First things first, it is beautiful out today! 80 degrees and sunny! Just made my Tuesday much more enjoyable.
Second, I just discovered on twitter that ebates is having a birthday celebration and is offering 12% cash back on a ton of stores–some really good ones are included in the list! If you need an excuse to go shopping, then you are crazy but you also have one now! I have only used ebates once so far and got a check for 6 dollars…which isn’t a lot of money but it is 6 dollars you wouldn’t have otherwise and you don’t have to do anything for it! Exactly why ebates is so great.
On to food. Today is our first ‘fat Tuesday’ and I am going to post the second at home chinese food recipe (see the first here). Now, this recipe is not exactly a traditional dish but I think you will really like it. The recipe is for Fried ‘Rice’ and I made it by accident last week and it ended up being SO good, I knew it was a keeper.
Chinese style fried ‘rice’
1 medium to large sweet potato, grated
2 T soy sauce
1-2 t olive oil
1/2 t rice vinegar
salt if needed
Optional: Any veggies such as carrots, peas, etc and chicken, tofu, beef if you would like
First you will need to grate the sweet potato. I used the grating attachment for my food processor which made it very easy. If you don’t have a food processor, you will have to grate by hand which kind of sounds like a pain in the butt–almost worth buying a food processor to avoid. But either way will work!
If you are going to add any sort of protein, start cooking that before you grate. I think next time I will try adding chicken. Heat a pan over medium with the olive oil and add the grated potato. Stir often so the whole potato gets evenly cooked. If it seems like the pan/potato is drying up, try adding a little bit more oil. If you are using veggies, add them now. After a few minutes, add the soy sauce and vinegar and continue to cook, still stirring often. If you are adding a protein (already cooked), add it now. Then it is time for the egg. To add, move the sweet potato to one side of the pan so you have the other half to cook the egg. You probably should combine the egg/yolk before pouring into the pan, but I did not and it worked fine.
Let the egg fry up a bit, then stir it into the sweet potato mixture (it doesn’t have to be fully cooked at that point, but should be at least half way there). Once the egg is cooked, turn heat off and serve!
As someone who really loves fried rice (the only kind of rice I do like), I was pleasantly surprised by how this turned out. It doesn’t taste exactly like a fried rice dish but the flavor and textures are pretty similar and it is wayyyyy healthier than the fried rice you would order. Did you know that one serving of fried rice has almost 500 calories? Yikes I definitely didn’t. When I order chinese I probably eat at least 2 servings of fried rice and that is as a side to the main meal. Not cool! If you try this version, let me know what you think!
Next, I thought I would touch on working out in the morning. I used to be SO good at getting up and going to the gym in the morning. The gym I went to was directly across the street for me, so rain, snow, whatever else, I had zero excuse to not drag myself out of bed and go over there. Now, I work a lot earlier than I used to and the gym is also a lot further (still not far but just not as close), so I have for the most part switched to later workouts. But when I have something to do at night, I will try to get up in the AM and get my workout over with. This morning I knew I had to run before work or I wouldn’t have time. When my alarm went off at 5:25, I came SO close to resetting it and sleeping for another hour but at the last minute I dragged myself out of bed and I’m so happy that I did!
4 miles done in just under 9 minute miles.
It was soooo humid this morning and I started sweating the second I got outside. It was a really pretty sight…
I started thinking about how morning workouts have gotten so much harder for me to do, but when I do them I always vow to do them more often. That being said, here are a few tips that help me when it comes to morning workouts:
9 tips to successfully working out in the morning
1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. This might not be possible every night but if you don’t get enough sleep, you probably will not want to get up when your alarm goes off. I find it is way easier to get up when I have gotten anywhere from 7-8, less and I almost always will choose sleep.
2. Put your alarm clock far enough away that you can’t reach it from your bed. If you can just reach over to turn it off, you probably will. If you have to get up to turn it off, the hardest part is already over!
3. Wear your workout clothes-or at least some of them- to bed. Lately I have been not doing this because I have been waking up in cold sweats a lot (TMI?), but in general I try to wear what I am going to work out in to bed–shoes included. Just KIDDING, I just laughed really hard picturing that though–I am easily amused-by myself at least. Even though this only saves a few minutes, every minute saved in the morning is worth it. PLUS you don’t have to change into cold clothes (especially important in the winter).
4. A similar winter time tip that I usually do is placing whatever clothes you are going to wear over your gym clothes, like sweatshirt, sweatpants, jacket, by a heat vent at night (or I know some people put them under their covers or pillow). This way they are toasty warm when you put them on which is an extra incentive to get going.
5. If you have to get ready at the gym afterwards, pack everything that you will need the night before. I have some stuff I leave in my gym bag all the time–flip flops, travel size shampoo and conditioner, razor, face wash, hair ties, headbands, etc. That way I know I always have it. The stuff I will need for work: clothes, shoes, make up, I just pack the night before. I usually am really tired and out of it and my brain isn’t working when I first wake up so it is much easier for me to double check that I have everything the night before.
6. Tell yourself whatever you need to hear to get out of bed in the morning. I usually tell myself that I will only get an extra 45 minutes to an hour of sleep if I skip my workout which is practically nothing! (This isn’t really true but lying to my half sleeping self seems to work). I also think about how much happier I will be if I have my workout over before my day has even started and it usually is enough to get me up. Think of something that works for you to tell yourself when you first hear the alarm and see if it helps. Actually getting out of bed is the hardest part, I swear.
7. If all else fails, keep a back up workout in mind. For example, if I’m originally planning to run 4 miles and continously hit the snooze button, I might still have time to do 2! Instead of thinking that 2 isn’t worth it and skipping my workout altogether, I get something in which helps.
8. Along those lines, don’t expect that you will be able to magically get up everyday–cut yourself some slack. After awhile it becomes a routine to get up earlier just like anything else. You might want to start out trying one day a week, then three. Maybe three is all you feel like doing, maybe you will become a morning person!
9. If you feel tired, think of how much more awake you will feel once you are done. It never fails that I feel 10x more awake after a workout than when I started, no matter what time of the day. Sometimes thinking about that helps me to get going.
So there are my tips–I hope they help! Do you guys have any other things you do to motivate yourself to workout in the AM? Anything that I am missing?
Off to go enjoy this heat/sunshine while it lasts!