A Few Ideas for the New Year

There is a lot of good information in paper magazines.  The kind you can’t pin or tweet.  Just paper.  So how does one share this valuable information?  Pictures.

In light of this resolution season (I don’t make resolutions–I make to-do lists), I found a few tidbits in the January issue of SELF Magazine that might guide you toward a good plan for the new year.

peppermint oil

The tip is this: put a few drops of peppermint oil in your water bottle before you head to the gym.  I’ve read before that peppermint oil gives a natural energy boost, and I bought some to put on my wrists before workouts.  I did it a few times…then forgot about it.  I hadn’t thought to drop it in my water.  Now I can put that little bottle of oil to use!

Next is a tip from the great Jillian Michaels.

jillian doesn't like working out

I admit I genuinely enjoy working out and eating healthy.  That’s not to say that I don’t have a hard time resisting foods when I know I’ve already eaten enough.  I’m not chomping at the bit to work out after work everyday.  When you’re really trying to rein it in, it’s important to resist a little more.  Or, on a stressful Wednesday evening when I want to eat everything in my refrigerator, I need to remember ice cream or french fries aren’t as exciting as still fitting in my favorite pants.

I’ve said several times that I don’t make resolutions, I just make lists.  I found some help for one of the first items on my list.

homemade sushi

I really want to make my own sushi.  Any kind.  I just want to be able to say I did it.

Also on my list is to add weight training to my workout routine.  I already do some body weight training, but I want to reduce my cardio and add more weights.  Today, my brother took me to his gym and showed me a few things.  The weights section at the gym is not familiar territory for me.  I believe I told him I felt like a fish out of water.  Nevertheless, I manned up.

lifting weightslifting weights

I will be posting some new weight routines as I get my feet wet.  Keep checking the “workouts to try” tab on the main menu.

The next item on my list?  Yoga.  Namaste until then.


The BethFit Workout

Sore Legs and Maybe Some Pneumonia?

So, maybe I pushed a little too hard when I was sick.  I tend to do that.  I think I was fine until I went for a four-mile run on Christmas day when it was thirty degrees outside.  Dumb because:

  1. I haven’t gone for a run outside since Thanksgiving.
  2. It was stupid cold outside.
  3. I was sick.

Nevertheless, I’m feeling just fine, but I have one of those deep coughs that feels like I just can’t quite get it all.  Sorry, that was gross.

So what should a workout look like when in this condition?  Oh yea, and my legs are sore!

I’m thinking whatever I do, I need to give my lungs a little break. I think I’ll make my legs and arms a little more sore instead.  I found a workout on Pinterest the other day that I think I want to make my own variation of.

Cross Fit Workout

I’m still trying to rest my hip flexor, and it really doesn’t like running.  Instead, I think I’m going to do this on the stair stepper and the elliptical.  Here’s the plan…I’m calling it:

The BethFit Workout

  • 10 minutes on stair stepper (RPE 7)
  • 10 push-ups, 25 squats, 45 second plank
  • 10 minutes on elliptical (RPE 7)
  • 10 push-ups, 20 rear leg lifts on each leg, 30 sit-ups
  • 10 minutes on stair stepper (RPE 7)
  • 10 push-ups, 25 squats, 15 side plank lifts on each side
  • 10 minutes on elliptical (RPE 7)
  • 10 push-ups, 1 minute wall sit, 2 min circle of death
  • 5 min walk on treadmill to cool down

I’m thinking this will cut the boredom factor too…especially for the people at the gym who will try to figure out what in the world I’m doing!

Not quite as good as Chipotle…but close!

Here’s a workout to try.  Spend 30-45 minutes on the cardio equipment of your choice.  After the cardio, do 15 minutes of my whatever-you-can-think-of routine.  Basically, set a timer for 15 minutes and change your exercise each minute.  Do push-ups, sit-ups, squats, bicep curls.  JUST KEEP MOVING!

Today, I tried something new. I spent about five minutes rotating in what I will start calling the circle of death.

  1. 20 sit-ups
  2. 10 hip dips on the right side
  3. 5 push-ups
  4. 10 hip dips on the left side

I just went in a circle without resting in between.  It was awesome/awful.  I received a text from a  friend during the process asking what I was doing.  Usually, I don’t take my phone in the gym, but I had it today.  Instead of answering, I sent a picture.  This is how awful/awesome it was:


When I left the gym, I had to make a Christmas gift run, so by the time I made it back home I was nauseatingly hungry.  I almost stopped at Chipotle on my way home, but then decided I could make my own  salad at home.  By the time I walked in the door, I already had it planned out.  I used:

  • the leftover rotisserie chicken
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • cumin
  • garlic salt
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • 1/2 cup of canned corn
  • 1/2 cup of black beans
  • 1 tablespoon of sour cream

Put the tomatoes, onion, pepper, cumin, and garlic salt in the food processor and use the pulse button to chop.  I did this because, for some reason, the jar salsa just didn’t sound good to me.  At Chipotle, they always spoon out the pico.  I really like that, so I made my own version.

Homemade Pico

Heat the chicken, the beans, and the corn in the microwave.  Fill a bowl with all the lettuce and spinach you want.


Top the spinach and lettuce with a few spoonfuls of the salsa mixture.


Spoon on the beans, corn and chicken and put the sour cream on top!


Mix it all together.  Take that Chipotle!

Mexican Salad (Chipotle Style)

Coloring, lighting, and appreciating the little things

The last few days I have been busy with Christmas gatherings and shopping, so I’ve been eating out a lot more.  My current favorite out-to-eat place is Chipotle.  All their ingredients are fresh and the meat is quality.  I always get the salad and build it up as much as possible.  Salsa is my dressing, and I use the sour cream I get on the side as sparingly as possible.

I’ve cooked a few things at home, though.  All have been simple, tasty things with few ingredients–and little clean up.  Last night I made a sweet potato from that huge batch I got last weekend.  All I needed was:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon of light sour cream
  • seasoned salt

I returned home from shopping about 5:45 and heated my oven to 415 degrees, poked a few holes in the potato, placed a piece of aluminum foil on the center rack of the oven, and put the potato on top.  I came home about 6:15, and this was the perfect amount of time for cooking.  I was very thankful for the aluminum foil as the potato had created quite a blackened sugar bubble.  So glad I didn’t have to clean that up!  I opened up the potato, mixed in the sour cream, sprinkled the salt, poured a glass of wine, and YUM!


Sweet Potato Dinner

I pretty much love this time of year.  Everything is so brightly colored, and even things that aren’t usually that exciting are way more fun at Christmas.  I hate crowded places, and right now, the mall is like an ant hill; however, I love going to the mall at Christmas.  I’m also a really big fan of my Christmas tree.  I wrapped a few presents last night and was kind of enchanted by all the colors.  This is definitely my best tree.

Christmas Tree

This morning, after waking up much later than I typically do, I enjoyed my morning cup of coffee.  Kohl’s sent me one of those great “$10 dollars off any purchase” cards this week, so I bought a box of my favorite Keurig coffee–Gloria Jean’s Butter Toffee.  It only cost me $4!  After looking at the Target weekly add and scanning some pins, I made this wonderful breakfast sandwich.  All you need is:

  • 1 English Muffin (I of course, used the Thomas Light ones)
  • A few thin slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of pineapple salsa (I use the Archer Farms salsa from Target.  My family loves it!)
  • 2 egg whites
  • Dash of garlic
  • Dash of seasoned salt

Slice the cheese and place it on the muffin halves on a piece of aluminum foil.  Top one half of the muffin with the salsa.


Put the muffins on the foil in the oven on the top rack under the broiler.  WATCH CAREFULLY because it won’t take long for the cheese to melt and the muffins to toast.


While that’s going on, mix the egg whites, garlic and salt and fry in a small pan.


When you take the muffins out, you will have this colorful creation.


Now, sit and enjoy this cafe-worthy little breakfast.  As always, you can add anything you want to this sandwich.  This was inspired by a breakfast I had at Einstein Bagels last year.  They make something similar, but add green chilies to it.  Sounds weird, but I promise it’s good!  Onion, spinach, and even cream cheese would add a little variety to this sandwich to make it something you can enjoy every morning!

Salsa McMuffin

After breakfast, I added a little splash of color to my living room.  I found an afghan my mom made a few years ago in a box upstairs.  It’s a crime that it has been hidden all this time, and it might be my favorite part of the living room decor.  This room is finally shaping up to be exactly how I imagined it.  I still need to do a little work on the wall like adding a photo collage or something, but all the colors make me happy.  I will have a hard time taking down Christmas decorations because it all looks so great together.


The rest of my Sunday will include a trip to the gym, shopping for our school’s Angel Tree, and enchiladas for dinner.  Enjoy this time of year.  Eat well, stay active, and send me pictures of your christmas!

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