Spicy Basil Lemon Gazpacho RecipeSpicy Basil Lemon Gazpacho

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Spicy Basil Lemon Gazpacho Recipe

Gazpacho is loaded with nutritious vegetables, and because it is served cold, none of the valuable nutrients are lost through heating. It’s a quick and easy dinner to prep before you head out the door, and it’s ideal for a healthy lunch to pack with you. This version is flavored with lemon, and it has a hint of spicy heat from your favorite hot sauce.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.4g
3%Saturated Fat 0.6g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 3mg
Sodium 343mg
Total Carbohydrate 10.2g
Dietary Fiber 1.6g
Sugars 5.6g
Protein 1.6g
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: 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Refrigeration time: 1 hour


  • 2 pounds tomatoes, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 10 to 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 6 small fresh basil leaves


  1. Place the tomatoes, cucumber, green and red bell pepper, basil, garlic and shallots in the bowl of a food processor. Process on high for 10 seconds.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped. Transfer the soup to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Garnish with 1 teaspoon of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and a small basil leaf before serving.

Beginner Interval TrainingBeginner Interval Training

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Beginner Interval Training

Interval training is defined as a workout that changes the intensity of exercise at various intervals -- typically with a hard bout followed by an easier recovery bout. When applied to cardio workouts, interval training is a great way to not only add variety, but to also crank up the number of calories burned. Research clearly shows that interval training is the best way to improve your cardiorespiratory fitness.

Interval training is a great way to challenge your body in different ways because the varying intensity requires a reliance on different muscles. This means that you get a better overall body workout.

You can add intervals to any workout by alternating lower intensity intervals, also known as recovery periods, with higher intensity work intervals. The length and intensity of each bout can be tailored to meet your individual needs and training goals. An example would be 30 seconds to 2 minutes of higher intensity intervals, alternated with 2 to 5 minutes of lower intensity intervals. If you are new to interval training, these tips will help you get started.

  • The more intense the work interval, the longer recovery period you'll need.
  • The work intervals do not need to be at the same intensity. Likewise, the recovery periods can also alternate intensity and duration.
  • There are various ways to crank up the intensity of the work interval. For instance, if you are jogging, you can either increase your jogging speed or increase your incline.
  • Remember to start off slow and work from your current fitness level. If you are a walker, start by eyeing an object in the distance, such as a telephone pole. Then power walk to the pole with good form. Return to your normal pace and maintain this until your heart rate returns to your target range. Repeat this process throughout your walk.
  • As your fitness level increases, adjust the difficulty of your session by either increasing the length or intensity of the work interval, or decreasing the time of the rest interval.

Interval training can be as simple or as complicated as you wish to make it. Whether you're swimming, bicycling, rowing, dancing or circuit training, intervals can enhance the quality, and reduce the monotony, of any exercise session.

6 Steps to Improve Body Image and Self-esteem6 Steps to Improve Body Image and Self-esteem

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6 Steps to Improve Body Image and Self-esteem

Harboring a poor body image can do more than just hinder your weight loss efforts. It can make you downright miserable. Your journey to becoming a healthier person will benefit greatly if it is preceded by self-love and self-respect.

Step 1

Start by recognizing that the only opinion that matters is your opinion. Self-respect originates from the self – not from others.

Step 2

Break the vicious cycle of dieting. In order to do this, you need to first recognize the cycle, which typically follows this pattern:

  • You have feelings of inadequacy and discontentment with your body.
  • You start a crash diet in an attempt to lose weight.
  • You are not able to maintain the unrealistic requirements of your crash diet.
  • You regain the weight that you lost (and oftentimes surpass your original body weight).
  • Your feelings of inadequacy and discontentment with your body are worse than when you started.

Sound familiar?

There is one simple secret to avoiding this trap: Do not crash diet. Crash diets are not sustainable and they do nothing to teach you healthy habits. Instead, try to convert your existing lifestyle into a healthy one. Luckily, you are already on the right path by using MyFoodDiary.com.

Step 3

Chronic dieters who have experienced repeated failure commonly bash themselves with negative self-talk. Re-wiring those negative self-talk tapes is the first step in learning self-love.

A good place to start is with positive affirmations, which are statements that affirm positive characteristics about you. This can provide a gateway to achieving self-love. We don't fully understand how positive affirmations work, but we know that they do.

Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day and repeat the saying out loud to yourself -- preferably while looking in the mirror. Affirmations should use words and phrases such as respect, cherish, care for, love, dignity, beautiful, treasure, worth it, whole, complete, esteem, confidence, health, acceptance, and responsibility. Create your own uplifting affirmations that have meaning for you. An example may read something like this:

"I am beautiful, complete, and whole. I respect and cherish my body and its amazing and miraculous functions. I love and care for myself at all times."

Repeat them throughout the day, especially when you recognize negative self-talk replaying in your mind. Affirmations gently remind you of your focus, and help you dismiss destructive thoughts.

Step 4

Start journaling your thoughts and feelings. This is another powerful tool for identifying negative self-talk, and challenging it. Each day, commit to writing something in the Personal Notes section of your account. You do not need to write about anything specific -- just write at least 3 paragraphs a day. Sooner or later, ideas and feelings will start to surface and you can confront them in writing. Always end your journal entry with a positive affirmation.

Step 5

Be patient and gentle with yourself. Take special time out on a daily basis, and allow yourself to decompress. Remind yourself that you are more than what is on the outside and that people come in different shapes and sizes. Refuse to succumb to the shallow criteria often put forth by society. Explore your interests and talents, and focus your energies on experiencing life through those channels. Instead of concentrating on how you look, direct your energy and thoughts to how you feel when you eat well and move your body. Always view your dietary intake and exercise as ways in which you are caring for and nurturing your body -- not as a way to simply lose weight.

Step 6

If you continue to struggle, consider finding a counselor or a therapist to help you work through some of these issues. Oftentimes, having an objective party to challenge your self-defeating beliefs can be helpful. Know that each of us has a purpose and a reason for being here, and rarely does it have anything to do with how we look.

Warm Rosemary Corn and Tomato Salad RecipeWarm Rosemary Corn and Tomato Salad

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Rosemary Corn and Tomato Salad Recipe

Herbs and spices are packed with disease fighting phytonutrients while giving seasonal vegetables a big boost in flavor. This salad uses rosemary, but basil and cilantro are other delicious options that go well with vegetable salads and side dishes.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.3g
0%Saturated Fat 0.1g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 148mg
Total Carbohydrate 17.1g
Dietary Fiber 2.9g
Sugars 13.2g
Protein 2.8g
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: 5 minutes

Baking time: 12 minutes


  • 3 ears of corn, kernels cut off
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the corn kernels, tomatoes, and onion on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, and then add the rosemary, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables in oil and herbs.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes, stirring halfway through. The corn will soften and brown slightly, and the tomatoes will begin to burst. Serve warm.

10 Herbs that Flavor Food and Improve Health10 Herbs that Flavor Food and Improve Health

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Herbs that Flavor Food and Improve Health

Herbs contain nutrients that improve health in unique ways. Some provide the anti-inflammatory benefits of aspirin while others have the power to fight unhealthy bacteria. Start adding these herbs to your recipes today!


When you take a dose of ibuprofen or aspirin, these medicines block an enzyme to reduce inflammation. Research shows that the oils in basil have the ability to block these same enzymes. In addition to the fresh, crisp flavor it adds to food, basil provides vitamin K, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.

Uses: Top pizza with fresh basil leaves just before baking, add them to sandwiches, or thinly slice the leaves and sprinkle them over fresh tomato slices with salt and pepper.


Cilantro is a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine, and its bright green leaves and seeds are anti-bacterial. Research suggests that cilantro contains a compound that kills salmonella, a major cause of foodborne illness.

Uses: Add fresh cilantro leaves to salsa, tacos, dips, salads, and noodles.


With its pungent flavor, it is no surprise that chives come from the same group of allium vegetables and herbs as onions and garlic. They contain compounds that act as antioxidants to reduce the risk for cancer.

Uses: Add chopped chives to scrambled egg whites, pasta salads, potato salads, or to Greek yogurt for vegetable dip.


Dill has anti-bacterial properties similar to those associated with garlic. It can also help protect against free radicals and the carcinogens found in grill smoke. This makes dill an ideal herb to use with any food you plan to grill.

Uses: Sprinkle chopped dill over fish, beef, or sautéed vegetables. It can be used in omelets, or stirred into cucumber salad and tuna salad.


Mint is best known for its ability to sooth the digestive system making it helpful for gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome. It also provides manganese, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Uses: Add chopped mint to fruit salad, or drop a few leaves into your favorite berry smoothies. It also makes a good seasoning for beef and lamb.


Research shows that oregano has the highest antioxidant content of herbs, and it also surpasses many fruits and vegetables. One analysis showed it contains 4 times the amount of antioxidants found in blueberries.

Uses: Add oregano to homemade marinara sauce or tomato soup. Sprinkle minced leaves over pizza, and simmer bundles of oregano stems in soups and stews.


Often a garnish, nutritious parsley should be added to your food, not your plate. Parsley provides vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid. Similar to dill, parsley’s antioxidant activity may fight against carcinogens, such as those in grill smoke.

Uses: Stir chopped parsley into pasta salads, cold bean salads, or tuna salad. Mix it into ground beef before making hamburgers, or sprinkle it on top of soups and stews before serving.


Not far behind oregano, rosemary is also part of a group of herbs with the highest amount of antioxidant activity. Several studies show that it can fight the pathogens that cause foodborne illness, such as Listeria.

Uses: Add chopped rosemary leaves to marinades for grilled meats and vegetables, or sprinkle some on vegetables before roasting. Simmer stems of rosemary leaves in soups and stews.


The oils in sage have been found to reduce inflammation, which is common in those with rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. It is also rich in vitamin K, an important vitamin for bone health.

Uses: Add finely chopped sage to chicken salad, or to tomato sauce. Add a few sage leaves to fish and vegetable packets before grilling.


Along with being rich in antioxidants that protect cell membranes, thyme is also anti-microbial. Its oils protect against microbes on fresh foods, such as lettuce, that could cause illness. Thyme is also rich in iron, manganese, and vitamin K.

Uses: Add thyme leaves to salad dressings, or marinades. It is also delicious in pasta sauces, roasted vegetables, and beans.

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