It’s Just Like Riding a Bike

I don’t know how many times I’ve blogged about getting back on track or getting back into the swing of my diet and exercise routine. I’m starting to realize that it’s becoming a little too common. After my test week a couple weeks ago, I really felt like I had strayed from my routine simply because I was so busy studying so I was excited to get back on track this past week. I don’t really feel like that happened though. I was good at the beginning of the week, running on both Monday and Tuesday, and I was pretty good about what I ate every day, except maybe Wednesday when I had a lunch and dinner event that involved meals. Even though I half way got back into my routine, I can tell I’m not fully there. I fell weighed down and tired, and I can tell I’ve eaten more carbohydrates and less fruits and veggies than usual because I just don’t fell as energetic as I normally do. Keeping this blog has really helped me think about the decisions that I make when I eat and exercise. I can sit around and tell myself that I need to be doing better all day, but writing it down and sharing it with my friends and family really helps keep me accountable. While I know most of you aren’t religiously addicted to my blog (if you are, you might need to get out a little more) it helps to know that at least one person I know will probably read what I have to say and know whether or not I’ve been exercising or eating healthy. I’ve said a million times that living a healthy life style is easy, especially once you get the hang of it, and I still believe that it is. But, it’s important to realize that it’s not always easy. With my tests and numerous other activities that I’ve been involved with over the past few weeks, I’ve been especially aware of how difficult and tempting it can be to stray from a healthy routine. I’m what they call a “stress eater,” I like to eat comfort food when I’m stressed out to feel better. While my comfort foods and stress eating habits have gotten healthier over the past year, I still don’t like the fact that I allow myself to fall into that habit. Eating too many sweets is what I really struggle with so, I’m constantly working to try to keep my dessert intake to a minimum. I chose a bad time to end my month without dessert; it ended the week before test week, the perfect time to make excuses that eating all the dessert I want is okay. Now that I have sufficiently quenched that craving, I’m going to try to only have three desserts a week. I’ve used moderation with all of my other dieting habits and I think it really works the best, so why not use it with desserts too? I’m being realistic when I say I just can’t cut sweets out of my life, but there’s no reason to go on an ice cream frenzy any time I feel slightly stressed out. I’ll keep you posted on that project. In other news… this week is Jackson Restaurant Week and the Jackson Free Clinic is one of the charities in the running to win $10,000! If you live in Jackson go out to eat and vote for the free clinic. You can find more info about restaurant week here.

My First Pie
I know I was just talking about how badly I need to moderate my dessert intake, but I just can’t not tell y’all that I made my first pie all on my own yesterday. I’m a huge fan of Almond Joy and so is my friend Zach (I think we’re in the minority on this one), so when I found this recipe on Pinterest I had to try it. I just couldn’t resist. Zach offered to buy the ingredients and help me eat the pie (to avoid me having to eat it all in one sitting) if I made it. The perfect plan, which I think I executed quit nicely yesterday as a study break. It was really easy to make and didn’t really take much time either. I think the hardest part was resisting the urge to lick the bowl of melted chocolate leftovers clean. I know some of you must be confused as to why I would talk about making such a decadent dessert since my whole blog is about being healthy, but like I said, some things are needed… just in moderation. I’ve only had one piece of the pie so far and will probably be taking it to school tomorrow to let Zach and some of our administrators have the rest. I think that’s pretty good moderation, plus it’s fun to share treats with other people. Click here for the recipe, just don’t make it too often!

Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas
Now for some healthier recipes. This recipe has been on my list for a while now, but somehow every time I planned to make it, something came up and I just couldn’t make it. Well, I’m glad I finally made myself try it because it’s super delicious and of course easy. It kind of turned out like a mexican pizza. I hope the paper plate in the photo doesn’t distract you from how delicious it looks, but I just don’t have time to do a million dishes tonight. Anyway, all you have to do is season the chicken with some cumin, salt and pepper and sauté it for a few minutes. When it’s a little more than halfway done, you add your mixture of summer vegetables and green salsa and simmer until the chicken is done and the veggies are tender. I heated my tortilla in a 350 degree oven instead of using the broiler, but you could do either. I also used frozen corn instead of fresh, but it’s pretty much the same thing if you ask me. Fresh cilantro and green onion on the top gives an extra fresh flavor that definitely complements the cumin on the chicken very well. I’m going to have the leftover chicken and vegetable mixture for lunch tomorrow and I’m already excited about it. Click here for the recipe.

Summer Vegetable Quinoa
This recipe is a result of not making the above recipe. Since I had planned to make the tostadas and bought all the ingredients, I had to  use the ingredients so I wouldn’t waste them. I came up with this quick quinoa recipe to use the fresh zucchini and red onion that I didn’t want to waste. I remember I just wasn’t in the mood for making anything elaborate one night and it was easy to make some quinoa and toss in some veggies. I cooked the frozen corn with the quinoa (just pour it in frozen at the same time you put the quinoa in). I sauteed red onion and zucchini for a few minutes then tossed everything together with some feta cheese, pepper, a little red wine vinegar and olive oil. Even though it used the same ingredients as the tostada recipe, the two dishes have very different flavors. Since this one had feta cheese and red wine vinegar, it was a little more Greek/Mediterranean. Obviously the tostada recipe is Mexican due to the cumin, jack cheese, and cilantro. I think this is a fun example of how you can use the same ingredients to make two very different meals. It helps save money and keeps you from wasting food. It’s also fun to just toss things together and see if you like them.

Back to studying now, have a great week!

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