This recipe is a great vegetarian dish and goes well with many different sides. Good for dinner. To lower the calorie count and make it a bit healthier try it without the cheese.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
2 anchovies, finely chopped
1 cup toasted whole-wheat bread crumbs
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
8 small or 4 medium-to-large bell peppers
1/2 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 350 ̊F
2. Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and anchovies and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the bread crumbs, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, caper, pine nuts, eggs, and parsley. Mix well to combine.
3. To stuff the peppers, slice off their tops (keeping the stalk on) and set the tops aside. Core and seed the peppers and cut a very thin slice off the base of each pepper so it can stand up straight. Stuff the peppers with the remaining tbsp olive oil. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until the tops are crispy and brown.
Makes 4 Servings
Nutritional Value per serving: Not Given Source: “The Gorgeously Green Diet” - Sophie Uliano
It is important to have strong legs! Your legs are your power house and help to keep you balanced and moving all throughout your day. Working out your legs has many benefits that will increase your overall health.
By keeping your legs in good shape you will have more energy doing house hold chores or doing fun things like playing with your kids. You will have better balance with strong legs which will help you to avoid injuries. And If you are an athlete, having strong legs is critical to improving in your sport.
When you workout your legs you are using big muscle such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, abductors, gluteus and calves. By working all these muscle groups you will be burning maximum calories during your workout. Here are the top 5 exercises to make your leg workouts effective and efficient.
| |The Squat is a must do exercise for any leg workout routine. They will help with your hip strength and flexibility
. The squat hits the gluteus, hamstrings, and quads. This is considered a compound movement and burns max calories along with promoting muscle growth!
The Deadlift is a great exercise that mainly hits the hamstrings and gluteus. This exercise is a very functional exercise, meaning it will help you in everyday life activities, The deadlift burns lots of calories and promotes muscle growth. They will help your flexibility and strengthen your back and core.
The step-up is a wonderful compound movement to have in your leg workout. It primarily works the quad but the hamstring and gluteus help to assist in the movement. This is a great exercise to preform to keep your heart rate up during your workout.
The lunge is an awesome exercise that will help increase your leg strength. The lunge targets the quads, but uses the hamstrings and gluteus as secondary muscle groups. The exercise will help increase your hip flexor flexibility and overall stability of your body. It is a very functional exercise and will also burn many calories during your workout.
Calf Raises are a good exercise to do while training the legs. The two muscles used are the gastrocnemius and soleus. By strengthening these two muscles you can reduce the amount of stress on your Achilles tendon. Strong calves will help you jump higher to help you through any plyometric exercises you preform.
By doing these five exercise you will gain lots of strength, flexibility, endurance and increase your overall fitness level. A great workout for these five exercises would be:2 sets of 15 SquatsSpin
- 2 minutes2 sets of 15 DeadliftsIncline
Treadmill - 2 minutes2 sets of 15 Step-ups (each leg)Spin - 2 minutes2 sets of 15 Lunges (each leg)Sprint (treadmill) - 2 minutes2 sets of 15 Calf RaisesNow try to do that circuit one more time through. If you can do this you are well on your way to a strong and fit body. Good luck on training your legs
! Make sure you eat a proper diet
to go along with all your hard work put into your workouts.ferrum fitness
There are many health benefits to consuming plant based proteins. There are several reasons you want to choose a plant based protein over an animal protein. Below we will explore what benefits plant based proteins have and why you want to consume them over animal proteins.
High in Fiber:
Plant based proteins are much higher in fiber. Foods like beans and lentils offer protein with the added benefit of fiber. Fiber contributes to heart health and helps to regulate your digestive system which is essential for good health.
Low in bad Fat:
Plant based proteins are lower in saturated fats and trans fats. Fats that come from plants tend to be much healthier and necessary for optimal health.
Plant based proteins have many other benefits:
- they are easy to digest where as animal protein is very hard for the digestive system to break down and absorb
- they are alkaline-forming foods where as animal protein is very acid-forming (diseases thrive in acidic environments)
- they include many other nutrients such vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, fiber, water and essential fatty acids that are all critical for optimal health
- free of antibiotics, growth hormones and steroids found in animal proteins and free of heavy metals found in farmed fish
There is a misconception that has been sold to the public that it is in our best interest to consume tons of animal protein. Well, this is just a myth! By consuming high amounts of animal protein you are exposing yourself to host of deadly and degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, gallstones, kidney stones, depression, Crohn's disease, constipation and obesity.
Protein is made up of amino acids. There are 10 essential amino acids you need to consume from outside sources. They are called "essential" because our bodies cannot produce them on its own. By getting a variety of plant-based proteins in your diet you will guarantee you get all 10 essential amino acids to give your body complete proteins.
Our bodies are very smart and will hold onto amino acids in the liver. If you in take an incomplete protein your liver will store the amino acids. Then, when you consume another food with the missing amino acids your body needs your liver will use the stored amino acids to make a complete protein for your body to utilize. This is one major reason it is important to have variety in your diet.
There are several complete plant-based protein sources:
- Hemp protein (one of the most complete amino acid profiles of any plant-based protein)
- Yellow pea protein
- Brown rice protein
- Flaxseed (also high in Omega-3s)
- Chlorella (a microscopic, freshwater green algae from Japan)
- Almonds, other nuts and seeds (preferably sprouted, since sprouting pre-digests the proteins in seeds, making the amino acids more available to your body)
- Pseudograins (including quinoa and buckwheat)
The FDA recommends the average adult gets 50 grams of protein a day. People who consume animal protein will easily in take almost 5 times that amount. This will over burden the body and over time cause many health issues. Not to say someone can never eat meat again, but we need to take a step back and really look at the amount of meat people are consuming.
Animal protein has a slew of issues. Not only is it hard on our bodies and not great for our health, but the impact the production of animal protein is having on the environment is potentially devastating. When purchasing animal protein buy USDA Organic, 100% Natural grass fed, free range meats and poultry. It may cost more, but by eating less meat your cost will be the same.
Focus on getting foods from sources that are from plant origin. Plants are natural for the human body and our bodies recognize these sources of food. Minimize your in take of processed foods, drink lots of water, exercise regularly and you will see a big increase in your health and your body will thank you.
It is hard to determine what the exact food to eat before an event or workout should be. Each athlete is different and will need to determine what works for them based on experience. With that said there are a few general rules to follow when figuring out what works best for you. First, you need to plan your nutrition based on your specific needs. For example, if you have an all day event like a track meet or swim meet, you will need to plan your meals and snacks according to your event times.
It is a delicate balance to make sure your body has enough energy to get through your race or workout yet not feel sluggish and heavy. Again everyone is different so this balance is different for everyone.
Second, eating a large meal just before your race or workout is not a good idea. It takes a lot of effort and time for your body to break down food. When you eat a good portion of your blood goes to the stomach and digestive tract to work on digesting and breaking that food down so your body can use it for fuel. When you attempt to workout or race on a full stomach the body has a hard time pumping blood to the muscle for energy. This can cause stomach upset, nausea, and cramping.
Third, avoid proteins and fats just before your race. These molecules take much longer for your body to break down and it isn't the main energy source the body wants to use. The main source of energy the body wants to use is glucose and glucose comes from carbohydrates. There are two different types of carbohydrates, simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates are easy for the body to digest and absorb right into the system, while complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, take longer to store and are usually full of fiber.
Forth, days before your event you will want to load up on your complex carbohydrates. You may have heard of the term "carbo load", well this is what you are doing. However, make sure you are eating good sources of carbohydrates such as brown rice, yams, gluten free pasta, gluten free bread and lots of veggies.Fifth, the day of the event eat light and drink plenty of water throughout the day. The closer you get to your event the less you should eat. You want to stave off hunger pains but not be full.
- Good foods to eat 4 or more hours before your event, gluten free toast with almond butter, oat meal, nuts and seeds, veggies and gluten free crackers with hummus, water
- Good foods to eat 2-4 hours before your event, lara bar (or good energy bar), dates, bananas, melons, light smoothie, water
- Good foods to eat 1-2 hours before your event, apples, oranges, grapes, pineapple, water
- Good foods to eat 1 hour or less before your event, if you can drink some water and see if that sustains the hunger, at this point be a bit careful on what foods you put in your body, watermelon is very light and has a bit of sugar for a boost, you can also try fruit juices but water them down so the jolt of sugar isn't to much
Be a bit careful about eating sugary foods right before your event. Some athletes do great with a small amount of sugar to give them a boost, others do not preform well after and insulin spike. These tips can be a good starting point for you to figure out what works best for you. Some athletes do much better racing while they are hungry, while others need to have a satisfied stomach. You will need to figure this balance out so you can preform at your best. Food can be a huge factor in your overall performance so make healthy choices and your body will be the best it can be. Sources:What to Eat Before Exercise
How often do you really think about your breathing? It is such a natural act we never put our attention to our breathing. By focusing on our breath there are many health benefits that go along with proper breathing. When it comes to your workout regimen
it is vital that you breath properly for your own safety.Breathing is our life force without it we would die. We can live without food for days but without our breath we last only minutes. By breathing effectively you are literally feeding your body just as you do with food. When you inhale, your body increases the supply of a chemical called
adenosine triphosphate (ATP). By getting the proper amounts of oxygen to the body you will help purify your blood which will lead to a healthier mind and body.Breathing will help you relax when you are anxious and stressed. The breath acts like a massage for the nervous system. It will help calm your nervous system, so when you find yourself anxious and stressed, stop, take a few deep breaths and calm your mind and body.If you find yourself getting fatigued or falling asleep, take a few deep breaths to get the oxygen flow back to the brain and perk you up a bit.
This is another great benefit to proper breathing.Now, why breathing is so important when you exercise. First, when you begin to exercise your brain recognizes the increase in carbon dioxide and lactic acid
(a by-product of exercising). When this happens your brain automatically tells your body to breath heavier to increase the intake of oxygen. Here is where you need to start paying close attention to your breath, control your breathing by taking bigger inhales and slower exhales. You will find that you will be able to sustain your intensity levels a bit longer by controlling your breath. When it comes to weight lifting it is critical you DON'T hold your breath. By
holding your breath during exercise the blood pressure will go to your head. This can cause dizziness, light-headiness and headaches, as well as putting a lot of pressure on your heart you want to avoid. When you are working out remember to exhale on the release of the contraction and inhale on the contraction of a given movement. For example, on a bicep curl, exhale while you are curling the bar toward you and inhale while you release the bar down. This will help your body relax through a movement and your body will gain the results of your workout, increased strength, speed and performance.Deep breathing during your cool down will help stimulate the recovery process. You want to replenish the oxygen you have just used during your workout. This will also help limit the lactic acid build up and help keep soreness at bay. In short, remember to breath. It seems simple but easy to forget. The breath is life and it can help you in so many ways, not just your workouts. Sources:Importance of Breathing ExercisesImportance of Breathing Correctly
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ounces haricots verts, trimmed
- 2 ounces yellow wax beans, trimmed
- 1 15-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 roasted red pepper (jarred), chopped
- 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil. Working in batches, blanch haricot verts and yellow wax beans until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes for each. Transfer to an ice bath. Drain. Cut beans into 1/2-inch pieces; transfer to a bowl.
- Add white beans, red pepper, and arugula.
- In a small bowl, whisk vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over vegetables and toss to combine. Sprinkle with Parmesan before serving
When embarking on a workout program
it is critical to plan "recovery days". It sounds easy but this component is often overlooked by most. When you work out you literally tear the muscle tissue, your body needs time to heel and repair the torn muscle tissue. This healing process is critical for you to make progress and see improvement.
The Principle of Adaptation states that when your body undergoes the stress of physical exercise, your body adapts and becomes more efficient. For this process to happen your training program needs scheduled rest days to give your body time to recover. Your body can only handle so much stress before it breaks down and the risk for injury is increased.
There are two different types of recovery, let's look into the two different types of recovery; short-term recovery and long-term recovery. Short-term recovery, also called active recovery, refers to the minutes and hours just following your workout. When you finish your workout it is important to cool down. By cooling down you will allow your body to begin the process
of recovering. There are several things you should do to help your body with its short-term recovery:
- engage in low-intensity cardio and light stretching after your workout
- Work on deep breathing to replenish the oxygen stores you have burned through
- replenish your fuel stores by drinking plenty of fluids along with eating the right foods within 30-60 minutes after your workout
Long-term recovery refers to your workout schedule in the long run; days, weeks, months even for the year. There are several things you should do to help your body recover on a long-term basis:
- get plenty of sleep, this is one of the most important! HGH (human growth hormone) is naturally released in your body while you sleep. This is the hormone that helps heel and repair your muscle tissue. Inadequate sleep can cause many problems such as increase levels of cortisol, decrease in the production of HGH, decrease in aerobic endurance, along with being tired and moody during the day.
- take a day off! Give yourself time away from training, if you workout two or three days in a row make sure to take a day off
- do not train the same muscle groups on back to back days
- if your workouts are more intense then you will need more rest or have a low-intensity day with good stretching and rolling following an intense workout.
If you do not give yourself recovery time your body will potentially become over trained. Over training is not just bad for your body but to your overall health. You are much more susceptible to injury, when your body is broken down and you continue to workout you can strain or tear your muscle and put major wear and tear on your joints.
Other symptoms of over training include, chronic fatigue, loss of strength, intense muscle pain, reduced appetite, little interest in training, mood changes, higher rate of illness and slower rate of healing and recovery. It is important to allow your body some rest so you get all the benefits exercise can give you. You want to feel better because of exercise not worse.Things you can do to avoid over training are to add variety to your workouts. Change things up a bit, for example, the day following a hard resistance training day, do low intensity cardio and stretch or gentle yoga. This will keep your body guessing and you will avoid hitting a plateau. The human body is an amazing machine, even the best machines need a break. Make sure your workout program has scheduled recovery days. If you are unsure how to work in recovery days to your program working with a personal trainer can help to get you on track and see the benefits exercise has to offer.Sources:RecoveryRest and Recovery After Exercise
With the New Year in full swing it is time to get to those New Year's resolutions. One of the top New Year's resolutions people make is to get fit and/or loss weight. Now that the resolution is made it is time to get motivated and take action!
It can be hard after a long Holiday break, whether you traveled, had family in town or just attended lots of Holiday parties, to get back to it. The Holidays throw a wrench in our schedules and it can be hard to get back to "the routine". Here are some tips to help you get motivated and get back to the gym.1. Go out and get some new workout clothes. Having a stylish new outfit can help motivate you to get to the gym. 2. Download some new music and make a couple new playlist that help to pump you up. Find music that makes you move, gives you energy and makes you feel good. You will begin to look forward to getting to the gym to put on your favorite playlists.3. Bring your workout clothes to work, pack a workout bag the night before and bring it with you. This will help you get in the mindset of getting to the gym right after work. If you go home first don't sit down, get your workout clothes immediately and get to the gym. Don't give yourself time to think about and debate with yourself about going to the gym. This will start to make going to the gym a routine and habit.4.
Schedule your workouts in your calender, this will get you to plan and hold yourself accountable. You should be scheduling at least 3 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. 5. Go to a fitness class, hire a trainer or find a workout buddy to help hold you accountable. You will be less likely to cancel or not go gym if you have a time and day you are "supposed" to be at the gym.6. Set realistic goals for yourself. For example start with getting to the gym 3 times a week. Then as you reach this goal after a couple of weeks increase your workout times, then increase your intensity of your workouts. As you keep reaching your goals you will become more confident and excited about your workouts.7.
Start with exercises you like to do. If you are a spin person then go to spin class. You will be less likely to quit something you enjoy doing. 8. Learn new exercises and ways to workout. Hire a personal trainer, or do your own research and begin to work on new exercises. Change up your workouts by changing the order of exercises and how you put them together. Always make sure you are doing proper form and have proper posture to avoid injury.
9. Drink plenty of water, get enough sleep and eat right so when you get to your workouts you feel good. If you are not getting these elements in your workouts can feel sluggish and hard to get through. This will help you feel energized, strong and ready to work!10. Reward yourself for making your workouts with non-calorie rewards. For example give yourself a star next to the workouts you made in your calender. Set a goal to make 12 workouts in a row and treat yourself to a massage or facial. Do something you will look forward to.These 10 tips will help you get motivated and back to the gym. Once you get started on your workout program the benefits of exercise will far exceed any lack of motivation you may have. Exercise will increase your energy, boost your immune system, help your mood, and increase your overall health. The human body is meant to move, staying active is not something you try to do or should do, you must workout for your own health and longevity!
Sources:Get Motivated to Exercise After a LONG Day at Work | 5 TipsHow to Get Motivated to Go to the Gym
We are in the midst of the Holiday Season. All of those Holiday parties might be catching up to you and sticking to your workout schedule has been nearly impossible. Here are a few tips to help you get back on track and stick to a fitness and eating routine that is realistic and keeps you from packing on those Holiday pounds.Be Realistic:Schedule shorter workouts. During the Holidays it is hard to find time to do everything. You need to make exercise a priority but it is unrealistic to think you can get a 1 or 2 hour workout in. All you need is 30 minutes a day. Something is better than nothing!Workout method:Use High Intensity Interval Training as your method, this burns max calories and involves resistance training which is key to your workouts. You may think you need to do lots of cardio to burn those extra calories, when in fact muscles aids in burning fat and will help to fight off those extra calories.Everyday Eating:Knowing Holiday parties are going to be in the schedule make a point not to have junk food and sugary foods around the house. Be strict with yourself and have some self control with your everyday eating. Eat plenty of fresh foods, stay away from processed foods, don't eat out when you don't have to. Drink plenty of water!The Day of the Party:Make a point the day you have a Holiday party to squeeze in a workout, even if it is only 30 minutes. Get your metabolism firing and burn some extra calories. Don't skip any meals! Lower your portions a bit and eat a little something before you go to the party so you don't show up ready to ravage the food platter.
Try to stick to the lower calorie foods such as carrot sticks.Alcohol Consumption:This is a hard one during the Holidays, but alcohol can really do a number on your system. Keep it under control and limit your consumption.Limit Your Stress:Stress can really takes its toll on your body. Prepare and plan ahead for all the "extras" the Holidays bring on. To help control your stress exercise, get enough sleep, eat a well balanced diet and get some time to yourself to just breath. Take a few moments for yourself to check in and regroup.
By following these few steps you will avoid packing on those extra pounds. You will find by making your health a priority you will enjoy your Holiday even more. This is the time to give and love, that is hard to do when you are tired, sick and stressed out. Take care of you so you can take care of others.Have a Happy Holiday everyone.Sources:Healthy Holiday Fitness TipsFitness Tips For Avoiding the Holiday Weight Gain
Warming up and cooling down your body before and after your workouts is critical to keeping your body injury free and feeling good after your workouts. Most people want to get the most out of their workouts and feel warming up and cooling down is not a good use of their time. Well this is not the case, here are some very important reasons why you should be spending time warming up and cooling down.Importance of warming up:- Getting your core temperature up before you start vigorous exercise
is critical to loosen up your muscles and tendons to prevent injury-
Warming up increasing the amount of calories you burn through your workout- You will find when you are warmed up you are less likely to be out of breath during your workouts- Warming up increases your concentration
keeping you more focus- Warming up helps to reduce muscle stiffnessIt takes your body around 3 minutes to realize it needs to start pumping more blood to the muscles. You should be warming up from 5-10 minutes. Each person is different and may need more. Exercise such as walking, dynamic stretching and light static stretching are great ways to get your body ready for working out.
Taking deep breaths while you warm up will supply the body with oxygen getting it ready for a great workout.Importance of cooling down:-
Cooling down reduces the pulse getting your heart rate back to normal- Cooling down allows the blood flow back to the heart to help you reduce the amount of lactic acid in the muscles causing muscle pain-
Reduces delayed onset soreness- Increase your flexibility
- Cooling down will help you avoid getting dizzy, light-headed, crampy and shortness of breathIt also takes your body 3 minutes to cool down. A slow walk or slow body movement followed by stretches that you hold for about 30 seconds each will be a sufficient cool down. You will find by adding in a warm up and cool down to your workouts you will be making your workouts much more effective and efficient. Remember working out
and staying fit is about the health of your body. Take care of your body first and foremost and your fitness goals will follow.Source:The importance of warm up and cool down before and after a sports activity/workout