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After a long, cold winter in Boston, and a rather chilly spring, I can’t tell you what a joy it is that the warm weather is here. While winter here descends hard and slow and at times feels endless, summer seems to tip-toe in.
Every year when the warmth finally arrives, it takes me by surprise. It’s like I look up one day and realize the trees are suddenly full of luscious, green leaves and and a rainbow of tulips magically have sprang up from the earth. It takes me until about August to fully digest that instead of the winter wind whipping at my face the heat of the sun is descending upon me.
For so long, Eve and I are forced indoors for the majority of the day. Until recently, on the days Eve is at coop, we’d either eat lunch there or hightail it home so I could throw something together.
Now, we make our way to one of the many gorgeous local parks and playgrounds that are within walking distance for a picnic lunch and some mid-day play time for her — and usually some chat time for me with another mom — before we head home for nap time for Eve and work time for me.
It’s pretty much heaven.
Eve’s coop is located in one of our city’s squares, full of cute little shops and restaurants. It’s easy to fall into the habit of grabbing lunch at one of the many restaurants in the area. It’s fast and convenient and doesn’t require me planning ahead. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy on my wallet. (Plus I tend to overeat when I do takeout.)
I’m also very particular about what I buy for my family at home. About 90% of what we eat is organic, and though we do live in a rather “hippy” area, at restaurants you don’t always know what types of ingredients they use.
In general, I’m trying to be much more mindful about what I eat and be healthy. I’m working very hard to kick the sugar habit, going so far as to try a 5-day cleanse.
It lasted 3 1/2 days.
While I fell short of meeting my cleanse goal, so far I have succeeded in scaling back in how much sugar I’m eating and upping my fruit and veggie intake. I’m also in the midst of creating routines for me to help me to stay active and healthy and eat clean. Here are some of my top tips for how I focus on being healthy and eating clean.
1. Put out a glass of water the night before
I have gotten into the habit of filling our water pitcher the night before and filling up a glass of water to drink as soon as I wake up. I tend to not drink enough water throughout the day, so starting the day with a glass helps me start the day off right.
2. Wash your face and brush your teeth before 8:00 pm
Until recently, I would save these activities until right before I went to bed, when I was sleepy and much less motivated to follow through. I’m much more thorough if I do them when I’m still awake. Plus, brushing my teeth early prevents me from mindlessly snacking late since I have no desire to brush my teeth twice.
3. Meal plan at the beginning of the week
You’re more likely to eat well if you plan your meals instead of scrambling at the last minute to put something together. I generally make extra so that I have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day
4. Get outside and walk
I’m fortunate that living in a city I can walk most places. Even if you have to drive to get places, make a point to walk around. Park far away from your errands, take a break in the middle of the day and walk around the neighborhood, or drive to a park and soak in the weather. Even when it’s cold outside, you can still bundle up and get your body moving. Plus, walking can help boost your creativity!
5. Pack healthy snacks
Sliced veggies and hummus, cut up fruit, yogurt, and nuts and seeds make delicious, healthy, filling snacks. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom, but I almost always have snacks on me, especially since I tend to get hungry mid-morning and mid-afternoon (when I’m most likely to turn to something unhealthy).
6. Invest in a water bottle
Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it up at home, restaurants, water fountains, at your child’s school. Seeing mine constantly reminds me to stay hydrated. (And Eve likes to drink from it as well.)
7. Purchase healthy convenience foods
In those times when you don’t have any leftovers or time to put together a meal, get some foods that are both convenient AND healthy so that you don’t end up feasting on junk.
I have recently become a fan of the Ready Pac elevĀte salads. They are superfood salads available in eight tasty varieties. They feature clean ingredients such as ancient grains, greens, nuts, legumes, and seeds which are anti-oxidant rich and high in omegas.
Regardless of your dietary needs, you’ll find something for everyone, as five of them are USDA organic, seven are certified gluten-free, three are vegetarian, and one is vegan. The sustainable packages they come in are fully recyclable and are printed with soy-based inks. I found they’re perfect for a picnic lunch in the park with Eve — they even come with a fork!
I headed to Wegman’s to purchase my Ready Pac elevĀte salads, which were located in the produce aisle.
Not only was this a great excuse for me to finally check out one for the first time since I do the grocery shopping — even though they were near me growing up in New Jersey, I was indifferent to which grocery store my parents went to back then — but to try something that was both convenient AND healthy. I’m heading back there this afternoon to stock up on more!
How do you stay healthy and eat clean?
If you liked this post, you might also want to check out:
- Lunch-packing tips for back-to-school (and every day)
- Satisfy your craving with easy PB&J yogurt banana snacks
- How to easily save money online while buying your family the things they need
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