I love the Olympics. I love the opening & closing ceremonies and both the snark and admiration that comes up on the Twitter feed during it. I love the swimming, gymnastics, track and field (or athletics, as we call it in the UK). I’ve even acquired a newfound love for watching the women’s beach volleyball. What power houses Walsh-Jennings and Ross are! I’ve been torn between wanting Michael Phelps to win a gold in his last race, and cheering Team GB on at the same time because young Adam Peaty is amazing. I love the sportsmanship between competitors, helping each other at the expense of a possible medal. My husband has been an Olympic widower. He wanted to watch a movie Saturday night, and my response was, “But Michael Phelps is about to swim his last race of his Olympic career!” and again Sunday night, “But it’s track and field night and Usain Bolt is about to run the men’s 100m final!”
But the thing I love the most about the Olympics, is the showcase of athletes of all different shapes and sizes, and they are all the best at their own sport. Look at the difference between a pole vaulter, a shot putter (see Michelle Carter), a swimmer, a weight lifter and a gymnast. They’re all at the peak of their fitness and health, completely different body shapes, but all in the best shape of their lives – to compete in the activities they love the most. It really resonated with me. Fitness isn’t a certain shape. It’s the shape that fits you when you do the activity you enjoy. It’s being able to enjoy what you do because your body allows you to do it. I posted something on my Facebook about health and fitness about a week or so ago that sums this up so well,
You know, fitness and health is SO worth fighting for. I work in an upstairs office that has no elevator, just a flight of steep steps. There are many customers who are much younger than me who can barely make it up that one flight of steps to the 2nd floor without flopping down on one of our chairs, panting and having to wait to catch their breath before being able to do what they came to do. We have older customers who will call us from downstairs so we can run down and help them. I don’t want to be like that. Do you? Do we want to be hobbling around, barely able to walk a mile or feeling like stairs are too much for us as we age? I want to be able to run up stairs, to be able to carry my grocery shopping, to move furniture, fold laundry (yeah…my favourite job…not). I want (as Coach Fury so often says) to “Die Mighty!”
My mum turns a young 76 this year. A few years back, she fell down the stairs of her home, just before Christmas and broke her leg in two places. Despite setbacks, she gritted her teeth and was at the gym on a treadmill by the following May. She goes to the gym, has started a kettlebell program, plays badminton every week, and when she visited my sister recently, attended all the Bootcamps my sister coaches, and bootcamped like it was her job! I have seen a photo of her running up and down the concrete stairs at the rugby grounds like a boss. What an inspiration!
The Whole 30 this month has been a blast. I truly mean it.
It’s not been a hardship (although the first couple of evenings without a glass of wine was a tad tough). During the day, it’s been simple stuff – salads, with dressings that have been prepped the weekend before. The newest toy in my kitchen is an immersion blender. WHY am I so late to the amazingness that is an immersion blender? My Olive Oil Mayo is perfect and took less than a minute! I’m making up reasons to use it!
My go to dressing this week, that I’ve been putting on ALL THE THINGS is Artichoke Chimichurri from Pretend It’s A Donut It is the bee’s knees; it is the chimichurri of chimichurris; make it. Make it now. And you can also add it to your home made Olive Oil Mayo to make a great dipping sauce for veggies. True story.
The hubs is not a huge eater of fish, but LOVED this. Mahi Mahi, baked in the oven at 375F, seasoned with Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper and avocado oil. Around 6-8 minutes each side. I made an aioli with the mayo (added some EEVO, lime juice and a wee bit of the Artichoke Chimichurri) to put over the fish, and then to decorate, a little chimichurri (did I tell you how much I love that stuff?) and slices of lime. Steamed broccoli was added as a side and a little quinoa for the hubs as he’s not doing a Whole 30.
And now for a simple, easy, delicious dessert. Chia pudding. It’s creamy, sweet and there are ALL kinds of variations to be had. Take a can of thick coconut milk and blend it with a bunch of strawberries. Add ¼ cup of chia seeds (good for protein and calcium) and stir them in well. Cover the bowl and put in the fridge for an hour, and Bob’s your uncle! A lovely thick, creamy dessert. Decorate as you will, and experiment with all manner of fruit. I’m going to try a banana and cocoa one soon. Here’s a link to 45 different kinds of Paleo and Vegan friendly Chia Puddings. You’re welcome!
Beverly (on her first Whole30 outing) and Kerry “Windmill Queen” Strnad are going strong a week behind me, and being extremely creative with their culinary skills. I have yet to make plantain chip Tacos, but Beverly just churned ‘em out like she was born to do it! I was hoping that she would be too busy with her meal planning to ask us to do Bear Hug squats at “Bags n’ ‘Bells with Bev” on Thursday night, but alas, my hopes were dashed most cruelly and with an evil grin.
So as I write this on Day 22 of the Whole 30, I am feeling positive, energetic and a lot healthier than I did just last month. My clothes are already looser and I am throwing myself into kettlebell training with renewed vigor! Loosely translated, this means I am a hot, sweaty mess because I’m really going for it at class instead of half heartedly and grumpily because I ate a load of pizza and ice cream the night before. With my husband wanting to change his eating habits too, it’s so much easier, and I hope we can continue to encourage each other to good health and a fit old age as we walk hand in hand off into the sunset…..(just wanted to leave you with that Hallmark moment).
It’s been a gold medal of a month!
Until next time, stay strong and enjoy your health!
- J x