Monday, March 7, 2011

Week 2

Today marks the start of Week 2 of getting up at 5am to workout and it's really working for me!

I was in bed reading by 8:30 last night and the lights were off by 9:15. I hopped right out of bed this morning when the alarm went off. Sometimes, I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea that by 8am, I've already been up for 3 hours!

I'll admit that towards the end of last week getting up wasn't as easy as at the beginning. I've had my alarm set to play music instead of its annoying beep and I was a little worried it wouldn't wake me because Chris' alarm doesn't wake me. Instead, the music gradually wakes me up instead of jolting me out of bed and it's been nice! Unfortunately, when the alarm went off on Thursday, the DJs were talking and Chris elbowed me to turn it off so I jolted awake like with a beeping alarm - not so nice. :( On Friday, I woke up at 5 with the shakes so I crawled back in bed and got up at 6 with Chris; I didn't work out that day but did take a little nap on the couch downstairs while the four of us were hanging out down there. I needed it!

There have been quite a few benefits to getting my workout done in the morning and not too many cons.

I don't spend all day worrying about when I'm going to be able to fit in a workout.

I'm awake before the kids and I'm able to have at least an hour to myself before facing their endless energy first thing in the morning.

It sets the tone of the day for me - I'm more likely to eat well all day when I've started the day off with a workout.

I'm more productive! By 8am, I've worked out, showered, gotten dressed and gotten the kids and myself breakfast. With my previous schedule, we were lucky if we'd finished breakfast by 8! Now, if we have errands, we can get out of the house earlier. I have more time for playtime and I'm able to fit chores in more easily.

Although I've never really had an issue with my water intake, I'm definitely getting more water now. I've already had 3 cups shortly after my workout and usually drink 2 full Nalgene bottles by the end of the day (until last week, I thought my Nalgene held 4 cups of water and it actually holds 5 so I've been drinking more than I thought all along). Add to that a cup or two (or three) of tea and that equals a lot of time in the bathroom! That may be the only con I've found to getting up early and it's really not that bad.

The hardest part to waking early is getting to bed early but it's just because I'm not used to it yet. My goal for this week is to be ready for bed by 8pm and in bed, either reading or ready to sleep, by 9pm.

Am I on my way to becoming a morning person?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Meal Plan 3/7-3/13

We had some great meals last week! It took me an entire day (seriously 9am to about 10pm - I procrastinated all day) to plan out the last two weeks of dinner menus, but, oh, it was so worth it! We have eaten a lot of tasty, and for the most part, healthy meals, and we've done a lot of experimenting with "different" food combos. I've been doing a lot of recipes from Cooking Light and Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking magazine; I like that the calorie count is included on most of the recipes because its easier for me to calculate my day's intake that way. (I now have an official goal of dropping 20 pounds by June so I can purchase a bridesmaid dress for a friend's wedding in the size I want to wear.)

My breakfasts for the past week have been different variations of this oatmeal. I stumbled upon it last Sunday, and despite eating it for seven days in a row now, I'm not anywhere close to sick of it! I started simply and topped it with 1/2 a banana and some walnuts before I moved on to peanut butter and bananas. Mid-week, I topped it with some Parmesan cheese, a chopped up chicken sausage and a fried egg (with a runny yolk). Later, I added some raisins and used up the pumpkin leftover from Thursday's dinner of Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta (one of the odd combos I mentioned earlier - wicked good! Chris declared, "I would eat this again.") and topped it with a sprinkle of coconut, walnuts and a spoonful of peanut butter. I even made a bowl for Chris this morning and he approved. All of the versions were so tasty and I don't think I could decide on a favorite.... but that runny egg yolk mixed in with the oatmeal was A.MA.Z.I.N.G.

For this week, we have planned the following:

L: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
D: Pumpkin Lasagna (minus the mushrooms), Whole Wheat Rolls (from freezer)

L: Leftover Lasagna
D: Sweet 'n' Sour Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Honey-Glazed Carrots

L: Easy Italian Stew (from freezer)
D: Applesauce Glazed Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

L: PB&J, Chips, Fruit/Veggie
D: Cheesy Spinach Lasagna Soup

L: Leftover Soup
D: Terrific Teriyaki Burgers, Sesame Green Bean Salad

L: Heading to Mass for a Birthday Party
D: Charlie & I are heading to a Monarchs game with Sara & Kale from A Kiss A Day - should be fun!

L: Pasta with sauce
D: Marinated Steak Tips, Baked Potatoes, Roasted Pear Salad