Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dinner is Served! Swai Wrapped with Proscuitto and Arugula

Here's my dinner, Swai Wrapped with Proscuitto and Arugula! It didn't stay wrapped all that well, but I think that's partly due to the fact that the original recipe called for sole or flounder and our grocery store only had Swai.  Even looking more like a sandwich than a role, this What's for Dinner? Wednesday meal was delicious.  Plus, you know what they say-it's all going to the same place anyway! One fish roll clocks in at 150 calories so it's very guilt free and worthy of some of your favorite sides for a more complete meal. For the full recipe, click HERE>>

Want to cook with us next week? Join the Fit Armadillo family and get ingredients lists, my free Goal Setting eBook, and more delivered to your inbox by subscribing HERE>>

What do you think of this dinner? Something you or a friend would enjoy? Not feeling the mixing of the fish and ham? Share your thoughts with a comment below: 

What's for Dinner? Wednesday: Swai Wrapped with Proscuitto and Arugula

This week's What's for Dinner? Wednesday meal pairs a water dwelling animal with a land dwelling one.  Although they never may have met in the wild, when they meet in your mouth you will swear they were meant to be together!  The odd couple I'm speaking of is Swai (fish) and Proscuitto and the meal you'll be cooking up is Swai Wrapped with Proscuitto and Arugula.  This dish has been modified from one that I found in the Weight Watchers book, In No Time Delicious Dishes in 20 Minutes or Less so you know it'll be done in a jiffy.  Ready to try it for yourself? Here's what you'll need:

Ingredients to serve four:

4 1/4 ounce fillets of fish (I used Swai, but if sole or flounder are available, try them for a better wrap!)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 cup packed arugula leaves
4 thin slices proscuitto
cooking spray

Step One:  Spread lemon juice evenly over each filet before sprinkling them with pepper.  Top each piece of fish with arugula and one slice of proscuitto before wrapping them into a roll.

Step Two:  Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat it over medium-high heat.  Place your fish rolls on the skillet and cook them until the fish is done and the meat is lightly browned (about 8 mins).

Remove the fish rolls from the skillet and serve them up with your favorite sides for a complete meal.

Want this ingredient list sent to your inbox earlier in the week? Subscribe to my newsletter HERE>>

What do you think of this meal? Should fish and ham be served together? Subscribe  so we can Share your thoughts with a comment below:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dinner is served! Healthy Taco Salad

Dinner is served and it's a Healthy Taco Salad!  If you're a salad lover, you probably know that the restaurant version of this meal is shamefully high in calories and low in nutrition.  However, the version shared in this week's What's for Dinner? Wednesday meal is under 350 calories.  It's great as a dinner or lunch if you pre-make your tortilla cups.

Interested in testing it out for yourself? Find the full recipe HERE>>

Do you enjoy taco salads? Share your thoughts with a comment below:

What's for Dinner? Wednesday: Healthy Take on Taco Salad

Love taco salad? Did you know it’s often one of the least healthy options on a restaurant menu? Fear not! This week’s What’s for Dinner? Wednesday recipe allows you to enjoy a taco salad without the guilt  served on the side of it’s unhealthy restaurant-made relative.  This recipe is a healthy, done in 10 minutes option suitable for any night of the week.  Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients needed to serve four:

1 bag of your favorite salad greens
4 (6-inch) fat free flour tortillas
cooking spray
1 lb ground chicken breast
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 can black beans and corn
1/4 c Greek yogurt
1/4 c finely chopped red onion
2 tsp grated lime zet
1 tbsp lime juice

Step One: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take out four custard-style oven-proof cups and spray them with cooking spray before placing them on a baking sheet. To make your taco salad’s bowl, gently press one tortilla into each cup before returning the cups to the baking sheet.  When all four are ready, bake until they are crisp and golden brown in color (about 8 minutes).  

Step Two:  While your tortilla bowls cook, spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray to cook your chicken. Add the chicken, salt, and pepper and cook the chicken until it has browned.  It should be ready after around six minutes on the stove.  Next, add your can of corn and black beans and mix it with the chicken to heat it up.  

Step Three: By now your chicken filling and tortillas should both be ready to serve.  Place a bed of lettuce down in your salad bowl and top it with a tortilla bowl that you’ve filled with 1/4 of your chicken filling.  Do this for all tortillas.  

Step Four: Create your Greek Yogurt topping by mixing the yogurt, onion, lime zest, and lime juice in a small bowl.  Top each tortilla bowl with about 1/4 of this topping before serving.  

Enjoy your salad and the crunch of the restaurant version of a taco salad without the added calories when you serve up this meal.  

Do you like Taco Salads? Share your thoughts on this meal idea by posting a comment below:

**This post is part of one of my favorite linkups, the WOW Linkup. See some of the other posts in the linkup by clicking HERE and enjoy an extra healthy Wednesday!**

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tighten + Tone Tuesday: Baseline Assessments that DON'T Use a Scale!

Happy Tighten + Tone Tuesday!  This week you'll assess how tightened and toned you are right now and the best part is you WON'T need a scale to take most measurements (the exception is for males who will need to get on the scale for one optional assessment).

Taking your baseline measurements is a great way to track your progress.  If you have read my Goal Setting eBook, you know that a successful fitness goal must be a SMART goal.  I won't go into too much detail here, because that's what my eBook is for (didn't get yours yet? don't sweat it! it's yours when you subscribe to my newsletter HERE>>). A major part of a SMART goal lies in your ability to be able to Measure your progress as you work towards your goal.  One way to measure your progress towards a fitness goal is to track some body measurements over time.  If you have a fitness goal of "getting healthy", it's a lot harder to see if you've met that goal than if you are measuring your health by your body fat percentage.  The latter will result in a definite yes or no when you ask yourself if you've been successful.

Scales and weight measurements get a bad rep so today's measurements will focus on some other assessments you can complete and that health professionals use to assess patient health. The first assessment is a waist to hip ratio measurement and the second is a body fat percentage measurement.  Both assessments require circumference measurements. The video will explain what your score on each assessment reveals about your current health.  Just as with your old frenemy the scale, don't make these calculations if you don't think they will motivate you. You can always track the basic values from the circumference measurements shared here and compare those over time or take a before picture to track your progress.  Only do what will motivate you!

Ready to get some baseline measurements so you can see how awesome you are in a few weeks? Check out this week's video here:

Do you think you'll try these assessments? Do you prefer the scale? Share your thoughts with a comment below and please share this video if you found it helpful.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dinner is Served! Nutty Salmon

This week for What's for Dinner? Wednesday I taught you how to make some salmon absolutely nuts!  How do you do it? You don't need to become a salmon tamer (or de-tamer?) to enjoy nutty salmon. All you need to do is paint the pre-cooked fish with a special sauce that will help it hold onto some crushed pistachio pieces.

The results of this nut-covered salmon is a delicious meal even my dad enjoyed!  As a chef you'll definitely enjoy the quick stove-to table time (20 minutes or less).  Ready to go nuts at dinner? Check out the full recipe HERE>>

Want to have the ingredients for next week's recipe delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to my newsletter HERE>>

This post is part of the WOW (Workout Wednesday) Linkup.  To check out other fitness related posts, visit the Linkup Page on Femme Fitale Fitale by clicking HERE>>

Have you ever had a salmon dish like this? Would you try it or is it too crazy for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Share them with a comment below: 

What's for Dinner? Wednesday: Nutty Salmon

It’s What’s for Dinner? Wednesday!  This Wednesday I’m sharing a recipe that I originally found in the May 2014 Fitness Magazine, but adapted slightly to my own liking. It's a recipe for Nutty SalmonIt received a rave review from my dad when I cooked it for my parents a few weeks back.  He’s pretty picky, so I’m pretty confident that you’ll agree that it’s good as well. But, don’t take his word for it! Try it out yourself.  It should cook up in about 10 minutes. The overall prep time is minimal so you can expect to have this dinner on the table in 20 minutes or less.  Here are the ingredients that you’ll need to get the job done and feed 4 people:

Cooking spray
1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios, finely chopped
4 tsp Dijion mustard
2 tsp organe zest
1 tbsp orange juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 6-oz salmon fillets

Find a side of veggies you love and a starch (we had green beans and potatoes) and get ready to cook up your fish.  

Step One: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees so it will be ready to cook your fish.  

Step Two: To make your salmon nutty, you’ll need something to help hold those green nuggets of goodness on the fish.  Grab a small bowl and mix together your Dijion mustard, orange zest, orange juice, salt, and pepper.  Then brush the mix onto your fish. Once your pistachios are chopped, press them onto the flesh of the fish and you’ll be ready to make that salmon totally nuts.

Step Three:  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place your salmon on top (make sure it’s skin side down).  Cook your fish in your oven for 10 minutes or until it is cooked through.  

And that’s it! With the nuts and the salmon, this dish packs a great punch of omega-three fatty acids.  

Do you plan on cooking with us? What do you think of this recipe?  Share your thoughts with a comment below:  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tighten + Tone Tuesday: How to Perform a Dip

Another week, another Tighten and Tone Tuesday! The last few Tuesdays, I created some videos to help you set up your home gym.  Check out the first one HERE>> and the second one about selecting free weights for your home gym HERE>> .

When I help my personal training clients set up their home gyms, I always focus on solutions that work for a limited budget.  That's why I love the dip, the exercise featured in today's video.  A dip is an exercise you can perform without any equipment. All you need is a chair because you're working against your own bodyweight. This video shows three progressions for the move that targets your triceps (the back of your arms).  The video also offers an additional tip for increasing the move's intensity in between levels.

Learn how to perform a dip yourself by watching the video:

Do you perform dips as part of your current fitness routine? What do you think of the move? Share your thoughts with a comment below: 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dinner is served! Gnocchi with Pesto

Hello, friends! This week for What's for Dinner? Wednesday I shared a recipe for Gnocchi with Pesto.  Wondering what gnocchi looks like?  I say it looks like a bunch of cute little pasta kisses that taste as yummy as they look.  See what you think by checking out the bowl of gnocchi pictured above.  This recipe is a great way to start with a healthy 2014 goal because you can have this meal on the table in 10 minutes or less.  Want to learn how to cook it yourself? Check out the full recipe HERE>>

Missed out this week? Make sure you get on the A-List, The Fit Armadillo E-mail List that is! Enjoy receiving the ingredients for each recipe in your inbox on Mondays so you can get cooking with us on Wednesdays each week.  Sign up HERE>>

Did you cook some pasta kisses of your own tonight? What do you think of this recipe idea? Share your thoughts with a comment below: 

What's for Dinner? Wednesday: Gnocchi with Pesto

We're one week into 2014!  If you've been thinking about working on your eating habits this year, you've come to the right place.  Every Wednesday at Fit Armadillo is What's for Dinner? Wednesday where I share one of my favorite recipes. This Wednesday, I'm also joining in on the Workout Wednesday Linkup.  I learned about the linkup from Diatta Harris, one of the awesome ladies from the Twelve Days of Fitness Blog Challenge that I hosted.  Visit her page HERE>> to learn more about the WOW Linkup.

For those of you new to my page, I'm going to be totally transparent, I'm not a chef! I'm just a personal trainer who likes cooking healthy.  All of my recipes are modified from ones made by real chefs. They are recipes that I enjoy, that are healthy, and that are easy to make. Because remember, I'm not a chef! Like, seriously not a chef. Like, I've almost cut the index finger on my left hand off three times not a chef. So you're in good hands, know what I mean! I'm not going to have you slaving away in the kitchen

Speaking of not slaving away in the kitchen, this week's recipe will take ten minutes or less to complete.  That's because tonight's meal is Gnocchi with Pesto!  Haven't had gnocchi before? Neither had I until the Christmas holidays. It's a delicious pasta that reminds me of a dumpling without any filling.  Super delicious! Ready to try it out? Here are the ingredients you'll need:

Ingredients for Gnocchi with Pesto for 4:

1 (17.5 oz) package fresh gnocchi
3/4 cup chopped parsley
3/4 cup chopped basil
3 tbsp Parmesan
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp capers
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

How to put it all together:

Step One:  Open up your package of gnocchi and admire those cute little pasta pillows.  Check the box for your cooking directions and set up up a pot to boil with the correct amount of water for your batch.  

Step Two: While your gnocchi are enjoying a lovely soapless bubble bath (Please don't put soap in your pot! Unless, of course one of your kids was being bad. Then just add the soap in for a small batch at the end. Kidding! Kidding!), make your pesto.  All you have to do is combine the remaining ingredients and mix them together in your food processor until they form a sauce (about 2 mins).

Step Three: By the time your pesto is done, your pasta should be ready! Drain out the water and introduce the two.  Divide up your final product among four bowls and enjoy a delicious dinner for less than 300 calories. Serve with your choice of veggies or a great big salad for a complete meal. 

And that's it! Told you it would be easy.  This recipe was adapted from one in the Weight Watchers book, In No Time Delicious Dishes in 20 Minutes or Less.  

Are you going to cook with us tonight? Wanted to join in, but didn't have time to go to the store? Make sure to sign up for my newsletter so you'll always get the list of ingredients at the beginning of the week by clicking HERE>> Have you ever tried gnocchi? Share your thoughts with a comment below and share this recipe if you enjoyed it!: 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tighten+Tone Tuesday: How to Perform the One Exercise You MUST Have in Your Fitness Routine

Happy Tighten + Tone Tuesday! This Tuesday I have a special video for you that is going to teach you the one exercise you MUST have in your fitness routine if you don't already.  It's not something that requires a lot of equipment. In fact, you can perform the full version just about anywhere. I say just about anywhere because it wouldn't work when you're skydiving and might be hard to complete underwater and maybe a few other extreme examples. However, I'm 99.9% sure that after watching this video, you'll be able to complete the exercise wherever you currently are right now.

Why is it so awesome? Here are a few reasons:

1. You can perform it anywhere*.
2. It targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps but also works your core muscles so it's basically a full body exercise in and of itself.
3. You can learn how to perfect it in secret and then impress your friends and family!

Curious as to what exercise I'm talking about? Check out the video and two modifications here:


Because, you may not have seen this on the image for the video above.  The exercise I'm sharing with you today is the push-up.

Can you do a full push-up yet? Are you ready to work on yours? Share your thoughts with a comment below:

Monday, January 6, 2014

Music from 2013 to Motivate You During Your First Monday Workout of 2014

Happy Monday!  

With 2013 behind us and the first Monday of 2014 here, today is going to be one of the busiest workout days of the year.  When you're on that treadmill trying to get in your 30 minutes without hitting stop as the "next in line" gym member paces back in forth behind you, you're going to need some music to keep you focused.

What better way to give a nod to 2013 while beginning to kick major butt in 2014 than filling up your mp3 player (not all of us have iPods) with some music from the past year to motivate you? I can't think of a better way myself.  Relive some of the moments from 2013 that these songs remind you of (good and bad) and get ready to rev up that cardio machine.

My list of music from 2013 to motivate you during your first Monday Workout of 2014 (in random order):

1. "Roar" ~ Katy Perry

Lyrics to Sweat to: 

"You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready 'cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion..." 

Motivational memo:

Whatever held you down in 2013, forget it, brush off that dust and show it that you've had enough! In 2014 you're going to be a champion with a ROAR to prove it!

2.  "Work, B*tch" ~ Britney Spears

Lyrics to sweat to (make sure you have a radio edited version!):

"You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti?
You want a Maserati? You better work bitch
You want a Lamborghini? Sippin' martinis?
Look hot in a bikini? You better work bitch
You wanna live fancy? Live in a big mansion?
Party in France?
You better work b*tch, you better work b*tch"

"Don't stop now, just be the champion
Work it hard, like it's your profession"

"No time to quit now, just time to get it now"

Motivational memo:

If you want something, you have to work for it! No stopping, no quitting, make it your profession until you reach your goal. Keep working it in the gym to get that hot body and be ready for your bikini in 2014!

3. "Blurred Lines" ~ Robin Thicke 

Lyrics to Sweat to:

"What do they make dreams for
When you got them jeans on
What do we need steam for
You the hottest b*tch in this place
I feel so lucky..."

Motivational Memo:
Keep that cardio up and keep banging out those squats so they won't need dreams or steam when you enter the room!

4.  "TKO" ~ Justin Timberlake

Lyric to Sweat to:

"Baby, everyday you're training to get the gold
That's why your body's crazy"

Motivational Memo:

Work those workouts like you're training to get the gold. Every second counts!

5.  "Alive" ~Krewella

Lyrics to Sweat to:

"Meet me under shining lights,
I've been waiting right here all my life
Feelings you can't deny that you're living, open up your eyes
And I just wanna sink into your crazy laughter
Come on make me feel until the pain don't matter
Every second here makes my heart beat faster
Finally think I found what I'm chasing after."

Motivational Memo:

With an upbeat pace your heart will beat faster during this song.  Enjoy your workout and how alive you feel during it. Keep any pain or bad experiences from 2013 out of sight and out of mind and get ready to enjoy living in 2014.

That's my roundup of songs from 2013 that motivate me to workout.  How about you? Do you agree? Is there something I'm missing? Share your thoughts with a comment below:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Twelve Days of Fitness Blog Challenge: Day Twelve

Today is Day Twelve of the Twelve Days of fitness Blog Challenge! That means it's the last day.  I'm a personal trainer who created the challenge to get fellow bloggers moving during the busy holiday season and let me tell you, these bloggers did and AWESOME job!  Read about their journeys at the bottom of each of my blog posts from the last twelve days:

Day One>>
Day Two>>
Day Three>>
Day Four>>
Day Five>>
Day Six>>
Day Seven>>
Day Eight>>
Day Nine>>
Day Ten>>
Day Eleven>>

Would you have enjoyed this challenge? I'm keeping the Facebook group I created for the bloggers open through January 17th and you're more than welcome to join and post your workouts.  The link to join is HERE>>

Wondering how I finished the challenge? Here's my workout:

This morning I got in a quick 3 mile run and Yoga class (I definitely enjoyed taking my share of fitness classes during the challenge before going back to teaching myself for 2014!) It was absolutely gorgeous out this morning and I feel very lucky to be in Houston, TX where I'm able to run without dealing with icy conditions like my friends and family in New England do!

After class, a new personal training client consult (woo hoo!), and a quick lunch, I set up the Twelve Days of Fitness Challenge Live Workout.  I had La'Shandra join in on the fun and we both definitely worked up a sweat.  With all the busyness of the AM I forgot to throw on my heart rate monitor, but I know we did a great job!

Google Hangouts was able to connect us even though I am in Texas and she is in Virginia!  Her son, Jacob, also joined in on the fun! I love when moms are able to involve their kids in healthy habits and Jacob is the cutest and most handsome almost 3 yr old I've even seen :)

Thanks again to everyone who completed this blog challenge!  I wish you the best as you continue to work towards your fitness goals in 2014 and will definitely be checking in on your blogs to see how you're doing.  

This week at Fit Armadillo is a busy one with personal training consults in Houston and online.  If you are interested in learning more about working with me, visit my website by clicking HERE>>

The first online group fitness program of 2014 will start Monday January 20th. Learn more HERE>>

Online personal training starts after our initial consultation! I'd be happy to set you up so you can get in shape without having to fight someone for a treadmill this year.  Just send me an e-mail through the "Contact" button on the bottom right of this page.

Wish you a healthy, happy 2014 from Fit Armadillo!

For more fitness inspiration check out some posts from fellow blog challenge members:
Diatta tells us about her Day 12 and 2014 goals HERE>>
Nadya shares her workout HERE>>
La'Shandra checks in after our workout together HERE>>

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Twelve Days of Fitness Blog Challenge: Day Eleven

Today, January 4th is the Eleventh Day of the Twelve Days of Fitness Blog Challenge.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day here in Houston, TX with a high of 67 degrees! Hardly what this former New Englander is used to this time of year. However, I can tell it is January and the start of the New Year because I've had inquiry after inquiry for personal training.  It's been a busy day for sure. I'm so excited to start working with all of my new clients online and in person.  Interested in starting your own fitness routine? I still have a few spots left.  Sign up for your initial complementary consultation by clicking HERE to e-mail me.

My Day Eleven Workout:

Today was a busy day and my muscles were feeling pretty sore from the week and filming some video clips so I decided to take it easy. I snuck in a two mile run and a Yoga class with one of my favorite instructors.  His class is a great combo of Yoga and some Tai Chi and his meditation period at the end of class really helps me focus (at least for a few hours-keeping it going is something I need to work on in the new year).

Wondering what the rest of the challenge members were up to day? Read up:
Diatta was at bootcamp today! Read more HERE>>
Tonya is a great nurse for her hubby and sneaks in a workout quickie. Check it out HERE>>
Dyson works out from home and does some meal planning HERE>>
La'Shandra shares her workout HERE>
Cathy shares a few days worth of workouts HERE>>
Nadya's Day eleven is HERE>>

Friday, January 3, 2014

Twelve Days of Fitness Blog Challenge: Day Ten

I can't believe it's already Day Ten of the Twelve Days of Fitness Blog Challenge! I've had a great time getting to know all the wonderful members in the challenge and hear about their workouts and I hope you have too! Everyone is very inspirational and has tackled the task in a different way.  To learn more about the challenge that started on Christmas Day click HERE>>

My Day Ten Workout:
For my Day Ten workout I decided to give my legs a break and get in a swim.  After spraining my ankle just before Thanksgiving I did a LOT of swimming, but I hadn't been in the pool at all this week so I figured I should get back in before I got a little too crazy about running too soon.

I timed my workout so I could enjoy a 30 minute swim and then cool down with some Yoga.  I swam freestyle the whole time and was very thankful for my new polyester bathing suit.  After lamenting to my mom about my old tankini that had become to worn for the pool, she brought me to a real swim suit store and hooked me up (boy am I glad I didn't go to Target to buy another cheap one before heading home)!

learned a lot from the ladies at Beach Party Swimwear in Middletown, RI:

1.) Buy a polyester swimsuit! Apparently most swimsuits are not polyester and if left in a swimming pool for 24hrs they will completely breakdown. Sounds pretty extreme and not something I want to test, but I do believe it.

2.) Every wrinkle = 1 lb: Buy a swimsuit that really fits your body or you'll be adding extra weight and drag in the pool (makes sense).

3.) Suits need suds too: After a swim get in the shower and scrub up with your suit on to get out extra chlorine to help your suit last longer.

Wondering what the rest of the challenge members were up to this Friday? Visit there blogs with a click below:

Diatta gives us a shout out after a run through China! Check it out HERE>>
Dyson has another hilarious encounter at the gym today. Check it out HERE>>

What was your workout today? Share with a comment below:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Twelve Days of Fitness Blog Challenge: Day Nine

Today was Day Nine of the Twelve Days of Fitness Blog Challenge.  To learn all about the challenge check out the post where it was introduced HERE>>

My Day Nine Workout:

I completed a three mile run this morning, but forgot to charge my new fitness toy last night so I have no proof of that. However, my husband was ready to go to the gym at 5 PM so I was able to tag along and check out Cardio Kickbox tonight.  My heart rate monitor was charged and ready for that.  I had to put it on before I left and didn't take it off right at the end of class, but here's a little overview from the Polar Loop software:

Wondering what the other members of the Twelve Days of Fitness Blog Challenge were up to today?  Check out their blog posts:

Diatta shares her Days 8 and 9 HERE>>
La'Shandra shares her Day 9 and a delicious smoothie recipe HERE>>
Dyson cracks me up with her early morning "accident" HERE>
Nadya is back in the pool for some Deep Water Aerobics HERE>>
Tonya is back in the saddle and talks some Spin HERE>>
Christy shares the poses from her Yoga routine and a cool Yoga challenge HERE>>

What was your workout today? Share your thoughts with a comment below:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dinner is served! Argentinian Flatbread Pizza

This Wednesday's dinner at Fit Armadillo was Argentinian Flatbread Pizza.  It takes a little time to wait around for the dough to rise, but the result is nothing less than scrumptious.  As is this flatbread is vegetarian, however, you can add your favorite meat to make it a more substantial dish.  Chock full of veggies and fresh herbs, one sixteenth of this flatbread is less than 150 calories.  To see the full recipe click HERE>>

Did you try this pizza? What do you think? Share your thoughts with a comment below:

Twelve Days of Fitness Blog Challenge: Day Eight

Happy New Year! I don't know about you, but I can't believe that it is 2014 already.  Today is first day of the Twelve Days of Fitness Blog Challenge for 2014. To learn more about the challenge view the initial post HERE>> or join our group by clicking HERE>>

My Day Eight Workout:

I started 2014 out by heading to the gym to take cardio kickboxing at 8:30 AM.  For some reason the gym decided to hold all of its classes through noon, but close at 6 PM tonight. Personally, I'd think it would make more sense to open late on New Year's Day, but guess that's just me.  Unfortunately, I got caught up on the phone before leaving and ended up making it to the gym at 8:40 AM. When I got there, no one was kickboxing.  I did see the Yoga instructor who teaches after the cardio class and chatted with her. She said no one showed up.  So I decided to get in a 3 mile run on the treadmill and do a little weight training before Yoga.

I really love this Yoga instructor because she has us practice the same poses for 4 weeks and gives us a copy so we can work on them at home.  Here's our latest sequence:

We have been practicing Warrior I, II, and II, tree pose, triangle, reverse triangle, and side planks as part of this month's sequence.

I didn't feel tired when I went to the gym, but when I got back all my 2013-2014 celebrating got to me and I had to take a little cat nap.  Now that I'm rested, I'm ready to tackle some of my own New Year's Resolutions like cleaning up and unpacking after the holidays.  All I have to do is find a good playlist so it doesn't seem as boring!

Did you workout today? What was your workout? Share your thoughts with a comment below: 

Wondering what the rest of the Twelve Days of Fitness Bloggers were up to today? Check out their progress by clicking on the links to their posts:

La'Shandra shares her workout and 2014 resolutions HERE>>
Nadya is in "beast mode" on her day one of 2014. Read more HERE>>
Dyson is overcoming an injury, but still got in a 2 mile walk. Read on HERE>>
Tonya runs her first 5K of 2014 with her family. Read more HERE>

What's for Dinner? Wednesday: Argentinian Flatbread Pizza for a Healthy Day One of 2014!

Last month seemed to be a month of pizza. At the beginning of the month, I hosted a giveaway contest for a Seasons 52 gift card good for one flatbread pizza. Last week, I was enjoying my favorite pizza of all time at Pizzeria Regina’s in Boston, Massachusetts.  Somehow, I still can’t get enough of this tasty meal so to start the New Year, I’m sharing with you one of my favorite flatbread pizza recipes of all time.  

The recipe is for Argentinian Flatbread Pizza and was originally published by Cooking Light.  I’ve saved this recipe for New Year’s Day because you’ll be making your own dough and that can be a little too time-intensive for a normal weeknight. However, if you have today off today the dough making process shouldn’t interfere with your schedule. Use the hour it takes for the dough to rise to enjoy a little cat nap to feel ready to go back to work tomorrow because you're well rested and well fed.  

The ingredients listed below allow you to make the flatbread base, a black bean spread topping, and roasted red peppers in your own kitchen. If you are short on time, you’re more than welcome to buy your own dough and/or roasted peppers.  I won’t judge!  

Read on to find out what you’ll need to make this delicious flatbread and the black bean spread:

Black Bean Spread Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 - 15  oz can black beans, rinsed and drained 
1 - 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained

Flatbread Base and Topping Ingredients:

1 red bell pepper
1 tbsp cornmeal
Cooking spray
1 tbsp yeast
1/8 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp garlic, minced

How to make your delicious flatbread pizza:
*If making your own Roasted Red Peppers, preheat the broiler now

Step One: To save time, make your flatbread dough first.  You’ll need your yeast, sugar, half a cup of warm water, and a bowl.  Pour the water in the bowl and use it to dissolve the yeast and sugar.  Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes so the yeast wakes up, gets something to eat, and gets ready to make the CO2 that will allow your dough to rise (did I mention I used to teach Biology? we had  a whole lab about yeast. It was a lot of fun except for when it came time to grade lab reports….).  

Step Two: While you’re waiting on your yeast, get your flour ready.  If you live someplace humid, like, oh, I don’t know, Houston, TX, try to measure the flour with a kitchen scale.  It will come out a LOT more scrumptious.  Once you have your three cups ready, add them, another half cup of warm water, and salt to your yeast mixture.  Stir it up until you’ve made flatbread dough.  Plop that bad boy in your bread machine if you have one (if you don't have one, you need to get on that-best kitchen gadget eva!).  If you don’t have a bread machine yet, get ready to get a little sticky.  Add some flour to a clean surface where you can knead your dough.  You’ll want to work on it for about 10 minutes so that it is smooth and flexible.  

Step Three: Set your dough up to do it’s thing! Find a bowl that could fit two balls of your flatbread dough and coat it with cooking spray.  Place your smooth ball of dough in the bowl, cover it, and place it in a warm place for about 1 hr or until it grows to double it’s original size. 

Before you take your nap, take the time to prepare the Black Bean Spread and Roasted Red Peppers by moving on to Step Four. Or don't-it takes about 1 minute to make the spread and 12 mins of cooking time to make the peppers...

Step Four: Make your Roasted Red Peppers. If you have the time, this will save you some good $$ since it's a lot cheaper to make your own that to buy pre-made peppers.  All you need to do is make sure your broiler is heated up and find a pepperCut the pepper in half lengthwise and remove any seeds and white sections.  Then line a baking sheet with tin foil and place the pepper halves on top skin side up.  Press on the peppers with your hand to flatten them and then pop them in the broiler for 12 minutes.  When they’re done they’ll be slightly blackened.  Put your freshly roasted red peppers in a zip-lock bag and seal them for 10 minutes before cutting them into smaller strips.  

Step Four point Five: Make your Black Bean Spread while your peppers are cooking or hanging out.  All you need to do is put your beans, onion, and tomatoes in a blender and whip them up until the original parts can’t be distinguished from one another.  You’ll only need 1.5 cups for the pizza so measure that out and then save the rest for a healthy dip!

Step Five: Back to business and flatbread time.  Check on your dough and if it has risen enough, preheat your oven to 450 degrees to get it ready.  Then, find a baking sheet and sprinkle your cornmeal on top.  Take your dough and roll it out to a 14 x 11 inch size before placing it on your baking sheet.  Then, get your 1.5 cups of designated Flatbread Black Bean Spread and spread it over dough. Sprinkle the top of the flatbread with your Parmesan cheese before putting it in the oven to bake at 450° for 13 minutes.

Step Six: While your flatbread is cooking, make your chimichurri drizzle. To do this, place your parsley and the remaining ingredients in bowl and mix to combine them.

Step Seven:  When your flatbread is done cooking in the oven, drizzle your freshly made chimichurri mixture on top. Cut up a slice and top it with your freshly (or store fresh) roasted red peppers.

Have you ever made your own flatbread pizza? Is planning on cooking this recipe a New Year’s Resolution you’d keep? Share your thoughts below and enjoy your first day of 2014!