Second half of 2014 goals

I don’t usually make New Year resolutions, and besides, the main thing on my mind eight months ago was finishing my dissertation so that I could graduate. That goal is in the books — hallelujah! — so now, in my abundance of free time (<<that’s sarcasm, in case you missed it), I’ve decided that I have no more excuses to get my body back in shape.

Inspired by Amy at FitMommas and Andrea at I’mperfect Life, I have set 10 personal fitness goals for the second half of 2014:

  1. Plank for 40 secs (I have not done a baseline test to see how long I can do this right now, but I picked 40 seconds because of my milestone birthday coming up this fall.)
  2. 10 pushups (I make the boys do pushups for various infractions at home, so I figured I should be able to do a minimum amount, at least!)
  3. Walk a 5K (I participated in an event a few months after my knee surgery, and it was brutal. Some of the half-marathon runners finished their race before I finished walking 3 miles! Overachievers.)
  4. Swim 400yds (This should be the easiest goal to reach, and I wanted to include one that would motivate me positively.)
  5. 20 squats (I had to do these during physical therapy for my knee, ugh. I can do about 5 in a row right now (maybe 10 with a rest), so this will be a challenge.)
  6. Walk another 5K (If I don’t find an event to attend, then I’ll just aim for 3+ miles.)
  7. Bike 4 mi (My knees hate cycling, but I think I can work up to 4mi on a stationary bike, at least.)
  8. Walk stairs at work 30x by October 31 (I report to my new office on the 4th floor on Monday, Aug. 18, which gives me 11 weeks to reach this goal. That’s only 2-3 times per week to take the stairs, so I think I can make myself do it.)
  9. Walk around the block 50x by Thanksgiving (There are four months until Thanksgiving, so if I walk around the block 3-4 times a week, then the goal is achievable.)
  10. 10 burpees (This goal is a stretch, because I cannot even do ONE right now.  I have difficulty kicking my feet back (have to walk back one foot at a time) and then jumping back into a squatting position (though I could do it in two little pounces). I like the way this guy showed how to do them … not so much pressure on the knees.)

So, there you have it. I’m writing the goals down here for accountability’s sake. In addition to being more active, I know that I need to eat better. I think my new schedule (i.e., not having to be at my desk from 8-5 everyday) will be more conducive to eating prepared meals from home (rather than eating out at breakfast or lunch) and planning for my own meals throughout the day, instead of just thinking about what to fix for dinner. Not to mention, it will save money!

Semi-from-scratch supper

Our local grocery store has an awesome bulk aisle where I buy spices and seasonings. I can get a little zip-bag of cinnamon for less than a buck, whereas the shaker bottle would cost a few dollars. I saw the other day that they had lemon pepper seasoning, so I got a baggie full and decided to give it a try with some frozen tilapia. I didn’t set out to make a gourmet meal, but I had a basket of citrus fruits that I bought from one of my students who was doing a fundraiser for Ag, and they needed to be used soon. So, tossed the fillets in the lemon pepper seasoning, then I cut up a lemon and squeezed the juice over the fish and topped the fillets with some lemon slices. I baked six fillets at 400 for about 20 min total (flipped halfway through and squeezed some more lemon on them).

2013-12-22 17.41.22The citrus basket also included avocados, and I’ve had a hankering for guacamole for a while. So, I looked up a few recipes and then modified with what I had on hand and what I like (for example: not a lot of cilantro, if any). I didn’t really measure as I went along, but here’s a rough estimate of what I used:

  • 1/3 white onion
  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Run the onions in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add all the other ingredients & blend until mostly creamy. Serve with celery sticks, tortilla chips, or just lick the bowl (remove the food processor blade first!).

Most recipes called for cilantro, but I didn’t have any and don’t really care for it (like I said). Some recipes also called for tomatoes, which I didn’t have on hand, either. Regardless, the boys gave the guacamole 100 out of 10 stars. I’ll say it was a winner! Even my 14yo anti-veggie critic liked it, so that’s praise if I’ve ever heard it. 🙂

2013-12-22 17.56.04Lastly, I had a small jar of pesto that I found on sale and thought it would be yummy with pasta. I tossed it with some fettuccine and a drizzle of olive oil. It was pretty good, but I needed more pesto for the quantity of pasta that I made, so the flavor was sparse.

All in all, it was a pretty delicious thrown-together supper for a Saturday when I actually had a bit of time to experiment in the kitchen.