My reasons for working out on a regular basis are wide and varied, but when I put pen to paper cursor to word doc, these 5 reasons rise right to the top:
1. So I can eat all the glorious, olive oil brushed, prosciutto laced, cheese stuffed paninis from adorable, affordable, accessible new French places in town that I want, dangit!
Some co-workers and I hit up Tartine…an adorable, affordable, accessible new French place in town…for lunch today, and the Prosciutto Panini I ordered was so crispy, I’m certain they heard my first bite down in Texas. I must know how they do this. These are the things that keep me up at night.
2. See #1.
3. For my physical health. Gotta’ keep the ol’ ticker and other vital organs in tip top shape.
4. See #1. For my mental health. I’m not a running is cheaper than therapy! type person, but you can’t argue with a feel-good flow of endorphins brought on by a good sweat sesh. Self made medicine, for the win!
5. So I don’t have to wash my face before bed. No, I know…but it’s true. Having to wash your face before bed is seriously the pits, but if you workout in the evening then take a shower – voila! – no splish-splashing when you’re half asleep at 10pm later that night. Sometimes it’s all I need to think about to push myself into that workout I’m dreading…
Like tonight, for instance. Oooo, that sandwich at lunch was absolutely mouthwatering, but definitely heavier than what I usually devour around noon on a normal day. When 5pm rolled around I was absolutely dragging – feeling heavy and lethargic.
The thought of hunching over the bathtub scrubbing my face in 5 hours, inevitably getting my hair, t-shirt and bathroom floor soaking wet, proved too much to bear though, and was just the push I needed to get out the door for a 4 mile run on the trail.
It was slow, but it was good. And HOT! I don’t think I’ve told you, but we have been rocking 80 degree weather here all week. The Midwest likes to keep you on your toes like that.
Despite the heat, I decided to turn the oven on tonight for dinner featuring a roasted delicacy – Double Stuffed Acorn Squash.
I picked up a perky acorn squash at the Farmers’ Market last weekend, and knew exactly what I was going to be doing with it.
Stuffing it with spicy red wine & cheese infused chicken sausage, a chopped honeycrisp apple (that was hard to sacrifice) and some whole-wheat stuffing mix made moist and extra-flavorful with chicken broth.
Piled deep and high within the squash that I roasted ’til it was golden brown and oh-so tender,
then popped under the broiler ’til it was golden brown.
Each bite of this double stuffed squash – that is, squash stuffed with stuffing – was a new flavor experience.
The squash was sweet, the apple tart, the sausage spicy and the stuffing savory. It was perfect!
Stuffed Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash
Extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
2 sausage links (can be chicken, turkey or pork – I used Trader Joe’s Red Wine & Cheese Chicken Sausage)
1 small apple, peeled and chopped into 1/4″ cubes
1 cup chicken broth, divided
1/2-5oz box Stove Top stuffing
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pierce acorn squash several times with a knife, then place on a microwave-safe plate and cook for 2 minutes. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, then microwave for 1 additional minute.
- Lay squash halves on a baking sheet, skin side down, then brush with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the thickest part of the squash goes in easily.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, remove sausage from casing and sauté with apples until sausage is cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and continue to cook until apples are soft but not mushy, ~3-4 more minutes. Add up to 1/4 cup chicken broth to keep apples from burning.
- In a separate, small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup chicken broth to a boil. Pour in half the box of stuffing, stir, then place a lid on top and turn the heat off. Allow the pan to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff stuffing with a fork.
- Combine stuffing with sausage & apple mixture then mound onto cooked acorn squash halves. Place under the broiler until stuffing is golden brown on top.
This dinner was light, yet filling, and will make for some really great leftovers too.
Off to get the rest of this ready for bed process taken care of. Tooth brush – you’re next!
What is your #1 reason for working out?