Storing Berries (Flash freezing & Refrigerator storage)

When any berries or fruits are in season it’s a scramble to get them at the best possible price for two reasons. First because they are wonderful to eat/snack/cook with after a long winter and second because you can freeze or can them so you have wonderful fresh natural fruit for the whole year!!

Our local grocery store had buy 2 pints of blueberries and get 3 free. That is 5 pints for the price of 2!!!! Of course I bought 10 as that will hold us through the year with pies and frozen berries for yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, smoothies, and blueberry syrup for ice cream.

Here is what I do with our berries to keep them as fresh as possible in the refrigerator and how I store them for the winter in the freezer:

FLASH FREEZING: Wash the berries and remove all stems. Pat them dry with papertowels or a non lint dish cloth. Lay them on a cookie sheet and let them air dry so they are not wet. Once dry place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove them and store them in freezer bags. They will not stick together so you can grab as few or as may as you will need and will be perfectly sweet when you remove them to use.

TO KEEP IN THE REFRIGERATOR:: Place the berries in a large bowl with a teaspoon of white vinegar and cover with water (you do not have to remove stems unless you want to). Let sit for about 4 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Place them in an airtight container laying them flat on a papertowel. Use a papertowel in between each layer. Place top on. These should hold your berries in the fridge much longer than if you just place them in there in the containers they came in.

Last Day today (update)

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I am posting this update for two reasons.  First today is the last day of this fitness challenge that I have done since June 1st.  The second is it’s therapeutic for me with the situation facing us with our family dog tomorrow…UGH!!!  So on to the update:

These past few days have been a challenge for sure.  But I put on a pair of capris today that were tight in my waist and thighs and they fit comfortably.  I may not have lost much weight but the muscle is evident in the inches lost.  Starting I could only do sets of 5 of the leg lifts.  I can now do a set of 20 with the last 2 being a push to get through. I was able to do 10 push ups pretty easily in the beginning and I can comfortably get through 15 in a set now.  Squats get my heart rate going and I feel them in the soreness of my thighs and hamstrings but it’s a good soreness!!

So for July I am going to do this challenge working backwards as I am adding a Plank challenge for beginners for July. I figure when the planks get harder the Buns, Guns and Abs will get easier working it backwards!!

Here is the plank challenge for any who would like to try it:  If you decide to do either one, keep me posted!!!!

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The 30 Day Plank Challenge will send your core strength through the roof! Yes, all you have to do is HOLD this position, nothing else! It looks pretty easy, but it isn’t!

Day 1 – 20 seconds
Day 2 – 20 seconds
Day 3 – 30 seconds
Day 4 – 30 seconds
Day 5 – 40 seconds
Day 6 – REST
Day 7 – 45 seconds
Day 8 – 45 seconds
Day 9 – 60 seconds
Day 10 – 60 seconds
Day 11 – 60 seconds
Day 12 – 90 seconds
Day 13 – REST
Day 14 – 90 seconds
Day 15 – 90 seconds
Day 16 – 120 seconds
Day 17 – 120 seconds
Day 18 – 150 seconds
Day 19 – REST
Day 20 – 150 seconds
Day 21 – 150 seconds
Day 22 – 180 seconds
Day 23 – 180 seconds
Day 24 – 210 seconds
Day 25 – 210 seconds
Day 26 – REST
Day 27 – 240 seconds
Day 28 – 240 seconds
Day 29 – 270 seconds
Day 30 – PLANK FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!!

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Benefits of Plank Exercise:

*It strengthens your lower back
*It develops your core muscles – which include the abs, back, hips and the butt.
*Helps you to avoid injuries and encourage good posture
*Can be done anywhere
*Develops your abdominals by targeting the rectus abdominis

SUPPORT each other in Fitness!!

This is a beginner routine.. everyone starts somewhere!

 

Fitness Challenge Update

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Today is the half way point (day 15) of my fitness challenge from my earlier post.  I thought I would update you so anyone thinking of trying it can print it out and get started!!

I have to tell you I am by no means a thin person and could lose 50 lbs I am sure.  But I am VERY active.  These little challenges are a GREAT way to get yourself motivated as they start slow and you can break them down to fit into your busy life.  I did my leg lifts at 11:45 last night as I ran out of time during the day but I got them done!!

SQUATS: These do get your heart rate pumping working those large quadricep muscles in the front of your thighs.  The hamstrings in the back of your leg push you back up.  These have felt good to do but I could probably have done more to start as I am now starting to feel the sore muscles moving up to 55 squats.  It’s a good sore though and I can feel the difference in my strength with these.  I do reps of 15 each and then then a set of 10 and will keep it to 15 reps only so I can continue to do them correctly for all the benefit!!

PUSHUPS:  I am pretty strong in upper body so pushups have not been too much of a bother just yet.  I made it through 13 today with the last one being more of a push to get done.  I will break these into groups of 10 as I go along.

LEG LIFTS:  Good Lord why must your torture me???  These are my arch nemesis!!  But I will tell you the first week I could barely get through 5 so did reps of 5.  I am now up to reps of 15!!!! YAYY ME!!  This is when you see the benefit of what you are doing!!  And it’s the best motivation to keep pushing myself.

I hope some of you will give this a try.  It makes it easier starting slow and being able to do it at your own pace and whatever time you have!!

I also bought a fit bit which is a great motivational tool when in the community with your friends competing everyday to get more “steps, stairs, and active minutes” than them.  Bought the man one to give him for Father’s day today!!

 

 

30 Day Fitness Challenge

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Well here goes nothing.  On Facebook someone posted this challenge and I’ve decided I am going to give it a whirl.  Working around the ranch and unloading 1200+ 45 lb bales of hay a year does keep my upper body in good shape but from there down oh boy.  I have the inherited lower ab “elmer” we call it which is a lower belly.

Before the kids and animals I had plenty of time for a 1 1/2 to 2 hour workout.  So for the past 12 years I’ve struggled to find 30 minutes to work out as I try to “do it all” and neglect the “me” time.

So today was day one and no problem with the squats or pushups but barely made the 15 leg lifts.  I think those will be the most challenging for me.  If you would like to join the facebook challenge here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1444809585761364/

Happy healthy June!!

 

Fruit or Art?

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The kids help make this weeks fruit salad.  It’s a true work of art my son said.  Best after school snack you can have.  Keeping it eye appealing helps draw the kids to it and helps moms and dads make a better choice rather than ice cream…Wait…NO.. that’s not true, I am still choosing my ice cream over this, but maybe I will skip the handful of crackers after work tomorrow and have a nice bowl of fruit!!

Fruit Salad

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This pinkish purple container holds our fruit salad.  I make a new batch every Friday afternoon from Memorial day until the end of October using fruits in season.  I try to mix it up a little each week adding different fruits.  It’s a great snack for the kids to quickly grab when they are busy playing or “starving” waiting on their next meal.  It’s also great to help keep them hydrated during the hot summer months (if we ever get them this year as today it was 55 degrees out). 

Today I made this pretty bowl and because it’s a holiday weekend and we had some neighbors for dinner, I made sure to pick up enough groceries to restock over the weekend.

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Keeping a pretty bowl like this filled will help kids (and others) make a wise food choice when looking for something to snack on.