Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dessert auditions

This year for one of the first times ever I have the time to try out (audition) recipes for Thanksgiving. Because my year has been so turbulent, I'm not hosting, but have been asked to bring a dessert and an appetizer.

This week I'm holding the dessert auditions. So yesterday I made this recipe for Pumpkin Blondies. I tried to make it first thing in the morning, and I should have known better than to trust the time estimate without checking. In my mind, a 9 x 13 pan of anything takes longer than 20 minutes at 350 degrees. But yesterday I just pulled the pan and went on with my day. So I came back to some semi-custardy brownies. They taste good, but next time I'd bake them longer for sure. Today I cut them into small squares and dusted them with powdered sugar, and am bringing them to a potluck tonight.

So then I went on a Pinterest search for some even better Pumpkin Blondies and I found this recipe (which is pictured above). Holy cannoli these look good, don't they? As I type, these are baking away and let me tell you, my house smells like Thanksgiving. I'm thinking that anything that has white chocolate, butterscotch, and pumpkin has got to be amazing, but I'll let you know once they are out and cooled. Oh, I used chopped walnuts instead of hazelnuts, partly because I had walnuts, and partly because I like the slightly bitter taste of walnuts with the very sweet chips.

But wait, there's more! Later today I'm making this recipe for Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars. Well, except there will be no apple. And no cranberry. The recipe calls for Apple Cranberry Pie Filling, but I couldn't find that at the store. So mine will probably be cherry and blueberry, because that just sounds really good to me.

Holy cow, the oven is smelling amazing!

Later this week, come back for pie auditions. I'll be back with the results tomorrow.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Writer's block

I'm having a terrible time getting words onto paper (screen?) these days. For one thing, I keep reading essays by truly gifted writers, and when I read yet another fantastic piece, I'll think, "I'm just going to write "what she said" and post a link." And the other reason is that I have so many unanswered questions, such as "should I stick with Blogger or learn WordPress" and "why am I even writing in the first place" and "who am I to think I have anything to say"? (I can also get really hung up about not using punctuation correctly.) Since inertia (if you don't know everything, then do nothing) is oh so familiar to me, these questions leave me doing nothing.

This essay is an attempt to break the silence. To reject the inertia. To live in "I don't have to know everything in order to do anything." So on to today's topic: Working in the beauty industry.

As a personal trainer, you might think that I work in the fitness industry. But I think of myself as working more in the beauty industry, and at times working in the life-coaching industry.

What motivated me to get certified in the first place was a desire to help women live better lives. I believe with all my heart that as women, we live better when we feel at home in our bodies. And to feel at home in our bodies, we need to move and sweat and stretch and test our limits. This feeling at home in our bodies is not something that only women can benefit from. But generally speaking, boys and men are encouraged to be physical way more than the opposite gender.

Fitness as beauty shows up in many ways. For one thing, when you're in shape you have more energy and confidence, and despite what the media tells us, what's really sexy? Energy and confidence. Also when your body is fit, buying clothes becomes less of a "have to" and more of a "get to!" I believe that sweating makes your skin better. And feeling strong and flexible does much to improve your confidence (yep, we're back to confidence again, having come full circle).

The life coaching element comes in because you get to know someone intimately when you see them one-on-one for an hour, several times per week. This time is completely focused on what the client wants and needs, and is a perfect time to consider a problem from different angles. I love when I can help by being an accountability partner to one of my girls, many times in areas having nothing to do with fitness directly, but having everything to do with having a better life.

As always, thanks for "listening."