Monday, June 20, 2011
I went to the farmer's market this Saturday, and I wasn't impressed. I was expecting veggies and tons of strawberries and hippies with reusable bags.
I got one out of three. Just the hippies.
I'm trying to remember that it's only June, and it's been unnaturally cool in Wisconsin. There isn't a lot of local produce yet (except strawberries). I'm just so dis-satisfied by the whole thing, though. There were plants, popcorn and flower for sale... but that's about it.
I'm going to try again in a few weeks and hope for something better. I want local produce!
(Don't get me wrong... I had a reusable bag, too. But I'm not a hippie. Ultra conservative here. But let's not get political. And I don't hate hippies, either. And I apologize for offending people if hippie is somehow derogatory.)
Thankfully, my grocery store has a super produce section. But, it was Saturday morning so everything was pretty much picked over. I did get some good pineapple and strawberries (at least partially local...). Also, apples and a great salad from the salad bar. Pretty decent prices, too.
So I didn't get the inspiration I was looking for to start fresh with menu planning, but I have an idea that I hope helps me (and you too, if you want). There are so many ethnic dishes and cooking styles, why not have days each week dedicated to trying something from another culture? Or even my very own cultural heritage (German, Polish, Irish, French Canadian... don't make fun haha)?
Most weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) I cook for my boyfriend, so I'm not going to make my "diversity dinners" on those days unless I find something I think he'll think. He's pretty traditional with food choices (he doesn't like eggplant). Once I try something during the week and it turns out right, I'll incorporate into a weekend meal sometime.
Here's my weekly menu plan so far:
M: apple/coffee; peppered beefsteak leftovers; unknown
T: unknown; unknown; dinner w/ friend
I'll quit there. Because I haven't started planning.
But from now on, Wednesdays will be a European dish. Thursdays will be an Asian dish (including subcontinental Indian).
If I can find a good recipe side for African or South American dishes, I'll add those in somewhere.
Tonight one of my goals (from the Just Do It! Spark Team) is to plan the whole week's menu. Hopefully I can get to the grocery store, too, otherwise I don't have time until Wednesday and I know I have no food in my apartment!
So, I'll be back tomorrow with a real menu, hopefully sparking some ideas for anyone who reads this. :)
Maybe I'll start trying some ethnic restaurants for ideas, too. I love trying to copy meals I've ordered at restaurants.
I created a new paper workout tracker that I'm going to try out for the first time today. I really like it, and I'll try to post it (or a picture of it, I guess) if it works or any tweaks I've made to it. It's just so hard for me to remember what ST exercises I've done by the time I get on a computer after working out. Hopefully this will help me keep track AND help me improve with that.
I'm doing ST 3 times this week for the first time while still doing all my running. Yikes, but I'm excited, too. I can't wait to fit into my ARMY uniform better.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Remember when you were a kid and you "had" to eat what your parents bought/made for meals? You didn't really have any input into your dietary decisions, and it sucked.
Now, as adults, we buy our own groceries. We make our own meals. We stock our own fridges and pantries.
So why is it so boring? Why is it so hard to come up with 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners and a plethora of snacks a week in advance? 21 meals and healthy snacks. When you break down the numbers, it doesn't seem like it should be hard. Especially with all the recipe websites out there (including sparkrecipes.com), we should be finding great new foods all the time.
Instead, I find myself eating the same kind of salad for lunch everyday. I fall back on the same old, ho-hum, recipes and meals that I always eat. Why? What happened to being excited about food? Why can't my kitchen and dining room be as exciting as going to a new restaurant or ordering my favorite meal? What would make it exciting?
I need to start looking at menu planning in a different way. Instead of seeing it as something I "have" to do, another grown up responsibility that I'm burdened with, I need to see it as an easy way to put some variety into my life.
Life can turn into just a routine. We have to switch it up where we can. I can't move. I can't paint my apartment walls. But I can choose what I'm cooking. And maybe I'm not going to try avocado (yet... but someday), but with small experiments in the kitchen, I am sure I'll gain confidence in other areas of my life.
I ran outside this morning. It was crisp and cool and perfect running weather (until the last 2 minutes when it started raining, but oh well). I heard a few TVs on in my apartment complex as I left the building at 5 (yes, I woke up at 4:30). I am always surprised that other people are awake that early. If I didn't have to work out in the mornings, I'd sleep until 6:15.
For the first 15 or so minutes of the run (I went out for 12 minutes and turned around and tried to beat my time back), there was no one in sight. It was beautiful. I saw 4 ducks chilling in the middle of the road, tons of song birds, and zero barking dogs. It was awesome.
It was nice to exercise without other people around, although I don't care that other people judge me at the gym (yes, it happens, because I do it automatically to other people, too, it's okay).
I truly was in a judge free zone. I wasn't even judging myself. I was pushing myself - pick up the pace between this tree and that one - but I wasn't judging.
Me, the sidewalk, and my watch. That's it. It was great. I'm so glad I went out. I had talked myself out of running outside Tuesday morning, but I won't make that mistake again.
5 am in this crisp, cool (weird for June in Wisconsin) weather is too perfect to miss.
Here are my plans for next week, which include 2-a-days to get my full 45 minutes of cardio.
I'll also be getting more strength training in. Instead of 1 day a week, I'm going to get in 3. Big changes! I love it. I'm excited about working out and I'm going to ride this tide to see results.
M: Long/slow run on the treadmill, 35 minutes (pm); row 10 minutes (pm); ST (pm)
T: Plyometrics (home) (am); speed training, 40 minutes (gym) (am); ST (am)
W: Fartleks, 2.5 miles total (outside) (am); elliptical trainer, 20 minutes (pm); plyometrics (pm)
R: Elliptical trainer, 35 minutes (gym) (am); row 10 minutes (gym) (am); ST (am)
F: 2 mile run, timed (outside) (am)
S: 26 minute run (am) (outside) (hills?)
I'm going to the farmer's market on Saturday morning, so that'll give me some fresh nutritional ideas to keep in mind this coming week.
Add to that exercise program, walks on my afternoon break and an evening walk or two with friends.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
And just because I didn't write about it yesterday here, I was celebrating.
No... not my birthday.
The US ARMY 236th birthday!
(June 14 is also Flag Day, and, coincidently, my recruiter's birthday.)
I had the ARMY song (hi hi hey!) in my head ALL day, and it was someone's birthday at work so there was cake (a small piece, it's okay) and then dinner with my best friend after work. With a drink. Wonderful day.
True, I only had a 13 minute walk during my afternoon break at work. That was all my cardio. But I felt like I still hadn't recovered from range operations this past weekend. Which was proved true when I fell asleep at 8:30 pm. Wow. It was good to have a nice day and not worry about exercising.
I concentrated on making good nutritional choices (salad, not fries at dinner) and did not punish my self at the gym this morning for not working out yesterday. It really is about small steps.
Now that I'm refreshed from nearly a full night's sleep (my cat likes to wake up about 2 hours before I do and tell me all about it), I'm getting back into my grove and this will be the first full week that I'll meet my new goal of (an average of) 45 minutes of cardio a day. (I was only pushing for 30, which I always overshot, but this will be tough.)
Here's an update of the goals I set on Monday for this week:
M: 30 minutes elliptical
T: 13 minute walk on break
W: spread training on treadmill (2.71 miles @ 11.5 mph), 3 minute cooldown, 10 minutes rowing
So far my weekly cardio minutes are 140 of 270 (because I ran for 25 minutes on Sunday, when that's normally my day off). That's 130 minutes left to do this week, which is about 44 1/3 minutes a day. NO SWEAT! If I keep doing 45 minutes, I'll have an extra 5 minutes. Nice.
When I was running on the treadmill this morning, I was thinking about some Tony Little videos my mom used to watch when I was younger. "You can do it!" he'll yell. (I also remember his enormous shoulders and awkward pony tail.) It made me laugh and push harder.
I've started pushing up the incline when I'm walking on the treadmill and lowering when I do the running intervals. It's helping burn more calories and making it more realistic to outside conditions. It's only a little bit noticeable... only a tiny bit harder. Small steps, remember?
I don't know if I'm going to get on the scale this week. It really upset me on Sunday when the ARMY weighed me and called me fat. I don't need to do that to myself. (They don't really call us fat, they just counsel us and say we need to lose weight.) I may do my body fat measurements, though. That makes me feel really good when my waist is the same size as someone how is 15 lbs lighter than me. MUSCLE, yay.
By the way, the cake wasn't even that good. If I'm going to indulge (cheat, whatever you want to call it), I want it to be delicious! Haha :)
Monday, June 13, 2011
If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.
My workout schedule this week:
Monday: to gym after work 30 minutes elliptical (high intensity); 15 minutes row (goal: 30,000 meters)
Tuesday: 24 minute run outside (am); sand volleyball in the park with friends after work
Wednesday: (am): Speed training on treadmill (35 min), row (10 min)
Thursday: (am) elliptical (45 min), strength training
Friday: (am) 2 mile timed run (outside)
Saturday: 24 minute run outside (am)
Sunday: off day
push ups and sit ups every night (+1 from previous night).
Incorporate more ff&v into everyday.
Add "hidden" vegs as much as possible. (ie: lettuce that I always forget to push on a wrap)
Make healty snack choices at work (carrots, apples... not fruit snacks)
Now that it's all written down and recorded online, I will be accountable.
I still need to work on keeping my intensity level up when I'm working out. Next week, I want to try a bike workout on my non-running day (Thursday). I don't know if that will help, but switching it up is always good.
I'll let you know how this all goes.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
I don't know if the running 5x a week, my new motivation to beat my boyfriend at the weight loss "game," or just summertime happiness is making it work. I don't know what is doing it, but something is going right!
No, I didn't get on the scale this morning.
No, I didn't measure my neck, waist, and hips to see if I'm in compliance with ARMY standards of body fat.
No, I didn't run a marathon (and I don't think I ever want to do that anyway!).
But I did get up this morning (though every cell in my body besides the competitive ones wanted to stay in bed) at 4:40. And I did make my way to the gym (a little later than I wanted, but I made it). And I did get on the treadmill (ugh...).
And instead of taking it easy, I pushed it, every single second, I pushed it.
There's a really good feeling you get when you know you tried your hardest and you accomplished something, better than before.
Even though I only cut 9 seconds off of my run time from my timed 2 mile run on Friday, I feel good.
There was sweat every where! It was awesome.
Here comes the fun part of the story.
After the run, wooohoooo, and 10 minutes on the rowing machine, I hit the showers.
As I got dressed, something felt a little weird. The belt in my skirt was a little too loose. So I tightened it. And I didn't have to exhale every ounce of air in my body for it to work.
I wear the same belt everyday, so this is HUGE! I'm so happy.
Hard work really does pay off.
I know I was talking about a few days ago - either with this blog or with my friends - that my body might just like to stay at 187. It likes to live in that world, I said.
So maybe it's true that the number on the scale doesn't matter. It's really how you feel, regardless of your pant size. Aw, I'm getting mushy. Like my mom has told me a million times, it really is ALL about attitude.
Now, if only I could convince my sergeants of that. haha.
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