You Can Get Fit!

Archive for the ‘happiness’ Category

I write a LOT. My goal is brevity, today.

Anyway, here goes with today’s prompt:

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say? (Author: Eric Handler)

While I have several ideas, foremost in my mind is–go out there and be willing to take risks, and to be YOURSELF. Stand out from the pack every now and then (or more frequently, if that’s your style)… live life with no regrets.

How’s that for short’n’sweet (but a powerful thought)?

Go out and live life your way! I’ll have a tasty recipe for Recipe Friday tomorrow!

After yesterday’s drive-by post, I’m slowing things down a bit today.

Especially since… TOMORROW is the first birthday of the blog! (No, I don’t like that “blogiversary” word. Birthdays are more fun!)

happy birthday!

I love giving gifts to others… so as my treat to you, the readers, here’s a collection of some of my favorite YCGF posts from the past year!

First off, check out my first post. It’s not as embarrassing as I thought it would be! I talk about the importance of a food diary in weight loss.

Here’s a fruit dessert that I just discovered last summer: sauteed nectarines. It’s become a hit with friends (and with me!!!), and it’s so easy to make!

What is your motivation for eating healthy and/or losing weight? Make sure that you are doing it for you.

This one isn’t fitness-specific, but I sure think it’s important to make every day count.

We all have this day on our calendar that doesn’t exist.

Discover more about an interesting self-discovery writing challenge–and learn a whole lot more about me!

And, finally… the story that started my fitness journey, and keeps me in this industry motivating others.

Thanks to those who’ve stuck with me, reading for the past year! There will be many more interesting days to come, especially since I’m getting stronger. I no longer look despairingly at old issues of Runner’s World–the little voice in my head is saying, “Yes, I might!” What a journey I’ve gone through this year!

Keep strong, and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

And now… the continuation of my “goals-post” from a few weeks ago! I’ve had so much to talk to you guys about that I haven’t been able to keep going.

For those just joining in, I’ve written a list of 40 goals to complete before my 40th birthday, about 3 years from now. I’m sharing them ten at a time, and shared the first batch a few weeks ago. I’d love to hear your goals and comments! Goals keep us alive and excited!

Anyway, here’s batch 2, with some commentary about how I might be making progress:

Goals 11-20
11. Host a Pilates retreat mostly because it requires my having grown my business to that stage… however, I kind of get to cheat here, since my neighbors want to rent out their cabin, and I could just invite friends up for our own retreat. Does this count?
12. Write 5 thank-you notes (not emails!) to people who’ve made a difference in my life I keep intending to start this! I just saw an address for a favorite high school teacher go by…
13. Stand at the top of a mountain and sing This would require being physically able to hike up the mountain, unless somebody carries me. I’ll work on that part, first.
14. Complete a NaNoWriMo Challenge NaNoWriMo is in November. Assuming I don’t have a trazillion things going on, I’ll tackle it this year, and maybe do it every year. I’ve been doing a lot of writing, anyway, so it shouldn’t be too tough… maybe? (writing 50,000 words in a month, though… ack!)
15. Lose 10 pounds Well, since I’ve been allowed to do more cardio, I’ve already lost two pounds. Maybe I’ll try to lose 10 pounds from here, as well!
16. Make gorgeous chocolates/truffles to give as gifts I’ve been working on a variety of kitchen skills, and lemme tell ya, making things look really pretty is something I still need to work on. I’d love to be able to whip out professional looking chocolates as gifts!
17. Visit a country that most people have never heard of Not just for the sake of obscurity, but these places are usually really interesting to me. Probably the closest I’ve come is Latvia.
18. Help build a Habitat for Humanity home I never feel as though I give enough, and I love being physical and working with my hands.
19. Meet my cousin Sara in AZ Actually, a second cousin, who found me through the internet while doing genealogy research. But we seem to have a lot in common (similar age, love being outdoors, we’ve been teachers, we love cooking…) and I think we’d get along great.
20. Start expressing myself style-wise (clothes and hair aren’t really “me”) I’ve realized I spend too much time in “safe” jeans and t-shirt, looking just like everyone else. While I hate to buy more stuff and join the consumer crowd, I also hate fitting in. I’m trying to find a balance, showing off more of my own self while not overconsuming resources–life is too short to blend in with the background.

And that’s Round 2, halfway done! I have 20 more to list in the next few weeks. I’m still really interested to hear more of your goals, so… comment! What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning? What do you want to have done by the end of the year? By the end of the decade? And… no goal is a “stupid” goal: if it’s important to you, it’s important! 🙂

Enjoy the three-day weekend! Thank you to all who serve our country and have served!

Ten years ago today was one of the best days of my life, when I married my best friend.

just married

wedding party
I really appreciate our close friends who helped support us: Mike, Diane, Joe, and Mike. Thanks, you guys!

gorgeous backdrop
A gorgeous arbor in a spectacular setting. We held the wedding, reception, and dinner at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Marin County, CA.

wedding ceremony
The same arbor was the backdrop for the ceremony. I wanted to keep the guests in suspense and didn’t walk down a center aisle. Instead, Bruce entered from stage left down some stone steps, and I entered from stage right on a horse and carriage (clop-clop-clop). Pleasant surprise for the guests!

foot and petals
Gotta have the artsy shot, eh?

reception
Having fun at the reception. Even though our guests came from all walks of life, there was never a dull moment, and they all chatted easily!

***

I will never forget this day. It was perfect… just like the one I am married to. (Awwww…) Some girls get lucky, and this one truly did. Happy anniversary to us!

(we’ll return to less self-indulgent content in a few days.)

First of all… Happy May Day! Finally progressing toward the longest, sunniest day of the year! Woohoo!

I neglected a recipe of the week this week. My lame excuse: I made a fantastic palaak paneer (Indian curry spinach with cheese) and I’d love to share it. Thing is, I didn’t take any pics, because the pureed spicy spinach-tomato sauce looked like… well……. use yer imagination. ICK. But believe me, it tastes incredible!!! So, I may just post it anyway, with the caveat of no pics (since it looks so unappetizing).

Are You Always Happy?

Back on topic: to me, a major aspect of fitness and wellness involves being happy–with yourself and with your environment. There are so many people that I see who appear unhappy–trudging through life in gloom and doom. What fun is that? So, I seek out activities that keep me cheerful.

happy sun

I have a friend, however, who is the perpetual spreader of cheer. Everyone should be happy all the time! he says. And… I’ve questioned this. Should we always be happy? Certainly situations arise that irritate us, upset us, or annoy us. Should we just brush those off and say “oh well, let’s just be happy?”

In some cases, if the situation is minor, sure. But in a more major case, I think we, as humans, should experience the emotion. It feels unnatural to, say, have a death in the family and immediately “just move on”. It’s OK to be sad, for a while, to pay respect to our feelings. (Just try to get back into a good mood as soon as possible!)

Emotions Make Us Interesting People (for better or for worse!)

Besides, just as a monotone speaker sounds one-dimensional, I imagine that if our brains only experience happiness, our thought processes might start becoming one-dimensional. (For similar reasons, I sometimes read nonfiction books written by people I don’t think I’ll agree with. I frequently learn something!) So yes, a majority of the time, happiness is good for us, but occasional dips into other emotions are natural for our minds and bodies. I think we’re more interesting people if we experience a range of emotions!

That said, I truly do feel we should seek out cheap thrills–things that make you happy at low cost. What have you experienced lately that has made you bliss out?

So, it’s not “recipe Friday”, but my schedule got thrown off by the official allowed reveal date for the Daring Cooks’ monthly challenge. I’ve officially become a Daring Cook! This entails learning about a secret recipe or theme from a private forum around the middle of each month, concocting over the ensuing weeks, and posting the results. By the middle of the following month, we are allowed to reveal the fruits (or vegetables!) of our labors to our readers in blog-land!

This past month’s theme was “edible containers”. After much websurfing and wanting to keep things on the cheaper side, I decided to make an edible bowl out of cereal snack mix, bound together by egg white. The original recipe can be found at the Food Network site, but I modified it and shaped it differently.

First of all, here’s what my final product looked like, filled with cashews (a snack bowl filled with… more snacks!):

edible snack bowl filled with... more snacks!

Here’s how to make it:

1. Make or buy about 8 cups of your favorite cereal snack mix. Preheat your oven to 300 F. (As for me, I mixed about 7 c corn Chex and a little over a c broken pretzels. Mix, in a bowl, 1/4 c grated parmesan, 2 t chili powder, and 1 T garlic powder. Drizzle 3 T vegetable oil over cereal/pretzels, and pour seasoning mix over top while stirring to coat evenly. Spread seasoned cereal/pretzels in jelly roll pan and bake at 250 F for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove and allow to cool.)

Cereal and pretzels!

seasonings waiting to be added!

2. Gather your 8 cups of snack mix into a large bowl. Meanwhile, whip two egg whites to stiff peaks. Add these egg whites to the cereal mix, stirring to coat the snack mix evenly.

Whipped egg white in cereal snack mix, waiting to be mixed in!

3. Choose your oven-resistant destination bowl of choice. The initial recipe uses a traditional round bowl, but I wanted something smaller and decided to go with multiple small loaf pans. Coat your container with oil or cooking spray, then gently press the cereal mix + egg white into the container, forming a shell. To hold the interior shape of the shell, add a layer of aluminum foil. (I didn’t experiment with thickness of my cereal containers, but I’m guessing it should be at least 1/2 inch thick. I didn’t go too much thicker because of the small size of my loaf pan.)

cereal snack mix pressed into the loaf pan--going into oven soon!

4. Put your prepared containers into a 300-degree F oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove them and let them cool (don’t touch!) for another 30 minutes. Then–fill them with whatever you choose! (I’d recommend against anything moist to avoid seepage…)

Can’t tell you what this month’s challenge is, yet! (I know what it is!) I promise you it’s a fun one, and I’ll tell you all about it mid-May!

You don’t have to have a food blog (or talk about food on your blog!) to become a Daring Chef! (Just a camera!) It’s a great way to think outside of the cooking box. (There’s a Daring Bakers’ challenge, too!)

What kind of edible container would you like to make? Be creative!

I’ve left you guys in the lurch all weekend, without even a Recipe Friday! I’ll make amends soon, promise!

This weekend was Mr. You Can Get Fit’s (Bruce’s) birthday. It wasn’t a big birthday, but I believe that every year–every day–is a reason to celebrate. (And apparently Chris had the same thoughts I did today!)

Friday, I made a yellow layer cake with chocolate buttercream–all from scratch–and we had a few friends over to share cake and some Black Adder episodes. Cake recipe came from America’s Test Kitchen, and I gotta say, the cake was a bit dry. However, the frosting was fantastic, containing both cocoa powder and melted chocolate. Yummmm.

Saturday, we got his free birthday scoop from our favorite local frozen custard place, sat in a park for a bit, had Thai food, and watched a favorite movie of his. Then, on Sunday, we finished the weekend having dinner with our neighbors and sharing a few rounds of Trivial Pursuit.

Even if it isn’t your birthday, or a special occasion… take the time out and enjoy! Every year, day, minute… is special.

What are you going to do to make today a special day? (Even if it’s a little thing. I’m not asking for the world! Maybe relax with your favorite tea, or book a manicure for the end of the week, or have dinner with a friend…)


I'd love to connect with you! Find me on Facebook, follow me on twitter, or sign up for email updates below!

Join 19 other followers

Top Rated

Brooke is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.