Monday, April 25, 2011

A Sweet Potato Lunch

Did everyone have a great weekend? I always despise the Monday after a holiday, mostly because I feel as though I've failed my diet in more ways than one. Even though, if I really think about it, I didn't. But still. I don't typically eat Polish sausage and noodles, and the handful of chocolate I shoved into my I'm set for days.

Funny thing I noticed over the weekend? My hips and glutes are sore. I complemented yoga on Wednesday with a spin class on Thursday and then I taught Circuit Sculpt on Friday. Perhaps it was the backwards walking lunges, or maybe it was the spin class. It was 45 minutes of pure pedal bliss, and I mean that honestly. I cannot wait until the weather warms up for good so I can get Jamis (my bike) back on the road. It's still a bit chilly in Michigan, mostly because of the wind off the lake and the series of rainstorms we've had, so I'm still commuting by car.

Back to yoga. This is one class I don't think I'd make it through:

Mostly because I'd die laughing. (It reminds me of this video.) While I do understand that there are a wide variety of muscles in our face, I'm not so sure I'm sold on a class based solely on working them out. Wouldn't it be just as productive to sit in front of a mirror and make faces? Or better yet, wouldn't it be just as productive as going through your day with a smile on your face? I think so.

Maybe that's what I should do on Wednesday since I can't attend the yoga class I went to last week. I've got a client. But I'm hoping to replace said class with something from YogaDownload. Any recommendations? Oh, and there's the Saturday class I'm hoping to attend. I know it's only Monday, but I'm already looking forward to a weekend filled with nothing. No plans. Nada.

Moving on. Let's talk about this delicious concoction:

Sweet Potato Pancake. Yep, it's got yams in it. Well, actually it doesn't. Did you know there is a distinct difference between the two? We so frequently use the two terms interchangeably, but the yam is actually a bit sweeter (if you can imagine that). And the sweet potato is,'s orange and flaky when cooked. According to Wikipedia, these 'taters are referred to as yams typically just to distinguish them from the traditional potato. Apparently the nutritional content alone wasn't enough of a distinction. Even though it should be, as sweet potatoes are actually quite good for you. They provide healthy carbohydrates, dietary fiber and beta carotene (which is equivalent to vitamin A). The other potato, well...lots of carbs in that one, but less beta carotene. And certainly more starch.

I don't know about you, but I've never been a big fan of straight potatoes. They bore my taste buds, which is why I'm usually noshing on the sweet variety. But a baked sweet potato gets boring, too. Enter the sweet potato pancake, a recipe I found on Caitlin's blog. I pretty much followed her instructions exactly, right down to the drizzle of maple syrup, so I won't take the time to post it again here. Besides, it'll give you an excuse to check out Healthy Tipping Point. It's almost as good as the sweet potato pancake. Which, by the way, made for an excellent lunch last Friday. It would be a great breakfast, too. If you felt so inclined.

Speaking of inclinations when it comes to meals, do you plan ahead? Erin touched on this a few days ago. It's not that hard, and it'll do wonders for your weight-loss and fit life goals. I plan a basic menu every Sunday, right before we hit the grocery store. Lately, I've been writing it out on this handy wipe-off planner.

It's a magnet, so it hangs on the front of our 'fridge. (I got it when I participated in the Yoplait Greek presentation a few weeks ago.) Of course, it isn't a do-or-die menu. It's simply a guide that assures us we always have something to eat. What you see above is last week's menu. With all the holiday hullabaloo, we didn't have time to hit the grocery store yesterday. We'll get by for another day or two, but I digress. You don't have to have a fancy pants menu like I do to successfully plan out your meals. Any 'ol piece of paper will do. Even if it's a Post-It note.

But the more you plan ahead when it comes to your eating, the greater your chances of following a healthy diet. When we're hungry, we often don't think about what we're eating. Call it desperation. So if you always have something healthy on hand, you can grab and go without worry. Or when you know exactly what you have to make for dinner that night, your odds of giving up in front of your cupboards in favor of takeout might be a bit slimmer. Make sense? Try it. At least for a week.

And try the pancakes, too. Super tasty.

(Oh, by the way—I haven't forgotten about that foam roller workout I promised you a while back. Look for it this week.)

Question: Do you plan ahead when it comes to your meals? What techniques and/or methods do you employ?

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