The Day I Found Balance
Oh my goodness, it happened. It’s Sunday night and as I sit on the couch reflecting on my weekend I’m realizing everything I accomplished stress free. I write this fully aware that the future will hold countless unbalanced days, and I know that some weeks I will once again unravel. But I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing it feels to review the last week (two weeks, even) and notice that what was once a frantic lifestyle is beginning to develop a routine. Praise Jesus, HALLELUJAH.
So how am I doing it? I’m finding efficiencies.
Not long ago I wrote about how guilty I felt going to the gym and missing out on precious time with my baby girl. That guilt never left, so I had to figure out a way to somehow incorporate time with Adelyn into my workouts. Or schedule my workouts around times I’m not with her anyway. This is a big topic for me because—as you can confirm with my husband—I’m just a bear when I don’t get workouts in. I’m moody, I’m short-fused and the way I feel about myself is transparent in my attitude.
My solution has become finding at-home workouts. Easy, right? Well…ish. I don’t like DVD workouts. I’ve tried quite a few and usually just get annoyed at all the stuff in my way at home, how stuffy I feel compared to the gym, and I just cringe when I see outside shoes on my indoor carpet. I know, OCD, but seriously Adelyn’s mouth touches that carpet (as much as I try to lay blankets down, let’s be honest, a mobile baby will never just sit on the blanket you want them on. In fact, they’ll probably move to anywhere BUT the blanket you set out for them).
Since DVD workouts are out of the question, I set out to find something I could do, enjoy and reap benefits from. Enter: CrossFit. I know I don’t reap the full benefits of crossfit that I would if were taking classes at a club, but after searching and searching for a reputable at-home crossfit workout, I stumbled on this awesome blog by this stunning girl named Sadie. She created a 6-week at home crossfit inspired workout that rocks my socks off. And not just because I don’t wear socks when I do it :).
Aside from this, I kick out ab workouts when Adelyn is busy playing on the floor. She thinks it’s funny and either crawls under me when I’m doing planks or tries to crawl on my stomach when I’m on my back. She giggles to no end and probably just gives me a better workout anyway.
Getting these workouts in isn’t always my favorite thing to do in that moment, especially when I’m doing them after she goes to bed. By that time I’m usually exhausted from a day that started at 5:30 and I just want to sit down for the first time. But I feel so.much.better and am so.much.happier overall.
And outdoor running season is just around the corner! I’m itching to get that jogging stroller out.
On to meal planning…
I love cooking, and I always took pride in having a healthy, tasty dinner ready for Husby when he came home at night. Meal planning has been so hard since having Adelyn. Until recently I was still running out on my lunch breaks to get ingredients for that night’s dinner, even though every weekend I swore I would grocery shop and make a list in advance.
What changed? Making dinners for the week and baby food on Sunday.
Most Sundays Husby is home (although this week he ended up with a band in the studio most of the day and well into the wee hours of Monday morning), so he gets playtime with Adelyn while I’m in and out of the kitchen. Let me tell you, I feel like a new woman having started this. Making the meals on Sunday forced me to grocery shop on Saturday. This also cuts down on my desire to snack or add unhealthy ingredients because all I have to do is preheat the oven or cook pasta noodles to complete the meal each night.
This week’s menu consists of:
1. Stuffed Green Peppers
3. Chicken & Dumpling Soup
4. Sun-dried Tomato Chicken & Broccoli Fettuccine
Day 5 (and 6) are for leftovers because otherwise way too much food goes to waste. The lasagna and soup are made completely on Sunday, just requiring rewarming or a quick “re-bake” in the oven. The “stuffing” inside the green peppers are completely cooked and the peppers are stuffed; they just need to be popped in the oven at 350 for about an hour. The pasta still takes a little more work, but the chicken is now cooked and cubed, the sauce is made and the broccoli is chopped, so I just have to boil the pasta, steam the broccoli and rewarm the rest in a skillet before tossing it all together.
Dinnertime just became easier and no longer cuts into those precious, scarce minutes I get with Adelyn each night.
I cook with next to no salt (except for in soup because I learned the hard way that no sodium soup tastes disgusting) because there are plenty of other seasonings that actually make food taste better. And I only use supreme lean ground beef. Over the years I’ve learned that it’s not hard to eat healthy and still have food taste great. By prepping meals in advance I’m not as inclined to add all those unhealthy additives that pack on the pounds.
In addition to our meals, I make Adelyn’s baby food on Sunday. I always make more than I need for the week because having an extra stock in the freezer is never a bad idea! Plus it’s so easy to make her meals when I’m making ours since there tend to be extras that would otherwise just go to waste (i.e., extra carrots used for the soup were steamed and pureed right away). Last week I added a few spinach leaves to a pasta dish Husby and I had, so I cooked the rest for Adelyn.
All in all, those two efficiencies have made a world of difference for my sanity. My husband made a comment this morning about how it’s obvious how much better I’m feeling, so I wanted to share my sanity-saving secrets with you. Granted weeks will come where we have something going on Sunday that won’t allow me to take care of all of this, but grilling season is almost here and that makes every dinner just a little bit easier anyway.