I think I can, I think I can

In February, I returned to working out as a stress release. Every weekday morning, I get up about 6:30AM to make my way to the gym. Bob and Vince at the YMCA know me by name and hold me accountable to my workout. Most days, I walk 30 minutes on the treadmill. I’m very proud to say in about six months time, I’ve only missed four days working out (twice for work and twice while on vacation). Plus, I’ve also participated in two 5K this year. I guess that’s why I was shocked when I started experiencing pain in my leg so bad that I could barely stand. At first, I thought I had over done it because I had taken to additional long walks outside that week. Listening to my body but not wanting to stop my workout, I switched to the exercise bike. Unfortunately, that didn’t help and leg swelled severely. After a doctor’s visit and testing, I am happy to report nothing is wrong with me. Thank goodness – I’m just getting older. 

If you know me or have been following my blog, you know I don’t like to eat vegetables. My mother says that as a child, I stopped eating them because my sister taught me they were yucky. As an adult, I have tried to incorporate them into my diet. I struggle though because vegetables lack flavor. Although I have gotten better about using them in recipes, I still struggle to eat just vegetables.

My leg issue was a wakeup call for me. I don’t want to get to the point where I can’t even walk. I know I need to eat better and lose weight. So I thought about my long term goal. I want to be able to do a Komen 3-Day. If you aren’t familiar with the Race, participants walk 20 miles per day for 3 consecutive days. I’ve talked to a several people who have participated in 3-Days. Everyone says it is the hardest thing you’ll do but the training program really prepares you for it. So I went online to check it out. Although I don’t think I can be ready physically or financially in the time period they suggest, I think I can work my way toward it in the next two years.

My first challenge toward my ultimate goal is to participating the the Mt. Everest Challenge at the Y. My number on the chart is 28. Sure, I only get 500 points for my walking but I am at the gym every day. I only see one other guy there that much. Plus, I started adding 1 minute every week to my workout (5 extra minutes per week) and lifting weights. I don’t expect to win but I don’t want to come in last either.

As a part of making myself healthier, I am eating more vegetables. I don’t like canned vegetables so I buy fresh or frozen. I ran across this recipe in Price Chopper’s produce section last weekend. I have to say, this recipe made me forget I was eating vegetables.

Baked Zucchini Sticks by Integrated Marketing Services

3/4 c. panko bread crumbs 
1/4 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/3 c. fat-free egg substitute
1 large zucchini, cut into sticks 1/2 inch thick

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. In a shallow plate combine panko, cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper to taste. Place cornstarch in a large Ziploc bag. Pour egg substitute into another shallow plate. In small batches, coat zucchini in cornstarch. Then, coat in egg. Finally, roll in breadcrumb mixture. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Serve with marinara sauce if desired.

Nutrition: Makes four servings. 130 calories, 2 g. fat, 1 saturated fat, 5 mg. cholesterol, 200 mg. sodium, 19 g. carbs, 1 g. fiber, 7 g. protein