Black-Eyed Peas and Rice: Why I Quit the Gym

by simplylife on March 20, 2012

I’m excited.  Can I tell you why?

My gym membership has officially ended.

I know, that sounds like a strange thing to be excited about.  However, for me, it means that warm weather and longer days are finally here!  It signifies the end of winter, the end of running in layers and the end of driving to the gym before 6am.

While most people may be spending more time at the gym now that bathing suit season is approaching, for me, it means that I am officially back in “running season.”

If you’re a runner, you know how freeing and inspiring the feeling of lacing-up your shoes and hitting the pavement feels.  For the most part, I love this feeling.

However, I also know that running day after day can sometimes cause wear and tear on your joints.  And I know that it’s good to work other muscles.

For the past few years, my husband and I have joined our local gym only during the winter months.  When it’s too cold and dark to run outdoors, we give our knees a break and focus on different muscles and exercises for at least 3 months.  I love doing this and waking-up with sore muscles in places I forgot existed.  However, when spring hits and the gym membership ends (ours doesn’t have a sign-up fee so this works very well!), it means I’m back to running and there’s always an extra bounce in my step as I hit the sidewalk.  I think this pattern keeps me from feeling burnt-out of running, and may even be instrumental in our minor injury history.

I know this is probably not the exercise pattern that a personal trainer may recommend but for me, for now, it works.  

Other than warm weather and running, wanna know another thing that I can’t get enough of this time of year?  Chips and salsa!  I made this Black-Eyed Pea and Rice dish (click here for the recipe) and served it with Falafel Chips I received from Flamous and Medium Wholly Salsa I received from Wholly Guacamole (yes, they have more than just guac!).

I received their Original and Spicy Falafel Chips and love them both!  They have a unique flavor and are made with over 20 organic vegetables, herbs, spices and legumes; they are also vegan, kosher, gluten-free and USDA organic.  Plus they taste great and are the perfect “dipper” for salsa, hummus or your favorite dip!

This salsa was also great!  I always prefer “chunky” salsa and this did not disappoint!  The Medium flavor had just enough heat that it added that extra kick without being overpowering.  I now can’t wait to try their guacamole!

~Do you change your workout routines based on the weather and/or season?

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  • Belinda

    I do love these falafel chips – gorgeous dish! I agree – love now being able to be back outside…though I’ve tried and tried to get into running….

  • Hotly Spiced

    What a great looking meal and I love your images! That looks so inviting and those corn chips look amazing. So many great flavours on that plate for sure. I celebrated when my gym membership expired too! xx

  • Amy (Savory Moments)

    This looks like a delicious and healthy meal. I am glad that the nice weather is back because I’m back to trying to sneak in at least one walk around the park a day for some fresh air and exercise!

  • Colleen

    Ooooh, these chips look super fun and delicious! I hadn’t belonged to a gym in 3 years and only ran outside year-round during that time… But, as you know, I recently joined a gym due to some injuries but I do hope to be outside running again soon! Enjoy being out there!

  • Anonymous

    Running outside is amazing- its therapeutic! I increase my outdoor runs when the weather gets nicer for sure. What a great meal. And I totally want to try those spicy chips

  • Matt

    I am a gym rat in the winter too! I love that the weather is nice now and I can run outside 🙂


    I wanna become a runner one day! This looks yummy

  • Amy B @ Second City Randomness

    I’ve considered freezing my gym account, but think I’d miss the crosstraining too much. That being said, I LOVE running outside. It’s so much easier on my legs than the treadmill (I always end up “sort of injured” one way or another from overuse of the treadmill). Just wish it’d be a *wee bit* lighter in the morning so I could start focusing on getting outdoors before work!

    • Simply Life

      Agreed! I don’t like running in the dark either!

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes

    I like how you manage your gym membership! My favorite form of exercise is hiking, and I look forward to doing more of it this spring and summer!

    Enjoy your runs! 🙂

  • Daisy

    gotta do what works for you! I think its a great workout routine. so happy for spring weather!

  • Kristina

    I’ve been dying for the warm weather to come so I can finally get back outside, the first run outside is the absolute best feeling! I finally got a chance this week, it was sooo nice to be out in the cool spring breeze 🙂 Good luck on your runs!!

  • Emily @ A Cambridge Story

    Mmm that plate of beans and cheese and chips looks excellent! A great throw-together dinner 🙂 Glad to hear that you’re entering an outdoor workout phase that you enjoy!

  • Rebecca

    I’m the opposite. My running stops come May, because it’s too hot outside, and I retreat into the air conditioned gym.

  • Hillary

    I definitely start working out more outside once it gets nice out—but I do still like going to the gym for the weights!

  • Bianca Garcia

    I am so excited to be running outside again! I’ve seen those spicy falafel chip and have been curious. Good to hear you like them!

  • Allison @ PickyEatingRD

    I worked at a gym for 3 years and there are def. “cycles” when it comes to # of users. Usage in the summer drops drastically with everyone going outside for their workouts!

  • Yummychunklet

    I used to be a gym rat when I was in school, but now that time is more limited, I find I like exercising during the course of the day, like walking to and from work.

  • Ranjani

    This is my first year running regularly, but I think I’m the opposite of you – I really enjoyed running outside in the winter, and I think I’ll cut down on running in the summer when it is hot and humid. Not sure what I’ll replace it with,but I’ll figure it out…

  • decocinasytacones

    Well Apparently Spring has finally sprung!!!, I hope the weather lasts, because Spring in here is rainy, foggy and humid.
    I loved your recipe, I have never tried black eyed peas.

  • Kari

    I actually love the sound of your exercise routine. I keep a year-round gym membership but struggle to get the right balance of gym and running – often running suffers because the gym has become part of my weekday morning routine, but I don’t like running on the treadmill. Having it divided by months really appeals! Only problem is that my gym has much better rates if you join for the year…but I may ponder this 🙂

  • JoJo

    I looove this. Vegetarian and looks so yummy 😀
    I definitely do less cardio in the winter but it’s still nice out in the winter (in california) so I still go running 🙂
    It’s nice to run when it’s cold outside sometimes, the fresh air wakes me up!

  • Lynn Chen

    a happy day for me was when my gym membership ran out 2 years ago. i could finally stop feeling guilty for never going!

  • Anna

    I really like the idea of your workout plan! And the feeling of getting outside and running is amazing, I love that the days are longer and it’s finally warmer 🙂

  • Anu Shoj

    wow awesome platefull…wow luv the combo and this looks so inviting and luv ur pics dear…

  • meri

    I love falafel chips but I’ve not had that brand before- looks good! Have fun running!

  • Cookie Sleuth

    This looks great! Enjoy the running! I like to try to ride my bike more in the summer… Looking forward to starting that soon.

  • Fitontherocks

    I’m so excited for it to be warm outside, too! I still have my membership for classes I like, but I have been outside running most of the time! Enjoy!

  • Jolene (

    My workouts change a lot when summer hits, as I spend much more time outside, as you do. Love the warm weather!

  • Mom

    I loved how beautifully you arranged this variety of foods on the plate; definitely picture worthy! Love the inspiration of running and “hitting the pavement”. I’ll have to give the health club a break and try that out! Seasons don’t usually have an effect on my workouts although that might just change if I start enjoying the outside as my workout scenery.

  • Colleen

    I tend to do the same thing with workouts in the winter, but mostly because I’m too much of a wimp to run in the cold anyways! And treadmill running just doesn’t do it for me.

  • Kiran @

    Gorgeous and drool-worthy photos!! I am into running, but gym just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. I love yoga and planning to get back into it. ASAP!

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