Recipe – Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowls with Spinach and Avocado

Start your day the right way.

Did you buy too many sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving? Use your leftovers to prepare this breakfast bowl that’ll keep you filled all morning long.

Switch the bagel and cream cheese for this dish that is full of protein and can be thrown together in less than five minutes (if you roast the sweet potatoes ahead of time). This dish makes a healthy alternative for this busy time of the year.

Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start your day the right way with great nutrition.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato (orange yam kind), roasted
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 eggs (fried, or poached)
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • Salt and cracked pepper to taste

For Serving:

  • Sunflower seeds, chia seeds
  • Hot sauce
  • Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss sweet potato, oil, salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. In a large skillet, add the oil and heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and stir for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Place spinach in bowl. Add cooked quinoa. Add sweet potato, avocado and eggs.

Serve with sunflower seeds, chia seeds, hot sauce and/or a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Recipe: Sherry-Braised Chicken and Mushrooms

Nutritious seared chicken.

This protein-packed, sherry-braised chicken and mushroom recipe is nutritious and ready in less than 30 minutes.

Between family obligations, kids’ homework, errands and appointments, today is harder than ever to find time to cook. This recipe combines seared chicken with mushrooms for a healthy and quick meal that will satisfy your hunger, and it will provide all the protein you need in less than 30 minutes.

The combination of dry sherry and mushrooms will create the perfect flavor to make your mouth water. Pair it with a spinach salad and brown rice and have a healthy, complete meal for any night of the week.

25 g protein/400-calorie meal
(Divide into 4 servings.)
40 g protein/600-calorie meal
(Divide into 3 servings.)
1 lb. Chicken breast tenders
Salt and pepper to taste
Small amount of flour for dredging
2 TBSP Olive oil
½ lb. Fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ Small onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 Celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
 ¼ cup  Chicken broth
 ¼ cup Dry sherry or white wine
 ¼ cup Dried tarragon

Spread flour on a flat work surface. Dip chicken in flour on both sides, set aside, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add oil. When hot, add chicken in a single layer and brown on one side. Turn chicken over, continue cooking until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, cover to keep warm, and set aside.

Add mushrooms, onion and celery to skillet. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add broth, sherry and tarragon, and raise heat to high. Cook and stir until sauce is reduced and thickened to a few tablespoons, about 2 minutes. Return chicken to the pan and stir gently to coat with the sherry glaze.

Suggestion: Complete your meal with a spinach salad and brown rice. See Meal Builder for amounts for your Plan.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Recipe: Mustard-Baked Salmon

Salmon is a good source of protein.

Mustard and lime are the perfect ingredients to prepare this mouthwatering salmon in less than 20 minutes, from start to finish.

The preparation couldn’t be easier. It’s a healthy and easy 400-calorie recipe for a casual family dinner or a special occasion. Cook to impress. Pair it with a green salad and baked sweet potato and make this dish part of your healthy dinner.

25 g protein/400-calorie meal
(Divide into 4 servings.)
40 g protein/600-calorie meal
(Divide into 3 servings.)
2 tsp Olive oil
1 ¼ lb. (about 600 g) Center-cut wild salmon filet
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup (75 g) Plain Greek-style yogurt
2 TBSP Stone-ground mustard
2 tsp Fresh lemon juice
½ tsp Dried tarragon

Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil, and coat lightly with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Place salmon, skin side down, on the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mustard, lemon juice and tarragon. Spread evenly on top of the salmon. Place salmon under the broiler, about 5 inches (about 15 centimeters) away from the heat, and broil until cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.

Suggestion: Complete your meal with green beans, baked sweet potato and tossed green salad. See Meal Builder for amounts for your Plan.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Fitness Motivation: Three Tips to Help You Stay Active

Walking can improve your wellbeing.

The more sedentary you become the harder it is to get yourself moving. Try these exercises to get you back in the fitness groove.

Many people find it difficult to get and stay motivated with their exercise and healthy active lifestyle plans. The reasons for this lack of motivation are vast, but two very common ones are: today’s modern sedentary lifestyle and the natural aging process.The more sedentary you become the harder it feels to get yourself moving. Sitting around all day decreases your energy levels and can have a negative impact on your body weight, which in turn makes movement less comfortable. This combination of lack of energy and not feeling good only compounds the desire to remain sedentary. Breaking this vicious cycle is essential if you want to get and stay motivated toward reaching your personal wellness goals.

The natural effects of aging can also make it difficult to maintain your exercise motivation, and although we can’t prevent the aging process, there are some great ways that we can counteract Mother Nature’s aging effects, and keep you motivated and exercising on a consistent basis.

Here are three tips to help you fight towards staying active and motivated.

Meet your minimum exercise minutes each day: Getting your body moving on a regular basis is not only great for helping you to reach your body composition goals, but it also gives you a natural energy boost, promotes increased circulation, and improves your overall sense of wellbeing. When you keep your joints moving with regular activity, you are less likely to experience loss of mobility and joint soreness that are commonly caused by inactivity. It is recommended that in order to experience the health benefits associated with daily activity, you need to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, five days a week. The first step is often the most difficult, but once you get active, the feel-good benefits make it easier to continue. Even if you can’t commit to 30 full minutes to start with, know that a little bit of exercise is always better than doing none at all.

Mix up your impact: It’s important to strive to maintain healthy bone density as we age, and regain it after spending prolonged periods of being sedentary. Performing exercises that are high impact in nature, such as walking, running or jumping can help you maintain healthy bones. Alternating between low impact activities, such as swimming and cycling, and high impact activities, such as running and jumping, is a perfect way to ensure you are maximizing the bone health benefits of your exercise routine, at the same time as ensuring that you are not putting too much stress on your joints. Mixing up your routine will help you avoid excessive post-exercise joint soreness and prevent you from getting bored.

Focus on your muscles: A common age related issue that can be helped with exercise is the natural loss of muscle mass known as sarcopenia. Muscle loss or body composition imbalance is not always due to the aging process, spending a long time being inactive or being underweight can also reduce your lean muscle mass.

Lifting weights or performing body weight exercises in combination with consuming a protein-rich diet will ensure that you build lean muscle mass and retain your strength. Maintaining your muscle mass is great for your metabolism and for helping you look and feel your best. Try to perform muscle-building exercises at least three days a week.

Whether you are working towards achieving a specific goal, or simply want to feel young and energized, a daily focus on being active will help you get and stay motivated.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Four Ways to Declutter Your Diet

Get rid of the calorie clutter in your beverages.

Clean eating is trendy, but maybe you just need to declutter instead.

The phrase “clean eating” is pretty popular these days, but the concept isn’t really new.  In general, clean eating means eating foods that are fairly close to their natural state – that is, minimally processed – and getting rid of the excess ‘clutter’ in the form of a lot of added fats, sugars, salt and unnecessary additives.  Cooking foods at home and sourcing fresh, local ingredients is often part of the mix, too.  Overall, clean eating is meant to call more awareness to what we’re putting in our bodies.

It’s a great concept, but let’s not get carried away.  First of all, no one would argue that whole, unprocessed foods without packaging or labels are anything but good choices.  But creating a daily diet made up of only those foods might be intimidating to those who simply need to get a meal on the table at the end of a busy day.  Besides, there are plenty of healthy, wholesome – and yes, even ‘clean’ – foods that come in packages;  frozen loose pack veggies and fruits, canned tuna, salmon or beans, brown rice or whole grain pasta, just to name a few.

Some people take the concept of clean eating a little further, and decide to jump-start their regimen with a short fast.  Some say it feels like they’re giving their system a fresh start – kind of like cleaning out your closets or changing the oil in your car.  Fasting for a couple of days probably won’t do you any harm as long as you’re healthy and you keep yourself well-hydrated..

But keep in mind that our bodies naturally clean and detoxify every day.  We eliminate and neutralize not only via the digestive tract, but the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin get into the act, too.  As long as you take good care of your body and provide it with plenty of nourishing foods, it will take care of you.

So if you’re already eating plenty of fruits and veggies (even if they’ve been frozen), whole  grains (yep, even those that come packaged in a plastic bag) and lean proteins (even those that come from a can), your diet might be pretty clean already.  And even if you’re not eating this way, maybe you don’t need to do a “clean sweep” – perhaps a little “decluttering” is all it takes.

How to Declutter Your Diet

  • Read food labels to help you ditch extra sugar, salt and fat. You’ve heard it before, but it’s generally true – shorter ingredients lists usually mean fewer unwanted additives and more wholesome products.  Check labels for added fats, salt and sugar, and do your best to choose items that have minimal amounts added.  For example, choose plain yogurt rather than pre-sweetened, choose plain frozen vegetables rather than those with sauces added, look for whole grain breads or cereals with little to no added sugar.
  • Lose the refined starches and up your fruit and veggie intake. This sounds so simple, but it’s one of the best things you can do to improve the overall quality of your diet. When you make a point to include a fruit or vegetable at every meal, it “squeezes out” many of the unwanted foods and ingredients you might otherwise eat.  Swap sugary, fatty ice cream for a delicious bowl of berries, have a side salad with your sandwich instead of fries, or try snacking on baby carrots and hummus instead of chips.
  • Get rid of the calorie clutter in your beverages. When it comes to added calories, beverages are – for many people – their undoing.  Between sugary sodas, fruit juices (yes, even 100%, fresh-pressed, all-organic!), alcoholic beverages and fancy coffee drinks, it’s not hard to take in hundreds of calories a day from beverages alone.  Plain tea is a great alternative because it can be drunk hot or cold, it has no calories, and has naturally-occurring compounds that may offer some health benefits, too.
  • Clear the clutter from your fridge, freezer and pantry. A little kitchen ‘spring cleaning’ can really help you declutter your diet.  Fill your pantry with high-fiber whole grains (like 100% whole wheat pasta, bread, cereals and flour, as well as foods like quinoa, millet and brown rice) instead of the refined stuff. Stock up on beans and canned tomatoes instead of prepared spaghetti sauces or soups that are high in salt. Stock your refrigerator and freezer with plain fruits and veggies, rather than those with sugary syrups or salty, fatty sauces. And keep some canned tuna or salmon on hand in the pantry, or frozen fish filets or chicken breasts in the freezer for quick, healthy (clean!) meals, rather than frozen chicken nuggets or breaded fish sticks.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Five-Minute Workouts to Keep Your Fitness on Track

Start your day with a core workout.

Some exercise is always better than doing none at all. Commit to doing quick five-minute workouts any week you feel too busy to hit the gym.

The great thing about Halloween, if you have kids, is the extra walking minutes you can accumulate for the entire family as you go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. The week leading up to Halloween, however, can be hectic and interfere with your usual workout routine. The extra treats consumed can mess with your waistline too, so here are some fast and effective workouts you can squeeze into your day to keep your results on track.

We all know that busy days are a part of life, and as a busy working mom myself, I know all too well that some days getting in a workout seems almost impossible. But with a no excuses attitude, I also know that you don’t have to let your hectic schedule interfere with getting in a quick burst of exercise. If getting in your daily 30 minutes is challenging this week, commit to five-minute bouts of exercise to ensure that you stay on track with your personal body composition goals.

Here are five quick at-home routines that you can add to your day.

Morning start: Jump out of bed and do this fat burning routine in your p.j.’s. It’s not as intense as a HIIT workout, but it will help get your blood flowing and promote the release of your natural feel-good endorphins to help you start your day feeling good.

Mid-day blast: This workout will get your heart rate up and challenge your body. It has lots of my favorite athletic style moves that promote muscle strengthening and, because it’s high in intensity, you will burn calories for a while afterwards as your body recovers.

Lower-body Fix: Working the muscles of the posterior chain – a.k.a. the booty and legs – is great because this major muscle group burns calories faster than working smaller muscles, making a lower-body routine a perfect choice when you are short on time.

Upper-body focus: This quick upper-body workout is great for toning the chest and arms.

All about the abs: This core focused abdominal workout is sure to make you feel great. If you have little ones at home, this routine is great for when they are taking a nap.

Stress relief before bed: If you are wound up at the end of the day, consider spending some time before bed doing this stretching routine. It will help you connect your mind, body and breath. Stretching at the end of the day may help clear your mind and slow your energy down to help you get a good night’s sleep. It’s not a big calorie burner, but the relaxation and muscle stretching benefits feel great.

Short workouts are a perfect option for days when you know you are busy. If you perform all six workouts, that’s your 30-minute health benefits of exercise met for the day. If you only have time to do one or two routines, get in the rest of your exercise minutes with walking and staying generally active.

An at-home workout can be highly effective. Even if you only have time to squeeze in a few minutes of exercise, it can make a big difference with how you feel. Getting your body moving each day can build your self-confidence and your muscles too. Make this Halloween a healthy and fit one.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Recipe: Juicy Pork Tenderloin

Healthy, protein-packed pork.

 This protein-packed, grilled pork tenderloin recipe, full of flavor and with only 400 calories, will melt in your mouth.

This amazing grilled pork tenderloin recipe is moist, full of flavor and only 400 calories. There is no major preparation – just a quick dry rub.  Pork tenderloin is one of the easiest meats to cook and one of the leanest, but you must be careful not to overcook it, or it will be dry. This recipe will seal in the juices, and the meat will melt in your mouth. It’s the perfect protein to pair with some veggies and pasta.

25 g protein/400-calorie meal
(Divide into 4 servings.)
40 g protein/600-calorie meal
(Divide into 3 servings.)
1 (about 1 ¼ lb.) Pork tenderloin
2 TBSP Olive oil, divided
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp Freshly ground pepper
1 tsp Brown sugar
½ tsp Ground cumin
½ tsp Dry mustard
¼ tsp Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim tenderloin of any fat and silver “skin,” and pat dry with paper towels. Pierce in a few places with a fork and coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, brown sugar, cumin, mustard and garlic powder. Coat pork tenderloin with the seasoning mixture.

Heat large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sear pork on all sides until nicely browned, about 7-8 minutes. Place skillet in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice into small medallions across the grain.

Suggestion: Complete your meal with steamed broccoli and whole grain pasta.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Recipe: Tuna Patties

Tuna patties are healthy and budget-friendly.

 Tuna patties, tuna cakes and tuna croquets are budget-friendly, and a healthy way to get your protein.

A few cans of tuna, some vegetables, lemon juice, mustard, Greek yogurt and bread crumbs are all the ingredients you need to prepare this budget-friendly recipe. You probably heard of tuna patties, tuna cakes or tuna croquets. Whatever you want to call them, they are done in less than 30 minutes; easy to make, full of flavor and LOTS of protein.

The lemon in this recipe is the secret ingredient to make it go from yum to yummy and the go-to-dish for those lazy days or a quick weeknight meal.

25 g protein/400-calorie meal
(Divide into 4 servings.)
40 g protein/600-calorie meal
(Divide into 3 servings.)
3 cans (5 oz. each) Chunk light or albacore tuna
½ cup (75 g) Diced mixed vegetables
(i.e., red bell pepper, spring onions, cucumber)
2 TBSP Lemon juice
¼ cup Plain Greek-style yogurt
2 TBSP Dijon-style mustard
¼ cup Dry whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tsp Olive oil or canola oil for cooking

Drain liquid from canned tuna, put into a bowl, then flake with a fork.

Set aside. In another bowl, mix together the diced vegetables, lemon juice, yogurt, mustard and bread crumbs until well blended, then add tuna and mix well. Shape into 4 large or 6 small patties.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and add olive or canola oil. Gently place the patties in the pan and cook until nicely browned on one side, then turn and cook the other side until the patties are browned on both sides and heated through.

Suggestion: Complete your meal with a whole grain bun, raw vegetables and hummus dip.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Fast-Track Your Fitness Results with a Balanced Exercise Plan

Stretch for body confidence.

Get better and faster results by customizing your workouts – discover what’s missing from your current routine.

 

Taking a balanced approach, in my opinion, is the best approach to living a healthy, active lifestyle. Training in a balanced and structured way will help you to more accurately progress your workouts, may help you to avoid unnecessary injuries, and following a balanced routine may enhance your overall training results, helping you reach your goals faster.

We all have our individual likes and dislikes when it comes to exercising, so customizing your routine based on what you love is the best way to ensure you stay motivated and dedicated towards achieving your goal.

Here are four elements of exercise that every good plan should include.

Stretching: Stretching on a regular basis can help you gain body confidence and make you become more conscious of your posture. Stretching is also great for improving joint stability, muscular flexibility and alleviating muscular tension.

Dynamic warm-up stretches and static post-exercise stretching can take as little as 10 minutes of your time, yet can make a dramatic difference in how you feel. Ensure that every workout starts with a warm-up and ends with a cool-down.

Cardio: Engaging in cardiovascular activity is good for your heart and great for burning excess calories. Your heart is a muscle, and pushing it to work hard a few days each week may help improve your cardiac output. If you engage in cardiovascular activity on a regular basis, you may lower your overall resting heart rate, which is good for your long-term health. There are so many activities you can choose from; walking, running, cycling, dancing and swimming are all very popular, but any exercise that gets your heart rate up will work.

Performing moderately intense cardio based activities for at least 150 minutes per week or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity – or a combination of the two – is a good amount to aim for to reap the health benefits associated with exercising.

Strength: When you add resistance based training to your routine, you will start to notice changes in how you look and feel. You may loose excess body fat and gain lean muscle mass, which is not only great for your appearance, but it also helps your body become more efficient at burning calories. A body with a high percentage of lean muscle mass requires more calories just to sustain itself than a person of the same weight who has a higher percentage of body fat.

You can stimulate muscle tissue to grow by exercising, using your body weight as resistance or by lifting weights on a regular basis. Performing resistance based activities three to four times per week, combined with consuming a protein-rich diet can help you achieve great results.

Endurance: Engaging in regular, prolonged physical activity can improve your muscular strength and boost your overall endurance level. When you exercise, your body must deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues in order to help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily tasks. You can improve cardiovascular endurance by extending the duration of your workouts, and muscular endurance can be achieved by increasing your weight and reps at the gym.

Spend at least one session per week focusing on your endurance based fitness level.

We all have different goals for our bodies, so taking a personalized approach to your plan is the best way to ensure that you are striving toward becoming your best self. You get to decide how much of each mode of training you incorporate into your week to feel at your best. Keep an exercise journal as you experiment with your plan, so that when you do find the perfect exercise combination for your body, you will have it written down for future reference.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Tune Up Your Immune System With Healthy Nutrition

Fruits and veggies promote a strong immune system.

When my kids were little, I always braced myself for the ‘back-to-school cold’ that swept through the house during their first week back in the classroom. With the new school year upon us, kids are going to be bringing home more than just homework and new friends.
They’re sure to bring home plenty of germs, too. Even if you don’t have kids at home, you’re still more likely to get sick as the weather turns colder. So, now is a good time to look at all you can do nutritionally to help keep your immune system running in tip-top shape.

Despite what your parents or grandparents might have told you, you don’t catch cold from being out in the cold air (or, as my mother always insisted, from going outdoors with wet hair). But when the weather turns chilly, we spend more time indoors. That means we’re in closer contact with more people and there’s less air circulating, so we’ve got more exposure to the germs that can make us sick. 

Your body has a built-in defense, of course—your immune system. It’s your own personal army of ‘soldiers’ that protects your body by identifying anything foreign—from a virus to a bacteria to a parasite—and then seeking it out and destroying it. Your body does rely on good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to keep your defenses up. For one thing, if you eat a healthy diet and take care of yourself, you’re more likely to maintain your good health.

Fruits and vegetables are key players because they provide an abundance of phytonutrients—natural compounds found in all plant foods that help to promote health by serving as antioxidants. You need antioxidants to balance out the processes in your body that cause oxidation. Oxidative processes are a normal part of metabolism, but oxidation can run rampant in cells if it’s not kept in check. And that can weaken the body’s ability to fight illness. So, your body relies on a steady source of antioxidants from fruits and veggies to reduce this oxidant stress and, in turn, help to support immune function.

Your immune system also has some ‘special forces’ in the form of white blood cells. These cells produce specialized proteins called antibodies that seek out and destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Since antibodies are proteins, you need adequate protein in the diet to ensure you’ll be able to manufacture the antibodies your body needs. Healthy protein foods—like fish, poultry, lean meats, soy foods and low-fat dairy products—provide the building blocks that your body needs to make these specialized proteins.

Keeping your digestive system healthy is also important in supporting immune function. Your digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria that have numerous functions in promoting health. Some strains of bacteria help you digest the fiber in your foods, others consume intestinal gas, while others produce vitamins, like vitamin K and vitamin B12. When your system is populated with these ‘good’ bacteria, they also serve to ‘crowd out’ the potentially harmful bacteria that might enter your digestive tract. Some of the best sources of these friendly bacteria are cultured dairy products, like yogurt and kefir.

Eating well really does pave the road to good health. To help your body in the fight against foreign invaders, your internal ‘army’ needs the best nutrition possible. So, call in the troops—and dry your hair.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com