September is coming to a close, and I would like to thank all of you for giving such fantastic efforts this past month as we pushed ourselves and each other through the September Lean and Mean Challenge! I hope that you have been encouraged, inspired, or motivated to run full force and feeling strong into a new season; both literally and figuratively! Even if you did not participate hands-on in the challenge, I thank you for reading along and for your supportive thoughts. Please never hesitate to contact me to let me know what type of at-home challenges you are looking for and how I can best walk alongside you to offer support!
I recently received an email from a fitness friend. I am humbled to share LeAnn’s story of how the September Lean and Mean Challenge has helped her over the last several weeks.
I just had to take a moment and tell you how grateful I am for you. This hectic, crazy month when I could have been very down about not getting to class and also still not able to run was transformed by your lean and mean challenge and by your coaching that runs through my mental workout when I am contemplating whether to exercise, whether to stop and whether to do one more set or one more minute or one more repetition!!
All month I have been doing the upper body portion of the challenge with a 20-30 minute HIIT video and/or yoga. I would NEVER have been motivated to do workouts at home before I met you and started reading your blog and taking on your challenges! The September challenge is now a habit – I pick up the weights when I take a break, when I am getting run down, when I want to challenge Beth, when I am tired of sitting and watching some “new” show, or when I when I am feeling frustrated. It is a replacement for food and many other things. I have added a few other of my favorite exercises (upright rows, triceps dips…) and did not increase the weight but increased the reps until I felt fatigued. I usually add some boxing/punches that you have used with us – to ward off anything negative for the day. It is a great visual for me.
Today, I decided to do yoga in front of a mirror to watch my form and then I stayed on the mat to do the weights. I decided to watch (I usually hate mirrors!) and the first word that came to my mind was not the typical “aging” adjective that I like to attach to myself but instead my first thought was “STRONG and getting stronger”! I felt stronger and looked stronger.
The last good news of the day was my shopping experience. I dislike clothes shopping so I ordered on line and have been dreading trying it all on (2 concert dresses, pants and jeans!). Everything fit and looked great – actually a few things were too big and some of them were in a smaller size than I wore last fall.
I am so grateful to you. You are the reason for this change in my HABITUTDE!!!
Blessings and hugs,
It is difficult to take an ounce of credit for this. I have learned so much from LeAnn myself. She truly is a positive and motivating individual. I recognize that, although she is working through an injury and has a scheduling conflict, she is still finding ways to create the healthy life she desires. It is obvious there are many distractions in her current season of life, but she continues to focus and press on. What I find most encouraging is that LeAnn got more than just physical results. I appreciate her allowing me to share her personal note in hopes that this story will encourage others.
Homemade No Sugar Added Applesauce
Only 2 ingredients-apples and cinnamon!
6 cups apples cored, chopped or sliced. (I like to leave some of the skin on. Need to get that fiber in!)
1 Cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon to taste.
Cover with 1-2 cups water.
Vanilla and/or a squeeze of lemon juice optional.
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker or in a large pot on the stove. Cook 4-5 hours on low until apples are soft. You can use a mashed potato masher if you prefer on the chunkier side, or pulse through a food processor for a smoother texture.
The next recipe is easy and delicious. It is taken from a cookbook in my collection: The Natural Gourmet, by Annemarie Colbin.
- 1 TB butter or cold-pressed sunflower oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 TB curry powder
- 1 butternut squash (about 1½ pounds)
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 5 cups light vegetable stock
- 1 TB fresh lemon juice
- sea salt to taste
- Melt butter in large saucepan. Sauté the onions until soft. Stir in the curry powder. Peel squash, discard seeds and chop coarsely. Add squash, apples, and broth to the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until squash is tender. Puree in blender, in batches, until very smooth. Peel the remaining apple, grate it, and toss in a bowl with the lemon juice. Serve hot or cold garnished with the freshly grated apple.
If you are interested in allowing your adult taste buds to let lose this weekend, you may want to keep your eyes peeled for Craft Beer’s Latest Seasonal Releases. If you are gluten-free, this time of year is perfect to indulge in a hard cider.
Take a look at the 15 Best Hard Ciders (apples and more). Be sure to visit your local microbrews or businesses to see what seasonal brews they may be offering!
Lastly, to round out your healthy habits and healthy attitude this weekend, I have a new Outdoor Trail Blazing playlist to partner with your fall KISS workouts!