Man, how my life has changed. Three months ago I was unemployed, blogging like a madman, working out 6 times a week, and watching a helluva lot of TV. Now things are completely different. And that’s a good thing. But it’s difficult. Here’s why:
Two topics today. Shall I start with the pool or the haul? I say pool.
1) Pool. The training continues for my upcoming open water swim in the Pacific Ocean. I had scheduled to go to the pool for a swim on Friday morning before work, but I ended up sleeping through that alarm and didn’t make it (I exercised after work, though, so it wasn’t an unplanned rest day).
So I headed to the pool on Saturday morning, with a brand new pair of goggles that were a recent purchase at Sport Chalet. It was the first time I’ve been goggle shopping in years, and I was completely overwhelmed at the selection. I vaguely remember, as a kid, having about 8 brands/types of goggles to choose from at MC Sporting Goods in suburban Detroit, but Sport Chalet stocked probably close to a hundred options:
Today’s my first day at my exciting new job! I was never a boy scout, but I am prepared. It’s been a while since I’ve worked, and I wanted to set some habits back into place right from the get-go. So I packed a gym bag and woke up early to exercise before work (that’s the plan, at least… I confess that I’m writing this Sunday evening).
I also packed a healthy lunch. In fact, I spent hours yesterday prepping food for the work week. And I’m not joking around. I literally spent hours. You must be wearing your lucky pants… because I took pictures!
It all started at Sprouts, which is quickly becoming my favorite supermarket, thanks to its prices and its proximity to my gym (two blocks away).
There’s no gentle way to put this:
I don’t quote Britney Spears often, but the title of her hit song from 12 years ago (it hit #1 in 11 countries!) seemed fitting given what I just did to myself. I’ll let the photos tell the story:
First, some housekeeping: I did some much-needed page maintenance to Keep It Up, David yesterday, so click through some of the links at the top of the site when you have a chance. The STAIRS! page is gone, since my two stair climb challenges are over, and it’s been replaced with a new Races & Events page that collects info and links relating to all my fitness challenges. I’ve also revamped my motivational speaking page and changed its name from See Me At Whole Foods to the much more direct Motivational Speaking. On top of that, I added my Brooklyn Bridge “Before” and “Current” photos to the Photo Gallery, my two NYC runs to my Running Chart, and the Burj Khalifa to my Skyscraper Collection. Whew!
So I’ve been back from New York City for four days now, but you would never know it, since all my blogging has been about my trip. After three New York-centric posts in a row, it’s time to move on… to a post about a gargantuan amount of produce!
Day 1 of being back on track was a success! (See why I needed to get back on track here.) I took a killer class at my new new gym called Bodyweb Bootcamp with TRX, which was a ton of fun and completely brutal. TRX is a form of training with straps and handles that strengthens every muscle, with only your body weight as resistance. Kinda hard to explain, but easier to watch – so check out this video of a class at a different Crunch gym.
I also ate really well. My commitment to getting back on track came at a good time – a day after going to the grocery store. It’s easy to eat well when you have lots of healthy options around! Check out all this produce I have to choose from:
From left to right, top to bottom: heirloom cherry tomatoes, zucchini, pears, broccoli, bananas, carrots, an ataulfo mango, celery, kiwis, strawberries, cucumber, brussel sprouts.
I also picked up a bunch of baby eggplants – how could I resist these guys?
Plus, they were 15 for a dollar – the price is right!
I don’t buy eggplant all that often. I like it, but I prefer buying vegetables that I could eat raw if I wanted to. Plus, while eggplants are good for you (a nice source for potassium!), they also have the potential of sabotaging a healthy meal, since they soak up oil like a sponge, making it easier for me to use more oil than I was planning.
I used a bunch of them in my dinner last night, which was a really simple stir-fry. I chopped up a bunch of veggies (some of the eggplants, plus a red pepper, 2 small tomatoes, and broccoli):
For protein, I used vegetarian sausage. Gimme Lean ground sausage is fat- and cholesterol-free, and each serving has 60 calories and 310 mgs of sodium. You can find it at a lot of regular grocery stores, near the tofu (like tofu, it’s soy-based).
A serving is 1/7th of that package, but I wasn’t exact about portioning that out, so I probably ended up with a little more than a serving. I cut it into chunks and started it going with some garlic in a big skillet that I slicked with non-stick spray. After a few minutes, I added all the veggies. After a few more minutes, I added about 1/4 cup of low-cal, non-fat balsamic vinaigrette. After a few more minutes, dinner was served!
That’s half the finished product, and I ate the other half, too!
Earlier in the day, I tried a type of fruit that I’ve never eaten before. Have you ever eaten a pepino?
They’re sometimes called pepino melons or pepino dulce (‘pepino’ means cucumber in Spanish, so ‘pepino dulce’ means sweet cucumber). I got these at the farmers’ market over the weekend – all three cost me 80 cents. I had never even heard of them before, so of course I had to try them out!
Pepinos are native to the western side of South America, and despite sometimes being called pepino melons, they’re not related to either cucumbers or melon. Scientifically, they’re members of the nightshade family, alongside tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, and tobacco (the nightshade family is very diverse!).
I cut off the stem end, sliced the pepino in half, and scooped out the seeds:
I read after the fact that every part of the pepino is edible, including the skin and seeds. I actually tried the skin, and it was a tad bit tough and bitter, so I ended up using a spoon and scooping the flesh out from the skin, like you would an avocado:
My first pepino was tasty! It had the texture of a cantaloupe, but tasted more tropical, like mango or maybe even a little banana-ish. I ate all three, and the second two weren’t quite as good. I don’t think they were as ripe as the first one, and the flavor was less intense – more like a slightly sweet cucumber (maybe that’s how they got their name!).
All in all, something I’d probably pick up again if I saw them at the farmers’ market.
Now onto Day 2 of being back on track!
Keep it up, David!