Between being a mom to her two toddlers and running iGnite, a holistic health and fitness program in Austin, that boasts an impressive lineup of sometimes as many as nine classes in a day, life is busy for Neissa Brown Springmann (photo by Nicole Mlakar). We asked this fit mama if she would keep a food journal for a week, sharing how she stay fueled for each long day and what she did for exercise because we are always curious to hear how real women find balance and a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis. Her journal is below:
Since becoming a mom three years ago, my diet and exercise routine is far from perfect.  You’d think that by owning my own health and fitness business, it would be a breeze to make my health and fitness a priority…but it’s not!  Everyday comes with its own set of unique circumstances and distractions, and it definitely doesn’t fit in a nice box like it did pre-children. There are certainly days when I am unable to workout and my only exercise is pretending to be fire woman or bad guy while running around the house with my three-year-old, jumping on our trampoline with him or bending down to pick up my one-year-old and all of the ridiculous toys we have scattered around the house. As for my diet, there are days when scurrying through the pantry for rice crackers and peanut butter is as good as it gets. It’s definitely never perfect, is pretty much always chaotic and indefinitely includes some dark chocolate at the end of the day. But, I always try to have a few staples available like 100% cranberry juice from concentrate (see cranberry water recipe below), lemon, eggs, Ezekiel bread, peanut butter, avocado and frozen fruit for a smoothie.

Monday
Breakfast: 8 oz hot water with 1/2 lemon; Lara bar
Lunch: turkey & veggie sandwich on Ezekiel bread
Pre-workout snack: boiled egg
Workout: 1-hour cross training class
Dinner: tofu spring rolls, 1/2 avocado & a bite (or two) of dark chocolate
Hydration:  at least 64 oz of cranberry water
Before bedtime: 8 oz cup of hot water with 1/2 lemon

Tuesday
Breakfast: 8 oz hot water with 1/2 lemon; 2 boiled eggs
Lunch: 1 cup of tortilla soup (no cheese) + spinach salmon salad
Pre-workout snack: 1 slice of Ezekiel bread with peanut butter
Workout: 1-hour swim class
Dinner: Caesar salad w/ turkey patty and 1 cup of quinoa
Hydration: at least 64 oz of cranberry water
Before bedtime: 8 oz cup of hot water with 1/2 lemon

Wednesday

Breakfast: 8 oz hot water with 1/2 lemon; Ezekiel toast w/ 1/2 avocado
Lunch: shrimp chop salad
Pre-workout snack: watermelon
Workout: 1-hour cardio combination class
Dinner: Buddha Bowl (brown rice, black beans, avacado, tomato)
Hydration: at least 64 oz of cranberry water
Before bedtime:  8 oz cup of hot water with 1/2 lemon

Thursday
Breakfast: 8 oz hot water with 1/2 lemon; 2 scrambled eggs
Pre-workout snack: 1/2 Lara bar
Workout: 1-hour hip hop yoga class
Dinner: baked salmon, wild rice, 1/2 avocado
Hydration: at least 64 oz of cranberry water
Before bedtime: 8 oz cup of hot water with 1/2 lemon

Friday
Breakfast: 8 oz hot water with 1/2 lemon; KIND bar
Lunch: turkey & veggie sandwich on Ezekiel bread
Pre-workout snack: apple with scoop of peanut butter
Dinner: gluten free turkey burger (loaded with veggies) & sweet potato fries
Hydration: at least 64 oz of cranberry water
Before bedtime: 8 oz cup of hot water with 1/2 lemon

Saturday
Breakfast: 8 oz hot water with 1/2 lemon; 2 scrambled eggs & 1/2 avocado
Lunch: hummus, rice crackers and turkey
Pre-workout snack: watermelon
Workout: 1-hour cardio core class
Dinner: turkey hotdog, my homemade pinto beans and potato salad
Hydration: at least 64 oz of cranberry water
Before bedtime: 8 oz cup of hot water with 1/2 lemon

Sunday
Breakfast: a couple of slices of baked bacon & two scrambled eggs
Lunch: watermelon, turkey hotdog, my homemade pinto beans and potato salad (leftovers)
Workout: chasing my three-year-old around, pulling my three-year-old and one-year-old around the neighborhood in our wagon, jumping on our trampoline with my three-year-old
Dinner: grilled chicken breast with grilled veggies
Hydration: at least 64 oz of cranberry water
Before bedtime: 8 oz cup of hot water with 1/2 lemon
 
7 comments
  1. 1
    Lena Barclay | May 15, 2014 at 10:26 am

    The snacks and lunches and dinners look good, but I don’t know how she gets through the day with such a small breakfast! I eat a full bowl of oatmeal with a banana and a scoop of peanut butter and am still ravenous by lunch time. Can’t imagine only having a Lara bar or just 2 boiled eggs!

    Reply
    • Neissa Brown Springmann | May 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Lena! Thank you for your comment. It has been interesting how my appetite has changed since having children. Pre-children I was ravenous first thing in the morning and like you, would eat a big ole’ bowl of oatmeal + eggs, etc. However now, my mornings have become busy with getting children up, fed and to Mother’s Day Out, making a healthy and convenient breakfast my priority. I did even get in the bad habit of skipping breakfast because I was so frazzled in the mornings, and despite exercising, I wasn’t losing baby weight which told me I needed to up my calories so my metabolism would ramp back up again. Sure enough, breakfast and consistent eating was the trick. I love breakfast food and enjoy nothing more than sitting down to a delicious bowl of oatmeal, an egg and cup of coffee- it’s just not in my season right now. Kudos to you for eating such a healthy breakfast!

      Reply
  2. 2
    Traci | May 15, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I’m always interested in reading the daily menus of others. The dinners all look delicious, but I agree, the breakfasts are small! At least it’s something. I can get by on tea and a banana for breakfast, but I prefer to eat more if I have the time.

    Reply
    • Neissa Brown Springmann | May 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Traci! Thank you for your comment. Several years ago I would have thought my breakfasts were small too, but my focus in the morning is quick nutrition. Then, about two hours after breakfast I have my pre-workout snack. My goal everyday is to eat 5 smaller meals to keep my metabolism up and energy high. It’s tricky and everyday is different 🙂

      Reply
  3. 3
    Barchbo | May 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I have a one year old and three year old and I feel pretty good after reading this food journal! My diet is pretty similar except with a green smoothie for breakfast and significantly more wine/champagne. 🙂 I get much less workout time and since I’m in my forties, I know it’s critical to keep working out. It’s a season that I am trying to embrace instead of battle.

    Reply
  4. 4
    Neissa Brown Springmann | May 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Barchbo!
    Thank you for your comment. I wish I had more discipline and drank green smoothies like you. It’s definitely something i need to make a priority! As for the wine and champagne, I completely get it. It’s a treat after a full day of motherhood 🙂 You are so correct, this is a very special season of our life and clearly you are being intentional with how you are wanting to spend it. There have been many days when staying in my pj’s until noon with my children or getting a few extra hours of sleep, rather than get up early to workout was definitely the best thing for my health and my children’s safety – ha! Exercise really is interesting, as it’s not always the best way to use our time and certainly not worth obsessing over if we miss, but you are right, it’s critical that we continue to make exercise and our health a priority.

    Reply
  5. 5
    Bets | May 19, 2014 at 6:40 am

    I really enjoyed this segment. Thank you for sharing. It’s giving me inspiration to start keeping my own food diary. I’m diligent about my daily water intake, but never thought to mix with cranberry think because of the sugar content I stayed away.

    Reply
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