This week is all about physical health. I’ve been reflecting on the things to try to get me to peak physical condition. I have a major birthday milestone coming up and I have been thinking that I have to take care of my body before it’s too late.
Food is amazing. Am I right? Yes, I can see you smiling and nodding from here. As a graduate student, I agree with you that food is amazing, but my schedule doesn’t always agree in return. I’ve been thinking of four main ways I can improve my eating habits. They are Planning/Scheduling, Cooking, Snacks, and the Reflect/Adjust.
You can’t achieve a goal if you don’t know what it is. Likewise, it is much harder to reach a goal if you don’t think about how to get there. Planning and scheduling meals is something I’ve been wanting to do for years.
My most important goal is to eat at LEAST three meals a day. My brain functions better when it has fuel and who really likes to be the “Hangry” coworker? So, I’ve been putting in my schedule roughly an hour for meals. Otherwise, I am so hungry, I can’t think.
As soon as I get up, I eat breakfast, usually oatmeal, fruit, and yogurt or potatoes, eggs, and a protein. The most difficult meal is lunch because either I have classes all day or don’t sit down. I started to rearrange my schedule to ensure that I eat between 11-1:30 everyday. That way, I can make dinner between 5-7. That way if I’m up at 8, lunch at one and when I get home, I can eat and be merry, with a snack around 10. It works for me.
My problem with cooking was that I’d cook one meal in portions large enough for five days and only wanting to eat it for two. Now, I divide my meals more evenly and pick one day for a cheat day. In addition to my Fast day, I have most of my meals scheduled out in advance.
Trying out new recipes and meals also has been a huge help. I spend days looking on food blogs for new recipes but It’s pointless if I don’t have the supplies at my neighborhood grocery. Now, I break my meals into foods that can microwave well, cook some for dinner and eat the rest for lunch. I’ve been doing various stir-fry combinations with Rice/noodles, vegetables, and proteins.
Snacks were always my favorite things throughout the day. I enjoy sneaking off and getting something small to revitalize me. My favorite snack will always be popcorn but, you can’t have popcorn all the time (Well you can…but it’s distracting to others). I had to pick some of my favorite snacks that were healthy but still cover certain cravings. I eat chocolate, almond, and peanut granola bars when I crave chocolate instead of eating cookies. I eat salsa and Triscuits, almonds, or cashews for sodium cravings. I pick Peanut Butter and Apples or Bananas for sweet cravings. Popcorn becomes a special weekly snack but I make mine on the stove top with olive oil and popcorn seeds for good flavor and a pinch of salt. These things help my cravings without feeling guilty.
Reflect & Adjust
The most important part of any plan or goal is to reflect on how you feel. I don’t deny myself things like pizza or fried foods when I go out with friends. Every once in a while, I grab some Lays Stacks or Sour Patch Kids, but I had to make myself reach for the healthier options first. It made a big difference in the way I felt and my body responded to working out. But, the most important thing is to do what works/feels right for you. If something feels wrong or you get sick, change. No need to hurt yourself by only becoming an accidental vegetarian. Eat what you like but just do it in moderation.
Don’t forget to Turn Your Brightness Up
What are your favorite snacks? Any tricks or habits you’ve built that you want to change diet wise? What’s your favorite reheated meal? Let me know in the comments below.