Another reason why I’m spoiled:

Source: google.com via Melissa on Pinterest

 

Fall. A gorgeous season that we New Engaland-ers are spoiled by. There is nothing like the cool, crisp autumn air, the crunchy orange, red, and yellow leaves under our feet, and the smell of the first wood burning fire.

The New Yorker and I were talking the other day, while driving to the central part of the state, about how there are so many people who have never seen leaves any color other than green. Having just come back from our trip to Hawaii, we were amazed that most of the people there had never experienced snow, and were used to their palm trees and beautiful ocean breeze year-round.

Lovely

I can’t really imagine my life without seasons. I complain all the time about snow (110 inches of the stuff last winter!) and the cold (I shouldn’t have to walk to work, or even go to work, when it is -10 outside!), but what I never do is enjoy the fall.

Fall has a certain smell. You just know when it’s a perfect fall day. The sun is shining, the leaves are all different colors, you have on a warm, cozy sweater, and it just…smells like fall.

We planned our wedding specifically so that it would be fall themed. The brown bridesmaid dresses, the beautiful orange flowers, the centerpieces, the cake, all in the theme of fall. (I promise, as soon as I get pictures back, there will be about a million wedding-related posts!).

The only downside of fall?

The first cold of the season.

I woke up with it the other morning. The sore throat, the fever, and the headache. I knew this one wasn’t about to go away with a simple cup of coffee. No, no. I needed tea, dayquil, and some soup – and I needed it fast!

Luckily The New Yorker grabbed the Dayquil, I was able to hunt down some tea in town (memo to self- Buy tea for impending cold/flu season), but the missing piece of the equation was the soup.

I love soup. Almost as much as I love cheese – and that is really saying something! I’ve been afraid of soup since I went gf, since I felt like all the soup I loved used flour for a thickener (New England Clam Chowdah for instance?).

With that in mind, I went to my favorite stand-by blog for all things GF and delicious:

Gluten Free Girl and The Chef.

As I perused the categories listed on The Gluten Free Girl’s site, I easily found exactly what I was looking for. (Now mind you, we got our first freezing rain/snowfall last night, so it made sense in my head)

Is all this rain giving you the sniffles?

Yes, actually, it is. How did you know?

With a little help from the knife wielding New Yorker, all of the ingredients got chopped and added to the pot.

Mingling veggies


This led to an amusing discussion between The New Yorker and I about autumnal smells, and what would happen if the veggies didn’t get along well (they are supposed to mingle per the recipe, but what if they fight?).

**Side note**

The thing I love about the Gluten Free Girl’s recipes is that I feel like I am reading a story, rather than following a recipe. She always finds a way to engage all of the senses (how things smell, what they look like etc) rather than saying “let sit for 5 minutes”. It makes cooking so much more fun, and then I remember to stop and focus on all of those different things, instead of just breezing through my cooking like a chore.

**Side note over**

Then, in went the chicken broth:

Soup!


Followed by the chicken, and finally the pasta:

All finished!


The only thing I would change next time is that I would add more pasta to start with. The Gluten Free Girl apparently has better GF pasta than I do, because mine did not puff up the way hers did. I ended up adding more pasta, and then some was cooked appropriately, and some was WAY over cooked. Lesson learned! Also, mine ended up making enough for 4 servings, which was great!

Overall, this soup was exactly what I needed to help make me feel better, and all Fall-Like at the same time. I really enjoyed this one, and will be adding it to my fall/winter dinner rotation since it will make perfect meals to take to work!

What is your favorite thing to eat/drink when you’re not feeling so great?

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To meal plan, or not to meal plan?

That is the question!

Yesterday I decided I was going to work on another one of my goals: Getting my life more organized.

I started out by cleaning the office. Here is the before:

It was totally overwhelmed with, well, stuff. I’m a little bit of a pack rat. The New Yorker tends to call me a hoarder, but I’ve seen that show (ok, let’s be honest, I LOVE that show) and I am FAR away from that level!

I started cleaning like a madwoman, and at the end of an hour, it looked like this:

WAYYYYY better! I even went as far as to buy some post-it notes in various sizes and colors.

I then went on to start thinking about meal planning. I’ve tried it before with little success. Using my fancy new post-it notes, and Twitter, I was able to hunt down a bunch of recipes that I thought would work for both The New Yorker and I.

Meal Ideas 1.jpg

Then I made a grocery list that supported what I was planning on making for the week.

Grocery List 1.jpg

And finally, because I’m so fancy and organized these days, I added the meal plan into my iCal, so that I would know what was for dinner, and have the link to the recipe, and the blog that I got it from!

Screen Shot 2011-10-27 at 9.30.25 PM.png

Hint (it’s the stuff in orange!)

Impressive, right?

Well, here’s the funny story (you knew there had to be something!) is that we did NOT end up having the Lemon chicken and rice tonight. I had to go home today for the funeral of a friend’s grandfather, and by the time I battled traffic and the freezing rain/questionable snow, it was already 7:30. Not to mention that I hadn’t gone grocery shopping!

Luckily The New Yorker was in the mood for pasta and meatballs, so he made that while I pulled out a box of Annie’s GF Mac and Cheese. Healthy? I think not. Delicious? Oh, I think so!

So, I’m hoping to keep on with my plan for tomorrow’s dinner. The grocery list is being sent to The New Yorker tonight, so he can pick everything up on his way home from work ( 1 car family = he has to grocery shop!) and we can have a delicious dinner, courtesy of Beth!

So tonight’s question: Have you ever tried meal planning? Why do you like/not like it?

Oops!

So I’m a total failure today when it comes to my blogging. I had this great post all ready to go, but just wasn’t quite happy with it. I’m hoping something genius will come to me in my sleep, and I’ll be able to post it tomorrow.

I can at least tell you about my workout today. As part of working toward my goal of starting CrossFit by December 1st, The New Yorker has been going to the gym with me and has been teaching me different strength exercises to help get me ready. Today’s was the Dead Lift.

Now, I have a serious fear of the free weight section, especially when the dumbbells turn into barbels, and they are no longer pretty colors, but instead, all silver and black. Makes me nervous! Not to mention the large men working out over there!

I sucked it up today, and actually enjoyed doing the Dead Lifts. I kept trying to pretend I was one of those impressive people on the CrossFit Games that we watched a few weeks ago. Whatever works right?

Then he taught me Turkish Getups. Now, if you’ve never heard of it, or done one, PLEASE go google it ASAP! That thing was TOUGH!

To wrap up my day, I did some Yoga with my good friend Kara. Both of us have been seriously slacking with the yoga lately (me for almost 7 months now, and her a little over a year) so we went to a beginner class. It kicked my butt!

It also got me all stretched out from the gym this morning, and has me re-energized and ready for more yoga!

Kara and I also decided that we are going to start going to the group classes at the gym together. Both of us need a friend when we try something new! 🙂

So that’s all for tonight. Wish me a stroke of genius so I can get that post up tomorrow!

What helps you get motivated to workout?

Fitbook

Part of my goal setting (and sticking to it!) required me to come up with a new way to track my food and fitness. The answer? Fitbook!

Cover

I’m one of those people who needs to physically write something down. You’re going to start seeing a lot of pictures of things I’ve written in a notebook on this blog. While it would seem more efficient to do it on my computer, and then just copy and paste it online, I just need to write it on a piece of paper. Weird, but whatever works, right?

Anyway, I had done some searching for a good workout tracking log. This was the one that jumped at me, mainly for the ability to cross things off, and fill in the blanks. No full pages for you to write in your feelings on the workout, simply circle one of the faces and check a box and all your feelings are recorded!

Faces and checkboxes

The Fitbook tracks for 12 weeks, which is great because you don’t need to think about filling a giant notebook, which could take a year or more. It also helps you set goals (and you know how I feel about those lately!) and gives you the opportunity to set goals for the full 12 weeks, as well as for each week individually. It also helps you break down cardio, strength, and flexibility.

12 week goals

Finally, there is a section for nutrition, where you can log what you eat. This is key for me, since I’m desperately trying to get a grip on my eating. I have this bad idea that I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight or get sick. This, is not even remotely true!

Food Tracking

My only problem with this section is that it doesn’t include calories or nutrients, so I end up double tracking online so that I know if I’m getting enough protein, or too much fat in a day.

Overall it seems to be well set up, and I’m excited to test it out!

On another note, dinner last night was delicious!

I had promised The New Yorker that I would make dinner since he was having such a hard time switching back to East Coast time, and hadn’t slept at all the night before. I found this recipe for Chicken Broccoli Cheese Casserole from Gluten Free Mommy.

It took me 3 pots/pans and a casserole dish to make it, but it was totally worth the extra dishes!

Pan 1

Pot 2

Pot 3

Casserole dish

The New Yorker and I both enjoy chicken, cheese, and broccoli, so you put all 3 together and you have a winner! The only addition that The New Yorker made was some crushed red pepper. He just needed a little more zing to his dinner I guess!

Yumm


It was so good, I ate leftovers for dinner again tonight!

I’m working on a post about the wedding, so hang tight and check back tomorrow! I hope you all have a great evening!

 

Back in Order!

I have been absent from the blog/social media world for over a month now. Luckily, I have a VERY good excuse! I got married and went on a 2 week honeymoon to Hawaii. Amazing doesn’t even begin to cover the wedding and trip, and there will be some extensive posts about it coming up soon. Here is my favorite picture at the moment, I’m still waiting for the rest of the professional pictures. The ones I have seen are AMAZING and I can’t wait for the rest of them!

🙂

It has been a magical past few weeks, and while I’m a little sad to be gone from the perfect weather in Hawaii, I’m ready to get my life back in order!

I started out getting myself back in order with a huge calendar overhaul. I’m slightly obsessed with my planner from Coach, and highlighters, so this morning was all about the color coding.

All organized!

I had just bought the refill for my planner right before the wedding, so it was super nice to start completely fresh with a new calendar.

I also updated my iCal and re-did all the color coding on that, so that it matched my written calendar (Beth, I’m sorry I made fun of your for your color coordinated post-it notes. I totally get it now!)

Then, I went to Katy Widrick’s website and started in on her Blog Homework Assignments. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out her blog, now is the time to do it! Her blog is great to read, and she is always posting new ways to enhance your blog, up your readership, or expand your social media, not to mention she founded #fitblog chat. She’s awesome!

So, I updated my About Me page, my Contact page, and got all my categories in order. Pretty stellar morning!

I’ve also decided to finally do some serious goal setting. I feel like I have read a lot about it on other blogs, and figure if it works for that many people, it has to work for me too. So I did a little research. I wanted to find out the best method for goal setting.

Googling anything gives you an abundance of options, and this search was no different. Googling “goal setting” turned back 23,600,000 results in 0.11 seconds. That is a LOT to sift through.

All of the summaries seemed to be indicating that “SMART” goal setting was the way to go. Only problem? Many of the websites had a different meaning for the acronym “SMART”. I also checked out a few different software options for setting goals, with one being Goal Enforcer. It was and interesting concept, but not something that would work for me personally.

While scanning through my search results I found the Lululemon goal setting worksheet. This is much more my idea, and seems to put all of the SMART concepts into place in an easy to use format. With that in mind, I started setting my goals. I broke them down into 3 major sections: Life, Fitness, and Blog.

I feel as though everything I want to accomplish in the next 6 months or so falls under one of those 3 categories.

Life:
– Learn more about gluten free eating
– Learn more about cooking/baking and do it more often
– Become more organized and maintain a more organized lifestyle

Fitness:
– Start the CrossFit Beginner Class by December 1st, 2011.
– Run the ING Miami Half Marathon

Blog:
– Create a more focused blog
– Explore the healthy/fitness blogging community
– Learn more about blogging in general

Then I began to take each goal, and make a SMART goal for it.

SMART goals

To be completely honest with you, I’m most excited about my fitness goals! I’m really looking forward to starting CrossFit, and having a race to train for!

Since I set most of my goals for 4 weeks, I am now planning on doing an update on Mondays about my progress towards those goals, including the blogs or articles that I have read, as well as any fitness updates. Look at that, I’m already creating a more focused blog! 🙂

That’s about all for now. I promised The New Yorker that I would make dinner tonight, since he’s having a much harder time re-adjusting to east coast time than I am (one of the perks of being a day/night rotator!) so I’m off to hunt for ideas!

Do you have any goals/plans for this week?