Monday Musings

So I’m gonna start today off with a rant. Why not. And you might laugh or be surprised when I tell you the rant is over…. donuts.

Yes. Donuts.

I don’t really eat them much, rarely actually.

But I do have a little thing for powdered sugar donuts. I’ve talked about them before.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/09/22/food-choices-deprivation-or-empowerment/

Sometimes in the mornings I just want one or two. That’s it.

I don’t binge on them or eat a half a bag. I have the discipline/self control/ whatever you want to call it to have a taste and put them away.

In fact unless some of the others who live in my household eat them, I will often throw half a bag away when they’ve sat for awhile. ( here’s a nod to all the preservatives that keep them alive and well haha)

Anyway….

Since I am selective in how I eat them I expect them to be good, ya know? With the most recent purchase it appears they have somehow changed up the donut recipe, and not for the better.

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Posing with a bag of defective donuts. Why am I smiling???

The donuts are like… sponges. Chewy sponges. Sugar coated chewy sponges.

They are awful. Hideous. Not worth wasting calories on.

I’m contacting the company and asking them what they’ve done to my little white, fluffy tasty treats. I’m going to whine and cry and ask them… why?? Why did you go and mess with a good thing?

Incase you don’t know, the donut should be rather light, fluffy, and kinda melt in your mouth with the powdered sugar.

It should not be like chewing through a kitchen sponge.

I guess that’s one way to break me from them, right?

**sniff, sniff**

I’m done whining now….

Ok maybe I don’t really need them after my doctor appointment this past week.

Yes, everything is good.  I don’t talk much about this but I have hypothyroidism.

I really never mention it ’cause 1) I don’t want to be defined by anything and 2) it’s not a big deal to me as I see my doctor yearly to monitor my TSH levels and I take my meds like a good girl.  I also think eating healthy and exercise help as well.

But besides my check up on my thyroid  he runs a whole panel of blood tests. He got to my cholesterol and said “Your HDL ( the good kind of cholesterol) is 79.”

It should be mentioned here that the highest level the lab has as, I guess, an “optimal” level is 39mg.

He laughs and calls me an over achiever and then says “it’s all that exercise you do that drives it up”

Consistent, daily, vigorous exercise is the best way to help your good cholesterol levels. So if you struggle with cholesterol issues, you might want to consider trying to get more purposeful movement into your week.

It’s not only good for your cholesterol, but all of your body as well.

In my furniture adventures…..

 

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An old window screen with a few additions

 

Ok this isn’t like, furniture, but it is old and crusty. Look how cute this old window screen turned out with some additions to it 🙂

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Vintage buffet

I did score this vintage buffet this week. Other than some veneer damage on top ( ugh, which I’m removing) it won’t have much repair work to start transformation.

20180607_121008Actually this little piece will be adorable as a coffee bar or a entry way piece. There are so many ways to repurpose  buffets.

In the past few weeks I’ve finished off a few chairs and a cute table. I have several things on the list for the upcoming week, including the buffet.  Hubby has told me I get nothing else… but he accompanied me on a run for some stuff this past weekend haha

Seriously. I’m so grateful for how he supports all my craziness and adventurous ideas 🙂

I promise a peek at the buffet when it’s all done.

When I’m not doing furniture….

I’m slowly working my training back up in preparation for the duathlon later this year. I think if there’s one thing I’ve had to learn as an athlete is the ebb and flow of a training season. It is SO hard to give up a high level of fitness, to be at a peak, and then come off that and have to start building it again.

Not that I’m “out of shape”  not even being in peak condition I know I can still do more physically than most people. I have a good physical “base” to build on as I start my training. I just kinda wish I could always stay at that level although I know my ( or any athletes) body isn’t designed to always be in such peak condition.

So I’ll start increasing my training, building each week, and celebrating as I conquer new goals.

I’ll start with a brick session today  ( bike/ run) and gradually add  those workouts in twice a week. There will be specific long rides and on foot, mile repeats working on kicking up my speed a little.

And in the mix, I’ll keep up strength training to keep my body strong and balanced for my on road activities and because I like having some muscles too 😛

I’ve written a couple posts on that… find them here…….

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2016/03/03/muscles-are-for-girls/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/05/10/menopause-muscles-and-middle-age/

Seriously though, I feel so alive when I’m out on the road whether I’m running or cycling. I’m ready to work hard and enjoy the fruit of my labors 🙂

I’m ready to take on this tough duathlon again.

Now… have I ever mentioned……

My son is in the ball python business.  Yeah. Snakes. Check out this little baby, and it literally is a baby at only about 12 days old.

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He’s being a little shy and hiding out ….

Oh no! Have I creeped you out now????

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Getting a little more adventurous now….
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I think he likes me now.

 

I may have just lost half my readers showing these photos haha

Evidently, according to my son, ball pythons are big business now days. While I was letting this little guy crawl around he casually informs me it’s a 1,500.00 snake.

Yikes!

And you may now have assessed that I’m not a girl who runs from snakes.

Here’s the deal, after raising three boys, I’ve learned to roll with just about anything… it definitely has made me a stronger woman on a lot of levels.

If you’re still with me….

tell me if you’re someone who gets creeped out over snakes or if you find them interesting?

Are you sympathetic over my donut plight ? Have you ever been disappointed in some particular food you find enjoyable to have it not measure up?

Have you tried any new foods or recipes this week ? Summer heat is in full swing and I am more about eating light foods and plenty of salads. Do you have any light, cool recipes you prefer ?

Do you have an upcoming event you are training for?

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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?

 

 

Monday Musings

Wow.  Is it Monday again? Time for another edition of Monday Musings and what not in my life.

Time.

Ever notice how funny that is? It’s a commodity we all have and are all given the same amount of each day. Sometimes it seems to crawl by, like when you’re stuck in some god awful boring meeting. A few months ago I was in such a one and I felt myself settling into that “to comfortable zone” as in, if I didn’t start moving around or do some active deep breathing I was going to take an unscheduled nap.  I glanced at my watch and scrolled to my heart rate.

49.

My heart was getting just as comfy and relaxed as the rest of my body haha

But then there are occasions when time seems to fly like when you’re with people you really like or are doing something fun. Time then moves all to swiftly.

Deadlines make time seem to move faster.

Being stuck behind a driver who doesn’t know where the gas pedal is makes time crawl by.  😛

I think, as we get older we are much more mindful of it than when we lived careless days as children.

Speaking of time, it makes me think of seasons. This in turn makes me hopeful that spring is in the near distant future. It’s been a whole lotta grey, misty, dreary, foggy and overall gross days here in the happy land of south Texas this winter season.

I’ve tried not to think that last February I was running in shorts a lot and by March was rocking a decent enough tan that people thought I was using a tanning booth.

That. Will never happen.

I assured a lady my golden skin was a by product of spending time outdoors on bike or foot, not a tanning bed.

All that to say the other day I actually got to hit the road in shorts and I forgot the pure freedom of running with less stuff hanging off me. It was glorious and reminded me that sun and daily sweat sessions will be here before I know it.

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Hello sunshine! What a wonderful treat

I’m not whining. Oh no, I’d never be a whiner, but it will be nice to really start logging some miles again and not have to worry about safety issues ’cause of fog and sloppy roads.

If I complain when the humidity cranks up again and its nothing but sun and I’m sweating out the weight of a small child on a run, you may nicely remind me I asked for it.

In the context of time management

When I hit the floor in the morning my mind is already spinning for what I’m doing in the day ahead. I sometimes worry if I have ADD as I can be wanting to do ALL of my projects, errands, and necessary house requirements at the same time.

What I have started doing is writing down all the things I want to do and picking one or two in my day alongside everything else to get it done. I try and get the necessary, not usually my most fun things done, ( like cleaning) out of the way then I can work on my fun projects.

Like my furniture shenanigans.

Last week took me into the big city to this seedy little dive in pursuit of a 1930’s china cabinet I had spotted online.

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Yep, that’s my big game in the back 😉

 

 

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Here it is in all it’s glorious disarray…waiting to be transformed.

Oh, so when I’m at this little hole in the wall shop which, really, was a time warp of treasures from decades, and decades gone by ( I am planning a field trip back  there) the only person working was this short little older lady wheezing and huffing telling me she should probably be in the hospital ’cause she might have pneumonia.

WHAT?!

Of course I’m thinking, “she’s the only one here who is supposed to help me get this out and loaded??” She mentions having a dolly, I ask her to get it, thanking God at times like this I’m strong and capable and I wheel it out making jokes I should get more of a discount since I’ve gotta load it too. I did get them to drop it 35.00 😉

Anyway, she was able at least to help lift the other side with me into my vehicle.

Yesterday I spent more time prepping it for it’s transformation. Sanding, cleaning, dusting, digging (leaves??) out from under the drawer, doing a little repair work ( the decorative wood in door needs replaced. Once upon a time it had glass but I’m not putting glass back in it) removing the hardware etc. it’s so close to starting the fun part.

But before we leave this topic… I also got the cutest little cupboard… I tried to leave it behind I just couldn’t. I managed to get it for half of what it was marked 😉

It looked like this…..seriously though… how CUTE is it??

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How sad IS it? The obvious before pic.

 

It didn’t take long for me to catch a vision for it. I finished it today. I am totally, completely in love with it.

What do you think about it’s make over?

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The ugly duckling transformed

 

I will share some more adventures on this topic in upcoming weeks 😉 I have a couple pieces in the works.

 

In some final musings…

Have  you ever wondered why foods you thought were so good when you were a  kid, don’t really taste good at all when you grow up?

My youngest son had brought home a half gallon of premade chocolate milk one day.  I never drink chocolate milk unless I’ve come off a long hard workout then it’s a delicious instant recovery drink. But I always make it, you know with milk and chocolate syrup… yeah I’m bad.

Anyway, I opened the fridge and there it sat… and I thought …heck yeah.. I’m just gonna have some.

The first chug it was like…. ACK! It tasted like and reminded me of, the way the school cafeteria had smelled.

Which was not good, I might add.

Weird, I know. That chug was all I got in.

Then there’s things like fish sticks. boxed macaroni and cheese, most cheap sugary cereals, and bad thin crust boxed pizza.

Ok true and well, I’ve grown up, but I think I really enjoyed that as a kid. Thank goodness my tastes have changed.

My kids are adults… they complain since I “got healthy” I don’t buy fun foods anymore. This translates to ” crappy, walk in pantry or go to freezer and grab pre made foods and snacks with zero nutritional value”.

They can go buy their own minced, diced, chopped, prebaked fish sticks and what not..

Is it just me? What about you? Have you left foods behind that aren’t seemingly as tasty as they once were?

In the way of food… this week coming up we will be looking at healthy cheap meals, and of course a few spotlights on various fruits and veggies (’cause ya’ll seem to dig those posts), fitness, and as always a little sassy, cheeky attitude to go along with it.

You’ll just need to check back in here and see what’s up 😉

Now tell me…

What are some favorite foods that hang on from childhood? Do you have any new healthy foods you’ve tried this week?

Monday Musings

Good morning beautiful people! If you’re reading this, then it means my mission was successful on Sunday night of actually sitting down and churning something out for you while you toss down your coffee and eat a stale bagel. Welcome to my Monday musings.

I can’t contemplate the week ahead without feeling some level of success over the past week.

A good week back on with my workout schedule and getting to a more focused eating plan. I just feel better when I’m in my normal routine after all the holiday festivities.

Speaking of that…. am I the only one who ever wonders… does anyone REALLY use those little replacement bulbs for those strings of lights? I have like… 10,000 of them. I can literally guarantee you I have zero patience with the idea of going through bulb after bulb trying to find the dead culprit.

None. Nada. Zilch.

I just wanna meet someone who might actually have the skill level and the patience of multiple saints to sit and do it…

It’s not this chick.

Oh. And I finished getting all of my Christmas decorations down and put away so there’s that. I’m just bummed when it’s all taken down. It looks so empty and non-festive. If you read my Christmas post you’ll know I enjoy decorating a little…ha.. well…a lot….  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/12/08/the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year/

I did a few new things this year I loved so much. They were of course, the last things to go.

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I’m still having coffee in my fun Christmas mugs though.. ’cause why not ?

 

 

However, once it’s all put away I do enjoy a fresh start and re-doing things and changing the house around. Sometimes, this confuses hubby who is a creature of comfortable habit. I’m sure though, he will adjust 😉

I got to work in the Batcave today ( my newly married son’s room he’s now vacated) so I’m excited over finally getting to do something fun with it that doesn’t reflect “20something bachelor guy lived here”

I’m also chomping at the bit to get back to a new interest I picked up at the end of the year… chalk painting. I’m a little bit hooked on it now that I have a couple projects under me (like my bathroom cabinets that look stunning) and I now have a list of things to do.

Seriously, that paint can make the ugliest thing ever look rather amazing. Perhaps I’ll do a fun lifestyle post on it sometime.

in other news….

my blog for my keto- dash diet review I wrote last year is still trending at the top of Google search so there’s that.  Seriously, ya’ll out of millions of  postings on this topic I’m currently #2… actually it bounces between there and #1 but I’m good with both….so I think it’s just a bit super cool.

You can find it here if you’ve not seen it…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/07/21/keto-and-dash-diet-review/

I’m working on a book review for the new release of the paperback “Lean Habits”  which will be coming to you soon.. right here… so hang around for that.. or you can read my first review while you wait…  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/10/07/lean-habits-for-weight-loss-book-review/

Pinterest is at the top of my focused list so I’ve been pinning and learning more about working that avenue. Find me there as well and follow my healthy food boards. I’ve got some tasty things pinned.. check it out… @sassyfitnesschick  If you’ve got any good blogging tips with it, offer them up, please.

Speaking of tasty. I’m doing a fun little project on my social media experimenting with different veggie recipes with the hope someone might want to eat more of those yummy morsels. On my experiment list is cauliflower.  I know you’ve heard of all the crazy things you can do with it besides you know, eat it in it’s given form 😉  I decided once and for all I’m going to see if it can really be used to make pizza crust or my new interest.. cheesy breadsticks???

SAY WHAT?!

I’m gonna be your lab rat and will report to you my findings.  I will admit, at this point, to being rather skeptical. I guess we’ll see.

Regarding my athletic shenanigans, I’m pretty sure I did my coldest ride, ever, on Saturday.

By that I mean it was in the low 30’s with a wind chill dipping into the mid 20’s. That mind you, was if you were standing still, NOT flying down the road at fast speeds riding a bike in it like some crazy fool.

I only did 13 miles but it was better than nothing and anyway by then my extremities were numb so that made it a lot of fun too.

Coffee was really…really… good after that… but when isn’t it?

And in regards to coffee.

Topping my list of new favorite things for the week, Starbucks is featuring their Blonde roast right now and I’m kinda into it. Have you tried it?

And speaking of my lovely bike. I ordered a new saddle that should be here any day and a fun bag to stash my random stuff in while I sail down the road… like my camera for those on the run selfies.

Because #socialmedia, right? Keep up with me there on Instagram and Pinterest as well as my Sassyfitnesschick page on Facebook.

Now here’s to Monday and a week of new opportunities!

 

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Hello Monday!

Veggie Tales

I will admit this publicly. Maybe I shouldn’t.  You might be shocked.

But I’m semi-horrified when someone tells me they don’t eat veggies or don’t like them.

I’m like… “What did your mother DO to you??”

Oh, I get it. As parents we do try. I had one son who never really got into the veggie thing even though I fed him assortments of veggies as an infant (even then he wasn’t crazy over them) he has select ones he eats now, but at least he eats them.

As my kids grew up I made sure to present them with all varieties of food. I wanted them to at least try it before pronouncing they didn’t like it. I wasn’t a member of the “clean your plate” club like I grew up in but they did need to sample it.

My Mom used to delight in telling a story how I wanted scrambled eggs for breakfast but then changed my mind and didn’t want to eat them. When I stubbornly refused ( ah I was a bit head strong even then 😉 ) she evidently kept them around….

All. day. long.

They made an appearance at lunch… to which I refused to eat them… they were again brought out later.

Isn’t that child abuse or something ?! I had to take her word for it as I guess the trauma of having to see eggs that were becoming older and older by the moment was somehow blocked from my mind.

It’s a miracle I still eat eggs.

Needless to say, I didn’t grow up being allowed to be a picky eater and I was offered a wide variety of foods. It’s pretty much how my kids have been raised.

So when I’m confronted with the revelation someone doesn’t eat them ( more common than you may know)  I’m honestly floored.

Upon deeper probing sometimes that person reveals that the only veggies they may have known come from a can or they would be so steamed/overcooked by mom they turned into mush.

ok… well maybe then I’d be down on veggies too.  I’ve been in numerous buffet or banquet lines where the veggies in the pan were loose memories of what they used to be.

But beautiful, colorful, fresh produce?

Crisp green veggies perfectly steamed or better yet, roasted? There is no comparison in how delicious they are.

Roasting veggies has to be by far, my favorite way to cook and eat them.

I can eat my body weight in roasted veggies.  You think I’m joking….

Roasting is such a simple quick way to prepare them while not killing off the nutritional value. I usually use some olive oil, lots of cracked pepper and some sea salt. Roast at about 450 and stir occasionally to let them crisp up.

Pure. Heaven.

Ok I’m giving you a cheat sheet for common ones so you have no excuse to not try them 😉

roasted veggie

Ok maybe you like steamed. Some veggies are lovely when steamed till crisp tender. Steaming also helps retain all of the vitamins and minerals present in them.

steaming pic
Some humor for you ’cause well.. it’s how I roll 😉

And to help you out… here’s a short list of steaming, boiling, and for the always handy micro 😉

veggie-cooking-cheat-sheet

And for the record, all of those will roast up quite nicely too.

One of my favorite roasted combos is sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts.

Ok… stop turning up your nose and making gagging noises.  I hear you.

Seriously, I’ve turned my kids into brussel sprout eaters by roasting them. If the only memories you have are of Sunday dinner and grandma cooking the life out of them and watching them roll around your plate…well.. leave those memories behind and get in the here and now.

The sweetness of the potatoes blends so wonderfully with the sprouts… yummy. Let them cook long enough to get crispy with the potatoes.

I have some friends who chop up a little bacon and cook them together. Now if you go this route be mindful your also adding additional fat to otherwise healthy veggies…but it is really good 😉

Roasted cauliflower is another favorite. In fact, I have to watch myself ’cause I’ll just nibble at it while I’m finishing dinner then wonder.. “didn’t I make more of this?” haha

It’s another kid favorite too. I’ve now gone to making two heads when I do it to ensure everyone can have what they want. Not only that, leftovers make great additions to my salad lunch the next day.

Ok maybe now I should try and sell you on WHY you should be consuming vast quantities of these.

benefits-of-specific-foods

Keep in mind, this is no where near a comprehensive chart.

Veggies not only fill you up for minimal calories, they deliver incredible health benefits to your body in the way of vitamins and minerals.

They can help protect/prevent many diseases.  You can eat wheelbarrow loads of them and not worry about calories.

They do amazing things for your skin, hair, and many offer anti-aging benefits as well as help keep you lean.

A diet high in veggies/fruits also ensures that your internal systems all work regularly and properly.

Eating plenty of veggies also gives you energy and keeps you from that sluggish feeling of to many higher carb foods in a meal.

Listen to me. Just eat your veggies.

Your body wants them. Your health will improve with them. It will help you lose weight. It will help with the appearance of your skin and hair. Oh yeah, and remember me mentioning many have anti-aging properties?

How many reasons do you need to eat them? All you need to do is be willing to be open to try some new things and experiment. If you make a valiant effort with something you don’t like, move on to the next one.

Has it ever made you wonder why there are sooooo many veggies and fruits? It’s because we were made to eat a whole lot of them AND they are amazingly good for us!

veggie tales clip

Do you have favorite veggies? How do you cook them? Share your veggie tales with me 😉

The Weird And Wonderful Things About Runners

So I haven’t written any posts on the wonderful act of running lately.  Not that it hasn’t been on my mind OR something I’ve been slowly crawling back into.

I have been back on the road. I’ve been juggling cycling and short runs. In fact, I’ll be doing it very soon this morning.

Last week, I did my first double digit miles in…well… I can’t honestly tell you.

10 miles.  I felt glorious in that tired, exhilarating way that a long run can make me feel. Especially when I’ve not been able to for so long.

I wondered taking off… can I still DO this ?!

Over the past year or so I’ve been walking a fine line with an Achilles issue of doing enough but not doing to much to send me horribly backwards.  I’m not fully fixed yet but I’ve come to a careful balance of “if I don’t feel any worse, it’s a win” .

Actually, I’ve been using a method that is recommended by many running experts which is a run/walk method. It’s great for a newbie to start getting acclimated to running and protecting from over injuries of doing to much to soon.

The same theory works for a wounded runner easing back into it. The idea being not to over do and let your body adjust to the rigors of being on the road again.

If you’ve never done it, it works something like this. You might start off with a strong, brisk walk and do that for awhile, then start adding in maybe, 10-15 second running intervals, then drop to brisk walking again. You just continue to alternate this through your miles. Of course, the plan is a gradual increase in running time.

Mentally, I have to really keep myself in check from not letting myself run to fast or to long. It’s hard when I know what I’ve done and what I’m capable of doing and keep it reined in to my current needs.

All that to say…as a distance runner… it’s hard to not long for that time on the road. It becomes a craving.

distance running

Last week I had gone on a 9 mile jaunt and wondered why I had not just gone the full 10 ( again, baby steps) I know mileage increase needs to occur in small increments to not have set backs or to make injury worse.

Actually I finished with my Garmin saying 9.10… which left me with that thought.. why not have just finished it out to 10?

It’s how runners think.. what’s another mile?

Runners are a weird, wonderful lot.

I never thought that till I became one. It’s funny how you start thinking about things. How you look at things.

Things that start to feel normal to you, but if you speak it out loud to non-runners, they give you that raised eyebrow look or simply tell you that you’re crazy.

Right there is one of those very thoughts…

When you tell a runner they are “crazy” it’s like, one of the coolest compliments you can give us. It means.. you are insane and I’d never even think of doing such a thing but I really admire you for your craziness.

crazy

Mileage. If we are coming down the home stretch to where we will finish our run and realize our Garmin is telling us we have only a quarter mile or less to roll to the next mile, you can bet we are gonna make that next mile roll over.

One does not simply stop running that close to hitting the next mile 😉

We spend more on our running shoes than anything else we put on our feet.

It’s the truth. Not only do we spend more, we will wear those suckers out faster than any other shoes we put on our feet.  And we go right back and repeat the process. If we have a brand and model we love we look forward to and anticipate when they newest model will come out.

Next to shoes, it’s clothes. They can be bright, colorful and sometimes very noticeable. We often wear minimal clothes. Running, that’s hard work and gets your inner heater going. The clothes can be as pricey as the shoes.

running clothes

We view injuries as a total inconvenience to our running schedule, training and future plans instead of worrying about how we may have beat ourselves up.

We view hills as something to overcome and rule over.  If we’re worth our salt, they become a part of our training ground.

hill

I caught myself in this one the other day talking to my husband about my recent 10 miles out…

” My run was only 10 miles”

It’s like… as a runner your thinking shifts and you see some things as perfectly normal and no big deal…

Then it hit me.. 10. Miles.

That is a flipping long way.

True, I’ve gone further. The half, full and ultra marathon were definitely lots longer distances.

10 miles during training for those events was nothing.

But when you casually talk about a cool 10 miles before breakfast…. you realize…you’re weird and that normal people aren’t out doing that.

Your foam roller becomes a new best friend. Or in my case, I now roll out on a pvc pipe. It’s a wonderful “hurts so good” feeling sometime. But oh so necessary to keep muscles loose and pliable.

Some nights my evenings are so exciting watching a favorite tv show and rolling.

Runners willingly pay money to run long distances, in all kinds of weather (cause when you’ve already paid, you run.) We usually get a t shirt, a cool medal to add to our collection and a banana at the end. We push ourselves and if we’re lucky we set a new PR and walk away with the bragging rights for having done it.

banana

Speaking of weather. Yeah, we run in pretty much whatever.  Yeah, we hear you use the adjective “crazy” on us again.

We can’t explain it to you… really… we can’t.

But there is something about running when the weather is less than perfect and you’re out in the elements working against them that makes you feel like… a beast.

rain

It’s exhilarating.  Trust us. It is.

And miles… It’s how our brains now work. Every where we go we measure things in distance of miles. We think about it in terms of speed and arriving to our destination. We know miles to and from our house, around the block, or our favorite running place. Actually, we could probably tell you to the tenth of a mile the distance.

It’s sick. I know. I’m pretty sure our brains go through a rewiring process or something.

Math. I’ve never been into math. I think it’s boring. I never got the complex stuff in school.  I love words more. Yet, here I am in sports that have me thinking of times and splits and mentally measuring pace and distance to finish when I want to finish. It’s constant, ongoing, mental math.

Oh the irony.

People. Wonderful, supportive people.   The running community is made up of the friendliest, most supportive people I’ve encountered.

Fast, slow or in between we cheer each other on, celebrating each others successes and personal bests. Encouraging when we get derailed and set back. Offering help and advice on training, recovery etc.

Weird and wonderful.

But hey… don’t just take my word for these things. There’s always room for one more runner. Come join us 🙂

 

The Joys Of Raising Boys

Parenting-Boy-Both-Fun-Challenging
For the record… these aren’t mine 😉

 

 

I perched on the metal bleacher shielding my eyes from the sun, my gaze fixed out on the field.  I listened to the random chatter of parents and children around me. It was a typical spring night and I was watching an…exciting…. or should I say… amusing… game of T-Ball.

However, it was the tall. good looking, lean man I watched prowling the field actively talking to the small creatures at his knees.

It wasn’t my son I was watching play ball, but my grandson, and my son was the Coach.

I got lost in thought wondering where time had gone and wasn’t it only yesterday I was the mom at the games with Goldfish crackers and juice boxes, with my other children running around with me ?

Actually, I was quite comfy being there in my “grandmother” role. It was nice to not have to juggle children, sloppy juice boxes or deal with crying babies.  It is true what they say about being a grandparent… it is fun in a very different way 😉

However, before I got to be a grandmother, I had to do my duties as a mom.

I was blessed, privileged and I guess special, to be able to have not one boy, but three.

Yes. Three.

By the time the third came along, I felt like a total pro with the whole boy thing. I didn’t know if I’d even be able to raise a girl ( side note, we did get some later from foster care, but that is for another post)

Anyway, son number one was a quiet, easy going, laid back kid. He just rolled with everything. He knew how to play and was easy to entertain. He was creative and smart. He wasn’t complicated or difficult.  He was my little buddy for 3 1/2 years before son number 2 came along.

Culture shock.

Why aren’t parents told this secret.. this dark truth…. ???

Perhaps if they knew families would only have one child.

What is it you may be wondering ?

Well when you’re inexperienced you have this weird, but unspoken idea,  the next child you create will be, well, like the first.

It somehow, never crosses your mind that the next one will be different.

Vastly. Different. Earth shakingly different.

When my second son didn’t waste any time getting into this world, I joked that he arrived with an attitude that was like…

“WHERE’S THE PARTY??!”

High octane, high energy, always with a thought or opinion, head strong, stubborn, driven to be successful, not settling for something when he knows he can do better. Social and out going, he doesn’t meet a stranger.  The two of us went through the fire and back many times as he grew up. I think because we are wired so much alike has something to do with it.  He is my male counterpart. There were tears and angst and some sleepless nights as we grew up.  (he is the one who is the Coach)

He was as different from my first as oil is from water.

He was the shopping cart in the store you had to always keep a firm hand on or it would go wildly careening off to the left into a display of Twinkies.

My parenting game just got challenged.

When we decided to plan our third and last child it was with the idea it was the last one regardless of what we were given. Since I was old school and like surprises, we never knew what we were having till they were born.

When our third entered the world, I realized I was now mom of three boys.  He was the exact image of his dad, my smallest baby, and adored by all of us. As the third in line, I guess he just adapted to life and learned to just roll along with whatever was going on. He was quiet, but engaging. He loved books ( I read to all of my boys)  I’d often find him in his room, with his fav books,  “reading” which was more like telling the story he remembered from the pictures.  He too, was fairly easy going but I’m not sure if child three just learns to be like that to keep up with everyone else.

Raising boys, in some ways, is a fairly easy task.

At a point, they refuse to let you put them in cute little clothes and opt for just jeans and t shirts. They typically don’t turn their nose up at what you might bring home, and they don’t have any sense of a fashion style.

They are simply, dressed.

Well, they are dressed most of the time. Hopefully, when they are outside they have clothes on, although at times, that was sketchy

There were those times… thank goodness we live in the country and didn’t have neighbors to really worry about 😛

As we moved through the early years of childhood, which seem now, to have been very, very simple times, we approached  the teenage years.. it wasn’t all bad… but there were times that were definitely a bit on the heart stopping edge.

I think what I loved about the teen years is the friends they brought home. Some came and went, others, I would often tease and ask if we were adopting them and were their papers in the mail yet ? Some literally moved in for periods of time.

They all knew how to eat 😉

My cookies never seemed to last long and dinner would need to be doubled up on.

They came in all types of dress and attire. When my oldest joined a band, I had more black leather, metal, chains, make up and boots in my house than a Hot Topic store.

My son taught me through that experience to never judge a book by it’s cover. Under those make up, leather and chain clad young men, were fun, entertaining and sweet souls.   Maybe that’s why today I’m attracted to, and enjoy people who are obviously different and push the envelope from the norm.

Raising boys not only meant plenty of food and treats, but experimenting in different sports along the way.

All three toyed in them. Only one I believe had a deep passion for it. My oldest ( in the band) leaned more into arts and didn’t just play music but was also a clever and creative artist.

We let them pursue what they found interesting, and hopefully find themselves in it.

We went through seasons of sports, skateboarding, all types of music, all styles of dressing as they matured, band concerts, game days etc…

Yet, in the mix of ball games, school, activities, friends, and daily life my sons grew up.

Sometimes I find myself marveling when they walk in a room… like…

“I made those beautiful creatures!”

As grown men now, I find myself in the same role, but different as well. I’m still mom. Still the one that will call them out on things or offer up my advice.

But I enjoy the friendships with them too. The talks over the table after dinner, the silliness they still deliver up or at times, the random off beat things they can say that make me laugh, the stories that are revealed to me from childhood ( you know…stuff that you don’t want your mom to know at that time? but now that you’re an adult you can share with her? )

Oh…some of that stuff that has been revealed… has chilled my blood… and I’ve had to remind myself that they are sitting there with me, safe.

Or things that they know among themselves but in some way, sought to protect me from.

Having sons means you have all of these “protectors”.  Which isn’t a bad thing.. and is often a sweet gesture.

Or when they come in and hug me… I’m tall… but they are a lot taller… there is something precious about those huge man hugs that I get now.

So I sit at times, lost in thought at the T Ball game, reflecting on life and raising boys and pondering how time seems to have moved oh so swiftly through those years.  I sit and watch, amused, often giggling at the antics of the kids on the field who are there to just have fun and enjoy life. They aren’t hung up on winning yet or overly competitive, they are mostly there for fun. They run and jump and play.  They have to be directed in what to do. My grandson is often happily skipping to the next base.

They all look forward to the treats that will come at the end of the game. They come flying into the dugout area, with their sweaty little faces eagerly looking up at the appointed mom who delivers them for the game. Treats in hand, they go scampering off to eat, run, and play with their friends.

Even with all the up’s and down’s that can come with raising  boys, the trials and difficulties,  laughter and tears, joys and frustrations, there is a beauty in all of it.

The beauty now of watching my grown son, with his son, and all of these pint sized creatures following him around as he works with them is priceless.

So I sit and I watch. I laugh and smile.

And I think…

I think how blessed I am to have been given such precious gifts in my sons and how fortunate I am to be able to watch my grandson… even if he is skipping and chasing butterflies out on the field as he heads to the next base.