Meandering down a path of Creativity

Archive for March, 2016

Muscles & Meat Sauce, Oh My! (Gluten-free)

As I mentioned in my post earlier today, I need to increase my protein intake. Normally, my preference on from-scratch red sauce for pasta is a chunky garden-style sauce, with lots of fresh veggies and tomatoes I put up from the previous year’s garden… and absolutely NO added sugar (a high quality sweet balsamic vinegar does the job quite nicely). ┬áThe ingredients and amounts always vary and I never really measure anything. Well, tonight I’m adding some meat to the mix *and* I carefully measured everything, except the herbs. Hopefully this beautiful gravy will have my muscles nice and happy and ready to take on the chicken kicks tomorrow at MMA!

 

meat sauce cooking

Yummy gravy in the making…

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What’s new, and why I’m back

Hello there! I have not done very well with maintaining a regular posting schedule since starting this blog however many years ago. I admit it. I’m thinking that’s changing now, though… You see, not only is garden season just around the corner, but I’ve made some changes in my life over the past few months & they’ve led me back to recording my recipes here.

On November 16, 2015 I joined a dojo. They offered a free trial as part of their grand opening, and I jumped on the chance to go. It was the best thing I could’ve done- I seriously love it! I’ve been working my way up with how much I do each class & how many classes I’m taking each week- they offer Modern Martial Arts (MMA), Boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, Cardio Kickboxing, and their own special fitness classes (which are seriously tense and absolutely amazing!). The only class I have yet to at least try is Jiu Jitsu, and that’s because it’s a lot of wrestling-type stuff which I am just not ready for.

Anyway, my fitness level began improving and I used the MMA as a catalyst to snowball myself into other healthy changes. I quit smoking, switching over to a vape & slowly reducing the nicotine level. I have not had so much as a drag off a cigarette since Christmas, and just knocked the nicotine down to the lowest available dosage (3mg) last week. I’ll probably start transitioning down to 0mg toward the end of this month. I’ve also been transitioning over to healthier food choices- reducing the fat intake, being mindful of carbohydrate quality, and generally reaching for the more nutrient dense stuff over the empty calories.

The problem is that the dietary changes and the fitness changes just did not match up. While my fitness level steadily improved from November through the end of January, sometime around the first or second week of February, I started noticing some new changes, and they were definitely not for the better!

My energy levels were lower than they’d been since I started at the dojo. I was finding it difficult to do things that I’d been able to do just a few weeks before, reaching the point of muscle fatigue much more quickly. My recovery time was taking longer. The first few days of this, it was easy to brush off- “Oh, I must be fighting off some bug that’s going around,” or “I just didn’t get enough sleep last night.” After a week or so of steady decline, though, I knew I needed to take a closer look at what I was doing. I tweaked my diet & started taking some supplements, but it didn’t help. My performance continued to decline.

Okay, so obviously whatever is going on is beyond my own ability to figure out. I hooked up with a nutrition & fitness coach earlier this week, and have signed up for a 4-week online nutrition & fitness counseling program with him- we start on Monday! Hopefully he will be able to help me find my way out of this slump! (I spoke with him on Weds. for our initial consultation, and he recommended that I bring my fitness efforts down to about 50% for the rest of this week, to give my body a recovery period, and said that my protein intake probably needed to be increased).

He has me tracking my food intake using one of those freebie online programs. The specific program he wants me to use only allows users to enter recipes if the user is willing to hand over all rights to the recipe, though, and I’m just not willing to do that. So, instead, recipes will be entered here and I’ll use the freebie program’s ability to link to recipes on the web… hopefully it will work!

Tonight will be a hearty, garden-style meat sauce over the blank canvas of┬ánutritionally empty rice noodles… recipe to be posted soon!

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