The Monday Motivational

This is my first “Monday Motivational” post. For the next 23 days I am on a regimented eating and conditioning plan. I am hoping these weeks will instill in me a habit I can carry forward for life. I also hope to pass on some of the nutritional information I’m learning by way of healthy recipes and other tasty tips. Monday is a great day to atone for the sins of the weekend and start the week off on a healthy foot. If you didn’t do so great today, tomorrow is another day. How’s that for motivation? Sorry, I never made the cheerleading squad. That’s as good as it gets.

So far, the eating plan is very manageable and falls in line with a lot of what I’ve been doing for a good part of my adult life, i.e., small meals every three to four hours. What I didn’t understand before was the importance of the ratio between carbs, protein and fat in each meal. I bought a kitchen scale to help me in this department. Now that I have been somewhat educated by my friends at Fitness Together and Interfitt, it is already becoming easier to plan each meal based on a balance of protein, carbs and fat.

I met with my personal trainer again today who I think enjoys torturing me because I have experience lifting and she gets to pack the weights on and add all kinds of resistance. At one point, I was making so much noise I had to ask if I was scaring the other clients. I now know what I would have sounded like had I given birth naturally. Not a pretty picture, trust me. But, in the end I felt great and just a bit proud of myself.

So, the work out plan for the week is the following:
Monday, Shoulders and Legs (the screaming I was telling you about)
Tuesday, 1 1/2 hours of cardio keeping the heart rate between 125 and 105
Wednesday, Chest and Biceps
Thursday, more of the same cardio
Friday, Glutes and Hamstrings
Saturday, lay on couch and cry when I try to reach the clicker
Sunday, Back and Triceps

The meal plan for the next few days will include my balanced breakfasts, lunches and midday snack. For dinner tonight I made Herbed Sweet and Sour Chicken from I felt the original recipe called for too much ground thyme (1 1/2 tsp.) and cayenne pepper (1/2 tsp.) so in the recipe below I have reduced the measurements. If you like a strong thyme flavor and spicey dish, go with the original. I’ll definitely be making this again. It was very easy, flavorful and I have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.

Herbed Sweet n’ Sour Chicken


2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice

6 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 skinless chicken breast halves
2 large green peppers, chopped
1 large sweet onion, chopped


Peheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, blend the olive oil, soy sauce, honey and vinegar. Mix in the thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, allspice and black pepper.

Place chicken breasts in in a medium baking dish and coat with the olive oil mixture.

Place chicken in the preheated oven, and, basting occasionally with the olive oil mixture, cook 30 minutes, or until no longer pink and juices run clear. While chicken is cooking saute peppers and onions in a little olive oil until tender. Serve over rice, peppers and onions.