Friday, September 4, 2009

nice and refreshing

IMG_4573ahhhh, Fridays, the love of my life, I look forward to you all week!

Overall the week was good!  Progress has been made in my thesis in that I am meeting with my chair next week to get the ball rolling and hopefully I can come up with a topic that will be both interesting and doable.  I’m really interested in the coconut water topic, but there are no studies out there that I can find as of yet.  This would not be good for me in that I wouldn’t have any suggestions or methods to base my research off of.  Any of you with an MS out there have any suggestions for me as I embark on this crazy journey that you wish you would have done differently?  I’m still trying to learn the proper protocol for everything, and I can’t believe all the grammatical rules, yikes! 

I am sooooorrre today!  My muscles are not liking me at the moment, but I tried to win them over with some chia, flax, wheat germ oats love this morning :)  Workout week looked something like this . . .

tuesday – hip hop

wednesday – kick box (always makes me sore) I think my HR monitor is freaking out because it has told me twice now I maxed at 222, um cardiac arrest?!

thursday – first jazz class in a long time and I have definitely lost a lot of my technique and my hips were in shock.

friday – spin

I have to say though that since I’ve started cycling, my exercise classes have been feeling a lot easier and I don’t get very winded.  Granted I am still sucking air like a girl on my rides trying to keep up with the pros, other things are now feeling easier, just for conditioning.  I’ve got my clipless shoes, so now I just have to get the pedals.  Why did I decide to start something so pricey, geez!  I’m really nervous about this because you are practically locked into the bike and I can just imagine myself falling over while screaming ‘I can’t clip out!!!’  oh dear. positive thoughts.

Many of you around the blog world have been joyously praising the new fall weather coming your way and I’m jealous!!!  Please send some out my way!  It’s still freaking hot here and I look forward to the days when I can actually do activities outside in the afternoon without dying from heat stroke and bake lovely comforting warm casseroles without heating the house to oblivion.  So because of that I have a nice refreshing pasta dish, adapted from my pasta idol Giada, that is great really at any temperature and very refreshing! 


Lemony Roasted Chicken & Broccoli Pasta 


  • about 3 bunches broccoli, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 box of your favorite long pasta (I usually make fresh fettuccine, but in a crunch we had spaghetti rigati)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups shredded roasted chicken (from about 1 roasted chicken)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper and all-purpose seasoning


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until 4 minutes from al dente, then add broccoli and finish cooking together.  Reserve 1/2 cup liquid; drain and rinse with cold water. 

Meanwhile, bring the broth and lemon juice to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Boil until the broth reduces a bit. Add the garlic and chicken, simmer on low.  Add broccoli and pasta to the chicken broth and stir to combine. Add 1/3-1/2 cup of Parmesan, pine nuts, oil, and lemon zest. Toss to coat, adding some of the reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten if needed* Season to taste. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve.

*note  this is a really light sauce so it will seem as if it’s not ‘coming together’  give it time and some good light stirring.  The chicken and broccoli will absorb all that lovely juice.


It’s great as a cold salad for leftovers too! 


If you couldn’t tell, I’m really looking forward to the extra day this weekend.  We don’t have any specific plans, but I do hope to make some progress on my school projects, organization and sanity, along with other house stuff like cleaning and wash.  Oh and hopefully a bike ride in there somewhere.  Tonight I plan to get together with a good friend for a little bite to eat and some drinks :)

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! 



MelissaNibbles said...

The pasta dish looks heavenly. I have a question about spinning...does it hurt your back? I'd like to try it, but I have a bad back and don't think I could stay hunched over that long.

kristen :) said...

Melissa - Spin hasn't really hurt my back, only my bum at first, but I do not have back problems like you say you have. When I first started, I adjusted the handle bars higher and closer so that I didn't have to lean over too far, but this is harder since all the leg muscles aren't fully engaged for added power. It's important to watch your posture and engage your abs to try not put stress on your back. But, I would check with your doctor first and take it really slowly because back problems are no fun. When I do have pain issues, I mostly have them in the shoulder/neck if I reach too far on my road bike. Hopefully my new shorter stem will help with that :)


Gina said...

I'm getting together with friends for a drink tonight too!! Maybe more than one drink...we shall see :)

So at your school do you get to choose your own topic? We did not have that luxury, we basically got our topics assigned. Because of that, I don't really have suggestions for you, but make sure you are REALLY interested in what you research, or else it's gonna be a long year. Take your time and don't rush into anything too fast. I can't wait to hear what your topic is though!

Anonymous said...

That looks so yummy! I may have to steal it.
I am so struggling with my thesis! (We are such twins!)
I am so nervous to email my chair to and even bring up a topic...I feel like I'm just not smart enough to engage in this. No lie I was just about to email him but I stopped and decided to read my Google Reader instead. By waiting I'm just making it worse for myself...ugh! Good luck with your thesis

kristen :) said...

Gina - Nice! Hope you have fun :) Yes, we get to choose our topics/problems and I think that's why I'm having such a hard time. I'm very indecisive and not very confident with my lab/stats skills. There are just too many things out there and I want to make sure I can actually do the research :)

Anonymous said...

This pasta dish looks delicious! ;)
I don't think there's a protocol for research... but as you said if there's nothing done about this topic could be a problem, but also an advantage, whatever you do, right or wrong, it's going to be the first one and that's a huge contribution!

{kiss my spatula} said...

this looks so healthy and delicious! and i love kickboxing!

MelindaRD said...

I did the MPH program there, not an MS, and for my program I was able to do a professional paper, not a thesis (which in the end may hurt me going for my PhD since it wasn't research research, but I still did a lot of hard work and had an almost 50 page paper). my advice to you is make sure there is a lot of lit out there on whatever topic you are going to do. It does not have to be identical to your work, but it needs to be enough to give you a lot to write about and make your own questions about.

The reason why I say this is that my topic was a lit review on studies using diet and exercise only to induce weight loss and show decline in indicators and markers of metabolic syndrome, in an effort to show this is what really works. In the end my lit review was of 5, yes 5, studies. There had been no more on my exact topic. only 1 was in the US, the rest in Canada and Europe, I think one in Japan. So in the end my the last part of my paper became the bulk as I explained in the context of public health what needed to be done since this topic had little going on. The end problem I think is that there is no ICD9 (ICD10 is coming soon!) code for metabolic syndrome, so it is not readily diagnosed and is only a clistering of risk factors. So anyway, enough of my rambling, make sure there is a of current lit out there and then come up with a new question or a new spin on something. Good luck and the staff at UNLV rock (I guess I am biased as I taught there, hehe). Also, you may want to talk to Aurora Buffington (I am sure you know who she is) since I think she did the same program as you are doing.
Good Luck!

Emily said...

I would LOVE to take a jazz class here...if only I had time. Maybe I'll research weekend classes. :-)

I didn't really get to choose my thesis topic, so it's neat that you can! Most of the people at OSU took on projects already being done by professors in the labs because you only have a short time to do a Masters. For a PhD, you were able to write some grants and pick your own project. Maybe see what the professors in your dept are researching and if you are interested in the same kind of thing...might save you having to look for money to fund your thesis!

Chow and Chatter said...

great pasta all the best with the thesis it will all work out your'll see lol

Thinspired said...

Hi Kristen! Forgive me for asking because I'm sure you have talked about this already, but what are you studying for your MS? I take it then that you became an RD after you finished your undergrad in nutrition? I ask because I have an undergrad degree in another subject and have been debating on going back to school to get an MS OR just finish up the bachelor-level classes that I am missing. Any insight when you have time would be appreciated!

Elina said...

This dish looks amazing. I'm saving the recipe! :)
Good luck with your thesis. My only input on coconut water is that I think it's delicious ;)

Diana said...

This is one of the first ever Food TV recipes I ever tried! It's how I fell in love with Giada's recipes, too...soo...soo good and still one of my're making me want to cook it up now! haha

:) Diana

Astra Libris said...

Congratulations on the evolution of your thesis (so exciting!!) and all your exercise accomplishments! You ROCK!! You are an inspiration to us all!

Your pasta dish looks sooooo scrumptious, too... Perfect for summer weather on the patio... :-)

Janel said...

I bought the clipless pedals (but got pedals that are "normal" on one side, with clips on the other - this was a smart idea if you don't want to clip in just riding to the grocery store or something!)
Anyway, the first time I clipped in, I fell right off. Smashed on my side within about a third of a second! haha. So I'm ashamed to admit I haven't clipped on since, except on a spin bike! But I've heard from many cyclists that they fell over MANY times getting used to the clips. So I just need to muster up the courage to clip in again - good luck to you!