How things change

Summer has come and gone (except for the weather) and August got away from me too. Time seems to continue with is speedy nature.  I have many things to blog about.  All of which have been swirling around in my head since August.  To start the catching up, I want to document some of the changes in my life.

The number of United States I have been to was almost doubled after the 28 hour road trip to move Robyn to Pittsburgh.  My dad, Robyn, and I made many memories on the 1500 mile journey.

The states I have visited to date are Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Virginia, Washington D.C., Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.  I have almost visited half of the United States.

The most notable changes have occurred with food and exercise.  I am not ready to dive into a weight loss blog post yet, but I am thrilled to share some of my joy from food and exercise.  Over the past month, I have made it a goal to try at least one new fruit or vegetable a week.  When I go to HEB, I look to see what produce entices me and figure out a cooking plan once I’m home.  One of my new favorite fruits is a plumcot.  It is a hybrid between an apricot and plum.  I can’t remember trying a fresh plum before, but I have always loved apricots.  Plumcots are like a firm, slightly sweeter, version of an apricot.  They come in different color varieties so you can choose whichever color is your favorite.  I also decided I like raw avocados and red onions.

Last week, I attempted cooking a stuffed portobello mushroom.  First, I browned lean ground beef with onions, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Then I stuffed the mushroom with the meat mixture, topped it with homemade marinara sauce, a few dollops of marscapone cheese, and Italian seasonings.  It turned out delicious!

After a decent effort to try and like kale, I do not like kale.  I tried crisping it up in the oven to make kale chips.  While this method worked, the smell was revolting.  Kale stinks and made my apartment stink too.  There are plenty of other green vegetables I like, so no more kale for me.  I tried jicama, but need to look up some recipes that involve cooking it.  It is a root vegetable that has the texture and crunch of a granny smith apple, starchiness of a potato, and taste that is pretty bland.  I just tried it raw, but think it could be good in slaws, salads, and maybe cooked.

My adventurous food tasting is certainly a change from my old norm; however, my attitude towards exercise is definitely the greatest change.  During summer school, I took two kickboxing classes a week and loved them.  In mid-July, I signed up with a trainer to add two more days of strength training/circuit work.  Due to both of our schedules, 6 AM was the only time that worked to meet.  Now I am definitely a goal setter and achiever, but I like my sleep – a LOT!  The idea of waking up at 5 to be at the rec by 6 did not sound like a plan towards my liking.  Surprisingly, the early morning workouts got my days started better than they had been.  I have adjusted my sleeping schedule to going to bed early and waking up early.  I am six weeks into the early to bed/early to rise routine and I couldn’t be happier.  Seeing the sun rise as I leave the rec, makes my mornings.  There usually isn’t a morning that you won’t find me sweaty and energized for the day!

Now with fall classes in session, there are more group exercise classes offered.  I go twice a week to a mixed cardio/strength/abs class, meet with my trainer twice, and supplement with some afternoon/evening classes.  This past week I finally got up the nerve to try TRX suspension training.  If you haven’t heard of it, google it.  It is a circuit based workout involving exercises using suspension straps.  It is very intimidating and my trainer said it is hard even for her.  The class was just as hardcore as I had imagined, but was a great workout.  The time flew and everything can be modified depending on your level.  The hardest station for me was the core station.  My knees took quite a beating from me dropping on the ground.  I’d say my core strength is like a zero.

Working out six days a week has given me so much energy.  I love how I feel after I have finished a class or hour of cardio.  My body is so much stronger than I ever thought it could be.  My time to exercise allows my brain to wander, responsibilities to be on hold, and to spend an hour just for me.  I’m shocked that I want and enjoy exercising as much as I do.

This summer gave me the opportunity to see how much things could change.  God proposed the changes, I chose to find my fight, and He certainly blessed me with some awesome outcomes (bruises and all).  I am overjoyed with the end of my summer and beginning of fall.

Of course there are many things that haven’t changed, great friends and summer visiting, playing with cute babies, and getting my crafting juices flowing.  All of those things (and plenty more), are part of my blog catching up.  Stay tuned for more ramblings about my homegrown joy.

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4 Responses to How things change

  1. Kathryn Head says:

    I love hearing about your new changes! Exciting and Encouraging!

  2. Momma says:

    Amazing narrative as always!

    • Mandy Neal says:

      This was great. I could not write a better tribute to the benefits of exercise. I love the idea of trying a new food regularly. At times I’ve gone through phases of incorporating a new word to my vocabulary. A new food is a great idea! I also love the tribute to the road trip!

  3. Cindy Ward says:

    Your energy is felt through your words. I can hear your laughter and joy. Thank you for sharing the journey…and giving the rest of us no excuse!

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