Health and fitness have an important place on my Bigger, Smaller Life tree. The past year has done a number on my fitness level and my waistline... And overall, by the end of the year, I just didn’t feel “good.” So since New Years, I have been doing my best to increase my activity, to eat better and to take my vitamins/supplements.
I typically rely heavily on my scheduled sports for exercise, but I haven’t been scheduled for a USTA tennis match since before Christmas and we keep having BYE weeks in volleyball, so I have had to dig deep and get moving on my own. Sometimes this is a challenge because the sofa and/or the sewing machine tend to call my name louder than my iPod. Last week, I got moving on my own 4 days and finally had a tennis match yesterday afternoon. Yea, 5 workouts last week. And the tennis match took every minute of the 2 hours allotted. Too bad we didn’t win – we lost the third set tiebreaker at 11-13 points. And can I tell you how stiff my sides are today? Over a month off of tennis proves to you how good tennis is for your obliques! Good pain, good pain.
I think, odd as it may sound, I am having more luck motivating myself to exercise when I get home from work because of the radio show I listen to on the way home. I recently changed my work schedule, so I leave at 4:30 instead of 5 (that also means, I have to get up earlier too – it all evens out). This allows me to listen to The Fitness Guru (Lime on Sirius) on the way home. To hear interviews with fitness authors, the host’s answers to listener calls and emails and even just the host’s voice all make me want to exercise the moment I get home. Hey, I will take motivation wherever I can get it.
When it comes to eating healthfully, I have a few things I am trying to do: eat more fruits and vegetables, watch my sugar intake (not the sugar from fruits – more like sweets and especially soda) and limit the processed foods in my diet. My goal is to change my lifestyle... And as part of that, if I could lose a few pounds, that would be great. I am weary of excluding anything from my diet to lose weight (I’m not going to do Atkins or anything – goodness, my body needs carbs to think).I think a more natural, varied diet will be able to sustain me forever.
In working toward this, my goal is to try at least 2 new, healthy recipes each month. This past weekend, I was craving soup. I logged into a new site I found, Eat Better America, and found a Tomato and Roasted Sweet Pepper Soup that looked good... And easy. It was fun to make – I had never roasted bell peppers before and aside from a small red patch on my hand when I brushed the top of the over, it went well.
I couldn’t get it to photograph well, so I am borrowing a picture from the site. Pair it will some crusty multi-grain bread with a little garlic and sea salt and it makes a very satisfying meal. If you like a chunkier soup, you could add a can of diced or stewed tomatoes along with the crushed tomatoes in the recipe. I have leftovers and I can’t wait to go home tonight and enjoy some for dinner... But of course, only after I exercise :)