02 November 2012

Motivation Monday -- Busting Through Holiday Sweets

**I decided to put this up early, because I need the motivation now, not on Monday.**

Between local holidays -- Dussera, Eid ul-Adha, and Diwali -- and American holidays -- Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas -- there is a lot of food consumed between October and the New Year. I love making treats and eating them; we'll be on holiday for a few days so we'll have our share of travel food as well. But I want to stay healthy and active and I want Muffin to be healthy and alert for school, so the whole family has to stay on track.

This year I am back on the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge at Run to the Finish. I found the challenge to be a great, fun support system last year even though I fizzled out toward the end and didn't win any prizes. I'm in it to stay healthy and make a few running friends, even if they are virtual (although it would be nice if some of my real-life friends joined me, too!). I have been a disaster lately, with excuses piling up. But the weather is cooling off, I've finished my courses for the year, and I may even have a treadmill nearby to use -- where I can wear shorts! Excuses are starting to wear thin.

One of the hard parts for me is meal planning to make sure I keep myself properly fueled. Last year I considered myself in the 5K/beginner mileage part of the challenge. This year I've moved myself up to half-marathon and marathon-level mileage. My goal is to keep myself in half-marathon condition, even if I don't get the chance to run one any time soon. Higher mileage results in a much faster turnaround from mommy to monster if I don't have good food NOW. I can only eat so many Kind bars and I hate protein powders and protein bars so real, quick food is essential.

To combat that, I'm already filling my freezer with pre-chopped fruit for smoothies, pureed vegetable soups, soup stocks, pre-cooked beans, loaves of bread, fresh gnocchi, fresh tomato sauce... all things that my housekeeper or I can make ahead of time and then I can pull out when running hunger strikes me. And all things that are healthy proteins and carbs and enjoyable for my family as well. Gluten-Free on a Shoestring and The Homemade Pantry are my go-to books right now. I'm learning that the processed stuff just doesn't make me feel as good, both mentally and physically. Yes, I'm expecting an order of one of my favorite instant soups to arrive soon and yes there is a case of Annie's gluten-free macaroni and cheese in my pantry as well as several jars of my family's favorite brand of peanut butter. I do love some of my processed comfort foods and don't plan on giving them up altogether. But if I can replace a few things, such as pressure-cooked beans rather than canned and fresh tomato sauce rather than jarred, we will be a little bit happier and healthier.

I also like to fill Muffin and myself up with a healthy meal before we go out to a holiday event so we can eat the treats without making dinner out of Halloween candy. (Not that there's anything wrong with that sometimes; I ate a chocolate bar smothered with peanut butter for dinner two nights ago because it was just one of those days.) I'm trying to eat more beans and chicken earlier in the day though, to avoid that evening hunger crash.

If you are ready to join me, please use the link here to sign up, and please reference me! Thank you!

The challenge runs from November 19 through January 5. I've already started tracking my fruit and vegetable servings because one of the daily challenges and a way to earn points is by eating seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day. It's a habit you need to work on. I discovered last year that you can't just sit down on the first day and eat seven servings. That's a lot if you're not used to it.

Here's to a healthy(-ish) holiday season!

Book links are Amazon Affiliate links.


Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

yeahh love your pre-planning! you have one referral already!

Stephanie said...

Thanks Amanda!