Cucumber Avocado Roll-ups

 

Cucumber Avocado Roll-Ups

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Turn an average gathering into a culinary extravaganza with these Cucumber Avocado Roll-ups. These vegan-friendly appetizers are filled with a blend of avocado, fresh basil, and tangy lime, and they’re deceptively simple to put together. A sprinkling of smoked paprika adds color and a gentle spiciness. Each roll has less than 35 calories, so you can enjoy a few without filling yourself up for the main course.

Tip: This recipe suggests making the avocado mixture in a blender, but if you’re whipping up a batch of these for yourself, a good mashing with a fork will do the job.

Total Time: 15 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 4 servings, 3 roll-ups each

Ingredients:
1 medium avocado, cut into chunks
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
2 large cucumbers
Toothpicks
Ground paprika (for garnish; optional)

Preparation:
1. Place avocado, basil, garlic, and lime juice in a food processor (or blender). Season with salt and pepper if desired; pulse until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
2. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off long, thin slices of cucumbers.
3. Spread avocado mixture evenly on each cucumber slice.
4. Pick up one end of the cucumber slice and roll cucumber loosely around the filling. End with the seam on bottom and secure with a toothpick.
5. Garnish with paprika if desired.

Cucumber Avocado Roll-Ups

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How to Get Started with Fitness

 

13-Simple-Ways-to-Prepare-to-Start-a-Fitness-Program

Simple-Ways-to-Prepare-to-Start-a-Fitness-Program

If you haven’t exercised or tried to eat clean in a while (or ever!), Day 1 of a 30, 60, or 90-day fitness and nutrition program can feel intimidating.

It doesn’t have to be. Here are several small things you can do to get started. With these simple tips, you can begin to prepare your body and mind for a healthier lifestyle before you even break a sweat or eat your first green vegetable. Though you could snack on some snap peas while reading this article…

 

Figure Out How Many Calories You Should Eat
Knowing is half the battle, right? Use this simple method to determine approximately how many calories you should try to eat each day, or consult your fitness program’s nutrition guide, and begin to make small adjustments to reach that daily goal. Using a nutrition tracker like MyFitnessPal can be extremely useful in helping you figure out how many calories are in the foods you eat and where you’re overindulging.

 

Stretch
Get those muscles ready to move. If you haven’t used them in a while, do some gentle stretching to wake them up and get familiar with the current limits of your flexibility. Knowing where you’re tight can help prevent injury. Try these stretches to improve hip and lower back flexibility so you’ll be ready to move comfortably in workouts.

 

Start to Move More
Even if you’re not Pushing Play yet, you can begin to make an effort to move your body more every day. Take a walk, stand (or do squats!) when you talk on the phone, take the stairs, park a little farther away from your destination, stretch during television commercials, rearrange the furniture in your living room. What suggestions do you have for adding gentle movement to your day? Share your ideas in the comments.

 

Drink Water
Being dehydrated can make you sore even if you don’t exercise. Set yourself up for success, and minimize initial muscle soreness, by drinking plenty of water in the days leading up to the start of your fitness program. Get in the habit of drinking enough water every day. Read this article to find out how much water you need and get tips to help you drink enough.

 

Throw Away Junk Food
Empty your desk, cupboards, fridge, freezer, car, and secret snack stash drawer of foods and drinks you know you shouldn’t be eating. If you want to reach your fitness goal, prevent temptation by removing junk food from your house. If the packaged foods are unopened, donate them. We know you spent good money on those Ding Dongs and Doritos, but they are doing the opposite of helping you reach your health and fitness goals. If throwing them away seems like a daunting task, try these 6 tips to kick your junk food habit.

 

Build a Healthy Pantry
Now that you’ve eliminated the processed junk food from your home, replace it with good-for-you staples that will help you create healthy meals every day. Here is a list of 17 pantry essentials to get you started.

 

Set Up Your Work Out Space
This could be as easy as moving the coffee table in your living room, or as elaborate as setting up a dedicated gym in your garage or basement. You won’t need much space to exercise, but it’s a good idea to figure out where you’ll do it and make the space usable and inviting for the workouts you’ll be doing.

 

Plan an Outing that Involves Exercise
A great way to get into the spirit of exercise before you actually commit to a fitness program is to plan activities with friends that get you moving. Invite friends or family for a hike, go ice skating, or organize a softball or flag-football game.

 

Find Your Reason Why
In this video, Tony Horton says, “If you’re really caught up in the numbers on the scale, or the dress size, and what’s happening with the tape measure, chances are that does’t really motivate or inspire you. Find a new purpose. Find a new reason why. The reason why has got to be so powerful, so strong that you’re not going to quit, you’re not going to fail, and you’re going to be consistent, and show up 5-7 days a week for the rest of your life. What’s your Reason Why?

 

Build a Support System
Getting fit doesn’t have to be something you do alone! Announce your commitment to get healthier and stronger to your friends, family, and coworkers. Start or join a Challenge Group, join a Facebook group, or recruit workout buddies and accountability partners to help you stay motivated when your resolve starts to slip or you feel tempted to make unhealthy choices.

 

Make Time in Your Schedule
Figure out when you’ll fit exercise into your daily schedule and begin to make adjustments to reserve that time slot every day. Will you work out in the morning? During your lunch break? In the evenings? Schedule exercise time in your calendar and commit to it as an important meeting with yourself. You wouldn’t skip a meeting with your boss just because you feel tired or grumpy, would you? No, you’d be there on time with a smile on your face and do your best to impress.

 

Lose a Few Pounds Before You Start Exercising
Kick-start weight loss and learn healthy eating habits with 3-Day Refresh. Find out more here.

 

It’s OK to Start Slowly
You don’t have to Push Play and go full speed on the first day. If you’ve been spending the last few months or years sitting on the couch, just do what you can. It’s OK to start with a few minutes of exercise and work your way up to a full workout. Five or ten minutes of exercise a day is better than no minutes. Try to add one minute each day until you can do a full workout. In his article, 5 Steps to Avoid Muscle Soreness, our fitness expert Steve Edwards said, “It’s very tempting to begin an exercise program with a lot of enthusiasm, but try your best to go at a reasonable pace. If you’ve never exercised, or it’s been a long time since you have, go much easier than you feel you are capable of on Day 1 and ramp things up at a pace that is based on how you feel. If you’re not sore, go a little harder the next day. If you’re a little sore, take it down a notch.”

 

Here’s a great place for clean eating recipes!

Tiramisu No-Bake Cookies

 

Tiramisu No-Bake Cookies

Tiramisu No-Bake Cookies
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Treat yourself to a decadent dessert without straying from your nutrition goals. Cocoa powder, almond butter, and Café Latte Shakeology combine to make these delightful tiramisu-flavored cookies that don’t require any baking. All they take is a little mixing, a little rolling, and a whole lot of enjoying.

Tiramisu No-Bake Cookies

Tiramisu No-Bake Cookies

Tiramisu No-Bake Cookies:

Total Time: 15 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 12 servings, 1 cookie each

Ingredients:
1 cup oat flour, gluten-free
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, divided use
¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
1 scoop Café Latte Shakeology
¼ cup all-natural smooth almond butter
2 Tbsp. raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
3 to 4 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk (or low-fat milk)

Preparation:
1. Combine oat flour, 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, salt, and Shakeology; mix well.
2. Add almond butter and honey; mix well. (Mixture will be dry and crumbly.)
3. Add almond milk 1 Tbsp. at a time until a thick dough forms; mix well with clean hands or a rubber spatula.
4. Roll mixture into twelve balls, each about 1-inch in size. Roll balls into remaining 1 Tbsp.cocoa powder.
5. Flatten each slightly so that it is shaped like a traditional cookie.
6. Refrigerate for a firmer cookie, or eat immediately for a softer cookie.

Tiramisu No-Bake Cookies

Cashews Queso Sauce

 

Cashew Queso Sauce

Cashew Queso Sauce

This nutty concoction tastes like creamy queso sauce, but it doesn’t have an ounce of cheese. Cashews soaked in water magically transform into a luscious sauce that’s just like nacho cheese. Spiked with spices, a touch of tomato paste for color and richness, and nutritional yeast (a secret ingredient that makes foods taste like cheese) this vegan dip has a flavor that you’ll want to lick clean from the bowl.

Total Time: 20 min.
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 12 servings, 2 Tbsp. each

Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews
3 cups water, divided use
2 Tbsp. tomato paste, no sugar-added
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. smoked paprika
⅓ cup nutritional yeast
¾ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Preparation:
1. Place cashews and 2 cups water in a medium bowl. Let soak for up to 3 hours. Rinse and drain.
2. Place drained cashews, remaining 1 cup water, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, yeast,, salt, and lemon juice in a blender (or food processor); cover. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides of blender if needed. Add additional water if needed.
3. Keep refrigerated for up to five days.

Cashew Queso Sauce

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Five Cures for Late-Night Munchies

 

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You may have heard that nighttime eating is a no-no or that every calorie consumed after a certain hour magically turns to fat. Sure, metabolism slows at night — but not to a screeching halt. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with eating after dinner if you’re truly hungry. The question is — are you? Late-night cravings are common in people who don’t eat enough during the day, says Colleen Gerg, MA, RDN, LDN, a dietitian based near Philadelphia. “Meal timing is also important in that those who restrict during the day, saving most of their calories for the evening meal, also have a difficult time not eating after dinner,” she says. Make sure your breakfast and lunch are rich in protein and fiber and low in sugar, and you may not want nighttime snacks. But if you just can’t stop your stomach’s late night grumblings, consider the following strategies.

Investigate Your Hunger
Is your stomach really grumbling, or is your appetite all in your head? “The first step when you think you’re feeling hungry is to figure out whether it’s actual hunger or if there’s something else gnawing at you,” says Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, an Atlanta-based dietitian. Often the culprit is habit, boredom, or an emotional trigger. When Moore’s clients fess up to late-night snacking, she asks them to journal their experiences. “What kind of mood was I in when I decided to have cookies last night? Was I feeling a certain way? Was I bored? Was I stressed? Was I sad about something?” she says. If there’s a mood-food connection, you address underlying triggers. Distraction often helps. “Come up with a list of tasks that don’t involve food — putting dishes away, texting a friend, or brushing your teeth,” she says. When a craving strikes, do something from the list.

Meditate on Your Cravings
Before you reach for a snack, take a few moments to center yourself. In a study published in the journal Appetite, people who did a brief meditation called a body scan — in which you focus your attention on each area of your body (feet, legs, torso, hands, arms, etc.), noticing and accepting feelings and sensations — kept their cravings from intensifying. Over time, such “mindful meditation” can have even greater benefits, according to researchers at the University of California. In their recent review in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, they found that meditation can reduce binge eating. Click here for more of our favorite meditation strategies.

Drink Some Tea
Stress often triggers late-night snacking. After a long, tiring day, it’s common to seek out a reward in the form of a late-night nibble, says Erin Spitzberg, RDN, founder of Living It! Nutrition. She recommends pouring a cup of decaf herbal tea instead. “It’s calming, and it fills your stomach,” she says. Pick a flavor you like enough that you’ll look forward to drinking it. Some brews might even help you snooze — in a study from Australia, people who drank passionflower tea reported sleeping better than those who consumed a placebo.

Eat Dessert
Some people are hardwired to want sugar. A study published in Twin Research and Human Genetics shows that our perception of sweetness is largely determined by a single set of genes. If you tend to crave dessert at night, finish your dinner with a low-calorie sweet treat, suggests Gerg. This will help prevent you from bingeing later on a quest for sweetness. Try 10 frozen grapes or a clementine, or for a creamier option, try Chia Pudding.

Consume More Protein
Sometimes you really are legitimately hungry in the P.M. because you didn’t eat enough earlier in the day or you trained hard enough for your muscles to need more fuel for recovery. A high-calorie nighttime meal isn’t the solution, but a dose of protein is, says Michael Ormsbee, PhD, an assistant professor at Florida State University’s Institute of Sport Science and Medicine. His research suggests that consuming casein, an easy-to-digest milk protein, at night has several fitness benefits. In one study in young men, nighttime casein boosted morning metabolism. In another study in obese women, casein improved morning fullness so long as participants also worked out three times a week. “All these threats — ‘don’t eat after 7, don’t eat after 8,’ — really don’t make sense in the context of making a smart food choice,” says Ormsbee. Just keep the snack below 150 calories. Our recommendation: Beachbody Performance Recharge, which will supply you with 20 grams of casein for just 100 calories. In a pinch, a couple of scrambled eggs or ¾ cup cottage cheese are also good options, says Ormsbee.

Julie Stewart

Julie Stewart

The Science Behind Beachbody Performance

 

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THE SCIENCE BEHIND
BEACHBODY PERFORMANCE

Designed by Harvard-trained scientists and rooted in cutting-edge sports science, exercise physiology, and nutrition research, Beachbody Performance supplements feature key ingredients that are supported by the latest peer-reviewed science, athlete input, and top players in the field of exercise physiology and nutrition.

Each formula contains state-of-the-art ergogenic (performance-enhancing) ingredients and plant-based phytonutrients that are scientifically shown to improve energy, stamina, strength, focus, and recovery. These key ingredients are included in the formulas at their clinically established effective dosage levels. There are no fillers, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives.


Leading the development of Beachbody Performance is Nima Alamdari, PhD, a Harvard-trained exercise physiology/nutrition scientist and Beachbody’s Director of Scientific Affairs. The team’s work was rigorously reviewed by key members of Beachbody’s Scientific Advisory Board, including Dr. Marcus Elliott, MD, a Harvard-trained physician and founder of the world’s leading athlete performance training center Peak Performance Project (P3), and Dr. Francis Stephens, PhD, a world-leader in exercise physiology and performance nutrition research.

Beachbody’s Scientific Advisory Board comprises top international authorities in fitness, nutrition, botanical science, herbal integrated medicine, and product safety.

TESTED BY NSF INTERNATIONAL
As an independent, accredited organization, NSF International tests and certifies products. The NSF Certified for Sport® making assures your Beachbody Performance products have been thoroughly tested for quality.

What does this means to you?
This means you can be confident that Beachbody Performance supplements have been rigorously tested to meet NSF’s strict banned substance standards when taken at the recommended serving size. Beachbody went through this rigorous certification process to meet the growing demand of athletes, coaches and all those concerned about banned substances in professional and amateur sports.

The Best Five Exercises for Burning Fat

 

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When it comes to dropping pounds, most people go about it precisely the wrong way: They underestimate the importance of diet, and overestimate the power of cardio. Jogging, bike riding (not to be confused with cycling), and other low-intensity exercises can benefit your heart, lungs, and mood, but they’re the scenic routes to a smaller waist. Reams of studies agree: The cardio-emperor has no clothes (and frankly, he’s looking a little chubby).

To burn fat, you need a smart, nutrient-dense diet and a workout program that’s packed with exercises that target as many muscle groups as possible. You’ll find five of those exercises — picked by a handful of the nation’s top trainers — on this page. So step away from the treadmill, weave these metabolic super-moves to your workout rotation, and watch the fat melt away.

5 Moves for Burning Fat Squat Press

Metabolic Super Move #1: Squat to Press
“Squatting and pressing are both moves that belong in everyone’s workout,” says Rachel Cosgrove, 2012 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and author of The Female Body Breakthrough. The squat to press combines them into a single move, hammering your legs, shoulders, and every muscle in between.

Directions: Hold a pair of dumbbells next to your shoulders and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back flat, push your hips back and squat down until the tops of your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Pause, then drive through your heels as you stand up and press the weights straight above your shoulders. Lower the weights to return to the starting position. Do three to four sets of eight to 12 reps.

5 Moves for Burning Fat Sit Through

Metabolic Super Move #2: Sit-Through

“Don’t underestimate the value of moving around on the floor for burning fat,” says powerlifter David Dellanave, owner of The Movement Minneapolis, in the Twin Cities. “The sit-through is surprisingly taxing — you’re supporting your entire bodyweight on all-fours and then moving through a wide range of motion while synchronizing the actions of multiple limbs and muscles.” In short, it taxes your body and challenges every aspect of athleticism: Mobility, strength, power, and coordination.

Directions: Assume a bear crawl position with your back flat and the balls of your feet and palms of your hands on the floor. In one movement, pivot your right foot, reach your right arm above your head, rotate your chest toward the ceiling, and slide your left foot underneath your body until it’s flat on the floor. You should now be sitting with your left leg extended and your right leg bent. Raise your hips, and reverse the movement to return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat to your other side. Continue to alternate sides with each rep. Do three sets of 10 reps.

5 Moves for Burning Fat Goblet Squats

Metabolic Super Move #3: Goblet Shooter Squat
This innovative squat-lunge hybrid combines one of the best lower-body moves you can do, the squat, with a rotational element that nails your core. “It’s a killer exercise,” says Dellanave. “You get tremendous time under tension, a huge range of motion, and some good mobility work — especially in your hip,” says Dellanave. “It’s a killer exercise.” And its fat loss dividends are worth every drop of sweat equity.

Directions: Grab a dumbbell and hold it vertically in front of your chest, cupping the top end with both hands (imagine it’s a heavy goblet). Set your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back flat, push your hips back and lower your body until your hips drop below knee-level. Rotate to your right, dropping your left knee to the floor, and then stand up. Reverse the move, lowering your body, rotating back to center, and then standing up. That’s one rep. Repeat the entire sequence, this time rotating to your left and dropping your right knee to the floor. Continue alternating sides. Do three sets of 10 reps.

5 Moves for Burning Fat Deadlift

Metabolic Super Move #4: Deadlift
“In the hierarchy of fat loss, resistance training comes right after nutrition, as it has the largest impact on metabolism,” says Craig Rasmussen, C.S.C.S., a trainer at Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. And no exercise works more “metabolically active tissue” (AKA muscle) than the deadlift, which targets your glutes, hamstrings, quads, core, back, and shoulders. “It’s a true total body exercise, which is exactly what you need when training for fat loss,” says Rasmussen.

Directions: Load a barbell with moderately-heavy to heavy weights and roll it against your shins. Keeping your back flat, push your hips backward, bend your knees slightly, and grab the bar using an overhand grip with your hands just beyond shoulder-width. Drive through your heels, pulling your torso back and up and thrusting your hips forward as you stand up with the bar. Pause, and then slowly lower the bar back to the floor, keeping it as close to your body as you can. Do three sets of eight to 10 reps.

5 Moves for Burning Fat Sprint Intervals

Metabolic Super Move #5: Sprint Intervals
“It’s easy to spot a sprinter,” says Angelo Poli, ISSA, owner of Whole Body Fitness in Chico, California. “Even compared to other athletes, they look muscular and lean.” Since you’re working your largest muscle groups (the quads, glutes, and hamstrings) at a near-maximal intensity through a large range of motion, sprinting challenges your fast-twitch muscle fibers like few other exercises. “That’s good news,” says Poli. “Fast twitchers are the fibers with the most potential for both growth and serious fat-burning.”

Directions: Head to the track at your local high school or university. If you’re already fit, run 400 meters (one lap) as fast as you can, and then walk 200 meters. If you’re just starting out, run 200 meters (half a lap) as fast as you can, and then walk 200 meters. Either way, that’s one interval. Do four to eight. Don’t have access to a track? No worries — perform the workout on a smooth even trail, sidewalk, or beach, and measure each interval by time instead of distance. Sprint for 20 to 60 seconds (depending on our fitness level), and then walk for an equal amount of time to complete one interval.

5 tips to stop falling off of the weight-loss wagon

 

Donuts

I’m sure many of you have experienced this at some point in your weight loss journey:

You’ve just found the magic solution to losing the extra weight and keeping it off forever. You figure out what to eat on the plan outlined, buy the groceries needed to adhere to it, and adopt the exercise regime it recommends. You follow the program strictly for two weeks, and guess what? You lose some weight, you feel better, and you like how your clothes fit. Success!

Then ___________ happens.

There was birthday cake at the office. Your partner left you. Your boss reprimanded you. You went out to lunch with your coworkers.

Before you know it, you’ve had a “snack-cident.” It crept up on you without your conscious knowledge and drove your head into a bag of potato chips.

After your snack-cident, then comes the wall of shame that sends you into a pit of despair and self-loathing. You ask yourself: “Why did I do that? Now I’ve really blown it!”

Feeling like a failure, you ditch your diet and fall back into your old patterns. The weight you lost soon comes back, along with a little extra.

Why does this keep happening? Below are 3 of the common pitfalls that set up unrealistic expectations and can lead you to fall off the healthy weight loss wagon. I’ve also included 5 tips on how to develop an approach that will stop you from engaging in that unhealthy cycle you know all too well and that will help you ultimately reach your goals.

Pitfall #1: New beginnings
Human beings enjoy things that are new and exciting. It may sound strange, but sometimes it’s fun to start a new diet or exercise routine. You get to try new recipes and new workout routines and there’s all these gadgets that track all your metrics. But, once the initial excitement wears off, we tend to get bored.

Pitfall #2: Short and sweet
We also tend to have short attention spans and want immediate results that don’t require a lot of suffering on our part. Suffering doesn’t have to be physical pain — though the soreness you might feel when starting a workout routine could count — it can also be the annoyance of not ordering your usual unhealthy coffee beverage or avoiding the fries or preparing healthy meals ahead of time instead of vegging out on the couch.

Pitfall #3: Unrealistic expectations
If it were possible to lose a huge amount of weight in a short amount of time and keep it off for the rest of our lives, none of us would be in this situation in the first place. Sustained, healthy weight loss and maintenance takes time, endurance, and patience.

 

Here are 5 tips to avoid those pitfalls and set yourself up for success:

1. Focus on the Big Picture
Acknowledge the desire for novelty and meet these needs in other areas in your life before the newness of the diet and/or exercise routine wears off. For example, you could try a new sport or hobby. Also, look at the rest of your life and what realistic, sustainable changes or allowances you need to make to meet your goals. Include special occasions like birthdays, meals out, and vacations into your overall plan.

 

2. Become a Mental Endurance Athlete
Think of weight loss and maintenance as a marathon rather than a sprint. If you reflect on your struggle with weight, you’ll probably discover that it took you years to get to where you are today. Similarly, it may take years to find success in your weight loss journey and to stay there in the long run.

 

3. Be Realistic About Human Nature
Accept your weaknesses. For example, if you know that an upcoming family gathering will be stressful and it will be hard to stick to your food plan, work around it by planning ahead. Consider what you will eat ahead of time and figure out a way to de-stress afterwards that doesn’t revolve around food.

Remember that being healthy is hard work and doesn’t come easily and you may not always enjoy the process. Expect tough times when you are bored of your meal plan and feel like rebelling or resent having to work out because you just don’t feel like it that day.

 

4. Celebrate Your Successes
We tend to flourish and succeed at goals when we are praised. Instead of giving yourself a label like “failure,” when you go off-plan, tell yourself it’s okay and accept that you’re “a work in progress.” Stay away from extreme labels that make you feel hopeless (“failure” is one of them), or set unachievable standards (like “looking like a supermodel”).

 

5. Develop a Strong Support System
Many people find that they are more successful with long-term weight loss when they involve others in the process. How could your partner, family, or friends support you in your goals? Could your share healthy meals or exercise together? Or could they be a support line? If you’re feeling like skipping your working or eating something you shouldn’t, could you text or call them to help you get motivated to stay on target?

Invest in counseling. There is a tendency to slip back into old eating patterns after an initial weight loss due to how we deal (or don’t deal) with our emotions. A therapist can help you pinpoint patterns when faced with upsetting emotions and help you address problems when they arise instead of stuffing them down with food.

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The Dave Ward Story

In 2007, my life completely changed. My dad suffered from a rare neurological disorder that caused him to age prematurely. At age 62, he looked like he was 92. Most people thought he was my grandfather.

When he passed away, his death caused me to seriously think about my own life. I desperately wanted to do work that mattered, but the truth was that I wasn’t on that kind of path. I knew I had to make a change.

I was interested in Coaching because I had been a loyal Beachbody customer since 2003. When the Coaching opportunity became available in 2007, my then-wife Monica jumped in with both feet and had immediate success. I was hesitant, but I knew I couldn’t continue practicing law if I wanted to find my purpose in life.

During the 2007-08 financial market collapse, my once strong real estate development practice was in serious jeopardy. I worried about losing my job and the means of providing for my family. We had very little savings and nothing set aside for our kids’ college funds.

In August 2008, I went to a personal development seminar that challenged me to take responsibility for my situation. No, I didn’t cause the financial meltdown, but I was making a conscious choice not to do anything to change my circumstances. I set a goal to walk away from my dying law practice and become a full-time Beachbody Coach.

After hitting my first goal of earning enough with Coaching to purchase a new triathlon bike in only four months, I started to believe in my abilities and began pursuing a full-time career as a Coach. That turned out to be one of the best decisions I would ever make. I was scared at first but quickly realized that my hard work over the previous 18 months had built an income that covered all our bills.

A year later, we decided that we wanted to return home to San Diego. Without the hindrance of a law practice that shackled me to Arizona, we just picked up and moved. For two years we lived by the beach watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean every evening from our balcony.

My career as a Coach has continued to blossom and grow. I think the primary benefit of Coaching has been that I regained time. It’s my time now. And it’s time I get to spend on my children. It’s knowing I’ll be there for them when they get home from school, and it’s knowing that their financial futures, including college funds, are secure.

While the financial success is fantastic, Beachbody has really added so much more to my life. It has given me the chance to do work that matters. To have a purpose. To make a difference in the lives of other people.

There is really no paycheck that can rival that impact.

Zucchini, Ham, and Cheese Quinoa Cups

 

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Zucchini-Ham-and-Cheese-Quinoa-Cups

When we first had the idea to make quinoa breakfast cups, we thought they’d taste really good, but, we were wrong. They taste amazing. This grab-and-go, savory breakfast has just the right amount of ham and sharp cheddar cheese to be packed with flavor but stay low in calories. They are fantastic for meal prep and they reheat well in a microwave or toaster oven.

Tip: For meatier chunks of ham, we asked our grocer to cut a single thick slice of deli ham, which we cut into cubes. Any good quality sliced ham or Canadian bacon will work.

 

Zucchini, Ham, and Cheese Quinoa Cups

Total Time: 39 min.
Prep Time: 24 min.
Cooking Time: 15 min.
Yield: 8 servings, 2 each

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 large egg whites (¼ cup)
1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup diced lean ham
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
2 medium green onions, chopped
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 375° F.
2. Lightly coat two regular twelve-cup muffin tins with spray. Set aside.
3. Combine quinoa, eggs, egg whites, zucchini, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, ham, parsley, and green onions in a large bowl; mix well. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
4. Evenly pour quinoa mixture into muffin cups.
5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cups comes out clean.

Zucchini, Ham, and Cheese Quinoa Cups