Fitness for August 2015
August 28, 2015
This month I have been working out using my P90X3 workout again. I think this is my third time doing the program. I am not actually doing the whole entire 13 week schedule like I did back in Jan to April 2014 but I am using P90X3 about four times a week and doing my own yoga routines a couple other days of the week. I have found it to be a great schedule for August.
As you can see from the above photo my faithful workout buddy – my cat – is really into P90X3 and using the bands.
On another workout day he was into snuggling with my weights. At one point he was actually laying over the top of them stretched out but he moved before I could get his picture. He never misses a morning workout with me.
One of the things I love about P90X3 is that all the workouts are 30 minutes long and there is a lot of variety. There is cardio, cardio with weights, weight training, isometric exercises, kickboxing, yoga and even pilates. You do not get bored with these dvd’s.
The reason I chose to only do them four days a week instead of six like on the program is because I wanted to either ride my bike or do yoga on off days which is what i did.
I have also been making my own bread a lot lately. One of my sons wanted me to make cinnamon rolls so I found a cinnamon bread recipe instead from my Make Ahead Bread book and it turned out really well. My son really likes it too and I have made it two or three times now – it makes a large loaf.
As I mentioned in a previous post on baking homemade bread this book has a neat concept that makes baking homemade bread very simple. You make your dough ahead of time, like the night before, and refrigerate the loaf, get it out in the morning and bake it for like an hour and you have the best loaf of bread ever. I have used many recipes from the book, a lot of them are whole grain types of recipes, and they have turned out well. This cinnamon roll bread was another success.
We had some homeowner issues this past month. We discovered back at the end of July that we had a water line leak since we had a terribly high water bill. We had to do a lot of investigating and my husband had to do a lot of digging around but we discovered two leaks in our front yard – one up by the house, the shut off box and one by the water main by the street.
Well, lots of money later we now have a whole new water line installed thanks to Legacy Plumbing. It was about a four day process though to get the leak accessed and a temporary fix, get the permit, have a professional digging company come and hand dig the trench you see in the above photo and then another day for the plumber to come and do the whole line.
There was one day when this first happened that we did not have water for about 24 hours. You don’t realize how much you need and use water. I went to the store and bought gallon jugs for us to use to brush teeth, wash hands and dishes and we bought bottled drinking water. It makes you really appreciate having running water in the house.
I will say that Legacy Plumbing was a great company to use and if you live in my area of Plano, Texas and need a plumber call them. They are very fast to respond and do a very professional job and their plumbers are friendly and knowledgeable. We also used them back in May to get a new hot water heater – lots of plumbing issues for us this year.
Well, my boys are back in school now -this was their first week so things are busy around here again – actually they are always busy but now there is more of a routine to things. I was kind of sad to see their summer break end but it is nice to have the house be a little quieter during the day again.
I hope you are able to get some workouts in for the fall. I am planning to use some of my workout books for the month of September.
Have a great weekend!
Baking Homemade Bread
May 21, 2015
This past month I have been baking a lot of homemade bread. While I have always made homemade breads I mainly used my bread machine with the dough cycle and then baked them in the oven. After checking out a new book from the library, called Make Ahead Bread by Donna Currie I have decided I like using my Kitchen Aid Mixer (which is 21 years old by the way and a wedding gift from my aunt) to create some really great homemade bread that my whole family seems to love.
The first recipe I tried from the Make Ahead Bread book was this Oatmeal Honey Date Loaf. This bread is so good toasted in the morning for breakfast, especially with a homemade walnut butter or almond butter. I also used some of the leftover slices that were getting a few days old to make french toast that was another great breakfast.
The concept of this book, Make Ahead Bread, is really simple and makes baking homemade bread manageable for anyone, even those who have a busy schedule. Basically you make up the bread in your mixer with a dough hook the day or evening before, let it rise once for about an hour, then shape it into your loaf or place in a bread pan. After those steps you then refrigerate the bread where it continues to slowly rise some more, take it out the next morning or approximately 24 hours later and then bake according to the directions.
There are lots of great recipes in this bread book that go beyond a normal loaf of bread. The book has recipes for buns and rolls as well as flatbreads, pizza crust and pastries. There are also some recipes for what to use the leftover bread for and some spreads and nut butters, too. So far I have made the loaf above as well as Sourdough Rye Bread, White Wheat Loaf and the Hamburger Buns recipes. All of them have turned out great. I like the book so much and the recipes that I have tried that I decided to buy it so I now have my own copy.
I have also discovered that using good quality flours and other ingredients is crucial to having the bread turn out well. A few weeks ago I decided to break down and pay the extra couple of dollars for the Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour instead of the other bread flour I was buying at the grocery store. I love this bread flour! If you go to the Bob’s Red Mill site you can get a coupon for a dollar off.
There was a recipe on the label of it that I also tried and have made twice now called the Amish Country Loaf. This bread is a basic white bread recipe and it makes two loaves but I decided to make some of the dough into sandwich buns that turned out good.
Above is the recipe from the package of the Artisan Bread. It is a very simple recipe with just a few ingredients and it tastes wonderful.
The above photo is of my Kitchen Aid mixer. This mixer was one of the best wedding gifts and I am so thankful to my aunt who bought it for us 21 years ago. It is still a workhorse (with a few scratches) and it is trying some new things now that we have bought the meat grinder attachment and the ice cream attachment – both work well. I have not bought ice cream in a few months now and it is very easy to make your own with the kitchen aid attachment – the key to it is to make sure you keep the mixer bowl for the ice cream in the freezer all the time and to make sure you add cold ingredients to it when making the ice cream. I find that it is still soft, kind of like soft serve ice cream, after 20 minutes of churning but once you freeze it for couple of hours it firms up.
I have recently checked out another bread baking book out from the library called The Big Book of Bread from Betty Crocker. I tried the french bread recipe from there today and we will be having it with dinner tonight. This book has a lot of various yeast bread recipes as well as quick breads, coffee cakes and muffins and gluten free recipes, too. I foresee another book purchase in my future since I really like a lot of the interesting recipes in this book. There are also recipes for using your bread machine.
I am so glad I have gotten more use out of my Kitchen Aid dough hook. I use the mixer all the time with the regular mixer attachment or the whisk attachment but have not used the dough hook much at all in the past 20 years. The dough hook is now making up for lost time in the past few weeks.
Do you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer and if so what are your favorite things to make with it? Also, if you have a good bread recipe let me know about it in the comments.
Have a great day!
Working Out Week 36 of 2014
September 6, 2014
This week was kind of short since there was the Labor Day holiday. I kept thinking Tuesday was Monday and Wednesday was Tuesday. Therefore when Friday got here I was wondering how the week went by so fast.
For week 36 I decided to pull out my T-25 workouts and alternate those with yoga. So my schedule was one day cardio and the next day yoga. This was similar to last weeks schedule but I used different workouts. I really liked my schedule this week and the workouts I chose.
- Monday – T-25 Alpha Cardio + 2 Ab Moves – 28 min.
- Tuesday – Shiva Rea Yoga – AM Energy dvd – bonus segment Heart Salutation from Radiant Heart + 2 Ab Moves – 22 min.
- Wednesday – T-25 Ab Intervals + 2 Ab Moves – 28 min.
- Thursday – Shiva Rea Yoga – AM Energy dvd Shakti Flow + 2 Ab Moves – 22 min.
- Friday – T-25 Lower Focus + Find Instant Calm Yoga workout + 2 Ab Moves – 50 min.
- Saturday – Ride Bike + yoga + 2 Ab Moves – 35 min.
The cat and I have missed Shaun T and his T-25 workout. I forgot how much you can sweat in just 25 minutes! I did the entire workout last year from August to October – the whole 10 week schedule with my facebook fitness group. Most of it is written about in my past blog posts. I also attended Shauntervention here in Dallas last year around this time. It was an awesome all day event where I got to meet Shaun T and learn more about him and his positive motivation.
Tuesday we (the cat and I) did the Shiva Rea AM Energy dvd that I own. This one contains three different 20 minute segments plus one bonus 20 minute segment from the Radiant Heart dvd. We did the bonus Heart Salutation and it felt awesome after the fast paced cardio the day before. I love the Shiva Rea style yoga and have many of her dvd’s. I guess the cat missed doing her yoga too as he was around on and off my mat for most of the workout.
Ab Intervals was the second T 25 workout of the week. This one is a combination of floor abdominal work and then some cardio in between. A great session for the abs and the back to strengthen the whole core.
The photos above are from my second session of Shiva Rea’s AM Energy dvd. This time I did the Shakti Flow session. This one has a free flow yoga dance at the beginning and then goes into the yoga poses. Another great workout the day after T 25 and my lower abs were really feeling it after Ab Intervals the day before and the core work in this yoga workout.
Friday I did T 25 Lower Focus, a combination of leg cardio and toning moves. Another sweaty workout session. After this I did a 20 minute yoga workout from a Yoga Journal magazine called Find Instant Calm. This was a good way to stretch out and “calm” down after the cardio.
The entire week I also included these two abdominal moves at the end of my workouts. You can see the cat liked those as well. I found these two moves from a popsugar video last week and decided to make it a goal to do 20 reps of each every day this past week. I almost forgot to do them yesterday but got them in – even though it was a couple hours after my finished workout.
Last Saturday I made some really good sourdough bread using some starter I made earlier in the week. My oldest son has discovered he likes sourdough bread for sandwiches so I decided to make the dough in my bread machine and then bake the oval shaped loaves in the oven. It made two loaves so I was able to freeze one. Everyone has decided (all 5 of us) that the bread is really good. I will be making it again in the near future.
Weekly Fitness Tip: Endurance, Discipline, Determination – Keys to Daily Success
- Starting an exercise program and then sticking with it are one of the keys to becoming more fit and healthy – Endurance
- Getting your workout in regularly is not always easy or enjoyable but the end results are worth it – Discipline yourself to Just Do It and you will be glad you did
- Remember that exercise daily repeated over time will get you results – Determination
-I think that once you begin a regular exercise regime and stick with it that it becomes part of who you are and what you do. There are days I wake up and feel tired (didn’t sleep well) or just not very motivated to do my scheduled workout – but I choose to get up, get going, and get it done – which makes me feel so much better afterwards.
I hope everyone had a great week. The weather here is still hot so I am not sure about getting ready for fall yet but it looks like I need to start thinking about it. I have started stocking up on cans of pumpkin to try some of the new recipes I recently found on pinterest. I also need to make a new fall wreath so I will probably work on that later this coming week.
Working Out Week 20 of 2014
May 18, 2014
Well, I usually try and get my weekly workout post done on Saturday. I am a day late this week because of a pipe fiasco that occurred yesterday at our house. We had a little gardening to do out front of our house and I went out there around noon to help my husband till up the front flower beds and add in some new dirt. I figured this would take a couple of hours and then I would come in and do my blog post. Well, I was out there for about six hours instead. You see – right after I got out there my husband was digging and chopping through some roots from our big Magnolia tree that he thought were causing our front walkway to crack (which they are). In the process of doing this he hit a pipe that goes to our outdoor sprinkler system and it cracked and started shooting water everywhere. So, off goes the water for many hours and lots of digging and trips to Home Depot (like 3 or 4) to fix this problem.
Thankfully my husband is handy and can figure these things out and fix them himself – although I am sure that is not how he planned to spend the entire Saturday afternoon. There was a point in time, around the third trip and at about 4pm, that he said he may have to call someone – but with some more hard work, a few prayers from me and another trip to the Home Depot he got it repaired and our water was back on. I was able to finish the garden work while he dealt with the problem and made multiple trips to the store. We have a rain barrel and I was able to use water from that to get my flowers planted.
So, now on to the workouts I did the past week. I am still doing the Betty Rocker Challenge and it was week 2 and the beginning of week 3 workouts. In addition to those I decided to do a dvd free week and use one of my workout books instead. On the days I was not doing the Betty Rocker exercises I did my Flat Belly Yoga book routine. Below is my schedule for the week:
- Monday 5-12 – Betty Rocker challenge wk 2 exercises + foam roller stretches – 40 min
- Tuesday 5-13 – Flat Belly Yoga book – 20 min
- Wednesday 5-14 – Betty Rocker challenge wk 2 exercises + foam roller stretches – 40 min
- Thursday 5-15 – Flat Belly Yoga book – 20 min
- Friday 5-16 – Betty Rocker challenge wk 3 exercises + foam roller stretches – 40 min
- Saturday 5-17 – Flat Belly Yoga book – 15 min
I really like the Flat Belly Yoga book by Kimberly Fowler. So does my cat as you can see. He is all dressed up in a scarf my sons have decided he needs to wear – I don’t think he really likes it that well but puts up with it. This book is an excellent book, in my opinion. I got it back in the fall of 2013 and used it for a while then. I decided this week to get it out again. All of the routines concentrate on the core and most of the exercises use light hand weights of 2 or 3 pounds. The exercises are great for strengthening your stomach and back and really lengthen your whole body. All the exercises are explained well and it is an all color photo book with multiple photos of how to do one particular move. I like books like that.
Betty Rocker week 2 and the beginning of week 3 challenge was a “challenge” for sure! There is this skinny sumo move in week 2 that I could hardly get through all of those for one minute. One minute of doing one particular move does not sound hard until you actually try it. I really like how this challenge is all body weight exercises and requires no equipment. I like using my weights, step and other things but sometimes it is a nice change of pace to not have a lot of things to lug out and put away.
I also tried a new healthy muffin recipe this week from Pink Recipe Box. The recipe is for Healthy Double Chocolate Oat Bran Muffins. They were really good – made with oat bran and some whole wheat flour so they have lots of fiber. My oldest son liked them, too. I also took my friend Karen one when we met on Friday at Starbucks to knit and have coffee and she liked them as well. I will probably make them again this week. You can click on the highlighted link and it will take you to the recipe for them.
I hope everyone had a great week and you are able to get in some fitness time for yourself. I would love to hear about your workouts – you can click on Leave a Reply and tell me about them.
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!
Cake Doctor Book and Recipe Review
June 28, 2013
I was first introduced to the Cake Mix Doctor books a couple of years ago from one of my knitting group friends. She made this wonderful Apple Cider Cake and brought it to one of our meetings. It was so good she sent me the recipe and told me the book it came from.
I usually check the library for any books I am interested in and did so with this book. To my delight they had 3 different titles of the cake doctor books so I checked them all out. My local library allows you to check books out for 3 weeks and renew, if no one has requested it, for another 3 weeks so that was more than enough time to try out various cakes in the books and decide I would like to own at least one, if not 2 of the titles.
The titles I own are the original Cake Mix Doctor, copyright 1999, and the Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor, copyright 2001. The original title I received as a gift a couple of years ago for Christmas. I just recently bought the Chocolate version at my local Half Price Books for only $5.99. My oldest son and I went there a couple weeks ago to trade in some books and DVD’s – after my DVD organizing we had some to get rid of.
The Cake Mix Doctor books have a variety of different types and styles of cakes to bake. All of the directions are easy to read and follow and lots of other helpful baking tips and ideas are offered throughout the book. All of the recipes start with a basic cake mix but lots of other ingredients are added to produce rich and delicious cakes. These cakes are not made from scratch cakes.
I was never one before to bake tube cakes, I usually stuck with the 13 x 9 or round cakes. These books have some awesome tube cake recipes and have inspired me to bake a lot more of this style cake and they are so easy! I made this one in the photo below for my birthday yesterday.
It is a chocolate pound cake that uses cream cheese in the recipe. It is very good. I had made some homemade hot fudge sauce, a recipe I found on pinterest, that was so good and went perfectly with this cake as a topping. My sons loved it! The hot fudge sauce recipe was from a blog called Chocolate, Chocloate and more.
Another recipe I recently tried from the Chocolate book is the Hello Dolly Bars. These are made with a cake mix and are just wonderful. Very easy to make, too. They do require a few ingredients but are a cinch to throw together and bake in about 25 to 30 minutes. The perfect cake-bar treat for my hungry kids.
I hope you enjoyed this review of the books and a couple of the recipes. I have tried many more and they are all delicious. The ones mentioned above are the ones I have most recently made. Subscribe via RSS feed or through bloglovin for future book and recipe reviews.