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Not much to add to the good advice already given - single parent 2 weeks out of the month to two teenage boys, so I do get a break, but it is hectic when they are with me.
Meal planning and batch cooking where life-savers for me. The other was having a contingency plan - cause things never go the way you expect. I found we were often in the car on the way to or from a sports event that went over time.
Started tracking patterns of when we struggled and contingency planned for those occasions.
Now that we are in a rhythm, it actually seems to be easier than it was before primal, but the transition was a challenge.
Marks Daily Apple has a free PDF you can download with a range of bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere without equipment. Great for strength training at home or when traveling. Don't need to go to the gym.
Nicole, I too am new to Paleo- we are actually about the same time in oddly enough and have the same name LOL. Anyway here is my advice.
- Cook 3 days in advance, that's what I do, it only takes about 2 hours, but I bust out 15 meals (I cook breakfast hot) then I package and mark them in the fridge and bag and mark cold veggies in quart sized bags with the days of the week labeled on them. Without this organization I'd be lost. I also carry Larabars on me in case I miss a meal or am out and about- though I have the meal planning down pact so I was able to even eat out once last week.
- As for exercise, no one "jumps" into crossfit, lol, but I have been doing it for 8-9 months now and love it- but it is a HUGE time and energy comitment for sure. Mosy boxes (gyms) offer drop in classes at lower rates than monthly fees and sometimes they are even free- I would try those out at local boxes and see how you like it, they are called ONRAMP classes and will give you a little taste of what it is like.
Leader- CrossFit Women
Original Starting Weight 303.2: 06/08/11
Post Surgery Starting Weight 279.2 (-24): 10/01/12
Pre-Surgery Weight 233 (-70.2):
Driver's License Weight 220 (-83.2):
"One-derland" Weight 199 (-104.2):
5K 42.01 (08/13/11)
10K 1:26:47 (09/11/11)
Half 3:08:53 (11/27/11)
I was a single mom until a year ago, with two girls now 15 and 8. It can feel selfish at times to make time for your own needs like exercise and healthy eating, but remember that they're also your kids' needs.
I completely agree with the make-ahead method. On Saturday or Sunday I make several meals (chili or stew, marinated chicken, burgers, etc.) and prepare veggies. For the rest of the family, I'll make brown rice or beans as a side to add bulk to the meal for a hungry man (who can't eat much red meat- no gallbladder) and a very hungry teen. I do take the time on Friday afternoon to plan the meals for the week and the shopping list, then I prep, freeze, and follow my plans without thinking about it during the week. I completely agree with getting a cookbook and not over-thinking it.
I managed to train for a few 5ks, 10k and half marathon by taking the time to make meals ready. I have Zumba class 3 times per week and I commit my workout to my schedule. Knowing that dinner's ready the minute I get home alleviates any guilt about taking that time. My kids can even come to class with me, so it's part of our together time.
I don't have the lean body of a cross-fitter... but I'm healthy, balanced and happy. You can do it! :)
Wow, that is great advice. I, too am a single mom, 2 kids: 6yo and 14yo. Moms have less time than other people! Moms have to handle everyone else's life in addition to their own. It just is that way. (I guess you could say the same of single dads-the ones that have their kids) We have to accept who we are and not beat ourselves up over it.
I am going to get that book. I need to go a few days without having to think. Just do until my body gets acclimated.
I was advised to get onto the Daily Apple and that has been motivating and educational as well.
I struggle with getting enough protein and having time to create meals. Even the eating leftovers doesn't work in my house. My 14yo eats everything that isn't nailed down!!
I run out of energy and I realize now that I am tracking my eating that I am not getting enough calories. I get dizzy spells and I think it is from not getting enough calories. So then I eat what I find, which is usually a refined carb. I am just going to do the best I can and take baby steps. After all, we learned to crawl before we walked and before we ran. I am just not running yet.
Be the change you want to see in the world
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!
My name is Nicole, I've been eating (mostly) Paleo for 8 days now. I'm addicted to carbs. This is a problem. Also, I have difficulty finding time to prepare the foods I should. I know this is a lame excuse and "everybody has as much time as everyone else and it's all in how you use it," but when I just picked my daughter up from daycare at 1830, honestly, we hit a restaurant. ICK. Finally, I'll admit it - I only do cardio. I have no muscular strength and it's embarrassing. I'm a member at a gym with personal trainers so should I start with a independent program, a trainer, or jump to a CrossFit for some functional, and what I'm sure will be more effective, fitness.
1. Carb Addiction
3. No strength
Please let the wealth of knowledge, experience, and advice flow....
Thanks in advance.