Portland Fit Club

May 20, 2011

"Good" Pasta

I think every household hits a point in time when they feel like they are eating the same old thing over and over and over.....and over.  Well, this household has been going through that for a while.  When Bryan and I were going over the meal plan for the week, we hit a roadblock after 5 meals.  I refuse to go shopping without a plan and specific items on a list, otherwise I will wind up spending a whole lot more money and wind up not really having complete meals for half the week.  I put my thinking cap on and came up with a pasta creation that I hoped would fly with the kiddos.  We had it for dinner tonight and the results were interesting!  See the judges results at the bottom of this post.  (The picture below is not a full serving...it is a kid sized serving)


        1 box whole grain penne pasta
        1 container of cherry tomatoes
        Olive Oil
        3 cloves of garlic finely chopped or sliced
        1 cup of chopped fresh zucchini
        1 cup of chopped fresh summer squash
        1 bag of Kraft Italian Five Cheese
        Italian seasoning 
        Salt & Pepper

Boil the pasta until cooked.  Set aside.
In a small pan put 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and two cloves of garlic and simmer on low heat.    Add a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper and a dash of Italian seasoning to the oil & garlic.

In another pan place zucchini and summer squash and the other clove of garlic.  I used a zero calorie butter spray to saute the veggies, but you could also use a little bit of olive oil.

Mix pasta, olive oil mixture and sauteed veggies together.  

Place 2 cups of pasta mixture in a bowl.  Add 6 halved cherry tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese.  ENJOY!

Chef's comments:  I really like coolness of the cherry tomatoes mixed with the hot pasta. As well as the fresh raw flavor against the cooked flavor of the garlic & zucchini & squash.  If you prefer, the tomatoes could be sauteed with the other veggies.  Approximately 500 calories per serving.  Perfect for my husband, but probably 1 and 3/4 cup would be more appropriate for me.  I think I will add grilled shrimp next time and cut back to 1 cup of pasta.


Tabitha:  Enjoyed thoroughly.  Went back for seconds
Ember:  Enjoyed until she got a rather potent slice of garlic....then it was all over
Rory:  Ate the tomatoes and pasta, but picked out the zucchini & summer squash

Oh...and if you are wondering...the other meal we decided on was an omelet.  Another one of our favorite "go to" meals.  So we only changed up one meal this week, but it is a step in the right direction.  

Jan 19, 2011

It's all in the Numbers

Those of us on the weight loss train often judge our progress based on numbers.  The number of calories consumed, the number of calories burned, the number of pounds shown on the scale, and the number on the tag of our jeans.

While some of those numbers are important (calories in versus calories out), the others can have varying levels of validity. The number of pounds on the scale can be influenced by so many things and deserves its own post.

The funny thing about jeans is this:

1.  You can buy two exact pairs of jeans....the exact same size and one pair is too tight while the other fits just right.  You are trusting in someone (or something) else's cutting/sewing skills to guage your success.

2.  Your size fluctuates based on the style, manufacturer, and store.  Ever go to a store and tell them you are looking for a size XYZ and get something you can barely get your big toe in even though that is what size you wear at your usual retailer?? 

3.  The styles these days include a fair amount of stretchy material in their jeans.  So you may buy a pair one size up because they feel too tight (apparently you must have gained a few pounds), but upon wearing the one size up for an hour, they are falling off of you.

As a society, we are trained to focus on size and pounds to determine our success.  As a society, we need to retrain ourselves to focus on a different set of numbers.  Try these on for size.....

How many stairs can you climb before getting winded....(or how many times do you stop at the bottom, look up and decide to take the elevator instead?)

How many pushups can you do?  How many pounds can you press and how many reps?  How many miles can you run?  What is your resting heart rate?  What are your cholesterol stats?

There are so many ways to use numbers to set goals & gauge how you are doing with your fitness and nutrition...why not focus on some of those?  Focusing on those types of goals force you to get in shape the right way, while the scale and clothing size can tempt people to use quick fixes like diet pills or eating too little.  I know our programming can be tough to re-write, but maybe just a few modifications can help us along the right path. 

I personally have a weight and a size goal that I want to reach.  I will eventually reach those goals, by meeting smaller, more defined & easier to control goals along the way.  Below is a sample of some of those goals. 

1.  A daily 1,000 calorie deficit with a calorie consumption set between 1650 and 1750 (this means I need to be active enough to burn between 2650 and 2750 daily)

2.  Strength training 3 times a week, cardio 3 times a week

3.  Try to serve a wide variety of fresh, whole & unprocessed foods each week

4.  Take a multi vitamin or drink my Shakeology daily

As an accountant and a fitness enthusiast, numbers dominate my life.  I make it a point to worry about the right ones daily and the others will fall into place.

Jan 9, 2011

Catching 2010 Up

Holy Cow!!  It's January.....2011!!  My last post was in September 2010??  Oye. 

I can share all kinds of reasons why.....you know....excuses.  But I'm not gonna.  Why?  Well, excuses aren't going to get me anywhere but further away from the actual doing, and the actual doing is where I need to be!

Here's a quick recap of 2010.

The Exercise Front:

I finally got approved to start P90X when I was 13ish weeks postpartum.  I proceeded to do the first 30 days of the program.  I loved it and I hated it.  The program is hard, it gives you results, but it is too long!  Bryan has done two whole rounds of P90X faithfully. I started my round in the middle of his second round. We really struggled to get both of our hour long workouts in (there isn't room to workout together), in addition to taking care of all 4 kids, the house, errands etc.  I made it the first 30 days and lost 7lbs and a few inches (can't remember now).  I decided to shelve P90X till this summer as I am going to be moving back up to a full time schedule sometime this month.  I have fallen back to ChaLEAN Extreme which is also a muscle building program, but the workouts are much shorter. I just started week 3 on Friday, so I will be posting 30 day results in a week and a half or so.  I also got a Bodybugg...but I will elaborate more on that at another time. 

The Family Front:

Everyone has settled in nicely with Ashyn.  The older kids adore her! She is now sleeping all night long and most of the time in her crib.  I will say that I let her sleep with me much longer than I did with any of the other three kids.  I think it has to do with her being the last and wanting to hold on to every last second of her "baby" stage. Bryan and I have developed something of a routine with the new baby, the new taxi schedule (Tabby to the bus stop, Rory to preschool), and my being back at work.  I miss my kiddos so much when I am at work, and am dreading the step back up to full time.  I just need to keep focused on April 15th and the end of tax season.  Tabby had her first progress report and is doing exceptionally well in school.  In her teacher's words " Tabby is the student every teacher wants in their classroom".  I couldn't be more proud!  Rory is also doing very well in preschool and the teacher's describe him as a very balanced well rounded student.  I think we can expect great things out of him come Kindergarten as well!  Ember and Ashyn get their time with mom and dad when both of the older kids are at school.

The Business Front:

My Beachbody business is doing very well now.  I have been promoted to a Diamond Coach and am excited to see what this year brings!  I am hopeful that the option to stay home will be available in another 2 years.  I still am not certain I would take that option as I like what I do for work, but I would like to have the ability to choose.  I have set a few goals for myself and my business.  First, I would like to be more organized and more consistent with some of the things I need to be doing.  Second, I need to learn how to use twitter.....but haven't yet convinced myself to take that step!  Third, I need to keep working on improving my own fitness and helping others with theirs.

O.K. so maybe that wasn't quick.....but it could have been much longer.  Trust me!

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