Tuesday, October 9, 2012

About that cardio...

I've increased my interest in cardio once more. I did a full hour of cardio-knitting yesterday. One hour on the stationary bike knitting on $5 in Paris. I know I'll have to switch it to lap knitting once the length grows a bit. For now it is a fun round and round knit while the pedals go round and round. The knitting made me happy. The biking made me happy. The book I'm listening to while doing all this made me happy too. Today I went for a 5 mile run in an hour. Big happy here too! I ran from home. I ran hills and only had to walk about 1/4 of a mile. I'm so proud of myself.

Happy is good. Cardio brings about a happy feeling. Maybe that happy is not until you are done. Maybe that happy is not even noticed until you miss your cardio for a few days. It does bring happy. Cardio actually encourages the body to release more serotonin.Serotonin is that wonderful hormone and neurotransmitter that helps us all fight depression. It has many other functions too but today the focus is on happy.

If your only goal was to increase your happiness rating than cardio 3-5 times a week is your best bet. If you are also interested in burning off some excess fat you will want to combine your cardio with healthy eating. My goal with my eating is to have my meals be low glycemic impact. That means lots of fiber, a healthy dose of protein, and good fats at every meal.

After today's run I was famished. Running 5 miles works up an appetite. As a child my mom would cook frozen Brussel Sprouts for my father. They were mushy. They usually had butter on them. Dad loved them. I'm not sure I loved them. Fresh Brussels are a whole different world! My favorite way to eat them is roasted. One of my go to fast foods is canned chickpeas. I know you can soak and boil them. I've never had success and they take forever. In the interest of speed and ease I purchase canned beans. (Still trying to keep the happy here!) A few months ago I got adventurous, or perhaps lazy in the kitchen, and combined the two of them on one roasting pan.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Chickpeas

1 pound brussel sprouts, halved or quartered
1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained
2 tsp olive oil
salt and garlic powder to taste

Spread the olive oil on a broiler pan or jellyroll pan. Add the veggies and roll around to coat. Season to taste. Roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly crisp.