Dealing with Stress, Weekly Workouts, & Meal Prep

Stress happens.  Life sometimes feels like we are remedying situations and solving problems continuously as we move through a day to day routine.  When we decide to make positive healthy changes to alleviate tension in our lives, the day to day strains don’t just disappear.  Rather, life carries on.  Furthermore, our intention to make those healthy shifts can be uncomfortable at first, adding to our already existing stress.

Little to big events in life can be the reason we return to old habits, resort to quick fixes (alcohol, sugar, sedentary behavior) to numb emotional distress, or throw in the towel on our goals altogether.  It’s at times when we experience challenges and hardships however, where we would do better to stick to our wellness objectives because by doing so, overcoming these difficulties is easier.  They are more manageable because our bodies and minds are stronger when they’re well cared for.

Currently, I’m in the middle of my perioperative preceporship.  My shifts are mentally, physically and emotionally demanding being that the experiences are new and the learning is intense.  I’m one month away from the master’s provincial swim meet.  I’ve been training hard for months and now more than ever I’m being coached and encouraged to stay focused, evade complacency and  train harder.  And my day to day hustle as a mom lately leaves me with the occasional discomfort known as, “mom guilt”.  As I lie in bed at the end of a long day, exhausted and heavy with worry, I wonder if I’ve spent enough time with my kids, if I hugged and kissed them enough that day.  I think about where I can fit in more quality time with each of them so they know that despite the busy, I’m here for them.

All of these things weigh on me, worry me, stress me.

What do I do when this uneasiness starts to get to me?

EXERCISE & SLEEP. 

Move your body.  If ever I was to give someone advice on what to do when life gets heavy and anxiety or sadness settle in, it’s to get moving.  Go outside for a walk, get to the gym, go to a yoga class, whatever you like to do, but GET MOVING.  It might be the least appealing activity when feeling down and out but it will be the very best thing you do for your body and your mind.  The scientific evidence for the benefits of exercise, especially for mood are undeniable.

When I’m stressed, I make exercise an absolute priority.  Even if it means I do a workout in my living room after I’ve put the kids to bed.  I know that the stress relief and mental clarity I will gain from a workout will not only make me feel better, it will help me think better and sleep better.

Get enough sleep.  This one is huge for me.  I work full-time and most of my evenings have commitments whether these be workout, writing, social, or family commitments.  When I’m tired, my energy lulls.  My ability to think rationally and work through day to day problems becomes a struggle.  Sleep is key to success in all areas of my life.  Fatigue increases the likelihood for injury during a workout.  Likewise, being tired may mean choosing to ditch the workout completely.  We also generally reach for sugar, caffeine and alcohol when we are overtired.  Lack of energy can lead to lack of willpower.

Keep it clean.  Additionally, I aim to be mindful of what I’m consuming.  I eat as clean as I can and drink a lot of water.  Healthy food and hydration influence my sense of vitality, well-being and mental clarity.  Excess sugar, caffeine and alcohol causes brain fog that can induce anxiety, depression, low energy and poor sleep.  Reach for healthy snacks and clean meals especially if you find yourself reaching for a sugary snack or an alcoholic beverage to take the edge off after a long day.

Life happens and we all have moments where we take a detour away from our goals.  It’s okay.  The beauty is that we can start again.  Our next choice can be in support of our health.  You’re stronger than you think and more capable than you know.  Remember, you are stronger than the major and minor stresses in your life and you are more than capable to successfully acquire health and wellness for your body and mind.

WEEKLY WORKOUTS

MONDAY – GYM

TUESDAY – REST DAY

WEDNESDAY – SWIM

Master’s Practice

  • Standard Warm Up (100 Back, 100 Free, 100 One-Arm Fly, 100 Breast Pull, 200 Reverse IM)
  • 6 X 400 Free
  • 6 X [200 Kick, 50 Swim]

THURSDAY – GYM

  • Run 3 miles
  • 3 X [30 Ab Mat Situps/20 (per side) DB Side Raises]
  • SET #1:
    • Heavy Barbell Squat
  • SET #2
    • Leg Extensions
    • Lying Hamstring Curls
  • 40 Jumping Lunges
  • SET#3
    • 24 Double Pump Lunges w/ EZ Bar
    • Calf Raises (20 Neutral, 20 Toes Turned In, 20 Toes Turned Out)
  • SET #4:
    • 30 Decline Sit-ups
    • 3 X 12 Back Extensions w/ 45 lb. Plate

FRIDAY– GYM

  • WARMUP
    • Run 1 mile
    • 30 Jump Squats
    • 20 KB Swings (30 lb. KB)
    • 30 Bench In/Outs
      • REPEAT X 3 (Run each mile faster than the last)
  • SUPERSET #1:
    • 3 X 12 Bicep Curls
    • 30 Oblique Bench In/Outs
    • 3 X 12 Bicep Curls (Wide grip)
  • SUPERSET #2:
    • 3 x 12 Tricep Kickbacks
    • 3 X 12 Cable Curls (50 lbs.)
  • SUPERSET #3
    • 3 X 12 Bench Dips w/ 45 lb. plate
    • 3 X 12 Hammer Curls
  • 3 X 12 Body Weight Tricep Dips

SATURDAY – SWIM

  • Standard Warmup (100 Back, 100 Free, 100 1-Arm Fly, 100 Breast Pull Only, 200 Reverse IM)
  • 400 1-Arm Fly
  • 1500 Free
  • 6 X [200 Kick, 50 Swim]

SUNDAY – REST DAY

 MEAL PREP

Proteins

  • Ham, Cheese & Vegetable Souflee
    • 1 package of Butternut Squash Noodles
    • 2 cups Broccoli, chopped
    • 1 cup Ham, diced
    • 6 Eggs
    • 1 quart of Egg Whites
    • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
    • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
    • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
      • In bottom of a greased casserole dish, layer butternut squash noodles, chopped broccoli, and ham.
      • Whisk eggs, egg whites, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
      • Pour over top of vegetables and ham.
      • Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
      • Bake @ 375 for approx an hour until cooked through.
  • Seasoned Wild Salmon
    • 1-2 Salmon Fillets
    • Epicure Selection’s Salmon & Fish Rub
      • Season salmon.
      • Bake @ 375 for approx 20 minutes.

Carbs

  • Quinoa
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes

Vegetables

  • Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
    • Carrots
    • Broccoli
    • Asparagus
    • Peppers
    • Mushrooms
    • Olive Oil
    • Epicure Selections Balsamic Vinaigrette Seasoning
      • In baking dish, toss carrots in olive oil and sprinkle with Epicure’s Balsamic Seasoning.  Bake @ 375 for 30 minutes.  Start the carrots first because they take a bit longer to cook then the rest of the vegetables.
      • Add remaining vegetables, drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with Epicure seasoning, salt and pepper.
      • Bake @ 375 for an additional 30 minutes.

Have an awesome week this week!!  Message me with any questions or comments!!

xo

 

Jen

 


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