Saturday, September 13, 2014

Getting My Ass Kicked in the Gym

This past week I had my first appointment with a trainer.

It was more of a "fitness assessment" where I step on a scale in front of a gym full of people, hold a device that tells me what a fatass I am, and then have a conversation about how achievable my goals are before getting down to a workout more grueling than I have drug myself through in the past year and  a half.

The workout was probably 30 minutes.   It makes sense - short, sweet, high impact, high energy workout before I completely fall on my face and groan about how every muscle fiber in my body hurts and how I don't get fatigued sitting on my couch and drinking wine.

It was a great workout. I used my entire body and the exercises were quick. I think my trainer knew there was a gleam in my eye that said, "bitch, if you do not get me out of these wall sits in the next 15 seconds, I will cut your unborn children".

After the workout, I staggered, sweaty and whimpering to the trainer's desk to discuss pricing and training plans.  Of course after hearing about how I can achieve my goals and how I can achieve my desired targeted body fat percentage in less than a year I was all about anything they wanted me to sign up for.

Unfortunately, after I was shown the price for training, I was quickly snapped back to reality that while I would love to jump head-first into a 52-week training program, my wallet wouldn't appreciate being dragged through the mud. Plus I kinda need to pay rent, and I can't just set up residence in the gym.

So now I have a decision to make in terms of what I can afford and how I can make my goals and my finances be this harmonious skipping-through-meadows thing.

I started a new job on Monday and I can't even begin to tell you how nice it is not to have to wake up at 4:30 in the morning an dhow nice it is to be back in the city.  It's wonderful.  The gig is pretty great, and the commute is delicious.

The only unfortunate thing is now that my day ends at around 5:30, I'm going to need to figure out the balance between continuing to make healthy meals, hit the gym, and be able to see the Cajun and Roux on a normal basis.

Probably it will be a lot more freezer meals, healthy casseroles I can just pop in the oven, and things I can shove in a crockpot.

Until I get all of that hammered out, I want to share with you two recipes I made this week that I absolutely adore.

Korean Turkey
I'll admit it. I stole this recipe from another blog. I stole it so hard....and then I tweaked it.  I try not to eat a lot of red meat, and one great alternative I use is ground turkey or ground chicken. I use that shit in about everything.  I don't even think I have a package of ground beef in my freezer. And if I do?  You bet your sweet red-meat-eating ass I'm buying at least 90/10 if not 96/4.   Think of your heart, yo.

But if you're sticking to ground beef or your budget can't afford the slightly more expensive, leaner cuts, feel free to use ground beef in this recipe.  It'll be just as yummy.

1 pound ground turkey (feel free to use ground beef, chicken or bison)
1/4 - 1/2 c. brown sugar (use a little more if you like things a bit sweeter)
1/4 c. soy sauce (I used a gluten free)
1 T. sesame oil
1/3 c. chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, minced (pro tip!?  peel your ginger with the back of a spoon.  Works WONDERS)
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper (to taste)
rice (to serve the meat over - I used white rice because that's what I had on hand; however, feel free to use brown, wild, or any other variation you like)
1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown your meat in a pan with sesame oil and minced garlic.  Drain any excess fat (I skipped this step since I used ground turkey; however, if you're using ground beef, you will need to drain the fat).

2. Prepare yo rice according to package directions.

3. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, stock, red pepper, salt and pepper to the cooked meat.  Simmer for 5-7 minutes to blend flavors thoroughly and reduce the stock.

4.  Serve over rice and top with scallions.

For some reason I really like to blend fruit with protein.  I'm not sure exactly why, but I love it. Chicken stuffed with sage and apples? Yes please. Turkey with cranberries and orange peel? Oh my.   I can't get enough.

So naturally, I dug up a recipe and tweaked it a bit.

Roasted Pork Chops with Peaches
There is something about pork that lends it self to balance quite well with fruit.  Specifically, peaches.  It's fantastic.

10 oz. package couscous
1 T. olive oil
4 bone-in pork chops, 3/4" thick
2 peaches, cut into wedges
1 small red onion, cut into wedges
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. rosemary, chopped
1/2 T. fresh thyme
3 T. white wine vinegar
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400° F.

2. Cook couscous according to package directions.  Set aside, covered.

3. Heat oil in ovenproof skillet or pot over high heat.  Season pork chops with salt and pepper and brown, 3-5 minutes per side.  Set aside on a plate.

4. Add the peaches, onion, garlic, rosemary vinegar, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper to the skillet/pot.  Cook, tossing for approximately 1 minute.

5. Return rested pork chops and any juices to the pot. Top with chopped parsley and transfer to the oven and roast until the pork is cooked through and the peaches are tender, 8-10 minutes.

6. Serve the pork on top of the couscous.


That's all I got for now. I've managed to recover from my training extravaganza so naturally, why not try to make myself even more sore? I'll be taking my new golf clubs out and try not to make myself look like a complete fool this afternoon.

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