Apr 182012

Do you ever have those days where you just feel exhausted? When the thought of working out makes you cringe and you’d much rather curl up in your bed and call it a day? Well today was one of those days for me. I had a rough day at work and didn’t leave until late, so by the time I got home I did not want to work out. However, I have a few tips and tricks that I usually use to motivate myself and get my butt in gear. So I sucked it up, tied up my sneakers, and headed out the door. Today reminded me how hard it can be sometimes to just work out and I want to share my tips with you about how to move past it and, as Nike says, just do it.


Today’s workout was identical to yesterday’s; it began with a 1-mile jog in the morning and then in the afternoon included a jog to and from the dark park (1 mile each way) and an Insanity warm-up.

The morning run was a breeze, mostly because the weather has been gorgeous! When the sun shines through the window and the weather report promises warm temperatures, I am way happier getting out from under the covers. We saw a few bunnies on our run as usual, and of course Jack went nuts trying to chase them. He also had fun rolling around with another dog for about five minutes. It got him nice and tired and I was not complaining! The run was just enough to wake me up and get me ready for the day. Good thing too; it was a tough day!

The trouble started when I got home from work. I was cranky and tired and just wanted to relax. However after a few minutes of talking to Fabio and playing with Jack, I knew I had to just suck it up and work out. Here are some things I kept in mind to help motivate me:

  • Summer is coming and I’ll need to be bikini-ready
  • I always feel great once I actually start exercising
  • I would feel guilty eating peanut butter banana bread for dessert if I didn’t work out
  • Biggest Loser was coming on at 8:00 and those contestants always motivate me to work out
  • I could take it as easy or as slow as I wanted to; as long as I exercised I didn’t care about the speed
  • If I didn’t work out I’d be letting myself down and would feel horrible about it all night

That last bullet is the one that really got me moving. All I had to do was think of how disappointed I’d be in myself all night and and soon I was on my feet. It just wasn’t worth it to me to enjoy an extra 30 minutes of relaxing when I could be working towards my health and fitness goals. I was out the door and on my way to the dog park in no time.

Today I remembered to wear my heart rate monitor during my entire afternoon workout. This shows my heart rate during my jogs and the warm-up for Insanity (these don’t show my morning jog). Burning 311 calories in half an hour wasn’t too bad; neither was reaching a maximum heart rate of 186 or an average heart rate of 155. I’d say those numbers are pretty good for me. After today, I was just happy I could get myself to do something.


Dinner today came together in just a few minutes! We had broiled chicken, brussels sprouts, a small tomato salad, and quinoa mac and cheese cakes!

First I’ll explain the chicken, brussels sprouts, and salad quickly.

For the chicken I set the oven to broil and let it get nice and hot. Then I defrosted some boneless skinless breasts that we keep in the freezer (and eat all the time) and seasoned them with salt and pepper. I placed them on a rack on top of a cookie sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up). Then the chicken went into the hot oven. I cooked the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side.


Meanwhile, I mixed up about some honey mustard, white-wine vinegar, and paprika in a separate bowl. I used Honey Cup brand honey mustard because it is SO good. Like seriously. You must try this honey mustard. I want to dive into it like a pool. Anyway, I digress! When the chicken was almost done, I brushed both sides with the honey mustard mixture and let it cook for about 1 more minute in the oven. The honey mustard turned into a glaze and gave the chicken tons of good flavor. It was delicious.

For the brussels sprouts I cut the sprouts in half length-wise and tossed them in some olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Then I heated up a pan on the stovetop and transferred the seasoned sprouts to the pan. I cooked the sprouts for about 10 minutes, tossing now and then so they didn’t burn. They are so simple and so tasty, definitely one of my favorite side dishes.


While I was cooking the chicken and brussels sprouts, Fabio decided to whip up his own side dish! I believe his words were something like, “I want to make the blog too!” Ok Fabs, thanks for your help. Your salad was delicious! He sliced up some tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese and piled them into a nice small salad to accompany our meal. He topped with salt and pepper. It really was delicious.


Lastly I made quinoa mac and cheese cakes! YUM!! These were so delicious you wouldn’t believe that they are good for you. Last week I made some Quinoa Mac and Cheese adapted from Around the Table. I will definitely have to repeat this recipe and share it with you guys! It involves the incredibly healthy grain quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH) and other decadent comfort food ingredients like cheddar cheese and garlic. It was so good and luckily made enough for leftovers. Yay! I decided instead of reheating the mac and cheese in the microwave, I wanted to do something a little different with it. This how I invented the Quinoa Mac and Cheese Cakes!

First I started out with my leftover quinoa mac and cheese. I stirred it all up so it was combined evenly.


Meanwhile, I heated a hot griddle pan on the stovetop. I sprayed the pan with my Misto olive oil sprayer. If you don’t have one of these I highly recommend investing in one. They only cost a couple dollars and allow you to control how much oil you put on your food. I bought mine at TJ Maxx for like $3. Definitely a great investment.


Then I formed the mac and cheese mixture into “cakes” and cooked them on the hot pan. They didn’t stick together as well as I would have liked so next time I may add an egg into the mixture. However, they did crisp up nicely and retained all of their cheesy delicious flavor from the first time we ate them. These cakes were awesome and I will definitely make them again!


Here’s a picture of my whole dinner:


Yummmmm!! Now it’s time to go relax from this looong day. Thank God!


The link I provided above explaining the health benefits of quinoa is from WedMD. Personally I love getting my health information from that site. They have so many helpful resources. What cool things have you learned from WedMD? Have any good quinoa recipes? I’d love to try some!

 Posted by on April 18, 2012

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