Friday, February 7, 2014

No Grains, No Gains - A day in the life



A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be wanting to lose weight, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This month's blog topic is A day in the life. Gwen, Jeanette, Lynda, Karen and I are each going to describe a typical day for each of us. I look forward to reading the other posts, because even though we all follow similar lifestyles, there are a lot of differences that set us apart from one another. Here is a day in the life of Leigh...in military time:)

05:00 - This is normally the time I wake up every morning. Even on the weekend. I have conditioned myself to wake early because I have to run before leaving for work three days a week. My body doesn't discriminate on the days I don't have to wake up at 5 am. I can't complain. I hate discrimination of any kind.
05:30 - After making coffee, downing a cup and changing into my gear, I head out to run anywhere between 6 and 8 kilometers. This has been a brutal winter to run. Extreme cold temperatures and lots of snow can make for uncomfortable running conditions. Mother Nature has been particularly prickly this year. And there is nothing worse than having to leave your warm bed to run when it's -25C (-13F) and dark. But I have a "no excuses" rule for running. Unless a cold is in my chest, the weather is beyond extreme (ie: ice storm, -30C), I run. I dropped 1 run in December due to an ice storm and 2 runs in January due to super extreme cold temperatures. I ran through a hacking cough I had all winter because although I was snotty, it never went into my chest.  And just for the record. I run an average of 40K per week, and do not need grains to fuel my runs. I have been a grain free clean eater since I started running in March 2012.
06:30 - By this time, I'm back from my run, stretched, and sitting in front of the computer drinking more coffee to warm me up.  I usually spend about 1/2 an hour reading blogs, or answering tweets and eating breakfast.


My typical breakfast after a morning run. Hard boiled eggs,
sweet potato and fruit. Sometimes I eat this in the car.


07:00 - I make my son's school lunch, sign all his school work and agenda and load up his backpack. Then I head to the shower. During the next hour, I dress for work, my son and husband get up and I get to (sometimes) say good morning before heading out for my work day.
08:00 - My work day officially begins. I am a Youth Support Worker and I work in the non-profit sector. I commute 1.5 hours (in traffic, one way) to Toronto (or the GTA) depending on where my clients are situated. My first appointment is usually for 10 am. This morning I had to pick up a client in East York and get them to a wisdom tooth extraction in Yorkville. This took up all of my morning and into the afternoon. I didn't get to stop for lunch until 3pm, and it was a Subway salad. Definitely not my first choice of a place to eat, but I was about ready to stop somewhere and buy nuts to eat in the car. That is against the rules (see side note below).  I normally eat out with clients about 4 times per week. I still follow Paleo when I eat out. It's client choice, so no matter where we go, I stick to chicken and vegetables. Even if it's not on the menu, I ask for an accommodation. I have yet to be turned down. That way there is no stress in me having to find something appropriate.  I already know what I'm going to eat. During my work day I have two, sometimes three client visits. It's a lot of driving because they can live anywhere around the greater Toronto area. I drink lots and lots of water throughout the day. This means I have to make a lot of rest stops. Just in case you're wondering, Esso has the nicest restrooms.

Side note - When I was morbidly obese, I did an obscene amount of eating in my car. It was easiest because it was secret and I went through the drive thru and would order an entire meal. This was usually late afternoon after I had already eaten lunch, but a few hours before I would be heading home to eat dinner. I'd always "supersize" my meal.  Because of this behaviour, one of my food rules is that other than breakfast (which is something I prepare at home) on the go due to time restriction, I am not allowed to eat in my car. If I feel the need to stop for a snack, I need to go to a sit down establishment (ie: Starbucks), and get a drink and a single serving size snack of some kind (almonds or a banana) and eat it there. I do get an afternoon snack (or bring one with me) every afternoon.


Top left: Waiting in the swanky oral surgeon's office
Bottom left: My late lunch with double the meat and hot sauce.
Right: Taking selfies in the washroom @ the oral surgeon b/c I was real bored
and someone told me I had "mad muscular" legs today.


17:00 - This is normally the time I head home from the Toronto area back to Hamilton. Once a week, I get home early, and once a week I work late. I'm lucky to have a job that is not a traditional 9-5. I make my own schedule so I can flex my time if I need to.
18:30 - This is the time that I step back through my front door. Dinner is ready. Either my husband has made something, or I prepared something for the crock pot the night before and all he had to do was turn it on. I also make big meals over the weekend so that we have leftovers during the week. So dinner could be that as well. Whatever it is, we stick to Paleo during the week. On weekends, I follow more of the 85/15 rule. That's 85% Paleo, 15% other. Weekends are for wine, and (maybe) some cheese! I also eat natural peanut butter before my long run on Sunday. Peanut butter is not Paleo because peanuts are a legume.
19:00 - Dinner has usually been eaten, and I'm wearing my jammies. I play with Julien for a bit, do some work on line, watch a show with Julien. This lasts for a couple of hours until it is Julien's bedtime. At 9 pm, we go read books. Julien has to read every night for school, then I read him a story or two.
22:00 - If it is a blogging night, this is when the magic happens. If it's not, I may prepare dinner for the next day, read some blogs, or just go to bed and read some literature. And I'm being truthful right now. I'm off the dirty books for a bit and have been for about a month. Don't fret none Heather, I'll be back at it soon enough and share my reading list:)
23:30- This is the time I try to get to bed by. A half hour earlier if I can. Five am comes quickly and no matter what time I go to bed at, I still wake at the same time. Once I fall asleep, I'm asleep until about 4:50 am. That's the time I normally start to stir and wake. Crazy you say? Maybe. I feel great, albeit a touch tired (sometimes). I really should try to get to bed by 22:30 at the latest. That would give me a solid 6.5 hours of sleep at night and maybe I wouldn't have such big bags under my eyes. Or there needs to be 2 more hours in the the day so I can sleep longer. Since that's not going to happen, I'll work on more sleep.


Top left: A typical dinner, always protein heavy.
Top right: On my way home.
Bottom left: Fun with Julien.
Bottom right: Evening snack is either nuts or fruit.


So there you have it! A typical, boring day in my life. The weekends are not much different. I don't have to commute, but I still work...for my family. Grocery shopping, laundry, meal prep, mothering, long run, not a lot of rest. Typical of a lot of families. I get asked all the time how I stay motivated to eat and run the way I do. I have been eating clean for 2.5 years and I've been running for almost 2 years now. It's become routine.  It is my "normal" and I can't imagine living any other way.  Three years ago and the 140 pound heavier me never would have dreamed that I would say that one day:)

Now take a moment and check out a day in the life of my partners in crime. I promise they won't disappoint. They are each fascinating in the their own way. At least I think so:)

11 comments:

  1. Well I'm exhausted from your day!! You have such a long day and running in those cold temperatures is amazing. I love that you do what you have to though for your family and your weight and happiness (I know running makes you happy). Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. Well, I continue to be impressed at your early wake up time and dedication! It's inspiring!! You look great in that selfie, yes to muscles!! :) good for you, as well, for figuring out how to eat out well- I still usually give in to temptations when I look at a menu (except for last night, I went out with a friend and had blackened tilapia with mango salsa and roast vegetables!)

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  3. You have to drive so much! I hope you have satellite radio or audiobooks. Your eating plan sounds sensible and healthy.

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  4. "No Grains, No Gains"

    You certainly do have a busy day ... great to read your second instalment. Thank you for taking time to post, and letting us share your experience. It's only by sharing our experiences can we spread the word about healthy living.

    I love Juliens picture he looks very happy. Parenting - living life to the full it's a juggling act and you seem to be doing great - helped of course by living a healthy lifestyle, eating great food which isn't processed just good healthy whole food.

    Power to you and the other 'gals'.

    Have a brilliant weekend

    All the best Jan

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  5. Holy moley, Leigh! You are more of an annn-eee-mawlllll than I realized!

    p.s. I love you. :)

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  6. Okay just re read this post. Leigh you've officially motivated me to get over to the gym on this Saturday morning. I'm ready to break my stall and I know I haven't put my all into making sure the scale moves. Have a good weekend!

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  7. Wow what a day! What a warrior woman you are!

    Love the posts by the "No Grains, No Gains!" gals. Everyone has the same thoughts on grains, but each have your own unique way of going about it.

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  8. You know I'm in awe of your running schedule, but 5 AM starts? I have a hard time getting up ay 7! LOL. But the food looks yum, can't wait til I can have sweet potato again, I love it.

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  9. Thank you for sharing. Your commutes are longer than mine (1 hour each way- so 2 hours a day). My hat is off to you for navigating long car rides, the family, and running, too!! Well done.

    Prioritizing sleep was one of the last things I did in my weight maintenance routine. I did it to combat some super big stress at work, and I'm glad I did. Work stress has not lessened, but I've learned to kick it out of my head and my bed at home. I find I can work more efficiently at work if I'm better rested. Now it all fits together. Hard to make that switch.

    Thanks again for sharing your story!

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  10. wow!!! you are just amazing (how many time do I say this???) simply amazing....

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  11. I LOVE day in a life posts..I think it's the nosy person in me (that I try to keep a handle on) ! and what a quinky dink..I haven't read any fine literature since Christmas. I've been reading cook books ( I love cook books). one you should check out if you haven't is Nom Nom Paleo. The book is beautiful and she has a web site by the same name. I'm not even a Paleo follower, but I am a real food eater, and her recipes are amazing! Everything is easy, clean, and simple delicious results.

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