Great email from SparkPeople.com today:
Top 5 Reasons to Love A.M. ExerciseÂ Â Â
- Exercising early in the morning â€œjump startsâ€ your metabolism, keeping it elevated for hours, sometimes for up to 24 hours! As a result, youâ€™ll be burning more calories all day longâ€“just because you exercised in the morning.
- Exercising in the morning energizes you for the dayâ€“not to mention that gratifying feeling of virtue you have knowing youâ€™ve done something disciplined and good for you. (Much better than a worm!)
- Studies have shown that exercise significantly increases mental acuityâ€“a benefit that lasts four to ten hours after your workout ends. Exercising in the a.m. means you get to harness that brainpower, instead of wasting it while youâ€™re snoozing.
- Assuming you make exercise a true priority, it shouldnâ€™t be a major problem to get up 30 to 60 minutes earlierâ€“especially since regular exercise generally means a higher quality of sleep, which in turn means youâ€™ll probably require less sleep. (If getting up 30 to 60 minutes earlier each day seems too daunting, you can ease into it with 10 to 20 minutes at first.)
- When you exercise at about the same time every morningâ€“especially if you wake up regularly at about the same timeâ€“youâ€™re regulating your bodyâ€™s endocrine system and circadian rhythms. Your body learns that you do the same thing just about every day, and it begins to prepare for waking and exercise several hours before you actually open your eyes. Exercise Extra: More than 90% of those who exercise consistently have a morning fitness routine. If you want to exercise on a regular basis, the odds are in your favor if you squeeze your workout into the a.m.Â Â
My a.m workout was terrific today:Â It began slowÂ with only 20 minutes on the T.M â€“ ran 2.1 (oh so s..l..o..w). But then I got into a fast paced leg workout for 25 minutes.Â Shane and I jogged for 3.4 miles.Â I say jogged because with all his stops for a sniff here, a piddle thereâ€¦our time ended up being 11 min. mile.Â Â I did do some sprints to make up for delays, but because of the doggy delays and the bits of left over slush here and there, we were still slow.Â I felt like I had a good work out in the end.Â Â Â
Now I get to eat MINCE PIES!
Modern day mincemeat does not contain meat.Â Â It used toÂ back in the sixteenth century.Â Itâ€™s still not vegetarian friendly since it does contain suet or if you buy it in a jar â€œbeef bittersâ€.Â Â
Since making mince pies was a last minute decision, I didnâ€™t have the 3 week advance to make my own mincemeat since it improves with age and last indefinitely.Â I made a batch one year and had enough left for the following year.Â Although I did keep it in the freezer instead of going through the canning procedure (detailed here).Â
The tradition is that after you bite into your very first mince pie of the holiday season, you make one wish.Â Get ready to make those 3â€³ pies and have your wishes come true!
First,Â the recipe for mince meat should you want to make your own.Â This recipe makes 9 cups and there is no cooking involved.
- 1 cup shredded suet
- 1 cup white raisins
- 1 cup raisins
- 3 medium green appples: peel, core and chop
- 1/2 cup marmalade
- 3/4 cup chopped almonds
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup candied peel
- 1 cup currents
- 5 oz brandy
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp ginger
Mix together the first 9 ingredients.Â Add the brandy and the rest of the ingredients.Â Cover and leave in a cool place forÂ 24 hours.Â Mix the mincemeat really well, pack and seal in sterilized glass jars.
Every year at Christmas, my mother makes mince pies.Â It is the one time that I allow myself to eat something that contains animal fat (suet from the mincemeat).Â I take my first bite andÂ I make my wish.Â It always comes true because every year we have such a wonderful Christmas together.Â Whoops! Did I just tell you all my wish?!!!Â Â Â
- 8 oz pie pastry
- 8 oz mincement
- 1 egg
This will make about 12 small pies.
Roll out pastry to 1/4â€³ thick. Use a water glass, to cut out
about 3â€³ roundÂ circles. Put the circle in a greased â€œminiâ€ pieÂ pan (like a muffin pan with 12 holes but flatter/shallow).Â
Place 1 TBS mincement in theÂ pastry.Â
Beat the egg and moisten the edge of the filledÂ pastry.Â Put another 3â€³ round cut out on top andÂ press the edges together with a fork.Â Â Poke a few holes in the top with a fork, brush withÂ more egg,Â
and bake at 400 F for 10 mintues. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake another 10 minutes.Â Remove from oven, sprinkle with sugar andÂ serveÂ hot or cold.
MOVIE REVIEW:Â PUBLIC ENEMIES
Love that Johnny Depp. Be still my heart!Â I enjoyed watching him in this movie but was bummed out at the end when he had to die.Â
Great movie about John Dillinger, the â€œcaptivating and infamousâ€Â bank robber.Â Ted thought the movieÂ would be better. Iâ€™m not big on gangster movies but, as I said, my interest in the movie was all about J. D.Â Recommended watch for sure!