cheesy bread and health

Not to confuse you, but today’s post contains 2 completely unrelated topics: my love for cheesy anything bread, and my battle for regular, routine physical activity to promote overall good health. I am not insinuating that cheesy bread promotes health, although it might promote mental health. A life without cheese or bread is not one worth living, in my humble opinion (I don’t know how those paleo folks do it…).

First… cheesy goodness

Have you ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse? If so, you might be familiar with those delicious, soft, chewy cheesy bread rolls that you are supplied with in endless quantities. I found the recipe today and am looking for an excuse to make them! And yes, as a vegetarian, I have been subjected to the extremely overpriced salad bar at numerous Brazilian steakhouses. The cheesy side dishes were the only redeeming quality of these visits.

Now… burn those calories

I started the Couch 2 5K program yesterday, after downloading the handy app. (This, of course, makes me feel validated to bake the previously mentioned cheesy bread). The app was great in that it allowed me to listen to my own music selection, and just chime in every 60 or 90 seconds and tell me to either start running or walking. I was dripping in sweat after the 30 minute workout, and have slightly sore quadriceps today, so I’ll take that as a success! (as a grad student success – I also was able to finish my class reading during the run/walk workout!)

In starting this C25K program, I feel the need to find a way to motivate me to see this program to completion. Two ideas are floating in my head. First is to sign up for a local 5K event in November. I should’ve been able to make it through the 8 week program by then, and even if I cannot run the whole 5K, I will be much more successful and confident than I am today!

I know from personal experience how motivating it is to already have a race in sight. I trained with Team in Training for 2 half-marathons (2008, 2009). I kept detailed workout logs, with each session documented (weather, attire, mileage, physical symptoms, etc). For anyone who knows me, this shouldn’t come as a surprise Smile


So, a race can be a great motivator, something to set your sights on for the long-term. But what about something to motivate you during the training process? When regular workouts are getting old/boring/time-consuming, and/or grad school becomes ever-more-intensive.

Well, having a team or a friend to workout with is always helpful. We call this accountability. And it certainly helped for my half-marathons. But right now, I don’t have that.

I’m considering an iPhone app called Gym-Pact, which uses financial incentives (i.e. the threat of taking your money away if you don’t workout) to keep you on track. You make a pact each week for how many workouts you plan to do, and how much money you’re willing to lose if you don’t. You then log in those workouts at your local gym (using GPS check-ins) and either make money if you successfully logged in enough workouts, or lose money if you fail. Where does the money come from? All the couch potatoes who don’t make it to the gym.

It’s grounded in wonderful behavioral economics theory (which we all know I love), which might actually be the biggest reason I’m considering it. haha. It’s not a method for getting rich or anything, but the threat of losing money is a powerful motivator, especially for poor graduate students!

I’ll keep you updated on how it goes…


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