ready (or not) for winter

Dear winter, I’m not really ready for you yet.  I love your sparkly flurries, your rush of cool air, and yes, I even love your fierce and bold personality.  But…I’m just not ready for you yet.

It was only about 10 months ago, when I was out running 11 miles in the middle of a blizzard.  My face felt numb.  My feet felt like…well…they actually felt like nothing at the time.  And I had a smile plastered on my face, as if I had just been botoxed.  And, I truly loved every second of the experience.

Now, fast forward 10 months to the present:  December 8, 2010.

The moment I stepped my sleepy self outside and onto the front porch, I wanted to run back and hide under my warm, dreamy blankets.  Into my dark, cozy room.  For just a few more moments.  *Sigh.*

It was 16 degrees out this morning with a blustery wind that immediately burned my cheeks.  But I wasn’t out running 11 miles.  There was no snow on the ground.  I could feel my feet.  Life wasn’t really that bad after all. 

And so I kept on trudging.  One foot in front of the other until I began feeling warm again.  This happened on the last stretch home as I covered a nice gentle 3 mile run.  Sometimes getting out of bed and facing the cold is a major challenge for me, but it’s always so well worth it in the end. 😀

Overnight Oatmeal

If you plan on working out in the morning, it’s important to not give yourself any available excuse for getting out of it.  Especially in the winter, when we need all the motivation that we can possibly get. 😉

This preparation method saves you the trouble (and time) of putting things together in the morning.  A quick pop in the microwave, and your breakfast is ready.  And finally, after fueling yourself with a warm bowl of hot oats, head out and get your workout in.  You’ll be glad you did. 😀

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 T. flax
  • 1 c. milk + 1/4 c. water
  • toppings: about 2 T. peanut butter
  1. Combine all of the ingredients together except for the peanut butter.  Place in a high topped (to avoid boiling over) microwaveable dish and put in fridge overnight.
  2. The next morning, place dish in microwave for 2-3 minutes.  Stir.  Heat another 1-2 minutes and top with peanut butter. 
  3. ENJOY! 😀

Question: Are you ready for winter this year?  What are some of your favorite activities in the winter months?

staying motivated

It’s important to roll with the changes when it comes to motivation.

Last week, I ran because that’s what kept me sane for the moment.  I blew off steam.  Fed my frustration.  Came home feeling like a brand new woman.

This week, I didn’t feel frustrated.  I didn’t need to blow off steam.  I didn’t feel motivated.

Once I realized why I didn’t feel much like running, I just decided not to.  In the same way that I’ll never force myself to eat a healthy food just because it’s good for me, I’ll never force myself to exercise.  Just because.

However, that being said, I also know that exercising makes me feel eons better.  So I walked.  Because it felt good and kept me energized for a busy week.  I mixed yoga in with my regular strength routine.  I mixed things up, focusing on the things that helped me relax, because that’s exactly what I needed.

Motivation.

I also ate out a lot this week, which is totally unusual for me.  Between the german chocolate cake, the date squares, the meatballs, the tenderloin tips, and the broccoli casserole, you could say that I’m feeling a little less than normal. 

Motivation to eat better?

Because I’ll feel better.  Energized.  Normal.  Healthy.  Strong.  Ready for anything. 

(p.s. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy ever. single. bite of all the delicious food that I was served, but it sure does feel good to be back to normal today!)

A big hunka salad, a steaming bowl of homemade beans and a warm slice of cornbread left me satisfied.

Motivated.

Motivation is always evolving.  Always changing, in all different areas of our life.  What keeps us motivated to exercise doesn’t necessarily keep us motivated to eat right.

Find what works and stick with it.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  To fall now and then.  Getting back up, and trying something new.  Never beating yourself up but moving on.

One.  Step.  At.  A.  Time. 

Homemade Baked Beans

I’ve talked about these baked beans before, but it’s just one of those recipes that you need to talk about more than once. 

As much as my Pepere and I have in common when it comes to food, my Memere and I shared a deep appreciation for homemade baked beans.  She would serve them with a fresh batch of fluffy pancakes, smile, and say how much she loved this meal.  Sometimes she’d make some buttery scrambled eggs for the side too.  As a little girl in awe of her Memere’s cooking, I was pretty sure that life couldn’t get much better, and I still feel that way.  This meal is proof that healthy foods and comfort foods can oftentimes be one and the same.

  • 2 c. navy beans
  • 1-2 onions, finely diced
  • 3 T. molasses
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 c. ketchup (I use trader joe’s all natural brand)
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T. packed brown sugar
  1. Soak beans overnight in cold water.  Simmer beans in same water until tender, approximately 1 to 2 hrs.  Drain and reserve liquid. (keep in mind that you don’t want the beans sooo tender that they’re falling apart on you…they should be a little firm)
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. Arrange the beans in a 2 quart bean pot or casserole dish and top with onions.
  4. In a saucepan, combine rest of ingredients.  Bring mixture to a bowl and pour over beans.  Pour in just enough of reserved bean water to cover the beans.  Stir gently with rubber spatula and cover dish with lid or aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 3 to 4 hrs in preheated oven.  Stir at least every hour. 
  6. ENJOY!

Question: What are some of the things that keep you motivated?