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Recipes with Avocado That Aren’t Guacamole

avocado uses not guacamole

Avocado Soup and Avocado Milkshake Recipes

Avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit belonging to the drupe family, which are one-seeded fruits with a firm exterior, often resembling berries. Avocados provide more than 20 vitamins and minerals, and are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats; so consider if it’s time for you to start getting the health benefits of avocado by regularly enjoying this delicious fruit.

When choosing an avocado, color is not an indicator of ripeness. Choose avocados that are free of bruises and heavy for their size. If the avocado is hard to the touch, it is unripe. To ripen, place them in a brown paper bag at room temperature until they are slightly soft; this usually takes from 2 to 4 days. Once the avocados are ripe, place them in the refrigerator and enjoy them within a couple of days.

Avocados can be used in a myriad of recipes ranging frombreakfast (like an avocado smoothie) to lunch recipes (such as an avocado stuffed with chicken salad). You can even enjoy sandwiches with avocado, such as the BLAT sandwich found in trendy delis. In case you didn’t know, that is a bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwich. Some great avocado recipes for dinner might include an avocado dressing on your salad or a delicious avocado pasta recipe.
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Stuck In Plateau Limbo? 8 Tips To Improve Results

plateau-breaking-tips

Tips and Tricks To Improve Your Workout Results

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”- Einstein

The Workout Plan Starts Out The Same For Everyone

We all have good intentions when we start exercising. We commit to working out three times a week, eating a healthier diet, and going for a hike with friends on the weekends.

The first week goes great. Most of us are sore because the only movement we’ve done in the last couple months is the move from the couch to the bed to the office chair. The next few weeks go by without any issue. Around the third week, the soreness has lessened, energy levels have increased, clothes are fitting a little looser, and people are starting to notice positive changes, both mentally and physically.

You think to yourself – I just need to maintain this consistent routine and the positive changes will continue. Results are happening. Life is good.

The Inevitable Workout Plateau

You are now 6 months into your healthier lifestyle. You miss a workout now and then but, for the most part, you’ve been getting your 3 workouts in every week. You lost weight and dropped a few inches around the waist. Sadly, when you step on the scale now, it seems to always be on the same number as the week prior. The compliments from family and friends have tailed off as well. You are working just as hard as you were in the beginning, but the strength gains and fat loss results have hit a wall.

This is a critical time for folks. Unfortunately, many get frustrated and revert back to their unhealthy lifestyle citing it’s too much work for such little progress. Others will continue to exercise but really just go through the motions and remain stuck in “plateau limbo.” The last group is the determined group. The mentally tough and focused group who will do whatever it takes to overcome this sticking point. The final group is the group that will find a solution to this all-too-common problem.

Solutions To Get Past The Workout Plateau

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What Are Your Sleep Habits Saying About You?

sleeping patterns

Understanding Sleep Habits for Better Sleep

Ironically, the question of how to get a good night’s sleep seems to keep a lot of people up at night. My experience tells me that the secret sauce of restorative sleep is to first find genuine inner peace in order to have that good night’s sleep that’s truly peaceful.

If you are tossing and turning, not getting your 7 or 8 hours of commonly suggested sleep, it may well be due to a lack of a peaceful internal dialogue with yourself…and with others. Blame your lack of sleep on all of the things you have to do (even that notion is inaccurate). The list of inner strife about life goes on and on into the wee hours of the morning. You run out of sheep to count before you have to get up and drag yourself into another sleep-deprived day. See? No inner peace leads to no resting in peace.

What Kind of Sleeper Are You?

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Catch Stress Before It Starts

stress-management

How To Prevent Everyday Stress

Wouldn’t you rather prevent a problem instead of spending time and effort managing one? Why “treat” a disease when you can avoid it in the first place?

It’s the same thing with stress. That’s right… Those who sell stress management and stress reduction tools, seminars and supplements may not like to hear this, but stress doesn’t have to ever disrupt your life if you are equipped with the tools to prevent it in the first place. Read on and get ready to live stress-free.

In the 25th Anniversary edition of my 1988 original, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff P.S. It’s All Small Stuff, I point out that stress is a perspective on life.

Voltaire wisely noted, “Life is a shipwreck, but we must still sing in our lifeboats.”

But Michael, my life is crazy, my boss drives me nuts, the kids are always sick, I can never make it to the gym and our finances are stressing me out…I don’t even see a lifeboat!

When it comes to stress, there definitely is a lifeboat. You see, the Greek philosopher Epictetus was 100% right when he observed, People aren’t disturbed by outside things and events, but by the views which they take of them.” There’s a lifeboat all right, and it’s right there behind your eyes, and between your ears.

Become Mindful of What Stresses You Out

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How To Get A Strong Back

how to get a strong back

How To Get A Strong Back

Fitness trainer John Peel shows us how to get a strong back using The Total Gym. In this segment, John demonstrates three different exercises that will help strengthen your back and improve your posture.

weekend warrior 2

The first exercise John demonstrates is the “Seated Row.” Do this by sitting up straight, lean slightly back and hold the cables with your palms facing down. Pull the cables toward you bringing your hands all the way to your ribcage and extend back out. If you want to challenge yourself further, pause for three seconds when bringing the cables toward your before releasing back down.
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Total Gym’s 3-Week Pike-Up Challenge: Week 3

Pike Up Challenge week 3 video

Week 3: The Advanced Pike-Up Edition

Any type of fitness challenge requires commitment, determination, consistency and a plan-of-action to accomplish a set goal. I have created a 3-Week Pike-Up Challenge that will benefit your body mentally as well as physically in minimal time!

New to a fitness challenge? Have no fear! It’s as simple as making a commitment, just like with anything else. With the determination to succeed you can take on the challenge! Keep in mind your current fitness level and start with the basic pike-up movements from week one to build your core strength base, and progress when your body is ready.

This is the final week of the challenge so if you’re just joining in now, please refer back to Week 1 for the basic pike-up exercises. The third week contains a new set of advanced exercises that challenge core balance and stability. These exercises utilize different ranges of motion and functional total body strength.

The Challenge

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11 High Protein Essentials To Add To Your Diet

high protein foods

Healthy High Protein Foods

When we hear the phrase high protein we often think of beefy bodybuilders or people trying to bulk up rather than slim down. However, protein is not only the building block for our muscles, it is also a key factor for losing weight. Protein breaks down slower than carbohydrates. What this means is you’ll have long-term energy rather than short-term energy, you’ll be more full longer and can significantly cut down on sweet cravings. Sounds pretty amazing, right?

In fact, the second most common mistake I see in my nutrition practice is diets that are too low in protein (the most common mistake I see is under eating). Typically we do a good job at lunch and dinner, but breakfast and snacks are where protein seems to fall through the cracks. In order to understand how we can incorporate more protein, let’s look at the primary sources of protein in our diet:

Great Animal Protein Sources

  • Chicken (38 g of protein for 1 cup)
  • Beef (between 20-110 g of protein depending on cut)
  • Fish (between 19-45 g of protein depending on type)
  • Eggs (6 g of protein) for 1 large egg
  • Dairy
    • Milk (8 g of protein in 1 cup)
    • Cheese  (7-28 g of protein depending on type)
    • Greek yogurt (17 g of protein in 1 container)
  • Great Vegetarian Protein Sources

  • Mixed Nuts (27 g of protein in 1 cup)
  • Soy
    • Soybeans (68 g of protein in 1 cup)
    • Tofu (20 g of protein in 1 cup)
    • Edamame (17 g of protein in 1 cup)
  • Beans (7-39 g of protein in 1 cup depending on type)
  • Lentils (18 g of protein in 1 cup)
  • Hemp seeds (89.6 g of protein in 1 cup)

It is important to note that almost all food has some level of protein and this vegetarian list is far from exhaustive. I chose ones that are my favorite, have at least 8-10g of protein per serving and were easily accessible. If you have other great sources of protein I would love to hear about them in the comment section below!

Combine Carbs and Protein For An Energy-Filled Meal

A great rule of thumb is every time you eat; make sure it has a source of protein as well as a carbohydrate. Here are a few examples:
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Yummy (and Healthy) Summer Smoothie Recipes

Summer Smoothie

Create The Perfect Summer Smoothie

Smoothies are a delicious treat on a hot summer day! You can enjoy fruit & yogurt breakfast smoothies, protein smoothies as a post workout recovery treat, or enjoy seasonal fresh fruit smoothies as a delicious snack anytime of day. But not all smoothie recipes are alike. Many of the smoothies you get at fairs and at coffee shops are really nothing more than sugary drinks with artificial food coloring and flavor. But no worries, with a few good healthy smoothie recipes, you can easily enjoy smoothies that are a nutritious addition to your diet.

When searching for smoothie recipes, remember that smoothies are only as nutritious as the ingredients you add to them. Whether it’s green smoothie recipes or kids’ smoothie recipes, choose recipes that use fresh wholesome ingredients without a lot of added sugar. A quick Internet search will provide you with lots of quick recipes ranging from smoothie recipes with spinach to tropical smoothies. But the basis of any good-for-you smoothie recipe is blending together a nutritious liquid such as 100% juice, milk, kefir or coconut water with some fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, with no added sugar. Sometimes, though, adding a little sweetener such as honey or stevia can make a smoothie a bit more enjoyable.

Adding frozen fruit to a smoothie recipe without ice provides dense nutrition and a product that is less watered down. Try searching Pinterest.com for some summer smoothie recipes that use watermelon, strawberries, pineapple or fresh mint for fun seasonal flavors. There are some refreshing smoothie ideas out there but remember that some are healthy, low calorie smoothie recipes that can help with maintaining a healthy weight, and some are dessert smoothies that are not healthy at all.

Timesaving Tips and Recipes for Quick Smoothies

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Total Gym’s 3-Week Pike-Up Challenge: Week 2

Pike Up Challenge Week 2

Week 2: Take Your Pike-Ups to the Next Level

Looking for a fitness challenge that improves physical and mental strength, core stamina, and muscle definition on your Total Gym? Well, I have the challenge for you!

Whether you want to build muscle, lose weight, gain functional core strength, or just want to change up your current workout, this 3-Week Pike-Up Challenge may be just what you’re looking for.

This is the second week of the challenge; so if you’re just joining in now, please refer back to week one for the basic pike-up exercises. The second week contains a new set of intermediate exercises to be performed at moderate intensity.  These exercises will challenge your body by utilizing different ranges of motion and functional total body strength.

Before beginning this week’s new exercises, make sure your body is ready to progress with the new challenges. As with any fitness program, learning proper form is the key to success for your body to adapt. Once you feel confident and strong from within and the exercises become easy, then you know you’re ready to add more challenging exercises!

THE CHALLENGE

The Pike-Up Challenge is a 3-week commitment to yourself and your body.

Each week the exercises change by adding a variety of pike-up movements that progress in fitness levels.  Last week (week 1), we covered proper pike-up form and ways to progress the exercises at a beginner level. This week (week 2), we will progress to intermediate exercises. The final week, (week 3), will explore advanced pike-up movements and combinations.

This is a fun challenge that develops inner core strength within a set period of time. Always progress when you are ready. If what I provide isn’t enough and you need more of a challenge, you can alter the workload by changing the reps, sets, and number of exercises performed during your workout session!

The New Pike-Up Exercises For Week 2

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7 Beach Workouts That Will Kick Your Butt

7 best beach exercises

Best Exercises To Do at the Beach

 Ah, summer! Just saying the word makes me happy. Especially when the best thing that goes with summer is the beach! Yes, summer and the beach go together like peanut butter and jelly. Not only is the beach a great place to get away and relax, but it is one of the best places to have an amazing workout. Exercising in the sand makes everything a little bit more challenging. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, young or old; one of nature’s greatest gifts has something for you.

Don’t get pigeon-holed into thinking that your beach workout has to consist of only squats and sand runs. Today I am going to make it really simple to get a total body workout with just a beach ball and towel. Come take a walk on the sandy side with me; No matter your age or level of fitness, these beach exercises are sure to please.

What you will need:

  • A towel
  • A beach ball (if you don’t have one your towel will work)
  • A pair of running shoes/sneakers
  • A BIG BOTTLE OF WATER!

Exercises:
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