Staying fit definitely takes dedication. For me, it’s evolved to being just part of my daily lifestyle. I’ve noticed that if I don’t work-out, or do something active during the course of my day I feel annoyed, stressed, achy… in general just pretty crappy. I’ve found that by keeping my workouts consistent, even if it’s just a walk, my fibromyalgia flare-ups are less frequent, I have more energy and I feel ten times better than if I don’t get some activity in on a daily basis.
For me, it took some time to build up my workouts. Meaning, I was suffering so frequently from fibro pain that it was incredibly challenging for me to remain consistent – but I pushed through and slowly but surely I found that I was feeling better and better every day. My body has built up endurance and I’ve exceeded my own expectations as to what I can accomplish with my workouts.
I started out with walking, light body weight exercises and stretching. Now I’m working out five or six days a week. Some of my favorite workouts are Tracy Anderson Work-outs and I’ve worked my way up to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. The guide that I’ve been following is by Kayla Itsines. I do thirty minutes a day of Kayla’s HIIT workout or I’ll do a Tracy Anderson workout and walking.
Also, I try to walk to and from work when I can.. take the stairs when I can.. get up and move around my office every hour. Building up my workouts and doing these other little things throughout the day have done wonders for me. No joke! I’m just saying, don’t give up! Start… just start! One day at a time—get yourself moving!
As I mentioned before, every Sunday I try to prepare for the week by planning my meals, grocery shopping and prepping some of the meals. Since I’ve decided to follow the Paleo Diet I’ve committed to preparing most of my meals and snacks. There are always those exceptions, but typically I follow the same routine of eating what I cook and try to avoid going out to eat. Overall, I’m feeling much better… my energy is up and my aches and pains are much less.
That said, I want to share with you one of the recipes I prepared over the weekend. This meal is a new favorite – Slow-cooked Beef Brisket – AMAZING! I made this along with oven baked sweet potatoes (red potatoes for my husband) and Brussels sprouts sauteed with onion and garlic.
A quick update on my Paleo Challenge, which is essentially a lifestyle change for me. I decided to change my diet because I battle autoimmune issues and diet and exercise seem to be the best way to address the underlying issues that cause autoimmunity’s.
WHAT IS THE PALEO DIET?
The Paleo Diet is based on the notion that for optimal health, we should be eating REAL, whole unprocessed foods that are more healthful than harmful to our bodies. Essentially eating lean protein, lots of veggies, healthy fats and some fruits and nuts and avoiding foods that will harm us by causing systemic inflammation (an underlying cause to many autoimmune problems), destroying our gut and/or disrupting our natural metabolic processes. Part of the Paleo Diet is REMOVING foods like grains, legumes, sugar, MSG’s, etc.
So basically for the past month I have removed sugar, dairy, grains, legumes and MSG’s from my diet and have been cooking every meal and snack I eat. I have to admit, I have been feeling much better lately. I have more energy, my body aches (from Fibromyalgia) have subsided quite a bit, less headaches, less bloating, etc. On top of that I have doing a thirty minute HIIT workout five days a week and I’m having a day where I feel low energy and achy, I at least go for a walk and do some light stretching. I think diet and exercise go hand in hand and it’s been a huge part of my process of dealing with autoimmunity’s.
Meal planning and cooking all the time is definitely a process I’ve had to get used to. But I’ve just made it part of my routine and I’ve got it down pretty well now. I grocery shop, meal plan, prep foods and even make some meals over the weekend, usually Sunday. This makes it so much easier during the week since I work Monday through Friday. I’ve organized my cabinets and my refrigerator so that it’s much easier for me to see what I’ve got to work with. Once I got this process in place and just kept at it, it’s much less overwhelming and I try to have fun and learn new recipes and learn about new spices, etc. My husband has been eating everything I cook as well and gives me good feedback on what’s tasting great and what’s just okay… lol!
I’m so glad that I’m changing up my lifestyle as I can already feel a difference! I hope anyone reading this is inspired to do the same!
I try to use my Sundays for cooking meals for the week. I was able to knock out a couple of great Paleo meals that I’m going to share with you.
First I made Roasted Tomato Soup (Paleogrubs.com), which turned out fantastic! There wasn’t too much prep time as it only involves cutting up veggies, throwing them on a cookie sheet and placing them into the oven. In fact, this soup is very easy to make and super healthy! You can always add shredded chicken or crumbled sausage to it as well for a heartier soup.
While the soup was simmering on the stove I started on making a paleo meatloaf…This took a little more prep time, about fifteen minutes. I found this recipe at www.paleoplan.com. I reheated the meatloaf for dinner last night and cooked up some asparagus as a side dish. The meatloaf came out pretty darn good. It’s got a lot of flavor with a little kick to it. I actually made it with one pound of venison and a quarter pound of sausage…
Next up, a couple of days worth of lunches by simply sauteing up some chicken sausage, brussels sprouts, garlic and onion. First I blanched the Brussels sprouts for about four minutes and while I was doing that I was cooking the onion and sausage in a pan with some olive oil. I then added the Brussels sprouts and lastly the garlic… delicious and easy meal to get me through a couple of lunches this week.
I typically make these really great Sweet Potato and Apple Breakfast Patties – a recipe I found on www.paleomg.com. I can usually get five or six patties out of this so it lasts me all week! And I love them – I haven’t gotten sick of them yet!! I usually make mine with bison or venison mixed with sausage. They are great because they have apples and sweet potato mixed in, both very healthy. I think sweet potato is considered a super food as it has many health benefits.
So that’s it! Just a peak into one of my Sundays as to how I prep for healthy eating during the week. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it!