Fitness Friday Black Friday

Black Friday.
The day after Thanksgiving.
The day after turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, & pumpkin pie.

Not typically the day you want to update your blog on your fitness progress, right?
Well, its fitness friday. Good, bad, or ugly….this is the honest story.

We missed the Turkey Trot we had planned on participating in. Super disappointed about that. This year I did my best to plan a healthier Thanksgiving menu. It was Martha Stewart perfection and so delicious and not full of unnecessary calories. I skipped the rolls but I still indulged an extra slice of pumpkin pie. Ya win some, ya lose some.

I expected a huge set back this morning but to my surprise when I did my weekly weigh in, I was still on track with my goals! Woo Hoo!! Keep moving forward.

Fitbit mileage report

My total Fitbit miles for the 1st day of the 100 mile challenge

Recently, a friend of mine invited me to join a 100 mile challenge beginning on Nov 29, to be completed in 2 weeks! Black Friday to some means early morning shopping, this year it meant early morning running if I was going to get 100 miles done in two weeks. Lucky for me I got a Fitbit for my birthday to help me keep track of my miles. By the end of the day I had logged 7.09 miles. Only 93 more to go!

Possibly the best Black Friday deal I’ve ever made!

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes 2013

2013 has proven to look  A LOT different for the Chase’s than in years past. We have taken a great steps, literally with the #100milechallenge, to improve our health and set fitness goals ( and we’ve stuck with them!!). As the holidays roll in, I am determined that this season of indulging, festive eating, and lazy days by the fire not cause a setback in all that we have accomplished. I also don’t want to wait to New Years to set new goals.

The goals setting starts now with trying out a healthier Thanksgiving table for 2013.  Here are a few yummy things (with a lot fewer calories!) we’ll be serving this year.

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes 2013

Quinoa-Stuffed Turkey with Roasted Autumn Vegetables (ordered from Plated.com)

Quinoa-Stuffed Turkey with Roasted Autumn Vegetables

Garlic Green Beans w/ toasted almonds – recipe from Bravo for Paleo

garlic-green-beans

Streuseled Sweet Potatoes- recipe from Preppy Paleo

the preppy paleo: Paleo Streuseled Sweet Potatoes

Maple Pumpkin Custard- recipe from Against all Grain

Maple Pumpkin Custard - Against All Grain

We will  still be enjoying a few of our traditional holiday favorites that would we would be sad to miss out on- it is just once a year, right?  – Grandmamma’s sausage stuffing/dressing for Sydney, traditional mashed potatoes & gravy for Jonathan, pumpkin pie for the littles, and I just created an awesome recipe for homemade pumpkin-cinnamon croissants. Luckily we have planned to run our very first Turkey Trot that  morning  to combat the few “extras” we will still be enjoying.

What traditional recipes have you transformed or added to your holiday menu ?

 

 

So Easy Crock-Pot Applesauce

We are enjoying all things fall here in the Chase house. Leaves, cooler temps, and most of all fall foods. While I am all about baking and cooking up some culinary delights, right now I want to be spending my time enjoying this fall weather with my family. I am also looking for some low sugar/no-sugar desserts because of all the effort we are making to get healthy( although you can totally add sugar to this recipe, actually I just omitted it because we normally enjoy unsweetened applesauce anyway.). Get ready because the recipe I’m sharing today will be so easy. Apples are a-plenty this season and if apple picking is on your list of family favorite activities you will no doubt need several ways to enjoy them. I have discovered one absolute delicious way to enjoy them and make your home smell AMAZING at the same time!!!

so easy crockpot applesauce

What you’ll need

  • Crockpot
  • 8-12 Apples, any variety, cored and sliced. You can even mix varieties
  • 2 cups of Water

*optional add ins: sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, or even apple pie spice

Easy Crock-Pot Applesauce Directions:

Core and slice apples (peeling is optional). Combine water, cinnamon, sugar or any add-ins you like in crock-pot. Add sliced apples. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. Use a potato masher to break up and chunks, mash and stir to get it the consistency you prefer.Once its cooled store in the refrigerator. It is also delicious warm. You could also serve it warm with oatmeal or ice cream.

And really, your house will smell amazing! I’m thinking I will do this when we have company staying with us because it just smells “like home”.  One more thing, get yourself one of these apple slicers with the cushy handles. Its worth it.

slicer

Enjoy!

Best Fall Find. Pumpkin Sugar Scrub

Seriously. Do this now. It will take less than 10 minutes. You can thank me later.

I just stumbled upon possibly the best fall find yet. In my own kitchen. For practically free.

You can do this too. Amazing. (when I get this excited, I apparently only speak in short sentences. Who knew?!)

body scrub

Quick backstory: During one of my busiest weeks, aka THIS WEEK,  a good friend of mine posted she was participating in a sugar cleanse. I thought “I am trying to be more healthy and could also benefit from eliminating sugar from my life for a bit. I’ll do it too.”  Enter my dilemma: I had not consulted my calendar when agreeing to this and yet I had mentally given my word.  I guess I like a challenge.  Also, I am trying to make my health a priority not just when its convenient. Or when its fall and pumpkin lattes are EVERYWHERE!!!

Bringing us to this point, I miss pumpkin flavored anything today. I will remain strong. I gave my mental word. Yet….. I have an excess of sugar in my kitchen. Dilemma…….. Solution: Pumpkin Sugar Body Scrub. Dare I say, Brilliance. Not to mention my hands are now softer than a day at the spa and I spent zero dollars.

3 ingredients :

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil ( you can use olive oil, almond oil, probably even baby oil. We just mainly use coconut oil at our house)
  • 1.5 tsp -ish pumpkin extract ( I probably used a little more because I was craving pumpkin today and wanted it to be a little stronger)

That’s it. Mix and store in a sealed container.

I have the softest hands ever and it solved my pumpkin issue. I didn’t eat it of course . (Yes, I did briefly consider tasting it. Sugar is addicting people. Stay off the stuff.) They say half your cravings are influenced by smell.  This was perfect. You could double the recipe package it in small jars with a pretty label and it would make a great fall gift.  Enjoy!

 

Bountiful Baskets- Eating Well for Less

So many things going on in my life right now but one great blessing that I want to share about is Bountiful Baskets!! I probably shouldn’t have waited to blog about this one- I haven’t been keeping it a secret on purpose I just haven’t taken the time to blog in awhile.  Because I am short on time and word is REALLY getting out I thought this may help get the info out to everyone interested (plus I want to brag about how GREAT IT REALLY IS!!!) It’a just $15  for a Conventional Basket and $25 for a 100% certified Organic Basket. There’s no commitment, no contract and no long term investment. 

The pictures below are some of my own pick-ups from bountiful baskets. The quality is amazing &  it has saved our family of 6 a great deal of $$ in the grocery budget. 

21 plums, 21 peaches, 9 mangos, 3 organic cantelope, 5 6oz. containers blueberries, 5 pints heirloom snacking tomatoes, 15 bananas, 3 heads romaine lettuce, 3 bunches celery, 9 yellow onions, 21 sweet potatoes, 3 1lb bags( approx) green beans, 3 dozen fresh corn tortillas, 3 dozen flour tortillas= $56.50
!!
3 pints strawberries, 3 heads romaine lettuce, 3 pineapples, 6 honeydews, 6 yellow squash, 9 cucumbers, 6 kiwi, 36 roma tomatoes, 12 bell peppers, 36 bananas, 3 bunches green onions= $45.00



Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op distributes produce baskets, organic produce baskets, artisan bread and sandwich bread every other week. Its a group of people who work together for mutual benefit. This is a grassroots, all volunteer, no contracts, no catch co-operative. Since there are no employees at Bountiful Baskets, we as a group pay rock bottom prices on your food. This also means the co-op would not happen without volunteers. All it takes is a little time, energy and a smile. Volunteer opportunities include helping prepare the baskets, breaking down boxes, assisting with the distribution, and packing up. To help out, simply arrive an hour early dressed and ready to work with water to drink. To quote a press release that a local City put out to encourage residents to consider participating, “Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op is a participatory experience. Participants all save a substantial amount of money on healthy food. In exchange there are no employees to guide participants through the experience.”

Wanna check it out? Here’s how: 
ORDERING:
Bountiful Baskets is a non-profit food co-op for any individual or families that want to have more fresh produce for less money. In order to participate, you must set up a free account on the website.  www.bountifulbaskets.org
   
Contributions are accepted beginning Mondays (week A) at  noon until Tuesday night. Making a contribution is sometimes referred to as ‘ordering,’ but this is not accurate. We call it ‘contributing’ or ‘participating,’ because Bountiful Baskets is not a business that you buy from, but rather a co-op where we all pool our money to buy things together.
   
To make your contribution, follow these steps:  
  • Go to the website during the contribution time period. Some sites fill up quickly, so you may want to get on early for your first time.  Each site has an allotted number of baskets that it can accommodate. The contribution time ends on Tuesday night.  
  • Click “Get my produce basket” on the right hand side under where is says Current Offerings. There’s a picture of a vegetable basket where you click. If there is no “Get my produce basket” link, it means the website is not ready for contributions. If it is during the contribution window, it’s possible the website is having technical problems. Close your browser and try back in a few minutes.  
  • Click on the North Texas basket.  
  • Enter your email and account password, then click “Submit”.  
  • Choose your county from the drop-down menu. Ellis county is now an option! YAY!  (To make a selection in a drop-down menu, click on the little down arrow on the right-hand side of the little box. It will bring up all available options, and you can click on your desired selection.)  
  • Choose your Waxahachie pick-up site from the next menu. If it is not showing in the list, it means it is full for the week.  
  • Select the number of baskets you would like in the next drop-down menu. (up to 3 per participant)  
  • On the “First Time Basket” menu, choose Yes if it is your first time participating. This $3.00 fee is only charged your first time. The money goes into a pool that is used to buy baskets for the volunteers to sort the produce into. You don’t bring those baskets home with you, they are left at the site to be used every week. So you will need to bring a container for carrying your produce home.  We have some boxes available that the produce was delivered in, but not enough for everyone to use.  
  • After that, there are several choices that you can select in addition to your produce basket if you desire.  You can also upgrade to 100% certified organic produce for an additional $10.00. In most areas, there are also add-ons such as bread, specialty packs, or cases of canning vegetables. If you would like one of those items, enter the number you would like in the box to the right of the description.  
  • Before you click submit, read the message at the bottom of the page, and review your selections to be sure they are correct. Then click submit.  
  • This brings up your “Cart” and gives you one more chance to review your selections before you finalize the transaction. Be sure you have selected the site you want and all the add-ons, as these things CAN NOT be changed once the transaction is finished. If you are sure everything is correct, click on “Check-out”.  
  • This brings up the checkout page, where you will enter your name and payment information. Be sure to use the address that is associated with the credit or debit card you are using, or the transaction will fail. You must READ all of the bullet points and click the boxes next to them to indicate that you agree to the co-op policies.  
  • Once you click submit, wait for the transaction to complete before clicking anything else. It may take a few minutes if the website is extremely busy. A confirmation page should appear when the transaction is complete, and an email will be sent to your account.  
  • Print the email and bring it with you to the pick-up.  If you do not have access to a printer, you can write down the number or pull it up on your phone for verification purposes.  Money never changes hands at the site.  All contributions have been made beforehand.  
  • If the website gives you an error before you receive confirmation, log back into your account in a few minutes and check the “Contribution History” link on the right hand side before you submit another transaction. If the transaction shows in the history, then your contribution went through. If it is not there, you must re-submit your contribution, but you may have to wait a few minutes for the website to re-set before it will accept your transaction.
When you check out, you agree to be on time to pick-up your produce. Our pick-up time will be  3:45pm (for now, our route times are subject to change as additional sites are added)  on Saturday and every OTHER Saturday after that.  It is helpful to double-check the time on the website under “Locations” each Friday night to be sure there hasn’t been a last-minute change.
You have a 20-minute window to pick up your produce. If you are late, or do not show up, your produce will be donated and will be unavailable to you.
   
You also agree to volunteer on occasion. This is a volunteer organization. We all chip in, no one gets paid, so all of our money goes to buying great food at great prices! If you are able bodied, we ask that you volunteer at least once every 6 to 8 times you participate.  If you can not, then don’t worry about it.

 

If you are unable to come get your basket you may send someone else with your Contribution Confirmation (a.k.a. receipt) to get it for you. 
  
PICK UP DETAILS:
There will be two lines on pick up day: one for the regular baskets, one for the organic baskets and add ons.  You will need to sign off for your basket and wait for a volunteer to pull a pair of baskets over for you to transfer to an available box or basket/ grocery bags that you brought from home.  When you finish, please return the white baskets to a volunteer.  If you have an organic basket or add-ons, you then line up in the second queue. In this line, you will need to inspect your produce before you sign for it.  When you sign for it, you accept the entire case. 
  
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Just comment below!!