Staying Healthy When Time is of the Essence

Happy Wednesday loves!

I have no problem admitting I’m vain. I like to look good. I take care of myself, and I like to maintain good health for aesthetic purposes. However, I really like to maintain good health for a few other – more important – reasons than just my outward appearance (though I believe looking good on the outside helps improve self-confidence, which helps improve my mood, which helps improve my productivity, which makes me a nicer person, which makes my family like me more, which makes me happier…it’s the circle of life, right?).

I don’t know if y’all know this, but I have four little babes – and I want to be around for a very long time. I have a lot of boys to tell them they can’t date, a lot of girls to smile at in person and tell my husband, “Oh, HELL no,” when our son can’t hear, weddings to dress up for, grandbabies to cuddle and love, and basically another 80 or 90 years of memories to make (laugh now, but longevity is a thing in my family, and my husband likes to make the very bad joke that I’ll be married to my second husband a lot longer than him because he’ll live an average lifespan to my 120 years. He’s so wrong, though. There can’t be two men in this world crazy enough to want to live with me).

Anyway, my point is that life is a little bit crazy with all we have going on, and this week is one of those weeks that just gets crazier – if you can believe that.

We haven’t been home in the evenings in well over a week, I’m in the middle of packing us up for a 2.5-hour flight to Texas, a 5-hour drive from the airport to the farm, and time spent with my amazing grandmother. I have clients, deadlines, and projects going on. Kids with sports and activities, and there is always fun to be had with our people. We were out late last Tuesday for the fourth, Wednesday because we had our regularly scheduled #wednesdaynightdinner, Thursday for a family exercise situation at the YMCA, Friday for family date night, Saturday on the boat, Saturday night for family date night, Sunday at church and the river house, Monday for hair appointments and cheer uniform fittings, last night for tumbling, tonight for #wednesdaynightdinner, tomorrow night for a meeting…do you see what I mean?

I’m up at 5 am, we aren’t getting everyone to bed until late, and then we’re passing out quickly after them, and I’m exhausted. I have to work ahead so I don’t have to take my computer with me while we’re gone, and that means doubling up my efforts. It’s a lot of prep and work (thank you Lord for sending me a husband who efficiently packs for himself so that I don’t have to) but it’s my life, y’all.

So…this is usually when I start to feel myself coming down with something, but I refuse.

We put a lot of emphasis on healthy habits and eating, and we always have. It’s just a lifestyle for us, and it works so well. We have more energy, we feel better, and we get sick infrequently, but weeks like this always challenge me as I run myself into the ground. So, I thought I’d share a quick blog post about how I make sure I stay healthy when life is like, “No, eat all the donuts and definitely go to Chick-Fil-A and get that warm cookie for dessert,”.

Keep Eating the Good Stuff

It’s so easy to decide to get all kinds of lazy when life is hectic. Drive-thrus, take out, and unhealthy eats are just easier, but that’s not how we roll. I maintain my regularly scheduled eating on weeks like this. Some of my favorite quick and easy go-to meals include the following.

  • Greek yogurt, fruit, granola
  • Strawberries, blueberries, oranges and raspberries
  • Lots and lots of water and coffee
  • Peanut butter with tiny chocolate chips when I want something sweet

For dinner, we almost always have something simple like fresh salmon with a lemon butter sauce, baked or grilled chicken with either a cilantro lime marinade or something like a mango/avocado salsa on top, filet, and we rarely ever have a starch. We are double up the veggie kind of people – not that we don’t love starches, but we reserve those for get-togethers and stuff like that.

We love to take our favorite guilty pleasure foods and make them healthier. For example, I’m a taco-aholic who could eat them all day, every day, constantly. Problem – I don’t like pork or really any form of red meat other than filet. So, we bake chicken, mix it with chile peppers, tomatoes, and onions, bake it, and put it in a taco shell. Amazing. I also love pizza, so we will do a cauliflower crust with baked chicken, tomatoes, red onion, fresh mozzarella, and some buffalo sauce – amazing.

The key is to find things you love that don’t take much time to make, and then make them a lot healthier. It helps you stay feeling good and not falling apart because your body hates what you’re putting into it.

Don’t Skip the Gym

This one is easy for me. I love how I feel when I work out, so missing a day at the gym is not something I allow often. The good news is you can take a half hour and just go with it, and that’s amazing! Take a walk, go for a run, do a yoga work out on your computer. I do two to three days a week of intense yoga for an hour. I do three to four days a week on the treadmill. I run 8 miles a week minimum, and I’m working up my minimum to 10 miles a week. I also mix in another class such as HIIT (okay, once, last week) here and there to try something new. Just don’t skip the workout. It’s so important.

Take a Break

Sometimes you just need one. I know I do. I like to take a break, drink some water, read a little. Sit on the porch and watch the sunset. Sit on the deck and watch the sunrise with some coffee and whatever Bible study I have for the week. One thing that’s always been helpful to us is definitely our Wednesday night dinner tradition. It’s like 10 years of a mandatory mid-week break. We either host our friends or they host us. The kids get to play, we get to have an adult conversation (which is definitely appropriate and mature….), and force ourselves to put work away for a few hours. Maybe it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s like therapy when you’re a workaholic with a hundred kids.

Find Motivation

Sometimes I get tired. I lack motivation and the desire to do anything. I know once I get started I’ll be fine, but it’s the getting started part that sucks. So, I start writing down things I already did today on my to-do list for the sheer satisfaction of crossing them off.

Brush my teeth. Check. Wake up. Check. Shower. Check. Drink coffee. Check. Kiss husband. Check. Kiss babies. Check. I mean, my to-do list sometimes looks like a hot ass mess of WTF, but once I see more items checked off than not, my brain forgets that things like ‘Breathe, check,’ are not actual accomplishments and my bad-assery kicks in and I get things done.

What do you do to stay healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally when you’ve living la vida loca (but the boring kind of la vida loca, not the music video kind where you’re on a yacht poppin’ bottles and living it up)?

Healthy 5-Minute Edamame Recipe Perfect for Snacking or as A Side Dish

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Better late than never, right? I promised this recipe post two days ago, but I’m slacking this week. Seriously, back to school is amazing, but being part of the PTA for the first time is really a learning curve for me. I didn’t realize how many man hours it takes. I’m enjoying it – I like doing things that aid in the education for my children…and I really like being near them – but I’m also learning to cope with another obligation.

So far it’s meant working earlier in the mornings, later in the evenings, and readjusting my schedule as needed, but it’s been good. And that’s why the blog is taking a back seat these days. Time, baby…it’s of the essence right now.

In an effort to be quite transparent, I am not a good cook. My husband is a good cook. He keeps us alive, but I can do a few simple things. One thing I do really well is eat healthy. I can pick a good, healthy receipt and pin it like no one’s business for my husband to later recreate.

And I can make a really killer edamame dish.

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What You Need

1 package whole edamame pods

EVOO

A Ziploc bag

¼ cup plain Panko bread crumbs

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic

Your favorite wine

I promise this is so easy it’s not even funny.

The Steps

Pour a glass of wine into the appropriate wine glass. Lift it with one hand, and sip. Repeat as needed.

Put your edamame in a Ziploc bag and add just a drop of water. Now close the bag 95% leaving 5% of the bag unsealed. Put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove it, and set it to the side.

Cut your garlic into small pieces. Put it in a pan, add a few drizzles of olive oil. Don’t coat the pan, but don’t be too conservative with it. Let the garlic simmer just a bit – JUST A BIT. When it burns, it’s disgusting and you’ll want to start all over.

Sip your wine.

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When the garlic is simmering just a bit, add the edamame to the pan and mix it all together. Turn down the heat from medium to simmer and let it sit for a minute or two.

Transfer your edamame into a bowl, add your parmesan and your Panko, mix it together – and serve – and sip some more wine.

I told you it’s easy.

Sip.

And amazing.

And you’re welcome.

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Avocado Mango Salsa & Chicken Recipe: Under 5 Minutes and So Healthy

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I am not a chef. I can’t even cook. Seriously, last night I actually wreaked havoc in the kitchen when I stuck a pre-made Publix rotisserie chicken into the oven to warm up still inside its plastic container. I didn’t even know you couldn’t do that.

In hindsight, yes, I do realize plastic and ovens aren’t a good mixture. In the moment, though, I was not so fully aware. Anyway, dinner was still good, our ovens are not ruined, and the chicken was fine. Thank goodness, because I desperately needed something healthy and delicious after spending a long weekend in North Carolina with my family.

It was airport restaurant food, the most amazing fritters that ever did exist, and it was too much Starbucks for five straight days – and my father-in-law’s amazing cooking. And I needed something green and good for me. I can drink bloody mary’s and eat pineapple fritters all day long, but my body eventually tells me it hates me and needs me to feed it properly. I’m a creature of healthy-eating habit.

But about last night.

I insta-storied a pic of our dinner. It was our daughter’s 9th birthday. She wanted to go bowling last night and have a family night. We picked her up from tumbling camp and took her and the other three to the bowling alley, where they wanted greasy chicken, fries, pretzels, and snacks. Our bodies couldn’t handle it – so we came home and had cake, bathed the kids, put them to bed, and then made a healthy dinner.

And that’s when I added a photo of me cooking to insta-stories, and my DM box filled up faster than you can say, “Dinner,” and I don’t blame anyone. I made our favorite quick, easy, healthy recipe – and it’s just as delish as it is aesthetically appealing.

And here we go.

recipe 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 mango (I hate cutting mango, so I buy the fresh-cut mango in the Publix Produce section)
  • 1 or 2 handfuls of cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • Half a jalapeno pepper
  • Chicken (I usually bake boneless, skinless chicken breast, but lack of time sometimes calls for a pre-made rotisserie chicken and it’s just as good)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

recipe 3

The thing about this meal is it literally takes 4 seconds to make. Cut your avocado, mango – if you don’t buy the fresh cut mango – jalapeno, and cilantro and put it in a bowl. Next, cut your lime in half and juice both halves right over your mixture in the bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, mix it all up, and put it in the fridge until your chicken is ready.

Put it over the chicken.

Eat.

Love.

Repeat.

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That’s seriously it – and you will not find more flavor in any dish. Nor will you find something as perfectly refreshing when you need a light lunch, a simple dinner, or even a side dish to put over your favorite white fish or inside a chicken taco.

I love tacos.

I hope you enjoy!

recipe