Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Busy + Sickly + Polar Vortex Take 2...

Good Morning!

The year of 2014 has really begun with some challenges (hopefully not foreshadowing much!). I have spent the last couple weeks freezing, sneezing, and calculating my expenses for each month this year. All of that has been just about as fun as it sounds. I got a cold right as the new year started and it just kept escalating. And right when I thought I was getting back on track with eating and working out, I was confined to my couch. I did catch up on my DVR though (sorry, sorry...no DVR talk!).

On top of being sick, I was also FREEZING because of the "polar vortex" that Al Roker has been talking about. And apparently another polar vortex is going to come through the rest of this week...but this time bringing snow. SNOW. NO. I hate snow. I am most definitely a warm weather kind of person and I am one of "those" people that everyone hates because I CANNOT drive in the snow. Seriously. One time I slide into a curb and now I am completely traumatized and refuse to drive if there is even a chance it will stick. Hopefully work will be cancelled tomorrow so I don't look like this:

Have a mentioned I hate being cold?

Anyways, I have been trying to make it to the gym a lot more. The athletic trainer at work gave me some workouts to strengthen my knee so I can start running again in the next month or so. Here are the moves he taught me:

One legged step downs (10 reps x3)
Front lunges (10 reps x3)
Angled lunges (10 reps x3)
Front step ups (10 reps x3)
Side step ups (10 reps x3)
And a new one I haven't tried yet - backwards step ups (10 reps x3)

The one legged step downs are pretty tough because my knee wants to twist to the inside which causes some pain, but as long as I do each move slowly and keep my form correct, they really help strengthen my hips and quads, taking the strain out of my knee. Good news is I have been given the okay to start on the stair climber!

I have also been trying some healthy recipes. Now, I am by no means a chef of any kind. I have been known to screw up hamburger helper in the not-so-recent past. So, trying new recipes is a little daunting. I chose something called Rainbow Rice to try. It is made with brown rice, chicken, broccoli, black beans, carrots and corn. Sounds good right? Looks good right?

Tastes good right? WRONG! I am sure I did something wrong, just not sure what. And I made SO MUCH of it. I felt super bummed throwing it away, but I knew I wouldn't eat it. Next time I try a new recipe, I will be sure to make a single serving first to test it out.

This week, I had MLK day off so I was able to do some meal prep for the week (with recipes I already have made before!). For breakfast I made a couple omelets using fresh spinach, 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg. Then I used them to make sandwiches with whole wheat english muffins, a slice of turkey bacon and a piece of 2% american cheese. I had it this morning and it was delicious! For lunch I cooked up some vegetable radiatore noodles from Trader Joe's and mixed it with ground turkey and tomato basil pasta sauce for spaghetti. For dinners, I made some taco meat (using ground turkey - which I think tastes MUCH better than ground beef because it isn't as greasy) and plan to make taco salads. I also picked up a bunch of apples, strawberries and bananas for snacks throughout the week!

Planning my meals and making them in advance really helps me eat healthy because I usually have no desire to cook anything when I get home from work.

So begins the second polar vortex, but hopefully this time I will steer clear of Chipotle (however hard that may be!).

Just for nostalgia, here is a picture of when I was sitting on my balcony YESTERDAY in 60 DEGREE weather. Seriously, Virginia?


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