Ok – so I totally dropped the bomb on you, please accept my sincerest apologies. I meant to type up ALL of the challenge posts ahead of time, but then I figured nah, I’ll just write them as I go. Unfortunately my uncle passed away on Monday, so instead of writing up challenge posts, over the past few days I’ve treasured how precious and short our lives are, and cuddled with my beautiful daughters who are growing up way too fast. Can we make time stop?
Today I’m combining three challenges into one. Because these are all one day challenges, it’s easy to double up, or in this case even triple up.
Day 7: Dance Walk!
For day 7 (Monday) I was going to challenge you to put a little dance into your walk. Not sure what I mean? Here’s a video of the girls and I dance walking that we made last Spring – we now do this all the time!
I want you to have fun dancing around your house, cleaning, putting the kids to bed whatever! If you miss doing it today, that’s ok – it just means you
Then tonight, I want you to do days 8 and 9 – pack your lunch for tomorrow and plan your meals
Day 8: Pack your lunch!
Tonight/tomorrow morning pack up a lunch and bring it to work, or school. Even if you are lucky & get to stay home, pack yourself a lunch with two small snacks and ONLY eat that.
- Packing your lunch is easy
- You’ll save time
- You’ll save money
- You’ll make healthier choices
- Bagged lunches are better for the environment
- You can use up your leftovers
Pictured above is the lunch that I’ve already packed up for tomorrow: an apple, tuna salad, two hard-boiled eggs, carrots, cottage cheese, a granola bar and a water bottle. I need lots of snacky stuff because I’m going to a spinning class which uses up my whole lunch time – I’ll have to eat most of my food on my way over or on my way back from the class 🙂
Day 9: Plan Your Meals
Why should you plan your meals?
- MORE MONEY in your pocket. You will save money by not eating convenience or restaurant food. The average family saves $60 a week by cooking at home!
- HEALTHIER MEALS will be prepared, and you know exactly what you’re putting in your body.
- LESS impulse buys. You have a plan, you have a budget, and hopefully, you have a bit of willpower!
- TIME SAVING. You will gain precious minutes back, giving you more time for the things you really love, because you have taken all the guess-work out of dinner.
When planning your meals it’s important to consider how many calories you’re consuming in a day relative to your activity level. As well, it’s very important to also consider the food pyramid. Try to plan out your meals and snacks so that you are eating the RIGHT foods, ie:
- Milk: 2-3 servings
- Lean meats & alternatives: 2-3 servings
- Fruits: 2-4 servings
- Vegetables: 3-5 servings
- Whole grains, beans and starchy vegetables (potatoes): 6 or more servings.
To help you with your meal plan, I created a Meal Plan worksheet (links to the worksheet at the end of this article). To use it, I start most Saturday mornings with a cup of coffee, a stack of cookbooks, and a pad of post-it notes. I flip through my cookbooks, flagging all the recipes I want to use for the week.
My next task is to put an Ã…”X Ã‚Â on the worksheet through any of the meals that I know will be eaten out of the house for friends’ birthdays or whatever is lined up on our calendar. Then, I match up recipes I’ve marked in the cookbooks with openings on the schedule. If any of the items need preparation hours or days beforehand, I ‘ll list those under the Ã…”Prep for Tomorrow Ã‚Â section to help with managing my time. (For example, dough for homemade pizza crusts needs to be made 24 hours in advance of use … so if I want pizza tomorrow, I have to make the dough today.) Also, having at least two snacks listed on the worksheet ensures that I’ve got healthy snack choices available.
When matching recipes with meals, I ‘ll review the recipe and write any ingredients on the grocery list section of the worksheet. This helps me plan out what I need from the store and in the Spring & Summer my local farmer’s market. Sometimes, I ‘ll make two grocery lists for a mini-run on Wednesday night to get fresh produce.
Have a great day everyone!!
Question: How are you doing with the challenges so far? Do you have any challenge suggestions?