Crock Pot Challenge Meal # 6

My latest (not after tonight’s Apple Butter effort!) Crock Pot Challenge meal has been a simple 15 bean soup mix with garlic, salt and pepper. Ok, so not the most imaginative, but I think it still qualifies. After giving it a solid 17 hours cooking, thanks to my inability to remember the difference between ‘low’ and ‘keep warm’. At least I remembered to soak my beans this time!

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Oh and you might be wondering about the sign in the background. Well, let me fill you in.

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We call it “Bad Timing Kerrie” because she always seems to know when we are getting ready to get up from the couch. That’s the moment she swoops in and plops down. In all actuality, there wasn’t much jumping up and down during the game, so she really didn’t ruin anything. Sorry Karen! Oh and speaking of, I forgot to share the food spread we had that night.

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I was beyond stuffed after that. I think I just got excited about our little Super Bowl Party, but failed to remember that included two cats and two humans.

Before I sign off, let me give you a quick training update. Today I finished day 3 of week two, which puts me a little behind, but I plan to make it up this week. My morning routines are working out (no pun intended) perfectly, leaving me with my evenings to do whatever I please. The idea of working out before work always scared me, but after I started following these tips, I barely gave the idea a second thought.

  • Get plenty of sleep the night before. You won’t feel good about your workout if you are exhausted from staying up too late.
  • Perform a longer warm up.  Even though I have to make a quick 30 second walk to my gym, sometimes in very cold conditions, my body is almost always still stiff. Take an extra 3-5 minutes to walk on the treadmill or do whatever is necessary to get your body warmed up.
  • Sleep in your exercise clothes. I have a horrible time strapping into sports bras in the morning, so I have started simply sleeping in what I’m going to exercise in. I keep the shoes by the door or at the edge of my bed so I can just throw my hair up and take off out the door. Of course my cats don’t approve when I postpone their morning feeding for a quick 30 at the gym. Sorry, ladies.
  • Plan your breakfast. I’m absolutely a breakfast gal, so part of my skepticism of a morning workout routine was that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a decent breakfast. However, I actually found that not only do I have more time to prepare my eggs because I don’t take as long to get ready, but I actually don’t want to eat as early. Sometimes I even wait until I get to work to eat. Cardio definitely staves my appetite.

So try these tips and see if morning workouts are for you!

 

 

 

Training

After paroozing many training plans for races, I found a pretty great app that I think may be the ticket to getting me back into shape.

Have you ever heard of Zen Labs? I hadn’t until this app. Apparently, they are an app company that focus heavily on health and fitness. Their apps not only help you reach your fitness goals, but also contribute to the fight against breast cancer. Five percent of all purchases are donated directly to this cause. Anyway, they have a series of training apps for races and I went with the 10K for Pink app. Here’s how the 14 week plan works.

The first two weeks, the plan has you alternating between running for one minute and walking briskly for one minute and a half for a total of 30, including a five minute warm up and cool down. After this, it just gradually builds you up to the last week of running a total of 60 minutes. Pretty neat! Now, I must admit, I’ve always had trouble with plans that start you off running so little. I think it’s just a weird anti-beginners mentality I have because I know I’m capable of running more than that. Since I’ve gotten past that, I’ve really been enjoying the first week. I don’t feel all of this pressure to run a big distance at first, which I know is why I’ve gotten burnt out in the past.

The 10K I’m planning on doing is 12 weeks away, so I’ll probably have to cut out two weeks of my training, but at least I’m finally on a plan that works for me. The best part? While my music is blasting away, my running lady will cut in and say “Start running!” or “Start walking!” It’s awesome. I don’t even have to think about it. Highly recommend.

Download any of the Zen Labs apps at iTunes.

The Never Ending Flu Season

I’m sure everyone is sick (no pun intended) of hearing about yet another strain of the flu being passed around, but I promise you that you’ll be more upset if you ignore the precautions and end up feeling the effects of it yourself.

I was recently contacted by someone about sharing a very informative graphic about the dangers of the flu. What you’ll see below are some very sobering statistics that even reminded me that I’m not immune. Anyway, I dare you to read this graphic and not go running to the doctor to get your flu shot.

Flu Infographic

Just think about it!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Wash your hands!!

Guest Post: “5 Cool Tips for Living Healthy”

Happy Thursday! It’s been a hectic two weeks, but I promise I won’t bore you with the details. The upside? I did start running again. I started on Tuesday with interval training and plan to do the same routine again today after work. I’ll keep you posted.

Now on to the guest post. Blogger Zara from Manchester recently contact me about writing a guest post for Cat Hair, which I happily accepted. Here are Zara’s 5 tips for living a healthy lifestyle.

A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, which helps in leading a happy life. Taking care of your physical health will enhances your fitness levels and boosts your strength. It also can reduce your risk for mental illness. Most people think living healthy is all about diet and exercises, but healthy living is really about:

  • Shifting to a healthy lifestyle which includes healthy habits.
  • It’s all about being active and enjoying your life without any stress.
  • It’s about identifying the health risks and working on those areas.
  • It’s about taking care of overall health.
  • It’s about enhancing your fitness levels, mental health and emotions.

Five tips for healthy living
Diet: Diet plays an important role in everyone’s life. Eat healthy foods which help in building a healthy body. Avoid junk food. Eliminate soft drinks which contain high sugar levels.

  • Remember to eat three meals per day. Don’t skip your breakfast. Never eat heavy meals at night.
  • Your food should contain fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and milk products with low-fat.
  • Select healthy foods like lean meat, beans, poultry, fish, nuts and eggs which are nutrient rich foods.
  • Select the foods that have low fats, sodium, cholesterol and sugar.
  • Control your food portions. Respond to your body signals. Don’t overeat. Never force yourself to eat when you are not hungry.

Exercises: In order to live healthy, practice physical activities and exercises. This boosts your energy levels and helps in maintaining a proper body shape.

  • Regular exercises can prevent aging. It may enhance your balance, flexibility and endurance.
  • It decreases the rate of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. It may even prevent osteoporosis.
  • Regular workouts can relieve chronic pain and boost your energy levels to do daily activities.
  • It may increase your self confidence and self-esteem.
  • It helps in controlling your body weight.

Eliminate stress: Stress is a major issue faced in today’s society. Due to the increased work pressure and busy life, people are facing mental illness.

  • Practice yoga and meditation which are stress busters.
  • Spare a few minutes of your time to enjoy nature.
  • Plan for a vacation which may relieve stress.
  • Practice your favourite activity. For instance, listen to your favourite music, practice swimming etc.

Avoid tobacco and alcohol: Tobacco and alcohol can ruin one’s health and may even result in death. Eliminate these two risk factors from your life.

  • Tobacco is the major contributor for oral and lung cancers.
  • Quitting smoking is a very difficult task, as it contains an addictive substance called nicotine. Make your efforts, which may give positive results. For instance, you can choose nicotine chewing gums, nicotine skin patches and medicines like bupropion.
  • Alcohol can result in liver cancer, kidney failures and many other health issues.
  • Change your mind-set. There are different treatments for alcoholism.
  • Proper medication helps in preventing tobacco and alcohol.

Be mindful: Change your mind-set. Research says that your happiness depends on your thoughts.

  • Develop positive thinking which brings a great change in your living habits.
  • Train your brain. Expect positive outcomes, which give peace of mind.
  • Identify the benefits of positive thinking.
  • Focus on green living.
  • If you think positively you can find solutions to your problems.

About the Author:
This guest post is contributed by Zara,financial guest blogger.

This guest post is contributed by Zara,financial guest blogger. At present she is focusing on ppi claims . Catch her @financeport.

Thanks again for the submission, Zara. These tips are great for helping someone get on the right track or maintaining their current lifestyle.