The holidays are here, and if you are anything like me, that means you ate well in the last few weeks. Grandma’s baking, Christmas dinner, chocolates from your co-worker, dinner parties with friends, a few too many glasses of wine…the list goes on. And it’s not over yet. We still have a week of holiday time leading up to New Years!
And if I’ve seen you in the last few weeks, you’ve probably heard me say, “Tis the season to get rounder!” because I really do believe in gaining a few pounds at Christmas. Why deny yourself some of your favourites foods? Why be “that person” at the party saying, “Oh, no thank you,” when you actually want to eat that butter tart? Just eat the damn thing if you want it, and don’t feel an ounce of guilt. There are so many foods that are only made at Christmas, and that have a nostalgia factor, that you shouldn’t deny yourself of.
All of that being said, you probably wanna get back on the wagon soon. A few people have asked me what I’m going to do when work starts up again to get back in shape, and that is what I’m going to share with you in this post. (If you want to skip the explanations, and just see recipes I’m using or my daily health and wellness schedule, scroll down to the headings “What Do You Eat?” or “The Plan.”)
Additionally, I believe in setting yourself up for success. Don’t start a new health and wellness regime when you know you have a zillion events coming up and your will power is currently weak. Save yourself the stress and guilt and start up after the holidays. Enjoy the comfort food and don’t worry about it.
What I Do & Why
Typically, I follow the Tone It Up plan. They post a FREE weekly schedule on their website on Sunday nights, showing your workouts for each day of the week. The workout videos are free, and take about 30-45 mins. They do “Challenges” 4 times a year, where you sign up for free and commit to completing the workouts outlined for the specified amount of time, usually 6 or 8 weeks. They have a huge following on Instagram, and I find it a fantastic platform for encouragement and accountability. If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen my #TIU #TIUTeam posts. For me, posting to Instagram keeps me accountable and I enjoy making friends via TIU that way.
Because I loved their workouts so much, I became a paid member in February 2015 (one time payment of $150 USD), and have their Nutrition Plan, which outlines their philosophy for eating for weight loss and gives tons of recipes. Every time they do a “Challenge” they send out new recipes to paid members, and sometimes send a meal plan for the challenge. So, for example, for the “Challenge” that starts on January 3, 2016 I have a meal plan outlining what I should eat for the 8 week challenge. I am not going to follow it meal for meal, but it’s nice to have.
I love the TIU Instagram community, I love the workouts (almost all with just 5-10 pound weights, a kettle bell, or just body weight), I love the recipes, and I’ve seen results from it. So I keep doing it. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for me.
Disclaimer: This TIU (Tone It Up) Challenge starting January 3 seems to not have free workouts as the posted workouts. They’ve done “exclusive workouts” that you have to pay for. I am not going to pay for these workouts, but instead supplement them with free workouts on their website. If you want a breakdown of the free workouts I’m going to do every week during the challenge, message me and I’ll let you know.
I like and need schedules and routines. So here is my Monday to Friday schedule and routine for January:
I won’t end up doing this every single day because life happens. But as a general outline, this is what I’ll follow. For me, I have to wake up in the morning and work out right away, or it won’t be done. I also have really bad hip pain and poor hip movement, and need to stetch/do yoga/ foam roll regularly to help that.
What Do You Eat?
I eat 5 or 6 times a day: Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, tea and/or snack. I have a bad habit of eating after dinner and try to drink tea instead, but sometimes, especially when I’m working out every day, I’m starving and need to eat something. I try to stay between 1200-1500 calories a day, but am more concerned with making sure I’m eating whole, clean, nutrition-dense foods than I am about staying in my suggested calorie range. I don’t believe in sacrificing taste for being “healthy” so if you are eating bland food that you don’t like and saying, “Well, healthy foods don’t taste great,” you’re doing it wrong.
I also try to drink half of my weight in ounces in water every day. So if I weigh 135 lbs., I go 135 divided by 2 = 67.5, so I try to drink 67.5 ounces of water a day. In the morning I have water with lemon and mint.
I do follow the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, but I don’t always use their recipes, especially for dinner. Below are some of my favourite recipes, all found on Pinterest unless otherwise specified, and taste-tested and approved by myself and my boyfriend. They aren’t overly difficult, and don’t require weird, hard to find, expensive ingredients.
Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies – I have two of these with coffee
Baked Banana Oatmeal
Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies
Overnight Oats (1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, 1 tbsp. honey or agave nectar, 1/2 cup fruit [I usually use a frozen mixed berry from Costco], mix together and store in an air tight container overnight)
Chocolate Banana Smoothie (1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup ice, 1 banana, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, 1 scoop chocolate Vega protein powder; add 1 cup of cold coffee for a mocha smoothie!)
Tropical Smoothie (1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup ice, 1 cup frozen tropical fruit mix, 1 banana, 1 scoop vanilla Vega protein powder)
Vanilla Mint Green Smoothie
Slutty Pasta (pair this with a lean protein such as fish, chicken, or shrimp)
Balsamic Chicken Salad and Lemon Quinoa
Everything Quinoa Salad
Avocado and White Bean Salad
Protein, Veggie, Carb Plate (For lunch I will often take a piece of protein [salmon, tilapia, or Whole 30 Breakfast Sausage], half a sweet potato, and whatever green veggie I’m feeling like having)
Skinny Chicken and Avocado Caesar Salad
Cajun Chicken and Rice (I substitute quinoa for the rice)
Sesame Chicken (I often throw spinach in the pot right at the end and serve this with quinoa)
Skinny Italian Beef and Peppers
Spicy Chicken Chili
Southwestern Kale Power Salad
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
1/2 of an avocado, 1 tsp. chili powder, and 100 g of shrimp
Kind Bar & Coconut Water
Smoothie (1 cup almond milk, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 scoop vanilla Vega powder, 1/2 cup ice)
1 cup veggies and 1/4 cup hummus
1/4 cup almonds and 1/4 cup raisins
Green juice (1 apple, 1 lemon, a handful of spinach, a handful of kale, a handful of parsley, 1/2 cucumber, 1inch piece of ginger
Meal prep is EXTREMELY important to success. See my meal prep tips here.
There You Have It!
And that’s it! This is my plan starting January 3. Feel free to do this too, do parts of it, change it all, or hate it all.
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. I’m sending happiness and hugs to you all ❤