A change up on your basic lunges and squats. These are two of my favorite exercises and sometimes when you are doing air squats or reverse lunges it gets a little boring and easy. These variations definitely keep you from being bored and push you a little bit harder! Challenge yourself with this workout and try out some new moves! Since I’m not a personal trainer I don’t like to film myself doing exercises unless form is perfect so instead I encourage you to Google exercises you are unsure of from a reputable resource. Complete each exercise 10 times with good form, with or without weights depending on your preference. Have fun!
A dinner too epic not to share… also probably the most expensive dinner I’ve ever had so I need to make sure I can recall it for years to come, haha. Vetri= amazing. The whole dining experience there was definitely five star or whatever they say… everyone was professional and knowledgeable about the menu. Chef Vetri is a James Beard award winner and Vetri is also named one of the top 10 restaurants in Philly for 2015 (and many other years!). Pat and I are foodie geeks and get psyched about those types of prestigious awards so I figured I’d share… Anyways on to the food… FYI Sunday night was our 1st Anniversary and this is a recap our dinner celebration!
It’s a chef’s tasting menu that is customized…. Sort of a more individualized pre fix menu. You looked over the menu and shared preference (no red meat for me, I love fish, I have to try dish X, don’t give me dish Y) and the server reports this to the chef who customizes a menu just for you. I love this because you won’t get something you hate, but you still get to be a little surprised. Here is what I ate:
We started with a small tray of snacks from the chef: this included prosciutto, polento crusted veggie and herb tart, foie gras and shaved yellow tail. Well something like that anyways, it wasn’t on the menu and I didn’t take notes and of course there were fancy words, but this was basically what it was. Don’t hate me but foie gras is delicious. I never order it because I feel guilty/weird but I will have a bite if someone else does… it’s incredibly rich and creamy, if you ever get the chance to try it don’t be scared, go for it! Also with this was sliced veggies with a balsamic crema that was so amazing all I want to do is try to make it myself…
Next was bread and some sort of fancy olives in oil. I didn’t take a picture of this but I ate about 10 olives… they are so good and always remind me of Greece <3 I did a good job of only eating one small piece of bread to save room for all the deliciousness!
My first course was granchio in tiepido- king Alaskan crab with snail butter- something like that and it sounds really weird but it was fantastic… both one of mine and Pat’s favorites. I should note that Pat got different dishes from me since his preferences are more of the meaty variety, but we shared bites.
Second course was mushroom stuffed quail with sweet onion agrodolce very different from anything I’ve had before but I really really enjoyed it!
Third course we actually got the same 3 pasta small plates: spinach gnocchi with brown butter, almond tortellini with truffle sauce, and taleggio ravioli with vincotto. Pat’s favorite was the spinach gnocchi and announced it as his favorite way to eat spinach, haha. I think I liked the ravioli best but all the sauces were fantastic.
Fourth course for me was the seppia spaghetti with manila clams. More pasta and seafood, two of my favorite things. This picture is really terrible because of restaurant lighting. There were also zucchini noodles with it which was nice to get some veggies in!
My entrée was the whole fish “secondo il mercato” which was branzino. Confession: I’ve actually always been intimidated to order a whole fish before so I was super excited this is what they brought me, especially cool because they bring you out the salt coated and herb stuffed whole fish before they filet it for you!! Once fileted it was served with charred Brussels sprouts which paired well with the fish and olive oil herb sauce.
Pre-desssert (yes they served us pre-dessert) was petit fours and sorbet that I believe was strawberry with rhubarb. These pictures are super shadowy but the macaroon was stuffed with a chocolate ganache and that was probably my favorite.
Dessert for me was peanut butter flan with milk chocolate gelato. I kinda expected the flan to be cold but it was more like a lava cake and oozed peanut butter- so good. Pat was served the chocolate polento soufflé so we shared lots of bites!! They even added candles for our anniversary celebration.
Although pretty much every couple or group there was celebrating an anniversary or birthday so I didn’t feel super special…. But it is definitely a special occasion restaurant and was absolutely perfect for our 1st anniversary! I should note that we skipped out on the $90/person wine pairing (too expensive and too much vino for me) and each just enjoyed one glass of wine- we had to make sure something was moderated, haha. This was an extremely large, rich, and amazing meal and not something we indulge in very often. But remember it’s important to enjoy good food and not restrict yourself. Everything I ate was not the healthiest but I thoroughly and mindfully enjoyed every bite! It was a 3 hour dinner so it was really a true experience and not about stuffing your face. I like to share things like this because I’m human too and I don’t go out to eat and only order salads. That being said I was a little too full at the end of the meal (definitely got my money’s worth!) and did have a bit of stomach ache during the night… and it was difficult to get my wedding ring on Monday morning (too much salt!) but I wouldn’t change a thing. We set the bar high for our 1st anniversary and I can’t wait for continued adventures with my love!
Well most of my entrees are vegetarian so to do a roundup of all of them would be kind of pointless…. Basically if youre looking for vegetarian entrees click on any link from my recipes that doesn’t have the word chicken in it, haha. Instead I’m going to share my top 5 vegetarian entrees for Meatless Monday and would love to hear some of your favorites as well! It was pretty tough to narrow it down, but I also tried to make sure there was a little bit of everything: fish, beans, tofu, etc.
So while doing this I also noticed I only have 1 tempeh recipe on the blog which seems crazy because tempeh is my husbands favorite…. Must change that soon. If you follow me on instagram (@dietitianjess) you’ll see I posted one of my tempeh favs last week… BBQ tempeh and polenta. For a complete meal serve with veggies, I just ate mine with some raw carrot sticks because I was too lazy to make a vegetable, blogger fail. Since I’m sharing my favorite vegetarian entrees I’ll share this one as a bonus! It’s not really a recipe but here is what I do: Add your favorite BBQ sauce to crumbled tempeh and cook on stovetop 5-7 minutes. For the polenta, I buy Trader Joe’s that comes in a tube and I mush it up and add milk and whatever cheese I have on hand to make it a smooth and creamy texture. Great spring or summer meal if you add in some asparagus or a green salad! Anyways here are my top 5 vegetarians entrees: (PS some of these photos are really old and really terrible, don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
Garbanzo Bean BBQ
Sort of a vegan sloppy joe, so easy and so good…. Would be great for upcoming summer picnics.
Cornmeal Salmon Patties
I kinda love cornmeal… this is a great recipe for my gluten free friends!
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
One of my my favorite recipes on the blog. Period. So DELICIOUS!
Vegan Stuffed Peppers
More vegan love but vegetarians can add cheese, which I usually do!
Asian Tofu Stir Fry
Tofu and Asian just always go together like peanut butter and jelly. This post also has my not so secret tip to making super flavorful tofu!
What delicious vegetarian creations have you been enjoying lately!?! Click the link below to join Tina Muir and Confessions of a Mother Runner as they host Meatless Mondays
I probably should’ve done a full wedding post after the big day last year but I wasn’t sure how many people reading my healthy food and fitness based blog would be interested in wedding stuff. Turns out people love to hear about wedding stuff… and I have all these awesome pictures so why not share them!? If you’re not into lovey dovey wedding reliving feel free to avoid this post and check back next week for a delicious recipe!
This Sunday, April 12th marks our first anniversary! Pat and I met when we were both going to school at Penn State, during my freshman year and Pats sophomore year of college at Penn State (side note: no we have not been together the entire time). Pat proposed in June 2012 after I relocated to Philly (from Baltimore) the previous fall. I won’t go into engagement story details but it’s pretty much the most thoughtful and creative proposal ever <3
Wedding planning sucks so we took a while to pick a date, venue, etc. Finally we settled on April 12th 2014. I cannot recommend taking your time being engaged and enjoying that time enough. There is no rush for marriage, just enjoy the excitement (and stress) of wedding planning.
Our wedding party was an amazing group of people, his were mostly friends from college and mine were a good mix including my two sisters as my maids of honor. We wed in the most beautiful church on the most gorgeous day (especially considering it was April in PA!). The group took pictures at local barn/outdoorsy area, and then headed to a brewery: Prism. The hubs and I are absolutely obsessed with craft beer and I think we’ve been to something like 50 breweries?! Only seemed appropriate to have a little unique wedding fun with a photo sesh paired with delicious beers.
After pics we headed to the reception at the William Penn Inn which is a historic inn celebrating its 300th birthday that year. I cannot say enough great things about the William Penn Inn- everything was flawless. We had fun dancing and celebrating with a night full of great speeches, spectacular food, fantastic company, and of course my wonderful husband. Such a perfect day for the two of us.
We continued the celebration at a party back at the hotel and I believe I didn’t go to bed until 4am. I’m so thankful for all our friends and family that helped us celebrate our special day. It’s so great to look back and think about all the happiness shared that day.
We will celebrate our 1st anniversary with a small overnight trip on Saturday and then a spectacular dinner at Vetri! But the real 1st anniversary present is paper, right!? Which is why we have tickets from Philly to Seattle, and then departing Sacramento back to Philly. Yes friends…. West Coast Road Trip! We will fly to Seattle in May, hit up Portland, trek down the coast to Northern Cali, spend a few days in San Francisco, and then end our 10 trip in Sacramento. Can’t wait for all the views, great food, top notch beer and wine, and seeing a few friends along the way! Please send any recommendations my way :)
All the photos (except for the the above flight info picture) were taken by: Artistic Imagery
These could also be breakfast cookies or snack cookies but I like to have them for post workout in lieu of chocolate milk or a smoothie. If you’re anything like me, after a workout you are ravenous… (particularly after swimming) so you want something pretty much right away. Refueling your body after a workout is super important for recovery and for your muscles to grow/prevent injury. I’m a big advocate for chocolate milk but sometimes you are really hungry and want real food. These cookies are definitely higher in fat than the recommended refuel but the carb to protein ratio is good for recovery. Plus it’s all good fat… and the omegas from the hemp seeds helps shorten recovery time for fatigued muscles. Remember fat doesn’t make you fat, what’s important is the type of fat you are consuming… fat is needed for cell membranes and to help absorb fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Anyways... nutrition lesson over- go eat some healthy recovery cookies!!
½ cup pecans
½ cup oats
½ cup hemp seeds
½ cup almond meal
½ cup coconut flour
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup cacao
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup honey
1. Measure dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately
2. Combine wet and dry
3. Spoon onto greased baking sheets and bake at 250 for 15 minutes
Yes it’s really that easy or a recipe! What do you eat for recovery?
This is coming to you a little late because I just sat down to write it like 20 minutes ago (usually I do my posts the day before at the very latest). Anyways it’s an important post regardless so please read!
Yesterday was Easter and I had celebrated with my husband’s family on Saturday. We ate good food and had a great time. Sunday we were gifted two tickets to the Pens vs Flyers hockey game in Philly- which was awesome because the Pens are my team and I we rarely get their games on TV so I don’t get to watch them much. After enjoying the game and our club box seats (amazing!!!) we headed home. We live like 10 miles from the stadiums and headed through the city to go home, it was a sunny and nice spring day so I suggested we go to one of the world’s best ice cream shops and get gelato. Capo Giro is insanely delicious so if you are ever in Philly it’s a MUST GO, plus there are flavors for everyone! We hadn’t been in so long and we were enjoying such a nice day together that ice cream sounded perfect. I posted a picture of my gelato on Instagram because I like to share my eats. This morning I woke up this comment: “although you are a dietitian, yet you are encouraging us to consume high calorie food, lol”
I WANTED TO SCREAM AND FLIP OUT, but it’s Instagram so let’s not get carried away. I wanted to share this on the blog because it is so important for people to realize, it’s okay to have dessert, it’s okay to have ice cream, it’s okay to enjoy the foods you love in moderation. I am by no means suggesting to go get gelato every day… and I definitely don’t eat it very often. But there is nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence- everything in moderation friends!
Yes, I’m a Registered Dietitian, yes I eat a healthy diet, yes I enjoy healthy food, but that does not mean my diet is perfect or that I only eat healthy foods. I enjoy ice cream and dessert as much as the next person (if not more). I would never completely deprive myself of the foods I love and enjoy and I would never tell anyone else to do that. I like to share all different types of foods I eat on instagram including the vegan salad I ate a few days last week, the awesome bacon I had for brunch, the meal from the wine and beer dinner I just went to, the my fridge is empty makeshift meal, what I ate at an Italian restaurant a couple weeks ago, and the gelato I had yesterday. A healthy diet is about balance and eating intuitively, not restricting yourself, and of course, enjoying all foods in moderation. I am never someone who would recommend calorie counting, restrict high calorie foods, or tell someone they shouldn’t eat ice cream. Yes I’m a dietitian, but dietitians eat ice cream too!
Also wanted to share these posts I read in the last couple months from RDs that share my line of thinking:
So is anyone else excited for the games this weekend!? Great matchups which I won’t bore you with talking about…. Did you do a bracket? I did two… one in a large group that got messed up after Oklahoma lost (my upset final four pick) and then when Arizona lost (who I had winning the whole tournament). My other bracket is with my husband and basically if Kentucky wins, he will win, and if Kentucky loses the victory is mine. Loser treats winner to a small gift, haha. We are strange like that. Anyways… the workout is 4 themed because of the Final Four this weekend but it’s definitely well balanced! Enjoy!
Hosting Easter this Sunday? Or need to bring a dish to your family or friends? Introducing the perfect last minute Easter appetizer! And if you are hosting and make it Sunday, it will leave your house smelling fantastic for when guests arrive… who doesn’t like to impress their guests with delicious smells?? Haha. Plus it is great with veggies, bread, crackers- everything is the perfect vehicle for hummus! I’m going to my in-laws to celebrate on Saturday…. And on Sunday the Pens are in town so I’m going to the hockey game (after church of course)…. I am planning on bringing dessert to the in-laws and I’m testing out a recipe so if it’s a success I will share soon. If you’re not celebrating this weekend, make this hummus and watch the Final Four- 3 #1 seeds and Michigan State- those games are going to be awesome! Look for a fun Final Four workout coming your way tomorrow!
1 head garlic (at least 4 cloves)
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans
¼ cup olive oil
½ TBSP dried basil
½ TBSP dried rosemary
¼ cup feta
¼ tsp salt
1/8 cup warm water
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Roast the garlic: using at least four cloves of the head of garlic, coat in olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil, place in oven for 30 minutes
3. Remove the skin from the garlic and add to food processor with remaining ingredients except water
4. Add water gradually until desired consistency
5. Chill in fridge and add some dried herbs to the top for fancier serving
Any fun dishes planned for Easter this weekend?? Any favorites or new recipes!?
As I write this Monday morning I am one exhausted lady! After the Love Run Half Marathon Sunday morning, I spent the rest of the day moving up the street (renting a bigger space!) and let me just say never plan a big run and moving in the same day. I am sore and very tired. Anyways let’s talk about the race!
Well first of all it was FREEZING! Literally- at the start I think it was 25 degrees… this is below the average for Philly, FYI. For those of you that are wondering… I wore two long sleeved tech shirts…. Some people wore one… some people are obviously more warm blooded than me. I also wore my mittens and took them off at points during the race and carried them. I either got windburn or sunburn, maybe both. Above I'm bundled up before the start in my throwaway extra layers and yup I'm as cold as I look.
Best thing about this March race that’s only a half- smaller crowd… meaning less lines for the porter pottys, yesss! I am a big pee’er… I must pee right before the race starts, like two minutes before and then run into my corral or any corral I can get to for that matter. A lot of times I pee twice in 5 minutes…. Sorry if that’s a TMI. Anyways I peed and then got into a corral, might have been mine, not sure.
And we were off… wasn’t too crowded which was nice, saw Pat right after the start! I give him and all the spectators lots of credit for standing in the freezing cold and cheering.
The first few miles felt good, I actually ran the first mile around 8 minutes and had to force myself to slow down because who are we kidding- I’m not keeping up that pace for 13 miles. My 5k split was 27:13, pace of 8:46- this is a good pace for me… spoiler alert: I did not keep this pace. This was also all flat and through the city, which helps! Saw Pat again here and this is me mid-blowing a kiss!
Next couple miles were down MLK drive, which is across the river from boathouse row…. Less crowd support and then the biggest hill of the race is right before mile 6. Took my first gel around mile 4-5. This hill was in the Philly Marathon last fall (I ran the half) and it was a bitch! I saw a woman throw up at the top of the hill and was impressed a few miles later when I saw this woman in front of me- pukes and is maintaining under a 9 min mile pace- very impressive! So I definitely did ok on the hill this time… and weaved around Fairmount park area and the Please Touch Museum before heading down a small hill back to MLK.
After that we ran up the ramp to Strawberry Mansion bridge, across the bridge, up a small hill, down a small hill, back down across the bridge and down the ramp. Uphills and downhills over. I took my second gel at this point, mile 9-10. I tend to eat them gradually instead of downing the whole thing at once. After the turnaround point its basically a quick and flat 5k. Well quick if you’re in good running shape and not tired from already running 10 miles. Ha.
Saw Pat right around mile 13 right before the finish in front of the Art Museum. He was quite bundled but ready for photo action and was actually getting the live updates of my 5k and 10k times. Sometimes for other races they have been delayed and he has no idea how I’m doing or where I am. This pic is terrible and hilarious- had to share! Plus you can see Waterworks which is behind the Art Museum so you know we were getting close to the finish!
I finished under 2 hours, yay! Official time was 158:53. I didn’t have any real goals for this race but I feel like for me a finish under two hours is a standard goal… glad to have just made it. This was the hilliest and coldest half I’ve ever run so given that plus with my lack of training I was very pleased with my time.
I’d like to run another half this spring but my schedule doesn’t look favorable. Broad Street Run the first weekend in May is the next run I’m focusing on and for once I’m actually going to try to “PR” and improve my speed…. #lazyrunner… We all know how I feel about PR’ing but it’s always nice to know you’re making strides towards improvement. Typing this here is totally holding myself accountable, haha.
Did you race this weekend? Any Love Runners!? How did you do? Any recaps for me to read, comment and share your link!
As warm weather nears we get closer to triathlon season and fun spring races! I recently combed through my archives and found a summer goals post and thought whoops, I totally didn’t do all of those… all the more reason to start thinking towards this summer’s goals and the training necessary to get there! Last summer I was a newlywed and coming home from 2 weeks in Greece- fitness wasn’t exactly my top priority I was just happily living life…. Hence why I did a sprint tri not Olympic in July. This spring includes another long trip (hello west coast!) and a summer full of wedding (5 weddings in 6 weeks and that’s not even an exaggeration!) I’ve always thought the “Fail to Plan, Plan to fail” quote was so accurate… as much as I hate scheduling workouts it’s important to have a weekly game plan to meet your goals.
Looking towards this spring/summer season and my goals and plans first up I have the Love Run- half marathon on the docket this weekend. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve been so ill prepared for a long distance race, oops. I blame several things… the crappy snowy weather, traveling, lack of planning/schedule, back injury, and desire. I enjoy running but after taking some time off over the winter my body didn’t want to run 3-4 times a week… there were some weeks I only ran once but usually it was only twice. This is a very poor way to prepare for a half marathon. Since it’s my 4th half I knew that I could go out and run it not problem without a great deal of training… or so I thought, I guess we will see what happens on Sunday. Fingers crossed for a good race… temps look pretty solid so that helps :)
Since I’ve sucked at running over the winter I’m hoping to pick it up this spring (being able to run outdoors consistently should work wonders for my motivation). Although I don’t usually focus too much on time goals and PR’ing I’d like to improve my Broad Street Run time… this will be my 4th year doing the race (one for every year I’ve lived in Philly) and basically my time has been the same every year! I’m totally guilty of not pushing myself very hard but I think it would be interesting to see if setting my expectations higher will improve my time. I’m hoping this will start me off on a good note leading into triathlon season.
I plan on racing the Tri Rock Philadelphia Olympic distance triathlon at the end of June…. The course is basically in my backyard so having “home” field advantage should be fun! I’m actually going bike shopping next week after 2 years of doing tris on borrowed bikes (thank you Gordon!). If anyone has any bike recs, let me know! I’m also ambitiously planning on doing the Pittsburgh Tri for the first time this August. This is ambitious because I’ll be finishing up my 6 week wedding stretch (aka limited training time on weekends and lots of traveling) and Pittsburgh has hills, a lot of them, and I hate going DOWN hills on the bike. Most people hate going up but I hate going down, so scary. Definitely needs to practice some hillier rides this spring and summer. And follow some sort of training plan… last summer I basically biked 2x/week, swam 2x/week, and ran 2-3x/week with 1-2 of those runs being after the bike. Probably doing something similar this spring and summer. Also hopefully running my first marathon in the fall, my friend Sarah at Run Greensburg is putting together a training plan for me to start in July! Excited to be working towards so many goals this season, bring on all the races!!!
I'm Jess- a Philly based Registered Dietitian who loves to share healthy recipes, evidence based nutrition information, fun workouts, and race recaps! Click the social media icons at the top of the page to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!