On Sundays We Meal Prep

And once again it’s Sunday. Tomorrow starts my first full week back to work, and I need my life organized ASAP. Another goal that I have for 2020 is to increase organization and efficiency. Do you know how many mornings I have made a cup of coffee and completely forget to drink it? More than should ever be possible. I feel crazy. Am I losing my mind?

I remember a time when I only had to plan for me. Wow, I didn’t realize how simple that was until now. I only had to worry about my own schedule, feeding only myself, and deciding what I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it. The best part, I could nap whenever I wanted! I feel like I did not take full advantage of those opportunities. Silly me.

Then I got married, I had to plan for the hubby and myself. Ok, yes it was little bit more challenging but I made it work. I was working to get us in sync, decrease chaos, and organize our home. Then I get pregnant. Everything went out the window. I feel like I am starting from scratch and really need a road map to stability.

I question, how do we take care of a newborn, take care of ourselves, take care of our marriage, go to work, increase self care, date each other, organize our home, and keep a level of sanity in the process? Good question, I have no idea. In true Jennifer form, as with everything else in my life, dive in head first and just make sure you learn how to swim. I am treading water at the moment.

Prior to my year long pregnancy we were on a healthy living kick. Clean living, and training hard so we both could live healthy lives. I was weight lifting and training for races, the hubs was kayaking and doing century rides on his bike.

100 mile bike ride, go baby go!
Train hard, Love harder

We were going pretty strong. However, pregnancy hit and through us both threw a loop. My pregnancy cravings were grilled cheese, and pizza, or basically anything with cheese and bread. Lots of bread, and lots of cheese. Oh, and don’t forget the strawberry milkshakes. I have a slight lactose intolerance, so PP (pre pregnancy) I was never a big dairy fan, and would only indulge when I felt like giving myself a stomach ache. Yet, baby loved dairy. I could have all the dairy I wanted and it was no problem. So bring on all the strawberry milkshakes and all the cheese! I remember one time googling where I can find the best strawberry milkshake in Maryland. Then I drove around looking for it. Yeah, I was pregnant.

Now that baby is here, the holiday baking season is over, and I am back I work, I can once again find a sense of balance. So we are starting with clean eating again. If you remember a few years ago we did a plant based diet. When I pregnant we went back to eating meat because I just could never seem to get enough food, and my iron levels were off. So for now we will continue to eat meat, but probably not too much of it.

Today is meal prep Sunday. If I can pull this off, my week will be awesome. The plan is to prep breakfast, lunch, and dinner for us. If we can have food ready, then we can really get on a schedule and not be two hangry people!

I have started ordering my groceries and having them delivered, full disclosure…I was doing this way before the thought of a baby because I hate going to the grocery store. Groceries were delivered this morning, and now I get to cook for the week. I made a menu before hand so I know what groceries to buy, and limit waste. I am tired of throwing away food. As an effort to save money and time in 2020 I will attempt to stay dedicated to meal prepping.

If all goes well with having my weekly meals prepared, maybe I will actually remember to drink my coffee in the morning.

Time to start training for our next race!

What’s on deck this week:

Egg muffin cups and Greek yogurt for breakfast

Turkey and quinoa stuffed peppers, and chicken fried cauliflower rice with a sweet potato side for lunch.

Salmon and sauteed veggies for dinner.

Wish me the best of luck!

I have a confession: I am a black woman, and I work out

 

I’m a black woman and I work out.

Actually I work out a lot, and I am damn proud of it. So yes, black women do work out. I almost killed myself in the midst of my kick ass cross fit workout  this morning, so again, yes black women do work out.

Recently, there was a large stir surrounding a NY Times opinion piece insinuating that black women want to be fat. Black Women and Fat, was written by Alice Randall, a writer who has embraced her own weight loss journey. Randall states “many black women are fat because we want to be.” With that point I would have to disagree. I know many black women who are overweight, but  they do not WANT to be that way. Not to make excuses, but to lose weight and keep the weight off requires a true lifestyle change, many black women are not yet ready for that lifestyle change.

As the article proceeds, I can completely understand what Randall is saying. Though the title may have turned off a few readers, she actually makes good points. As a black woman I embrace my curves and thick figure, black men love that. Black men love that my hips are thick and that my butt is big. It is what makes me sexually attractive as a black woman. I accept that. I have never had a man tell me that I need to lose weight, or I should eat less. In fact since I work out 5 days a week, and 6 days on a really good week,  I am often asked why I work out so much, or I get the “you’re trying to lose weight?”, in a sideways crazy sounding voice.

Obesity truly has been a generational problem in many African-American families. The problem stems from years of unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. My grandmother used to make fried pork chops, butter grits with cheese, and biscuits  when we would visit her at her home in Georgia. When we would go to the south I would drink the sweetest iced tea, and lemonade I have ever tasted in my life. Full of flavor and loaded with sugar, it was delicious.  Subsequently my mom would cook the same way. Food wasn’t good if it wasn’t friend, or soaked in butter. I remember my mother used to put a slab of pork fat into collard greens to add flavor, and yummy it was.

But it also kills you.

My grandmother died from heart disease, both my parents have type  2 diabetes, my father has high blood pressure. I don’t want to die before I have ever had the chance to live.

So yes, I work out a lot.

Eventually my mother did start to change the way that she cooks, no more fried everything (awww I miss those days). No more full sticks of butter used on food, for now on it is baked or steamed, which I have grown to enjoy. With healthy eating, I also feel a hundred times more healthy.

Not only do I work out, I eat healthy. The combination increases overall health and happiness.

No matter how much I work out, I will never be a size 2 or model thin. Actually I don’t ever want to be. Curves are what make me a woman. I have had a personal struggle with weight all my life. Yeah I was the “fat kid” in school. It sucked. When I was in college I lost a lot of weight, nearly 40 pounds, everyone thought I was sick, how ironic. Well I actually did start to look sick, so I gained some weight back. Since then I have felt great.

I truly enjoy working out. It is a lifestyle requirement for me. To kick start my day, I start with a work out. It gets me going. To fight my periods of depression, I turn to working out. I am a true believer that a great consistent workout it better than any anti-depressant.  I get bored easily, so my workouts always change. I recently added cross fit to my regiment. While doing cross fit, I have periods of feeling like I either want to die or vomit. I am still alive, and no, no vomit yet. I get out of breath, winded, my muscles are screaming, but it is great! In a few short weeks I have started to feel stronger, I am eager to go back, ready to do it again. Despite the unbearable soreness, and my screaming quads I always go back for more.

My goal: to go longer, stronger, harder, faster.  I also do spin classes, yoga, running, and when I need a quick filler workout I’ll even hit the gym and run on a treadmill. However when you live in Hawaii, running on a treadmill at the gym can get very old, very quick.

The key to sticking with a workout out routine is to do whatever works for you. Find something you like and grab on tight. It may not be the same as what everyone else likes, or what everyone else is doing. Once you find it, continue with it. Watch yourself improve, the improvement will keep you going.

I suck at cross fit. I have absolutely no upper body strength and can not do 1 pull up. My personal goal is just to do one pull up. Just because it is hard at first doesn’t mean that I won’t get better at it. Each day I return, is one more day of improvement.

Have a vision of what you want to accomplish. Maybe you want to get stronger, maybe you just want to fit into old clothes that you have in your closet. See your vision in real life. Become that vision. Make it a realistic vision. If you dream of looking like a model…well that may not happen. Work with your mind and body on what you want to become. If you see that mental picture, believe it, stick to it, your body will follow.

At 30 I am now in the best physical shape of my life. Who would have thought. I never thought that I would be signing up to run races, and continuously look forward to running the next race. By the way, I still hate running, but I love competing against my own personal best time. Each time I race, I want to beat my time from the previous race. That keeps me motivated. I am excited I have realized what I could really do. I am doing activities that would have been an easy, “no, never, get the hell out of here” a few years ago. So far this year I have ran an 8 mile race, and two 6 mile races, with more to come. Slowly working my way to that half marathon.

I love being able to walk, to move my limbs, to run fast, to hike, to struggle while trying to do pull ups. I am working now to prevent years of having to be on medication for diabetes, or heart disease. I am working now to do my part in staying alive.

So yes, I am a black woman and I work out! And I love it. 🙂

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences