Let the cat eat the waffles and other simple ways to get healthy this spring

Spring can be a nasty time of year, just because its a reminder that we’re all really sick of old man winter and are impatiently waiting for the warmth and sunshine the Universe clearly isn’t ready to hand over quite yet. And, even worse, it’s that time when we’re seeing the new shorts, tank tops, and cute little shirts (except for the neon stuff. Seriously, I was happy to leave neon pink pants firmly back in my childhood. The horror of trying a pair of those on now would scar me for the rest of my life) that we’re dying to try on for size to see if they a.) Still fit, and b.) make us look flabby.

Even if it doesn’t look or feel like Spring out there, it’s going to sneak up on you before you know it. With Spring and Summer comes kids outside, playing in the park, and enjoying ourselves at the beach. When you have extra Winter weight holding you back, you can’t feel as healthy as you’d like. This Spring, do more for yourself than simply thinking, ‘I want to be skinny”. Focus on being healthy instead.

So go ahead and do your research – Buy a few apps, join a fitness club, or grab yourself a jogging stroller, then follow a few of these really simple (so simple you’ve probably thought of them but maybe you just need a reminder) tips to get started on the road to a healthier you right now.

Let the cat eat the waffles

I have a Ragdoll kitten. She arrived at Christmas time, brought by Santa and placed in the loving arms of my daughter. Since she has come to live with us, we’ve been taught a few things about receiving a pet from the North Pole. For one, if you watch Elf, you know that their food groups are slightly different than ours. An example? According to Buddy the Elf, syrup is a big part of their daily diet. Clearly the North Pole pet shop is on the same program, because our cat Belle thinks that waffles and syrup are the best thing going. The kids will finish half a waffle and leave it on the table, then Belle will move in all stealth like and try to get to the waffles. Sometimes she succeeds. She’ll attack anything sweet, including canisters of whip cream that we were planning on using for hot chocolate.

The point I’m making here? Sometimes, when the kids leave food on the table, you may be tempted to eat it. It’s the kind of eating we, as parents, do without even thinking. Something left on your plate? Send it over to Dad. Half a bowl of Mac & Cheese? Mom will clean it up on the way to the dishwasher.

A very small step you can make in the right direction as far as health improvement/weight loss? When there is left over food on the table, let someone else eat it. Maybe not the cat, but definitely not yourself.

Green Shakes

I’ve seen pictures of Green Shakes before. McDonalds has one which I haven’t tried since I was a kid, mostly because, well I just can’t drink that stuff anymore than I can put a McRib sandwich anywhere near my mouth. No, thank you. The Green Shakes I’m talking about are healthy, easy to make, and include things like Kale and Spinach. And here’s the most surprisingly thing – They taste really, really good and you stay seriously full for a long time.

If you replace even one meal a day with a shake like this, you’ll see an inch or two melt off before you know it. Just put a cup of Activa non-fat yogurt in a blender with half a cup of skim milk and one scoop of protein powder. Then add Blueberries, fresh peaches, strawberries, and a good old handful of Kale and Spinach. It won’t look overly green and it won’t taste green either.

Want to see how long it keeps you full? Make a note of when you drank it and then note when you’re hungry again. You’ll see, it’s completely worth it. You can buy a big bag of pre-washed “Power Greens” in your local grocery store.

Go to sleep instead of eating late at night

I don’t know about you, but it used to be that late at night when I was working, the Cookie Monster in my house would come out and Me Wanted Cookie. And without anyone around to tell me not to or distract me, me ate a lot of Cookies. Or Mini-Wheats, whatever was handier. So just once, I decided to go to bed hungry instead of full of Cookie, and an amazing thing happened.

I slept better. Obviously when you don’t have to process a lot of sugary junk while you are sleeping, you don’t have bad dreams and your body is able to sleep soundly. Unless I have to stay up until 2 am because I have a deadline, if I start to get munchy now I get out of the kitchen and go to bed. And if I do have to stay up, I drink a bottle of flavored water and see if that helps before I start ripping apart the kitchen.  It’s working for me, maybe it will work for you.

Really, it’s not about weight loss is it? It’s about being healthier, feeling better, and having the energy to keep up with your kids. The weight loss is a secondary thing.

What’s your plan for getting fit this Spring? Share it here.


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