On December 1, John and I decided to overhaul how we eat. No, we didn't go vegan, paleo, gluten-free, or onto a "prescribed" diet like Weight Watchers or Atkins. Instead, we started small, the hope being to put into practice good habits that would get us through the holidays able to make better choices.
The first thing I did was Pinterest, Buzzfeed, and Google the hell out of recipe ideas. A huge problem for us had been that we fell into a terrible meal plan rut. We'd buy the same things, cook things the same way, and rely on pasta 2-3 nights a week out of laziness. Because we were bored with our menus, we had also taken to eating out more often. So armed with a handful of new tips, tricks, and recipes to try, we set out on our journey.
We have basically eliminated pasta from our dinner menu. In fact, I can't remember the last time I cooked pasta at home (aside from a recent Blue Apron meal). I've replaced the need for a fast and fuss-free dinner (essential on nights we need to run out the door--whether to food shop or run errands) has been bean burgers. If I have enough forethought I'll even make sure to have a head of Boston lettuce on hand to use in place of bread buns. It may sound very light, but because of all the protein in the beans, it's very filling. We made the mistake of having 2 each the first time I made them (we were hungry and excited), we were both stuffed afterward.
I've been on a rampage trying new recipes, whether for mains, sides, or breakfasts. I've been dedicating time on the weekends to batch cooking meals for the week, making a stash of veggie burgers every week (switching up between white bean Italian flavors and Southwest black bean flavors; I'm scheming a Mediterranean chickpea version, too), and this weekend I tried out what will become a breakfast staple--mini quiches baked in a cupcake pan.
It's been really fun to feel passionate and excited about cooking again, and also to feel good about what we're eating. John and I have both lost a few pounds, and hope to continue to lighten up as the year progresses.
This week starts my renewed efforts at the gym as well. After a painful and disappointing finish to my half marathon, and thus my running season, I've been feeling rather insecure about setting goals for next season. But I think I want to hone in and go back to my training from 2013-2014. I will run more 5Ks and strive to improve those times and my consistency in speed, and I will nix another half this year in favor of making the Perfect 10 Miler my Big Distance Event. If I decide to revisit a half marathon in later years, I'll seek out a better location for my fitness level (I heard well-seasoned half- and full- marathoners exclaiming over the difficulty of the Trenton course).
This year I turn 30, and I'm working really hard to solidify my health and fitness so I can stay strong through the next decades. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...