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THE FITBIT BLOG

Rocco DiSpirito Recipe: Soy Spaghetti with Shrimp and Hand-Chopped Pomodoro Sauce

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We’re excited to feature a few recipes from award-winning chef and best-selling author Rocco DiSpirito‘s new book, Cook Your Butt Off!, which includes bar codes for each recipe which can be scanned and automatically added to your Fitbit food log! You can order Rocco DiSpirito’s new book now.

Rocco DiSpirito Spaghetti Recipe

To whip up something delicious, quick, and healthy, try this recipe. I’ve used a very healthy pasta alternative, made from soy, low-calorie boiled shrimp, and red pepper flakes for a metabolism boost. This full-flavored dish will have everyone around the table singing “That’s Amore.”

Yield: 1 main course
Prep time: approximately 10 minutes
Processing time: approximately 15 minutes
Calorie Burn: 115 calories
Calories: 185
Net-Calories: 70

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 ounce gluten-free oatbran spaghetti (such as Explore Asia)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 ounces peeled domestic white shrimp, halved lengthwise
  • Red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped capers

Method:

  1. In a wide saucepan with a lid, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, drop in the spaghetti, and set a timer for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, spray a large nonstick skillet for 4 seconds with cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown, then add the shrimp, red pepper flakes to taste, and the basil and cook until the basil has wilted, about 30 seconds.
  3. Remove the shrimp, add the tomatoes and capers to the pan, and bring to a simmer. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and cook until the sauce has the texture of marinara sauce. Return the shrimp to the pan and add the cooked pasta. Simmer and toss until the pasta is tender and the shrimp are warmed through, about 1 minute. Plate the pasta and shrimp in a pasta bowl and serve.

Tips:
• If you don’t eat shrimp, you can substitute cooked boneless skinless chicken breast for an additional 17 calories per serving.
• Make it a super-filling and healthy “primavera” dish by adding a frozen steamed vegetable blend for only 40 calories per ¾ cup.
• You can substitute shirataki penne and save 127 calories per portion!

Per serving:
185 calories, 2g fat (.7g sat, 0g mono, 0g poly), 86.25mg cholesterol, 147.5mg sodium, 16.425g carbohydrate, 7.4g fiber, 24.7g protein

Heart Healthy Shopping Cart

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Today’s guest post comes from Lauren Slayton, the author of The Little Book of Thin and creator of the Foodtrainers blog.

heart healthy food

February is American Heart Month. Practically daily headlines tell us “a study has found” ________ (insert food) is heart healthy. The most recent example I was asked about was a study on beet juice. While I am not disputing that beet juice can lower blood pressure (in this study with 64 people), no single food is the answer. When clients come in to lower their blood pressure, or have a family history of heart disease, or they simply want their hearts to be healthy, we will discuss multiple foods. Because I only have your attention for a couple of minutes (hopefully) below is my top 10 list for heart healthy foods.

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Rocco DiSpirito Recipe: Chicken with Glazed Eggplant and Cauliflower Rice

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We’re excited to feature a few recipes from award-winning chef and best-selling author Rocco DiSpirito‘s new book, Cook Your Butt Off!, which includes bar codes for each recipe which can be scanned and automatically added to your Fitbit food log! You can order Rocco DiSpirito’s new book now.

Rocco DiSpirito's chicken with glazed eggplant recipe

Skinless chicken has become sort of like cottage cheese, the ubiquitous base upon which many weight-loss diets are built. But it doesn’t register well on the ol’ excitement meter. I mean, how many times have you found yourself craving a naked, unseasoned piece of chicken?

Not me—I’d throw up the white flag and order pizza if the road to lasting weight loss looked like an endless parade of plain chicken breasts.

Take the advice of a guy who has gobbled up his fair share of chicken: Don’t abandon it altogether, but do what you can to break up the monotony. Especially during dieting, it’s important not to get lazy in your chicken prep, and it’s just as important to add some perk to your poultry. That’s why I prefer to use chicken thighs over breasts, like I do in this recipe. Thighs are meatier and more flavorful, but still low in calories.

 

Yield: 1 main course
Prep time: approximately 15 minutes
Processing time: approximately 15 minutes
Calorie Burn: 156
Calories: 190
Net-Calories: 33

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons grated cauliflower (grated on the large side of a box grater)
  • Kosher salt and red pepper flakes
  • 1 (4-ounce) boneless skinless chicken thigh (or breast if you insist), scored crosswise 1/4 inch deep
  • 1 1/2 cups eggplant, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free reduced-sodium tamari (such as San-J)
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method:

  1. Spray a large nonstick pan with cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat. Add the grated cauliflower and cook, stirring, until it is softened and just tender, about 1 minute. Season with salt and red pepper flakes, spoon onto a plate, and set aside.
  2. Wipe the pan dry then spray again with cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and cook until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and
    set aside. Add the eggplant to the pan and cook until browned and soft, about 5 minutes, then move the eggplant to the side of the pan, add the garlic, and cook until browned, about 30 seconds. Add the ginger and cook until aromatic, about 15 seconds more.
  3. Add the tamari, and vinegar to the pan along with a splash of water and return the chicken to the pan. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce sticks to everything, about 30 seconds. Place the chicken over the cauliflower rice and spoon the eggplant alongside. Serve with red pepper flakes.

Tips:

  • Serve with a wedge of fresh lime and 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves for a burst of freshness for an additional 4 calories.
  • If you like a sweeter sauce, try adding 1/2 tablespoon raw agave nectar for an additional 30 calories.

Per serving: 190 calories, 2g fat (1g sat), 70mg cholesterol, 823mg sodium, 16.06g carbohydrate, 5.4g fiber, 30.15g protein

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How Stress Affects the Heart

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Since February is American Heart Month, we’ve teamed up with the American Heart Association to bring you heart-healthy tips all month long! Our last post in this series featured Activities to Keep Your Heart Healthy.

How stress affects the heart

Getting – and staying – healthy takes a combination of good habits, like exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep. But what part does stress play in overall health?

We asked board-certified cardiologist Tara Narula, M.D. to share how stress affects the heart:

Stress does a lot of things in the body. It will increase inflammation by increasing cortisol, which does damage over the long term. It releases other hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine, which raise blood pressure. That’s good if you are trying to escape a wild animal, but if you are constantly being fed these hormones through everyday stress (for example, trying to meet deadlines, rushing to make meetings, etc.), it’s causing damage over time to all your blood vessels. That damage increases the risk of plaque buildup or can even cause a rupture of plaque. In some cases, intense stress can cause a heart attack.

Stress is not something we often talk a ton about, but it’s important to maintaining your health. There are ways to turn off a stress response. You can help moderate stress with exercise, yoga, meditation or other relaxation exercises.

If you feel that you should cut down on the stress in your life, try reducing it by getting active outside, going for a run, meditating, even getting more sleep.

Tara Narula, M.D.Board-certified cardiologist Tara Narula, M.D., is a volunteer spokesperson for the American Heart Association, Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Hofstra University NSLIJ School of Medicine and Associate Director of the Cardiac Care Unit at Lenox Hill Hospital/NSLIJ in Manhattan. She also serves as a medical contributor for “CBS This Morning.”

 

Healthy Chocolate Hall of Fame

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Today’s guest post comes from Lauren Slayton, the author of The Little Book of Thin and creator of the Foodtrainers blog.

Woman with coffee

I have good news, especially with Valentine’s Day coming up! You don’t have to cut chocolate in order to be fit and healthy. There are many ways to have a guilt-free chocolate fix. We spend a couple of weeks at Foodtrainers testing various chocolate treats (tough work I know) in order to come up with our best of the best or Healthy Chocolate Hall of Fame. Not only are these options OK to eat, I’d say they’re encouraged – just try not to enjoy more than one a day.

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Stay Motivated at Home

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Fitbit Zip

We’ve recently talked about how to make the most of your gym membership for those of you who are working on building up a gym routine. But while gyms can be extremely helpful as you work on tackling your fitness goals, they’re not for everyone. If that rings true, this post is for you.

There are plenty of ways to stay fit year-long without a gym, if that’s what you prefer. Here are just a few ways to help you stay on-track and work fitness into your home.

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Super Alpha Mega Vanilla Shake Recipe

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Today’s guest blog comes from Mo Clancy. She is a serial entrepreneur who after her own challenges finding clean food decided to open San Francisco’s Seed + Salt. She connected with Chef Ariel Nadelberg, formerly of Applewood and Al Di La in Brooklyn, and spent almost 2 years creating recipes that delivered on good-for-you ingrediants without sacrificing taste. Seed + Salt is a restaurant dedicated to organic, chef prepared clean food – convenient, plant based, dairy and gluten free, without cane sugar, processed foods or GMOs.

super shake

This recipe was something Chef Ariel developed for me because I am a milkshake and ice cream fanatic. I said to her, “It would be a dream to have a milkshake that is actually good for me.” And a bit a time later she presented me with the most delicious milkshake, loaded with fresh coconut meat and superfoods.

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Activities to Keep Your Heart Healthy

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Since February is American Heart Month, we’ve teamed up with the American Heart Association to bring you heart-healthy tips all month long!

Woman walking a dog

A lot of times, when it comes to fitness we’re focused on a very narrow view, like the numbers on a scale or the calories in our dinners. But when it comes to heart health, there’s more to it.

We asked board-certified cardiologist Tara Narula, M.D., to share her top recommendations for heart-healthy activities:

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Rocco DiSpirito’s Three Tips for a Healthy Kitchen

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Rocco DiSpirito

Rocco DiSpiritoWe’re excited to have award-winning chef and best-selling author Rocco DiSpirito back for another Fitbit blog! Rocco is well-known for his work with shows like Extreme Weight Loss, The Biggest Loser, and Restaurant Divided.

Rocco has made it his life’s work to prove that healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive. To that end, he created an innovative fresh food delivery service called The Delicious Life sought after by celebrities, fans and foodies alike.

Here’s Rocco’s tips on how to keep healthy in the kitchen.

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Not All Calories Are Created Equal

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Grapefruit

When it comes to healthy eating, there’s a lot of talk around calories. You can track your food through Fitbit.com or with some of our partners and it will tell you how many calories you’re consuming, you can set calorie intake goals, and you can even measure what you’re burning compared to what you eat. But what if we told you that not all calories are equal?

Studies have shown that some foods are absorbed by our bodies differently than others. Nuts, for example, are high in fiber, and your body is actually only absorbing about 3/4th of the calories they contain. Foods high in sugar, like soda or sweets, also negatively impact our health more than lower-sugar foods in the same calorie range.

When choosing what to eat, try to read the whole label to figure out whether it’s good for you or not, rather than just the calories per serving. And here are just a few of our tips on which calories to favor, and which to avoid.

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