8/28/13

The challenge continues.

As I open up the blog and check my last entry, I notice that I was then doing 140 burpees a day. Today I have 240 burpees to do. 240 burpees seemed impossible in the past, absolutely impossible. The thought of doing that many push ups and jumps every day, increasing one a day for a whole year, up to 365, seemed absurd. But it is not. The secret is to break it down.

The same holds true for food. The secret to eating well is merely breaking it down to many tiny tasks, instead of one overwhelming chunk of time that no one, including me at the moment, seems to have, or even want to have. I don't blame anyone. Why spend hours toiling in the kitchen when one can be outside enjoying the end of summer? Or studying, which is more like my own reality right now. 

But eating well is essential to keeping good health, and to not gain weight, which is another reality I face as a 42-year-old woman. There is no way around it. It does not matter how much I may exercise, if I don't eat well I will get sick, and/or gain weight, and break out into pimples on top of it. I say it, because I have experienced it. When I don't eat well, my face becomes oily, and I break out. Simple. I start to eat better, my face becomes clearer/cleaner, no pimples. And I fit into my pants. Easy to maintain, hard to fix. 

So how do I break down food? Cook in the morning. In the evening I am too tired to deal with anything except for what is absolutely necessary, which means the exam of the day that I am freaking about. Use the mornings! While I make coffee, I make brown rice. Or cook beans... or roast beets, eggplants, sweet potatoes, squash, cauliflower, garlic, onions... any hardy vegetable that I can coat with olive oil and sea salt, I will roast. I roast in my cast iron pan, so that way I don't have to worry about clean up and scrubbing. Just wipe it down with a paper towel when done cooking- courtesy tip from a climber who camps and cooks in his camper. And yes HE cooks. Don't have to be a woman to cook, or a housewife to cook- anyone can cook. A lot of it has to do with just getting into a habit, so that there is no thinking involved. Just doing...

What about all the chopping? The chopping... I do it while I heat up the food that I precooked in the morning. It takes about 5 to 15 minutes to heat up anything, so I use that time to chop: cabbage, red onions, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro, celery, tomatoes, green onions, peppers... any vegetable that can be eaten fresh. Or sautéed... kale, collards, chard, spinach, chinese cabbage, onions, mustard greens, turnip greens... 

I usually chop a little extra, so that I have some left over for the next day- call it a bonus. Have enough containers, even if they are yogurt containers, to keep the left overs. Good storage is important for eating well. Because there is always something in the fridge or freezer waiting for me at the end of the day... even if I am completely wiped out from a long school day, and don't feel like doing any extra work other than opening a beer. And studying some more, of course. 

But why go through all that trouble anyway? Cooking , chopping , storing... because I want to feel good everyday, because I want to have energy everyday. Because I want to stay lean and look good, and because I don't like to get sick. Simple. 

It is so easy, especially here in the south, to go and buy fried chicken, fried food, barbecue, go to Chick-fil-A... people: Chick-fil-A is JUNK FOOD!!!! eat chips, a cold cut sandwich, a snack, a bar... but remember, our bodies don't magically make vitamins. We need to eat them to have them. And we need to eat them in real food, not vitamin complexes that we buy at the store. That is processed food at its best. Eat food. Eat clean- less animal food, more grains, vegetables, beans, fruit, nuts, seeds. 

You will thank yourself years from now, when you are still active and well, instead of... insert your own future dream image of yourself, and how you want to look and live when you are older... and live to fulfill that dream.

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