Tag Archives: planning ahead

Guest Post: A New Mom’s Tip for Creating Balance

Today OnBalance features a post from new mama, experienced yogi, and fitness trainer Katie Painter.  Katie is based in Richmond, Virginia.  Find Katie on Facebook for more healthy living tips.


“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Is this not the most irritating quote you’ve ever heard? No? Just me?

I think this quote grates on my nerves because it sends me right into defense mode.


As a new mom to a six-month old I like to say that parenting is easy… as long as you’re lucky enough to have a laid-back baby and you’re super organized. I am only one of those things and it’s not organized. (Though now that I’ve put it into writing I’m sure I somehow angered the Happy Baby Gods and my little one will now suddenly turn into a sleepless, teething hellion.)

So in an attempt to make life a little easier, I tried to get organized and started food prepping on Sunday nights. Because when I fail to plan, I fail HARD at eating well.

Food prep means different things to different people. For my family, food prep isn’t perfectly portioned containers stacked up in the fridge ready to go. That’s not necessary or practical for us, but I do like to get food cleaned and ready to go so at the end of the day cooking isn’t a time consuming challenge.

Here’s a quick peek at what food prep usually looks like for us:

  • Veggies sliced, diced and seasoned
  • Crockpot chicken (By far the greatest food prep hack! Place 4 chicken breasts in 4c water, let sit all day with some salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder then remove, shred with a fork and store.)
  • Baked chicken (We love Lowery’s seasoning)
  • Ground turkey in homemade taco seasoning
  • Mason Jar Salads

Lunches are the hardest meal for me because if the little one is being needy, I have to eat with one hand while she squirms in my other arm. That means I grab whatever is ready to go. Mason jar salads are the best thing Pinterest has ever given me.

There are really only two rules for building any kind of mason jar salad:

1) Use ALL the veggies. (The more veggies you can throw into your salad, the happier your body will be!)

2) Keep your dressing and leafy greens as far away as possible. (Harder veggies like tomatoes, peppers, etc. will soak up the dressing a bit without wilting so put those in first.)

Here’s my current favorite recipe:


  • 2 TBSP Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Grape Tomatoes (As many as you want… go ahead and load ‘em up!)
  • 1oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2oz Pasta (Please don’t fall for the PROTEIN label in the picture! This is still a starchy carb and does not count as a fat loss protein source… we just like the taste of this particular kind)
  • 2c Baby Spinach

Add ingredients in the order listed above starting with the dressing on the bottom of the jar. (I add a small paper towel square to help absorb water and keep my spinach crisp.) Then seal up the jar, pop it in the fridge, and flip upside down into a bowl when you’re ready to enjoy.

Add protein later by heating up chicken before adding the salad OR add your favorite protein source right into the jar.

Have you tried mason jar salads? Share with us your favorite recipe!


Are you ready?

The inaugural Zooma half marathon is less than 48 hours away!  Want to know how you can prepare for the best race day experience possible?

First of all, have you picked up your race packet?  If not, make sure you do that today or tomorrow.  There is no packet pick-up on Saturday.

Next, check the weather forecast — it’s going to be a scorcher– and plan what you are going to wear for the race.  Make sure you have worn it all before– no need to invite first-wear chafing to your big race– and are comfortable in it.  Then pin your bib number to your shorts or shirt.  After choosing which pair of shoes will give you the fleetest of feet, tie the timing chip to your shoe as directed in your packet.

Then think about what you like to eat and drink during the race.  Whatever your chosen flavor of goo, gel, bar, or nugget, make sure you have tried it in a training run and then pack it with you for the race.  If you have a certain flavor of energy drink that you love, take it with you.  The extra weight of carrying it is worth having something that makes you feel comfortable and confident that your body is going to respond positively.

Pack a post-race bag: this bag will be dropped near the start line and be accessible to you after the race.  It should, therefore, have things like a full change of clothes (don’t forget dry undies, whatever type of bra you prefer, and clean socks!) and a small toiletry kit with facial wipes, deodorant, hairbrush, and feminine hygeine products if necessary.  You can also pack things like a hat and sunglasses if you didn’t wear them during the race.  If you have a favorite post-race snack, pack it with you.  Although there will undoubtedly be food at the finish, you’ll be glad you have something you know you like.

You should also be giving plenty of attention to what you eat today and tomorrow.  Don’t try anything new, especially if it’s spicy.  By eating as cleanly as possible today and tomorrow, you’re doing your body the favor of spending less time processing food and more time keeping muscles healthy.  Also, drink plenty of water starting today to make sure your body is well hydrated. 

Most importantly, rest.  There are no more workouts that will help with race day.  Maximize your energy stores by staying off of your feet as much as possible.   I also suggest going to go to bed early, not just tomorrow night before the race but tonight as well.  Tonight’s sleep is key for fresh muscles Saturday morning, especially because of race logistics that dictate being on-site so early.

See you at the starting line!