End of summer wake up call! Time to get the train rolling again!

Welcome to the end of August… where did summer go?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my fall sweatshirt weather and lighting that first fire in the fireplace, but there is nothing like the adventures of summer!
Stepping on the scale today for the first time in several weeks was a true wake up call. I did not like what I saw.  
Now, before you say anything, I am NOT one that is completely driven by the number on the scale.  Yes, I do use it as a checkpoint along my wellness journey, but it is not the main focus on my goals. My focus is to be the happiest healthiest version of myself so that I can continue to lead an active life, doing the things that I love.
I will be the first to admit, that over the summer, I was not as disciplined as I should have been… especially during the last month. Yes, I had some grand adventures, spending time with friends and family, traveling and training/racing.   This meant lots of meals out, workouts missed, dinners made on the fly and so much more.  I would not want to trade this time for the world…
But it’s time to face reality.  It’s time to get back on track!
Although I don’t have any kids going back to school, and don’t have to worry about all the new schedules and routines, I have decided that I need to get myself back into MY routine.
There are a few things that I have found really help me to stay on track, even when life throws crazy stuff at me!
1.  Meal planning 
This is usually the 1st thing that gets pushed aside when life gets crazy!  But I know that taking that few minutes over the weekend to figure out what is going on during the next week, and what we are going to eat for dinners can really make a difference!  Yes, it is important to know how many people will be home for dinner on any given night, as that can really play into what we make!
I usually get a few ideas for meals from everyone else and then figure out a few more based on what we currently have in the freezer/pantry.  At least once a week, I will try a new recipe.  Sometimes this is for dinner, others I make it as part of my lunch and then if it is successful, it will make it into the dinner rotation.  Thursday is usually leftover night, unless I know that dinner leftovers will be taking for lunches!  This is usually done so that we can work on getting the fridge empty before I go shopping again.
2. Food Prep
No, this is not the same as Meal Planning!  Once I do the grocery shopping, I take some time to do some quick food prep before stuffing everything into the fridge.  I try to portion up bags of veggies for snacks, cut up any fruit that needs some prep before eating (melons etc) so that it is easier to grab and go.
I have found that by taking a few minutes to prep fruits and veggies for snacks, there is a higher probability that they will be eaten!  Uncut, a bag of celery can sit in my fridge for 2 weeks and then end up getting thrown out.  By cutting it up and portioning some out, that same bag of celery can be eaten in 3 days!  I have even recently purchased some 2oz disposable cups with lids so that I can portion out hummus and other dips, sauces or dressing for ease of packing in lunches!  Veggies for salads are often chopped up so that salad making is just a matter of tossing ingredients into a bowl!
Also, if I know that I can do some prep for dinner ahead of time, I will.  For example, if we are having stir fry one night, I might cut up all the veggies and put them into a zip top bag in the fridge.  I will also cut up the chicken and put that it it’s own bag.  The night before, I will then add whatever marinade I am using into the chicken so that it has time to do it’s magic overnight!
3.  Fill up that water bottle!
We all have heard how important it is to drink enough water.  But do you really know how much you are drinking?  I have found that if I don’t have my water bottle filled up and handy, I don’t drink nearly as much as I need to!  I actually splurged over the summer and bought a Hidrate Spark smart water bottle.  It tracks water consumption and communicates with an app on my phone and the bottle even lights up to remind me to drink!  I take it almost everywhere with me, even hiking out to the remote waterfalls!  
No, you don’t need a smart water bottle to make sure you are drinking enough, but for me, it has been a huge factor in me getting in enough hydration!  I easily average 90-100oz of water each day or more when I use my bottle… days that I don’t, not so much! (note: right now, there is a back to school promo on the website to save you on your own bottle, but even if you miss the sale, the affiliate link above will save you 10% on your order)
Yes there are more things that I do, or can do to keep myself on track, but these are just a few of the key ones that I know I need to get myself back on track!
What are some of the things you do in order to keep yourself moving forward towards your goals?  Share your favorite tip below!  Then check out everyone else’s tips and maybe find some new ideas for yourself!

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