Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Midweek Motivation

Photo courtesy of Flickr
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Tuesday Training

Well not exactly training, but I'm running more consistently again:)  Soon after ZOOMA Chicago, my work schedule picked up, and since I work early mornings, my running suffered.  I've made it a priority again and gained energy and (some) needed stress relief.  I had a nice long(er) run on the weekend plus two shorter runs during the week pushing Little A.  He loves going to the park, so we try to stop at parks during the runs.  Here's a little clip of him running around the block before playing on the jungle gym...I love the little hop in his run:)

We do have one more "race" this year - our local Thanksgiving 5k, but this is a fun run with family and friends.

Have any races before the new year?

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Looking for ways to be happier?  Here are some scientifically backed tips, from
I have chosen to be happy, because it is good for my health.  ~Voltaire

1. Exercise more

2. Sleep more – you'll be less sensitive to negative emotions

3. Move closer to work – a short commute is worth more than a big house

4. Spend time with friends and family – don't regret it on your deathbed

5. Go outside – happiness is maximized at 13.9°C/57.02°F

6. Help others – 100 hours a year is the magical number

7. Practice smiling – it can alleviate pain

8. Plan a trip – but don't take one

9. Meditate – rewire your brain for happiness

10. Practice gratitude – increase both happiness and life satisfaction

Quick last fact: Getting older will make yourself happier

Read the complete article and more at

Have any other happy tips?

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Midweek Motivation

You can do it - overcome your obstacles!
From TooTallFritz FB

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pumpkin Mousse

A couple months ago I inherited a Kitchen Aid stand mixer from my grandmother.  I was so excited to try it out, but weeks passed - this weekend Tazer and I put it to some good use - we made pumpkin mousse one evening and chocolate mousse another. :)

Tazer's Pumpkin Mousse

This is a super simple (especially since I just supervised), delicious, no cook dessert.  Tazer picked up this recipe from our local grocer The Lemon Tree.

In large mixing bowl, beat until smooth
1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened   
1/4 c sugar

Beat in
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin

1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Gradually beat in
1 c cold milk

Fold in
1 carton (4 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Spoon about 1/4 c each into serving dishes.  Crumble 2 gingersnaps over each.  Divide remaining pumpkin mixture among dishes.  Garnish with whole gingersnap.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Super Sauerkraut


Sauerkraut combines the health benefits offered by all cruciferous vegetables (a category which includes cauliflowers and brussel sprouts as well as cabbage) with the probiotic advantages derived from the fermentation process.

Cabbage offers a host of health benefits. It is high in vitamins A and C. Studies have shown the cruciferous vegetables can help lower cholesterol levels. Cabbage also provides a rich source of phytonutrient antioxidants. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies indicate it may help combat some cancers. However, this already helpful vegetable becomes a superfood when it is pickled (Natural News).

I grew up eating this superfood - my grandparents and parents often had sauerkraut fermenting in the basement.  Here's the recipe I used for my first try - simple and spicy, from Balanced Bites:

1-2 jalapeƱo peppers
1 large head of green cabbage, sliced into thin strips or grated (set large outer leaves aside)
1 Tbsp unrefined sea salt
2 large carrots, grated
2-4 cloves of garlic (2 if large, 4 if smaller), finely chopped
Black pepper to taste

Fire jalapenos over stove flame, let cool, then peel and slice into thin strips.

Place sliced cabbage into large bowl and sprinkle with salt.  Mix and massage until brine forms - brine is the liquid that the salt pulls out of the cabbage which allows it to ferment without rotting.  

Add jalapeƱos, carrots, garlic to the cabbage and pepper to taste.  Mix all ingredients and divide into 2 32 oz. sterilized wide mouth glass jars.  If brine does not cover all vegetables, continue to mash down with wooden spoon or add more brine (use 1 tsp of salt to 1 c water).  Place reserved outer cabbage leaves over veggies, then place weight on top (I used juice glasses filled with marbles) and submerge in brine.

Cover with cloth and let sit in cool location (not refrigerated) for 2 weeks.

Check the kraut every day or two to make sure there is enough brine, add if necessary.  If any "scum" appears on the surface, skim off and discard.

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