The Cooking Bug & Why Just Showing Up Isn’t Enough

Lately, I have been enjoying my time in the kitchen more than ever before.  In the morning I check out what’s in the fridge and freezer, take out meat or fish to thaw, then type into Google the ingredients I have to work with, and add the word “Paleo”.  This normally yields dozens of awesome recipes.  I quickly look over the first and second page of the results, and save my favorite one or two recipes (If I like elements from multiple recipes, I combine  them).  Then, I don’t have to worry about dinner the rest of the day.

Ken is loving this.  I’ve been cooking nearly every night and he is impressed with how delicious eating healthy can be.  Check out the Quick Paleo Lamb Stir Fry I made last night using my left over grilled lamb from dining out Sunday night at the Turkish restaurant.

Even though it’s fewer than 300 calories, it was really filling and flavorful.   So, even though it’s Summer, the today here in Boston is only in the low 50s and I’m craving a hot soup.  I’m working with chicken tonight and think I’m going to try one of these Paleo soup recipes:  Thai Coconut Chicken Soup , Chicken-Coconut-Lime-Basil Soup, or “Creamy” Chicken Tomato Soup.

Do you have a Paleo recipe I should try?  Post it in the comments or on my Facebook Page.

On a different note, you have probably heard those motivational quotes saying things like, “Getting to the starting line/out the front door/lacing up your shoes is the hardest part,” and I know what they’re getting at, but it’s not true for everyone.  In the last week I have seen so many people who completed “the hardest part” by making it to the gym, getting their workout clothes on, and even climbing onto a machine, but were burning no more calories than they would leisurely tapping their feet while sitting on the sofa watching Seinfeld.  Standing off to the side of the treadmill, and texting does not burn calories.  Sitting on an exercise mat and checking your email doesn’t burn calories either.  If you make the time and take the effort to go to the gym – freaking BE AT THE GYM.  The emails are going to be there when you are done.  Your friend will understand if you text them in an hour.   Do you feel like you aren’t getting enough out of your gym time?  Here are some tips:

* Leave your phone in the locker room/car/at home.  If you want to listen to music, use an iPod.

*Don’t read on the cardio machines.  Opt for an audio book or podcast instead.  Focus on your speed, the effort you are putting into it.

*Make a plan.  Know what you are going to do when you get to the gym and have it written down.  Know what exercises you are doing, in what order, how many reps, sets, etc.  That way you aren’t standing around trying to decide what do to next.  Also, it’s good to be flexible on the order.  If a machine is in use when you need it, go on to the next exercise is possible as to not waste time.

*If possible, arrive at the gym in your workout clothes to avoid crowded locker rooms.  This is a great way to cut down on time if you workout during peak morning/lunch/evening hours.

*If you suck at going to the gym – you are distracted by good-looking people, obnoxious weight lifters, socializing, consider taking your workout outside – run, bike, try a rowing class, rollerblading, or workout at home.

Get in. Get it done. Get out.

Do you have gym productivity tips?  Share them in the comments.