So even though Summer technically ended a month ago, this week always feel like the end… Lazy summer days spent eating ice-cream on the beach (or more likely at your desk in work when the sun finally comes out), heading to beer gardens after work and generally just being good to yourself have to stop sometime. Cutting this all out cold turkey might work for some people but I find that gently easing myself out of it by cutting out one or two things and adding in other things works a lot better. If I tell myself I can’t have something I end up craving it way more than telling myself “you can have it but you don’t really want it”.
This week is also a good time to start back into a more regular exercise regime. When the days start getting shorter and the mornings and evenings are getting dark and dreary it can be very hard to motivate yourself to get up and work out but if you start a regime now and get into a habit then it will be so much easier to keep it up when all you really want to do is sit on the couch and watch Netflix (however once you’ve done the training you’ll be so glad you have!).
Even though I didn’t go too crazy with food over the Summer I did kind of put off going to the gym. There were always other things going on and sometimes I just felt guilty being inside on a machine after work when I felt I should be out in the sun (or overcast but slightly warmer than average weather). So this week I started back doing the bootcamp classes I was doing before Summer. I go three times a week for 45 minutes and the class is a mix of high intensity circuits, body weights exercises, kettlebells and any other inventive exercises Geoffrey in The Training Ground comes up with.
Since I hadn’t done these classes for a while, I’m not going to lie, on Tuesday morning all my muscles were in pain after Monday nights class. By Wednesday I had almost recovered but then it was time for another class. But I get such a buzz from training and pushing myself that I don’t mind. I went to my third class of the week on Friday and then on Saturday I did a 40 minute cardio session myself on the cross-trainer (40 minutes because that’s the time of most Netflix shows!).
This week I also kept my food pretty simple. Breakfasts were mainly overnight oats (including these delicious Strawberry and Cream flavour) but I also had a berry smoothie and scrambled eggs on rye bread (today I cheated a bit and had brunch out with my sister – but these baked eggs in tomato sauce with chorizo and buttermilk pancakes from Dela were totally worth it).
For me lunch is one of the hardest meals to keep healthy. As I’m on the road a lot I don’t really have much time to sit down and prepare one but find that most shop bought salads may look healthy but are actually loaded with sugar and salt. On Monday I managed to prepare this pretty tasty tuna salad with hummus and rye bread. Another day I called into Marks and Spencers for their nutty super wholefood salad (which is my favourite of all their grab and go salads and which looks to be one of the healthier ones). I was pretty hungry that day so thought I needed the extra prawns but probably didn’t.
This week for a pre-gym snack I was loving wholemeal pitta breads with a bit of nut butter and this unreal banana jam I found in Gourmet Tart in Galway. As I get home from work at about 5.30 and go the gym at 7 there isn’t enough time for dinner but I like to have something before I go. This mix of carbs and protein is light enough for me while still satisfying that post work appetite.
As I train at 7, by the time I’ve showered and changed it could be 9 before I have dinner. Because of this I like to have a few quick and easy recipes that I can make in under 30 minutes. One of these is omelettes, another is this baked eggs with spinach and ricotta or chicken salad with hummus and rye bread. On days when there’s a bit more time I like to experiment more and try things like this chicken, spinach and chickpeas with potato and rice.
So week one of “Operation End of Summer” is done and even though it wasn’t a super strict detox style regime it was simple, manageable and healthy, which is the way it should be anyways. As the weeks go on and there are less events and get togethers you can start to get stricter with your diet if you want but for the moment it’s all about easing yourself back into it so the everything doesn’t hit at once!