Change of Taste: Recipes for Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009

Asian Salmon with Brown Rice Pilaf


Brown Rice

·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         1/2 onion, chopped

·         1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

·         2 cups water

·         1 cup short brown rice

·         1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Salmon Ingredients

·         2 skinless salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)

·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

·         1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root

·         1 teaspoon soy sauce

·         1 teaspoon maple syrup

·         2 green onions, chopped


For rice, heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 3 minutes. Add water and rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 50 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork; stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Meanwhile, place salmon in a pie plate or shallow dish. Combine remaining salmon ingredients; mix well. Pour marinade over salmon; let stand 15 to 20 minutes. Heat a ridged grill pan over medium heat until hot. Add salmon, discarding marinade; cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until salmon is opaque and firm to the touch. Serve with brown rice.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (Makes 4 servings)

Calories: 466.94

Carbohydrates: 42.52g

Fat: 20.17g

Saturated Fat: 3.41g

Monounsaturated Fat: 14.57g

Protein: 27.25g

Dietary Fiber: 2.77g

Potassium: 613.68mg

Sodium: 154.78mg

Calcium: 48.63mg





Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

Here’s a dinnertime warmer with a hint of spring’s sweetness, designed for that day when you’d rather be outside raking the leaves from the garden, getting it ready for what’s ahead, than slaving over the stove.



·         6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed of fat

·         2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into spears

·         1/2 pound white button mushrooms, thinly sliced

·         6 large shallots, peeled and halved

·         4 cloves garlic, peeled

·         1 cup dry white wine

·         2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

·         1 teaspoon salt

·         1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

·         1 1/2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar


1. Place chicken, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, wine, rosemary, salt and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine. Put the lid on and cook on low until the potatoes are tender, about 5 hours. Before serving, remove bones from the chicken, if desired, and stir in vinegar.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (Makes 6 Servings)

Calories: 285

Carbohydrates: 35g

Fat: 6g

Saturated Fat: 2g

Monounsaturated Fat: 2g

Protein: 17g

Cholesterol: 50mg

Dietary Fiber: 5g

Potassium: 0mg

Sodium: 519mg

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (430% daily value), Potassium (25% dv), Fiber (20% dv).


Chipotle-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

A tenderloin is the ideal dinner for two: easy, fast and simple. And while this marinated tenderloin would be great as is with some grilled asparagus and corn on the cob, you can also transform it with the recipes that follow



·         1 canned chipotle chile in adobo plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, (see Ingredient Note)

·         1 clove garlic, minced

·         1/2 cup orange juice

·         3 tablespoons lime juice

·         1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

·         1 teaspoon dried oregano

·         1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

·         1/4 teaspoon salt

·         1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

·         8 ounces pork tenderloin, (see Kitchen Tip), trimmed of fat


1. Combine chipotle and sauce, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a blender or mini food processor; blend or process until the chipotle is chopped and the mixture is relatively smooth. Pour into a sealable plastic bag, add pork and seal, squeezing out any excess air from the bag. Turn to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

2. Preheat grill to high or heat a large indoor grill pan over high heat. Remove the pork from the marinade (discard marinade). Grill the pork, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally into the center of the meat registers 145° F, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (Serves 2)

Calories: 139

Carbohydrates: 2g

Fat: 4g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Monounsaturated Fat: 2g

Protein: 23g

Cholesterol: 63mg

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Potassium: 374mg

Sodium: 165mg

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (56% daily value).

Instructional Video Exercise Series: The Squat

squat-picClick picture for video.

Instructional Video Training Series: The Plank

plank-picClick on picture for video.

Climbing the Fitness Ladder

For most, finding the time to get a sufficiently challenging, monotony -fighting workout can be difficult.  A person can only do so many leg extensions, wait 30 seconds, and follow that up with another exciting set of leg extensions.

Sometimes, the key to keeping your workout intense and interesting at the same time isn’t constantly changing the exercises you’re doing but changing the way those exercises are organized.

Almost everyone who has spent time in a gym has heard of a super-set.  That is one exercise followed by another, different exercise with little or no rest in between.  That is one way to organize two different exercises in a challenging and time efficient manner.

On that same thought and in that same family comes the ladder set.

The ladder set involves two or more exercises, preferably working opposing muscle groups (or upper body, lower body) organized into a set where each exercise is assigned a number of repetitions which goes up BY ONE every time you move from one exercise to the next.

For example, a barbell squat and a dumbbell chest press in a ladder set organization would look like this:

barbell squat- 1

dumbbell chest press- 2

barbell squat- 3

dumbbell chest press- 4

…on up the “ladder” , no rest in between, as far as you can go.

The great thing about organizing your exercises this way is the volume of exercise you can achieve in a very short amount of time.

Consider this; the average gym workout consists of about 220 reps in about an hour.

One ladder set of 6 yields 21 reps.  8 gives you 36.  10 consists of 55.  20 will deliver an enormous 210 repetitions in about 5 minutes of work.

You can see that with just a few smartly designed ladder sets a very challenging workout can be put together that is VERY time efficient.

A good way to modify the ladder is by going in reverse BACK DOWN the ladder you just climbed for the second set, or by setting the ladder up where you go up one rep only when both (all) exercises have been executed (i.e.-1/1   2/2   3/3) and so on up the ladder.  You won’t make it as far up the ladder this way, but it’s a nice change of pace.

Throw your routine a change up. Enjoy climbing the ladder!

Matt Pirtle

Emerge Fitness Training

Trading Places: Evil thoughts towards Matt Pirtle (Thursday, August 20th, 2009)

This is going to be short and sweet.  I hurt…. I can barely walk.  It’s only getting worse.  I haven’t hurt this bad since day one.  I wore speed trainers on the treadmill this morning because I knew I couldn’t walk fast, so I may as well walk with some weight… 30 minutes was eternity.  For part two, my pace on cardio this afternoon was 1.9 MPH… HOW PATHETIC! I have no nice things to say to you Matt Pirtle… I shall see you at bootcamp at 8am…

Trading Places: My Big Mouth (Wednesday, August 19th, 2009)

And once again, I open my big mouth… I’d like to say “Wow, I feel great! My workout was super! My body feels like a million bucks!” But, I would be lying out the wazoo.  I freaking hurt from the traps to my toes.  It hurts to cough, it hurts to sneeze; it hurts to laugh.  I can’t stand up or sit down without a groan, and frankly anything other than lying still causes some sort of ache… GIVE ME DRUGS, PLEASE.

So, I’m guessing Pirtle read yesterday’s blog… We went non-stop for 50 minutes.  And ya know, I felt pretty optimistic during almost the entire workout.  I felt like I was giving a 110% but physically, I guess my body was wearing down.  By the time we got to the last exercise, I was a balancing disaster.  My legs were noodles before it was all over (the sprint intervals, that felt “so great” yesterday, yeah, hurt like hell today… It didn’t help the situation!).

I ended up doing my 30 minutes of cardio on the bike because I was worried that if I tried doing cardio standing up, I’d end up falling down.  Afterwards, I rolled out my legs, which had a lot more knots than I had imagined, and I went home.

After I had a post workout snack, I CRASHED on my couch.  It wasn’t a long nap, but it was one of those deep sleeps where you wake up not knowing where you are, what time of day it is or how you ended up on the couch.  To make it worse, I fell asleep in a very awkward position which just complemented the soreness that was already taking over my body.

Tomorrow is a cardio day, and I may break it up in to two-15 minute high intensity sessions, because there is no way on earth I will last for 30 minutes straight… Friday morning is bootcamp.  I REALLY hope this soreness is gone by then!  As for tonight, I’m going to ice down the knee, pop some ibuprofen or Tylenol, lay in bed, and hopefully watch the Cardinals win against the Dodgers.

Until next time,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Trading Places: My "Ah-Ha" Moment (Tuesday, August 18th, 2009)

It’s Tuesday evening and I have come to a frame of mind where I’m ready to kick it up a notch.  No, I haven’t fallen off of the fitness wagon; however, my priorities had gotten a little scrambled lately.  I had some other people and things on my mind that distracted me from what I want and what I need to do.  So starting this week, I’m tossing my baggage and taking a step forward, no a leap forward.

When I stress, I don’t sleep, I don’t want to exercise, I don’t want to really eat.  I just hide on my couch until it either goes away or I do something about it.  After a very long week and sleepless nights, I realized I’m tired of living this way.  If there’s nothing you can do at that moment to change your stress, then why worry.  I realized that in less than four months, I will be 27 years old.  I want to be in the best shape I’ve ever been in. It’s going to be a little bit of a challenge because it’s in the midst of all of the holidays, but this year, I want to feel better and look better than I have.  I always tell people that I really don’t feel 26, I still “feel” like I’m 21 or 22 years old.  I have a few clients that have proven time and again that age is just a number, but this year I want my goal to prove that I’m only getting better with age.  

I’m not sure what caused me to have the “ah-ha” moment but something this past weekend made me finally think “what you are doing isn’t cutting it… You have the capability to lift much more weight, move so much faster and eat much cleaner than you are” (I’m talking about weekends… My weekly diet can’t get any more perfect).  I had a friend who was in amazing shape; I’m talking ridiculous “wow” looking.  And EVERY time we went somewhere, someone would stop him and either ask him about his workouts and his diet or ask him about his training.  He never purposely wanted attention, in fact, he hid from people most of the time, but his physique just attracted attention in itself.  He hated it; but I always thought it was pretty cool to hear people say “wow, I want to look like that”.  Some people draw attention for their loudness, crazy antics, or even different hair-piercings-tattoos.  I’d like get positive attention by people saying “I wonder what it took for her to look like that.”

Mentally, I’m definitely self motivated enough to go all out this week.  It started yesterday in bootcamp.  Matt had a client so we had Angie… It’s never easier with Angie.  You can’t procrastinate… And generally the workouts seem to be tougher and longer. Last night’s bootcamp was the longest EVER… 3 Rounds, all for the FULL TIME… I’m not whining, but I’m just stating the facts (sorry Matt, but it’s true… Your wife is the tougher one… Please don’t make me hurt tomorrow for that comment).

I got in a great 30 minute cardio workout today, I got in 15 min on the elliptical then 15 minutes of full out sprint intervals.  I hit my fastest speed yet and the knees cooperated; I felt great.  I hit up the foam roller afterwards and boy did my legs need it!  I found knots from my hip bones to my ankles. 

Tomorrow morning I train with Matt, and then Friday, I WILL be at the 8am bootcamp (I won’t promise I will be chipper, in fact I GUARANTEE I won’t be).  I hope to see all of you readers there or at Monday night’s bootcamp (6:30pm).  In fact, that’s my challenge to you to “kick it up a notch” and make your exercise routine a bit more challenging.  There are progressions-regressions at both classes, but at least try it.  It’s very motivating when you have a group of people sharing in your endurance, pain, and hard work.  And when it’s done, you’ll always be glad you did it.  I may be cranky, silent, or gasping for oxygen when it’s over, but I’ve never wished that I hadn’t gone… (But I have prayed for the next Monday to take it’s time getting here!)


Until next time,
Kimbery, Emerge Fitness Training. 

Trading Places: Back to cardio (Wednesday, August 12, 2009)

Take note: 4 hours of sleep in NOT recommended for a training session.  It was rough today.  For one, I was training on 4 hours of sleep, but 2, my hiatus of “no cardio” was no over.  I had measurements today as well, and I was only hoping that my week away did more good than harm. 

Good news, it did.  I ended up being almost 3lbs down from a week ago, and I was down 1% body fat.  I noticed since last Thursday that my body had felt differently, better.  I feel like I may not be “lighter”, but I’m looking “leaner” and trust me, I’m ok with that!  Seeing the major difference is also a motivator to stay away from the ice cream (remember, I didn’t do Doozles this weekend).  I think cutting out all refined sugars is only going to help me.  During the week, this isn’t tough; it was just the weekends that kill me.  I have a lot of “events” coming up in the next few months so continuing to stay focused on a weight loss goal continues. 

So my workout was rough.  We started with power cleans.  I think that took most of the energy out of my legs (note, the workout is still a little fuzzy to me).  I remember doing this squats and front raises on a step and then “ladder drills” of bench press and pull-ups, oh yeah, that one was tough.  I remember telling Matt, “Please don’t make me do anymore of those!” (we were done luckily).  And then we finished with kettlebell snatches with squats.  I must have kept the core tight during this entire session because my abs are killing me.  That and I got my second ab “cramp” ever.  They suck. 

So my workout was over, time for cardio.  Matt did say to “ease” into it.  Good thing because I was walking on the treadmill and I started to nod off… Doing something as repetitive as cardio when you’re exhausted is rough.  After that I foam rolled, and headed home.  I’ve decided to boost the time and days I foam roll.  I know that’s a huge reason why my legs were so heavy and tight.  It’s something so little that I rarely do, but can make such a difference. 

Instead of training with Matt on Friday, I’m going to go to the morning core class at 8am (ugh, I know).  Wish me luck; we know how morning workouts work for me.

Until tomorrow,
Kimberly at Emerge Fitness

Change of Taste: Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Basil-Lemon Lobster Salad

Some seafood counters now sell precooked lobster meat, making this dish a snap to pull together.


·         1/3 cup hot water

·         1/4 fish bouillon cube

·         1 clove garlic, minced

·         3 tablespoons lemon juice

·         2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

·         1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

·         Freshly ground pepper, to taste

·         2 2/3 cups chopped lobster meat, (see Tip)

·         6 cups mixed salad greens

·         Lemon wedges, for garnish


1. Stir hot water and bouillon in a medium bowl until cube dissolves. Whisk in garlic, lemon juice, basil and oil. Season with pepper. Mix in lobster.

2. Divide salad greens among 4 large plates and spoon lobster salad on top. Serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Information

Per serving

Calories: 163

Carbohydrates: 5g

Fat: 6g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Monounsaturated Fat: 4g

Protein: 22g

Cholesterol: 70mg

Dietary Fiber: 2g

Potassium: 642mg

Sodium: 453mg

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (59% daily value), Vitamin A (48% dv), Vitamin C (32% dv), Folate (27% dv), Zinc (21% dv), Potassium (18% dv).



Chili-Rubbed    Tilapia with Asparagus and Lemon

Tilapia, a relatively plentiful fish, has the unfortunate reputation of being dull. All it needs is a spice rub, a familiar barbecuing technique that works just as well indoors. You could also use this rub on chicken breasts or toss it with lightly oiled.


·         2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

·         2 tablespoons chili powder

·         1/2 teaspoon garlic, powder

·         1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

·         1 pound tilapia, Pacific sole or other firm white fish fillets

·         2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

·         3 tablespoons lemon juice


1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put asparagus in a steamer basket, place in the pan, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate, spreading out to cool.

2. Combine chili powder, garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt on a plate. Dredge fillets in the spice mixture to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook until just opaque in the center, gently turning halfway, 5 to 7 minutes total. Divide among 4 plates. Immediately add lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and asparagus to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the asparagus is coated and heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve the asparagus with the fish.

Nutrition Information

Servings: 4

Per serving

Calories: 210

Carbohydrates: 3g

Fat: 10g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Monounsaturated Fat: 1g

Protein: 24g

Cholesterol: 48mg

Dietary Fiber: 4g

Potassium: 645mg

Sodium: 418mg

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (37% daily value), Folate (33% dv), Iron (33% dv), Fiber (24% dv).


Five-Spice Turkey and Lettuce Wraps

Based on a popular Chinese dish, these fun wraps also make appealing appetizers for entertaining. Make it a meal: Serve with chile-garlic sauce and rice vinegar for extra zip; toss diced mango and strawberries with lime juice for a quick dessert.


·         1/2 cup water

·         1/2 cup instant brown rice

·         2 teaspoons sesame oil

·         1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey

·         1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

·         1 large red bell pepper, finely diced

·         1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped

·         1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

·         2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, (see Note)

·         1 teaspoon five-spice powder, (see Note)

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated

·         1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil, mint and/or chives

·         1 large carrot, shredded


1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder and salt; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

3. To serve, spoon portions of the turkey mixture into lettuce leaves, top with herbs and carrot and roll into wraps.

Nutrition Information

Servings: 4

Per serving

Calories: 285

Carbohydrates: 24g

Fat: 11g

Saturated Fat: 3g

Monounsaturated Fat: 1g

Protein: 26g

Cholesterol: 66mg

Dietary Fiber: 5g

Potassium: 390mg

Sodium: 543mg

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (150% daily value), Vitamin C (140% dv), Iron (25% dv), Folate (20% dv).


Trading Places: Back to Blogging (Monday, August 10th, 2009)

Back to blogging… I’m not going to lie, this whole 7 day hiatus of doing cardio has been SOOO wonderful!!! That doesn’t mean that I have laid around my apartment by any means, in fact, I have scrubbed and cleaned every single room in my place… I’ve always been OCD about keeping a clean home, but Wednesday-Saturday, I went above and beyond.  And I know I burned some serious calories.  AND, oh, get this, NO DOOZLES… Not once!!! I did have a small vanilla cone from McDonalds Friday night, but that was it!  I think if I just stay away from “sugar”, I do pretty well.  I did have my pizza this weekend.  It was really good, don’t get me wrong, but it just wasn’t up to my expectations.  That’s probably a good thing in the long run. 

I’m back to my diet today, and I was ready for the organization in my menu.  Knowing what you are going to eat and when can make things very simple; and it REALLY helps when you grocery shop.

Matt and Angie were still on vacation today, so Jodi took over bootcamp.  I had thought about sneaking out of it since “technically I’m still on workout vacation”… I got hit up at least twice about going so I couldn’t get out of it.  I felt pretty good after it was over.  It wasn’t too hard, weight and difficulty wise, but doing 10 exercises in a row for a minute each is GREAT cardio.  And it was a great way to prepare for my training session with Matt on Wednesday. 

I had a pretty deep tissue massage on Thursday, and my legs had some pretty big knots in them.  As I had blogged before, my legs had felt like tree trunks… I now understood why.  After the knots were dug out (and I mean DUG, I had bruises and soreness for 3 days!) I drank tons of water to get all of the toxins out of my body.  The next morning, I was down 2lbs!  I KNEW I had water and junk in my legs!

So today I’m feeling much better physically than I have in a long time.  I look leaner and I feel leaner and it really motivates me to have a great week of diet and workouts.  So what if the scale didn’t drop the “pounds” I wanted… But my clothes fit much better and I FEEL better.  I still have a few “trouble” spots I want to focus on, but otherwise, I’m finally getting to a place where I’m happy with my build.  We shall see how I feel after I get my measurements and a workout by Matt in on Wednesday!

Until Wednesday,

Kimberly, Emerge Fitness