Swimming….Challenging….Beneficial….

Swimming is such a great workout.  It’s very difficult for me.  It’s sort of like yoga.  I don’t really like doing it, but when I’m finished I feel great.  Therefore, I refer to it as a necessary / beneficial part of my exercise routine, at least during the summer months.  I eventually would like to participate in triathlon’s, therefore, I’ll have to suck it up and swim at least once a week during the winter months as well.  What prevents me from swimming during the winter now, is I am not a fan of the pool.  The chlorine is really irritating.  I grew up swimming in Lakes in the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes Region of NY.  It was fun, challenging and just what my friends and I were used to.  Not many people had pools.  Everyone either lived on Oneida Lake/ river in CNY or walking distance to a beach or swimming hole.  I’m hoping next summer to participate in my first triathlon, Irongirl, which is a sprint tri that takes place on Oneida Lake in Brewerton NY.  The race will be nostalgic for me, since it’s the area I grew up in.  It will be a blast swimming, biking and running the lake and roads I did as a kid….
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Fresh Squeezed Lemonade….

Fresh squeezed lemonade
Fresh squeezed lemonade

There is nothing like fresh squeezed lemonade on a hot summer day.  This weekend my son and I made fresh squeezed lemonade and set up a lemonade stand.  It was so much fun.  Making homemade lemonade is very easy.  There’s a ton of sugar, but there are ways to cut the sugar and still enjoy that fresh tart sweet taste…. 
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All in the sauce….

I’ve come up with a new recipe which is a combination of two dishes I’ve made in the past.  A vegan alfredo recipe and a roasted red pepper pesto.  I wanted the richness and creaminess of the alfredo and the smokey intense flavor of the pesto.  What’s interesting is how thick and rich something can taste without adding cream, cheese, butter and/or eggs.  So much flavor without the saturated fat and stomach ache, for that matter.  I don’t have a name for my creation, so I’m just refering to it as “the sauce”….
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Mowing the lawn….

When I was a kid, mowing the lawn was my job.  Fortunately, it never seemed like a chore to me.  I liked doing it.  I still like doing it.  It had actually been a while since I’d done it.  We have a huge lawn so we purchased a tractor when we moved into our house 9 years ago.  I have no interest in using the rider, so I don’t.  My husband takes care of all mowing duties on a regular basis, until recently.  Our tractor broke and has been getting fixed for the past 3 weeks.  Luckily our neighbor had an extra push mower that she’s letting us borrow.  I have to admit, I was a little excited to take over the mowing for a few weeks.  Here’s why:
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Yoga…. Truly beneficial….

I have mentioned in previous posts that I am not a big fan of Yoga.  I force myself to do it at least once a week, because it is so important.  I have tried different types of Yoga classes over the years, but have never stuck with anything.  It’s very difficult for athletes who prefer fast paced, endurance type sports to calm down, hold a stretch, concentrate on breathing etc… Yoga is difficult, physically and mentally.  What I always realize is after I do it, I feel absolutely wonderful!  My mother in law, Terry is a certified Bikram yoga instructor.  She is hands down the best instructor.  Truly dedicated to the development of the student.  Anyhow, I am lucky to have her in my life.  I attended my first Bikram class with Terry close to 12 years ago.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  90 min. of pretzel moves in 100 degree heat.  I wasn’t sure if I’d make it out alive.  For one, every participant is at their own level.  There are no expectations to perfect each pose.  The heat did not bother me at all.  It really does help loosen the muscles.  Having sweat dripping in your eyes while you’re holding a pose actually forces you to concentrate better on your form / posture. If you fall out of a pose and wipe the sweat away, you feel defeated for breaking your concentration.  I remember seeing a man come in to class with a walker.  He was amazing at every pose, even the standing positions.  Unfortunately, he had been in a serious accident and told he would spend the rest of his life confined to a wheel chair. He refused to accept that.  He started doing Bikram yoga and after about a year, he had progressed to being able to stand and use a walker.  That’s just one example of healing progression.  I do believe yoga, like most physical / meditation activity, offers a healing component for the body and mind.  This man had determination.  Like everything, you really have to want something to make it happen.  Nothing is easy and every situation is different.  
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Navigation Junkie….

This mornings post is a little quirky.  I’m hoping some runner’s, cyclist’s and traveling sales people out there can relate.  I am a “Navigation Junkie”!  I love the unknown, discovering a new route, driving to a new location, running a race and not knowing the route.  The freedom of just going and taking in everything your surroundings have to offer.  This morning I did a 6 mile solo run.  I was on my own, which meant I could listen to my music, make up a new route, talk to myself, sing out loud, etc… Really challenge myself, because I had to make sure I was back home by a certain time and not run too far over 6 miles.  I nailed it! My Garmin hit 6 miles right in front of my driveway, 3 min. prior to my goal time of 6:00am.  Mission accomplished! Continue reading “Navigation Junkie….”

Injury / Discomfort….Don’t give up….

Injury / Discomfort, unfortunately go with the territory when it comes to exercise.  Please, don’t give up!  When starting any kind of physical activity, you will experience muscle fatigue.  It stinks, but it’s normal. Depending on what activity you’ve decided to start with, you’re working muscles in a way they’re not used to.  Even if you’re extremely active, for example an avid runner, when you decide to try an alternate activity, say a boot camp or HIIT class, you’re going to hurt the next day.  There’s actually a few approaches that may work to prevent you from giving up.  1. Rest day 2. Active Recovery 3. SMR (Self-Myofascial Release) – I actually like to partake in all 3 suggestions.  
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Try it….

Try it….If you don’t like it….You don’t have to eat it….This is something I say on a daily basis.  It’s usually at dinner time, because that’s likely when we try some new foods or my kids have friends over.  Growing up, I only heard the “try it” part.  My siblings and I spent plenty of meals sitting and finishing something we did not, and still do not like.  It was clean your plate or you can’t leave the dinner table.  I laugh now, but it really sucked.  Anyhow, my kids are great at trying new foods.  A lot of times they like what’s for dinner.  If they don’t, I’m certainly not going to make them eat it.  For instance, my son does not like melted cheese.  Only on pizza.  Fine with me.  Melted cheese is greasy and actually ruins the flavor of a lot of good food. The try it part is a must in our house.  I don’t want my children to grow up being what I call, “adult baby / picky eaters”.  Seriously, there is nothing worse that an adult who eats with their eyes and claims not to like something / everything when you know they’ve never tried it in their life.  I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing  adult picky eaters simply were never made to try anything.    Continue reading “Try it….”

Falafel….

Falafel is one of the most delicious meals we make in my household.  It’s absolutely one of everyone’s favorites.  I had never had Falafel or even heard of it until I started dating my husband.  Middle Eastern / Mediterranean food was not on my radar.  My husband had lived in Michigan for a few years, so he was exposed to a lot of delicious Middle Eastern food.  Michigan (Detroit area) has a large Middle Eastern population, so Falafel is as common as Pizza is in New York.  I am pretty sure Dan made it for me back then.  We wouldn’t have known where to find it in the Albany / Capital area.  Now there are several restaurants all over the place.  Mediteranian inspired foods have really been on the rise for the past 15 years, especially Falafel.  In my opinion, making it yourself, always taste best!  

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Cookbook Club….

Cookbook Club - Moroccan Lentil Salad
Cookbook Club – Moroccan Lentil Salad -“Run Fast, Eat Slow”

I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend.  Happy father’s day to all the dad’s out there.  Friday night I attended my first “Cookbook Club”.  My friend Erin put the local club together and has been inviting me for months.  This past Friday was the first time I was able to go.  It was a lot of fun and I met some great new people and enjoyed a ton of fabulous food.  The concept of the club is simple.  Whoever hosts the party, chooses a particular cookbook as the theme.  Everyone pick’s a recipe from the book, and brings it to the party.  We discuss the approach to making our dishes. Where to best find some of the unusual ingredients, using alternative ingredients, putting your own twist on a dish, etc….  Continue reading “Cookbook Club….”