Tag Archives: healthy living

Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken, Peppers & Mushrooms

4 Feb

My boyfriend and I made a pasta dish a few months ago that we quickly deemed one of the best dishes we’d ever made together.

Last night, I brought it back with a few variations from our original creation.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken, Peppers & Mushrooms(Serves 2)

  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta
  • 8oz baked chicken breasts (about 1.5 breasts)
  • 1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • handful baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more as desired
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar + more as desired
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano to taste

1.  Bake 1 package of chicken breasts for 30 minutes at 400* (I let them marinade first in Wegmans Lemon & Garlic Marinade)

2.  About 15 minutes before the chicken is done, put the pasta into a pot of boiling water.  Put the pepper strips and the baby bella mushrooms into a pan with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil (I didn’t measure this, but a tbsp each is probably sufficient).  Cover the veggies with a lid.

3. When the chicken is done, take it out of the oven and cut into cubes.  I used about 1.5 breasts for this dish, and saved the rest to put on salads during the week.

4. Stir the veggies every few minutes.  They are done when the peppers have softened.

5.  When the pasta is finished, drain the water and put the pasta back into the pot.  Add in the cubed chicken and sautéed peppers and mushrooms.

6.  Stir it all up and add more oil if it’s dry.  Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano to taste.

Some variations:

  • Use turkey sausage instead of chicken
  • Add onions to your sautéed veggies
  • Sprinkle in shredded cheese at the end (I’ve used an Italian blend of Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano – it’s so good!)

Enjoy! 🙂

Kettle & Pedal

29 Jan

Two weeks ago, I tried spinning for the first time.

The setup was totally awesome – all of the bikes were in a dark room, with colored lights on the walls.  It was like spinning in a nightclub (seriously).  The instructor had a bumpin’ playlist, and there was a huge flatscreen TV that was playing music videos.

tumblr_md9ph47DHt1qej93ko1_250Watching Beyonce will make anyone work out a little harder.  My spinning got ten times faster when I saw her on that screen.

About 35 minutes of the class consisted of spinning.  The instructor led us through a series of hills and jumps at various resistance levels.  She was awesome – I love a motivating instructor who isn’t too in your face.

After the spinning portion of the class was complete, we went into another room to complete a group circuit workout.  There were four stations, so we split up with about 3-4 people to a station.  The instructor changed the exercises each time we went through the circuit (burpees, pushup variations, frog jumps, weighted exercises, plyo lunges, the list goes on…), but one exercise stayed the same:


ROWING.  The dude above makes this look super sweet and effortless.  I worked muscles I didn’t even know I had and my heart was pounding out of my chest by the end.  The circuit did not advance until all of the rowers completed 200m (i.e. those doing burpees did as many as they could until the rowers were done, then advanced to the next exercise).  The class ended with Kettlebell arm exercises back on the bike (bicep curls, triceps extensions, front shoulder raises, etc.).

bodycraft-kettlebell-10lb-yellowIt. was. awesome.

At first, however, I wasn’t sure if I liked the class that much.  During the spinning portion, my legs tired out very quickly and my butt was uncomfortable on the seat.  When she explained the circuit to us, I was initially intimidated.

But once I let all of that go – I was hooked!  It was such a fun class, and I had forgotten how awesome and motivating it is to work out in a group.  I hadn’t taken a fitness class in a looong time, so this was a great way to switch it up.  I’ve taken two classes since and I’m already signed up to go again tomorrow.


  • What was the last new fitness class you tried?
  • How do you overcome discomfort or intimidation in new situations?

101 in 1001

25 Jan

So I’m kind of behind on the whole “make a New Years resolution” bandwagon.  Like, 22 years behind.

I like the idea of starting a new year fresh and resolving to do different things, but I’ve never been one to decide that January 1st is the day I’m going to commit to working harder at all things in my life.

I guess when I see the need for change, I try to do my best to make that change right away (instead of waiting for a new year).  I’ve also never been one to write down goals (even though I have a lot!).

One of our first tasks during fitmixer boot camp was to write down our goals.  At first, this challenge freaked me out.  But once I wrote them down, it felt really good.  To keep that good feeling going, I decided to create a 101 in 1001 list (inspired by my friend, Olivia).

Basically, you write down 101 things you want to achieve in 1001 days (~2.75 years).  Here’s my list!:

  1. Write a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days (January 2013)
  2. Keep track of 101 things
  3. Join an academic group at UB (law journal, moot court, etc.)
  4. Work a full-time legal job during the summers of 2013 and 2014
  5. Graduate from UB
  6. Do my best to graduate in the top 25% of my class
  7. Take the NYS Bar Exam
  8. Go to California
  9. Plan a post-grad trip abroad (Italy?!)
  10. Get a post-grad job
  11. Run a 5k
  12. Run a 10k
  13. Run a half marathon
  14. Visit UR for Mel weekend
  15. Plan another reunion with my friends from college
  16. Clean out my closet and donate clothes
  17. Send someone a card just because
  18. Go indoor rock climbing
  19. Try Crossfit
  20. Go on a brewery tour
  21. Learn how to make sauce
  22. Bake a birthday cake for someone all by myself
  23. Do fitmixer boot camp again
  24. Go to Washington, D.C. and see the monuments
  25. Make my own peanut butter
  26. Learn how to make healthy muffins
  27. Make sangria
  28. Go on another wine tour
  29. Visit two new states
  30. Make a craft from Pinterest
  31. Invest in a good sports bra
  32. Go to a Delta Gamma alumni event
  33. Continue to blog
  34. Go apple picking
  35. Kayak on the canal
  36. Go to an MS walk
  37. See a GI doctor to finally determine why I have so many stomach issues
  38. Send my mom flowers
  39. Buy a business suit
  40. Go to a wedding
  41. Make homemade hummus
  42. Try a new-to-me fitness class
  43. Buy a colored blazer
  44. Go to a running store to determine which sneakers I should wear
  45. Make breakfast pizza
  46. Go back to Good Luck
  47. Try a new-to-me restaurant in Rochester
  48. Visit my past employers at LuGia’s
  49. Spend a day with my little cousins
  50. Frame “then and now” side-by-side photos with my grandparents
  51. Make my own sweet potato fries
  52. Go to a Carrie Underwood concert
  53. Get a facial
  54. Get a gel manicure
  55. Do something special to celebrate my 25th birthday
  56. Go to a baseball game at Yankees Stadium
  57. Go to a professional hockey game
  58. Make healthy guacamole
  59. Paint something (a picture, wine glass, craft, etc.)
  60. Try pumpkin seeds
  61. Go to the Rochester public market again
  62. Frame my diploma
  63. Go to the George Eastman House
  64. Go to the Rochester Museum & Science Center
  65. Go to the Memorial Art Gallery
  66. Visit a museum in Buffalo
  67. Go to a Buffalo Bills game
  68. Drink hard cider
  69. Try green juice
  70. Buy some cookbooks
  71. Visit my family in PA
  72. Go to Canada
  73. Take a cooking class
  74. Make an ice cream cake
  75. Make homemade salad dressing
  76. Host a dinner party or holiday/themed party
  77. Bake cookies for a friend
  78. Send 10 handwritten notes
  79. Take a self-defense class
  80. Make 10 recipes off Pinterest
  81. Find out my blood type
  82. Go to Delta Gamma Founder’s Day brunch
  83. Get a monogrammed necklace
  84. Take my aunts out to lunch
  85. Go golfing with my grandpa
  86. Perfect the art of making a healthy smoothie
  87. Try Bethenny Frankel’s yoga DVD
  88. Find a bra that actually fits right
  89. Buy a jacket that isn’t black
  90. Do something special to celebrate my and Dan’s anniversary
  91. Visit Erin, Emmi, and Renee in NYC
  92. Make dinner for my parents
  93. Put a 13.1 sticker on my car after completing my first half marathon
  94. See all of The Godfather movies
  95. Read Pride and Prejudice
  96. Write thank you notes after my birthday each year
  97. Learn how to manage money
  98. Buy something off Etsy
  99. Pay for someone who is behind me in line (coffee, lunch, etc.)
  100. Go on a hike
  101. Complete my 101 goals!
  • Do you make New Years resolutions?
  • Do you write down your goals?

Baby, it’s cold outside

22 Jan

This sweet lyric about cold weather isn’t exactly what came to mind when I woke up to this:


My reaction was more like this: nooo @#$%^!  Seeing 5* with a “bitter wind chill warning” calling for temps that feel like -15 made me want to pull the covers over my head for the rest of the day.

After a short internal battle, I got my butt out of bed for the fitmixer Boot Camp Day 9 workout.  Here are some reasons why I am loving this boot camp so far:

1. The workouts are always different.  I feel sore in new muscles everyday.


2.  I’ve already dropped three pounds.

3.  The way I eat is changing – I feel full from less calories and I’m less tempted by foods that aren’t as good for me.


4.  The online community is great.  Everyone is so encouraging and motivating.

5.  I look forward to working out because it’s a new routine.  I even put a half marathon on my calendar and started taking a spin class!

I cannot speak highly enough of the program so far.  It’s also awesome that every workout can be done at home.  I am really glad I decided to do it!

Off to do some schoolwork… hope everyone is having a great day!

On Vacation: To Exercise or Not to Exercise?

27 Jul

As I enjoy a vacation of a lifetime in London, I’ve gotten to thinking about finding that perfect balance between rest and activity while on a trip.  The point of vacation is generally to relax, rejuvenate yourself and take a break from your everyday life.  It’s a time to try new foods, see and do new things, or lay around on the beach.  But should your usual fitness routine go completely out the window?

For me, I generally like to maintain some level of activity while on vacation.  If I completely throw that out the window, I usually end up feeling sluggish and crabby as a result of deviating so far from my typical routine.  However, I also think it’s important to cut yourself some slack.  Sleep in and opt for activity later in the day.  Eat a delicious, but perhaps unhealthy, meal that you might never eat at home.  Enjoy some cocktails at the swim-up bar.  Determine what works best for you and will give you the best vacation, while still making you feel healthy and energized.

Last summer, when I went to Sicily with my parents, I went to the hotel gym almost every morning and got a sweat session in before laying at the pool all day. Yet when I went to Jamaica in March with all of my friends, I worked out once the entire week.  And honestly, it was one of the best weeks ever.  Sure I ate and drank things I would usually skip at home, but it’s a vacation I will never forget.

Chillin’ hard in Jamaica.

While in London, I haven’t gotten any formal workouts in.  However, we have walked between 15,000 and 18,000+ steps every day while sightseeing (love the FitBit!).  It’s not “going to the gym” workouts, but it beats laying on the couch all day.  Additionally, I already feel excited to return to my fitness routine when I get home.  Allowing yourself periods of rest can be the perfect thing for increasing motivation and making future workouts count even more.

Traveling is a great way to expand your horizons, create lasting memories with family and friends and fuel your overall personal health.  Get out there and enjoy the world!


Scared to be Sedentary

10 Jul

Hi friends!

How was everyone’s Monday?


My Monday wasn’t bad at all, but sometimes you just have to complain about that dreaded first day of the week!

I spent today working at my dad’s office.  While working in an office is certainly challenging and thrilling for your mind and brain, I’m realizing more and more how terrible it is for your body.  Eight or more hours spent sitting, hunched over papers or staring at a computer screen?  Not exactly the way we were meant to live.

During the day I do my best to take breaks and walk around, even if its just by getting up to stretch and go to the restroom or fill up my water bottle.  But even when I’m mindful of that, it’s still really hard to move enough.  Two weeks ago I purchased a FitBit (it’s literally the coolest thing ever, I’ll post a review eventually!) and today when I was leaving the office around 5:00 p.m., it informed me that I had barely taken 3,000 steps for the day.  My goal is 10,000 steps per day so I was seriously falling short.


I knew I’d make up for it with an evening run (I’d rather exercise for one hour a day than be dead, thank you!), but I couldn’t help but think about an article I read recently: “Even with exercise, long periods spent sedentary are deemed a health risk.”  So even if I go to the gym every day and get outside for some runs, it doesn’t matter!?

Well, it certainly still matters, but according to this article:

“Sedentary behavior — sitting for long periods of time — is distinct from physical activity and has been shown to be a health risk in itself. Meeting the guidelines for physical activity does not make up for a sedentary lifestyle,” the ACSM said in the first recent overhaul of its comprehensive recommendations.

Great.  This information should really encourage all of us to get moving more!  It’s not always easy, but according to this article even short breaks (1-2 minutes) to move around every 30 to 60 minutes can help.

Quite honestly, this information is what drove me out the door for a run at 7:00 p.m..  I seriously lose motivation to workout as the day goes on, and this post-dinner run was sounding super unappealing.

I walked for one minute to start, then I told myself I only had to run two minutes before I could walk again.  I was totally feeling an easy walk/run combo just to get through it and get home.  But after those two minutes I was feeling good and I didn’t stop to walk again until after 2.5 miles!  The whole workout was a fairly slow jog with some frequent walking breaks in miles 3 and 4, but I was able to cover 4 miles in just over 41 minutes.

I’ll take that!

Schweaty post- run selfie. Gotta have it!

Even though I dreaded every minute of that run before I set out, once I was on the road with the evening sun on my face and Ja Rule Pandora station in my ears (don’t hate) I was feeling good.  And I felt even better once it was over and I was back in my driveway.

Always true.


Time for bed over here!  I’m planning to wake up early tomorrow morning to get a workout in before work so I don’t have a repeat of today’s “to run or not to run” debate after dinner time.  See you tomorrow with a new bread baking victory to share!

Some questions for the night:

  • Do you have a sedentary job or lifestyle?  What are your tricks for moving more?
  • Do you lose motivation to workout as it gets later in the day?