Although I was a Criminology major and, long ago, managed a team who went into buildings in the middle of the night and crawled through ceilings, installing secret, pin size cameras, I don’t usually spy on people, I promise! I should confess that I am utterly techno-ignorant and had a brilliant team; I was a lot like an overzealous 15 year old whose parents give him a brand new Porsche Boxter the day after he gets his learners permit (I was a young leader with gifted help). The above pictures were taken right at the end of my time as a Detective Manager. Can you see the beautiful little girl that changed my mind about being a career woman? 🙂
Anyway, I am quite literally in a coffee shop at this moment, listening to two women beside me loudly talking about a fitness drink that will help them rebound multiple times a week from hangovers. I heard the word “isotope” and other trendy health terms thrown around, like jelly beans at Easter. This is not in a grungy part of downtown; these ladies are very well dressed, clearly successful and quite beautiful. They are talking about massively overindulging as a part of their regular, every other day rhythm and then what supplements and fitness drinks are the best for recovery and a healthy life. The extreme dichotomy is what caught my attention – the desire for both massive and consistent indulgence and health. Their conversation makes me think about my own health. My health isn’t going to happen by accident, by operating out of my default settings or by holding on to old habits and trying to be healthy around the edges. It is futile to whitewash crumbling walls. It makes me think – While I will never be perfect, I want to be honest and mindful of my pitfalls. What is one unhealthy habit in my physical life and what is one area of my heart/behavior in which I default to old fears and ways? What are yours?
There are so many things in life we have to choose, from ordering the trout and veggies, rather than the steak and melt-in-your- mouth rolls with honey cinnamon butter to tucking our kids in and kissing them when we are exhausted after a long day. Do I sound like I understand the temptation to do what feels good and easier, rather than what is best for me? You better believe I do! Those rolls with butter at Texas Roadhouse are right up there with seeing my hot husband walk out on date night in a dress shirt and jeans, looking like an Aussie rancher all decked out for the night and saying in his killer accent, “Where do you want to go to dinner?” They are paradise on a plate! They really should serve those babies with mini plastic palm trees, Elvis’ “Blue Hawaii” playing in the background and a whippy Pina Colada stuck with a rainbow umbrella.
In regards to healthy physical choices, one of the hardest parts is the snacks. Some things I have found to be true:
1. Do NOT let yourself get too hungry or you will grab something you will regret later. Plan your snacks ahead of time.
2. Like an impoverished boy who, as a man, has made his fortune, I can still believe, in a moment of hunger, that the healthier options won’t fill me but they DO.
3. You are better having a little bit too much of the good calories than a handful of junky ones. For example, a second apple a day or a second handful of 15 almonds is better than a candy bar.
4. Especially when you first start, save your fruit for when you feel a sugar craving come on.
5. Get enough protein regularly to burn fat and keep your belly full, like a Texan department store Santa on Christmas Eve.
6. Protein smoothies are life savers, because they are fast and filling. I would recommend always having a mix on hand (really do your homework).
7. Remember, living foods and lean proteins are the best choices.
8. Watch out for hidden sugars. Many people don’t realize how many things have, at worst, high fructose corn syrup or, at best, sugar in them. Any sauces usually do, soups, yoghurts, pre-fab snack foods, salad dressings, some Vanillas, etc.
9. Watch out for hidden salts. Those are found in all the above items plus herbs and seasonings. Soups are inordinately high in salt. While a little salt isn’t as bad as sugar, you want to keep your sodium low.
10. Drink a lot of water at every meal, snack and in between. It is one of the top things you can do for your health!
List of 20 healthy snack options:
1. Almonds, Pecans or other raw nuts – 15 at a time.
2. 1 teaspoon of nut butter (without sugar) on celery or apple
3. Apple, grapes, raspberries or other fruit (watch sugar and carbs/quantity)
4. Fat free Greek yogurt w/chia and Stevia or with chia, Stevia and cut up strawberries
5. Homemade humus with celery, jicama, carrots and cucumbers cut up – recipe coming in the next two weeks!
6. Protein smoothy (I keep a pre-mixed one on hand for crazy days- do your homework on these. I usually make them myself with whey protein, almond milk, ice, fruit and stevia).
7. Protein bars – I’m searching for an awesome recipe so this is a healthier option. Will share when I find it.
8. Edamame, from the frozen section at Sams Club
9. Small amount of leftover grilled chicken thrown into a lettuce wrap with bean sprouts, diced yellow peppers and green onions
10. Popcorn in moderation – stove popped in coconut oil, no salt
11. Boiled and chilled egg whites with pepper
12. Avocado 1/2 with pepper
13. Cucumbers carved out & used like the bread in a sandwich; filled with leftover grilled thinly sliced chicken breast, yellow peppers slices, tomato cut thin and with a teaspoon of dill seasoned greek yoghurt.
14. Carrots, broccoli, cucumbers and celery dipped in lightly seasoned greek yoghurt
15. Homemade salsa on carrots, celery and cucumber
16. Applesauce, no sugar added – make yourself for healthiest option
17. Fruit – all different, cut up in segments to dip in greek yogurt (mixed with vanilla and Stevia). Watch your quantity on this.
18. 1/2- 2/3 Cup brown rice noodles (will recommend a brand we love this coming week) cooked and cooled, mixed with cubed cucumbers, celery, carrots, peppers, baby tomatoes halved. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of melted coconut oil, a tiny splash of balsamic & pepper.
19. Thick slices of vine ripened tomatoes with 1- 2 teaspoons of fat free feta (watch the salt) & cracked pepper sprinkled on top and melted. Add petite strips of basil on top after you cook.
20. Fat free greek yoghurt seasoned with pepper, dill, garlic to taste. Cubed cucumbers with lemon squeezed on them lightly mixed in. (This is a Turkish side dish called Cacick from my childhood).