I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be a great one. Don't get me wrong, last year was a big one for me. My son Elliott was born, my oldest started Kindergarten and I turned 35. The last one was probably the hardest for me, but I have achieved a level of comfort in my own skin that my 20-year old self would envy.
Of course, that doesn't mean I don't want to improve on a good thing...
I am not big on creating New Year's Resolutions. I have a rather bad track record for completing them, but I do enjoy goals. Sometimes it is nice to have a game plan for achieving a balanced lifestyle. My plans include some simple switches, tricks and products like Lean Cuisine, Skinny Cow and Coffee-mate to help achieve my goals for the year.
So on our weekly trip into Walmart I picked up a few extra items in addition to our household staples to get ready for the first day of the year and beyond.
I am not worried about a quick fix. Yes, I have baby weight to lose and could eat healthier this year, but I am not interested in eating bland tasteless meals or trying out a fad diet. Instead I am looking for ways to be healthier and happier long term. So my first rule of 2014 centers around starting each day right.
1. Fuel up with Breakfast
The most important meal of the day? For this busy Mom, it is often the hardest to fit in. Up with the alarm, going non-stop till my son is safely on the bus, wears me out. Then my attention turns to the baby and getting my daughter going, chores and obligations fill up every other available moment.
Too many mornings I haven't gotten around to feeding myself. Now, my head knows I can't make it through a busy day without eating, but my schedule doesn't always leave me time. At Walmart I grabbed the LEAN CUISINE® Morning Collection™, Turkey Sausage English Muffin so I would have no excuses.
This is the perfect grab and go option. I started yesterday by defrosting and heating my sandwich in the microwave. It was delicious, filling and I didn't have to prepare each piece separately or leave my house to enjoy it.
Okay, so breakfast?
2. Move More
This one should be easy with small kids, right? Well, all those short bursts are great, but I would like to carve out more time to elevate my heart rate, 30 minutes or more. So with new shoes and some new tunes on my iPhone, I am going to lace up each morning when I take my son to the bus stop. I have a good stroller and shoes for my daughter. Since I have to leave the house anyway, this is the perfect time to fit exercise in.
3. Cut Back on Sugar
I have a sweet tooth the size of New Jersey! I do enjoy baking (you may have noticed this with my frequent dessert posts) and don't plan to give it up anytime soon, but I can cut back on sugar in other places. My morning coffee is one.
The first thing I do when I head downstairs is make a fresh cup of coffee. Coffee creamer has been my weakness since the baby was born. I look forward to it in the morning. A simple switch of the Sugar-Free French Vanilla Coffee-mate and I am only adding 15 extra calories per serving to my cup of coffee, no extra sugar, but loads of vanilla flavor.
Now, that is a reason to get out of bed in the morning!
4. Plan Ahead to Eat Right
Okay, now that I started my day right, I still need to keep the momentum going. Life always has unexpected surprises in store for me. I don't always make the best food choices if I don't have easy and fast options on hand. Again, I was able to find more Lean Cuisine options to help with this.
I love simple and fast foods. These LEAN CUISINE® Stuffed Pretzels in Three Cheese & Spinach appealed to my ooey gooey love of pretzels and cheese. These are easy to heat and take with me or eat one-handed while feeding the baby.
The outer savory pretzel crust was great with the cheesy, rich filling. The perfect finger food.
Then there are veggie days. Some days I really just want to chow down on a big salad or a big wrap bursting with veggies. The LEAN CUISINE® Wrap ADDITIONS™ in Creamy Balsamic Chicken was perfect for lunch yesterday. With a microwavable steamer bag filled with broccoli, peppers, asparagus, and chicken, the package also contains a pouch of tangy balsamic spread. All I have to do is supply was the wrap and lunch is served.
This would also be perfect for a whole wheat pita, flat bread pizza or even lettuce wraps. I didn't want to waste a drop of the spread. I think they should market it on it's own. It would make a killer veggie dip.
And the last selection I chose was the LEAN CUISINE® Sesame Chicken. Again, It was delicious, easy and fast to make. No excuse left for me to grab fast food or skip a meal.
With so many tasty options, which would you grab for a fast lunch? I am not sure I could choose just one. I love variety in my food though, so having a wide selection ready in my freezer will keep me looking forward to lunch time.
Delicious, portioned food, fast?
5. Treat Yourself
And after a long day of being a Mom, I like to have a simple treat. You know that moment when the house goes still and everyone else is finally asleep? That is my time. Time for a cup of herbal tea and a little chocolate treat.
I don't do well when I try to deprive myself.
I found this Skinny Cow Divine Candy and it was the perfect evening sweet for me. 3 chocolates per package with caramel centers for just 130 calories a pouch. Did I mention I love caramel? Now, that I can work into my 2014 plan.
A treat for me?
And if you still aren't sure that these Lean Cuisine meals taste as amazing as I hope they look, Lean Cuisine currently has a Try It Money Back Guarantee at Walmart. Purchase 10 Lean Cuisine entrees between 1/1/14 and 2/15/14 and see the difference. Here are the details:
LEAN CUISINE Feel Great Money Back Guarantee (“MBG”) available to residents of the 50 U.S. and D.C. only and only valid at Walmart. One MBG per household/address. Cash register receipt(s) and UPC codes required; no copies accepted. Register receipt(s) must be dated no later than 2/15/14, nor be postmarked later than 2/28/14. MBG covers Walmart price of 10 LEAN CUISINE entrées and any tax thereon; postage required to mail in MBG request not included. Official MBG Form (required), and full terms can be found at Walmart.com/nestle. Offer ends 2/15/14.Do you make resolutions?
How will you achieve your goals in 2014?