Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dinner is Served! Pasta with Spinach-Ricotta Pesto and Seared Filet Mignon

Check out our Pasta with Spinach-Ricotta Pesto and Seared Filet Mignon.  We think you'll love the great combination of flavors in this dish.  Plus, it's always great to "sneak" in a good dose of veggies by making them into a sauce.

We've shared some of our favorite chicken, fish, and beef dishes with you . What would you like to see on the next "What's for dinner? Wednesday?" Share your thoughts with us by posting a comment below:

What's for Dinner? Wednesday

Happy What’s for Dinner? Wednesday!  Since starting “What’s for Dinner? Wednesday,” we’ve made one chicken dish and one fish dish.  Tonight we’re cooking up something completely different:  Pasta with Spinach-Ricotta Pesto and Seared Filet Mignon*.  Usually pesto is made with basil.  This recipe uses spinach as the main green leaf in the pesto sauce.  Pureeing the spinach leaves allows you to enjoy a greater amount of the vegetable without all of the volume.  Your body will thank you for the extra vitamin C, folate, and beta-carotene.
*recipe originally from the July/Aug 2010 edition of Clean Eating

Here’s what you’ll need to make the recipe for you and one lucky guest:

4 oz of whole-wheat pasta (you can pick the variety)
1 clove garlic
½ c fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh spinach
1/4c part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tbsp low-sodium vegetable broth
4 oz filet mignon (or other lean steak)

How to put it all together:

1.     Cook your pasta of choice according to the directions on the package. When it’s done, be sure to drain your pasta well. Set the pasta aside in a serving bowl. 
2.     In a food processor, combine your garlic, parsley, and spinach until you have created a paste.  Next, add the ricotta and vegetable broth and continue to process the mixture until you have a smooth puree.  This is your pesto! Toss your pasta with your pesto sauce.
3.     Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat.  When it’s hot, add your steak.  Sear the steak for about 2 mins per side (your actual cook time will depend on the thickness of the filet and the level of doneness you prefer).
4.     Allow the steak to stand on a cutting board for 3 mins so it can re-absorb its juices.   
5.   Slice your steak and arrange it on top of your pasta.
6.  Enjoy!

Are you planning on trying this dish? Let us know your thoughts on our menu choice and what you think by posting in the comments below:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tighten + Tone Tuesday

Happy Tighten + Tone Tuesday! This week's exercise is the Chair Dip. WHY do we love this one? It's another great exercise for the triceps (back of your arm) and it doesn't require equipment. It's one of the most effective triceps exercises you can complete. According to the American Council on Exercise, the chair dip activates 87% of your triceps. While not the 100% activation seen in the triangle push-up, it's pretty close! 

Ready to continue toning your arms? Sit on the edge of a chair with your hands just outside your hips with your fingers hanging over the edge. Put your feet together and extend your legs out in front of you. Next, move your bum off the bench, while leaving your hands in place. Lower your hips toward the floor until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push back up using your hands rather than your legs, and repeat. To modify, complete with a slight to 90 degree bend in your knees. To make it harder, try with straight legs, with one foot on top of the other, or add a weight to your lap.

Here are some visuals for you:

Modified position for Chair Dip (legs start at 90 degree angle).
Photo source  

Chair Dip at the beach? Why not! Add your beach bag to your lap if this is too easy. Photo source
Did you try the chair dip? What do you think? Share your thoughts by commenting below:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Train your Brain and "Up" your Fitness and Life Game!

It's Monday again! Are you humming with that bluebird on your shoulder or ready to scream at your coworker who is humming? If you are sheepishly admitting that you were the second person in that sentence, we're here to help.  Although we usually offer fitness tips focused on strengthening your muscles, today we're focusing on training the brain.  Last week we blogged about an amazing TED Talk that taught us 5 steps to train the brain to become more positive.  We were all ready to start using these tips ourselves, but never did.  Luckily, today is Monday, the first day of a new week, and time to start over! So today we're going to get serious about training our brains.  We'd love for you to join us and share your experiences.  Over the next 21 days we're going to do the following EVERY DAY:

Train your Brain Daily Routine:
1.) Think about 3 things you're grateful for
2.) Write about one positive experience you've had over the past 24 hrs in your journal
3.) Exercise (we swear we didn't add this in! Working out will teach your brain to become more positive)
4.) Meditating (we'll post a sample meditation starter for those of you who find it hard to just lie down and relax)
5.) Complete random acts of kindness (help a neighbor, friend, or family member out for no reason at all)

Ready? Dust off that cute journal you bought at Barnes and Noble and set aside some time today to reflect on your day, get moving, and surprise people you meet by being helpful.

Why should you do this? If you train your bran to become more positive, you'll be more productive, energetic, intelligent, creative, and beautiful (we added that part but a smile is more attractive than a frown!) than you were just 21 days ago!

Here's the TED Talk for those of you who still think we're just trying to trick you into exercising:

Are you going to take on this challenge with us? Commit to the Train your Brain 21 day challenge by putting it in writing below:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dinner is served! Broiled salmon with Thai Sweet Chili Glaze:

Just finished making and serving this week's "What's for dinner? Wednesday" meal:  Broiled salmon with Thai Sweet Chili Glaze.  I served it over some salad and it was soooo good I couldn't believe the fish was cooked (usually I only eat fish if it's sushi).  Great flavor from the Thai sweet chili sauce and soy sauce mmmmm. We'll definitely make this one again!

Did you try tonight's dish? What did you think? What side(s) did you use to complement your meal? Let us know by posting below:

What's for Dinner? Wednesday

It's Wednesday again and that means you don't have to worry about planning out a dinner tonight because it's time for our "What's for dinner? Wednesday" post where we feature a healthy, minimal time and minimal ingredient meal for you and your family to enjoy.  We'll also post a picture of our work once we've cooked our dinner in case you're like us and don't always get excited about a meal until you see what it looks like (yea, we were "those people" who stared at your meal while we were reading over the restaurant menu....sorry about that)!

Today's recipe* is for Broiled Salmon with Thai Sweet Chili Glaze.  Unlike last week's recipe, it doesn't include any sides.  That just means you can pick your own healthy sides! We're going to make ours over a salad and use up some other veggies that might go moldy in our ridiculously lazy refrigerator -UGH! (but that's another story). We'll leave the ultimate decision on your sides up to you.
*recipe originally from Once Upon a Chef-we always borrow our recipes (although we may change the wording slightly) so we have to give credit where credit is due!

What to pick up from the grocery store:
4 to 6 oz of salmon per person (you decide if you want the skin on, either way it should be fab!)
1/2 a scallion (alias: green onion) per person (to top it off-save for the end)
Marinade Ingredients (listed for ONE person-multiply by the # in the crew you're serving if needed)
1.5 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce 
0.75 tablespoon soy sauce 
0.25 tablespoon fresh ginger (peel and finely grate)

Step by Step Directions:
1.) Do your math and Make your marinade. ***After you make it, marinate the salmon for 1 hr*** Use the ingredients in the list above. The only "real" work needed here is to grate your ginger (the other 2 ingredients come from a jar!).
2.) Place your salmon in the marinade saving some to use for a glaze at the end of cooking and refrigerate your fish for 1 hr .
3.) Catch up on your favorite Bravo shows...clean up a little around the house make your sides while waiting (one thing at a time, people!)
4.) Take out your salmon and place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Pour some of the marinade over the salmon but BE CAREFUL-use only enough marinade to cover the fish. If your marinade is pooling all over the foil it's only going to burn and cause smoke in your kitchen (no, the fish won't appreciate the pool of marinade...hate to break it to you but it's already R.I.P.-ing...).
5.) Broil for 6-10 minutes (this will depend on the thickness of your fish).
6.)  Scatter your scallions (challenge any guests to say that 20 times fast if they want to eat!) on top of your fish and add that marinade you reserved for the occasion.
7.) Arrange with the sides of your choice and prepare to impress (don't forget the tongue twister challenge, though)!

Are you planning on trying this dish? Let us know and if you make it let us know what you and your friends+family think by commenting below:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Get Ready, Get Set, Get HAPPY :) A Confession and a Cool TED Talk about Happiness

First, our confession:
Several years ago we may or may not have told our younger sister (with the help of some friends...peer pressure can be a real b$#@*) that if she ate kitty food she would become a princess kitty.  Regrettably, she tried it but something was wrong with the cat food because she might be pretty darn cool but she never became a princess or a kitty.  

Onto the COOL Ted Talk:
Now that that's off our chest, we wanted to share the TED Talk that reminded us of this hilarious (albeit slightly tragic) story from our childhood.  We'd love to take full credit for finding the talk but the credit really goes to the Happsters who shared the talk today on their blog spot and will teach you 5 tips to get happy in 21 days. We could have just shared the TED Talk, but if you click on THIS link to their page you'll get a great summary of the key points to refer to after you've watched the video (which you REALLY should do because we'd love for you to get a few laughs in while you're learning).

Top 5 reasons to check out the post and the TED Talk:

1. It includes a story with a hilarious childhood confession from another older sibling about back in the day (feel better about yourself and laugh out loud-not bad).
2. You get to learn awesome stats about happiness (sound smarter at your next party).
3. Train your brain without having to pay for hypnosis (or getting sleepy).
4. One of the tips requires you to journal (FINALLY a reason to buy that awesome journal from Barnes and Nobel you always wanted....unless you are like us and already have one or five or ....more....but it's all good because now we know there was a great reason for our purchase).
5. We saved our best reason for last: Exercising is one of the five tips :) 

Get active, get happy, and get social (random acts of kindness up your happiness so sharing this challenge will help you and your friends+fam).

Keep us posted on your 21 day challenge if you take it and how you feel at the end of it by posting below:

Tighten + Tone Tuesday

Another first for Fit Armadillo: Our first Tighten + Tone Tuesday post!  Each Tuesday, we'll describe a different exercise that will help you get tightened and toned.  For the next few weeks, we'll focus on exercises that work the triceps.  The exercises we'll cover will be shown in the order of how effective they are at activating the triceps. As always, check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.  

This week's exercise is the Triangle Push-up. WHY do we love this one? The triangle push-up activates 100% of your triceps (muscles at the back of your arms) while working your shoulders, chest, and abs. And if all that wasn't enough it also requires NO equipment! 

How do you do it? The form for this push-up will be much like that of a regular push-up with a slight twist. Your hands will be closer together to help you target the triceps. To get there, start in push-up position and then walk your hands together to create a triangle shape with your thumbs and fingers. Complete your push-up and repeat 10-15 times. If this is too hard, try walking your feet out a little wider or lowering to your knees
Triangle Push-up
Visual for triangle push-up form. Note wider foot position here (makes push-up easier than with  feet together). Photo from:

Did you try this exercise? What did you think? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dinner is served! Poached Chicken with Nectarine and Green Bean Salad-check it out!

Check out the final product from this week's edition of "What's for dinner? Wednesday."   Described by some as "quite delish." Did you get to make it? If you did share your thoughts. If you know someone who might appreciate this recipe, remember "sharing is caring!" Have a great evening.

What's for Dinner? Wednesday

Good afternoon Fit Armadillo Fans.  Today is the first week of our blog and first Wednesday dinner idea. We've cooked this recipe for dinner several times and love how it's not only healthy but also super fast (20 minutes...yes you read that correctly!).  We're making it tonight since we'll be training, spinning, and training some more but still want to eat healthy when all is said and done! Without further ado I give you tonight's recipe* for

Poached Chicken Breast with Nectarine Green Bean Salad
*recipe originally from Clean Eating May/Jun 2010 (one of our favorite magazines!)

What to pick up on the way home from work (Ingredients for 4 people):
2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
2 sprigs fresh rosemary separated
2 sprigs fresh thyme separated
4 4-oz boneless chicken breast
1 lb. green beans rinsed and ends snipped off
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 sprig fresh basil
2 nectarines pitted and sliced
2 tbsp sliced almonds

Steps to yumminess: (Twenty minutes from start to finish!)

1.) Pour vegetable stock into a large pot and simmer over medium heat. Once simmering add 1 sprig rosemary and 1 sprig thyme. Next, add chicken breast. Make sure your chicken is covered in stock (if not, add water or more stock to accomplish). Partially cover the chicken and simmer until completely cooked (about 8 mins).  If chicken is done, it will release a clear liquid when poked with the tip of a sharp knife.

2) While chicken is cooking, boil water in a separate pot. Once water is boiling, add green beans and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer beans covered for 5 mins. Drain beans and rinse under cool water. Cut cooled beans into quarters.

3) In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, oil, and remaining herbs. 

4) Arrange each  plate with a quarter of nectarine wedges with green beans and almonds on top. Arrange sliced chicken breasts on plate and then drizzle chicken with balsamic mixture.

5) SMILE! Dinner is done in less than 30 minutes!

6) Eat and then share your thoughts with us below:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Greetings from Houston where we're announcing the launch of!

Hello World!

Today is a day of many firsts. Our first blog post, first video post, first tweet, and the launch of our website Fit Armadillo is a mobile fitness business located in Houston, TX that offers fitness at your place and your pace.  We specialize in making fitness accessible by bringing it to you and creating a program that fits your goals and current fitness level.  Our trainers and instructors are certified and insured so you can rest assured that you are in good hands as you start your fitness journey.  In the coming weeks we will be a lot more social and welcome any questions you have about fitness and our services or comments you have about our website.  Thanks for stopping by and we hope to see you on Facebook, Twitter, and (even better) in person sometime soon!