Winter Work-Out

Hubby and Lili are still sick, although both are beginning to show signs of improvement and because we were running low on several things, I really needed to make a trip to the grocery store.  I decided hubby and Lili could stay home while Naomi and I headed out into our winter wonderland, but unfortunately, the snow and ice we got a couple of days ago was still sitting in my driveway and I wasn’t going anywhere unless I shoveled it out of the way.  So I bundled up and headed out with shovel in hand.

Our driveway is longer than most driveways in town. The majority go straight from the street to the garage which is somewhere between 20-25 ft on average. Our house is “L” shaped so our driveway is set off to the side and after about 20 ft it curves toward the garage and runs another 20 ft.   About double the size of most and we shovel by hand.  No snow blower.  No truck with a snow plow.

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The entrance to our driveway was especially difficult to dig thru since the snow plow had made several trips in front of our house, burying us under several more inches of snow.  Of course there was ice on top of those additional inches, so I had to use a metal spade to break thru all the ice and snow before I could scoop it out.  Then I shoveled the entire length of our driveway and about 7 feet across and now we can easily enter and exit.  And because I did all that work, I’m counting snow shoveling as part of my workout today. It’s activity I typically don’t do (although it feels like I’ve done a lot of it this winter). Shoveling snow burns a significant amount of calories. It’s gets the heart pumping and is a great form of resistance training. When you add a layer of ice on top of snow, it’s an even more strenuous work-out.

Thanks to the snow and ice, I got in a good work-out.  I also did 20 minutes of yoga first thing this morning.   A great winter work-out and a nice start to my February challenge!!!

February Monthly Challenge

I made it thru the January challenge and would have to call it a success.  We saved  money, we ate healthy and found some great new recipes that I will most certainly be using again.

One of the things I really enjoyed about the challenge was how much less I actually had to cook.  A pot of soup gave us a lot of meals, so I did more heating up meals than I did actually cooking meals for the month.  Winner!!!

For the month we ate Black Bean & Lentil Soup, Baked Potato Soup, Pork Chili Verde, Ham & 13 Bean Soup, Vegetable Beef Soup, Chicken & Dumpling Soup, Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup, White Chicken Chili, Bean and Bacon Soup, and Chili Tortellini.

Ten different recipes for 30 days.

Now we enter a new month and it’s time for a new challenge.  So I’m doing a double challenge this month.

Challenge #1 is to continued a variation of the January challenge by creating one-dish meals for the month of February.  Healthy meals that can be prepared in a big pot on the stove, the slow cooker or in a casserole dish and baked in the oven.  Enough for 2-4 meals with plenty for hubby can take for his lunches (that’s the biggest savings for us).

Challenge #2 is to become more active by committing to at least 30 minutes of exercise at least 6 days a week.  I can break it down into 10 minute increments 3 times per day if necessary, but at least 30 minutes.  Either getting out and walking, playing Kinect Sports or Kinect Adventures on the Xbox with the girls, going to the gym and swimming, taking a  Zumba or some other aerobic class.  I have a couple new Yoga DVD’s that I need to use or I could do some resistance training 1-2 days per week.  Lots of choices and a commitment to physical activity.  One month!  A great way to begin building a new healthy habit in my life.