Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

spicy roasted chickpeas

Put down the chips!  Step away from the tortillas! I have a crunchy, salty, spicy snack that will give you a fantastic boost of protein and fiber! These little chickpeas turn out amazing and crunchy after a little toast in the oven and are a great replacement for less healthy snack food alternatives, Enjoy!!


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed (about 3 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Which Comes First? Resistance Before Aerobic Exercise or Vice Versa?

aerobic v resistance

It is recommended that a comprehensive training routine combines both aerobic exercise and resistance exercise because improvements in both cardiorespiratory function and musculoskeletal function allow individuals not only to reduce health risks and symptoms associated with physical inactivity but also to perform activities of daily living comfortably and safely.  The challenge we face is to balance concurrent aerobic training and resistance training properly to maximize the performance benefits of both modalities.  So, which should come first? Resistance or Aerobic Exercise.  I think the answer put simply is, it all depends on what you’re looking to achieve.

It seems that concurrent training of either resistance training before aerobic training or aerobic training before resistance training can elicit both aerobic and anaerobic adaptations simultaneously provided that the training program is carefully designed.  Performing aerobic exercise first may be a preferred choice for developing maximal aerobic power.  This exercise sequence also has been shown to enhance postexercise energy expenditure.  The preceding aerobic session of high intensity or long duration may compromise the quality of subsequent resistance exercise.  This can be avoided, however, by allowing more time for recovery and/or by training different muscle groups between two exercise sessions.  On the other hand, resistance exercise first seems more favorable for developing strength power, and muscle hypertrophy.  This modality sequence also seems more effective in enhancing maximal aerobic power in the elderly whos VO2max is limited in part by the aging-related loss of muscle mass and strength.  Resistance exercise first also can yield some metabolic benefits and the high-intensity nature of resistance exercise can potentiate energy expenditure and create a metabolic environment that favors fat utilization during a subsequent aerobic session.

So how do you plan out your workouts? Do you separate your cardio and resistance by days, mix it all in together, or perform both on the same day one after the other?  Do you find the way you structure your workouts defines the type of results you achieve?

Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Kale Curry


Looking for a healthy meal that won’t break the bank?  This is a delicious curry made with healthy, fresh ingredients that is bound to be surefire hit at your next dinner!

What You’ll Need:

1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
1 bunch kale, leaves torn, stems chopped
1 can chickpeas
1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons yellow or red curry paste
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1-2 limes
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped (for serving)

What to do:

-Heat a 3-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over med-high heat. Pour in 1/2 the can of coconut milk and whisk in 2 tablespoons of curry paste. Simmer for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
-Add chopped onions and simmer for another 3 minutes.
-Add butternut squash, kale stems, chickpeas, remainder of coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Cover and bring to a boil.
-Lower heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for an additional 8 to 10 minutes.
-Add in kale leaves, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes
-To finish off the curry, squeeze the juice from half the lime. Then, season to taste: more fish sauce (if it’s not salty enough), brown sugar (if it’s not sweet enough), or lime juice (if it’s not tart enough).
-Serve with extras such as cilantro and lime wedges, and go get your Thai curry on!

Bootcamps: The Good, The Bad, and My Own Personal Philosophy


So you’re thinking about joining a bootcamp? The word itself “bootcamp” brings to mind a drill sergeant yelling in your face while you struggle to do pushups in cold, sludgy mud.  Although, indeed, these are the roots of a traditional bootcamp, which incorporates high intensity interval training with bodyweight strength training in order to build camaraderie and physical fitness among new recruits in the armed forces, most “bootcamps” offered to the public are much less about pain and suffering and more about having fun, getting results, and making new friends.

I have been to my fair share of bootcamps, and, honestly, no two are exactly alike.  Some bootcamps will use training aids such as TRX, Kettlebells, boxes and agility ladders to put you through your paces, while others rely solely on body weight, partner exercises, and team games.  You will also see “travelling” bootcamps, and “stationary” bootcamps.  The latter you will be in one place, and remain there for the entirety of the session, switching between HIIT and resistance exercises comprised of your own body weight and/or partner drills.  During a travelling bootcamp you are typically moving along a pre planned path (such as a wooded path in a park) and stopping periodically to complete certain tasks like pushups, burpees, tricep dips, and the like.  Both bootcamp types have their advantages and disadvantages, but the bottom line is both types will get you the results you desire, (as long as you’re willing to put the work in!).

If there is one thing I put on my list of priorities for what I want to see my clients achieve from a bootcamp (right at the top of the list, directly underneath RESULTS) it would have to be the forming of camaraderie amongst my bootcampers.  In my opinion, a bootcamp should be FUN! As adults, we sometimes forget that exercise can be enjoyable, it can be fun, it can help you make new friends.  I hear people say “ugh, i’d so much rather sleep an extra hour than get up and go to the gym”.  The way I structure my bootcamps usually has people waking up BEFORE their alarms and actually looking forward to coming in, seeing familiar (and new) faces, and really getting a chance to let loose and enjoy themselves, leaving them energized, and excited to step out the door and begin their days! Let’s not forget we were all children at one point in our lives, lets remember what it feels like to PLAY, to get out and perform exercise while fully and completely losing yourself in the joy it brings you and the fantastic way it makes your body feel!

Have any of you had bootcamp experiences, either negative or positive that you would like to share with the community?  I’d love to hear from you all, as input from others is the best way for me to be able to tweak and retune my own programs to make them super enjoyable while also keeping them challenging and rewarding! I hope any of you in the Philadelphia, PA area will come out to see me at our Fit and Fab for Life Bootcamp being held Saturday June 14th, 2014- one session 9am and one at 10:30am.  Two completely different styles for you to try, find out what makes you tick, find something you truely enjoy, you never know, you may get hooked!!

Start the Spring off right with a Fit and Fab for Life Bootcamp!!!!


Hello to all my fellow bloggers, fitfam, and all of you out there who are looking for something new and exciting to kick your fitness regimen into high gear!! I am so excited about this that I had to share it with you all! Saturday June 14th, 2014 I will be holding the first of many Fit and Fab for Life Bootcamps at the old ECW Arena (now 2300 Arena) in Philadelphia!!!! We will be holding TWO sessions the first day, one at 9am, the second at 10:30am, each will run for approximately an hour.  I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to really reach out to the masses and have the chance to not only help those who may be new to the fitness field, but also to crank up the intensity for old pro’s who want to enjoy something a bit more challenging!! All we ask is that you bring a water bottle, a towel, and a yoga mat to the session of your choice (or stay for both to experience two different bootcamp styles!).  I will be putting up a blog post shortly about the ins, outs, and my personal philosophy on bootcamps, so those of you that are interested in coming can understand exactly what we will be working to achieve!! I really hope to see all of you out there, your support means the world to me!! If you are interested in coming, please message me or contact me through facebook (Shannon Benedetto PT). Looking forward to seeing you all there!!!

Much Love,