Monthly Archives: November 2012

Let’s Talk Snow

Well, it finally came.  Our first blizzard of the year!  In one night we got about a foot of the white stuff. I didn’t even bother to get up to look outside as soon as I woke up to see how much we got.  I was too afraid of what I might see.  Instead, I grabbed my Blackberry and got on Facebook.  There it was…A post from my wonderful and thoughtful friend, Melissa, on my wall.  What you may ask did she post?  Well, she was kind enough to post a link to the “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” song on my wall page.  Dear sweet Melissa knows how much I truly hate the snow and was thoughtful enough to share her love for the white stuff.  I still got a really good laugh out of it, and that is what I needed.  After seeing her post, I knew there would be a lot of snow on the ground.  So, the dogs and I got our butts out of bed.  Apparently I was not moving fast enough for Hank and Tilly, because they started doing their little happy dances while I was trying to put socks on.  They were all excited about the new fresh snow to romp and play in, and boy was there a lot of snow to play in!

You would think that all this snow would deter my husband and his friend from hunting at 7 am that morning, but it didn’t.  They told us that they “had to” go since it will be the last chance they get to hunt ducks this year since all the water will be frozen over after that day.  To top it off both men were crazy enough to drive on roads that were covered in over 8 inches of snow just to shoot some ducks.  Thankfully they didn’t have any problems and had a great hunt!

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As for me, well I decided to shovel our long driveway for my workout.  I was sweatin’ in no time.  Talk about a good core, arm, and leg workout!

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After shoveling snow, my son and his friend had a ball playing in the snow and riding in a sled while being pulled around by our friend’s four-wheeler.  For as much as I hate this white stuff on the ground, it is a ton of fun to see my son laughing and playing in it.  Afterwards they came into our friend’s house all pink cheeked and ready for some hot chocolate to warm up with.

On to a workout…I forgot to post this elliptical workout earlier in the week when I did it.  SorrySad smile.  This is a 20 minute workout, and is one butt busting hill.  It will tone up that bootie!
20 Minute Elliptical Intervals

Healthy Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

The cold weather is hear, and that means soup season is here!!  I have spent quite a bit of time lately making large batches of different soups for our freezer, and this Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup is one of them.  As you can see I’ve been making a few batches of it to freeze in my plastic freezer Ball jars!

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Plus, look at what I found at the grocery store this year!

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Precut butternut squash for only $1.99 a package!!!  Wooohooo!  Last year I cut my middle finger right down to the bone while peeling a butternut squash (yes I was totally mature when showing people my finger Winking smile), and I was quite worried about peeling one again this year.  Now I don’t have toSmile.  If you don’t have access to precut squash, then I do have a tip for you.  My friend Christy, who is a total genius, taught me how to make peeling squash easier!  All you do is cut the top off of your butternut squash and throw that baby in the microwave.  Then, microwave it for a few minutes until the squash becomes a bit easier to work with…i.e. peel.  Pretty neat huh!  Thank you Christy!!

This hearty soup is a huge favorite in our house and will warm you up on those cold winter days!


Roasted Butternut Squash and carrot Soup 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 large apple, peeled and thinly sliced (I use honey crisp when available)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the cut squash and carrots on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (this will make your clean up easier, trust me). Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I then use my hands to make sure all the veggies are coated with the oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, or until soft. While the carrots and squash are in the oven. Heat a large pot over medium low heat add olive oil. Then, add the sliced apple and onion. Cook the onions until caramelized. Then add minced garlic, stir, and cook for about a minute.  Once caramelized, add the quart of chicken broth, sprigs of thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.  When the squash and carrots are finished, remove them from the oven and place on a cooling rack.  In batches, puree the roasted veggies and apple-stock in a food processor.  Serve and Enjoy!!!

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the cut squash and carrots on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (this will make your clean up easier, trust me).  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  I then use my hands to make sure all the veggies are coated with the oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, or until soft.

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While the carrots and squash are in the oven.  Heat a large pot over medium low heat add olive oil.  Add the sliced apple and onion.  Cook the onions until caramelized.  Then add minced garlic, stir, and cook for about a minute.

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Once caramelized, add the quart of chicken broth, sprigs of thyme, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil.  Then, reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

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When the squash and carrots are finished, remove them from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

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In batches, puree the roasted veggies and apple-stock in a food processor.


Roasted Butternut Squash and carrot Soup 2

This soup is perfect for freezing or serving up the same day!!  Enjoy!!

My First Half Marathon

Alright y’all!  I’m in need of your help.  I’m going to run (most likely walk/jog) my first half marathon in 2013!  My only problem, is that I don’t know what half to chose to be my first half marathon, or the best way to train.  Therefore, I need every runners input on this one, so comment away!!!

I have always wanted to run a half marathon, and I’m quite excited/nervous about this venture!  Basically this is one of those “life goals” for me that I have been thinking about for years and years.  One year I was training for a half and injured my knee and couldn’t run.  So, I put the whole half marathon thing on the back burner for quite a few years.  Well, it is time for me to get my butt and gear and sign up and do my first half no matter how nervous I am!!

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Whichever half I do has to be in the late summer to late fall.  I cannot train in North Dakota in the winter due to the weather.  So, I have been looking at a few half marathons that look like they would be good for my first during this time period. 

Here are the races I’m looking at so far.  They are not in any order.  Also, feel free to let me know of other half marathons I should consider for my first.247702_10151199830357446_1143916430_n

The Women’s Half Marathon in St. Petersburg, Florida is usually in October or November.  My wonderful friend, Kim, ran this for her first half and really enjoyed it.  The course has great scenery and is mostly flat.  Did I mention it is by the beach?  That means that I would have to stay on the beach for this race.  Not too bad huh?  Plus check out the medal and charm you get!

 

MedalThe second race I’m looking at is the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  They have not posted the date for the 2013 race yet, but it is always around the first weekend in November.  I love the Disney races and have done several of them.  They are beyond fun and upbeat.  Plus you get to run through the parks and have all the characters wave at you.  Oh, there is also a party at the end with good food and drinks.  With quite a few of their races you even get to go back into the park and ride the rides!  If you haven’t run a Disney race yet, I highly recommend that you sign up for one (Run Disney).  Disney has races ranging from 5K to their full marathon weekend, and all their races are a blast! 

Then there is the Monster Dash Half Marathon in Minneapolis, MN.  This race looks like a monsterton of fun!  I was supposed to run the 10 miler that is part of the Monster Dash Half this year, but my husband ended up having to travel for work, so I couldn’t run it.  This half is always the weekend before Halloween, so hopefully it won’t be too cold in Minnesota.  The Monster Dash race is full of people dressed up and ready to have fun!  Everyone who has run this half has raved about how much fun they had (in their costumes) during the race and at the party afterwards!

medal rnrFinally, there is the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.  This half takes place in several states throughout America and Europe during the whole year.  I’m not sure which state would be the best to run this race in, but it looks like a ton of fun.  I have heard that the San Diego one is flat and the best for your first half marathon.  The Rock ‘n’ Roll race is a lively race that has local bands playing throughout the race course and a concert at the end of the race.  And, I heard the swag bags are pretty awesome!  I also have to admit the Seattle medal looks pretty cool too…I have a bit of a coffee addiction.

There ya have it folks.  These are the races I’m looking at.  Please feel free to let me know of any others that would be great for my first half marathon, or which one of the halves I’ve listed would be great for me to do.  Also…What was your first half marathon and how did you train for it?

Skyping with New York Times Best Seller

I started out having a hard time getting going this morning.  We were up late last night watching the election and then talking.  After that I stayed up even longer reading, and I have a good excuse for it.  Right now I’m rereading Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum. I absolutely loved this novel the first time I read it a few years ago, and I’m loving it all over again while currently rereading it. If you have not read this moving story, please pick it up to read today!

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I’m rereading this wonderful novel, because I’m going to be Skyping with the author, New York Times Best Seller Jenna Blum on Monday!!!!  I’ve been beyond excited about this since I set it up with Blum a few months back.  I’m not someone who really cares about celebrities you see on television and in the movies; however, authors are a whole different story.  Every time I received a reply email from the wonderful Ms. Blum I did a little happy dance (Did I mention that she is the sweetest person too?).  Basically, I turn into one of those star struck individuals who jump up and down and start clapping.  I swear I could talk to any author for hours.  How they come up with their stories just amazes me.

If you have read this story let me know if you have any good questions for Ms. Blum, and I’ll ask her for ya!

On to my morning…

Here is what I had for breakfast.  My hubby made us scrambled eggs and pancakes.  I let my son and husband eat the pancakes while I opted for healthier left over maple steel cut oats (I added a scoop of protein powder to the oats this morning to get even more protein in my breakfast).  It all tasted so good and gave me a ton of energy for my Best Body Bootcamp workout!

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I have been loving Tina’s workouts she has created for us this week, and today’s was awesome!!!  It really kicked my butt!  After Tina’s workout, I hoped on a treadmill and did the interval you see below.  This interval is more of a speed interval that has one small hill in it.  Hope y’all have a great workout today!


30 Minute Treadmill Intervals

Overnight Crock Pot/Slow Cooker Maple Steel Cut Oats

Yesterday was a big day of making massive batches of soups, creamy tomato basil and roasted butternut squash and carrot, and meals for the freezer.  Somehow I got so caught up in all my cooking that I lost track of time and stayed up later than I wanted.  I think I’m in some kind of winter nesting mode.  Well, I made quite the mess in my kitchen from my day of cooking, and the clean-up took some time, as you can see from the picture below.  I should mention that I had already run the dishwasher twice that day.

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Due to  having a late night last night, I hit the snooze button a few too many times this morning.  Boy was I happy to have made these maple steel cut oats for this morning!  With getting my son ready for school and myself ready for work we didn’t have time to “make” much of a breakfast, so having thought ahead I put my maple steel cut oats in the crock pot last night, and voila!  Ready to eat as soon as we rolled out of bed, and boy were they perfect for this freezing cold morning.

This recipe calls for maple sugar, and I recommend you use it rather than maple syrup.  It gives the oats so much more “maple” flavoring!


Overnight Maple Steel Cut Oats

Ingredients:

  • 2 c Steel Cut Oats
  • 2 c Milk (you can use almond milk too)
  • 5 c Water
  • 2/3 c Maple Sugar Granules(if you like your oats really sweet, you might want to add a bit more maple sugar)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 4 T Ground Flax Seeds (optional, but they are really good for you)
  • Possible toppings: chopped walnuts, maple syrup, etc

Directions:

Add all the ingredients (except the toppings) to your slow cooker.  Stir to mix.  Set the slow cooker on “low” for 5-6 hours or “warm” for 8-10 hours.  I advise you to use the “warm” setting.  It will make your clean-up a lot easier the next day.  Stir and serve!

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge

I know all of us start having issues with staying active and eating healthy during the upcoming holidays and winter.  As for me, winter is the hardest part.  I’m so used to Florida and the nice weather that allows you to stay active outside year round.  Here in good old North Dakota you cannot just “go for a run” during the winter.  The roads are snow covered and you take a risk with the extreme cold if you are outside for too long (-68 degree wind chills…don’t you wish you were me?).  This leaves me no choice but to make myself workout inside.  Therefore, I’ve signed up to do the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge that starts November 19th!

This challenge is about keeping you motivated to stay active during the winter and holidays, and to be honest, I think most of us need the motivation this time of year.  I know I do.  The best thing about this challenge is that you don’t even have to take classes at a gym, or even go to the gym.  You can count those workout videos and other workouts you do at home too!  Plus this challenge has a ton of great prizes!! 

The challenge is divided into groups based on your workout levels:

  • Low Profile: 5K, 10K, cardio class master (includes CrossFit)
  • Cushioned: Half marathon/marathon/distance biking
  • Stability: Half Ironman or more
  • Minimalist: Yoga/Weight lifting

You then accumulate points for working out, eating healthy, miles biked, miles run, cleaning the house, etc. 

1 Point per mile (run/walk)
1 Point per 3 miles biked
1 Point per 20 minutes of Pilates, yoga, stretching or core
1 Point per 15 minutes of low impact cardio or weights (i.e. low impact aerobics, easy biking, skiing, skating, water aerobics, snow shoeing)
1 Point per 10 minutes of high impact cardio (i.e.spinning, kickboxing, lap swimming)
1 Per day where you reach a minimum of 7 servings of fruits and veggies (here are details on what is a serving)

Additional points: Because it is all about taking care of your entire mind, body, and soul there will be additional posts/questions where you can earn points throughout the challenge. Examples have included points for cleaning house for visitors, meditating, reading a book just for you, getting the family active instead of on the couch.
Each week there will be questions posted on Facebook and those who participate will earn extra points. The goal is to help us all get to know and support each other with great ideas.

The challenge will run from Nov 19 to Jan 5…this helps to cover you for the major holidays!

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I’m really excited about doing this challenge and the possible prizes I could win!!  I hope you will join me in this challenge to keep you healthy over the holidays!  If you sign up for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge please select “referred” and put “fromfltond” as your referrer.  I cannot wait for this to start!!!  Here is to a healthy holiday season!!

Old and New Goals

It has been a great week filled with great workouts, and I’m beyond thankful for those extra workouts this week.  My Best Body Bootcamp workouts kept me active all week long through the Halloween temptations.  Plus I was able to go up in weights I use during the workouts Tina created for the bootcamp too!

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My goals for this week were:

1. Continue to eat a protein packed breakfast.  This was a goal I had last week and wanted to continue.  With a bigger healthy breakfast I have so much more energy throughout the day, and I have no desire to snack later on in the day.

2. Drink a butt load of water everyday.  I don’t get near the amount of water in my body that I should each day.  This has caused me to have some pretty fun headaches during the day, especially after working out.  Of course, I’m sure that non-fat latte from Starbucks isn’t helping either, but that is not something I’m ready to give up yet.  Keeping with this goal this whole week has caused those oh-so-fun headaches to go away completely!!

As for this upcoming week…I’m beyond excited!!!  Tina sent out our Best Body Bootcamp workouts for next week the other day, and they look awesome!!  She is using ladders for one set of workouts, and I couldn’t be happier.  Ladders and pyramids are my favorite types of workouts to do.  They really help you push yourself even farther.  For those of you who do not know what “ladders” are, they are when you have an exercise and do 6 reps, 7 reps, 8 reps, and so on until you reach 10-12 reps.  You are doing these for the same exercise all at once.  Talk about a workout huh!  Just think of all those happy endorphins you will be creating while doing that workout.

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It is time for me to come up with new goals for this next week, and here is what I’ve come up with:

1. Continue eating a protein packed breakfast.  I know it seems odd to continue this goal for 3 weeks in a row, but I have to.  If I don’t, I know I will fall off the “band wagon” the first busy morning I have, and then it will all go downhill from their.  Therefore, I’m sticking with this one for awhile.

2.  Spend 20 minutes a day stretching or doing yoga.  I’m now in that wonderful age group where you really need to stretch or you will wake up in the morning moaning about your muscles aching.  This wonderful soreness is due to the fact that I don’t stretch anywhere near the amount I should.  The only time I actually get a good stretch in is if I’m teaching a class.  Then, I get a wonderful full body stretch in.  However, after my classes I head over to the weight room to workout more, and don’t stretch enough after that workout.  Therefore, it is time for me to make this a goal, and save my body in the process.  The last thing I need is an injury.

So, do you have any new goals for yourself this week or month?  If so, what are they?