Sunday, August 9, 2009

Keeping track to get back on track

Even with seeing Ashley's beautiful activity charts and being encouraged by my friend Rachel to use a calendar to track my progress, I couldn't see it working for me, but as I've started to become lax in the exercise department I decided it was worth a shot. Here's how my thought process went the first day:

"Ok, crappy wrinkled calendar stuck on the fridge. I guess I could just mark the days I've exercised with an X."
"Or...I could use stickers."
"Hee hee....stickers are fun!"

And that folks is why being easily amused by things will get you far in life. So far the calendar has been surprisingly motivating. Looking at that blank stretch from Thursday to Saturday this morning inspired me to Shred tonight (for the first time in about two weeks probably...and I paid for it). I'm not sure how the last two weeks of August will look as I'll be in Alberta visiting my sister (!) but I will have access to a gym and pool while I'm there so hopefully I'll get some exercise in. Will I be dorky enough to bring the calendar with me and stick it on her fridge? Stay tuned to find out!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pay it forward

Recently I discovered and fell in love with the blog Prior Fat Girl. Its author, Jen, has lost almost a 100 pounds and her posts are funny, honest, and inspiring. Jen always signs off her post with the following line: "When you receive motivation and inspiration from me, pay it forward."

A few days ago, Jen lost her mom in a tragic accident. I was so shocked when I read this news on her blog this morning. It's amazing how you can come to feel as if you know someone just from reading their blog, and I hurt for Jen today.

My suggestion is that you take Jen's advice today and pay it forward. Do something nice for someone you love, someone you work with, even someone you may not know very well at all - because you may not get the chance to do so again.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The weekend dilemma

Lately my weekends have been a healthy eating hazard, characterized by dinner and drinks out, baking at home, and a complete lack of exercise. This is partly due to the fact that my boyfriend is working out of town during the week, so weekends become an excuse to be lax. It's also because summer weather has finally come to Ottawa, and my friends and I are grabbing the chance to hang on restaurant patios, have picnics, and drink summery drinks while we can. I'm enjoying myself too much to worry about it (although I do need to try and fit exercise in amidst all the fun), and I try to make up for it with light summery meals when I am cooking at home.

Tonight I made a variation of a basic couscous salad that I make all the time. Couscous is great to make in the summer because it cooks unbelievably quickly and you can toss it with any number of fresh veggies.

I did my best to write out measurements for this salad, but it was difficult - I rarely measure anything when making a salad like this, but just add ingredients until it looks/tastes right. I would suggest you do the same and find a combination that works for you! Do measure the couscous and broth though - you need equal amounts of each for the couscous to cook properly.

1/2 cup couscous
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup black eyed peas (normally I would use chickpeas but I didn't have any)
1 cup broccoli florets, steamed
Handful of grape tomatoes, quartered
1 green onion, sliced
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Basil to taste - I use frozen basil that I found at Loblaws - it's not quite as fantastic as fresh but it's still yummy and a lot more convenient!
Extra virgin olive oil - you could skip this if you want a practically fat free meal, but a light drizzle really makes this dish in my opinion.

Bring the broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the couscous, stir, then cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit while you chop your veggies and drain and rinse your beans. Toss all the ingredients together, using a bigger bowl than I did so you don't scatter couscous everywhere.