Saturday, May 23, 2015

Deliciously Decadent Memorial Day Desserts That You Can Truly Savor

5 indulgent treats that won’t ruin your waistline

They may swoon over your soup, rave about your roasted chicken and get teary-eyed in praise of your homemade bread. But the showstopper for most meals is dessert – that flavorful finale that can make or break the entire gustatory experience. If you’re planning a special meal but don’t want to have to worry about imbibing too much sugar or fat, consider these five palate pleasers.

Raspberry Banana Sorbet

Sorbet is a light, refreshing finish to a meal, and making your own is easier than you might think. This recipe has no added sugar, and relies on orange juice for its zing. Try experimenting with other fruit combinations too!

Skinny Chocolate Cream Pie

This recipe retains the thick, chocolately lushness of a cream pie without much reliance on fat. The secret lies in dark cocoa powder and fat-free half-and-half. This is a make-ahead recipe that needs just a few finishing touches before serving.

Low-Cal Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti are twice-baked biscuit-type cookies, which gives them a special crispy-yet-dense texture – perfect for dunking into an after-meal (low-fat!) cappuccino. This recipe uses chocolate, walnuts and cinnamon for a savory, not-too-sweet flavor.

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes a simple dessert can be simply elegant. This recipe is low in cholesterol and high in omega-3 fatty acids, with walnuts and canola oil replacing the usual eggs and butter. Serve these delicious bites mounded high on a beautiful tray accompanied by espresso or tea.

Dark Chocolate and Cherry Brownies

We’re hard-pressed to think of any pair of flavors that sound more alluring together than dark chocolate and cherry. This recipe uses a no-calorie sweetener to complement the natural sweetness of the fruit and amplify the earthiness of the cocoa.

Source: The Cleveland Clinic

Saturday, May 16, 2015

7 Workouts To Try When You're Feeling Too Lazy To Move

Sometimes all we want is to stay in bed or on the couch when we know we should get up for a workout. When the urge to veg hits, the powerfully lazy mood seems as though it could take over your entire day.
However, this lethargy doesn't have to cancel out your ability to partake in and reap the real benefits of physical activity. It may sound blasphemous to some, but intense bouts of cardio, heavy weightlifting, and streams of sweat dripping down your face are not requirements of every type of exercise. Sometimes it helps to just take things slowly, listen to your body and feel good about what you do accomplish in that apathetic state, no matter how minimal it may be.

Here are seven simple workout options for when the thought of leaving the sofa simply makes you cringe.

1. Stretch it out.

Let's start with the basics: Not getting up at all.
Believe it or not, some fitness experts even say daily stretching is just as important as regular exercise. Stretching proves extremely beneficial for your flexibility and joint range of motion. It also helps increase blood flow to the muscles, giving them a little "wake up" nudge that you might not know you need. Whether you're in bed or on the couch, take a little time to work through each muscle group with gentle, dynamic stretching motions.

2. Try some restorative yoga poses.

If you can manage to roll yourself onto the floor, you've got this one in the bag, too.
Restorative yoga helps take your stretching efforts to the next level by honing in on particularly sore muscles that may be to blame for that lazy mood you're experiencing.These six postures will help you loosen tight hamstrings, relive pressure in your lower back, open those hips and send increased blood flow to your brain for a rejuvenating yet relaxing workout.
To benefit as much as possible from these movements, try to spend several minutes in each posture, breathing slowly and allowing your muscles to relax completely before moving to the next one.

3. Use those TV commercials to your advantage.

During the commercial breaks of your current television show, move through a quick bodyweight circuit. Pair squats with the first commercial, pushups with the second and a plank hold with the third to hit all major muscle groups in under two minutes.
If you're mid-Netflix binge, alternate through these same movements during the pauses between episodes, or when you hear your favorite character say their infamous tag line. If you're more of a sports fan, you can even use aspects of the game as cuesfor different exercise challenges.
Down time and a few reps squeezed in here and there? The best of both worlds.

4. Take to the stairs.

Just because you aren't at the gym with a Stairmaster in front of you doesn't mean you can't put those legs to work in a similar fashion. Every 30 minutes, make a point to head to the nearest staircase in your home and walk up and down it three times before returning to your imprint on the couch. It'll likely take you only a minute or two, so no need to worry about over-committing. Plus, you burn eight to nine times more energyclimbing stairs than you do while sitting, and burn approximately one calorie for every 10 steps you take. Score.

5. Tidy up.

If you're willing and able to move about your house, you might as well take the time to do a little sprucing, right?
Grab that duster, broom or vacuum, and tackle one room at a time, kicking out any unwanted dust bunnies. Turning this chore into your workout for the day isn't such an absurd idea -- you can burn up to 123 calories vacuuming, 133 calories doing laundry and 127 calories doing general cleaning like sweeping and dusting. Kill two birds with one stone and return to your coziest lazy place knowing that despite your inclination to remain immobile, you still proved somewhat productive.

6. Take a walk.

Now this one requires the most effort of all -- putting on shoes that aren't lined with fur and actually stepping outside.
But if you can manage a small outdoor adventure, take a leisurely stroll around your neighborhood, and if you have a dog, obviously invite it along. This low-impact form of cardiovascular exercise works wonders for both your mental and physical health without requiring tons of effort. If the slow pace feels a little monotonous, tune into your favorite playlist or podcast for an audible distraction as you move.

7. Meditate.

And if you just can't force yourself to work your body out of its sedentary state, train your mind instead. Find a comfortable seated position, decide whether you're more comfortable with your eyes open or closed, and just breathe. This practice of letting your thoughts come and go while you remain in the present moment strengthens your ability to concentrate, reduces your stress levels, and even boosts your feelings of happiness. You might even find that once your mind lets go of its lazy desires, the body will follow in the same direction.
Source: Huffington Post: 7 Workouts To Try When You're Feeling Too Lazy To Move

Sunday, May 10, 2015

I love you, Mom...Here are some brunch recipes to tell Mom just how much you love her... through the kitchen ;)

This elegant and enticing brunch menu is perfect for celebrating moms of all ages. 

Passion Fruit Mimosas

Toast to the important women in your life with this citrusy cocktail. These drinks are sweet, bright, and effervescent—just like Mom! 

Ingredients: Grenadine, passion fruit juice, prosecco, oranges 
Calories: 147

Cranberry-Citrus Muffins

Pull a pan of these fluffy muffins out of the oven for a tart, yet refreshing, breakfast bite.

Fresh lemon rind adds the perfect amount of zest to balance out the tartness of the cranberries, which are loaded with vitamin C and fiber. 

To lower the fat content, trade in fat-free vanilla yogurt instead of low-fat vanilla yogurt.

Ingredients: Cranberries, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, vegetable oil, lemon rind, vanilla extract, egg whites, vanilla low-fat yogurt, whole egg 
Calories: 238

Whole-Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Sun-Dried Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Basil Frittata

This frittata fits perfectly in a brunch menu, and its gourmet flavors of sun-dried tomato, goat cheese, and basil will leave your mom thinking you worked on it all morning in the kitchen. 

Lucky for you, it only takes 15 minutes! With 9 grams of filling protein—20% of the your daily recommended intake of protein—you won’t be hungry right after. 

Ingredients: Whole eggs, egg whites, onion, olive oil, pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, basil chiffonade 
Calories: 146

Wax Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing

This is the perfect low-carb side dish for your Mother’s Day brunch.

Wax beans are swapped for pasta, but still provide the same filling feeling for fewer calories. 

Ingredients: Cherry tomatoes, shallot, salt, pepper, chile, red wine vinegar, olive oil, wax beans, goat cheese, lime juice, basil leaves 

Calories: 127

Braised Kale Frittata

Frittatas are a brunch favorite. They’re quick-and-easy to make, allow a lot of creativity with ingredients, and make for a unique way to serve a big or small crowd. 

This frittata combines two popular cancer fighting vegetables: Kale and tomatoes. 

Ingredients: Whole eggs, egg whites, kosher salt, pepper, Gruyere or Parmesan cheese, oregano, kale, cherry tomatoes 
Calories: 204

Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Tarts are lighter, fancier versions of pizza and make a great addition to brunch menus.

Take advantage of blooming summer vegetables, like heirloom tomatoes, with this refreshing tart recipe. 

Creamy goat cheese is layered onto a thin crispy tart with fresh herbs, tomatoes, and heart-healthy extra-virgin olive oil. 

Ingredients: Yellow cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, unsalted butter, olive oil, water, goat cheese, thyme, heirloom tomatoes, sea salt, pepper 
Calories: 317

Melon Salad With Prosciutto and Goat Cheese

This cold salad brings together sweet, savory, and salty flavors.

From start to finish, it just takes 25 minutes to make and combines all the popular summer melons: Watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe. Goat cheese, prosciutto, and a mix of red onion and shallots help even out the sweetness of the fruit for a well-rounded salad. 

And, your mom will appreciate that it’s only 168 calories.

Ingredients: Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, shallots, prosciutto, Dijon mustard, melon balls, red onion, pine nuts, basil, arugula, goat cheese, pepper, salt 
Calories: 168

Four Flowers Mimosa

Toast to one of the most important women in your life with this 177-calorie mimosa.
And no packaged juices or preservatives in this recipe. Refreshing pineapple is mixed with bananas, fresh orange juice, maple syrup, grenadine, and lemon juice for tons of tropical flavor and nutrients. 

Add sparkling white wine when you're ready to serve.

Ingredients: Pineapple, orange juice, bananas, maple syrup, grenadine, lemon juice, white wine 

Calories: 177

Chocolate-Salted Caramel Tart

The key to dessert during brunch is to have a few light options.

This chocolate tart is a lighter, less rich version of a chocolate cake, with fewer calories! 

Salted caramel and sea salt add a classic mix of salty-and-sweet for every craving. 

Ingredients: Phyllo dough, sugar, heavy cream, bittersweet chocolate, sea salt. 

Calories: 126 per slice

Spinach, Pear, and Gorgonzola Salad With Pecans

This recipe is a delicious mix of sweet pears with tangy Gorgonzola cheese and salty pecans. For a seasonal switch-up, you can use strawberries or peaches in place of the pears. 

Ingredients: Pecans, canola oil, Bosc pears, brown sugar, shallot, apple juice, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, baby spinach, Gorgonzola cheese 
Calories: 256

Asparagus With Poached Eggs and Parmesan

Think of this as a veggie-packed eggs Benedict. The olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice make a delicious coating for the asparagus, and the Parmesan adds just the right savory kick. And for less than 300 calories, you'll get 18 grams of protein and 3 grams of slimming fiber.

Ingredients: Eggs, white vinegar, asparagus, olive oil, garlic, butter, lemon juice, fresh parsley, fresh Parmesan cheese 

Calories: 256

Pressed Watermelon With Basil Water

If your family isn't the cocktails-at-brunch type, enjoy these refreshing, fruity drinks. They'll hydrate while giving you a boost of vitamin C. 

Ingredients: Watermelon chunks, basil leaves, sea salt, white wine vinegar, chilled water 
Calories: 46

Waffles With Two-Berry Syrup

Wheat germ and flax seed give these waffles a wonderfully nutty flavor and crunchy texture. But it's the syrup, laced with maple and two kinds of berries, that elevates this breakfast to the sublime. 

Ingredients: Flax seed, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, toasted wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, fat-free milk, egg substitute, canola oil, vanilla extract, frozen blueberries, frozen raspberries, maple syrup, ground cinnamon 
Calories: 332 

Blueberry Shortbread Bites

You'll get a little zing of orange zest in each of these delicious blueberry shortbread treats. Serve them guilt-free as an appetizer, or as mini muffins during the meal; the small portion size keeps calories in check.

Ingredients: Flour, sugar, cornstarch, orange zest, butter, dried blueberries 
Calories: 82

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Delicious and rich, these cupcakes taste as delightful as they look. Plus, using buttermilk cuts down on the fat content. 

Ingredients: Cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, canola oil, buttermilk, unsweetened cocoa, red food coloring, eggs, vanilla extract, Lemon-Cream Cheese Frosting

Calories: 390
Source: Health Magazine: 16 Delicious Recipes for Mother's Day Brunch

Friday, May 8, 2015

Deliciously Healthy Cupcake Recipes

Indulge without feeling guilty.

First: How to Eat a Cupcake

Little did you know, you've been doing it all wrong.
Source: Huffington Post Taste: How to Eat a Cupcake

Next: Some awesome cupcake recipes!

1. Double chocolate date cupcakes with sweet potato caramel

Double chocolate date cupcakes with sweet potato caramel recipe

2. Plantain cupcakes with chocolate flax ganache

3. Raw carrot orange cupcakes with lemon icing

4. Coconut lime cupcakes with lime cream cheese frosting

5. Pomegranate beet “red velvet” cupcakes with cashew macadamia icing

Pomegranate beet “red velvet” cupcakes with cashew macadamia icing recipe

6. Raw carrot cupcakes with cashew vanilla frosting

Raw carrot cake with cashew vanilla frosting recipe

7. Chocolate hazelnut zucchini cupcakes with vegan palm chocolate frosting

8. Vanilla apple sauce cupcakes with raspberry coconut icing

9. Lemon coconut zucchini cupcakes with coconut cream frosting

10. Banana cupcakes with cinnamon honey butter cream

Source: BuzzFeed: 25 Deliciously Healthy Cupcake Recipes