Cardio Intervals & Pasta Night

I’ve been staring at this book in the waiting room intermittently for the past 20 months.  This morning at my ortho appointment, I learned that as of June 26th, my braces will be leaving my mouth forever!  I am looking forward to NOT soaking my almonds before consumption like a 95 year old.  Or being mistaken for a grade 9 student at work.  How about NOT taking 20 minutes to floss my teeth at night?  It will be a joyous moment in life, that’s for certain!

After work, I went to our fitness centre with a coworker and guided her through a workout routine. When we were done, I stayed and did some intervals on our new treadmill!  I rarely work out at the school (usually just go to my membership gym), but we have a great facility and you typically have the whole thing to yourself! I think I’ll have to take advantage more often.

Some of the cardio equipment- pretty sweet for a middle school!

I don’t really like treadmill workouts that prescribe exact speeds and inclines, as individuals vary in their endurance, strength, and overall cardio abilities.  Instead, as with all cardio equipment, I prefer to go through interval training using a “perceived exertion” scale.  There are a variety of standardized exertion scales, but I prefer to use a 10-point… 1 = laying in bed first thing in the morning, 10 = want to throw up you’re busting it so hard!  Here’s the 30 minute interval workout I did today, which can be modified for many different cardio workouts (bike, elliptical, stair master, etc).

I was super pumped to come home to my FOODIE PENPAL delivery!  I can’t reveal the contents of the package until the end of the month, but Betty (my match for the month of May) did a great job.  More to come :)

I’m in dire need of a grocery store trip; this week has been so busy that I haven’t had time for too much.  It’s also been a week of extreme randomness in the kitchen with whatever items that I can find which seemingly go together.  Such was the case once again this evening, in the creation of a veggie pasta dish that turned out not too shabby.  It was even man approved!

“Meatless” Italian Sausage Fusilli


(2-3 dinner servings)

  • (3) Italian-style vegan/vegetarian sausages
  • 2 cups whole grain fusilli pasta
  • 1 medium organic tomato (diced)
  • 1/2 cup white onion (diced)
  • 2 cups mushrooms (sliced)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup organic, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cloves (1 tsp) minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 2 tbsp extra vigin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp low-fat parmesan cheese
  • 2 servings fresh mozzarella cheese (1″ diameter slices)

1. Sautée onion, tomato, onion, mushrooms, spinach, garlic and 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet for 4-5 minutes (olive oil’s flash point is only around 435º, so it’s important not to use heat any higher than medium)!
2. Meanwhile, cook pasta to package instructions.  Also, cook chicken broth over high heat in a small sauce pan until boiling (at which point you should turn down to low).
3. Slice veggie sausages and add to the skillet.  Sautée for another 4 minutes, adding the remaining olive oil and basil.

4. Pour hot chicken broth into skillet (which should still be over medium heat).  

5. Drain pasta thoroughly and add it to the skillet as well.  Let simmer.

6. After a few minutes add the parmesan cheese, making sure to mix it in with your spatula.  When you notice that most of the chicken broth has been absorbed, add your servings of mozzarella to the top of the pasta, allowing it to melty gradually before mixing it throughout.

7.  Once the pasta has absorbed all of the chicken broth, remove from heat, pile onto your plates (enough for 2 very hungry people), and EAT!

It was pretty light and low in fat, as far as pasta dishes go.  I’m definitely not a fan of creamy sauces, or cheese overload, which your waistline probably doesn’t want anyway.  The chicken broth, garlic, basil, and onion give this dish enough taste and don’t leave you feeling like a beached whale (as many/most pastas do to me). Speaking of fatty pasta, check out this one- America’s worst pasta dish at The Cheesecake Factory: Bistro Shrimp Pasta.  It contains 2,730 calories; 78 g saturated fat; 919 mg sodium, or the equivalent to eating 3 sticks of butter!  Yummmmm. It kind of angers me that restaurants can even serve stuff like this to people, without them knowing the extent of their caloric intake.  

Don’t choose me!

Happy Song of the Day:

Don’t Stop: by Foster The People- Good for your resistance training playlist…or a sunny morning commute!

Hope you have a great Friday!

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