Hello again, my friends. Apart from all the political shenanigans that now seems to have gone on for an eternity, how is your Fall treating you thus far? The colours this year are pretty spectacular up in the Adirondacks right now and I wonder why I have to work in an office when explosions of gorgeousness are taking place out in nature.
By the way, last weekend, I experienced a new first!
Let me explain. When I lived in England, I used to hike a little; in the beautiful Lake District, over the Derbyshire Dales and the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales and on the South Downs. At the age of 15 or 16, I spent a weekend with school friends hiking the gorgeous Cheviots in the Scotland/England border country. (That’s me on the bench with my long grey socks and charity shop leather hiking boots that I still own 35 years later!) We went armed with back packs, stout walking boots, tins of baked beans, our tents, sleeping bags, a compass and a map and slept out for two nights, before returning home triumphant, tired and very muddy. (Can you imagine parents letting 15 years old teen girls loose on their own for a 3 day hike in the wilds today?)
Since being in the USA, I have barely hiked at all. Well, not proper hiking. Oh, we’ve taken some short walks, easy trails and scenic routes at weekends, but not far. My main form of exercise over the past few years has been the treadmill at a gym, a bit of running, and of course, The Kettlebell Fitness Center.
However, with both of us feeling so much healthier and energized due to our changed eating habits, we decided to go on a hike last weekend and ended up at the Panther Mountain trail on Piseco Lake. It’s a hike which ends with one having to scramble up the roots of a huge hemlock tree and over boulders to get to the view at the top. It’s one of the shorter mountain hikes in the Adirondacks, but the view was glorious! To make it even better was to be able to do it together without having to turn back, and without having to worry about Dan’s knees. Here’s to more hikes and more mountains to climb! It’s so “Sound of Music” isn’t it? I want to break out into “Cliiimb Ev’ry Mountaiiiin…..” or “The Hiiiilllls Are Aliiiive with the Sound of Muuuuusic”, but I will spare you my gift of song, and instead leave you a photo of me with slightly dishevelled hair and a proud hubs.
Before I head off into the Swiss Alps a la Julie Andrews, I would also like to tell you I was able to work up to another PR, this time in snatches. I’ve been hovering around the 16kg snatch for a while, and often go to a 14kg as I get tired, but the other day I decided to try an 18kg and was able to do around 5 each side. I then tried a 20kg bell, on the off chance, and was able to do 3 each side with fairly good form. (Remember that size doesn’t matter…it’s the form that counts!) I will still be mostly using a 16kg until I have the most excellent form but I was pretty excited that my shoulder was able to take it!
At the Good Food Club at the beginning of the month, Geri’s contribution (for which she heavily apologized for before even breaking it out) was Nutty Carrot Flatbread with an accompaniment of Cashew Cheese. Geri thought it bland and dull. (It wasn’t.) I thought it was delicious and so pestered her for the recipe later on that week. She was gracious enough to send it to me straight away and so on the holiday Monday, I made it. I added Roasted Garlic Powder from Penzey’s Spices and extra cumin (because I love garlic and cumin) to the Carrot Bread, and extra garlic to the Cashew Cheese. Seriously, friends, this is good stuff, and I love how Geri gets her recipes from all over the place. Click on the coloured links to the Nutty Carrot Flatbread (I only used 2 eggs and 1 extra egg white) and to the Cashew Cheese and enjoy! They’re both very easy to make and go well with salads, as a side to all kinds of dishes and on their own as a snack or in a packed lunch.
Another delicious item our salivating taste buds were proffered at the Good Food Club: Nancy’s Acorn Squash with apples, onions and sausage. I had to reproduce it the week after for our dinner and it was pronounced a success. (Not that I wait with baited breath in my June Cleaver frilly apron for the thumbs up or down from the hubs…no, really…I don’t.) Again, very easy. Good tasting food does not have to be a hardship or sweatfest to make. Cut an acorn squash in half lengthways (so that it stands without rolling) and scoop out the seeds. Brush with oil or ghee and season. Place upside down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 375F for about 45-50 minutes. Nearer the end of the cooking time, sautee onions, chopped apples and sausage in a pan. (I used chicken sausage, but pork sausage is even more delicious, I think!). I also threw in some cranberries. When the acorn squash is cooked, you can sprinkle a little cinnamon in there if you wish and then load the squash with the sauteed veggies and meat, then bake for another 10-15 minutes.
So far, my plan of eating Paleo 80/20 is still working. My energy levels are constant. No highs and no crashes. I continue to sleep well, and am feeling motivated to keep going. And, like I’ve said before, it’s been easier because the other half is on board as well.
I’m looking forward to more hiking adventures (as long as I don’t see any bobcats or bears!) and continued health.
Until next time, thanks for reading. Enjoy the food, and let me know where you like to hike. If you have any suggestions for us beginners, please comment. I’d love your tips, advice and places to go!
- J x