Healthy Living in a Busy Life!

Each weekend I find myself hoping, or wishing for a “normal” week.  What is a normal week anyway?  In my dream world it’s a week where I work set hours, have ample time to run in the morning, go to the same yoga class each week, make healthy meals to bring each day for lunch and have time each night to make a healthy dinner and relax.  When I lived alone and worked a regular 9-5 job, that dream week was pretty standard.  But now? That never happens.  Ever. 

No week is ever the same in our lives.  Some weeks I work late, others I have a day off and sometimes I have to work on Saturday.  Michael might be out with friends or maybe its myself.  Some weeks I work out every morning, and make healthy dinners and relax every night and other weeks I’m hardly home at all, just running from one place to the next.

Slowly but surely I’ve accepted and learned to manage our unpredictable weeks. And slowly but surely I’m starting to let go of my wish for a “normal” week.  I know I’m not alone and that many of you have crazy weeks too.  I hear it all the time.  And I hear many of you still trying to fit things into a set routine and schedule.

I’ve found that approaching the week with goals and loose plans and taking the week as it comes works best for me. It leaves me feeling accomplished by Friday night, rather than frustrated by what I didn’t accomplish.  Here’s how I manage my weeks so I can get in my workouts and eat healthy no matter what life throws at me!

Healthy Living in a Busy Life

Workouts. 

I usually take a look at my week on Sunday’s and create a loose plan around my commitments. It ends up looking something like this…

  • Monday: An early morning run with abs and stretching after.
  • Tuesday: Teach FitYoga…no “me” workout.
  • Wednesday: An early morning run with abs and stretching after.
  • Thursday: Teach FitYoga…no “me” workout.
  • Friday: Free day! Most of the time I’m exhausted, sleep in and take a rest day.  Other times I will run, or practice yoga at home and if I’m really feeling energized I take a spin class!

A few notes:

  • If I miss a morning run because I slept in I try to squeeze it in at lunch.  It’s not as good as morning run but it works. Occasionally I’ll get that run in after work but it’s rare. 
  • If the weather is bad and I can’t run, I will practice yoga at home.  I let my creativity flow and always try to challenge myself on those days!  
  • My other home workout option is a deck of cards workout.  Followed by lots of stretching! It came in handy this winter when there was so much snow. 
  • On week days when I’m home from work I’ll try to get to the yoga studio and take a class for myself.  This winter I would run outside to get a long run in with daylight!
  • I leave weekends open in terms of workouts.  Some times I’ll go for a run or I take a yoga class or Michael and I will walk together.  And when I’m really tired I just rest. I try to listen to my body and give it what it needs on the weekends. 

Healthy Eating. 

  • Make a meal plan each week. Michael and I plan out dinners based on our schedules. We plan quick and easy meals to make during the week and if one of us is going to be out we always make sure the other has a healthy dinner option at home. 
  • We plan to make extra servings of dinners so we have leftovers for lunch.
  • We plan out breakfasts so we have lots of options to have at home, or take if we are in a rush.
  • We buy a rotisserie chicken to have on hand for sandwiches, salads and even dinner add ins.
  • We make an effort each week to grocery shop so we don’t have to worry about it during the week.

A few notes:

  • All of our meals usually have ingredients that are interchangeable so we can switch things up based on the week.  Aside from when we make stir fry or homemade pizza we usually plan a protein, vegetable and salad for dinners. 
  • If we buy our lunch out we try to reach for healthy options.  I’m a big fan of the Whole Foods hot bar and salad bar. 
  • We have staples like Annie’s Mac and Cheese in the pantry so we can mix in rotisserie chicken and brocolli for a quick and easy meal.  In the freezer we keep Evol burittos on hand for a quick lunch.  I also always have frozen brown rice in the freezer to mix with protein and veggie for quick lunches or dinners. Veggies burgers are another staple for us too.

I’ve learned to stress less about fitting it all in.  By stressing less it seems like it happens more.  A missed workout here isn’t a big deal, it just means when I find myself with an extra hour I’ll make it happen then.  The same goes for healthy eating.  Some nights we aren’t the mood for what we’ve planned and want a burger and fries.  Luckily, we always have veggie burgers and Alexa fries on hand to make a healthier option.

Life is stressful enough, why should eating healthy and working out add to it? They are supposed to make us feel better! Taking the routine, the schedule and the structure out of healthy meals and workouts and allowing them to fit more organically into our lives makes healthy living more sustainable over time and something we enjoy, which is exactly what it should be!  Taking the time to manage your healthy life should be easy and make you feel good even when you are busy and stressed!

How do you manage healthy living in a busy life?

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “Healthy Living in a Busy Life!

  1. Jolene says:

    You have a great approach here! and my favorite part of it is that it is loose, but structured, if that makes sense and has leeway for changes in your schedule etc. No anxiety, just living, right?!

    Like

  2. Kate says:

    This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I need to learn to celebrate what I accomplish each week instead of beating myself up over what I didn’t. No week is normal, especially not with three busy kids. I am the content curator at FitFramed.com. I’d be honored if you’d submit this great post (and others) to our site. We’re a blogger-submitted, curated photo gallery with a focus on fitness. Fit Framed offers a unique platform to reach new readers and a broad audience with whom to share your content. Check it out.

    Like

  3. livingrunningcooking says:

    I loved your last paragraph. You are so right. Working out and eating healthy shouldn’t be stressful, they should reduce stress. I find that planning my week out also helps keep me calm and helps fit everything. I have started planning a couple of days where I have the option to workout in the morning or night. Keeps me flexible to sleep in or plan an extra activity at night.

    Like

  4. Leigha says:

    Awesome post! I really like how you have a plan but it can be changed if it needs to. I’ve always got veggie burgers and cereal on hand! Love the part about a normal week. Does it even exist? Great post!

    Like

  5. Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily says:

    I love this post! Sometimes it can get so stressful thinking everything has to be perfect or it won’t work right. That’s just not the case. I have 3 kids and a husband with a job that has unpredictable hours sometimes. I make sure I get to the gym before the sun comes up and if for some reason Spencer has to go in early, I have plenty of things I can do at home to get the job done. As for healthy eating, I go shopping on Saturdays and make sure we have tons of fresh fruit, vegetables, and proteins for meals. Since going Paleo, our meals are simple, but still healthy and delicious and has cut out a TON of stress from my dinner prepping life.

    Like

  6. Amy! says:

    Great post! I feel like I fall into this category – busy weeks, but still, by being flexible and thoughtful, I’m able to stay on top of my healthy lifestyle. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  7. Jess Sutera says:

    I love your approach — it’s balanced and fit without being anxiety-ridden on days or weeks where you just literally can’t do it all. It’s tough to balance a day job, a teaching job and your own workouts — I’ve learned a LOT about that in the year I’ve been teaching. I finally think I have a good cadence going and it’s working pretty well. Our dinners are also getting more and more simple by the second, lately it’s been grilled chicken on salad with whatever I feel like tossing in to spruce it up (chopped apples, roasted brussels, goat cheese, etc.) and its both yummy healthy and FAST to put together. The name of the game when the hungry horrors roar 😉

    Like

  8. Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog says:

    I completely agree with you when it comes to defining a “normal” week. What is normal anyway? I find planning workouts, meals and commitments on Sunday and then prioritizing what I really want to accomplish that week, works well for me. We’re a lot like you with having staples on hand in terms of food. There’s always a box of Annie’s in the pantry and an EVOL burrito in the freezer.

    Like

Any Thoughts, Suggestions or Similar Experiences?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s