Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hibiscus Tea

I have been wanting to make Hibiscus Tea for a while. After I found out that it is good for lowering blood pressure I hopped to it! I am sold. It is pretty, yummy and healthy. I brewed up plain dried hibiscus flowers with two bags of Lipton Tea. I thought adding the regular tea would make it more palatable for Frank, who really needs to drink it. I added a packet of Stevia in the Raw and it was oh so delicious. Frank needs more convincing though.
 Hibiscus tea

I'm having a kind of off day today. I started my walk late and have a crick in my neck, so I wasn't feeling very motivated. Then I went out to look at plants but was driving our truck that doesn't have  AC and am just worn out!  I did find out that I have lost 4 lbs since I started jogging though. That made me very happy.  Also, Frank's blood pressure has dropped significantly in just over a week!  He hasn't had any sodas, has been eating three healthy meals per day and walking about every other day.  I'm so proud of him!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Embracing Change

Tomorrow is the first day of Fall. In Texas that doesn't necessarily mean much. Days go back and forth between perfectly cool and hot and humid. We take what we can get when it comes to those perfect Fall days. We have already had a few, which is unusual this early for us. My workouts have been harder the past few days, I'm not sure why. I took it a little easier yesterday and just walked.

 I love Fall, it is my favorite season and it doesn't hurt that my birthday is in the Fall. In the garden

The garden is always happier when Fall arrives too. In the garden

Roberta watching over me in the garden. In the garden

My zinnias are no show flowers, they flop over and are kind of scraggly but I still love them! In the garden In the garden In the garden In the garden

This canna is in a pot that I inherited from my mom when they moved. I've never had this one and I think it is so pretty.
 Red Canna

This picture cracks me up. Lucy and Berta just staring at me in the morning.
 Probably wanting my breakfast.
 Lucy and Berta

Welcoming Fall and cooler weather is an easy change. I won't miss too much about Summer, though I did embrace it this year more than ever before. The harder changes that we are making have to do with our diet and lifestyle. I am on the right track with exercise and it is making me feel better overall. Frank has had a cold and hasn't been able to join me yet. I always struggle with meal planning, shopping and finding time to get dinner on the table. I love to cook, but working at a grocery store with odd and ever changing hours has messed it all up for me.

Frank was diagnosed with high blood pressure this week, so now I'm on a mission to change our diets. I have gotten some really great resources from my facebook friends and just started delving into them. I will put together a list and add them to my blog links as well. Last night we made broiled Salmon and carrots with Kale salad. All easy, delicious and heart healthy. I need more meals like that in my repertoire!

If you have any suggestions for lowering blood pressure naturally or websites that you visit for healthy eating and living please do share.
Happy Fall!
xoxo
Ashley

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Feeling Energized

Yesterday was the thirteen year anniversary of mine and Frank's first date. We celebrated quietly at the sushi place two blocks away. We took an evening walk with Lucy too.

Today I had my best run yet. I'm on day eleven since I started. I have only missed one day entirely and walked on two days. So mostly I have been trying to jog. It is getting easier, with quicker recovery times and my face is not nearly as red! I did an hour and ten minutes today with three big hills and felt great afterward. I never would have thought I could love to run after only eleven days, but I do.
 Post workout euphoria

I didn't eat anything before my run and am thinking I want to try making some energy bites for quick breakfasts and snacks. I found these three recipes on Pinterest.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Rainy Day

I have so been enjoying my walks. I have more energy and feel better. I'm doubtful that I've lost weight yet, it has only been six days, but I sure do feel different. Today would be day seven but it is raining and chilly and I have to go to work soon. Maybe I can go this evening. I have had trouble sticking to exercise routines the past few years, so I'm hoping this will be the change I need.

My routine has been to take Lucy for a quick walk around the neighborhood, then drop her off and pick up my music and water. I can't manage all three and she starts and stops too much and would tire out too fast to jog with me.

I have learned that I need music, and the right music to get me jogging and keep me going.  I'm working on getting some new stuff on my ipod.  I have also learned that I need to go out and back, not around a track or the neighborhood as I did yesterday under threat of rain.  

 Garden August 2012

Lucy is wondering when we will go for our walk. Rainy day stuck inside

Roberta is just being lazy as usual. Rainy day stuck inside

I had the last two days off and I did and didn't do much. Grocery shopping is done, and that is a huge accomplishment these days. I took my walks and worked on my workout music list. I went thrift shopping yesterday and scored some new jeans for work and a few tops. I also got dinner on the table two nights in a row, which is a big feat.  So nothing spectacular, just the normal day to day stuff.

With the weather cooling down it is starting to feel like fall.  We have had a couple of cool downs but so far have been right back to the hot days.  Everywhere I look, especially at work people are all about Pumpkin candles, Pumpkin Lattes, Pumpkin foods, and Pumpkins for their porches.  I'm not quite there yet.  Don't get me wrong, I love Fall and am so ready for it to be here, but I don't want to rush through it.  I am ready for a fall vegetable garden and went looking for plants yesterday with no luck.  Growing things in Texas is so much easier in the milder months and I want to take advantage of that this year.

Have a wonderful weekend!
xoxo
Ashley

Monday, September 10, 2012

Golden

We went down to the Trinity Trail last night for a sunset walk. The trail is so close but we really don't enjoy it as much as we should. The air was still and cool. The golden light bathed us and it all felt so perfect to me. I wasn't ready to go and felt melancholy leaving behind such a beautiful sight. September sunset trail walk September sunset trail walk September sunset trail walk September sunset trail walk September sunset trail walk September sunset trail walk September sunset trail walk
As we left I kept looking back, soaking it in. On the drive home I saw the sunset peeking through the trees. I know we will be back to see another, I just hope we can make it happen more often.  These walks are one of my favorite things.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Fast Shoes

Our niece Karlie has a brightly colored pair of tennis shoes that she calls her "fast shoes". I love the idea that she feels fast when she wears them.

These are my fast shoes. My fast shoes
I'm not fast, and I know it. I have been wanting to start jogging for a while and have been inspired by my friend Susan who started a couple of months ago. I finally, finally got shoes. I'm cheap and indecisive so it takes me a while to do anything. I got the shoes, got my ipod charged up and was ready to run yesterday. I left the house knowing that the shoes wouldn't make me faster.

Almost an hour later I wondered if they did make me faster.  Between new shoes and my music I was able to go much father than I thought I would.  At the end of my walk/jog I went down and up this really steep hill in the neighborhood.  Normally it's no problem but since I was already tired I wasn't sure I would make it.  It felt like walking in quick sand.  Just then Prince's Lolita came on my ipod and I was able to get to the top with a smile on my face!

Music is so important in motivating me to run, I cannot do it without the right tunes.  I have some good ones but am looking for new songs to add.  They have to be pretty fast with a good beat.  If it makes me want to dance I can probably run to it.  Favorites are MIA, James Brown, Beastie Boys, and Fela. Any suggestions?

If you see me around town walking or jogging slowly and perhaps lip synching just smile cause you will know that I am enjoying myself and don't care if I look like a crazy woman! I came home feeling invigorated yesterday and I hope I can stay motivated because I sure do feel better when I exercise.