FitSugar Squat Challenge

Hey stranger!

Hope the holidays haven’t driven you away from fitness like they have for me. Every year I swear I’ll stick to my workout routine and every year, I don’t. At. All. I know I should let certain things slide around the holiday season and chalk it up to a Cat Hair Coffee moment, but this season I’ve noticed a major side effect: SAD. OK, so maybe not to the extreme that some people are effected, but I definitely have found myself lacking in the energy department. Enter: The 30-Day Squat Challenge by PopSugar Fitness.

I found this challenge on PopSugar’s Facebook page and thought it seemed really reasonable. The whole “Squat Circuit Challenge: 4 Weeks to 200 Squats” sounded so cool to me! Well, maybe “cool” is the wrong word, but it definitely seemed like an attainable goal. Anyway, if you would like to join me, tweet about your experience by mentioning me @baileemorris OR @cathaircoffee and @POPSUGARFitness with the hashtag #200squatchallenge. Here’s the routine:

DAY OF MONTH EXERCISE NUMBER OF SQUATS
Day 1 6 reps of each 30
Day 2 10 reps of each 50
Day 3 6 reps of each, repeat 2x 60
Day 4 Rest 0
Day 5 5 reps of each, repeat 3x 75
Day 6 10 reps of each 50
Day 7 8 reps of each, repeat 2x 80
Day 8 Rest 0
Day 9 9 reps of each, repeat 2x 90
Day 10 6 reps of each, repeat 2x 60
Day 11 5 reps of each, repeat 4x 100
Day 12 Rest 0
Day 13 7 reps of each, repeat 3x 105
Day 14 6 reps of each, repeat 2x 60
Day 15 5 reps of each, repeat 5x 125
Day 16 Rest 0
Day 17 9 reps of each, repeat 3x 135
Day 18 5 reps of each, repeat 3x 75
Day 19 7 reps of each, repeat 4x 140
Day 20 Rest 0
Day 21 10 reps of each, repeat 3x 150
Day 22 8 reps of each, repeat 2x 80
Day 23 8 reps of each, repeat 4x 160
Day 24 Rest 0
Day 25 7 reps of each, repeat 5x 175
Day 26 6 reps of each, repeat 3x 90
Day 27 9 reps of each, repeat 4x 180
Day 28 Rest 0
Day 29 12 reps of each, repeat 3x 180
Day 30 10 reps of each, repeat 4x 200

So start squatting! (That was supposed to sound better than it did.)

Two Week Wrap Up

Well, as I’m sure most of you understand, I’ve been busy the past two weeks eating, shopping, traveling and doing all of the holiday things I look forward to every year. Unfortunately, this didn’t include being very regimented with Cat Hair in my Coffee. 🙂 Not to worry, I snapped plenty of photos along the way to do the catching up for me.

Cat Hair Holiday Season

 

As you can see, a ton of Larabars were in my life, thanks to my wonderful coworker. I also made more of an effort to hit the gym. Thank god I did, because starting back with my running routine tomorrow would be a serious witch with a b. I started cleaning up my snacking routine with lots of peanut butter and apples again and found a deep spiritual connection with Nut Thins. I celebrated Christmas in style with my parents and close friends. (I also found out that I have a tendency to crouch in photos after I’ve been drinking.) Finally, I wrapped up the year with a little birthday celebration for Karen. She turned five, although she doesn’t look a day over three. Did I mention I got this snazzy, beautiful, terrific watch from Alex?

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I’m still mildly obsessed. Anyway, in the spirit of New Year’s Eve, I’d like to share a list of things to come for Cat Hair in my Coffee 2013.

  • More photos and recipes of very yummy dishes. My mouth is watering.
  • Updates on my half marathon training. (Yes, I’m an idiot.)
  • More workouts I love.
  • Tips on how to stay balanced.

Thanks for a great year, readers! Here’s some info about Cat Hair in my Coffee 2012.

The busiest day of the year was March 28th with 166views. The most popular post that day was WIAW: Strawberry Poptart Oats.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for reese’s puffs, reeses puffs, chitlins,funny sorry, and kit kat.

WIAW: The Pure Joy I Get From Discounts

I’m going to make this brief, because I’ve still got to squeeze in a workout for the day.

I. Love. Discounts. So today when I got online to order my personalized holiday cards, I was bummed to realize they were going to be quite expensive. I decided I would swallow my pride and cough up the cash. Just as I was finishing up the design, I decided to do a quick shop-around for a better deal. My dear friends, the Queens, sent me a lovely postcard style holiday card that I found to be quite adorable. I grabbed it from the fridge and checked where she made it. Cardstore.com. Hmm, never heard of it? Me neither!

I quickly hopped on over to the site and nearly died when I saw their fabulous 12/12/12 discount: All Holiday Cards 29 cents. WHAT?!?! I quickly picked a new design, loaded my contacts and had another bought of excitement when I realized stamps and direct mailing were included in this cost. I knew I needed a few extra to hand out to some work folks, so I added another order to be shipped directly to me. Before the discount: $45. After the discount: $7. With all the money I saved, I was able to do a rush delivery so I would get my cards by the beginning of next week. OMG. I literally can’t contain my joy.

Ok, on to WIAW.

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To start I had an egg sandwich with a half slice of muenster cheese. Lunch was a delicious cheese ravioli and house salad combo from a local favorite, Muriales, in Fairmont, W.Va. I had to get my cheese on for my snack, so I chose this horrendous pose with my beloved Chobani yogurt. Finally, to fuel me through the holidays, my yummy Holiday/Christmas blend Starbucks coffee.

Well I’m off to squeak out a workout. Wish me luck!

My Healthy Choice of the Day: After weighing myself today and realizing I had gained the two pounds back that I had lost, I calmly walked back to my desk, logged the weigh in and said, “Just keep trying.” Normally I would have beaten myself up and been really down, but not this time. (And this was BEFORE the big discount celebration!)

Honest Tea

A few weeks (maybe a month?) ago I received a sample of a few various Honest Tea brand drinks to try. I’m slowly becoming a cold tea drinker, but must admit it’s tough to drink with them food. Something about the flavors just don’t jive. Anyway, I decided to give the Honest Zero Passion Fruit Green Tea a try.

photo (18)

 

Ok, so for zero calories, my hopes for “full flavor” were realistically low. The “tea” flavor was pretty strong in this brew, but it lacked the sweetness I would have liked. It’s definitely worth trying, but I recommend adding some of your own stevia to the mix. Hey, it has more flavor than water! I hope to try some of the other flavors soon.

Tea drinking aside, I was very busy a few evenings ago baking goodies for my office Christmas party. (I’m not being politically incorrect; it was officially called a Christmas party.) I tried out the Double Chocolate and Mint recipe my mom made at our cookie party a few weeks ago, whipped up some sugar cookies and decided to try this very yummy Rugelach recipe.

Dough

2 1/4 c (10 oz / 287 g) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (1/2 oz) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 c (8 oz / 227 g) unsalted butter, frozen and grated
8 oz (227 g) cream cheese
2 tbsp sour cream

Filling

1 cup of chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

1. dough:
a) whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
b) toss flour with butter bits and then with a pastry blender or 2 forks or 2 knives, blend your brick of cream cheese into the flour; add sour cream. gently blend until you get dough bits with substantial butter chunks.
c) dump dough onto your clean, floured counter top and with a bench scraper, corral and gently pat your dough chunks into a squarish shape, 1-inch thick.
d) roll into a rectangular shape about 1/2-inch thick. with your bench scraper, gently fold in half and give it a quarter turn (90º). dough will be very crumbly and possibly stick onto the roller. resist the urge to add too much flour or water.
e) if the butter starts to melt, wrap and place in fridge for about 30 minutes to chill. letting it rest in between rolling will also allow the gluten to relax, leading to tender flakes of pastry.
f) roll back into a rectangular shape, 1/2-inch thick. fold in half and turn. repeat 3 times. by the last roll, your dough should be more cohesive and uniformly smooth in texture. if you look at the dough from the side, you will see the layers that you’ve created like here.
g) divide dough into 4 even pieces and press each piece into thick disks. roll into an 8 or 9-inch disk. freeze for 30 minutes or up to 1 month if stored in zipper-lock freezer bag.
FineCooking.com has excellent pictorial directions for rolling out flaky pastry here.
2. filling:
1. for dry fillings: combine all the filling ingredients.
2. for fillings with preserves: combine sugar and spices and set aside. when filling, spread with preserves, first, then sprinkle on sugar spice mix, then sprinkle on raisins, then the walnuts.
3. rolling with filling into crescent shape:
a) work with one dough disk at a time, and keep the others refrigerated. place a disk on the work surface.
b) spread 1/4 c of the filling over the dough, leaving 2 inch in middle and 1/2 in around the outside edge of the circle uncovered; pat fillings down into dough gently with fingertips.
c) use a sharp knife or a pizza wheel to cut the circle into 8 equal wedges.
d) starting at the wide (outside) edge of the wedge, roll it toward its narrow edge, as you would a crescent roll. at the wide edge, you can also cut a snip to give it a split tail which really does facilitate the rolling process, similar to making croissant.
e) place the rolled wedges, tip down, on the prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. curve each cookie into a crescent shape. repeat this process with the remaining dough. freeze them for 15 minutes (if well-wrapped, can be frozen in a zipper-lock bag up to 6 weeks).
4. meanwhile, adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions. preheat the oven to 350ºF. lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets. parchment recommended as the cookie filling will inevitably ooze.
5. remove from freezer and brush each crescent with some of the beaten egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar.
6. bake, turning baking pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time, until pale gold and slightly puffy, 21 to 23 minutes. carefully transfer hot, fragile cookies to cooling rack using thin-bladed spatula. (can be stored in an airtight container up to 4 days.)

My dough was far from flaky and turned out to be more of a biscuit texture, but they were still very good. I would almost recommend using a store bought crescent roll dough to make this recipe a LOT easier. Though I’m not Jewish, I’ve always had a deep respect for this particular religious belief and all of it’s deep-rooted traditions.  Now I have an even deeper respect for the women spend the time making this recipe during the holidays. Oi vey!

Anyway, try out this recipe if you’re in the mood for something a little different this holiday season.