It’s Januray 1st, 2018 and you just finished all the Christmas cookies. As you sit on the couch watching the Tournament of Roses Parade live from sunny Pasadena, California you look down at your roll of belly fat and think to yourself, good lord how did this happen to me? I should really go for a run. And instead reach for the last of the fudge. Or maybe a cappuccino spiked with Baileys Irish Cream. I mean it is technically still the holiday season until tomorrow, right? The question is, where is your New Year’s fitness motivation?
I’m not going to lie, this may have been me once upon a time (Although truth be told we were more likely watching California horse racing live from Arcadia, ten miles from the Rose Parade route, and getting our exercise by yelling and waving our fists at our least favorite jockeys in southern California) reaching for my third helping of candied nuts or even worse, candied bacon. But then I got off the couch and took my dog for a hike in the forest because this happened.
Yeah, thats a snowy winter wonderland. And life is to short to waste my day away gambling on horses and sitting on the couch inhaling handfuls of fudge like it’s crack cocaine. Luckily between the fifth and sixth race at Santa Anita Park I found my New Year’s fitness motivation somewhere amidst the couch cushions and took my little mutt for a snowy hike up a ridgeline. Why? Because we live in a gorgous place set amongst the pines. The 2017 holiday season may be behind us but that will not stop me on this snowy January morning from walking around in my personal winter wonderland. Or snowshoeing. Or trail running. Because I want my pants to fit again. And that is my personal New Year’s fitness motivation.
New Year’s fitness motivation 101
- Remove unhealthy foods from your home; Saturated fat-filled snacks, candy and baked goods.
- Make a workout plan and stick to it.
- Vary your workout regime and have four or five different workouts you do throughout the week.
- Learn what healthy foods you enjoy eating.
- Stop eating fast food, instead carry healthy snacks in the car for when you get hungry and are not at home.
- Bring healthy lunches to work with you.
- Cut back on the animal products you ingest.
- Make an effort to do something physical when you get home from work, even if it’s just cleaning the house.
- Plan healthy dinners with whole grains and lots of veggies.
- Cut way back on the sugary Starbucks coffee drinks.
January 2nd, 2018
Get off the couch, lace up your running shoes and hit the trail. Your New Year’s fitness motivation starts this morning! You may still be coming down from the sugar rush, slash too many cocktails of the holiday season but you will feel better if you get your endorphins pumping and get off that comfy couch. I personally love trail running and hiking in the winter months. The snowy trails and mountain peaks make for the most beautiful sights and it may be cold but it’s also stunningly gorgeous this time of year. Take a tip from me; Always, always start your run uphill in the winter so you start warming up fast, even if it is thirty degrees outside.
So you have snow on your city streets? No excuses! Strap some crampon chains to your running shoes and pound out a few miles anyways! Having New Year’s fitness motivation means no excuses is a way of life in 2018 and by the time your skinny jeans fit again in February you will be thankful you left the couch behind and got sweating in the a.m. New Year’s fitness motivation is not easy. If it was easy to eat healthily and get back into shape after the New Year then everybody would do it! (And everybody would succeed. That’s the hardest part!)
January 3rd, 2018
It’s time to clean out your kitchen cupboards, donate that secret stash of extra holiday chocolates and fancy kettle popcorn to a charity and refill your cupboards with healthy items like sweet potatoes, brown rice and coconut oil. If eating healthy is a new thing for you then do some reseach on how to eat healthy. To some people eating low carb is the way to go. Some people do well on a Paleo no grain diet. And some people just can’t deal with gluten. Reseach the healthy items that you do enjoy eating (Like sweet potatoes or salad) and stalk Pinterest looking for healthy recipes that include the healthy items that you do enjoy eating. One of my favorite healthy eating websites to get some fantastic and creative ideas is Paleo friendly, Elana’s Pantry.
Try throwing items like sweet potatoes, kale or spinach into as many dishes as you can. Spinach is great in almost any smoothie. The fruit really masks the healthy green taste of the spinach. Try my favorite green drink, Pineapple, Pear, Spinach and Mint Juice. This makes an excellent after workout juice. Want to add a little health your breakfast pancakes? Try this great morning recipe,Kale Pancakes. You can also do this recipe with spinach. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and making it a healthy meal is a great way to start your morning and get your day heading in the right direction. One of my all time favorite healthy breakfasts is this Anglo-Indian treat,Curried Eggs with Purple Sweet Potatoes.Learning to eat healthy and make smart food choices in the new year is not easy for some people. Learning to like healthy food is even harder but there are so many great delicous foods ut there just waiting for you to try them in 2018!
January 4th, 2018
We all get stuck in our workout routine and lets face it, bored with jogging around our neighborhood or with our spin or kickboxing class we have been going to for years! Who wants to work out when you are stuck doing the same workout five days a week, the same two point five-mile loop around your neighborhood or the same yoga class every other day. Not only do our minds get into a funk but you may find that even though you are running two point five miles every morning you are not losing any pounds or pudge around your middle. Kicking up your workout with some new moves can really help. A friend of mine recently told me that she hates her yoga studio which dumbfounded me because I thought to myself, you live in a big metropolitan city; There must be hundreds of yoga instuctors in this city, why don’t you find something else? Take the initutive to step out of your box and try a new workout routine or change your workout if you are burnt out with it.
When I started mountain biking a year ago I dropped weight like you wouldn’t belive for a thirty-six year old women. Our bodies and our metabolism gets stuck when we do the same workout every single day and we stop losing weight, even though WTF, I just ran so hard for three miles? Try out a new kind of workout in 2018 or try a new exercise video regime. I swear by the Insanity workout videos. The instructor doesn’t annoy me and even better I really like 80 percent of the exercises (And I sweat through the other 20 percent because, well, bacon)
January 8th, 2018
You made it through your first week of New Year’s fitness motivation! Yea! To celebrate my week of eating healthy and working out every day I snowshoed to the top of this mountain and then inhaled a sandwich (On whole grain bread, of course) Obviously from the sandwich lust you can see in my little doggie’s eyes, it was one hell of a sandwich. It even had bacon and cheese on it! One thing about eating healthy and having motivation for fitness; When you do a balls to the wall workout, reward yourslf with a little treat. Like cheese. Or bacon.
January 21st, 2018
Okay this is a hard one for a lot of people. Give up Starbucks. Okay maybe don’t give up Starbucks but take a good hard look at the coffee drink you are drinking one two or more times a day. Are you constantly drinking frappucinos or mochas from Starbucks? Even if you do not drive through the Starbucks drive-thru, are you having a coffee with hazelnut creamer in the office three times a day? All that sugar in your coffee really adds up fast when you are trying to eat healthy! Switching to black coffee is obviously the easiest healthy way to drink your coffee but if you are like me and think that black coffee is ick, try drinking your morning cup or two of Joe with milk instead. Really cutting down the coffee to as little as one cup in the morning is the healthiest way to go, as cofee really just dehydrates you. I try to just drink coffee in the morning when I am on my New Years Fitness Motivation cleanse and if I am craving something other then water I drink Dandelion tea with a splash of lemon and one hundred percent cranberry juice. This detox drink cleanses your system like no other and really detoxes and cleans out your liver and kidneys. Really, really need that coffee pick me up fix? Try a healthy option like this Coconut Mocha Smoothie made from sugar-free protein powder.
February 1st, 2018
Okay by the first week in Febuary you may be feeling a little overwelmed by all this exercise and healthy eating. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you can practically hear the See’s Candy calling your name. This is the time in your New Year’s fitness motivation regime when you need to make plans and set a goal. For us, we planned to go to the beaches of Baja, Mexico for President’s Day weekend in the end of February and chances are there would be more sweaters then bikinis at this beachside resort town, but it still gave me a goal to work towards (and had me switching to vodka sodas rather then pinot grigio) Set a goal for yourself on February 1st to motivate yourself to stay on track with this healthy lifestyle and the choices you make.
February 11th, 2018
It’s mid February and you have been a bad-ass of New Year’s fitness motivation since that early morning January 1st, but you are starting to loss interest in this whole healthy living lifestyle. A pizza is looking really good right now! Don’t give in to carbs and gluten! If you really do need a pizza try a gluten free version, Cauliflower Pizza Crust.
Mid-February, don’t get stuck or bored in your workout routine. If you do find yourself stuck or bored with your workout, make a fitness goal in the next year. My personal goal is to climb Mt Whitney again in August, a twenty-three mile day hike to over 14,000 feet. I’m going to achieve this goal with trail running, hiking with my dog and lots of mountain biking for cross training. If you find yourself in a fitness slump come mid February make a fitness goal for the New Year and stick to it!
February 19th, 2018
You made it past the chocolates and vats of red wine that is Valentines Day and another week into your New Year’s fitness motivation! Good for you! Now it’s time to plan out some healthy lunch and dinner recipes like this delicious, high fiber and good for you Curried Broccoli Crunch Salad.
I love taking this salad to work with me. Just stick it in your work fridge and when your coworkers are eating their Lean Cuisines, Cup ‘O Noodles or cheap Mcdonald’s Big Mac’s (Ick, and heart disease, nope) you will have this tasty and delicious salad ready for your noon lunch break. Need something with a little more protein to get you through the workday? Pre-make this delicious Protein Bowl with Fennel, Pesto and Argentine Shrimpand you will be the envy of the office as your workmates choke down another dry and saturated fat filled Mc-Death Burger.
March 1st, 2018
The weather is finally starting to warm up and maybe you are starting to get motivated to do more outdoor exercises like mountain bikig or roller blading. Starting this healthy new fitness plan means you may get hungier as the day light hours are getting longer and you are getting more exercise. Luckily having healthy snacks handy can be easy with a little planning in advance. Not sure what to have on hand for a healthy snack? Go explore the snack and nut section of your local Whole foods for some inspiration!
What are the best healthy on the go snacks?
Homemade healthy snacks are obviuosly the very best, like this tasty trail mix Curried Trail Mix with Cranberries and Cashews. When you are looking at healthy on the go snacks to stock your car or keep in your locker at work remember to pack items that will not melt if left in the heat of a car. (I try to stay away from chocolate or yogurt coating on protein bars for this reason)
- Hummus and veggies
- Turkey jerky
- Kale chips
- Apples, bananas, berries
- Almonds, or mixed trail mix
- Cheese and sausage bites
- Fiber fruit bars
March 25th 2018
You made it to the end of March with your New Year’s fitness motivation goals! Three months of healthy eating and fitness fun should have you feeling better and fitting in your skinny jeans again! One thing about eating healthy; It’s not a diet it’s a lifetsyle. I cringe when friends tell me they are “dieting” I feel bad for people who think that “dieting” is a way to loss weight and get healthy in the long run. If you get into shape and then go back to eating at Mcdonalds for lunch eventually The Diabetes and heart disease will find you, espcially as you get older. Unfortunately as humans we cant stay young forever and our metabolism slows down as we get older. Living a healthy lifestyle is not easy but planning out healthy dinners like, Sweet Potato Turkey Chili can help you stay in shape even with life challenges like working a fity hour week and still finding time to work out in the evenings.
If you have made it through three months of healthy eating with the help of healthy dinners like, Sweet Potato Patty Tacos with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce chances are you are well on the way to adopting this healthy living lifestyle into more than just a begining of the year plan. Good job and keep it up well into 2018 and hopefully for life!