Sunday, March 14, 2010

Are you working too hard or hardly working?

After months of hearing my spin class instructors talk about the benefits of using a heart rate monitor, I finally bought one for myself! For as much time as I spend at the gym, this purchase was well worth it. Because I can track my calories burned and heart rate, I can easily determine how hard I'm working (or not working!)

I learned that my maximum heart rate is 184, my 70% target is 129, my low end is 124 and my resting heart rate is 65. Knowing this information is very valuable because I've learned that I'm burning more calories than I thought during my spinning workouts (good news) and that I sometimes tend to have a heart rate over 184, which means I'm working too hard. Also, during my step/kickboxing class yesterday, I learned that I was not working hard enough. I was able to do some of the advanced moves and use my arms more to get my heart rate up where it should be.

Get one! I found mine at Target for $49.49!

Tasty and simple recipe from Clean Eating

My latest favorite magazine is Clean Eating magazine. I am not much of a cook, but even I can handle many of the recipes and tips they offer. I highly recommend subscribing! We tried this recipe last week and it tasted great and provided leftovers for lunch!

Turkey Sausage Ragu
Serves 4
(I did some substitutes that are in parentheses)
477 Calories/17.5 Fat/11 Fiber Per Serving

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (I used dried thyme)
8 oz spicy Italian turkey sausage, casings discarded (I used 12 oz)
1/4 tsp chile flakes
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine (Good excuse to have wine with dinner! I used Rosemount Shiraz.)
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, torn (I used dried)
1 large bunch kale, cleaned and stems discarded, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
8oz whole wheat pappardelle, fettucine, or tagliatelle pasta (I used 12 oz whole wheat egg noodles)
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (I didn't add this)
Parmigiano Reggiano, for garnish (I used low fat grated parmesan)

1. Set a pot of salted water over medium heat to begin boiling for the pasta while you prep the rest.

2. Add 1 tbsp oil, onion, and thyme to a separate large pot over medium heat. Stir well, cover, and cook until onion is softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add sausage, chile flakes, and garlic. Continue cooking 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Off the heat, deglaze the pan by adding the wine. Return to heat and allow to reduce for 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes, oregano, and kale. Stir well, cover, and cook 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue cooking 10 minutes, or until sauce is slightly reduced and thickened. Stir in additional 2 tbsp oil and the balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. When the sauce is almost finished (when 10min remain), add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain well and toss with sausage mixture. Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil and grated cheese.