Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Fuel Your Fitness Goals

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Fitness goalsSome people may think that getting into great shape means to only work out regularly, however if getting in shape is one of your New Year’s Resolutions, exercise is only half the equation. What you eat can make or break your fitness goals so that’s why incorporating a healthy nutrition plan to fuel and re-fuel your body throughout the day will help you to accomplish the changes you desire.

Check out my latest TV segment on The Daily Buzz with a few ways to fuel your fitness efficiently!

Hydrate! 

Even slight dehydration (2% water loss) can compromise performance. Your fitness drink should be hydrating, nutrient rich, but not too high in calories.  Vita Coco is all natural and contains only 45 calories per serving plus electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.  In fact, a serving has more potassium than a banana!  It’s an excellent choice for fitness enthusiasts and can be a part of fluid regimen for high endurance athletes and for weight training, too.

Recover with carbs within 30 minutes and protein within 2 hours. 

Carbs replenish energy stores and protein helps build and repair muscles. Look for lean proteins like chicken sausages that are 50% reduced in fat but high in flavor.  They come in 3 mouth watering flavors: Three cheese Italian, Chipotle Monterey Jack Cheese, and Apple. Pair them with whole grain pasta and veggies for a complete post-workout meal! Listed below is the recipe for this fantastic post – workout meal!

Load up on antioxidants. 

Exercise is hard work and your cells need antioxidants to protect them from damage and injury.  Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables to give them the antioxidants you need.  Check out Garden Lites vegetable soufflés--they have 2 full servings of vegetables in each soufflé with 180 calories or less.  Made by “The Delicious Vegetable Company” they taste great and work for a light meal or hearty snack.   Bonus:  They’re gluten free and all natural!  My faves are the spinach, roasted vegetables, and butternut squash.

Make 2012 the year you get in the best shape of your life! By following these tips and incorporating the right foods with the right timing of meals along with exercise into your daily regimen, you can be sure to reach your goals in a healthy way leaving you looking better and feeling more energized in 2012!

Recipe: Johnsonville Three Cheese Italian Style Chicken Sausage Oven-Roasted Pasta Primavera

The rich flavor of roasted vegetables and chicken sausage intertwine to create a meal that is healthy and filling.

Prep Time: 30 minutes/Bake Time: 35 minutes

1 medium zucchini, sliced

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 package (12 ounces) Johnsonville Three Cheese Italian Style chicken Sausage, sliced

12 ounces uncooked whole grain linguine (or shape of your choice)

Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, onion and bell pepper. Add the oil, salt and pepper; toss to coat. Transfer to a greased shallow baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle sausage over vegetables. Bake 5 minutes longer or until sausage is heated through.

Meanwhile, cook linguine according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. Add sausage mixture and toss. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

6 servings

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Tags: Healthy Eating

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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