Summer just keeps moving along. I’m working on keeping my kitchen stocked so weekly shopping trips are quick and there are less calls to hubby to pick up random items. That, and going to Farmer’s Market, is helping cut down shopping time on Sunday.
This week I’m bringing back an easy favorite — baked ziti. I also keep seeing recipes that look good in People Magazine. My mother-in-law gets it and I end up taking pictures with my phone on Sunday nights. So not only do I get to catch up on celebrity gossip, I get a couple of recipes to try!
The chicken skewers recipe for Thursday is from Paula Dean who apparently is cooking more healthfully these days. For more meal plan ideas see Org Junkie!
What’s Cooking This Week
Monday: Bean and Cheese Quesadillas topped with guacamole
Tuesday: Baked Ziti, a big salad and fruit
Wednesday: Kids’ Choice
Thursday: Chicken Skewers on the grill, baked fries, roasted green beans with parmesan and watermelon wedges
Friday: Salmon cakes, brown rice, grilled or roasted asparagus and a side of melon
Kids Eat Right Cookbook from KidsEatRight.org.
Time for Me
Six months after Big A was born, I wrote about my long-time relationship with exercise in the LA Times. Yet I still haven’t been able to increase my workouts to what they used to be — what I prefer them to be.
Just so you know, I’m one of those annoying people who loves exericse. Playing sports as a kid did wonders for my self esteem and joining a gym after high school is the reason I got interested in nutrition in the first place.
Since finishing the first round of Fearless Feeding, I’m working to get back to my active, old self. I’ve moved from working out 2 to 3 times per week to 4 to 5. I even did a 10K race on the 4th of July and am showing up for classes at the gyn. I have to admit — It feels good and I’m getting all those invigorating feelings back.
In some ways, I’m glad I didn’t push it when my kids were younger. Sometimes it’s good to take a break only to come back even more energized and committed. I don’t think I could ever drop exercise for good and am glad I was able to maintain a base level of fitness the last 5 years. Now that Little D is 3 and in preschool, more time for me feels right.
Speaking of Exercise…
My friend and colleague, Michelle Segar, PhD, published a study on the subject of motivation and exercise. Her previous research shows that what really motivates people to be active has more to do with daily benefits (feeling good, productivity, better sleep, mood etc.) than more abstract goals like health and weight loss.
Unfortunately, most people start exercise with weight loss in mind and may give up when weight slows or goals aren’t achieved. For more on her research, check out this interview with her in this article on WebMD about health mistakes.
Her newest study, published in the May issue of Journal of Obesity, examined reactions to different physical activity advertisements (daily well being vs. weight loss vs. better health) for overweight and obese woman and men aged 40-60. When physical activity was framed as a way to enhance daily well being, it positively influenced the overweight women’s perception of exercise and overall body image. The overweight men, on the other hand, were not as motivated by the “well being” message.
This is the first study to show that men and women are motivated to exercise by different factors. I know for me, health and weight are not what keep me exercising. I have way more energy, better mood (and patients with kids!), enjoy the time to myself and like feeling strong and fit. I try to look at exercise as something that is just as critical as other items on my to-do list because it helps me do everything else better.
Does any of this ring true with you? How has being a parent changed your activity level? Do you view exercise as a chore or a gift?
Have a good week and stay tuned for a fun giveaway on Friday!