planning

Friendly Friday (publication #8)

Welcome to another publication of Friendly Friday! Today I want to talk about something I have always wanted to do, but every time I try I seem to fail. The important part is I never give up and I keep on trying.

This tasks seems minimal compared to others I am sure but I have always struggled with planning and organizing. Since a very young age I have been more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. I’ve never been one for following schedules. When I go on vacation I prefer the untraveled path. I live for that adventure and that thrill. At the same time I know there are certain aspects of life that I can’t really do that in: bills, appointments, family events, etc.

So I am currently operating out of two different planners. One for my finances and one for everything else. Now I am getting ready to add homeschooling and lesson planning to the mix. So I am looking for my ultimate way to take all of that and put it into one. Let me tell you not happening yet! I keep looking and deciding and trying to plan my planning. Instead I just need to sit down and do it!

In addition to my planning struggles I struggle the same when it comes to organization. Hands down if it wasn’t for my daughter Salali I would have the most disorganized house ever. My kitchen will probably implode when she moves out in a couple years. I have zero ability when it comes to making things fit and function together. I see such cute ideas on line but I can never get them to work out. I buy groceries and look at the fridge like these won’t fit, yet she comes in and in five minutes they all fit and in an orderly fashion that makes perfect sense.

So there you have it in a nut shell. I am not a great planner or organizer, but I still continue to try my best. Who knows maybe one day it will click and then again maybe it won’t. Either way it is a great lesson in being persistent and trying your best! Until next time… What’s your confession?

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Who has the Time?

Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on Pexels.com

Good afternoon, morning, or night depending on where you are reading from. I am happy to update that I made it through yesterday with no afternoon coffee! Hoping to be able to continue that for today as well. I didn’t have any noticeable side effects of eliminating it yesterday other than I really wanted some! With that being said today I wanted to talk about an issue I hear a lot and I’ve used in the past. I don’t have time for that! Face it we all have super busy lives, but if you maintain the attitude that you don’t have time you never will.

Let me tell you I am a busy mom of three teenagers, I work a full time job to help support my family, and I work on my blog and art constantly. If I can do all of those things and still make time to support my WOE then you can too. Yes there have been days I have spent hours meal prepping, and it sucked! In the log run though it helped streamline my schedule and take a lot of stress off of me through the week when I am my busiest. I use to say the same thing about exercise. I don’t have time to work out, but I really do. Often if I am work I take conference calls on my cell and go walk around the building to get some exercise in. Did I hit the gym..nope…but I got movement in. You have to learn to make things fit into your lifestyle and schedule not the other way around.

One of the easiest ways to get things into your schedule is to not overcomplicate them. You want to keep things as simple as possible the more crazy your schedule is. Planning on cooking something that takes more than 30 minutes on a work night for me is just out of the question. So I save more complicated recipes with longer cook times for weekends or days off if it can’t be prepped ahead. Monday nights are super busy for us. There are a lot of after school/work activities so I would never schedule or plan a workout for that night because it would over stress me trying to get it to fit in.

Another way to save time and sanity with diet anyway is limit what you are making. If you are a person that doesn’t need a whole lot of variety then stick with that. It is okay to eat the same thing everyday as long as your eating good and healthy whole foods. I know people that eat eggs as their first meal everyday. There is nothing wrong with that if they enjoy it and they have less stress in trying o figure out what to eat. Something I have discovered after doing Keto for so long is that the simplest of foods taste phenomenal to me anymore. It’s like for the first time in my life I am tasting the actual food and not the hidden chemicals. So when it comes down to it I don’t need the variety that I thought I use to need.

So you want to take control of your schedule and make it work for you then I suggest writing it down. Now do you need some fancy planner? Absolutely not! Just write down things you have to deal with on a normal basis in a plain notebook. See if there are ways to combine things or move days and if not then know those days may just have to be super simple days. For some reason in my life Mondays and Thursdays are always bad, so I avoid as much extra as possible on those days.

If you have an amazing support system don’t be afraid to utilize it either. Family can be a great resource to use. We have even made our kids cook a couple nights before to give ourselves a break. Ask your friends for recipes or advice on how they do it. Don’t make it feel like your all alone and have to conquer the world on your own!

So in summary stop making time your enemy and maximize what time you have. There are so many ways to achieve this you just have to find what works best for you. In closing today I would also like do a couple reminders: 1.) If you have a great success story or know someone that does I would love to right up a featured blog about them, just shoot me an email. 2) I am looking for a couple people who could use some help with their keto diet and meal planning, I am currently working on a program for these and need some people to try it out before taking it to the next level. If your interested reach and to me. And 3.) Keep Ketoing On!

Calories to Count Them or Not

For years and years, even long before my time, we have been taught that if you want to lose weight you have to count how many calories you are taking in and how many calories your burning out. Better known now as CICO (calories in calories out). I started with this method when I was in my twenties and I found that as long as I was diligently calculating I would indeed lose weight. The issue is that the second I would get a little slack I would gain back what I lost and then some. It was a vicious cycle that I fell in and out of from the age of 21 until the age of 35. So what changed when I turned 36? I realized that I was focusing all my energy on calories and none of the other important nutrients that I needed. I also found myself chasing an endless cycle of hunger, as well as being constantly discouraged because I was following the “rules” and they were not helping.

Enter controversy…. STOP counting calories. I haven’t counted a single calorie since May 29, 2018 and I have now lost 65.7 pounds and over 97 inches off my body. I found that after my initial adaptation period to my new way of eating that I did not need to focus on my calories due to the fact that by the time I focused on the macronutrients I needed each day I was full! I actually felt full and satisfied and not left craving more! There are days that I know I went over my calories and there were days when I know was under the calories, as far as a standard suggested calorie intake was concerned. It didn’t matter I started to listen to my body and I simply stopped eating when I was full.

It is not easy to take on a new way of eating no matter what it is, and I see so many people struggle because they make it so much harder on themselves than they should. There comes a point where you become obsessed with every detail of every food and exercise and you find yourself not living but only functioning to achieve one goal. I spent a few weeks at best learning what I needed and what worked for me and then I just did it and I’m living while I do it. I don’t stress out when something comes out and I have to change my eating plans because I know it will be okay. If I was focused on CICO it can become super stressful when you have to go off plan. Guess what stress causes cortisol levels to spike, and high cortisol levels will prohibit weight loss. So less worry about calories, could mean less stress, which means less cortisol, which means better chances of losing weight.

I’m not by any means saying that if you want to count calories you shouldn’t. I think you should do what works for you and if counting calories makes you happy then continue. All I am is saying that it is something that is not longer important to me because I’ve learned my body and know what it needs. It’s been months since I’ve over eaten anything and it feels amazing. Happy NOT counting to those who feel this way, and happy counting to those who don’t.

Meal Prepping

So everything you see in the picture here is what I will be preparing for lunch and dinner this week. Meal prepping has became a very big part of my lifestyle. In order to meet my lifestyle requirements and more importantly my budget requirements I spend about an hour a week planning out meals and my grocery list, and then spend 2-4 hours on Sunday fixing everything that I can in advance. This helps me to be able to reduce the amount of time I spend in the store, and also the time I have to spend after a long day of work cooking.

When I first started meal prepping I only worried about lunch. My husband and I pack our lunch Monday – Thursday each week, and then have a lunch date out on Friday’s. I am a big person on variety and flavor profiles so we generally never have the same thing more than two times in a week. Having variety has been one of the keys to me being able to make the keto lifestyle work for me. Eating the same thing day after day after day simply would not be a good fit for me. In the last couple weeks I have taken on the challenge of dinner meal prep. So I have had to spend a little more time planning.

My first concern was what can I prep that will reheat well, also I wanted a way to reheat via the oven and not the microwave. So I invested in some aluminum trays that are divided so that food can stay separated. Once everything has been prepared and placed in the container, I let it cool completely and then store in the fridge. All I have to do when I get home is preheat the oven to 350 and heat for 20 minutes. All I may need to do while it heats is chop up any fresh veg or make any sauces. Most sauces do not reheat well so I tend to make those fresh the night needed. Let’s face it not everything taste good re-heated so if I want something that falls into that category for the week I will plan to have it on a night I know I will have more time.

Meal prepping can see quite overwhelming when you first start, but once you get the hang of it it makes life a little simpler in the kitchen. It also allows me to better plan out my macros for the week and know what I can and can’t have as far as portions go. I would recommend to just trying it a few days a week until you get the hang of it then you can add more days the more comfortable you get. Keep it simple at first. I recommend the same for making your shopping list. I make a meal plan for each day and then shop based off that. I never thought I would be a meal prepare, but here I am doing it every week and so glad that I do!