All In a Day’s Work

Several people have asked me to do a blog post about what an average day looks like for me.  What do I eat, how much, what am I drinking, what do I do for exercise, etc.  So, I figured, why not?  In writing this piece – it has allowed me to take stock of my process.  It is not in anyway, shape, or form perfect – but it works for me.   Also – it has helped to allow me to see that sometimes it isn’t always about sticking to your schedule or plan and that you have to be flexible.  In that flexibility, comes success.  Life throws you a lot of curve balls and you have to roll with that.  I consider myself a planner but even I am not prepared for everything that life has to offer and you know what, that’s OK.  Some days I eat too much, some days it’s a challenge to eat enough.  Just yesterday I would have paid someone to do my workout for me….I was so unmotivated.  However, I sucked it up and hit the gym.  I felt a lot better after. Rolling with the punches has been a valuable lesson on this journey.

430am – WAKE UP –

My alarm goes off every morning at 430am…Yes, this is early.  However, I really like getting up early and starting my day.  I have found, over the course of this year, that this is really the only time during the day that I am alone and actually have some time to think!  I also find that I get a ton of stuff done in the early hours and I really feel accomplished in doing so.  While I’m out walking the roads – I have a lot of time to think about stuff.  It’s actually very refreshing and I always feel a bit more calm and centered when I get home and get ready to take on the day.  As foolish as it sounds I also use this time to figure out what I’m going to wear for the day and make a mental to-do list for myself.  As the sun is actually starting to rise when I’m out these days – I get treated to fantastic views each day in my little town –

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Every morning I walk along the ocean in my little town.  Imagine being treated to such amazing sunrises and the fresh salty air!!  DREAMY!!

When I get home from my trip around town I do some quick morning chores.  Typically, I empty the dishwasher and straighten up a little bit here and there – mostly in the kitchen.  I get my protein shake ready to make.  I prep all the ingredients and then make it right before I leave the house.  Then it is onward to my shower and getting the kids and hubby ready for the day.  Before, when I really did not care too much about how I looked when I left the house – my morning routine took about five minutes – if that.  Now, I take a little more time to get myself presentable.  I do my makeup, blow dry my hair, and accessorize!!  I’m pretty sure it take a lot longer than before, but I feel really good about myself as I am walking out the front door.

On my way to school I typically stop for a small iced coffee which I order black and then add my own creamer.  I do this because I want to be in control of how much creamer is put in my coffee.  I have been using a couple different kinds of creamers lately which I am enjoying.  My favorite it still Nestle Bliss Sweet Cream.  However, I am also currently enjoying Silk Almond Creamer in Caramel…wow, delish!!!  Buying this coffee is almost a complete waste of money.  I only drink about a quarter of it.  It’s like I think I need a little kick or pick me up.  Maybe it is more of a habit than anything else.  I do however enjoy an afternoon iced coffee – which I mix with protein powder.  I NEED this boost to keep me going!!  When I get to school I work on finishing my breakfast protein shake.

My shake has proved to be a good way to start my day.  I make mine with Quest Protein powder in Chocolate Milkshake.  I use a cup of Fairlife Skim milk, a healthy spoonful of fat free vanilla Greek yogurt, a squirt of Mio Iced Vanilla Jave, a dash of pumpkin spice, and of course ice.  I am lucky to be the happy owner of a Ninja (thanks Ma) – so my shake comes out like a Wedny’s Frosty.  According to my My Fitness Pal app – my breakfast shake is 270 calories.  It also packs a protein punch with 20 grams coming from the protein powder and 13 grams of protein from the Fairlife Skim milk.

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All the stuff I use for my shake.  I love the Fairlife milk – I can even get it at the local Hannaford!!  They have whole, skim, 2%, and even chocolate milk!!

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Ready to be blended and carried out the door!!

This shake keeps me full until my lunch break – which is at 11am.  In the real world – I would not eat my lunch at 11am.  However, drinking my breakfast at 730 (I usually am not finished with it until 9am…I get busy when I get to work) I am hungry by lunch time.  For lunch I’ve pretty much been eating the same meal since I’ve been about two months out of surgery.  Luckily for me – I really do not get board with my food.  I am always satisfied and I still enjoy it. I have a bit of spinach with some goat cheese.  On top of this little salad I put a pouch of Starkist Tuna in Hot Buffalo flavor – it’s my favorite.  Some days, I throw a couple Moon Cheese “nuggets” on top.  I also have half of a Dr. Krackers – Klassic 3 Seed Snacker.  I can not live without a good pickle at lunch.  After it’s all said and done – I would say that I eat about half of the salad and tuna.  I do eat all the cracker and the pickles!!

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Here is my amazingly satisfying lunch!  I do a very light drizzle of the salad dressing – which is a vinaigrette.  I do not include the calories etc from that drizzle into my daily totals!!  I really look forward to eating this – even though I eat it every day Monday through Friday.

Between lunch and school getting out for the day – I drink 2 jars of water and my afternoon iced coffee.  When school is out and before I get my workout in – I have a couple slices of apple and some of my homemade peanut butter.  Homemade peanut butter is a good protein packed option for a snack.  I only have about a tablespoon full while I’m finishing up my school work and closing down my classroom for the day.  Next it is on to the gym for a cardio workout.  Most days I use the elliptical – some days I change it up and use the treadmill.  Once a week or so I also do some strength training.  I am really anxious for the weather to change so that I can run after school…I am really looking forward to it.  A couple weekends ago the weather was perfect.  I was able to go for a run.  I did my 4.35 mile loop for the first time since the fall.  I was slow….but I did it!  My Ipod is busted…running without music is a total bummer.  I know this is a big time first world problem – but it really does stink.  I’m hoping that I can replace my Ipod in the very near future especially since race season is coming up shortly!!  I am really looking forward to adding it to my regular routine.

After my workout – I have my favorite snack of the day – my Siggi’s yogurt with one of my protein cookies crumbled on top.  I am typically done with my workout a bit after 4pm.  This snack keeps me full and not tempted to pick and snack before dinner.  Snacking before dinner was a very bad habit that I had before surgery.  I have caught myself doing it now – but not nearly as much or as often as before.  However, it does scare me to fall back into those really bad habits.  I typically eat my yogurt treat on the way home from the gym.  Once I get home – I get working on dinner.  This week we had: salmon, tacos, lemon chicken (the recipe here is for roasted turkey thighs – take out turkey – make with chicken thighs instead) and lasagna.  I make the family a regular old lasagna with turkey meat.  I take the stuffing of the lasagna and put it on some roasted spaghetti squash for myself…it’s delish!  I am a bone head and forgot to take any pictures of my dinners this week.  However, I think you get the picture!

Once dinner is over, the lunches for the next day are made, the kitchen is cleaned up, and the kiddos are bathed and in bed….I get to have my evening snack.  This is when I hit up the PBFit.  I have three tablespoons and a couple dried cranberries and 6 high quality chocolate chips.  I mix those up and eat it with a half of a Quest protein bar.  I love this night time ritual.  Some evenings I’m more hungry than others.  Some nights I don’t finish it at all.  I am totally OK with eating chocolate everyday.  In fact, I do it in part to make sure that I don’t feel like I am denying myself things that I really want – believe me, I really want this snack!

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Up close and personal view of my PBFit snack.  All the goodies are mixed in and ready for dipping my protein bar!!  If you have to have a peanut butter stand in – PBFit is the one to have!

So…that’s what my day looks like.  In between the meal planning and water sipping is school work, hanging with my hubby and kiddos, and peanut butter making – a new fun hobby of mine!  Some days are busier than others…I feel like I don’t get a chance to catch my breath all day.  I have worked really hard to make time for my workouts and make it work with my other responsibilities.  Balance is so important.  Some days it works and other days it simply does not.  Being able to be flexible and adjust as I need to has been a major factor in my success.

I thought I would include these snap shots of My Fitness Pal app which keeps track of what I eat.  I really like this app because it also calculates just how much fat, carbs, and protein that I am eating in a day.  To be fair – I don’t think I consume all of the calories that are listed.  Like I said – I don’t really finish all of my meals but I count the ounces I allotted for.  So basically, this is a ballpark figure for me and I’m OK with that.

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