I won't be joining the masses at the gym this first week of the new year. Instead, I'm focusing on rejuvenation.
Before I worked with a personal trainer last year, I had no idea there was such a thing as exercising too much. Tom made me realize that overtraining can be harmful to your body, and rest and recovery are just as important as exercise. In addition to taking a day of rest each week, something I rarely did before I worked with Tom, I now take a full week of rest every few months. Tom told me that this period of rest will help my body perform better when I start the next phase of my fitness program. Rest doesn't mean just sitting around on the couch though. Tom defined rest as no vigorous cardio or strength training. Instead, he encouraged me to walk and do yoga, so I'll be doing lots of that this week.
To help my body recover and rejuvenate, I spent today cooking healthy staples. I ate too many vegan cookies over the holidays, and now my body is craving whole, natural, nutrient-rich foods.
First I made Roasted Vegetable Stock in my slow cooker (recipe). Roasting the veggies first makes this a very flavorful stock. I'll freeze it so I can use it to make a comforting winter soup in the next few weeks.
Next I made Mostly Whole-Wheat Baguettes from the Food Matters Cook Book by Mark Bittman. My great weakness is white bread, especially baguettes, and I ate way too much over the holidays. These baguettes are make with a combo of whole-wheat and white flour, so they have some whole-wheat goodness with the satisfying texture of white bread. I froze one loaf and will eat the rest with the very spicy Red Beans and Rice I made yesterday (recipe).
Because I cooked a big pot of chickpeas to make hummus for New Year's Eve and didn't use them all, I also made Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon (recipe). I love these! I doubled the recipe and froze some for a future treat. I also made a creamy dijon gravy to go with them. The gravy was also great over steamed kale.
Here's to a week of rejuvenation!