Monthly Archives: March 2016

Cooking Venison

Wow, that smells bad

The first time I cooked venison I swore I would never cook it again.  It smelled bad and tasted terrible.  But, living with a family of hunters and having a freezer full of venison, I decided to investigate techniques to prepare the meat before cooking. As a result, venison is my preferred meat.

First, in order to remove the wild game taste, the meat should be drained of blood.  How do you do that? I have found 2 effective ways:

  1. For a quick turn around: cover defrosted meat with milk, seal the container, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.  Drain the milk that will now look pink, rinse with water, and cook as desired.
  2. Let the meat sit in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (no milk needed). Drain the blood, rinse the meat with water, and cook as desired. (If meat is frozen it can sit in the refrigerator 3 to 4 days.  If meat is not frozen reduce sit time to 2 days.)

Take the Chill off

Raw meat will cook more evenly at room temperature, especially thicker cuts. In fact, taking the chill off your roasts, chops and even fish fillets before cooking will produce juicier, more evenly cooked meat. You will find that more blood will come out when you take the chill out (Up to 30 minutes).  Once you drain off the excess blood, cook it as desired. You should always take safety precautions when taking the chill off meat.

  • Never refrigerate room temperature meat without cooking it first.  Once it is out it should be cooked. Be sure to cook raw meat within 30 minutes of taking out of the refrigerator. If the room is 85 to 90 degrees, cook the meat immediately after taking it out of the refrigerator.
  • Never thaw frozen meat at room temperature. It should always come from the freezer to the refrigerator for the thawing process.
  • Always keep meat covered.
  • Wash any cookware and/or cooking utensils with hot soapy water after using it with raw meat.
  • Never use the same utensils that touched raw meat on other food before washing them.
  •  Always wipe counter-tops down with antibacterial cleaners if raw meat or blood touches it.
    • Do the research on raw meat safety. I am not an expert in the matter.

One of my favorite venison recipes from Tony Chachere’s Cajun Country Cookbook. Venison Parmesan 

Catherine Bares


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Triathlon Season; Are you Ready?

The morning of the Triathlon

March 24, 2013.   It had been raining for hours and I was afraid the triathlon would be canceled. Later that day I found myself wishing the race had been canceled. I was not ready for what was about to happen

The swim

The race starts with the swim portion at the pool. There were many swimmers that did not understand how to line up properly, which made it more difficult for swimmers to get around them. It was frustrating but I focused on getting to the wall.

While climbing out of the pool I was excited because I knew that my swim was strong which was going to result in a big improvement from prior season efforts.  I spent a great deal of time training for the swim which was my biggest weakness in prior triathlons.

The weather

When I exited the pool building to head towards transition, the wind hit my wet body and almost took my breath away. After the rain moved out a cold front moved in. The temperature had dropped about 20 degrees and the wind picked up.  

Swim complete; time for the bike portion

I fought a headwind during the first half of the ride. I focused on knowing once I reached the turn around the wind would be at my back and I could then settle into the ride.  That part played out and I was able to drop my energy expenditure and just ride.  Cycling was my strong suit, but I did not prepare myself for the mental side of the “what ifs”.  With the wind at my back, I did not have a good gauge on my speed.  That was my first mistake.  I knew I was in trouble when I started tapping my breaks to slow down for the turn which caused me to panic and resulted in my second mistake. 

Split second decisions

I pictured 2 scenarios: hitting the curb and flying over the handlebars or jamming my breaks and going down.  I made a split second decision and went down.  When I came to a stop I can remember laying face down on the ground afraid to move. A volunteer for the event asked me if I were okay and asked if I wanted to sit up.  When I tried to lift my shoulder to roll over I felt some bones move in my upper back area.  I thought my shoulder blade had shattered.  Turns out that I had a broken collar bone and 7 broken ribs. 

While they were loading me up in the ambulance a 2nd person went down in the same spot and busted her head. I could hear the eyewitnesses talking about how bad she was bleeding. They asked her to wait a moment while they loaded me in the ambulance and then they would take care of her. then I heard her say I’m finishing this race and she took off. From where I sat, that was not a good decision.

Recovery from my injuries

My broken collar bone required surgery to repair. The doctor wanted to wait at least 2 weeks for the surgery to let the soft tissue begin to heal. Once the surgery was complete it was was like starting all over with even more pain to endure. It was a long, painful recovery.  I was unable to lay down for 4 months forcing me to sleep in a recliner. 

Over the first two months, every breath I took, no matter how shallow that breath was, would cause the broken ribs to pop.  I spent every waking moment managing pain and had plenty of time to relive those moments over and over again in my mind. I realized that if I hadn’t panicked I could have overshot the turn, slowed down and turned around.  The accident was my fault and could have been avoided. Admitting that to myself was a tough pill to swallow which has left me dealing with guilt and depression since the accident.


I think the rehabilitation was the worst part of the entire process. My mobility diminished in my left arm and shoulder area from being in a sling for a long period of time with little to no movement. The broken ribs complicated the rehab process. Whenever my shoulder blade moved it would get hung up on the broken ribs. The worst parts were laying down and the stretching. The broken ribs were on the back side which made laying down excruciating. The shortened muscles fought every stretch we were trying to work through. I was unable to lift my arm more than 3 to 6 inches from my side at the beginning of treatment. Every step towards improving that distance came with a painful price.

Important lessons learned

  1. The volunteers are great and are a necessary part of the events but, that doesn’t mean they know what is best for the injured.  Instead of asking me to stay still and call for an ambulance, she asked me if I wanted to try to get up. When I told her I didn’t think I could get up, I remember her asking, “what do you want me to do, call an ambulance?”  my reply, “that would be a good idea”.
  2. Focusing too much on the race on the race put me at a greater risk.  All I could think about was improving time and finishing strong which resulted in a terrible mistake that I paid dearly for.

what I learned during my recovery

  • My husband loves me with all of his heart and soul. He slept on the sofa for 3 weeks so he could be in the same room with me at night in case I woke up needing his help. He also gave up the Lazy boy for 4 months. That’s true love. LOL
  • Life goes on without me
  • How many people in my life that I have touched in positive ways. I saved all of my cards and notes that I received from everyone. A year after my accident I pulled them out and read each one with tears rolling down my face. I hung each one on the bulletin board in my office for positive reinforcement.
  • The accidental insurance I invest in with every event is worth it. After my health insurance and the accidental insurance paid my bills, I paid $21.00 out of pocket. That was a big stress reducer.
  • I realized that buying short term disability insurance was a smart investment. During my recovery, I did not worry about bills. I took a week of vacation pay and the started receiving disability insurance checks 2 weeks after my accident.
  • I had no idea how much pain I could learn to live with. Getting addicted to pain pills during the recovery was a major concern of mine. So, I talked to my doctor about this in length and he walked me through my concerns with the reasoning behind relieving the pain. Because I had this discussion with my doctor he reassured me and taught me how to know when I should trust the recovery process and stop taking the pain pills. As a result, I believe it kept me aware of my concerns and lessened my risk of addiction.

After effects

It has now been 6-years since my accident. I became reclusive, withdrawn, unsure, fearful along with a whole bunch of other insecurities. Some of these things I have overcome but some still linger inside of me. I no longer trust myself and I have been struggling to find my confidence and fearlessness again. I finally realized that I may never be that person again but I do need to create a better version of what I am today.

Competition season

No matter what competition you are preparing for, you should be prepared mentally and physically. The most important thing you can do is finish safely!

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#Knowledge brings Opportunity to make a difference

“Knowledge will bring you the opportunity to make a difference.”-Claire Fagin

We should always be looking to improve our knowledge.  If you want to make a difference in the work place, at home or in the world, always seek out new ways to improve your skills, motivation and attitudes.

Easy, short books to read:

  • Attitude 101-John C Maxwell
  • Charging the Human Battery, 50 ways to motivate yourself-Mac Anderson

Happy Monday,

Catherine Bares

Remember: follow me, share me, talk about me

Instagram: @CatherineBares  Facebook: Catherine Bares                   Twitter: Beentheredonethatlifecoach

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#Got Allergies?

#Got Allergies?

#Got Allergies?

This time of year can be tough on those who suffer from allergies.  I pulled the following tips for reducing allergens in your home off of

  • Try cleaning frequently and keeping clutter to a minimum.
  • Plastic covers for pillows and mattresses help keep dust and other allergens from moving in. Removing extra items, like throw pillows, from the bed also helps.
  • Washing your bedding in hot water every 7 to 14 days can help ease allergy symptoms.
  • Keeping air ducts clean can reduce dust in your home
  • Using an air purifier in your home helps reduce allergens, too. Consider a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter or an electrostatic precipitator. They can help clean pollen and mold from the air.
  • If possible, avoid outdoor activities in the morning, when pollen count is highest.
  • Upon returning home, shower and wash your clothing in hot water to prevent bringing allergens in.

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#Anger is:

Anger Is:

  • Addictive
  • Biased
  • Careless
  • Dangerous
  • Depressing
  • Destructive
  • EASY
  • Egotistical
  • Exhausting
  • Fragile
  • Habitual
  • Heavy
  • Hurtful
  • Harmful
  • Insulting
  • Obtrusive
  • Offensive
  • Reactive
  • Resentful
  • Scary
  • Selfish
  • Sickening
  • Ugly
  • Useless
  • Vindictive

Knowing this; can you invest in some self-improvement tactics?  Would it be worth it for your health?Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
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Snacking tip

When the “Snack Attack” hits

  • Don’t eat snacks straight from the package.  Prepare your snack in a small bowl and put the package away.  It will be easier to walk away from it when your bowl is empty than it would be to walk away when eating from the package.
  • Snack smart: fruits & veggies.  After your trip to the grocery store cut celery, watermelon, cantaloupe, etc. and place in containers in the fridge so it is easily available, without any fuss when the snack attack hits. Great for the kids too!
  • Eat small bites and chew, chew, chew.  It slows you down and satisfies your belly with smaller amounts.  When we eat fast our fullness does not catch up with us until we have scarfed down more than we should. A great tip for children as well.

Happy Snacking!

Catherine Bares

Remember: follow me, share me, talk about me

Instagram: @CatherineBares        Facebook: Catherine Bares                      Twitter:

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Overweight Children

In the March edition of “Parents”, there was an article that caught my eye.  “Let’s talk about chubby children.” -Kelley King Heyworth.  She states, “roughly 1 in 3 kids in America is overweight or obese, but millions more “borderline” kids are on the cusp of a weight problem and need our help just as much.”  Wow, that is a scary statistic!  Kelley listed how excess weight can affect different parts of the body.

  • “Nose-Being overweight can cause narrowing of the air passages, leading to snoring and sleep apnea.”
  • “Liver-Pediatricians are ordering blood tests that check for fatty liver disease, which is more than four times more common in overweight kids than normal-weight ones and puts them at higher risk for heart problems.”
  • “Pot belly-A disproportionately large belly in kids is itself a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease later in life.”
  • ‘Knees-Heavy kids are more prone to orthopedic problems, such as hip injuries, knee pain, and gait irregularities.”

Check out March 2016 edition of Parents Magazine to see full story.

Catherine Bares

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