Year Old Sarah, instead of on blog post topics. Thus you all suffer. And that is not nice.

5. Fancy Lady Sarah gets so irritated with the 4 year old brat that she completely turns into 4 year old Sarah by rebelling and taking “extra days of rest” or eating random, unnecessary food. Then Fancy Sarah feels ill and grumpy.

I think I’ve demonstrated, through those five truly fear-inspiring examples, that I need to plan my week out before I live it. When I already know how I’m exercising and what I’m eating for the upcoming week, it’s harder to not follow those plans than it is to follow them. Living Healthfully is easiest when you’ve already laid everything out have to do out right in front of yourself — when you already know the healthy choices you’re going to integrate in the upcoming week, there is no way for your version of 4 Year Old Brat Sarah to come out & influence my Grown Up Fancy Life. The intention is that me sharing how I plan for my week (with all of the influencing brain waves included) will help you plan for yours. 

Let’s start with exercise planning:

If you’re an outdoor exerciser, as I tend to be, I suggest taking a look at the forecast. Here’s mine: 

Well, looking at that, I DEFINITELY want to be running outside on Wednesday & Thursday. There is this excellent fitness class at work on Tuesday afternoons–I was hoping to make it the end of a workout cycle (I workout for 3 days, then take a day of rest), but looking at this forecast, I think it might have to be the beginning of one. But that’s not smart, because my muscles will definitely want a day of rest after that class… Okay. So I will just take a day of rest on Wednesday, as was planned, but walk around during the day & enjoy the prettiness.

Ugh, how I long for the spring and sunshine and constant warmth for outdoor exercising.

Wow. Apparently I also long for Jane Austen to guest post…

Anyway. This is what I’m deciding right now, based both on that forecast & on the fact that Wednesday really should be a day of rest. My last day of rest was on Friday, so I’m doing a 4/rest/3 this week, which really isn’t ideal. I won’t go berserk on the Sunday/Monday workouts so that my muscles aren’t exhausted by Tuesday.

Sunday: Run outside — probably shorter run, and I’ll go around the top of the river (deciding running routes in advance makes my life easier, too), but we’ll see when I get out there (read: how long this post takes to write).
Monday: Gym. I don’t want to run in 55mph wind. Mild elliptical and no weight training. Solid stretch session.
Tuesday: That class
Wednesday: Enjoy the sunshine, but take a day of rest. Please stretch — your muscles will be sore from Tuesday.
Thursday: Run with NO JACKET in the amazing warm sunny day — ignore the patchy clouds. Perhaps a long run?

My work week is Sunday through Thursday, so those are the only days I have to actively plan — weekends are easy to get in exercise because I have all the time in the land.

Okay. Food Planning.

As you know, I eat the same thing for breakfast every day. I also eat the same thing for lunch– a giant salad made up of these things:

So it’s lettuce, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, chicken, and some beans. When I went to take this picture, I realized that I should have cooked another batch of beans this weekend. Whoops. That’s fine– when I run out of beans, if I want more protein on my salad, I’ll hard boil some eggs instead. So all the prep work that I have to do for this salad is make sure that I went grocery shopping for the produce (obviously) and cook the chicken. I buy boneless skinless chicken breasts when they’re on sale, stuff my freezer full of them, and then defrost 1 tray a week, sprinkle some random seasoning on the chicken, and roast it in a 350 oven for about 35 minutes, or until it’s not raw anymore. I put the salads together every morning while my oatmeal is cooking and my coffee is brewing. I’ve got the timing down brilliantly, I must admit.

So BAM, both breakfast & lunch are set for the week. For snacks, I’ll just re-stock the food I have at work by bringing in 5 bananas and 5 greek yogurts. I think I still have a ton of cheese sticks & bread in the fridge there.

Now for dinner.

As you know, you creepy stalkers who have poked through my food stashes, I have a ton of grains and meat stashed around my kitchen — the only dinner food I really need to buy on a week-to-week basis is produce. Here’s what I’m eating this week! These are my 3 favorite vegetables & I’m excited about eating them. 🙂

The Brussels sprouts & asparagus will be covered with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cooked in a 425 oven for about 30 mins, and the broccoli will probably just be microwaved. It far too restricting to plan my protein and grain for each dinner this week right now, but knowing that I have no reason to go to the grocery store at all to this week means that Brat Sarah won’t take my credit card & buy unnecessary food at Whole Foods “because it’s pretty”. I’ll eat dinner at work tonight & on Thursday– tonight is leftover homemade green curry thai stir fry deliciousness, and Thursday will be one of the frozen bags of Turkey, White Bean, Green Stuff soup. All right — I’m feeling good about this week!

Okay, so now there is literally no way that 4 Year Old Brat Sarah can come out this week and mess around with my exercise and food plans! Since everything is already prepared in my kitchen and decided upon in my head, it will be harder for me to make unhealthy choices this week than healthy ones.

Glorious.

Okay, time for a run — I can’t ignore the plan that I just cemented for myself!–have a lovely time prepping for your healthy week!

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5 Comments to “Prepping for a Healthy Week”

  1. I totally agree, if you plan your meals and workouts before the week begins it’s definitely harder not to stick to your plan! I try to go to the grocery store prepared with a list of ingredients to make dishes I want to eat during the week – otherwise I get distracted, forget things, or get carried away and end up with a bunch of random foods I can’t make a dish out of!

  2. Thanks for the laughs, and the planning tips! I totally have a 4-year-old internal brat who throws tantrums at the most inopportune times also, so this was great. 🙂

  3. Wonderful article, nice webpage design and style, stick to the good work

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