Greek Stuffed Peppers

Aloha!

(Yes, Hawaii Five-0 is on TV right now…)

Last night I made greek stuffed peppers and they were DEE-licious. And now I want to share the recipe with you wonderful people, because I want you all to try it sometime and tell me what you think. I actually made this one up myself.

First, you’re going to need the following:
1. 1 lb. lean ground turkey (I use Jennie O’s)
2. 1 package Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice– Garlic and Butter flavor
3. 2 sliced roma tomatoes (preferred) or 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
4. 1 6-oz. tub fat free feta cheese, crumbled (I used President)
5. 1 small can black olives (or kalamata olives if you’re feeling extra greek)
6. 6 large peppers, tops cut off and peppers carved out
7. Olive oil
8. Basil

Sort of like this:

Ingredients (minus the olives)

Ingredients (minus the olives) Note: I only had baby peppers when I made this. I’ll explain below.

 

And then you’re going to put it all together:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Brown ground turkey and drain the excess liquid
3. Heat the rice in the microwave (which conveniently only takes 90 seconds. It’s the little things in life…)
4. Mix in a big bowl the meat, rice, tomatoes, olives, and 1/2-1 tbsp basil (just depending on your taste)
5. Add feta and stir again until just mixed (you don’t want all the feta to fall apart!
6. Place peppers open-face up in a glass dish and fill with mixture. If the peppers don’t stay upright you can always slice a thin layer off the bottom until they do.
7. Drizzle olive oil over the top of each stuffed pepper
8. Put peppers in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the peppers are softer and a little wrinkly.

And voila! So yummy, so filling, and healthy.

When I made this last night and used the small peppers, I sauteed them in the frying pan and mixed them in with the meat and other ingredients. It was more of a hot dish… like this:

Greek not-so-stuffed pepper hot dish

Greek not-so-stuffed pepper hot dish

Good news is I had enough to take some to work for dinner tonight… and two other nights this week. I am not complaining.

 

And now it’s time for…..

BONUS ABS!

Try this:

50 Full Crunches (lay flat on back, crunch where knees and elbows meet in the middle)
25 Bicycles
10 Horizontal Scissors (lay flat on back, legs straight and 6-12 inches off of ground, move legs from ankles-touching to more than shoulder-width apart)
10 Flutter Kicks (opposite of scissors, vertical)
10 Horizontal Scissors
10 Flutter Kicks
10 Horizontal Scissors

If you can do it 3 times, do it! If not, work your way up, or rest a little bit in between exercises and build up each time you do it. I believe in you! Try to get your three sets in while your peppers are cooking. What else are you going to do, sit here and read my blog?

Good Things 🙂

FS&JJ

 

 

 

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Tabata and Healthy(…er) Cupcakes

Tabata…

Sounds cool, yes? Maybe a little intimidating, but hey, it was a sweet last name and now a fun word. Why not?

Tabata is a type of workout created by some health-crazy Japanese man who knew his stuff. He ran tests and experiments and found that high-intensity interval training increased both aerobic and anaerobic systems (two different types of exercise that collectively benefit all of your different muscles types). Basically, interval training is fantastic. It revs up your metabolism and helps your muscles to stay active, even after you stop working out, to burn calories and boost fat loss.

I’ve recently been teaching Tabata as a half-hour exercise class, and my clients love love love it! Originally, Tabata was meant as a 4-minute all-out cardio blast, where you max out all effort during your set and keel over in exhaustion and satisfaction at the end. Now don’t go getting any ideas that you should pace yourself when you try this workout, but it is going to be challenging. Try not to cheat. The harder you work, the sooner that second wind comes around… right?

So here’s the deal:

Each set is 4 minutes total.
6 sets; 2 exercises in each set.
That’s 4 rounds of each exercise in a set, for 8 total rounds in a set.

Got it? No? Yeah, that explanation was about as Japanese as the man who made this up. Follow this:

Do each exercise for 20 seconds and rest 10 seconds. For example, you would do (1) for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, do (2) for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, do (1) 20 seconds, etc. Each exercise will be done 4 times before moving on to the next set, for a total of 4 minutes per set.

Note: Any exercise with a * next to it has a how-to picture posted underneath the exercises. All other exercises you may not know (make sure you have proper form!) are easily found in a Google search.

HARD 
1. Jumping Jacks
2. Squatted Punch (stay low the whole time!)*

1. Mountain Climbers
2. Lunge with Dumbbell Bicep Curls

1. Burpees/Squat Thrust
2. Bridge (aka hip raise) to Crunch*

1. Invisible Jump Rope
2. V-Raise with Curtsey*

1. Lunge Jumps (go down as far as you can!)
2. Squat Pulse holding weight

1. Push-ups/Diamond Push-ups
2. Squat Kick-backs*

EASY
1. In and Outs (shuffle your feet in and out quickly)
2. Standing Punch

1. High Knees
2. Front Raise/T-Raise*

1. Squat Jacks (stay low!)
2. Hip Raises aka Bridge

1. Invisible Jump Rope
2. V-Raise with Curtsey*

1. Lunge Walk Jumps (for less impact)
2. Squat Pulse

1. Push-ups/Diamond Push-ups
2. Backward Leg Raises

No weights? Try the workout below, or hold a couple laundry bottles, heavy bags, etc. for the ones above!

NO WEIGHTS
1. Jumping Jacks
2. Push-Ups

1. Mountain Climbers
2. Diamond Push-Ups

1. Squat Jumps
2. Bridge to Crunch*

1. Squat Jacks (stay low!)
2. Alternating lunges

1. Burpees/Squat Thrusts
2. “Kettlebell” (i.e. something heavy) Swing

1. Invisible Jump Rope
2. Squat to Press (just use something heavy)

Again, do each exercise for 20 seconds and rest 10 seconds. For example, you would do (1) for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, do (2) for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds, do (1) 20 seconds, etc. Each exercise will be done 4 times before moving on to the next set, for a total of 4 minutes per set.

Doing all 6 sets, and resting 1 minute in between sets will bring your workout to a grand total of 29 minutes. Modify if needed for knee, back, elbow, etc.problems, but don’t modify just because your lungs are burning! They’re supposed to. You can do it! Yes it sucks, and yes you’re breathing heavy, but you’re also sweating yourself to a good mood and fitter, more toned body. Definitely worth it.

V-Raise with Curtsey

V-Raise with Curtsey-- Step 1

V-Raise with Curtsey– Step 1

Curtsey and V-Raise-- Step 2

Curtsey and V-Raise– Step 2

Curtsey and V-Raise-- Step 3

Curtsey and V-Raise– Step 3

Curtsey and V-Raise-- Step 4

Curtsey and V-Raise– Step 4

Curtsey and V-Raise-- Step 5. Repeat!

Curtsey and V-Raise– Step 5. Repeat!

Squatted Punch

Squatted Punch-- stay low the whole time

Squatted Punch– stay low the whole time

Squatted Punch-- stay low the whole time

Squatted Punch– stay low the whole time

Front to T-Raise

Front to T-Raise-- Step 1

Front to T-Raise– Step 1

Front to T-Raise-- Step 2

Front to T-Raise– Step 2

Front to T-Raise-- Step 3

Front to T-Raise– Step 3

Front to T-Raise-- Step 4

Front to T-Raise– Step 4

Front to T-Raise– Step 5. Repeat!

Squat Kick-back

Squat Kick-Backs-- Step 1

Squat Kick-Backs– Step 1

Squat Kick-Backs-- Step 2

Squat Kick-Backs– Step 2

Squat Kick-Backs-- Step 3

Squat Kick-Backs– Step 3

Squat Kick-Backs-- Step 4

Squat Kick-Backs– Step 4

Squat Kick-Backs-- Step 5. Repeat!

Squat Kick-Backs– Step 5. Repeat!

Bridge (aka Hip Raise) to Crunch

Bridge to Crunch-- Step 1. Think "Up-Down-Crunch-Down"

Bridge to Crunch– Step 1. Think “Up-Down-Crunch-Down”

Bridge to Crunch-- Step 2. Think "Up-Down-Crunch-Down"

Bridge to Crunch– Step 2. Think “Up-Down-Crunch-Down”

Bridge to Crunch-- Step 3. Think "Up-Down-Crunch-Down"

Bridge to Crunch– Step 3. Think “Up-Down-Crunch-Down”

Bridge to Crunch-- Step 4 Think "Up-Down-Crunch-Down"

Bridge to Crunch– Step 4. Think “Up-Down-Crunch-Down”

Bridge to Crunch-- Step 5.Think "Up-Down-Crunch-Down"

Bridge to Crunch– Step 5.
Think “Up-Down-Crunch-Down”

And here we go with a complete change in gears to talk about the C word. CUPCAKES! And more importantly, my personal weakness, funfetti cupcakes. Tomorrow is my last practice coaching soccer for 3-5 year-olds. Most know the routine but a few will be surprised tomorrow when they receive shiny medals with their names on them and a yummy cupcake for all their hard work. These kids are my entertainment for the weekend, and it’s so awesome to hear them say “Coach! Coach! Can you show me this move?”. How can you not give a kid a cupcake when you tell him he’s running extra fast today and he shouts “That’s because I’m wearing my Nikes!” (Pose included). So the kids are getting these in the morning…

Cupcakes for the last day of Lil' Kickers

Cupcakes for the last day of Lil’ Kickers

I’m no artist, but it’s the thought that counts, right? Hey… I used applesauce instead of oil. Almost healthy C-words. Yum.

What kind of things would you like to see on this blog? The more suggestions, the better. And the more input, the more motivation for me to keep writing. Thanks for reading!

Good Things 🙂

FS&JJ

This almost shouldn’t count as a first post…

Welcome welcome welcome to my new health, fitness, and faith-spiration blog! I think the worst of my blogging experiences (thinking of an awesome name and finding a background) are over, and for that I am so grateful. It’s time for me to start sharing the things I love, like workouts that kick your butt (or arms… or abs… and always sweat glands), healthy, delicious recipes (fair warning: I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER), and a strong faith in God that keeps me going every day (because, think about it, where would you be without Him?). I am so so excited to talk with whoever is reading and get input towards future posts. I want YOU to learn something new and feel inspired to power through your day. You’re invincible, and I’m fully prepared to beat up anyone who tells you different.

Good Things 🙂

FS&JJ