You Can Get Fit!

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Hey, gang! I’ve returned from my holiday adventure, and I want to share it with you all! We went to Germany, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg to check out their Christmas markets. Though the weather could have cooperated a bit more (maybe 9 hours of sun on the whole trip), it was a really great adventure, and we ate a lot of good food. I did manage several Pilates sessions, and further explored exercises that I can accomplish all while not lying on a questionable hotel floor! (So–Pilates while standing, Pilates on a bed…)

I blogged about the trip, and there are many pictures, so take your time to peruse. You can check it all out at

http://mehrgluhwein.wordpress.com/

I’m getting back into my daily routine–even teaching two spin classes tonight–and glad to say that the knee strain from a few weeks before the trip disappeared shortly after we started… hooray! So, I’ll see what kind of running I’m able to do once I shake the rest of this respiratory infection.

Start thinking of your 2012 goals… I’ll be back with a recipe on Friday, and the new year is just around the corner!

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Howdy!

OK, I’m back and recovered from Thanksgiving. I made an Indian feast (worthy of many Recipe Friday posts)… it included:

Papads with tamarind chutney

Minted lamb patties (wow, these were so good)

Baked spicy chicken (almost tandoori-ish)

Homemade chai

Stir-fried red lentils

Garlic naan (storebought….)

Kheer

 

And we shared it with a friend who worked part of the day. Good stuff! The lamb dish will certainly be happening again… I’ll admit that it was my first time cooking lamb!

 

<i>Did you all have a great holiday weekend? Did you cook anything out of the ordinary?</i>

 

I’m prepping for another big holiday adventure, coming up here in a few weeks, but meanwhile, here’s a few fun holiday links:

 

1. Easy gifts for the holidays, or just fun things to share: holiday cake pops and candy apples.

 

2. The perfect Christmas gift for the cat.

 

3. This sweet minty Chex mix looks promising…. not healthy, but use a good quality white chocolate like Callebaut, and you’re set!

 

4. Make your house smell like the holidays! Boil a pot of water, add some orange peels and a few cinnamon sticks.

 

5. And to balance out the less-healthy eats above, here’s a good-looking recipe for curried sweet potato soup. It’s been soup weather for a while here, so why not make a big pot?

 

It’s December in a few days… can you believe it? I made a great red lentil and potato soup a few days ago, and I’ll share it with you all on Friday–big-time comfort food. Healthy, too!

 

Have a great rest of the week, everyone!

Happy Post-Halloween!

Unfortunately, we live on a long dead-end (bwa-ha-ha… appropriate) and get no trick-or-treaters. I went to a few events, both yesterday evening and Saturday night, though, and rocked my punny costume: I bought a bag of Smarties and taped some to my pants, making me… wait for it… Smartie Pants! Ha ha!!! (Best of all, it was a cheap costume, and one we could eat afterward!)

Anything fun that you all did for Halloween?

I continue on my rehab path… (which one? you ask. recovering from the hip surgeries is the most straightforward one.) I set a pretty lofty running goal at the beginning of October, and I met it on Saturday! Go, me! I remember at the beginning of September, I hadn’t even tried running (post-op) at all, and I didn’t even know if it was an option anymore. Now, after only 6 weeks back at it, I’m able to finish 30 minutes of run 4 minutes/walk 1 minute intervals!! It’s not easy, but I also imagine I’ll be able to run 30 minutes nonstop before the end of the year… just set your mind to it, and you can do it!!!

The holidays are soon upon us!! (for better or for worse…) My link list today is all food-oriented, but with a healthier spin. Let’s all vow to not gain the Holiday 10!

1. This is a Mark Bittman article that I have printed out as a reference on my cookbook shelf… 101 Simple Salads. It also teaches you to cook by eye and by taste, as he doesn’t give precise proportions. Trust your brain and tongue!

2. Halloween may be over this year, but this is one I’ll have to remember for next year, because it’s so darn cute: Frozen Boo-nana Pops

3. Can’t avoid pumpkin spice lattes during the holiday season? This healthy pumpkin spice latte looks yummy!

4. It’s totally soup weather (just went for an 11am run, and it’s in the high 30’s outside!), so here are a few healthy soup recipes.

5. And I’m intrigued by this one. If someone tries it before me, let me know what you think… ??? 100 calorie moist chocolate cupcakes It looks like they’re bigger than a thimble, so that’s not how they get away with the calorie count.

Finally… for those who have done any traveling like me, if you have been to the Cinque Terre in Italy, sadly, two of the towns were devastated by flooding last week (see photos here). I’m thinking the restaurant and the market were ones I visited and enjoyed. One more reminder to go out and see the world while we still can.

Stay strong and healthy!

Hey, gang!

Hope everything’s well! My theme of the day (week?) is gratefulness. My body has been through so much the past 18 months or so… including two major hip surgeries (the first one didn’t go so well). No one really knew how I was going to recover, but I was given the green light to do anything, as long as it didn’t hurt beyond the usual residual soreness.

Guess what–this former marathoner has been RUNNING for the past two weeks!

(OK, so right now, my definition of “run” is “walk 3 minutes, run 2 minutes, repeat to total 30 minutes”–and it’s really hard for me–but after so much time away from running, this is my way to build back up.)

I am so GRATEFUL that my body is able to do this! I had no idea if running was ever going to be an option again. I’m taking it slowly and not jumping ahead toward marathons yet–thinking of 5K’s in my future, in case my body isn’t up for distance–but I’m just happy to be moving the pavement under my feet.

Here are some interesting tidbits for this week!

1. Ah, how stalking has changed.

2. Oh boy. What our pets do while we’re away.

3. Fruit salsa with homemade cinnamon chips–great healthy recipe for a party (or…. to mosh the whole thing by yourself)! I’d love to try this with regular salty chips, too, since I love sweet/savory combos.

4. It’s getting to be that time of year–how about some homemade pumpkin butter?

5. Have you tried oven-roasted chickpeas? If not… you’re missing out. Cheap, easy, healthy snack! Here’s a recipe for an Indian-spiced variety of chickpeas.

Have a great rest of the week! I’d love to hear what all of you are grateful for! It’s so easy to get caught up in the minutiae of our day-to-day lives–let’s think of things to be thankful of in the grand scheme of things!

Hi, Friends.

I’m typically not much of a Wednesday poster, but inspiration struck (duck and cover!) and I totally felt the need to get this out to you.

While driving yesterday, I realized how much time I’d lost this past week wallowing over this freak vocal cord nerve injury. And before that, I’d probably done the same over the hip surgery that didn’t go well (in 2010) and had to be redone, plus some.

But why waste time crying over things out of our control? None of us are getting any younger.

It’s fine to feel sorry for ourselves, true. And I’ve found that sometimes, the current path just seems so unbearable that I just can’t find focus and have to chill out. But either to ourselves or others, it just becomes the broken record after a while. And just like a broken record, it continues on the same useless pathway. At some point, we have to pack up and move on as best we can.

Which is what I have done and have continued to do. And you know what? This approach has shown me opportunities I never would’ve imagined, if I’d been left to continue along my same road.

OK, so the Leprechaun of Ideas doesn’t jump onto your shoulder at 2pm every afternoon. (I wish! But then, we’d all be rich.) This takes some brainpower. But think of it this way: you’re developing awesome critical thinking skills!

Case In Point 1: prior to my first hip surgery (April 2010), I was running a fitness business with two corporate clients and a few private clients as well as teaching fitness classes for 4-5 gyms. I wanted to expand my business, but I didn’t have time to think about how to do that, or to do it at all… despite being married to an MBA in marketing. Surgery #1 led to complications and Surgery #2. After the requisite feeling sorry for myself, I got going and put my brain to work. I talked to other instructors. I did some marketing (and learned what does and doesn’t work in this area and field). I hired more contractors. I expanded my business to include other types of classes. I even tried a second business (which… didn’t work, but it was a great learning experience!). I now proudly call myself a small business owner!

When I was getting ready to teach again (that is, working for others), I almost didn’t want to let previous employers know I was available. I preferred having the time to strategize for myself! (Though, gotta say that I do like the steady income stream that I get from bigger companies.)

Case In Point 2: My current struggle. Just when I literally got my feet under me to teach again (and also got a college class to teach in the fall), I have a timeline of potentially three months until I can talk again. This hit me from out of nowhere–I didn’t anticipate this sort of limitation when I was dreaming up projects to take me into the end of the year and going forward.

But life has a way of throwing us curveballs, doesn’t it? And again… we can’t stand still while it blows past us. To me, that just isn’t living!

So, during the next few (loooonnngggg) months, other than non-work-related stuff such as improving my piano playing and cleaning up the jungle that is my backyard, I’ve come up with four work-related projects that don’t require speaking:

1. Getting my body back to the strength that it was before Hip Surgery #1 (which was the best shape of my life other than torn hip cartilage)

2. Make a new trifold brochure for my business, now that I offer Zumba classes, which may get me more corporate business (and plan a guerrilla marketing attack for the beginning of the year!!!)

3. Keep going on the….. (book) that I write in spurts. Since I’m oh-so-experienced in rehab (plus 500-hour Pilates certified), I’ve been working on a… document, in laymans’ terms, to help people recover from injury using Pilates-based exercise. I need to redouble efforts.

4. Lower priority, but script videos. I intend to create a YouTube channel of short videos that, once again, use Pilates-based exercise to help people reduce pain in various parts of their body. Big goal of mine in life is to help the world feel better without pharmaceuticals! (Ironic, given my masters’ degree in pharmaceutical chemistry…)

See? It takes a little bit of the gerbil running in that mental wheel, but you can come up with some fruitful projects that will get you toward your life/career goals, despite current limitations. (Try to make your projects meaningful, rather than, say, learning Swahili. Unless you are absolutely taken by the Swahili language, and by all means, go for it!)

Maybe by the end of allllll of this… I won’t need or want to go back to working for the man at all. Now, wouldn’t that be a hoot? Having had illnesses and injuries that supposedly take me out of work for a combined few years, but during that time, I end up generating a successful income stream. That would be amazing, and it’s my goal.

I encourage all of you to share this with anyone who’s going through a rough time in life! Any rough patch can be turned around… and can lead you into more exciting territory!!

I am living in Foodie Hell. I am sinus infected to the point where I cannot taste anything, and have been here for days. I drink a lot of tea, which is really just hot water. Coffee is also hot water, but I can taste a tiny amount of bitterness.

The upside is that I’m eating really small amounts. I’m sure I’ve lost weight. (for all the wrong reasons…)

Anyway! The last day that I could taste food thoroughly–last Wednesday–I took this salad to a potluck. I’d made it for dinner with friends the previous weekend because it sounded like it was going to be good, from the recipe… and it was OUTSTANDING.

Not only does it blend chewy bulgur, tangy tomato and lemon, crunchy and slightly sweet pistachios, and just a hint of spice–but this salad requires no cooking, not much prep work, and… it’s healthy! (Are you sold, yet?)

Here, rather than rehydrating bulgur with water or stock, it’s rehydrated with tomato juice and lemon juice. So light and refreshing!

Batrik (Bulgur and Tomato Salad with Nuts)
adapted from The Best Recipes In The World

4 medium tomatoes, cored (canned are fine, which is what I used–tomatoes haven’t been good this year)
1/2 c bulgur
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp pure chile powder (like ancho or New Mexico) or hot pepper flakes
dash cayenne, or to taste
1 small white onion, minced
1/3 c shelled pistachios
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Puree the tomatoes in a blender or food processor; strain. Mix the bulgur with the tomato juice and lemon juice and set aside for about an hour or until the grains are tender.

2. Toss the bulgur mixture with the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve!

Wow… so few words in that recipe! Isn’t that simple? And it’s light, yummy, and fresh….. great in the summertime!

I’ll be finding and posting a lot more of my summertime favorites in the coming months. Any requests?

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Happy Sunday, friends! I hope all is well in your world. This week, Mr. You Can Get Fit and I will be celebrating ten years of marriage! He is still my very best friend. 🙂

This Sunday’s list is healthy-habit themed, as are the blogs the posts come from. I recommend perusing their other posts, as well! Anyway, here’s this week’s list of health-related posts:

Do you have trouble motivating yourself to exercise on a daily basis? Gabriela from Une Vie Saine addressed this very topic, and you can read all about it here on her blog. Useful comments from readers as well, and cute kitty picture!

Katy’s tips for a healthy lifestyle at A Healthy Shot of Life. A very realistic list!

Corey at the Runner’s Cookie, who is studying sports psychology, has written this post about self-talk, and how exchanging the negative for the positive can affect not only our outlook but also our performance. Great stuff!

The benefits of breakfast as well as some ideas for nutrient-dense, lower-calorie breakfasts from Tessa at Amazing Asset. She and I have a similar history: once we learned the calorie counts of our normal foods, we cut back (good), but then, we started cutting back too much. It took me almost ten years to find my healthy balance, again.

Blah–here in Seattle, we’ve barely had a few signs of spring, and it’s back in the 40’s and downpouring again. But we’ve had a few days (few being the operative word!!) of sun and 50’s, so I truly believe that spring is coming! Maybe! Maybe? (I know that those of you in Florida are probably hating me right now! 😉

Whatever your weather… make the best of it! See you soon!


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