Balsamic Sage-Glazed Pork Chops

I remember the marvelous Sundays of my childhood when we got home after church and could smell amazingness (spellcheck isn’t arguing that word hmm) in the oven. That smell promised a day of sweatpants and football and naps. Ahhhh. I’m sure everyone has their own idea of that smell. For me it was these five, scrumptious letters: G-R-A-V-Y. Yesss anything with thick, home-cooked, flavorful, gravy. In search for that same level of goodness and comfort, I came across this sweet and savory, Fall-ish creation.

Ingredients:

3 Bone-on pork chops

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp Sage, dried

4 T Balsamic vinegar

2 T dijon mustard

4 tsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp salt

2 T olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375, grease a pan with 2 T olive oil and place pork chops in pan.
  2. Whisk together garlic, sage, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and salt.
  3. Spoon or brush mixture over pork chops. Pour the rest into the pan.
  4. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked.

maple-sage-porkchops

My desire for comfort food was on 10 so I paired my chops with mashed butternut squash (cooking directions similar to spaghetti squash here) and corn. No butter needed! It is a yummy alternative to gravy-soaked mashed potatoes!

BeccaSig

Climb a Mountain, They Said…

My amazing husband is training to climb, hike, traverse, ice pick his way through Mount Rainier. He has become pretty boss at hiking and been doing a ton of training for this. Now, this means that I can spend my weekends at our home while he goes up to NH and we can constantly be a part, or I can make my way up to the White Mountains and hike with this stud.

Here’s what I would like to say. Hiking is amazing. It’s absolutely beautiful and the fresh air is wonderful and the achievement factor is off the charts. See this face? This is the face that thinks these things.

Me Starting Mountain

Look at her. She is naive and full of motivation to be awesome. Let’s talk to her in 5 miles, shall we? Where we see her at the top of the first of three peaks nourishing her very sore body with some almond butter (look at that, she’s even staying paleo on this hike!).

Me Almond Butter

That face is filled with optimism, because she reached the top. She will reach the top of two more peaks in this hike, all over 4000 feet, two over 5000. This is pretty awesome, she thinks. I can do this! And of course, she can. Because she has this stud with her to cheer her on.

Us Mountain

Here’s the thing though. While hiking really is awesome and it is pretty amazing, I must confess – I have a terrible mindset once I begin my hike down. This is because my knees have become the knees of an 80-year old and the pain is off the charts. Suddenly the beauty and fun get wiped away by the fact that I have 4 miles of jarring steps down on hard rocks before me. Oy.

It is really hard, I mean really hard, to motivate your mind to push through when you are in pain, isn’t it? All of a sudden, my sarcasm comes out and the idea of having a great time gets wiped away as you realize that a 65-year old woman is pacing with you down the mountainside. Yep, that’s me, shooting the breeze as we discuss her retirement. Aarrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!!!

Here’s what I know though – just because my body is different now and different than others who have no knee problems doesn’t take away from what I am achieving. We can constantly compare ourselves to whoever else is out there on the mountain or at the gym or even *gasp* in the mirror, or we can work as hard as we know how and then give it an extra 10% for good measure. Forget about what everyone else is achieving and enjoy what you are doing, because let’s face it, you are doing it! I hiked an 11-mile hike with 3-peaks with my wonderful husband. Yes, it was a LONG day, but I did it! And now, I have some knee braces and will attempt to do even more.

Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Life is too short to wish you had done something as well as someone else. Do it as best as you can and enjoy the amazing views along the way!

StephSig

 

15-15-30 Update

June is here! At the beginning of last month, I shared my S.M.A.R.T. goals for the month of May (you can get caught up by clicking here). Since December, I’ve been in an exercise slump. Life got busier and exercise (and sleep) got moved down the priority ladder. This is not a good practice. Especially when you spend most of your 13-hour days sitting and listening to people! I am so glad that I took on this challenge for the month. I can honestly say that I haven’t worked out this much all year long.

So….drumroll….post a comment if you’re actually doing a drumroll right now….badadadadadadada….15 workouts completed (in ummmm 31 days because I was one short and needed to get it in at 9pm before I wrote this blog) and 7 pounds lost!

May Challenge

I’m aiming for the same goals in June but with much harder workouts. The massage is still on the table for June!

BeccaSig

Stepping It Up…

It’s that time of year when the sun is finally coming out, the trees are blooming, allergies are in abundance and we have the dreaded fear that we will no longer be able to wear big sweaters to cover up our muffin top.

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Yes, spring is here and summer (with all of its tank tops and swimsuits) is coming.

I love that Becca threw out her challenge for the next month. For me, I have been doing ok consistently. I get to the gym, I eat well (for the most part), and I have maintained a fluctuation of 5-10 lbs for a while now. But, I want a good challenge to kick it into high gear before the summer comes. Why? Because I want to feel good about myself this summer and not feel uncomfortable in my own skin.

Here is my challenge. Aside from staying consistent in my trips to the gym and eating, I’m throwing in an extra challenge to take care of my muffin top.

This week – 100 x 5 for abs (meaning 100 sit-ups or some sort of ab workout, 5 days this week)

Week 2 – 200 x 5

Week 3 – 300 x 5

Week 4 – 400 x 5

No, there will not be a before and after photo – sorry, I’m not about that life. But, there will be honesty. I wanted to start this challenge yesterday, but I didn’t. Instead, I ate well all day until the evening when I had a small cup of chocolate ice cream (yes, I know – I have a vice). That means I have the next five days to kick my abs into gear. It starts today, right now before I forget. So, here it goes!

What’s your challenge to yourself? How will you step it up this month?

StephSig

15-15-30

It is hard to believe that Memorial Day is just 4 weeks away, especially with the cold weather that we’ve been having! Personally, I just came through a crazy busy season of life and am about to enter into another. However, these next two weeks are a tiny reprieve and I want to use them to get organized.

Reading past posts where Steph wrote about accountability (here) and Rah shared about goals,  got me thinking about S.M.A.R.T. goals. The following acronym is used in a variety of settings (you’ve probably heard of them) to help create goals.

Goals should be:

  • S –  Significant
  • M – Measurable
  • A –  Attainable
  • R –  Rewarding
  • T –  Time-focused

My SMART goal for the month of May is to complete 15 workouts, losing 15 pounds, in 30 days. My reward for completing this goal is to get a massage! I’m telling you now for accountability because I’ll update you in 30 days. Here is an inside view of my progress chart:

Plan

What do you want to accomplish by Memorial Day???

BeccaSig

Tips for Travels…

 

Spring has sprung and vacations are about to abound. What do you do when you travel? Are all bets off and the ice cream bar is open? How does that actually help you out and make you feel good while you are trying to relax and enjoy a break?

I have a few simple rules (yeah, you can call them guidelines if you want, but for me, I like the enforcement factor for my life) on how to handle when I am traveling that keep me healthy and not feeling horrible all vacation long because I binged on pizza, pasta and ice cream.

  1. Bring your workout clothes! Pack them and USE them. If the hotel doesn’t have a gym than do the 3-5oo’s workout – 500 squats, 500 sit-ups/crunches, 500 jumping jacks. This is a GOOD workout and will help to set you off right for your day. So, get it done right away when you wake up in the comfort of your own hotel room.
  2. Walk, walk, walk. Take that walk down the beach rather than laying on the beach for 8 hours straight. Walk through the entire tiny town and window shop. Walk the city home after dinner. Walk! You would be surprised, but you can actually get more steps in on your vacations than you do in your normal life.
  3. Enjoy special things, not everything. You’re on vacation, so you are probably going to be eating out a lot. However, you don’t have to get the fried chicken everywhere, along with the pasta salad and the mediocre ice cream that every restaurant will have. Instead, treat yourself once a day to something special and other than that, eat like you normally would – cut out the bread, the pasta, the processed – and enjoy great food that is out there. But, if you happen to be in Belgium, get yourself a waffle for goodness sake when you are out once. If you are in Canada, keep driving, don’t get the poutine. : )

Hope that this helps to give you some ideas. The biggest thing is that you should enjoy your time with your family and friends – not constantly have to excuse yourself because you ate too much or you are feeling horrible after the carb-binge.

Here’s to some awesome vacations for one and all!

photo-1434817247550-689f7c23be58StephSig

Ugh, Accountability

You know the saying that you are not an island? As an introvert, I hate that saying. I want to shout out to all of those extroverts, “I would LOVE to be an island! Now stop talking to me!” But alas, the saying is true.

I am not an island. I am not alone, and I was never made to try to do this life alone. You know why weight watchers and programs like it work? Because you have to go in and talk to someone about what you ate and weigh in right there. That’s pretty scary. And it works as long as you keep going and checking in (although, I think that what they eat is still meh and would prefer paleo, but that’s just me).

Accountability – such a loaded word, but it works – even when you mess up.

Last week, I had an insanely stressful week. It was a huge week for me at my job (probably one of the biggest weeks for me in the year). I was doing good on Monday and Tuesday – I hit up the gym, I ate pretty well, and I was dealing with the stress. But halfway through Wednesday and then Thursday and Friday, I broke down. I mean, my calorie count went from my normal 33-year old self to an elephant basking in the African sun at the water hole.

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What is horrible is that I had to report this to my good friend, who is there for me on the days when I am rocking out my diet and exercise routine and even on the days when I carb-o-load and become an elephant singing Toto, I felt the rain in Africa….

That’s right – I even reported in on the days I messed up, because that’s the point. I’m going to mess up. I’m not perfect. I’m not always going to get it right. And the point of a good friend is that they are there and will encourage you to get back on track. So, here I am today, hitting up the gym for a good workout and eating like my normal self again.

So, my encouragement to you today is to stop being an island when it comes to your goals. Get a friend and begin to check in daily. Here are three tips on how to be awesome at keeping someone  accountable to their goals:

  1. Be positive, even when they mess up. Meaning, encourage them to go get a quick workout in, or to let the crappy lunch go and eat well for their snack and dinner. Don’t harp on the negative, give them something positive to do in return.
  2. Make your check-in happen. Be the one to put it out there at the time you said, and if you are busy or forget, then the other person needs to step up and check in.
  3. Keep it both ways. Nothing like knowing the other person is working their butt off to help you work yours off too.

Now, go be awesome and enjoy some great food.

Food

StephSig