Spring And The Great Outdoors

Hello to my 1.5 readers out there. Yes, I’m still over here kicking it.  Thought I should get something out so you don’t start reading the current tabloids or something else as  um…. entertaining.

Ok honestly, I had my little 18 month granddaughter while her mommy and daddy were out of town for three days.

Let me tell you this… I don’t do anything that requires  more focus than a nano second of a gnat when I’ve got her.  This means writing or anything else that requires a level of skill.

Mainly ’cause I’m making sure she isn’t dive bombing off a chair, eating colors, or trying to ride the English Mastiff, just to name a few things.

She is bright and oh so smart, endearingly cute, can do her baby talk like crazy ( once she puts the words together her parents will never have a quiet moment) and is quick to mimic anything you show her. She is very social ( that doesn’t fall far from the family tree with her daddy and her nanny 😉 and loves being outside, which worked well for me ’cause I do too.  We spent plenty of time outside enjoying the sunshine, wind and absolutely perfect temperatures.

It’s pretty hard for me to stay in when conditions are like that. It’s why I’m already tanned too haha

But yeah, writing, it’s hard to sit and get at that. And by the time she’s down for night I just want to chill.

All I can say is I’m glad I have the energy to keep up with her! Not just that but also cart her and her baby stuff to and from the car. Ah the good ‘ol days! That’s really how muscles are built haha

Seriously though, this morning… this is what I was back to doing….

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Happy sunny spring miles

Of course, last week before my baby duties, this is what I was up to…

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According to my watch I was moving….

I glanced down at my watch and of course I’m thinking… why can’t I do this speed up hills?? haha

Seriously, though it’s April. I’ve gotta start getting ready to get back into serious training for the duathlon in November. Nothing like a little dual sports to keep me on my toes 😉

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this is what multi sport training days look like 😛

 

So besides athletic shenanigans, it was also a productive weekend for some new furniture findings. I usually write about these in my Monday Musings posts but due to situations mentioned above, Monday Musings will resume next week

However, you can find one or two of them here if you wanna check it out….

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/09/monday-musings-9/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/02/monday-musings-8/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/03/26/monday-musings-7/

 

But I will share what I found cause I think I got some cool goodies.

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How about an old school telephone bench?

 

 

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this cute little vanity…
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So clean inside the drawers, a nice treat to find.
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Of course, the original hardware is always my favorite part.

So that’s a sneak peak at some of my recent treasures. I got another side table but I’m to lazy to look for pic and load it up here haha

And yes, I know, I keep saying I’m doing an entire post on my adventures and I promise to work on it soon.

The ** not featured** table, I met the lady in a parking lot to make the purchase. I don’t make drug deals… I’m dealing furniture…

Anyway she says “Oh, do you do furniture restoration?”

Me… “oh,  I dabble in it a little” haha not confessing I’ve turned into a little one woman show flipping stuff.

Hubby, when I told him that says… “dabble? a little?”

Maybe a bit more than a little 😉

So spring is in the air…..

It’s hard to keep me inside when the weather is so perfect. I just want to be out in it and of course it is perfect to work on my projects outdoors.

But along with that comes the idea many people get of wanting to start moving more and getting some exercise.

I often get asked what is the best exercise to do.

I will say that anyone, no matter what your fitness level, can walk. If you’re wanting to get out and enjoy the spring weather walking is a wonderful way to clear your mind, get some cardio work ( you gotta move it though!) It requires no special equipment ( some decent shoes help) and you can pace yourself at a level you can handle at your own physical abilities. You can pick up the speed as you get stronger and you can increase distance gradually to let your body adapt.

I’ve shared before, walking is where my athletic beginnings have root. You never know where those evening walks may lead you 😉

Spring days… who feels like cooking

One thing about longer days and more opportunities to be outdoors means I sometimes don’t want to be in the kitchen. This is where I fall back on using my trusty crock pot or utilizing some of my tasty, yet healthy, one pan dishes. You can find all my one pan recipes on my Pinterest page, Sassyfitnesschick, under one pan dinnersI’ll share one with you I made last night.

So tasty and so easy!

 

this tasty Mexican inspired meal was also a success. This is easy to make ahead and pop in oven closer to meal time.

So that’s a wrap. It’s been a busy week for me and the rest of it promises the same.

Tell me do you have an tried and true simple recipes that are healthy, quick and get you out of the kitchen ? What are some of your favorite spring time activities?

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Spotlight On Bellpeppers

 

As I pondered what new, tasty and fun food to bring to this weeks “spotlight” post I couldn’t help but laugh a little at my choice. This weeks spotlight being on the bell pepper family.

You see, growing up, and even well into adulthood, peppers were not on my favored list. I found them to be a bit bitter and not very tasty. I could tolerate them on  a supreme pizza buried under tomato sauce and cheese and that’s about where our relationship ended.

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This looks like an ad for summertime…. seriously though, just eat your peppers 😉

 

 

Growing up my mom would whip up stuffed peppers for dinner occasionally. Those nights were the least of my favorite meals to put it mildly. It was up there with liver and onions as far as tastiness to me. And yeah, she made that too. I’m just gagging at the memory of it…bleh…

Anyway, I grew up a little more and realized there were other colors of peppers out there and weirdly, they didn’t taste as bland, bitter, not tasty, whatever adjective to use here.

Oh no. In fact, they were quite tasty. And the red became my most favorite as I found myself nibbling on them when making salads or just grabbing them for a snack.

There’s a reason for the taste difference

Do you know the bell pepper, all of it’s colors, is actually just one pepper?

Yeah, that little factoid blew me away too.

The green pepper is the least mature and is picked first. Because it isn’t ripe it has more bitter taste, is less sweet and has fewer nutrients. The green pepper is most purchased of all the colors and it’s also the cheapest. Cheapest ’cause Mr. Farmer has to spend the least time tending it.

As the pepper continues to mature on the vine, it turns to yellow and orange in the ripening process.  The yellow is quite similar to the orange one. They aren’t as bitter as green but aren’t as sweet as the red.  The yellow and orange are “in between” peppers. Which you choose to use in dishes is largely a personal preference.  The orange does have thick flesh and is sweeter than the green pepper.

Finally, the red pepper. It is the sweetest of all peppers because it has stayed on the vine the longest and is fully matured.  It’s also why colored peppers are more expensive. They require more care and attention from the farmer before harvest.

The red pepper also packs an impressive amount of vitamins and nutrients the other peppers don’t.  Red peppers contain a whopping amount of beta-cartone over the other peppers, 11 times more! They also contain two times more Vitamin C and 10 times more Vitamin A than the green pepper.

Red peppers also have a shorter shelf life. So with all these factors in mind, you can see why they are also the more costly.

Oh…but they are so worth it.

I was in the store one day buying some red ones. They were huge and a deep vibrant shade of red.

They screamed good health. They screamed “take me home and eat me!” haha

I guess I was kinda petting them and admiring their beauty when hubby said…

“you know you’re talking to peppers”

Uh… yeah… I knew that. They were just so pretty. And cheap.

And I’m weird.

It was one of those days and they were well under the 1.00 per pepper price so I was loading up on them.

The 411 on bell peppers

The cool thing about almost all veggies? You can eat so much for virtually no calories.

One medium pepper is only 24 calories! Not to mention it’s loaded with tons of Vitamin C, B 6 and Vitamin A.

You know, all that stuff that’s good for you and makes you look healthy .

All peppers are high sources of potassium. This mineral helps keep your fluids and minerals balanced in your body, enhancing muscle function, and regulating blood pressure.

The sulfur content in bell peppers makes them play a protective role in certain types of cancers.

The bell pepper is a good source of Vitamin E, which is known to play a key role in keeping skin and hair looking youthful.

Bell peppers also contain vitamin B6, which is essential for the health of the nervous system and helps renew cells.

Certain enzymes in bell peppers, such as lutein, protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration later in life.

Now let’s eat!

Now I personally still don’t think of stuffed bell peppers as one of my most favorite dinner options, although hubby loves them. So it was a bit of a surprise when my daughter in law recently requested them for her birthday dinner.

They are simple to make and certainly looked beautiful…. I’ll add the recipe at the end.

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Ready to be stuffed with tasty goodness

Ok, in all fairness, these were good. And the fam wolfed them down. I’ll let you try and see if you like them.

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Look at these healthy delicious morsels 🙂

Oh, and besides the big peppers, do you know you can buy bags of little red, yellow and orange peppers? They are so cute… I chop them into salads or use them in my breakfast of sautéed veggies… or just eat them as is.

I did come across a recipe for stuffed cheese ones the other day. I haven’t tried yet, but I’ll share here at the end as well.

Of course, peppers are delicious roasted, grilled, sautéed or used in salads or other dishes, There really are endless, healthy and tasty options for them.

I’m eager to try this recipe with these baby peppers….

In conclusion….

the green pepper is unripened and is less sweet and has the least nutrients of all colors. It is also the cheapest and most purchased of all peppers.

The orange/ yellow pepper is more mid-range, having a sweeter flavor and more nutrients.

The red pepper is the sweetest as it stays on vine till fully ripened. It also packs the most nutritional punch of all peppers. It is more costly due to longer vine time ( but oh so worth it!)

Oh and a fun fact….Bell peppers are related to tomato, potato, tobacco, eggplant, and petunia.

Tobacco???

 

Ok you’re turn, tell me. Do you like peppers? If so how do you prefer them?

 

 

Monday Musings

So it’s Sunday evening and I have to say, it’s been the most bipolar, weird weather kinda weekend.  We got a unexpected cold front down here in the deep South, say what??

Spring is in the air and all that.. but no… we got some really crisp, chilly air over the weekend to liven things up.

Of course, by this afternoon I was out cutting grass in shorts and a tank top 😛

This last burst of chilly air let me wear some of my fav clothes before they got put away for the season.

Well, I honestly thought they WERE put away….but then…..

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Got spring like…. while I’m wearing my fav flannel and beanie one last time for this season… I think…

Speaking of grass… with spring and some rain comes grass that show’s up faster than relatives for dinner.

Today was the first venture into this seasons grass cutting. I like cutting grass.

Weird, I know.

I also use a push mower, which I view as extra cardio work. Grown men tell me I’m crazy. For some reason they seem to prefer their “riding mower”.

I have like 80 acres to cut so it is a bonus workout. Well, perhaps I exaggerate a wee bit, but I do have over a solid acre and a half of wilderness to cut back.

I have my ipod in, and am usually in shorts and my bikini top so I get to work on my tan too. It’s kinda of a win/ win thing.

There’s something really satisfying about doing it and seeing it all neatly clipped and tidy that makes it all worth it.

Till next week….

Do you like to cut the grass?

And meanwhile, some of ya’ll are digging out of snow… snow. Good heavens.

As things go in the South though, we will move from spring to baking heat in a swift time leaving these cool days a distant memory.

For now though. we enjoy.

Mild weather does make for enjoyable outdoor exercise

Last weeks athletic shenanigans had me on the road on foot and bike. The mornings were cool enough to make me appreciate the spring day, but had me working up a decent sweat by the time I got back home.

A week in my fitness life isn’t complete without some strength training days. I tried out a couple new things which I always enjoy. Not only does it keep boredom from setting in, it’s a good way to constantly be working different muscle groups. I’ll share a couple I tried…..

 

It looks kinda innocent right? But if you’re crunched for time, this 15 minute workout will, work you out. When you’re under the gun to get in as many rounds as possible “amrap” you stay focused to task at hand.

This was another I had “fun” with.  Those kettlebells will get ya every time. If you don’t have kettlebells you can use a dumbbell.

Keep in mind, you can always modify these exercises to your personal fitness level. I use a 35 lb kettlebell and I do butterfly situps with a 25lb weight plate to make it a bit more challenging.

That’s how I modify it for myself. You might need to do less reps to start or with no weights in the beginning. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you. You can always increase each week.

These short timed exercises work all of your body, fire up your metabolism and keep it burning long after you’re finished. These sessions are great when you need to make use of a short amount of time.

The week in food

exercise isn’t the only thing I experimented with. I tried out a few new recipes on the fam. Either they are extremely grateful to eat or it’s really good I’m not sure which but everything was devoured so I think it’s a good sign.

this broccoli beef recipe is so ridiculously easy and so good. The broccoli gets tossed in while the rice cooks and it’s on the table.

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/slow-cooker-bbq-beef-145861.aspx?cm_mmc=Social-_-Pinterest-_-CPC-_-SlowCookerBBQBeef&pp=1

And who can resist a pulled meat sandwich? this was super simple by tossing a couple chuck roasts in on low all afternoon then having it ready for an easy simple dinner.

In the way of “foods I haven’t experimented with yet”

Chickpeas.

There’s so much about them and they are supposed to be really good for you so I’m thinking this will be a topic to explore soon.

Have you tried them?

and if you’ve been following my furniture flipping adventures….

wow… I actually finished off another piece this week. I’m so in love with it. I scooped it up at this dive thrift store a month or so ago. I love the sweet classic style and adorable fixtures on it.  It’s a early 1920’s serpentine drawer dresser. It was missing one castor ( the wheels they used to put furniture on back in the day) thankfully, I can order some through the beauty of Ebay to fix that little issue. As you will see it was a bit needy looking when I dragged it home.

Those are my most favorite pieces…

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the top was a bit of a mess…..
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In the works! The top sanded down pretty well, testing out the new color 😉

 

And finally, ya’ll say hello to Olivia 🙂

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She still needs a wheel 😛
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Ah! Look how beautiful the fixtures cleaned up
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I try and leave as much original as I can… a peek at the drawer sides…

I always thought this piece was so feminine. The colors and look were very visual in my head for the longest time. Olivia seemed a perfect name for this project with pretty lines and hardware. Therefore, it sorta surprised me that as I cleaned and worked with the drawers the scent of sweet tobacco was very present. It reminded me of what my best friends dad used to smoke in his pipe.

I thought it was me, but my kids smelled it and agreed it smelled like sweet tobacco.

A bit to late to change it to something masculine haha…

Anyway, this is by far, one of my most favorite finished pieces. Both my daughter in laws asked me “are you planning to sell this?”

When I told them no they were happy to hear it as it seems to be their favorite so far too. Besides, it already has a perfect place to live in my home. 🙂

I have a couple other things that are soooo close to being done. You’ll get a peek next week at those.

I need to cease my chattering at you and get moving towards my bed. It has been a long…day…

I’ll leave you with this,

As we head into a new week there are so many things to look forward to and new opportunities for us. I’m always grateful for the chance to experience new things and to appreciate the “normal” things in life as well.

Tell me, what are you looking forward to? What opportunities do you have ahead of you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Equality Of The Calorie

Calories. You can’t see a label on a food package, or now days be in a restaurant, without noticing the calorie count. If you are someone who “diets” then you might be controlled by counting calories in your day and monitoring them in the foods you eat or you may go through your day oblivious to them.

You may be waking up right now trying to get your first cup of coffee in and wondering why on earth we’re talking about calories already and “Oh my word… is she really holding a powdered donut in her hand with a box of spinach??”  as you note the picture I’m using for todays post.

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Yes. That’s a powdered donut. Yes, I find them kinda tasty… occasionally.

 

Yeah, you aren’t seeing things and yes we are considering calories in todays post.

But first.. what IS a calorie?

You ever realize there are things you “know” about, but don’t necessarily “think” about?  Like, calories have been a part of our lives forever, but do you really sit around pondering them? Other than understanding to many of them make you fat and to few make you skinny?

Simplified, a calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition, calories refer to the energy people get from the food and drink they consume and the energy they use through physical activities.

Calories are essential for human health. The key for all of us is consuming the right amount for our health and daily activities.

There are “standard” guidelines put out suggesting what men and women need as an average each day. I  don’t entirely agree with that since I think caloric intake is really determined person to person based on many different factors including sex, age, size and activity level.

I may be a woman, but based on my physical training, there are probably many days I require more calories than a lot of men. I also know there are days I need less calories based on my daily activities. For me, not every day will have the exact same calorie need. Understanding your body, knowing what you do, and all other factors will play into what you need each day.

 

calorie

Other calorie facts….

People in the U.S. consume more than 11% of their daily calories from fast food.  😦

Foods high in energy and low in nutritional value provide empty calories. The parts of food that provide empty calories contain virtually no dietary fiber, amino acids, anti-oxidants, dietary minerals, or vitamins.

That being said… you shouldn’t be eating many of these foods on the daily…

Meaning, not all calories are created equal

Now back to that powdered donut….

I’m not ignorant of calories, I have a good rough estimate of what my body needs to operate on. I also understand that my caloric needs vary as to if I’m laying around for the day or if I’ve put in a lot of miles that morning on foot or bike, or both. I know that on given days my needs can look different. It’s been a road of learning on that issue.

I do not obsess over calories. I know and understand their place in my life but I don’t monitor and count them

No. Just no.

But one morning I had this revelation. I was stumbling around the kitchen and I wanted one of those donuts.

I like them, ok?  Don’t judge me.

There’s just something about their sweet powdery goodness that gets to me.  And I’ll tell you, not all are created equal either. I bought a different brand one time, took one bite of one, and didn’t touch them after that. Yuck.

But as I was drooling all over one eating it, I happened to actually glance at the calorie content on bag.

I mean, who really looks at that when they are stuffing donuts in their face?

Oh no, ignorance is bliss in that regard. Am I right my donut loving friends??

Well I couldn’t help but notice how it informed me that 4 of them would cost me….250 calories.

I did a double take. I thought my beady little eyes weren’t open fully yet and were misreading ’cause I’m old and that print isn’t what it used to be, ya know?

Nope, it was there big and bold. 250cal for 4 measly little delicious donuts.

I should mention, I never actually eat 4. Usually 2 is enough to satisfy that urge and I put them away. But it got me to thinking of foods I could have that delivered up a lot more volume and bang for my caloric buck.

I mean really, if you only get a certain number in a day, don’t you want them to have as much packed into them as possible?

Not all calories are created equal

notallcaloriesarecreatedequal

As mentioned above, empty calorie foods don’t contain the healthy nutrients your body needs. They are often high in fats ( not the good kinds) and sugars. Therefore, foods we eat each day should be nutrient dense and contain the calories we need for good health and sustaining our daily activities.

If I chose 4 small donuts at 250 calories, (130 of those coming from fat) that certainly isn’t going fill me up and will most likely cause my blood sugar to spike then I’ll come off the sugar rush.

Now consider my carton of spinach. A serving size is considered 3 cups. It contains 20 calories.

20 calories… for 3 cups.

I could honestly consume the whole carton for less than 100 calories.

Now you’re sitting there thinking… “spinach vs. donuts??” no contest… I’d take the donuts.

I can tell you this, when I use a lot of spinach with other veggies, whipped up with some eggs for breakfast not only is my appetite satisfied, I’m not hungry for a long time. I can consume plenty of food because ( not all calories are equal remember?) meaning all those veggies and protein fill me up and keep me satisfied for hours without any of that sluggish feeling you may get eating things like donuts or pancakes or cereals and for only a small fraction of the calories.

Not to mention all those veggies, fruits and protein deliver lots of good things to feed my body in a healthy way that gives me plenty of energy and keeps me decently lean.

It’s a win/win thing.

I’m not sure about you, but I’d like to eat a decent amount of food that fills me up, but isn’t calorie laden either.

So it’s a matter of choices….

Whether you’re out to lose some weight, or just maintain a healthy place where you are now it all comes down to the caloric choices we make each day.

You can eat a whole lot of nutrient dense foods that offer tons of good health benefits for your body, that really fill you up and will contribute to weight loss or you can choose foods that are higher calorie, less nutrients and will not help you lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle.

A few things to consider;

pay attention to those labels. Note the serving sizes and calories for serving. People as a rule greatly over estimate a correct serving size.

Consider things you can swap out for a lower and healthy calorie count.

Find foods you can eat and enjoy that give you the most bang for your calorie buck.

Have a good working idea of how many calories you personally need each day to maintain or to lose weight then choose your foods wisely to support your goals and daily activities.

And hey, remember, it’s ok to have that donut now and then. 😉

How aware of you are calories Do you think about them? Do you count them?

Fitness Goals, Do What You Can With What You Have

2-Do-what-you-can-with-what-you-have-where-you-are_-Theodore-Roosevelt

 

So it’s that time of night I should be doing stuff to get ready for bed, instead I have ideas bouncing around my head and I’m sitting down to write with a few pieces of Easter candy that somehow landed next to me and coffee to go with them.

Have mercy, I may never sleep tonight 😛

But when ideas come, it’s hard not to let them out. They tend to swirl around like the dog under your feet when you’re cooking chicken.

Obnoxious. In the way. Won’t leave you alone till you acknowledge them.

Welcome to the brain of a writer.

brain pic
Often the truth of the matter….

 

I’ve come to accept this, the ideas that come at any given moment. They can wake me up, leaving me scurrying for a note pad to hastily scratch out the idea with beady eyes seeing it later wondering who the hell wrote something so illegibly, or as mentioned  it can keep me up till I get it out of my head.

I’m feeling a bit victorious today. I finished off another one of my furniture project pieces and it is the sweetest thing ever. I mean, I’ve got a few others under me but I’m pretty sure this is currently my favorite.

No… no photos right now. You’ll have to check back and see those soon 😉

I will just say I love having a vision in my head and then having it all play in life is so satisfying. And when I look back at photos from day 1 when I dragged something home I’m always a bit shocked to see how much it really has changed.

Ok.. on with the show….

As things go with me, my ideas for writing come from all directions at any given time. Ideas come in subtle and not so subtle ways. Sometimes, it’s conversations with people that trigger it. When a similar thought comes from several people within the week, if I’m paying attention, I see it as a possible idea for a post.

Really, if it’s the same idea from a few people, there are most likely others out there who have thought or dealt with similar things.

For example; I’ve been encouraged to talk to some of my friends who are getting started in a fitness program. As I listened to what they were doing and heard the excitement in their voices there was the usual….

“Well, I’m not doing what you do.” “or  “I’m not where you are” or ” I can’t do what other people in class are doing”

No, they probably aren’t doing what I do.  And no, they can’t keep up with me or someone else who’s been at it awhile.

Here’s the deal….

First, you should never, ever compare yourself to someone else. On any level. And especially on a physical level.

I would never start someone off working out where I am now. I wouldn’t have started in the place I am years ago.

Where I did start was at my level of physical abilities at the time.

I did what I could with where I was at.

Truthfully, I was a middle aged, sedentary, slightly overweight woman at the time who had no previous physical training or athletic abilities to fall back on. My best course of action was having a smart plan that allowed my body to adapt and change with my activities.

Of course at the time, I didn’t really see myself as a future athlete.

Nope… never even saw that coming, but I’m really glad it did. The athletic lifestyle is my niche and it comfortably suits me now.

However what did I learn that I believe is important to anyone getting started on a fitness program is this…..

Do what you can with where you are.

I know that sounds cliché but the reality of it is true. You can’t show up at the gym and think you’re going to just start lifting heavy things or grinding out miles on the treadmill if your only activity has previously been sprinting to the ‘fridge.

Trying to keep up with others in a class or at the gym or even your neighbor isn’t only not fair to you, but not healthy for you either.

Doing more than your body is used to is a recipe for injury that will quickly derail your budding fitness plans.

Even now, I know I’m stronger and more fit than I’ve ever been and I don’t back down from much. I do however, know when I hit my limit of what I can handle. There’s a fine line between pushing out of my comfort zone where continued growth occurs, and not overstepping into the arena where my body hasn’t gone yet and needs time to grow into.

For instance I shared recently that I had “upgraded” to being able to use 25lbs to do curls with.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/03/16/strength-training-and-every-day-life/

Now for some of you, that’s baby weight. For a lot of you, you’ll never see it happen.

For me it represented another step to getting stronger. Could I have done that several years ago when I was starting out?

No. Way.

It’s taken time and practice and work. Lots of work. And my body has done what yours will do as well. It responds and it grows, changes and gets stronger and you can keep a forward moving process of improved strength and endurance.

Don’t apologize

Seriously. Don’t apologize for not being where someone else is.  We are all on our own journeys. Some of us are going to be a bit more focused and intense about getting better and improving.

**** cough, cough who me??***

Some will be happy with slow progress being content to rock along in a comfortable place. Some will form specific intentional goals while others will just take each day as it comes.

The important thing is that you are starting. Making a choice to get physically fit will have lots of rewards for a healthier life.

Better mental clarity, less body fat, an elevated mood, bright skin, a healthier more energetic body, improved lab results, or even learning a new activity all have big payoffs.

Learn from others

When I start into a new adventure, I am notorious for keying in on people who know more about it than I do. I then shamelessly pick their brains to gather useful information to add to my collection of growing education.

Thank goodness I’m not shy or socially awkward haha

Don’t be afraid to do that with people around you who have been on the journey longer. I love being able to offer advice and help to those seeking information on nutrition or who want to get physically active.

In both cases, I never suggest they start off with extremes.  A modest tweaking of the daily diet for awhile or encouraging them to get off the sofa for an evening walk is always a good place for anyone to start.

A few tips and tricks

Small steps are better than doing nothing. All of us have to start small.

Find something you want to do and will look forward to. This will help you stay committed.

Applaud your own efforts, really, it’s ok. You’re doing it!

Share your efforts or goals on social media. Really. You’ll find there will be a group who rises to the top who will cheer and encourage you. And you don’t know who you’ll be encouraging as well when you do.

Don’t.. don’t… over do. If walking 2 miles feels good, don’t think you’ll just do a few more. You don’t want to risk injury to a body that isn’t used to certain activities. Worse, when you are sore and can barely move the next day you’ll not want to do anything.

Small, slow, gradual increases will keep you moving and keep you from injury.

Focus just on you. Not the other girl or guy at the gym who appears to have it all together. Not the person who can do more reps in a class than you or the one who runs like lightening.

Focus on you.

Do what you can with where you are . Don’t be afraid to modify workouts if they are to hard. Don’t be afraid to walk if you can’t run. Don’t try and lift weight that could hurt you if lifting less can help you get stronger.

Be persistent and before you know it, you’ll be in a stronger, healthier, more fit place in your life.

Tell me… have you ever played the comparison game when it comes to exercise or fitness programs? What tips or tricks have worked to keep you on a fitness path?

Monday Musings

So it’s Sunday evening and I’m attempting to recuperate from a busy Easter weekend. I love having family around and all the controlled chaos that goes with grown kids, their spouses and grand babies. My daughter in laws birthday also landed on this weekend so it was just a whole lotta cooking and food and more food.

I know this.  My body just doesn’t dig the richer foods or extra it isn’t used to. I don’t mean I over eat, it’s just that nibbling on stuff never lets me be hungry. And of course, cooking, it  seems I’m sampling something, a hazard of the job I guess.

I was up late Saturday night assembling like… a zillion Easter baskets.  Yeah, all my kids are adults. Yeah, they all still expect Easter Bunny to deal up the goods. Last year I got all clever thinking I’d just do “couples” baskets for the married ones.

I almost had a revolt on my hands….sooooo… I didn’t do that this year 😛

But the candy… I’m always worried I won’t have enough and it will be midnight and I’ll be short on what I need and then I’ll find myself shaking old tic tacs out of my purse to fill in the gaps.

However, the opposite usually happens. I realize I have like 40lbs left after filling up everyone’s baskets ( this happens at Christmas too)

I’m so prepared. I’m turning into my mother.

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What do I DO with all of this now??

So yeah, adequate sugar. Am I the only one who has thought that candy companies have us over a barrel from Halloween through Easter? I still have Christmas candy for heavens sake.

I’m  rather sick of it all.

I think the first few pieces are really the best, after that it’s just, well eaten ’cause it’s around. When I hold out and don’t have candy for awhile, especially chocolate, those first little pieces are always like euphoria.

Admit it, I’m right aren’t I?

Of course Easter morning always starts with homemade yeast cinnamon rolls.. if I’m lucky I get one to chase along with my coffee while I’m doing a hundred other things. My sons will arm wrestle for the last one in the pan….

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Who needs canned rolls??

Last year, I made beautiful cupcakes that were loaded with an obscene amount of cream cheese frosting in happy spring colors. Needless to say, the fam was asking if they were making an appearance again….

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Yeah, when I’m not running, cycling, writing, or flipping antique furniture, I love making pretty things

 

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An Easter tree ’cause…why not?

Anyway, overall, I’d say it was a successful Easter weekend. I made those amazing carrots again and I’ll add recipe at the end. I shared it in my spotlight on carrots post, if you missed it, find it here.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/03/02/spotlight-on-carrots/

I’m just ready to get back to eggs and veggies and zero sugar. What about you?

In other news of the week….

Kinda stoked over finishing the little 1930’s waterfall vanity I picked up a month ago. I really wanna post like….80 pics… but I’ll try and limit myself here haha

 

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Say hello to Belle. This is what she looked like when I dragged her home. I love the hardware on it as well as the decorative design that is still in amazingly good condition.
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Look at the original wheat design on vanity, it’s on handles too.
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Here’s Belle in her finished glory 🙂 I cleaned up handles and I always try to maintain what is “original” to piece, like the wheat design. The crisp colors compliment it so nicely
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Even after cleaning the inside of drawers, they were still a bit crusty. So, some pretty paper took care of that issue. You can see dovetailed joints of drawers.

Belle was another one of those “better idea” projects someone had. As you can tell they had sanded top down but didn’t progress further than that.  It also had a broken drawer with a missing piece. It didn’t stop me from dragging it home. Hubby is pretty amazing and actually cut a fit a perfect piece to rebuild drawer. He also did the dovetailing on it too. He never ceases to amaze me and what he can do. I do like to maintain as much as possible on a piece, but sometimes human “help” or just time ( at close to 90 years old it can have some issues that need a current fix to make it usable again)

I’m so happy with how it came out. This is a piece I’m selling and hope finds a happy home to love her. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to watch something old and tired, come to life again.

I have a couple other pieces on the verge of being revealed too. Like my sad, pathetic 10.00 table. Talk about someone’s “better idea” project. Poor thing.

I’ll keep you posted 😉

So my battery also decided to start dying in my phone….

I hadn’t planned on a new phone last week but long story short, it was more practical to do that than attempt to get the battery out of my not so very old phone to have a new one put in.  The upside to it? It does take some amazing photos ( as you can see with my Easter and cupcake pics and the pics of Belle)

Given I do photos for my blog, ( tell me you appreciate them!) and will be posting pics of my flipped furniture to sell, and well hey, selfies too ya know? ‘Cause I’m like “one of those people” haha

The phone is a definite bonus to also being able to communicate with people who want me.  Imagine that.

I never really thought much about how much I use my phone for when I’m out on the go. I ran into Starbucks for a coffee and was like…” Ah.. no phone. No app. No pay.”  I had to use my bank card/ aka cash.  So many other ways I use it that I became aware of not having it for awhile.  It’s weird how dependent we become on stuff like that, isn’t it?

And finally, how about some food?

I made a few new recipes this weekend I’ll share with you that were the bomb. Find them below….

I used this carrot recipe at lunch. I didn’t have maple syrup this time so I drizzled a little honey on them and it was just as tasty….

https://www.southyourmouth.com/2015/10/southern-style-green-beans-potatoes.html#_a5y_p=4748504

The fresh green bean recipe with red potatoes and crisp bacon bites was rather yummy. But the best part was the delicious chocolate cake I made for my daughter in laws birthday.

You just can’t go wrong with chocolate cake. It’s like… heaven. This recipe was so moist and the frosting was the kind you just wanted to slather all over you.

https://www.averiecooks.com/2017/05/best-triple-chocolate-layer-cake.html

Just note, I realized after I was starting the cake, it wasn’t a triple layer cake, only a 2 layer cake. It was really good though so I might overlook that 😉

We topped it off with coffee ice cream making it a perfect dessert, or so we believed.

And a last one… who doesn’t love a good roast? Who doesn’t love not having to labor forever over it? I used this recipe for Friday night dinner and it was amazing. The meat just fell apart. I thickened the broth right in crock pot and let it simmer a bit to make a gravy.

There were no left overs.  And once again, I’ll stress, with the beautiful weather and longer days, I want to be outside, not having to spend tons of time on food prep. Crockpot meals are where it’s at.

ok so share… how was your week? Do you use crockpots? if so, any favorite meals? How was your Easter?

 

 

Spotlight On Avocados

Todays healthy food spotlight is on the not so beautiful to look at avocado. But hey, don’t judge a book by it’s cover ( uh, you shouldn’t be judging anyway 😉 ) because lurking underneath it’s dark blackish rough exterior is a whole lotta creamy, delicious goodness going on inside.

A long time ago, I used to think they were one of those forbidden type foods I should only eat in a sparse and occasional way.  Then I started getting healthy and got into running and what not… the rest is history… but anyway… somewhere in there…. I got invited to be in a fitness challenge ( and got grief from some people cause I guess I was considered a bit to…uh…fit.. to be in the challenge) it was a 90 day thing that involved Crossfit and the last 30 days we had to commit to doing the whole Paleo gig. I figured I could do anything for 30 days and informed them, I would be going back to my Greek yogurt when it was over. (cause they totally eliminate the dairy food group)

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Guacamole anyone?

 

I’m such a rebel.

It should be noted as well I was training for my second half marathon at the time. It should also be noted there were times I thought I’d die of hunger or fear I didn’t have enough energy to drag my carcass back after a run.  THIS is when I learned about the lovely benefits of the avocado. They encouraged you to eat them as heartily as they encouraged bacon. It should be mentioned, I tried to limit the bacon stuff.

So I pretty much learned to eat avocado like, all the time in that 30 day challenge.  And I learned it’s really, really good for you.

If you wanna read about my (brief) time doing Paleo, find my post here  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/06/08/my-experience-with-the-paleo-movement/

First things first

Do you know an avocado is actually a fruit?  Yes, really. I wouldn’t mess with you and lead you astray. The avocado is a nutrient dense fruit, not a vegetable.  And did you know the avocado is actually a berry! Botanically they are a large berry containing a single large seed.   Learn to think of them as a fruit.

For those of us in the south who enjoy them all smooshed up with spices in the form of a dip called guacamole and a side of crispy corn chips, we might have to stretch our minds more to consider them as food source for sweet things used in smoothies or desserts.

Avocado also goes by an alias…..  alligator pear……. so there’s that.

Nutrition 101

Of course you’re gonna want to know all the healthy benefits of the avocado.  Avocados are nutrient dense! They are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium . They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.

One fifth of an avocado contains 64 calories, almost 6 grams of fat, 3.4 carbs, less than a gram of sugar, and almost 3 grams of fiber. Although most calories come from fat, don’t shy away from that! The fats in avocados are the good healthy kind that keep you full and satiated. When you consume fat, your brain receives a signal to turn off your appetite. Eating fat slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, which helps to keep sugar levels in the blood stable.

avocado

Fat is essential for every single cell in the body. Eating healthy fats supports skin health, enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and may even help boost the immune system.

Avocado also promotes a healthy heart by helping to lower cholesterol, it’s good for vision, and it can also support bone health as it’s high in Vitamin K with a half an avocado offering 25% of the daily recommendation. This nutrient is often overlooked but is essential to bone health.

It has also been shown to protect against some types of cancers and protect against miscarriages as folate is extremely important for a healthy pregnancy.

With it’s high fiber content it can also aid in digestion and prevent constipation.

They offer an energy boost.

Adding an avocado to your lunchtime meal may help you avoid the 3pm slump! Of all three macronutrients (carbs, protein, fats), fat is the most concentrated source of energy for our bodies.

Healthy fats provide a slow, steady stream of energy so you can power right through the workday. In addition, when they’re eaten along with a carbohydrate, they slow the digestion of the carbs, meaning you won’t suffer the energy-zapping sugar crash that typically follows simple carbs like white bread.

Of course all those wonderful nutrients are great for making your skin and hair look healthy and the anti oxidants as you know, are the best anti aging tool you can utilize.

Ok got it? The avocado, like all the other fruits and veggies we’ve talked about is awesome for your health.

Can we eat now?

There isn’t much to prepping an avocado. Just slice its firm skin, cut in half and like magic, it’s wonderful green creamy goodness awaits.

A avocado is ripe when you can gently press into the skin. If it’s hard it will need to sit for a few days to ripen. Soft ones are great for dips while firmer ones are good for sandwiches or salads.

I love avocado on toast for a healthy quick breakfast. I’ve also used it as a substitute for mayo in my chicken or tuna salad.

Avocado is almost always present on my breakfast plate. It is rich and satisfying alongside my eggs and other veggies.

How about a couple tasty recipes to experiment on?

 

 

Oh… and something amusing I found in my search… a comment that said “how do I eat avocados if I don’t like them”

Uh… just don’t eat them. Haha 😛

If you want to learn more about foods that are good for you, be sure to check out all my other “spotlight” posts.

Now tell me, do you like this tasty fruit?  If so, how do you eat it?