Sleep and rest. Two things that are often hard to achieve for athletes, as well as for those who are seeking a more active lifestyle. I believe both are vital to ensuring optimal health and consistency in working toward your goals.
As for sleep, athletes often have no trouble falling asleep due to feeling exhausted after squeezing it all in but then again, many athletes struggle with sleep for a host of reasons. Depending on when you eat dinner and your evening routine, my suggestion is to pass on that evening snack around 8 or 9pm, as you wait to watch a show on TV or as you are catching up on emails or searching around on the net. Immediately after dinner, pack your lunch for tomorrow, lay out your morning workout clothes (or work clothes) and try getting to bed 30-60 minutes earlier than normal. It will do wonders for your mind, health and exercise routine.
Consider this suggestion not as "I'm not allowed to eat after 8pm" but rather that you are prioritizing sleep over that snack that is keeping you up a bit longer than necessary. We all have the same number of hours in the day, it's up to you as to how you use them and prioritize your daily activities. If you are eating a snack in the late hours because you are starving, reflect on the evening meal as well as to how you ate during the rest of the day. Don't forget...avoid going into meals starving, when needed, plan for a pre-meal snack around 30-90 minutes before the meal is served.
Next time you are considering a day off from structured training, first remind yourself that the body does not enjoy to be sedentary. Knowing that a day off from weight-bearing activity is a beautiful thing for the body on a weekly basis, it is also nice to just go for a walk or take a yoga class. Not every day needs to include a sweaty workout with intense intervals. Perhaps, next time you are anticipating a day off from training, remind yourself that the day after your "day off" will likely bring a well-rested body and the ability to push hard for 5 or 6 consecutive days of training.
After sleeping in on Monday and working all day in the hospital, I finished my day with a little time in my kitchen....one of my favorite places and things to do.
Sleep was great on Sunday and Monday evening and this morning, I welcomed a tough workout with what felt like a brand new body. Even though last week was a recovery week, I kept feeling as if my body was not able to produce its normal "power". Although my workouts just didn't require a lot of speed, I felt like I didn't have "it" even if I was not asked to give "it". That's one of the many beauties of training. If planned appropriately, with balance in mind, the body will respond when called to action. This morning happpened to be one of those amazing quality workouts.
But, perhaps it was the meal that sat so nicely in my tummy and gave me the right amount of satisfaction to go to bed early and wake up with a body full of energy? I suppose that's part of life..there are so many components that make for quality living. When balance is the key, everything seems to fall into place.
I am so excited about my latest recipe that I had intended to be Karel's breakfast for this morning. However, as I was making it, I couldn' resist having it for dinner so I decided to call it a "breakfast" casserole for those who are seeking something different and really satisfying to fill your tummy in the morning (or evening) hours.
Broccoli breakfast casserole
2 cups broccoli (steamed in microwave) OR enough broccoli to cover the bottom of your glass casserole dish
2 cups leftover bean and veggie soup (
Plbeany crockpot soup) or 1 can vegetable soup or 2 cups mixed veggies (cooked)
4 eggs (2 whole, 2 whites)
1 heaping tbsp plain 0% greek yogurt (or plain non fat yogurt) + 1 tbsp water
Palm-sized baguette (place in bag and crush with bottom of a bowl or cup until you get bread crumps. A few thick pieces can remain) OR 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Pepper, chili powder, dash of sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In casserole dish, layer broccoli and steam in thin layer of water, until soft. Keep any remaining juice.
3. Layer soup or veggies (without liquid) on broccoli.
4. Sprinkle bread crumbs and seasonings (to your taste).
5. Combine eggs and yogurt and water and scramble until slightly thick.
6. Pour eggs over veggie mixture and stir with wooden spoon to combine all ingredients.
7. Cook in oven for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are firm.
Side dish #1:
1. In pot, cook according to package. Allow 1 1/4 hours to cook (prepare ahead of time when making the casserole or the day before).
Side dish #2:
1 bag raw peanuts
1. In oven set at 350-degrees, place peanuts on baking dish until spread evenly.
2. Cook for 20-25 minutes, give a light toss (out of the oven) around 15 minutes.
Finished product.....similar foods, different quantities. Never forget that you are always eating for YOU and what works best for you. You know your body the best. Eating shouldn't be a stressful time. Keep in mind that there are many ways to eat a healthful diet, built on plant-strong foods.
Barely on bottom, casserole and peanuts on top