This recipe was a hit in our house. It was delightful and filled the body with nutrients and satisfaction. Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite vegetables because in many of my favorite pasta dishes, I can easily trade noodles for spaghetti squashes noodle-like strands.
Making Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash was not difficult by any means, however, it did take a while as the squash needs to roast for 50 minutes and cool for another 30. (I didn't wait 30 minutes to cut, but it was still hot to the touch!).
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 pound turkey sausage
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (leave seeds in for more heat)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 Tablespoon oregano
1/2 Tablespoon chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup freshly torn cilantro, plus more for garnish
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place whole squash on a baking sheet and roast for 50 minutes. Let cool another 30 minutes, then cut in half (a serrated knife is best for this). Spoon out the seeds and discard, then scrape up the spaghetti squash flesh with a fork, creating the “spaghetti.” I found that there was very little spaghetti squash left behind!
In a large skillet, cook up the ground turkey sausage. When no longer pink, set aside. Then, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno and red bell pepper. Sauté 2 minutes. Stir in cumin, oregano, chili powder, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté 1 more minute. Stir in beans, corn, half of cilantro and lime juice until well combined.
(I found this made A LOT of delicious mixture and spaghetti squash so I mixed portions of the turkey mixture and spaghetti squash in separate bowls. I then put the left overs in separate containers in the refrigerator.)
Add the “spaghetti” from each squash to the turkey and vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Taste and season as desired.
Set oven to broil. Stuff each squash half with the squash-vegetable mixture and top with grated Parmesan. Broil until cheese melts, 1-2 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve warm.
In order to achieve, we must set goals and make a plan for reaching them. If we don't set goals and work for them- we tend to find ourselves staying stagnant and/or reaching a plateau. Your goals may consist of weight-loss, muscle gain (lean or bulk), competing, or working towards an overall healthier you.
We find ourselves stepping on the scale as a form of measurement where in reality, results often come from measurements of the body as well as body fat percentage. When I started working out with Triumph Fitness, I was at my skinniest. The too skinny. The VERY unhealthy skinny. I watched the scale like a hawk. Finally, after about 6 months- I stopped stepping on the scale and paying attention to my body fat percentage. Watching it lower. But as my body fat percentage lowered, the scale actually increased because I was GAINING MUSCLE.
Now, I don't pay much attention to the scale. How do you look? How do you feel? Triumph Fitness has an electronic body fat percentage scanner that can help you understand where you are in the range of "healthy body fat" and how to reach the goals you are determined to reach. We at Triumph Fitness, want to help you reach your goals. Our suggestion: Print one of these lovely goal setting sheets from Get Buttoned Up and hang it up on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror, or somewhere you will see it EVERYDAY. If you want to have Triumph Fitness help you stay accountable, be brave and give a copy to Coach Fonseca. If you need directions or suggestions- we are here to help guide you. Get your butt in the door!
To help get you started in reaching your goals, I have a recipe for a great way to start your day-- with coffee! This is a slight alteration on what we do in our house, where we omit the almond milk, but this would be a great way for many of us to eliminate the sugar-filled creamers!
Coffee Protein Shake
Your blender bottle makes a great "coffee mug" for this shake!
Coach Fonseca had the opportunity to attend Miami WODAPALOOZA and compete. As always, his abilities shined. His dedication was beyond explanation and his heart made his Triumph Family burst with pride. Mr. F has never been one to take shortcuts and is the "King of No Rep" if you did not earn your rep. Do it right- with correct form, with strength and with brains. We, here at Triumph Fitness, feel taken care of and safe because of this guy. If you were able to watch Mr. F during his WODs, you know just how amazing he is when he competes.
He has had anxious Triumph Fitters as well as loving community members excitedly inquire about his experience. Here is a bit of insight to his experience.
Q: WODAPALOOZA is a large nationwide event for top Crossfit athletes. How did you feel when you were invited to compete?
A: Being invited to compete was an honor. The community that is called Crossfit goes beyond just the sport. It is the push to build strength and go faster, but also the heart and dedication that goes into supporting each other. Given the opportunity to travel to workout, build relationships and grow my Triumph Family is an irreplaceable opportunity.
Q: When you arrived at Miami's Bayfront Park, what were your initial reactions?
A: Wow. The athletes swarming, the posters, the equipment, and the VIEW! It encompassed all the senses.
Q: When you were not competing, who or what was your favorite division to watch?
A: I don't know if I could nail down one division or athlete. Each person and division had their own emotions and excitement attached. It was fun to be able to experience and be a part of all of it.
Q: When you walked on stage for your first WOD, what were your thoughts?
A: Ha, how about lack of thoughts?! I was bringing the dance party to the stage. I didn't think- I just did my best to perform.
Q: You had a PR in your power clean- that was quite the accomplishment. How did you feel during your power clean ladder and with your final lift?
A: It was exciting to PR in Miami. I felt strong- the crowd and support kept me going and knowing I could lift more!
Q: What was the most challenging part of your competition?
A: The challenge was working through back numbing pain at times- pushing yourself to keep going and keep going faster when your body does not necessarily want to cooperate. But- I am Triumph!
Q: Aside from WODAPALOOZA, what did you find fun and/or intriguing about Miami?
A: Miami was full of hustle. There was music blaring and people on the streets just having fun. Being able to see different landscape and lifestyles from Central Oregon was intriguing.
Q: Would you go back to Miami? Why?
A: There are many places in Miami that we were unable to see since we were busy with WODAPALOOZA. I would easily take my family back so we could see other parts of Miami and see if in a relaxing light!
Sweet Potato Nachos
Last night, I make Sweet Potato Nachos loaded with jalapenos, avocados, onion, and sliced tomatoes. I used Elk Burger instead of chicken because I had it defrosted- I didn't want to waste it. However, next time, I will use chicken. I think the taste will be out of this world!
Remember a couple posts ago, I mentioned the Marc Pro was never put away- see?! Rock Tape and Marc Pro are like vases in the Fonseca house.
**When I sprayed the sliced potatoes- I did use olive oil. I suggest buying a Misto- so the amount of olive oil is limited just a bit!
Ingredients for Nacho "Chips"
Spicy Chipotle Chicken
Additional Toppings (Optional)
Instructions for Nachos
Chicken (I used Elk Burger- but would suggest chicken!)
You've seen athletes adorned in brightly colored tape as they lift, pull, and push. You may wonder- is this kinesio tape just hype or does it actually help athletes? Kinesio tape, when taped correctly, can provide great benefits to athletes such as reducing inflammation, relaxing muscles, helping with performance as well as supporting muscles for rehabilitation. Kinesio tapes helps with the body's natural healing process by providing support and stability to muscles and joints.
Triumph Fitness is offering two Kinesio Tape Education Classes FREE through local chiropractor Dr. Kent Rookstool from Redmond Wellness. The event will take place on February 2nd AND February 4th, 2015 at 6:00pm at Triumph Fitness: 2757 NW 7th St. Redmond, OR 97756.
We hope you can join us in learning how beneficial Kinesio Taping can be! RSVP using the form on the below!
Of course, I wouldn't leave you without a delicious recipe! Here is a great side dish packed full of nutrients and flavor!
Roasted Parmeasean Garlic Cauliflower
The past few posts, the Triumph Kitchen has been encouraging you to eat fresh and look at ingredients listed on packaged foods. I have been asked... "Where does the Triumph Kitchen go for food?"
We do find ourselves at Fred Meyer a lot. Not that because it is the best place to go, but rather it is close to the house and I can do my one stop shopping there. Need socks for the little ones? Need produce? Baby wipes? Sports shorts? I can get it all there. However, we do have a few favorite local Central Oregon places that we like to buy from. Here are just a few:
1. Savory Spice Shop in Old Mill District.
We love this place. Filled with spices you can try before you buy. I guarantee you will keep going back for more. The plus side? No fillers and chemicals like from the grocery store. Just good hearty ingredients to spice your poultry, popcorn, soups, chili, etc...
2. Ryan's Produce or School House Produce
Both of these local Redmond produce shops offer farm fresh produce. Get it in season and it is all delicious!
3. Farm to Friends
Farm to Friends is an online company that delivers Farm Fresh produce to your door. Pick the size of box your family needs and it will be delivered based upon their delivery schedule posted online. You can even go online and trade one ingredient for another! We have heard wonderful things from friends about this service!
4. Backporch Coffee Roasters
Owned by a childhood friend of mine, I know, personally the hard work, travel and effort that has gone into this company. Dave and Majell Beach build this company from the ground up and constantly travel the world picking out their own beans, roasting it locally and serving Bend with love. You can buy coffee grounds or enjoy your coffee onsite!
5. Redmond Smokehouse
Buy meat fresh from their meat case, or enjoy treats from Redmond Smokehouse They support local farmers and 4H- delicious!
Now... of course... your recipe of the day!
Our lives are busy. That is a fact. Our health is important. That is a fact. So often, when cooking healthy we rely on shortcuts to make cooking healthy just a bit fast and more convenient. However, in this attempt to be healthy, we need to understand what we are actually consuming from those cans and packages. There are more ingredients than I can list that can be harmful to your healthy that are commonly found in packaged food. We have to remember we are trading convenience for something... trans-fat, sodium, refined grains and sugar.
We find trans-fats in crackers, pastries, muffins, french fries and popcorn. You may even discover trans-fat as a key ingredient in margarine butter that claims to be "heart-healthy" just to avoid the opposing butter filled with saturated-fat.
Research has concluded that trans fats are twice as dangerous for your heart as saturated fat. It can cause upwards of 53% increased chance for developing heart disease.
Why are trans fats bad? Well, they increase the levels of the bad cholesterol in your body and actually decrease your good cholesterol. When that happens, your arteries are affected because trans fats raise the levels of lipoprotein and triglycerides which both can contribute to clogging your arteries.
So... what key words are you looking for on the back of packages?
Many grain items can be rather deceptive. Labels claim that rolls, low-fiber cereal, pastas, etc... are "made with wheat flour" or are "seven grain." Maybe they fooled us by sprinkling oats or colored the bread with molasses- either way, labeling laws make this difficult. Choosing such refined grain items boost our heart attack risk by 30%. In addition, we risk increasing our cholesterol and blood pressure levels, heart attacks, insulin resistance, diabetes, and belly fat.
If we switch to whole grains such as dark bread, whole-grain breakfast cereals, popcorn, cooked oatmeal, brown rice, bran, bulgur, and kasha; we decrease our risk for heart disease by 20-30%. Flip the package over and toward the top of the ingredient list should be whole wheat or another whole grain. The fiber content for whole grain foods should be at least 3g per serving.
Would you believe that most of the salt we consume comes from packaged foods and not actually the salt shaker? It is hidden in cured meats (lunch meats, bacon, ham, turkey), condiments, canned soups and vegetables, and processed foods. Sodium is also naturally in some items such as celery, milk, and beets. Sodium is necessary- it helps regulate blood pressure, make muscles contract, transmit nerve impulses, and replace what is lost to sweat. However, it is important we control the intake of sodium, because in excess, salt can be harmful.
When we consume too much sodium, our body retains fluids to try to dilute the extra sodium in our bloodstream. When we increase our sodium levels, our heart has to work harder making veins and arteries constrict. This results in high blood pressure.
Our limit of sodium should be about 1.500 miligrams per day (3/4 teaspoon of salt). Look at the Nutrition Facts panel on the package to get your sodium count.
In this excerpt, I will be talking about high-fructose corn syrup. However, refer to the Sneaky Sugar blog post to get the dirty on sugar as a whole.
High-fructose corn syrup is the cheap sugar. It is inexpensive, sweeter to the taste AND mixes easily with other ingredients. On average, a person consumes 63 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year- mostly front drinks and sweets. We find high-fructose corn syrup in frozen food, bread, some whole-wheat breads, hamburger buns, beer, bacon, spaghetti sauce, soda, ketchup and that is just to name a few!
Research that is being conducted, is suggesting that high-fructose corn syrup may throw our metabolism out of whack, raise the risk for diabetes and heart disease. In addition, the chemical structure of this artificial sweetener ENCOURAGES overeating.
When you flip over your grocery item look for:
Reflect on the above information about The Truth About Packages- what does this all mean? It means we have to create awareness for ourselves. What are we actually eating when we pop open that can of diced tomatoes? What are we sending our kids to school in their lunch boxes? How do we retrain our taste buds?
The answer to all those questions is obvious for many of us and it just takes the dedication to our health, our spouses health, and our children's health. In making this choice, we will find we feel better, look better and perform better.
Now, in light of whole food eating- here is a recipe for you with a challenge. For the canned items listed below, can you find an item that avoids these added ingredients and/or has low sodium?
Chicken Lime Soup
Saturday $5 community workouts are back! We love opening our doors to people who just want to come hang and workout with us at Triumph Fitness. Saturday workouts are free for existing Triumph Fitness members but the more new faces we see- the merrier! So... existing members- bring those friends of yours! We would really love for you to come join us!
This Saturday, we had a packed house! Many new faces showed and powered through the workout alongside us. We could not have been more excited to see everyone PUSH themselves to the limit today.
Set your calendars for our next community workout next Saturday morning at 10am at Triumph Fitness. Come see what we are all about!
I grew up eating lasagna-- good hearty lasagna that my mom made anytime we requested it. It has always been one of my favorites but also one that I do not make often anymore because it is packed with noodles, cheese, sausage, etc... I found this recipe for Zucchini lasagna and decided to give it a try. I made a few modifications along the way in order to limit added fats and unnecessary ingredients while still keeping the recipe tasting wonderful! You have got to try this one out!
In a medium sauce pan, brown meat. When cooked, drain meat in colander to remove any extra fat. Add coconut oil to the pan and saute garlic and onions about 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for at least 30-40 minutes, covered. The sauce should be thick.
Meanwhile, slice zucchini into 1/8" thick slices, add lightly salt and set aside or 10 minutes. Zucchini has a lot of water when cooked, salting it takes out a lot of moisture. After 10 minutes, blot excess moisture with a paper towel. I used a GREAT slicer that Mr. F found at Fred Meyer that made slicing the zucchini really EASY and FAST!
On a gas grill or grill pan, grill zucchini on each side, until cooked, about 1-2 minutes per side. Place on paper towels to soak any excess moisture.
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a medium bowl mix Parmesan cheese and egg. Stir well.
In a 9x12 casserole spread some sauce on the bottom and layer the zucchini to cover. Then place some of the Parmesan cheese mixture, then top with the mozzarella cheese and repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up. Top with sauce and mozzarella and cover with foil.
Bake 45 minutes covered at 375°, then uncovered 15 minutes. Let stand about 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
Sugar is sneaky. Labeling laws make sugar even sneakier. There are multiple names for sugar hiding among the jargon of chemically based and highly processes foods. Take a gander.
Can you imagine eating 22 teaspoons of straight sugar a day? Well, if we are failing to look at labels and believing that Greek Yogurt, skim milk, pre-packaged convenient "healthy foods," cereals, granola, and oatmeal packets are healthy- then we are actually working against our results. Many convenient "healthy foods" are packed with sugar (well, maybe an artificial sweetener- but our body processes it all the same).
We know that a Snickers Bar is full of sugar right? It is obvious. It is coated in chocolate and filled with delicious peanuts and caramel. In just a recent search stemmed from a nutrition article, I discovered that McDonald's oatmeal has MORE sugar than the Snickers Bar? Yeah. Sneaky Sugar and sneaky fast food industries preying on our trust and health- actually advertising it is a healthy choice. This makes me wonder how many other fast food industries advertise healthy and fresh when in actuality it is false. Let's take Subway- while the bread ranges from 0-7g of sugar it has loads of sodium ranging from 280g-1240g of sodium- in JUST the bread. Now add your toppings, condiments and meat. We think we made the smart choice by buying "fresh foods fast."
The fact of the matter is... unless we are choosing to make our fresh food and take the time to prepare them ahead of time (for those times we need food fast) we are not going to make gains, lose weight and be able to physically take care of our bodies and brains.
Sugar is unhealthy and affects our brain and body in several detrimental ways. Read the infographic from the American Council on Exercise. It captures the effects of Sneaky Sugar and Not-So-Sneaky Sugar in a nut shell.
Link for enlarged reading! :)
So what can we do? Well, become educated on sugar. This was a great starting point. Now we must move forward in creating an awareness in our diets and decisions to maximize results and health. Start reading labels and stray away from processed, canned, and packaged foods that are loaded with sugar and/or sodium. You are trading convenience for something-- we just need to look at the labels to discover what it may be. Fresh is best. Always. Dice those tomatoes, grind that peanut butter, and grill that meat. We believe in you!
On another note, my break up with Starbucks is going well. This morning I started with a protein shake because I was running a bit late for an egg scramble. My protein shake was delightful.
-1 scoop protein powder
-1 small scoop PB2 (Dehydrated Peanuts)
-1 tsp chia seeds
-Whole Milk (proteins and good fats are present in whole milk- skim is sugar water!)/almond milk/coconut milk
Blend together and enjoy. Mind you I was at a stop sign for my photo op:)
I close this blog post with a wonderful photo of our favorite coach in the world. Thank for all you do Mr. F! Always keeping us sweating and smiling!
After our last post, we have had an overwhelming amount of people excited and eager to try out the Marc Pro! We do have a Marc Pro Mobility Edition available at Triumph Fitness for you rent if you would like to benefit from its greatness!
Here are some answers to some of your frequently asked questions:
Q: How does this rental thing work?
A: Triumph has reusable electrode pads available for purchase. These pads would need to be purchased for a one time fee of $10.00. However, you need to ensure you keep these in a safe place otherwise they would need to be repurchased for an additional $10.00 each time!
Q: Okay, so how do I rent the Marc Pro Awesomeness?
A: We will first have you sign a release form taking responsibility for replacing the Marc Pro if anything happens to it while in your care including damage, lost, or theft. You know- we have to cover our arses too! Then, we have a price sheet posted at the gym for lengths of time, cost, and a calendar to sign up for use. Payment is due at the time of rental.
Q: Um, really?! Electrodes? Why would I do that to myself? Do you think I am insane?
A: Yes, we do think you are insane. You are a part of our Triumph Family after all. Seriously, the Marc Pro isn't painful. You get to control the settings of intensity and placement on your body. The Marc Pro will help you recover faster, recover fully, maximize training results, help prevent injury, and improve conditioning and performance.
On another note, Mr. F came back from Miami with a lovely present for me! I was so excited that I will now be able to have a clean snatch and lift heavy! Hehe! It even smells like Lifesaver gummies, which means when I come workout all of you will probably find yourselves standing REALLY close to me because I will smell awesome.
So, last night I made some delicious steak rolls. They were pretty quick and I think you will enjoy them! Here is what you need:
1 1/2 – 2 lb skirt steak/ 8-10 thin sliced sirloin
Pepper (according to taste)
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Any steak seasoning you like
For the Veggie Filling:
For the Balsamic Glaze Sauce:
I hope you enjoy this recipe! It was a fun way to cook the veggies and steak!
It hurts my soul to admit is time to break up with one of my favorites. It is never easy to admit when it is ultimately your choices that are holding you back from your ideal results. So... Starbucks, it is time for us to really break up this time. Starbucks has been my treat- Grande Hazelnut latte. When I take the first sip the warmth overtakes me and the deliciousness lingers on my tongue. Sometimes, as a busy mom- running errands, juggling home and work Starbucks has been my sanity- like a relaxer in all the crazy, I was at least spoiling myself and enjoying a delightful beverage. Come on moms- you know what I mean. Those treasured bubble baths that you always hope to take in silence, but it never really works right?? Well, that has been my Starbucks. So you might be asking... why break up with something you enjoy if it brings you happiness? Well my friend, my Starbucks habit is hindering what I have been training so hard for and why I have chosen to feed my family nutritious meals. My Grande Hazelnut latte is costing me upwards 300 calories each time I consume one- plus I have to eat breakfast in addition to my coffee. The Sports Nutritionist in me knows that continuing to feed my habit works directly against my greater goals. Treats are not treats when they are a part of your everyday, it is then admittedly a habit. So- I must bid farewell dear Starbucks.
Is there something that you find beneficial to break up with that is hindering your results and reaching your goals in leading a healthy lifestyle? Do it. Break up. Join me in bettering ourselves by letting go of those things we are holding on to!
In celebration of our break ups, I bring you a DELICIOUS recipe that we made last night. Not only was it easy but while it simmered, I managed to fold laundry, start laundry, and bathe the kids. Chad even did his homework at the table while I chopped all the hearty vegetables!
However, before you start cooking, make sure the Marc Pro is out of the way so you don't start getting vegetable juices and quinoa all over it. (Yes, this really is a problem in our household- Marc Pro is in use CONSTANTLY it never gets put away.)
Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Lettuce Tacos (Serves 6-8)
After we ate, we realized how much we had for leftovers that we filled up two additional Tupperware containers with this deliciousness! For lunch today, I enjoyed the quinoa, black bean and corn concoction over a chicken breast.
Remember that extra crockpot meal I mentioned on Monday? Well... look who enjoyed his dinner thoroughly last night:) Happy bellies all around!