I’m on week three of training for my 5k and all is well. Since I started getting up twenty minutes earlier three days a week, I’ve felt much more energized and less lethargic throughout the day. It really is a great way to jump-start my morning and to be quite honest, I find it a lot more enjoyable running at a time of day when hardly anyone is awake. I haven’t put headphones on once in the three weeks I’ve been training. I love the sound of my shoes hitting the pavement, Miley running alongside me, the birds just waking up, the slight breeze, and a solid 30 minutes of being inside my own head with no interruptions. I’ve even found myself looking forward to my running days.
While I’ve been on a healthy eating kick the past few months, I feel like the activity has had more of an impact on my decision-making in dishes I cook, how much alcohol I drink, and what I order when I eat out. I’ve lost three pounds since I started running again and I’m still maintaining my healthy eating habits. My goal is to lose 5 more pounds and then maintain my weight from there. One of my biggest pet-peeves about diet fads and weight loss pills are the fact that they don’t emphasize that losing weight and maintaining that weight loss is really about making a lifestyle change, where healthy eating habits and exercise have to become a part of your daily routine. Lifestyle changes like that don’t happen overnight. You can’t be on a limited diet, lose 20 lbs, go back to your old eating habits, and expect to maintain the weight loss. With what I’m doing now – the old-fashioned exercise and make healthier choices in food thing – well, it’s a plan I feel is sustainable.
And, my healthy eating habits still include all of the foods I love. I haven’t cut one thing out. I’m in love with starchy foods like pastas, grains, and potatoes. I could never cut them out of my diet so I’ve learned that I can still make all the dishes I love but learn to make them in new ways. Normally it’s just cutting out the “extra” ingredients and using natural flavors. Plus, portion control.
This week I attempted a pasta primavera dish which makes for excellent leftovers. The recipe was pretty plain and boring so I spiced it up with some extra veggies like bell peppers, carrots, and a little sweet onion to add some extra flavor. And, because I feel like olive oil is too plain for a pasta sauce, I ended up making my own blend (still light). I used lemon juice, lemon zest, and a combination of random spices in my pantry. With some parmesan on top, it tasted absolutely delicious. And, I love how colorful it is! Also, as a side note, Pinot Grigio was a great wine paring with this dish.
Tonight I’m feeling full and content after such a hearty meal. I’m loving all my kick ass cooking ventures!