Fight the Funk Friday--Back on Track!

My first "Fight the Funk" report is to say that, as you're reading this, I'm on a quilt shop hop with some of my quilty friends! I have some vacation days to burn up before the end of the year so I'm taking the rest of the Fridays in December off. This week I'm doing the "Mom Memorial Shop Hop" with some friends. This is a trip my Mom and I did several Decembers (I often end up taking Fridays off to burn up vacay). We would to Amish country and go to a few different fabric stores and then have a fabulous Amish lunch. Now, when I have a Friday off in December, I try to do this trip with some friends in memory of my mom, hence referring to it as the "Memorial Shop Hop." Unfortunately, the Amish restaurant Mom and I always went to is now closed, so we have a less-fabulous lunch, but I still spend a day with my friends and have fun! Definitely a great way to fight the winter funkiness.

I'm happy to report that my neck has been behaving itself this week. My PT was quite pleased by my progress at this week's appointment. Unfortunately, he's now given me the Epley maneuvers as homework. For those of you not "in the know," these maneuvers are basically designed to cause head spins. They're not fun--but they do eventually work to make the head spins go away. That being said, he worked me up to these. I've been in PT for about 5 or 6 weeks now and we didn't even go near doing these until this week--until I've made enough improvement that the Epley maneuvers don't make me want to wommit. I spin, but I don't seem to get nauseous--a HUGE improvement over past times I've tried these. So, yay.

I also beasted my session with my physical trainer this week (and last week, for that matter). What's an even better sign? I wasn't nearly as sore two days later as I expected to be. My body's starting to get used to this physical stuff! Yippee! My about-to-leave-trainer is going to work with the gym director to connect me with a new trainer who will be a good match based on what she knows I like to do, so hopefully I won't have any disruption in training when she leaves. I mostly want to get on a new trainer's roster before that January rush!

It's starting to get harder to do my hourly walks in the backyard because we've had some really cold winds this week, so my daily step count has slacked somewhat. The ambient temperature hasn't been too bad for December, but the wind makes it pretty biting. I've gotten bundled up a few times to make the trek but that adds time to the walks (it takes awhile to get all those layers on!) so it doesn't happen as often. I have had a couple of days, though, where I noticed in the evening that I was within a couple grand of my step goal for the day so I just paced the house while listening to a podcast through headphones. Antisocial (my husband was watching TV in the other room both times) but productive.

Not great weather for walking outside, but perfect weather for some healthy comfort food! My slow cooker and Instant Pot are getting real workouts these days--often both for the same meal.

Here's a recommendation for you: The Skinnytaste blog has fantastic, easy, healthy recipes. For those doing Weight Watchers she has the Smartpoints listed for each recipe. I bought both of her bookbooks: The Skinnytaste Cookbook and Skinnytaste: Fast and Slow. I've used a lot of recipes out of both of them and haven't had a clunker yet. The picture is her Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce from the Fast and Slow cookbook. I'm in serious love. DH doesn't like meat sauce so this is all mine. Woot! The recipe made enough that I've got some in the freezer along with my leftovers in the fridge this week. I had it on pasta the first night as my daughter had left some leftover spaghetti, but I've had it on cauliflower rice (thank you, food processor) and on spaghetti squash (thank you, IP) for lunch a couple of times since. Pasta is still best, but some days we have to make adjustments where we can! The cauliflower rice and spaghetti squash do the purpose, since it's all about the Bolognese anyway. 

Meanwhile, I used my Instant Pot to do a batch of brown rice the other day and then froze what I wasn't eating for dinner in ice cube trays like these (I don't have this brand but these are pretty much the same thing). I got the idea from one of my Craftsy classes last year but this is the first time I've done it. It's a 2" ice cube tray which is the equivalent of a half-cup serving. The rice freezes really well, and then you transfer the frozen cubes into a ziploc freezer bag. You just pull out as many cubes as you need for a particular meal. Since I'm the only one who eats brown rice, this is another great way to have fast, healthy meals on tap for lunch or dinner. (The brown rice was for Mexican Chicken Burrito Bowls, another Skinnytaste slowcooker dinner that I loved!)

It's good to be fully mobile again, I've been loving having meals ready and waiting for me when I get home from the gym at night, and in general, life has been good this week. I like weeks like that.

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