I’ve been hitting the gym again – hallelujah! What a difference the gym makes. I use to be a gym rat when I was younger. I would go in the middle of the night after I was done waiting tables just so I could work out. I was dedicated to say the least. Since then I’ve been very good at always owning a gym membership. I’ve just sucked horribly at actually using it.
Last winter though, for the first time I got back into a gym routine. No, not this past one but the one before that. Yeah, over a year plus ago. I was even going most days of the week and I was killing it. But that was the exact problem. I was killing it. I started to dread going, I’d sleep in to avoid it and it never made me happy to go anymore, even with seeing results. So this time around, I had learned my lesson. I started really getting back into the swing a week after my oral surgery. I wasn’t allowed to do anything strenuous so I hung out on the bike. MY bike at the gym is the type that has feet like an elliptical, so there is a large area to place your feet and not be strapped into little pedals. It also has an adjustable seat, up/down and forward/backward. Allowing you to get get pretty situated. Also, all of their cardio equipment have individual televisions attached to them. Honestly, I don’t know why I would ever have a problem going to the gym on those counts alone. And that’s just it. I LOVE to sit on the bike. It’s a very easy workout for me. And that’s how I got started going again. As I sat there, limited on only being able to do the bike, it made me excited to get started weight training again.
Before when I went, I would do 45 minutes on the bike then I would do my arms or legs afterwards. And that’s actually after I chilled out on the cardio routine. Originally, I was biking, doing the elliptical and then walking for a short time all BEFORE weights. Well now, I bike one day then do my arms another and legs the day after. Then I repeat. On bike day I just go for 45 minutes… unless I get wrapped up in an episode of Reba and stick around for a few extra minutes. On arm and leg day I bike for 25, then hit the weights. This has cut my workout time in half. I would be in the gym for nearly two hours before and be tired from it the rest of the day. Now I’m in for about an hour and it’s making a world of difference. It’s a routine I can easily do, I enjoy it and it’s not killing me. Plus, on those bike days it’s kind of a rest day, but what it really does is rev me back up to hit the weights again. I just pedal along thinking I can’t wait to get back to leg or arm day. <— I never had that before. I just had exhaustion and irritation. And I need that day of physical activity to bring me back down a little bit so that I can invest more on those weight training days.
It’s not about doing everything you can, it’s about finding success in what you do.
I want is to make lifestyle changes and habits. Not just go to the gym for results (which yes are wonderful and appreciated) but to become healthier and create a routine that I will continue long into the future. And on those days where I don’t feel up to doing anything, I tell myself it’s okay… just go sit on the bike.
The only change I know I want to make down the road is to switch from the bike to the treadmill. I happen to be one of those people who loves to run. Unfortunately I have a bad knee, so I have to work my knee up to it. Right now, fast walking on the treadmill can even be an issue for me. But down the road I want to run instead of bike on lifting days and supplement the strictly bike days with a class such as yoga or something else they offer at the gym to mix it up.
I had a lot of success last year losing weight and toning up, so I know I can easily do it again. And this time I have a different, more healthy approach.
I have a lot to say on the topic, as you can see. Which has caused me to deeply consider charting and sharing my progress with you and even starting YouTube videos to help document. The thing holding me back – is people are a-holes. Specifically with YouTube, people really have to put themselves out there and people have become so angry and mean in this world, and people receive such hate and criticism that they don’t deserve. It honestly scares me to put myself out there for people to ridicule with such haste as they do nowadays. And maybe I just don’t go the YouTube route and I’ll just share it here with you
Would you find it helpful or interesting? Would you appreciate it? Because that’s what I really want… to help someone else or at least be somewhat entertaining. Let me know your thoughts. I’m curious to hear what you have to say.
Okay shall we talk about food now?
Parfaits. They were never one of my favorite things until I started making them myself. You see, I’m not a huge yogurt fan and found parfaits made by others heavy on the yogurt and light on the toppings. Which is fine if that’s how you roll, we all parfait differently. For me, I want loads of toppings… actually it probably would be better to just think of the yogurt as a topping instead. Want some yogurt with that parfait? Oh sure just a little though.
Since I think you can go as hog-wild as you like with toppings, you’ll find the recipe to be a recommendation rather than an absolute recipe.
Raspberries here have been on sale for the last couple weeks for $1 a package. Crazy! Can we just have fruit for that price allllll year round? That would be great. I sure would eat more produce that way. Since it’s been raspberry galore, I put them to work in one of my favorite flavor combinations. Raspberries and chocolate. Oh la la.
If you aren’t familiar with cacao nibs you may be asking where the chocolate is. Well cacao nibs are essentially raw chocolate chips. They have a lightly sweet mild chocolate flavor and are made from crumbling cacao beans. If you love dark chocolate these are definitely for you. Plus they are a superfood! Packed with nutrients, natural mood lifters (imagine that chocolate really does make people happy!), and antioxidants. Making them a healthy and sweet power house that’s better for you than dark chocolate.
And a parfait wouldn’t be a parfait without something crunchy, and by default the classic parfait topping granola was used. Your favorite simple flavored granola works just fine. I went with a maple vanilla as that’s what I had on hand. A granola with nuts works just fine too. Just look for a granola that’s not insanely sugary – you don’t need any of that nonsense. Store-bought granola these days are unnecessarily packed with sugar, so check the good ole label on that one.
This would be a great one to get the kids in on if you have those little humans around. Let them top their own parfaits, or just give them the yogurt in a bowl and let them sprinkle toppings that way – that might be easier. Chewy doesn’t care much for parfaits, so he doesn’t care to help either. Unless there are pecans involved. That little furball LOVES pecans – not that he’s allowed to have any. He also loves chips – any kind of chip. He demonstrates his love by trying to steal said foods. So I guess that means he also loves socks. Because as of a week ago he started stealing socks and running around with them. Hmmm… not sure I actually purchased a rabbit two years ago.
Okay. Well go off, be well, and parfait!
- 6 ounces vanilla coconut yogurt (or dairy yogurt, if desired)
- 1/4 cup granola of choice (gluten free, if desired)
- 1-2 tablespoons cacao nibs
- 1-2 ounces fresh raspberries
- To assemble, layer all ingredients in a medium cup or bowl, alternating layers of ingredients as desired.