#44 A Week at a Time

Sexy Up Your Week of Workouts

It’s Sunday night and you’re contemplating the coming week. Where will exercise fit in this week? Will this finally be the week you stay those 15 extra minutes to do some weights, as you keep hearing you should? Or will you just barely eke out 30 minutes at the gym three times this week, as usual, flipping through a magazine and moving at a just-below-challenging rate on the cross-trainer? Ugh. Your workout needs a lift.

First let’s talk about interval training. It’s hot right now—you should know what it means. Working out in intervals trains your heart for better endurance. You throw a curveball at your heart every so often to challenge its comfort zone. So for example, if you’re walking on the treadmill, every 10 minutes, say, increase your incline from a 1.0 to a 5.0 for 3 minutes without reducing your speed. Or increase your speed from 3.6 to 4.0 for 3 minutes. Or step off the treadmill and do 10 jumping jacks, 10 pushups, and 5 assisted pullups, then climb back on the treadmill.

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Spicy* Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup with Chickpeas

*leave out the spice if you want to!

Spicy* Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup with Chickpeas

1 T olive oil
5-6 c sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 c onions, diced
1 c celery, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t sea salt
2 t cumin
3 t ground coriander
1 t paprika
½ t crushed red pepper flakes (*or to taste)
2 c vegetable stock
3 c water
3-5 T fresh ginger, grated (we used the tube of ginger from the produce section at Kroger)
2 T natural peanut butter
2 c (1 can) chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
3-4 T fresh lime juice
Cilantro leaves, chopped, for garnish (optional)

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#43: Juiced!

To juice, or not to juice? That is the question!

To juice or not to juice? If you saw Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, no doubt you came away from it wanting to try a juice “cleanse”—no matter your weight. It was so inspiring to watch the people in the movie not just lose weight, but detox their bodies of all the crap they were subjecting themselves to: sugar, caffeine, processed foods…

I absolutely do not approve of fad diets. I do, however, think that short-term, doctor-monitored juice “fasts” are an interesting idea. There is not much wrong with eating only fruits and vegetables in their purest form, at least to kick start your quest for healthier eating. I do believe that a short-term fast can adjust your taste buds, help with taming your processed food addictions, and jump-start your weight loss, if that’s part of your goal.

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#42: Too Busy for Your Own Good?

Your life is full, but are you happy?

Do you ever sit down to eat dinner and say, “Wow. I think this is the first time I’ve sat down all day!” I do. It can’t be true, but it sure does feel like it sometimes. It is so easy to get caught up in the grind of life—running the kids around, getting some work done, picking up milk at the store, cooking if you’re lucky, more work, emails—to the point that you may have lost touch with your friends, family, or even yourself. If you are someone who says, “I don’t have time to exercise,” this might be describing you.

You might be busy, but are you happy? Think about that for a second. Are you making time for you to be happy? Sometimes when we are too busy, we overlook our own needs; a basic example is how you might be so focused on the presentation you’re writing that you put off getting up to use the bathroom for an hour or more. Caught you, huh? If you neglect yourself, you won’t be able to be the best you you can be.

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