5 Tips for Beginner Cooks

I recently stumbled on a great article from Women’s Health Magazine called 50 Food Tips That Will Change Your Life. Compiled from multiple popular food bloggers, the list really captured a lot of important components of cooking that makes food taste better or more healthy. With that in mind, here  are some of my favorite food tips:

1. If you find yourself not finishing vegetables/fruits that you buy, chop them up into food-prep ready pieces early on and store them in your freezer. Onions, for example, can last for up to three months in the freezer. Just heat them up a bit and use them in a recipe when you need to!

2. Buy foods that are filling to appease your stomach and your bank account. This may sound like an obvious tip, but most people don’t realize that a lot of what they buy doesn’t satisfy the stomach as long as other foods. For example, bananas or legumes make you feel full for a lot longer than a slice of bread or most cereals.

3. If  you find that you’re eating a decent amount of calories in the day, but are still hungry, try focusing on the fiber and  protein you’re also getting in a day. Studies show that diets high in fiber and protein (while also attuned to calorie intake) are best for weight loss.

4. Don’t confuse hunger for dehydration. You may just be eating that granola bar because you’re thirsty.

5. If making a lot  of meals during the week is just not feasible, make a big batch of one or two things a few days a week and divide it up. Kill a few birds with one stone, right? Even if you eventually get sick of what you made, you’ll still have saved some money by not going out for a  few meals.

Workout Goals and Unbearable Plateaus

If you read health oriented magazines or keep up to date on fitness-related material at all, you’ve probably read your fair  number of articles about plateaus. I’m of course not talking about mountain scenery, but the frustrating lack of progress in personal workouts. Anytime I experienced plateaus in the past, I sneakily attributed them to this or that particular midterm that I had coming up – time constraints that prevented me from going further than I  did. However, with summer in full swing and a lighter workload, I have run out of excuses for my most recent plateau.

I thought I had overcome it by starting to run outside in the lovely Baltimore neighborhoods, but then that got boring. Then I started to run on the treadmill, excited to keep tabs on my pace and time. But then that got boring. Finally, I realized what the problem was: I didn’t have a goal. My goal was to workout. That’s it. Period. No wonder I was getting bored!

Soooooooo….introducing, my goal:

Every week, I will up my running duration by an extra ten minutes. Therefore, if I run 25 minutes max on a day one week, that maximum duration has to be upped by ten minutes one day the following week. The best part of this goal is that it doesn’t mandate that I run every day, or perform at my maximum every day. It simply means that on one day, I completely beast my best.

And it worked! Two weeks ago, I ran a maximum of 30 minutes on the treadmill. A few days afterwards, I upped that by running for 45 minutes on the track! Not only did setting a casual and open-ended goal like this help, it motivated me to do more than my goal. #winning? #winning.image

Here are some great tips from another fitness blogger about breaking through a plateau. I’m curious to see how  this new plateau-buster works out in the long run. If you have any tips and tricks for pushing further in your workouts – shoot me an email or write a comment below and if I use it, I’ll write about it in my next blog!

Catch ya later!