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Archive for February, 2011

Make a Plan

Take the next step towards reaching your health and fitness goals:  Make it happen with a plan.  Once you’ve got a goal in mind, make a plan to keep you focused. Write it down:  this makes it real, manageable, and allows you to see what you need to do.  Use a note book, daily planner, or computer to write out the steps, actions, or behaviors to follow. Perhaps you make a chart from a simple poster board or flip chart and hang it where you will always see it.  Whatever you use, make it simple and easy.

Be specific.  Write out your goal, what changes you want to make or specific actions to make it happen.  Start with just one change to avoid feeling overwhelmed.  Action steps can include:  prepare lunches for work this week, play pickup basketball on Wednesdays, schedule Dr. appointment, or walk the dog 30 minutes every morning.

Track your progress regularly and note what you have accomplished.  As your obligations and life demands change, revise your plan so you can continue towards this goal.   Life happens and without a plan you will find it difficult to work efficiently towards your goal.  Start today!

Remember to subscribe to these updates to see the next step in my Healthy Resolutions Series by clicking Subscribe on the toolbar.

Set Your Healthy Goals

Begin your health and fitness resolutions now with this first step:  Set the goal.  If weight loss is your goal, be clear about how much you want to lose.

Be realistic when setting your goal to be sure it is attainable. Consider: How long has it been that you were at your goal?  How much time do you have to work towards your goals?  One to three pounds a week is the average amount that can be safely lost and maintained with a few key adjustments to your eating routine and lifestyle.

Establish small, short-term goals that you know you can reach in 2-4 weeks.  This will help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed by a significant change or long-term goals.

Recognize and celebrate that you have reached your goals, but don’t stop there!  Set new goals.

Measure your goals.   If you are not tracking your weight, then use a tape measure, or note your pants size or which belt or button hole you can use.  Pull out clothes in the closet that you can now where.  Tracking your improvement in physical fitness is also a very strong measurement to success:  how long you can walk now, how long you can walk with out losing your breath!, how many pushups or situps can you now do?

Track it!  Be sure to write down those goals and your progress.  Going over your goals, and changing them from time to time will allow you to prioritize and  incorporate them into your new lifestyle.
Be sure to check out the upcoming steps in my  Healthy Resolutions series.

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta

One of my winter concoctions on a Sunday afternoon is my  Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta, and this is less than 500 calories.  I put this together with ingredients in the kitchen, and I included healthy oils and nuts, vegetables, and garlic and spices for flavor.  I have included an estimate of calories for the meal below based on my measurements and compliments of’s easy to use food diary.  Feel free to add or subtract ingredients to satisfy your own tastes, but be sure to keep the vegetables!

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta

Whole Wheat Spaghetti Cooked – Pasta, 1.5 cup   263 Calories

Grilled Sweet Potatoes, 1/4 cup cooked   71 Cals

Del Monte – Petite Cut Diced Tomatos, Garlic & Olive Oil, 1/4 cup    20 Cals

Peppers/Red/Yellow Strips, 1/4 Cup (46 grams)     9 Cals

Chop’t – Red Onions, 1 tsp    3 Cals

Olive Oil, 0.25 Tbsp    30 Cals

Raw Walnuts, 1 tbsp    41 Cals

Grated Parmasean Cheese, 2 tsp     25 Cals

Garlic and spices:  black pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin, sage

Cals   Carbs    Fat    Protein     Choles     Sodium   Sugars     Fiber

TOTAL:         462    69     12g      15g            5mg         351mg             4g           9g

Note:  I added two glasses of red wine of 150 calories, and a romaine lettuce/red onion salad with balsamic vinegar of 25 calories.  Remember its all about moderation!


For 4 servings, Gather approximately one large sweet potato; one red bell pepper, one can of tomatoes; 1/2 package of pasta, half of red onion and spices.   Cut sweet potato into chunks and grill in a pan with a tbsp of olive oil at low heat; add garlic, onions, peppers and spices.

Boil pasta according to directions; drain right before potato is ready and toss with tbsp of olive oil (optional).

After potato begins to soften, add can of tomatoes and continue to simmer until potato is browned and ready to taste. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, pine nuts or your favorite nut.

Plate pasta, and top with sweet potato mixture.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!