Sunday Evening Plan of Excellence

Weekends are my JAM.  I mean, what’s there not to love about sleeping in, having breakfast in bed, (a girl can dream…), and getting in some leisurely sweat sessions?  Exactly. Unfortunately, my blissful weekend existence comes crashing down around 3pm on Sunday afternoon, when I start getting pre-work week depression.  Over the years, I’ve tried hundreds of tactics to avoid this sinking feeling:

Making my brunch reservations for 2pm, drinking bottomless mimosas until dinnertime and going to bed (err, passing out) at 8pm to get a “full night’s sleep” before Monday morning.  Result?  Not feeling human until Tuesday, not grocery shopping until Wednesday, and eating out (read: unhealthy AND expensive) almost all week.  #FAIL.

Going out of town until late Sunday evening to “make the most of my weekend.”  Result?  See above.

Pretending it’s not actually Sunday and shopping/eating/drinking/napping/watching Breaking Bad/insert-unproductive-activity-here until it’s time for bed.  Result?  You guessed it.  Being TOTALLY unprepared for the week ahead.

At some point (probably when the guy at Potbelly’s asked if I wanted “the usual”), I realized that getting myself organized on Sunday night was critical to eating healthy throughout the week, saving some serious $$$ and actually feeling on top of my s*%& going into the week. So, without further ado, my new, massively improved, Sunday night ritual:

Step 1: Plan out meals for the week.

Step 2: Make a shopping list based on the meal plan above

Step 3: Go shopping!  Duh.  My favorite places in the DC/NoVA area are: MOM’s Organic Market in Alexandria, Whole Foods,

Yes! Organic Markets, and – if you’re feeling SUPER motivated  -- farmers markets in Falls Church and Dupont Circle are amazing for farm fresh produce!

Step 4: Prepare Foods.  I usually get salmon fillets (2 6oz. portions, enough for 4 lunches) and put those on the broiler for 10-12 minutes with salt, pepper and squeeze of lemon.  Then, I wash and cut up veggies for my lunch salad: kale, cucumbers, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes – whatever’s in season and most fresh!  In the mornings, I’ll throw ¼ an avocado on top of my salad so it doesn’t get brown.  I also rinse and cut up fruit so it’s easy to grab on-the-go. (Insert other ideas or options here). Step 5: Go watch Breaking Bad!  Relax, and enjoy a square (or two, let’s be honest) of dark chocolate and mint tea, knowing that you’re about to be #winning all week!


Getting into Your Workout Groove

Whether it’s summer, or really any other time of the year, the number one excuse for not exercising is “I don’t have any time”. This is most likely because it hasn’t become priority, it’s not set aside in your schedule, or you’re not sure what to do to make it effective. Maybe right now winding down after work and watching your favorite show is a priority, and you make time for it. Exercise becomes a priority when you notice how good you feel inside and out, how it can alleviate stress, and how you have more energy throughout the day. If you have a few exercises down, you can burn some major calories and work muscles in 10 minutes with little space and no equipment. Here are a few tips:

  1. Schedule exercise in your calendar: Whether It’ going for a run, joining in a class, working with a trainer, or working out 10 minutes on your living room floor, write it down just as you would an appointment or another priority in your day.
  2. Mix up your routines: You don’t want to get bored with the same workout. Mix up your routines, intensity levels, types of exercise. You will also see more effective results this way.
  3. Don’t over think it, just do it: I know personally if I’m tired after work, go home and settle in, I’m not going to exercise. If you’re exercising at home, do it first thing in the morning or right when you walk in the door. If it’s a class or outdoors, have your workout clothes with you. Throw them on and go. If you think about not wanting to workout for 10 minutes, that’s 10 minutes you could have gotten your workout in!
  4. Have fun with it!: Exercising shouldn’t be looked at as a chore. It’s YOU time. Time to take care of your body, mind, health, and sanity. Whether it’s personal training, Pilates, yoga, dance, group exercise, or just you and your music. Find what works for you, and I guarantee, you will suddenly have time for it.

Create a 10 minute Full Body workout with no equipment that will get your heart pumping and work multi-muscles. You can do this by picking 4 to 6 different exercises and going through them back to back for one minute each. Repeat the circuit twice. Example: Pushups, Squats, Mountain Climbers, Burpees, and Crunches.

10 Minute Workout (No equipment):

1. Basic Squat

Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles. Retract your shoulders down away from your ears and extend your arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down. Begin by descending into a squat, making sure you can see your toes. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause for a second before pressing back up to the starting position.

2. Pushup (to regress, place your knees on the floor or do pushup in an incline position against a wall or countertop).

Support your body with the balls of your feet and with your hands, positioning the hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, palms flat on the floor. Straighten your arms without locking your elbows. Lower your torso until your chest is just a fraction of an inch off the floor. Push yourself back to the starting position.

3. 180 degree Squat Jumps:

Start in squat position. Jump into the air landing back in your squat. Immediately jump rotating 90 degrees to the left, then back to center, then to the right. Repeat this explosive movement for 20 reps. (If you are having trouble landing in a squat position practice regular in place squat jumps, only lightly lifting your feet off the floor).

4. Plank hold

Come into plank position with your forearms resting on the floor directly under your shoulders. Keep your back flat like a tree trunk, engage your abdominal muscles and hold

5. Burpee

Begin in a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you. Kick or step your feet back to a pushup position, making sure your shoulders are stabilized over your wrists, back is flat, and abs are engaged. Immediately return your feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible from the squat position. Repeat.

5. Russian twist

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Hold arms in front of your chest with your palms facing each other as if you’re holding a ball or weight. Lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle from the floor. Twist to the left while tightening your belly button back to your spine pause, then reverse the movement and twist all the way back to the right, and pause. Return to the starting position.