Meal Planning and More…

 Just walk. Sounds simple enough, right? But as the streets get colder and icier, it can be more of a challenge. We’re lucky to have a gym in our building, so I can commune with my old friends Rower and Treadmill, but if you’re not so fortunate, here are some other places in Toronto where I can get in a walk without going into the great outdoors:

Walk the Eaton Centre (warning: if you’re instituting “no-buy January”, this can be a challenge).

Walk the PATH – it’s especially interesting during off hours when there are few workers hustling and bustling on their way.

Live in a highrise (or even a lowrise)? Take the stairs. As many as you can. Repeat.

There are lots of great apps to help you fit in exercise, too – one I’ll be trying in January is 8fit. I’ll report back, but so far, I’m enjoying the variety of exercises offered, and the app asks me to rate the difficulty, so it can adjust to suit what I need to push myself.

Here’s another week of meal plans for you, starting next week. That should leave you time to shop. How are you doing with your healthy eating? After starting the year with a week of visitors, it’s good to keep focused with a plan.

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Sunday January 14th Pizza Egg – 1 slice of leftover pizza topped with a poached egg. Otherwise, a poached egg with 1 toast and a sliced tomato Cooking Light Cashew, Coconut and Cabbage Slaw Veggie Chili – I’ll make enough for 3 meals, including one with Turkey
Monday January 15th Banana Kale Smoothie Apple Kale Salad Tofu Stir Fry
Tuesday January 16th Apple Nut Oatmeal Homemade Turkey Soup with 1 whole grain bread and 5ml butter Veggie Chili
Wednesday January 17th Carrot Cake Smoothie EatingWell Vegetarian Taco Salad Weight Watchers Vegetable Quesadillas, plus cheese
Thursday January 18th Apple Nut Oatmeal Homemade Turkey Soup with 1 whole grain bread and 5ml butter EatingWell Turkey Curry
Friday January 19th Beet Kale Smoothie EatingWell Stetson Chopped Salad Weight Watchers “Fried” Catfish with Potato Sticks

I had a note from a reader this week, looking for bread recipes. To see my own recipes, check the EAT tab on the blog.

Have a healthy week!

Get Active! Your Life Depends on It.

Were you an active kid, and years later, not so much? Or maybe you were always more interested in sitting down with a good book, or watching movies on t.v.

Science has shown that we humans are programmed for activity. We need exercise to give our brains oxygen, not only to be fit, but also to be sharp and productive. That’s why it’s important to find ways to fit action into every day. How can you do this?

  1. Take a walk – at the beginning of your day, on your lunch break, or after work to decompress and make a clean break between work time and “me time”.
  2. Play a sport – any game that helps you move is a good game. (While you’re deciding which one, take a quick look at how the Moss Park Hockey League is making our pricey national sport affordable for kids).
  3. Cycle to work – see the route from a new perspective and get your heart started at the same time.

Next time you’re wrestling with a tricky problem at work, try moving around. Take a walk to a colleague’s desk, go down the stairs and up again, or even just stand up and stretch a bit. Every motion counts.

Your Most Valuable Asset

What if someone gave you a fabulous new vehicle, that was capable of doing virtually anything you could imagine? Further, what if they told you that as long as you took good care of it, it would last for the rest of your life, and it would carry you anywhere you wanted to go?

Guess what – you’ve got it! It’s your own body. Take good care of it and it will carry you in style to the end of your days. I know there are exceptions, sometimes bodies let us down, through no fault of our own. Illnesses and conditions can make our physical performance less than optimal, compared to others. That’s the great thing, though. When it comes to your own human health and performance, you don’t need to measure up to anyone but you.

If you’re having trouble fitting fitness into your schedule, try working it in a little at a time. Make sure you make a commitment that you can keep. For me, for example, I know very well that if I plan to work out first thing in the morning, no matter how early, the odds are better that it will happen. If I try and leave it to the end of the day, life seems to have a way of intervening.

Other tips for making sure you give your fabulous vehicle the care and feeding it deserves?

  • Find a workout buddy who will keep you accountable
  • Start small – even parking at the end of the lot and walking to your office is better than no exercise at all
  • Don’t overdo – trying to compete with your younger self isn’t helpful and it may just set you up for an injury
  • Try different activities until you find one you like
  • Don’t invest in a pricey gym membership until you’re sure you’ll go – try as many “taster” classes as you can
  • Check out your local YM/YWCA or Community Centre – they’re great places to sample a wide variety of drop-in classes until you figure out the things that are fun
  • Try something you’ve never tried before, just once – who knows, you might like it!

Have fun, get fit, and here’s to your health. You’ll be grateful when you feel great every day.

We've got avocado's number…

IMG_1865.JPG

This morning we were out for a walk in the early morning, keeping our commitment to be fitter, not fatter, in 2014. This is especially important if you’ve had far too much fun with friends or family on the weekend. Don’t give up, just get on track.

Breakfast was a healthy affair – a piece of plain wheat toast, topped with 1/3 of an avocado mashed with lemon juice, 1/3 of a medium tomato, diced, a poached egg and a sprinkle of lemon pepper for me, and two servings for the big guy.

We’re so grateful that the good weather continues and we can get outside and keep fit without ending up drenched or freezing! Hope you’re having a healthy, happy day as well.

Everything's Coming Up…Peaches?

Brrrr! We started the day with the last vestiges of a 3-hour power outage, some of which happened while we were blissfully asleep. By 6ish NS Power had things up and running again. It was interesting that we were the only “powerless” area in the province! We always knew we were special.

Heading outside, we finished clearing the driveway by starlight, then headed in just as the sun was coming up from behind the hills on the other side of the Bay. The sky was a brilliant peach, which got us thinking…what better way to warm up than oatmeal with peaches that we froze at the height of freshness, last summer? Something to be grateful for, we say!

No photo? Apparently it was too good to waste time doing that!

20140130-080432.jpg

Sometimes Simple is Best

20140110-071323.jpg

We started the morning with a serious workout, so a heavy breakfast seemed to defeat the purpose. It was a great opportunity to continue our exploration of the treats we began socking away in the freezer last summer!

Blueberries! Quick frozen without sugar, they only take a few minutes to thaw. (Or a minute or so in the micro if you are really in a rush). Top these with some organic yogurt, plain and unsweetened. A sprinkle of cinnamon will trick your tongue into thinking there is sugar, and if you add the crunch of a tablespoon or two of chopped almonds (roasted without salt) it is like a breakfast parfait. Round it out with half an English muffin and some peanut butter for extra protein. Tasty, fast, go!

A Different Kind of Local Food Movement

If you live in Southern California, or Italy, or even British Columbia, fresh, local ingredients are all around you. Not so much in January in Southern Ontario. Even foods that should be in season can be hard to find – turnips imported from Texas, anyone? As we began working toward better health – mind, body, and spirit – we had difficulty grasping the logic of eating organic food that had travelled halfway around the world to arrive at our local supermarket. There had to be a better way. At the same time, we were also learning that to stay at a healthy weight, more fruits, vegetables, and fibre, and less meat, less sodium , and fewer meals prepared by others made a significant difference to our results.

Two years after starting our journey, we’ve continued to exercise, eat well, and enjoy the many delights our urban neighbourhood has to offer.  We’re making great local food– that is, from ingredients that have travelled the shortest distance possible from field to fork, and are definitely available from stores within walking distance of our house. We hope you’ll join us for our walkable feast.

%d bloggers like this: