Friday, November 4, 2011

The first ever Fitness Friday!

Well howdy! TGIF :) Pull up a seat with a cup o' joe or a can of 'dew (as my dad calls Mountain Dew) because this is a pretty long post today.

I mentioned a while back that I wanted to incorporate new weekly segments into the blog and this is my third and final addition. I have been wanting to talk about fitness (both exercise and nutrition) for a while and I didn't know a good way to do it. Do I start a whole new blog to manage separately? Do I keep a private journal of my goals and progress? Well, I love to blog and I think staying fit on a budget is definitely a challenge so for me it is relevant.

I will be making specific pages dedicated to both reading and fitness but every Friday you can expect to have some sort of fit talk. I may talk about healthy meals (especially affordable ones!) or I may talk about my journey of becoming a runner with asthma and some Fridays I will write about both.

For the inaugural post, you get a does of both food and exercise. Let's start with food, shall we?

I use pinterest a lot. If you haven't heard of this new site, it's a great way to get fresh and creative and useful ideas on most areas of your life. It is a virtual vision board and you can make a different one for each area of your life. There are so many great ideas! Anyway, on Pinterest I saw lettuce wraps. Yum yum yum. 
Lettuce wraps are typically healthy so I was really excited to learn how to make these at home. However, I wanted to use the ingredients I had on had so I changed it up a bit. I had taco seasoning and ground turkey so I could make the lettuce leaves act like tortillas and cut out a lot of carbs and unnecessary calories. I'm a pretty plane Jane so I don't require too many toppings on my tacos. Typically it's meat, lettuce and sour cream. Meat, check. Lettuce, check. Sour cream...not so healthy and not in my fridge.

Again, thanks to Pinterest, I discovered that a great substitution for sour cream is plain Greek yogurt. I had never had Greek yogurt so I was skeptical but willing to give it a try. It comes in servings like yogurt (obviously), which is a win for me since I'm only cooking for myself and won't use a tub of sour cream before it goes bad. One container of Greek yogurt was less than $2, decently affordable for 8 oz.
Let me show you some nutrition comparisons for 2% yogurt vs. sour cream:

8oz of Greek yogurt is 1 serving. For that much yogurt, it's 150 calories, 4g of fat and 20g of protein.
8oz of sour cream is 8 servings. For that much sour cream, it's 480 calories, 40g of fat and 8g of protein.

Considering no one in their right minds would use 8oz of sour cream on a serving of tacos (I actually got 3 servings out of one jar), you can cut those calories down even more! That's incredible!

And guess what?

IT TASTED EXACTLY LIKE SOUR CREAM!!

I made sure to be skeptical for any differences and honestly, I indulged in delicious "sour cream" toppings guilt free. I could easily try the non-fat kind and probably still enjoy it a lot. I'm guessing I would hate eating Greek yogurt as actual yogurt because I imagine it would be like eating sour cream out of a tub but I'm thrilled to find an alternative to a very fattening habit of mine without any sacrifice. I plan to use this "sour cream replacement" for baked potatoes too!
My final product was delicious!
Now on to the exercise portion!

I talked a little bit yesterday about having asthma. It really has been crippling some days and walking out the door is hard work. Growing up, I played basketball but could never make it up and down the court as quickly as everyone else and I never dreamed of exercising on my own because of my terrible lungs.

Recently, however, I learned that despite the initial pain that asthma can be, if you work at it, you can exercise with it and still be a decent athlete. You just have to work at it. Then I realized that the feeling of being out of shape is similar to the breathlessness that you get with asthma and I had been using the two feelings interchangeably and blaming asthma every time. That excuse has now been thrown out the window and I refuse to let asthma be a crutch. It's not always easy to work through it or live with asthma regularly but I won't let it stop me chase my goals.

Upon these realizations I began to imagine a world where I actually enjoyed physical activity and what I would want to accomplish if I knew I could. The number one thing on my list was becoming a runner. Someone who wakes up in the morning and enjoys an early morning run. Someone who had a training plan to work on, who ran races and had running buddies. I wanted to have runners legs. The second on my list was to be good at yoga and to have a toned, strong body. It was never about being super skinny or losing weight but being in shape would help me fit into my clothes better so it seemed like a win-win.

So last night I ran. It wasn't pretty and it was in intervals of running and walking around the reservoir but I got out there and I did it. And it felt great. Really great. I'm really excited to get out there again tonight.

When I talk about exercise in this section, I will talk about goals, progress, races, new running buddies (if I make any as slow as me!), athletic gear I'm enjoying, or cool new info about workouts etc.

What would you do if you knew you had nothing holding you back?

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