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It’s finals week: Procrastinate

Here at Fredonia, it’s finals week. And what better way to fail your exams than procrastination? A lot of times when I get stressed, I need to stop the studying for a little and take a break. I’ve found a great activity that keeps my mind off work is cooking! I will prepare a few meals at a time, time an hour or two to think about something else. Here are some healthy, awesome things you can cook while relaxing for a while!

Stuffed Peppers:



  • 4 bell peppers (any color)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces 90-percent lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/3 cup brown lentils
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, parsley or 1/4 teaspoon dried mint

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the tops off each pepper, reserve them and hollow out the insides of the peppers of any seeds and seed walls. Sprinkle the insides with a pinch salt and a pinch pepper and set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the garlic and onions. Cook until softened, 3 minutes, and then add the beef, oregano, cinnamon and cumin. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste until it coats the meat and is slightly darkened. Stir in the broth, rice and lentils. Remove from the heat and set aside until the liquid is absorbed and the mixture is cooled slightly. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Divide the filling among the peppers and place the tops back on. Set the peppers upright in a small baking dish, such as an 8-inch square baking dish. Whisk 1 1/2 cups water with the remaining tablespoon of tomato paste and olive oil. Pour into the dish around the peppers. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the peppers are tender and the rice and lentils are cooked through, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Carefully transfer the peppers to a serving dish and pour the cooking liquid into a medium nonstick skillet. Boil over high heat until the sauce is thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat and add the dill. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the sauce with the stuffed peppers.

Per Serving: Calories: 320; Total Fat; 11 grams; Saturated Fat: 3 grams; Protein: 20 grams; Total carbohydrates: 37 grams; Sugar: 5 grams Fiber: 8 grams; Cholesterol: 37 milligrams; Sodium: 426 milligrams

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/lightened-up-stuffed-peppers-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback


Low-Cal Fettuccine Alfredo:



  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-fat (2%) milk
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Neufchtel or low-fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 ounces fresh fettuccine
  • Freshly ground pepper

Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon,1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Neufchatel and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot.

Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and gently toss to combine, adding more cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt. Divide among bowls and top with parmesan and pepper.

Per serving: Calories 490; Fat 15 g (Saturated 8 g); Cholesterol 48 mg; Sodium 734 mg; Carbohydrate 66 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 20 g

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/low-cal-fettuccine-alfredo-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback


Crispy Baked “Fried” Chicken:



  • 8 chicken pieces (preferably 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs and 2 wings)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups cornflakes
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground sage

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a rack in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet.

Rinse the chicken in cold water; pat dry. In a wide bowl or on a plate, season the flour with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Dredge each chicken piece through the flour so it’s fully coated, tap against the bowl to shake off excess flour and set aside. Discard the flour.

Here comes the part kids like best: Crush the cornflakes by placing them in a big resealable plastic bag, carefully pressing the bag to push out the air. Seal up the bag (with as little air inside as possible) and run over the flakes with a rolling pin. Open the bag and pour the crushed flakes into a wide bowl or onto a plate.

In a large bowl (big enough to dredge the chicken pieces), mix the buttermilk, mustard, cayenne pepper, paprika and sage. Give each floured chicken piece a good buttermilk bath and then roll in the cornflake crumbs.

Arrange the chicken pieces on the rack and place in the hot oven. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, lower the heat to 375 degrees and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes, until cooked through and crispy. The juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife. Serve with Easy Greens.

Per serving: Calories 520; Fat 22 g (Sat. 6 g; Mono. 9 g; Poly. 5 g); Cholesterol 136 mg; Sodium 1,040 mg; Carbohydrate 41 g; Fiber 1.5 g; Protein 40 g

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cat-cora/crispy-baked-fried-chicken-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback


Enjoy, and happy finals everyone!

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Get creative with your workouts: Water weight

One of the biggest challenges I face while working out is finding unique exercises to do. I think that when people get bored, they are more likely to stop their workouts all together.

Looking for a way to get out of the gym, I found this awesome workout to do in a pool. Even though I’m a swimmer, this is a totally different thing that doesn’t require swimming laps. Below are the exercise descriptions, but clink on the link to see videos! Find your nearest indoor pool (college, YMCA) and get going!

An important part of the article says to perform as many reps of each exercise that you can in 30 seconds, rest, then repeat. Increase time increments as you get stronger.

My favorite exercise is the Pike Scull. Let me know what you like! Thank you to Fitness Magazine for these.

Targets: Arms, back, chest, abs, butt, and hamstrings
In the deep end, tread water, making small circles with cupped hands, and lift right leg straight in front of you at hip level while reaching toes of left leg toward bottom of pool. Hold for 5 seconds.
Switch legs quickly, bringing right leg down as you raise left leg, and hold for 5 seconds. Continue for 30 seconds, alternating sides.


Otter Roll
Targets: Back, abs, butt, and legs
Hugging beach ball to chest, float on back, legs extended, feet together.
Roll toward left and over top of ball (like an otter spinning in the water), using entire body — shoulders, back, core, legs — to make a full revolution, returning to start. Take a breath. (Beginners can rock from side to side with head above water throughout.)
Continue for 30 seconds, alternating direction of roll.


Ball Lever
Targets: Shoulders, back, triceps, and abs
Holding beach ball with arms stretched straight in front of you, float facedown in chest-deep water so legs are extended behind you, feet together.
Keeping arms straight, pull ball underneath you, drawing it as fast as you can through water toward thighs in an arc. (As the ball is pressed underneath, it will lift you out of water to take a breath; beginners can keep head above water throughout.)
When ball reaches thighs, bend elbows to bring it back to surface and press it forward to return to start position. Continue for 30 seconds.


Pike Scull
Targets: Abs, hips, and arms
Standing in shallow end of pool, simultaneously sit back into water, treading with hands by sides, and lift both legs together so that you fold at the hips (like a jackknife) and your body forms a wide V, with head and toes just above surface.
Maintaining V position, move cupped hands in small circles by hips to tread water and propel yourself forward (sculling) down length of pool for 30 seconds.


Wave Maker
Targets: Back, abs, butt, and legs
Facing pool wall in chest-deep water, hold on to edge of pool deck with left hand and place right palm, fingers pointing down, against wall just below water line for stability.
Extend legs behind you at water level with both feet and knees together, then kick like a dolphin: Initiate the motion with abs and hips and transfer it through thighs to knees and finally to feet. Kick as hard and as fast as you can for 30 seconds, trying to make the biggest waves possible.


Credit for this information:



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Tank top time

Tank top time

It’s spring! Which means it’s time to get in shape for summer. I found this short but sweet list of easy and effective exercises, designed to target the areas that show most when wearing tank tops-shoulders, biceps, triceps, core, etc.
I really like this list because it can be done at home, with little to no equipment!
Thanks to POPSUGAR for this list!

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My strange addiction: Juicing – Part I

Through talking with my classmate Wendy, I was introduced to the concept of juicing. After hearing about how much her and her family enjoyed it, I decided to watch a documentary she recommended: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

The documentary follows the journey of a man determined to cure his disease and obesity through juicing. The film was so compelling that I ordered a juicer halfway through watching the documentary.

While the man in the film went on an extreme juicing fast, I immediately realized the health benefits that I would see in my own life, if I started juicing. As to not overwhelm readers, I will make a future post explaining the full health benefits of juicing.

To start off, I needed a juicer. Not knowing how much I would really enjoy it, I decided to not go overboard and spend crazy amounts of money on my juicer, which is easily possible. On Amazon, I found one with a decent rating for fairly cheap.

I bought:

Black & Decker JE2200B 400-Watt Fruit and Vegetable Juice Extractor with Custom Juice Cup


It was around $35 and I got it with free shipping. One of the reasons I picked it was because it is made for beginners. In addition, I ordered a book on juicing called, 

The Big Book of Juices: More Than 400 Natural Blends for Health and Vitality Every Day


I eagerly awaited the arrival of my juicer, and it came within 4 days!

Check back soon for my next post on my very first juicing experience!

P.S. Check out my classmate Wendy’s blog here:



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What “GET FIT OR DIE TRYING” is all about

An introduction to my blog, made by the lovely Zain. Follow his blog about the environment, outdoors and nature here at http://outsidefredonia.wordpress.com/

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Weight lifting myths debunked


As a lifelong athlete, I have always incorporated weight-lifting into my regimen. It has made me strong; muscular and toned, defined and powerful. I’m proud of my muscles. In the summer I always had the most defined back muscles and impressive delts. And as a female athlete, I feel no shame. To be muscular is a beautiful thing, so I decided to post this list of common, silly myths that I often hear from people as responses (excuses) to why they don’t lift. Beyond its many health benefits, lifting weights will not only make you a better athlete at whatever sport you choose to do, but it will actually make you feel better. I will be posting proper weight lifting techniques in the future, so be sure to watch for that post! I listed the first myth, but please click on the link below for the rest of the article. Happy lifting!

Women’s Weight Training Myth #1-Weight training makes you bulky and masculine.
Due to the fact that women do not, and cannot, naturally produce as much testosterone (one of the main hormones responsible for increasing muscle size) as males do, it is impossible for a woman to gain huge amounts of muscle mass by merely touching some weights. Unfortunately, the image that may come to your mind is that of professional female bodybuilders. Most of these women, unfortunately, use anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) along with other drugs in order to achieve that high degree of muscularity. In addition, most also have good genetics coupled with an unbelievable work ethic that enable them to gain muscle quickly when they spend hours in the gym lifting very heavy weights. Believe me when I say that they do not look like that by accident. Women who conduct weight training without the use of steroids get the firm and fit cellulite-free looking body that you see in most fitness/figure shows these days.


Credit to Hugo Rivera, the author of this article on About.com, as well as the photo for the article on the page.


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More on outdoor running

Since I love outdoor running so much, I came across this awesome article on fitsugar. It deals with not getting shin splints, and what to expect on your first run. Check it out!


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What to eat on the go: Airport food

Being an avid traveler, I often find myself hungry in an airport. Airports are some of the grossest, greasiest, uncomfortable places on the face of the planet, and their food tends to follow these characteristics. How do you keep control of the situation and not end up eating a whole $12 personal pan cheese pizza from UNO? (Just like I did this weekend…) I have several tricks for beating airport food.

1. Travel full. Avoid the situation entirely by planning and eating ahead of time. If your flight is not terribly long, a full meal before hand should hold you over till you get to your location.

2. Bring snacks. While you won’t be able to pack drinks, most food is okay. My go-to item is granola bars, pictured below. Protein bars such as these are made for making you feel full, so they are great to snack on when you get hungry, even if you’re on the plane. Fruit is good as well, but be careful when crossing international boards as it usually isn’t allowed.

3. Stick to what you know. When you find yourself traveling for long periods of time, it is sometimes necessary to dine in the airport. For snacks, there is usually a huge variety in stores, which often includes the same snacks you have been eating at home. Yogurt, granola bars, nuts, etc. are commonly seen items that are safe to stick to. When you need a full meal, go for a salad. Be careful of things like heavy, fattening toppings and creamy dressings, however. Lean chicken, tomato and mozzarella sandwiches, cheese sticks and fruit are all things that will probably be available as well (and safe to eat).

4. Skip the on-flight snacks. Usually the snack options are: cheesy crackers, cookies, chips and more cookies. Try to pack a snack for these situations.

5. Choose your on-flight meal. On most international flights (at least when I flew on British Airways), you can put in your flight information on their website and choose an option for the meals you receive. I picked vegetarian, but I know they also have vegan, gluten free and other options along those lines.

Comment with any other suggestions you may have!Image

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Welcome to getfitordietrying! My name is Courtney. I’m a 20 year old photography and journalism major originating from Buffalo, NY and residing in Fredonia, NY. My goal is to educate, encourage, inspire, teach and help Fredonians have a healthy lifestyle. By eating well and exercising, everyone can change their life around. I hope to be the platform for people to do this through conversing and learning. The picture below is me, hiking through the rainforest canopy in Ghana, West Africa.Image

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