Stay Fit With SOMA – Week of 4/20
Every week we’ll be posting exercise videos, nutrition tips, and more on our blog to provide you with opportunities to stay fit and active even at home! Plus – if you commit to stay fit you’ll receive even more exercises and tips!
Why you should Commit to Stay Fit with SOMA:
- Access to our athlete fitness dashboard
- Weekly email with the blog of the week and info on live fitness class
- Daily wellness goals
- Nutrition tips and recipes
- Winner of the week giveaway!
Exercise of the week – Squats!
The exercise of the week is squats! Squats are a great way to strengthen your lower body. They can be modified to increase difficulty by adding weights or decrease difficulty by holding on to a chair.
We challenge you to take a video of you doing as many squats as you can in a minute, however is most comfortable for you, then post your video on social media using #StayFitWithSOMA. Tag a friend who you challenge to do squats!
Join Fitness and Competition Coordinator Vicky DiNatale at 3 p.m. on Wednesday for a live online fitness class via Zoom! Wear comfortable clothes and find a room with some space to work out. Don’t forget to have water available to rehydrate!
This week’s topic is cardio and core!
Boston Bruins Alum Andrew Raycroft, Health Messenger Beth Donahue and Fitness and Competition Coordinator Vicky DiNatale have tips on how to work out without traditional weights!
Now that grocery stores are more fully stocked again, it could be fun to use this time at home to learn new healthy recipes and cook with the people you live with. This Cajun Chicken Ragu recipe is simple to make and uses many ingredients you probably already have like spices, Worcestershire sauce and chicken stock.
2 Red Bell Peppers, diced (any bell peppers work)
2 medium yellow onions, diced
3 ribs of celery (optional if you don’t like celery)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup of flour
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
Black Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
½ tsp oregano
1 ½ tsp paprika
½ tsp tsp cayenne (optional)
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
3 Cups COLD chicken broth
3-4 cups pulled chicken thighs (or chicken breast, whatever you have on hand)
1. Prepare all your vegetables – dice the bell peppers and onions. Mince the garlic
2. In a large pot or high sided pan, heat up 1 ½ TBSP of vegetable oil and sauté the peppers and onion until they turn translucent, on medium heat. Add salt and pepper, to taste, while cooking them.
3. Add in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes
4. Add the remaining 1 1/2 TBSP of vegetable oil. A roux is being made for the gravy of this dish, and needs some more fat to turn into a delicious gravy base.
5. Sprinkle in the flour to coat the vegetables. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until all the white of the flour is gone. This will also ensure the rawness of the flour is cooked off. It will look like a sticky clump at first, but do not worry – this will become a creamy gravy soon.
6. Add the spices into the vegetable mixture
7. Add in the chicken broth, 1 cup at a time, and stir frequently.
8. Raise heat to medium/high and to bring it to a simmer. A simmer is just gentle bubbles starting to form, you do not want to bring it to a rapid boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. By now, it has turned into a savory roux that is ready to coat all the pulled chicken that will be added in soon.
9. Add in the Worcestershire Sauce. I always have this ingredient on hand. It adds a meaty, rich flavor on top of the other flavors that are already incorporated.
10. Add in the pulled chicken and simmer until the chicken is heated thoroughly.
11. Make sure to taste for seasoning. I needed to add some more salt and pepper, and I also added in more paprika and Cayenne as I like my food spicy. It’s always better to add at the end, as you cannot remove an ingredient at the end.
12. Serve and enjoy! This can be served over rice, or paired with a piece of bread. Or served on it’s own like I decided to do. I did not have any fresh herbs to garnish with, but threw a large pinch of red pepper flakes on the top and a dusting of even more cayenne.
Recipe shared by Special Olympics Massachusetts staff member Matt Vaghi. Read the full blog here.
– Its important to do some form of exercise 5 days a week. That could be taking a walk, having a dance party in your living room or joining Coach Vicky on Wednesdays 3 p.m. for live online fitness!