Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Turkey-Spinach Lasagna

I love to cook and that has definitely contributed to my weight issues. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. There is just something about having all your friends and family around to enjoy a wonderful meal. I love to cook for my friends and family and now they are benefiting from my healthier cooking. My love to cook has lead me to try to create healthy ways to make some of our favorite meals. Enjoying the healthy food you eat is the main key to be able to make the changes in your diet a life style change rather than just a quick fix. Hope everyone enjoys these. I want to try to post a few new recipes every month. If anyone is looking for a healthier way to make a family favorite I'm always up for the challenge. Just drop me a note.

Cooking spray
½ lb ground turkey 99% Lean
½ lb sweet or spicy turkey sausage
(such as Shady Brook Farms)
1 ½ cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6 cups of homemade marinara sauce
(or 2 jars low-fat no sugar added sauce)
1 (16oz) container of fat-free cottage cheese
¼ cup egg substitute
¼ cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
9 cooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350◦.

Spray large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high. Cook turkey until brown, add onion and garlic and cook until onions are transparent. Add 5 ¾ cups marinara sauce and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Combine cottage cheese, egg substitute, parmesan cheese, parsley, pepper and spinach.

Spread ¼ marinara sauce on bottom of 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles on bottom of pan. Cover with ½ cheese mixture then 1/3 meat sauce mixture. Cover with 3 more noodles and repeat. Cover top 3 noodles with remaining meat sauce mixture and top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350◦ for 50 minutes. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Makes 12 servings. This freezes wonderful for a meal later when you are in a rush. Even my 8yr son loves this recipe and he doesn't even realize that he is eating spinach.

Nutritional Information:
Calories 275, Fat 7, Sat Fat 2, Carbs 26.5, Fiber 4, Protein 21.5

Vicky's Transformation Story

I was always very active in high school. I ran both track and cross country and lifted weights three days a week and weighted about 135 lbs. Once I went to college my time spent running and lifting began to slack and I put on the freshman fifteen. I was able to maintain that weight until I got pregnant with my son in 2000. The day I gave birth to my son my weight had ballooned up to 210 lbs. I knew I was pregnant but that number was still very hard to take. After having my son my weight fluctuated between 160lbs and 185lbs.

In December of 2005 I found Turbo Jam and was able through workout and eating healthy to get my weight down to 145 lbs. The lowest I had been since freshman year of college. Then I fell off the wagon, again. My biggest problem is always putting my family, work, etc before myself.

During the summer of 2007 my husband saw an infomercial for P90X and that was the start of our amazing journey together. We started with Power 90 and the lbs just began to fall off my body. I was amazed at how quickly I was making progress. After Power 90 we continued with Power 90 Masters for 90 days and then onto P90X. I was by far in the best shape of my life. With running just three days a week with the workouts I was able to run my first half marathon in under 2 hours in the spring of 2008.

Then in the summer of 2008 I again let life get in the way and began putting work and other things first. Pat had heart issues and was not able to work out so I didn't have my favorite workout partner to push be everyday and I started by missing one workout and then they all went out the window. I gained back some of the weight I lost but in January 2009 after Pat had been cleared by the doctor we got our priorities straight and are back on the path of fitness and health.

This is a life long journey and you need to just take it one step at a time. If you fall off, as we all do sometimes, just recommit and push play. Everyday I look forward to the changes I see in myself and how I'm able to push my body to complete tasks I never thought were possible.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pat's Transformation Story

Where to begin? Well I was always the skinny guy growing up, until I turned 25. Things changed for me, once our son was born, I felt I needed to support my wife, so I gained 30lbs to make her feel comfortable (I'm being sarcastic of course!). The weight kept creeping up, I went from being about 140lbs to nearly 200 lbs! My uniforms didn't fit me, I was sluggish, irritable and always tired. I was able to get my weight down to around 170 with some diet changes, but I wasn't doing anything to help increase my cardio capacity, plus I was still carrying around all my weight in my belly, the worst place for anyone to carry fat!
Then one day a few months ago I was watching TV and saw the P90X infomercial. I asked Vicky if she wanted to give it a try (she wasn't happy with her health either, but you can read her story on her page), she said sure. We did a little research, like good engineers should and decided we should start with Power90 first, so thats what we did. To say the first week was tough would be an understatement, I was constantly winded, my muscles ached, and body wanted to know what it had done to deserve this! Things started to get easier, the belly started to shrink and the muscles started to grow. Amazing! This thing really works...good diet, supplements, and some exercise can actually pay off. Well we finished P90, Masters, and I made it 2/3 through X before I was forced into a "medical hiatus" in March.
Well I'm finally back! I can't wait to see the new levels I can take my body, mind and fitness too! Just Press Play!