August 05, 2009

Better Tuesdays: The Muscle Factor

[Yes, I know it's Wednesday, but humor me!]

My goals for this week are:

Do resistance training at least twice. Let's chat for a moment about resistance training. First off, it sounds so...hard. I mean, with the whole use of the word "resistance" and all? What situation have you ever been in where resistance was a good thing? But seriously. My real apprehension with resistance training is that, in my mind, resistance training tones and builds muscle. And while that's an excellent thing, I don't feel like I'm yet at the point weight-wise where I want to build muscle. What's the informed opinion on this? Should I continue to do cardio and burn fat before I take up resistance training? Or will doing it now help me with the weight loss? The American Heart Association says this:

The health benefits of resistance training include increased strength and muscular coordination, more muscle mass and higher bone density in men and women of all ages. An increase in muscle mass contributes to a higher basal metabolic rate, which can help in weight control.
So you see? It's the "muscle mass" part that freaks me out. Because let's face it, my legs cannot afford to get any bigger.

Share a healthy recipe with some friends. This one is easy and fun because I loooove recipes! I am a wannabe cookbook collector and use all of my books on a regular basis. My absolute favorite is The Joy of Cooking because it's like having your mama in the kitchen with you. This means you don't have to call your mom in the middle of making a meal to ask for her help and interrupt her very important "book club" meeting which in the background sounds like a lot more like wine drinking than book reading. Ahem. Anyway, the book offers the basics from how to make a pie crust (without help from Pillsbury) to how to make a roux. If you're looking for a fresh, easy and flavorful side this summer, try this out:

Makes 5 servings

Combine in a large bowl:
  • 2 cups grated fresh coconut
  • 1 cup seeded and grated cucumber
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serve this salad beside grilled fish. Add mango and papaya for juicy sweetness and colorful nutrients! You could also cut down the salt or swap in Mrs. Dash to make this salad even more heart healthy.

Hope you're having a great week.

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SoulShine said...

Mmmm...that recipe sounds great! As for muscle building, you probably won't look like a body builder once you start this. Once we turned 30, our bodies began to turn most of our food into fat so once you start this training it will reverse that trend and you'll begin to feel better NOT be bigger! So woo woo woo and man up sister! Smooches!

Peter and Nancy said...

That looks like a fantastic recipe! And strength and resistance training is the only thing I do, besides recreational bike riding -- if you have a good teacher who varies your routine, you won't get bulky. The problem with some instructors is they only focus on certain exercises to get that "cut" muscle look.

When it's done well, you don't need to use more than 8-12 lb. weights, and you won't look like Arnold. Instead, the parts of you that jiggle will stop jiggling and look nice and toned! (Okay, I still jiggle a little . . . )
-- Nancy

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