It’s hard to believe it’s the middle of February already. The days are flying by faster than I can keep up. This Friday is already the last day of my 30 day Strong & Sexy Half Marathon Coaching Program. I’ve been a diligent student over the past few weeks and I’m going to share a few highlights with you, tips and lessons that have made the biggest impact on my overall wellness and performance. These simple changes have brought a whole new balance to my everyday living.
I’ve shared the first 2 tips with you already in an earlier blog post, but they have made such a difference for me that I really want to highlight them again.
1. Hydration: Consistently consuming half of my body weight(in ounces) in water has not only jump started weight loss, it also helps me combat fatigue. I have my favorite 24 oz Nathan water bottle from TJ Maxx and I know that if I can get close to 4 of those downed in a day (more if I’m exercising) then I’m good to go. There is such an amazing difference in the way I feel when I’m properly hydrated, I think the best way to describe it would be, wait for it….. balanced.
2. Low Glycemic Foods & Cutting Out Sugar: These are foods low in sugar that help to keep you feeling full, satisfied, and stable throughout the day. By swapping out high glycemic foods and introducing low glycemic foods, I’ve been able to ward off a 2-3pm slump each day and stay fuller after dinner, which cuts down on night-time snacking, which the which in turn helps with weight loss. Winning! Women should have 24g of sugar or less per day. So because I’m a food lover for life, my new go-to low glycemic foods are:
- Ezekiel Bread (top with an over easy egg and some sautéed veggies and you’ve got a delicious and very satisfying breakfast)
- Quinoa – a delicious side to your protein at dinner or to make salads with; I started cooking it using chicken broth instead of water to add a little more flavor.
- Vegetables like kale, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower (since it’s winter, these are good veggies to roast and I’ll be trying to make baked kale chips today)
- Kind Bars – my new go-to granola bar because I can find them at Costco. Have you ever looked at how much sugar is in your granola bar? It’s startling.
- Nuts & Seeds – flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds, walnuts, etc. Really good for making your own trail mix for a mid-day snack
- Almond milk
- Black Coffee – I NEVER in a million years thought I could drink my coffee black, but I switched and I don’t mind it one bit! I used to be big into the flavored coffee creamers so my coffee tasted like dessert. I quickly learned those products are the devil and now my coffee tastes like coffee.
3. Proper Rest & Sleep: All too often we push ourselves to hard and underestimate the need for rest days and a good 8 hours of sleep each night. It’s really hard, I know… but it’s worth being mindful about this for the sake of your mental and physical well-being and general life performance.
4. Good For You Fats: These fats help to control your mood, fight fatigue, and control weight. Find these good fats in avocados, nuts, olive oil, salmon, and tuna. I’ve learned to be wary of low-fat or fat-free because this can often mean lots of chemicals, sugar, and other things your body doesn’t need. I’ve learned to be a food detective and know what I’m putting into my body!
5. Strengthen your Mental Game: Parenthood, running, work, and life in general is all about endurance. A strong mind allows you to have a strong body. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable equals growth. I have a pretty strong mental game about 70% of the time. The other 30% I need my fellow sole sisters, work and family support systems to get me through. Support is definitely key and a few good human connections can get you through just about anything! Also, a few small shifts in perspective can make a big difference. For example, instead of whining to myself on the treadmill “This is awful torture and really, really, really, hard today” I need to tell myself “Stay the course -this is making me stronger, this is making me better. I know the reward at the end.”
These few small changes have made a big impact in my life over the last 3 and a half weeks! One last thought – I believe the glue that holds these changes together to make them good life-long healthy habits is mindfulness. Being mindful means being prepared and being focused in the moment while you are engaged that task. Being mindful means asking questions “How is my form, is this what I want to put in my body, is the best use of my time, how do I want to finish this day, is this how I want to be seen by the rest of the world?” Being mindful and intentional with your time, training, energy, and fuel will be the key to success.
What will you change today so you can be better tomorrow?