New Feels. New Chances. Fresh Starts. by Annabeth Alt
Cheers to the new year!
The beginning of a new year is always refreshing to me. It can be so many things. New starts. New beginnings. New goals. New adventures. New lifestyles. The chance for a fresh start.
One New Years resolution that seems to always be at the top of everyone’s lists is health and fitness/getting in shape. I would like to shed some light on the changes my family has made as I started my career in fitness and health. I dove deep into so much research. Having a little one around makes you want to eat healthy even more. When I had Adeline it made me want to look into the things she would be eating so much more. Michael Pollans research is so very eye opening. It helped us make our decision 3 years ago.
The most beneficial thing we have done for our bodies is decide to know where our food comes from. Eating food that we actually know where it was grown and came from. 3 years ago we decided to stop supporting industrialized farming. We go to grocery stores for very few things.
Supporting our local farmers has been so incredible. It is so refreshing being able to come face to face with the people who grow your food. They are working so hard to produce actual real food with real nutrients for us. We’ve become such great friends with some of our farmers and have even visited the farms.
One of Adeline’s favorite things we do is go to the farmers market. She enjoys picking out all of her fresh foods. And is so excited to help me cook them up for us to eat. I believe this has helped her be such a healthy little eater. From the time that she started eating solid food, we let her eat what we eat.
Making this decision, our bodies thanked us. We feel ‘cleaner’ (I’m not sure that’s even the right word for it but probably the closest haha.) We actually began to receive nutrients from our foods. Eating this way has also helped me be more organized I’ve noticed. We plan out our meals and recipes and snacks for the week, and we have less waste- if any. Sunday’s have become my preparation days after we get home from the farmers market. Sunday’s are always our family day and reset day.
Lately, I’ve been coming up with a juice recipe each week (switching it up) that I will make. (I recently got the juicing attachment for my kitchen aid and it’s amazing!)
Here’s my juice recipe of the week: (this recipe is per glass (1) so be sure to add on more if you would like to make some for the week)
- 1 beet
- 1 Apple (I like Fuji)
- 2 mandarins
- 2 large carrots
Adeline also really loves helping select the ingredients and putting the fruits and veggies in the juicer and watching the juice come out.
I change my recipes by what is in season where we live. Cooking and baking seasonally has become one of my favorite things!
I would also never recommend replacing meals with juicing or smoothies. Adding them on with your breakfast and snacks is wonderful.
This year we’ve decided to try and remove refined sugars. At least more than we already do. I’m sure there will be the occasional splurge- but there should be- moderation. (We already don’t eat a lot of sweets) but I do love baking so there are the occasional cookies and treats here and there. This will pretty much cut out any processed food left that we were eating. I will be exploring and learning more about baking with honey. I’ve found where we can purchase some local honey at our farmers market. So that’s our new food adventure for this year. I’m also hoping my husband will want to be my running partner again :) haha. I want to get back at my running. Outside. There’s just nothing like it. Having said that- here is what my exercise program will look like for the first few weeks of the New year:
Monday, Wednesday’s and Fridays run for at least 30 minutes. (If you do this part mid morning with your babies/toddlers, it rocks them right to sleep for their nap)
5 different sets of abs for 30 repetitions every workout.
4 sets of 12 repetitions of lying chest presses.
4 sets of 12 repetitions of lying chest flys
4 sets of 12 repetitions on each leg lunges with dumbbells (I use 3-5 lb dumbbells)
4 sets of 12 repetitions of squats with dumbbells
4 sets of calf raises with dumbbells. One set with feet facing forward, one set feet facing outwards, one set feet facing inwards, and one more set facing forward again.
4 sets of 12 repetitions of bicep curls. 2 sets facing forward. 2 sets opening out to the side.
4 sets of 12 repetitions tricep extensions. 2 of these sets do as overhead tricep extensions.
4 sets of 12 repetitions of the clam shell. 2 sets leg and ankle touching the ground. 2 sets lifting your ankle off of the ground.
4 sets of 12 repetitions of donkey kicks. (I like using my ankle weights for these- 3lbs) 1 set regular donkey kicks. 1 set leg extended straight out. 1 set leg straightened and crossing over bent leg (crossing over to the side) 1 set rainbow- extend leg all the way straight and all the way out to the side. Diagonally. Lift leg up and over- creating a half circle and bringing the motion back over.
4 sets of 12 repetitions of standing dumbbell shoulder presses
4 sets of 12 repetitions of dumbbell ‘peakaboos.’ Form a goalpost with your arms: Keep your upper arms (shoulders to elbows) parallel to the floor and your lower arms (elbows to hands) perpendicular to it. Bring your forearms together in front of your face. Return your arms to the starting point.
That should kick me into gear again :)
These have been super easy for me to do at home which is great when you have a little one. Adeline even joins in sometimes. When she was a younger I use to let her have tummy time while I did my workout and then played with her in between repetitions for a few minute recovery, or just put her in the baby pouch. Now she either climbs all over me or just joins in and does it with me. Work out time with her is really fun and I LOVE how early she is learning about it.
I also wanted to leave you guys with one of my quick weeknight seasonal salad/meal recipes. If you are a meat eater you could absolutely add it to this- we’ve been eating meat as it’s available from the farm about 1-2 times a week (I eat less meat than my husband)
- 1 loaf Rosemary Olive Oil bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (can use Italian bread)
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3/4 lb. brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half
- 1 tablespoon Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups chopped spinach
- 1 large Fuji apple, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 4 oz Gouda cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the bread cubes on a large baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the bread is toasted. Remove and set aside.
- Turn the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the butternut squash, and brussels sprouts on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, ground onion, ground garlic, kosher salt and ground pepper and toss until vegetables are well coated. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool a little.
- While the vegetables are cooling, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread cubes, roasted vegetables, spinach, apple, dried cranberries, pepitas, and cheese. Drizzle with dressing and toss well.
I hope you all enjoy these recipes and join in on my work out.
We learn a lot as the year(s) go by. Things don’t always turn out the way we want - or the way that we think they should. And then sometimes they do and everything is smooth sailing.
We can get through it all and keep looking ahead.
Surround ourselves with loved ones and cherished friends.
It’s time to begin something new. The best is yet to come.
Same dreams- or maybe new dreams.
365 new days, 365 new chances.
Let’s raise our glasses mommas and Dads! We made it another year! Cheers to you all!
Have a very blessed beginning!