Monday, April 6, 2015

Next Stop: A Healthy Week

No better way to start off a Monday than with a corny pun, right?

This is compliments of The Humane Society:
If you fill up your plate with veggies, then there won't be mush-room for meat!

I'll take this hilarious pun! Whatever gets me through the day.

Speaking of getting you through the day, let's rethink what fuels our bodies to start up the week. The weekend holiday is over, and you may be feeling guilty after all of the candy and savory meals you had this weekend. I, myself, definitely indulged. But as Monday is for new beginnings, I am challenging myself to load up on healthy food today, rather than continue on the indulgent food rampage with leftovers from this weekend.

There are several ways in which I have learned to transition from the weekend (especially a Holiday weekend) back into a healthy week with a Meatless Monday kick-start. When I visit home for a period of time, food is usually abundant. As a college student, I don't see my family often, and when I do, it is a special time where we treat ourselves to having meals out and preparing big dinners as a way to visit with one another. The result from all of this is leftovers in mass amounts. Especially after holidays, such as Easter, I find myself returning to my college apartment with enough Tupperware to fill the entire fridge. So how do I restrain myself from continuing the indulgent eating for the rest of the week? I get by with a little help from my roommates. I'll send pictures, texts, and snapchats of the food I'm eating while at home, with a little disclaimer saying something along the lines of "Get ready to help me with the leftovers." And then, I'll plan a meal either Sunday night, or sometime early in the week to heat up all of my leftovers, and have a 'family' dinner with all of my roommates. They are always excited to help out, as there is something special to a home cooked meal when at college. But the best part is, I can share a meal with my friends and get rid of my leftovers all at the same time! This is incredibly helpful to know that I will only have one indulgent meal that week, rather than multiple as I try to chip away at finishing all of the food.

Another trick that I have learned over the years, is to always have a healthy breakfast and lunch on Monday. I know that if I can make the first two meals of my week something healthful, than it will be easier to continue doing so. And this is easy when you make sure to stock your cabinets with only healthy foods, or when you go into the dining hall already knowing what you'll get rather than browsing the options. I make sure that when I go grocery shopping, to buy only healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, and whole grains. That way, when I'm home cooking, I only have the option to make something that is good for me. My breakfast usually consists of oatmeal with fruit, or eggs with whole grain toast. Starting my Monday off this way gets me in the mind set of eating well. Then, for lunch on Monday, I make sure to tell myself that I will have a salad in the dining hall. When I get there, I must force myself to walk right over to the salad bar instead of perusing the other options. This way, I can't be tempted or change my mind if I see something else.

These are just a few ways I begin my week in a healthy way, even if there are situations that make it harder to do so. A healthy Monday can really affect my week in a positive way, and I hope that these tips will allow you to do the same.

Happy Meatless Monday!
- Jackie

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