2.23.2018

February: Odds and Ends

Puke.

More puke. Different person.

More puke. We're 3 for 3.

Flu B.

Random fever.

Snowstorms mixed in with all of the above.

How is your February going?

I'm going a little stir crazy and Sugarbeet is as well, I think. We've managed to get out of the house a fair amount in between the sicknesses, but man we are both missing our routine.

Somehow I'm finding time to keep to my current running and exercise schedule. I picked a training program for a 10K to get me going before starting half marathon training next month. The plan I picked has two days per week of cross training included and I've actually been doing them - usually cross training meant: meh, if you feel like taking a walk, go for it.

This time, though, I've stuck to the prescribed training plan and I definitely feel and see results. I definitely feel the added weight that is on my bones (and the main reason for being determined to get moving consistently again - I just want my clothes to fit again) and I see where the added days of activity combined with working different muscle groups than running does are making a difference.

About two weeks into this training cycle, I started having some pretty intense hip pain - the kind that wakes you up at night. Not gonna lie - I was really worried; especially when my left knee started to contribute to the complaining. But, instead of ignoring it, as I'm awesome at doing and paying the price for, I looked up some hip, lower back, and knee stretches and I now have a great stretching routine that has all but eliminated the pain in both my hips and knee.

With the end of February coming, so too comes the end of this training cycle and begins the cycle for the half marathon. A super hilly course in Harpers Ferry, WV in mid-May. I'm looking forward to increasing my mileage each week and tackling the local hills in order to run a respectable race.

I signed up to participate in the Catholic Women Run Lent Challenge and while it's only the first week - so far, so good!

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One thing I'd hoped to do this month was blog about participating in Adri Writes' Cookbook Challenge and only use actual cookbooks instead of Pinterest or the Internet. In the past few months, I'd actually been using my cookbooks more and more and I love the idea of this challenge. For February, all of my meal planning was done using my cookbooks (I decided that my existing Pinterest boards of recipes count as cookbooks since most of the recipes I use there are ones I go back to again and again. I won't search for new recipes, only refer back to the ones I've already bookmarked.) I'm finding that a lot of recipes I would just search online for are already right in the cookbooks I have - AND I don't have to deal with pop-up ads, dropping my iPad in the sink (which can damage your sound card - not that I'd have experience with that, ahem), or getting distracted by the world wide web while I'm supposed to be making dinner. I have had a few times where something I was hoping to make wasn't in a cookbook or already saved and I did search out a recipe, so I wasn't perfect all month, but I did appreciate the challenge.


Speaking of cookbooks and meal planning - do you meal plan? It was not something that I was used to growing up and I was hit or miss at it until I was home all day. For quite a while I just planned one week at a time, but about a year ago I started doing the whole month at a time. At first it was overwhelming and I was awful at it. Instead of saving us money it seemed like our grocery bill just kept going up and I felt like I was wasting a lot of food. About 4 months into, though, I really hit a good routine and in the last few months I've been able to actually stay within our grocery budget!

Here is how I do things:

Every Sunday of a given month is the same basic meal.
Same for two to three other days of the week.
Every Thursday and most Saturdays are leftovers.
That leaves two to three days per week that I need to think about and for which I need to plan something specific.

For example this month:
Sundays - a whole chicken, roasted with vegetables.
Mondays - {gluten-free} spaghetti with homemade meatballs (yay for our local beef share!).
Tuesdays - (different each week) frankfurter, beans and rice casserole; planned takeout; New England style shrimp rolls; chicken piccata
Wednesdays - mini-meatloaves (again, yay for our local beef share!) with veggies (grilled cheese and tomato soup for Ash Wednesday)
Thursdays - leftovers
Fridays - (different each week) cod and rice bake with sauce; gruyere grilled cheese; thai coconut curry; sweet potato and kale casserole
Saturdays - leftovers; black bean soup with salsa cream; leftovers; leftovers

You'll notice the days where I just repeat the same meal all month are typically pretty simple meals. By doing that, I don't have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen AND it makes grocery shopping so much easier. I do one big shopping trip at the start of the month when I get most of our nonperishable items and the fresh produce I'll need soon. (I do that trip using grocery pick-up!) Then, as the month goes on and I need to restock pantry items or need more fresh things, I am able to take Sugarbeet along for a rather quick trip to the store. She loves to pick out what she wants and loves to put things in the cart. I rather enjoy shopping with her, but the long cart-overflowing trips were just getting to be too much for both of us! This works out well in that we don't have to visit every aisle of the grocery every trip, but we still get to enjoy shopping together.

Do you meal plan? How does it work out for you?

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I've made a point to be more intentional with my prayer life during Lent. I'm still missing the routine of Daily Mass something fierce, though I'm accepting that it just doesn't fit in this season of our lives. It will again, someday. Reading the daily readings every day is helping to fill that void. And, I've done it twice before, but I'm enjoying the challenge of posting a different quote or scripture verse to my Facebook page each day. I'm trying to post quotes I haven't used in the past - which will get harder when "On This Day" starts showing me my quotes from previous years. I may have to start looking for a list of quotes now so I'm not tempted to just recycle the old ones. Some I will because they are just that good.

What are your Lenten practices this year?

3 comments:

  1. Oh I love the cookbook challenge! And your meal planning method... I plan weekly, on Wednesdays or thursdays, and do our shopping then... I’m thinking that could use a change though... thanks for sharing how it works for you!

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  2. I'm still weekly at best with the meal planning. I have also been trying to get back into consistently working on climbing and working a little harder on my workouts... Only to have things start to interfere. I'm proud of you for continuing to work it in (though with breaks, I'm sure) with all the illness. You need time to recover and care for your family, but the trick is getting right back to it. I also heartily approve of getting your stretching done. ;)

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  3. Thanks for the shout out to the cookbook challenge! <3

    Since my husband and I both transitioned to work from home, I need to plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day whereas I used to just plan dinner and pack easy lunches or we'd eat lunch out.

    I really enjoy cooking, but the meal planning part is exhausting!! I usually plan meals weekly, but I love your monthly approach. Knowing every Sunday dinner this month we will eat X would be so helpful. Also just only having to think about it once per month would be nice. Less decision fatigue! Haha.

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