Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I found this recipe on penniesonaplatter.com via Pinterest.
I made mine with a few different ingredients
which were in my pantry
but they were so good!

Ingredients for 2 hungry people..
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 can black beans
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 diced green chile (I used one from a can)
  • 1/3 cup diced tomatoes (canned, again)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp neufchatel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Mexican or cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
How to put them together..

1.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place your whole sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Put in the oven once it's warm enough. These should bake for 45 minutes to an hour (or until the potatoes are soft). When you take them out, preheat the broil on your oven.

2.) While the sweet potatoes are baking, warm up a frying pan with olive oil. Saute the onion in the olive oil. Add in the cumin, chili powder, and salt.

3.) When the onions have cooked through, toss in the diced chile and tomatoes. Cook only for another minute.

4.) Drop the onion, tomato, and chile mixture in a bowl. Mix in the cream cheese and black beans.

5.) When the sweet potatoes are done and cooled. Cut them lengthwise and dig out the center, leaving the skin with a little bit of sweet potato lining. Mix the baked sweet potato in the bowl with the other ingredients.

6.) Spoon the sweet potato, tomato, black bean, and chile mixture into the scooped out sweet potato skins. Top with a couple of tablespoons of cheese.

7.) Pop in the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has browned!

Here is what my leftovers looked like..Still pretty cute seeing that it's been sitting in the fridge for 24 hours. To warm it up, put in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes.


AM 60 Minute Spin

Monday Morning Spin class...for an hour.
Let's get to it!

Here is my playlist and spin routine

1. Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye feat. Kimbra (4:04) : I hate to conform, since this is the #1 son on Billboard's Hot 100, but I do love this tune. It's also a great song to wake up to. Everyone is kinda sleepy that straggles in, so it's a perfect song that's not in your face at 6:15am. Everyone should be staying at their own pace with very light resistance.

2. Set Fire to the Rain - Adele (3:59) : I added some Adele in the mix to wake everyone up a little. Your legs should start warming up and enjoy this bit before it starts getting tough!

3. Memories - David Guetta Ft Kid Cudi (3:44) : This song has an awesome beat and great to spin to. Everyone should add some resistance to their bike to make it safer for SPRINTS. To this song, we are doing :30 second sprints and :20 second rests. I want everyone's cadence above 120 RPMs!

4. Maximal Crazy - Tiesto (6:50) : Get ready for more SPRINTS! And techno. I'm not a huge fan of techno, but this song is great to sprint to. Now, our sprints are going to get longer..don't worry, our rests get longer too. :40 second sprints and :30 second rests. Cadence: get around and above 120 RPMs.

5. I Wanna Go - Britney Spears (3:30) : Now, everyone needs to add in a little resistance..about a quarter of a turn on your resistance knob. You're almost done with your sprint series! Do :50 second sprints with :30 second rests. I'd like your cadence about 110 RPMs. Good luck!

6. Bruises - Chairlift (4:02) : Congrats! You've made it past the sprints intervals. Use this quirky song to recover and cool down a bit. Drink some water, roll your shoulders, turn down your resistance!!

7. Forever - Chris Brown (4:37) : I love this song..it has a great beat and good energy. Add 2 full turns onto your resistance knob. Your cadence should be around 70 RPMs. Stay seated for :30 seconds, then do JUMPS. Pop out of your seat for about 8 counts..then come down and stay seated for :30 seconds. Repeat until the end of the song.

8. THE Hardest Ever - Will I AM feat. Mick Jagger & J. Lo (4:07) : This song is great for conquering mountains and feeling strong! Let everyone bring their resistance back down to baseline. RPMs should be high 80s once they've turned it down. Let them rest at an easy ride for about a minute. After that..give your knob 1/4 turn up! After :30 seconds, give it another 1/4 turn up! Continute until the end of the song.

9. Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes (3:58) : Loving the White Stripes and this song having an awesome hill beat made me pick this song for this steep hill. Give your knob 1/2 turn up and HOVER! Hover for :15 seconds then STAND for :30 seconds. SIT. After :30 seconds of sitting, give your knob another 1/2 turn up and HOVER for :15 seconds then STAND for :30 seconds. Repeat! Once you reach the end of the song, you've reached the end of the hill climb. Good job! Release your tension.

10. Roxanne - The Police (3:16) : An old drinking game from college made me select this song for JUMPS. When you hear the name "Roxanne," stand up from your seat. When you hear it again, sit. You get the jist..

11. Blue - Eifel65 (3:29) : This is an older song that broke out..kind of a strange one, but I want you to do the same thing as you did with "Roxanne." Except, I want your cue to be "BLUE." Listen closely, because they say it a lot. Practice makes perfect with this one!

12. Feel So Close (remix) - Calvin Harris (5:36) : Alright, this is the LAST SPRINT you have to do today on your bike. Give your bikes a 1/2 turn up to make it a wee bit challenging. :40 second sprints :20 second rests until the end of the song. Try to get your RPMs just above 120.

13. Upside Down - Jack Johnson (3:33) : Good job! You finished the spin. Reduce your resistance, so it's very light. Cool down..drink some water.

14. The Cave - Mumford & Sons (3:38): Keep cooling down for a couple of minutes. Then, get off your bike and do some quad, ham, calf, hip flexor, and shoulder stretches!


Valentine's Day Partner Workout

Happy Valentine's Day!
A perfect day to try out a new workout with your honey. A couple that works out together stays together, right?

Thanks to my lovely volunteer from the gym, I can share with you a wonderful partner workout. Complete as many as you can do of each exercise for 1 to 2 minutes and do 2 sets!

1. Lunge and Touch

Lunge toward an object, hands extending to reach it.
This allows you to lunge down low.

2. Russian Twist Pass

With feet a couple of inches in the air, do a twist with a very light ball.
Pass to your partner and have them twist as well.

3. Squat & Row

Let resistance bands (2) hang loose between you and your partner.
Squat down and row back simultaneously.

4. Bounce Pass

With a medicine ball, bounce pass to one another.

5. High - Low Pass

Back to back with your partner, pass ball high on one side and low on the other.
Half way through, switch high and low sides.

6. MedBall Push Up Roll

Do a push up on a medicine ball, roll to partner and they will do the same.
Roll to opposite side.

7. BOSU Ball Pass

Standing on a BOSU ball, pass a light medicine ball to
your partner (also standing on a BOSU ball).


Chicken Caesar Salad

This was probably the best dinner Mark and I have made in a few months...It is just a salad, but what we put in it (with just extra stuff lying around our fridge) really took it up a few notches.

What we put in it:
  • 3/4 of a bag of leafy Romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup of chopped chicken (advice: buy a rotisserie chicken at the beginning of the week and use the meat all week in salads for lunch or use for dinner in pasta or Mexican dishes)
  • 1/2 cup grape (or cherry) tomatoes
  • 2 strips of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of croutons (I made my own. Cooked in the bacon grease..whoops! I'll post the recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup or so of Ken's Lite Caesar Dressing
  • 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
What's good about this recipe is you don't have to follow the measurements or
ingredients exactly and if you want to put in other things, feel free to.

Recipe for croutons:
  • a few pieces of day old bread, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • a few tbsp of oil (I used bacon grease because I had it left over from cooking the bacon)
Directions for croutons..
  • Heat oil in frying pan
  • Drop in chopped bread
  • Season and fry up for about 5 minutes

BOSU Workout

BOSU balls are a great tool..expensive if you want to get one
for your home (about $100), but great to work with at the gym.

The concept of using a BOSU ball is that they are unstable
and your body's muscles work to try to stabilize itself while on it.

I made an awesome BOSU workout for one of my
strength classes and it was a success.
Perform each exercise until your muscles fatigue.. do 2 sets!

1. Ball Throws
Stand on the BOSU and either throw a medicine ball
at a partner (careful!) or at a concrete wall

2. Squat & Overhead Press

Squat on the BOSU with weights at shoulders, then stand and push weights up over head.
3. Push Up

Place toes on the BOSU and do push ups.
For modified push ups, place knees on BOSU and push up.

4. Dips
Place hands back on the BOSU and dip down (butt should not touch the floor).

5. Side Plank
Place elbow on BOSU. Your elbow should be directly under your shoulder.
Hold pose and repeat on other side.

6. 1 Legged Bridge

Place heel on BOSU, one leg up...heel towards the ceiling.
Bring hips up and hold for 1 count, then lower hips (not touching ground).

7. Mountain Climbers

Place hands on BOSU and bring knee up towards chest..quickly alternate legs.

8. Static Crab Walk
Start in the same position as the "Dip" and alternate lifting your hands.

9. Squat & Front Raise

Squat on the BOSU, with butt back and weights in front of you.
As you stand up from the squat, raise weights up in front of you (shoulder level).

10. Steering Wheel
Pick up BOSU and grab handles at sides.
Feet should be a little wider than hip width apart and steer BOSU as you would a big truck.
Keep turning back and forth, keeping back straight.

11. Lunge & Toe Tap

Start with your right foot lunged forward on the BOSU with hands stabilizing
you at either side of your foot.
Your left foot should be straight back.
Now, tap left foot in to the edge of the BOSU and quickly move it back and forth.
Switch legs once you tire.

12. C-Sit Hold
Get into a C-Sit position...balancing on your posterior hip bones with your feet off the floor.
Hold this pose for as long as you can without dropping your feet.

13. C-Sit Oblique

In the C-sit position, hold elbows out to the sides.
Touch elbow to opposite knee, twist and do the same to the other side. Repeat.

14. C-Sit Knee Rows

In the C-sit position, outstretch one leg with other leg bent into chest. Alternate legs back and forth.

15. Alternating Push Ups
Push up with one hand on the ball and the other on the floor.
Quickly move to the other side to push up and repeat.

16. Lunge Up & Back
Stand about 3 or 4 feet back from the BOSU.
Lunge backward with your right leg, return to start, and then lunge forward onto the BOSU (as shown), and return to start.
Repeat and then continue on other side.

17. Sit Up to Stand
Sit on the edge of the BOSU, placing feet hip width apart, and lie back.
Return to sitting and stand up off of the BOSU. Repeat.

This is a great total body workout using a BOSU ball.
Try it!


Stuffed Squash

1 acorn squash
8 oz of brown rice, cooked
2 spicy turkey sausage links
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cut squash down the center and place face down on a non-stick cookie sheet. Place in oven for about 40 to 50 minutes.
  3. While squash is cooking in the oven...brown onions, celery, and carrots (and whatever veggies you'd like to put in). Then, add in the sausage (without casing) to brown. Break up with a spoon as it's cooking.
  4. Mix in the rice and season with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a couple of tablespoons of the parmesan.
  5. When the squash is done, take it out and remove the seeds and slimy pulp from the center. Spoon the rice mixture into the squash and top each half with remaining cheese.
  6. Turn oven up to 375 degrees and place the stuffed squash in the oven. Once cheese has melted (about 10 minutes), take it out and enjoy.
It's healthy, but really good and super filling.
Happy Cooking!