The warm afternoons are disappearing, and I lament the end of summer ice cream and a beer on the patio. Aw, just one more before it's winter. There is a chill in the air, and I dash into the coffee shop and warm up with a grande latte...oh, and bran muffin...I only meant to eat half. I am off to the lunch room, and my salad looks cold and unsatisfying. With nose to the grindstone this fall, I feel I deserve a hot bowl of chilli and a warm scone with butter. I would drink that water, but it'll make me cold. Ah, another coffee won't hurt...it might even wake me up! I undo my belt buckle one notch. Strange. I'm still exercising and eating well....well mostly. Ok, so the pool is closed, and spin classes start next week, and our weekends have a little busy with visitors. I am witnessing the Perfect Storm for fall weight gain. Time to turn it around, and make fall work for me. Here are a few tips!
The Breakfast Ritual
Get your day started with veggies and protein. It takes exactly 10 minutes to whip up this stir fry for brekkie. Throw on eggs for more protein if you like that. If you make a double batch, lunch is already made! For fast food style curry, simply put a can of coconut milk in a jug, add 2 tablespoons of Thai Red Curry paste and a splash of fish sauce and soy sauce. When you have served out your breakfast veggies, pour this on the top and let it heat through, and lunch is all made!
The Sunday Ritual
The breakfast ritual is a whole lot easier if you prepare the veggies and protein in advance. That's right...shop for those veggies, then chop them all up before the week gets started. That way they are all ready for the stir fry, or to pop in your lunch with hummus. If they are not used up late in the week, throw them in a soup, or curry. Pre-cook protein such as bison sausage or chicken, so that you can toss it in your morning stir fry, or afternoon wrap.
It's the little things that matter
It's portions that pack it on, not a single food. Here are a few ideas:
- Make coffee instead of ordering a latte
- If you HAVE to have that latte, order the small size, slow down, and enjoy every sip
- Make a batch of muffins at home using the cupcake size tin, and freeze them. Take one each day to work to avoid the muffin binge. You can be a hero and make gluten-free, veggie based, nut encrusted delights...or just make smaller muffins.
- Expand that Sunday Ritual, or Friday night if you are as exciting as me, and make two dishes for the week, such as soup and chilli. If you are no longer enjoying salad in the fall, make a veggie-based hot dish that you can take to work to avoid the diner-dash.
- Ever notice that the tupperware or glass dish you take to work with lunch is HUGE? The other day I measured how much food I was putting in that dish...that's right...TWO whole portions. Heat your lunch in the bowl that you will eat out of to have a sense of healthy portions.
- If drinking water is as appealing as a cold shower, plan to have herbal tea...and plenty of it. Some people just drink hot water...I haven't caught on to that yet.
- Enjoy the change of season, and spend time enjoying the memories of a brilliant summer of training, racing, adventuring....WHILE you are walking through fall leaves, mountain biking trails, learning new skills in the pool...with your HR monitor and Strava turned off.