I am trying to be better about lifting weights. In the month of December I participated in an “arm challenge”. Basically, you were supposed to do a certain number of push-ups, dips, bicep curls and punches each day. My upper body strength is Poor (with a capital P!).
There are many benefits to lifting weights. Here are just a few.
1. Balanced Hormones. Long-term strength training results in lower levels of chronic inflammation and a lower risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It also helps balance hunger, energy and cravings.
2. Better Aging. Strength training boosts your body’s release of the human growth hormone which aids in the turnover of muscle and bone, increases your fat metabolism, and provides a healthier body composition in later life.
3. Clearer Head. According to a study conducted in 2010, participants who followed a strength-training plan improved their memory, quality of sleep and self-esteem.
4. Amped Immunity. According to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, people who lifted for at least 4 months had a healthier immune response in their skeletal muscle tissue after workouts. Regular resistance training increases white-cell counts which may be helpful for fighting certain infections.
So, get out there and lift! Let’s make it a New Year’s resolution!
I had a low mileage week because I didn’t get my long run in (I’m going to try to do it tomorrow morning–it’s hard to squeeze in an 18-miler!!). I ran a total of 30.93 miles last week. I have a feeling this week will be a little bit higher mileage.
And just because my pups are so darn cute:
Quote of the Day:
“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” -Groucho Marx
So, I drove to South Carolina on Saturday. Ale (a friend from Furman who now lives in Madison) made the road trip with me. We made it in less than 16 hours! A very long car ride but shorter than I originally thought! AND we got Chic-Fil-A for lunch. I am not a fast food person, but you only miss it once you can’t have it anymore, right?? Oh, and hence, no blog post on Saturday.
Sunday was spent baking with my mom and sister (my reason for the second day of no blog post). And we had Publix subs for lunch….YUM:
Among several of the cookies we made, Peanut Butter Blossoms were one of them. These are one of the cookie staples that we make every year. However, I will have you know that I strongly dislike peanut butter (I would use the word ‘hate’, but I think ‘hate’ is a very strong word and I try not to use it–I will bold strongly dislike instead.). Strongly dislike peanut butter. I don’t even like the smell. Nevertheless, I helped with these cookies–I mixed up the batter, my mom did the rolling (so that I wouldn’t have to touch the cookie dough and have my hands smell like peanut butter), and I put the Hershey Kisses in. But I am aware that most people in this world love peanut butter. AND love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. So, here is my great-grandmother’s recipe for Peanut Butter Blossoms. According to everyone else in the fam, they are to die for!
Peanut Butter Blossoms
– 1 3/4 cups AP flour
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup butter
– 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
– 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– about 45 Hershey Kisses
– Sift flour with baking soda and salt.
– In a medium-sized bowl beat the butter with the peanut butter, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar.
– When creamy beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture half at a time beating well after each addition.
– Heat the oven to 375*. Put remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a bowl. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in granulated sugar and place one inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
– Bake 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and press a chocolate kiss lightly into the top of each cookie. Return to the oven for 2 to 4 minutes longer until cookies are lightly browned.
– Cool and EAT. <- Exact quote from my great-grandmother’s recipe!