I TOTALLY get your situation. Totally, totally, totally.
A working mum does NOT have time like a non-parent. Don't beat yourself up. It takes some changes, and getting used to them, to turn the great ship Queen Mary, but here's what I did and now I'm doing pretty darn well. I am a single mother of one 9 year old who works 45+ hours/week, so I definitely rely on eating leftovers for dinner throughout the week.
1. Carb Addiction. Got the book Everyday Paleo and just went with it. Let her be my brains for the first 15 days, then I realized how freaking easy it actually was to prepare paleo meals. I couldn't "think of" what to cook without the rice or pasta until I did it, and then realized, "geez this is tasty and easy". But first, do something stupid simple like follow somebody else's orders.
2. Time. Recommend cooking a full recipe and then eating leftovers. Wash your produce ahead of time, like on a Sunday, and put it in green bags for the week.
Also, can pan-sear a couple of chicken breasts in 10 minutes with fresh veggies if you don't have leftovers. If you don't love raw, and I do not, you can throw a couple of handfuls of wet broccoli in a microwave safe cooker and cook on high for 1 minute. Kids like this, uniformly. And so do I. While you are adapting to this lifestyle, scramble eggs for dinner.
OR when your exhaustion is crazy bad, go ahead and hit a restaurant like a steakhouse (logan's, texas roadhouse, etc.) and SPLIT a steak with your little one and tell them to just bring you the salad and veggies or sweet potato fries.
3. I have two things I love: an over-the-door pullup bar. I use it every day. A kettlebell that I swing. The Sarah Fragoso exercises in the back of Everyday Paleo are truly easy and effective. Just do 10 minutes. Don't even need to get sweaty. You WILL get stronger. Believe it or not. I promise you.
ALSO, rather than doing formal exercises, seek out monkey bars with your kids and hang and swing from them. Change your attitude from "getting your run in" or whatever un-fun grownup regimen you feel beholden to. My own body had gotten so much more cut and sexy just playing with my kid, pulling up when I walk past that pullup bar, eating clean...
Visit my blog from back in November to see if it helps.
Sub 8:30/mile for a Springtime Race!
Volunteer at a race before June 2012!
Goal Winter & Spring 2012:
Develop an interesting cross-training routine that will be fun for my daughter to join in on.
10,000 steps/day whether running or walking.
Launch my SLEEP project!
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