Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weddings in Barns and Paris in the Springtime

I've become suddenly taken with cooking and preparing healthy, raw, etc. meals. I think this is a result of becoming hooked on several foodie blogs (OhSheGlows, EatingBirdFood predominately, also Fitnessista and Eat.Run.DoYoga.). It's probably a good thing! It means I am spending my time getting excited about all of the awesome fuel I can give my body, rather than the random junk I can stuff my face with. And the goal is to make it all taste good, which is a HUGE bonus.

One of my number one meals right now is pretty simply and very good for you. I came up with it after reading Born to Run. It's pretty simple:

  • Small corn tortilla (high in fiber, whole grain)
  • Thin layer of cheddar/jack grated cheese blend
  • Generous layer of quinoa (high in fiber, high in protein- a complete protein, whole grain)
  • Layer of refried beans (fiber, high in protein, good for processing fats)
  • Second layer of quinoa
  • Layer of chia seeds (high in fiber, protein, high in omega-3 fatty acids, high in antioxidants)
  • Smallest dash of ground sea salt (for taste)
If I have the time and inclination, I like to prepare the tortilla with a dash of olive oil on the stove, then melt the cheese onto it, and preheat the quinoa and beans in the microwave, assuming I haven't just made the quinoa fresh. However, the tortillas I have right now, combined with a very enthusiastic stove, tend to create solid shells that don't wrap nicely, so I've taken to just loading everything up and popping it in the microwave. A little less gourmet, but still tasty, and very convenient! If I was super snazzy I would layer in some grilled pepper chunks or strips of kale, but I'm just not that hopped up on vegetables yet.

I've restarted my intensive circuit training three days a week at Superfit. It's my first week back, and I've made it in all three days this week. Actually holding up fairly well. I'm on significantly lower weights than I would like, but I've been able to make it through each work out and be functional the next day. While it's cold out and we are still without treadmill, I'm using jumping jacks and a funky stair regimen to work on my cardio, in lieu of actually going out running. I know, I should just lady up and do it, but it turns out that jumping jacks are actually a lot more work than I remembered. Seriously. Get up and do a hundred. Right around 40, you will start to realize it's not just kids play.

I read about the stair thing somewhere online, I think. I don't remember where, or I would link it. It's a way to get in a crazy stair workout, without having to go find stadium stairs or anything in your city. All you need is a standard flight of stairs that can be found in any house.
  1. Climb up one stair, then go back down.
  2. Climb up two stairs, then go back down.
  3. Climb up one stair, then go back down.
  4. Climb up two stairs, then go back down.
  5. Climb up three stairs, then go back down.
  6. Climb up two stairs, then go back down.
  7. Climb up one stair, then go back down.
  8. Climb up two stairs, then go back down.
  9. Climb up three stairs, then go back down.
  10. Climb up four stairs, then go back down.
  11. Climb up three stairs, then go back down.
  12. Climb up two stairs, then go back down.
  13. Climb up one stair, then go back down.
Are you starting to get it? The first couple of times you do this, making it to six stairs is a real accomplishment (if you are cardio-challenged like me, at least). The goal is to make it to ten stairs (and then obviously work it down, with 9 stairs, then 8, then 7, etc.).

Stairs are really an excellent workout. It is NOT a gentle one. It lands a body blow to your heart and lungs if you aren't careful. I try to mix it up, whether or not I work to the gasping state (usually if I'm climbing actual stairs and I'm late for something) or slow down when my heart really starts to pound.

I'm going to be in Paris spring semester, which has me a little worried as far as keeping up my eating regimen, not to mention solid workouts. Apparently, in Europe, people don't go out jogging on the streets. I'll have to see if that is still true. My current plan as far as workouts go is to get P90x to use in my dorm room, and then just walk everywhere. When I get back for the summer, I'll start training in earnest for the San Antonio Rock'n'Roll Marathon that will be held in the fall of my senior year. Fortunately, I have a more firm goal than an as of yet un-signed-up-for marathon: one of my oldest, best friends is getting married this August, and she wants to go on an overnight backpacking trip for her bachelorette party! I don't want to be the stick in the mud that slows the whole group down, so I want to be in tip top shape this coming August.

I'm really glad about that last part, actually. I do genuinely want to be healthier and in better shape for what it will do for me, but I can't deny that the largest part of my desire is to lose weight and look good. And while that is perfectly valid, any fitness guru will tell you that looks aren't enough motivation to get you out of a nice warm bed on a chilly day. So, wanting to look good in my bridesmaid dress wasn't going to get the job done. But I legitimately want to be able to keep up with the bride-to-be on her bachelorette hike, and not slow anything down. And she is a freakishly fit person. So it's going to take some doing, but I'm feeling motivated and confident.

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