It is so hard to stay motivated to workout, or even be active, in the winter months. The days are shorter and mornings are dark and cold. Most mornings it’s a struggle for me to just get out of bed, where I am all warm and comfy! My two very quick tips for staying active during the winter are:
Take the stairs. If there is more than one floor, walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. No 5:00 am alarm clocks required.
Move during the commercials of you favorite TV show. I know that most people use DVR’s and streaming services now days and skip the commercials. Don’t. Let the commercials play and do squats, push-ups, run in place or skip in place during the commercials.
My blog has been put on the back burner a bit in the month of January. I am now 3 weeks into the clinical rotation of the dietetic internship. I have spent the last 3 weeks at St. Anthony Hospital in Shawnee, OK working with two clinical registered dietitians. What a whirlwind! I feel like I am learning new things every single day! I have 7 weeks left to go in the clinical rotation, then I will move into the management rotation. During this time I am leaving my house at 6:15 every morning to get to Shawnee on time. I am still taking my daughters to gymnastics on Wednesday nights and those slow-cooker meals are a life saver right now!
I am trying a few new recipes in February because I am getting really tired of winter and everything that entails! As always, you can find recipes on the February 2018 Menu Pinterest board.
February 2018 menu
The Blue Zone Project is a health initiative in the United States modeled after regions of the world that have a large proportion of the population living to 100 years. Some of the most popular Blue Zone regions include Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece; Sardina, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California. Blue Zone living focuses on what they call the Power 9 health behaviors. The Power 9 is:
- Move more- exercise doesn’t have to be regimented or include a personal trainer, but incorporating movement into your daily routine is important.
- Know your purpose
- Down-shift hour- spend some time toward the end of the day (maybe between work and dinner) to slow down and reflect on the day.
- 80%– stop eating when you are 80% full. Avoid that over-stuffed feeling and enjoy your food more
- Think of meat as a celebration food. Instead of making meat the focal point of your diet, try eating it only 2 or 3 times per week.
- Wine at 5 (or grape juice if you prefer) Have ONE glass of wine per day. That does not mean you can save them all up for the weekend.
- Join a faith based community or organization
- Families first- make your loved ones a priority
- Build the right tribe- surround yourself with friends and family who support each other in their aspirations and in their healthy journey.
That’s it, folks. Doing these things may not guarantee you’ll see your 100th birthday, but it just might help you live a happier, more fulfilling life!
You can read more about the Blue Zones here.
To quickly soften a stick of butter, fill a glass with boiling water. Empty the glass and set it, upside-down, over the stick of butter. It will be soft in 2-3 minutes!
Next week I start a new, but fairly short adventure as a Clinical Dietetic Intern at St. Anthony’s in Shawnee for 10 weeks and as a Dietetic Management Intern at Stillwater Medical Center for the next 8. I am planning to bring my lunch every day for the next 18 weeks and I’m starting with this chicken salad.
1 can chicken- please don’t knock the canned chicken. It’s a blessing!
1-2 tbsp mayo
1 tbsp mustard- whatever kind of mustard you have and like
1/8 C dried cherries
1/8 C chopped nuts (pecans, pistachios, walnuts, almonds… whatever)
1/8 C sliced green onions- you’ll thank me for this one!
I like to eat this with a fork and some crackers. I also usually throw some halved cherry tomatoes in my lunch box and a piece of cheese. This recipes will make about 3-4 servings.
I have been sharing my meal plans with my readers for 2.5 years now and I have recently gotten some questions about it. If you are wanting to start menu planning for 2018, here is how I do it:
- I have a formula. Whether you are planning for 1 week, 2 weeks or the month, it helps to have a formula. You can use mine or come up with your own. My formula is this: Sunday- big meal that will guarantee leftovers of the main dish, Monday- Salads in warm months and soups in cold months, Tuesday- Re-do the leftovers from Sunday into something new, Wednesday- slow cooker meal, Thursday- leftovers and dessert, Friday- breakfast for dinner, and Saturday- something fun like burgers or pizza.
- I plan my meals for a full month, but I grocery shop once a week. Again, you’ll want to make this work for you. I don’t have a very big refrigerator or pantry, so shopping for the full month would be a nightmare for me. I take my full month’s- menu and create a shopping list every Friday. Either I or my husband will do the shopping on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. In addition to my meals, I almost always buy milk, eggs, bread, lunch meat, juice boxes, fruit and something quick and easy for the week’s breakfasts.
- I try to stay flexible. Sometimes things come up and I can’t do the meal I had planned. No big deal. I have a week’s worth of meal components and I will occasionally switch things around for convenience. Not everything can be predicted.
I hope this is helpful to you and I encourage you to start your own meal planning strategy. It has really made dinner time a breeze for me.
Winter is officially upon us and it is COLD in Oklahoma today. Yesterday it was only 5 degrees, which is not often seen here. We haven’t had any winter storms so far, but in case we do it’s important to prepare ahead of time. These tips are from the CDC website:
Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.
- Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
- Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
- When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
- Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
- Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;
- extra batteries;
- first-aid kit and extra medicine;
- baby items; and
- cat litter or sand for icy walkways.
- Protect your family from carbon monoxide.
- Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house, basement and garage.
- Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house.
- Leave your home immediately if the CO detector sounds, and call 911.
I would add keep your car’s fuel tank filled. Gas and diesel pumps do not work without electricity, so in the event of a power outage you will not be able to get fuel.