Last year, when I was bestowed with two very lovely pelvic stress fractures. The only thing I could do for exercise was sit my butt on a stationary bike and pedal away. Day in. Day out.
The first week or so was fine. I had never really ridden on a stationary bike before and so it was new and glamorous and exciting! (Plus, the week or so before that had been spent on crutches and no matter how much I begged and pleaded, my roommate, Sophie, wouldn't let me anywhere near the gym. So by the time I was "allowed" to bike, I was of the opinion that anything was better than nothing.)
But eventually (a week in) the bike and I hightailed it out of the honeymoon period. Straight into disillusionment and resentment and pure hatred. Typical.
Basically, I went stir crazy. Hit a low that even Bethenny and the Real Housewives couldn't rescue me from.
And so is it really any surprise that I attempted to eat my weight in brownie batter?
I think not.
Let's just say that I (and my thighs) thanked the gods of bone healing the day that I stopped hurting enough that I could get onto an elliptical. Variety is the spice of life, people. Really and truly.
This week at Eat.Live.Be. we are talking about how we get ourselves out of a rut. Or prevent ourselves from ever getting into a rut to begin with. I think we've all been there. We stick with our New Year's resolution for a few weeks...and then it just gets old. And tiring. And we just don't feel like we can go on like this anymore.
I know how you feel. Here are a few things you can do to kick yourself back into gear when this happens.
Mix it up. I refuse to do the same workout at the gym two days in a row. Some days I go to spin classes, some days I go to body conditioning classes, one day hopefully soon I am going to do Zumba, one day a week is reserved for a long run (12 miles this weekend baby! woohoo!), there's a day of biking, a day of ellipticaling and then a rest day. I guarantee you that if you do the same workout every day, you are going to get so bored that you are going to start to resent the gym. Or your exercise videos. Or the trail that you run around at the park. Then you'll find yourself naming your jars of peanut butter and speaking to inanimate objects. You don't want to turn out like me, okay. Plus it's just not good for your body to do the same thing every day. Whether your mind gets bored or not, your body will, which is when you'll stop seeing results. You have to keep your muscles guessing, keep exercising new ones, and the only way to do this is by changing it up a little.
Dance to Lady Gaga. Or whoever. Doesn't have to be Lady Gaga. It could be Frank Sinatra. Or The Beatles. Or Justin Beiber (no judgment). But whenever I'm in a really bad, depressed mood. I turn on my local Top 40 station (Z100 baby!). Blast it. And dance like I'm in. Da. Club.
Play Russian Roulette with your cookbooks. If you find yourself eating the same thing every day. And you are just seriously bored of it to the point that all you want and think about is chocolate and cookies and cake. Then what I recommend doing is picking up your nearest cookbook. Close your eyes. Open it up to a random page. And cook. You can do the same thing with your favorite food blog or online recipe site. But once again, spicing it up and trying something new, even if you don't LOVE the dish, will keep you engaged. It might also trigger new ideas and will keep you inspired and excited about what you're doing.
So now I want you to tell me what YOU do to get yourselves out of a living healthy rut. Either write about it on your blog and link up here, or write about it in the comments!
And be sure to check out how the other Eat.Live.Be. kick themselves back into high gear!
- Sarah Caron - www.sarahscucinabella.com
- Cate O’Malley - www.sweetnicks.com
- Maris Callahan - www.ingoodtasteblog.net
- Chris Arpante - www.melecotte.com
- Faith - www.clickblogappetit.com/
- Kristen - www.dineanddish.net
- Emily - http://andersonfamilycrew.blogspot.com/
- Jenna - FireMom - http://stopdropandblog.com/
- Casey - http://www.thestarnesfam.com - e-mail
- Patsy - http://familyfriendsandfood.blogspot.com/
- Tri-Fit Mom - http://trifitmom.blogspot.com/
- Claire - http://cookiedoc.blogspot.com/
- Allison - http://sweetflours.blogspot.com/
- Jen - http://njepicurean.blogspot.com/
- Leslie - www.thehungryhousewife.com.
- Rivki Locker - http://www.healthyeatingforordinarypeople.com/
- Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook
- Jennifer Schulz - http://lick-a-plate.blogspot.com/
- Sarah Rogers - http://sarahssweetcreations.blogspot.com
- Denise and Lenny - http://www.chezus.com
In keeping with this whole "variety is the spice of life" business, I have to tell you about this chicken dish.
But even before that I have to tell you about this cookbook. In The Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark. Love it. Maybe because it reminds me of me.
Each recipe has a story to go along with it. And they are funny. And engaging. So entertaining, in fact, that I can often be found reading this cookbook at the gym. Yeah I am totally that girl. The one sitting on a bike with the food network on and a cookbook in her lap. That's me.
And if this chicken is any indication, the recipes in it are as good as the stories, if not better. I don't even like chicken very much. (Neither does Melissa. We are soulmates.) But I loved this dish. The chicken is covered in a thoroughly addictive sweet/spicy glaze and then roasted in the same pan as the sweet potatoes are. It's definitely one of the best and easiest chicken recipes I've ever had.
(Right, you heard me. One pan. This kind of thing never happens around here.)
I had to hide the chicken from myself to keep from going back to the fridge and eating it. Weird. But true. Make it.
Spiced Chipotle Honey Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4, adapted from Melissa Clark's In The Kitchen with a Good Appetite
20 oz butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
20 oz sweet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tbsp olive ol
4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
chopped cilantro or basil for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400. Toss the sweet potatoes and butternut squash with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray and then spread the sweet potatoes and squash over it. Roast for 15 minutes.
2. While the sweet potatoes and squash are cooking, in a small bowl, mix together the remaining tbsp of olive oil, chiles, garlic, honey, cider vinegar, salt, cumin, and cinnamon, until they form a paste. Rub the paste all over the chicken. Carefully place the chicken on top of the sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Put back in the oven and continue to roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro or basil.
I am submitting this to the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop!