Sabtu, 04 Juli 2015

Hello Healthy

Hello Healthy

Baked Hummus-Crusted Chicken

Posted: 04 Jul 2015 10:00 AM PDT

Baked Hummus-Crusted Chicken

If you're yearning for juicy baked chicken, you need to try this recipe for baked hummus-crusted chicken. Lean chicken breast is kept moist in a creamy hummus shell, which adds flavor, fiber and protein. It's served over roasted zucchini but you can also sub in your favorite roasted veggies instead. Make this for dinner, and you can pack leftovers for a lunch you'll be excited about.

25-Minute Cardio Dance Workout

Posted: 04 Jul 2015 08:00 AM PDT

cardio funk workout

If you long for the lost disco days of the '70s, this cardio workout will bring those funky moves back to your very own living room. Complete with variations for all levels and made up of basic, easy-to-master moves, Jamie McFadden will have you grooving in no time.

Running Injuries 101: What to Do About the 5 Most Common Ailments

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 12:00 PM PDT

calf stretch

Most runners have as many injury stories as they do training shoes in their closets. In fact, it may seem as though you can’t truly call yourself a runner unless you have an orthopedic surgeon or a physical therapist on speed dial. The sport’s simplicity— its repetitive and weight-bearing nature—also accounts for its tendency to damage the body.

The bad news about these injuries is that they are often hard to avoid. The good news? They’re totally treatable. Here, we break down the most common running ailments—and how to avoid them.

Note: As with any health issue, it's important you speak with your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. What follows is general advice that may or may not apply to your specific ailment.

Shin Splints

  • The definition: An aching pain in the front of the lower leg.
  • The causes: Usually, shin splints are brought on by an increase in mileage. A change of running surface or speed—especially over-striding—can also strain the lower leg tendons.
  • The symptoms: Tight calf muscles and tender shin bones that tend to flare up post-run.
  • The treatment: Ice, ice baby: Grab a bag of frozen peas and place it on the irritated spot a few times a day to reduce inflammation. Calf and Achilles stretches will also help to loosen up the lower leg muscles and reduce the strain on your shins. You may need to stop running altogether for a week or two if the pain is severe.
  • Avoid it: New to running? Don't overdo it. Gently increase your mileage by just 10 percent every week, and stick to softer surfaces, like grass or a bouncy track, which are more forgiving than rock-hard pavement.

Plantar Fasciitis

  • The definition: Inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick tissue covering the bones on the bottom of the foot.
  • The causes: Trauma (stepping on a sharp object or otherwise straining your foot), overuse, inflexible calf muscles, over-pronation (your foot rolls inward when you run), high arches and incorrect shoes.
  • The symptoms: Pain at the base of the heel, which is more intense when you're barefoot. Pain is often most severe in the mornings or at the start of a run.
  • The treatment: Ice, physical therapy and the addition of orthotics—supportive shoe inserts that an orthopedist can help you select. Rolling the afflicted foot over a tennis ball or a massage bar for 30 minutes a day, and stretching your calf can also relieve the pain.
  • Avoid it: Wear supportive shoes, especially when you're not running. Flimsy flip flops that lack arch support are a main culprit of PF, so if you must wear sandals, opt for something studier, like Birkenstocks.

Chondromalacia Patella or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee)

  • The definition: A softening or wearing away and cracking of the cartilage under the kneecap, resulting in pain and inflammation.
  • The causes: Weak thigh muscles, instable hips, tight hamstrings or Achilles tendons, usually brought on by insufficient stretching, overpronation and overtraining.
  • The symptoms: Nagging aches in the knee, especially during longer training runs. May also present itself as tightness in the adductor muscle in your upper thigh or groin.
  • The treatment: Rest, ice and strength work: Studies show that a lack of hip stability, especially among women, is directly linked to the development of runner's knee.
  • Avoid it: Take the time to incorporate stretching and strength training into your routine (especially hip- and core-strengthening exercises). Balancing your running with cross-training (think: the elliptical machine or a stationary bike) a few times a week will give your legs a much-needed break from the pounding.

Iliotibial (IT) Band Friction Syndrome

  • The definition: Pain and inflammation on the outside of the knee, where the iliotibial band (a group of fibers that run along the outside of the thigh) turns into tougher, less flexible tendon tissue. When the band rubs against the femur (thigh bone) as it runs alongside the knee joint, it can become irritated and inflamed.
  • The causes: Overuse, faulty biomechanics and weak hips and glutes.
  • The symptoms: Pain and soreness in the middle of the IT band, which may increase to a more severe, even debilitating, pain at the outside of the knee.
  • The treatment: Rest, deep tissue massage, foam rolling along the outside of the leg, hips and hamstrings. Strength exercises like leg lifts and squats are key for targeting weak hips and glutes.
  • Avoid it: Use a foam roller regularly after your runs to loosen up tight muscles. Scale back on the miles as soon as you feel a twinge of pain along the IT band. The injury can go quickly from bad to worse, so responding immediately with rest can lead to a faster recovery.

Achilles Tendonitis

  • The definition: Inflammation, irritation and swelling of the Achilles tendon (the tendon that connects the muscles of the calf to the heel).
  • The cause: Over-pronation, over-training, excessive speed work and tight or fatigued calf muscles.
  • The symptoms: Pain along the back of the tendon, inflexibility in the ankle or redness and swelling in the afflicted area. Hearing a crackle when you move your ankle—the sound of scar tissue rubbing against the tendon— is another indicator of Achilles tendonitis.
  • The treatment: Rest until the pain is gone as well as a steady routine of icing (up to 30 minutes several times a day) and calf stretching. Wrapping your foot or inserting a foam wedge heel pad in your shoe can also boost support and speed up the healing process.
  • Avoid it: Gradually increase your mileage, wear supportive shoes, and keep your calfs strong and flexible by doing toe-raises and stretching regularly. And if you're prone to sore Achilles, avoid activities that add extra stress to the area, like hill running.

Jumat, 03 Juli 2015

Hello Healthy

Hello Healthy

Apricot Quinoa Summer Salad

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 10:00 AM PDT

Apricot Quinoa Summer Salad

This gluten-free Apricot Quinoa Summer Salad from Nutrition Stripped is filled with sweet antioxidant-rich apricots and refreshingly cool cucumbers. Bursts of citrus, fresh herbs, and earthiness from nutty almonds create a great balance of flavors for an amazing side dish.


nutrition-stripped-headshotMcKel is a registered dietitian, wellness coach and blogger of Nutrition Stripped, where she offers her nutrition services and shares nourishing recipes. Nutrition Stripped is a plant-based whole foods blog focusing on making healthy eating deliciously simple. If you like this recipe, you may enjoy these whole food recipes from Nutrition Stripped as well. Connect with McKel on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

Photo courtesy of McKel Hill. Original recipe published on Nutrition Stripped.

Can’t Squat or Lunge Due to Bad Knees? This Workout Is for You

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 08:00 AM PDT

glute video

Many of us experience knee pain as some point, either because of injury, disease (arthritis) or age (any of us over 40 has felt a twinge or two!). And many of you share that you cannot do a squat or lunge without pain. No worries; there are a ton of exercises you can to do strengthen your glutes (bum) without performing one squat or one lunge.

In this video, I share exercises you can do lying on your belly (prone) to strengthen your glutes. This requires hip extension and NO movement of your knees! We will do an "oldie-but-goodie" exercise lying on your back (supine), one on your side to focus on your gluteus medius, and one exercise that requires a wall.

Food Politics

Food Politics

Weekend reading: Joel Bourne’s The End of Plenty

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 05:44 AM PDT

While celebrating the Fourth of July, why not take time for some thoughtful reading?

Joel K. Bourne, Jr.  The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World.  WW Norton, 2015.

Here’s my blurb for this one:

The End of Plenty takes a thoroughly researched and exceptionally thoughtful and balanced look at the consequences of industrial farming.  Joel Bourne's courageous conclusion: to feed the world's burgeoning population, agriculture must change and population increase must stop.  His book should convince every reader of the compelling need to address world food problems through more skillful and sustainable agronomy, but also through education, especially of women, and universal family planning.

Kamis, 02 Juli 2015

zen habits: Neither Averting Nor Craving in Each Moment

zen habits: Neither Averting Nor Craving in Each Moment

Neither Averting Nor Craving in Each Moment

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 12:22 AM PDT

By Leo Babauta

I’ve been trying to more deeply study the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths lately, and because of that I constantly notice my cravings and aversions.

Who cares, you might ask?

Well, it turns out that as a result of these cravings and aversions, there are lots of little annoyances, anger, frustrations, stresses, worries, fears of missing out, distractions, procrastinations, disappointments and more that we all face in almost every moment. We don’t always notice they’re there, but they are there.

Try this: take a moment throughout today to notice when you’re completely happy and content in the moment, to just sit in the moment without thinking of anything but what’s in front of you, to not reach for some distraction. See if you’re not annoyed by something, worried about something, frustrated by something, rushed to go do something else.

If you can sample 10 moments throughout your day, and you don’t find more than one or two moments with those kind of “negative” states of emotions (they’re not “bad” but they are forms of suffering) … you are either very good at the skills of contentment, or perhaps not skilled at seeing your suffering.

Now try this: in each moment where you have some kind of negative emotion … see what you’re avoiding in the moment, or what you’re craving. It might be that you’re avoiding uncertainty and possible failure (and so you’re procrastinating). It might be that you don’t want someone to act a certain way (you’re craving an ideal way for them to behave). It might be that you’re avoiding thinking about something about yourself you don’t like. There are endless possibilities, and it can take awhile to get good at seeing what you’re avoiding or craving.

Finally, try this: just be in the moment you’re in, and see what’s actually in front of you. Not what you read into the moment, but what’s really there, in terms of light and sound and physical molecules. See if you can accept all of that exactly as it is, without craving something else, without avoiding what’s there. Just accept it.

There’s an amazing contentedness that comes from neither avoiding the current moment, nor craving something else. You just sit there in a happy state of being, perhaps finding joy in the wonderfulness of the moment.

Hello Healthy

Hello Healthy

7 Hacks for a Healthier Ice Cream Sandwich

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 12:00 PM PDT

chocolate ice cream sandwich

While nothing hits the spot quite like an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day, many grocery-store varieties are loaded with saturated fat, unnatural additives and extra sugar. But hang on for a sec and just chill: the classic dessert doesn't have to be that unhealthy. We tapped pastry chefs and ice cream whizzes across the country for their best nuggets of advice on how to lighten up the treat. Turns out you can have your ice cream sandwich—and eat the cake part, too.

1. Take the Dairy Out

Swap out dairy ice cream for just-as-creamy nut alternatives. Cashew milk options (like the new line by So Delicious) come with less calories, sugar, cholesterol and fat than their milk-laden counterparts. Or, go (coco)nuts: "Coconut milk ice cream is high in fat, but studies have found that coconut fat may actually aid weight loss," says HSN Chef Robert Irvine. "That's because the type of fat coconut contains is metabolized differently than other fats. Plus, they've been shown to provide antioxidants similar to those in berries, grapes and dark chocolate." Almond and soy milk ice creams all also come pretty close to the real deal and are definitely worth a try, too.

2. Add Some Avo

We all adore avocados on our toast and guacamole, but they're pretty great when served as dessert, too. And no, it's not crazy to do that: their creamy consistency can serve as a genius substitute in frozen sweets. Nutritionist Kayleen St. John, RD, at New York City's National Gourmet Institute recommends swapping out ice cream for frozen "avocado mousse." To make, blend avocado, cocoa powder and maple syrup, plus a splash of almond or coconut milk to thin it down, and freeze before spreading between your cookie of choice.

3. Go For the Skinny Guys

Delicately crispy cookies will literally slash calories if swapped in for dense or cakey kinds. "Try really thin cookies—like caramel-y almond Florentines, graham crackers, chocolate wafers or King Arthur's crisp lemon-ginger wafers," suggests Chef Dana Cree of Blackbird, who's a current James Beard Foundation Outstanding Pastry Chef nominee (that's the food world equivalent of a Grammy nomination!).

thin ice cream sandwich

4. Give Beets a Chance

Jon Feshan, Executive Chef at County restaurant, makes an irresistible ice cream with the vitamin A-rich veggie. Naturally sweet and brilliantly crimson, beet juice is a regular part of our lives—so why not work it into dessert as well, right? Between downing spoonfuls of the stuff, Chef Feshan was kind enough to share the recipe with us (heads up, you'll need an ice cream maker!).

Combine two cups of half and half with one cup heavy cream and one cup sugar in a sauce pot. Put over medium heat and bring to 180 degrees, measuring with a food thermometer. (If you don't have one, let the liquid reach a simmer but not a boil.) Remove pot from stove and set it in an ice bath in a metal container. While cream cools, chop a roasted red beet using a knife or box grater. Add the beet to the mixture and let it sit overnight in the metal container, covered in the refrigerator. Use the ice cream maker to churn the mix to soft ice cream. Transfer to a plastic or metal container with lid and place in the freezer.

And if you still can't come around to the beets idea? Use the same formula but work in another all-natural, good-for-you flavor, like carrot and ginger.

5. Bring on the Bananas

If sorbet is healthier than ice cream—it saves you a load of calories and fat—then making an at-home frozen fruit dessert, sans sorbet's added sugar, is an even healthier option. (This handy Yonanas machine makes it even easier to turn frozen fruit into soft-serve, but you can also break down frozen fruit in a food processor and freeze.) Start with bananas as a base: they're naturally creamy and packed with fiber and potassium. St. John suggests working in other frozen fruit, like kiwi, strawberries or blackberries, for a rainbow effect. Have a weakness for bananas with peanut butter? No shame. Pulse the frozen fruit with peanut butter (for protein and healthy fats). Or go crazy and add a little cocoa for chocolate flavor instead.

6. Get Jiggly With It

If you have a favorite family recipe you can't live without, try lightening up the old original with healthy swaps or additions. For example, if a recipe calls for five egg yolks, Irvine suggests the chef's trick of using only three yolks plus 2 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin to keep the ice cream "rich and creamy without adding extra fat," he says. (P.S.: You can find powdered gelatin in the baking section of any grocery store.)

retro ice cream sandwich

7. Create a Whole New Cookie

Want to try something unique? Try a nutrient-dense bread instead of cookies. "Thinly slice a fruit-nut bread and lightly toast it," suggests Chef William Werner of Craftsman and Wolves, a James Beard Foundation Outstanding Baker Award Nominee. Plus, it'll make for a crowd friendly moment: "Since these would need to be made a la minute [that's chef speak for 'right before you serve it'], they're great for summer parties," he says. "You can get your guests involved in making them."

For an even healthier—and more chocolatey—sandwich cookie, blend together pecans or walnuts with dates and cacao until sticky, press into the bottom of a lined bread pan and freeze. Wholesome, yet manages to quell that sweet craving.

Photos courtesy of SELF.

10 Sunny Summer Grilling Recipes Under 350 Calories

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 10:00 AM PDT

10 Sunny Summer Grilling Recipes Under 350 Calories

While the sun is still on your side, rev up your grill and get ready to kick back with friends and family. Grilling is great way to infuse flavor into food without upping the calories. Check out our collection of grilling recipes for some sunny ideas.

1. Apricot-Glazed Grilled Chicken | The Healthy Maven
Apricot-glazed grilled chicken thighs are a great try for your next backyard barbecue session. These juicy marinated chicken thighs are worth getting your fingers sticky for! We recommend serving them with a big helping of greens or roasted veggies on the side. Recipe makes 6 servings of 2 chicken thighs each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 281; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 166mg; Sodium: 484mg; Carbohydrate: 14g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 39g

2. Grilled Eggplant Parmesan| Good Housekeeping
Indulge in a lighter version of eggplant parmesan by grilling instead of deep frying the eggplant. Grilling also gives this dish a different depth of flavor. Recipe makes 4 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 184; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 23mg; Sodium: 588mg; Total Carbohydrate: 9g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 5g; Protein: 10g

3. BBQ Split Chicken Breasts with Crazy Basting Sauce | Food Fanatic
Make juicy and flavorful barbecue split chicken breast by using buttermilk to seal in the juices. The entire recipe serves four, but we suggest increasing the serving size to eight for a more appropriate size of 1/2 chicken breast each. Nutrition information is for 1 serving at 1/2 chicken breast each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 262; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 134mg; Sodium: 854mg; Total Carbohydrate: 7g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugars: 5g; Protein: 49g

4. Grilled Cajun Chicken | BBC Good Food
Simple and spicy cajun chicken is easily prepared by rubbing lean chicken breasts with common pantry spices. Serve creamy guacamole on the side for a dose of healthy fats. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 breast each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 190; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Sodium: 220mg; Total Carbohydrate: 2g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugars: 0g; Protein: 34g

5. Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce | Skinnytaste
Steak lovers rejoice! Lean flank steak is grilled and then smothered in a zingy chimichurri sauce. Serve with grilled corn or a side salad for a complete meal. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 (3-ounce) steak + 4 teaspoons sauce each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 232; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 77mg; Sodium: 343mg; Total Carbohydrate: 1g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugars: 0g; Protein: 24g

6. Balsamic Grilled Pork Chops | Clean Eating
This tangy balsamic marinade is perfect for tenderizing lean pork chops. The sweet grilled peaches are a low-calorie way to add natural sugars to your meal. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 (5-ounce) pork chop + 1 peach + 2 tablespoons marinade each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 310; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 95mg; Sodium: 125mg; Total Carbohydrate: 23g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 21g; Protein: 31g

7. Tender Beef Kebabs | Natasha’s Kitchen
Take your grilled meal on the go so you can mix and mingle with your friends. These kebabs feature lean beef chunks, crispy onion and sweet bell peppers. Remember to marinade the beef overnight for the most flavor. Recipe makes 15 servings at 1 large kebab each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 247; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 11g; Cholesterol: 31mg; Sodium: 199mg; Total Carbohydrate: 3g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 19g

8. Grilled Halibut Steaks | Food Fanatic
Grilled halibut steaks marinated with lemon and rosemary makes for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Serve it with asparagus or your favorite veggies for a delicious weeknight dinner. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 halibut steak each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 263; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 45mg; Sodium: 151mg; Carbohydrate: 2g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 30g

9. Lemon and Dill Barbecue Salmon Kebabs | Plating Pixels
Grilling is a great way to cook your salmon to moist, flaky perfection. Check out these salmon kebabs flavored with fragrant lemon and dill. Recipe makes 6 servings at 1 skewer each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 138; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 65mg; Sodium: 152mg; Total Carbohydrate: 3g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 15g

10. Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushroom | Cooking Light
This recipe works well as an app or impressive side dish. Portobello mushrooms are stuffed with cheese, tomatoes and fresh herbs, then grilled to perfection. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 stuffed mushroom each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 83; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 4mg; Sodium: 123mg; Total Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Protein: 5g

30-Minute Walking and Strength Workout

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 08:00 AM PDT

walking strength feature image

Combine your cardio and strength training with this 2-in-1 walking workout

No time for separate cardio and strength sessions? No problem! This low-impact workout combines the calorie-burning effects of walking with the metabolism-boosting results of strength training in a 2-in-1 workout that's both efficient and effective. Try this routine (indoors or out) up to four non-consecutive days per week for optimal results.

After completing the warm-up, perform each exercise and its walking interval pair as listed below in a circuit format, or back-to-back with little to no rest in between. Complete the circuit three times in total, finishing with the cooldown only during the final round of the circuit.

Equipment Needed: 1 set of dumbbells, 3-8 pounds, depending on your level. This workout utilizes a higher number of reps, so choose a weight that will fatigue your muscles within 20 reps.


In place (or if you have room, traveling), repeat one minute of each of the following exercises (you’ll also use these moves during the walking intervals during the circuit):

Walking: Move at a brisk pace, swing arms naturally and maintain good posture, keeping abs drawn into spine.

High-knee Marches: Alternate lifting one knee up towards the hip as both arms reach overhead, drawing abs deeper into spine as the knee lifts. Lower arms by the sides as you step your foot down; repeat on the opposite side.

Side-to-Side Step: Take a wide step to the right and bring the left foot in to meet right. Immediately repeat on the opposite side, moving at a brisk pace and letting arms move naturally.

Once the warm-up is complete, carefully grab dumbbells (bend knees and use legs and a naturally straight spine to pick them up off the ground) to begin the circuit.

The Workout

Plie Press

Reps: 20

Targets: Thighs, shoulders, core

Stand with feet wider than hips, toes turned slightly out, arms extended towards the floor, weights in front of thighs. Bend knees and lower into a deep plie position, keeping knees pointing over toes and shoulders stacked above hips, reaching dumbbells towards the ground, palms facing in.

plie press 1

Bend elbows and bring weights in towards the body, then extend arms overhead, pressing weights to ceiling. Maintain a deep plie position.

plie press 2

Return to start. Do 20 reps in total.

60-second Walking Interval: Walk (in place or travel) at a brisk pace with hands holding dumbbells (avoid swinging arms while holding weights, as this can cause joint strain) stationary at your hips.

Chest Squeeze

Reps: 20 alternating

Targets: Chest, shoulders, inner thighs

Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, elbows bent at 90 degrees with arms open to sides of shoulders (upper body should resemble a goal post), holding weights with palms facing forward.

chest squeeze 1

Draw abs in tighter to spine and step right foot into left as elbows come together in front of shoulders, maintaining a 90-degree angle.

chest squeeze 2

That’s one rep. Repeat on opposite side. Do 20 alternating reps.

60-second Walking Interval: High Knee March (in place or travel) at a quick tempo with hands on hips and holding dumbbells.

Rear Row Raise

Reps: 10 on each side

Targets: Back, thighs, glutes

Begin in a split stance with right foot forward and left leg back, left heel lifted; bend knees and sit back into hips, hinging torso forward from hips about 45 degrees. Reach weights towards the floor on either side of the front foot, palms facing in.

rear row raise 1

Keeping spine naturally straight and abs drawn in tight, bend elbows and pull weights in to body on either side of rib cage, squeezing shoulder blades back and together. As the left knee bends, draw the left foot towards the inside of the right knee, balancing on the right leg.

rear row raise 2

Return to the start. Do 10 reps on the first side; repeat for 10 more reps on opposite side.

60-second Walking Interval: Perform the Side-to-Side Step quickly with hands on hips holding dumbbells.

Marching Biceps Curl Complex

Reps: 10

Targets: Biceps, core muscles

Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, abs tight, with arms extended by sides. Begin marching in place, and, as right knee bends, lift the right foot. Perform a hammer biceps curl by bending the arms and bringing weights in toward the body with palms facing in (elbows remain by sides).

marching curls 1

Step the right foot back to the floor as the arms extend back down by your sides.

marching curls 2

Lift the left knee up and perform a traditional biceps curl by bending arms and opening forearms out to sides of body, raising weights with palms facing up (elbows remain by sides).

marching curls 3

Step the left foot back to the floor as arms extend back down by sides. That’s one rep. Repeat full complex a total of 10 times.

60-second Walking Interval: Walk (in place or travel) at a brisk pace with hands on hips holding dumbbells.

Hamstring Curl And Row

Reps: 20 alternating

Targets: Hamstrings, shoulders, upper back

Stand tall with abs drawn in to spine and feet slightly wider than hips, arms extended in front of legs with palms facing in towards thighs.

hamstring curl and row 1

Perform a hamstring curl by bending the right knee, bringing the right heel in towards the body. Bend your elbows, pulling the weights up in front of your shoulders as you squeeze the shoulder blades back and together, and the arms move slightly behind body.

hamstring curl and row 2

Return to start. That’s one rep. Repeat on opposite side. Perform a total of 20 reps, changing legs each time.

60-second Walking Interval: High Knee March (in place or travel) at a quick tempo with hands on hips holding dumbbells.

Reaching Lunge

Reps: 10

Targets: Back, thighs, core

Begin with feet wide (about 3 feet apart), toes facing forward and arms by your sides. Shift weight into your left leg as the left knee bends over the toes and hips push back, hinging forward from hips and keeping the spine naturally straight. Bend the left elbow and pulls the weights to the side of your torso as the right arm reaches across the body towards the left foot.

reaching lunge 1

Repeat on opposite side.

reaching lunge 2

That’s one rep. Do 10 reps in total.

60-second Walking Interval: Side-to-Side Step quickly with hands on hips holding dumbbells.

Deadlift Twist

Reps: 10 on each side

Targets: Core muscles in back and abdominals

Note: This exercise set is bodyweight only, so carefully set the dumbbells down on the floor before you begin this last exercise in the circuit.

Begin in a split stance with your left foot forward and right leg back, right heel lifted, with knees slightly bent and arms crossed over chest. Draw abs in tight toward your back, press shoulders down away from ears, and, keeping spine naturally straight, hinge forward from the hips until your chest is almost parallel to the floor.

deadlift twist 1

Keeping your spine naturally straight, return to the start position.

deadlift twist 2

Balancing on your left leg, slowly lift the right knee up in front of your hip as you twist your torso to the right. Draw your abs in tighter toward the spine during the twist.

deadlift twist 3

Return to the start. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps in total; repeat for 10 more reps on the opposite side. Focus on exhaling during the twist and keeping your abs tight to help with balance. Too tough to balance? Try tapping the right toes to the floor near the left foot during the twist to master the movement first.

60-Second Walking Interval: High Knee March (in place or travel) at a quick tempo, extending arms overhead as the knees lift.

Cool Down

Simply walk in place (or travel) at an easy pace for 2-3 minutes to help lower the heart rate. Wind down the session with some gentle, total body stretches—our 6 Seated Yoga Stretches for Walkers and Runners feels great after this routine!

Like this workout? Want a video version of it? Be sure to check out our “30-Minute Tred and Shed” walk included in our “Walk On: 21 Day Weight Loss Plan!” In addition to this cardio strength walk, this DVD set includes a 30-minute low impact HIIT walk, a 30-minute cardio core (standing abs) session plus a 30-minute, recovery day Stride, Stretch and Relax walk for a complete and balanced walking-based weight loss workout program.

Photos by: Vanessa Rogers Photography

8 Ways to Rethink Your Weight-Loss Roadblocks

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 12:00 PM PDT

women having lunch

You may have started setting your weight-loss goals (congrats!)—and perhaps you’ve even begun the journey. But now, somewhere between the alluring summit and your current progress, you’re experiencing zigzags and hurdles that you never predicted. Your motivation begins to dwindle. Your dreams seem less enticing. You doubt not only your goals but your own ability to reach them. A downward spiral has begun…

Here are eight practices to the rescue! Based on scientific research, they’ll help you ground yourself, muster the energy, and make the journey as enjoyable as the summit.

Practice Self-Compassion

Our inherent tendency for social comparison and society’s pursuit of perfection can make our goals seem like a mirage. The fear of failure looms large in our minds, sabotaging our motivation to move ahead. But there’s a solution! Research has shown that being kind to ourselves gives us the strength to face our fears, both real and imagined. Placing your hand on your chest and reassuring yourself with a few kind words can go a long way towards grounding you in the moment and stopping the inner critic right in its tracks.

Reach Out to Others

Studies have shown time and again that the strength of our social support system is the greatest source of resilience, success, and happiness that we have. When we begin to lose sight of our goals, having a trusted “other” to guide us and remind us of those goals gives us the strength to get back in the game. By nurturing strengths such as love and gratitude, you can open yourself to constructive feedback and support, both of which are essential drivers in reaching your goals.

Manage Your Energies

Performance psychologist Jim Loehr believes that to go after what we desire, we have to focus on maximizing our energies, not our time. Multi-tasking in order to save time saps us of energy, overwhelms us, and—not surprisingly—results in poor performance. Instead, if we were to focus on maximizing our four sources of energy, we would reach the summit with zest and gusto. This includes looking after your body (physical energy), calming an emotional meltdown (emotional energy), controlling your attention (mental energy) and connecting to the purpose that drives your goals (spiritual energy).

Tweak Your Habits

Ellen Langer, a psychology professor at Harvard, warns us that we live most of our lives “mindlessly.” We do so as a result of childhood programming, or because behaviors that now run on automatic served us well at some point in our lives. However, when we take on something new, old habits may no longer help us—even actively work against us. Watching late night reruns of my favorite sitcom was fine when the kids were babies and I had to be up until midnight for their final feed. But it has turned into a habit that keeps me from getting up early for my morning run and leads to exhaustion, guilt and failed resolutions. Are there old habits that are pulling you back and weakening your motivation? If so, think of behaviors that will help you in your journey and transform them into habits—that way, they don’t waste your brain's limited supply of energy.

Rethink Your Roadblocks

The same applies for thought patterns. Humans are all wired to spot the negative (blame it on evolution), some of us even more so than others. Fortunately, this first draft of our mental architecture is malleable through conscious effort. When the going gets tough, do you begin to doubt your own abilities and allow the roadblocks to increase before your very eyes? This is the time to think about your explanatory style—your way of explaining the roadblocks in your journey. Martin Seligman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the father of positive psychology, breaks down explanatory style into the 3 “Ps”. If your explanation for your setback is that you are the problem (Personal), nothing seems to work (Pervasive) and there is no chance it will ever get better (Permanent), it is time for a rethink.

Break Down Goals

Our motivations are highly dependent on the dopamine system. When we take on a goal, we need to pump ourselves with dopamine along the way. Reassuring ourselves that we will feel rewarded at the end of our pursuit is like driving with no fuel. Luckily, even physically ticking off the task we set out to complete gives us enough of a dopamine surge to make us want to continue our pursuit. Don’t make the tasks so monumental that you have to go a long way before feeling rewarded. Break them down, do them whether you feel like it or not, and keep rewarding yourself with variety and aplomb as you go!

Laugh out Loud

There may be more to the current infatuation with “LOLs” than we give it credit for! Laughing out loud releases stress hormones and reharmonizes our physiological and psychological states. It shows us the insignificance of things and distances us from the fear of failure that immobilizes us. Rick Snyder, the late professor of positive psychology credited with the development of Hope Theory, used to say "If you can't laugh at yourself, you have missed the biggest joke of all". His words make me smile and remind me of the famous “Rule #6,” which Benjamin Zander, the charismatic conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, says is the only rule we'll ever need to know: "Don't take yourself so goddamn seriously!"

Savor Success

Don’t forget to savor your success and take in the good around you as you progress. Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson says that the brain is like Velcro for the negative and Teflon for the positive. Unless we take the time to sit back and relive our achievements, applaud our efforts, and allow the warm glow of a job well done to trickle down into the deep recesses of our neural structure, we will not be able to build the kind of memories that give rise to competence and resilience. Instead, we’ll obsess about everything that went wrong and build a memory bank that has "failure" writ large all over.

And finally, here’s a motivating thought. We all have it within us to find the determination for sustained goal pursuit. Think of how you or your child learned to walk as a toddler. Neither deterred by failure, nor swayed by challenge, you stayed present in the moment, your singular focus on the task. No beating on yourself for the bumps and falls, no expectations of yourself for the perfect stride. Just a goal in the distance, an infectious smile that garnered support and the relentless urge to get there, one baby step at a time. Wow. And we thought babies knew nothing!

—By Homaira Kabir for Happify

This article originally appeared on Happify.

Homaira Kabir is a Women's Leadership Coach, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and a Positive Psychology Practitioner, whose work expands the breath of the human experience. She empowers women to become leaders of their own selves in order to become leaders in relationships, at work and in life. You can read more about her work at or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter (@homairakabir).

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these articles:

Easy Cheesy Crustless Quiche

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 10:00 AM PDT

Easy Cheesy Crustless Quiche

Crustless quiche is the more manageable cousin of a full-on quiche recipe. This easy version packs plenty of breakfast veggies (think onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach) and cheese into a portable egg cup. You can make a batch of these ahead of time and reheat for busy mornings.

Food Politics

Food Politics

Urban farms in Havana: a brief report on my brief visit

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 06:46 AM PDT

Because transportation from rural areas is expensive and trucks are few and far between (one result of the U.S. embargo), the Cuban government is promoting urban agriculture.  Our Food First tour group went to a small organic farm and store (Organopónico) in Havana:

2015-06-17 11.15.59

The farm grows a wide variety of vegetable crops, some outdoors but some under mesh.  The sun is hot.

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The farm sells produce to local residents.  I watched a steady procession of people coming to shop, only to be disappointed at the scarcity of items available.  It’s too hot to grow much this time of year.

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The board lists prices in pesos (indicated by $)—$4 to $10 a pound.

Another of the many Cuban contradictions: Cuba has two currencies, pesos and CUCs (Cuban Convertables).  A CUC is roughly equivalent to one dollar, or 24 pesos.  Salaries are paid in pesos.  Markets sell in CUCs or, recently, both.  This system, designed to take advantage of tourist dollars, is slated to end soon.

To put vegetable prices in context: the average Cuban salary is about 470 pesos a month, or $20 (but note that Cubans are given free food rations, education, and health care).

We also visited the much larger 25-acre farm in Havana’s Alamar neighborhood.

2015-06-19 10.49.07

You can see the surrounding apartments in this photo, but not the next one.

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With no money for gas or tractors, plowing gets done with oxen.

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This farm also has a store.

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I waited on a long line to buy a glass of freshly squeezed sugar cane juice.

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This was incredibly delicious and totally worth the wait.

How much sugar is in this?  I searched for, but cannot find reliable Nutrition Facts for fresh cane juice.  If you happen to know where to find this, please send.

On Monday, I’ll file the last of these Cuba posts, this one on food availability.

Note: the resumption of diplomatic relations and agreement to reopen embassies yesterday should make travel much easier.

Rabu, 01 Juli 2015

Hello Healthy

Hello Healthy

The 30-Day Strength-Building Challenge for Beginners

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 08:00 AM PDT

We live in an interesting time; technology is always at our fingertips, as our smart phones are glued to our hands like Ari Gold from Entourage. The majority of today's population sits in cubicles cranking out work, stands with poor posture, and sits with rolled shoulders while cruising social media or texting. And we wonder why people have back problems, musculoskeletal issues and general weakness. Life has gotten easier and exciting in many ways, but it has also made us lazy.

How can you prevent and reduce (or even eliminate) back pain, and build a foundation for increasing fitness? It's very simple … get strong.

It's OK if you're a novice when it comes to strength training—the fact that you're reading this, and considering whether you can complete this challenge puts you one step farther along than most because you are investing in yourself!

Let me simplify things for you. It first starts with a plan.

The Plan

The idea is to get stronger and more mobile through a program that uses a small exercise selection that's progressive. You will need to work out at home or hit the gym two times a week. Completing your strength workouts two days per week allows for ample recovery time, and should fit into your schedule.

Oh but wait, it doesn't have to stop there! You should spend time doing secondary workouts 1-2 days a week. For this, you will need to walk, jog or bike (or complete your favorite cardiovascular exercise), and also work on your body's mobility. These secondary workouts can be as short as 10 minutes, and shouldn't be any longer than an hour.

Each week the goal will be to make the efforts just a little bit harder: Add a little more weight, do a few more reps, or add minutes to your walk, jog or bike ride.

You will do all six strength exercises when you work out, so keep track of how much weight you lift or how many you reps you do. Remember, the goal is to add a little weight or increase the reps each week. Do not push through any pain, and always keep proper form even if you have to decrease the weight. You may experience some soreness since you're challenging your body to do things it hasn't done before, so make sure you give yourself 48-72 hours of recovery before you do another strength session.

I picked these exercises because they lay the proper foundation you need as a beginner to get stronger. In addition, squats and shoulder presses are two exercises that should always be part of your exercise program regardless of ability. During your cardio days, complete the mobility exercises after you complete your cardio, which is optional on some days, or after a 5-minute warm-up.

Things to Note

On strength-training days, warm up for 5-10 minutes before completing the prescribed exercises, and cool down for 5 minutes when you finish the session. It's important to prepare your body for the demands of exercise with a warm-up; it's also important to lower your heart rate back to a resting state when you finish your workout, so don't skip these parts of the workout.

If you opt out of the easy cardio on the days suggested (day 12, for example), warm up for a few minutes before starting your mobility exercises.

Equipment you'll need: Set of dumbbells with varying weights (for example: 3 lbs., 5 lbs., 8 lbs., 10 lbs)

Weights are recommended for the following strength exercises:

  1. Dumbbell (DB) Shoulder Press
  2. Single-leg Deadlift
  3. Squats—starting on day 15. To do so, hold dumbbells in both hands (bend your elbows and keep the weights stationary above your shoulders) during the squats.

Start with the heaviest weights you can handle while completing the recommended number of reps and sets with good form. If you can't complete the number or reps and sets without sacrificing your form, grab lighter weights to finish the reps/sets. If you feel any sharp pains, stop immediately and rest. If pain persists, see your doctor.

Rest durations should be followed between each set of each exercise. For example, rest for 20-30 seconds between each of the three sets of birddogs you complete on day 1; rest for 30-60 seconds between each of the three sets of planks you do on day 1, and so on.


30-day strength training challenge training plan

How to Perform the Strength-Training Exercises

strength training challenge exercises

Two-leg Bridge

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart
  • Tighten your abs and lift your pelvis off the floor until your knees, hips and shoulder are in line
  • Return to starting position and repeat


  • Get down on the floor on all fours
  • Slowly extend your right arm in front of you while extending your left leg straight behind you
  • Keep your hips and shoulders square and don't arch your lower back
  • Return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side

Prone Plank

  • Lie face down on the floor, feet close together and forearms on the floor
  • Tighten your abs and lift your body up until it forms a straight line
  • Hold that position until the time is up, and lower yourself to the floor


  • Place your feet about shoulder-width apart
  • Push your butt back and down, making sure that your hip crease goes below parallel (just below your knees)
  • Make sure that you keep your knees out over your toes throughout the entire exercise
  • Return to a standing position and repeat

Tip: Look at the floor about 6 feet in front of you; this allows for better hip drive coming out of the bottom position.

Single-leg Deadlift

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them by your side
  • Pull your shoulder blades back and tighten up your abs
  • Stand on your right foot and hinge over your waist, lowering the weights towards the floor
  • Your left leg needs to go up and back behind you
  • Make sure to keep your shoulders back so your back stays in alignment through the movement
  • Focus your eyes on a point in front of you to help you stay balanced
  • Return to the starting position and repeat

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and place them on your shoulders
  • Tighten your abs
  • Press your arms up in a vertical path until your elbows lock out
  • Lower the weights back to your shoulders and repeat

How to Perform the Mobility Exercises

Quad Stretch

  • Place your left knee down on the floor and put your foot up against a bench or chair
  • Squeeze your butt and drive your hips towards the floor
  • Hold the stretch, which you will feel in your quad, for 1-2 minutes on each leg

Low Back

  • Lie down on your back and form a T with your arms
  • Keep your shoulders down on the floor
  • Lift your knees up and lower them away from your left arm
  • Hold the stretch for 1-2 minutes


  • Get down on all fours
  • Bring your right foot underneath you and bend forward—go as far as you feel comfortable
  • Reach out in front of you with your hands
  • Hold the stretch for 1-2 minutes


  • Grab on to a rod or broom stick
  • Pull the stick behind your head; only go as far as you can comfortably hold this stretch
  • Hold the stretch for 1-2 minutes

Looking for more fitness challenges? Check out our other plans:

The 28-Day Squat Challenge
The 30-Day Walking Challenge
The 28-Day Run-Yoga-Meditation Challenge
The 30-Day Plank Challenge
The 30-Day High Intensity Interval Training Challenge

Infographics designed by Tierra Wilson

6 Appetite-Control Strategies that Helped Me Stop Overeating

Posted: 30 Jun 2015 12:00 PM PDT

handful of almonds

It can be hard not to overeat. You eat a healthy meal at home, think you're doing well, then you head out (to almost any destination) and are surrounded by junk food. You get hungry, and pretty soon you're at the local burger joint, diet forgotten.

Or maybe you stick to the "right" foods, but they're just so good that you can't have just one portion. We've all been there. That used to be me.

The following six strategies have changed the game for me—now I'm healthier, enjoy my meals more, and my appetite is low enough that, if anything, I have to make an effort to eat more!

Add Vinegar and Cinnamon to Meals to Control Blood Sugar

Looking to add some flavor to your food and noncaloric drinks? Forget the sugar; there are plenty of spices and flavors that will make your food both tastier and healthier. Vinegar, which has been shown to lower the glycemic index, (meaning you metabolize the food more slowly) adds acidic flavor to salad dressings, sauces and roasted veggies without a lot of calories.

For sweet-smelling warmth, add cinnamon to everything from coffee and smoothies to chili. Like vinegar, cinnamon slows the rate at which food transits from your stomach to your intestine—this keeps you full longer, and helps prevent the post-meal slump.

Eat When You're not Hungry

When you get really hungry, you overeat. I know, groundbreaking stuff. When you overeat, you feel full, but then your insulin levels spike, causing you to feel tired, then hungry again … so you overeat again.

Instead of trying to resist hunger, beat it to the punch. If you eat when you're either not hungry or only slightly hungry, you'll eat less and tend to eat more slowly. Eating less throughout the day is great, but having more energy is certainly a nice bonus, too!

Drink Water, not Liquid Calories

In addition to tiredness and brain fog, mild dehydration can cause a sensation that's easily mistaken for hunger. On the other hand, liquid calories such as juices and sodas don't fill you up, and their rapid digestion causes insulin spikes. So pass on the sweetened drinks, and stick with sparkling or still water—you can flavor it with lemon, strawberries or cucumber if you want, but don't pack your drinks full of calories.

Aim to drink at least three-quarters of a gallon of water a day. Also, be sure to drink a glass about 20 minutes before each meal to take the edge of your appetite.

Eat Slowly

When you swallow food, there's a sizable delay before you feel any satiation from it. This delay is usually between 10-30 minutes. Because of this delay, we tend to eat more food than we really need. And the faster we eat, the more we tend to consume, particularly later on in a meal.

The solution: Chew each bite 10 times. Following this simple rule will cause you to eat more slowly, allowing your mind to catch up to your stomach. You'll also enjoy your food more when you take the time to savor it.

Have a Small, Flavorless Snack Between Meals

This trick was discovered by the late Seth Roberts: What he did was consume a shot of olive oil or a glass of water with a tiny bit of sugar (an exception to the rule on sugared beverages above) between meals. I prefer a handful of unsalted almonds. Doing this once a day dramatically reduced my appetite—this can be particularly true if you have a lot of weight to lose.

This is one of the weirdest things I've ever tried, but it worked for me. The reason this works: it apparently regulates ghrelin, a hunger hormone, by weakening flavor-calorie associations. For this to work, the snack must be bland, and you should consume nothing else but water for at least an hour before and after the snack.

Try the Front Door Snack Technique

This last item is one of my favorite body hacks. Knowing that your willpower is reduced when you're hungry, and there's more tempting junk food outside the home than in it, you should fill up on healthy food before leaving home. Keep a healthy snack, such as jerky, almonds or kale chips, right next to your front door, and eat some before you leave home. This will cause healthy food to "crowd out" unhealthy food in your diet, and make it much easier to pass on the junk food.