Carpe Run

Seizing the day (and the run) one day and mile at a time!

Family Fun Workout & Healthy Recipe Sources

on November 19, 2012

Since this is Thanksgiving week, I’ll start off my saying something I’ve always been very thankful for is how tight knit and fun my family is!  I’m blessed with a wonderful support system and the majority of my immediate family lives within 3-5 miles from our house!  My parents have both taken some steps to lose weight and become so much healthier in the past few years, as well as my aunt who lives with my parents.  In addition to that, my sister, who just gave birth to my first NEPHEW (who is the cutest little thing ever by the way) is also trying to drop pregnancy weight.  This year we all got new bicycles and I’ve had a great time going on family bike rides in different places and at different trails as a family.  We all load up our bikes and helmets on bike racks and head out for a ride and it is a fabulous way to get in shape!  We are also making an effort to weigh in together each weekend to keep each other accountable and set goals.  Something I am trying to continue even in the colder months are these  family workouts, and this past weekend my Mom, Dad, Sister (+baby in stroller) and I completed a local 5k together!  We participated in the Riverfront Swim Club Turkey Trot 5k and walk in Suffolk, which benefited the Suffolk Human Society.  It was a very small race but I think that is really fun sometimes.  I actually set a new PR (29:50) but it was not an officially timed race so I’m going to wait to update the list when I have an official time from a 5k.  I’m so proud of my family for making the effort to do these with me and I hope I can continue to inspire them and be inspired by them!  I am super proud of my Dad as well for going out and getting fitted for his first pair of running shoes last week.  He hopes to start dabbling in some running/jogging and I think that is wonderful!

On another note, dinner last night was actually leftovers from a meal I made Friday night for Ben and I:

Mushroom and Kale Lasagna Rolls

This recipe for Mushroom Kale Lasagna Rolls came from SkinnyTaste, where many of my recipes come from.  I varied a little from the recipe by using whole wheat lasagna noodles instead of regular but it was delicious and easy enough that I could make ahead and have ready to pop in the oven Friday evening after work.  SkinnyTaste is probably one of my favorite places to get recipes.  She has tons of variety in her recipes and takes favorites from all cuisines and makes them a little healthier.  She also includes nutritional information for each recipe which is nice for those like me who track all of that information daily.  I also regularly get healthy recipes from my Cooking Light cookbooks and from their site, Eat Yourself Skinny, Green Lite Bites and Peanut Butter Fingers among others.  I find many of these recipes on Pinterest and pin them as I find them for future reference as well.  I love cooking at home as it gives me control over what we eat and it saves us lots of money as well!  It’s not a secret that I’ve always been an avid baker, but could basically only boil water when we got married.  I’ve now found that I LOVE cooking just as much as baking and enjoy all the benefits of eating in as well.

Meal planning and shopping doesn’t really take much time or effort.  My weekly process for planning/shopping/cooking goes like this:

1. Wednesday or Thursday: Write down each of the 7 upcoming days of the week and cross reference with my calendar to figure out if we will both be home, what time we will be home and how much time we will have for cooking and clean up.  For nights we don’t have a lot going on I know I can plan to make more extensive recipes or things that are more time consuming.

2. I’ll usually ask Ben or think of a few things we haven’t had in a while that sound good.  I’ll try and work those in but my next step is to look at the weekly specials at the grocery store (we shop at Harris Teeter and their specials come out on Wednesday) and see what meats and produce are on sale.  I’ll plan meals off of this combo and make a shopping list of everything we will need for the week, including breakfast and lunches too.

3.  Sunday is usually my shopping day.  Sometimes I have to go to the store twice a week to get fresh produce for meals late in the week but I try and avoid that if possible.  I gather up my reusable shopping bags and my list (which I’ve organized by store department) and hit the grocery store!  I have to include the fact that if Ben comes along, he gets to pick out a pack of the beer of his choosing 🙂  I don’t generally use coupons for a couple of different reasons.  First and most importantly, most of the items we buy don’t usually have coupons.  We buy a lot of fresh produce, meat and dairy.  I can sometimes find coupons for soups I buy for myself or for certain yogurts but other than that it just isn’t worth it for what we buy.  If I need any staples such as grains or canned beans or anything like that, I simply buy store brand and find that it is cheaper than the name brand and a coupon anyway.  I try to stay away from snack foods unless we need them for something specific and we tend to snack on pieces of fruit or veggies like bananas, apples, baby carrots and also yogurts or cheese sticks.

4.  When I bring the groceries home, I try to prep everything for the week that I can ahead of time.  I freeze any bread that I need to stay fresh for several days, I chop and bag veggies or pre-make salads, and I roast any vegetables I can ahead of time.  If we are having something for dinner Monday or Tuesday I can make ahead to bake, I will do that as well.  For example, I roasted 2 large sweet potatoes yesterday for us to eat with lunches/dinners over the course of the week as well as a large spaghetti squash I will eat on for the next few days and we will use for dinner I’m making Tuesday night.  This makes packing my lunches for work and cooking weeknight dinners easy and less time consuming!

Again, this may sound like a lot of work but it really doesn’t take much time and makes all the difference in the world!  I noticed that we both feel much better and it is so much easier to stay healthy and lose weight when we eat at home and cook the meals ourselves!

Workout: 45 minutes on the Elliptical at home, Plank Challenge time trial

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2 responses to “Family Fun Workout & Healthy Recipe Sources

  1. I love SkinnyTaste as well, but you’ve given me a couple others to try! Thanks for being a healthy inspiration at the holidays. Some friends and I are doing this after Thanksgiving. Just thought I would share! We’ll see if I can do it! http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dr-ozs-3-day-detox-cleanse-one-sheet

    • Laura says:

      Thanks for reading Jenn! I actually LOVE Dr. Oz and that cleanse looks awesome! I love green tea and have a cup or two every day and it also includes one of my favorite things ever…baths! LOL I’m such a kid but I’d rather take a good bath than a shower any day but I never have time.

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