Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Day 4: What's in Your Morning Routine

I took this picture a minute too soon - I forgot the Tupperware of nut crackers and the Tupperware of dressing. No big deal. :) 
I have to pack my food daily. There simply isn't enough room in the fridge for me to pack it in advance. I could possibly squeeze part of it in the fridge the night before, but not all of it. And, oddly enough, this makes me happy. It makes me proud. It makes me a total food-nerd. Most importantly, though, it makes me sane. 

You see, I have worked, and worked, and worked some more on figuring out what I need to do to be a healthy individual. I love food. I love to eat. I love to cook. I love to give food to others in ways that support them and help them be healthy. Don't get me wrong, I love a good ol' hunk-a-chocolate on a way-too-regular basis, but for the most part, I try to keep it healthy. Not too much, not too little, but enough. 

Recently, I started eating Gluten Free, and I cannot explain the difference it has made on my life. However, one of the differences I noticed immediately is that I fill up faster, to a point of contentment, rather than stuffing, but then I get hungry more often. I had to figure out ways to make this new sensation work for my busy days. Enter: ginormous lunch bag. Seriously, people, it is this non-mom's version of a diaper bag. When I used to walk into the staff room for lunch, people would inevitably stare and the stares by those that knew me were followed by, "Whatchya got in there, Baumgarten?" 

I was out with some lady-friends a couple of weeks ago and one of them is on a pretty strict diet as well. We compared notes about how to keep from cheating, and I told her my mantra: "I have to have options." I am not 100% sold on the idea of eating for fuel, but I am getting closer. The days I run into problems are when I am hungry, like REALLY hungry, and nothing sounds good, or I can't have what I want, or everything around me is gluten-filled. 

One of the greatest lessons I have learned, the hard way, of course, is that if I am not prepared, I am not going to have a great day. So, what does prepared mean? For me, prepared means that I have options, good quality, healthy options, ready to go and with me at all times. These options are healthy and I enjoy them. Think: cheese, almonds, trail mix, nut crackers, black beans, mini sweet peppers, yogurt, etc. etc. Now, don't get me wrong, too much of anything can be a bad thing, but that's where the Tupperware comes in handy. Having everything portioned out into Tupperware lets me know that I am not eating too little, or too much. 

I used to package all of these things up for at least a week at a time -- back when I lived alone. Sharing a fridge with two roommates does not allow for such intensity, but I have come to enjoy my mornings of popping lids, filling plastic containers, and re-sealing for freshness. Even more, I enjoy working my way through the day, even the busiest days, and not falling apart because I have run out of energy. 

Yes, this is a morning routine that I have finally figured out, for me. How about you? What's one of your favorite routines? 
~ j. 

12 comments:

Kathleen Douglas said...

WOW! You are so dedicated. I do eat pretty healthy. My downfall is chocolate chip cookies. But we eat chicken and fish for our dinners, so I feel one or two cookies is ok!

Judy said...

That's quite a morning routine. I'm sure you have it down to perfection and are in and out of the kitchen in no time. I need to read more about this gluten free way of living. But, I don't think hubby (my cook) would be able to make all of his yummy creations. My morning routine (or rut as hubby calls it) includes reading emails, playing scrabble, reading devotions, praying followed by exercise. Then I get my cup of coffee with the newspaper.

Krista D said...

I like how you really thought about what it is that makes some days bad. I try to eat healthy as well and I think on those down days, it is because nothing sounds good. I like how you are giving yourself so many options. I may have to do that to see if that helps me! Thanks for sharing!

Laura said...

It's like you took a picture of my lunch! I also live with roommates and try to eat a healthy lunch of many, wholesome, and varied options. I pack the same tiny tupperware and then puzzle out how to fit them all into my purple snail shaped lunch bag. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my lunch quirks!

Tara Smith said...

I am in awe of your organization...and your dedication to being prepared. Good for you!

Dana said...

"non-mom's version of a diaper bag"...that cracked me up. Up until this week (when I've gone on leave) my routine was to make all my lunches on Sundays (raw veggies, a piece of fruit, some yogurt and muesli). Pretty boring considering I ate the same thing every day for lunch yet I didn't tire of it and and I not done it on Sundays, it would never have happened. I'm impressed you can get it done each morning. That's dedication!

Leigh Anne Eck said...

I so wish I had your dedication and will-power! This is a terribly weak area for me. Something to think about and PLAN!

Nanc said...

I'd never, ever, be able to accomplish your routine. I have a very hard time finding tupperware lids....and I would never bring them back. They would still be at school. I'm proud of you. I'm trying to eat something in the morning...with my coffee, of course! xo

elsie said...

I like that word options, we always need options. You have created quite lunch.

Jaana said...

Lately, my routine is to have breakfast with coffee, make my lunch and leave for school. In March, I get up a bit earlier, posts my slice and try to comments on few as well.

Terje said...

Impressive indeed. My health idea in the morning is a cup of tea and adding seeds to my cereal. I try to have fruit for snack, but if there are baked goods in the teachers' room, healthy is forgotten.

Latisha said...

I am in awe of your routine! I love that you said preparation is the key. I am no good at eating healthy and yet I work at healthy foods school ( no sweets). It's also nut free which is a unique challenge because I used to live off almonds for a snack. I know that I should eat better but I just don't have the drive yet. My routine is rush out the door and get to work. Lol. I did start doing some mindful and stretching activities before I rush out of bed.