Tuesday, March 22, 2011

3 minutes to 3 miles!

About 8 months ago I began running. When i began i could run about 3 minutes (and THAT was pushing it!) I would do about 20 minutes on the treadmill and I would run 3 minutes then walk 5, then run 1 minutes, and walk another 5, etc... for between 20-30 minutes. That was such a hard thing for me to do. I dreaded getting on that treadmill because i felt like i wasn't successful. It continued that way for several months. By about month 3 I could only run about 5 minutes.

But I kept pushing! and thank the Lord I did :) Just this week, about 7 months later, I ran 3 miles. It took me about 30 minutes, which is a steady 10 minute mile (at the beginning I was running a 12-ish minutes mile). It felt incredible being able to run so far and so long!

I know so many people feel like they can't run, and at first maybe they can't, but it truly is worth the wait and effort! Every week or so I tried to push myself a little more. Once I ran so far/long I would always make sure to run that far again. So when I could run a mile, I would always run a mile after that.

At first I got really bored when running. about 5 minutes would go by and I would just want to quit. But i have pushed through that and now 30 minutes doesn't feel too bad.

I can honestly say it is so worth it! The way I feel after a run is incredible. I feel happier and more energetic. I feel like my body simply works better.

So what are you waiting for! Even if you can only run for 30 seconds, Who knows what 30 seconds could become!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Honey Whole Wheat Bread and Cookies :)

Yesterday was a really good day! I am now on Spring break from school. It's crazy that I'm already halfway done with this semester! It feels like it shouldn't even be close to there!! But i won't complain :) I am going to spend most of my spring break trying to get ahead in a few of my online classes. Some of my teachers have posted lessons and such ahead of time, so i will take full advantage of that!

So yesterday I decided that I wanted to bake something. Baking is an absolutely love of mine! So first I decided to make some peanut butter cookies for the boys. They turned out great! One of my favorite things to use when making several batches of cookies are my Wilton Stackable Cooling Racks (You can find those HERE) They are really nice when you have several cookies and you don't want to take up too much counter space.

I also made some Homemade Honey Whole Wheat Bread, which tasted fantastic! My family devoured a huge loaf in less than 24 hours!

To make it you need to make sure you have these ingredient in your home:

1 1/2 teaspoons: Highly Active Yeast
1 can: Evaporated milk
1/4 cup: Shortening
1/4 cup: Honey
2 teaspoons: Salt
2 cups: Whole Wheat Flour
3 cups: Bread Flour

1. Take the Yeast and place it in 1/2 Cup of warm water. You will want to mix this until the yeast begins to dissolve.
2. Melt the Shortening
3. In a bowl, combine milk, 1/4 Cup of water, melted shortening, Honey, salt, and wheat flour. (You can also do this in a food processor if you have one)
4. Add in Yeast mixture and let rest for 15 minutes.

5. Add Bread flour to the mixture. Mix this until a ball forms
6. Knead the bread for 10 minutes (or 80 seconds in the processor) or until the bread becomes a cohesive ball
7. Get out a bowl and spread butter around the inside of the bowl. Place your ball of dough in the bowl and roll the ball around the edges of the bowl to lightly coat it with butter.
8. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour or until the ball of dough has about doubled in size.

9. After the dough has risen for about an hour, gently push on the ball of dough to release any extra gasses (You don't want to flatten the dough, So keep the shape of the ball just add pressure around it).
10. Place on baking stone or baking sheet (Depending on what you use) and spread a little melted butter over the top of the bread (This keeps the outside of the bread softer)
11. Gently cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise another hour. You want the bread to almost double in size again.

12. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
13. Cut an X in the top of the dough with a serrated knife to allow gas to escape while cooking.
14. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.*

*For a Harder Crust: Spritz the sides of the oven with water occasionally throughout cooking

My family absolutely loved my bread! I didn't let mine rise quite long enough (I adjusted the rising time in the recipe to what it should be) and mine was a little soft in the middle, but i like doughy bread so it didn't bother me a bit!

I hope you enjoy this bread recipe as much as we did! I will definitely be making this one again!

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