Happy New Year! Time For Those Pesky Resolutions Again!

In years past I have never been big on resolutions.  Why would I resolve to do something, then not follow through, only to end up feeling disappointed in myself?  Well, because it doesn’t have to be that way, that is why.  Instead of making a broad resolution, such as “I am going to get in better shape” or “I am going to exercise”, I turned that around into specific steps I was going to take to reach that final goal.  And, that final goal is one that will be on going for the rest of my life, not for just a year.  What steps am I going to take to keep myself healthy, to keep in good shape, to feel better all around?  That is more what my resolutions have been about in the last year and will be this year, versus what I had done in years past. 

It worked well for me in 2008.  I had resolved to continue to exercise 4-5 days per week, to increase my muscle tone and decrease body fat.  Another part of that resolution was to not lose weight or too much weight in the process.  That can be a slippery slope for me, as I have suffered from and eating disorder (anorexia) in the past.  For the first part of 2008, I exercised at home, using my Gazelle (no laughing, please 😉 ), strength training with 8 lb and 10lb weights and running on occasions.  In May 2008, I joined a gym for the first time and loved it!  Okay, so we did join the recreation center in 2000 and never went once.  That was a colossal waste of money.  So, when my husband heard I was joining a gym this time, he laughed.  He doubted that I would go.  Well, I proved him wrong and impressed myself in the process.  I went at least 5 days per week, except when my surgeon made me take 5 days off, from May until the end of the year.  WOOHOO!!  I was able to decrease my body fat from over 20% to 16.7% in that time with only losing under 5 pounds overall.  I also went from barely being able to run any distance at all to running 7.1 miles in 69 minutes one day last week! 

So, this brings me to my resolutions for 2009.  I have 3 total.  The first being that I am going to continue on this exercise path and expand on what I am doing.  I want to add some variety to minimize injury.  I have recently had some ankle & knee pain, and while I am loving running, it is proving to be too much for my joints.  So, that has led me to look into the group fitness classes.  GASP!  These have always intimidated or even scared me in the past.  I am always worried about making a fool out of myself because I am severely lacking in the coordination department.  Yes, I was a gymnast for 10 or so years, but that was a long time ago.  So, this year, I resolve to try out some of the group fitness classes at my new gym, starting with spinning today.  🙂 

Resolution #2.  I am going to make one new recipe per week from my brand spanking new cookbook, Carol Fenster’s 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes!  I received this as a gift from my sister.  🙂  I realize that if I make one recipe per week for a year, I will only be through 52 or so recipes, but it is a start.  Of course, there may be weeks where I make more than the 1 recipe.  I wanted my goal to be reasonable and more importantly, attainable. 

Resolution #3.  I am striving to keep my house more clean and picked up.  This is an ongoing battle and I think that I am going to have to start by getting rid of a bunch of junk.  I do pretty well with our first floor, the floor where we spend the most time.  This floor includes our kitchen, living & family rooms and play room.  The places where I have the most problem with junk & clutter is the loft/office and basement.  They are catch-alls for the stuff that I move off the first floor.  I have gotten better with the loft, but the basement is a mess.  I also need to weed through the toys in the playroom, though they are not unmanageable and I do watch 2 toddlers, so getting rid of all of the baby toys isn’t realistic.  Also, keeping up on dusting, vacuuming & sweeping is another tough one.  Yes, this all happens on the main floor, but while I mean to get to those other places, it doesn’t always happen as soon as I would like

So, there you have it.  My resolutions for 2009.  I look forward to keeping tabs on myself here and updating you all occasionally.  Putting it in writing seems like it will make me more accountable.  🙂 

I wish you all a Happy & Healthy 2009!

Weekly Menu Plan ~ December 28, 2008 ~ Last Week of 2008

What a whirlwind the last week has been! Phew! I am glad it is over. I will be even happier when we are back to our normal routine and some of this craziness is gone. Yes, it was wonderful to see our family and spend time with them, but everything seems so chaotic. It will be nice to return to the somewhat predictable schedules that we keep. During the last week we had so many fabulous meals & treats. It all seemed so smooth, too. The meals were all prepared gluten-free or mostly gluten-free to avoid cross contamination. Neither Jon or I got sick, so that is a plus. 😉 We also enjoyed lunch out one day at Red Robin. We had a hard time with the service, mostly just being slow and not following through, but Jon and I felt great after eating there. It was really busy, so that may have been part of the issue.

So, this week is still not back to normal, but we don’t have any real big plans. I doubt that I will even make it until midnight on New Year’s Eve. 😉 I am getting old, you know.

Sunday ~ Burgers with sauteed mushrooms & pepperjack cheese, sweet potato fries, steamed broccoli and salad

Monday ~ Homemade Cheese Pizza (I may add spinach to mine and pepperoni to the kids) and salad

Tuesday ~ Salmon with garlic dill seasoning, quinoa, roasted brussel sprouts & salad

Wednesday ~ Turkey Tacos or Turkey Taco Salads, mexican rice & refried beans

Thursday ~ Pork & sauerkraut, mashed poatoes & veggies

Friday ~ Leftover medley/Breakfast for dinner

Saturday ~ Spaghetti & meat sauce, steamed veggies, foccacia bread (Chebe Mix) & salad

Baked Goods for the Week
I think I am taking a break on the baked goods this week. We have tons of fudge, cookies & cake leftover and I am thinking that my husband will kill me if I make anything else. 😉

I will probably have to make bread, though.

Oooh….I almost forgot. My sister got me the most amazing cookbook for Christmas. She got me Carol Fenster’s new cookbook, 1000 Gluten-Free Recipes. WOW!! This cookbook is amazing! Not only are there tons of baked goods, but the meals…..I am in heaven!

Another wonderful cooking gift….hubby got me a huge griddle for cooking pancakes, bacon & such. This thing is so big that I can cook a pound of bacon on it at one time! OMG! It is amazing! So much easier than standing over a pan going through rounds of 6 or 7 strips at a time.

Don’t foget to pop over to Cooking & UNcooking, M-Elle is hosting this week’s GF menu swap. And, as always, Orgjunkie has tons of menu plans up.

Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday. 🙂

Best Gluten-Free Pizza Crust…EVER!

OH.MY.GOD! I really could say that 100 times. I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but, I can’t. I checked out a bunch of books from the library a few weeks back and one of them was Cooking Free by Carol Fenster, PH.D. I have been meaning to make this for a week or 2, but on top of being intimidated by making something like this from scratch, I just plain ran out of time. Today, I commited, and boy, am I glad that I finally did. It was super easy. Much easier than I pictured it being. It also reminded me of the crust from a gluten-filled pizza crust. It was chewy and thin. It was flavorful. It was…..P.I.Z.Z.A!!!!!! So, Carol Fenster, whereever you are, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart (and my son Jon’s too….he couldn’t stop drooling over the pizza).   You can find the recipe here.

**I topped mine with Prego 3 Cheese marinara, mozzerella, mini portabella mushrooms, baby spinach & tomatoes. I shredded fresh grated parmesan on top. I am sorry that I don’t have pictures. I was way too involved in eating. LOL!!

Jon said that he likes this much better than Pamela’s Wheat Free Bread Mix as pizza crust. He said he loves that mix for bread & bagels, but to PLEASE use this recipe for pizza from now on. FYI, this needs to be doubled, in my opinion. It technically serves 6, but Jon and I split it. I do have 1 piece left, but that is it. You can freeze the crust after the initial 10 minute baking period for a later date. I will definitely be doubling this recipe from now on. Hannah had a frozen, non-GF pizza for dinner. She wanted ours, but no luck. I told her next time she could have as much as she wanted.