Being a healthy food / living blogger its a give-in that I exercise. The fact is, nearly all of the bloggers I read are regular exercisers, and some are even fitness specialists. I regularly read about races , dance classes like Zumba, strength builders including Body Pump and Core Fusion, and yoga. Not to mention the endless numbers of specialty DVDs. Although there are times when I feel like I’m not doing all I can, I almost always fit in some form of cardio.
Last night I felt especially accomplished after completing a 5 mile run, 2 mile walk and an hour-long Core Fusion class. So accomplished that I decided I deserved a special dinner, a carb-o-licious dinner. Now, you all know how much I love my carbs, but it is easy to go overboard when faced with a plate of pasta or a NYC bagel. Working out gives me a bit of a comfort zone to really enjoy my food. There are obviously other reasons I regularly exercise: it makes me feel better, helps with my sleep cycle, gives me energy, keeps me slim and protects against disease. But the fact that I can enjoy the occasional indulgence without guilt is a huge motivator in itself.
Which brings me back to last night’s carb-lovers dinner. On the menu: Clam Pesto Pasta.
Pesto used to be a food I was afraid of. The nutritional stats are pretty heavy. To keep ours lighter I actually mix it with clam juice, low-sodium chicken broth and tons of veggies. It had all the pesto flavor with none of the heaviness.
Clam Pesto Pasta
- 1 pound fresh whole wheat fettuccine (or your favorite pasta)
- 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic
- 2 (6 oz.) cans clams – drained, with liquid reserved from one can
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 (8 oz) package white button mushrooms
- 1 pound arugula
- 1 jar (6-8 oz) Basil Pesto
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Sauté the garlic in a saucepan over medium heat until golden. Add both cans of clams, the clam juice and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes before adding the veggies. Add the mushrooms and arugula and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Mix in the pesto and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, this can take between 8 and 12 minutes depending on the type of pasta. Strain the pasta.
Top the pasta with the sauce and enjoy.
What motivates you to exercise?