Monday Musings

Happy Monday boys and girls! For me it’s Sunday evening as I write this and my body is in that happy, tired kind of place. Tired from a good bike session this morning, 20.50 miles to be exact.

I love the feeling that comes from a solid, strong workout. The way my body kinda wants food all day, the ache of muscles well used, the satisfaction of doing hard work. I love it.

I’m used to working hard in general, but there is something about my athletic “labor” that makes me feel fierce, even if it might leave me tired by the end of the day.

I should say that when I got up I had thought I’d ride “a few miles” to shake out my body from the fun of deadlifts the day before.

You know how people complain of just general aches and pains? I’d rather have tight muscles or wake up wondering what I did to myself the day before then having aches and pains from doing nothing.

Anyway, my sleepy mind quickly remembered all those deadlifts which explained some muscles reminding me they were there 😛

Once I got warmed up with a few miles under me my mind started deciding exactly what I wanted to accomplish on the ride. I thought about these crazy hills that are a part of the duathlon course and how I had only ridden them last year.

Why? I’m not sure. I love riding down the biggest one frequently (hello fast speeds) but I felt intimidated about riding them back up.

Now this in theory sounds kinda crazy right? I just told you I rode them in the race. I should add, for the first time in the race. I thought the course ended before that so I hadn’t ever practiced riding them … till that day I had to… and I nailed them.

So it shouldn’t be a deal to be doing it but I haven’t been. There is another set of hills, equally as mean and tough that I do more often.

I decided today I was just going to do it. I had to silence those voices in my head that were trying to convince me that I wouldn’t be able to do it.

I engaged my mental muscle reminding myself of all I’ve done, all I can do, and how strong I am. And really? what was the worst that could happen? Have to push it up?

For the record I’ve never had to do that on any big hill….

So off I went.

As I sailed around the corner leading up to it I just focused on letting my body do it’s thing and work with the bike… I was shocked when I found myself easily on top of it.  But once you crest that hill, it drops off immediately down the other side ( it should be mentioned this is really a paved over mountain) it’s about a half mile down to the cul de sac, make the turn, then pedal back up where I just came flying down.

Again, I got to the top a bit shocked at how easy it had been.  Perhaps a nod to my other cross training should be mentioned here…

Let me tell you after that, I kinda glided home those last 6ish miles in a happy place.

20180624_090754

 

Hubby calls me a machine… or a beast.. both terms I weirdly love. But I do tend to forget that I am strong. I am capable of doing some pretty strong things… like taking on big monsterous hills.

I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one who can at times, get hindered by voices that try and convince us we aren’t enough, or lack, or can’t do something. I’m usually good at stomping them down and I had decided I had let these stick around for to long.

What was I afraid of? That was the root of it….

Failure.

I want to do things and I want to do them well. If I do something I like to be good at it.  But when I stop and take things apart, sometimes it’s not as big of a deal as I thought it was. Those voices fade as I take control and exert that mental muscle I rely on so frequently.

I guess that has helped me a lot get to where I am today as an athlete. If I stopped and examined to closely things I thought about doing, I’d probably run the other way!

So the take away here is…  if you want to do something (sometimes) you may have to stomp down those voices or reasons in your head that make you doubt yourself. Pursuing big goals and big dreams requires ( I’ve learned) a healthy dose of fearlessness and not looking it to closely in the eye.

You square up, hit it head on, and do it.

And I’m gonna say, when I’ve accomplished big things that I never saw myself doing? Well I’ve learned more and more about getting out of my own way.. cool things happen when I do.

All that work makes me sweat…..

Seriously, even in the earlier morning hours, with the work of my body and the warm air it’s a sweat fest.

Of course that means proper hydration and good nutrition.

I may have mentioned in a previous post I’m all about light foods during warm weather and namely I love experimenting with salads. I can add so many various ingredients to them depending on my mood or items I have on hand.

20180622_134302
Lunch is served.

Maybe I should do a salad business too haha. My kids give me a hard time for adding fruit into my salad but I love the contrast of flavors and really, the more variety, the less I think a salad needs much dressing on it.

This one is loaded with colorful veggies and some fruit and a healthy amount of grilled chicken for protein for those muscles and to keep me from getting hungry later on.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different textures and foods for an interesting lunch plate!

Other life stuff…..

Have I blabbed much about my furniture adventures lately? Ok well, here’s my newest….

20180624_120539
Sad little thing….

This is actually a base to a vintage china cabinet. I’m gonna repurpose it into a buffet/sideboard type thing. I’m plotting a “new” top for it along with some sanding and some minor repair work it definitely needs.

Did I mention that I’m keeping this one 😉 Actually there are a few pieces I’ve wanted to keep but I’ve really had to develop a catch and release policy haha

20180624_130814
Nothing says angry home owner repair like a massive 4 inch nail/spike driven through the hardware for the screws.

 

Ok I’m not like, a carpenter, ya know? I mean I’ve learned to do a lot with hands on in this stuff by just doing it. However, I’m fairly sure the huge nail in pic above is a bit…overkill….

Yes, the door is off cabinet and I knew I would have to find suitable screws and get the poor thing installed again. But first….surgery to remove that nail… seriously…..

I’ll keep you posted on it’s progress 🙂

I actually have a few things in various stages of being worked on and I’ve sold some this week so that’s always a win too.

Some days… ah.. I just need more hours!

Before I leave you….

Hubby and I were on a date last weekend, finally, finally got to see Deadpool 2.

I love his dark, snarky, sarcastic nature and funny ongoing comments through movie. I giggled over some things long after they had passed.

Was I the only one focused on him wearing crocs in the opening scene and how totally goofy it was? and that it was meant to be that way?

Hubby however, didn’t have the same appreciation for much of his humor.

No matter what though, it’s always fun when we get time away from the hustle and activity of the household, to just be us for awhile.

Even if he does think my choice of movie sucked haha 😉

Tell me… have you seen the movie? Did you like it? have you seen any good movies this summer?  Considering my opening comments, have you ever struggled to push down thoughts you couldn’t do something or you didn’t think you had what it took to accomplish it? Anything new up your sleeve this week ?

Advertisements

Monday Musings

Happy Monday boys and girls… here we go again! A  week behind us and a new week of adventures ahead.

Since it’s Monday, I think it’s appropriate we talk about M&M’s.

Candy. Yeah I know.

You like hanging out with me ’cause I’m sane and sensible when it comes to health and fitness and treats are an allowable part of a good life.

But there’s a story here…

You see our local store has been hawking them like crazy for weeks now.

Why? I’m not exactly sure. But they are everywhere. On the end of every aisle and literally all down the center of store right before check outs with huge signs that say

“BUY 1 GET ONE FREE!”

They have them in baskets right where you pay with the same sign.

Ok, I just can’t be tempted that easily. You gotta come at me harder.  I mean I do have many moments of temptation in the store but can usually dodge stuff like that.

The checker the other day was prompting me…

“Don’t you want some? I mean, you get an extra bag”

Me: “No, I still have candy from Halloween, Christmas, and Easter laying around” ( I didn’t buy any for Valentines day)

I’ve managed to avoid temptation until I realized they were peddling a new flavor….  which would be Crunchy Mint.

I bought into it like a fish going after a June bug. A girl can only take so much pressure, right??

Chocolate and mint are in my opinion, have the right kind of relationship going on

20180421_152539
It says “Sharing size” I’m not sure about that idea 😉

This is evidently one of their new flavors you/we the public get to have a say in. Let me say this about them… have you ever had the Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookies?

Yeah… like little crunchy, chocolate morsels of ground up Girl Scout cookies.  They are up there in ways of tasty deliciousness.  Vote for these little suckers to stay around all the time.

Ok and I may share with the fam…  maybe….

Anyone tried these?

A deep thought provoking question for you

Hubby shared something last week, one of those meme’s that said something like ” being an adult is a lot like trying to fold a fitted sheet”

Well, the topic of folding fitted sheets got more discussion than the actual funny intended meaning of the post.

Which got me to thinking… weird.. I know…

I pretty much stated how I felt about folding fitted sheets.  I find them annoying. I can fold them, my mom and grandmother taught me well. It’s just I don’t spend any amount of time trying to “get them right” or perfect or whatever.

Sometimes they might be a loosely tossed folded ball  hahaha

Not really. The point being, I find it largely irrelevant. I don’t care if they are folded right or just clean and put away.  I understand no one is patting me on the head if I do it “right” nor do I get an award for being awesome at it.

I’m to much of a free spirit to worry about many things, that being one of them.  I’d rather get on to something more fun.

Lots of people though, seemed to take their folding fitted sheets pretty seriously.  I guess the older I’ve gotten the more I seem to not worry or get hung up on a lot of things that don’t need so much of my attention. The sheet thing just got me to thinking about it.

How I’d rather get done necessary chores, in as quick a way as possible while keeping a clean, organized home, so I can get on to stuff that’s fun and enjoyable to me.

As in I like a clean house, but it’s not something I love doing.   I like the final result but  I don’t get a thrill out of.

I save that for flying off hills on my bike 😉

What camp do you fall in? Are you super particular with sheet folding? Or do you just hit it and get on with life ? Or are there other things that you prefer not to do but get done to move on with something more fun?

Then there’s life in the hill country

Nothing makes my day more complete than coming home and realizing two of my goofy dogs have gotten a wild hair to dig out under the fence.

Nothing really makes my day more complete than one of them coming home looking like this….

20180418_175455
Yep, a face full of porcupine quills

The sad thing is, he’s so goofy. This isn’t his first time. Or his second time.  I wasn’t feeling super happy with him at this point… the next day and hundreds of dollars later he came home… much happier than when he went in.

Goof head. All he had to do was stay in his safe yard and not go running through miles of rugged country and he wouldn’t have to go through that.

But before that unexpected surprise

I had been out shopping and gathering ideas for some of my furniture projects I’ve been working on

20180418_171558
these colors 🙂 you’ll have to see they all play out

 

 

You will just have to wait and see what unfold with this scheme 😉

Oh but I did collect some fun new goodies this week! The best part, they’ve all been super cheap.

20180420_174445
1930’s beverage trolley

this little piece I got from a girl selling some random things out of a storage building. I knew it was old but took it and knew I’d research it more when I got home. It was 15.00 so I was willing to take a chance on it.  It’s an old school beverage cart/ trolley. How clever right? They actually used to use carts for teas and other drinks. I love the little drawer that I guess, held utensils.  I also got a cute solid wood accent table that I have ideas for, I just need to get to it.

I’m excited to have several pieces I’m working on that will hopefully be ready to go to new homes in the next week.

Sunday I picked up some chairs that I came across. I haven’t really gone after chairs as I haven’t been sure exactly what I would do with them. But these were so cute and old and she was selling them for next to nothing, I couldn’t resist.

I couldn’t resist, especially since I immediately had ideas bouncing through my head for them.

20180422_121050

20180422_121113
those legs!

ok what I love most of all is how perfectly, horribly needy they are. It’s my idea of perfect project pieces.

 

20180422_201928
I’ve only learned to celebrate my win when I’m actually driving home with my prize

 

Random fact

If there’s one thing I get a lot it’s comments on my smile and this week I guess I heard it more than usual.

So I’ll just say this to the questions I get often.. yes my teeth are naturally like this and no I never had braces 😛

I’m a good girl and see my dentist twice a year for cleanings, floss most of the time and eat foods that keep my mouth healthy.

Are you good about flossing? We all should be 😉

Speaking of food…..

I came across this tasty looking recipe a day or two back. I haven’t made it yet, but think it will be on the menu sometime this week.

 

Have you whipped up anything new this week?  What new adventures have you been on? What are you most looking forward to in the week ahead?

Spotlight On Strawberries

I spotted them the other day, the first batch that looked full, big, and naturally deep red as if ripened on the vine.

Strawberries.

So it’s a bit appropriate as we slowly creep into spring, to make todays spotlight shine on them.

I’m pretty sure there isn’t a person on the planet that can’t be convinced to eat these sweet tasty little morsels. If you’re one of those sugar smothering strawberry eaters, stop that. They have an amazing natural sweetness all their own and rarely, I stress that word, need added sugar.

Well, unless you’re making homemade ice cream with them, then well, ok. And yeah, I have a tried and true amazing, and I mean amazing recipe that I’ve used for years.

Be good and I’ll share it at the end with you.

What’s the sweet scoop on them

20180312_191423
Can anyone really resist the sweet goodness of fresh, ripe strawberries?

 

How about one medium one has only like, 4 calories? I find that to be a rather delicious fact.

Today there are over 600 varieties of strawberries. …strawberries are not actually fruits as their seeds are on the outside. Strawberry plants are runners, and are not produced by seeds. They have an average of 200 seeds per fruit and are actually a member of the rose (rosaceae) family

The sweet berries rank among the top 10 of fruits and veggies for a high antioxidant content.

Gosh. There’s that word again. What is an antioxidant and what does it do? Simplified, the human body naturally produces free radicals and the antioxidants to counteract their damaging effects. However, in most cases, free radicals far outnumber the naturally occurring antioxidants. In order to maintain the balance, a continual supply of external sources of antioxidants is necessary in order to obtain the maximum benefits of antioxidants. Antioxidants benefit the body by neutralizing and removing the free radicals from the bloodstream.  And those damaging agents cause things like… aging and other age related damages.  The antioxidants protect our cells and promote health and wellness in the body.

You seriously want to up your antioxidant food intake. But good news, so many fruits and veggies have them you don’t have to look far to get them in. You just need to eat them…..

Ok.. science lesson over… that might be a post unto itself….

They are rich in Vitamin C (providing twice as much as the average fruit) just one serving, about 8 berries, yields more Vitamin C than an orange. Potassium and magnesium are also big hitters in these berries.

Are there health benefits?

Yes, once again there are benefits to making this fruit a part of your nutrition plan.

The vitamins and antioxidants found in strawberries can promote eye health, boost our immunity, treat arthritis and gout, help prevent some cancers, boost brain function and memory, reduce hypertension, improves heart function, and help promote weight loss by stimulating metabolism and reducing appetite. Strawberries can also help reduce inflammation and prevent birth defects as they are high in folic acid, a necessary nutrient during pregnancy.

Strawberries are also not only good for your health, but good for your skin too, in both consumption and topical application.

Strawberries can be used as a made into a cleanser, they can help reduce eye puffiness, and help with oily skin and acne. ( please note, I’ve not tried this personally.)

Well, when can we eat them?

Yeah, ok. Time for the good stuff.  Sometimes, I like to do things like this with strawberries….

20160424_122947
This is one of my most requested birthday cakes

of course a cake isn’t complete without ice cream, right? Actually this strawberry ice cream has been a 4th of July family favorite for a long time…

Strawberry Ice Cream:

2 3/4 c fresh strawberries

2 c granulated sugar

2 3/4 c heavy cream lightly whipped

Press strawberries through a sieve or puree in an electric blender.  Add sugar and lightly whipped cream to strawberry pulp.

Churn freeze according to manufactures directions.

Enjoy 🙂

And then a little healthier option for you too…..

In summary strawberries are a wonderful low calorie, healthy, sweet and tasty fruit that offers numerous health benefits to us when we make them a part of a healthy eating plan.

Tell me, do you have preferred ways you enjoy eating strawberries?

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower And Breadsticks

Mark Twain once wrote, “Training is everything. A peach was once a bitter almond; a cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.”

I got you with the title, didn’t I? You are wondering what on earth one has to do with the other…..

If you’ve been following along on some of my posts in the last couple weeks you may have seen some of my comments on food “projects” I wanted to try.  Sometimes it’s about a particular veggie or fruit as in my spinach post last week.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/01/19/spinach-benefits-and-great-hair/

One of the things I’ve talked about experimenting with is cauliflower. That plain, ordinary looking vegetable is also rather versatile which is great if you are following any low carb or gluten free eating plan ( which I’m not)

cauliflower

 

I just like food ya know? Eating veggies is really good for me and they also tip the scale fairly low in calories so it’ a win/win.

Fun food and nutrition facts

Let’s start with the fact an entire head with a 6 inch diameter has only 146 calories. Yes, you read that correctly.

146 calories. Impressive.

It is also loaded with calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin B-6. Most impressive, that entire head offers 472% of Vitamin C!  It also contains 50% of our daily need for potassium. C

Bet you didn’t know that 😉

Ok so we now know that cauliflower is crazy low in calories AND contains lots of good vitamins in abundance for our bodies.

Does it offer any health benefits? 

I’m glad you asked. Why yes, yes it does.  Cauliflower includes plenty of vitamins and minerals, but its real power comes from cancer-fighting compounds known as glucosinolates.

Other top benefits include….

  • Reduces Cancer Risk.
  • Fights Inflammation.
  • Provides High Levels of Vitamins and Minerals (especially important Vitamin C and Vitamin K)
  • Improves Digestion and Detoxification.
  • Aids in Weight Loss.
  • Helps Balance Hormones.
  • Preserves Eye Health.

 

You know what kinda, semi-amuses me? That list reads like what some of these snake oil health companies claim with their products, and look at this, you can eat whole, real, natural food and get the same benefits. AND you can buy a whole lot more cauliflower for your money 😉

How to eat it

Cauliflower is essentially a blank canvas. I hope you venture more into cooking with it than just steaming . One of my most favorite, fast and easy ways to cook it is by roasting it.

Sweet heavens, roasting any vegetable adds so much more flavor and overall “deliciousness” to it.

To roast, simply wash and prepare the cauliflower breaking it out into florets. Toss with some olive oil, cracked pepper and sea salt. Roast in a hot oven ( about 400) turn frequently so it browns and crisps all over ( the best part) it usually takes about 40-45 minutes. I have to be careful because I can literally nibble away at it while I’m cooking the rest of the meal and my kids really are into this version of cauliflower and like to find some left to go on table 😉

I should say I’ve got numerous recipes pinned on Pinterest for this vegetable. Some are waiting to be tried and a few others I have tried.

I mentioned in Monday Musings  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/01/22/monday-musings-2/   that I had made the “potato” salad version. Seriously, of my family members that eat potato salad, they all ate it and liked it.

Find it here…. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/ARWljr6ZFFOvYUscYjTe9A7nbrhyjxkPAneCDUxOw3Ivn3gw6Jl8SRY/

 

20180120_145830
The finished product.

 

Another recipe that has been taunting me is using cauliflower as a crust for breadsticks or pizza. I mean… really? I decided tonight was the night to experiment. This is best done when no one is home and has high expectations of me making a meal while I’m in the middle of food experiments.

Tonight it was the breadsticks.

I found it fascinating that after a quick trip through my food processor it did indeed look like fine, fluffy “flour”.

20180124_175414 once you add in the additional ingredients you pat it out onto a baking sheet so it looks kinda like this….

20180124_182755

 

20180124_185958
After baking it’s all golden and pretty

Oops. The final product. I guess I got a bit zealous sampling before I snapped a pic.

20180124_200547
I added a bit of cheddar with the mozzarella because, why not?

My take on it.

Ok, it’s not bread. I had read on several posts the “negatives” to this is the fact the cauliflower contains a lot of water and trying to get enough of the water out so it can bake and not be soggy. I baked longer than recommended time, the outer edges were crispier but the inside was more soft, soft but good. Next time I will try a method I read about that suggested pressing it into paper towels to help pull out more of the water.

It smelled delicious and had good flavor. I can definitely see using it as pizza crust as tomato sauce would enhance flavors.

If you are on gluten/carb free diet this could be a good substitute for bread cravings… but still it isn’t bread… and I guess if I want breadsticks I will most likely have the real thing.

Next up on my “to try list” is Sweet and Sour Cauliflower. I hope that is as good as it sounds.

Now what about you? Have you tried any cauliflower recipes? Have you tried it as crust for bread or pizza?