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The a.m./p.m. debate

Posted Jun 03 2011 10:58am

I’m not what you would call a competitive person, at least in the typical sense. I don’t usually care whether I win or lose (unless we’re talking about board games or bowling, in which case, I mean business). There is one person I am competitive with, though: myself.

That’s why I enjoy running so much, because I’m always trying to beat my last time, or to go farther than before. That’s why I enjoy setting goals and planning challenges for myself, just so I can see if I can do it.

So, a few weeks ago, I decided to turn myself into a morning workout-er. With me being an avid afternoon exerciser, it started out as a challenge – how many times a week could I wake myself up before 7 a.m. to put off my favorite meal of the day to exercise first?

The first week I tried, I had four successful morning workouts. Surprisingly, getting up so early wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Now that it’s spring and the sun comes through my window much earlier, I’m usually awake by 7 anyway. Here are a few things I found about switching up my routine:

Negatives

  • I’m more prone to “afternoon grazing” since I don’t have a workout to prepare for
  • Along the same lines, I’m more likely to be lazy and unproductive in the afternoon and evening without a workout planned
  • I don’t have the patience for strength training in the morning, so I usually skip it and tell myself I’ll do it later (which I usually don’t)
  • I am exhausted by 10 p.m.

Positives

  • Originally I thought I would have less energy in the morning, but I’ve found that once I push through the first five minutes of the workout, I’m actually full of energy
  • There is no one at the gym, which means I can do lunges down the hallway without getting funny looks
  • It’s nice and cool in the morning; if I run outside in the afternoon, it’s borderline too hot
  • I generally feel more confident about myself after working out, so doing it first thing gives me a boost all day
  • The day feels longer when I get up earlier
  • I’m more sharp and focused in the morning, so I actually enjoy my cardio a lot

Oh, I forgot to mention the best thing about working out in the morning. It makes me hungry for big, hearty breakfasts like this one.

This morning I modified my favorite pancake recipe from Self magazine, and I must say, these were the best pancakes I’ve had since going gluten-free. Not exactly like normal pancakes, but hearty and tasty in their own way. I used the gluten-free Bisquick mix, which I actually really like, despite reading some negative reviews before I bought it for the first time. It’s also good as breading on chicken. But I digress…

The Best Healthy Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes

Serves 1

  • 1/4 c. gluten-free Bisquick (or all-purpose flour mix)
  • 3 tbs. oats
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground flax
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 c. vanilla rice milk (you could sub regular or soy milk, but use a little less)
  • Dash of honey/stevia (optional)
  • Handfull of blueberries

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add eggwhite, milk and sweetener, and stir until just combined. Add blueberries. Pour into four 3-4″ pancakes on a griddle over medium heat. Cook about 3 minutes on each side.

My favorite thing about these pancakes, besides that they don’t need syrup, is that you get to eat that whole plate for this:

Not too shabby, huh?


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