Snow Days and The Cookie Binge
Growing up in Missouri Snow Days were practically a town holiday. School buses couldn’t run on snow packed roads, and typically winters were mild so our small town didn't own snow removal equipment. Freezing rain and sleet were the norm--snow was a mythical creature coming to visit only once or twice per year. You’d see it in the sky first—a silky lavender with a flame of pink. Then you’d smell it—a sting of icy, earthy moisture—and you knew it’d be a wondrous day!
Waking up the next morning we’d fling open the blinds as if we were searching for Santa, and light up like Rudolf’s nose when we were treated to a blanket of white. We’d flick on the radio and power up the TV to listen for the DJ and news anchor to read off our school in the list of closings. Squeals of joy and jumping around the living room would ensue, while my parents groaned figuring out what to do with my brother and I for the day.
We’d grab all of the hats and gloves we could find. We’d dress in 3 pairs of socks, doubled up pants, and 8 layers on top. Even though it rarely snowed we always had a nice plastic sled. We’d fire that blue bomber down the hill behind the house. Leaning right to avoid the giant Silver Maples, then immediately correcting to the left to keep the speeding sled from launching over the embankment into the slushy pond, and spilling my brother off the toboggan somewhere along the way. Then repeat over and over until our clothes were so wet we couldn’t stand it anymore. Reluctantly we’d trudge inside and peel off layer after layer. Our reddened digits would throb as they thawed, but still our little hearts were racing, bubbling with excitement, as the scent of freshly baked cookies filled the house.
The memory of snow days with their near frostbite, hot cocoa, and cookies is so vibrant that every time it snows I have an undeniable urge to bake cookies. We have had 3 sizable snow falls in Northern Colorado since mid-October, and I’ve baked 2 batches of M&M cookies and 3 dozen snickerdoodles. Baking cookies means eating cookies, and I'm a binge eater! Fairly tough to stay on track with healthy eating if you are constantly craving cookies!
With the holiday baking season here, I have a Christmas Cookie Challenge for you. Earn those cookies! Slide that cookie sheet in the oven, set the timer, then perform a strength training interval workout. Have 8 minutes? Plan a set of 4 exercises, complete 10 repetitions, keep rotating through them until the timer goes off. Rest while switching cookie sheets out, and perform a new set of 4 exercises for each batch.
Need some ideas? Get creative with what you have around the house! No dumbbells? Use milk jugs. Find any well inflated ball as a substitute for a physio ball. Use couch cushions for balance discs. Follow this recipe: Mix 2 leg exercises with 1 core and 1 upper body for set number 1. In set 2 go heavy on the core with 1 leg and 1 upper body lift. Then for set 3 hit arms hard. Focus on good form, perform quickly, but don’t get sloppy. Poor form leads to pain and possible injury.
Now your workout is done and so are your cookies. Just one healthy strategy to keep your workout from falling off your holiday schedule. Enjoy!