You Can Get Fit!

Hey, gang!

Fall is falling! We’ve been really lucky to not have many rainy days and far more sun than we usually have during this time of year. That means we’ve been able to enjoy the autumn leaves while they’re still on the trees, rather than after the wind has violently blown them off.

Also means that I have had a lot of nice outdoor runs! (Chilly, but lots of sun!) I think I just might try to extend my half-hour of running this weekend. Where will it get me? It’s always great to have this romantic notion of running longer distances, and it sounds great on paper, but then actually going out and doing the run… not always easy. I’m still in the process of building back my base from a long injury hiatus, and I hope to be really comfortable hanging out with my friend Running soon!

Link theme of the day? Holidays… and this will be an ongoing theme for the weeks to come. Some food, some exercise, some crafts… all having to do with holidays.

1. A month from today, I’m hopping on a plane to here, which is where I will spend Christmas this year!

2. A simple felt napkin ring for your Thanksgiving dinner. Spruce up your table decor quickly, and free up more time to spend with friends and family.

3. It’s too late to start this Couch to 5K program for your local Thanksgiving Day turkey trot, but many cities hold 5Ks during the month of December, or especially New Year’s Resolution 5Ks. Set a goal to start running (or walking), and use this program to get there! It’s only 3.1 miles…

4. and after you burn the calories, you can eat this Santa party mix. Looks like a bit of work covering the Bugles with red coating to make Santa hats… but it’s really cute!

5. Give someone edible coal in their stocking!

Well–I hope this starts you off with a few fun holiday ideas! There will be more to come in the next few weeks.

Start putting on your thinking caps: what are your favorite holiday recipes? Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas… whatever you celebrate, we all like eating good food at this time of year! Pass ’em on! ๐Ÿ™‚

Advertisements

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!

It’s almost Halloween! Got any fun plans?

I’ll admit to not really having a whole lot going on (other than a whirlwind trip to a party in Vancouver, BC, tonight) but I have a goofy costume idea. No way, nuh uh, I’m not tellin’ yet! I’ll let it be a funny surprise next week. ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay tuned for details!

We’re starting to feel a chill in the air here, though, which makes it great to chow down on comfort food such as these burritos! I first discovered them years ago when cooking for two friends–one a vegetarian, the other trying to eliminate eggs and dairy from her diet. At the time, I had no vegan recipes in my repertoire (my, how things change). I tried this one, and–we were pleasantly surprised! I’ve since made it for several gatherings (including this past weekend’s yoga retreat) with great feedback!

So, do try out these…

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos
from Moosewood Restaurant Lowfat Favorites

5 c peeled cubed sweet potatoes (small 1/2 inch cubes–you don’t want to be boiling forever)
ยฝ tsp salt
2 tsp canola oil
3 ยฝ c diced onions
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 T minced jalapeno
4 t ground cumin
4 t ground coriander
3 15 oz cans black beans, drained
2/3 c lightly packed cilantro leaves
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
8 flour tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Place sweet potatoes in medium saucepan with salt and water to cover. Cover and bring to boil, then simmer โ€˜til tender. Drain and set aside.
3. While potatoes are cooking, warm the oil in a medium skillet and add onions, garlic, and chile. Cook on low until the onions are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and cook 2-3 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In food processor, combine the black beans, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and cooked potatoes. Puree until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl and mix in the cooked onions and spices.
5. Lightly oil a large baking dish. Spoon about 2/3-3/4 c of filling in the center of each tortilla, roll it up and place, seam-side down, in the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake about 30 minutes until hot.

If you want, you can top these with fresh salsa and/or with sour cream (they wouldn’t be vegan anymore, but that’s up to you). Yum yum!!!

So, what’s your Halloween costume this year? Or… are you going to keep me in suspense, just like I’m doing with you–a taste of my own medicine???

OK. You caught me.

I was a bit absent last week. Mea culpa! But I orchestrated a big event, for me: I rented a neighbors’ cabin out at a lake, invited 6 friends (one of them being a yoga instructor), and we held our very own yoga and hiking retreat. I planned and cooked all of the food. I’d say it was a success–and everyone else has been saying the same! I was thoroughly swamped last week, and I’m still catching up, but I can cross the “host a yoga retreat” goal off of my “40 things before 40” list.

Or… maybe now, I could try to create retreats for strangers… hmmm… ???

Anyway, I’m back! I was inspired by a recent post at Carrots and Cake to start listing, in each of my posts, a few things that just make me feel happy. (The idea being… that you, as readers, do the same thing–whether it’s on paper or in your head!) So, here are a few things that make me happy today:

  • My dwarf Japanese maple just starting to change color–he is gorgeous!
  • Satsuma lotion from the Body Shop (it smells like summer)
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice after a run

Think about the little things that make you happy… I’d love to hear about ’em!

And now, for a few more things to make you happy…

1. Cute teapot.

2. ‘Tis the season for pumpkin recipes! But what do you do if you’re left with only a tiny bit in the can? Ideas for that last bit of leftover pumpkin.

3. The artist’s/creative’s credo…

4. You are what you eat…

5. One last Halloween food idea to decorate your cheeseburgers (or garden burgers, or whatever burger you choose…)

Have a great rest of the week, and remember to think about the the little things that make you happy! Report back here! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hey, gang!

Before we get to the recipe, can I share one little victory?

OK, maybe it’s huger than I make it out to be. Once up on a time, I was a runner. Marathons, even. I just did it because “everyone else did” around me. I abused my body nutritionally, and didn’t really follow a good training plan. I was young and dumb. (I like to think I’m a little bit wiser now… some days…)

Fast forward to my work injury, which also revealed a congenital problem, all dealing with my hip. Come to find out that all of the running I’d done was pretty destructive, without my knowing it. (Well… I knew that running while 50 pounds overweight, subsisting on beer and garlic fries, was also not the healthiest behavior in the world. Ah, youth is wasted on the young.)

September 11th of this year was roughly 18 months after the last time I had run (and after 2 hip surgeries, the second one successful). I went out for 30 minutes of 4 minutes walking, 1 minute running. It was hard. But I knew it was the right thing to do. I needed to get back in the game.

I’ve been building myself up since then, three times a week on the walk/run routine. Today–about a month since I resumed running–my half-hour consisted of 2 minutes walking/3 minutes running. In just that short amount of time! I’m hoping to get to a 4:1 ratio before the end of the month, and will keep you all posted.

Anyway! This is a recipe I tossed together yesterday via experimentation. Next weekend, I’m hosting a mini-yoga retreat for some friends at a neighbors’ cabin in the Cascades–another friend is doing the teaching, and I’m doing the mostly healthy cooking. Here’s the salad dressing I’m using, more or less. Modify amounts as you see fit. Make it your dressing for your tastes!

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp mustard (I used Dijon)
~3 tbsp vinegar (I used red wine vinegar; white balsamic would also work well)
~1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a small container, whisk the first 3 ingredients. Add the oil while constantly whisking (the mustard should allow the mixture to emulsify). Add any salt and pepper to your liking. Tarragon might also be nice, here.

This makes a small amount of dressing, true. It should scale up just fine…

I think this would go great on a simple romaine with fresh tomatoes and cucumber… but if any of you have other suggestions about a salad that you think would work well with this dressing, that would be great for a crowd–let me know!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Howdy!

I’m finally resurfacing from reading the virtual piles of Steve Jobs articles, here to see you all again. As a business owner, I very much admired his keen sense of really knowing his clients, and especially knowing what his market wanted before they themselves knew. He truly changed the consumer electronics game especially in the past 15 years.

I read an anecdote on a site in the past week, where an author described having visited a big box electronics store in 1999, when the iMac came out (you know, the ones that came in different colors). The author overheard a customer expressing her disappointment that the store was out of the tangerine-colored iMacs, since they would best go with her drapes. Now… that’s design innovation.

Enough of the business chatter–but before I move on, I’ve used these events as motivation to expand my corporate fitness clientele. One seems like it’s going to be a sure bet (though lots of paperwork on my end) while the other may take some convincing. But–stay outrageous, my friends, in this one precious life that we have. What one step are you going to take today to change your life?

(It can be simple… eating one more vegetable serving than normal, exercising when you didn’t feel like doing so… trying a new exercise class and maybe making it a part of your ongoing routine… calling up an old friend that you haven’t talked to in ages…)

Here are some ideas to get you started, including some healthy and not-so-healthy recipes: (hey, you gotta just have fun sometimes)

1. Healthy crockpot recipes at Skinny Crockpot

2. And now, for something less healthy: cookie dough recipes that are safe to be eaten raw.

3. Awwww! Totally cute.

4. Ohhh, so many fun indoor Halloween decorations! (You didn’t think I was done with Halloween last week, huh?)

5. Recipes for homemade condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, chipotle sauce)

OK–now, it’s time to go and do something outrageous with your life! What’s it gonna be?

OK, peeps, it’s October. That means I can officially share some fun Halloween things and not feel like the retail industry… you know, where they start Easter right after they pack away the Happy New Year goodies? I figure if it’s the same month as the holiday, it’s fair game. And Halloween’s a fun one, so why not think of fun times? ๐Ÿ™‚

But before we get there: it’s getting colder (at least here), so I’m bundling up more. Less motivation to show some skin, which for some of us means less motivation to work out. How do you keep yourself going as the weather starts cooling down? For me, it’s actually more comfortable to run in slightly (I said slightly) cooler temps, so until mid-November or so, it still feels great to be outside. And the weather inside the gym is the same, no matter what. As for the deeper motivation–my joints and orthopedic problems won’t stay happy unless I treat ’em well every day, and working out is their treat. If I slack off, they let me know. I do it for my joint and bone health!

Speaking of bones and skeletons (what a great segue!)…

1. Anyone out there expecting? Here’s a great pregnancy Halloween shirt.

2. Look out for skeletons climbing on the outside of your house! (They’d get washed away here, sadly)

3. Some ghoulish ways to do Halloween veggie platters

4. Is that a spiderweb in your soup?? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

5. What a great way to serve your guac at a party!

So, does that give you ideas for your Halloween party? Get those brains going now….. ’til then, stay safe and healthy!

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

Join 20 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.