An apple a day ...

First of all, thank you all so much for your kind comments on my blog - it's very gratifying to get your comments and really motivates me to keep on keeping on!! I try to respond via email or a comment back on your blog for every comment I receive. Love you all so much!! :)

In my quest to cook 99% of all meals in my own home, I was thrilled when my gal pal Kristen gave me her food dehydrator when she got a new one for her wedding last year (she also gave me her bread machine too - love you girl!) I finally got around to using the food dehydrator - my son and I made dried apples and they came out SO YUMMY!!

We took 3 apples, and used one of my most favorite kitchen gadgets - my Pampered Chef Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer - to get the apples ready.

Sidebar - if you eat as many apples as we do, this gadget is well worth the investment! My kids LOVE using it (I also bought the wooden stand shown in the photo) and the apples come out so amazingly thin. It actually spiral cuts the apple, so that makes it even more fun to use, and sometimes I'll put the apple peels into a simmering pot of water on my stove to freshen the house with a nice aromatic apple scent - all natural, of course!

Anyway ... we sliced the apples in half (once they were peeled/cored/sliced) and lay them out on the trays. I was really surprised to find that three apples took up all three trays!

We let the dehydrator run for about three hours before I checked it. I had a feeling the thinner slices would dehydrate a lot quicker (that and the kids were so anxious to see what they looked like that 3 hours felt like 3 days) LOL

We checked it at just the right time, in fact a little too long - but they were absolutely delicious!

After a taste testing our entire batch, we decided to set our slicer/corer/peeler to a thicker cut for future batches. I want to do cherries, strawberries and bananas next :) Whodathunk this could be so easy??

Well, somehow I managed to #(#** up my neck and shoulder. It started hurting on Friday, and I've been managing the pain with icy hot patches and ibuprofen. I know DOMS usually peaks on Day 2, but we're now on Day 7, so I stopped at the Urgent Care clinic on my way home last night. I was happy to see my regular doctor was pulling a shift at the clinic, so I made sure to request her when I checked in.

Short of getting an xray or MRI, we suspect it's a muscle strain, and possibly pinched nerve. The action plan is to continue with the icy hot patches, lighten up on my upper body workouts, and add massage. She also gave me a prescription pain killer - just a few steps up from OTC ibuprofen for the pain. She was concerned about my half-marathon being 3 days away - not that walking/running exacerbates the pain, but more so that the pain would hamper me from doing my best.

My doctor also knows I have a high tolerance for pain (I went through 23 hours of labor with my son before I asked for any meds), so me coming in saying I have a sore neck and shoulder is pretty significant to her. I haven't taken any yet, but will start taking it tomorrow if the pain hasn't subsided yet. It's all good though ... it's not debilitating, more just a pain in the neck. Literally. LOL

Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day for workouts, but I did manage a 4 mile walk on my lunch hour. :) This morning should have been a total body strength/endurance workout, and I went to bed intending to rest and sleep in, but my eyes popped open at 4:45am and I was itching to get active, so I went to the gym and did some lower body work:

5 min warm up on stair climber

A1: Hamstring curls on stability ball
A2: Walking side-squats with resistance band around my ankles
A3: Steps ups on bench
A4: Sprints on the recumbant bike
* Repeat this circuit 3 times

B1: Walking lunges across the basketball court
B2: Box jumps
B3: Russian Twists
B4: Wall sit
* Repeat this circuit 3 times

I finished up with 10 mins in the hot tub LOL I'm not sure if I should have done so much lower body work 3 days before my half-marathon, but will definitely take it easy tomorrow and Saturday. It's just crazy how being active has become such a part of my life - I can't skip a workout, even when I want to! LOL


"What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it." Unknown


Amy said...

Wow on the shoulder/neck stuff. I know you're going to get through it, but I hope you can manage the pain!
Too cool about the hydrator!

Alicia said...

I might have to invest in the dehydrator! Those apples look good! I would love to try that too with bananas.

I think you are doing a wonderful job. I hope your neck pain goes away. Thanks for all the motivation!

Washing Away the Gain said...

How fun about the apples!! I should try that because the only thing I've made is beef jerky!
Sorry about your shoulder crazy work out lady!! Hehehe! :) Seriously though, I hope it works itself out asap!

WriterMarie said...

My sister-in-law wanted a dehydrator for her birthday, so we got it for her and she loves it. I just might have to get one for myself!

Fat[free]Me said...

What a groovy gadget - those apple slices look delicious and would be great in my lunch box!

Hope your neck pain gets better soon.

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

I love my apple peeler corer slicer thing! I used to sell Pampered Chef (15 years ago) and I still have my original one! Those apples looked really good!

Denise said...

Thanks Michelle for stopping by my blog and leaving a message. :-)

When you said about other fruits to try I thought of how EASY strawberries will be. Put them in your egg slicer and walla...done!

Will be reading to hear what else you do and how it turns out.

Rest that body some so you are good to go this weekend!

Lucas said...

Don't just take it easy, take at least two days completely off before your race! Best of luck and can't wait to hear all about it.

Carlos said...

yummy apple chips and sorry about your pain in the neck...

Melissa Cunningham said...

Yes,those apples sounds YUMM-O!!!!
AND i had the same neck/shoulder/trap pain 6 days out from one of the shows i did in may-it sucks and rest was the only thing that made it better.....please do take it easy to rest up your body for the 1/2 coming up!!!! the hot tub after that workout was probably the best thing for you at this point-stretch stretch and stretch every night after a hot shower,both the upper and lower body..youll get through this little bump in the road with your neck,your one heck of a tough woman!!!
im excited to read about race after it is done-i really wish i could be there to cheer you on!!!
anyways,sorry bout the book-
have a great rest of the day and please do take it easy until race day!!!

AzLinda said...

Aww that just stinks about your neck pain. Rest, rest, rest girl! It is funny how exercise becomes such an important part of our lives. That's just fantastic!

I have a dehydrater and you've inspired me to get it out and make some dried fruit! I've been searching high and low for dried cranberries without sugar...well, duh....make my own...LOL!

Can't wait to hear all about your race :D

One Sassy Girl said...

Good luck with your injury and way to go - that pic of your old pants is amazing. You're awesome!

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle! Just found your blog! congratulations on your success- very inspiring - I look forward to reading more!

Feral Female said...

Hi there,

I just wanted to say congrats on all your progress, I stumbled on your blog today and I want to purchase a food hydrator, I would love to have one, I love apples and fruit, but not the un-fresh packaged kinds.

I once had apple crisps in high school and they were delicious.

Thanks for sharing.



Betsy said...

Those apples look so tasty! I want one of those cool kitchen gagets! It's on my list of things for when I move out...again!

Yikes! That neck pain sounds terrible. I hope you heal soon!

RS said...

The apples look great. Try making fruit leather with apples, pears or other fruit. It is also fun to make and much better for you than the sugary candy that is passed off as fruit rolls at the store. Fruit Leather


Gudrun from Kitchen Gadget Girl said...

so funny that you mention the Pampered Chef Apple Corer and Peeler - I like to ask folks I meet for the first time what their favorite kitchen gadget is, and many of them say the same thing! We must be a nation of apple eaters :-)

Moms Fighting Fat said...

The dehydrated apples look delicious! We have a food dehydrator that's rarely seeing the light of day...thanks for this post because I'm now reminded of its other purposes aside from making my husband beef jerky. :-)

Hope your pains heal soon.

Hugs ~ Sandy

Kristen said...

Glad you're able to use the food dehydrator! I'm ashamed to say I haven't even used the new one we got for our wedding yet!!! It's still packed away at the in-laws. I must get my butt over there to pick up our remaining kitchen gadgets....

Try making fruit leather next. It's super easy & oh so tasty. You make it with applesauce.

Also, you could dry cherries for a healthy fruit snack. Catch them the next time they're on sale. Pineapple chunks would be good too. I always buy them to put in our homemade trail mixes for camping! Homemaking them would be so much healthier!!

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