Along the way, I've been gathering some tips to share with others. I want everyone to be as successful as I have been and to feel as great as I do: ) I plan to elaborate on some of these some more in the future, but here are the basics!
- Plan, plan, plan! Do not go anywhere without a food plan, and make sure you always have some healthy food ready in the fridge to throw together in a pinch! You can eat at restaurants - just try to look at the menu before you get there if you can so that you don't feel overwhelmed or rushed to make a decision.
- Prep as much as you can over the weekend! I buy foods on Saturday and prep food on Sundays. I prep all of my lunches - even for days that I'll work from home - and I prep as many of our dinners as possible. I even put water in a couple of blender containers in the fridge so that they're ready for me to add ice and Shakeology!
- Be prepared to plan every meal the first week. After that, you'll quickly understand how to work in your containers across each day. I find that I usually eat about the same combo of containers throughout the day, and that allows me to be more flexible with what to eat. For example, my breakfast is almost always 1 red, 1 purple, and one yellow - yogurt/fruit/dry oats or 2 eggs/fruit/toast are interchangeable!
- Combine foods in one container! This should be simple, but it didn't occur to me at first that this was an acceptable practice: ) You don't have to fill the container with just one type of food - hooray! For example, one green can be half broccoli and half zucchini!
- Split containers into multiple servings! For example, two cuties and some grapes will fit in a purple container. If you love fruit, eat your cuties during one part of the day and the grapes during another. You're still only eating one purple container, but you feel like you're getting extra fruit: )
- Make a big fruit salad! Buy what you like and/or what is one sale, wash it, cut it, combine it - and eat it all week long! We usually eat the fruit salad at dinner time.
- If you're not going to go to the store multiple times during the week (I don't!), plan to eat the produce that spoils quickly (e.g., raspberries) earlier in the week and have some frozen fruits/veggies and/or longer-lasting fruits/veggies (e.g., apples, oranges) later in the week.
- Buy more fruit and vegetables than you think you'll need for the first week! I ran out after four days because I wasn't used to eating so much produce: )
- Try to tweak recipes and family favorites rather than thinking you have to eat only the individual foods from the booklet. For example, we love bagel pizzas. My husband and son eat a bagel with pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni along with some fruit salad. I eat a sandwich thin with tomato sauce + Italian seasonings and cheese, fruit, and a salad. We also used to eat a lot of taco meat/beans/cheese over chips. Instead of chips, I use spinach and add carrots for some crunch! The only other difference is that I measure my meat/beans/cheese using my containers!
- Exercise in the morning if you can! It is SO easy to let the day get away: ( I find that if I exercise in the morning I look forward to my workout because I know that I will feel great the rest of the day and that I will make healthier choices so that I don't "undo" what I accomplished. In contrast, if I postpone my workout until the afternoon/evening, I worry all day about fitting it in, and my mindset with food changes to "I'll work it off later!" which is a HUGE difference from my morning workout attitude about food!
- Prep the night before for a morning workout! Put your workout clothes/shoers together, put your DVD in the DVD player, put your water in fridge - even pull out your weights and mat if you have room! The workouts are about 30 minutes long, so if these steps are already done the time you need in the morning is only about 35 minutes! It is also easier to get up when you know everything is ready and waiting! I even sleep in some of my workout clothes sometimes: )
- Track the weights you use for your exercises and keep track of your reps so that you can compete against yourself in the following weeks!
- Take before/after pictures, weigh yourself, and take your measurements! I almost skipped the measurements part because I'd never done measurements before; however, I lost inches all over, and it was really motivating! I may share my pictures some day, but for now they're just for me to see: ) I find myself looking at them from time to time, and I'm proud of the visible progress I've made! Weight is NOT the only indicator of healthy change, so pictures and measurements provide more motivation and proof of progress.
- Make the time to exercise! Most people don't suddenly find themselves less busy, so that means that you have to make the time to exercise if you're not already doing so. For me, I quit styling my hair to make time for exercise in the mornings. That sounds kind of silly, but it is true! It takes a ridiculously long time for me to blow dry my hair and to curl/straighten it. Sometimes my wavy hair is a little wild when I look in the mirror, but I just remind myself how good I feel from my morning workout: )
Hope this helps - you CAN do it!