goals

Fall Into Fitness

I love Fall! I skip the Pumpkin Spice Lattes (gross) and the Pumpkin Beer (even grosser) but I love Halloween and Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie and cooler weather. I love the fall leaves and crisp air. And I love getting re-focused on my fitness goals.

For me, I tend to gain weight in the summer time and lose weight in the winter time (kind of the opposite for most people). Part of that is summer BBQs and vacations and indulging. And part of that is that in the summer time my fitness switches to the outdoors–hiking, biking, running. So lots of cardio and less weight lifting. Once the weather turns bad, I move my workouts indoors and focus on weight lifting.

Maybe you are the same. Or maybe you are ready to make a change in your life and want to kick start the plan before the mad-rush of January 1st!

So no more excuses! Here are some ideas on how to get started (or restarted) on your path to fitness!

Schedule It

If you are new to fitness or trying to get back on the bandwagon after a break, I think the best way to get into the habit of working out is to schedule it. I’ve done this since the beginning. I schedule my workouts in my Google Calendar like appointments that can’t be missed! It makes it a lot harder to skip the workout!

I know a lot of people say “never miss a Monday” because it sets the mood and motivation for the week. I kind of agree with that. But if it’s not your thing, maybe Mondays are the hardest day of the week for you, make your workout week start on Tuesday. Maybe you aren’t a morning person–schedule your workouts during lunch time, or go after work if you can. Figure out what works for you and what you will stick with, and do it!

Fit It In When You Can

Sometimes you just don’t have time for an hour long sweat session. In the past, I would have tried to make it happen no matter what, but since I had my son and went back to work full time, I am finding it harder to make that happen. Weekends are my long workout times because I do have more time. But during the week I just don’t anymore. I work long hours and when I get home I have about an hour or so to spend with my baby before he goes to bed. So I fit in my week day workouts during my lunch break at work. It’s not the same as before, but it’s better than nothing! And if you are really short on time, try interval/HIIT training or kettle bell training.

I have access to a shower at work, so that makes it easier. I have a bag of toiletries that I keep at work (travel sized) and mini hair dryer. I keep some towels at work, too. All of that makes it easier to workout at lunch. If you don’t have access to a shower, my tip: BABY WIPES! You can clean up and freshen up before going back to the office.

Favorite Lower Body Workouts

I is for Intervals

Too Busy to Exercise

There are actually a lot of weight and body weight exercises you can do without belonging to a gym!

Injuries

I was talking to a friend recently who is dealing with an injury that is lingering. I suggested that she try and find something she can do, if nothing else, for her mental health. I’ve been through too many injuries to count. I remember the worst, when I couldn’t run at all for months, I still had to find some kind of exercise I could do. That was when I started lifting weights. I needed some activity to maintain my fitness level and to help stave off depression from lack of activity. I focused on upper body weights and core and it made a huge difference!

8 Mistakes I Made While Injured

W is for Walking

Try Something New

If I lived in a place where the weather was a little more predictable, I would totally sign up for a Turkey Trot type of race. I think it’s a great idea! Signing up for a 5k in the Fall is a great way to give you something to focus on, a goal to work towards.

Couch to 5k

It’s even better if you can get a friend your partner to sign up with you! Doing something like a Halloween costume 5k or Turkey Trot with a buddy makes it more fun. Even better if you can get that person to train with you. Having an accountability partner can do wonders to staying on track.

If running isn’t your thing but you are lacking motivation to do fitness on your own, sign up for a fitness class you’ve been curious about!

Food

Another way to get back on track for Fall is that clean up the diet. This is especially important this time of year before the holiday “eat everything bad” season starts! Here are a few of my favorite recipes for fall:

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro

Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

Garlicky Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash

West African Cashew Soup

Pecan and Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash

Enjoy!

QUESTION: What are your favorite ways to get fit in the Fall?

Bourbon Glazed

For New Year’s Eve we tried to make this recipe but we planned poorly and the Cornish Game hens weren’t defrosted enough to make it. A few days later we had the opportunity to try.

Here is the recipe we used:

Cornish Game Hens with Bourbon Glaze

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

From: https://www.mygourmetconnection.com/recipes/main-courses/poultry/cornish-game-hens-bourbon-glaze.php

Ingredients

  • 6 Cornish game hens (1-1/2 to 1-3/4 lbs each)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Position racks in the bottom of 2 medium-sized roasting pans and coat them both with nonstick spray.
  2. Season the cavity of each hen with salt and pepper and rub a tablespoon of softened butter liberally over the skin. Season the outside with salt and pepper and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  3. Arrange 3 hens, breast side up, in each roasting pan, being sure to leave some space between them. Add a little water to the bottom of each pan and roast the hens for 45 to 50 minutes (see notes), basting once with the pan juices and rotating the pans for even cooking.
  4. Note: Cornish game hens are done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F.
  5. While the hens are roasting, heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then add the bourbon. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer, stir in the honey and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens to a syrupy consistency, 7 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm until the hens are finished roasting.
  6. Remove the hens from the oven and brush them with the glaze. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F and return them to the oven just long enough for glaze to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Remove and brush with any remaining glaze if desired.
  7. Allow the hens to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Makes 6 servings
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=51435

The recipe was pretty easy to follow and didn’t have a ton of ingredients, so that’s nice. You more than likely have everything you need on hand to make it. I was glad I had frozen the hens awhile ago.

We only had two hens and so we adjusted the recipe accordingly.

While it was cooking, Michael made the glaze and I put Logan to bed. Michael said that he had a hard time getting the liquid to thicken up on the stove but I don’t know that that mattered much because the end product still tasted great.

They turned crispy perfectly! The flavor was really good, too. I liked the sweetness paired with the pepper and salt. The one downside is that they are kind of hard to eat!

It might have been easier to carve it up like a turkey beforehand. Oh well! It was messy but delicious. We had steamed broccoli on the side. There was enough leftover meat from the two for Michael to take leftovers to work for lunch the next day.

We both agreed that it was a nice change from the usual chicken thigh or breast that we have for dinner. But the downside is that it takes an hour to cook it. So clearly not the best choice on a busy work night when you don’t have tons of time (or on New Year’s Eve when they aren’t defrosted!).

Here are the two other recipes we’ve tried in the past with Cornish Game Hens:

Roasted Garlic, Herb and Lemon Cornish Game Hens

Roasted Cornish Game Hens

Speaking of New Year’s…

I recently posted my goals for the new year. I’ve already started doing one of them! I wanted to declutter my house and I went through all the clothes I packed away when I got pregnant. I had 3 large vacuum-seal bags full of clothes. I donated 75% of them and narrowed it down to just one bag of clothes I wanted to keep. It felt good to donate so many things and clean the house at the same time. Some things were hard to part with but, really…I haven’t been a size 6 in about 3 years…