Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs Recipe

Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

(recipe modified from http://homecooking.about.com/od/beefrecipes/r/blbeef85.htm)

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup Mozzarella Veggie Shreds (chopped into tiny pieces)
  • 1/3 cup Almond Milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil spray 
  • Tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella Veggie Shreds (for topping)

Cut the squash in half and scrape out any seeds. Drizzle olive oil on the inside of the squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Place the squash, cut side down, onto a broiling or roasting pan. Roast at 450F for ~35 minutes. 

While the squash is roasting, make the meatballs. 

Place the diced onion in a pan with a little olive oil, and cover. Saute for about 5 minutes, then let cool.

In a large bowl, use your hands to mix the ground beef, onion, oatmeal, veggie shreds, almond milk, egg, italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and pepper. Chopping the veggie shreds first keeps the cheese in the meatball, so it’s not falling out the sides. 

Using clean, damp hands, roll the meat into 1 1/2 balls. Spray a glass baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Place the meatballs in the dish. 

When the squash is done roasting, pull it out and turn on the broiler. Broil the meatballs for 5 minutes. Turn the meatballs and broil for another 5 minutes. 

Take the squash and use 2 forks to pull it apart into spaghetti-like strands.  Place in a pot and toss with tomato sauce. 

Serve the spaghetti squash topped with meatballs and a sprinkling of mozzarella veggie shreds. 

These are the first meatballs our 4 year old would actually eat. Not only did he eat them, but he asked for them for breakfast the next day. Definitely a winning recipe!

Maria - Chapter 3

Due to Black Friday through Cyber Monday prep the past couple weeks this blog post is coming out late with no fault to Maria. I am sorry to those that were looking for her update 2 weeks ago. So without further ado...


It has been two months already since I started with John. I have lost another 7 pounds, which puts me at 11 total in 2 months. I have more energy and I'm feeling great!

I've been attending 4-5 times a week with classes and personal training. I'm enjoying the classes and having fun, because of the training and attention to form that John has done in his classes, on days I cant make it to class, I can do a workout at home and know I'm doing it correctly. While the sitter issue has not been working out and I've had to bring my kids to more than enough classes, I'm not letting that stop me or my goals. My goal is still to attend a class Monday through Saturday. I will get there!

As for the low carb diet, it is still a work in progress. A little on the slow side this past month due to issues beyond our control. We have had to make do with what we have in house rather than going and buying food. So that meant skipping out on fresh produce and certain low carb foods we would usually buy week to week. I've still struggled with trying to eat more than one meal a day. While some days I can manage two, the majority is still a struggle. I can say that I have managed to cut back on my taste for certain foods. Chocolate chip cookies from David's cookies, for example. As delicious as they are, I've had the same bag sitting out on the counter for the last two weeks and haven't had the urge to eat one. My kids on the other hand, not so much.

Progress has been a little slow these last couple of weeks on the diet end, but I am continuing to exercise and stay active. The babysitting deal is less than ideal but I am determined to keep going. I hope that once we get over this setback, we can get back on track and continue to move forward in both aspects.

Maria Hudson

December Group Class Schedule

New group class on Thursdays at 4:30pm, Stretch It Out, great for anyone looking to improve flexibility, aid recovery, or just relax a little. Also the Run Clinic on Saturday is temporarily replaced with 684 circuit for the off season, and lastly there is no Zumba on the 29th. 


Monday: 

  • 8:30 AM- 684 Circuit with John
  • 10:00 AM- 684 Circuit with John 
  • 11:00 AM- Ab Lab with John
  • 6:30 PM- Zumba with Heather (No class on Dec 29th)

Tuesday: 

  • 6:00 AM- Boot Camp with John
  • 4:30 PM- 25 x 25 with John
  • 6:30 PM- Zumba Sentao with Tanja

Wednesday: 

  • 8:30 AM- Boot Camp with John

Thursday: 

  • 6:00 AM- 684 Circuit with John
  • 4:30 PM- Stretch It Out with John 
  • 6:30 PM- 684 Circuit with John

Friday: 

  • 8:30 AM- Trainers Choice 

Saturday: 

  • 9:00 AM- Ab Lab with John
  • 9:30 AM- 684 Circuit with John

25x25: 25 exercises, 25 reps. Choose a list at random, complete your exercises in any order, and have a great full body workout for any skill level.

684 Circuit: 6 minutes of cardio, 8 exercise circuit, and a 4 minute core finale. Awesome for persons of any age.

Ab Lab: It’s a 20 minute total core workout with stabilizing movements and strength training that will tone your midsection.  

Boot Camp: Body weight movements that include plyometrics, strength building, and explosive exercises to help you build the strongest body you can. 

Stretch It Out: An excellent class to help you flexibility or help recovery from a strenuous workout. Multiple types of stretching such as static, rope, dynamic, and ballistic. Perfect for anyone ages 9 to 99.

Trainer's Choice: Whatever the trainer decide. This is our test bed for new group classes, new instructors, or could be a  repeat of a class we love. Can be modified for any age group.

Zumba: Combines Latin and International music with a fun and effective workout system. Join the Party! 

Zumba Sentao: Combines strength & resistance training with innovative dance fitness moves all centered around a chair. It tones muscle, strengthens core and torches calories.

Sweet Potato Season Equals More Recipes!

This is my favorite time of the year to eat sweet potatoes. There are so many great ways to eat them; they are so versatile! And you can’t beat buying them fresh from Brittingham’s produce! Here are just a few ways we enjoy eating them. 


Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey & Cinnamon 

(modified from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-honey-butter-recipe.html)

2 sweet potatoes

1/8 cup coconut oil

2 tbsp raw, local honey

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

sprinkle of salt & pepper

Wash, peel and dice the sweet potatoes into bite size pieces. Put them all in a cast iron skillet. Toss with coconut oil, honey, and cinnamon. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and a half dash of pepper. Toss again to make sure it is evenly coated. Cook in the oven at 375 F for 25 minutes. 

The sweetness of the potatoes and coconut oil, mixed with just a hint of salt is great!


Sweet Potato Fries

1 large sweet potato

1 tbsp olive oil

salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste)

Wash and slice the sweet potatoes into skinny strips. Place in a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Bake in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes. Flip them over, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.


Sweet Potato Discs

1 large sweet potato

1 tbsp melted coconut oil

salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste)

thyme (to taste)(fresh is preferred)

Wash and slice the sweet potatoes into discs as thin as possible. You can use a mandolin to do this. Toss them in a bowl with coconut oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. I think using less pepper, a little salt, and more thyme gives the best flavor. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, flipping half way through.

by Emily

Amanda - Chapter 1

Amanda is the newest volunteer to blog about her life and her journey to getting healthy. She is one of my online clients. I want to thank her for allowing us to follow her progress and disclosing information that most would not. Look for chapter 2 in 3 to 4 weeks.


Ok...intro blog. Here goes...bear with me as I have never done anything like this, and generally ask people to edit me because I am usually just a stream of thoughts.  

Let me start with who I am.  Hopefully, you will find something about me that is common ground.  I am a mother of three, twin two year olds (a boy, Kaleb and a girl, Kennedy) and a six year old (Mackenna). I work full time as a teacher in a two year old room in a preschool. And when I say I work full time I mean I work between 45 and 50 hours a week, not including my lunch break.  My day begins anywhere between 5 (when Kaleb wakes up) and 6 (when my alarm goes off). There is a rush of busy busy as I dress the kids and my wife preps their lunches. I grab something fast for breakfast, or if I'm lucky, I thought to blend a smoothie the night before and drink that. My quick meal is usually a carnation instant breakfast, an apple, a cereal bar, or nothing. Yes, I commit the first blunder of nutrition often, and skip breakfast. We are out the door by 6:45 and it's time to drive everyone to where they need to be. Then off to work for me where I lift, chase, change, wrestle, snuggle, and play with anywhere from 10-13 two year olds. I love my job, but it is high stress and I deal with stress with food. Well, let's be honest here, I deal with life with food. Stressed?  I eat. Bored?  I eat. Busy?  I eat. I eat what is around me. I have an endless supply of snacks at school, both salty and sweet and because of this I know I can eat whenever I want. Anyway, back to my day. Between 1 and 3 is nap time. I clean the room, clean up after the little rascals, do my paperwork, and take some time to decompress (if I can, I read. I love reading). Then at 3 o'clock, it's back outside to chase those kiddos around again. Get out of work around 5:30, do the rounds of pickups, get home, make a quick dinner, eat as a family (this is a priority) then bath, time with the kids, and bed. Are you tired yet?  Because by 8 o clock when life is settling around this house, so am I!  So I veg out in front of the tv with a snack, and then I am usually asleep by 10. 

So, why am I doing this?  We'll, I have let myself go.  As I start on this journey I am weighing in at a very large 275 pounds. I am 5'6". When I met my wife I was 140 pounds, active, happy, and didn't have  a care in the world.  But as time went on I ate, and I worked. I stopped caring about what I ate. I lived on my own for the first time, so I ate crap. Fast food, out to dinner every night, ordering lunch at work every day.  I lived in a house with 4 roommates, So I had money to spare. As time goes on I made little adjustments and excuses. My marriage happened and I continued to let myself go.  Before children beer was a good friend of mine.  As I gained weight, the mirrors in my house moved up. We had children, so I became too busy.  We had more children, I became busier. Now I am SO busy, but because of my children I know need to be healthy. I'm not healthy. So I guess the point of this blog is to tell you what adjustments a normal, busy, working class mom can make to make both her life and her families lives healthier.  Please join me on my journey. The only way I can make this successful is if I am held accountable. So please, ask questions, join in, offer your thoughts, and help me become a better person by becoming a healthier person.

I would also like to take a minute now to thank John for helping me when I feel like a lost cause. Together, we will make my story a success story. I do not think that this is going to be an easy journey without bumps along the way, but I hope that with his (and your) support, these bumps are just speed bumps in my journey and not mountains to climb.  Thanks for taking the time to read and follow my journey!

Amanda