Stuffed Peppers!

Stuffed peppers are the perfect FITgal meal. Light, healthy, and easy to prepare. Here is an old stand-by from Rachael Ray. Do you have a favorite stuffed pepper recipe??

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
6 small bell peppers, mixed colors, seeded and halved
3 tablespoons EVOO, plus extra for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small firm eggplant, trimmed of half the skin, chopped
1 small to medium firm zucchini, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 fresh chile pepper, such as Fresno, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon dried crushed pepper
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, a handful, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped

Need to cut some calories? Cheese isn’t needed, but will be a yummy addition: 1 cup crumbled feta or ricotta salata cheese (optional)

Need some more protein? Add 2 links of chicken or turkey sausage, casings removed (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Bring the quinoa and stock to a boil. Cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the grain looks translucent, 12 to 15 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. You will have about 4 cups of cooked grain.

Drizzle the bell pepper halves with EVOO and season both sides with salt and pepper. Roast cut-side down until the skins begin to char and the peppers are just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temp, then arrange in a baking dish cut-side up.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, eggplant, zucchini, onions and chiles, and season with salt and pepper. Cook partially covered to tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the herbs and tomatoes, and combine with the quinoa. (If you are adding meat, start by browning the meat and then add the veggies to the browned meat to cook up).

Fill the pepper halves with the quinoa and vegetable stuffing and drizzle with EVOO. Cool and chill for a make-ahead meal. To serve, roast in a 375 degree F oven until the peppers are hot through. Serve the pepper halves topped with lots of cheese crumbles.

Enjoy!

The FITgals

Eating for TWO?! What to Eat When You’re Pregnant

Stumped on what you should be eating?!  Use our FITmama pregnancy diet guide.

8338A208D5AD4C69B949643794938979.ashxThe benefits of eating healthy during pregnancy are undeniable.  Read here about nutritional interventions in pregnancy.  The outcomes of healthy diets in the study significantly reduced the risk of pre-eclamsia, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and preterm births.  Wow!! That’s definitely a reason to eat healthy, but what exactly should you be eating??

During my first pregnancy and now my second, I have had people say it must be nice “eating for two!”  I like to respond with the facts… actually an “expectant mom only needs an extra 300 calories each day, where as, a nursing mom needs an extra 500 calories each day.”  I know it can be tempting to grab a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream, however, there are much better nutrient-rich foods that support mom and her growing baby.  Believe me, during my pregnancies there are days when I cannot eat enough and other days I could skip dinner all together.  It is important to listen to your body and health practitioner and do what feels right for you!!

In my case, I’m a part of the GWMFA Midwifery practice in Washington DC that truly believes you can get all the nutrients you need to have a healthy pregnancy by eating healthy food.  The GW Medical Faculty claims that healthy food is food that your ancestors would recognize as food.   Our dietary guidelines are designed to do several very important things.  The first is to keep your blood sugar at an even level throughout the day.  This will minimize your experience of nausea, dizziness, and even syncope so common in pregnancy.  The second is to expand your blood volume properly so that you can circulate for both yourself and the baby.  Not accomplishing these things can make you feel poorly during pregnancy and can lead to serious complications.  Following our guidelines will also help you grow a baby that is appropriately sized for your body and pelvis: consuming the processed foods so readily available to us can contribute to the growth of a baby that is larger then your body can deliver.

40A96BFD104D40268DC64CB8F3A180EA.ashxFollow FITmama’s Daily Diet: created by GW Midwifery

10-12 glasses of fresh water

Fruits and veggies: 8-10 servings per day including two leafy greens, one yellow one and one orange one: Sweet potatoes and kale are excellent food choices!

Whole grains: 2-4 servings per day (Try to stay away from wheat, even whole wheat)

Calcium rich foods: 2-4 servings per day

Protein foods: eggs, lean meat, fish, chicken, legumes: 2-4 servings per day 

Flax seeds 1-2 Tbs ground daily as desired not required

Multivitamin: Talk to your OBGYN or Midwife about the best prenatal vitamins for you!

Eliminate from your diet

All refined sugar

All white/processed foods: white bread, white rice, white flour, white sugar, and potatoes.  We even consider “whole wheat bread” a processed food

No more than one glass of fruit juice, preferably orange, per day

Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil

Corn syrup and corn syrup solids

Nicotine

I know these diet busters may seem harsh but the idea is to be mindful of an overall healthy, nutrient-rich diet full of color and vitamins!  Obviously, if you’re first trimester presents challenges to eating according to these guidelines… It’s OK!  Focus on getting through that first trimester and then refocus on the food.  These guidelines will help promote a healthier pregnancy, baby, and let mama bounce back faster!!

Here’s to loads of salmon and kale!!!

Xx

FITmama

Summer Runnin’…

Feeling unmotivated? Overeating on those vacations? Having trouble fitting in exercise while the kids are home from school?

courage to startWorking towards a goal (ie. run a 5k/10k, swim for 1/2 mile, bike to work, etc) is one of the best ways to kick your exercise routine into high gear. Whenever the FITgals are feeling un-motivated, they sign up for a race!I

Check out a list of all local to Washington, DC races here. Want to explore another city? Check-out these fun races a little further from home:

Annapolis Run for the Light House 1/2 Marathon: September 28, 2014

Philadelphia Rock N’ Roll 5k and 1/2 Marathon: Saturday, September 20, 2014 (5k) and Sunday September 21, 2014 (1/2 Marathon)

The Jersey Shore 1/2 Marathon: Sunday, October 5, 2014

Charlottesville, VA 10k and 1/2 Marathon: Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall Foliage Half and 5k in Rhinebeck, NY: Sunday October 12, 2014

The Princeton 1/2 Marathon: Sunday, November 2, 2014

Did you find the one you are ready to commit to? Great! Now it’s time to start running. If you are a beginner, start by downloading the app GetRunning which will help you get from the couch to a 5k. Ready for more? Move up to the 10k training app. Are you tackling a half with us and you can comfortably run a 10k (or 6.2 miles)? Time for the half marathon app!

We will be updating as we progress with our training. Don’t forget that cross training and stretching are important additions to the runs. Have fun!

xoxo

The FITgals