Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Life Takes ACTION

This holiday season hit me pretty hard in the eating too much/exercising too little department. In reading other blogs and articles on livestrong.com, nutrisystem.com, yogajournal.com, and the myriad of similar sites, I found that I am certainly not alone. But really, that doesn't make me feel much better, after all, I KNOW better.

Basically, I have allowed myself far too many 'cheats' (savory things like crackers are my nemisis) and too many excuses as to why it is virtually impossible for me to exercise (ie. I have a party to get ready for...in 8 days...). So, with the start of another year, it is time to clean my internal house.

As you may have guessed, this started with several hours of researching clean eating programs on-line, signing up on sparkpeople.com (even though I am already on livestrong.com), touching basis with my Nutrisystem peeps, and looking at several dozen 'new' exercise plans. Now, none of this is very productive at this point. Sure, I felt smarter and amped up for the 'New Year, New Lynn' campaign but I already have an arsenal of knowledge and experience along with books, friends, on-line resources, exercise equipment, DVD's, cookbooks and eating plans at my fingertips. The LAST thing I need is to add to the paralyzing clutter I already have! If you don't know yet, this is my M.O. Lots and lots of movement...but no real action.

I gave myself a hard looking at...and confessed to my boyfriend what I feel my number one problem is...I am a time management stargazer. I spend more time thinking about doing things, and how wonderful it will be when I do them, that I never actually get around to the DOING.

So, I went back to the basics regarding my health. We all know the right way to eat, we just sometimes chose otherwise for whatever reason (it's not my place to judge). And, with or without a fancy gym membership, we all know that there are very effective exercises that we can do on a daily basis, right in our own home, apartment, or room. I am now back on the treadmill, on track for 40+ miles this month, and I have joined the 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge for the month of January (currently at 2730 swings with 21 more days to go). And yesterday was day 1 of Yoga Journal's 21 Day Yoga Challenge.

I've also cleared away most of the tempting 'junk' food and started cooking again. Okay, I admit that the reason there aren't anymore Baked Lay's in the house is because I ate them all...but either way, they are g-o-n-e. Last night I actually made an improvised version of Dr. Weil's Pasta and Greens that even the boyfriend (an avid meat-eater) liked.

Pasta with Greens
multigrain pasta
1 med onion chopped fine
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 c sundried tomatoes
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
1 pound Kale cleaned w/stems removed, chopped fine
1 TBS dried basil
1/2 c water (or broth)
1 TBS capers w/liquid (or juice from olive jar)

1-Soak the dried tomatoes in hot water for about 15 minutes or until soft and then chop.

2-Heat oil and butter in skillet (med-high), add onion and red pepper flakes and cook until onions are translucent.
3-Add garlic, kale, basil, and tomatoes and cook until fragrant (3 minutes or so).

4-Stir so kale starts to wilt.
5-Reduce heat and add water and capers. Simmer for about 5 minutes. At this point you can determine if you'd like to add any additional spices, salt, or pepper.

6-Serve over whole or multigrain pasta, add some parmesan if desired.

And while I was at it, I roasted some cauliflower with zucchini and summer squash and then I baked Pumpkin Oatmeal from a recipe I found on Iowa Girl Eats blog. All of the 'new' recipes were a big hit, easy to prepare, and healthy to top it off!

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

1/2 c dry oatmeal
1/4 c pumpkin puree
3/4 c water (or milk)
1/8-1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar-free maple syrup
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 TBS sliced almonds (for topping)

1-Preheat over to 375 degree.
2--Mix all ingredients (except almonds) together in oven-safe bowl.
3-Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle with almonds.
4-Bake an additional 10 minutes.
You can enjoy right away or refrigerate and reheat in the microwave for 90 seconds!

I guess I can only speak for myself when I say action begets action. But if by chance you ARE like me, try taking that first step, no matter how big or small, and see how you feel. You might just surprise yourself at how much better it feels to DO rather then to just THINK about doing.

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