Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Summer is coming:Time to Re-Commit to Fitness and Clean Eating Goals (+ a recipe)

Ok so I wrote that title and then looked out the window to see that it's snowing. Fuck. But I swear (and beg of you, Mother Nature, Jesus Lord, whoever is listening)-warmer weather is coming. Before you know it ass cheeks are gonna be hanging out everywhere! I think it's a good time of year to reconnect with your inner Buff the Stuff and make some fitness and nutrition goals. I currently have added motivation to really kill it at the gym and with eating clean because my boyfriend has just left on a month-long trip to Spain. We've been separated for long periods of time before. Rather than use the time to wallow in my own self-pity, I make the most of it by really committing to my personal goals, and making myself my #1 priority (although I'm pretty self centred all the time, let's keep it real).

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I already do eat clean and work out a lot. But I feel like I've gone into "maintenance mode" in the past few months. Meaning I've been eating mostly clean and working out, but just enough to keep in relatively good shape-not really pushing myself and trying to make improvements. I think this is a really healthy way to go about being a fit person-you can't do it 100% all the time(at least I can't). I like to stay in shape to a level that I could, at any point, get into my optimal level of fitness within a few weeks of strict clean eating and pushing myself at the gym. And now is that time for me.

I decided to make a few concrete goals this time-something I don't always do. I usually just have the general idea that I want to pull in the reigns and get my ass in shape(literally, it's the most important part. I'd like everything else to look alright too). But I was recently inspired to make a goal to give up Diet Coke, which I have been woefully addicted to since I worked at McDonald's in high school and could drink as much as I wanted for free. And I've been successful in kicking the habit. It's kind of a big deal for me, and the little victory made me think that I should set other specific goals. I've never been a goal oriented person, but I've been kind of surprised at how good I feel about achieving that one little goal, so why not make some more. So I'm setting some specific goals for the next month. Although they are things I've done before, and maybe they're more "guidelines" than goals. Still, I think they will help me in my overall mission to get my body into its' best shape.

These are my goals/guidelines

1. Prep clean meals at least once a week. It's sooooo helpful to make food ahead of time- make a big batch of food that you can eat throughout the week. This is something I was really good about in college, and have since fallen out of the habit. I have the luxury of working in a restaurant that has awesome clean options, and I eat a lot there. But I also end up spending a lot of money on salads and other (clean) takeout for meals outside of work. Plus, even when you pick things that seem clean, you can never be sure unless you make it yourself. I think that prepping my own meals will be good for my body, and my wallet. I got started on this goal tonight, and I have a recipe at the bottom of this post for you.

2. Go to the gym 4 days a week, no excuses. I've honestly been really off and on with my gym attendance this winter-some weeks going 4 or 5 times, some weeks not going at all. I still manage not to gain weight-much thanks to my very active job. But I KNOW for sure that my body has looked better than it does now, and that has been when I've been diligent about hitting the weights.

3. Keep drinking lots of water-I've been really good about drinking a lot of water lately, especially since I'm not pounding back Diet Cokes all day. It makes me feel great, and I think it really curbs a lot of junk food cravings. I want to make sure I keep it up.

For now those are my three main goals or guidelines or whatever-I might make new ones as the month progresses. I love when I post stuff about fitness because I always get a lot of response, and that in turn helps keep me motivated. I want to try to do updates on how it's going over the next little while. I would also love to hear about what other people are doing to get in shape these days. Maybe if we all work together and get our abs tight, whoever is in charge of this fucking shit weather will get the message that we are ready for the sun.

Thanks for reading!

Spicy Turkey Vegetables & Quinoa 
(Such a creative name)
iPhone photo, sorry expensive camera, it's not your turn.

I made this recipe up, but it was inspired by a similar recipe by Fit Men Cook -amazing resource for clean recipes and general fitness motivation.
Pretty much all the measurements here are approximate. This is a pretty basic recipe, and you could easily switch it up with different vegetables, spices, whatever.

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped (My simple brain just really likes seeing different colours, you could use 2 red)
1 head of broccoli, chopped (just the top part, although I guess you could use the stems)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/8-1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup cooked quinoa (instructions usually on the package, it's easy)
1 cup Salsa (I used an organic brand, medium heat)
A few pinches of chili powder

1. Cook the turkey in a pan at medium heat until browned (use a wooden spoon to break it up and stir as it cooks). Drain off any liquid and set the meat aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, broccoli and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so.

3. Add the cooked quinoa, turkey, salsa and some of the chicken broth. Stir it all together and turn up the heat a bit.

4. Add more chicken brothe if needed. Heat until just bubbling, and add chili powder. Stir, and turn down heat and let simmer for a bit.

5. Let cool, and then divide into containers to be eaten throughout the week!

This recipe was sooo easy, inexpensive and it tastes great (I'm eating some right now). When you cook ahead like this, eating clean becomes just as convenient as grabbing something to go. Definitely one of the best things you can do to stick with it.

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