Weekend Cooking: Cherry Sage Beef Stew & Breakfast Cookies

cherry sage beef stew

I tried a new recipes out this weekend and it’s super yummy. It’s called Cherry Sage Beef Stew. The recipe is from Sep/Oct issue of Simply Gluten Free Magazine.

I changed a few things though. The recipe never mentioned how to cook the butternut squash, which seemed odd to me. So, after I sauteed the onions, I tossed it all (except the cherries and pumpkin) in the crock-pot. I also added 4 cups of broth instead of the 2 it called for. It seemed like it needed more liquid to me. Near the end, I added the cherries and a can of pumpkin. So good!

I also made three batches of these fabulous breakfast cookies:

paleo breakfast cookies

They are addictive! I love that they are so great for on the go breakfasts. Plus, being able to store them in the freezer means I can make a month’s worth of breakfast at a time. :) The only thing I changed in the recipe was that I ditched the coconut sugar. They seem sweet enough without it. And these chocolate ones look amazing too. I’m gonna have to try those next!

Workout Recaps & Goals – Humidity & Snooze Buttons

Workout Goals & Recaps

Well? Running was a fail last week. The humidity is evil and I can’t run in it. *grumble grumble* Also, one the one day I should have been able to run, I got a little too happy with hitting that snooze button. Whoops.

So, let’s look at what I did do:

Wednesday, I had a strength class at Uplift and it was awesome. I did plank jacks for the first time! Woo! Usually, I had to do the low impact version of just stepping them. And this time I was able to do a few of them as actual jumps. Although, I freaked out when my shirt started riding up, exposing my fat. Eep! Nooo! :P

Friday, I had another strength class at Uplift and it too was awesome. First thing I did after class was to sign up for a Monday class too. Hopefully I can get back into running again soon, but a 3rd strength class is a good thing too. :)

Here’s what I have planned for this week:

  • 2 strength classes (I’m on the wait list for one day so that could turn into a 3)
  • 2 short runs, both aimed at easing back into it after a long hiatus (also aimed at getting me to stop hitting the damn snooze button so much that I miss getting to go on said run :P)
  • 1 yoga session
  • non-workout goal, figure out what I’m doing with my workout headers in these posts.

And well that’s that. What about you? Have any workout goals for the week? Do you find yourself constantly on repeat with your goals like me? That’s something I have to work on, only I’m not yet sure how I want to try to fix that. Anyway, hope you have a fabulous Monday!

A Knitted Fall Scarf

Fall scarf

I just finished this Fall scarf! Yay! Now if only we’d get some actual Fall weather….

This is made with Bernat Mosaic Yarn in the color medusa. I found it wandering one day and the colors intrigued me. So, I wanted to see what they’d look like knitted out. Since I’d made a potato chip scarf before, I thought it would be a good pattern to try out with this yarn too. Only this time, I made it longer and I love how it came out! The colors remind me of swirling Fall leaves. :)

And now it’s time to get back to my works in progress:

A few knitting projects

Hope you have a wonderful night! :)

A Fresh Start With Workout Goals & Recaps

Workout Goals & Recaps

Wow, I just checked and it’s been over a month since my last workout post. I have been working out, but I’ve been having a frustrating time of it. The end of August humidity wrecked me and then I injured my leg again (go me!). So, that was fun. Yeah. Mostly, I’ve had a problem with scheduling. I wanted to run in the morning, but the shock of just how dark mornings are now hit me. It made me depressed and I ended up just going back to bed. Then I tried to move my schedule so I’d run after work to try to enjoy what light I could, but that meant moving all my Uplift workouts around. I don’t like running the night before a workout at Uplift, because it’s too brutal on my legs. It’s a thing. All my schedule maneuvering amounted to nothing good though. I ended up not running much at all. I decided the best thing I could do was throw the schedule away. Be gone! Huzzah!

Now, I plan on just focusing on running when I can. And if my legs are still recovering from a run, I’ll just low impact everything leg related at my other workouts. And if even doing low impact work on my legs the morning after a run is too much? Well? Let’s wait and see what happens first I guess.

I think this week my goal will be just to run a few times with no mileage in mind and no trying to run faster. None of that. I just want to run for the fun of it. It’s been too long since I’ve done that and I look forward to it.

Oh, and Happy Fall everyone! It’s my favorite time of year! :)

Workout Recaps and This Week’s Goals

Hi there! Well, it’s Monday. *sigh* I hope you are at least having the best Monday you can have!

I’m trying to get myself out of a funk that I’ve been in all weekend. It’s the frustrations of dieting and working out and not really feeling much change. I lost weight the first week I ditched dairy and sugar, but that was all. And I gave those up for medical reasons, not to help with the diet. I really thought I’d lose weight this summer, but it hasn’t really worked as hoped. Now, I’m dreading having to see my doctor next month and hear those frustrating words that I’m so damned tired of hearing, “You have to lose weight.” Uh huh. Got something new for me? Yes, I realize that losing weight will help combat symptoms with my PCOS, but having PCOS also makes it a bear to lose the damn weight. It would be one thing if all the working out was starting to change my shape some, but it’s not. My clothes still fit the same.

I’m trying to push through this rut and to just keep doing my best and hoping that some day things will kick in for me. Mostly though, I’m in a grumpy “why bother?” mood. Fun times….

Anyway, let’s take a look at last week’s workouts.

workout recaps

What I planned on doing:

  • 1 running class (Oy!)
  • 2 strength classes
  • 1 short run
  • 1 longer run
  • 1 yoga session

Monday was another running class. I’m not even really sure what to say about these classes any more. I continue to just try to survive it. It was hot and I almost threw up. My chest pounded so hard too that I wondering if that was what a heart attack felt like. I did have a funny moment though, one of the runners jogged beside me for a bit and as we chatted, she made an interesting point.  She said that she thinks I can run faster than I think I can. I asked why she thought that and she said it was because I could talk. I found that interesting and it probably means that I should push harder next time.

But, here’s the thing. I’m not sure how to handle the rapid decline that happens to me after I stop running. Getting home always turns into a nightmare. My legs swelled so badly from the heat that I was hobbling more than walking to the subway. And then a cramp formed in my calve, which meant I had to keep it straight to get up the crazy amount of steps back out of the subway. Then on the bus ride home, I worried about whether or not I was gonna fall down the steps getting out of the bus (I didn’t!), but it’s always a concern since my legs lock up then. And once I got off the bus, the tendinitis in my foot and my joints in both feet woke up and that made the 8 blocks home and another set of stairs super fun.

This is pretty typical for what happens after these running classes. My legs and feet do recover usually by Tuesday night, but I really think I would do a lot better and wouldn’t be afraid of pushing myself if my body didn’t have such a meltdown after the class. Not having the difficult commute home would also be super helpful. I’m bringing my compression sleeves to the next class and seeing if that helps at all. Really hoping it does!

Tuesday was a rest day.

Wednesday, I had a strength class at Uplift and it was awesome. My gimpy hand is starting to hold up better when we have to grip a dumbbell with both hands. That’s a good thing because I’m always terrified I’m gonna drop it. Also, we did these one legged walking into push-up things that were oddly fun, even if I still can’t do a very good standard push-up, let alone crazy ones like this. :P

Thursday, I had another strength class at Uplift. What was I thinking? My arms were miserable! It was a great class, but maybe strength class two days in a row wasn’t the best idea for me. I took in then because I was off on Friday and didn’t want to schlep into the city just to work out. This was a new trainer for me and she was really good. We did some different moves than I was used to, and that was fun. I particularly liked this knee lift move we did for part of our cardio section and anything that involved punching.

Friday was an unexpected rest day. I wasn’t feeling so good.

Saturday, I had a yoga class at Stone Center for Yoga & Heath and it was okay. The focus seemed to be on poses that I can’t even do a half-assed version of (actually nobody in the class could), so that wasn’t too fun.

Later that same day, I went for a 4 mile run. I focused on trying to speed up. For the first 2 miles, I was able to increase my speed by 90 seconds each mile. For the second 2 miles, eh, not so much. I probably would have done better on this run had I not waited until the end of the day to start it. It took me all day to convince myself to go for the run though and that’s something I have to work on. Maybe going for another trail run will help me find the fun in running again. Ooh, or maybe a new to me trail too!

Sunday was a rest day.

So, not too bad on workouts this week. I only missed one run, which seems to be a pattern for me. Hmm… Let’s move on to the week ahead:

workout goals

Here’s what I have planned:

  • 1 running class (Oy!)
  • 2 strength classes
  • 1 short run
  • 1 longer run
  • 1 yoga session

Yeah, my workout plan in on repeat again. It’ll change up some next week, I think. What about you? Any workout goals for the week? Whatever you do, I hope you have a fabulous week!

Workout Recaps, This Week’s Goals, & An Attempt to Work on Self Confidence

Hi there! Hope you are enjoying your Sunday so far! It’s my last day of vacation and I’m trying not to cry about it. Trying. T_T

Anyway, let’s get right to looking at last week’s workouts.

workout recaps

What I planned on doing:

  • 1 running class (eep!)
  • 2 strength classes
  • 1 short run
  • 1 longer run
  • 1 yoga session
  • (not a workout goal, but related: hoping to make some new workout headers for the blog this week too :P)

Well? I was foolish with setting those goals. It required many trips into the city on my week off and I got sick of that pretty quickly. So, I threw those goals out the window. Here’s what I did instead:

Monday was another running class. E-freaking-GAD! When the warmup jog started, I had a bit of a meltdown. When you are running at your normal running speed and the rest of the group is leisurely jogging and still outpacing you by a mile, you know you are in trouble. When I saw how quickly and how far I was falling behind, two thoughts came to mind, “Houston, we have a problem.” and “Oh, fuck!”

So, while the group had a nice warmup, followed by intervals, I had a session of run as fast as you can move and oh, speed up here and there, and try not to pass out. I am seriously out of my element here and don’t feel like I belong in this class. And it’s that sentiment that had my self confidence implode.

But…I have to be realistic with myself here. I was too sick to run for a chunk of the past year and gained weight and that doesn’t help with running either. And I’m just getting back into it, so I have to have some patience with working on becoming a stronger runner. And the class is filled with uber nice people and the trainer is awesome, so all this anxiety is me just being me. But I still feel bad when they have to be on the lookout for losing me because I’m that far behind. I’m working on it…the running and the self confidence. It sure isn’t easy though.

Tuesday was a rest day and I used that day to buy myself some new running shoes. Socks too. :)

Wednesday, I went trail running. It was slow going since bulks of the trail seem to climb forever. And some parts were so steep that I had to walk them. But I like the challenge and plan on going back periodically to see if I get better at those climbs! Here are few pics along the trail:

along a trail run trails stairs trail deer

Thursday, I ran 2.2 miles up and down hills. Running hills is what we did in our first running class and I want to try to pull what we are doing there into my regular jogs. I was testing out new running shoes so I didn’t venture too far from home for this one. The hill wasn’t super steep or big, but it was enough for a decent workout. Now that I know I like the shoes, I’ll have to scout out some larger hills for training.

Oh, and I had an odd encounter along the run: a woman stopped her car, threw open the door, clapped, and yelled, “Good for you! I should be out there doing that too!” I wanted to yell, “Then get out here too!” but I had no breath left to do that and ended up just smiling and nodding a thank you. I don’t know what it is with my neighborhood and how they react to seeing a plus-sized woman running. It’s a little creepy, but the cheers are kinda nice too. I hope that some day I do inspire some of them to get out and do this too. I’d love to have the company. :)

After my run, I did some yoga, which was wonderful.

Friday, ended up being a rest day. I had to wait for a stove repair guy and after he left, a thunderstorm hit. Oh well.

Saturday, I had a yoga class at Stone Center for Yoga & Heath and it was great. And much harder than last week’s class too! The teacher kept having us hold the poses longer and that made my arms so sore! But it was a good kind of sore.

Later that same day, I went for a 2 mile run. I had planned for a longer run, but it was swampy outside. And that made for a disgusting run with poor breathing, swollen legs, and to top it all off, I ran into multiple spider webs. Eww!

Listening to this on repeat helped though:

Sunday, well? It’s early enough that I could still fit a workout in. I kinda want to run again but with tomorrow being a running class, that would be a mistake. So I might just do some yoga.

So, not too bad on workouts this week. Let’s move on to the week ahead:

workout goals

Here’s what I have planned:

  • 1 running class (Oy!)
  • 2 strength classes
  • 1 short run
  • 1 longer run
  • 1 yoga session

What about you? Any workout goals for the week? Whatever you do, I hope you have a fabulous week!

Lacy Keyhole Scarf

lacy keyhole scarf

I made a lacy keyhole scarf! Wow, this one was tough. There were lots of first time stitches for me here. The keyhole and seaming really tripped me up. I had to redo those tons of times and they still aren’t right. I still like how it came out though. And hey, first time I made lace! :) I plan on making another one of these scarves soon to practice those tricky parts more.

I learned how to make this through a Craftsy online class called Knit Lab. I was originally planning on just taking their class, Hats Four Ways, but then I realized that I really needed to understand the basics before moving on. Plus, I have a hard time reading patterns, so, yeah, I needed help. The lacy keyhole scarf is the first project we learn how to make in it and I think it’s a great project, because it touches upon so many varieties of stitches. Here’s some info on it:

While watching the early lessons, I kept my hands busy by knitting this scarf too:

blue scarf

Is there such a thing as owning too many scarves? I wonder. :P

Anyway, off to learn more knitting. Hope you have a wonderful day! :)

 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers and Roasted Carrots

quinoa stuffed peppers and roasted carrots

I tried out two new recipes today and loved them both! These are easily going to become staples on my menu. :)

The quinoa stuffed peppers recipe came from Gluten-Free Girl Everyday and I really like the sweetness of the golden raisins and caramelized onions. The only thing I changed from the recipe was that I didn’t use butter when I prepped the onions and I left out the optional sugar. If you are using larger peppers, you may want to double the stuffing batch. There really isn’t enough to fill 8 large peppers.

The roasted carrots recipe came from Carla Hall’s Cooking With Love. None of the grocery stores around me have baby carrots like she described and I won’t be able to hit up a farmer’s market until next week. So, I had to go the chopped up larger carrots route. I think next time, I would slice them a little thinner. The flavor was great, but I think it will be even better on thinner carrots.

I suspect I’ll be making another batch of both this weekend. :)

 

 

Workout Recaps & This Week’s Goals

Hi there! Hope you are enjoying your Monday so far! I’m on vacation this week so I’m already having a fabulous day!

So, let’s get right to it and take a look at last week’s workouts.

workout recaps

What I planned on doing:

  • 1 running class
  • 2 strength classes
  • 1 short run
  • 1 longer run
  • 1 yoga session

I did most all of this one. I was one run short though.

Monday was my first running class. Um, whoops! I was a spaz and missed part of the class because I couldn’t find my group. I did catch up with them and egad, even the part I was there for was brutal. We ran up and down a steep hill. My legs died. They were so swollen and all the subway stairs I had to climb on the commute home were no help. I learned that what I missed was running up stairs and more hills. Needless to say, I’m very nervous for today’s class. I may not be in shape enough yet for a class like this one. >__<

Tuesday, I had a strength class at Uplift and it was awesome. It was weird at first because I don’t usually take the evening classes. But, I didn’t get into my normal morning class, so I took what I could. The studio was a bit crazier than I’m used to and in the lockerroom, people were in my way every way I turned. It’s a different flow than the morning “must get to work now” crowd. So, that’s gonna take some getting used to. But the class was great and my legs held up way better than I thought they would. My arms died thanks to the trainer being in a plank-happy mood. :P

Wednesday was a much needed rest day.

Thursday ended up being an unplanned rest day. I was going to go running in the am, but overslept. Whoops.

Friday, I had another class at Uplift and it was a grumpy workout for me. My feet hurt and my gimpy finger was enflamed. As for the feet, I think I need new shoes, ones that have room for my joints swelling and stay on my feet. I’ll have to start looking for some. I’m also finding that I’m regularly more tired on Fridays than any other day of the week. It could be our summer schedule of having longer workdays on M-T, but I won’t know for sure until the month ends. But if it is that I’m just too tired on Friday to have a good workout, I may have to switch my schedule around a little to allow for Fridays to be rest days.

Saturday, I had a yoga class at Stone Center for Yoga & Heath and it was much more low key than I remembered it being. It had been about two years since I’d last been there, so my memory could just be off. Here’s a bit about the class:

Mindful Yoga: This class is taught at a contemplative pace that encourages exploration, focus, and the building of yoga skills over time. The emphasis is on precise alignment, carefully thought-out sequences, essential breath work, and the key element of mindfulness that allows students to quiet their minds and go within.  Appropriate for beginning and intermediate students.

Mindful Monkey, Happy PandaFor me, it was more of a meditation type thing. Our movements were slow and soothing because of the slowness. It was great for winding down from the week. Plus, the teacher started the class by reading us a children’s book called Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda. The book is about focusing on the now, and that happens to be the focus of the class as well as something I struggle with personally. It’s an adorable book.

Later that same day, I went for a 3 mile run. It was wonderful and I found myself grinning ear to ear, just happy with being at the park.

park

Sunday ended up being a rest day. I debated going running, but decided to rest my legs instead. It’s the fear for today’s running class that set that one into motion.

All in all, not too bad for workouts last week.

workout goals

Here’s what I have planned for this week:

  • 1 running class (eep!)
  • 2 strength classes
  • 1 short run
  • 1 longer run
  • 1 yoga session
  • (not a workout goal, but related: hoping to make some new workout headers for the blog this week too :P)

What about you? Any workout goals for the week? Whatever you do, I hope you have a wonderful week!