Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Get to Steppin'

Happy Wednesday! How is your week going, peeps?

Mine started on a high note--I got to sub a Step and Tone class on Monday! "Step Aerobics" was the first format that I taught when I started teaching fitness, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

If you've never tried it, give step a chance! It takes about three classes to pick up on the moves, but once you've got the hang of it, it's a good brain and leg workout.


According to Peterson et al. (Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, 1993), the typical step routine produces between 6-11 METs (metabolic equivalents--which measures how hard your body is working. Like a level system). Other exercises that produce 6-11 METs:

-Running at 10 minutes/mile
-Cycling at 10mph
-Zumba or dance fitness

So, Step is as effective as running!

My super sweet step combos!

This past weekend one of my best friends (and former bridesmaid), Pam, came to visit. She is pretty flippin' awesome and always brings food and games, which is why she is welcome at our house anytime :)

Me and Pam at my wedding a year ago. Can't believe it's been a year already!?!?

This weekend, she introduced me to this game, Carcassonne. Really fun and easy strategy game where you "build" a town and you get points for your castles and roads. Anyone ever played it? I LOVE board games, but I always forget the rules! THIS is pretty much how games go down in our house (love Adventure Time like I love me some board games).

I also got to harvest our first hydrangeas of the season this week! Totally one of my favorite flowers.

Despite the sunny start to the week, today it stormed--thunder and lightning. No fear though, my thunder buddies snuggled close by under my desk. Beaufort hates thunder and lightning. and fireworks. and baths. and pretty much anything that is not sleep, love and food.

Hiding under my desk

Today, I also bring you a quick, easy peasy, vegetarian, healthy ONE POT PASTA!

I saw this recipe on a friend's wall on Facebook and copy/pasted post haste. The picture looked like this:

But this is how mine turned out:

I think you could use fresh tomatoes with this, but I tried canned as the recipe suggests. I made good use of all of that basil in my herb garden! Even my hubs liked this pasta--and he is not a fan of tomatoes! Next time, I think I'll try adding veggies or mushrooms--seems versatile. Throw some parm on that bowl and you have yourself a damn good meal in 20 mins.

One Pot Pasta
12 ounces pasta (I used Linguine)
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid ( I used zesty red pepper flavor)
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs fresh basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish


1. Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.

2. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired. Takes about 5-10 minutes of additional cooking. Just keep checking and stirring every two mins.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

4. Nommmmmmmm!

Question of the day: What's your favorite board game? Have you ever tried Step? What did you think?


  1. Hi Laura! I went to step and tone on Monday and RIPPED tonight. Always enjoy your classes! Congrats on getting your website up! I will definitely try that recipe!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, James (both here and to my classes)! It's good to put faces to names! Happy Wednesday!