Saturday, November 5, 2011

Staying In Shape

As I mentioned last Saturday, I'm participating in a weekly project on physical health.  It was created by Callie (who has a nice blog) and Lauren.  You can find information on it here.

This week's topics are to report on our progress and to share a healthy recipe.

My tendency is to get into a good routine of exercise for a few months and then fall off the wagon.  During my sloth, I put on ten pounds, see I need to move up a notch on my belt, get depressed and realize I need to start working out again.  So I do -- and the cycle repeats. 

Right now I'm in the middle of a good phase.  As incredible as this sounds, I'm motivated to get in better shape by blogging!  I want to look good in my pictures.  I get sad when I see too much waist around my middle. 

This leads me to ask -- what motivates you to stay in shape?  Is it looking in the mirror?  Or caring what others think?  Wanting to be attractive to a mate? 

Am I the only person who wants to look good for her blog-readers??

Now, the "recipe."  I eat a lot of vegetables 'cause they're nutritious and, if you cook them right, they can be very tasty.  Growing up, my mom overcooked vegetables and served them bland, which made me think I didn't like veggies.  Only later when I started cooking for myself did I realize that the fault was the bad cooking, not the ingredients.

Vegetables can be incredibly delicious if they are fresh and prepared well.  A trick I learned is to season them with whatever appeals to you personally -- and for everyone that's different.  I like intense flavors and spicy foods, so I'll stir-fry or steam some vegetables and add any combination of garlic, Tamari (soy sauce), anchovies, Tumeric (an Indian spice), jalapenos, and herbs (dill is nice).

Of critical importance is cooking time.  Due to varying water-content, different veggies take different times to cook.  If you put them all in a pot at the same time, some will be overcooked when others are just right.  Experience teaches how long each vegetable takes.  You want it to be tender but chewy.  Texture is a big part of eating.

So, my most common dish is to fry up some garlic and seasonings in olive oil, add tomatoes early to soften into a liquid base, and then toss in whatever you want to eat -- some mushrooms perhaps, some green or yellow peppers, a little broccoli or cauliflower.  Near the end, toss in stuff that doesn't need to be cooked much or at all, like celery or scallions.

Serve in a nice bowl and (if you eat dairy) sprinkle on some grated cheese.  (Grating cheese yourself makes it explode with flavor.)

What do you like to cook?


  1. Good for you and wanting to be in shape and feel good. I drink lots of water and avoid soda which has a lot of sugar and calories. I don't like to cook much, but I love to bake! Heather

  2. Oh of course I could write a whole book for my post for this topic!! I am a health fanatic of course. I have always been active and love moving!!! And I love love love good healthy food so not a problem to eat tons of veggies.
    I personally only lightly steam my veggies using a steamer and will do the ie. brocoli first and then add the kale or chard near the end to manage the different cooking times.

    As for why I exercise? I just always have. Its a way of life for me. AND I have also noticed that if I am too focused on my weight and my size it seems like its not an effective way to lose weight. Its like what Wayne Dyer says : What you focus on expands so if you are focused on "I am fat" it weirdly seems like it stays that way :) BUT when you are doing activities that you love and have fun doing and are focused on the fun and enjoyment/empowerment it seems like your body adapts and gets to a better state more easily. Hope this makes sense. And you already do look good as you are Ralph (Ally). And I also hear that you are taking your game up a notch :)

  3. Good for you for wanting to stay in shape! I've been on the same journey myself and am determined to get back to a healthier lifestyle (as that of junk food and sweets although delicious isn't the best for you, lol).

    Fashion Translated

  4. Funny about the childhood veggies. I felt the same way until I started cooking for others and was teaching how to eat healthy. Fresh and freshly prepared produce is delicious! I hated beets as a kid (they came canned) but can't get enough of fresh beets that have been oven roasted!

    I try to cook healthy but delicious so lots of high quality oils and cheeses on top!

  5. great post :) i really think i should look into buying some tumeric that you mentioned - i think i would really like it. to touch on early in the post when you mentioned about wanting to look good for your bloggers and be healthy and look good - i think that you are part of the 99% of people who feel that way aha. People who say they are losing weight for reasons that are not vain are liars. It's fine to want to be healthy and look amazing!! I've lost 27 lbs to date and I still have about 70 to lose. I am doing it to be healthy but I also would liek to have a boyfriend and some good sex some day ahah and that means I should look great and be confident! there is nothing wrong with that :) I also want to be able to please my bloggers, post pictures and look great and I want to inspire people! I want them to see before and after pics, see the difference and think "hey! if she can lose 100 lbs.. I can too!". another great post! xoxo.

    bailey @

  6. I'm motivated to stay in shape because I'm an example to others as a Weight Watchers leader (plus part of my employment contract is to maintain at my goal weight). I deliberately wanted to do that and adhere to that restriction to ensure that I AM motivated to keep my weight off. I don't ever plan to gain back those 50 lbs!

    I also stay in shape because I have lost many family members from poor health. I intend to be flexible and strong well into my old age! I do not want to be confined to a bed, or (even worse for me) a wheelchair.

    I walk as much as I can, I take stairs (at a fast pace) and I do push-ups to maintain my upper body.

    My blog actually keeps me motivated, and helps me see myself in a more objective way. I no longer zero in on my "trouble spots". I want to keep fitting in all my awesome clothes!

  7. I'm a big fan of soups (especially in the winter). I'll make a HUGE pot of veggie soup on Sunday and we'll eat it almost every night for a week. Sometimes with a sandwich to mix things up. Also delicious, veggie pot-pie. But for that I basically just pour soup into a pie crust and bake.

  8. Great post! I've been working out for years so it's just a habit and part of my daily routine. what keeps me motivated? Well, it's just like a foundation for my life. It keeps me strong, fit, and flexible but I also sleep better, have more energy and I feel like it helps me get focused too. Plus, I just want to have a good quality of life and I feel staying active is a very important part of that.

    I don't really cook (haha), so I don't have a healthy recipe to share, but these are a few of my favorite snacks:
    --baby carrots and onion dip
    --fresh fruit
    --cheese sticks (string cheese
    --pita bread and hummus