Shari Duncan

Archive for March, 2012

Chicken Margherita with Zucchini
Shari

by on Mar.17, 2012, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, High Protein dishes, Recipes

Yes! You can eat Pasta.

Fresh tomatoes, zucchini… garlic and herbs tossed with whole grain pasta and chicken make for a healthy, high protein meal.  Fast, Fresh and Easy…

For the pasta:

  • 8-10 oz. dry whole wheat angel hair pasta
  • 1 pint ~(2-3 cups)  cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ cup shredded fresh mozzarella
  • 1 medium zucchini

    A HEALTHY way to do Pasta. Lean chicken, whole grain pasta and fresh veggies.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil ( If you don’t have fresh, dried basil works fine)
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
  • Extra Parmesan to sprinkle on top

For the chicken:

  • 1 to 1.25 lbs chicken breast
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano (Italian Seasonings), red pepper flakes to taste

Bring large pot of water to boil.

  1. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain. Set aside.
  2. Wash one zucchini and slice lengthwise into 4, and dice cut into ½ inch pieces.  Set aside.
  3. Combine tomatoes and mozzarella in a bowl. Add additional herbs, if desired.  Set aside.
  4. Cut chicken into strips. Coat chicken with oil and spices.  Preheat large sauté or fry pan on medium high heat, adding a little more olive oil to coat bottom of pan.  Saute chicken, turning once and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let rest.
  5. In same pan, add a bit more olive oil, garlic and zucchini and stir fry, about 1-2 minutes, until vegetable browned but still crisp.
  6. Reduce heat. Return cooked pasta to sauté pan along with tomato and cheese mixture.  Stir in basil. Season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.  Finally return chicken strips to pan.

Top with extra Parmesan as desired.

Makes 4-6 servings.

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Empower and Challenge yourself with Push-Ups!!
Shari

by on Mar.04, 2012, under Fitness, Natural Bodybuilding, Strength and Agility Training

Because sometimes the most basic exercises are the most effective.

Push-ups are among the all-time great total body workout exercises.  They incorporate the triceps, shoulders, chest, abdominals, back and core.  They can be made easier or harder. They build strength and stamina.  They force the heart to work harder and the blood to pump faster. This increases metabolism and helps you burn more calories.
And, they can be done anywhere, anytime, by anyone regardless of fitness level.

No space?…   No equipment?…   No time?…    No Problem.

NO  MORE EXCUSES!

If you cannot do one push-up today, begin with wall pushups or by standing about 2 feet away from your kitchen counter and pushing away for 3 sets of 15. Gradually work to

Decline Push-up on Stability Ball -For added core stabilization and tricep involvement.

something lower as your strength increases. Once you build up arm and core strength, “graduate” to the floor,  and begin by holding yourself up in a plank position with your chest off the ground.  Start on your knees, with hands wide. (Wider is easier).  Don’t worry if cannot go full range yet. .. In time you will.

Build Core Strength

In addition to building upper body strength and gaining more power in the arms, shoulders and hands, pushups done with the proper form will help build the core muscles in the middle of your body. To do pushups properly, your elbows must be fully extended at the start and end of a pushup, your toes should be on the floor and your legs, hips and back should be straight.

There are dozens of variations of push-ups out there.

Wrist-Friendly:

If you find that push-ups put strain on your wrists, try placing your hands on a set of dumbbells (or a push-up bar) to keep your wrists in a more neutral position.  According to Oxygen Magazine author Pam Mazzuca, performing pushups in this manner also increases core activation as well as engagement of the back, triceps and rear deltoids.

Angled, Medicine, Stability Ball, Bosu Pushups:

Push Up on Dumbbells to reduce strain on wrists.

By altering the angle that you perform push-ups, you also change the emphasis of the muscles worked. Doing pushups with your feet on an incline work the shoulder and upper chest muscles a little bit harder than a standard pushup does.    If you really want to challenge yourself, place your feet on a stability ball instead of a stationary object. This forces you to balance your body at the same time that you’re working your pushups, offering a tough variation.  Incorporating an unstable, movable surface such as a medicine ball uses more core strength, increases difficulty of the exercise and engages more core and triceps.

As you continue to progress try:  plyo, staggered, deficit, diamond, handstand pushups… just to name a few .

Walk-out pushups are one of many ways to incorporate pushups into your overall total body workout routine.  Check out this short DEMO:

Walk Out Push-up Demo

Start your own push-up challenge today and watch as you impress yourself as you gain not only strength but confidence!

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