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Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

I’ve been doing Pilates for 10 years, so I flatter myself that my core muscles are pretty strong. But Pilates doesn’t include cardio. I get out of breath very quickly. This year, I decided to do something about it. But what?

My first idea was to join a course. But in addition to time (and finding a parking space!) and money, I had one more problem: That the first ten lessons would probably be me gasping for 5 minutes and spending the rest of the lesson in a dead faint on the floor 😦 (I’m not even exaggerating that much).

And then a friend (Thanks Maya!) introduced me to Fitness Blender: Practically unlimited full length workouts, of different difficulties and times, that you can do in the peace and quiet of your own home, and all absolutely free! It includes HIIT*, low impact, no equipment, special equipment, you name it. I went with a 6 minute warm up, 16 minute cardio workout, and 5 minute cooldown. I still can’t do the full 16 minutes, but they have great suggestions for pacing yourself and I’m getting better. And when I add the shower (and believe me do I need a shower!) It takes 40 minutes out of my day Β – that’s it!

My workouts:

Quick total body cardio warm up:

Wake up and go HIIT workout:

Fast 5 minute cool down:

May we all be happy and healthy!

*HIIT: High intensity interval training, a method to get results in a short time πŸ™‚

Disclaimer: Do not take my advice on your health without talking to a doctor first!

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I’m not much of a soup person. I usually feel as though it’s a first course, and I wait for the main afterwards πŸ˜‰
However, daylight saving time and colder weather, coupled with trying a healthier lifestyle, changed my mind.
During the summer, my husband and I decided to make a large salad every evening. This worked about 50% of the time πŸ˜• But it was better than nothing. With cold weather, I had zero liking for a salad, so I called my MIL and asked what she puts in her vegetable soup (as that’s one of the few soups my husband eats) and tried it out. I used the food processor to chop the vegetables, using this awesome knife that I discovered for salads:

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To my surprise, I also discovered that it’s great for homemade French fries, but that’s a different blog post πŸ˜‰
Basically chop everything, put in a pot, add water and salt, and wait. Of course, doing this around the kids means that part of the vegetables end up in their mouths,  but that’s just a bonus – and they love working the food processor πŸ™‚ Turned out great and perfect for a quick dinner on those busy weekdays (I made a pot for the weekend and we ate it during the week).

Ingredients
1 onion
2 kohlrabi, peeled
1/2 a cauliflower
5 large carrots, peeled
4 potatoes, peeled

Optional :
1 leek,  cut into 4 (no need to chop)
Canned chickpeas, whole, drained
Small bunch of parsley
Small bunch of dill
(I tie them together without chopping and take them out after cooking)
Fennel

Chop all vegetables. Put in pot.

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Tied up herbs on the right

Cover with water. Add 1 tsp salt or to taste. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables can be easily picked with a fork. Serve and eat!

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If you’re in the mood, sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top… Yummy!

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This one goes to my eldest son, who asked, “Why don’t we freeze watermelon cubes?”Β And I thought, why not indeed?

So I put some watermelon cubes in a bag and stuck ’em in the freezer. A few hours later we tasted them for dessert. And they were fabulous!

All that was missing were some popsicle sticks. So next time I’ll stick some cocktail forks in them and we’ll munch away…

Notes: they didn’t stick to one another, so no problem there. They were sweet and not too hard, and were perfect. Easier popsicles than that are simply not possible πŸ™‚

No pictures yet as we ate them, but next time I’ll photo. In the meantime, a picture of a watermelon:

Mmm...Watermelon...

Mmm…Watermelon…

And finally:

watermelon popsicles

watermelon popsicles

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In keeping with the health fads of the day, I’ve been trying to modify our cakes to be healthier (the chocolate cake and also the 4-cake). The substitutions I thought of were:

  • Substituting half the white flour for whole wheat flour
  • Substituting half the margarine(75 gr) for 60 ml oil
  • substituting brown sugar and/or honey for white sugar
I tried all three on our chocolate cake recipe. substituting flour was good, it made the cake more brownie-like. substituting oil was excellent. Substituting sugar was a flop. Even though I find brown sugar to be as sweet as white sugar, substituting one cup of brown sugar for one cup of white sugar was not sweet enough and came out insipid and bland. I added chocolate frosting to “cover it up”.
In the 4-cake I only substituted the oil, and the result, again was excellent. It makes the cake lighter and was a great success, as I have always found the 4-cake a little dense. As part of its charm is its colour, I didn’t try substituting whole wheat flour yet, but maybe someday…
I know I could just try to find a healthier recipe, but these are the cakes we’re used to. I’m still keeping an eye open for chocolate oatmeal oil based cake, but last time I tried it I got an oily black mess. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Can anyone think of new tips?

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