Thursday, September 28, 2017

Zoodles Two Ways

Some people could take or leave a big bowl of pasta. I'm not one of those people. I LOVE pretty much any type of meal involving spaghetti, angel hair, linguine ... you get the picture.

Unfortunately for me, it's pretty much off-limits on Weight Watchers. 

So what's a girl to do? 

As much as I've made fun of zoodles in the past, I've had to embrace them these past few weeks. And I've discovered they're not bad! In fact, I've actually looked forward to my zoodle meals because it turns out they're pretty satisfying and help take away the craving for a giant bowl of pasta.  

Below are two of my favorite zoodle recipes. Mangia! 

Tomato Basil Zoodles
Serves 1 (3 Weight Watchers Smart Points)

1 tsp olive oil
1.5 cups grape tomatoes, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups zoodles 
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
Basil, chiffonade
Truffle salt, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add grape tomatoes and garlic and cook until softened. Add zoodles and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until zoodles are heated through. 

Transfer zoodles to a bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with cheese, basil and truffle salt. 


Zoodles with Meat Sauce
Serves 1 (5 Weight Watchers Smart Points)

3oz ground beef, 93 percent lean
1/4 cup white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
3/4 cup tomato sauce (I used Hunts)
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
3 cups zoodles
1 Tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Add ground beef to a large skillet and cook over medium heat. As the meat cooks, break it apart. Drain off any excess fat. 

Add onion, garlic and grape tomatoes to the meat and cook another 2-3 minutes until softened. Add tomato sauce and Italian seasoning and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add zoodles and cook another 2-3 minutes or until zoodles are heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer zoodles to a bowl. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.  


I'm getting hungry writing this post! 

Help a girl out: What's your favorite way to prepare zoodles?

- ST

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Birthday to Charlie!

When Charlie first came into my life, he was a tiny kitten - only three months old and four pounds. He was so small it was hard to imagine he'd ever grow up. 



But here we are - Charlie is celebrating his 1st birthday on Saturday!

In kitty years, Charlie is an adult. But he's still a baby in my mind. Shortly after I got him he went through a goofy growth spurt. He looked kind of awkward for a bit with a long body, long legs ... and tiny face with big ears. But he's evened out and has grown into a gorgeous kitty. He's right around 9 pounds - so still small for a male cat.



He behaves like a small child or adolescent - he's always exploring and playing and if it's ever quiet for more than a minute or two I know he's up to no good. He's so active and constantly sprints around the house, attacks and throws toys, and sometimes he even attacks me (all in good fun!)! He's also quite the jumper/climber. Although he's small, he has long legs and I've watched him fly between pieces of furniture and climb to the top of tall bookcases. 







He's also the most joyful kitty. His expressions kill me and he talks all the time. There's constant mewing, happy squealing, chirping, purring, etc. He's not one to sit silently in a room!


But when he's ready to rest, he loves to be held and cuddled. He's a lap kitty at heart and if I let him he'll stay there for hours. And when it's time to go to bed, he curls up next to me. 


I love my little Charlie so much and it's been an absolute joy to watch him grow. Looking forward to seeing what the next year brings :) 

- ST

Monday, September 18, 2017

Losing It

Back when I did regular training for running/racing, weight was something I thought about but not something I worried about too much. I knew I had to be leaner to run faster but because of all the running and other training I did, I didn't have to diet - it was more about eating quality foods to support the work I was putting in.



But after taking the summer off from running, I've found myself needing to work at losing a few extra pounds. So I'm excited to share I joined Weight Watchers and am also doing a 12-week program called Lose It at the Wisconsin Athletic Club.

Most of you probably know what Weight Watchers is even if you don't know the exact details of the plan. All foods are assigned a point value and the goal is to stay within a certain point total every day.


Lose It is more fitness based and includes a 60-minute session with a trainer each week as well as small group training sessions throughout the week. Participants work to lose the largest percentage of body weight as well as improve body composition and overall fitness.

Originally I was only going to do the Lose It program but decided to join Weight Watchers on a whim. I think it was a smart decision as it will force me to make better food choices throughout the Lose It program and hopefully lead to more weight loss. In addition to doing the Lose It workouts, I'll also continue to do some running - I'm slowly starting to get back into it but building miles won't be my focus during the next few months - as well as do a few classes at the Downtown YMCA. By the end of the Lose It program, I want to be in position to start doing more run training. Right now, I'm mega slow!

So this week's fitness plan looks like this:

Monday: 4 mile run + Y-Core + WAC Class
Tuesday: 4 mile run + WAC Training Session
Wednesday: 4 mile run + Y-Core + WAC Small Group Session
Thursday: 2 mile run + Y-Blitz
Friday: 4 mile run
Saturday: 30-minute walk
Sunday: Rest Day

And the diet plan looks like this:

Breakfast: Egg & Turkey Bacon Breakfast Burrito (7 points) + Banana (0 points) + Non-Fat Plain Kefir (3 points)
Snack 1: Raw Veggies (0 points) + Light String Cheese (1 point)
Lunch: Tuna, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Salad (6 points) + Watermelon (0 points)
Snack 2: Popcorn (2 points)
Dinner: Turkey Pepperoni Flatout Pizza (8 points) + Spinach Salad (1 point) + Apple (0 points)

I'm really excited about the next several weeks and can't wait to see how much I'm able to accomplish. As I told my trainer, Ellie, I'm all in and will do whatever it takes to maximize results. It's going to be challenging at times but I know I'm going to feel so much better as I get back to my normal self and - fingers crossed - can start running faster again :)


That's really it for now - how about you tell me a bit about what's happening in your life:
  • What's new and exciting in your life?
  • Have you ever been on a diet (Weight Watchers, Zone, Slow Carb, Whole 30, etc.)? If so, what did/didn't you like about the plan? Were you able to stick with it?

I hope you have a wonderful start to the week!

- ST