Fitness Friday Week 48 of 2013
November 29, 2013
This is my weekly fitness update. I am planning to do a weekly post on my workouts, workout tips, smoothie recipes, etc once a week. It will either be called Workout Wednesday or Fitness Friday. This week Wednesday was very busy so I am doing the Friday version.
Since this week was a holiday week and my 3 sons were off school from Wednesday on through the weekend I decided to give myself a slightly lighter workout schedule. I always plan my workouts on Sundays and they are scheduled from Monday to Saturday. This week I decided to do my Exhale Core Fusion dvd’s alternating with my Shiva Rea yoga dvd’s. Below are the workouts I used:
I really like the Exhale Core Fusion series and how they are formatted on the dvd. Each dvd is approximately 50 minutes long but they are divided into 10 minute segments. I usually choose to do 30 or 40 minutes depending on how early I got up and how much time I have before getting the boys off to school. Some of the dvd’s also have a 5 to 10 minute bonus segment at the end. I love the results I get from these workouts and I say I chose a lighter schedule but these workouts are not as easy as they look. They really tone up your whole core and the leg workouts they have in them are amazing. The exercises look easy and simple but yield big results.
The Shiva Rea dvd’s are divided into different length of segments. A lot of hers that I own are about 20 minutes long per segment as the case with the AM Energy. The Creative Core series is a little different set up and I just did the whole dvd which is about 25 minutes long, I believe. I love yoga and her yoga workouts are some of my favorites.
So, this weeks schedule was as follows:
- Monday – ECF – Body Sculpt – 30 minutes
- Tuesday – Shiva Rea Creative Core + Lower Body – 25 minutes
- Wednesday – ECF – Pure Intensity – 40 minutes
- Thursday – Shiva Rea – AM Energy – 20 minutes
- Friday – ECF – Power Sculpt – 35 minutes
- Saturday – Shiva Rea – AM Energy – 20 minutes
- Sunday – off-rest day
Below are some of the photos from the workouts:
As you can see from the photos my faithful workout partner was present – my cat. In the one photo you can see him even watching the yoga dvd. He is a funny cat. He usually sits in the middle of the room waiting for me to do my workouts every day. I also had to use my fitness grip socks this week that my husband bought me last year for Christmas as it was kind of chilly most mornings. Thankful I had those and didn’t have to be barefoot or I would have had some cold toes!
I didn’t have time to blend up any new smoothies this week. I continue to drink my green goddess smoothie at least 2 to 3 times per week. I was having one almost every day but now that the weather is colder I am not really in a smoothie mood like I was in the warmer months.
I am planning to schedule some cardio and strength training workouts for next week. I like to alternate my schedule so I don’t get bored. What workouts are you planning for next week? Let me know by clicking on Leave A Reply.
Have a great day!
Crochet Cape Project
November 26, 2013
Recently, I finished this crochet cape project. I made this cape for my grandmother for a gift for her this Christmas. She is in her 90’s and somewhat sedentary these days since she suffered a stroke and broken hip back in April. My mother mentioned to me that she was going to need some things to wear around her to keep her warm this winter as she lives in Michigan, where it is cold in the winter.
I crocheted this cape using Homespun yarn from Lion brand in the color spice. I love the colors of the Homespun as well as how soft and warm it is. I really like to crochet and knit with this yarn in the winter months. The lower edge of the cape features a ruffle yarn as the trim. The yarn is from Patons and called Pirouette. I like how some of the ruffle yarns coordinate with the Homespun yarn so well. I have also made a crochet scarf using the ruffle yarn as just an edging and knit a wrap using the ruffle yarn just on the edge and the Homespun yarn as the base of the wrap.
This pattern is something I designed on my own. I do have the pattern available in my etsy shop if you are interested in crocheting one yourself. Click on the highlighted word etsy to take you to that link.
I made my grandmother a lap throw several years ago that I crocheted in different colors to go with her couch. She says she loves it and uses it all the time. I am hoping she will like this cape, too. It is always nice to hear when people are using the things you made for them.
What gifts are you crocheting or knitting for people this Christmas? Click on Leave a Reply and tell me about them.
Have a great day!
Crazy For Cranberries
November 22, 2013
One of the things I love about fall and the Thanksgiving holiday is cranberries! I have been buying, cooking with and eating fresh cranberries for at least a month now. I like the fact that I can get this huge jumbo bag of them at Sams Club.
I like to make traditional cranberry sauce, like the directions on the package of cranberries. I recently developed my own new recipe using that concept but adding some rhubarb to the mixture. It is really good – I have made it twice now.
Here is the recipe:
I really like this combination of the cranberries with the rhubarb. It reminds me of being a child – my grandparents had a big garden and grew rhubarb. My grandma always made rhubarb pie and this wonderful strawberry-rhubarb jam. I actually bought the rhubarb to make this crisp recipe – which I did and I liked but then I decided to try it with the cranberries. I have been enjoying it in the morning for breakfast with my Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain cereal or even as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I also like to eat it with this Linwoods flaxseed and goji berry blend that I bought recently at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Another great thing about the combinations of cranberries and rhubarb is that both are great for your health and your skin. They both contain Vitamin C. Rhubarb is also high in calcium and water to keep you hydrated. Rhubarb is also a natural food laxative and keeps your digestive system in good order.
I have also recently made this cranberry bread in my crock pot. Yes, in the crock pot!
I got the Fix It and Forget It New Cookbook by Phyllis Good a few weeks ago from Sams. I always have to check out the books at Sams and usually end up finding something to buy. This recipe was for Cranberry Almond bread made in your crock pot. It turned out really well and my husband even liked it and I didn’t even know he liked cranberries. The recipe uses fresh cranberries. I tweaked it a little and used 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 all purpose flour to make it a little more whole grain. I really enjoyed eating this for breakfast with my cranberry rhubarb sauce.
I would love to hear about any of your cranberry recipes. Please click on leave a reply to share them. Have a great weekend!
November 20, 2013
This week I have been using two of my exercise books to workout with instead of my usual dvd’s. Sometimes I get tired of doing the dvd’s and need a change. I think that is one thing that helps to keep me motivated to exercise every day is to have variety. I think if I had to do the same thing all the time I would get very bored and decide to quit. So far I have kept a regular workout schedule for the last 5 or more years and I think alternating my workouts and change is the key to keeping me interested and seeing results.
Both of these books use an exercise ball and they also use some dumbbells with some of the exercises, a medicine ball or a handled exercise band. I bought the one book on the left recently this past summer at Half Price Books and the one on the right I have had for several years – I got it from Barnes and Noble on sale. A lot of the time you can find some decent fitness books in the sale section at Barnes and Noble.
Both of these books have color photos and detailed descriptions of the exercises. I also like the fact that at the end of both of the books there are workout routines. For example on Monday I did the Sports routine from the CORE book. It was compiled group of 16 different exercises from the book. On Tuesday I did the 101 Ways to Burn Fat on the Ball book – the Five Minute Arms and Five Minute Shoulders routine – 2 rounds of each of these so it was about 20 minutes long with a few minutes of stretching at the end. On Wednesday, today, I did the 101 Ways book again using the Five Minute Butt, Five Minute Legs and the Pilates routines. I did 2 rounds of each of these as well so it took about 30 minutes. The photos below are from the routine today.
Tomorrow I plan to do the CORE book again – using the Warrior routine which is compiled of 19 different exercises. Friday I will do the CORE Power workout that is 18 different exercises. Saturday I will use the 101 Ways to Burn Fat on the Ball and do the stretching routine.
I really like using the exercise ball, especially with weights. It is a great way to tone your whole body and really work your core.
I hope everyone is having a great week so far. I can’t believe tomorrow will be Thursday already and next week Thanksgiving!
Sewing Navy Knit Top
November 19, 2013
This navy knit top is made from a Butterick pattern that I bought at least a year or two ago. I am sure I got the pattern when they were on sale and had great intentions to sew it up asap but life got in the way – or other sewing projects!
I got really motivated to make this when I saw Deby from So Sew Easy post her finished versions of this top on her blog a couple of months ago. I made a comment to her on how I also had the same pattern and she responded that it was really easy to sew. I decided I needed to get it done!
One of the reasons I had put off making this top was while it said it was easy on the pattern it looked somewhat complicated after I had cut out the pieces. There really are not many pieces to it – like maybe 4 or 5 – but it still looked like a challenge. I have a lot of sewing experience and make a lot of my own clothes but I remember making this other twist front top a couple of years ago and it did not fit me correctly. It was too low in the front and I didn’t like wearing it.
This sewing project was much more successful than my previous one. I made the size 10 – the smallest size is an 8 and based on the measurements I went with the 10. I did decide to adjust the lower V point up a little and I am glad I did or I think it would have been too low cut for my taste. I think I brought that point up about an inch. The gathered front area is very attractive and the top is comfortable to wear, too.
I also made some pants from the same fabric using the Bernina My Label pattern that I have for just the basic pull on pant. They are really comfortable and the fabric has a poly blend with the cotton so they don’t get too baggy when you wear them. I am not sure where I bought the fabric – maybe Joann’s. I have had it in my stash for several months now. I tend to buy fabric when it is on sale and stick with colors I like.
The above is the back view of the top. Sorry it is a little wrinkled – I took the photos later in the day after I had been to church and sitting for a while.
I will definitely make this top again. There are two other versions in the pattern. They have the same front but one is sleeveless and the other is longer, more like a tunic, with long sleeves. I think I will make the long sleeve tunic version next so I can wear it with some new leggings that I recently made.
Have a great day!
New-Old Bread Machine
November 15, 2013
I recently got a new bread machine – my parents brought it to me when they came to visit in October. They got it from a neighbor at a garage sale. I have a bread machine, an Oster, that I bought about 4 years ago but it has been well used and I am not sure how much longer it will last. It sometimes makes some loud squeaking noises when it is kneading the bread. Also, I do not really like how the Oster bakes the bread. I usually just use the dough cycle and make rolls or make my own loaf of bread and bake it in the oven when using the Oster bread machine.
I really like my new-old bread machine. It bakes the bread in there really well. It also makes really nice dough. It had the book with it and even some recipes the previous owner had clipped that were from an early year 2000 magazine. The receipt was even in there and this bread machine is 19 years old! My husband also observed that it was made by the company that makes his welding protection helmet. Interesting…
The size loaf it makes is pretty big – it is a round size. I wasn’t sure I would like that but it seems like it is okay. I forgot to take a photo of a finished loaf before we started devouring it. My whole family loves this new whole grain recipe I made up.
Everyone in my family also loves these garlic rolls I make in the bread machine. They go great with spaghetti or any type of pasta dish. I have made them with just the bread flour or sometimes with part bread flour and part whole wheat pastry flour. Both versions are really good.
I really enjoy making breads and rolls in my bread machine – or I guess bread machines now that I have two of them. The breads I make in the bread machine are usually much healthier than the ones I buy. They do not contain preservatives so you do have to eat them within 4 to 5 days or freeze half your loaf.
I hope you enjoy the recipes. I would love to hear about your experience using a bread machine – click on leave a reply to let me know.
Have a great day!
Knitting Mobius Cowls
November 12, 2013
I recently finished a couple more knit cowls. Both of these cowls are knit in the round on circular knitting needles in one continuous piece with a deliberate twist – known as a mobius cowl or wrap. I love projects like these that do not require any seaming.
The cowl-wrap above is knit in Homespun yarn in the color Fire. A very pretty rustic orange color for fall or winter.
This version of my mobius cowl is a lacy knit version. I also used Homespun yarn for this accessory in the color Tudor – it has shades of blue and green along with purple and cream.
Both of these cowls are my own pattern which is available in my etsy shop if you are interested in knitting your own. I am also selling both of these cowls in my shop as well – they make a great gift.
I am currently working on a new crochet motif sweater pattern that I hope to finish soon. I am also knitting a sweater in some yarn that I found in my stash that I have had for a long time. What projects are you currently crocheting or knitting? Click on Leave a Reply to let me know.
Green Goddess Smoothie
November 7, 2013
This smoothie is a creation I developed with ingredients that are good for you and good for your skin, too. I have been trying to make one in the afternoons several days a week and drinking them as a pick me up energy drink – that I know is loaded with fresh ingredients and healthy vitamins. It is super quick and easy to make, too.
Here is the recipe:
- handful of spinach
- 1/2 c. frozen chopped mango & pineapple blend (I got mine at Sam’s)
- 1 or 2 pieces of crystallized dried ginger (I got this from Sprouts)
- 1/2 to 3/4 c. filtered water
Blend all of the above ingredients until it is smooth – 1 to 2 minutes. I use my Nutribullet with the smaller size blending cup to make this. It blends up really well in there.
Some info in the ingredients in this green drink:
- Spinach – vital for looking and feeling young and fit, keeps your skin healthy, has B-vitamins, vitamin C, carotenoids, calcium, fiber, lipoic acid, magnesium and zinc
- Mango – high in beta-carotene needed for healthy, clear, skin and overall immunity, protects the brain from memory loss, contains vitamin C, vitamin E and fiber
- Pineapple – contains vitamin C to defend against premature aging, also contains enzymes that have antioxidants and help produce energy, rich in bromelain to help reduce inflammation
- Ginger – also good for inflammation in the body due to joint problems, protects your digestive system from premature aging, regulates blood sugar and boosts circulation
Green smoothies are a great way to get extra healthy nutrients into your body each day. I will admit it takes a little getting use to drinking them. They usually taste better than they look, in my opinion. I have tried some that I do not like at all but this one has a very pleasant taste to me, with the ginger in it, and I always feel very healthy and energized after drinking one.
I would love to hear about your experience with trying green smoothies – or any good smoothie recipes you have to share. You can let me know by leaving a reply.
Have a great day!
Big Batch Ground Beef Recipe
November 5, 2013
This recipe is a really great freezer recipe and saves you a lot of cooking time on busy nights. I discovered the original recipe in a Taste of Home cookbook called Freezer Pleasers several years ago. I have changed it quite a bit over the years and developed my own version that freezes well and tastes great in recipes calling for ground beef.
This recipe is great for pre-cooking your ground beef and then freezing it in 1 to 2 pound packages that are all ready to use in recipes like chili, spaghetti or tacos. I always keep a few packages in the freezer – they are a real time saver on a busy day. The meat can be quickly thawed in the microwave or placed in your refrigerator to thaw the night before or in the morning.
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