About Me

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I am a former career girl and am now a stay-at-home-mom to 2 amazing little girls. Exercise and "dieting" have never been easy for me. But now more than ever, I am determined to adhere to a more active, healthy lifestyle. I am not dieting - just making smarter, more natural food choices. I want to set a great example for my girls. I starting running last year with the Couch-to-5K running program. I've lost over 35 pounds since last year and I want to lose 60 more. I completed my first race (a 5K) in October and I running a 10K by this summer. My long-term goal is ultimately to run a half-marathon in 2012. I've created this blog to put it all out there and most of all - to keep me honest. I include a tested recipe & inspiring workout song on each post. I am also hoping to inspire and be inspired by you! I would love for you to join me for this journey and become an official follower of this blog!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

See you sometime in 2011!

Per my note on the facebook page - I'm taking a few weeks off the blog. 

However I thought I would do one quick post because if you want to start eating healthier now that the bulk of the holidays are over (like I do), I wanted to share an awesome recipe I made recently. 

I have to get back into eating a lot healthier as at times this holiday season I pretended like calories didn't count, so I could enjoy my holiday favorites - sometimes I did go a bit overboard (like with the sugar cookies I made with my daughter) - see picture (yikes!...seriously I can tell I've gained a few lbs back).

Regarding the recipe posted below - I saw it in a recent Cooking Light and earmarked it to eventually try as I wanted to make myself "step out of the box" since it included parsnips and kale. I am not going to lie, this recipe took a long time / was kind of a pain to cook - but it was worth it. Very flavorful and hearty for a vegetarian dish. It would be a good one to make on a weekend where you would have more time for cooking. Ps - I don't think you could miss adding the wine on this one - it made the flavor!

Enjoy and I'll be back sometime in 2011!

Pasta with Black Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Parsnips

note: this is slightly modified from the original CL version.

6 servings (serving size: 1 2/3 cups)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups (1/3-inch) diagonally cut parsnip (about 1 pound)
2 1/2 cups sliced onion (about 1 large)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 cups trimmed chopped black kale (about 3 bunches) - note: I used regular kale
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta - I used whole wheat
2/3 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add parsnip to pan; cook 12 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring occasionally. Place in a large bowl; keep warm.
2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cook 20 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in thyme and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in kale and broth; cook, covered, 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Uncover; cook 4 minutes or until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a sieve over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Add drained pasta to kale mixture. Stir in parsnips, 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Add remaining 1/4 cup cooking liquid if needed to moisten. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Approx 350 Calories, 9g fat per serving

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The same letters that spell "tired" spell "tried".

I do love the holiday season. I think this is mainly because my mom really made it feel so special to me growing up, so I have fantastic memories.... and now I can't wait to do that for my girls. 

But lately it's been tougher. There have been many more activities (daytime & nighttime) going on than I've had in the past, and I also have one more child in the mix. On top of that, I now need to make sure to get in my cardio sessions as well as making sure to have the extra time for healthy whole foods.

I know I can't do it all (even though I really want to). My house still isn't fully decorated. I fell of the wagon a bit food wise this week (this includes pizza, coffee cake, lots of tortilla chips and guac! - it hasn't been pretty!). My husband was about ready to explode if I didn't get the house better organized/de-cluttered. And I am late getting this post out (largely because I've been de-cluttering :).

But I've done some good things too (besides all of the mom stuff of course). I've worked out consistently. My physical therapist allowed me to start running again super gradually - I've gone a few times (alternating running and walking a few minutes at a time for 20 minutes total. My leg is still sore so I can't increase it yet). Because that isn't much of a workout, I still did the stairmaster for 30 minutes to try to keep my endurance up. Also I've made time for myself, not only working out but socially - something I sacrificed in the past.

I do have to say I've been overwhelmingly tired. It truly is really hard to try to fit "everything" in and still have some alone time, but I've made sure for the most part to fit the most important ones in - so there isn't a domino effect. 

I am not taking off more to bite than I can chew - especially after reading a recent NY Times article on the topic. And I am not volunteering for things I know will overwhelm me even more. 

For instance I've really wanted to update the look and feel of this blog. It's one of the big things on my "to-do" list. I want to make the format better so there is a separate tab for recipes, and so it's easier to comment and subscribe etc. This one will have to wait until early in the new year - but I am looking forward to doing it!

Weigh-In Update- I weighed myself on Monday and I lost the 1.5 lbs I had gained back during my cardio-free forced weeks and also have lost one more for a total of 21 pounds since July. However I think I probably gained 5 pounds back based on what I've eaten above already this week. I am going to have to have a fairly clean rest of the week and am hoping to just maintain for next week!

Please help me out by answering the following question either in the comment below or on the facebook page (see right)....not only so I know people are reading this but because I truly need the help!
How do you avoid going overboard (food wise) during the holidays?

SONG THAT KEPT ME RUNNING (REALLY!) THIS WEEK: "F**K YOU!" Cee Lo Green (explicit version). PLEASE NOTE- This song is not for the faint of heart :). I also (dare I say) love to work out to the Gwyneth Paltrow /clean version of the song called "Forget You" from Glee. 
RANDOM TIP OF THE WEEK: Incorporate cinnamon into your diet. Sprinkle on anything from cereal, oatmeal, yogurt (like I did below) coffee etc. The health benefits are huge from this little spice and it's a great anti-inflammitory. 
THIS WEEK'S RECIPE: Greek Yogurt with Pumpkin & Cinnamon as well Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nuts

Greek Yogurt with Pumpkin & Cinnamon 
Fage was on sale at my grocery store - therefore I bought alot. I do think it is the best greek yogurt by far even though it's expensive. I was getting sick of my usual combo of the yogurt, berries and a little raw honey so I came up with the below concoction and it was delish!

One small Fage Fat-Free 6 oz yogurt
3-4TBS fresh canned pumpkin (make sure it's just plain pumpkin not filling and the ingredients are only pumpkin!)
1.5 tsp Agave syrup
.5 tsp Cinnamon

Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nuts

I made this from September's Cooking Light with one slight adaptation. I'm always looking for a new chicken recipe and I will definitely make this again since it was pretty easy.

NOTE: I am so sorry that this is an ugly picture! I usually try to make the food look better but I was so hungry that night that I started eating before I remembered to take the picture :)
4 servings (serving size: 1 stuffed chicken breast half)

5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1.5 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Heat a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach to pan; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts, tossing constantly. Place spinach in a colander; press until barely moist. Wipe pan clean.
3. Combine spinach, cheese, nuts, thyme, juice, and garlic. Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff 3 tablespoons filling into each pocket. Seal with wooden picks. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
4. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until brown. Add broth, and cover pan. Place pan in oven. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until done.
APPROXIMATELY...CALORIES 297 ; FAT 11.6g (sat 3.4g,mono 4.4g,poly 2.4g); CHOLESTEROL 111mg; CALCIUM 131mg; CARBOHYDRATE 3.4g; SODIUM 493mg; PROTEIN 43.3g; FIBER 1.2g; IRON 2.7mg