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Gymming It in the AM

September 13, 2010

Getting used to going to the gym in the morning was harder than getting used to not eating junk food anymore. Every morning, I have about 5 really, really good excuses as to why I should not be going to the gym. The first one always seems to be, “Me need sleep. Me no go to gym.”

But I get up anyway.

It makes me cranky when the sun decides to sleep in later than me.

I’ve been getting up at 6am to get to the gym for a couple of months now, and it’s gotten to where it’s almost clockwork. Alarm off at 6. Out of bed by 6:05, get ready, pack food, walk dog, out the door by 6:45. But during my drive to the gym today, I noticed something. Jogging next to my car was a woman who looked well into her 70s. Jogging. At 6:45. I stopped whining to myself and thought, “This saucy lady got her butt up and is kicking butt even before me. At 24, I shouldn’t be whining AT ALL.” Yes, she probably went home and slept while Maury was on TV, but she’s in her 70s… she earned it. And then I saw a guy in a suit, clearly on his commute to work. Also at 6:45. Yet another reason to not complain about playing around on gym equipment while he’s grinding away at the office hours before me.

The hardest part of working out in the morning is getting there. Here are a few tips to help you get over it and get to the gym:

  1. Do everything the night before. Pack your food, pack your purse/briefcase, pack your gym bag. For your gym bag, you’ll need the clothes you’re wearing to work (don’t forget your bra and underwear… I made that mistake once), travel-sized toiletries for the shower (I promise, gym showers are NOT scary), rubber flip flops for the shower, towels, and the usual– mp3 player/sweat towel/water bottle/gym lock.
  2. The second you get out of bed, put on your gym clothes. It’s harder to get back in bed when you’re wearing running shoes. If you don’t have to worry about waking someone up, put on some music to keep you going. If you do have to worry, put headphones on. Even better– make a wake-up playlist.
  3. The great thing about morning workouts is that, when you get out of work, you’ve already fit in your workout– you suddenly have a lot more time to kill! Reward yourself for it. Go see a movie, go paint pottery (I’m doing that this week!), or cook up some dinner and eat it outdoors with a friend.

For more tips on working out in the morning, read this great post on Losing Weight in the City.

Today’s eats had me back to eating at my desk. Most days I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at work (I work 10-hour days on average), but my boss is out of town today, so that means I actually get to eat dinner at home.

Breakfast was post-workout fuel, with some coconut water for a potassium boost, a grande bold blend from Starbucks, and some delish oats.

Here’s a close-up of the oats:

Cinnamon-Banana Oats

  • 1/4 c Scottish Oats (they’re ground-up steel cut oats)
  • 3/4 c water
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 capful vanilla extract

Nuke the Scottish oats and water for 4 minutes, stirring halfway in between. Mix in the mashed banana, cinnamon, and vanilla. I topped mine with some fresh blueberries and blackberries. A little granola works, also (too bad I forgot to buy some). The mashed banana gives it a creamy texture you’d usually get from adding milk, and it keeps things dairy-free if you’re aiming to cut down on animal products (I’m not, but I cut them out when it’s convenient). It also makes your oats really sweet, in case you don’t like your oats unsweetened but don’t want to pile on the sugar.

At lunchtime today, I discovered a new favorite fruit: pluots! I see them at the store all the time, and I thought I’d switch out the peaches for a few this time. Oh, I’m so glad I did. Juicy, sweet, delicious.

The sandwich is a Trader Joe’s Chili Chicken Lime Patty topped with a smidge of spicy guacamole, non-fat Greek yogurt, and spinach leaves in between TJ’s sprouted wheatberry bread.

I’ve taken a liking to sprouted wheatberry bread over whole grain, because it’s even less-processed and uses no flour. It’s just ground-up wheatberries, and it’s got 5g of protein per slice. The bread has a bit of a nutty flavor, and I like it best when toasted. If you like your bread to be pillowy-soft, sprouted wheatberry bread might take a little getting used to– I like my bread dense and hearty.

Sidenote: Stay tuned for my attempt at making my own sprouted wheatberry bread!

I ended up making dinner last night and packed it for work, just in case I had to work late. But I did not!

Brussel sprouts, heirloom tomatoes, scallops, and a small hunk of Challah bread for dinner. I halved some brussel sprouts, brushed them with balsamic vinegar, and roasted them. The tomatoes were sauteed with a few sprays of olive oil, and the scallops were cooked with about 1/4 c of white wine.

It was my first time eating brussels sprouts, and ya know what? I don’t hate them. In fact, I kind of like them (which is convenient, since I made enough of tonight’s dinner to eat it again tomorrow). Despite their reputation for being a gross vegetable (like there’s such a thing!), brussels sprouts are actually worth a try.

For dessert I had the last of my pink lady apples and brushed a little pumpkin butter on them. It gave the apple slices a perfect hint of fall-spiced yumminess.

The sprouted wheatberry bread’s in the oven. I’m nervous.

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