Lightened-up Alfredo

alfredo

We’ve kinda been on a bit of a pasta kick around here lately. Can you say cheap and easy? It’s convenient and oh so versatile. I’ve got a couple great new pasta recipes to share, this being a “10” on the yummy, easy scale.

Who doesn’t love a thick, rich, cheesy alfredo sauce? That being said, you can almost feel your arteries harden, right? The butter, the heavy cream, the cheese. Yup, my cholesterol points went up just writing it.

Well now you can have your alfredo and eat it too! This sauce is amazing. It uses no heavy cream and almost no butter and only half a cup of cheese. You will be amazed at how creamy, rich and flavorful this is. And, let’s not forget it only takes about 20 minutes to pull it all together.

If you are an alfredo fan but have been avoiding it because of the obvious dietary pitfalls, try this. Throw in your favorite protein or your favorite vegetables and make it even better. I used some grilled chicken breast, which the boys loved, but they even requested the addition of some broccoli. Yes, I’m in shock too.

Fettucine is the pasta shape typically used, but I used rigatoni, simply because the boys like it better. I like fettucine better, but that’s neither here nor there. Majority rules. You can use whatever shape pasta your little heart desires.

I got “Four thumbs up” from the boys. I can’t ask for much better than that.

    Lightened-up Alfredo

1 pound pasta, cooked al dente (reserve 1/2 c. pasta water)
1 Tbls olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbls all-purpose flour
2 Tbls Butter
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. fat-free half & half
1/2 c. parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best)
1 Tbls. chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta al dente. Make sure your water is salted. It is your only opportunity to flavor your pasta. Reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta water before you drain your pasta.

While pasta is cooking, in a large pan on medium heat, saute garlic until fragrant, but not brown.

Using a whisk, mix in flour making a paste and slowly add the chicken broth and half & half, whisking continuously.

Reduce heat to low allowing sauce to thicken. I used a strainer spoon and scooped out a lot of the garlic. This step is totally optional, I just don’t like bits of garlic. After 3-4 minutes add butter, parmesan cheese and pasta water. Continue to whisk another 3-4 minutes until sauce is thick and bubbly.

Toss with pasta. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with grilled chicken or other type of cooked protein if desired.

Note: If you want your sauce a little thinner, feel free to top off with another tablespoon of olive oil or butter at the end and mix it in.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

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Honey Lime Dressing and my love of the Magic Kingdom

honeylime dressing

Every once in awhile I get a craving for Disney. Okay, who am I kidding, I am always thinking about Disney. If you read any of my “crap about me” lists, you’d know that I love Disney. Like, I want to live there. In Cinderella’s Castle spending my days twirling and singing with a bluebird on my finger and rockin a pair of ears, naturally. It really is the happiest place on earth. We have been there with the family a couple of times and I am ready to start planning another trip. It can be pricey, so a yearly trip is out of the question, but I am hopeful we will be able to visit again in 2015, which means it will be time for me to start planning real soon.

For me, the planning is half the fun. I spend months reviewing crowd calendars, planning our meals, snacks, shows, which rides are a must and which we can skip. I look at the best places to stay, what kind of amenities they have, how close are they to the park, what kind of activities they have. I make spreadsheets with our itinerary, reservation numbers and whatever else we need to know. It is a compulsion! If you have a Disney question, I’m your gal! But I’ve got to say, that kind of pre-trip organization made for some awesome vacations. Those people who say you can’t relax at Disney did not do their homework. Or they just try to do too much. I’ll post some Disney tips later.

Ok, that being said, I am in total need of a Disney fix. I think it’s all the ads for the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train that is getting to me. Since I can’t get there now I have to do the next best thing, make a favorite Disney recipe.

Both our trips we have stayed at the Polynesian. I just love it there. It is probably the closest I will ever get to Hawaii. The grounds are gorgeous and the atmosphere is so relaxed and friendly. The Poly is also home to our favorite restaurant, Ohana. If you are planning a trip, I strongly suggest you make a reservation. The food is amazing! There is no menu. They serve the same thing every night and that was fine by us. They would bring out plates of sweet Hawaiian bread, stir fried broccoli, pan-fried potstickers, sesame garlic noodles and skewers of spicy shell-on shrimp, teriyaki beef and pork kabobs.

But I have to say my favorite part of the meal was the garden salad. Yes, a run of the mill garden salad. Romaine lettuce, julienned carrot and thinly sliced red onion. But it had the most amazing dressing on it. It was sweet, tangy, light and refreshing and complimented all the other components of the meal beautifully.

The fact that my husband actually ate salad was just a bonus.

So, when we got back I went on a search and found the recipe.

It goes great with this and some steamed rice. This is absolutely my favorite summer meal.

Every time I make this dressing, I get asked for the recipe. If I make it for a dinner party, I always make extra and send my guests home with a small jar of it. They love that.

Now, not that I’m bossy or anything, but you must go make this now. You can thank me later.

ALOHA!

Honey Lime Dressing
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. diced onion (actually use a little less depending on how strong your onions are)
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 c. canola oil
Dash of freshly ground pepper

Mix all ingredients, except for the oil in a blender (I use my immersion blender). Combine until smooth, then slowly add the oil until it is well incorporated.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from here

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Peepshows, cleavage and other things you may not know (or care to know) about me

photo (1)

Did I catch your attention?

First, did you miss me? I know you did. I missed you too.

Well, I’m back. No excuses about life getting in the way, being too busy, sick, vacation blah, blah, blah, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.

I’m just back. And things are changing around here. So sit back and enjoy.

I thought since I’m making a fresh start around here, I’d share some personal things. I was going to share ten things but then I got lazy. And really, how much do you need care to know? Hopefully you’ll share back and we can be like besties and we can hang out and brush each other’s hair and talk about boys and clothes and other major life events.

One person who shares five down and dirty things about themselves will get a lovely little package in the mail from moi.

OK here’s my five.

  1. I love my feet. Ok, I love all feet, but  I especially love wearing fancy little low-cut peep-toe shoes with bright colored nails that show my toe cleavage and my big freckle on the top of my left foot (pretty specific weird huh?)
  2. I HATE when people write or say ASAP. It irks me pisses me off to no end! .  You may as well be saying “You do it right now because my stuff is more important than whatever it is you are doing! Which in turn makes me move at a glacial pace, by the way.
  3. I love reading Junior Fiction. It’s quick and entertaining. Grown up books are too deep for me. Right now I am reading The Misadventures of Edgar and Allen Poe-The Tell Tale Start by Gordon McAlpine.
  4. I refuse to watch the news. I function much better with my head in the sand up my ass. I’m much happier that way and I have way fewer anxiety attacks.
  5. I am terribly indecisive. If I could actually make a decision, I would have a lot more time on my hands and I would get waaaaaaay more done during the day. It took me about a week to write this post. Don’t judge me.

Ok, so there it is.

Your turn.

 

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Embrace Your Fabulousness!

Today I have a very special treat for you. My very good friend Danielle is guest posting for me today. She is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and Editor In Chief of the free online health magazine ENJI daily.  I cannot say enough about how wonderful this woman is. So, I won’t.  You will know once you read her post and visit ENJI daily.

As I read her post, I was enlightened and inspired. I know you will be as well.

Also today, because I feel so so fortunate to have this special person joining my site, I am running a little giveaway of some of my favorite things from this beauty challenge. It’ll be a surprise, but you’re going to want to enter. The winner will get a lovely box of awesome stuff. These are products that I love and use faithfully. I know they will become favorites of yours as soon as you try them.

Have a beautiful day!

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5 Ideas to Inspire You to Embrace Your Fabulousness!
It couldn’t have been a better day. Miami beach, sun sparkling on the water, sand hot under my feet, chillin’ under the umbrella, a cold beverage in hand, jams humming on a little speaker. Precious family time, and so rare to have everyone together.

Should have been the Best. Day. Ever. Right? It might have been, if not for that tape running in my head, telling me to feel horrible about myself as I watched swimsuit model-gorgeous women stroll by. Want to go in the water? Uh, no thanks, I’ll stay here. Picture time! No, please, no pictures of me. I am so _________. I will never be __________. Why can’t I just _________. What’s wrong with me? Even next to my loving, supportive step-daughters and daughter-in-law, who I know care about me deeply, I felt giant, exposed, uncomfortable, a sharp contrast to (what I perceived to be) their perfect, beautiful beings.
So, how was that working for me? No bueno. That voice was loud, crushing my self-esteem, making me feel unworthy and isolated.
The voice can be a sneaky SOB. Often when you play the comparison game, you come up inferior, and put yourself down, as I did. Other times, you might come up superior, feeling smug, better than. In that case you may feel like you’re winning, but here’s the thing – you’re still losing. The results of game don’t matter, because it’s all judgment. You’re either judging yourself, or you’re judging others.

Is that voice coming from a place of love? Will it lead you to happiness?
I’m going to tell you something you already know. It’s ok, sometimes we need to hear things over and over again before they really sink in. I know I do.

Comparing yourself to others doesn’t bring you happiness. Happiness comes from loving others, and loving yourself.
I tend to want to take on my challenges – “go to the mat with them,” as my husband says – and positive body image has been, and continues to be, one of my biggest. So when I started ENJI Daily, I knew I wanted to have a section that I could fill with inspirational, feel-good stories that would give me confidence. I wanted to surround myself with – and share the stories of – like-minded people who are embracing their fabulousness.

In the spirit of today’s challenge, Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Embrace Your Fabulousness, here are 5 ideas to inspire you, pulled from the virtual pages of ENJI!

#1. Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude.
It’s not as if I didn’t love Amy Poehler before I encountered her series “Ask Amy” and this video, but here she proves to be more than just a funny lady.

“When things get dark,” she says, “when you feel really crappy about yourself or your body or how you look, sometimes a good way to help yourself get out of it is to have some gratitude.” Less than three minutes, this could turn your whole day around. Check it out.

Speaking of gratitude, I loved this story from Andrea at ImperfectLife.net. This is a woman who completely changed her life – from an unhealthy lifestyle to eating well, doing cross-fit like a champ, and even becoming a personal trainer! Though she tries very hard to measure her success by her fitness goals, a few weeks before writing this post, she “got caught up in the vanity of it all,” and felt “frustrated, discouraged, and sad” about her body.

Imperfect-Life-04

So, what did she do? She turned it all around by having gratitude. Read her story, “10+ Reasons I Love My Ugly Body.”

#2. Change the Tape.
Watching this video from Taryn Brumfitt, on the verge of tears, I knew it had to be shared with the ENJI community.

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Besides sharing her moving personal story about her struggles with body image, Taryn interviews other women, asking them the first word they think of when they think about their bodies. There were women of ALL shapes, sizes, and ages, and the most common word that popped up? DISGUSTING. What a hateful, awful word, and yet, that’s how so many of us feel when we look in the mirror.
I’m kind of late to the party, but I just discovered Louise Hay (who’s been an inspiration to many since the mid-70s) in the last year. Her book, You Can Heal Your Life, was sort of like a gentle, loving, caring knock upside the head for me. Like, hello? Running that tape in your head, telling yourself you’re not good enough, is the ultimate waste of time and energy. And yes, you can change the tape!

We may habitually think the same thought over and over so that it does not seem we are choosing the thought. But we did make the original choice. We can refuse to think certain thoughts. Look how often you have refused to think a positive thought about yourself. Well, you can also refuse to think a negative thought about yourself. – Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life
Something Amy says in her video (see #1) really struck me. She says, when you talk to yourself, about yourself, imagine you are talking to your daughter, or younger sister. “You would tell your younger sister or your daughter that she was beautiful, and you wouldn't be lying. Because she is, and so are you.”

You can find Taryn’s story and video here: This Woman Wants To Change How All Of Us See Our Bodies. A good cause to support.

#3. Recognize How Negative Self-Talk Impacts You

I’ve been turned on to so many amazing resources through ENJI Daily, and one in particular I highly respect is Marsha Hudnall, along with her team at Green Mountain at Fox Run, a healthy weight loss retreat for women. In her post Loving Your Body – Your Best Beach Beauty Must-Have, Marsha reminds us just how DESTRUCTIVE it can be we engage in negative self-talk:
• We’re less likely to eat healthfully.
• We’re less likely to exercise.
• We might even be triggered to binge eat.

“Bingeing and isolating ourselves can represent forms of self-punishment that make us feel even more discouraged and depressed,” she writes.

Earlier I asked the question, how was judging myself working for me, and now I challenge you to ask yourself the same question: How is that working for you?

How do you feel in that negative space? Is that helping you achieve your dreams? Or is opening the door to more destructive behaviors?

If I’ve given you something to think about here, go ahead and write it down. Then write down five things you could start doing today to put yourself on a positive path. Pick one, and do it every day for the next week!
(Side note: I must give credit to the very wise “Gutsy Girl” Sarah Kay Hoffman for bringing that question to my consciousness – simple, direct, profound.)

#4. Let Go of Judgment.
Is there just a hint of truth Amy Schumer’s skit, “I’m So Bad”? (Warning: a little NSFW.)

As Robin Hilmantel points out in her article, Why We’ve Become So Obsessed with Judging Others’ Food Choices—and Our Own, these ladies, though, ahem, supportive (“Pringles? They’re like air!”), are so preoccupied with their “food transgressions,” they fail to recognize all of the really ugly things they do to themselves and others.
When it comes to food-shaming, are you your own judge and jury? Are your friends sitting in judgment of your choices? Are you judging them?

Simply put, food is neither good nor bad, and by listening to external voices about what we should or shouldn’t eat, we lose touch with that internal feeling of hunger and fullness, which we should use to guide our eating decisions. And while eating as healthy as you can is an excellent goal, perfection isn’t worth making yourself insane. You can find more great tips from the experts in Robin’s article.

#5. Do Something Courageous.
Do you have rules about what clothing you can and can’t wear, hiding your body at the expense of comfort? ‘Tis the season for bathing suits, shorts, tank tops, sundresses – do you dread it?
Cece Olisa of PlusSizePrincess.com did, once spending 40 minutes trying to find a “summer” outfit that would hide all the flaws she saw looking in the mirror. Sweltering on the subway, she recognized it was time to stop hiding and make a change. And she uses a pretty awesome word to describe how she’s feeling now: LIBERATED.

Cece embraced her imperfections and just went for it. Although it may be scary in the beginning and take some time to feel comfortable, in the end, you might find a new level of confidence like she did. I loved her story, and you can find it here:

Wouldn’t you know, as I was writing this, another story along this same vein popped up in ENJI – Moms, Put On That Swimsuit. Writer Jessica Turner passionately encourages moms, don’t worry about how you look or what others will think, put on your swimsuit and splash around with your kids.
Why? For two very good reasons, she writes: “Because when women stay on the sidelines because of insecurity, we are modeling unhealthy behavior to our children and we are missing out.”
Just try not to get a little teary as she shares her story and the impact that her PRESENCE had on her kids, a big reward for being courageous.

Embracing your fabulousness may not come easily or immediately – like any other important change in life. It may take some digging deep and some soul-searching to find your confidence. But, here’s the thing: When you find that dazzling, feel-good smile to light yourself up, you also light up the world around you, and you teach your daughters and sisters (and sons and brothers) that everyone is beautiful.

Yours in good health,
Danielle

Danielle Hart, MS Holistic Nutrition, is a holistic nutrition consultant and the Editor in Chief of ENJI Daily (www.enjidaily.com), a free online wellness magazine updated daily with the latest research, healthy recipes, and fitness and lifestyle tips. Her mission is to help individuals navigate the vast (and sometimes contradictory) world of wellness information, and to inspire change.

Photo Credit: Purple Sherbet Photography via Compfight cc

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Switch your afternoon coffee for green tea

Lately I have been craving an iced coffee in the afternoon. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s hot, if I need a caffeine jolt or if it just so happens I have a free coffee every day in June from Panera Bread. In any case, I am loving my afternoon treat. I have recently switched from an iced coffee to an iced tea, which I am totally digging. Cold, refreshing and good for me.

Here are some benefits of Green Tea:

  • Increases metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories
  • Helps prevent diabetes by slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes resulting in fat storage, especially around the stomach.
  • Helps prevent Heart Disease by helping blood vessels remain relaxed and better able to handle changes in blood pressure and may also prevent clots
  • Reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, but also it is thought to kill cancer cells in general without damaging the healthy tissue around them.
  • Reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
  • May help delay brain cell deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies carried out on mice showed that green tea protected brain cells from dying and restored damaged brain cells.
  • “Catechins”, a type of antioxidant in tea can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries and other dental conditions
  • Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. This is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect, aiding in those with depression.
  • Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents which make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer. In some studies green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of many diseases.
  • Help with wrinkles and the signs of aging, because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Applied topically can reduce sun damage

The jury is out on how much one should drink. Typical consumption in tea drinking cultures is 3 cups per day.  Remember tea is caffeinated, so be careful how much you consume if you are sensitive to caffeine’s effects. Drink tea freshly brewed after steeping for 3-5 minutes. Decaffeinated, instant and bottled teas have reduced benefits.

I knew tea was good for me, but I honestly wasn’t aware of all these benefits.  I will absolutely be drinking more green tea.

Have a beautiful, refreshing day!

Sources:
Harvard Health Publications
Lifehack

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Catching Up

butt

Ok, so I was looking at my challenge schedule and realized my days were off.

It started with Thong Thursday. Which was actually a Tuesday. After that I got all discombobulated and stopped writing. I was way too flustered. Did you know discombobulate was a real word? I thought it was something I made up. You learn something new everyday, I guess.

So right now I’m going to catch up and stay on track. Because I have some amazing guest bloggers scheduled and I don’t want to throw them off track with my discombobulation. I may never stop saying this.

So here goes, starting with Thong Thursday (or Tuesday or Wednesday or whatever day)  I’ve got to let it go.

If you’re wondering what I meant by Thong Thursday, here it is. It is simply wearing something under your clothes that makes you feel sexy. Thongs do NOT make me feel sexy. They make me feel like my ass has swallowed my skivvies and I spend all day trying to pick it out. Not a good look.

What does make me feel sexy is a matching black bra and panties. TMI? Maybe so. But we’re all friends here. Really as long as they match, it doesn’t matter what color or print. It just makes me feel put together.

The first thing I think of when I put on mismatched or frayed undergarments (aka granny panties) is “Oh God I hope I don’t get in an accident”. Did your mom ever tell you that? “Make sure you have clean underwear on, in case you get in accident”. I don’t really know what the significance of that is, but it stuck.

Next came packing a picnic dinner, or lunch. I love the idea of doing this with the family. Taking a hike somewhere, finding a shady spot and eating lunch together. Maybe a game of frisbee afterward. Not everything has to cost a lot of money. Try it sometime.

  • DIY hair masque. This Banana mask has Potassium for healing damaged dry hair, Vitamin A to strengthen hair follicles as well as nourish dry hair, Vitamin E which promotes healthy hair and scalp and Vitamin C which helps regulate oil.

All you need are 2 overripe bananas, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon honey

In a blender or food processor, process the bananas until completely smooth and silky. You can do this by hand, just make sure you have no lumps. Add the remaining ingredients until super smooth. Slather the mask onto your head starting with the scalp and coat hair. Let set for 5-10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. No need to shampoo. You’ll smell delish and your hair will be bouncy and shiny.

  • Pay It Forward! Do something nice for someone and hope they will continue. Perfect example, buy the coffee for the person behind you at the coffee shop. They may be having a really crappy day. Donate to the food bank. Drop off a box of Joe to the police or fire department. Drop off dinner to a friend who’s super busy. Volunteer. Let me know your ideas!
  • Smile!
    A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give. ~Author Unknown
  • Sparkle!
    We all need a little sparkle in our lives. Add some glitter today. Glitter nail polish, some sequins, eye shadow with some sparkle, ruby slippers. Whatever makes you feel like a shiny, happy person.
  • Meatless Monday
    I know it’s summer and everyone is throwing burgers and dogs on the grill. How about some grilled veggies? Chop up your favorite veggies, add some olive oil and spices and place in a foil packet over the grill until cooked to your liking. When done, toss in a bit of feta cheese or grated parmesan. Serve over brown rice or pasta or toss into a fresh pita for a light dinner. Maybe some grilled pineapple or peaches with some crumbled Biscoff cookies over vanilla ice cream for dessert? Drool

And finally we come to today *Phew!

  • Surrounding yourself with beautiful things. This is a good time to take a couple of minutes to clean up the clutter. Nothing feels better to me than cleaning “Clutter Island” and putting up a simple vase of fresh tulips. Surrounding yourself with beautiful things could be as simple as removing the “ugly”. I know that always works wonders for me. Clutter is always a problem. But you knew that already.

If clutter isn’t your problem, how about a home improvement project? Paint is cheap and makes a huge, instantaneous impact. New throw pillows, update photos, change your throw rugs, pretty new hand towels for the bathroom, but a new fresh scented candle. I could go on and on.

But make it pretty. Objects that do not inspire or make you happy need to be removed to create a positive energy around you. Try it. I challenge you today to get rid of one object you’ve been holding onto that you dislike. Go for it.

Make sure you check back tomorrow for a great giveaway.

Have a beautiful day!

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Day 16: Get Your Zzzzzzzzs

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Did you know?

  • Research shows you sleep better during a new moon and worse during a full moon, although scientists don’t know why
  • We only dream of faces we have already seen, whether we actually remember them or not
  • Humans are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep
  • Doing without sleep is likely to make you hungry as levels of leptin, an appetite suppressing hormone drop
  • 75% of us dream in color. Prior to color television only 15% did
  • It takes two weeks to die of starvation and only 10 days without sleep
  • Whales and dolphins, literally fall half asleep.  Each side of their brain takes turns to continue to breathe
  • Insomnia is a natural part of grieving. Taking sleeping pills can disrupt the process
  • Being awake for 16 hours straight decreases your performance as much as if your blood alcohol content was .05% (the legal limit is  .08%)
  • Dysania: the state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning. It may signal a nutritional disorder, depression or other medical cause
  • Sea otters hold hands when they fall asleep so they don’t drift.  aw
  • Tiredness peaks twice a day, at 2:00 a.m and 2:00 p.m.
  • Within 5 minutes of waking up 50% of your dream is forgotten. After 10 minutes 90% is gone
  • Different age groups need different amounts of sleep. Babies: 16 hours, Ages 3-18: 10 hours, Ages 19-55: 8 hours, Over 65: 6 hours

 

 

 

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Turn Hump Day into Pump Day! Strength Training

challenge

barbellls

Fitness is not my forte. So, I am not going to pretend I know anything about it. I’m still confused as to what actually happens to the fat when you lose weight. Where does it go? Working out would be much more entertaining if fat cells screamed as they burned. Just sayin. I’m very complex, yet simple. And complex.

So, today I’m going to link you over to a couple of great articles on the subject. They really helped me make some sense of things. I am definitely going to start adding in the weights to my existing routine. Does not doing anything but saying you have a routine count as a routine? Sorry, thinking out loud.

Weights are the only thing I have not really given a fair shot. Maybe it will be just the thing to jumpstart my weightloss. Time to give it a shot.

Do you use weights in your workout regimen? What works for you? Do tell!

If you are blessed to have been given a new day, don’t waste it on “I’ll start tomorrow”. Today is my day. Is it yours too? I hope so. I could use the company.

Have a great workout! Work hard! Tomorrow you get to soak your feet.

Barbells and Bellinis
Dailyburn

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Weekend Recap, Yoga and Procrastinating

Photo and article: MindBodyGreenDaily
Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a lovely summery weekend and are refreshed and ready for a productive week ahead.

This weekend I asdvised you to eat dessert first. How many times have you gone out for dinner and ate so much you didn’t have any room left for dessert?

Having dessert first takes care of that problem. I love dessert. I have a sweet tooth. Big time! My mother came up with a genious idea. Once a month or so, she goes out with friends to grab a pastry and a coffee at this little Italian cafe in downtown Newburyport. Then they stroll around the quaint specialty shops and street vendors or just take a walk along the pier. After that it’s dinner time, a light dinner of drinks and appetizers or soup and a salad at one of the phenomenal restaurants there. I wholeheartedly suggest you give this idea a try. It’s a nice change, and you won’t miss out on dessert.

Sunday was World Oceans Day. Are you a seafood lover? Click here to see how you can make better choices for our oceans. You can find also find a free app from Seafood Watch to find a convenient list of sustainable seafood. Click here for a list of ocean-friendly recipes from the New England Aquarium.

Monday morning yoga. Did you give it a try? I actually did a pilates video instead. I’ve got to say, my core is feeling it. It feels gooooooood. If you are interested, here is a good link to some good morning yoga moves to start your day. This is one of my favorite sites lately. Spend some time there. Lots of great information.

So, how’s your challenge going so far? Have you done any of the challenges? Or at least dedicated twenty minutes a day to do something for you? Just you! Because even taking twenty minutes to do something you love but don’t often allow yourself to do, will make you feel happy. And remember, happy is beautiful.

That being said, I had a bad day on Sunday. I forgot something very important someone once said to me, which I will share at a later time. But let me just say, you can never undo, or unsay, but you can move on and let it go and make it better.

We’re all human and we’re not perfect. We just have to be the best we can be. Phew, glad that’s off my chest.

Today, although it says facial (we’re doing that on Friday, I screwed up on my list) I think I’m going to do something that I have been putting off. Do you have something that has been nagging at you that you haven’t done? I’ve read that even a small thing that is plagueing your mind can increase stress, cause anxiety and increase blood pressure. It could be something simple like putting off asking for a raise or telling your signifcant other you screwed up plans. Or it could be a task you keep putting off. It doesn’t have to be huge either. Just something. It could be as simple as making a doctor’s appointment for your yearly physical, or going to the hairdresser, or trying one of the daily challenges that you really wanted to but didn’t get a chance. Or it could be starting a bigger task. Like painting a room, starting a garden, or writing a resume.

That’s the challenge I’m issuing you today. Let me know what your going to tackle.

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Day 6: Have A Cocktail!

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TGIF everyone!

It’s Friday. It’s summer. It’s time for a cocktail! How is this part of a beauty challenge you ask? A little alcohol will give you a rosy glow of course. I’m kidding. Well, I mean it does give you a rosy glow, but that’s not why I put it on the challenge.

If you’ve looked through the daily challenges, they aren’t all about your physical beauty. They are about feeling happy. And I’ve got to say, happy people are beautiful. They look at life differently. They are more relaxed and less uptight. And let’s face it, they are more fun to be around.

After a long work week, a refreshing summer cocktail is just the ticket.

What’s your drink? Do you have one that you always go to or do you love trying new things? I have a couple that I stick to. A sangria (this is the recipe I use) or a simple vodka and cranberry juice with lime. Although, if it were super hot out and I were hanging outside, nothing beats a Sam Adams Summer Brew, but it has to be out of a cooler and ICE COLD. That’s pretty much it for met.

Let me know what your faves are and if you have a good recipe to go with it.

Have a beautiful night.

Recipe and photo from Martha Stewart

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