I used to be a personal trainer. I should adore gyms. Unfortunately, I have little love for them. It’s not that I don’t like group classes or enjoy all of the equipment that a gym provides that my house simple does not. A good TRX band workout starts my day off right. I just simply can’t engage in regular physical activity if there are any barriers between getting that activity done. I already have two small kids under 5, two dogs, two jobs (why must everything be in pairs?) and I am the primary parent in our household. Unless a gym were to move next door to me, then any gym is too far away. I don’t have the luxury of driving anywhere while having to allot time to: 1) park 2) Change into my gym clothes 3) Stuff my belongings into a grimy communal locker 4) Walk around the gym looking for all the equipment that I want to use while hoping some meat head hasn’t decided that he is owning that piece for the next 45 minutes
5) Do my workout. Then I need to make sure I have time to either: awkwardly take a shower in the public bathroom in my flip flops only to have to come out and share a bench with some stranger while I dress OR commute back to my house and get my car sweaty so that at least I can shower in peace.
Also, having to be anywhere on time is a major struggle with two small kids. I am a type A personality that was always the person arriving to an event with 5-10 minutes to spare. Now I am constantly arriving places late, with unbrushed hair that I have pulled into a sloppy top knot, with one child who has had two meltdowns in the last 10 minutes and one child that has already peed through two pants and undies even though she has only been awake for an hour. How the heck am I supposed to make it in time to do a popular yoga class at a gym? The whole workout would barely undo the stress of getting there.
Yet, I am still a huge fan of doing something physical every day. Monday through Friday I set my alarm to ring an hour before my kids wake up so I can do 30 minutes of some type of workout (it takes me about 25 minutes to get out of my sleep stupor in the mornings). Some days I can only squeeze in a good 15-20 minutes because one of my demanding children (or both) can sense that I am trying to get something productive done for myself and starts screaming that they need to get up. On the weekends, I try to get an hour of something done in one day and I make sure that I have a rest day. I am flexible with myself on the weekends, though, since I am pretty strict with myself during the week. It has taken me a long time to figure out a routine that works for me, but I have managed to find it with some patience and self-forgiveness. I am sure that all of us have our perfect routine out there somewhere. On your journey to find yours, ditch the gym (unless it is already working for you), and you will likely figure out your particular recipe of weekly physical activity.
Stay healthy my friends,
Does that surprise you? Did you think I was going to say “eat your vegetables” or “exercise daily” or even “get a good night’s rest”? Although I am a fan of these good health tips, the single most important thing that we are not doing for our health is cooking our own food. I get it. As Trevor Noah would say on The Daily Show, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”, but really it is something we should make time for. I am not going to say you need Top Chef level skills to keep it interesting. Some basic cooking skills that can be acquired through youtube or a google search of “how to make the perfect ‘fill in the blank’” would suffice. We are living in the golden age of free content. The world is or web wide oyster, why not take advantage of that?
I am sure you are thinking again, “ain’t nobody got time for that”, but really, it doesn’t have to take that much time. Just think of it as a rearrangement of your time. Instead of having to ask yourself 3 times a day “what I am going to have at my next meal?” you decide all these things ahead of time. You make a list and batch cook for the whole week, hell you can even do this for the whole month if you have a freezer deep enough. How much easier is it to defrost something that you made awhile back versus having to wait for food each time you want it or having to take extra market trips during the week?
It’s not all about time though, this is really about your health. When you cook you can control what goes into your food. If you are trying to watch your waist line, you can always use less high calorie ingredients. A restaurant doesn’t care about keeping you at a healthy weight. They care about you coming back and an easy way to do that is to hook you on copious amounts of sugar and fat that can be unnecessary to a dish. With a basic understanding of food chemistry, or internet availability, I promise you can make your favorite dishes in healthier, lower calorie versions, saving you not only cash but potential health problems in the future.
I don’t want you to think I hate restaurants though. I love me some date night where I can go to the nearest hot spot and order something I might be too intimidated to cook on my own. I live the San Francisco Bay Area for peet’s sake and I definitely take advantage of that. However, a Tuesday night is not a typical date night for us. A Wednesday lunch doesn’t have to come with a blooming onion. If every day you have your favorite “cheat” food that what makes that day special? Think about this and the next time you see a cooking segment on TV maybe you will pay more attention and your health care budget will thank you.
Stay healthy my friends,
So this is happening. I am joining the blogosphere, as they call it. I would like to take this time to introduce myself and explain why I think you should spend some time following my blog. I really do hope that you get something out of this.
My name is Diana and I grew up and currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I spent my 20's living in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara (go gauchos baby!). My parent's are both from Portugal. While living in LA, I was a personal trainer and also worked as a waitress/bartender in fine dining. I have always been interested in health and food, so going back to school for a Master's in Nutrition to become a registered dietitian nutritionist was a no brainer. I now am married with two kids and I work part-time at a local hospital. At this hospital I noticed that no matter what nutrition related ailment a patient might have, their weight was a contributing factor to their overall health. This realization has driven me to create a private practice of my own with the primary focus of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
So why do a blog you ask? Well, having spent as long as I have in school, going through an internship and then studying for months to be allowed by the state of California to practice medical nutrition therapy, I get annoyed when people put out false information about nutrition. It's a young science, I get it. Because of this things are constantly changing and advice becomes confusing. That is why I am here. I hope to help you make sense out of all the chatter.
Stay healthy my friends,