Now that summer is over and fall is in full swing (even though it has already started snowing), the winter months are now looming in the distance. Even with the days getting shorter and darker earlier, life still goes on. As a summer baby, I do my best not to let old man winter hold me in his grip. With heartier meals now being the popular choice, eating healthy is always a concern during the colder months. For many, eating healthy only happens during the summer when there is an abundance of fresh produce and when it’s easy to get outside and be active. Yet, eating healthy and staying active can become a year long initiative that works with any schedule.
My health adventure really began during my year of full time travel around the world. Most would expect the opposite. The year prior, I worked full time (teaching) and completed my Masters in Education full time, while my boyfriend spoiled me with lavish 3 course meals and delicious treats during my study breaks. I deserved my rewards. A year in Lululemon pants allowed the pounds to creep on without me even noticing. My year off, a break from the real world, allowed me the time to focus on me, including revamping my diet and getting more active along the way. Visiting tropical destinations made it easy to eat unlimited fresh fruit and veggies, while being introduced to new healthy favorites. My new life of full time travel enabled me to be active every day and to burn off any indulgences I might have had (and boy did I indulge in Europe).
Now that I’m home, I am able to routinely continue to practice a healthy lifestyle of exercise and eating well, while getting even better at it. My work schedule keeps me on a tight routine which makes it easy to plan meals, eat healthy snacks, and get in workouts. Now that I’m not traveling all the time, it’s even easier to tighten up on my eating and exercise regime. No excuses anymore. My year off introduced me to many new healthy alternatives, vegetarian recipes (I eat mostly vegetarian), my new found passion for yoga, and kick started my health journey. I’m now able to take that journey to a new level.
Even as healthy as I tried to be while on the road, it was hard to maintain a proper diet. Oh the life of spending days on buses, boats, trains, planes, cars, and in airports. My transition back into the working world has allowed me the ability to recharge, refuel, detox, and get even healthier. I’m sure my body needed a good cleansing after trying the cultural delicacies of each country.
Here is what I’ve done to improve my journey this fall:
-Attend Crossfit boot camp 1 x per week
-Attend yoga 3-4 x per week
-Drink a minimum of 2 L of water per day
-Eat smaller portions
-Eat 3 small meals a day and 3 healthy snacks
-Eat well rounded meals & snacks: i.e.: protein & fruit, fat & veg, veg & dairy, etc…
-Limit dairy (I only really eat Greek yogurt [unsweetened fat free/1 %], plus 2oz of cheese per day)
-Add more alternatives (i.e.: almond milk)
-Eat mostly vegetarian
-Eat lean locally raised and grass fed meats
-Switch to vegetarian VEGA based protein powder in my morning smoothies
-Avoid eating after supper (dinner as many call it)
-Drink 500ml of water with 1/2 lemon once per day
-Sleep a minimum of 8 hours (this is tough!)
-Replace the limited carbs I do eat with gluten free ones
-Cut out juice and pop (soda as it’s called in the U.S.) and switch to only water, sparking water, and fruit infused water
-Switch from milk chocolate to 70% or higher dark chocolate- enjoy 2 squares per day!
-Cut out junk food and avoid whenever possible
-Limit alcohol and wine
-Limit fruit to 1 serving at a time (2-3 servings per day) and paired with a protein
-Eat more fresh raw vegetables
-Watch the ratio of the amount of sugar (fruit) and carbs eaten at any one time
-Search for healthy alternative snacks (hummus, seeds, nut butters, veggies, cheese, eggs)
-Limit nuts/seeds and cheese to one serving per day
– Ensure there is a source of protein at every meal
So that’s it in a nut shell. My journey continues. I’ll have to break out my snow shoes soon enough, because I don’t think the snow is going to stop anytime soon. Until then, I’ll enjoy the rest of the fall season. How do you stay healthy during the cold months? I’d love to hear secrets!