Wednesday, March 6, 2013

FitGirlDC Circuit Workout #1

With DC closing from this "snow" today and getting my paper completed for class, I figured what better to do with my first few free hours of time then write a a new post.

So, with quitting my gym membership to save some money right now and lack of of time to do crazy long work outs, I have jumped on the circuit work out band wagon.  Circuit workouts are a great way to get a full body work out in less time and can basically be performed anywhere you have room to lay down in comfortably.

My circuit work out combines cardio and calisthenic like wight training. I think it's fun, but maybe because I am a freak. I also feel sore still the next day after I do it, so I know it works. I perform the circuit 2x and it takes around 35 minutes.

See the list of exercises below in the first FitGirlDC Circuit Workout:

Unfortunately I don't have video yet of this work out, but I am hoping to get one soon... stay tuned....

I will also be coming up with some other circuits because doing the same thing all the time can be boring, but this one is working for now, so until then, try this :)

In the meantime, feel free to email me any questions and I will do my best to answer them.  Good luck!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Spaghetti (sketti) Squash Marinara - DeLish Recipe

After shamelessly watching far too many episodes of Diners, Drive Ins, & Dives, Guy Fieri finally visits The Pit Stop in Merrick, NY and demonstrates something healthy that looked so delicious I had to immediately go look up the recipe online to try and make it myself.   They coined it "Tony's spaghetti squash primavera"which I have now turned into fitgirldc sketti squash marinara.

Pre-blog post warning - this is so yummie you may need to make it immediately after reading this post .... and the recipe makes a lot so you will have food for 2 people for at least 3+ meals.

Also - as this is the fitgirldc blog and not the pitstop - I have improvised a bit on this recipe and posted my version here.


1 Spaghetti Squash
1 Zucchini
1 Red/ Green/ Yellow Pepper
chopped brocoli
1 White Onion
chopped Asparagus
chopped mushrooms
chopped carrots
ground turkey meat
other optional add ins: other squash, eggplant, cauliflower
Herbs: oregano, basil, & per usual salt + pepper to taste
1 Jar Marinara sauce
Fresh Mozzarella
3 Cloves Garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Parmesan cheese
1.Split spaghetti squash and remove seeds (see pic example)
2. Add squash to large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes
3. Dice all other vegetables
4. In a large pan heat extra virgin olive oil and add onions and garlic. Sautee until soft.
5. Add all other vegetables and herbs to pan; add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Brown turkey meat
7. Remove spaghetti squash from pot and let cool.
8. Using a fork, scrape the inside of the squash into a large bowl. Keep the shell.
9. In the bowl with the squash, combine the sauteed vegetables and 3/4 of the sauce.

10. Add the squash-vegetable-sauce mix back into the shell - if you were able to keep intact and top with thick slices of fresh mozzarella and the remainder of the sauce --> Bake the filled squash shells on a baking sheet for 10 minutes at 350°  

For the record, I have made this both ways, when I have ruined the shell and was off eating soo much cheese I made it without broiling the mozzarella on top and it was still delishious and probably a little more nutritious.  The picture, with all the amazing melty cheeeezzzeee is also fantastic, but if you ruin the outer shell (or boat) can be hard to do.

Side Note: as this is gluten free - can also be made dairy free by just removing all the cheese or vegetarian by omitting the meat.  One of the best things about this recipe is how versatile it is and can be made to your specific taste liking.

Let me know if you make it what you think!!!!  or you as always, you can email me with any questions at :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fitness Fun - the Great Falls

So, with weather promising to be uncharacteristically nice for January, one of my friends and I decided to trek up the VA side of Great Falls for hike. The experience did not disappoint. We found ourselves giggling our way through our hike, impressed by the creepy fog rolling in over the water, and both resolved in our New Year's plans for the first time that we can remember.

One of my favorite things about hiking is that you are working out without even realizing that your body is "working".  The terrain is constantly changing, depending on the trail you take and it keeps your muscles guessing what they will have to do next to keep you up.  I was even surprisingly sore the next day from our journey,  I guess its been a little while since I have used some of those muscles.

A 150 lb person can burn up to 440 calories an hour hiking. However, the benefits last way beyond that because not only is this an aerobic activity, but you are also doing a lot for stability and building more muscle, so your metabolism will stay revved way beyond the work out as you recover.  And, most hikes last more than an hour so just multiple the amount of time you are out there by calories burned - you can use calorie counters for exercise like these:

Another great benefit of hiking in the mental clarity it provides.  You get to look at pretty landscapes, try and avoid misplaced rocks/ roots, and take a breath of fresh air - pardon the pun in that corny line.  But seriously, hiking is a great way to get lost in thought or the pretty picture of nature set out in front or behind you and leave feeling just relaxed.

I cannot wait for spring time and nicer weather to be able to take more advantage of some of the hiking that the DMV has to offer.

Monday, January 7, 2013

FitGirlDC's Healthy/ Delicious Mac & Cheese Recipe

So, I wasn't feeling great this weekend and realized that all I wanted to make me feel better was some comfort food.  I couldn't think of any comfort food better than mac and cheese, but with my new year’s resolution to eat healthier in general, I couldn't possibly think of a way to make this classic comfort dish any healthier.  So I hit the pinterest boards for some (p)inspiration and inspiration and recipe ideas are what I found.

As you will see in my recipe - which follows below I took some different components from each of the above recipes to make my own healthy version of mach and cheese. 

Although this mac and cheese was more of a mac and cheese + veggie casserole, it was super delicious and hit the spot. This would be a great meal anytime and freezes/ reheats really well.

The recipe is very healthy and makes approximately 6 servings or only around 350 calories a serving!!

-          Healthy pasta (any kind really works well like barilla plus, or whole grain shells, I used Quinoa Shells)
-          2 cups skim milk
-          1 tbs butter
-          Approx. 1 cup chicken stock
-          Some spray butter
-          3 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
-          3 oz. shredded gruyere
-          Head of cauliflower
-          Chopped onion & garlic
-          Chopped red pepper
-          Frozen package of spinach
-          Chopped broccoli
-          ¼ cup of four
-          Dash of salt/ pepper/ paprika/ nutmeg
-          Some breadcrumbs

Boil water for pasta and cook the pasta, strain and set aside

Steam cook the cauliflower ( I chop it as small as I can and put in a large microwave safe bowl, the cook for 2 ½ min intervals until the cauliflower is soft and fully steamed.  Put the cauliflower in a blender with ½ cup of the milk and about a tsp. of spray butter and some salt and pepper.  Blend until the mixture is smooth and almost liquefied.

Stir fry the onions and garlic in butter until almost cooked, add some chicken stock, when that reduces add peppers and broccoli and stir fry another minute adding the rest of the chicken stock.  Add the flour and milk to start creating the roux.  Add salt/ pepper/ paprika/ nutmeg to your taste.  Add the defrosted frozen spinach and mix.  Add in the cheese slowly and stirring continuously so that the mixture can melt the cheese evenly.

Finally, add in the pasta and stir again until all the pasta is covered and mixed into the sauce.

Transfer the mixture from the pan to a pre-sprayed cooking dish.  Put the bread crumbs – mixed with some parmesan cheese if you like on top (you will notice I tried to put some string cheeses on the top – I wouldn't recommend so I haven’t added to the recipe, it didn't melt as well as I had hoped into the top).  Cook in the oven at 350 for approximately 20 minutes and VOILA – healthy yummie veggie mac and cheese casserole.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments on the recipe at:

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Prepping for the Party

While we are all in the midst of last minute planning, obsessing, and sorting out everything for the big night out that somehow new years has become synonymous with, we can't forget that the next day often results in the aftermath: the inevitable hangover.

To learn how to start this New Year right while still having fun boozing and not being left feeling hung over the next day, then first we have to understand what a hangover is, and not the movie.  A hangover is the result of alcohol consumption in excess of what the body can properly metabolize.  It can result from a number of reasons including dehydration, the liver’s inability to rid itself of the poisons in alcohol, too much sugar when drinking, and if you don't have the enzyme to metabolize alcohol. 

Your hangover may resemble the feeling you imagine of what its like to be hit by a bus.  Maybe you have a headache that is pounding so hard you think your head might implode, or your stomach feels like it has been replaced by an active volcano, or any thought makes you so sad you can't understand or explain it.  All of these things clearly are not a desirable way to feel - and with that, let’s move on to my healthy suggestions of how to avoid these terrible symptoms or how to cure them if they do occur:

How to AVOID the hangover:
 - Drink water before, during, and after you are done drinking alcohol (keeps you properly hydrated)
 - Eat a hearty, well balanced meal prior to drinking, interestingly enough I just learned a meal that includes asparagus of all things (thanks E! Entertainment for that tidbit) is a great addition to your meal.  Other recommended dishes might include pizza, pasta, subs and other well balanced dishes of grains, vegetables, and protein.
 - Don’t mix too many different forms of alcohol, and when in doubt, choose clear alcohols over darker colored ones.

How to CURE the hangover:
 - Surprise, surprise --> drink more water
 - Drink a glass of juice, the fructose in fruit juices helps yours body rid itself of the excess alcohol toxins it's fighting.
 - As simple as it may sound, sleep and a showers can really help as well
 - Often drinking a bloody mary will help because the spicy combo of  new alcohol for your body to play with and vegetable juice with antioxidants and vitamins help replenish your system
 - Eat protein and vitamin rich foods - sorry everyone (including myself) that wants to reach for yummie greasy fries and food, but this can actually worsen your hangover, especially if you have the volcanic stomach kind.

I hope these simple suggestions help you all enjoy your best new year of partying yet! :)  CHEERS!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's Time

I finally am going to rededicate myself back to this blog.  The stress of a full time job, full time school, marathon training, and the holidays is now finally at a standstill.  

Over the December holiday's, unlike most of you who celebrate with your family, I usually take the time to be solo and do as little as possible.  This year was not any different, except my mom came to interrupt for a few days. 

One of my nothing activities includes reading the abundance of magazines I subscribe to that I don't have time the rest of the year to read.  As I was going through each health and fitness magazine, I couldn't help but recognize a trend for "how to indulge without the bulge this year". These are all articles where they tell you how to make things "lower-fat" (aka... tasteless in my opinion) or the ridiculously small morsel size you can eat of that stuffing or pie you really want this holiday season.  I mean really, how realistic is that? 

I can't tell you how much these articles frustrate me.  I have always lived my mantra of "balance" and in no way do these articles help you achieve that.  If anything they make you deprive yourself of the special holiday indulgence you really want and then the next day/days you over eat it or something else because your so upset when everyone else was eating it and telling you how amazing it was.

My thought, take one helping always of your favorite dish you look forward to every year around the holidays.  Do not fret over it and realize it’s the one thing of food that is special to you on that day and it's ok to eat it.  Tomorrow you won't have it again until the next year and poof - full proof holiday-ing in effect.

Now, I do recognize on these holiday meals you may eat more than your typical day, its ok and it is even ok when you feel disgusting the next day because in all reality you are not going to keep eating like this up for weeks.  I sure as heck know I do not hold back on my thanksgiving plate (point in case pictured below). Just keep in mind, one meal will not make you gain weight - its eating excess calories compared to the amount that you burn over a sustained period of time that will make you gain weight. 

So with that I say, “Cheers, Happy Holidays!” and here's to finding your own balance.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Best me I can be...

I have been a bad FitGirlDC recently and not been as diligent with my posting even though there is still so much I want to say.  To let you all know, I work full time, go to grad school full time and have been training for the Marine Corps Marathon. All of these activities have left me with not enough time to dedicate to my blog. Like most of you all, hectic does not even begin to describe how I live my life…

However, my marathon will be done after this weekend and I have been thinking a lot about what this commitment has taught me. Through my training, I have had some time to really collect my thoughts and work on my mental health at the same time as my physical health. I mean what else is there to do when you are running hours on end?  Like any girl, I over analyze everything and at the end of the run usually find some clarity.

Simultaneously, in my classes we have been doing a lot of talking about mental health.  It is a really interesting topic to consider how your mental health affects your physical health.  Your state of mind can affect your appetite, immune system, and productivity.  Usually when your mind is happy, your body follows suit.

Finding mental health isn’t always easy, especially when as I previously mentioned we all live such hectic lifestyles.  “Balance” is the motto I preach as the way to manage your mental health, since I doubt any of us are going to have any less hectic lives in the near future. Balance is all about organizing all your activities and figuring out how to make them fit. Unfortunately, I can’t always do everything I want and something may need to wait on the bench until I have the time to enjoy them again.  In my case, sharing recipes/ fitness/ health on my blog for a little while had to sit it out.

Soon I can shift my balance from marathoning to blogging.  Finding balance can be hard.  It’s hard to realize we can’t always do everything when we want, no matter how much we want to throw tantrums about it.  But knowing that things always have a way of working themselves out and if there is something you really want you will find a way to balance it into your life and accomplish it.

I have come to the realizations that there is no use trying to be perfect, but just trying to be the best me I can be...

If you want to follow me run the marathon this weekend go to and type in my name J