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Why Me? Why You? Why Here?

I can’t say that I know how you found my site.  Or why. I can’t say WHAT you were searching for or trying to find out – maybe something about health and fitness? Or writing? Or parenting?  I don’t know exactly how you found me, or what you hoped to find when you got here, but what I can do is tell you a little about me.  I can tell you why I’m here.  Who I am.  Then maybe that will help you figure out why YOU are HERE.

  • First, I’m a lot of things – but crazy blogging mom is just one of them.
  • I’m a mother – first and foremost.  Greatest joy, toughest job.
  • I’m a writer, with pieces published in Huffington Post, Scary Mommy and The Real Deal of Parenting, to name just a few.
  • I have a Ph.D. and beyond teaching at the high school and college level, I’m an education consultant for teachers and school and district leaders around the U.S. and around the globe, including Israel, South Africa and Canada.
  • I’m a health and wellness coach, and a RRCA certified running coach – avid (though not advanced) yogi, marathoner, and all-around lover of all that keeps me active!
  • I’m also a military spouse, a source of great pride but second toughest “job” I have! ❤

This space is dedicated to just one of these rolls in my life, but frankly, one that I am beyond passionate about and so thrilled to be able to share with you!

My journey to a healthier me has been long – and not always easy.  In high school and college I was active, in shape even, but had an incredibly unhealthy relationship with food and my own body.

Later in life, even though I thought I had a “handle” on things, I didn’t.  Life threw me for some major loops and I was hit hard by anxiety and depression. And I was unhealthy and, for the first time really in my life, was overweight.

I was unhappy.  I was more than that, I was miserable.  In a lot of ways, I was continuously hitting my “rock bottom” with no way out in sight.

Then I found Beachbody and my whole life changed.

I had support from other women, some of whom struggled with the same things – others who were just on their own journey for their own reasons.  We supported one another.  We cheered each other on.  We lifted each other up when we stumbled.

I was hooked!

Since then I’ve had a baby (now a toddler) and am healthier, happier, stronger (mind and body) and fitter at 41 than I have ever been in my entire life!

I took my running to the next level and started competing in marathons and half marathons.  I went through my RRCA coaching certification to help other runners achieve their own success.

And, now I’m part of this amazing team, called Gladiators, where I get to put all my personal experience and certifications and training into practice supporting other men and women, those who were stay-at-home parents, working full-time, or part-time, in all different sorts of careers (attorneys, college professors, doctors, media specialists, personal trainers, teachers, stay at home moms and dads, bus drivers) — all of whom wanted one thing – to be the happiest and healthiest they could be.

Each and every day all of us #Gladiators work in support of our MISSION: to help as many people as possible live their lives by design, finding health, wellness and happiness.

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Meal Prep: By Failing to Prepare, You are Preparing to Fail

Meal Prep is probably one of the most important tasks I undertake each week, but it can also be one that is difficult.  I find, however, that if I don’t meal prep and plan, the rest of my week – the rest of my life during that week – is even more difficult!

Why meal prep?

  1. It saves me time in the long run.  By spending just a couple of hours dedicated to preparing lunches and dinners for the week, I find that I have more time during the week. Prepping allows me time to play with our daughter when I get home from work.  It gives me more time to spend with my husband during the evenings.  It gives me more time to get those workouts and runs in during the week.  Dedicating some time on the weekend (I typically do Sunday prep) gives me hours of time during the week for things that I WANT to do!
  2. It saves our family money.  I make a list of what we are going to eat that week, for our dinners – and for my lunches during my work day.  My husband and I plan our meals together, so that I’m not just making these decisions all by myself!  Then we make our shopping list based on our meal plan and include the other essentials we need for the house (diapers and dish soap, for example!).  This way, we aren’t just wandering the aisles of the store and aimlessly deciding our meals while shopping.  This deliberate planning and shopping has saved us on our weekly grocery bills.
  3. It cuts down on food waste.  We used to make things and throw a lot of food away.  EIther in leftovers or in food that we simply didn’t use for the recipes.  Not only is this a huge waste of food – it’s a huge waste of money!  Now, when we meal plan and prep, if one recipe calls for half an onion, for example, we are sure to find another recipe that will use that other half!
  4. It helps us make healthier choices and we eat as a family!  Finally, our daughter has had some food allergy issues and so meal prep and planning has been important for us to make meals we can all eat together.  It has also helped us think about healthy meal choices – using as many whole foods as we can for each meal, prepping meals that call for foods what we know are in season, eating “appropriate” portion sizes.  All of this has helped our entire family!

All this being said, meal prep does take some time and practice.  I know the first couple of weeks I was trying to meal prep, I felt like it took me longer and I didn’t have it all down.  I also now have several recipes that are our families “go-tos” and I rotate them in as often as possible.  And I’m constantly on Pinterest looking for ideas.  You can follow my meal prep boards/pins here (https://www.pinterest.com/oceanbeachgrl42/meal-prep/).

A note:  If you “google” meal prep, you’ll see all these containers and bags of food – where people divide all their food up into the compartments and containers they’ll use all week.  I don’t always do this. For lunches, I will prep two days and then on Tuesday will prep two or three more days.  For dinners, I may PREPARE some of our meals and food items for Monday and Tuesday, but I often don’t make everything on Sunday.  I may chop the veggies up I might need for recipes all week and put those in separate, air tight containers.  I may make up my spice blends for the week.  I may make two casserole dishes or bake my chicken and then refrigerate or freeze it if it’s for later in the week.  This is what works for ME and my family.  You need to find what works for you and yours.

Bottom line, meal prep IS do-able.  It IS important.  It CAN be a time and money saver.  And, I LOVE it! 🙂

So, to get started, I’d say:

  • make a plan and go shopping
  • plan at least one day of leftovers
  • start small – maybe plan for 2-3 meals for the week and see how the shopping and prep goes
  • plan at least one or two meals you have already prepared (trying to cook 5-7 new meals each week is difficult, I wouldn’t recommend it)
  • know it’s OK if it feels overwhelming at first
  • give it time – stick with it
  • email me with questions! (obgirl042@gmail.com)