Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Keeping Motivated

My arms are sore. Not as bad as yesterday, but still pretty sore. I blame it on my attempt at assisted pull ups after doing those Tabatas on Monday. It's the only thing I did that was new (and fricken' difficult!). I honestly only did 1 good one and 2 half-arsed ones, but apparently my limit is 2, for now. It definitely hit all those arm muscles I am trying to tone, so give up - I will not. I am glad I had yesterday off from exercise, though!

Today is Zumba with Nicole. She's my fave instructor of the 3 Zumba gals, so it's easy to convince myself to go to class on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I am trying to sneak in some running before class on Wednesdays, though, and that is far more tricky to do than it may seem. I just don't like running. But in an effort to switch things up and jump start my plateau-ed weight loss, I am adding running to my weekly routine. Not a lot, of course. Zumba is a great cardio calorie-blaster, so I just wanted to add 30 minutes of running before-hand. Mind you, I cannot physically run for 30 minutes straight (or at all, probably); I'm still working up to that. Last week, I think I managed 12 minutes of running total (split in half with a 2 minute break in between). I get crazy side cramps most of the time. Not sure what that is about, but I'm thinking it's my body's reaction to me suddenly wanting to add running to my exercise regime. Hopefully in time, they will get better or go away. In the interim, I'm trying to not drink too much water on my drive from work to the gym and I'm making sure to spend a full 5 minutes of just walking to warm up before even thinking about running (slowly increasing the speed). Anyone out there runners? Tips?

As I mentioned yesterday, we stocked up on fruits and veggies from the Farmer's Market. That meant today's breakfast yogurt was much more numnumnumnumnum. Plain non-fat Greek yogurt with 1.65 oz cut strawberries and 1.35 oz blueberries. I tried to leave it unsweetened this time, but that was a no-go. I added 1 packet of Truvia (0 cal sweetener) this morning before actually eating it. I'll keep trying to go without, but I dunno if it's possible. Including the hot chocolate I use to sweeten my coffee, total calories for brekkie were 60+15+22+10=107 Cal. Mid-morning snack was a low-fat string cheese: 65 Cal. Lunch was 1/2 of a whole wheat pita (toasted) with a wedge of Garlic & Herb Laughing Cow Cheese, 1/4 avocado, and 2.5 oz peppered deli turkey breast: 116+35+69+67=287 Cal. I just had my 1 Tbsp chuncky peanut butter and still have 3 small slices of watermelon (11.9 oz with the rind) left to munch on before leaving work for the gym: 94+54=148 Cal. That's a total so far of 607 calories, leaving me with 593 for dinner & dessert. That's quite a lot, actually. I think tomorrow I'll pack something extra to have with my sandwich. I'm trying to steer closer to 1300 cal/day when I do more cardio. Anyhow, dinner planned is Chicken Forestiere with 4 oz blanched green beans: 321+35=356 cal. With a dessert of 10 sweet cherries (43 cal), my total for the day is only 1000 calories. I might need to add something to dinner, I guess. Maybe I'll throw some almonds on the beans and eat more cherries for dessert.

Here's the dinner recipe, as adapted from Eating Well (see their version here) I have criminis and shiitakes from the Market last night - we'll use a combo. We'll be using onion in place of the shallot, sherry in place of the white wine (this is 1st time we're making this sub, hope it works!), and I have parsley growing on my back porch for the added zing at the end. I've started making my own vegetable stock by keeping the remains of my veggies in the fridge and then brewing up a big ol' pot of stock at the end of the week. I keep anything and everything that would be compostable, should we compost: skins off of garlic and onions, peels and green tops from carrots, stems from herbs, woody bottoms of asparagus and broccoli - you name it!

Chicken Forestiere, 2 servings

3 tablespoons wheat flour, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~10 ounces)
3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced shallot, or onion
4 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
3/4 cup veggie stock (or reduced-sodium chicken broth)
1/2 cup dry white wine (or sherry)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or chives

1.Combine 2 tablespoons flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture.
2.Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
3.Increase the heat to medium-high and add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan. Add shallot (or onion) and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Pour in broth and wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a steady simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
4.Reduce heat to low and stir in parsley (or chives). Return the chicken to the pan, turn to coat with the sauce, and cook until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.

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