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When Life Gets in the Way of Healthy Eating

October 4, 2010
by Brittany

I didn’t get home until my bed time last night. Going to bed a little later in order to cook food for the next day wasn’t an option, either, because I was heading to the gym first thing in the morning (late night + 6am wakeup call = disaster at the gym), so I decided to improvise today.

Nothing that I’m eating today took more than a few minutes of my time. In fact, most of it I didn’t even make. Everything was still pretty healthy, though. I usually make it a point to cook all my own food every day, but that takes time. Sometimes things come up and cooking 3 meals a day ahead takes a back burner (pun intended, sorry).

But first, the gym. My hamstrings were barely hurting this morning– only the slightest pull when I stretched them– so it was back to the grind. The gym was dead. I don’t think there were more than 25 people there total. Must’ve been the dreary weather (note: dreary weather by L.A. standards means cloudy with a light mist).

Look at that gloom!


If the words are purple, you can click on them for a picture.

  • Cardio
    • 12 minutes of straight running on the treadmill
    • 12 minutes of intervals on the elliptical
  • Machines
    • one-legged presses- 2 sets 12 reps each leg, weight set to 15 lbs
    • assisted dips- 2 sets 12 reps, lifting 45 lbs of my own weight
  • Abs
    • boat pose- 3 sets of 10 second-holds + 10 crunches, 1 30-second hold
    • stability ball plank- 20 seconds both legs, 10 seconds on each leg, 20 seconds back at both legs
    • side plank leg lifts (in position, , keeping both legs straight)- 2 sets 10 reps on each leg
    • - 2 sets 15 reps (right leg up then left leg up equals one rep)

My muscles were feeling the burn afterward, so this little guy rode shotgun on the way to work (yes, Mom, I was at a red light when I took this picture).

For breakfast, since I didn’t make anything the night before, I went for my fast but healthy fallback at Starbucks– the Spinach Feta Wrap. And the usual… a grande bold. Time from when I placed my order to when I received it: less than 5 minutes.

I always try to keep one healthy frozen meal in the freezer for “emergencies” such as today (emergency= I had things to do that didn’t involve a stove). For lunch I went with a frozen meal from Trader Joe’s. As far as frozen meals go, this one is impressively unprocessed. High sodium content aside (which I tried to counter by chugging lots of water), I recognized and could pronounce all the ingredients.

I grabbed some organic frozen spinach to add in for some much-needed green. Fresh spinach > frozen, of course, but in a pinch? Frozen’s pretty great. I brought about 1/2 cup.

I nuked them separately and topped the ziti with the spinach. The verdict? Tasted like it was homemade. Looks pretty good, right? “Prep” + packing + nuking = 3 minutes (I cut down on time by letting it defrost in my lunch bag rather than using the defrost setting in the microwave before cooking).

For snack it was a mini Larabar and a white nectarine. Both healthy and yummy. Both ready-to-eat. Time to unwrap the Larabar and wash, slice, and pit the nectarine: 1 1/2 minutes.

I’ve been feeling a slight tingle in my throat today– par for the course when it gets chilly– so I had a cup of vanilla tea with 1/3 tablespoon of honey (sweet mug courtesy of one of my co-workers :) ). I’m not counting this one towards today’s food prep time, since I stuck it in the microwave and went about my business while it heated up. The animal crackers decided they had to join in as my tea biscuits, and I let them– they matched my mug.

Dinner was thrown together late last night when I came home. Aside from toasting the bread (I freeze my bread to keep it from going bad), there was no cooking involved. Sandwich filling consists of turkey, heirloom tomato, spicy guacamole, non-fat Greek yogurt, and fresh spinach. Total prep time = 5 minutes.

Moral of today: No matter how busy some days can get, there’s always time to be healthy. Amount of my time spent on today’s food? 14 1/2 minutes. Your health is worth that much!

Fun Link

Visit to learn how to can your own applesauce. Sounds like I need to add this to my list of autumnal kitchen adventures…

Look for It Tomorrow

A gluten- and dairy-free fall breakfast, the main reason behind my efforts to make things gluten and dairy free, and a new way to eat tempeh.

You know you love me. XOXO, (I can’t wait to watch) Gossip Girl.

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