diet

exercise myths

With all the thousands of “rules” about how to get fit and stay healthy, it’s hard to know what’s right. For the most part, there really are no rules. It’s all about trial and error and figuring out what fitness routine you can stick with. If you work out best in the morning, work out in the morning. Sure you’ll read contradicting stories–one today saying that morning workouts are best because working out on an empty stomach = fat loss, and one tomorrow saying working out in the afternoon is best because it’s when you’re most alert so you’ll give it your best effort.  There’s no winner when it comes to googling weight loss. You’ll just end up feeling more frustrated than when you began.

 I came across a cool image the other day, highlighting common myths about exercise.  While I don’t think it should be seen as a group of rules to live by, most of the myths/facts are good things to keep in mind when you want to commit to a healthy lifestyle.

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In other words,

  • drink water
  • perform high intensity exercises
  • pick some types of protein that you like and eat those to supplement a workout
  • don’t count on your cardio machine to be correct when it comes to burning calories
  • eat a balanced diet (but never supplement a “bad day” with a crash diet day–talk about a yo yo effect)
  • don’t rely on the scale to tell you what’s what (I’m 10 pounds heavier than I was 5 years ago but guess what? I feel great!)
  • don’t try to spot reduce

Most importantly: don’t give up!

Sometimes I think our bodies are designed to test us. You might work out for a month and step on the scale and see nothing, or even a weight increase! Or you might feel bloated and terrible because you’ve been stuffing yourself full of extra broccoli in an attempt to be healthy. Whatever you do, don’t give up. That’s your body’s way of saying “are you sure this is a new lifestyle?” If you stick with a new and healthy routine, eventually it will become your lifestyle and your body will react accordingly.

I hope you find these tips helpful!

Question:

  • Which myth have you been guilty of believing?

I’ve always thought that working out on an empty stomach leads to more fat loss. And while it might not be directly related to fat loss, it’s definitely what works best for me personally. Morning workouts get me on an endorphin high all day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken and Goat Cheese with Quinoa (recipe)

Today I have a great recipe to share with you!

While I was in Washington D.C. my friends and I went out to eat every opportunity we had.  Eventually our stomachs and wallets were dying for a homemade meal! Thanks to my good friend Mel, always the creative cook, we came up with a really easy and healthy dish to prepare for a family-style dinner on Saturday night.

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Before I post this, I just have to say: I’m not the biggest fan of quinoa. To me, it needs A LOT of work to be enjoyable. Spices are imperative when creating a dish involving quinoa, because alone it doesn’t taste like much.  Well this recipe opened my eyes to the beauty of goat cheese, and all that it can do for a recipe! I had never had goat cheese before!  It added just the right amount of creaminess and decadence to this dish.

Without further ado, a new recipe for you to try!

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Chicken and Goat Cheese Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 3 grilled chicken breasts (precooked)
  • 16 oz bag of quinoa
  • 4 assorted bell peppers (we used yellow, orange, and green)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/2 of a 5oz. log of goat cheese–more or less depending on  your preference
  • 2 15oz. cans TJ’s Organic Great Northern Beans (or any other kind of white bean)
  • Cumin (start with 3 tbls. and add according to taste/preference)

Start by cooking the quinoa according to the instructions on the bag. Once it is cooked season it with a tablespoon of cumin and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

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Once the quinoa is cooking, chop your peppers and onions.  You want these pieces to be bite-sized but not too small.

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Sautee the chopped peppers and onions in olive oil until cooked, but still crispy.  Season with salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of the cumin.

Once the peppers and onions are cooked, add the chicken breasts (chopped). Finally, stir in the goat cheese! Mix only until the goat cheese is combined throughout.  Add your third tablespoon of cumin, along with a few pinches of salt and pepper.

Now that everything is combined, it’s important to keep tasting until the amount of cumin is just right.  It’s a very important flavor that really adds a lot to the dish, so make sure you use enough.  You can always add more, but you can never take some back!

Serve with the quinoa and a simple side salad.  I made one using my dijon mustard dressing and leafy greens.

ImageI don’t know if it was the family atmosphere or the dish itself, but I enjoyed this meal more than I’ve enjoyed one in a long time. We ate this dinner, drank margaritas (not the best pairing haha), and talked about everything from music, politics, and current events for hours. I love being with people who appreciate food as much as I do. Food isn’t just about the action of eating, it’s about the community it creates and the art it can exhibit, if you just give your meals a little time and attention.

On a side note, ever since I stopped “dieting” and started eating mostly whole foods, I’ve noticed that I have a much deeper appreciation for food. When you eat things that are natural such as fruits, veggies, lean meats, and nuts there aren’t any restrictions! That was what always caused me to fail and be stressed out all the time with food in the past. There were so many opportunities “to fail”.  When you view your diet as an opportunity to eat all the whole foods that you want, you start seeing all the wonderful things that you CAN eat, not all the things that are forbidden.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Question: do you know anyone who sees eating as a “nuisance”? A man on the radio the other day said that eating often “gets in the way” of his day and it annoys him. How is that possible?!