Wow.. didn’t mean for today’s post to get so long, guess I’m making up for the lack of posts over the last couple weeks On to it!
Around lunch time I moseyed my way over to my apartment gym to get in a bit of a workout. I had it in my head that I would move 3 miles on the treadmill. Of course ideally, that 3 miles would be in the form of a jog.. but my cardio sucks.. so it ended up being ~2 miles worth of jogging (6.0-7.0 mph) and 1 mile worth of inclined walking (usually 8.5-10% at 3.8-4.2 mph). I haven’t been wearing my heart rate monitor lately, so no idea how much I burned.. but it felt pretty good. I really like what Susan, from the Great Balancing Act, had to say about going ‘gadget-free’.. it’s definitely a step for me towards not obsessing so much about workouts and just enjoying working out for the feeling of it and not for the specific # of calories burned.
Post-cardio I did a quick upper body workout.. ‘quick’ certainly being the operative word.. hitting Shoulders (Arnold Presses), Upper Back (DB Rows) and Triceps (Bench Dips).
Variety, they say (who are ‘they’ anyway?), is the spice of life.. but I would add that it’s also a crucial element of a balanced, healthy diet.
One of the best lessons I’ve learned in my pursuit of a healthier self and better relationship with food is the amazing difference a little variety makes.
Like I tell my clients, and have been much better about following myself, there’s no need to subtract, just add add add!
In college I was all about the one dish meals. And that would have been all fine & dandy if that one bowl was a big salad with a lean protein. But no, most of the time it was a big bowl of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (without the butter of course, haha) or a big sandwich from my favorite cafe made with a non-whole grain bread and only containing Turkey & Avocado (I’d always have to confirm 10x that yes, I really just wanted those 2 things on it!). I could certainly eat the whole box of Mac & Cheese and the Sandwich stood no chance.. in retrospect, that really isn’t surprising considering the lack of substance to those meals. I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with either one, but portion-wise and calorie consumption-wise, I was way off. Now days.. give me the Mac & Cheese but only a small scoop, then please add a giant Spinach Salad with Tomatoes, Artichokes and whatever else and perhaps a little Ground Turkey, or maybe Tempeh.. depends on my mood
It would be a rare thing (though lord knows if anyone would, I would.. ok, fine, flashing back to inhaling large amounts of grilled Tilapia.. but that’s besides the point, I was in competition-prep and starving!) for me to overeat on veggies or whole food lean protein, but those carbs and creamy fats?! Pasta, bread, cream sauce, peanut butter, sweets, sugar.. more sugar.. those were (.. are!) my weakness. But us humans are naturally rebels. Often times the best way to get us to do something is to tell us not to.. it’s just the way we are. So when someone (whether it’s you, a trainer, doctor, dietian, magazine, whatever) tell you not to eat something, consiously or not, it’s likely to make you want that even more! After my fitness competition, I found myself wanting all sorts of foods I don’t even particularly like anyway (i.e. I’ve never been big on fast food or fried food but suddenly I wanted to order everything on Taco Bell’s menu and eat a dozen donuts.. what?!). Rules are made to be broken.. set food rules for yourself and chances are decent that eventually you’ll want to break them.
There is something awfully liberating about knowing you can have anything you’d like, no restrictions. At first it might be tempting, and perhaps it’ll be worth it to give into that temptation, to eat all those things you’ve been denying, but after a while, knowing you can have those things is sometimes enough. Slowly but surely logic comes back into the equation. And you may find your thought process start to change to something like this: ’well, I would like to eat a dozen donuts, but afterwards I’m going to feel both guilty and physically sick, and that will pretty much ruin my day, put me in a bad mood, leave me unproductive and just plain unhappy… I’d rather be happy & energetic.. so I guess I’ll go with 1/2 a donut with a little greek yogurt and fruit.’
Or maybe that’s just me
And of course, beyond the psychological benefit of variety, is the plain old balanced meal aspect. Of course a meal with a little bit of everything, especially if it has a healthy fat is going to be more satisfying in the short-term and keep you full longer. As a general rule carbohydrates digest the fastest followed by protein and then fat.. so have a little bit of each.. and simply enjoy!
So today was an in-action example of how my above theory has been working quite nicely..
I’ve been known to have over-indulgence issues with sweet breads.. Banana Bread? Pumpkin Bread? Zucchini Carrot Bread? .. yes please, and yes the whole loaf magically disappears in a shocking amount of time. The thing is, I HATE when that happens, because then I feel guilty and don’t want to eat it or have it around for a while. I feel like I ruined a food for myself. But there’s a solution.. crowd that meal! I’ll have a little piece of that treat, then a whole lotta other tasty stuff to go with it.
Since the moment it came out of the oven last night, I knew PB Chip Pumpkin Bread was going to be a part of my breakfast. In order to keep it to a reasonable serving, I enjoyed a small slice with a Chocolately Green Monster (1 cup Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Breeze + 1/2 scoop Chocolate Vega + 1 scoop Chocolate Amazing Grass + a couple handfulls of Spinach + Ice) and ~1/4 c Goat’s Milk Yogurt. Just perfect
My baking kick.. or more specifically, my fall flavors baking obsession, continued today with 2 more Pumpkin recipes. Both of these were taken directly from blog land.
First, Healthy Pumpkin Butter from Danica’s Daily.. Instead of using Agave or Honey I just used 1/2 c Walden Farms 0-calorie Maple Syrup..
This recipe is so easy, and it turned out so good! Not to mention it make a big portion that will last me a while and is MUCH more budget-friendly than the $5 mini-jars at the store.
The Pumpkin flavor is definitely very subtle, but the texture was just right. I had a little sliver with what I’d like to call a ‘What Season is this?’ Salad.. from summer there is Mixed Greens, Strawberries and Raspberry Vinegrette, and representing fall is Granny Smith Apple & Cornbread.. and of course a few ounces of grilled Chicken Breast for protein..
Today was the last day of Austin’s Restaurant Week, and I caught it just in time with dinner at Paggi House. The specific restaurant week menu was pretty impressive, but I ended up going with..
Braised Short Ribs with Beets and Grits..
And the Bread Pudding with Espresso Ice Cream..
Everything was fantastic! I rarely eat red meat, but I the Short Ribs just sounded so good, and it’s something that I would never make at home, so I decided to go for.. so glad I did.. but I’m stuffed!
Time to curl up with a movie and hopefully crash early than I have been. Hope you had a great Hump Day!
What’s is your #1 potential to over-indulging “danger” food? Do you avoid it all together or you able to enjoy it in moderation?