A Quick, Easy Italian Recipe + Monday Workout

Oh Monday! How does the weekend go by so fast? Today was definitely a “reset” day for me. Since we were out almost all of the day Saturday and Sunday, I pretty much ate out for two entire days straight. I also probably didn’t drink as much water as I should of for how hot it ended up being both days. Monday is typically a strength/core day for me. Nothing too aggressive but enough to work up a little sweat, while hitting some target muscle groups.

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After trying several different variations of strength/core workouts last week, I took several ideas from each to try in the confines of my own home. Most of the equipment above you have seen before (excluding the VersaDisc and the green band). Today’s workout was a total body circuit through several exercises.

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Warm up – I start my stop watch when I start my warm up. Start to finish, I like to be somewhere around thirty minutes. With everything I have going on; I don’t have much time for anything more than that at the beginning of the week. To warm up, I started by walking in place, gradually building up into a slow jog. From there, I did some side to side toe touches (really bringing my arms out wide), a few imperial walkers, some deep body squats, and I ended with several jumping jacks. Just enough to get the blood flowing.

Workout – Like I said above, today’s workout was a total body circuit. I completed each exercise simultaneously two times through. If you don’t have the equipment listed or an exercise is too hard, I will offer ideas for modifications.

1-Kettle bell goblet squat – Hold kettle bell with both hands, arms bent at chest level (right under chin). Kettle bell should stay at chest level the entire exercise. Feet are a little wider than shoulder width apart. Squat down to a 90 degree angle and then stand back up while squeezing your glutes. Do this 16-20 times.

Modification – You can almost always substitute a kettle bell with a dumbbell. If you don’t have either, these can be done with body weight.

2-Isolated Bicep Curl – Good old fashioned, non-technical bicep curls.  Standing, feet together, hold one dumbbell with each hand down the side of your body, palms facing each other. Raise dumbbells and slowly lower back after a short pause. No jerking. Control. 15 total.

3-VersaDisc Balance Exercise – This is straight from my workout at SmartCore Fitness. Place two dumbbells side by side weight side up in front of the disc. Step onto the middle of the disc with your right foot. While balancing on the VersaDisc, lower down to pick up the weight to right of the two weights with both hands. Holding the weight, raise up to standing. Lower the weight to the ground. Repeat 16 times. Switch to the left side. Good luck on your first try! I still haven’t mastered this.

Modification – Remove the disc and do this on the floor.

4-Sprinter Situps – I wanted to do a core exercise here that didn’t utilize equipment. Start laying flat on your back, legs straight, and arms by your side with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. In a powerful quick motion, sit up, twist your upper body to the right and bring your right knee toward your left elbow. That’s 1. Do 20 each side. Think quick and powerful. Who knew that you could get out of breath doing sit ups?

5-Burpees –  15 total. You arms will be tired by the end of the set. If you need to break up the set do so. If you don’t like burpees then do another form of cardio. Think mountain climbers, high knees, tuck jumps.

6-Tricep Dips –  I literally did these off the side of my couch. Legs extended. Do 15.

Modification – Bend your knees. Feet flat on floor

7-Weighted Kick back/fire hydrant – Start in an all-fours position. Place dumbbell behind your leg where your knee bends (you should be able to hold the dumbbell in place when you perform both exercises). First part of exercise, flex the foot that is holding the weight and kick your heel back and up. Don’t extend the leg. Keep it bent. Do 10. Next up, fire hydrant. Bring your leg back to starting position. Keeping knee fixed at a right angle, raise your leg out to the side. Do 10. Repeat on opposite leg.

7- Resistance Tube Cross Crunch – Lying on your back, hook your left foot into one end of the tube.  Extend the tube down the length of your body, underneath your back and hold the other end of the tube with your right hand.  This should feel tight.  As you raise your left leg, straight off the ground, raise you right arm to touch your foot (keep arm straight too).  That is one.  Do 20 each side.

Monday “Quick and Easy” Dinner – Since we were at the golf tournament all day Sunday, we didn’t have time to cook our usual large Sunday dinner. That meant no leftovers for Monday.  I am about to let you in on one of my favorite ways to cook pasta during the week.  It’s quick, easy and delicious.  There is an italian restaurant on the way home from work.  No, I’m not about to tell you to just get take out.  Most italian restaurants will sell you their homemade sauce in the same size that you would buy from the grocery store for just a little more in cost.  Perfect for the person who wants a good, fresh sauce.

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How did I make a healthy meal with the sauce?  We had veggies leftover from the farmers market last week.  I love a chunky, veggie, red sauce.  Today, I added green peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and an onion.  I also thawed out some ground turkey meat.  Here is the recipe:

  • Brown the ground turkey (or whatever meat you have) and drain any fat
  • Pour the sauce in the pan over the turkey
  • Pour in whatever vegetables that you have handy
  • Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat.
  • Let cook for 10-15 minutes.

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Add your favorite pasta (or what you have handy) and you have a perfect quick dinner in less than thirty minutes!

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