Fail to Plan, Plan to Get Fat

Some weeks are just a bit too much to take. Last week both of our little ones picked up a 24-hour stomach flu... then the hubby... Then, our youngest - who is basically a walking, talking (tantruming) petrie dish - came down with Hand Foot & Mouth Disease. And Strep Throat. Hurray.

Needless to say, no one was really eating much and there was very little time and energy for preparing healthy meals and getting out for workouts.

So, those weeks happen. Bad days happen. Injuries happen. Illnesses happen. Work emergencies happen. Sometimes you legitimately cannot squeeze in your usual workouts. Sometimes your week's worth of meat and veggies is rotting away in your fridge because you really just don't have time to cook. Or maybe you're covered in another human's vomit or stuck under a sleeping toddler on the sofa for 3 hours straight when you should be prepping dinner. You know what I mean...

I've got some great tips to help you stay fit when your schedule doesn't allow you to hit the gym or get to your usual fitness class. It's always a good idea to keep a few healthy convenience foods in your fridge for those times life decides it's your turn for a random smackdown. Last week, we relied a lot on eggs, bagged salad mixes, canned/boxed soup and sandwiches, among other things. While a ham sandwich and bowl of vegetable soup is not necessarily a nutritional coup, it is faster and healthier than ordering a pizza.I didn't say more delicious... but it is faster, healthier & cheaper. And there's no post-meal bloat and regret, as long as you stay away from the grilled bacon & cheese with cream soup combo.

OK.... I'm drooling...

Back to the point here. You have got to be ready for life if you've got fitness goals. The easy days and easy weeks are just that - easy! You have your usual repertoire of healthy family favourites, you attend your usual yoga classes and hit the gym with a girlfriend in the morning... and the world just generally leaves you alone. But temptation can still strike. Your resolve might be fairly strong but your hubby might have a hankering for cheeseburgers and try to talk you out of that side of salmon you're eyeing up during your pre-dinner shopping trip.

Yes, that last one comes from personal experience.

You need a plan, woman! You need to write down your meal plan for the week, create a grocery list based on that plan, shop for those groceries in advance (as much as possible) and stick to your guns.

Now that we are pretty much free of the sick around here, I'm back to normal as far as meals go. I've been using the Heart & Stroke Foundation's Healthy Weight Action Plan for several weeks now, enjoying their great tracking and planning tools to help me shave off the last few pounds since popping out two small people. One of the great FREE features of the Healthy Weight Action Plan is the interactive planning tool - I can quickly jot down my planned meals and snacks, hit save & even print my weekly plan out and stick it on the fridge. Or print out a hard copy and fill it in by hand, including my planned workouts and any groceries I need to pick up.

When I plan our meals, we eat better. Hands down. I don't make last-minute decisions or rely on a frozen pizza because I forgot to defrost some meat or pick up some fresh veggies. And my hubby is less likely to object to dinner or suggest something less healthy when he knows in advance what is going to be served. I also save money and waste less food.

Tonight was chicken, beets, brussel sprouts & broccoli and a salad. Tomorrow? Some pork loin stir-fried with veggies and basmati rice. Since I'm planning the meals, I can make a little extra so there are healthy leftovers for the kids' lunches.

Now, as long as our little Calamity Jack doesn't infect us with anything else, we should be in for a good week!