Peppermint Holiday Drink Recipe

Peppermint Cheer, Ideal Protein Style!

Hope’s Peppermint Cheer

Hope’s Peppermint Cheer – phase  1-4, serves 1

1 1/2 cups frozen coffee, partially frozen, or you could use cooled coffee and 5- 10 ice cubes

1 Ideal Protein pre made vanilla drink

2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. peppermint extract

1 tbsp Walden Farms Chocolate syrup

Optional Toppings:

Dollop of Walden Farms Marshmallow dip –

drizzled with the Walden Farms chocolate syrup!

In a blender at all your ingredients, process until smooth.

–I’ve read you can make this hot by if you don’t use the ice cubes.


Connecticut Shooting: Sandy Hook Elementary School

Less than 8 hours ago, the sleepy town of Newtown, Connecticut was rocked to its core by an act of violence so malevolent and unbelievable that it is vibrating through the country.

At 9:35AM EST, a 24 year old man entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and proceeded to kill 20 students and 7 adults (so the numbers are at this time).  The children ranged in age from 5 years old to 10 years old.  Details are still not completely known at this time as to all the information about the suspect.

The suspect is Ryan Lanza, and was found dead on the scene, it is not known whether or not he was killed by officers or if he killed himself.  He fired into two classrooms, one of which was a Kindergarten classroom taught by his mother, believed to be the primary target of his assault.

Weapons recovered have been a Glock, a Sig Sauer (both found in the school), and a .223 rifle (found in a car on the premises).  Witnesses report the sound of gunfire, general chaos and death.  One witness stated that three of her coworkers went into the hallway, leaving a meeting to investigate the source of the sound.  Only one was able to make it back into the office, the other two perished in the gunfire.

Officers arrived on scene after the incident occurred and secured the scene.  Children were told to shield their eyes by officers as they were lead out of the building.

Articles are now flooding the web regarding this incident, with an emotional President of the United States, gun rights activists up in arms and psychologists comparing this group of survivors (roughly 600) to that of the children who survived Columbine 13 years ago.

In all of this madness, all I can do is pray for the children and their families, and that this dark day passes, and that they are able to see the light again tomorrow.

Feel the Burn!

Well, I took a couple days off of blogging to re-center myself, and find out how much I rely on this little pad of the world to stay motivated towards my weight loss.  It turns out, I literally miss my blog when I’m gone, so I’m back this morning and feeling, well like I got hit by a truck, but in a good way.  Here’s a recap of the last two days:

Monday I go to work, and have my “Physical Assessment” done at the gym we recently joined.  My numbers fall into the “pitiful” category.  I’m 28 years old, and all my numbers correlated to people in their 30’s and 40’s.  So I’m 28 on the outside, and somewhere between 35 and 45 on the inside, how sad is that?!?  Here is what my assessment consisted of:

  • V-sit (you know, from the days of elementary school and the Presidential Fitness Test) = 16.9″ at the max, this puts me squarely 3″ below where I SHOULD be able to get.
  • Push-ups (girlie style on my knees) = 20 (before my arms felt like jell-o) and that puts me comfortably in my “average” range
  • Grip test Lefty = 80 pounds and that puts my left hand above average, yay!
  • Grip test Righty = 85 pounds and that makes my right hand normal, not so yay, but not “yuck” either.
  • Vo2 Max = 31.2ml/kl/min = this is bad, it means my lungs have to work super hard to get oxygen to my heart.  I did notice that after taking my inhaler (yes I have sports induced asthma) that I didn’t huff and puff nearly as much and working out was much more enjoyable.  This level is in the less than 10th percentile of my age group, meaning 90% of the 20-29 year olds can breath better than me while working out, yikes!
  • Resting heart rate = 94 BPM can you imagine the fact that my heart rate, RESTING is almost 100 beats per minute? That’s like a 1950’s rock song!

So I did my assessment, then yesterday and today my chest is STILL sore, thank you push-ups.  Last night I walked the treadmill for 25 minutes and was super impressed with myself.  I maintained my 165 bpm heart rate, which is the ideal range for weight loss and cardio health the whole time, and was doing a 2.5 incline and 3.6 mph for almost the whole time, otherwise I was running intervals of 6mph for 1 minute and then back down to 3.3 mph for 1 min 30 seconds.

We’re going to the gym again tonight, my goal is to make it the full 30 minutes on the treadmill and sneak in 15 minutes of weight training for my core and legs, we’ll see how it goes!

Let is Snow, Let it Snow!

It’s cloudy and dreary and chilly outside, but all I can think of is “Where’s my snow?”  For those of you who don’t know, I live in balmy South Dakota, where in the past, we always did winter “right”.  Blizzards, snow days, and shoveling out the snow plow piles are common place from the end of November all the way through May every year.  Last year and this year however, our snow has been conspicuously absent.

It was so bad last Christmas that we were able to give my nephew a PowerWheel police car and he got to learn to drive it on Christmas day!  Yes it got cold out fast, but still, no snow.  Weather like this makes me want to bake cookies and stay inside, gorging on them until the snow comes when I can switch from cookies to traditional holiday treats (puppy chow, chex mix, chocolate covered pretzels or almond bark covered pretzels) and any number of bad things for me.

So, instead of making those eevil cookies (which I love so dearly) this year I am going to be focusing on healthier alternatives, walnuts, cashews etc, something that has a least one or two good things for me.  Here’s hoping the snow we’re expecting today decides to grace us with its presence, it’s time for winter to get its butt in gear!

Zumba is Intense!

So, I did it.  I went to Zumba.  I made it 28 minutes before feeling like I was going to either pass out or throw up.  According to various site, Zumba burns roughly 600 calories an hour (if you’re not able to sing or talk while doing it).  I was no way going to talk during those 28 minutes, it was all I could do to keep breath in my body.

Afterwards I went on a leisurely stroll for 30 minutes to cool down (and catch my breath).  Overall it felt like a great workout and I would definitely do it again.  The Zumba class goes for an hour, so I’d like to work my way up to making it to the end of the class at some point.

Well, I’m off to catch up on reading some current news (yay CNN!) and chill out for the evening, today was definitely a good day!