Quinoa Egg Bake With Thyme and Garlic

 

For the ultimate morning starter, this recipe combines two superproteins: quinoa and eggs. The quinoa serves as a crust while providing 12 grams of complete protein per half-cup, while each egg offers seven grams of protein You’ll even get your iron and calcium from the spinach and milk in this tasty recipe. Make this quinoa egg bake on a Sunday, and you’ll have breakfast (at under 250 calories per square) for the whole workweek.

 

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If you’re cooking this recipe as part of the Get Fit 2015 meal plan, serve with half a grapefruit or one cup cut fresh fruit with one-quarter cup Greek yogurt.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon butter or butter substitute
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
8 eggs
1 1/4 cup nonfat milk
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup finely shredded romano or parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch glass or metal baking dish with butter; set aside.
  2. Put quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear; drain well.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and quinoa. Stir in spinach, then pour mixture into prepared dish.
  4. Cover tightly with foil then jiggle dish gently from side to side so that quinoa settles on the bottom in an even layer. Bake until just set, about 45 minutes.
  5. Remove foil and sprinkle top evenly with cheese. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more.
  6. Set aside to let cool briefly, then slice and serve.

Source: Calorie Count

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SPICY ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

One good reason to eat your vegetables

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Fact: Brussels sprouts have made a comeback. And if they’re good enough to serve at restaurants across the country, then they’re good enough to serve at dinner tonight. You just need the right recipe, and we’re here to help. In our version, we toss the sprouts with sweet honey and spicy hot sauce and roast them until caramelized. Another fact: You’ll be devouring this dish all winter long.

MAKES 4 TO 6 SIDE-DISH SERVINGS
START TO FINISH: 50 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS

1½ pounds brussels sprouts

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup rice-wine vinegar

¼ cup honey

2 tablespoons Sriracha, or more to taste

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Trim the base away from the brussels sprouts and discard. Cut the sprouts in half.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the vinegar, honey and Sriracha to combine. Add the brussels sprouts and toss until they are fully coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Spread the brussels sprouts on a baking sheet, cut sides down. Pour any extra olive-oil mixture onto the pan and tilt the pan around to distribute it.

4. Roast until the sprouts are crispy on the outside and golden and caramelized on the cut sides, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Forget florets–we’re roasting the whole cauliflower!!

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Roasted cauliflower? Been there, done that. But roasting a whole head of cauliflower? Now we’ve got your attention.

This recipe has you slathering cauliflower in a spicy yogurt marinade and roasting it at a high temperature.

The result is an amazingly delicious dish that’s as dramatic in presentation as it is easy in preparation.

Serve it with a big green salad (we suggest lime juice and olive oil for the dressing) for an easy weeknight supper or your next “the vegetarians are coming to dinner” party.

MAKES 6 SERVINGS
START TO FINISH: 1 HOUR

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 head cauliflower

1½ cups plain Greek yogurt

1 lime, zested and juiced

2 tablespoons chile powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking sheet with vegetable oil. Set aside.

2. Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper.

4. Dunk the cauliflower into the bowl and use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over its surface. (Excess marinade can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days and used with meat, fish or other veggies.)

5. Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.

6. Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving alongside a big green salad.

The Fountain of Youth

Turns out the sought-after magic elixir has been right under our noses.  I’m talking about water. Pure, simple water.

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Before you scoff at this idea, check if you’re dehydrated. Sadly as much as 75% of adults suffer from mild, chronic dehydration, a condition that dramatically works against your weight loss efforts.

Here is why water consumption must be at the top of your list in your quest for a fit, healthy and athletic body…

Water does all that?

Though you probably don’t think about it often, water is the most essential element, next to air, to your survival.

The simple combination of two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen makes up more than two thirds of your body and is involved in a host of bodily functions that we routinely take for granted.

Just to name a few:

Water works to regulate the thermal condition of your body

Water serves as a lubricant in your joints

Water helps flush toxins from your blood

Water gives your skin a clear, glowing complexion

Water assists with digestion, pulling all the usable nutrients out of foods

Water aides in disease prevention (Drinking 8 glasses a day has shown to reduce your chance of colon cancer by 45% and bladder cancer by 50%)

What about fitness and fat-loss?

You’ve probably heard that you need to drink plenty of water in order to drop weight, but did you ever wonder why?

What does water have to do with decreasing your calories and increasing your activity level in an effort to shed pounds?

1. Water is a natural appetite suppressant
Fill your stomach with a glass of water before each meal and you will find that you won’t eat as much. This also works on snacking throughout the day, keep hydrated all day long and watch as your desire to snack decreases.

2. Water increases your body’s ability to efficiently metabolize fat. This process begins with your kidneys receiving enough water to function at their peak, which in turn helps your liver reach optimal efficiency in removing toxins and waste from your blood. With your liver working at maximum capacity, fat will be metabolized at a higher rate. This means a decrease in your overall body fat. (And who doesn’t want that?)

3. Water is the perfect substitute for high calorie beverages. Want to super-charge your fitness results this summer? Well, this is the most effective way to utilize water toward your waist-shrinking efforts. Most of us consume more than our share of calorie-packed beverages. Smoothies, shakes, frozen mochas, soft drinks…you get the idea. When you trade your high calorie beverages in for a tall glass of water you will expedite your results in a major way.

The Other Side of the Story…
Now you know that drinking sufficient amounts of water will help you reach your fitness goals faster than ever, but you should also know that failing to drink enough water comes with serious consequences…

Your body will shift into “preserve” mode—which means you will store more fat.

Bodily functions will slow—leading to an overall decrease in energy levels.

Headaches will become an expected nuisance—your brain is over 70% water.

To avoid dehydration check out the following 5 Hydration Tips:

Hydration Tip #1
Caffeinated beverages—such as coffee, soft drinks or energy drinks—cause your body to lose water. After you enjoy a dose of caffeine replace the lost water by drinking 2 times that amount in water.

Hydration Tip #2
Add a slice of lemon to your water to spice things up.

Hydration Tip #3
Always carry water with you throughout your day—keep a bottle in the car, at your workplace and next to your bed.

Hydration Tip #4
Exercise and hot summer days both increase your body’s water requirements—make a mental note to drink before, during and after exercise or while out on a hot day.

Hydration Tip #5
Make it a habit to begin your day with a large glass of water then drink a glass before each meal and one between meals.

5 Keys to Running Healthy and Staying Injury-Free

Follow these rules, and you’ll spend more time on the road and less time in rehab.

By: Jennifer Van Allen
Image by: Jonathon Rosen

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AVOID THE TERRIBLE TOO’S. Doing too much, too soon, too fast is the number-one cause of running injuries. The body needs time to adapt to increases in mileage or speed. Muscles and joints need recovery time so they can handle more demands. If you rush that process, you could break down rather than build up. So be the tortoise, not the hare. Increase your weekly and monthly running totals gradually.

Follow the 10 percent rule: Build your weekly mileage by no more than 10 percent per week. So if you run 10 miles the first week, run 11 miles the second week, about 12 miles the third week, and so on. There may be times when even a 10 percent increase proves too much. Use the 10 percent rule as a guideline, but realize that it might be too aggressive for you.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Most running injuries don’t just come out of nowhere and blindside you. Usually, there are warning signs—aches, soreness, and persistent pain. It’s up to you to heed those signs. If you don’t, you could hurt something else as you try to change your gait to compensate for the pain.

GET GOOD SHOES. Running shoes have changed a lot over the years, and there’s a dizzying variety of models, brands, and types to choose from. There are even minimalist shoes designed to mimic barefoot running (although there’s no scientific evidence that forgoing shoes decreases injury risk).

There’s no single best shoe for every runner—your goal is to find the one that offers the best support and fit for your unique anatomy and biomechanics. Don’t buy a shoe just because it’s the cheapest, because it “looks fast,” or because it matches your favorite workout gear.

You should replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles. Note the date that you bought your shoes in your training log so that later you’ll know when it’s time for a change. And when it’s time to buy, visit a specialty running store—the staff there will ask you lots of questions, watch you walk or run, and take other steps to help you find the right shoe.

TAKE GOOD NOTES. A detailed workout log can help keep you motivated and injury-free. Take some time after each workout to jot down notes about what you did and how you felt. Look for patterns. For instance, you may notice that your knees ache when you run on consecutive days, but you feel great when you rest in between running days. This will help you determine the best routine for you. Plus, it will help get you out the door when the going gets tough.

You can draw confidence from seeing all the miles pile up. And the next workout doesn’t seem as daunting when you see how much you’ve already accomplished. There are lots of online training logs available, like the one here, but a notebook and a pencil work just as well. Here are some data that you should consider including in your training diary:

Daily or weekly goal

Mode of exercise (run, elliptical, swim, bike, etc.)

Distance (in miles or kilometers)

Workout time in minutes

Weather conditions

Time of workout (this can influence how you feel)

Route and terrain (hills, treadmill, track, trail)

How you feel before, during, and after the run

Shoes and gear used

Music

Interesting things you saw along the way

Notes about the people you ran with

CROSS-TRAIN. Running is hard on your body, there’s no doubt about it. So experts agree that most runners can benefit from cross-training activities to help improve muscle balance and stay injury-free. Swimming, cycling, elliptical training, and rowing will burn a lot of calories and boost your aerobic fitness.

Keep It Safe

Cross-training can help you stay fit when you can’t run, but choose wisely, says runner and sports podiatrist Stephen Pribut, D.P.M., of Washington, D.C. Some activities may worsen an injury. Below is a list of common running injuries and what cross-training activity is safe to do with the injury’s symptoms.

Runner’s Knee- Swimming and depending on the severity of the injury, stationary bike and elliptical can be safe activities.

IT-Band Syndrome (ITBS)- Swimming and depending on the severity of the injury, stationary bike, elliptical and rowing machine can be safe activities.

Calf Strain/ Achilles Pain- Stationary bike, elliptical, swimming, and rowing machine

Plantar Fasciitis- Stationary bike, elliptical, swimming, and rowing machine

Shin Splints- Swimming and depending on the severity of the injury, stationary bike can be safe.

Stress Fractures- Swimming and depending on the severity of the injury, stationary bike can be safe.

Avocado Lime Frozen Yogurt

With only five ingredients and a pinch of sea salt, this savory-sweet frozen yogurt is a decadent yet healthier take on a classic chiller. Avocados lend an extra dose of creamy texture, while skim milk and low-fat yogurt ensure it tastes fattier than it actually is.

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Photo: Yvonne Duivenvoorden

By Joanne Lusted

Serves: 16
Makes: Approximately 5 1/3 cups

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 medium ripe avocados
  • 1 cup strained low-fat natural plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • Pinch sea salt

OPTIONAL GARNISH

  • 3 cups fresh tropical fruit (such as pineapple, mango, melon or passion fruit), cut into chunks

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut avocados in half, remove pits and scoop flesh out from skins with a spoon. Cut flesh into large chunks, about 3 cups. Place all ingredients, except garnish, into a food processor and purée until smooth, about 2 minutes. While puréeing, stop mixer every 30 seconds or so to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Scoop mixture out into a shallow nonreactive freezer-safe container – 9 x 9-inch is ideal. (NOTE: At this point, if using a commercial ice cream machine, freeze mixture according to manufacturer’s instructions.)
  2. Place container with yogurt mixture into freezer for about 30 minutes, or until mixture begins to freeze slightly around the edges. Scrape down the edges with a spatula and mix yogurt thoroughly with a whisk, blending in ice crystals until mixture is creamy again, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place container with yogurt back into freezer for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and repeat the process of scraping the sides and mixing 2 more times, for a total of 3 times. Each time the mixture will get a little harder to whisk. After the third mixing, place mixture back into the freezer until hardened and ready to eat, about 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Remove from freezer and scoop into serving bowls. If yogurt is too hard to scoop, allow it to warm slightly for a few minutes on the counter until softened. Top with chunks of fresh tropical fruit, if desired, and serve immediately. Best if consumed within 1 week. Store covered in a sealable freezer-safe container in the freezer.

Nutrients per 1/3 cup serving (not including fruit garnish): Calories: 120, Total Fat: 8 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 14 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 10 g, Protein: 2 g, Sodium: 35 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

TIP:
For mixing, a food processor may be used in place of a whisk. Be sure to break up any large chunks into smaller pieces for easy processing.