By Jennifer Gendron, PTS/FIS

Well today I am catching up in more ways than one – not only with my blog, but also with my exercise and healthy eating!  After a weekend of hockey regionals in Sackville with my boys followed by a double 16th birthday celebration, let’s just say I deviated somewhat from the plan over the last three days!

I have to admit, these busy times with my boys when we are traveling for hockey and staying in hotels are the hardest to stay on track.  While I try to plan ahead and make the best choices with restaurants and eating out, it definitely is not the same kind of healthy routine I would follow at home!  Friday, the ladies left early to make a stop in Moncton on our way to Sackville and the only exercise I got that day was the miles I put on walking around the mall!!  Some tips on surviving these sorts of days without totally overdosing on calories is to pack some snacks (I had a cooler in the car with fruit, bottles of water and my home made trail mix of pumpkin seeds, craisins and almonds). 

Lunch ended up being at the mall but I completely avoid the fast food stalls and make the healthiest choices I can – in this case, the Teriyaki was the best option with grilled veggies and shrimp on a bed of noodles.  More carbs then I have had in a week and I wish I could say it stopped there!!  For supper, in a small town with restaurants packed with hockey teams and their families not to mention the March break crowds, we tried three restaurants before having to settle for the Pizza Delight buffet – good-bye clean eating!  Although I did my best to fill my plate with salad first with a smaller portion of pasta on the side.  The rest of the evening involved cocktails and staying up too late with the next morning consisting of a hotel breakfast and then back to the rink so needless to say, these days were both complete write offs as far as the healthy habits go!  But as the last weekend of hockey for the 2016 season, it was the last “hurrah” for a great bunch of hockey moms and we enjoyed so many laughs and good times, that if not good for the waist line, it was good for the mind!

The lesson here though is that no matter how far off the track you get, there is always tomorrow!  In this case, the tomorrow was Sunday which involved a house full of company to celebrate my younger two boys’ 16th birthday so a few treats were had there too but this morning was the “new day” and official back on track! 

With our busy Anniversary Week celebrations coming up, I got back in “plan ahead” mode making my big pot of quinoa and oatmeal on Sunday night and boiling enough eggs for lunches for the entire week.  Making ahead like this helps me when things get busy to have some good choices on hand. 

I was back in the saddle for cycle and tone this morning which is one of my favs – a great combination of cardio and strength and then, took part in the “Mindful Monday” meditation session as part of our anniversary line up.  I absolutely love meditation and try to incorporate at least a few minutes in to every day.  Not only does it help me to relax and clear my mind, it helps me to focus more on tasks at hand and, when I make the time to meditate before bed, helps me to sleep better.  If you have never tried meditation, I highly recommend it.  It is hard to get in to at first but if you work at it consistently it will come.  Trust me, if I can meditate, anyone can!!

I got to end my day with my all time favorite cardio workout – an hour of hockey!  I was a “late bloomer” in the hockey world having never played until I was in my late 30’s but I have to say, it was one of the best decisions I ever made!  Even when I am super busy and it stresses me out to get there, as soon as I lace up my skates and hit the ice, I am always glad that I did! Not only is it a great cardio workout, the social aspect of it and the laughs I share with the amazing women I share the bench with is a huge pick me up after a stressful day.  I encourage you to find something that you love to do and remember – it is never to late to try something new!  Find a way to work physical activity in to your lifestyle that you actually enjoy and you will start not only to look forward to it, you will miss it if it doesn’t happen!

My advice here is that even when life gets busy and things get in the way, there is always another day.  Don’t let one or two (or even three!!) off days derail you completely.  Get back on track whenever you can and you will be glad you did!

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