Saturday, October 08, 2011

I will persist until I succeed

I will persist until I succeed.

I was not delivered into this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins.
I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd.
I am a lion. And I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep.
The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.

I will persist until I succeed.
--excerpt from Og Mandino's The Greatest Salesman in the World

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Recipe: Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes & Apples

After my workout, I was famished.  I had my Coconut Milk Pumpkin Soup with Ginger Garlic Sea Scallops for dinner.  Before I headed out to the gym, I prepared a recipe for 'sweet potatoes and apples' in my slow cooker with the intention of enjoying it in the evening with dinner.  Well, my goodness, it was absolutely devine!  My picture does not do it justice :-)
Here is the recipe.  I hope that you give it a try sometime!  I modified this recipe from the Fix-It and Forget-It Slow Cooker Cookbook.  I had two bowls of it - LOL.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes & Apples
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 larget tart and firm apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 tsp Himalayn sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp sage
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp light, soft tub butter, melted (I use Land O'Lakes Light Butter with Canola Oil)
2 Tbsp Carey's Sugar-Free Syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp brown sugar
toasted pecans for topping

1. Place half of the sweet potatoes in the slow cooker. Layer half of the apple slices on top.
2. Mix together dry seasonsings. Sprinkle half over apples.
3. Mix butter, sugar-free syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Spoon half overtop of the apples.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 with the remaining sweet potatoes and apples.
5. Cover. Cook on Low 6-8 hours or until potatoes are soft, stirring occassionally.
6. To add a bit of crunch, sprinkle with toased pecans when serving.
7. Serve with pork, poultry, or seafood.

Finally Found...

Well, in my last post, I mentioned how I was having a hard time finding a gym nearby that had the atmosphere that I have been missing.  Well, I finally found it.  I toured Lifetime Fitness, which I have belonged to in the past.  It is very close to my home and has a ton of classes and amenities.  My personal experience with Lifetime Fitness, though, is that I always felt it was "too nice".  Meaning, whenever I'd go there to lift weights or exercise, I felt like people weren't really working hard and that it was too nice of a gym to really focus on the "down and dirty" exercise.  I loved Lifetime for its amenities. I definitely found myself going to enjoy the spa and the sauna more than my regular workouts. It was also so big that I felt overwhelmed there.  Anyway, I got the same feeling when I toured the gym again.  So, I decided that wasn't going to be the one for me.

I revisited the new gym that opened about 2 miles from my house - Champion Fitness - which I toured a few weeks ago.  I'd been dreaming about that place and had an instant energy on my first visit.  The cost of the gym was about the same as Lifetime, and I think that they are both on the pricey side.  However, I was so apprehensive about joining due to the administration cost, enrollment cost and monthly fee.  Yesterday they had their grand opening, and I went..with the full intention of enrolling.  I did just that and got a workout in while I was there.  To my surprise, they had an awesome special on opening day AND a discounted membership due to my corporate affiliation.  So, I felt very happy getting the membership down to a reasonable rate..still on the high end, but justifiable in my monthly budget.  The gym is brand spanking new, as is all of their equipment.  This made me very happy!  Yesterday, I did 30 mins of cardio on the new Precors and some of the Kinesis strength circuit equipment.  It was all so awesome. The gym is just the right size, and I am looking forward to more workouts there!  Today I rode my bike over to the gym, did 15 mins on the Precor AMT, did an hour of a full body circuit, and finished with some stretching.  I finally feel like I've found the right place for me. Yippeeee!!!

BTW - I decided NOT to join the running club after all.  Instead, I decided to use the money for the gym membership, which I thought would be more long-lasting.  In addition, my accupuncturist mentioned that she thought I needed a back adjustment. I thought the running might exacerbate the issue.