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HIIT Interval Training

Interval Training

Inverval Training

If you are looking to lose weight and get in shape quickly, but you don’t have a lot of time to spend at the gym, then one of your best bets will be to participate in interval training.  Interval training is basically where you work at a high intensity over a short period and then follow that with a lower intensity exercise.  This pattern, or set, is then repeated for a period of time.

In order to get the best results from interval training, you must have a good period of rest in between sprint intervals in order to allow the body a chance to recover.  In addition, you will also need to go as hard as you can during your interval training period. On a scale from one to ten you should be working between 8-9.  For example, have your sprint interval be measured by either time or distance.  You can go as short as fifteen to thirty seconds or as long as two minutes. Once you have completed the sprint interval, it will be important to rest.  This is not where you come to a complete stop, but rather when you exercise at a lesser pace or intensity to allow the body to recover.  You will also have to determine how much you want to push yourself.  The intensity of your sprint will be dependent on your current level of fitness, but it is important to go as hard as you can.

This version of high intensity training is also known as HIIT and has been shown to be one of the best ways to burn fat while gaining muscle at the same time.  One reason why HIIT is so successful is that it never lets your body build muscle memory or get used to doing the same thing again and again.  If your body gets used to one routine, it has a tendency to plateau and you stop losing weight and gaining muscle.  However, HIIT will keep your body maxed out allowing for increased metabolism and as many calories burned in a twenty minute workout as an hour workout at the same speed.

High intensity training can also be customized for any level of fitness.  Everyone from beginners to Olympic athletes can use HIIT training to get them in better shape or keep them performing at the top of their game.  If you want to create your own HIIT formula, you should have a low intensity or rest interval which is 40-50% of your maximum.  In addition, when you are working your hardest, your heart should be at 80-90% of its maximum.  Most HIIT workouts include a combination of thirty seconds of high intensity followed by anywhere from thirty to ninety seconds of a rest interval.  HIIT workouts can also be performed just as easily on gym equipment as they can be outside.  Just be sure not to repeat interval training on consecutive days.

With all the advantages, it is easy to see why high intensity workouts are so popular.  However, as with any workout routine, it is important to visit your doctor beforehand to make sure that you can maintain a workout safely.

Healthy Baked Beet Chips

Beet Chips

Beet Chips

Try these beet chips for an easy and portable way to enjoy beets. Use a mandolin cutter to get the thinnest most uniform slices to ensure your beet chips are crispy. You can bake your beet chips on both levels of the oven to save time. Just be sure to rotate your pans half way through.

Beets are from the same family as spinach and chard. The leaves are bitter but have a higher nutritional value than the roots. They contain high levels of chlorophyll and have more iron than spinach. They are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium and iron. Beets are an excellent source of folates , manganese and Vitamin C, A, B1, B2 and B6. Beets also provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification benefits from the Phtonutrients present. Betanin and Vulgaxanthin are the 2 best studied Betalains. To best preserve the Betalains it’s best not to steam beets more than 15 minutes and to not roast for longer than an hour. Folates will also decrease if you cook beets to extensively. Betacyanin is the phytochemical that gives beets their characteristic purple red color. Both beet root and beet greens are very powerful cleansers and builders of the blood.

4-5 beets

1 TBSP olive oil

sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash beets and trim off tops and root. Use a mandoline slicer to get slices super thin. The thinner they are, the more crispy they become. The thicker they are, they are more chewy.

beet-chips

Uniform and thinly sliced beets for beet chips

Toss the beet slices with the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Lay on a baking sheet in one layer. Be sure none overlap or they won’t dry properly and be crispy. Bake for about 15 mins give or take or until crispy.

beet chips

Lay chips flat on a parchment lined baking sheet

Remove and bake another batch if necessary. In the meantime, enjoy your crunchy goodies!

baked beet chips

Fresh healthy baked beet chips!

Miso Steak Marinade

Miso Steak

Miso Steak

I love a perfectly grilled steak and have been experimenting with different flavors recently. I love Miso and recently made Miso sablefish so thought why not marinade a steak as well? This Miso steak marinade is light with a slightly sticky sweet flavor. The Miso steak marinade only takes minutes to prepare and can be left from a few hours to overnight. Perfect for the busy cook. Personally, I like to marinade overnight for the best flavor and texture. Use a tenderloin cut for best most tender results. Don’t’ be afraid of red meat and in moderation and try the leaner cuts if that is a concern. Steak is great source of protein and B vitamins. This recipe covers approximately 2 steaks.

8-10 oz lean steak
2 Tbsp white miso
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp Mirin
2 chopped garlic cloves

  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl or Ziploc bag.
  2. Add the steak and massage into the flesh. Refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight.
  3. Heat a grill pan or BBQ to high. When hot, add steak and sear 3 minutes on each side for medium rare for a 1” steak or cook to desired doneness.
  4. Remove from heat and let rest for 1 minute. Cut into slices and serve.
Miso Marinaded Steak

Miso Marinaded Steak

Original recipe: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/644644/miso-steak

Cajun Chicken Jambalaya Pasta Recipe

Cajun Chicken Jambalaya Pasta

Cajun Chicken Jambalaya Pasta

Jambalaya is usually a mixture of meats, vegetables and rice but this recipe replaces the rice with pasta. I’ve tried the Cajun Chicken Jambalaya Pasta at Cheesecake Factory and it was so delicious that I had to try to recreate my own. This recipe is inspired by that dish. They use a two toned noodle combination that is very visually appealing so I encourage you do the same when you make this Cajun Chicken Jambalaya recipe. This is a very colorful dish with lots of goodness from whole wheat pasta, lean chicken breast and lots of peppers. It has a nice kick to it but if you desire more, add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the mix.  This Cajun Chicken Jambalaya Pasta has so much flavor but be sure to give it lots of browning time.

1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (diced)
½ lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
6 ounces whole wheat fettuccine
6 ounces spinach fettuccine
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 sliced green bell pepper
1/2 sliced red bell pepper
1/2 sliced yellow bell pepper
1 medium red onion , sliced
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup clam juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons white wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

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Chicken Guacamole Quesadilla Recipe

Chicken Guacamole Quesadillas

Chicken Guacamole Quesadillas

I’m currently experimenting with quesadilla recipes and have realized how versatile they really can be. I usually have lots of chicken breast pre-made so assembling them takes only a few minutes. A quesadilla is an easy to make Mexican favorite. A quesadilla is a warm Mexican sandwich with various fillings held together with melted cheese. Using the right ingredient choices you can make a healthy chicken quesadilla. This is a healthy chicken quesadilla recipe that uses whole grain tortillas, chicken breast and low fat cheese. The creaminess of the guacamole just puts this over the top! Try my guacamole recipe for some kick. Try this for a meal with lean protein, whole grains and good fats.

Ingredients:

Whole grain flour tortillas –could be large or small size
Grated low fat cheddar or Tex-Mex cheese
2 chicken breasts
½ Tsp Cajun seasoning
Guacamole

  1. Sprinkle the Cajun spice onto the chicken breast and rub in. Grill until cooked through and slice into 1/4 “ slices.
  2. Turn heat on to med-high on stove. Spray some non-stick cooking spray into a large frying pan.
  3. Place tortilla into pan. Cover tortilla with shredded cheese in a thin layer making sure to get to about ½ inch from the edge.
  4. Cover half the tortilla with the chicken slices in one layer.
  5. Carefully spread the guacamole over the chicken slices.
  6. When cheese is melted, flip the side of the tortilla without the chicken on top of the side with the chicken into a half moon shape. Use spatula to push down slightly to encourage the cheese to stick. Once cheese has “glued” the quesadilla shut, remove from heat.
  7. Cut into wedges and serve.
Chicken Guacamole Quesadillas

Chicken Guacamole Quesadillas

Kicken Easy Healthy Guacamole Recipe

Easy Guacamole

Easy Guacamole

Guacamole is a party favorite but did you know it’s actually very healthy too?? The avocado is native to Central and South America and have been existence since 8000 B.C!! However, they did not arrive to North America until the early 20th century.  Guacamole is a great way to enjoy all the great nutritional benefits of avocados. Avocados have anti-caner properties and also work to lower cholesterol. This easy healthy guacamole recipe only takes 5 minutes to make and can be whipped up quickly anytime. This guacamole recipe has more kick and personality than other guacamole recipes. Try it and see for yourself!! When mashing up the avocado, use a fork for chunkier guacamole or a potato masher for smoother guacamole.

Ingredients:

3 avocados peeled and mashed
½-1 lime juiced
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup seeded and chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 Tsp chopped garlic
½ Tsp sea salt
½ Tsp ground cumin
½ Tsp ground cayenne

Mix avocado together with lime juice, spices and salt.

Fold in onions, tomatoes and cilantro.

Let sit at room temperature for one hour and then serve.

What is the Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index

Complex Carbs

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale that can be used to determine how fast and high one certain food can raise blood sugar levels.  Those foods with a low Glycemic Index will create a small to moderate increase in blood sugars, but a food that has a high Glycemic Index will create a high glucose level that can be dangerous over time.  If you are aware of the Glycemic Index within a certain food, then you can better control blood sugar levels and have some control over your chances of developing type II diabetes, certain cancers, and help prevent heart disease.  In other words, watching the Glycemic Index of the foods you eat can help lead to some significant health benefits.

Foods which are considered carbohydrates are those which can cause a significant rise in glucose levels. However, most times this rise will take place over a long period of time. This is especially true with such foods as pastas which take a long time to break down.  Other foods consisting of a lot of sugar will cause an almost immediate spike in blood sugar for a quick boost, but a quick fall as soon as the sugar is used.  Other carbohydrate rich foods include those made from wheat, rice, beans, and starchy vegetable like potatoes and yams.

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Brown Rice Nutrition Facts

Brown Rice Nutrition

Brown Rice Nutrition

Brown rice has been around for centuries and has been a staple in the diets of millions of people since then.  There are actually more than 7,000 varieties of rice which can be placed into three groups including short, medium and long grain.  Brown rice can come in a variety of grains and is a natural, whole grain rice.  It typically has a nutty flavor to it and is brown in color, hence the name.

Each cup of brown rice comes with a wealth of health benefits.  One cup of cooked brown rice will contain approximately 216 calories and is a great source of iron, manganese, magnesium, iron and the vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6.  A cup of brown rice also contains 5 grams protein, 46 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams fiber.

Recently, it has been shown that brown rice has some excellent nutritional benefits including helping to reduce cholesterol.  This is especially true when it comes to using rice bran oil.  This is oil which is removed in the polishing process of the rice and contains gamma-oryzanol which can lower cholesterol.  In fact, it has been shown through research that a diet containing rice bran oil can result in significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels.

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Healthy Garlic Bread Recipe

Healthy Garlic Bread

Healthy Garlic Bread

Nothing completes an Italian meal like garlic bread. Garlic bread has such a distinctive aroma that just cannot be replaced with some pasta. However, usually, garlic bread isn’t the healthiest choice –white bread slathered with butter and cheese-but now you can have your garlic bread guilt free with this healthy garlic bread recipe. With just a few simple substitutions, voila healthy garlic bread!! First, switch out the white bread for whole wheat and replace the butter with olive oil. Sprinkle on a little bit of Parmesan cheese and you are done! You won’t be disappointed and so won’t your guests. This healthy garlic bread only takes minutes to prepare and you can even make a large batch quickly.

10 garlic cloves
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tsp kosher salt
Whole wheat baguette
Chopped parsley

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Blueberry Health Benefits

Blueberry Health Benefits

Blueberry Health Benefits

Blueberries have plenty of health benefits and are a powerhouse of nutrition.  While they may be small, they actually pack quite a punch and can be very nutritionally beneficial in a number of ways.  In addition, they have practically no fat and have just eighty calories in a cup.  One blueberry benefit is that they are a huge source of anti oxidants such as Anthocyanin, vitamins C, B, E and A, copper, zinc, iron, and selenium. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also states that blueberries are among the best sources of antioxidants.  These antioxidants help to rid the body of free radicals which are molecules linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s and certain cardiovascular diseases. In addition, blueberries are able to fight aging by getting rid of the free radicals in the body which affect age and diseases.

Blueberry health benefits also include being an excellent source of fiber.  It has been shown through plenty of research that most of us lack fiber in our daily diets.  However, only a handful of blueberries added to your diet each day can help you meet the daily fiber recommendations.   The high fiber content and antioxidants found in blueberries can also help reduce bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

In addition to fiber, another health benefit of blueberries is that they are a great source of vitamin C.  In fact, you can get a whopping 14mg, or 25%, of your daily vitamin C requirement in just one serving.  Vitamin C helps to maintain healthy gums and capillaries and it helps to promote a healthy immune system.

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