Fit You

I post a lot of food stuff…but today I’m taking a moment to talk about body stuff…fitness stuff to be exact. Why, because too often I think I don’t have the time, or I hear other people saying they don’t have the time, but you know what?!?! We all have the time, we just have to do it. So what if I, or you, are not in workout clothes? Fitness can happen anywhere, at any time, and in any type of clothes. Along with fitness is eating right and being motivated to make the right choices. I’ve come up with 5 things to share about fitness and health and I hope that while reading this I can motivate or encourage you.

  1. Squat, anywhere, everywhere: Yup, squats are your butt and thighs best friend when you want to tone it up, and your worst when you want to ham it up (you know, with junk food and laziness). I like to do squats periodically throughout the day. When I wake up, there’s 20 right off the bat. In the kitchen cleaning up after lunch, another 20, at night before bed…you guessed it, another 20. I build it up to, it’s not always 20, it’s whatever I’m in the mood for as long as it isn’t a number below my last squat endeavor. I don’t tell myself I don’t have time for it, because to do 20 to 50 squats in one go takes only a couple of minutes, and we all have that kind of time. No need to pencil squats in, just do it.
  2. Standing Leg Lift with Crunch: Right after those squats, or in between brushing teeth, when the cupkeiki is in the tub, whenever the moment feels right, I’m doing this move. It’s a pretty simple move, give it a try: standing with legs about shoulder width apart, bring one leg up and across your torso (like a kick but with your leg bent) while at the same time punching the opposite sides arm out. Your arm will naturally want to go to the opposite side, for balance. Try it, start with 1 rep of 10, work up in reps and number of movement.
  3. Walk, walk, walk. Seriously, walk as often as you can, for however long you can. Take your child(ren) with you and your partner or go alone and enjoy some “you time”. It’s a great way to connect, socialize, reflect and get in some exercise. You can walk fast or slow, for 15 min or an hour. Who cares how long, just walk!
  4.  Get you kids involved in your exercise program. You may be thinking, “yea right…” but seriously, they think it’s funny or fun and want to participate with you more than you think. I swear. My cupkeiki up and decided she wanted to run our usual route (that she rides in the stroller for). And you know what, she did it, of course she had to “break” a few times, but the point is, she wanted to do it too, and it was fun to be doing it together. Taking a class? Ask the instructor if your keiki can come (depends on the place of course). I take a Bollywood class at a community center here in Fort Collins. It is so much fun, I love Bollywood dancing and movies. I asked if I could bring my cupkeiki one night when her dad couldn’t be home with her, and my instructor said “yes, bring her.” My cupkeiki thought it was the coolest thing ever and wanted to do it to, and she cheered me on, how good would that make you feel? I convinced my 15yo niece to go with me a few times, thinking it could potentially end up a disaster (mostly me being embarrassed, or her, or both of us..) but instead we had a great time together and it felt good to spend that time doing something fun with each other.
  5. Eat healthy as often as possible. I try to post recipes on here that I think are wholesome, nutritious and tasty, because I know just how easy it is to get sucked into the world of bad food choices. You always have the option, and sometimes we have to give in and have a cheat day here or there, but our bodies don’t need an overload of sugar, or processed foods and eating healthy is just as easy as going through the drive through on the way home, you just have to want one over the other more.

So there it is, my 5 fitness and health thoughts of the day. I want to motivate and encourage myself just as much as I want to motivate and encourage others, because it’s important, our bodies are important and we can’t be happy with ourselves if we don’t do the things that keep us strong and healthy, and keep us positive.

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Friyay Brownies

My cupkeiki suggested we make brownies this morning. Sometimes she has the best ideas, ever. image

Ok, ok. I’ve made brownies before, but nothing like these. SO moist, chewy, crunchy on the top…oh brownies.

Makes One 9×9 inch pan

1/4C vegetable oil

1/4C. Butter

8 ounces (1 Cup) semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 C. unrefined (or regular) sugar

1/4C. packed brown sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2/3C. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

*I sprinkled a handful of chocolate chips on to the batter before baking it, for that added chocolate touch!

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Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×9 pan. In a medium heat safe bowl combine butter, oil and chocolate and place over a small pot of simmering water and heat, until chocolate is melted and ingredients are combined. Remove from simmering pot, and let cool slightly. Add the sugars to the chocolate and mix well, then the eggs, then the flour and salt, fully incorporating all ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until moist, clumpy and crumbs appear on a toothpick inserted and removed from the center of the pan. About 20-30 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.
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Recipe adapted slightly from Food52: http://food52.com/recipes/33010-basic-fudgy-brownies 

HOORAY FOR BROWNIES!!!

DIY Wood Polish

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I dislike buying cleaning stuff. I don’t know why because I actually enjoy cleaning my house…

Well, I have been putting off buying wood polish lately, for whatever reason. Once the dinning table started looking parched I decided to hit the Internet up for a good solution.

I came across a two ingredient polish that I love! 2 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice. Mix it up, apply it to wood, let sit a few minutes and buff with a dry cloth. DON’T SKIP THE BUFFING!!!! Otherwise you are left with a shiny and oil feeling piece of furniture, not fun. So far, 2 tsp oil and 1 tsp juice does the trick for all the furniture in the house! Hooray!!

Homemade Caramel Sauce

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Fall brings about a ton of new food and attraction desires. Like the Pumpkin Spice people, the pumpkin patch visiting people, harvest festivals/fairs, and caramel everything…am I right?! Right about now, stores are beginning stock piling those chewy little blocks of caramel goodness for people to snack, melt, bake, and combine into delicious and comforting food/drinks.

Well, I’ve got a recipe today that will help you get your, caramel anything, fix right at home, and it involves three ingredients (though as I type this I am imagining adding cinnamon to it…ooooohhhhh cinnamon.)

What you need:

1/2 C. Granulated Sugar

3 Tbs Butter

1/4C. Heavy Cream

What to do:

Melt the sugar in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Stir constantly so you don’t burn the sugar. Once sugar is melted, carefully add the butter and stir (this stuff bubbles up in “Oh Oh Butter” happiness or scariness-you can decide. Once the butter is incorporated, slowly add the cream, as it also bubbles up wildly. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. Serve right away, and store any extra in the fridge. I’ve made a small amount, because to me it’s easier to start small and decide if more is needed. I’d say this makes almost a full cup of sauce.

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I served this over a small block of cream cheese and cut up apples (and peaches) for dipping. It was quick and easy and tasty. Now I can imagine it over ice cream with a sprinkling of sea salt.

DIY Wire Wrapped Crystal Necklaces.

I love to make jewelry, because to me something I have made says a lot (of good things hopefully) about me. My niece has gone, what I call-full hippy. She is all about chakras, herbs, mandalas, wearing prints with prints…and crystals. Now, let me be clear, I am not knocking/getting down on hippies or her. Truthfully, I’m all about nature, eating healthy, using oils and arnica to heal…so it’s all good, really. She recently purchased a contraption she believes will “purge” her hypothalamus or thyroid or pituitary…the device probably says it will clear out all the bad stuff in those three areas, I don’t know though, when submerged in water and the purified liquid is drunk. It supposedly has crystals inside a steal tube with circles cut out, lined internally with metal mesh and she puts it in her water and it is meant to do some healing. Because crystals heal, and there is a long standing “belief” in this. I’ve looked into it, I don’t know if I believe it myself or not, but I do know that crystals are pretty, and strong, and trendy (at the moment) so I went down to my local gem and fossil store and bought three raw crystal points, with the intention to make necklaces for her, her mom…and myself because I’m all about it. I strung hers up, added some raw amethyst (the pretty purple stone that is also popular at the moment) and left a little nonchalant note that went something like, “hey, here’s a necklace I made, thought you might be interested in it…” She’s going on 16 so you never know. It could have been totally lame and not stylish enough and too homemade…thankfully it wasn’t. It was a, as she put it, “day maker”. Sweet! So I made another for her mom, with orange agate. The crystals were wire wrapped, instead of drilled out, risky perhaps but cute nonetheless.

IMG_20150826_091807 IMG_20150903_152642The orange one is my sister-in-laws, the bottom one is my own.

Making jewelry is easy to do once you have the right parts. This included, jewelry wire, crimp beads, crimp bead cover, necklace clasps, beads, and jewelry tools (mine happens to be a set of three small red handled tools: a wire cutter, a round nosed plier and a flat nosed plier) and everything can be purchased, save for the crystals, at a craft store, I bought my supplies, including the beads from JoAnns.

Eat Your Greens.

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A green bowl, if I ever did see one. With tofu, kale, green pepper, green onion, zucchini, garlic and a peanut sauce (peanut butter, shoyu, red pepper flakes, sesame oil) served over rice.

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The great thing about some of the food I post about is, and if you’re anything like me, you don’t always need exact amounts or quantities just the basic info and an idea of how you want it to be. Or at least, that’s how I hope it is for some of you!

Everything was done mostly in the wok-save for the rice and peanut sauce. 20 minutes is all you need and you’re good to go with a healthy weeknight/end meal and leftovers for the next day, if you’re lucky!