Slow Cooker Sundays: French Toast Bake

I wanted to make something special for Christmas breakfast. Usually I make some sort of egg scramble. I just wasn’t feeling that.

While looking around for ideas, I found this slow cooker French Toast Casserole. It’s from Recipesthatcrock.com.

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole

It’s fairly easy to make but I wasn’t thrilled about the time frame. I had no problem leaving the mix overnight, but the 2 hour wait seemed like forever. It worked out well for Christmas. By the time we opened gifts, and watched some tv specials it was almost ready.

So how was it? 

My boyfriend loved it. He even ate leftovers the next day. I enjoyed it, but wasn’t as excited. I don’t know what I expected. In the picture it looked a little… harder? The pieces I ate were extremely mushy. My favorites were the pieces on the bottom that had started to crisp up. I’d made this again, but I’d spread out the pieces more. I’d also make them smaller. I felt that the middle pieces didn’t cook as much as the rest of them.
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Grade: Cost: Time:

A

<$10 (Most are essentials) 4 hour/overnight prep. 

2 hours cook on high.

Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
Stir the pieces halfway through so it cooks more evenly. cook on low to see if results are different. Add syrup.
Overall Impression:
Boyfriend loved it. Couldn’t stop eating it. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as good as I expected. Clearly my expectations were set way too high.

DIY Candy Peppermint Bowls

Hello Pintertesters! This holiday season really snuck up on us. It feels more like October than December.

We had our annual work holiday party last week. Each of us usually buys a little small something for the other members of our team. Last year I made these DIY hot chocolate mason jar snowmen. The were cute and fun, but I set the bar pretty high. How was I supposed to top that?…

Luckily, Pinterest came to my rescue. Someone created these festive bowls out of peppermints. I loved it. The video didn’t seem too hard, and peppermints are relatively cheap.

Here’s the how to video:

Full instructions can be found on the original site.

So how did mine turn out? The first 3 were pretty terrible. I over-melted them and the bowl I was using wasn’t the right shape. It took until the 4th try before I liked how it looked.
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I ended up using a stemless wine glass to create the bowls, and I melted them on parchment paper. It was the smallest “bowl” shape I had. Overall I thought it worked really well.

The melting part had some issues. First of all, I had to adjust my time. At 300 degrees, my peppermints only needed 6 minutes instead of 8. The peppermints didn’t melt evenly. The outer ones would start to melt, but the inner ones were still hard. That was annoying but I found a way around it. After 6 minutes, I’d remove them from the oven and immediately I’d use a spoon to press down on the inner peppermints. This helped fix the melting issue between the inner and outer ones. I waited about 20 seconds before flipping the peppermints onto my wine glass. To cool it faster I’d lightly touch it with an ice pack. I only left it on long enough for the outer edges to harden. This way, I wasn’t waiting forever to make the next bowl.

I made 8 good bowl. Once they were cool, I filled them with christmas M&Ms and wrapped them for my coworkers. They all loved them. The best part was, I made 8 gifts for less than $15. It was a win win.

If you’re making a lot of these and want to make them in as short a time as possible, here were my steps:  (assume the oven is preheated)

  1. unwrap peppermints. Lay them out on the parchment paper. Cook for 6-8 minutes.
  2. While they’re melting… unwrap more peppermint and put in a bowl. (this saves you time later).
  3. Check peppermints. If they’re done, remove from oven.
  4. Prepare wine glass (I sprayed lightly with oil so it wouldn’t stick. That’s optional.
  5. Flip peppermints onto wine glass/ bowl. Mold into bowl shape.
  6. Remove parchment paper or use second sheet. Line up peppermints, and place in oven. Set timer.
  7. Continue to mold the peppermints from step 5. Use an ice pack to help cool shape. Press lightly and don’t leave on for too long. You don’t want it to shatter the glass.
  8. Once cooled enough, remove peppermint bowl and turn it right side up to finish cooling.
  9. Repeat step 3-8 until you have all the bowls you want. If you run low on mints, unwrap more after step 8, or in the 30 seconds before you flip to make bowl.
Grade: Cost: Time:

A+

<$15 total for 10 bowls. < 1 hour to make 8 good bowls. 
Level of Difficulty:
Easy/Medium
What I Would Change:
I used an ice pack to help cool faster. I also used m&ms in place of kisses.
Overall Impression:
Everyone loved them and thought they were so crafty! I found them (for the most part) really easy to make. There was a learning curve, but after a few tries it wasn’t that hard. I’d love to make more.

 

Stop That Stomach Rumble

We’ve all experienced those moments when our stomach just wont shut up. It sounds like you’re starving even if you just ate. If you’re like me, you’ve tried hard to will your stomach into submissions. Maybe you suck your stomach in, in hopes of it quieting down. Then it just gets louder.

Turns out that is the opposite of what you should be doing. According to this lifehack, you need to push your stomach out to stop the rumbling. What? Seriously?? Yes, seriously. Any time my stomach starts to rumble, I push it out. The rumbling stops right away. This pin has moved into my top 5 “most useful pins I’ve found on Pinterest” category.

LifeHack: if your stomach is rumbling in public, do not clench your muscles. Instead push it out like a beer belly and the noise will stop.

LifeHack: if your stomach is rumbling in public, do not clench your muscles. Instead push it out like a beer belly and the noise will stop.

Grade: Cost: Time:

A+

Free N/A
Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
N/A
Overall Impression:
Great LifeHack! It has come it handy a lot.
A Monster Calls

Reading Now: A Monster Calls

*No Spoilers in this post*

My favorite Pinterest board is my “Books Worth Reading” board. I love reading. It’s my favorite part of my day (well aside from eating and sleeping). I follow a ton of book boards and I feel like I’m always pinning them. Even if I quit my job and started reading full time, I could never read all the books I pinned.

When I first saw this trailer. I thought it was for a movie. The styling looked amazing. Turns out it’s for a book. I never really understood the purpose of book trailers, but now I do. This one really peaked my interest. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a background in art and design. I absolutely loved the styling in this video. It’s like art porn. I watched it multiple times. Then I went over to my library website and put the book on hold. By the next day, they had it ready for me.

A monster appears at the same time every night, leaving needles and berries in Connor’s room. I expected a mystery somewhere in between the Pan’s Labyrinth and The Book of Lost Things. It’s clear something is wrong with Connor’s mom. Whether the monster is real or a coping mechanism is the mystery.

The book is short. It’s just over 200 pages, but filled with images. Whole pages are dedicated to drawings of the monster. Others are smeared at the edges, allowing the text to fill only a portion of the page. Graphically, the book is beautiful. The drawings are mesmerizing. One picture is a close up of a horse. In the background is the real story.

The story itself is about loss and dealing with the reality of it. What starts as a mystery turns into a gut wrenching story. I cried my eyes out. I was not prepared for it. A mystery with slight loss was ok. This hit me like The Fault in Our Stars. It hit me like My Sister’s Keeper. I cried my eyes out the last 60 pages of this book. 60 pages of gut wrenching tears. I wanted the throw the book away and never look at it again, yet I couldn’t put it down. It wasn’t a mystery. It was a book about coming to terms with loss.  It is without a doubt, one of the most painful books I’ve ever read.

They’re making a movie based on this book that will hit theaters October 2016.

Grade: Cost: Time:

A

< $6 on Amazon Less than 1 day
Level of Difficulty:
YA Level
What I Would Change:
N/A
Overall Impression:
Gut wrenching. I read through tears. This is not a lighthearted mystery. This book tears you emotionally apart. It’s filled with beautiful illustrations. The writing isn’t the best, but it finds a piece of you… a piece you tried long ago to bury and makes you relive it as you watch the story unfold. For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. At the same time, I would recommend it to everyone.

 

Taco Chicken Bowls

Slow Cooker Sundays: Taco Chicken Bowls

My boyfriend LOVED this recipe. He described it as “a great bodybuilding meal” You get the protein from the black beans and chicken, and you get the good carbs from the rice.

I have to admit, I enjoyed it a lot too. I took leftovers nearly every day for lunch. It’s pretty similar to chicken tortilla soup, except this has less “soup” and a few slight alterations. I skipped the cheese to make this meal healthier. I really missed it at first, but after a few days I didn’t mind skipping it. I added some red pepper flakes to make it a little spicier. This helped me get past the missing cheese.

Original recipe from BudgetBytes.

Chicken Tortilla Mixture cooking in the crock pot.

Taco Chicken mixture cooking in the crock pot.

Taco Chicken Dinner

Taco Chicken served over rice. No Cheese added.

Leftover Taco Chicken with rice.

Lunch sized: leftover taco chicken with rice.

Grade: Cost: Time:
 A+ ~ $10 8 Hours
Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
I skipped the cheese and added some red pepper flakes for more bite
Overall Impression:
Yum! This is a good healthy alternative to chicken tortilla soup. I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to adding this to our monthly recipe meal plan.

Slow Cooker Sundays: Taco Chicken Bowls

Prep Time: 10 hours

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 10 minutes

Slow Cooker Sundays: Taco Chicken Bowls

I skipped the cheese for a healthier option.

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs. chicken breasts $2.90
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar salsa $1.99
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained $1.19
  • ½ lb. (8 oz.) frozen corn $0.57
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.15
  • ½ Tbsp cumin $0.07
  • ½ Tbsp minced garlic $0.10
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • to taste cracked pepper $0.02
  • 2 cups dry rice $0.66
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar $2.49
  • ½ bunch cilantro (optional) $0.45

Instructions

  1. Add everything except the rice, cheese, and cilantro to the slow cooker along with ¼ cup of water (for good measure). Give everything a good stir and make sure the chicken is covered in the mixture.
  2. Secure the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs.
  3. Near the end of the cooking time, cook the two cups of rice according to the package directions (Bring the rice and 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot with a lid in place, as soon as it reaches a boil, reduced the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving).
  4. After 8 hours of cooking, carefully remove the lid of the slow cooker. Stir with a fork to shred the chicken (it should be super tender and will shred easily). Build the taco bowls by placing rice on the bottom, then the taco chicken mix, shredded cheese and fresh cilantro.
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Halloween Pumpkin face, skeleton and mummy cupcakes.

Halloween Cupcakes

Happy Halloween Pintertesters!! I have a spooktacular devilicious treat for you all. I made halloween cupcakes! I wish I could somehow share them through the internet with you, but all I can do is provide the pictures and recipe.

I didn’t really follow a recipe. I just looked at the pictures and figured out how to make my own variation.

My kitchen amongst the chaos.

My kitchen amongst the chaos.

Prepping the pumpkin patch cupcakes and Frankenstein cupcakes.

Prepping the pumpkin patch cupcakes and Frankenstein cupcakes.

Halloween pumpkin patch cupcakes and Frankenstein Cupcakes

Halloween pumpkin patch cupcakes and Frankenstein Cupcakes

Pumpkin face cupcakes using mini chocolate chips in place of black gel.

Pumpkin face cupcakes using mini chocolate chips in place of black gel.

Frankenstein and Mummy Halloween Cupcakes

Frankenstein and Mummy Halloween Cupcakes

Dracula and pumpkin patch Halloween cupcakes.

Dracula and pumpkin patch Halloween cupcakes.

Pumpkin face and candy corn Halloween cupcakes.

Pumpkin face and candy corn Halloween cupcakes.

Frankenstein, mummy, Dracula, pumpkin face, candy corn, pumpkin patch Halloween cupcakes.

Frankenstein, mummy, Dracula, pumpkin face, candy corn, pumpkin patch Halloween cupcakes.

Candy corn Halloween cupcake.

Candy corn Halloween cupcake.

Pumpkin face, skeleton and mummy cupcakes. The skeletons were a bit of a fail, but I loved the pumpkins and mummies!

Pumpkin face, skeleton and mummy cupcakes. The skeletons were a bit of a fail, but I loved the pumpkins and mummies!

Dracula, mummy and candy corn Halloween cupcakes.

Dracula, mummy and candy corn Halloween cupcakes.

Grouping of Halloween Cupcakes

Halloween cupcake total: 3 Aluminum tins worth and 4 extra cupcakes.

What you’ll need: 1 box cake mix (I used 2), frosting (white is fine), food coloring. (optional: edible eyes, icing bag/tips). Additional recipe ingredients marked next to the links in brackets.

  • Pumpkin patch (mini candy pumpkins, mini chocolate chips – optional)
    • bake cupcakes
    • using piping bag to make grass. Spreading with knife also works
    • add some mini chocolate chips for “dirt”
    • place mini pumpkin on top of chocolate chips dirt. You may need to press in so it sticks to the frosting.
    • optional: add a dash of green to top of pumpkin for “vine”
  • Skeleton face, pumpkin face, mummy face (black gel, edible eyes, red + yellow dye for pumpkins)
    • Skeleton:
      1. coat in white frosting.
      2. Draw two circles for eyes. Draw a smile with black gel. Make sure your lines are thin! Then add vertical lines over smile (see picture)
      3. Add two dashes, or a circle for the nose.
    • Pumpkin face:
      1. while cupcakes are cooking, add white frosting to a separate bowl. Add 3 drops yellow food coloring and 2 drops red food coloring. Stir until combined.
      2. When cupcakes are done, remove from oven. Wait 2-3 minutes, then add icing to top. Do not press hard! The icing will melt itself! Add a little to each until icing is melted. Once that layer hardens, add a little more frosting. You want it to be flat for the face.
      3. One orange frosting has dried (approx 10 minutes), remove from tray and use black gel for face.
      4. Draw two small dots for eyes. If you have edible eyes, use frosting or gel to attache.
      5. Use gel to draw mouth. Can draw regular smile, zig zag, etc. Don’t forget a dot for the nose!
      6. Combine some white frosting in a bowl and use blue and yellow food dye to make green. Stir until well combined.
      7. Put green frosting in plastic sandwich or freezer bag. Cut off 1/2 inch of bottom corner of bag. Use to “pipe” on the green frosting to the top of the pumpkin face.
    • Mummy face:
      1. Cook cupcakes.
      2. When they’re done, use icing or gel to attach eyes to the cupcake.
      3. Pipe on the white frosting with a plastic bag. (add white frosting to sandwhich or freezer bag. Cut 1/2-1 inch off the bottom corner, squeeze out icing in strips to make the mummy bandages
  • dracula (black gel, edible eyes, mini chocolate chips)
    1. Cook cupcakes.
    2. While cooking, make green frosting (blue and yellow food dye + white icing).
    3. When cupcakes are done, remove from oven. Wait 2-3 minutes, then add about 1 teaspoon of frosting to top. It will melt onto cupcake creating a smooth layer.
    4. Add more frosting later as optional
    5. Once cupcake has cooled and green frosting has hardened, use a dab of frosting to attach edible eyes.
    6. Next, use black gel (or black frosting) to create dracula hair. OR lightly frost that area, then apply mini chocolate chips to make hair.
    7. Use black gel to create smile.
    8. Use toothpick or side of knife to add white frosting as fangs.
  • Frankenstein (black gel, edible eyes, make green frosting from white icing + blue and green food dye)
    1. Do steps 1-5 from dracula cupcakses.
    2. Use black frosting to make serious mouth and “scars”.
  • Candy Corn (red and yellow food dye, optional-candy corn for top)
    1. Separate cake mix into two different bowls.
    2. Add 3 drops yellow to one bowl. Mix well.
    3. Add 3 drops yellow and 2 drops red to the other bowl. mix well.
    4. Add yellow cupcake liners to cupcake tin. Spray with cooking spray.
    5. FIll bottom 1/3 of cupcake liner with yellow frosting.
    6. Fill middle 1/3 of cupcake liner with orange frosting.
    7. Cook according to box directions.
    8. When done, let cupcakes cool.
    9. Once cooled,  use knife or piping bag to add white frosting.
    10. Optional: Apply pieces of candy corn to top.

These were a huge hit at my office! Everyone loved them! I made a total of 40 cupcakes: 6 pumpkin patch, 3 skeleton, 6 candy corn, 6 mummy, 10 pumpkin face, 6 frankenstein, 3 dracula.

My favorite to make were the mummy, with dracula in a close second. I ran out of black gel and had to improvise with mini chocolate chips. If you’re only making 1 box of cupcakes, 1 bottle of black gel should be enough. I made two boxes.

Grade: Cost: Time:

A+

 < $10 2 hours for 40 cupcakes
Level of Difficulty:
Easy – Medium
What I Would Change:
I made a lot of changes. Specifically subbing black gel for mini chocolate chips.  See notes for the rest
Overall Impression:
So many coworkers came by to tell me how cute they were. They didn’t want to eat them because they didn’t want to mess them up. Eventually they were all gone.
halloweenPillows

Flannel Halloween Face Pillows

I can’t take any credit for these. I didn’t make them. All I did was find the pin, print the directions, and buy the materials. My mom and sister created the pillows.

Because I didn’t make them, I don’t have any progress pictures. I just have the great end result. They would look better sitting on a couch or futon, but my futon has decided to give up. The back will no longer stay up. I like it better this way, but it’s not great for guests.

So, these pillows were such a great surprise! I especially love Frankenstein! The original project used a solid green. When my sister and I went to buy the fabric, we couldn’t find the right shade. Instead we found a weird camo/tie dye version.

Frankenstein Flannel Halloween pillow

Frankenstein Flannel Halloween pillow

Ghost Flannel Halloween pillow

Ghost Flannel Halloween pillow

Frankenstein & Ghost Flannel Halloween pillows

Frankenstein & Ghost Flannel Halloween pillows

Grade: Cost: Time:

A+

<$10 a pillow N/A
Level of Difficulty:
N/A
What I Would Change:
Nothing, LOVE
Overall Impression:
These were such a great surprise! I’m not a big Halloween fan, but I LOVE Halloween decorations. I also love pillows.

 

Slow Cooker Sundays: Cashew Chicken

Slow Cooker Sundays: Cashew Chicken

Slow Cooker Sundays are back! It’s been a crazy month at work, so I decided to make some slow cooker recipes for the week nights. I absolutely love cashews, so I thought I’d try this Cashew Chicken recipe. I’m guessing it’s based on some Chinese takeout recipe, but I’m not really sure.

The recipe is pretty simple to make. The downside is how many ingredients it requires. I walked my local grocery store 4 times trying to find sweet chili sauce. I could NOT find it. I looked in asian. I looked near bbq. I checked near salad dressings. If it was there, it was in some language I couldn’t read. I DID see normal chili sauce, but that’s not SWEET chili sauce. I decided to substitute it by adding sweet and sour sauce with a touch of chili powder

The recipe doesn’t take long to cook. it said 3-4 hours so I set it up before running some errands. By the time I got home, it had been cooking for over 3 hours, but still under 4. I figured I was in the clear. I quickly set up some rice to go with it.

I thought the cashew chicken smelled good. It didn’t taste that great. One bite was delicious, and the next tasted terrible. It was 50/50. I was surprised how it turned out. The only things I can think of were:

  1. I cooked it too long
    OR
  2. It really did need the sweet chili sauce and not my crappy substitute.

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The original recipe from The Recipe Critic.

  • Slow Cooker Sundays: Cashew Chicken

    Slow Cooker Sundays: Cashew Chicken

    Ingredients

    • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (About 4 pieces)
    • 3 Tablespoons Cornstach
    • ½ tsp black pepper
    • 1 Tbsp canola oil
    • ½ cup soy sauce
    • 4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
    • 4 Tablespoons ketchup
    • 2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce
    • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
    • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1 cup cashews

    Instructions

    1. Combine cornstarch and pepper in resealable food storage bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with cornstarch mixture.
    2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Place chicken in slow cooker.
    3. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sweet chili sauce sugar, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and cashews in small bowl; pour over chicken. (I like my cashews to be softer so I add them during the cooking process, if you want more of a crunch, add them right before serving)
    4. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.
    5. Serve over rice. Makes 4-6 servings.
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Paleo Mac and Cheese

This Paleo Mac and Cheese recipe has been popping up in my Pinterest feed like wildfire. I felt it was a sign to try it. It seems daunting at first, but the directions are pretty easy. The major downside is that it uses a lot of dishes. I was not a fan of that  part.

I had to make one substitution. I didn’t have coconut milk, so instead I used Almond Milk. It probably changed the taste a little.

When it’s ready to serve, it looks exactly like mac and cheese. I was surprised and impressed. The taste is where it’s different. It really doesn’t taste like mac and cheese. I didn’t think it was bad, but it wasn’t true mac and cheese. The consistency was pretty nice and I enjoyed the cauliflour. I couldn’t help thinking that it’d be a great side dish at thanksgiving. For a full meal, it was just ok.

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I don’t think I’d made this again unless I really craved cauliflower. It was an interested experience, but the name is what kills it. If it was called “summer vegetable cauliflower” then it’d be great. Calling it “mac and cheese” when there is no macaroni, NOR cheese is false advertising.

Grade: Cost: Time:

B-

<$10 Approx 30
Level of Difficulty:
Medium
What I Would Change:
Add chicken? or more seasoning? Def change the recipe name. I had to use almond milk, so I’d be curious to try it with coconut milk like it originally says.
Overall Impression:
Different. If it wasn’t called “Mac and Cheese”, this would have a better rating. It sets a level of expectation that is never met. It was decent, but not a favorite. If you’re on a strict paleo diet, this is a nice alternative way to serve cauliflour. If you’re looking for a healthier version of true mac and cheese, it’s dissapointing.

Original Recipe from My Natural Family.

Paleo Mac and Cheese

Paleo Mac and Cheese

Paleo Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ heads Cauliflower
  • 2 T. Grass-fed Butter
  • ½ t. Salt
  • ¼ C. Water
  • 2 T. Grass-fed Butter
  • 1 small Yellow Squash(Summer squash), cut into small cubes
  • 1 small Carrot, peeled and diced
  • ½ Small Sweet Onion, diced
  • ½ t. Garlic Powder
  • ¾ t. Ground Mustard
  • 1 t. Salt
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the stalks and leaves off of the cauliflower and break it into small pieces. Add the cauliflower to a large sauté pan as well as the 2 T. butter, ½ t. salt, and water. Place on medium/high heat and cover with a lid. Let the cauliflower stead inside the pan for about 5 minutes, until mostly tender. Check the water levels every few minutes to make sure that it doesn’t all evaporate. When almost tender, remove the lid and let the cauliflower sauté for a minute or two, or until lightly caramelized in spots. Turn heat off, cover, and keep warm until ready to toss with the cheese sauce.
  2. FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE:
  3. Heat the 2 T. butter in a saucepan over medium/high heat. Add the squash, carrot, onion, garlic powder, mustard, and salt to the melted butter.
  4. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add the can of coconut milk to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the coconut milk has reduced by ⅔ and is thick.
  5. Pour the vegetables and coconut milk into a blender and puree until very, very smooth. Immediately add an egg yolk to the puree and blend well. The hot puree will cook the egg which will thicken the sauce and give it a rich texture.
  6. Check seasonings and add more salt or pepper to taste.
  7. Pour over the hot cauliflower and toss to coat.
  8. Serve.
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14 Tips for Starting and Sticking with a Workout Routine

Don’t you HATE click-bate pins on Pinterest? I saw this great pin called 14 Tips for Starting and Sticking with a Workout Routine and instantly repined it. Today I decided to read it. Turns out it was clickbate. Someone copied the original image and just linked to the original article. There was no text that went with it. It was just the image and a link. WHY!? Because they wanted the extra numbers on their site. If you’re going to link to another blog post at least write something about it. Add something that is your own. Reference the original, but make the post your own. For the record, here is the original.

The post had some great tips for returning to exercise. I took a few months off from exercise and it shows. I’m not happy with how my weight has been yo-yoing this past year. I want to make a habit of exercise and stick with it. I want to get into the best shape of my life. Above all else, I want to prove to myself that I CAN do it. No. Not can. WILL.

Below are some of my favorite tips from this pin. I’m trying to keep all of these in mind when I’m working out. I am the key to my own success.

I'm Working on a New Me, Not Because the Old Me is Bad But Because the Old Me Can Improve

This image perfectly sums up my fitness goals. I am the key to my success. Also, THAT move is my ultimate fitness goal.

  1. Throw away your old clothes and the memory of how you used to look. Focus on the now and being your best from this point forward.
  2. Prepare. Block out time in your day to work out.
  3. Start slowly. Do much less than what you’re capable of and build up
  4. Run/walk in public. Be proud of your accomplishment. Take in all the sites and be an inspiration to others.
  5. Just show up. Go to the gym, class, or the park. Once you’re there, it’s hard to say no. 98% of life is showing up.
  6. Eat. Follow a healthy eating pattern. If you limit your calorie intake, you will not have enough energy to workout and your metabolism will slow down.
  7. Understand your energy cycle. There are peaks during our days. Even during the week. Try to complete your workout when you feel good about yourself.
  8. Wallow in your greatness. You can exercise to become a better exerciser, or you can exercise to become a better mother, a better father, doctor, teacher, or a better friend – or you can exercise to become BETTER. Be proud of that accomplishment.
  9. Have fun. Where’s your childlike spirit? When you can make workouts “playouts,” you’ve got it made.
  10. Don’t give up on yourself. After all, it’s never too late to be that healthy person you might have been.

I really love these tips. #1 is my favorite. I think I still look like I did in college when I was in shape. I’m the same person, but I’ve gained a lot of weight. People have told me that I’ve put on weight (You’re thinking: “Seriously?? What a-holes!”) Yeah. It is pretty shitty to have someone tell you that, but it also opens your eyes a little. The key is to not go of the deep end. Love yourself but aim for a stronger, healthier version of yourself.

I’m focusing on one of these tips at a time. I’ve tried to work out, eat healthy, love myself, etc all at the same time. Eventually it gets overwhelming and I relapse. So far, I’m on week 3 of a healthier me. It’s a little depressing that I haven’t lost those 20lbs yet, but I’d much rather start slow than binge and rebound. This time around it’s not about losing weight. It’s about breaking habits and changing my lifestyle to be healthier and stronger.

Grade: Cost: Time:

A-

Free 5 minutes to read
Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
Some tips weren’t for me. Customize the tips to mean something to you.
Overall Impression:
Love these. Especially Tip #1! The now is important.