You Can Get Fit!

Posts Tagged ‘rewards

Hey, let’s indulge for a weekend! (And if you’re really concerned, just have a smaller serving.) But this, folks, is the real deal. Good-quality chocolate, simple ingredients, go together relatively quickly to make a really good, creamy, dense mousse. Christmas and birthdays are the few times a year that I give myself license to indulge, for what fun would life be if we were constantly “good”?

And this is a great recipe for doing so. Feel free to add flavorings such as espresso or any liqueur, but as Mark Bittman says, it’s the simple intensity of the chocolate that makes this one special—and I thoroughly agree! The first time I made this one, I took it to a dinner party, and everyone was swooning!

With no further ado…

Chocolate Mousse
from How to Cook Everything

2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, separated
¼ c sugar
½ c cream
½ tsp vanilla extract

1. Use a double boiler or a small saucepan over low heat to melt the butter and chocolate together. Just before the chocolate finishes melting, remove it from the stove and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.

2. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and beat in the egg yolks with a whisk. Refrigerate.

3. Beat the egg whites with half the sugar until the hold stiff peaks but are not dry. Set aside. Beat the cream with the remaining sugar and the vanilla until it holds soft peaks.

4. Stir a couple of spoonfuls of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it a bit, then fold in the remaining whites thoroughly but gently. Fold in the cream and refrigerate until chilled. Serve within a day or two.

That is……… if it lasts a day or two!

Enjoy your Christmas with your friends and family! We’re tucking in here up in Seattle for a fabulous day of good food and good music tomorrow. If you’re doing anything exciting and out of the ordinary, I’d love to hear about it! (And if you’re doing the ordinary… hey, you’re just like me, in good company!) Peace and love to everyone!

I think I missed a Sunday back there… back with this theme now, inspiring you through the wisdom of my fellow bloggers. I had a great time last night—I sang in a show at the Moore Theater with the Seattle Rock Orchestra! Good times!

Aileen Mahoney of Kaizen Vision guest-posts on Live Bold and Bloom (confused, yet?) about how to break through your limitations.

Treat yourself well (and with zero calories)! A list of 12 Low-Cost Luxuries at Kaizen Vision.

Eat, Live, Run’s Kitchen Rules.

Jaclyn discusses body image and acceptance at both ends of the spectrum.

And with that… have a marvelous week! I’ll leave you with a quote from Paul Tergat, one of THE Kenyan runners:

Ask yourself: “Can I give more?” The answer is usually:”YES!”

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to break the ho-hum of day-in, day-out. My favorite idea (as if you hadn’t guessed this already!) is to try a new healthy recipe. It usually doesn’t take long to cook, and it’s good for you!

I’ve recently taken this a step farther and in the month of June, I set a goal for myself. Until the end of the year, I would cook a vegetable I’d never cooked before (which often means I haven’t eaten it much before, either). If I love it, great—new healthy stuff to add to the repertoire! And if I don’t really like it, it’s information I previously didn’t have, and it’s not really too much money down the drain. Besides, isn’t it fun to try new things? I think so!

In June, I made sautéed plantains to go with my black beans and rice. I think I’d eaten plantains at a restaurant once before, but otherwise, they were new! I definitely learned that I need to choose very ripe (black-skin, not yellow) plantains, because the ones that were just barely ripe tasted flavorless and starchy, whereas the dark black ones sautéed up sweet and flavorful. They are coming back in my dining room!

July was an experiment with greens. I cheated a little, as I’ve made a kale-parmesan puree on top of soups, but that’s been the extent of my working with kale. Last week, I tried the kale chips prep that has been floating around the nutrition blogosphere. I’ll admit that I wasn’t thrilled. However, my husband snarfed the whole batch! It took a bit of work, so I’m going to try the same prep with baby spinach (not so much cutting and tearing involved), and maybe I’ll like it better, too! (I’ll also give kale a second chance another time.)

What veggies are on the horizon for the coming months? This has been tough, as I’ve tried most of them. And this is why the challenge has to end with the end of the year. But ideas include Jerusalem artichokes, turnips, and Swiss chard. I’m trying to keep my recipes simple, so that I get more of the true flavor of the vegetable rather than, say, a cheese sauce.

I encourage you to try new recipes, new vegetables, new fruit! Find something you haven’t tried before. And when you have a WOW moment (or if you’ve had a recent one), take a second to share it here!

So, you’ve been sticking to your plan—eating well, exercising regularly. Great! But along comes the vacation you’ve been looking forward to for months. What do you do?

Don’t lose hope! Do not abandon ship!

Rather than giving up on your fitness agenda while you’re away, keep your eye on the long-term prize! Here are a few ideas that will keep you going, whether it’s for fun or for work.

1. Take a stroll to see the local sights. When you whiz through the neighborhood in a car, you barely get to see what’s around you. Instead, if you go for a walk or run, you have more leisure time to take in your surroundings. Walking the ‘hood around my hotel is one of my favorite activities when I’m staying somewhere new. And it gets the heart pumping faster, it gets you out in the sun, and it makes you feel more refreshed and alive! (Makes you feel less guilty about that extra ice cream, too.)

2. Do try the local cuisine! But remember that it doesn’t have to be the sauce-laden specialty. Many of us vacation along the coast in the summer, and coastal regions are known for grilled fish. I’m just pointing out that some of the tasty local foods are actually healthy and potentially lower in calories than what you’d have at home. However, please don’t sacrifice trying something local and yummy if you think it will “wreck the diet”. You only live once, and if you’re good most of the time, it’s OK!

3. Please enjoy yourself on the vacation, and don’t stress out about losing weight! That is to say, this might be a better time to focus on maintaining your weight rather than losing. As I said earlier, this may be your only time visiting this part of the world, so live it up! On the other hand, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… right. 😉

When you get back from vacation, your same healthy habits will be there, waiting for you! (They might be jealous that they didn’t go on the vacation.)

How do you all stay on track when you’re on vacation?

I’ve always wanted to lose 30 pounds. I just don’t know where to start…

Is this you? How many times have you said this to yourself? I’ve been there, more than once. Okay, more than twice.

Think about this: if you have 500 emails in your inbox to reply to, do you run away in fear? (Hm, maybe you do.) No, generally, you set a goal of replying to 20 before the lunch hour, then another 20 before the end of the day, and another 50 the next work day… Are you getting the picture, here?

The idea is to set small intermediate goals, that will help you reach your overall goal. Say you want to lose 30 pounds in the next 6 months. So, why not split that up evenly, and lose 5 pounds each month? That makes it a heck of a lot easier to hit your target.

And if it helps, you can give yourself rewards – preferably not food-oriented – for reaching each of your milestones! I like to give myself something really nice for the big goal at the end, but it’s also nice to incent ourselves for the smaller pitstops along the way. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, either; just think of something you consider to be a simple luxury, such as a long bath, or a few hours to yourself away from the kids. Our rewards don’t have to cost a lot!

Keep on keeping track of the short-range goals, and before you know it – you will have reached the end! Just break it down into manageable chunks!

P.S. I’m back on the Vegan Tuesday bandwagon… and much more successfully, this time!

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