The honest to butternut squash truth (can you think of a better vegetable to swear on? Because I can’t.) about my history with exercise is that I woke up one morning in college and decided to go to the gym.
I kind of wish this weren’t true, but I did it because of a boy. I had been dating someone and he just randomly stopped returning my calls err umm…AIM messages. I’m sure I spent a few days crying and mulling over the reasons why he decided on that specific day at that specific time to jump ship. And came to the conclusion that, whatever his sordid reasoning (though I later found out he was struggling with a major depressive episode and that it really had nothing to do with me), I never wanted to feel like a guy didn’t like me because of the way I looked. I never again wanted to feel like my weight was an issue. And while I couldn’t control whether someone liked my personality or the color of my hair, I could control my weight and at least make sure that it wasn’t something I was insecure about.
So to the gym I went. And went. And went. Every day thereafter.
Ever and anon.
And it’s not that I love it.
While I’m on the elliptical, watching Kim Zolciak go into labor or bobbing my head to one of Taylor Swift’s music videos for the fifth time in twenty minutes (for some reason the New York Sports Club’s music channels think it’s inspiring for us worker-outers to have her on repeat. Note – NOT.). Or doing squat after squat and lunge after lunge in a total body conditioning class. I want it to be over.
But that feeling after I have done it? That intense rush of accomplishment I get when I step back into my apartment, sweaty and refreshed and cleansed? It’s one for the books.
Running, for me, is different though. I do love it. Every step. I love the feeling of the wind rushing past me as I rush past it. I love the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement. I love knowing that I am doing something, going somewhere, getting. it. done.
And it’s not that it’s easy. Doing hill repeats. Is hard. Running twenty miles. Is hard.
(Not eating an entire bag of mint chocolate M&M’s in one sitting…is hard impossible.)
But, like that quote up there says. Isn’t that the point?
This past week was a mix of good and bad on the healthy eating front. I ate dessert for dinner on Saturday.
Inhaled at least eight different cookies on Sunday.
And still lost 1.8 pounds.
And I’m a hundred percent sure that this was because I worked out six out of seven days. And ate totally wholesome good healthy food for five.
Lesson learned – expecting to be perfect when it comes to eating and exercise every second of every day is impossible. And unnecessary. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just start again the next day and, by moving forward and not letting yesterday’s indulgences pervade today’s choices, everything will be alright.
I love finding healthy eating inspiration from other bloggers and one of my favorites is France of Beyond the Peel. Rather than worrying about whether a dish is low calorie or low fat, she focuses on whether it’s full of whole, nutritionally dense foods. Nothing processed. Everything in moderation.
France and her husband have put together a cookbook, called the The Whole Food Revelation that goes through their food philosophy and then provides four weeks’ worth of whole food-based menus. I was sent a copy to review and fell in love with it instantly, bookmarking almost every recipe. Though they’re not all vegetarian, vegetarian options are provided for all dishes, which scored them major bonus points.
I was especially smitten after making this chili. Slightly sweet, a bit tangy, and definitely spicy, it made my taste buds and my belly happy. And kept me full for hours. Love that.
So while getting yourself to the gym every day can be hard, eating well doesn’t have to be. Especially not when it tastes this good!
Tell me, where do you guys find healthy food inspiration online? Any favorite healthy food blogs out there?
Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
Serves 4-6, adapted from Beyond the Peel
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 sweet potato, cut into cubes
- 8 tomatoes, chopped
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 cups cooked black beans
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander
- 2 tbsp chipotle chili powder (or to taste…this was VERY spicy!)
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
- In a large pot, cook the onions with the oil for about 5 minutes or until translucent and soft. Add in the jalapeno and red bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes or until soft. Add in the garlic and saute for one minute.
- Mix in the sweet potato, tomatoes, tomato paste, frozen corn and black beans. Add in the cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Saute for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in the pomegranate juice and cilantro. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 25 minutes or until sweet potato chunks are tender.