Three Ways to Beat the Sunday Blues

I’m in my mid-twenties and finally out of school for a while, yet I still feel like Sundays are a “school” night. My friends and husband think I’m the lamest of the lame, but I start to get nervous around 5pm and have to go “get ready.” I know, you just can’t handle how cool I am.

I’ve been this way for years, though, and even more so during my weight loss journey. I took time each Sunday to set intentions for the week ahead. It was just the right amount of pep-talk and motivation I needed to keep on keepin’ on. Taking that time just for yourself once a week can do wonders for your Monday morning. Ask yourself:

What will the week look like? 

Will I be out and about?

When would be good days to get some exercise?

That’s the key with setting goals. They have to be attainable yet adaptable too. You could have the cleanest, coolest meal plan, but what happens if you work late or you forgot to set the crock pot timer? Do you have healthy, plan B options waiting for you in the fridge? Do you know how to order in a balanced way off of a take-out menu? It’s the same with exercise. Realistically, you may not make it to the gym every day, but maybe you can use a DVD or YouTube video at home in your living room or walk your dog for an hour instead of 30 minutes. Learn to adapt to the challenges, otherwise, you’ll feel defeated before you even get started.

In terms of food, there are a few things you can do on a Sunday night to get prepared for a new week of eats. No stress required.

Sunday Blues

+Wash and chop your veggies for the week. Place in clear containers in your fridge and label to see what you have on hand. You’ll save money and eliminate food waste too!

+Hardboil some eggs. Eggs are the perfect source of portable protein (say that five times fast!), and they can be the perfect addition to a salad, sandwich, quick breakfast, or as an afternoon snack. Try my easy method!

+Pack your lunch. Get the week started with a healthy, filling meal that gives you energy but won’t slow you down. You’ll also save time in the morning to do other things, like find your keys, or wrangle your children. My current favorite lunch is a big, ol’ salad, but not just any ol’ salad. A salad with Staying Power.

In a large container, layer chopped raw and/or cooked veggies; two big handfuls of salad greens; a hardboiled egg; extra protein from lean meat like chicken, turkey, or tuna and/or beans; optional small handful of nuts; a pinch of red pepper flakes; small container of vinaigrette dressing or Bolthouse Farms Creamy Garlic (OMG) tucked inside.

1 slice of sprouted grain bread (Food for Life brand is my fave!)

1 piece of fruit

*don’t forget a snack for the afternoon!

After you’re done prepping for the week, go take some time for YOU and then go to bed early so you get at least 7 hours of sleep. Simply count backward from the time you like to wake up…

 

 

Does Your Personality Affect Your Eating Style?

For the past month, I’ve been listening to Gretchen Rubin’s book, “Better Than Before” on Audible (you get a free trial with your Amazon Prime membership!), and it’s sparked a lot of experimentation and reflection in my life. In the book, Gretchen focuses on the science behind habits, habit formation, how that relates to individual personalities, and culminates with a discussion of four main habit tendencies: Obligers, Questioners, Rebels, and Upholders. You can read more about the book and each tendency over on Gretchen’s website and while you’re there, you can take a short quiz to discover which tendency best describes you.

IMG_0336

I knew almost immediately what tendency I fell into. Obliger, through and through. I’m motivated by external accountability and meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations I impose on myself. I don’t like letting people down, but I do have a tough time holding myself accountable.

Obligers are the folks who are the most likely to say they wish they were in a different category. They say things like, “I wish I weren’t a people-pleaser” or “I wish I could take time for myself.”

Instead of wallowing in the fact that I needed so much outer accountability to get sh*t done, I decided to look at my own life and see what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and how I’m motivated. I definitely consider myself an overachiever, but at the same time, I can get bogged down with details and never follow through if there aren’t clear guidelines set in place. That’s when I throw my hands up in despair and just don’t do anything. Ugh. In the book, Gretchen refers to this cycle of doing nothing as “obliger rebellion.” This made me think about my own journey to better health, a habit that took a few years to set in place. I knew I couldn’t go at it alone, even though at the time, I resented the fact that I needed to ask for help. I worked with a therapist, read a lot of books, wished I had met a dietitian, joined online forums, went to a gym and took group classes, met friends for lunch, talked with my family, jumped headfirst into work and other hobbies, and mostly just focused on creating a life that wasn’t obsessed with food and eating. Now, I feel like this can stir up the topic of “willpower.’ It’s not that obligers don’t have willpower, it’s just they need a bit of reinforcement to get going. Like a push on a swing or their own personal cheering section. Nothing wrong with a bit of encouragement!

 

Let me know in the comments below if you took the Four Tendencies quiz and what your results were! If you do take it, did you find it accurate? What were your thoughts? 

Super-Powered Banana Nut Muffins (Gluten Free)

I’m totally spending part of my Easter weekend in an air-conditioned movie theater watching Batman vs Superman, or as I like to call it, “That Time Wonder Woman Came In and Saved Everybody. Like Always.” I know the reviews so far aren’t that great, but, frankly I’m only there for one reason. I’m sure you can guess.

Gal-Gadot-as-Wonder-Woman

So what do you do when you’re a mortal, but you know deep down that you’re a superhero? You make sure you’re fueled for each day, no matter what happens. This also means having a hefty snack on hand to get you past those “hangry” hours between lunch and dinner. Enter, the high fiber, high protein muffin. Forget the vending machine and other packaged crap. I started making batches of these gluten-free, banana nut muffins back in the beginning of my weight loss journey, and I’ve recently rediscovered my love for them. At the time, it was hard for me to find brown rice flour, but now you can find it in the baking or gluten-free aisle of almost any grocery store.

These muffins freeze very well and can easily be thrown in your lunchbox for later in the day. Not only are they packed with beauty-boosting foods like walnuts, flaxseed, coconut oil, and oats, but these muffins are also high in Vitamin E, Vitamin D, calcium, and fiber. I’d like to think that Diana herself would have one of these stashed away in her back pocket for a quick boost of energy. You know, when she’s taking a break from saving the day, fighting for truth and honor, and having fabulous hair. Must be all the healthy fats!

Super-Powered Banana Nut Muffins (GF)
adapted from Women’s Health
Makes 18 muffins. Serving: 1 muffin.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup rolled oats*
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 medium, ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup walnut pieces, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together oatmeal, flour, flaxseed, baking powder, and baking soda
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, bananas, honey, and oil. Add flour mixture and fold in walnuts.
Divide batter into paper-lined muffin cups. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.
Cool on a wire rack.

Per muffin: 155 Calories, 7g fat, 12mg sodium, 19g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 6g sugar, 4g protein

*For a smoother texture, pulse the oats in a food processor until roughly chopped. I sometimes do this when I want a more cake-like muffin. Otherwise, save time and throw the oats into the batter as-is.