vacations are easier

No Snacks, no sweets, no seconds. Except on Days that start with S. Too simple for you? Simple is why it works. Look here for questions, introductions, support, success stories.

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Betty
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vacations are easier

Post by Betty » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:22 pm

I'm a teacher at a "type A" school (ie: stressful) and a busy mom of 3 under the age of 6. Right now we're in the thick of summer vacation, which means less scheduling, more time to cook. I'm finding it extremely easy to do No S right now. I make beautiful sit-down meals three times a day, and this seems to be the key for me. I don't mind eating only three times if it looks and tastes good and is colorful with seasonal fruits and veggies. I have lost 3 pounds in three weeks without even blinking, while during the school year I would try and try (but not really do it, you know?) and the weight would not budge.

I've noticed this before. In fact, I fell off the no-S wagon quite seriously at the end of last summer, when the crazieness of work started again.

So my plan for the summer is to think about how I can extend the habits that are really becoming quite strong right now into the school year. How to create the time and space and energy to make meals beautiful and relaxed and healthy and nourishing (for both body and soul) in the time I have?

Anyone out there with the inclination to slip when the going gets tough? Any tips or advice welcome.

Betty

ThomsonsPier
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Post by ThomsonsPier » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:05 pm

I find the opposite; the more I have to do, the easier I find it to stick to three meals a day. I make time for every meal and usually have the flexibility to schedule around food to some extent; when I'm busy, this means that I can only make time for those meals and I don't think about food otherwise.

My tip, therefore (I suppose), would be to make time for food. It frees up the rest of your time to focus on whatever it is you're doing and means that you won't be thinking about food outside certain times.

If I can't find time, I'll often take advantage of the few hours a week I feel like being creative and invent some meals I can stick in a box and take with me.
ThomsonsPier

It's a trick. Get an axe.

gingercake
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Post by gingercake » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:50 pm

I don't have any ideas but I do have sympathy. Everyone in my family but me are teachers, and I know how insane the schedules are. I think the fact that you are thinking about this now is a huge step - as a teacher and mom, you know that planning is everything!

navi
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Post by navi » Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:05 pm

Betty, I am the same way! I am not a teacher, but I have always loved fruits & veggies so much that I always lose weight in the summer (noS or not) when everything is in season. I find that i feel really deprived if i don't get my healthy foods. last night i went to dinner at a friend's house and all we had was quiche. it was homemade and delicious, but i just didn't feel satisfied without my fruits & veggies! for the first time in a long time i really wanted to snack at night (watermelon, not junk food, but i resisted). Now that i am doing 3 meals a day i really want them to be wonderful meals! i used to eat fast food when i was really stressed & depressed & wanting to binge. Now if i get the slight urge (usually when driving by, a Pavlovian response most likely) i don't stop because even though i know i can have fast food as a meal if i want to on noS, i HATE to waste a meal on that junk, it just doesn't seem complete to me.

So what to do during the school year? My trick for work days is to prepare everything on Sunday for the upcoming week's breakfast and lunch. You can cut up veggies, cheese slices and put them in containers in advance. I eat pretty much the same thing for B & L all week, it makes it easier. After some experimentation this is my standard lunch:

Cut up raw veggies (carrots, cukes and grape tomatoes, red peppers in winter)

About an ounce of delicious, full fat cheese (I love cabot!)

Fruit

A mix of walnuts and dried fruits

Chicken or tuna, or occasionally small portion of previous night's dinner

A portion of organic blue corn chips (i discovered long ago that i would rather eat these than bread - i have just a few and they are so delicious that it makes me happy to eat them every day!)

Finally, my favorite: I portion a mix of frozen raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and peaches (no sugar added) into small containers & store in the freezer. Grab one each morning, put in fridge along with lunch, and by the time lunch gets around it is perfectly thawed but still cold. Mixed with a small amount of Fage greek yogurt (plain, full fat) this is an ultra healthy and delicious end to lunch. I don't add honey, but you may want to. I am not a big sugar person, and I find regular yogurt way too sweet.

That may sound like alot of lunch, but it is really delicious, and I love having a bit of this and a bit of that to eat. I don't always eat everything, but it is there if I need it. My lunch is always full of red, green, blue foods, and is beautiful to look at too. Get it all ready on Sunday and you just have to grab & go in the morning.....

For breakfast I have OJ, fruit, an egg, and either grits, a piece of WW toast, or wild rice pilaf cooked with red lentils, red peppers, carrots, spinach (currently pilaf is my favorite - i make a batch on sunday).

Anyhow, sorry for the rambling post, i just love to find someone who loves the summer bounty as much as i do!

Betty
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Post by Betty » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:19 pm

Thanks for the tips, gionta.

For me, the killer is lunch. We don't have passing periods where I work, so all the one-on-one time happens at lunch. That whittles my 40 minutes down to 20 minutes on most days, and, if I need to get the class set up for the next class, I have only 10 minutes or so to have lunch.

I tend to make big batches of healthy stuff on Sunday. Chilli with tons of veggies and a half a sandwich and an apple makes for a great lunch, but I find that it's the rush-- and the eating out of tupperware-- that makes the meal so unsatisfying.

Maybe in the end I just need to get over it. Make breakfast and dinner as lovely and social as possible, and just learn to accept that lunch is just for fuel. I hope, I hope, I hope I can get my habits strong enough this summer to make it through the fall madness. Here's to an all-green July!

betty

navi
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Post by navi » Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:03 pm

I used to scarf food down in front of my computer & I agree, it is not satisfying, no matter what you eat! I have started to carve out a lunch period (1/2 to 1 hour) so that I can slow down and enjoy, that makes all the difference - particularly if I have lunch with other people. I guess you don't have the luxury though. I think your idea of making the most of B & D (and weekends!) is a good compromise.

kccc
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Post by kccc » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:01 pm

I read this thread with interest, b/c I actually find non-work days harder due to the lack of structure. On work days, my meals fall into a "pattern" that I get used to very quickly. During vacations, those patterns fall apart unless I'm very careful.

I also eat my lunch quickly, but that's my own choice - I use lunchtime to exercise.

Betty
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Post by Betty » Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:15 pm

I think that during the work week it's all fight and flight for me. Dh is away for one to three weeks in a month, and when he's gone it feels like the whole world is on my shoulders. Everything goes so fast and there's no time to nurture myself. There's a constant whine from myself and everyone around me: "I need this NOWWW!"

And it's this particular kind of stress, the one that comes from giving to others constantlyand not finding time to regenerate, that sends me to snackville. I think, subconsciously, that eating feels like something that goes into me alone, that I don't have to share or overthink :?: .

So maybe the answer is to find a way to regenerate during the day. KCCC, I know you do yoga-- when do you fit it in? For all you moms and dads with busy schedules, what do you do to take care of yourself during the week???

kccc
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Post by kccc » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:08 pm

KCCC, I know you do yoga-- when do you fit it in? For all you moms and dads with busy schedules, what do you do to take care of yourself during the week???
I have a different work environment, and am able to take a yoga class on my lunch hour. (Yes, I'm lucky.) I also have one child and a supportive husband. He likes to exercise too, so we support each other in making time.

On days when I can't go to class b/c of work meetings too close to lunch (or because class is on hiatus, which happens for several weeks between sessions), I do "15 minutes in the morning." I get up earlier than the rest of the family for "my time" anyway. Usually I make myself coffee and journal (which I consider "meditation for the hopelessly Western mind"), and just allow myself the luxury of listening to birds and mentally getting ready for the day. But on days when I can't get to "real exercise," 15 minutes in the morning makes a tremendous difference.

If I can't fit that in, then I do an evening wind-down yoga routine. It's on a cd, and is very relaxing, so I can do it before bedtime. Sometimes my son likes to do some of it with me, or watch. When he was littler and I "stayed with him" until he slept, I'd do it in his room.

Just 15 minutes (okay 14 if you like) of anything will help a lot. My goal is at least 15 minutes 5 days out of 7.

Betty, I don't know how old your kid(s) are - I have found that the pattern has changed periodically as my son has gotten older. It used to be 15 minutes (or more) of walking with him in the stroller. Then we did a stretch where I'd walk around the playground while he played. There were other permutations as well... keeps changing. As long as I think creatively, I can usually figure something out.

Also, when I feel that the world is pulling on me and I need to "fill my own cup" so I can be a resource to others, I look for "little things that make me happy." I buy flowers for the house, or a nice scented candle. I listen to music while cleaning the kitchen... there are a lot of non-food treats if you look for them.

Hope some of this helps. Best wishes. I love how we help each other on this board - I am looking to you for "non-structured" inspiration. :)

funfuture
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Post by funfuture » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:15 pm

Boy, Betty. Can I relate to this thread.
I think that during the work week it's all fight and flight for me.
And it's this particular kind of stress, the one that comes from giving to others constantlyand not finding time to regenerate, that sends me to snackville. I think, subconsciously, that eating feels like something that goes into me alone, that I don't have to share or overthink .
That's me to a T... not sure what I can add to this thread, as I'm still struggling through this one. I'm my own worst enemy as I actually love being over busy and much in demand...but there's a point where it becomes self-destructive because i'm just not looking after myself properly. It reminds me of the instructions for use of the oxygen mask on planes - the parent is instructed to use it first before giving it to the children. I'm starting to think that I need that approach for my whole life. :) I'm not going to be much good to anyone if I wear my body out through mistreatment.

I struggle most with snacking on weekends - partly because that's when it is my turn to look after my 90-year-old mum. My sister and her husband are doing much much more these days (and have moved near her so keep an eye on her during the week), so I no longer do that much really. I no longer do all the cooking for her. We get meals on wheels now during the week. But I still do her weekend meals and shopping etc. And now that we have got her off many of her medications and improved her nutrition, her mind has largely cleared and there isn't that much looking after to do. :-) Nevertheless, I find that I often get to the point where I just feel overwhelmed by everything on a weekend and then head for the pantry cupboard. One thing that really helps me is to leave DD with her grandmother while I go for a long walk before dinner (which I can do now because she isn't an infant any longer.) That makes a huge difference to how stressed I feel by saturday night and really helps stop the "self-nurturing" snacking.

Part of why the walk works for me is because I really need some alone time. A friend of mine who is a judge took fright recently at how much weight I had gained and told me that when she got her appointment to the bench, she was sent on an 'executives' training course' where they were told that successful executives/judges managed at least 4 hours of exercise/alone time each week. That that is the estimated time a person needs to recharge their batteries without working or giving in to the demands of others. That made sense to me, and I'm now striving to get those 4 hours in where I can each week (which means, for me, walking, which I've always loved.)

It helps that life on the whole is much much easier for me this year, which is why I could start NoS....DD is getting older and more independent; I have completed some major work projects recently and not started a new one yet, so this past semester was a relatively light one; etc.

I'm finding the regular walks make me more productive and patient at work and at home. The regular eating makes me feel more in control. I'm realising that I also need to set up some more systems at home to make things work better - particularly for decluttering the house, budgeting, etc (they are the two main ones) - but it feels like things are now on track.

Re food at work - I don't really like freezing sandwiches, so I make my lunch each morning when I make DD's. I tend to eat at my desk while I am working (not great, but not much choice). I take a really nice bread though (heavy seeded) and often make a toasted sandwich with it in the work kitchen (jaffle). That feels like such a treat because I love melted cheese! I also take fruit and vegies and leftovers - depends on the day really.

But, one other thing that does work for me - makes me calmer and feel a bit saner - is something that you mentioned - I don't fuss too much about lunch because there isn't much I can do about it being rushed and crazy. Instead, I have a proper breakfast in the mornings with DD (something my family always did when I was growing up). And we also sit down to dinner for some special time together. On the advice of one of her previous preschool teachers, we don't turn the telly on during the week, so there is time for us to be together and there's also time for her to do her homework etc. This works for us and gives us both a window of quiet time while we eat.

Anwyay, I can really sympathise with where you are coming from!
Good luck with solving this one - and let's know what you sort out to make it all work better for you. :D

Betty
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Post by Betty » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:51 pm

Thanks for the tips, KCCC and funfuture. I think I average about an hour and a half of "me" time during the week. Maybe I'll work on trying to eek out 4 hours in the fall, and see if that helps.

After career and kids all my hobbies just fell away. I think I need to reinvent myself, somehow.

Thanks again,
Betty

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BrightAngel
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Post by BrightAngel » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:16 pm

funfare,
I was encouraged by your posted statements here.
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

Dawn
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Post by Dawn » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:47 pm

You say you have between 40 and 20 min for lunch on most days, well, that's probably what most of us have. Making the most of 20 min isn't easy, but with a little thought you can do it. I used to pack a very small cutting board and knife because I love to eat apples but only if I can cut them up. I was lucky that we had dish wear and silver wear (well, maybe it wasn't silver) where I used to work so that made lunch seem "official", but if I didn't have that available I would have brought my own stuff and took it home each day to wash.

Just try as hard as you can to get at least 20 min everyday for an "official" lunch break. The Earth will continue to spin while you take this little break, of course not nearly as smooth as it does when you are running things, but it will still spin. :)
Dawn

CrazyCatLady
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Post by CrazyCatLady » Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:52 pm

Betty wrote:Thanks for the tips, KCCC and funfuture. I think I average about an hour and a half of "me" time during the week. Maybe I'll work on trying to eek out 4 hours in the fall, and see if that helps.

After career and kids all my hobbies just fell away. I think I need to reinvent myself, somehow.

Thanks again,
Betty

When I was in nursing school, an instructor advised us to cultivate an active hobby and a sedentary hobby. That way, when we retire, we will have something that we enjoy doing. And whether we are physically disabled or not, we would have something! At the time, I was a single parent of two young children, and going to school full time. It really didn't leave much time for extras! I still struggle with finding time for myself now, but I know that it is very important. It is another piece of the "common sense" that No S eating fits into. A certain balance in life...addressing our nutritional needs, our physical need for exercise, our spiritual needs, and our need to relax and recharge.

funfuture
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Post by funfuture » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:41 am

an instructor advised us to cultivate an active hobby and a sedentary hobby.
What great advice! thanks.

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