Monday Mayhem: Enjoy the simple things

So, I haven’t shared a recipe or workout in a while,  but it’s January, so while you’re still gungho about working out, let me share a quick routine–ready?

Okay!

First, turn on your TV or radio–might as well have some background noise, then grab some hand weights (or a small child, canned goods–anything with some weight to it that you can hold for 5 minutes)

Now,  set your timer to 5 minutes and march up and down your stairs!  Don’t have stairs? March around your house, apartment, bedroom, dormroom…whatever! Just get those knees up!

If you’re holding something that has a reasonable amount of weight and you’re moving, I guarantee you’ll feel something! If not, move your arms up and down as you march or pick up something heavier.

Catch your breath after 5 minutes, then repeat as many cycles as you have time for. If marching is too tame for you, then pick up the pace! Lift your knees higher and go as fast as you can. (See my post on Tabatas.)

Then, when the workout is done, it’s time for your reward:

So, I made the most AMAZING grilled cheese sandwich ever in my new air fryer–have you seen these things? They are fantastic! You can “fry” without frying and have dinner on the table in minutes.

I also happened to have some of my holiday wassail left over from Christmas and decided to settle down with my delux GrilledCheese and a cup of this deliciousness and I must tell you it was quite a treat!

Okay, so the theme for today is–enjoy the simple things.  What’s so great about grilled cheese you may ask? Nothing, until you add a dash of herbs and a slice of tomato. Then your basic grilled cheese goes to the next level. Trust me!  (Even if you don’t have the air fryer yet, you can still use low fat margarine instead of butter and prepare on the stove as you normally would.)

And for those who’ve never heard of wassail, well, there’s an entire tradition behind this holiday beverage that goes back to the Middle Ages, showing up in English literature, in fact, which was a happy discovery for me!  According to Robert Doares, the word comes from “the Old Norse ves heil and the Old English was hál…meaning ‘be in good health’ or ‘be fortunate.’ The phrase was first a simple greeting, but eventually the reply “drink hail” was joined with it to create one word and one meaning: to be in good health. Basically, to have good fortune was to enjoy a meal and drink with friends and loved ones!

Ironically, traditional wassail was also consumed with crusty bread or toast which explains why we raise a glass and “toast” one another today as we offer health and good fortune to those we love.

So, I think it’s quite appropriate for me to offer you this lovely combination, don’t you? This perfect GrilledCheese with crusty bread and my own version of wassail as I extend to you good health and good fortune!

Wassail

My wassail recipe is also quite simple–I told you, it’s the theme for today. Here are the ingredients I use (amounts are approximate):

  • 2 liter apple juice
  • 1 can frozen orange juice
  • 2 liter cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup whole cloves
  • 10 cinnoman sticks
  • 2-3 slices of fresh peeled ginger
  • 1/4-1/2 cup whole cranberries
  • add orange slices 1/2 hour before serving to preserve color
  • add 1/2 cup sugar if more sweetness is preferred

Just pour everything into a crock pot or a large pot on the stove–put the burner on low and let it simmer for at least an hour. Your house will be filled with a wonderfully sweet aroma and there’s nothing better than the delicate balance of sweet and spice which you control by the amounts that you choose to add.  When served, the ingredients can be strained, but they look pretty in the glass, don’t they?  This will keep well in the frig for 4-6 weeks.

Voila! Instant comfort food on a chilly January afternoon. Can you picture it? Cozy blanket. Grilled cheese. Warm, spiced cider…ahhh…wassail!

Happy Monday!

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Cover photo credit: pixabay.com

Monday Mayhem: Rewrite Your Story!

Well we’ve crossed over the threshold into another year! We often use this flip of the calendar page as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf in our personal story as well. So, what new plot will be worked out this year? What twists and turns are in store? Are there cliffhangers yet to be resolved?

What’s exciting is each of has the power of the pen in our hands. We get to write, or rewrite our story, and with each new year we’re presented with a fresh new page on which to publish whatever twist or turn we think our story needs.

Too often, though, we relinquish that power to others, allowing others to define us. We let others tell us who we are then find ourselves like Alice in Wonderland sailing headlong into someone else’s storybook adventure.

If you’ve been trapped in the vortex of someone else’s story, I invite you to take up the sword, that is your pen, literal and/or metaphorical. Determine what it is that you, the protagonist, want.

Make a plan for how you will move towards that goal or purpose and begin revising your story. It’s a new year, you have a fresh page!

Check back tomorrow for Tanzy Chandler’s New Year’s story!

Happy Monday 2018!

Photo credit: pixabay.com

Revamp Monday! Acceptance

Acceptance. It’s what we crave.

If you’re a writer you may be familiar with that feeling you get in the pit of our stomach as the blinking cursor arrow hovers momentarily over the “submit” button just before you send off a manuscript or query. It’s called fear of rejection. Even emailing a draft of something we’ve written to a friend is like sending a piece of ourselves into the world to be judged, we may as well be offering our head to the guillotine!

Our “selves” may take many forms. Whether we’re writers or professionals, parents or students, we’re all striving for success–and how do we define success? By the extent to which others accept our performance or appearance–or both. It’s easy to become consumed with our efforts to achieve success–and acceptance–but, how many of us are chasing after something that’s already ours?

How different would our striving be if we recognized that regardless of what’s out there, what’s in here is already great. “But, where’s ‘here’?” You may ask? Look around. The answer might be right under your nose! Thanks, Tanzy!

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I was just few months into my fitness journey. You know, the honeymoon phase. The phase when you feel like you can conquer the world. The phase when you consider taking up a modeling career after you lose all the weight and become irresistibly sexy. That phase where you can look all your food vices straight in the eye with the confidence of a Spartan army, knowing you are stronger than your cravings!  I was “feeling myself,” as they say and I was patting  myself on the back for a job well done. I was in the gym daily for 3 months straight. I was drinking 80 oz of water regularly and I had even gone down 2 dress sizes!  I was on cloud nine! Shopping had become my new favorite activity–I loathed it before my transformation. 

Looking through some pics I decided to assemble a before and after picture so that I could bask in my amazing transformation. At this time I was homeschooling my kids and spent endless hours surrounded by little humans under the age of 5, but I was desperate to share this visual display of my success with someone who could celebrate with me. No grown ups to be found, I turned to the next oldest in the room–my 5 year-old-daughter. I pulled up the picture collage on the computer and, beaming with pride, plopped it in front of my kid asking a very baited question: “What do you think of mommy’s picture? Do you notice anything different?”

Her little face beamed at the challenge. She leaned in toward the picture and studied it like a “Where’s Waldo game.” After some time she was finally ready to give her answer: 

“In this picture you have a red shirt. In that picture you have a blue shirt. In this picture you have ponytail. In that picture you have straight hair. In this picture you’re smiling and in that picture you’re not. In this picture you have grey shoes and in that picture you have black!”

“Wait what?! That’s it?! You don’t see my slimming waist line, my sleeker arms, my shrunken belly or my thinner thighs?” I thought. 

Next enters my 1-year-old staggering towards us, dying to see what we are  studying. He let’s out one word as he looked at the screen. “MAMA!” 

The reality is that the people that love us most never see our flaws. My kids never knew I was overweight. They never saw my stretch marks, or my cellulite. They never saw me as a number on a scale. They only saw me as their nurturer, their caregiver, their protector and their friend. No matter what pic I showed them, they only saw one person, “MAMA.”

Tanzy Chandler
Physical Therapist
Group Fitness Instructor
Founder of
REVAMP FITNESS
“Become a Better You”
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Kids are awesome at putting things in perspective. Remember this family moment? Be sure to check back every first Monday for more Revamp Monday inspiration with Tanzy!
Happy Monday!