27 July 2013

Flower Headband and Hairclip Pattern

This post has been reblogged: https://nantucket-knitter.com/2017/06/17/flower-headband/

23 July 2013

Squeezing in Exercise

I am incredibly lucky in that I have pretty much the most flexible schedule ever. I can stay at home with Magdalena thanks to the fact that I babysit full time the most amazing little boy. I really don't have to squeeze in exercise, I can do it whenever I want.
I can throw the kids in the double stroller and walk, go for a bike ride, or even dance around the living room with them. The only thing I can't do with them is run. It's something I do as a solitary venture, my 'me time.' I have run with Magdalena once or twice, but that's adding an additional 60 or so pounds with her and the stroller - imagine a double stroller and two kids!
But getting that in is simple. Tuesdays and Thursdays I wake up at 5:00 instead of 6:30, go for a five or so mile run, and then get in my squats, lunges and upper body work. On the weekends my very generous parents are around to hang out with Lena while I go running.
It didn't always used to be this way. Yes, for most of my life as a parent, I have been stay at home. But before kids, I worked full time and squeezed in exercise. Here's some tips how:
First of all, let's break it down. You spend eight hours working and eight hours sleeping on average. Let's be generous and say two hours each for anything to do with meals (and a good portion of that is happening during those eight hours already allotted to work) and watching television, and an hour for assorted errands. On a weekday, that's three hours you have for exercise - plenty of time for a half an hour of walking! Can you cut the TV watching back an hour? There we go - more time!
* Like I mentioned before, the simplest thing to do is probably cut back on the TV. Really, how much do you watch a day? I tend to say I only have the television on if I would've been sitting there doing something anyways, like cooking or knitting. But I probably watch more than that. If you can watch half an hour a less a day, then you're good.
If you can't do that, try a commercial workout.
Just Google 'TV commercial workouts' and pick one!
Or walk while you're watching TV. Leslie Sansone is great. I used to put one of her videos on my phone and walk to it while watching tv or bopping around the house.
* Do you have a full hour for lunch? You really need the full hour? Spend half of it walking. If you spend half of every lunch hour walking a mile, that's an additional 500 calories burned a week right there.
* Do you live in close proximity to the grocery store or anywhere else you need to go to do errands? Well, don't drive there! Walk, bike, skate, anything. For me, in the summer, I actually spend only twenty or so minutes more going to the store when I walk (total trip time) than if I drive. The whole trip actually takes less time if I bike.
Now, I live about a mile away from both grocery stores on the island, half a mile away from Main Street and the pharmacy and any other errands I need to run. Let's say it takes me a total of forty minutes walking time to the store and back. That's 20 minute miles, super slow, with the kids, and being burdened with groceries on the way back. Let's add 30 minutes for shopping time - time you would've spent in the story anyways. That's a total of an hour and ten minutes to go to the store, while burning 200 calories.
In the summer, it takes about ten minutes to drive anywhere here, there are so many crazy drivers and pedestrians and whatnot. So, that's 20 minutes driving, plus the half an hour in the store - 50 minutes total, only 20 minutes less! Plus, not dealing with the stress of driving wins out every time.
* Early morning exercise classes. Even where I live, there are many classes to choose from that are done by 8:30 in the morning. Plus, these early morning classes tend to be very communal, so it will be noticed if you miss one!
* Use some sort of program to record your exercise. If there's a day you don't feel like exercising, seeing what you've done already may be just the motivation you need to get out of the break room and onto the sidewalk. Try programs like RunKeeper or MyFitnessPal. I recommend using them both, as one focuses mainly on exercise and one on recording calories consumed. And seeing how much you eat can be a good motivator! Plus, joining an awesome online community focused on weight loss such as FatSecret really helps. (If you want, you can add me as a buddy on any of those sites - my MyFitnessPal profile, my RunKeeper profile, my FatSecret profile.)

Really, you have to start looking at exercise like sleeping or eating - something you have to do every day as part of a healthy life. Something you need to survive. Even if you have a bad day at work, you still eat, which can often times make you feel worse. Well, that half an hour of walking (which is only 1/48th of your day!) will probably make you feel much better. :)
Just getting out there and being better than you were the day before is the most important thing. Try adding five minutes of exercise a week, and before you know it, you'll be running 5Ks.
Any tips you would like to share? Please, leave them in the comments!

18 July 2013

Easy Ginger Fried Rice

Another vegetarian recipe for you. :) Super quick, super easy, and WOW, super yum!

Ingredients:
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 3/4 cup all natural egg substitute
* 4 scallions, cut into 1" pieces
* 16 ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
* 4 cups cold cooked brown rice
* 1/2 cup vegetable broth
* 3 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To Make:
* Heat nonstick wok or deep large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil and coat pan. Add egg substitute and cook, stirring gently, until set, about one minute. Transfer to small bowl.
* Add remaining one teaspoon oil to wok. Add scallions and ginger; stir-fry until scallions are softened, about two minutes. Add mixed vegetables and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about one minute.
* Add rice to wok and stir-fry until heated through, about three minutes. Add broth and soy sauce; stir-fry until liquid is absorbed, about one minute longer. Return egg substitute to wok and sprinkle with pepper; stir-fry until mixed.
* Enjoy! 360 calories, 6g fat, 9g fiber, 15g protein.
Adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

13 July 2013

Spicy Fish Tacos with Pineapple Slaw

(Adapted from Runner's World Magazine)
Yesterday afternoon's lunch! The very first recipe I will be posting since officially becoming a vegetarian. The coolness of the sour cream works well with the heat of the peppers, and the pineapple adds a nice suprising sweet pop.
Super yummy, and very quick and easy, if you do a little prep and get canned, pre-chopped pineapple and peppers. You can make the sour cream sauce and start marinating the fish in the morning then just throw them on the grill when you get home!

Ingredients
* Small can of chopped green peppers
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 3/4 cup chopped cilantro (I actually just used dried, but lots of it.)
* 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for grilling.
* 1 pound tilapia
* 4 cups finely chopped cabbage
* small red onion, thinly chopped
* 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced and divided in half
* 1 small can pineapple chunks, drained
* Juice of one lime
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp dried oregano
* 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
* 8 tacos, flour or corn, toasted.

To Make
* In a bowl, combing the green pepper and half of the jalapeno with the sour cream, 1/2 cup cilantro, and olive oil. Stir to combing. Add salt if desired, to taste. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture.
* In a dish, spread the remaining mixture over both sides of the fish. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

* In a bowl, combine cabbage, onion, remaining jalapeno half, pineapple, lime juice, remaining cilantro, cumin, and oregano. Toss to combine.
* Heat a grill over medium heat. Brush it with oil. Place fish on the grill and cook until nicely charred, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes total.
* Remove to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
Lay out the tortillas and divide fish amongst them. Top with slaw and avocado. Spoon reserved sour cream mixture on top. Serves 4.
Enjoy!

12 July 2013

Becoming a Vegetarian

Two days ago or so I made the decision to become a vegetarian. Now, it may not seem too long term yet, but the reality is, I hadn't had any meat at all this week, which was several days before I made the decision. I only eat meat about two times a week anyways. I can't say I won't miss eating meat - I love buffalo chicken wings. But it won't be so hard for me at it would be for others.
How did I come by this decision? Well, I'd never felt too great about eating meat. It was honestly something I tried not to think about. As I was eating those delicious wings, I couldn't think about the suffering the chickens went through, their whole lives. I just couldn't. Or every time I ate a bacon cheese burger, those poor cows were in the back of my mind.
The final straw? This video: WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC!

In it, the poor pigs are tortured. For no reason. The people are doing it just because they can.
I knew animals who were raised for slaughter weren't treated well. But I ate meat anyways. I guess I figured, well, they're already dead and in the store. They have to be raised this way, it's economical and blah blah blah...So I supported the meat industry with my money.
But this, this I won't support.
I guess I now have another decision to make. Do I go totally vegan? I know animals who are used for dairy aren't treated much better than animals raised for slaughter. (And in lots of cases are one in the same.)
So I figured I would slowly get used to it. Be vegetarian for a month, (and eat fish) then transition to vegan. And then maybe be vegan five days a week and let myself have pizza on the weekends?
I will be using Vegan Nantucket as a source, and some very nice people in the community will be helping me along. That video even got another person to turn vegetarian as well.
I'll also be posting good vegetarian/vegan recipes as I try them. On today's lunch menu, Spicy Fish Tacos with Pineapple Slaw.
Wish me luck! It would be great to get some support. Any words of wisdom? Any good sources for vegetarian recipes? Do you eat fish? Eggs? (Which I know are technically meat.) Dairy? Anything else I should know?

(Itchy pig photo: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Itchy_piglet.jpg)

10 July 2013

Little Girl Growing Big

I can't believe how big my little girl is getting! She's climbing trees:
She graduated preschool:
This summer, like last summer, I am staying at home with Magdalena instead of finding an out of home job, and I can do this because I am so fortunate to have found an awesome little boy to watch full time again. I am so lucky, because this year as well as last year, I've found the job through a friend, and the little boy I am babysitting is so sweet and mild mannered. Magdalena is in love! It actually makes my job easier as a mom, because it's built in distraction for her.
This year, she can actually let her friend (we'll call him Mr. T) play in another room if they need a break. Last year, they had to play together, all the time. It's little things like that which make me realize she truly is no longer a toddler, but a child. A for real, honest-to-goodness, child.
She still likes to draw on herself with marker, though:

07 July 2013

Secrets

They look like three of the best chums, sharing secrets:
Made of 100% organic cotton, these guys are so soft and squishy! Love them <3.
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