Cheers to New Things!

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Sky Diving

This is going to seem incredibly dramatic, but it’s really how I have been feeling. I’m been going back and forth between self-hosting (owning my site) and staying with wordpress.com for months and months now. Switching to self hosting felt like that millisecond before you do something super crazy, where all your telling yourself (maybe it’s natural instincts telling your-crazy-freakin-self) no, no, !no, no, no! Don’t do it! Like, you know, the little part of skydiving when you have to jump out of the plane. Every ounce of my body and mind was like No! What are you doing?! Don’t jump out of a plane! And then in one fraction of a second I turned my brain off and forced myself to launch my body off the wheel rail of the plane. It’s exhilarating and terrifying to think I have such an impulsive (non) control mechanism. I don’t know if that’s what makes someone gutsy or people seem down right nuts.

Anyway! Wow sorry long tangent. So I’ve been going back and forth for days and months about whether or not I want to shift my blog to a self hosted site. And I was making list after list, comparing the pros and cons and debating for hours. Then all of a sudden I’m like, who really cares. Just do it all ready! Clearly if I have been thinking about it non stop for months it’s something I want to do. And will it really matter in ten years? No, because by then personal blogs will be wayyy old news and Ill be wishing I had thought of the next fad craze two years before it became popular. But just wishing I had started it earlier, not that I hadn’t started it at all. (No I don’t really think blogs are a fad craze, obviously) So on that note, my impulsiveness outweighed my logical brain (once again) and I’m going for it. It’s going to be a lot of work since I waited so long and have posts from before Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries wedding/divorce (thank goodness I had to actually look that up). But eh whatever.

Honestly, it’s that freakish split second craziness that makes for the most exuberating adventures. So cheers to new obstacles and the millisecond before the dive. Thanks for joining me on the journey. I’m opening my new site up even as I am still editing and adjusting things, that way if you guys notice something done and want to know how I did it I can help! Here we go!

If you all have any advice, tips, or problems you have run into I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment or send me and e-mail! Yakkafit@gmail.com. :)

Gardening isn’t just for Grandmas.

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Maybe I just used to think that only old people had gardens, or maybe just recently with the whole Real food, eat local movement gardening has becoming more “in”, or maybe when you’re in high school gardens just aren’t cool or something? I don’t really know, but I think they are awesome! It is so rewarding to grow a large portion of the food you eat all year round. I love popping open a jar of pickles mid winter and dram about the fresh dill that lined the garden. After all, your backyard is as local as you can get!

Welp, summer is in full swing! I honestly can’t even believe it is already July…mid-July, holy crap! We went on a trip to the Adirondaks and Burlington Vermont and came back to a jungle in the garden. I’ve gotten a couple of e-mails asking about the garden after I’ve featured some recipes from ingredients found in it! (And there are more to come) I’ve been meaning to do a post about it anyway so that I can compare to what it looks like in late summer, so I know what to do or not do next year, and so that I can show you guys! Sooo here we go. The lower part is mostly herbs and stuff that I wanted to plant. The upper portion is more of a joint effort from my finance (accent on the e) and I. (no longer boyfriend—eek!!)

garden2014This year the garlic is growing much better since I didn’t insist on leaving the volunteer sunflowers growing up from the middle of it. I also planted five different flavors of basil this year! I didn’t even know that many existed, and one of them is purple! Which is why my basil lemonade was is a little funky colored this year.

Garden 2014.jpgThese pictures were taken about a week ago, and it is crazy how much bigger the herbs and kale are now. I can’t believe it! Kale

Then in the upper half we have more of the larger vegetables and some companion herbs. I planted parsley with the onions, basil with the tomatoes.Gardening101Then in the very back we have the tomatoes, and a couple of rows of beets. We also have the big vine-y vegetables, like the zucchini’s, squashes, pumpkins, and maybe a watermelon here and there? This is the first year we have used the tomato cages, usually we just let them run free and they take over the entire garden. Last year we planted them all around the perimeter…not a good idea.TomatoesHere are some great quick tips for gardening. I am by no means an expert..at all! My dad kept a garden my whole life and I learned a lot from watching and helping him. My fiance has also always kept a garden, last year was pretty much the first year I helped through the entire process and had more of our own garden. So I really don’t know too much of what I’m doing, I just learn a bit more each year.

Quick Tips for A Happy Garden

1. Plant according to the seed package. If it says to plant 1 inch deep, 6 inches apart follow those measurements. I mean, you don’t have to get a ruler out or anything, but don’t go throwing the seeds all around the place.

2. Keep weeds away! Weeding is a pain in the butt, I know it sucks. Plants need to be able to receive the water and nutrients from the soil. And weeds are very good competitors, they will steal those precious resources from your veggies!

This year we totally accidentally planted the rows the exact distance of our small rototiller. So we just run through the rows and all of the weeds get torn up from their roots. Great weed control. We have also tried using paper feed bags under the vined plants. That way the vines can reach out without being over grown by weeds. It also helps stop the squash, or pumpkin, or whatever from getting rotten so quickly. IMG_7292

3. Try companion planting. Just like when foods are cooked together they complement one another, the same can happen while they are growing. This chart, from afristar is amazing for comparing which plants are friends, and which are enemies. Companion planting

4. Use compost! We compost our organic scraps, and this year we just rototilled the whole contents of the bin into the garden prior to planting. You can also add compost after the plants have become established. I try to stay away from chemical laden plant foods and go for a more natural approach- leaf litter, fruit and vegetable food scraps, manure (oh ya!).

5. Water your garden! I’m really  bad at following this advice. Luckily, this year hasn’t been too dry here, but last year our garden did not fair too well, and I definitely think the lack of rain/ lack of us watering it was a huge factor.

Even though we are well into the growing season the planting stage is not totally over with. These vegetables can be planted in mid summer for a fall harvest. Some root crops, greens and other vegetables can be successfully grown from late July or even August plantings. It’s important to know the average first frost date in your area, in order to calculate when to plant these late vegetables so they’ll mature before being killed by cold weather. Some plants can tolerate cold weather better than others, so it’s good to consider those characteristics as well. I found this information here. Late Summer Planting

How is your garden doing?! I would love to see, send me a picture through e-mail, twitter, or tag me on instagram and I will share them here! Are you planning on planting any vegetables this summer for fall harvest?

I’m Bored with Regular Workouts…

Sooo, I’ve been training for a half marathon for about 3 weeks now, but I’m not going to sign up for it until I have been going at it for a month. I always go back and forth or something comes in the way and I quit my running routine. It’s going pretty well so far! That is also why I haven’t been going to CrossFIT as much. The running program I am using has a schedule of running 2-3 times a week with some strength training and cross-training thrown in. I really like the variety and think I would be bored with just a strict running schedule the entire week, maybe that’s why it hasn’t worked for me before. Anyway, I’ve been having a tricky time figuring out what I want to do on the cross-training days, which is hilarious because that used to be ALL I did. Last week I went on a 24 mile bike ride, and the week before swam for a half hour. This week I wanted to change it up again, and try something totally new. That is how the dice workout was born. I LOVED it. It ended up taking me more than the scheduled 40 minutes, but you can cut down the number of exercises, or only use one die to roll the number of reps. It is easily adjustable. The best part is you don’t need any equipment, just a pair of dice!Roll The Dice Workout

Here is an explanation of some of the exercises:

One arm press: I saw this exercise at Real Simple magazine, and thought I would give it a try. It’s a good one! one arm press

Hollow Rocks: Here is a video of the hollow rocks. This is a throw back to the gymnastics days. …I should really type up a workout, yea, a workout that used to be our warm-up. Oops. Anyway, these are an awesome core builder. But they are really easy to do incorrectly, and then they hurt your back. So if you can’t do them right, don’t do them at all. Lower the number of reps, or just do hollow ups. (Like a superman, but laying on your back).

Spider Push up: This is a picture of the spider push up. It really engages your side obliques during the push up. It’s horrible awesome.

Spider Push UP

I couldn’t find the original source of this picture, if anyone knows/finds it..Let me know!

Toe Raisers: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly raise up to the ball of your foot and lower slowly back down. Great for balance, concentration, and your calves!

You can substitute your own exercises instead of the twelve listed. It might be fun to do this with only a arm, or leg workout, and only list exercises for the same muscle groups. You could also try with entirely cardio exercises. I tried to do a full body workout and targeted multiple muscle groups. I wanted to incorporate cardio, upper and lower body, as well as your mind (concentration and balance). It truly is a full body workout. I hope you like it!

**Know your body. Don’t do 6 reps of 12 spider push-ups if you haven’t ever tried them before. Be safe!

I’m so excited! One of my best friends from high school is getting married in August and her bridal shower is tomorrow! Yippee, I can’t believe we are that grown up!

What is your favorite no gym workout or exercise? What’s your weekend looking like!?

Almond Butter Energy Bites

Granola Bar BitesQuick post about a great quick snack! I love these granola bites to pop in for breakfast, or to take with me when I’m runnin around. They are so easy to make up and last a while. You can even throw them in the freezer to store them longer. Almond Butter RecipeI actually pressed them into this heart shaped ice-cube tray instead of rolling them into balls. It was much easier. Sometimes when I’m making cookies I get so bored rolling them…I should get a scoop. Do those work?Granola Bites

These are a perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth without having to turn on the oven and bake a whole batch of cookies. This recipe makes about 14 Tablespoon size bites. You can use a different kind of nut butter or omit the chocolate chips. I find they work best with no-sugar added natural nut butters. I love making my own, but Once Again Nut butters are also amazing. Their cashew butter would make amazing granola bites!GranolaBites

And that’s it! Happy Wednesday! I have a big announcement to share with you all soon…
Make sure you’re following me on Twitter, Instagram, and like my Facebook page for some stellar giveaways coming up!

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