Lunden Souza: 3 tips to get a handle on those frenzied days

August 3, 2013 

You hit the snooze button on your alarm clock one too many times and wake up 15 minutes before you have to be at work.

Then you rush out the door without breakfast or a lunch packed for the day, hitting every single red light on your way in.

By the time you finally get to work, you are so flustered trying to get the ball rolling that lunch becomes fast food and you wind up going home too exhausted to even go for a brisk walk, let alone a workout.

If this sounds familiar, I have some quick and easy preparation tips that you can do in advance to help avoid just such a scenario.

In a sense, these are tips that prepare you in case you fail. I am not trying to be negative, but we all have times when things don't go as planned. That's where these tips come in:

The first one comes from a new client. She keeps individual packets of oatmeal at work because she would sometimes wake up with only 15 to 20 minutes to get to work. Breakfast sets the foundation for your day, preparing your body and mind for whatever tasks are ahead. Keeping packets of oatmeal at work is a great idea because it only requires hot water to cook, and it is an excellent breakfast. I like to add a tablespoon of raw unsalted almond butter to mine on the days when I cook at home. That way I can add a little extra protein and good fat for a well- rounded breakfast.

Another tip is to keep a bag of raw almonds in your car. Almonds do not have to be refrigerated, you only need about 10 to 15 for a substantial snack to feel satisfied, and they taste amazing on top of the oatmeal you keep at work. People who commute often deal with a lot of traffic. Frustration and hunger are not a good combination when on the road. Snack on some almonds on the drive home to keep you from losing it. Those almonds will hold you over until dinner and perhaps even prevent you from overeating when you get home.

My last tip is to start planning workouts with friends after you leave work. Going for a walk, run or to the gym after work is a lot easier to cop out on than going with a workout buddy at a set time. Even if work was crazy, and the morning did not go as you planned, at least you have someone to vent to and you can motivate each other to work off that bad day.

Life does not always go according to plan. That's why it is important to have some strategies for staying on the right track even when things go wrong. So try these tips this week to prepare for those not-so-amazing days and look for other options that work for you.

Lunden Souza, a Merced native, is a personal trainer, health and wellness coach, and writer in Southern California. She can be reached at

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