TIPS: Exercising With Outside Influences

Tip Days are Tuesdays and Thursdays. This month of tips will be devoted to Exercise.

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Here are some tips on helping taking your EXERCISE to the next level with help from others:

TIP #3 – PARTNER UP!: Find a workout buddy. Whether it is a spouse, a friend, relative or someone you just met, get together with someone who keeps you motivated. Not only does it make exercising more fun it makes you accountable to each other. If exercising for yourself is not reason enough or motivation enough to go for it, now you have each other for support.

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TIP #4 – FIND A MENTOR: Many “exercise lists” say that you should hire a personal trainer, at least at the beginning.  If that fits in your budget, then fine.  However, for most people, if you have a friend who is really into fitness, take advantage of him/her.  Ask for advice.  Have them work on a schedule with you.  Most people who are into fitness will gladly lend their advice to anybody, but especially to a friend.

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If you missed last week’s tips, click here.

Wednesdays and Fridays are recipe days! I’ll be posting recipes given to me by my next door neighbor, Chef Chumley. You can read more about him by clicking here. Come back tomorrow for another recipe!

~ Sherri <3

 

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Exercise Weekly Challenge #1: Stair Down (And Up)!

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One of the easiest ways to get in some exercise is by simply using the stairs. This act is many times ignored out of sheer laziness. The convenience of just pushing a button or standing on an escalator exceeds the desire to get into shape. That is why this week I am making a vow to only use the stairs. It is time to get into the habit of relying a little less on convenience and more on moving my body.

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Week #5: STAIR DOWN (AND UP)!

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Weekend Round-Up, Procrastination Ends & Exercise Begins

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This week we conclude with the month of Procrastination. While I feel like overall I’ve made a bit of progress in Procrastination Prevention, this last week was a lot less successful. I was out visiting family on the East Coast. It was difficult (read: pretty much impossible) to fulfill this week’s Weekly Challenge to Plan Your Day in Advance. Not only were Jesse and I both sick, but the days that we finally were well enough to make a schedule, outside factors (including bad weather and unexpected funerals) severely altered plans. But that’s life; some weeks are just a wash. I think I’ll have to give this challenge a Do-Over. =0) Sometimes, that’s what you gotta do when life throws you a curve-ball. Just go with the flow, don’t get to hard on yourself, and try again.

I’m excited for the first full week of Exercise! I love the summer months. It’s a great time of year to focus on getting in shape… especially when you see look in the mirror and don’t quite see your beach-ready body shape that you hope to have. I’m definitely looking forward to the weeks to come!

In case you missed it, here were some of our top posts of the past week. (You can either click on them, or scroll down and review all of our past posts.)

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Interview: The Happiness Project author GRETCHEN RUBIN

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Tips: Motto’s to Remember

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Recipe: Livin’ La Vida Lentils (aka Minty Red Lentil Soup)

See you tomorrow with a brand-new Weekly Challenge for the month of Procrastination!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

~Sherri <3

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Recipe: Livin’ La Vida Lentils (aka Minty Red Lentil Soup)

These recipes are the concoctions of (fictitious) cartoon comic chef extraordinaire, Sherri’s neighbor and cooking mentor, Chef Chumley.  Chef and Sherri are happy to bring them to you on Wednesdays and Fridays.

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I was going through my kitchen cabinet the other day and noticed that we had stockpiled a lot of red lentils. What to do…what to do…? Chef Chumley asked what other ingredients I had accumulated, so I mentioned rice and mint. So voilà! Here is a warm, spicy, exotic-tasting soup, for your eating pleasure! Add sour cream or croutons for optimal flavor (or as garnish, as shown in photo below).

COOKED#17-MadeTheChickenSoup

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Livin’ La Vida Lentils (aka Minty Red Lentil Soup)

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Prep time: 15 minutes • Cook time: 45 minutes • Yields: 12 servings

Ingredients:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced tomatoes, drained
10 cups chicken stock
1 cup uncooked red lentils
1/2 cup fine bulgur
1 large bell pepper (red, orange or yellow), chopped
½ head large cauliflower, chopped

1/2 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons paprika
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt to taste
Sour cream or croutons (optional)

Directions:
Sautee the onion in the hot oil in a large pot until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Next, pour in the diced tomatoes and cook (stirring regularly) for 10 more minutes.

Add in the chicken stock, red lentils, bulgur, bell pepper, cauliflower, rice, tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder,paprika, mint, turmeric, black pepper and cayenne pepper (optional) to the onion, garlic and tomato mixture. Add salt to taste. Bring the soup to a boil, the n reduce heat to medium-low, and cook at a simmer until the lentils and rice are cooked (about 25-30 minutes).

Let soup cool for a few minutes, and then pour into a blender (no more than halfway). Once covered, slowly start the blender- using a couple of short pulses to get the soup moving before setting it to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and then serve. You can also use an immersion blender and puree the soup in the cooking pot instead.

Sour cream or additional items, such as croutons, may be added as desired.

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Tuesday and Thursday are Tip Days! Come back tomorrow for new tips about Exercise!

Wednesday and Fridays are Recipe Days! Stay ‘tooned for a new recipe this Wednesday!

 

 

 

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TIPS: Getting into the EXERCISE Mindset (& Body-set!)

Tip Days are Tuesdays and Thursdays. This month of tips will be devoted to Exercise.

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Here are tips on getting into the EXERCISE mindset (and body-set!):

TIP #1 – YOU CAN DO IT!:  Being nervous is normal, but just think positively. Get over any doubt or fear you may have about exercising. The only one stopping you is YOU.

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TIP #2 – THE BUILDUP:  You need a place to start. It’s like starting a car; when you’re about to start driving, it’s not a very good idea to slam your foot on the accelerator and go full speed ahead. It can tear up the engine and cause many problems. That is why you should ease into your workout and slowly build on it. First, go for a walk.  When, or if, you’re up to it, you can try to incorporate running into your routine. The worst thing would be to do too much and then to get hurt.  Start slowly and then increase!

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If you missed last week’s few tips, click here.

Wednesdays and Fridays are recipe days! I’ll be posting recipes given to me by my next door neighbor, Chef Chumley. You can read more about him by clicking here. Come back tomorrow for another recipe!

~ Sherri <3

 

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August is Exercise Month!

Exercise

Growing up in a household where exercise was a key focal point really made me more aware of the benefits of exercise. However, whenever life gets busy I tend to put exercise in the back burner until things cool off.

After spending last month combating my procrastination tendencies, this month I will focus on getting into shape. I do not know how many of you wrote that their goal was to incorporate physical activity into your life, but it definitely was mine.

The month of August can be a good kick start into the fall. It will help get us unto the routine and carry us through the rest of the year.

Join me as I throw on my exercise clothes, put on my running shoes, and get ready to ROCK it!

Intro-Exercise

Stay ‘tooned later today for our first Tips for the month of Exercise!

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Recipe: Golden Flakey Cigars

These recipes are the concoctions of (fictitious) cartoon comic chef extraordinaire, Sherri’s neighbor and cooking mentor, Chef Chumley.  Chef and Sherri are happy to bring them to you on Wednesdays and Fridays.

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Often people light up cigars to celebrate special events, such as a birth, a victory or a business success. When somebody just misses their target or goal, we say, “Close, but no cigar!” Well, after you have completed cooking this scrumptious culinary creation, you will have eight victory cigars. Just don’t light ‘em up! Eat and enjoy!

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Golden Flakey Cigars

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Prep time: 20 minutes  •  Cook time: 20 minutes • Yields 1 cigar

Ingredients:

Fillo dough
Melted Butter

Filling 1 (per cigar):
1 Tbsp Feta cheese
4 Calamata olives
1 sm. Sprig of Fresh dill

Filling 2 (per cigar):
2 tsp Sundried tomatoes sliced thin
1 slice Fresh mozzarella
2 Basil leaves

Directions:

Wet two sheets of paper towels and wring them out so that you have damp towels. Open package of fillo dough, unroll the stack of sheets, and cover with damp towels to prevent them from drying out and cracking.

Carefully remove one sheet of fillo dough. Brush half the sheet (the long way) with butter and then fold so that there is a long strip.

Take the ingredients from one of the fillings listed above. (Note: The above are two suggested fillings. You can be creative and come up with a filling on your own.)

Place ingredients about 2” off one end. Roll all the way (moderately tight) and place on baking sheet.

Repeat process to fill many desired cigars. After rolling all the cigars brush the tops with butter and bake at 325 º for about 20 minutes, or until golden in color.

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Tuesday and Thursday are Tip Days! Come back tomorrow for new tips about Procrastination!

Wednesday and Fridays are Recipe Days! Stay ‘tooned for a new recipe this Friday!

 

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TIPS: Mottos To Remember

Tip Days are Tuesdays and Thursdays. This month of tips will be devoted to Procrastination.

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Here are some MOTTOS to remember to help combat Procrastination:

TIP #27 – TIME IS VALUABLE; DON’T WASTE IT: If something is wasting your time, just stop it. Even if you have spent money to go to an event, a movie or anything of that sort, if you find  it is a waste of time, cut it short. Money you have a chance of recouping, time you cannot.

TIP #28 – IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO: If something does not help you to get to your long term goal, learn to just say no.

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Today’s the last day of tips for Procrastination! Stay ‘tooned on Thursday for a brand-new theme and a brand new month of Tips, Challenges, Recipes, and of course, Comics! =0)

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If you missed last week’s few tips, click here.

Wednesdays and Fridays are recipe days! I’ll be posting recipes given to me by my next door neighbor, Chef Chumley. You can read more about him by clicking here. Come back tomorrow for another recipe!

~ Sherri <3

 

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Interview with The Happiness Project author GRETCHEN RUBIN

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Gretchen Rubin is a blogger and author of many books, including the #1 New York Times and international bestseller The Happiness Project and its bestselling follow-up Happier at Home. After attending Yale Undergrad and Yale Law School, Gretchen originally began her career as a lawyer. She was a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and Chief Adviser to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt. It was while clerking under Sandra Day O’Connor that she realized that she wanted to become a professional writer. Her other books include biographic bestseller Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill and Forty Ways to Look at JFK, as well as Power Money Fame Sex: A User’s Guide.

Gretchen Rubin is truly an inspiration to all of us here at Playing Grown-Ups, and we are honored to have her share her insights in this month’s interview.

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Sherri: When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up? As you grew up, how did your career objectives change?

Gretchen: Weirdly, I don’t think I ever thought about it. I just kept aiming for the next obvious hurdle. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after college, so I went to law school—that dangerous default decision!


Sherri:  What motivates you both personally and professionally?

Gretchen: I’m motivated by a love of reading and writing. I love to read, to research, to pursue odd obsessions—and when I learn something or read something wonderful, I want to write it down, turn it into my own material, and share it.


Sherri: This month, we have been focusing on how to cope with procrastination.  Do you have any helpful hints for us?

Gretchen: Just about anyone who has ever put off a troublesome task is familiar with one of my Secrets of Adulthood: Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination. When there’s some chore you just don’t want to tackle, every other chore seems alluring. As a friend told me, “My apartment is never cleaner than when I have a writing assignment due.” If you want to get yourself to do something, make the alternative to that task to do nothing.

When I want to do the difficult work of original writing, I often work outside my apartment, in a library a few blocks away. This gets me away from the temptations of the internet, and it also forces me to do nothing else but write. I say to myself, “I’ll stay here for two hours,” and then I’m stuck. If I’m not writing, I’m just sitting there. Sure, sometimes I jump up and go look for a book in the stacks, but that doesn’t take long. I end up writing just to pass the time. At home, by contrast, there’s no end to the useful tasks that I can find to occupy myself.

I wrote about this on my blog, and someone commented, “Oh, this strategy wouldn’t work for me! I can spend hours on forums.” He did not understand this strategy. You do nothing. No reading, no tidying, no calling, no errands, no filing, no emailing, no re-formatting of a document.

So if you often find yourself procrastinating by working, try making yourself do nothing.


Sherri: We at Playing Grown-Ups love food! What are some of your favorites? Do you have any simple recipes that you might share with our readers?

Gretchen: I’m no cook, so don’t really have any recipes. I like very plain food, for the most part.  Some of my favorites: Greek salad, quiche Lorraine, scrambled eggs, hamburgers. And can I include coffee?


Sherri: You seem to have so much energy and vitality.  Do you have any advice for us on how to stay youthful?

Gretchen: Thanks! that’s very nice to hear! One quick trick to make yourself feel younger and more energetic: jump. Just jump up and down, do some jumping-jacks, run down the stairs, hop over a puddle. There’s something about getting both feet off the ground that feels child-like and zestful.


Sherri: How do you find the balance between your writing (blog and books), responding to fans and spending time with your family? Is it hard to make time for everything since the blog has become so successful?

Gretchen: So far, I feel incredibly lucky that everything fits together. Blogging is just as fun as writing a book—different, but just as rewarding. Of course, one advantage of writing about happiness is that I feel very justified in taking time to do the things that make me happy—like hanging out with my family! I really enjoy every part of my day and my work. And I’m grateful for that, every day.


Sherri: Who has inspired you (or still does) and how?

Gretchen: Wow, that’s a big question. There are a lot of answers, but one is certainly my sister, Elizabeth Craft. She’s a TV writer, and she became a professional writer before I did, and I know her example helped me take the risk to try to become a writer, myself. Also, I’m the kind of person who worries about what I “should” be like, but my sister never wavers in her acceptance and understanding of herself. I try to emulate that quality.

Thank you, Gretchen, for taking the time to answer our questions! To find out who next month’s interview is, stay ‘tooned to Playing Grown-ups for all the latest info!

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To see last month’s interview with legendary Archies cartoonist Stan Goldberg, click here!

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Procrastination Weekly Challenge #5: Plan Your Day In Advance

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DISCLAIMER: I eventually do get done what needs to get done… most of the time..

However, I generally remember these tasks as I go through my daily routines. I try to store my “to-do list” in the back of my mind, pray that I will remember it, and will try to do it at a  time I deem more appropriate to carry out the task.  Is this the most efficient way to accomplish what needs to be done? Absolutely NOT!

Now imagine I spent this week writing out a schedule for everything that I plan on doing the night before each day. How much time will I save!!! So this week, let’s write up a detailed schedule for everything you need to accomplish. Set reminders to your phone, write sticky notes, do whatever you need to do to help remind you along the way. This week we are going to be efficient with time. Lets not waste a very valuable gift to us; TIME.

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Week #5: PLAN YOUR DAY IN ADVANCE!

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