Happy Birthday, Cooper!

Shout out to our puppy who turned one year old this week! Cooper enjoys boxing with Steve, singing with Leroy (our other german shorthair pointer), finding chukar for Eric and long runs and walks! When taking a break from his busy life, it’s cuddle time on the couch with his buddy Leroy.

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Coopers first night at home

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Pointing

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Cooper with his chukar

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Being playful

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Boxing with Steve

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Lounging on the couch with his buddy Leroy

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Workout Equipment

When most people think of workout equipment, they think of high tech gadgets with flashing lights, programs and constant electronic feedback. Even the simplest workout, like running, can get complicated really fast if you add a treadmill to the mix. I prefer to keep my workouts simple to attempt to offset the technology that seems to pemiate the rest of my life. Also, fancy equipment for home use takes up a lot of space (turned into baby space at our house). Treadmills (if you own one it most likely gets turned into a catch all for clothes), elliptical machine, various weight machines and other types of fitness gadgets all can be counted on to reliably break down. Since I workout at home, my equipment is very simple and consists of: free weights (resistance bands work well too), pull up bar, and bands that go around your ankles for legs and booty. It’s all simple equipment. Most of the equipment can be found at Walmart (keep your eyes open for People of Walmart) or Target (if you are feeling classy) or bought online from beachbody (beachbodycoach.com/ryannford). This simple equipment has several distinct advantages over the high tech gadgets: cheap, easy to use (I have yet to see an instruction manual written in 5 languages for a pull up bar!), will never break down, and did I mention cheap? The best part is that it works!

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Simple and easy to use

Cook it Up

When it comes to food, my husband thinks I’m a “picky eater”. He says I don’t eat my greens (I do eat my veggies, but I don’t have to like it). As I have become more interested in fitness and nutrition, the more i learn that leafy green vegetables (the ones i don’t really like) have major health benefits.

If Popeye isn’t a good enough role model, just google the “health benefits of leafy green vegetables”, and there is no shortage of web pages extolling the virtues of kale, chard and spinach (everything on the Internet is true, as we all know).

The main idea is that kale has vitamins like vitamin K (who even knew vitamins went that far down the alphabet?), iron (good for everything) and even omega-3fatty acids. The list of benefits is basically a list of all the health issues that have become alarmingly common over the past few years, like high blood pressure and even Alzheimer’s.

So, back to my original point of not liking kale, but realizing that I need to eat more of it, I found a recipe that actually tastes good and is really easy as a plus. I call it “kale with onions, garlic and bell peppers”, and that is all there is to it. Just brown the onions and bell peppers and garlic in olive oil, add a large handful of coarsely chopped leafy green veggies, and cook until the greens are wilted.

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Besides eating healthy green vegetables this week, on Monday I had a really good session of Brazil Butt lift, and Tuesday I drug myself through a turbo fire workout (just one of those days when I wasn’t feeling it, probably should have popped a handful of spinach!). Otherwise, I am feeling good and enjoying this phase of pregnancy when I don’t feel like puking all the time.

If you have any favorite recipes for any of the leafy green veggies I mentioned, please share!

Homegrown Goodness

There’s nothing like having fresh vegetables from the garden. Every year my husband and I team up to get the garden going. He loosens up the soil by hand with a shovel, digs in compost, sets up the drip system and figures out where to plant everything while I supervise (we are such a good team!).
The other tradition is the annual post planting storm where cold wind, freezing temperatures and even snow blast, freeze and shred our carefully nurtured seedlings. This cold snap ensures that our garden boxes are not overcrowded with any of those delicate vegetables we try every year, like watermelon. But, this year, like every other year, the pictures of luscious red watermelon in the seed catalog looked too good to pass up. Maybe this year we will finally get one watermelon!
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First kale and chard of the season
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Our garden

This is the time of year all of “our” hard work starts to pay off when we can finally begin to harvest the cold tolerant, fast growing veggies like kale and lettuce. My favorite part is that I can go right outside and pick out what I want to include with our meal. Soon the peas and beans will start to produce, then with any luck the tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini will follow right behind. In the fall carrots, parsnips and pumpkins will be ready in time for fresh pies and stew.

Besides the hard work, heart breaking storms and dirty fingernails, the other perks of our garden are:
1) the veggies aren’t sprayed with chemicals
2) we save money (hopefully, never have done the math – seeds plus water bill plus hours weeding plus everything else has to be less than Safeway, right?)
3) I can procrastinate meal planning even more since i can step right outside and grab what i want!
4) vegetables from our own garden taste way better than store bought (that is the rule, and anybody who says otherwise will be unceremoniously removed from the premises if they don’t agree)

On a side note, here’s an update with pregnancy and workouts: I had a doctor appointment last Thursday and everything is going great. 16 weeks along and got to hear Baby Ford’s heartbeat! next up is the big ultrasound on July 3 to find out the gender!

Workouts this week have consisted of TurboFire, Brazil Butt Lift and lifting weights. I’m still getting used to modifying my workouts, but thankfully i am not at the tired hippopotamus stage yet, so the modifications have been minor, mostly listening to doctors orders and not over doing it! It will all be worth it in the end.

Until next time…Ryann