Friday, February 4, 2011

Fitness: Getting ready to run

I admit it, I used to hate running. To me it was up there on my most despised form of exercise. Even running on the treadmill freaked me out, as I was worried I would fall on my face. However, lately I have been doing little sprints of running at my Wheelie Fit class, and I have also been doing a walk/run around the block where I will run for two lamp-posts and walk for one. I am still an absolute beginner though! I figure it is time to take my running up a notch, as recent studies show that running can help prevent heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. (Quoted from Women's Health magazine July 2010.) So here is my running plan for beginners:

Begin each session with a five minute walk. When you are able to run for more than 30 minutes,  you can add more distance.
  One       2 mins      3 mins     6 times
  Two       3 mins     3 mins     5 times
  Three     5 mins     2 mins     4 times
  Four      7 mins     3 mins      3 times
  Five       8 mins     2 mins      3 times
  Six         9 mins     1 min       3 times
  Seven    30 mins

Obviously if you are beginning any soret of exercise plan, it is wise to speak to your GP first.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Craft: Anniversary card

My husband and I celebrated three years of marriage today so I made this cute card for him. This would also be perfect for Valentines Day! This was made using the Cheerful Valentines additions from Creative Memories, as well as some of their cardstock and tools.

 Cut a piece Pink Lemonade Cardstock to measure 8-1/2" x 5-1/2".

Using Rotary Trimmer with Scoring Blade, Score at 4-1/4". Fold card in half.

Cut a piece from the red paper to measure 5" x 3-3/4". Adhere to the front of the card.

Cut 3 strips from the blue paper to measure 4-1/2" x 3/8". Adhere to the front of the card as shown.

Add tree icon sticker and clear title sticker as shown.

On the inside of the card, I placed a vellum accent from the "Celebration" pack and decorated it with a few more stickers. I also wrote a message in red pen for my husband, but I won't subject you to that!


The card took about ten minutes to make and was easy, plus it is nice giving someone a homemade card.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Food: Weetbix Slice

My son has suddenly decided he didn't want Weetbix for breakfast anymore, so I have had to make do with finidng ways to use up all the leftover breakfast cereal. While this recipe is not the healthiest, it is better than a lot of options out there and it keeps the husband's lunchbox full of goodies for a minimal cost. Plus, the Weetbix helps towards your fibre intake.

You will need:
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
3/4 cup soft brown sugar
3 Weetbix, crushed
125g butter, melted
200g dark chocolate melts
30g extra butter
chocolate sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Line a shallow 28cm x 18 cm cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

3. In a large bowl, combine flour, coconut, sugar and Weet-Bix.

4. Make a well in the centre and add melted butter. Stir with a wooden spoon.

5. Press mixture firmly into the prepared tin.

6. Bake 20 minutes, 180 C. Remove from oven and stand to cool for 10 minutes before icing.

7. Make icing: Stir chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until melted.

8. Spread over the warm slice, smoothing with a flat bladed knife. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.

9. Allow icing to set and cool down before cutting into squares.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Food:Macaroni and Cheese

A lot of people I know who have a healthy lifestyle tend to avoid foods like Macaroni and Cheese. Here is a version I make that has a lot less fat and calories than most other versions.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese- serves 4.

You will need:
  • 2 cups elbow, shell or other bite-size shaped pasta
  • 200g bacon strips
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 can light evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup grated Edam or other low fat cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried wholemeal breadcrumbs
  1. Bring 1 litre of water to boil in large pot and add pasta. Using package directions as a guide, cook until al dente. Drain. To prevent sticking, drain and immediately pour onto a large lipped baking sheet and let cool while preparing sauce.
  2. Meanwhile, microwave the evaporated milk and chicken broth in a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup or bowl until hot and steamy (not boiling). Melt butter in the empty pasta pot; whisk in flour, then hot milk mixture. Continue to whisk until thick and bubbly, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in mustard, Parmesan and pepper. Turn off heat, stir in half the Edam cheese until melted.
  3. Quickly cook the onion and bacon over a high heat until golden brown. You do not need to add any oil if your pan is non-stick.
  4. Add drained pasta and bacon to sauce, and stir until everything is well combined over low heat.
  5. Place into a non-stick oven dish and top with the remaining Edam cheese and breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees C.
Amount Per Serving  Calories: 412 | Total Fat: 19.7g | Cholesterol: 57mg

I hope you try this recipe, it is great comfort food! 
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