It’s Getting Colder Out! Soup Anyone?

Yesterday it was cold out. Well colder than it has been at least and all I wanted to eat was soup or something that would just warm me up! So I searched for some soup recipes and found a couple that are perfect because they use some fall vegetables that are very abundant right now! Here’s a few from MSN that sound so good and I can’t wait to try!

Creamy Broccoli Soup with Croutons

Ingredients

  • 2 large (1 3/4 pounds each) heads broccoli, stems peeled
  • 2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 quart(s) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 cup(s) water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream (I’m sure you could use less of this and it would just be less creamy since it is high in calories!)
  • 1/2 cup(s) milk
  • Bite-size croutons, for serving

Directions

1. Separate the broccoli stems from the heads. Measure out 3 cups of small florets and reserve. Coarsely chop the remaining broccoli. In a large pot, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the coarsely chopped broccoli to the pot along with the broth and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the broccoli is tender, about 20 minutes. Add 2 cups of the reserved florets, cover and simmer until barely tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the remaining 1 cup of florets and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat until richly browned, about 6 minutes.

3. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Transfer the soup to a clean saucepan. Stir in the cream and milk and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring a few times. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish with the sautéed florets and croutons and serve!

Creamy Carrot Soup with Scallions and Poppy Seeds

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 quart(s) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 quart(s) water
  • 2 pound(s) carrots, sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 6 large scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 teaspoon(s) poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup(s) milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

1. In a large pot, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion, cover, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and water along with the carrots and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the scallions and poppy seeds and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the scallions are softened, about 1 minute.

3. Working in batches, puree the carrot soup in a blender until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan. Stir in the cream and milk and simmer over moderate heat, stirring. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish with the scallions and poppy seeds and serve.

Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup

First you need roasted fall vegetables so heres a recipe for that! You could also grill these as well since it’s still a little bit warm out!

Ingredients

Roasted Fall Vegetables:

  • 1 butternut squash, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 6 red potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 1 pckg. Cremini mushrooms
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss all ingredients with olive oil, garlic and kosher salt and pepper. Bake for one hour or until tender.
Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup

  • 5 C Swanson’s chicken broth
  • 1 sweet onion chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Roasted Fall Vegetables
  • 3 T butter

Directions

Melt butter in pan. Add onion and garlic (season with a little salt and pepper). Once they are tender/translucent, add the all ingredients except lemon juice. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve. You can use an immersion blender and make the soup less chunky, but or you can leave it chunky and have the vegetables pretty big. Add the lemon juice at the end.

Theres three recipes that I think would be really delicious right now, well maybe not today since it’s supposed to be warmer but it’s getting cooler out!

Going Out For Lunch Today? Check This Out First!

I was checking the regular sites I check every morning when I come into work and on MSN I found a little article on Hidden Fast-Food Fixes. They show you that at some of your favorite places to grab a quick lunch they have smaller portions or different options you just need to ask for it! So I decided to share those with you so the next time you go to these food joints you can order a little smarter!

Subway: 6-inch chicken marinara sub

The meatball marinara sub tastes great, but costs you 580 calories and 23 grams of fat. If they use oven-roasted chicken instead of the meatballs, you save 260 calories and 19 grams of fat. Top with oregano and a few black olives. Jared would approve.

IHOP: Real fruit on top

Many of the menu’s pancakes and waffles come with fruit “toppings,” which are often preserved fruit swimming in a sauce of extra calories. You can do better, since there usually is fresh fruit in the kitchen. Order a short stack of buttermilk pancakes, and ask them to top it with whatever fruit is available.

Starbucks: A “short” drink

Upon request, your barista will serve you a “short” 8-ounce cup—which means big calorie savings. A grande white-chocolate mocha, for example, has 400 calories—the equivalent of about three Starbucks double fudge mini doughnuts. The short has half that amount.

Red Robin: The “petite” burger

This small burger was removed from the menu, but the kitchen still makes it—and it has about half the calories of the standard 931-calorie cheeseburger. If you’re embarrassed asking for a petite, just ask for the “smaller” size. They’ll understand.

Chipotle: Customized tacos

They’ll make combos that aren’t on the menu, so ask for three crispy tacos with black beans, fajita vegetables, tomato salsa, and lettuce. That saves you 615 calories and 28 grams of fat over a chicken burrito with black beans, rice, green salsa, cheese, and sour cream.

Then when I decided to go with this topic for the day I dug deeper and found a site that had a bunch of fast food places and listed three options, Gut Buster, Big Splurge or Waist Watcher!

Fast Food Restaurants

Arby’s

GUT BUSTER: Roast Turkey Ranch & Bacon Sandwich, 818 calories, 38 fat grams

BIG SPLURGE: Bacon Beef ‘n Cheddar Sandwich, 521 calories, 27 fat grams

WAIST WATCHER: Ham & Swiss Melt Sandwich, 268 calories, 5 fat grams

Burger King

GUT BUSTER: Triple Whopper Sandwich with cheese, 1230 calories, 82 fat grams

BIG SPLURGE: BK Double Stacker, 610 calories, 39 fat grams

WAIST WATCHER: Tendergrill Chicken Garden Salad (no dressing), 240 calories, 9 fat grams

Dairy Queen

GUT BUSTER: Large Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard, 1320 calories, 52 fat grams

BIG SPLURGE: Large Chocolate Sundae, 580 calories, 15 fat grams

WAIST WATCHER: DQ Vanilla Soft Serve (1/2 cup), 150 calories, 5 fat grams

KFC

GUT BUSTER: Chicken and Biscuit Bowl, 870 calories, 44 fat grams

BIG SPLURGE: KFC Boneless Teriyaki Wings (5), 500 calories, 21 fat grams

WAIST WATCHER: KFC Original Chicken Breast (without skin or breading), 140 calories, 2 fat grams

McDonalds’s

GUT BUSTER: Double Quarter Pounder with cheese, 740 calories, 42 fat grams

BIG SPLURGE: Big Mac, 540 calories, 29 fat grams

WAIST WATCHER: Premium Caesar Salad with grilled chicken (no dressing), 220 calories, 6 fat grams

Pizza Hut

GUT BUSTER: 6-inch Meat Lover’s Personal Pan Pizza, 890 calories, 49 fat grams

BIG SPLURGE: 6-inch Supreme Personal Pan Pizza, 710 calories, 34 fat grams

WAIST WATCHER: 6-inch Veggie Lover’s Personal Pan Pizza, 560 calories, 22 fat grams

Sonic

GUT BUSTER: (It’s a tie!!) Super Sonic Cheeseburger (with mayo) or Fritos Chili Pie, 980 calories, 64 fat grams

BIG SPLURGE: Bacon Cheeseburger Toaster Sandwich, 670 calories, 39 fat grams

WAIST WATCHER: Grilled Chicken Wrap, 380 calories, 11 fat grams

Taco Bell

GUT BUSTER: Fiesta Taco Salad, 840 calories, 45 fat grams

BIG SPLURGE: 7-Layer Burrito, 490 calories, 18 fat grams

WAIST WATCHER: Fresco Crunchy Taco, 150 calories, 8 fat grams

Wendy’s

GUT BUSTER: Triple with everything and cheese, 980 calories, 60 fat grams

BIG SPLURGE: Spicy Chicken Fillet Sandwich, 440 calories, 16 fat grams

WAIST WATCHER: Mandarin Chicken Salad (no dressing), 170 calories, 2.5 fat grams

White Castle

GUT BUSTER: Double Cheeseburger, 285 calories, 18 fat grams

BIG SPLURGE: Chicken Sandwich, 190 calories, 8 fat grams

WAIST WATCHER: Hamburger, 135 calories, 7 fat grams

Breakfast Busters

• Arby’s/T.J. Cinnamons Pecan Sticky Bun 4-pack: 2751 calories, 90 fat grams

• White Castle Breakfast Sandwich: 340 calories, 25 fat grams

• Sonic Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Toaster: 620 calories, 42 fat grams

• McDonald’s Deluxe Breakfast (large, with no syrup and margarine): 1140 calories, 59 fat grams

• Burger King Enormous Omelet Sandwich: 730 calories, 45 fat grams

• Arby’s Sausage Gravy Biscuit: 961 calories, 68 fat grams

Oh My!!

• Dairy Queen 1/4 pound Flamethrower Grillburger: 840 calories, 59 fat grams

• McDonald’s Chocolate Triple Thick Shake (32 oz.): 1160 calories, 27 fat grams

• Taco Bell Nachos Bell Grande: 770 calories, 44 fat grams

• Burger King Tendercrisp Chicken Sandwich: 790 calories, 44 fat grams

• Sonic 4-piece Chicken Strip Dinner: 930 calories, 43 fat grams

Diet Right

• Arby’s Martha’s Vineyard Salad (no dressing): 277 calories, 8 fat grams

• Burger King Whopper Jr. (no mayo): 330 calories, 16 fat grams

• Dairy Queen Grilled Chicken Sandwich: 400 calories, 16 fat grams

• KFC Tender Roast Sandwich (no sauce): 300 calories, 4.5 fat grams

• McDonald’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait: 160 calories, 2 fat grams

• Sonic Grilled Chicken Salad (no dressing): 310 calories, 13 fat grams

• KFC Original Chicken Breast (with no skin): 140 calories, 2 fat grams

Starbad or Stargood?

• Starbucks Iced White Chocolate Mocha (grande with no whipped cream): 340 calories, 9 fat grams

• Starbucks Caffe´ Latte (grande): 190 calories, 7 fat grams

• Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte (grande): 130 calories, 0 fat grams

• Starbucks Caramel Frappucino Blended Coffee (grande with whipped cream): 380 calories, 15 fat grams

• Starbucks Mocha Frappucino Light Blended Coffee (grande with no whipped cream): 140 calories, 1 fat gram

• Starbucks Espresso (Solo): 5 calories, 0 fat grams

So today when you go for lunch keep in mind some of these things!

Fall Into Autumn with These Vegetables

Today is the first full day of fall and with fall comes cooler weather, leaves changing colors, sweaters and the best part autumn vegetables and recipes!! Fall is one of my favorite seasons, the colors are so beautiful, I get to wear boots and I happen to love Halloween! I mean who doesn’t like to dress up in crazy costumes and see other people in things you would never wear! Anyways, in honor of the change of the season I’m listing the best vegetables of the season for you and your family to include in your meals. I have some really great recipes coming up in the next few weeks and I’m excited to share them all with you!

Looking at pumpkins makes me want to go to a pumpkin patch!!

Squash

Health benefits: Squash is high in vitamins A and C, which aid your body’s metabolic functioning and help ward off chronic illnesses. However, some winter varieties, like butternut squash, contain more sugar than others, such as acorn and spaghetti squashes, so be knowledgeable about which kind you’re buying if you’re watching your calorie count.

Nutrition: Acorn squash (1 cup, raw): 56 calories, 0.1g fat, 14.6g carbohydrates, 2.1g fiber, 1.1g protein. Butternut squash (1 cup, raw): 63 calories, 0.1g fat, 16.4g carbohydrates, 2.8g fiber, 1.4g protein

Squash

Sweet Potato

Health benefits: Bursting with vitamin A (377 percent of your daily recommended intake per cup!) and high in potassium and fiber, this versatile vegetable can be worked into a variety of dishes, from sides to desserts. One point to note: Its high sugar content translates into a fair number of calories, so consider this ingredient more like a starch than a vegetable.

Nutrition: (1 cup, raw) 114 calories, 0.1g fat, 26.8g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 2.1g protein

Apples

Health benefits: High in vitamin C and dietary fiber, apples are an easy way to fill up on relatively few calories. Tote one as a portable snack — the USDA recommends 2 cups of fruit per day for women.

Nutrition: (1 medium apple) 72 calories, 0.2g fat, 19.1g carbohydrates, 3.3g fiber, 0.4g protein

Pumpkin

Health benefits: Boasting high levels of a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, niacin, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse vegetable. The only bad point is that also contains a fair amount of natural sugar (1.6g per cup), so beware the calorie count when making it into an even sweeter dessert.

Nutrition: (1 cup, raw): 30 calories, 0.1g fat (0.1g saturated), 7.5g carbohydrates, 0.6g fiber, 1.2g protein

Mushrooms

Health benefits: Forget its reputation as a worthless fungus — mushrooms are high in vitamin C, iron, potassium, and zinc. With no cholesterol and low levels of sodium, they also pack a good amount of protein for a veggie.

Nutrition: (1 cup, raw) 15 calories, 0.2g fat, 2.3g carbohydrates, 0.7g fiber, 2.2g protein

Pears

Health benefits: Tired of apples already? Try their oblong sister fruits. Pears are high in fiber and vitamin C — 12 percent of your daily recommended intake, in fact. However, they’re also pretty high in sugar (16.3g), so treat them as a sweet snack or even a dessert.

Nutrition: (1 pear, medium) 96 calories, 0.2g fat, 25.7g carbohydrates, 5.1g fiber, 0.6g protein

Figs

Health benefits: Though figs are naturally high in sugar, they earn points for being high in dietary fiber.

Nutrition: (1 fig, medium) 37 calories, 0.2g fat, 9.6g carbohydrates, 1.5g fiber, 0.4g protein

Don’t these figs just look pretty?

Beets

Health benefits: High in fiber, iron, potassium, and vitamin C, these vegetables are sweet as a roasted side dish or as a colorful salad add-in.

Nutrition: (1 beet, raw) 35 calories, 0.1g fat, 7.8g carbohydrates, 2.3g fiber, 1.3g protein

Cauliflower

Health benefits: Perhaps considered the ugly stepsister of its more popular veggie sister broccoli, cauliflower is bursting with vitamin B6, potassium, and vitamin C — 77 percent of your recommended allowance per cup! As if that weren’t enough, the veggie also happens to be low in calories and high in fiber, so eat up!

Nutrition: (1 cup) 25 calories, 0.1g fat, 5.3g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 2g protein

Cabbage

Health benefits: Cabbage is way too versatile to be used for just coleslaw filler. High in vitamins C and B6, the winter green also boasts a good amount of potassium, magnesium, thiamin, and dietary fiber for very few calories.

Nutrition: (1 cup, raw) 22 calories, 0.1g fat, 5.2g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, 1.1g protein

Carrots

Health benefits: Not just rabbit food, one cup of carrots provides an astounding 428 percent of one’s daily recommended amount of vitamin A. The veggie is also high in vitamins C and B6, as well as potassium, thiamin, and fiber.

Nutrition: (1 cup, chopped) 52 calories, 0.3g fat, 12.3g carbohydrates, 3.6g fiber, 1.2g protein

Winter Citrus Fruit

Health benefits: Like their sister summer citrus fruits, winter citrus fruits — mandarin oranges, tangerines, blood oranges, and clementines — are very high in vitamin C, which helps boost immunity to fight off pesky colds and flu. They’re high in fiber, to boot.

Nutrition: (1 tangerine, medium) 50 calories, 0.5g fat, 3g fiber, 1g protein

Potatoes

Health benefits: We’re not talking fries or a sliver of skin drowning in cheese and sour cream. In their most basic form, potatoes provide an abundance of vitamins C and B6, as well as potassium. With the skin, a large potato also provides 32 percent of your daily fiber intake.

Nutrition: (1 potato, large) 284 calories, 0.3g fat (0.1 saturated), 64.5 carbohydrates, 8.1g fiber, 7.5g protein

Broccoli

Health benefits: Yes, you may have hated it as a kid, but broccoli is a power vegetable that you should try to grow to like. High in vitamins A, B6, and C, these little green trees are a very versatile ingredient. Being very high in potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber is just icing on the proverbial cake.

Nutrition: (1 cup, raw) 30 calories, 0.3g fat, 5.8g carbohydrates, 2.3g fiber, 2.5g protein

So I’ll be posting some delicious recipes soon with lots of seasonal ingredients that will be perfect for the holidays coming up! Also check back for some fun Halloween ideas and recipes!!

Greek Yogurt or Regular Yogurt

Greek Yogurt with Pecans and Honey

Today I had a member sit down and chat with me for a few minutes’ just about random things and she was talking about how she bought Greek yogurt to try instead of regular yogurt.  She had a few different flavors and said that it was terrible! Now I have never had Greek yogurt but I’m pretty fond of regular yogurt, banana is my favorite flavor, so I wanted to find out what is so different about these two dairy products!

Regular Yogurt

First let’s discuss the yogurt you eat on a regular basis. Normally I will have it for breakfast or a snack after working out to get a quick serving of protein. It’s great for a snack, breakfast or even combines with some dishes or salads for dressings. Yogurt, which is high is probiotics, is considered to be one of the healthiest foods around. One cup of regular yogurt will give you around 10 grams of protein and about 15 grams of carbohydrates.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has now been brought forward as a better kind of yogurt in some peoples’ eyes because of it protein amount.  A cup of Greek yogurt has about two times more protein content than regular yogurt. If a cup of regular yogurt will give you 10 grams of protein, while the least amount that Greek yogurt can give you is 20 grams of protein for the same yogurt amount.

Another advantage of Greek yogurt is that it has fewer carbohydrates. Many diet enthusiasts, and most especially individuals with diabetes would really love Greek yogurt because of the carbohydrate amounts. Regular yogurt contains about 15 to 17 grams of carbohydrate at an average, compared to Greek yogurt’s 9 grams.

Greek yogurt is creamier and thicker. This improvement in texture usually induces positive responses from people when the product reaches their taste buds. This smooth texture is achieved through triple straining. In this process, more whey and water are removed from the yogurt, resulting in a thicker product. Though unfortunately, some calcium is inadvertently removed in the process as well. Typical Greek yogurt made in Greece may use either sheep or cow’s milk. Imports to the US tend to stick with cow’s milk variants, since sheep’s milk has a tangier taste and may be disliked by those unfamiliar to it. Most US made versions of Greek yogurt use only cow’s milk.

The principle difference in creating Greek yogurt is that after the milk is heated and cultured, it is allowed to sit in muslin or cheesecloth bags, so that the whey filters out of the yogurt. You’ll note that some yogurts have an almost runny texture, or have liquid on the top when you open them. Greek yogurts don’t have this liquid because of the straining process.

Greek yogurt is an essential ingredient in the yogurt dips so loved by the Greeks and gaining popularity elsewhere. The traditional Tzatziki dip which combines yogurt with spices, cucumber, and garlic is that much better when you use Greek varieties rather than more standard US yogurts. You can even find some premade Tzatziki dips on the market, made in the traditional way, though it’s also quite easy to make your own.

Lastly, Greek yogurt is also said to be good for those with high blood pressure and those who have heart ailments, because it has a reduced amount of sodium in it. This type of yogurt cuts the usual sodium content of conventional yogurts by half.

Recap

1. Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt.

2. Greek yogurt has fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt.

3. Greek yogurt is a lot creamier and thicker than regular yogurt.

4. Greek yogurt undergoes a triple straining process, whereas regular yogurt only undergoes double straining.

5. Greek yogurt has less sodium than regular yogurt

6. Generally, Greek yogurt has less calcium than regular yogurt.

7. Greek yogurt is great when used in dressings and dips.

8. People often mix in things to plain Greek yogurt like honey and fruit.

Top 10 Diet and Exercise Excuses

I was looking through some of the stuff I have in my desk and I came across this article from Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser! I thought it was a great read and wanted to share it with everyone!

Top 10 Diet and Exercise Excuses

Excuse: “I don’t have time to workout.”

That is total baloney. Make the time. I am sure you found the time to watch your favorite television show right?! You’re busy, and I get it, but you have to find a way to make your health a priority. Start scheduling workouts like you do appointments. You can get up a little earlier and do a fitness DVD. You can squeeze it in on the weekends. You can get a piece of cardio equipment and do 30 minutes while unwinding and watching “The Office.” The reality is that you must make the time. You will have more energy, better overall healthy, and better self-esteem-it’s worth it!

Excuse: “I have to keep junk  food around for my kids.”

Trash it! They shouldn’t be eating that stuff either!

Excuse: “I’ve tried to lose weight before, but I just can’t do it.”

Ridiculous. Of course you can. You can do anything when armed with the proper information. Take some time to educate yourself about how to work out properly. Learn about calories-how many are in the foods you are eating and how many your body burns naturally each day. When you are informed you are empowered to make choices that create life changes. The next time you are about to say, “I can’t,” stop and ask yourself, “How can I not?”

Excuse: “I have too many business dinners and social gatherings. I can’t lose weight in that environment!”

Seriously, is anyone really going to notice if you pass up the fatty appetizers? Or the open bar? I go to business dinners all the time and I find they go better when I am not drinking. For dinner parties, offer to bring something. That way you’ll know there is at least one healthy thing to eat. And if you’re worried about offending people, remember you don’t need to be preachy about your eating habits; just say “no thank you” to the unhealthy fare.

Excuse: “I travel a lot and can’t get into a routine.”

Listen, I travel constantly and I can still eat healthy and work out! Yes, fitness is my business, buy anyone can do what I do: Bring your own snacks at all times. Stay at hotels with gyms. Bring fitness DVDs and do them before bed in your hotel room. Be high-maintenance with your ordering when eating out: Get foods grilled or baked, get all dressings and sauces on the side, sub out starchy sides for steamed veggies. If I can do it, so can you.

Excuse: “My friends eat poorly and it makes it hard for me to eat healthy.”

Communication is critical. You must tell your family and friends what your health and wellness goals are and then teach them exactly how to support you. The only way they are going to know what you need and how to give it to you is if you tell them. So ask them to eat healthy with you, and if they can’t do it, then ask them not to push food on you or ask you if you want bites.

Excuse: “My loved ones nag me about my weight and it makes me want to rebel.”

This is sort of similar to the friends who push bad habits on you-communicate your needs and desires. With that said, if your family still nags at you, then you must set boundaries. Tell them that your weight and fitness habits are simply not up for discussion, and don’t discuss events or things in your life that trigger them to start in on you.

Melon & Steak with Smoked Paprika Dressing

It’s finally Friday and I have a recipe for you all that I found on GoodHealth.com! It looks really good and I would make it in a heart beat! It’s included in a slideshow on the site that highlights late summer ingredients and how to use them!

Melon & Steak with Smoked Paprika Dressing

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Preparation

1. Preheat a lightly oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper; grill with onion, turning onion after about 4 minutes and steak after 7 minutes, until meat is medium-rare or to desired degree of doneness. Transfer meat and onion to a cutting board; let rest 5 minutes before slicing steak.

2. In a small bowl, combine honey, lime, olive oil, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper; stir with a whisk. Set dressing aside.

3. Slice steak; arrange on platter with cantaloupe, onions, cilantro, and mint; drizzle with dressing.

Top Reasons and Myths About Stretching

Now that you have worked out and ate healthy, it’s time to stretch! Here are the top reasons to stretch and myths about stretching!

Top Reasons to Stretch

1. Increases flexibility, creating more energy-efficient movements.

2. Improves range of motion, slowing the breakdown of joints.

3. Reduces the risk of injury.

4. Reduces tension to promote relaxation.

5. Decreases post-workout muscle soreness.

6. Improves posture by keeping you in better alignment.

7. Promotes circulation.

8. Lowers the risk of back pain by keeping the hamstring muscles loose.

Myths About Stretching

Myth

“Stretching counts as a warm-up.”

Reality

Stretching a cold muscle can result in a pull or tear. You should always engage in a quick 5-10 minute warm-up lke walking or biking, prior to stretching.

Myth

“It’s natural to hold your breath while stretching.”

Reality

You should try to breathe normally while you are holding a stretch. This will help you to relax and allow the stretch to do its job.

Myth

“It is okay to feel pain during a stretch.”

Reality

You do not want to push your muscles past their natural limits. You only want to feel a slight discomfort. If you can’t relax, you are stretching too far.

Myth

“Everyone has the same level of flexibility.”

Reality

You shouldn’t compare yourself with others when it comes to stretching. We all have different degrees of flexibility. Comparisons can lead to over stretching and injury.