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Fitness Update

I have been slowly returning to my pre-pregnancy fitness level.  From 6 weeks post-partum I have been walking about 3 miles twice a week.  Slowly I upped the days from 2 to 3.  It felt great to be doing something physical again after 7 months of inactivity.

In February I started CrossFit twice a week.  This is in addition to the walking.  So, some swort of physical activity 5 times per week.  I kept walking while my body was slowly adjusting to the intense CrossFit workouts.

Cross Fit.  I haven't jumped rope in YEARS!

CrossFit. I haven’t jumped rope in YEARS!

I have started running about once per week for the last couple of weeks.  I have been doing intervals of 3:1.  Three minutes of running and one minute of walking.  At first, it was pretty hard, but with each workout I am getting better.

My friend is preparing for a half-marathon, so I am upping my mileage as she does.  I was able to do 6 miles this week!  I am siked up!  I easily transitioned from three up to six.  It must be the CrossFit workouts that are helping.

I love that I am able to get back into my routine of working out, even with having the baby.  She is a good sleeper in the mornings, so I am able to keep her with me and still get my workouts done.  I am so thankful for that!

Working out is one thing that I do just for me.  I do a lot for others, especially my children.  Working out helps me reduce my stress, and feel better about myself.

Do you exercise?  Do you enjoy it?

Ann

January–Review of Goals

I am pretty happy with how January went.  Here are my goals for this year if you forgot what I am trying to accomplish this year.  Let’s go through them one by one…

1. use up leftovers…we have done pretty well, but there is room for improvement.  I need to keep a list of the things that I throw out each month to be better aware.  Off of the top of my head, I know I threw out some spaghetti with sauce that didn’t make it into the fridge after dinner, a partial head of lettuce that got wilted, some diced tomatoes, a tangerine that sat too long in the fridge and got a bad spot.  That is all I can think of, but still wasteful.

2. try 2 new recipes…I have been trying a lot of new recipes and I blogged about two of them here and here.  I have definitely gotten out of my same boring 10 meals that I used to cook all of the time.

3.  make more stuff from scratch…I have been doing really well.  I have been making my own desserts instead of buying them.  I have cooked every meal except 1 pizza night at the $5 pizza place.  I have been making my own bread as a side for some meals.  I made homemade cinnamon rolls.  I am doing well with this one.

4.  learn how to can with the pressure canner.  I did can 4 quarts of chicken broth this month.  I didn’t get to any more this month.  I did use the pressure canner to cook chicken leg quarters and beans.  I loved how the chicken turned out, but I want to cook the beans less next time.

5.  keep track of some of the frugal things that I am doing…

  • I have been shopping at Aldi instead of Kroger.
  • I have been trying to plan ahead for the week and not go to the grocery more than once per week.
  • I used some leftover ham to make ham and potato soup.
  • I have used 3 of the 4 jars of chicken broth that I canned.
  • By using up the leftovers I have had meals that I didn’t use.  I carried them over to the next week to help cut the grocery costs for that week.
  • I have been staying home more.  It is amazing how much I can get done when I stay at home.  Not spending money forces me to be creative.  It also gives me the opportunity to be doing those things that I really should be doing such as cooking and cleaning instead of shopping and spending money.
  • Planning tomorrows meals today.  I really need to stay ahead of the game or I get caught off guard.  I have to be mentally prepared as my days are so busy with the kids.

6.  be able to run a 5k by the end of the year…I have been walking 1 hour or more 2 to 3 times per week.  My running partner and I are preparing to start running.  Hopefully, we will begin running on Monday, but my friend just started with a cold and she wants to be 100% before starting.  I don’t blame her.

I believe that I am doing pretty well with the goals.  It really helps to have them in print to go back to and see how it is going.  Here’s to another month of meeting my goals!

Cherry Coffeecake

I follow a lot of money-saving blogs.  One of them is called The Path to Frugality.    I love her ideas.   She thinks an awful lot like me.  At the bottom of one of her posts that I read, it said something like “you might also like” and there was a picture of her cherry coffeecake.  It didn’t look all that special, but I had some cherry pie filling I was wanting to use up as it was in the pantry for a long time.

This was absolutely delicious.  I ate like half of the 9 x 13 pan by the time it was gone.  The ingredients were already in my pantry or refrigerator, so no extra trip to the store to get extra items.  I used margarine in it as I had some left over from making Christmas cookies.  We use butter normally, but I find margarine works better with cookies.  I also didn’t use the nuts because I didn’t have them on-hand.

This coffeecake had a delicious taste and the topping was crunchy.  Pure heaven.  Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed…at least I wasn’t.

Cheesy Ham And Potato Soup

I have been trying some new recipes around here just like I stated in my goals.  I have a ton of ham in my freezer.  When I was cleaning out my freezer which was a mess and needs to be defrosted terribly, I found 12 hams…12!  That is a lot of ham.  I am trying to defrost the freezer, so we need to eat the food in it soon.  So, I have been looking for recipes that use ham.

This recipe came from food.com and I thought it was delicious.  I doubled it and we had some leftovers.  The kids ate it, but weren’t all that thrilled about it, but my husband and I liked it very much.  He said I should add some more cheese, but I thought it was awesome just as it was.  We had all of the ingredients on hand, so that was nice.  I made a loaf of homemade white bread and it was a delicious meal.

I hope you enjoy.

Sickness All Around, But Working On The Goals

We have been sick…well everyone except me, thankfully!  It started with the kids, went to the baby, then my husband got sick, then back to the kids…It has been circling around for more than 2 weeks now.  I think we are better, finally.

I have been healthy, which is miraculous considering I am up with the baby several times a night.  When she was sick I was feeding her plus doing breathing treatments every 4 hours…not much sleeping going on for a while.  She was at the Pediatrician’s office 4 times in one week.  Thankfully, she is better now.

I have continued on with my goals.  I have canned 4 quarts of chicken broth.  I have also used the canner to cook beans and chicken leg quarters.  The beans ended up too soft so I will have to adjust my cooking times, but it was a good experiment.  The chicken leg quarters turned out awesome.  I had a huge 10# bag and I cooked them in the pressure canner for 10 minutes after it reached 15# of pressure.  They smelled great cooking and the end product was great.  From a 10# bag I ended up with 3.5 pounds of chicken, 3 pounds of broth, and 3 pounds of skin and bones.  I got the bag of chicken for $3.99.  So I ended up with chicken for a little over a dollar a pound.  I am happy with that!

I have been baking about 2 loaves of bread in my bread machines each week.  I have 2 machines, so I make 2 loaves at a time.  I put them on the dough cycle.  After they are done in there, I grease my loaf pans and let them rise about 30 min and bake.  They turn out delicious!  My kids love having this bread with soup.  I love toasting it and eating it with butter on it.

We have been eating almost all of our leftovers.  The kids have been really doing a great job.  This alone has really helped to stretch the grocery budget.  As a reward for eating all of the leftovers, I have been trying to make a couple of homemade desserts each week.  The kids are loving that!

I have been faithfully walking 2 to 3 times for an hour or more.  Today I even ran for about 5 minutes.  I was breathing like a freight train…I am so out of shape.

I am happy to be following through with my goals.  I hope it continues.

Fitness In 2013

My running group met this morning to talk about our fitness goals for this year.  Each of us wants to maintain or better the shape that we are in…me included.

One of my goals is to be able to run a 5k without stopping by the end of the year.  Considering I just had a baby 6 weeks ago, I think that is a pretty good goal.  I used to be able to do that, no problem, but with no exercise since the end of May, I am really in need of improving my fitness level.

I am planning on doing a group training session 2x per week with some of the running girls.  Also, I am planning to walk 2x per week with a different couple of girls in the group.  I have to do something that keeps the baby out of the Y’s daycare as I don’t want her to get sick from being around all of the other children.  Our Y has a stroller that we can use around the track.  Right now I carry her in a sling or if there isn’t anyone else on the track, leave her sleep in her car seat while we watch her as we go around the track.  There is clear plexiglass, so I can see her at all times.

I still have 13 pounds to lose from this pregnancy.  I have done pretty well so far, but the holiday treats have really stalled my progress.

It is nice that it is the beginning of the year and I will be able to track my progress to hold myself accountable.

With this plan, I will get 4-5 days a week of strength training and aerobic conditioning.  Hopefully by the time the weather gets warmer, I will be able to get outside with the jogging stroller that my running friends gifted to me.  My goal is to start jogging when we are able to get outside.  I think that would be April at the earliest.  That gives me January, February, and March to get into better shape aerobically and strength wise before even attempting to run anywhere.

What are your fitness goals for 2013?

Working On My 2013 Goals (A Little Early)

I have been trying to take my 2013 goals seriously.  I have a tendency to start out great and then fizzle out.  I thought, that putting them here on the blog,  I might actually follow through with them!  My goals are here if you want to see them.  I have been baking zucchini bread and pumpkin bread.  I also have been making homemade bread to have with our dinners.  I used this recipe from moneysavingmom.com.  I have 2 bread machines so I can make 2 loaves at a time.  I use the dough setting like she says. I use white flour for now, but I hope to start sneaking some wheat flour in soon.   It turns out great!  The kids love it and it really helps to stretch our meals.  I enjoy doing this baking and cooking when I have the time and energy.  It helps when the baby cooperates.  Hopefully, I can get ahead of the game and then if the baby is having a bad day it is no big deal.

Here are a couple of pictures of my work.

Three loaves of zucchini bread.  The zucchini was pre-measured and frozen in my freezer.  It was from my garden.

Three loaves of zucchini bread. The zucchini was pre-measured and frozen in my freezer. It was from my garden.

Three loaves of pumpkin bread.  I bought this canned. It is from this fall.  I want to use it up.

Three loaves of pumpkin bread. I bought this pumpkin canned. It is from this fall. I want to use it up.

I have been trying to use up our leftovers too.  If you know me, you know that I don’t really like leftovers.  Thankfully, my kids do.  I am trying…I even ate my daughters leftover oatmeal (that is how serious I am about this goal!)

What do you hope to accomplish in 2013?