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Friday’s Food & Fitness: Fitness Test

  • January 15, 2016
  • By Brittany
Friday’s Food & Fitness: Fitness Test

It’s Friday!  I’m so ready for this week to be over and to move on to next week.  I hope that it is sunny, warm and full of good health.  Not too much to ask, amIright?

Welcome to Friday’s Food & Fitness.  There wasn’t much food and there wasn’t much fitness but I’ve managed to get about 700 words here so there must be something in store! šŸ˜‰






Umm….there was none?  Since I was sick this week, I’ve been eating toast, applesauce, banana and pasta–lots of plain pasta.  It’s been awesome (cue sarcasm). 

So instead, I’m giving you some meals that somehow didn’t make the blog but I did make and consume them relatively recently!

This pizza!  Corn, zucchini and scallion pizza.  I found the recipe in Cooking Light, slightly adapted it and it was glorious.  All veggies and no sauce.  Basically you just put olive oil on the crust with some garlic, slice the veggies, put it on the pizza, top with cheese and enjoy!

pizza with vegetables

Five Spice Orange Chicken and Broccoli stir fry.  Another adaption from Cooking Light.

five spice orange beef and broccoli stiry fry

This one was super easy stir frying chicken with Chinese Five Spice Powder and then adding orange rind and broccoli to the pan for a little stir fry.  Served with rice and scallions.  Simple and delicious.






As I was scrolling through my Bloglovin feed this week, I came across this article about the Presidential Fitness Test.  Do you guys remember doing that in school?  You had to do the shuttle run, the sit and reach and the dreaded pull up test.  I remember it well.  I remember I could never do a pull up.  I always ended up doing the one where you just hang there.  I remember it vividly because it always upset me that I was excluded from receiving the Presidential Award because I couldn’t do a pullup.  This article talks about how ridiculous the test is and how it has lasting effects on people who now believe they will never be able to do a pullup or will never be an athlete (although as Allie pointed out earlier this week, maybe they were in cahoots with New Balance?).

presidential fitness challenge


The article goes on to make the comparison of asking you to line up in front of everyone in your class and hit a bullseye with an arrow on your first try without any training or any progression and then labelling you based on this ability.  It is ridiculous.  I remember about 2 1/2 years ago attending a group fitness class at As One in NYC.  It is strength and cardio interval training.  I remember having to do pullups and I was literally so turned off by the idea based on my experiences year after year with the Presidential Fitness Test.  I immediately said “No, I can’t.”  But then, they had resistance bands to help your legs and all these tools to help you achieve a pullup.  No one accepted, the “I can’t” and instead said, “Yes, you are training like an athlete so you will do one.”

Looking back, I was a pretty healthy kid.  I started ballet when I was 5 and danced every single year through college.  I played various sports like softball (but don’t get me started on a comment my coach made that probably also had a lasting impact!), field hockey and ran track.  I was very active!  In the summer, I took tennis lessons, swimming lessons and just generally enjoyed playing!  Was I physically unfit?  I think not.  Should I have been judged on my ability to do one thing and my failure of this determined that I was not adequate?  I think not.

Obviously it didn’t have a real long-term impact as I write a health and fitness blog and am more than happy to go into a room with a bunch of strangers to try out a new workout that may be completely out of my comfort zone.  And for the record, I probably am more fit today than some of my classmates that maybe were able to eek out one pullup.  

And, on a lighter note, did you guys see this video by Cassey from Blogilates?  So cute!  Love it!

And, if you are into videos, I’ve got a new one up on my site for the New Year Reset Challenge!

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 3.45.25 PM

This one is HIIT the Barre Part 3.  It’s 35 minutes and combines HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with traditional barre moves.  It is intense.  I know because I filmed the whole thing and was drenched by the end.  Lol!  Give it a try!!

Also, I’ll have TWO workouts for you next week since this week I failed due to my sickness (and TWO recipes!).

Boa fin de semana!  Have a good weekend. 

Readers, do you remember doing the Presidential Fitness Challenge?  Can you do a pullup?  


By Brittany, January 15, 2016
  • Holly
    January 16, 2016

    Hi Brittany,
    I could never, never do a pull up even as a gymnast. It just did not work for small girls with small muscle mass–plus we never, ever practiced pull ups and I invariably failed–but I was still a girls gym student leader.

    All that aside right now I want the Orange Chicken and Broccoli stir fry–just the right size as in your photo; and on that lovely square porcelain plate. Nicely done.

  • Aoi Wang
    January 16, 2016

    Hi, I am a follower of your YouTube videos and was following your two full length dancing video for the last couple weeks, however, the videos are now marked as private and are not available anymore. Is there a reason why you removed them? Will you make them available again, I know there are many dance workout videos out there, however, I have to say, after watching and tried to follow over 100 of them, your were the best. Could you please post them again? Thank you


  • Nellie
    January 16, 2016

    Where can we see the videos? Did you mean that they were up on YouTube? I am looking forward to the recipes next week!

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