Thursday, January 24, 2013

Homemade Larabars

Hello, Hello!
Today mom asked me to write up a blog post for her. This past week I have been making some homemade Larabars, not because I think by making them they are any healthier (because I use the same ingredients they use), but because they are cheaper. The recipe to make any kind of Larabar is pretty simple. It is around 1/2 of dried fruit and 1/2 of nuts. With this as a starting point you can mix and match flavors to make really whatever flavor you want. If you wanted to make a specific flavor there are recipes abounding on the web. The first one I tried was a simple one: raisins, dried dates, and almonds. The process is very simple:

1) assemble the supplies: here we have almonds, cashews, peanuts, dried blueberries, dried apricots, dried dates, and raisins

2) measure out your ingredients and blend the life out of them using a good blender or food processor 
3) once all the ingredients are pulverized pour them out onto a sheet of cling wrap or wax paper and form it into a large slab. Using the sides of the wax paper or another sheet press the concoction together with lots of force. The less pressure you apply, the less solid it becomes (and appears), the less likely it will stay together.

4) you have two options here: you can either cut them to the shape and size you want them to end up now OR you can stick them in the freezer for at least an hour and then cut them after they have set


Throughout this process I have learned a few things that you might find helpful. The thinner you spread the bars, the more they like to fall apart. If you want to, you can also roll smaller portions into balls so that you can make even more per batch. I have had a lot of trouble with getting these things to really stay together like the real deal. I have found a peanut butter cookie recipe that calls for 1 tbs of peanut butter and those bars stick together nicely. Don't be afraid to experiment with different fruits and nuts.

My mom's favorite recipe is:     Peanut Butter Cookie
1/2 c. dried pitted dates (about 10)           1/4 tsp cinnamon (I used a little more b/c I love this stuff)
1/4 c. cashews                                           1/4 c. peanuts
1 tbs peanut butter                                   optional: a small handful of chocolate chips :)

you can find other recipes at:
100 Days of Real Food
For The Mommas
Skinny Mom

And because you all loved my last post I will leave you with this

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekly Recap

Laura is hosting a series of virtual runs. It was a dreary cold windy day, so I opted to stay inside on the treadmill. That makes for a very boring recap!

I want to run faster!!! So I joined the Shrinking Jeans Couch to 5k challenge.  I jog during the walking sections and run a new level during the running parts. This was day two. 3.7 miles. (I ran it twice) I missed getting the 3.1 totals.

Weekly Recap:
Tuesday: 3.1 miles
Wednesday: 1 mile
Thursday: 1 mile
Friday: 6.2 miles
Saturday: 13.1 miles
Sunday: 1 mile

Weight: Down 2.6 lbs
December 30 2012   204.6
January 6, 2013    202.0

Run/Walk one mile a day for January........6 days
13 for 2013 races of any length. 3.  Vitamin K, Goofy Challenge, Virtual Series
Motivorgainzation This week I started the deep of CLEAN the bathroom. BUT this deserves a post of its own. I also followed the Flylady and did 15 minutes a day in the Dining Room.  Cleaned the baseboards. I FOUND CAT HAIR!! AND I DONT OWN A CAT!!! The previous owners did, and I guessing no matter how much I clean and sweep we will be finding hair. THIS is a BIG pet peeve of mine!!!
13 goals for 2013: I still need to come up with my big challenge for 2013. Something that I wouldnt normally do. Something that is a stretch for me, but still doable.
On the other goals.... Im having trouble with my sleep. Theres always one more thing I can do before I go to bed.  ARGHH. Have to work on this one!

Heres to a great week ahead!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Half Goofy Challenge

FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!! Ive been trying to do this Challenge since September.
The Goofy Challenge is a Disney race.  The first day you run a Half Marathon and the second day you run a Marathon. GOOFY!!!!(I think that's an understatement)

Read. Write. Run. Mom held a fundraiser, The Virtual Half Goofy Challenge.  Run 10k the first day, and a Half Marathon the second day. (consecutive days) This was a fundraiser for the Leukemia Society.  That is a Foundation I will support anytime I can!! AND look at the medal!! Shes making them by hand!! I LOVE the purple bead! and the Hope ribbon.... LOVE!!!

Day one, January 4th, was pretty boring. Treadmill intervals. I repeated the Couch to 5K 3 times so that I could work on speed.

Day two, January 5th, was a mental challenge!!
The sand that ended up in our shoes.
I was with M almost every Saturday. Today was cold and I was NOT looking forward to this walk!! There was lots of snow and ice! BUT, I knew she would be waiting for me (buddy up for a walk, its great for getting your butt outta bed). So, I bundled up and off we went. Like I said, it was cold (22 degrees) The first 5 miles went by quickly. We talk ALOT, and all the sudden it got quiet, and we both said, "I dont want to do this today." "Lets call for backup and just go home.".
The snow under my feet felt like sand. Ever try to walk/run in sand? SO, we started playing the mental, "We're on a beach in Florida" game.

The sunrise over the ocean. 

The next big wave. To bad we forgot our surf board.
The beach comber
We saw the sunrise over the ocean, the beach comber cleaning up the beach and making those amazing rows in the sand. Huge waves (this snowbank was twice as tall as I am. We heard sea gulls, felt ocean breezes, and even saw an airplane flying overhead (we pretended it was advertising Joes Crab Shack on 14st street.)

Im so thankful to have a friend who drags me outta bed on a Saturday morning to go for a walk.

The walk ended up being 9.89 miles so I hopped on the treadmill to finish out the half marathon. MY LEGS and butt were so sore. Its amazing the muscles you tense up when youre trying to not fall on  the ice.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Day

Every year on New Years Day my parents invite us to their house and we eat pork and sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Every year I try a spoonful of kraut, and every year, I grimace and gag, and swallow a big ole cup of water!!

The Christmas tree is bare, the manger scene is back in the attic. (The outdoor lights are still hanging!! I was NOT going to freeze my tuckus off to bring them in!!

 Health stuff:

Vitamin Ks virtual 5K for New Years day: check Thank you for hosting this series of Holiday Runs!! This is the second year I participated!! I did this years New Years run on the treadmill as part of my Couch to 5K week one day one. Im redoing the couch to 5K so that I have structured intervals.  I WANT so much to increase my speed.
Im also doing the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans monthly calendar. ABs lookout!! I left the gym in October and I havent done a pushup or sit up since. OH LORDY!!! Its amazing how fast my strength goes away!!

My calories: 1731 (ouch!)  I need to increase my protein! And decrease my carbs!!
Calories burned: 551

13 goals in 2013

Last year was the first time I had ever made New Years Resolutions. I made 44!! One for each year of my life. I didnt keep them all, but I dont feel like a failure!! I strived to do my best, and thats all I can ask of myself.

This post is VERY LONG... and if you make it to the end, you deserve a prize (I dont have one, but you deserve one!)

For 2013 I will joining Rebecca with Weight Wars and making 13 goals/challenges.

1. Goal/Challenge number one is to run faster. 
My current pace is around a 12.15.  I want to bring it to an 11.45.  To do this I am participating in several accountability groups.
1. Participating in the Shrinking Jeans Couch to 5K. Rather than learning to run, I am going to use it to increase my speed. The walk segments of the training will be at normal pace, and the run segments  will be at a faster pace. They have a facebook set up for anyone who wants to join for encouragement. You do NOT have to be participating in their challenge to like their page.
2. Run or Walk at least one mile every day. I did this when I first started running and it helped me improve much faster. AND maybe I can start a running streak like Erica at Life of a Running Mom. She has streaked for 368 day!! The run/walk one mile a day is hosted by Triandtru and run halfway around the world.
2. Goal/Challenge number two is to save money each month.
Every month save 30.00 towards Christmas. I had this goal in 2012. I didnt do it every month, but what I had saved, sure did help. SO, this year my goal is to do this every month.
3. Goal/Challenge number three is to compete in 13 races in 2013.
Jen and Jill  have posted a 13 in 2013 challenge. You can participate in 13 races of any distance. Races can be expensive, so they are holding 6 virtual races. They also have a facebook set  up as a support group.
There are several other virtual runs set up to help with this goal.  Laura is hosting the 5 by the 5th. (Do a 5K or 5 miler by the 5th of the month) January thru June.
Im also a Giraffe in The Chilly Challenge hosted by Team Running Escapes and The Purple Giraffe. We log our miles and the team with the most miles wins. The last Saturday of every month Rachel is hosting the Team Athena (heck yes, I am an Athena!!) virtual run.

4. Goal/Challenge number four is to get more sleep.
I need more sleep. I often go to bed after 1AM , and get up at 6:30AM.  My goal is to be in bed by 11PM EVERY NIGHT!!! If I really want to be healthier, weigh less, I need to have more sleep!!
5.  Goal/Challenge number five is to include more fruits and veggies in my diet. 
I dont have trouble with the fruits (usually) but there are some days when I have 0 veggies. Thats right, a big FAT ZERO!!! To do this I need to get back to packing my lunch every day!! I did that last summer and it was wonderful!! Lately, Ive been lazy and I grab and run. A bowl of cereal or an apple for lunch. Then I find myself grazing.
6. Goal/Challenge number six is to restart an exercise program.  Due to financial reasons I had to leave the gym. (It was 25 miles away, and I couldnt justify the gas and membership fees).  The Shrinking Jeans puts out a monthly workout calendar.  Print it out and do it as a cross training!!
7. Goal/Challenge number seven is to read my Bible more often.
 I  find myself reading Saturday night in preparation for Sunday School on Sunday, but Ive let my daily devotions slide. In February I want to find a podcast with a short daily devotion that I can do during my daily mile running.
8. Goal/Challenge number eight is to rework the family budget.
The last few years we have been living paycheck to paycheck, and we are spinning our wheels. Its like, ignore the problem, it will go away. WELL it doesnt. It snowballs!! So in March, I am going to tackle this project.
9.  Goal/Challenge number nine is to stop drinking diet coke for one month. 
This is self explanatory and this is the month of April.  Right now it seems so far away.
10. Goal/Challenge number ten is to stop purchasing cleaning products. 
NO I am not going on strike and I am NOT going to stop cleaning. My daughter has some allergies and gets headaches with some products. My husband has sensitive skin.  As my cleaning products are 'used up' I am trying to find 'green' alternatives. This is an ongoing challenge.  I love this blog  and have been using her recipes.
11. Goal/Challenge number eleven is organize my house!
We moved from a mobile home two and a half years ago, into our house. There are still boxes sitting around that need to be sorted, gone thru, pitched. We were going thru stuff before we moved, but the electric company turned off the electric at the trailer two weeks early. So rather than go thru stuff there, we had to move it to the house with the intention of going thru it here. WELL.... there are corners that have stacks of boxes... THEY need to go. As a start Ill go some quick organizations of each room. This was a challenge I saw from Christie O of average moms wear capes.
January: Bathroom
February: Dining Room
March: My bedroom
April and May: Living Room... this has stuff from my church office and our personal office and the most stuff, so it gets two months.
June: Outside. I love flowers and playing in the dirt. There will be no inside decluttering!!!
July: Daughters bedroom
August: Kitchen
October: Basement (this is mostly my husbands stuff)
November: Garage (mostly hubbys stuff)
December: Middle sons bedroom
12. Goal/Challenge number twelve is to lose weight. 
This is a challenge for every month!! I have restarted my My Fitness Pal account. I dont know why I have such a hard time tracking. It has been an amazing help in the past, but for some reason....

13. Goal/Challenge number thirteen is... this is to be something big. Something we wouldnt normally do. I need to think about this one a few more days.....

Time in the New Year

2013 is a blank slate. Be careful what you write on it. (paraphrased from a Downsizers 2012)

Lord willing. you now have 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8765.81 hours, or 525949 minutes

What will you do with your time?
Whos life will you impact?
Will you use words to build up or tear down?
Challenge yourself?
Give into self doubt?
Smile to your neighbor?
Hug your children?
Linger over supper?
Dance in the rain?
Laugh long and loud?