Foodalicious Friday

Posted: September 14, 2012 in Product Reviews, Recipes

Today’s post is more of a discussion/review of something I’m currently doing — Amanda Russell’s 14-day Shape-Up Plan. She saw one of my reviews of her workouts and we started emailing. That’s when she asked me to try her 14-day workout and diet plan. Challenge accepted! (Cue Barney Stinson voice.)

I’m on Day 3 and it hasn’t been easy, I’ll admit that. Due to my new, busier schedule (I teach 14 classes in 4 days, not including personal training), I have to supplement the diet and I also have to decrease her exercise plan set-wise in order to be safe. However, on Day 3 I can say that I have followed the meal plans (except yesterday at lunch because I didn’t have time) and have added only healthy snacks (except for a mildly-healthy dessert my Mom made). And so far, I am down about 2 pounds and feel a heck of a lot less bloated. Yeah, crazy, right!?

Without giving too much away, the basic concept is to decrease your starchy carbs and up your veggie intake. This includes cutting out processed foods, cereals, breads, oatmeal, and even starchy fruits like bananas (which, I’m a monkey, so this part is hard!). It’s pretty simple, though, and honestly, I like this diet plan a lot better than other “diet” plans I’ve seen. No, I wouldn’t call this long-term sustainable, especially if you’re an athlete, a new mother, or someone who exercises often. This is definitely a get-back-into-good-habits, healthy-detox, prep-for-a-big-event diet. It’s great because you are still eating carbs, but you’re focusing on healthy fats and proteins and tons of veggies, while getting your healthy sugars from certain fruits and some yogurt here and there.

I’ll continue to keep you posted 🙂

Now, for a recipe one of my sisters sent me that I’m definitely going to try when I’m done with this diet challenge!

Light Baked Spaghetti


  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oz. whole-wheat angel hair pasta
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2 pound button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 c. torn fresh basil leaves
  • Cooking spray, for the pan
  • 1/2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bell peppers, mushrooms, seasoned salt and Italian seasoning and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, 3/4 cup water and the basil and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors are blended, about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to combine with the sauce. Spoon half of the pasta mixture into the casserole dish. Sprinkle with half of each cheese. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and cover loosely with foil sprayed with cooking spray (do not let the foil touch the cheese). Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

SERVES: 6; Calories: 323; Total Fat: 11 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Protein: 20 grams; Total carbohydrates: 36 grams; Sugar: 8 grams; Fiber: 6 grams; Cholesterol: 48 milligrams; Sodium: 836 milligrams


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