Fitness Challenge Day 44 – The REAL Challenge is TIME

I can go all day talking about the challenges of healthy eating and exercise and knee challenges.  But the REAL Challenge is TIME!

We all have the exact same amount of time in a day, but the challenge is how we use it. And there are so many trade offs that we need to deal with.

In my case I work downtown about 40 hours/week and Julianne works about the same. Our typical one shot drive to and from takes about 30 minutes each way. So, on a weekday that takes up about 9 hours per day. On top of that, I also have contract work for some major clients like the VYPE Sports Network,,, etc. I also have some other smaller clients. These can keep me busy before or after work. And Julianne is taking classes at the University of Kentucky, which keeps her busy.

In the past, due to schedules, it was not unusual for us to go out to eat many evenings. Convenience was great…cost and health matters were a different story

Meal preparation at home takes time, especially when making an effort to eat whole foods and plant-based meals…and this  essentially eliminates “fast food” types of prepared meals, even the so-called “healthy ones”.

To make fresh vegetable juices with our professional juicer requires cutting and prepping fruits and vegetables. I have watched Julianne and it typically takes 30-40 minutes to juice enough for a breakfast juice, not including cleaning out the juicer parts.  A green smoothie takes considerably less time.

A good salad requires similar effort…chopping vegetables, making dressing, etc.  A good meal preparation takes about an hour as well.

Along with meal preparation is cleanup of the kitchen and the dishes. Typically another 20-30 minutes.

Time is running out

Then there is the exercise regimen. A good two mike walk for me takes about an hour, and then a 20 minute cool down period. On days when I need to do a good deal of evening client work, the dinner prep, cleanup and exercise takes up needed time.  Julianne, bless her heart, has typically taken up the slack for cooking, but then she too has to choose between walk and homework, or other things.

And did I mention sleep? The recommended sleep time is 7-8 hours per night.  Lucky to get that much most nights…but I am so grateful for Sunday afternoon nap time!

So, as can be seen above, time gets chewed up dramatically. The effort required to learn the new eating style, get the exercise and do these things is almost equaled by the challenge of planning in order to save time.

Green Smoothie for breakfast

Despite the time challenges, Julianne and I are making the adjustments.  Sometimes we fall behind on other things, but we ultimately get things done.

If we wake up a little later, than Julianne makes a frozen green smoothie for breakfast – typically spinach, a frozen banana, a couple of other fruits.  The cool, milkshake-like texture is nice in the morning.  Sometimes we have time to make steel cut oatmeal.  Other mornings she makes juice.

There are times when we get home early enough that juice and salad can be prepped for the next day. But, once again, the trade off is that Julianne may not have time to get a walk in.  I know she is supporting me (aka GREAT Help Meet!!) as she wants me to get down.  But, I feel bad that she is having to sacrifice her own exercise.  Admittedly, I do try to do the cleanup before we go to bed so that she doesn’t have to.

Asian Bistro avocado and honey roasted peanut sushi roll

Last night (Thursday night), we did the “convenience thing” and went out to dinner at what has become one of my favorite places – the Asian Bistro Express.  They make us the nice veggie sushi rolls.  I love the ones with avocado and honey roasted peanuts.  They also have a cucumber/avocado one.

Of course, the best thing about eating this is the WASABI RUSH! I love extra wasabi and really enjoy the buzz it gives me as the aromatic flavor of the green horseradish literally flows through my head.

Last night I also asked J.J. Chen, one of the owners, if she could make me a special Lo Mein dish with veggies, jalapenos and Sriracha sauce. She did and did it well.  In fact, instead of cooking the lo mein noodles in oil, they were cooked in the Sriracha sauce and even as I write this the thought of my new “Sumoflam Special” Lo Mein makes my mouth water.  If you are in Lexington, go to the Asian Bistro on Saron Dr. and ask for the Sumoflam Special Lo Mein…JJ will know what you want!!

Sumoflam Special Lo Mein – made with veggies, jalapenos and cooked in Sriracha instead of sesame oil. It is to die for!!!

Dreaming of sushi

Time constraints kept me from walking.  I got home and still had to do some work.  And, this morning (Friday) I was up at 3:30 working on projects.  Ultimately, sleep time is the biggest loser!!

But, while I did sleep I dreamed of sushi and the delectable Sumoflam Special spicy lo mein.

Pleasant dreams indeed.


KAri - May 16, 2015 - 20:06

Dave, I totally hear you on the time issue! Never enough hours in a day, even with the insomnia. I know Julianne probably does a lot of prep work before the fact, but I will pipe up a couple of ideas to grab some extra minutes during the week, just in case. Vegetarian diets are the most difficult to maintain, because of all the extra cutting, washing, trimming..and then stuff either goes over quicker, or it’s hard to keep enough room in the fridge, so more trips to the store. I work for a caterer, and what I’ve learned there is how to prep on Monday for a five day week. I suggest freezing ice cube trays with base purees for juice, and store them in ziploc bags, get a bunch of plastic shoe boxes with tight lids from the dollar store to use in the fridge to store prepped lettuces, cleaned celery, cut tomatoes, etc. Lettuce should be taken apart and soaked in Warm water for at least an hour before being spun semi-dry and put into a bin with a lid. Cut Romain keeps longer. Just dedicate a couple of hours one day a week to stocking staple bins in the fridge. I reckon she already knows this, but just in case, you know?

sumoflam - May 16, 2015 - 20:12

Julianne said “that’s awesome” and appreciated the tips! Me too?

KAri - May 17, 2015 - 01:25

I feel kind of hesitant to offer anyone tips or advice unbidden, as that can be really annoying to receive, especially as she seems to really have it together in the kitchen. 🙂 I want her to come cook for me!

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