A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Exercise Cooking and a Change in Routine

Care for a sugar-free chocolate microwave cake in a cup?  Recipe inspired by Katie on her blog at ChocolateCoveredKatie.
This is going to be a good week, I can feel it! Is that too much too soon for Monday? I agree, but “mind over matter”….right? Kelley and I are excited this week because we ordered a new pull-up / chin-up station with an area for a heavy punching bag. And yes, we ordered a heavy punching bag too and can’t wait to set it up and start knocking it around. Kelley even got some new pink boxing gloves, and she sure looks something fierce with those things on; can you sense my sarcasm?

We ordered new equipment to help change up the monotony of running both of us have been feeling for a while now. After training for marathons and making running the only form of exercise, it (surprise) became more of a burden than something enjoyable. To be consistent, your exercise routine must be somewhat enjoyable. So, I’m putting strength training in focus and have high hopes that the punching bag will keep things interesting. Maybe it will make for a good bonding time with Kelley; nothing like punching a bag together with your spouse!

On the topic of exercise, I recently bought a pair of New Balance Minimus Trail 20’s and wore these while cooking this past Sunday. I own a few barefoot / minimalist shoes, including the previous version of the Minimus 20’s, and love them for their functionality when lifting weights, running, or general everyday use. Since the weather was so wonderful, I felt it was a shame my marathon cooking for the week ahead takes me all day. But wearing my New Balance shoes inspired me, and I found a way to cook and get some fresh air……intervals!
I like this color, but there are other, less extreme choices.  These were the only ones on sale....

“Exercise Cooking” is pretty basic; anytime I put something in the oven, microwave, or was waiting for something on the stove, I would charge out and run hard around our ~.5 mile block. I was sucking in the fresh air by the time I completed a lap, and no time was sacrificed in the kitchen….Awesome! It felt good to get my heart rate going in between cooking, and the short, intense running isn’t as monotonous as long distance. If that seems odd to you, you should have seen me when I wore a 20 pound weight vest the whole 8 hours I would cook in the kitchen. Thanks, Kelley, for still loving me!

A friend at work had proposed that if I made an extra dish of each meal I cook for Kelley and me, he’d reimburse me to make him lunch for work. I was excited to think about cooking for someone else who eats out a lot to show how good healthy, home-cooked food can be. Most people at work go out to eat or don’t know much in the ways of nutrition, and they have the mindset that all healthy food is nasty food. This could be my chance to prove otherwise, but then I worried that it may not be good to him and everything would backfire; stupid worrying mind.

This week, I just put a few samples in small containers for him to try; just make sure he’d like a full meal version. I decided I couldn’t make an extra meal for each day since it takes me long enough already, but maybe just one or two (if he likes my samples) meals will be a good start. Today’s sample is a quinoa pilaf with green and yellow split peas, and mixed frozen veggies. Quinoa has become a staple in our home since it’s quick to make and very good for you; I usually have a lot of this left over anyway.

I never made popped quinoa as I mentioned on Friday’s post, but I still made several treats using NuNaturals stevia (review and giveaway contest to come soon) with peanut flour, protein powder, whole grain flour, etc. Check back tomorrow to see one or two of the treats I made.

Now excuse me while I anxiously await the arrival of our new fitness equipment. Maybe I can start punching, kicking, and doing pull-ups in between cooking next weekend.

To all of you cooks, do you try to fit in exercise (a.k.a “Exercise Cooking”) while stuck in the kitchen? If you’re not quite the cook, what about when you are at work or just at home with nothing to do? The benefits of exercise are plenty, so get up, get out, and just MOVE! 

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