This is where I admit I am a compulsive list-maker…
I thought I’d take a moment to talk about how I plan each week. This includes my food plan, my work out plan and my to-do list.
As an attorney at a law firm, my schedule varies day to day, but I almost always know at least a week ahead of time what will be on my plate for court appearances. Other than that, I keep pretty much a 9 to 5 schedule for work, which makes things easy. Right now I have a lot more flexibility and am working less so I am not going into the office every day. This gives me more time for working around the house. I’ll explain my schedule with both a regular 40 hr a week job and a flexible or no job life.
To-Do List scheduling:
First off, I try to “assign” myself at least six tasks a day. I chose the number six for various reasons. First of all, I had read some literature from Martha Stewart (books, articles, etc) about being successful and it suggested having a goal of six. That’s a great starting point. I am sorry that I can’t reference back to specific articles or books, but it has been a long time that I have been doing this. The second thing is that I love the quote from Alice in Wonderland “Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” That just solidified it. To be honest, I often have more than six things on a to-do list for the day, but I make sure to AT LEAST have six and am satisfied if I have more and only accomplish six.
If I am working, I count Morning and Afternoon as two separate tasks on my daily two do list. Then I only have four things to do at home (which can be a lot after working a full day!). If I have a flexible schedule I will generally work either the morning or the afternoon and I’ll just count one task for either of those. At work, I also keep a separate to-do list where I have six work tasks to do a day.
I like to hand-write my to-do list. I just like the feel of seeing it all laid out on a sheet of paper and placing things so they will work out.
From back in my tv station days, I run my calendar on a Mon-Sun base (that’s how tv schedule weeks run).
So I set up a one-page sheet in a notebook or notepad. I start with Monday, put the date and then number 1 through 6. Then tues, and so forth. Typically I can fit Mon-Thurs on one half of the sheet and then Fri-Sun on the other half. (If you fold a sheet of paper “hot dog style”).
I start off by putting in the days I am working. Then I fill one “task” for “workout” on each day. And then from there I fill in the rest of my to-do’s.
A finished page usually looks something like this.
Next up, I work on our food plan for the week.
Again, I’ll use one sheet of paper and put Mon-Thurs on one half and Fri-Sun on the other.
I put each day and then the meals for the day. I have been switching around how we do our food and trying to find a better plan for eating.
So, I will either do, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with two snacks (as B,L,D,S1,S2) , or I’ll have Meals 1-7(as M1, M2, etc).
I will either look through the cabinets and fridges and make a list of what I have, or review the list from the week before and mark off what we ate. I use this so I know what foods we have in our fridge and cabinets and I try to use as much of those as possible. I do this for a couple reasons. 1) I am trying to reduce waste and having to throw out food for going bad or expiring. 2) I am trying to get rid of the “bad” food we have and replace it with better options. So, I use a little of the “bad” stuff each week until its all gone. 3) We want to move out of our house, so I am trying to get rid of the excess food in our cabinets so there will be less to move.
I tend to try to cook bigger meals on the weekends and keep things more simple during the week by either doing leftovers or “quick” cook meals.
I start off by filling in the “easy” stuff. So, breakfast b/c that is the easiest for me. Lately, I’ve been baking a large egg casserole, loaded with veggies, on Sunday night or Monday morning and then cutting it and putting it in containers in the fridge. This keeps breakfast super easy and healthy. Before, if there wasn’t something “easy” for my husband to grab, he would stop and pick something up on the way to work. This keeps him eating better. Bonus points for being a ton cheaper than eating out and also keeps me on task with my nutrition.
My M1-7 meal plan has me eating as follows:
M1- metabolism booster
M2- breakfast (I try to combine a protein and lots of veggies)
M3- fruit (aka one piece)
M4 – lunch (protein, veggie and low glycemic index carb)
M5 – snack or smoothie
M6- dinner (protein, veggie and sometimes a low glycemic index carb)
M7- skip or a piece of fruit
My BLD SS days consist of the following:
Breakfast – Protein and veggies
Lunch – protein, low GI carb and veggies
S2? – veggies/fruit
Dinner – protein, low GI carb, and veggies
S2? – fruit
As you can see they are very similar.
The next “easy” thing is filling in those fruits. I make sure I have apples, grapefruit, oranges, bananas (for the hubs), etc in the fridge to count for all the fruits we need for the week.
Then I look at dinner…
I like to have fish or seafood one or two nights a week. Fill in with some chicken and limit the pork/beef meals to only one or twice a week. I also try to rotate so we are not eating the same “meat” two days in a row, if possible. And, I also try to not have the same meal two days in a row (so if I make chili on Sunday, we’ll have leftover chili Tues or Wed, but not Monday). Once I get my meats established, I will add in my veggies and if we are having a carb/starch with the meal.
Next I move to lunches where I look at what we have for dinner and use that in lunches, if possible, or I’ll make a whole new plan (usually chicken, tuna etc for lunch).
Lately I’ve been doing wraps for the hubs and I because they are easy, kind of fun to think up, and make me feel like summertime. We also do salads or Ill do tuna, hummus, cheese and veggie sticks as a meal (hubs gets crackers).
My trainer told me about these wraps, which are high in fiber and protein. I get the whole wheat because I like that they are “whole wheat flour” rather than “enriched” flour.
After my whole week is filled in, I will go back through and put together a store list. I tend to shop at both a local farmer’s market and the regular grocery store each week.
A finished food plan looks like this.
I will talk more about the “bad” foods I’m trying to eliminate from our diets in a later post as part of my healthy series, but I did want to touch on it a bit here as well. They aren’t all necessarily bad from a conventional stand-point, but just don’t fit into the way we are trying to eat now.
First off, my trainer has me on a low GI diet right now. So a lot of the “bad” stuff is just stuff that does not fit into that diet because it has a higher glycemic impact (white flour pasta, breads, crackers, etc). The other “bad” stuff I’m trying to get rid of is mostly non-organic or processed foods. This is because we are trying to eat more and more organic and whole foods. But a little bit of the “bad” stuff each week until its gone, won’t hurt us. It’s a process, not a cold-turkey plan.
For Exercise, I have been using the Tone It Up bikini series weekly plans (posted on Sundays). That will end in another two weeks so I’ll either plan my own work-outs or find another system. Starting in July my workouts will be driven by marathon training, but that’s another month away a whole other post series. :o)
How do you plan your weeks? Do you plan your weeks at all? Do you plan out weekly menus or play it day-to-day?