If only there were more hours in the day …
If you’ve found yourself thinking that phrase nearly every single weekday, then you are likely a busy gal (or guy), who has a lot going on. And while sometimes people are super proud to say that they are “absolutely swamped,” some of us just have a lot of things we need to do and wouldn’t mind more free time. Nonetheless, with the right routine, we make it work.
Whether you work full time, part time or you’re an always-on parent, hopefully you’ve found a few things that help you to be the best version of yourself. And I’m not talking about the six-pack abs, figure-competitor appearance version of you (not that there’s anything wrong with that) — I’m talking about feeling energized, thankful, mobile and nourished each day.
Based on my experience of being a healthy gal over the years — both while working in a fitness job and a desk job (and they both have their pros and cons, believe me) — I’ve not only observed the healthy actions of those around me worth emulating, but I’ve also done some trial and error on myself.
Wondering how to keep it all together when you have a lot going on? Here’s how we do it …
1. Prioritize our sleep and go to bed early.
The saying “you can sleep when you’re dead” is not the best friend of a healthy gal in a busy world. While we always want to make the most of each day, us healthy folks know that when we sleep, our muscles grow, our metabolisms work and our mind regenerates so we can take on the next day even stronger. It’s not glamorous to claim that you skip activities and turn your lights off religiously at a certain time, but a lot of us hit the hay around 10 p.m. most nights, and we like it like that. We also know that we need to keep a fairly consistent bed-time and wake-up time, so we strive for that — even on the weekends.
2. Find workouts that we like to do and do them regularly.
While sometimes you have to do things that you don’t love in order to get stronger, as a rule, if you want to stick to a fitness program, you should enjoy what you’re doing. Most healthy gals have a yoga practice, or a favorite barre studio or, like me, teach Les Mills group fitness classes a few times a week. And we do this, because we know that regular movement of our bodies is good. We love to feel the endorphins of a good workout – no matter the intensity – and we appreciate our bodies for the work that they do. We don’t beat them down by forcing ourselves to do exercising that stresses us out. No way. We do what we love. (But we also sometimes incorporate things we don’t love, like stretching after a workout, because we need it.) Some of my favorite workouts include Les Mills BODYPUMP, Les Mills BODYATTACK classes, as well as CorePower Yoga, which I haven’t been to in way too long. But I also love to do a quick freestyle dumbbell routine at the gym on my own. It makes me feel strong.
3. Plan our meals in advance and bring our lunch to work.
I’m not saying that you cannot go out to lunch, but if you’re a busy gal (or guy) who has to head off to an office or school each day, it’s absolutely best to bring your lunch more often than not. That way you control what’s in your food, and you know you have it waiting for you if there’s not enough time to head out to pick something up when lunch-time strikes. Also, you save a little dough that way. Most healthy and busy gals probably employ a meal-prep practice in order to batch cook a few of their favorite things each week, which is what I do. (You can see my regular rotation here, and it hasn’t failed me yet.) And as a general rule, we choose food that is a little closer to the source than not, as in, we like organic lean meats, veggies, fruit, nuts, and we try to stay away from super processed things. Our plates are usually pretty full of the good stuff, with a little bit of the “okay” stuff, as well.
4. Snack smartly. And have our favorites on hand at all times.
A healthy and busy gal is not nice when she is “hangry.” And that’s the truth. I’ve spoken so many times on ALGW about my love of snacks, and I rarely go anywhere without them. But if you’re not careful, your snacks can add up to more calories than your meals, so you need to be cognizant of what you’re nibbling on between regular meals. Most of us healthy and busy gals have a few go-to favorite snacks that feature a combination of carbs, protein and fat and — most importantly — they taste good. We’re not forcing ourselves to eat what we don’t like, because we’ve found things that we enjoy, which also nourish us. But we also choose things that are convenient, for instance, these Dandy® Celery snack packs are perfect for snacking with ease. You don’t need to clean up or chop the produce — it’s all ready for you when you need it. Adding some fresh green celery with a little peanut butter for a mid-day snack or pre-workout fuel is the way to go, because you are getting healthy fat from the PB. Lately I’ve been digging into these lovelies, and I would highly suggest them to anyone who needs a balanced snack contender. By the way, Dandy® also offers combination packs with ranch and Sriracha and whatnot for a little kick, but I’m a PB gal through and through.
5. Keep active and involve others with us.
I’m not saying you have to have a little doggie to be a healthy and busy gal, but it sure does help you add steps to your day when you need to walk one. Moral of the story: We healthy gals tend to make “walking dates” or go hiking with our husbands/boyfriends/significant others/girlfriends/pets in our limited free time away from work, because we like to move. We also know that the movement we do throughout the day outside of our workouts can be just as important. We choose to walk. We choose to take the stairs. And we like a little fresh air when we can get it. And we also get up and get away from our desks as often as possible. But by the way, we do watch TV and veg out, but we never forget to incorporate movement. Also to note: We get extra points when we get people around us on board with this whole “healthy living” thing too.
6. Thrive on our routine, but leave room for fun.
This is perhaps the biggest one. Most healthy and busy gals have their routine down, so they don’t have to think too hard about little decisions. Whether that means packing your gym bag the night before a morning workout or dropping by the Farmer’s Market at the exact same time each week to pick up local produce like clock-work — if you give yourself a routine, it’s easier to get it all done with seamless transitions. But of course, you MUST, and I repeat MUST, leave room for some spontaneous fun here and there. And don’t be too strict with your diet. Healthy gals know that it’s totally fine to have dessert and an adult beverage when you’re out to dinner. Take it from this lady, who has not missed a weekend of wine or cheesecake in many years, life is too short to say no to everything. Say yes, but only to just the right amount. Ya feel me?
Those are the six! But before we close, you should know that the most important thing you can do to be a thriving healthy and busy gal is find some happiness in your life, thank yourself for trying to be the best version of you and make the right decisions most of the time. Not all of the time, though. Because we’ve got to live a little (see habit number six above). And while you’re living, make sure you dip a crunchy celery stick into some PB and get your steps in, friends. Life is good. Busy days and all.
Join the Summer Snacking Sweepstakes
My friends at Dandy® wanted me to let you know that if you’re feeling healthy and lucky, you can join the Summer Snacking Sweepstakes that Dandy® and a few other fresh produce brands are holding right now. When you enter, you can even download a free ebook with summer-recipes.
Find Dandy® Celery in stores
And if you’re ready to dip into Dandy®, you can find the products at your local Safeway or Lucky stores and get to snackin’. By the way, fun fact: Dandy® Celery is grown by Duda Farms, which are family farms in both California and Florida — my only two states of residence. Good stuff!
Hey, if you found yourself in some of these habits, feel free to share this list or tell me which ones resonated with you in the comments below!Do you have these six must-do habits of #healthy and busy gals? ... Click To Tweet
**Please note: This post is sponsored by Dandy® Celery. While I received product and compensation, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors of ALGW.
Questions of the day
What’s your healthy gal or healthy guy habit?
What’s your favorite snack pairing?