I’m not the biggest fan of hummus so, when one of Seamus Mullen and Fran Drescher’s demonstrations at the Health & Fitness Expo at Metlife Stadium was carrot hummus, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t know you could make hummus out of carrots!
Weekends in my household are usually full-on cheat days; counting macros, water intake, and working out Monday-Friday. But after 5PM on Friday, all bets are off. There have been no thoughts towards what was going into my body…. until recently. With mine and my boyfriend’s 30th birthdays quickly approaching, we both agreed that our ful-on cheat weekends are no longer acceptable. Not only that but, how am I supposed to get the results I work so hard for during the week if I’m just going to undo it all each weekend? Slowly but surely our weekend diet has been progressing. This weekend we thought of ordering a pizza but, not only was that the opposite of a healthy option but we were also trying not to spend money. So, what did we do? We raided our cabinets! We found all kinds of things to make a healthy cheat. We ended up with a whole wheat pasta in a spicy pesto with a side arugula salad.
SPICY PESTO PASTA
-Whole Wheat Pasta (we used ½ box of penne & rotini combined)
-1 c. Fresh Basil Leaves
-1/3 c. Olive Oil
-1/3 c. Pine Nuts
-1 tbps. Grated Parmesan Cheese
-1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
-Salt & Pepper to taste
-3 Cloves of Garlic
-1 Red Jalapeno (optional-this is where the “spicy” comes in
-1/2 Container Organic Baby Arugula
-1/4 c. Cranberries
-1/4 c. sliced almonds (hand crumbled)
-2 tsp. grated parmesan cheese
-Homemade Oil & Vinegar (you can use store bought if you’d prefer)
-1/2 c. Vinegar
-1/2 c. Olive Oil
-1 tsp. of Dried Basil
-1 tsp. of Oregano
-Salt & Pepper to Taste
-Garlic Powder to taste
-A squirt of lemon juice
SPICY PESTO PASTA
- Fire roast jalapeño on stove over open flame until blackened on all sides
- Remove stem & seeds
- Combine all ingredients (except the pasta) in a food processor, blend to fine texture
- Pour over cooked pasta, stir until evenly distributed
- Combine all ingredients, hand toss
OIL & VINEGAR
- Use a mortar and pestle to combine basil, oregano, salt, pepper, & garlic powder. Grind until find.
- Combine all ingredients together in a bowl (I used a salad dressing bottle with mixer – originally purchased at Sur La Table), mix well.
This meal really hit the spot without feeling guilty, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Please share you’re pictures of your meal along with anything you may have done differently. Stay tuned for more recipes!
Going to the gym is stressful enough without other members disturbing your gym experience. You may have encountered someone like that or you may be that person to disrupt someone else. After speaking with a few fellow gym goers, I found we all have similar gym pet peeves.
1. PEOPLE WHO DON’T RE-RACK
Many times I find myself scared for my safety trying to switch off weights that were left on a machine. The point of these weights are to lift them, right? So, why not lift them one more time to put them back?
2. PEOPLE WHO DON’T CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES
The gym is filled with germs as it is so, if you sweat all over the equipment, please wipe the machine down when you’re done. There are spray bottles for a reason.
Also, there are garbage cans at every turn. Please use them instead of leaving your trash in machines.
3. USING CELL PHONES ON EQUIPMENT/PEOPLE HANGING OUT ON EQUIPMENT THEY AREN’T USING
We’re all there for a reason, to work out! Don’t get on a machine just to make a phone call. If you’re talking on the phone, chances are you’re not working hard enough for your exercise to be effective. Let someone else have the chance to use the machine.
You may have made friends at the gym. Great! But, talk to them on the side where you’re not in the way.
4. GETTING ON A TREADMILL NEXT TO SOMEONE WHEN THERE IS A FULL EMPTY ROW
Two words – PERSONAL SPACE!
5. SIZING SOMEONE UP
No one is there to be judged. They are there to better themselves. Everyone is on their own journey at their own pace. There is no need to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Keep your judgement to yourself!
Speaking of sizing someone up and personal space – Guys (and girls), don’t be a creep. The last thing someone wants is to be ogled or approached with some absurd pick up line while they’re trying to work out.
So, be courteous people! You’re not the only one at the gym!
Hey Bodscapers! Welcome to my blog! Now, before you get the wrong idea, I just want to make it clear that I am not a nutritionist, I am not a fitness professional, and I am definitely not a fitness model. I am just someone who found her passion a little later than she would have liked to. I wish I had known years ago that I would be so interested in health and fitness and wanted to make a career out of it. IE: Gym Teacher, Nutritionist, Health Educator.
For a few years now, I’ve known that I was very interested in everything health and fitness since I started learning about my own health and getting fit. I’ve been on a very long journey and it wasn’t up until very recently that I had wished I would have worked toward some kind of career.
I signed up for my very first gym membership at Retro Fitness in 2013. My boyfriend was in a touring band, so I always wanted to look my best for his return. After getting a few mani/pedis, I realized joining a gym and getting a sick body was cheaper than spending $50 every couple of weeks. Not to mention, more rewarding to the both of us. Although I signed up for the gym a year before, it really all started in 2014 when I got my first medical billing job after getting my billing and coding certification.
I was working for a multi-specialty practice where the employees were able to see any doctor for any reason cost free. Let me tell you, I DEFINITELY took advantage of that. I hadn’t seen a doctor in I don’t even know how long so, I decided to get a physical. Unsurprisingly, my blood test results came back to show I had hypothyroidism. I say unsurprisingly because I was diagnosed when I was 14 years old. Of course, when I was 14 I didn’t really understand or care what hypothyroidism was, and I was not about having to take a pill every day for the rest of my life.
After being diagnosed a second time, I told a coworker whose response was “Wow, you might be a totally different person”. She proceeded to tell me why and my life immediately made sense. Soon after my new PCP referred me to the endocrinologist in the practice, I made an appointment for a consultation. Long story short, she confirmed my hypothyroidism and that it was due to hashimoto’s disease and diagnosed me with PCOS as well. I started treatment and since following my endo’s diet and exercise plan, I lost almost 20lbs and was in the best shape of my life by summer 2015.
I became obsessed and was researching every little thing. Why are muscles sore? What do they look like after a work out? What are Macros? What is a calorie? How much water should I drink? How much should I be eating? What should I be eating? What does fat look like? What is hypothyroidism? Hypothyroidism diets? What is the best way to burn fat? You get the point.
Fast forward, to the end of August 2015 – I moved out of the house that my brother and I shared with our significant others and a roommate. I wanted to enjoy my apartment and it was 5 mins further from the gym (tough right?) so, I took a little break from working out.
Fast forward again to October 2015 – I left the job that I loved after 1.5 years for another job that would pay me more. I could immediately tell that this was not the job I would be staying at. I lasted 5 months before I finally found a new job and, in that time, I gained about 35lbs! Before I found a new job, I would go home and cry every day. I would treat myself by eating junk food and drinking wine and relaxing on the couch. After 5 months of misery, I finally found a new job, however, I didn’t turn myself around right away. It was probably 6 months into working at my new job that I one day looked in the mirror and saw fat on myself that I didn’t even know fat could store. At 167lbs, I was the heaviest I’d ever been, and it was time to make a change. Not to mention, I was going to be a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding in June 2017 which was only 8 months away!
I told my future sister-in-law and the rest of the bridesmaids that I planned to lose 30lbs and, with guidance from my endocrinologist, diet and exercise I lost 31 lbs. By the time it came to get my dress altered, I was 2 dress sizes down!
By June 2017, my brother was married to his new wife. Almost a year later, I gained about 10lbs back but am in good shape. I work with a trainer and am aware of everything that goes into my body. I continue to research about nutrition and exercise and continue to work hard.
If you follow my blog, I will continue to share my story along with my knowledge and progress. I hope to help and motivate those in need. Like I said in the beginning, I am NOT a professional! Just someone with a passion….
Until next time!