NO MORE WAITING FOR THE WATER TO BOIL!

SAVE TIME, ENERGY AND WATER COOKING PASTA THAT’S PERFECT WITH THE ADDED BONUS OF A SAUCE STARTER TOO! I must say that mine did NOT turn out perfect – kind of glopped together after it sat a bit. I made this to serve my shrimp scampi recipe over so the sauce was in the shrimp pan and I should have combined some sauce with the pasta right away. LIVE AND LEARN. I will try it again!

The next time you make pasta, instead of waiting for a huge pot of water to boil before you add pasta, consider starting with cold water and a large frying pan to get the pasta cooked perfectly, quickly, and with just enough pasta water left in the pan for a sauce to go with your meal.

Just add the pasta (I always use whole wheat pasta) to the pan.  Pour about a quart and a half of cold water (starting with cold water will keep the pasta from sticking) and turn up the heat. Stir the pasta regularly, but it’ll cook in a fraction of the time required to boil a large volume of water and then cook the pasta in the boiling water.

As a bonus, when you’re finished, you’ll have just enough thick, starchy pasta water left in the pan when you remove the pasta that you can use for a butter and cream sauce or garlic Parmesan sauce. Better yet, add some cheese, butter, and black pepper and use it to make Cacio e Pepe, one of my favorite quick pasta dishes.

SOURCES:

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/social/heres-how-you-perfectly-quickly-cook-pasta-frying-pan-video

http://lifehacker.com/5860015/cook-pasta-with-cold-water-and-a-frying-pan-for-a-quick-dinner-and-an-easy-sauce

AND THANK YOU LORI DINKI FOR SHARING ON FACEBOOK! HAS NIKKI TRIED IT YET?

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LAKE EFFECT SNOW STORM “KNIFE” HOMEBOUND SOLUTIONS

SOUTH BUFFALO, NEW YORK HAS CERTAINLY MADE THE NATIONAL NEWS RECENTLY WITH LAKE EFFECT SNOW STORM “KNIFE”.  I AM IN THE HEART OF THIS STORM AND HAVE BEEN “STUCK” INSIDE FOR THE LAST 4 1/2 DAYS.  THE ROADS REMAIN IMPASSABLE AND PEOPLE ARE REALLY BEGINNING TO GET CABIN FEVER. 

BOTH OF OUR SNOW BLOWERS WERE UNABLE TO HANDLE THE SHEER VOLUME OF SNOW DUMPED IN OUR DRIVEWAY SO WE HAVE GOTTEN OUTSIDE AND HAD PLENTY OF EXERCISE SHOVELING (ABOUT 6 HOURS EACH DAY)!  STILL HAVEN’T SEEN A PLOW DURING THE ENTIRE EVENT.

WHILE I DON’T FEEL THE NEED TO DO ANY EXTRA WORK OUT (I FEEL IT IN MY ABS, BICEPS, DELTS, PECS, GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, QUADS AND EVEN MY FINGERS!), THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE TO SHOVEL – THEY HAVE A PLOW SERVICE OR LIVE IN AN APARTMENT OR CONDO OR COMMUNITY THAT DOES MAINTENANCE.  IN ANY EVENT, THERE ARE ALWAYS TIMES WHEN YOU CAN’T HIT THE GYM AND NEED A WORKOUT AT HOME OR IN THE OFFICE.

HAD SOME TIME ON MY HANDS TO LOOK AROUND FLIP BOARD WHILE STRANDED.  IT WAS PERFECT TIMING THAT USA TODAY POSTED THIS ARTICLE The Best Free Workout Videos on YouTube

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THERE ARE 21 VIDEOS FROM 7 MINUTES TO ABOUT AND HOUR FROM A VARIETY OF GENRES: YOGA, KICKBOXING, MARTIAL ARTS, PILATES, DANCING, ZUMBA.  WHILE I HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE TO TRY THEM ALL I WILL DEFINITELY WORK THROUGH THEM OVER THESE WINTER MONTHS AND LET YOU KNOW HOW I LIKE THEM.  I LIKE VARIETY SO THIS IS A GREAT FIND FOR ME.

I HOPE YOU LIKE THESE VIDEOS  AND WILL LET ME KNOW YOUR FEEDBACK AS YOU TRY THEM!  PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS!

MORE FOR YOUR CORE – THE FULL PLANK

The plank is a balance and core conditioning exercise. In yoga, the plank is often done as part of the sun salutation sequence, or as part of a vinyasa in a yoga flow sequence. You can also perform the plank as a stand-alone exercise. There are two major types of planks, the full plank, where you balance on both arms, and the side plank, where you balance on one arm.

LET’S TRY THE FULL PLANK:

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Start off on a yoga mat in the pushup position. Starting with the pushup position is the easiest way to get into the plank.

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Lower both your forearms to the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Your palms should be balled up, and directly underneath your shoulders.

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Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine.

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Straighten your body but keep your neck and spine neutral.  Imagine that you’re a plank of wood, and that you’re straight as an arrow.

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Flex your abdominals and squeeze your glutes. These are the two major muscle groups you’ll be working out in this exercise.

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Hold this position, also known as the plank, until after the burning begins. Keep your eyes on the floor in front of you. Avoid raising your behind. Your body should make a straight line from your heels to the back of your head.

TRY TO HOLD THE POSE A LITTLE LONGER EACH DAY! AND THEN, HAVE A FRIEND ADD A LITTLE WEIGHT!

the plank

YOU WILL NEED A LITTLE LEVITY AS YOU FEEL YOUR MUSCLES BURN!

I’VE ALSO SEEN THIS DONE ON A STANDUP PADDLE BOARD AS PART OF THE CORE WORKOUT.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH

“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others.  Be a carrier!”  Tom Stoppard

When asked who my “Health Hero” is and why, I immediately thought of my father.  Not only was he a World War II hero, he made sure to bring our family up to be active.

papa

We would go to the beach and swim and build sand castles and he would organize a baseball game if we started lazing around too much.  We played tennis, badminton and horse shoes and always took walks.  The entire family raked leaves and shoveled snow together.  We washed the car and we all had household chores.

Stuart McIntosh, former Olympian said, “When children are exposed to a routine that works, they learn it, understand it, and when done regularly it is locked into their memory.”  It sure worked for our family!

Now it is up to me to continue to make healthy lifestyle choices.

My husband and I really work as a team.  When his cholesterol level inched up to 199, my training as a Registered Dietitian kicked in and we were able to lower that level by 20 points over the last year.  Difficult for a real meat and potatoes man!  We ate more fish (grilled and cooked with a variety of spices), less chuck roast (20gm fat/serving) changed to tender chuck (3gm fat/serving), more beans and lentils added to ground beef dishes and using 96% lean beef (like meatballs, meatloaf, tacos, chili).  Haven’t seen a hotdog bologna, salami, bacon or sausage – but like turkey sausage!  Milk products are all low fat and fresh fruits and vegetables are always “half the plate”!  Whole grains are staples.  A stick of butter lasts months.  I don’t use artificial or “lite” products but use just a little of the real thing.  Most important we EXERCISE DAILY!

We just went through a winter of extreme cold, life threatening wind chills and two blizzards in Buffalo, New York.  But we dressed for the weather and enjoyed cross county skiing and walks/snow shoeing along the frozen Lake Erie shoreline at sunset not to mention we did loads of shoveling.  My husband also likes to kite ski.  We even have cleats for our boots for the typical ice storm.  The treadmill and exercise bike are a last resort to enjoying the great outdoors.

Thinking outside the box and planning this unique garden for Spring:

IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A PLAN FOR HEALTHY EATING!  You need only a very small plot of land to grow enough vegetables and herbs to feed a family.  Join me in this experiment.  Take a 2 cubic feet of potting soil (like Miracle Grow), rumple it around quite a bit to loose the soil, poke quite a few holes in the back side for drainage, then lay the bag on a smooth surface that will allow drainage and not get too hot.  Cut out the top leaving about a 4 or 5 inch border all around.  Lightly rake through the soil to even it out and loosen it even more, then carefully start planting your seeds.  Spray mist the seeds and plantlings when first watering until they are established, then you can water more vigorously.  Keep soil moist, but not sopping wet.  Come Summer, we plan to have loads of fresh vegetables for grilling and salads!

Summer plans also include tennis, biking, swimming, kayaking, windsurfing and paddle boarding.

REMEMBER, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DIET IF YOU LIVE IT!

THANKS FOR THE CHALLENGE: HEALTHY CAMPAIGN

LOADS OF NUTRITION TIPS, FITNESS ROUTINES AND RECIPES AT : FABULOUS FIT FOOD

10 minute ab & oblique workout

I tend to get bored with the same workout every day so here is another 10 minute workout for your abdominal & oblique muscles.  Both these muscles love to roll over the waistline of your pants thus, the phrase “mushroom top” was coined.  You don’t want to be among the “growing” population of mushroom tops so try this out.

I do change up my workouts often and my physical activity from day-to-day.  You’d be surprised what new muscles you use when you garden for a few hours, or climb the ladder up and down cleaning gutters, push the lawn mower, rake leaves, shovel snow.   Think about all the different muscles you use playing tennis, biking, swimming, walking or jogging, roller blading,  SUP boarding, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, water skiing, doing yoga, ice skating and snow shoeing.  The key is to find the activities you enjoy and do them OFTEN!  Changing up your activities will work a wider variety of muscles for an overall toned and beautiful body!

10 MINUTE AB WORKOUT

OK, this might be more painful than my SUP Board core workout but I have to give everyone options. This can be done on a yoga mat in your office at work or at home or even if you’re traveling and staying in a hotel room Obviously, you should shoot for a more lengthy workout when you have the time but some days are just so busy!!

FITNESS FOR YOUR CORE

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Jim just saved a drowning man off the Coast of Florida while on vacation 12/29/2011 using his SUP board and paddle!

Working your core does not have to mean tortuous stomach crunches every day for the rest of your life! I recently took up SUP (Stand Up Paddle) Boarding for fun but it turns out to have the added benefits of working muscles throughout your whole body and especially your core. Plus, you don’t even realize you’re getting a workout while you paddle across the flat water exploring the sea life below. Of course, the next day your whole body does tell you you’ve had a good workout head to toe – even your gluteus maximus which none of us want to see grow any more maximal!!

SUP Boarding began in Hawaii many years ago and has just begun to emerge as the fastest growing sport on the East Coast in the past few years. Equipment has improved – boards are lighter (mine is 25#) and designed to be more stable and glide straighter and further; paddles are made of materials like carbon rather than wood (which was heavy) and they have flex and shape to provide a better power in your strokes.

I understand that everyone doesn’t have easy access to the water so I wanted to give you a few resources where you can take lessons, rent boards, use kayaks for free and book free/low-cost tours right in Western New York! I also want to give you one or two resources where you can purchase equipment once you’re hooked!

With Canalside Buffalo being developed and promoted you now have easier access to the water and historic sites. Here are two sites to get you started with lessons, renting and booking FREE tours:
http://bfloharborkayak.com/
http://bnriverkeeper.org/
Once you take your first glide you won’t want to stop!

Other places you can have easy access to water include:
Woodlawn State Park & Hamburg Town Park (both rent kayaks and SUP boards)
Tonawanda Creek
Ellicott Creed
The Inner Harbor
Let me know if I’ve missed any spots – how about in Niagara County??

Then you’ll want to invest in equipment. I recommend Curtis Sport Connection in Hamburg, NY. Doug Curtis will recommend a board that is right for you and any additional equipment you may need like a way to attach the board to your car to take it home. My investment was $1000 and I used the board 10 times in the month I’ve had the board. With the Lake Erie water in the 50’s I only went out in ideal (flat water) conditions. I will use the board more as the water temp increases and I won’t be afraid to try surfing some waves. You may also want to try:
http://naishsurfing.com/
http://bogaboards.com/

Here is a challenge you may want to start training for. There is a 25km standup paddleboarding event right across the border on the North Shore of Lake Erie on July 20, 2013. Check out the website at:
http://www.northshorestandup.ca/
HELP RAISE MONEY TO CONSERVE AND PROTECT LAKE ERIE and have FUN doing it!!

I hope my excitement and enthusiasm for this sport is contagious! TRY IT, YOU’LL LOVE IT!