Saturday, January 30, 2010

Food For a Cold Night

It's freezing cold here tonight (around 14 degrees Farenheit) and we didn't feel like going out for new ingredients to make dinner, so I decided we should have an adventure with whatever I could find in the kitchen. It was SOOOOOO good that I had to tell you guys about it! Here it is:

End of January Dinner

Heat in a skillet:
1 Tablespoon of olive oil

Saute in the oil:
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium sized onion, chopped

When the garlic and onions are soft and lightly colored, add:
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1 lb. bag of frozen chopped spinach (still frozen is fine)
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup or so of water

Cover the skillet with a lid and cook about 10 minutes until the spinach is all thawed and the tomatoes have begun to cook down a little. If you need to add any water to keep it all moist, feel free to do so, but not so much that it turns to soup.

Add juice of 1 lemon, squeezed

In a small bowl, beat two eggs with a fork, then add slowly to the spinach/bean mixture, constantly stirring everything so that the eggs cook evenly into the mixture. It should only take a couple of minutes for the eggs to cook.

Serve over hot brown rice (preferably brown jasmine rice!) and top with
fresh avocado slices.

Friday, January 22, 2010

2010 Motivation

So here I am at that point in the middle of winter where my hibernation tendencies may have peaked and I'm realizing I need to freshen up my motivation engine. We always have a big crush of deadlines right at the end of the year, coinciding with the holidays, and it throws getting to the gym regularly a little out of whack.

Anyway, as I was ellipsing on the elliptical machine at the gym today, I was thinking about how the biggest hurdle to fitness is, in fact, motivation. Not just like a one time "shot-in-the-arm" motivation, but steady, consistent motivation. The truth is that ANY motivation will lose its effect after some time and needs to be recharged. I think the trick is to recognize that this WILL happen and plan for it.

Here are a few ideas that come to mind:
Subscribe to fitness magazines. My favorite is Men's Health, second favorite is Women's Health (both published by Rodale). The thing about subscribing rather than just picking the magazine up at the store is that it will appear in your mailbox at regular intervals. These two magazines always inspire me to try out a new workout routine or new exercise that I hadn't thought of before and I subscribe to both of them.

Join a gym where there are lots of people exercising. Or do your walking or jogging in a place where other people are doing the same. Being around people who are active always makes me want to get up and exercise. In fact, as I was ellipsing on the elliptical machine today, I purposely chose a machine that faced the people who were lifting weights so that I would be eager to attack the dumbbells once I'd finished.
Of course, it is possible to keep yourself motivated without an external push. When I first started lifting weights (1984), I trained at home by myself. In fact, I entered the first three bodybuilding contests I was in after only training at home. I won one of those contests (Cleveland Novice) and did pretty well in the other two, but once I joined a gym, I could see how much more I could put into my workouts. I learned so much from the other lifters and always felt happy to be there.

Join a gym that you pay for. Someone once told me that Sigmund Freud said that paying for psychotherapy was a vital element in the success of the treatment. I don't know if he really said that, but it does make sense. We tend to want to get our money's worth when we've actually paid for something, so we'll be more likely to use the gym we join (hopefully!). Along that same line of thinking would be:

Sign up for classes that you pay for. They're regularly scheduled, social, AND you've paid for them! Perfect!

More ideas later.