“Cher, I don’t wanna do this anymore… and my buns, they don’t feel nothin’ like steel.”


Contrary to today’s blog title, I’m one week into my fitness adventure and I’m loving it.  However, I saw an opportunity for a nod to one of my favorite movies of all time and I took it. 🙂

This past week’s gym sessions have been GREAT!  My trainer is amazing and very patient with me while I’m fighting the urge to collapse/faint, LOL.  I’m so grateful that I made the investment in personal training because every session has been one new exercise after another.   Things I would have never thought of trying if left to my own devices.  I’ve spent a grand total of 10 minutes on the treadmill.  The rest has been kick-ass circuit workouts that combine both cardio and strength training.  Every session is full of brand new circuits and I leave at the end of the hour feeling completely drained. I. LOVE. IT.

I’ve still got a long way to go.  No buns of steel yet. Not issuing any tickets to the gun show any time soon. But I can’t wait to see the transformation over the next few months!

In the meantime I’ve been all up in my Cooking Light magazines.  Each Sunday I spread a few of them out on my bed and pour through them, selecting 5 recipes to make for dinner during the week.  I compile my grocery list, buy everything I need, and each night I prepare a brand new scrumptious (yet healthy) meal!  They were DELICIOUS – so I’ve got to share.

Chicken Thighs with Olives and Tomato Sauce


Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 chicken thighs and about 1/3 cup sauce)



  • 12 chicken thighs (about 4 pounds), skinned
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place chicken in an electric slow cooker. Add garlic to pan, and sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 30 seconds. Place wine mixture in cooker. Add tomato paste, crushed red pepper, and tomatoes to cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 hours. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, olives, and parsley.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 270
  • Fat: 12.9g
  • Saturated fat: 3.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.8g
  • Protein: 29.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 8.7g
  • Fiber: 2.2g
  • Cholesterol: 99mg
  • Iron: 2.4mg
  • Sodium: 658mg
  • Calcium: 44mg

Filet Mignon with Arugula Salad


Yield: 4 servings


  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 cup prechopped red onion
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag baby arugula


  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle beef with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove beef from pan; keep warm.
  2. Melt butter in pan; coat pan with cooking spray. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, red onion, and mushrooms to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until mushrooms release their liquid. Combine juice and arugula in a large bowl. Add mushroom mixture to arugula mixture; toss gently to combine. Arrange 1 1/2 cups salad mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 steak.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 191
  • Calories from fat: 0.0%
  • Fat: 8.9g
  • Saturated fat: 3.8g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g
  • Protein: 20.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 7g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Cholesterol: 59mg
  • Iron: 3.3mg
  • Sodium: 349mg
  • Calcium: 72mg

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi


Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup orzo mixture and about 7 shrimp)


  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 7 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp $
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place orzo in a medium bowl. Stir in parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and keep warm.
  2. While orzo cooks, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add half of shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in pan. Add remaining shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer to plate.
  3. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in pan. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp, juice, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 403
  • Fat: 10.4g
  • Saturated fat: 4.8g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 40.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 34.7g
  • Fiber: 1.7g
  • Cholesterol: 276mg
  • Iron: 4.3mg
  • Sodium: 549mg
  • Calcium: 97mg

Week 2 is off to a good start.  At the end of each week, I’ll post the recipes to the week’s Cooking Light meals and update you on my gym progress.  Hasta luego, amigos. 🙂

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