Sometimes chocolate is added to Mexican dishes to cut the heat and enrich flavor. In this reipe, it adds richness and deepens the color without making it sweet. I use dark chocolate because studies show it has added health benefits.
1 pound ground lean round, turkey or venison (I sometimes use ground lamb or veal from the natural meat section at HEB.)
1 cp prechopped onion (short on time, use the dried onion)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic, undrained
1 cp hot water
2 tbsp chili powder
1 ounce semisweet dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
For low-carb omit rice, but if you use it make sure it's brown rice.
Cook beef and onion in a large saucepan over medium-high heat 5 min or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Drain, if necessary, and return beef mixture to pan, Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
What do most people imagine when the word “yoga” comes to mind? They envision twisting up like a pretzel, right? Then they start to feel that they are not fit enough, young enough, or flexible enough to take part in yoga. But nothing could be further from the truth. It’s never too late to improve your strength and flexibility. Inflexibility, soreness, and exhaustion due to lactic acid build up in the muscles are released when you stretch by safely flowing from one yoga pose to another. Yoga also improves the range of motion in joints, stretches ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheath that surrounds your muscles. Noticeable results can be seen in a short period of time. Some poses, such as plank and downward dog, build upper-body strength, while the standing poses, especially if you hold them for several long breaths, build strength in your hamstrings, quadriceps, and abdominal muscles. Poses that strengthen the lower back include upward dog and the chair pose. Almost all poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles. Along with strength and flexibility comes better posture. The ability to uphold each pose requires your deep abdominal muscles. As your core becomes stronger, you develop a better sense of body awareness. This helps you correct your posture when you’re slouching. Aerobic performance, endurance and lung capacity will improve because of the deep, mindful breathing involved in yoga. And, the fluctuation of the release of certain hormone neurotransmitters due to practicing yoga also helps reduce stress. Another advantage students talk about is enhancement of concentration and mood. Most say they feel more relaxed and at ease after practicing yoga. Lower blood pressure and a slower heart rate have been associated with yoga for ages. A slower heart rate can benefit people with high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Yoga was a main factor used in the heart disease program designed by Dean Ornish, MD to improve heart disease through lifestyle and diet rather than surgery. And yoga has been linked with reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as an increase in the function of the immune system and an antioxidant effect. Medical researchers have begun studying the advantages of therapeutic yoga. It's used as an optional treatment for specific medical conditions, from clinical depression to heart disease. Other yoga benefits include relieving chronic medical conditions such as symptoms of asthma, back pain, and arthritis. Clinical trials are even being conducted on yoga’s health benefits for insomnia and multiple sclerosis. Some studies show that learning and memory may be affected positively by yoga. Other scientists have suggested yoga can slow the aging process, improve a person's self esteem, and increase energy levels. Because some benefits of yoga may be difficult to study scientifically, the only way to be certain of the many benefits of yoga is to try it and see for yourself. I personally couldn't live without it!
Studies show that 10 minutes of exercise three times a day could possibly be more beneficial than a non-stop 30 minute work-out. Even 10 minutes of dancing, walking, jumping rope or other form of exercise two or three times a day can add up to an enormous advantage for your heart and mind, according to Dr. Toni Yancey of UCLA. The key is intensity. Since you are only working out 10 minutes, try to get your heart rate up as much as possible. If you know you can rest after 10 minutes, you tend to work harder. So, after the third 10 minute work-out, you would have exercised at a much higher intensity level for 30 minutes that day than you would have if you exercised 30 minutes without stopping. So, set your alarm 10 minutes earlier for an am work-out; pack your tennis shoes and take 10 minutes at lunch to climb stairs, walk or run; and take 10 minutes in the afternoon.
If you still don't have that much time, try tabata. The phrase Tabata interval was derived from a study performed by Dr. Izumi Tabata and his colleagues at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. Based on the same principal of higher intensity, shorter duration exercise, tabata has 8 segments of 20 second work and 10 second rest intervals for a total of 4 minutes.You can use it for cardio or target a specific muscle group or both. Dowload the free tabata timer to your smartphone. Be careful, though. It's addictive!
I have always loved chicken and sausage gumbo. Unfortunately, when I became serious about changing my lifestyle to clean eating, I thought I had to give it up. Something about my mom's recipe including frying bacon grease and flour to make the rue just didn't seem like it would fall under the eating clean category. However, I discovered that I could still have my cake and eat it too, not literally. But, I found a Weight Watchers recipe for shrimp and sausage gumbo that I tweaked a little by replacing the shrimp with chicken...voila, the perfect healthy version of chicken an sausage gumbo. An added bonus--it takes less than 30 minutes. Enjoy!
1 (14 oz) pkg smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/2-in. slices (or elk sausage--very lean & delicious)
4 small trimmed chicken breast, cooked and cut in pieces (preferably natural antibiotic-free, HEB has a good selection)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (16 oz) pkg frozen veggie gumbo mix (or season mix)
1 sm. pkg. of frozen okra (optional--I love okra)
1 (14 1/2 oz) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 oz) can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons creole seasoning
1 tbsp file' powder
2 cps hot cooked brown rice (optional-omit if you want a low-carb meal)
Place sausage, garlic and okra in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook 2 minutes or until browned or okra is no longer slimy, stirring constantly. Add the rest of the ingredients; cover and bring to boil. Remove from heat; stir in file' powder. Serve over rice, optional. That's it!
Cross-training is the most beneficial way for anyone to stay fit. The muscles need to be shocked and confused in order to gain strength, range of motion, functional ability and flexibility. Equally as important, it prevents boredom and plateaus. It is exciting to mix up your work-outs and try something new. Get out of your comfort zone. If someone asked me what my favorite physical activity is, I would have to say I don’t have a favorite. There is not enough time to experience every activity that I would like so for now, my favorite activities are spinning, step aerobics, strength training, crossfit, pilates, yoga, kickboxing, skating, hydrosliding, skiing, surfing, running, hiking, swimming, zumba and playing basketball with my kids…just staying active. It’s exhilerating!
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi ----. So
I have been a personal trainer/group exercise instructor for 5 years in the process of attaining my bachelor's degree in exercise science. I am excited about the possibilites and opportunites available through IDEA Health & Fitness. With the fitness industry growing by leaps and bounds, the prospect of people jumping on board and changing their lives by creating a healthier lifestyle is inspiring. I'm looking forward to helping them achieve their goals!