Phew! I made it. A very long (and fun!) weekend starting with celebrating a two year “friendaversary” with some of my favorite people on Wednesday, a Thanksgiving Feast on Thursday, my 10-year class reunion on Friday and two lazy days of leftovers and holiday decorating on Saturday and Sunday. While I did fit in a short run on Thanksgiving morning, this weekend seriously derailed my training and my motivation.
Admiring my Christmas tree last night, all I wanted was chocolate chip cookies (this may have happened) and waking up this morning, braving the cold for the gym was the last thing I wanted. While one weekend of indulgence hasn’t changed my pants size (yet) what I did notice is that the longer I put off getting back on the wagon the harder it became. Thinking back to last year, this was the weekend that got me off track and avoiding a regular workout schedule for the rest of the winter.
Laying in bed after slamming the snooze button this morning I was mad at myself. So much holiday spirit in such a short time left me exhausted, my body achy and my motivation at an all-time low. When the alarm rang again, though, it was a moment of truth. I could keep beating myself up for my sluggish and food-filled weekend, or I could forgive the not-so-great choices, appreciate the wonderful memories created and get myself up. The run certainly was not pretty. Not my fastest or strongest. But, I did it. In forgiving myself for having a little bit of fun, I got myself back on schedule with my half-marathon goal in mind.
I know there is a lot more temptation yet to come this holiday season, and the cold, dark mornings will make for a constant obstacle, but in practicing a little self-forgiveness and teaching myself to get back to it instead of hitting the snooze is going help me make sure I come out of the holidays the same size I went in and that I’m ready to conquer my half-marathon in February.
What gets you motivated to get back on track after a little too much holiday cheer?
For this motivation monday post, I wanted to share a little something that has not only saved me time and helped me keep my healthy eating goals on track. Food prep! My new Sunday ritual has become researching new healthy recipes, creating my list, and after grocery shopping, making or preparing all of my meals and snacks for the week.
As the days and nights get cooler, I’ve been relying on some hot meals to warm me up throughout the day and the crock pot is incredibly helpful with this. Some of my favorite make-ahead meals include oatmeal for breakfast and chili or soup for lunch and dinner. (Stay tuned for recipes!).
This week, my Sunday prep included some Mexican Minestrone that cooked in the slow-cooker all day (and then put into individual containers for the week), and then some delicious pumpkin oatmeal that cooked overnight to be hot and ready Monday morning. I put some homemade hummus (2 cans of chickpeas, some garlic, lemon and a bit of oil in the Vitamix) in small containers and cut up veggies in bags and some frozen fruit and non-fat Greek yogurt in containers makes it easy to have healthy and delicious snacks all day to keep you from getting tempted by the random office baked good or birthday cake. (Never letting myself get too hungry has greatly increased my willpower when confronted with my kind coworker’s candy dish).
It may sound like a lot of work, but particularly in looking at slow-cooker recipes, most of the prep is tossing things into the pot and the rest takes care of itself. All together my prep for the whole week was about 2 hours (3 if you count the shopping) and it saves me precious minutes in the morning and makes for easy evenings to focus on things other than cooking and cleaning.
The best part? Having everything done for me in the morning makes for more time to focus on working out and starting my day off on a positive, relaxed note.
What gets you motivated in the morning?
Coming off of a week-vacation (full of lots of heavy eating and a little drinking, too) and gearing up for not only a candy-filled Halloween, but also a decadent Thanksgiving and cookie filled Christmas season is already weighing (literally and figuratively) on my motivation to stay healthy.
When temptation abounds and excuses to be a little lazy creep in– what are some ways to stay motivated?
1. Get a goal
This is by far the most important factor in getting into and sticking to any routine, fitness or otherwise. I’m lucky that my half-marathon goal will carry me through the holiday season, and as that approaches (and spending money on registration, race gear, travel arrangements, etc) the more energy I actually WANT to direct at making sure that I not only finish the race, but finish in good time and be in good enough shape to actually enjoy it. Keeping the finish line of that race in my mind’s eye is great motivation to go easy on the wine and turn down that extra piece of Halloween candy.
2. Grab a partner
Partners in your goals can take different forms depending on what you need to be successful. For some, a buddy that you commit to hitting the gym or attending a yoga class with can be a recipe for success. Having someone to drag you out when you don’t feel like going can be just the ticket. For me, I prefer running solo both outside and at the gym, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need encouragement to keep going sometimes; someone to talk to when I hit a bump in the road. Share your goals with the people you know will be your cheerleaders when you need it. Parents, friends, significant others can all be that motivator, when the voice in your own head is not enough.
3. Set yourself up for success
Whatever planning you need to do in advance to reach your goals…do it! When I decided that the morning was the best bet for me to actually get through a run or workout without something interfering or being too tired from a long day of work, I knew I needed to do some preparation. Not being a morning person, I committed slowly. First that I’d get up at 5am two days a week, then three and now I do something every morning before I go to work.
A few of my prep-ahead tricks are: Put out a nice, big glass of lemon water next to my bed. When I reach over to turn my alarm off, I immediately turn my light on and down that glass of water. The zing of the lemon jolts me awake and the water helps me hydrate for my workout. I also put a little snack– dark chocolate-covered almonds, a little protein bar or a vegan oatmeal cookie– right next to my bed as well. A bit of light workout fuel can get you going, even when the stars are still out when you’re starting your day.
Finally, I lay my workout clothes out the night before. Not that much effort goes into planning out exercise clothes anyway, but having one less thing to think about in the morning makes it that much easier to get up and out.
What are your morning motivators? Share with me in the comments!
Here is another pinspired project that I’ve been meaning to do make for quite awhile!
If you drink a lot of wine (as I may or may not do) and save your corks in the hope of the perfect, easy craft project– I have it for you! The only other materials required are a yard stick, a hot glue gun, a very sharp knife or razor and a bit of ribbon.
Start by cutting enough corks in half to cover the length of the yard stick. Glue the corks on, slide the ribbon through the hole on the top of the yard stick and voila! You’re done! The longest part of the process was actually cutting the corks (they can be tough and you want to take care not to cut yourself!).
What wine cork projects are you wanting to try?
I have developed a recent obsession with eggplant in many different forms. From eggplant parmesan to veggie burgers with an eggplant base, I’ve been ordering it in restaurants all summer long, but have always been a little intimidated to try doing anything with them on my own.
This easy recipe took all of about 30 minutes and I got two nights’ worth of dinner out of it!
Start by slicing up one eggplant and laying them flat on paper towels to soak up some of the moisture in the eggplant.
Place on top of a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Brush slices with olive oil, a little balsamic and sprinkle some basil and Italian seasoning on them. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes to soften while you prep the sauce.
Saute one small onion and three cloves of garlic in olive oil on medium heat. Slowly stir in two medium roma tomatoes, chopped. I really enjoy spicy food, so I went a bit heavy adding some crushed red pepper.
Remove the eggplant, top with tomato mixture and sprinkle mozzarella (I use reduced fat to save on calories) on the top. Place back in the oven until cheese is melted and golden and you are good to go!
This has quickly become one of my new favorite recipes– it’s healthy, filling and flavorful!
Do you have a favorite eggplant recipe?
One of the things that has kept me quite busy over the past few dormant months on makeitfancee.com is training. After running my first 5k last summer and loving it, I have decided to take the next step (a few thousand steps, actually) by training for a half marathon. Running has become one of my new favorite past times.
While getting up early and heading outside to seriously sweat may seem like the least fancee activity you could imagine, I actually think there is nothing fanceeier than treating your body right and staying healthy. Hence, the brand new moveIT section on the site.
I am looking forward to continuing to chronicle the ups and downs of training, new tips and tricks for working out and, of course, some fancee fitness fashions, too.
And just to prove how fancee running can really be– take a look at the race I’m training for. The Disney Princess Half Marathon. I will be running this in February, and am very excited to be teaming up with the very good friend who inspired me to start running! Together we’re taking on the fairest race in the land– and while it’s something I would have dreaded only a year ago, today I am absolutely thrilled thinking about it!
What’s your favorite stay-fit activity?
photo courtesy of http://www.rundisney.com
Wow! I can hardly believe how much time has passed since my last post. I have been a busy girl since I wrote way back in May. Since then, I’ve been able to attend three beautiful weddings, taken numerous road trips (by myself and with Ms. Izzie), spent time with some fabulous friends, seen a ton of great movies, read a few books (though not as many as I’d hoped) buy a new car (in a post coming soon!) and, of course, done a little cooking, shopping and crafting in the mix.
As it is July and just past the midpoint of the year, I figured it was a good time to revisit some of those New Year’s Resolutions that I made way back when. One of them, of course, was blogging! And I couldn’t have picked a better time to re-start my writing than the summer. So many great and fancee things to share during my favorite season– from barbeque and drink recipes to hot weather fashion and some new and fun ideas to keep cool as it gets increasingly steamy outside.
Which brings me to my first summer post: fresh squeezed lemonade. This is a summer staple that no day spent poolside is complete without. My basic recipe is as follows:
- 7 Jumbo Lemons
- 1 Large Orange (this is the “secret” ingredient to add some healthy sweetness to your lemonade and, obviously, make it fancee!)
- 1 Cup Sugar
That’s it! Juice and de-seed the lemons and mix with sugar and water in a standard size pitcher. Serve on ice and there you have it!
Craving something just a little fancieer?
A DIY Arnold Palmer is always fun. Select your favorite tea, brew ahead of time and refrigerate. Mix equal parts tea and lemonade. (Some prefer to add a little extra sugar or sweetener to this mixture). One of my favorites to mix is Tazo Passion Tea (if you like Passion Tea Lemonades from Starbucks, it’s the at-home version of that deliciousness!). Peppermint tea is also a refreshing mix!
Craving an “adult” option?
One of my favorite summer refreshers is a make-at-home hard lemonade. Mix your fresh-squeezed lemonade with equal parts regular seltzer and a shot (or two) of vodka. Bacardi Limon is also delicious!
Craving something healthier?
If you’re trying to maintain your bikini (or speedo?…no judgment) shape, add a little more water and a little less sugar. I made my last batch in a slightly larger container with more water and added just a 3/4 cup of sugar. After a glass or two, if it’s nice and cold, you’ll hardly notice the taste difference, and if you do, add an extra juiced orange or two for sweetness.
What are your other favorite summer beverages?
Stay cool and, as always, enjoy!
Way back in January I resolved to read 100 books in 2013. Let’s just say that I am more than a little behind on that goal…but, I have been reading and just finished a beautifully written young adult novel that I had to share.
In the interest of full disclosure, The Fault in Our Stars is a tearjerker. Upon finishing, I immediately felt the need to share on Facebook that I was bawling like a newborn. (To my surprise, this actually intrigued a number of my friends who said they were going out to buy it.) If you can handle a tragedy, this is a powerful and quick read. Centering around a cast of characters all dealing with cancer, both as patients and those that love them, John Green created a truly gut-wrenching love story that is both so effortless in its adolescent ease and so complicated by disease and struggle.
If you enjoy reading books before seeing their movie adaptations, I would pick this one up now, as a film version is in the works. Rumored to play the witty and wise-beyond-her-years main character, Hazel Grace is Shailene Woodley of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and The Descendants.
As you plan out your summer “must-reads,” I would absolutely add The Fault in Our Stars to your list.
Do you have any book suggestions?
As someone who used to fall prey to the lunchtime trap of eating out constantly (and making poor choices) with my colleagues, I have spent a lot of time searching for yummy, easy and affordable recipes to bring my lunch with me to the office. This pasta salad is high in fiber and protein, but most importantly, high on flavor too!
- 1 package of rotini pasta
- 2 jalapenos
- 1 package of cherry tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1 red onion
- 1 can black beans (drained)
- 1 can of corn (drained)
- 1 can of chickpeas (drained)
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- 1/2 Lemon
- Black Pepper
Because I have been taking it easy with the carbs, I looked for a high-fiber, low calorie pasta to use as a base. This Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta is only 180 calories per serving, the fiber keeps you full and does not sacrifice any flavor or texture.
Some of the ingredients I used are canned, which is not something I do a lot. Be careful, when selecting your canned veggies, not to succumb to the sodium trap. Look for reduced or no sodium options. Especially with the other flavors in this recipe, you won’t need the added flavor from the sodium! The beans, corn and chickpeas all came in low-sodium varieties.
Start by preparing your pasta according to the package’s instructions and chopping your veggies. Combine all of your ingredients and top off with a drizzle of olive oil, the juice of the 1/2 lemon and black pepper (to taste). Mix well.
To make my life even easier, after mixing, I separated into tupperware so that it my lunches are ready to go in the morning. To avoid letting it get too soggy, I wait and add just a touch more oil and a drizzle of balsamic in the morning before I pack it up– by lunchtime it is just perfect!
And there you have it– a quick, easy and delicious lunch! It’s the perfect fuel for a quick lunchtime workout, too! (Warning: It is spicy, so be sure to have gum or a toothbrush handy!).
I am admittedly a bit of a crazy dog lady. I grew up with dogs and now that I have one of my own, I tend to spoil her rotten. After having her for about a year, I finally decided I could trust her to sleep outside of the crate and created a new spot for her in my bedroom.
Izzie has always loved fleece blankets. She came with one, has one in her crate and one that she travels with on car rides and when she goes to “doggie camp,” (when I have to board her). None of the beds I was looking at were as soft as her blankets, so I decided to buy some fleece and make my own!
I bought two one yard pieces of fleece and grabbed two old spare pillows I had in the closet. And the rest is very easy!
1) Lay the fabric out and make sure it’s evenly cut:
2) Cut squares out of each of the corners:
3) Cut one-inch strips around the perimeter of the fleece (on both the top and bottom pieces):
4) Tie the strips together (double knot them):
5) Let your pup give it a try! (Any excuse to put a picture of Izzie on the blog works for me):
Izzie loves her new bed, and will now frequently go to bed much earlier than I do!
Have you crafted for you pet?