Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga

On Tuesday, August 11, I got to experience stand up paddleboard (SUP) yoga. I think so far, there are very few North Dakotans that have experienced yoga on a SUP on a North Dakota lake.

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Ever since last summer when I first heard of Paddle On ND, a stand up paddle board and kayak rental business, I have been wanting to try stand up paddle boarding. It just looked so fun to me. I even reserved a board last year and was going to go with a friend when cold, rainy weather had me cancelling my plans. It seems like my summer calendar filled up before summer event started and I found myself with no open weekends to make it out to Harmon Lake. Paddle On ND now has a permanent rental booth on Harmon Lake just north of Mandan, or about 45 minutes from Hazen.

I saw on Facebook an event for SUP Yoga, taught by Yoga for You Bismarck using Paddle On boards. The event happened to fall on a day when I had nothing planned. I checked with a girlfriend and she was game to go so we reserved our class pass online for $20. The class went from 6-7:15. We didn’t know it at the time but we were one of the first students to take this class. So there was a bit of trial and error in getting set up and anchored in the lake as it was a bit breezy out that day. There were 6 of us in class and our instructor Brenda who was great.

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I must admit I am not a big yoga fan. I’m more into higher intensity workouts. However, I thought this was definitely worth trying seeing as it is on water on a nice, warm day in a nice, warm lake. And just a side note, if you haven’t been out to Harmon Lake, do yourself a favor and go. They have a wonderful, large sandy beach and the water is the perfect temperature. Being so close to Bismarck-Mandan it would be a great place to take kids to play in the water instead of the frigid Missouri River. They don’t have a changing station so be sure to come already in your swimsuit.

Brenda had us start out slowly and we did a lot of moves while seated on the board. This was perfect for us newbies and also due to the wind that day. We did end the class with some standing positions before a good 10 minute savasana. My thoughts? Fun. Challenging. Beautiful. Relaxing. Peaceful. Our very first move to get ready for class was Shavasana just to get used to the waves. I honestly thought at that point I was in over my head. However, you become accustomed to the waves and paying attention to your balance fairly quickly. If you fall off your board, no big deal, the water is warm and just crawl back on. By the time we did our final savasana I think I could have stayed there for days. It was so calming. The wind was dying down as our class wrapped up and Brenda invited us to stay. However, we had to make the trek back to Hazen. I would certainly try a class again. You can find more info on Paddle On’s website or You for you Bismarck’s website. They also both have Facebook pages.

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After class was over, Jeff (one of the Paddle On owners) let us take the boards out with a paddle to try SUP. We only had a few minutes to try it out but I definitely want to give it another shot when I have more time!

And if SUP isn’t your thing, try a kayak. So fun and tranquil. Harmon Lake is a lovely gem just minutes from Mandan and they have an awesome beach for families!

Posted in Exercise, Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 2 Comments

A Day In The Life

I have seen these “day in the life” posts on other blogs and thought it would be fun to capture a typical work day in my life. Summer has been really busy for me this year it seems like. I am so sad it is coming to an end. Here’s what a typical Wednesday might look like for me during summer 2015.

4:17 a.m. alarm goes off on my phone. I shut it off and check Instagram to both wake me up and give me some motivation. Do some foot stretches to wake up my wonky, sore foot

4:30 roll out of bed, brush teeth, take vitamins and get workout clothes on

4:40 go outside and walk a half a block and start running – run 1 mile to the track, do 4 miles of drills and another mile home to cool off. After this I sometimes walk the dog or my husband does depending on which has time. Drink water and ice my foot (it’s slowly getting better I think)

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6 shower and get dressed for work, pack any food for lunch (we do not have access to restaurants or a cafeteria where I work so I always take food to go which is nice and a pain at the same time) and drive 15 miles to work while drinking more water

6:50 arrive at work, put food away, power up the computer and work

9ish take a break and eat my breakfast of fruit, yogurt, oats and protein powder, continue working

12:30 p.m. break for a half hour lunch of salad with chicken and veggies on the side

1:30 break for some popcorn

3:30 work is over, drive home

3:50 arrive home and walk the dog about a half mile (especially if it is warm he we don’t take him far, he doesn’t do well in the heat), put a load of laundry in and change into workout clothes, pet the cat

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4 hop on my bike and cycle anywhere from 40-70 minutes. I usually like to go at least 10 miles and take it from there. This day I did 15 in the heat

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5:10 get home, sweep real quick, put laundry in the dryer, do the kitty litter and mop

5:25 hop on my bike, cycle to the pool and swim for a half hour, this is oh so refreshing

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6 cycle home, put on PJs

6:15 turn on the news and make meals for my husband and I to take to lunch the next two days. Salads and veggies have been our summer meals. I also make my breakfasts for the next 3 days. I sneak a few bites of things as I assemble the food. Quality control.

6:30 Make sure Wheel of Fortune is on, continue meal making

7 warm up my dinner, I have a dinner salad, taco meat, sweet potato and veggies with cottage cheese, eat while playing on my phone and trying to watch Big Brother, ice my foot

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7:30 Clean up the food mess, fold laundry, lay out clothes to wear for tomorrow

8:15 brush teeth, get ready for bed, take my dog outside for the night

8:30 lay down and read, fall asleep by 9 or 9:30 (<<<this is always the goal – or even earlier, but it rarely happens, tonight it did and I was a happy sleeper, I would love to get a solid 8 hours/night)

Repeat. The weekdays are super rushed and busy. The weekends aren’t much better but usually with more fun things thrown in to do, friends to visits, etc. Mondays and Wednesdays are my big workout days.

Posted in Feisty Eats, FeistyLife, Misc | 2 Comments

Banana Oat Yogurt Muffins

There is no flour, oil or butter in these healthier muffins which I enjoyed chilled from the fridge for breakfast. You whip these up in the blender for an easy clean up. I’m not going to put on any grand illusion that these are like some cinnamon crumble muffins. These are dense and not as sweet, but an excellent healthier option.

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Adding chocolate or cinnamon chips to these help them feel more muffin like. I think fruit would also be a great addition.

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Banana Oat Yogurt Muffins, slightly adapted from Running with Spoons, makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yogurt, 1 used 1/2 cup Greek Cherry and 1/2 cup light blueberry – any combo will work
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or quick)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate or cinnamon chips, mini or regular

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and prepare a muffin pan by spraying with cooking spray or lining them with paper liners that are sprayed with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients except for chocolate or cinnamon chips to a blender or food processor and process on high until oats are broken down and batter is smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each space until it is about 3/4 full. Sprinkle a few chips over the top of each muffin.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops of your muffins are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week in the fridge.

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It was nice to do some baking and not have to lug out my Kitchen Aid mixer. This was super easy.

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Here are the muffins before and after. I sent these with my husband on a fishing trip and forgot to snap an individual photo. Give these a try for a healthy breakfast treat. Enjoy!

Posted in Baking, Breakfast, Dessert | Leave a comment

Spicy Sausage Potato and Zucchini Pasta

Have you ever heard of zoodles? They are zucchini noodles (spiralized using a veggetti or spiralizing machine) and they are so versatile and healthy. They are a great replacement for pasta. Lower in calories and they won’t leave you feeling bloated. I wasn’t sure my husband would go for this, so I also spiralized a potato with the zucchini to bulk this up. We both loved this dish. It is the perfect summer substitute for the typical pasta dish.

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And it looks kind of fancy too, right?

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Spicy Sausage Potato & Zucchini Pasta, adapted slightly from Inspiralized, serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium potato, spiralized
  • Garlic salt, garlic powder and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. hot Italian sausage, browned, crumbled and drained of any added grease
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup seeded and chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, spiralized
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil + more for garnish
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Place a large pot over medium-high heat and brown, crumble and drain your sausage. Return to pan and warm over medium heat with marinara sauce, tomatoes and onion. Stir occasionally.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the potato noodles and season with garlic salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook for 7 minutes or until potatoes are cooked to al dente. 
  3. Immediately add the zucchini noodles, basil, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes or until zucchini softens.
  4. Remove from heat, Plate spiralized veggies on a plate. Top with marinara mixture, additional basil and parmesan cheese.

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The potato is in the bowl and the zucchini on the plate. I cut them a bit as they will be one long noodle if you don’t.

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Another benefit is the potato and noodles quick super quick. Faster than pasta and way faster than cooking a potato the traditional way. I mean, we need to take advantage of the summer weather and not be in the house cooking!

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It’s so pretty I had to take 4 photos. Give this a try. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you could try chopping the veggies into noodle shapes. Enjoy!

Posted in Main Dish, Veggie | 1 Comment

Low fat no churn ice cream

I kind of feel like once we reach August this is when summer is really in full effect. Most of the days are warm or hot, the sun shines and all the fields are full of beautiful crops. August is also a really great month for ice cream! I came across this low fat, no churn ice cream and even though it contains some ingredients I don’t always use, it made for an easy and sweet treat.

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This has a couple tubs of Cool Whip and while I know some people scoff at Cool Whip I have a soft spot in my heart for it. My Grannie always had Cool Whip at her house and was even known to gift it to us grandkids (along with cookies) for Christmas. I will always love Cool Whip. I don’t have an ice cream maker so this was a perfect recipe to get a homemade ice cream fix.

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Low Fat No Churn Ice Cream, from CallMePMC

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sugar free jelly (I used strawberry) 
  • 16 oz. low fat whipped topping (2 of the smaller tubs)
  • 14 oz. can fat free sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  1. Stir whipped topping and sweetened condensed milk together until smooth using a wire whisk. Add jelly to mixture by the spoonful. Swirl it through the mix using a butter knife. Cover tightly and freeze until firm, overnight is ideal.

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This is before adding the jelly/jam. Makes at least 8 servings. It’s sweet and creamy, it doesn’t freeze hard. Keeps for a month in the freezer I’d guess. Mine didn’t! Because we ate it up!

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I loved the swirl of jam in the ice cream. Use fruit, chocolate or any candy you’d like as a mix-in. This would be a perfect use for the No Cook Raspberry Freezer Jam I shared last week. Enjoy!

Posted in Dessert | 1 Comment

No Cook Raspberry Freezer Jam

Can we all appreciate the beautiful color of this raspberry freezer jam? Love it. My Mom made this jam and is kind enough to share her methods and recipe. Thanks, Mom!

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While she made raspberry jam, feel free to use your favorite fruit. I bet strawberry would be delicious as well.

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No Cook Raspberry Freezer Jam

  • 4 cups crushed raspberries, about 2 quarts (could use other berries)
  • 6 Tablespoons No Sugar Pectin Mix
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup honey (or less/more depending on sweetness of your fruit)

Crush your berries. This was done in a bullet, similar to a blender. Strain out seeds (optional). Combine pectin and 1/4 cup sugar. Mix with pureed berries and stir thoroughly. Let sit 30 minutes, stirring often. Gradually stir in the rest of the sugar and honey. Put in jars with lids, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Let sit on the counter for 24 hours. Freeze. Thaw and eat when ready.

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Crushing the berries in the Magic Bullet.

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My Mom used cheesecloth to strain out the seeds. This is an optional step.

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Powdered pectin and the 1/4 cup of sugar.

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Juice with pectin. And again, I just love the color. I feel like I could drink that!!

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The jam is all set up and ready for use as you wish. Toast, pancake toppings and I have another idea to use this I’ll share next week. Thanks Mom for this recipe. Thanks to our family friend, Carol for sharing her raspberry bounty. Enjoy!

Posted in Breakfast, Dessert, Misc | 1 Comment

Chocolate zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting

Zucchini is in full swing. These warm, long summer days have gardens popping out veggies everyday. This is a fun way to use up your zucchini as a dessert. I love zucchini desserts, they bring so much moisture to whatever you are baking – bread, muffins or this cake topped with cream cheese frosting!

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I baked this up and shared it with friends so I don’t have a photo of an individual slice. I borrowed this photo from the website where I found the recipe. I can assure you this is an accurate photo!

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I don’t have sunflowers hanging out in my kitchen but they sure do look pretty in the photo!

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Cake + vegetables = amazing. Who knew?

Chocolate Zucchini Cake, from Go Bold with Butter

Ingredients:

For the cake:
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the cream cheese frosting:
8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, and oil together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla then beat to combine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in buttermilk then beat to combine. Add zucchini, and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing just until combined before adding the next batch. Pour batter into a buttered or greased 9×13” baking dish and bake for 30-40* minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely then top with cream cheese frosting. *Check cake at 30 minutes, mine was done at this time but may take yours a bit longer. If corners begin to brown before the center is cooked through, lay a piece of tin foil loosely on top.

For the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add half the powdered sugar, and mix to combine. Add remaining powdered sugar then beat until light and fluffy.

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This is the butter, sugar and oil. It is super important for your cake to beat this for at least two minutes. You want the fluffiness!

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I don’t peel my zucchini and I don’t think you have to. Save yourself the step!

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Before and after.

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Make sure your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature and your frosting will come out perfectly smooth.

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Store in the fridge and enjoy this fresh, summer treat!

Posted in Baking, Dessert | Leave a comment