Thursday, April 26, 2012

Up and At 'Em

Hey everyone!  How's your day going?  I keep thinking today is Wednesday... not good!  I lose track of my days when I don't have classes or a set schedule.

I had an all-day study session planned with a couple of my friends, so I wanted to squeeze in a quick workout before I went to school.  I did the following 20-minute routine, which really got my heart rate up and left me sweaty:

I loved that it was short but intense, it didn't require any equipment, and I didn't need much space at all.  Plus I could do it barefoot!  I don't know why, but I just love that.  (Sidenote - to me, one of the signs of a great vacation is rarely having to wear shoes!)

I followed my workout with a protein smoothie for breakfast.

It had 1 cup almond milk (I replenished my supply yesterday, yay!), 1 T ground flax seed, 1 T natural peanut butter, 1 scoop vanilla Sun Warrior protein powder, lots of spinach, 1/2 frozen banana, 4 frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, and 2 ice cubes.

It tasted great and filled me up until lunch!  (I also had a small handful of mixed raw nuts before working out.)

Today I wanted to talk a little about eating healthy while juggling a busy schedule.  There are many reasons why it's tempting for me to let my eating habits slip when I'm stressed and busy - lack of time to go grocery shopping and prepare meals, stress, anxiety, etc.  I find that keeping quick and healthy food around (and not keeping junk food around) helps, as well as planning ahead.  Even though planning does take some extra time, it's really worth it to me.

When I get hungry and need a snack, it's so tempting to grab a box or bag of something and munch - but that inevitably leads to mindless eating and overeating for me.  So I try to portion out some healthy foods that don't take much time to prepare, and really enjoy them.

For example, I recently had an iced tea, grape tomatoes with hummus, an apple with almond butter, and a bowl of plain yogurt with a spoonful of cherry jam, walnuts, and old-fashioned oats mixed in.  (This was kind of a late lunch/ tide-me-over-until-dinner snack.)

Another healthy snack that I've been loving is air-popped popcorn.

My grandma got me this popcorn popper for Christmas, and I love that you don't need to use any oil to pop the kernels.  I've also heard that you can pop dry kernels in a paper bag in the microwave, but I've never tried this because I'm afraid of the bag catching on fire...  Yikes.

Action shot!  I have to face the machine towards the wall because kernels tend to fly everywhere!

You can see one of the rogue kernels in this picture.
The best part is that you can choose whatever toppings you want.  This time I chose to spray the popcorn with olive oil and sprinkle on some nutritional yeast.  Sometimes I also like to sprinkle on some cinnamon and add chocolate chips, or you could also add in some nuts, or if you like spicy things some cayenne pepper would be good.

You can make a ton for very few calories- there are 31 calories in 1 cup of air-popped popcorn!  (Just watch your toppings.)  And popcorn is a whole grain, too.

I've mentioned before that I've been trying to drink more water lately, but plain water can get boring.  I like adding lemon, drinking iced tea, or adding one of these Zoe Life powdered drink mixes to my water bottle.  It's made from 20 fruits and vegetables, is sweetened with stevia, and doesn't have any artificial chemicals.  I don't think I really need this, but my mom has a ton and it tastes good, and it helps me to get in some extra water.

Well after a day spent in the library, I'm ready for dinner and maybe a TV show.  See ya later!

Interesting Articles:

Popcorn Contains High Levels of Antioxidants (See, it's really a healthy snack food!)
5 Tips to Stop Stress Eating
Sugar in Food:  8 Eats with More than a Twinkie (Yikes!)

Song of the day:

"Slow Life" by Grizzly Bear.  This is a soft and slow-paced song which is on one of my studying playlists.

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