20-minute Lower Body Workout20-minute Lower Body Workout

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

20-minute Lower Body Workout*

This quick workout combines strength moves with bursts of cardio to target the lower body. Perform each exercise in the circuit for the specified time, and repeat the circuit twice for a 20-minute workout. Warm up and cool down three to five minutes to complete your exercise session.

Around the World Lunges 60 seconds

Stand with feet hip-width apart and step forward with your right foot into a lunge*. Return to standing. Step the same foot to the right as you lower into a side lunge with your right knee bent, bottom pushed back, and left leg fully extended. Return to standing and move into a reverse lunge by stepping your right foot behind you and lowering the knee to the ground. Repeat on the left and continue to alternate sides for the length of the exercise.

Jump Squats 90 seconds

With the feet hip-width apart, sit back into a squat*. Push yourself up as you jump and propel into the air. Land in the starting position and repeat.

Step Ups 60 seconds

With a 5 to 10 pound dumbbell in each hand, stand in front of a stair or small step stool. Step up onto the stair with your right foot. Tap your left foot on the stair, return it back to the ground, and then return the right foot back to the ground. Continue to step with your right foot for 30 seconds and then repeat with the left foot.

High Knee Jog 90 seconds

Jog in place as you lean back slightly and lift your knees high in the air towards your chest.

Squats with a Side Leg Lift 60 seconds

Standing with the feet hip-width apart, sit back into a squat. As you return to standing, extend your right leg out to the side and lift your foot off the ground. Lift only to the point where you feel your hip muscles engage. Hold for one count and return to the starting position. Squat and repeat on the left side.

Front Kicks 90 seconds

Stand facing forward. Lift your right knee to waist level, extend your leg and kick your foot out in front of you. Lower the leg and repeat with the left side. Kick more quickly to increase the intensity.

Weighted Calf Raises 60 seconds

Stand on the floor with a 5 to 15 pound dumbbell in each hand. Raise up on your toes as you contract your calf muscles. Lower and repeat.

Side Jumps 90 seconds

Place a jump rope along the floor or choose a point on the ground to serve as line (such as a groove in the side walk). Jump quickly from side to side over the line, jumping high and moving as quickly as you can.

*When doing squats and lunges its important to practice safe form to protect your knees. Sit your bottom back as you squat and lower your body straight down when lunging to ensure that your knees do not push forward past your toes.

Mushroom and Polenta Pot Pies RecipeMushroom and Polenta Pot Pies

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Mushroom and Polenta Pot Pie Recipe

Comfort food doesn't have to be loaded with calories, fat, and sodium. These individual vegetarian pot pies are healthier and still satisfying. They are filled with vegetables in a rich gravy and covered with a crunchy polenta topping that is flavored with fresh herbs.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving
195
Calories
% Daily Value*
4%
Total Fat 2.7g
2%Saturated Fat 0.4g
Trans Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
15%
Sodium 342mg
12%
Total Carbohydrate 36.4g
14%
Dietary Fiber 3.8g
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 5.3g
*
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Polenta topping

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup dry polenta
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Filling

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 8 oz. sliced baby crimini mushrooms or white button mushrooms
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup unsalted vegetable, beef or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water

Directions

To prepare the polenta:

  1. Prepare the polenta by bringing the 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Once the water boils, whisk in the polenta and reduce the heat to low. Continue to stir until it thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Stir the garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of parsley, ¼ teaspoon of rosemary and salt, and the 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper into the polenta. Set aside.

To prepare the filling:

  1. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the onion and carrot, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook for 5 more minutes until the mushrooms have darkened and the other vegetables are slightly tender.
  2. Stir in the ½ teaspoon of parsley and salt, and the ¼ teaspoon of rosemary and black pepper.
  3. Add the stock to the skillet. In a small dish, stir together the cornstarch and the water. Pour this into the skillet. Increase the heat to high and cook about 2 minutes, stirring often, until the stock thickens into a gravy that coats the vegetables.

To prepare the pot pies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray 4, 8-ounce ramekins with non-stick cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet. Divide the mushroom filling evenly between all four. Next, top each with an equal amount of the polenta. If it has thickened as it cooled, use clean hands to crumble and press the polenta over the filling.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes until the filling bubbles and the polenta begins to brown on top. Serve warm.

Healthy Snacks for Weight LossHealthy Snacks for Weight Loss

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss

Healthy snacks that are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fat curb hunger and cravings. Keeping these snacks to fewer than 200 calories helps you avoid exceeding your daily calorie budget for weight loss. Try one of these ideas for smart snacking.

Hummus pita pizzas. Top a warm whole wheat pita bread with two tablespoons of hummus. Shred one medium carrot and sprinkle it over the top. Cut into wedges before serving. 160 calories

Bean dips with fresh veggies. Combine one can of beans with your favorite herbs and spices in a food processor to create a dip for vegetables. Try four tablespoons of this Spinach Bean Dip with Smoked Paprika with one cup of sliced cucumber. 104 calories

Fresh fruit with ricotta and honey. Top one cup of mixed berries with two tablespoons of part-skim ricotta cheese. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of honey. 135 calories

Chopped tomatoes with feta and basil. Chop one cup of cherry tomatoes. Stir in two tablespoons of feta cheese, one teaspoon of olive oil and two chopped basil leaves. 133 calories

Jerky and a piece of fruit. Choose turkey or buffalo jerkies made with natural flavorings that are low in sodium and sugar. Pair one ounce with one cup of pineapple. 134 calories

Nut butter on whole grain toast. Spread one tablespoon of cashew butter on a slice of your favorite whole grain toast. Top with one tablespoon of fresh blueberries. 178 calories

Simple smoothies. Combine one cup of your favorite frozen fruit with one cup of low-fat milk and one teaspoon of honey for quick smoothie. Try one half cup of raspberries with one half cup of peaches. 175 calories

Walking for Weight LossWalking for Weight Loss

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Walking for Weight Loss

Research shows that a walking program can result in successful weight loss. You can boost the calories burned and the likelihood that you will stick with your plan when you incorporate a few simple guidelines.

Put in the time.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, 150 to 250 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise (walking) can result in modest weight loss, but more significant weight loss requires more than 250 minutes. This means that if you truly want to initiate changes in your weight you should commit to at least a 50 minute walk, five days per week. If you are a beginner, do what you can now and work up to this goal. If you put in the time, you will get the results.

Step up the intensity.

Boosting the intensity of your walk will help you burn more calories. Try speed intervals by walking quickly for 60 seconds and recovering at a slower pace for 30 seconds throughout the workout. Take an outdoor route with hills or stairs, or increase the incline on your treadmill. Break up your routine by hiking on the weekends. The hills, elevation, and rough terrain will challenge you to work harder.

Stay committed.

It takes time to build your fitness level and to burn the necessary calories for weight loss. With consistent exercise, your body will be able to push harder and longer to boost calorie burn. Going out for a leisurely walk once a week may provide health benefits, but it likely won’t be enough to initiate weight loss. Pick the number of days that you can commit to exercising and stick with it to see results.

Give it purpose.

Use your walk to run errands. A 25-minute brisk walk to and from the post office counts as a workout. Once you get to the mall, walk the halls for 30 minutes before you start shopping. Invite your co-worker to a walking meeting. One study showed that people who walked the dog for just 20 minutes, five days per week lost an average of 14 pounds in a year. When your workout helps you accomplish a task, it is much easier to squeeze it into your day.

Make it fun.

A walk doesn’t have to be a boring stroll from one point to the next. Mix things up by adding strength training circuits. Walk 10 minutes, stop and do 15 squats. Walk 10 more minutes, stop and do 20 calf raises.

Ask friends to join you or reserve your walk for special time with a loved one. The more enjoyable your exercise the more likely your workout will be something you want to do, not something you have to do.

Slow Cooker 3 Bean Soup RecipeSlow Cooker 3 Bean Soup

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Slow Cooker 3 Bean Soup Recipe

Slow cookers are an essential kitchen tool for creating healthy comfort food with little effort. This bean soup provides filling plant-based protein and fiber. It’s finished off with nutrient-rich kale. The ingredients can be quickly combined in the morning, and your soup will be ready in six hours with no additional cooking required.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/8 recipe
Amount Per Serving
301
Calories
% Daily Value*
2%
Total Fat 1.3g
1%Saturated Fat 0.2g
Trans Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
19%
Sodium 448mg
18%
Total Carbohydrate 55.5g
58%
Dietary Fiber 16.3g
Sugars 3g
Protein 19.4g
*
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 6 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 ½ cups dry pinto beans, soaked overnight, drained
  • 1 cup dry navy beans, soaked overnight, drained
  • 1 cup dry red kidney beans, soaked overnight, drained
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 ½ tsp fine ground sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped lacinato kale

Directions

  1. Place the onion, garlic, and carrots in the bowl of a slow cooker.
  2. Place the beans in a medium saucepan, cover with two inches of water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and add the beans to the slow cooker. Pour in 10 cups of water and stir. Set to high, cover with the lid, and cook for 6 hours, until the beans are tender.
  3. Stir in the salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and the kale. Stir well for about 15 seconds to allow the heat from the beans to slightly wilt the kale before serving.
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