A Healthier Beef Stroganoff

stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff
Using lean top round beef, plain low-fat yogurt, and very little added salt makes this a heart-healthy dish.

1 lb lean beef (top round)

2 T vegetable oil

3/4 T onion, finely chopped

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced

1/4 t salt & pepper to taske

1/4 t nutmeg

1/2 t dried basil

1/4 c white wine

1 c plain yogurt

Serve over cooked pasta or change it up with some cooked spaghetti squash for extra nutrition and texture.

 

1. Cut beef into 1-inch cubes. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a non-stick skillet. Saute’ onion for 2 minutes.
2. Add beef and saute’ for additional 5 minutes. Turn to brown evenly.
Remove from pan and keep hot.
3. Add remaining oil to pan; saute’ mushrooms.
4. Add beef and onions to pan with seasonings.
5. Add wine and yogurt; gently stir in. Heat, but do not boil.
6. Serve with macaroni.
Note: If thickening is desired, use 2 teaspoons cornstarch; calories are the same as flour, but cornstarch has double thickening power. These calories are not figured into the nutrients per serving.

image placeholder
image placeholder Yield: 5 servings
Serving size: 6 oz
Each serving provides:
Calories: 499
Total fat: 10 g
Saturated fat: 3 g
Yield: 5 servings
Serving size: 6 oz
Each serving provides:
Calories: 499
Total fat: 10 g
Saturated fat: 3 g

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Exercise Outside the Box

Different Ways to Think about “Exercise” Options:

Hiking, especially with friends –  Every found yourself on a walk with a friend or sweetheart and the time has just passed, along with the steps?  Conversation flows and memories are made.

Walking –  No time to hike?  Go for a walk.  Even a 15-minute brisk walk is enough time to get close to a mile walked. Do you have a 30-minute meeting at work?  Have a walking meeting instead.  Steve Jobs was known for doing this.

LARPING –  Live Action Role Playing.  Might seem silly to those on the outside, but to those playing, it’s an amazing adventure that reminds us how awesome our imaginations are.  Also, depending on the game, you could be wearing a heavy costume, swinging heavy weaponry, and running for your life!

Rock Climbing – It’s one of the best arm/back/forearm workouts in existence, you get to feel like a hero when you reach the top of the wall, and all climbing routes are graded so you can level up the challenge as you get stronger/fitter/better.  It’s a fit nerd’s dream!

Geocaching – If rock climbing is a fit-nerd’s dream, then geocaching is a adventure nerd’s dream brought to life.  Become a real life treasure-hunter (Lara Croft? Nathan Drake? You decide!), and get a great workout in while you’re at it.

Dancing –  Ever tried serious swing dancing? You’ll be sweating within ten minutes.  How about hip hop?  Drenched in sweat, and sore as hell the next day. Zumba? Tango? Flamenco?  You’d be surprised what you can sign up for and what will elevate your heart rate.

Roughhousing with your kids.  Don’t forget what it’s like to be a kid– it keeps you young. Teach them to roll down hills, pull a sled up a hill in the winter-time for the exhilarating time racing downhill or have a contest blowing up balloons!

Climbing on stuff – “Stuff” can even be the slides at the park (see above).  I also enjoyed the walk up the Monument Circle structure downtown Indianapolis.

Martial arts – Whether it’s Kung Fu, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Karate or Capoeira, there’s a martial art out there that will make you feel like impressed with yourself.

Build a standing desk – Although we all know that correlation does not prove causation, it’s no surprise that there’s a strong correlation between sitting all day and an early grave.  Why not fix your posture, strengthen your legs, and spend the day being more productive with a standing desk?

Stop meeting for coffee –   If somebody wants to meet up with you for coffee, suggest something active: throwing a baseball, tossing a frisbee, going for a hike – anything that gets you up and moving.

Clean – Ugh, nobody likes to clean the house/apartment. I certainly don’t. So I make a game out of it.  I see how much I can accomplish with a single song blasting at max volume.  Of course, after getting through one song, I figure “welp, I’ve already started, might as well keep going.”

Do handstands –  This is a fun activity that builds up serious arm and core strength and will leave you sweating bullets after even a few minutes.  Find a park, go do handstands, cartwheels, somersaults, and whatever else makes you feel young again.

Parkour –   I don’t care how old you are, there’s no reason you can’t get started with rolling around in your hard and vaulting over picnic tables and bike racks.

Playout – Is Parkour too serious for you?   Try a Playout.  Spiderman was on to something – climbing walls, swinging from skyscrapers, and popping flips around the bad guys. You might not be able to swing between buildings, but you can definitely visit a playground in your area and get creative!

Adult gymnastics – In the same vein as Parkour, gymnastics will help you build some of the BEST real world strength you can get with any type of exercise, and it’s all done in a playful way without a single weight being picked up.  Swing from rings, somersault, flip onto pads, and more.  There are gyms all over the country.

Yoga – Build flexibility, strength, and learn to freaking relax.  There are million kinds of yoga, so sign up for a few different kinds and see which one lines up the best with what you’re looking for.

Play video games that make you be active – Wii Tennis, Wii Fit, Just Dance on Xbox Kinect, and whatever games actually exist for the Sony Move (does anybody actually have this?).  OK, DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) counts too.  I know an hour of that is exhausting.  Playing a normal game?  Make a rule that you can only play while standing up.  That’s what I do to keep myself from spending twelve hours on the couch in marathon gaming sessions!

Play on a playground – Go down the slide, swing across the monkey bars, climb the rope all, balance on the balance beam.  Create an obstacle course for yourself and see how quickly you can get through it.  

Play a musical instrument – Did you know playing the violin for an hour burns about as many calories was walking around a normal track for an hour?  It turns out, our brains can burn boatloads of calories too. So challenge your brain!

Join a Rec league – New in town? Want to be active and meet people?  Join a kickball or softball league.  You get to exercise and make new friends.

Bike to work – I know there are a lot of folks in our community who dropped a bunch of weight by making one change: they biked to work, or biked to their friend’s house, or started biking generally.  You get from Point A to Point B, you save money on gas, and you get a workout.

Play a childhood game – What games did you play as a child? Capture the flag? Kick the can? Simple tag? Get a few friends together and give it a try – it will be the most fun you’ve had in a while!

25 Ways to Exercise Without Realizing It

Exercise…same old, same old?

Is It Time to Change Your Exercise Routine?

 

You go to the gym at the same time each day, do the same cardio and strength routine or take the same class, wear the same type of work out clothes, and wind down the exact same way every time. Does this sound familiar? If so, listen up: It’s time for a change.

Every day, our lives are scheduled. We get up at a certain time, go to work at a certain time, eat at a certain time, and if possible work out at a certain time. Your workout should be your daily escape, not something you do like a machine just going through the motions. For the best results, you should be switching up your fitness routine all the time. For some this may be every day, for others every three days, and still others every three weeks.

To figure out when and how is exactly right for you to change your routine, here are a few guidelines.

When to Change Your Exercise Routine

Your Body isn’t changing.  If you train the same way day in and day out, you will not experience continuous growth.  The human body adapts quickly to exercise stimuli, and once it adapts it needs change.  To put it simply, think about people who drink coffee, tea, or energy drinks to kick-start their day.  They may start off with one cup or can.  But as time progresses, their bodies adapt to this stimulant and more is required to get the same effect.  This is exactly how exercise works.  Let’s say you start taking a dance class, a cardio class, or a weight training or movement program.  Eventually your body will adapt to the stimuli and need more change to grow.

You’re bored. Send your body on a first-class vacation to a place that has never been before. If you’re an elliptical queen, jump into a cardio dance class. Pilates people, try weight training. And if you work out alone, ask a colleague or loved one to join you. It’s hard to stay committed to anything that you are not excited about.

You get injured. If your workout leaves you sore and tired, that may be a good thing, as long as it’s not too much. Performing a workout should make you energized and lift your emotions. Yes you may feel sore and tired the next day, but a continuous feeling of being tired and not able to recover from a workout may be a sign of overtraining, which can lead to burnout or, worse, injury. To avoid overtraining, implement a recovery period of three to seven days of workout rest every eight to 10 weeks.

How to Change Your Exercise Routine

Make a slow transition. If you have been training in one linear fashion, say on a treadmill or elliptical four days a week, don’t jump into a intense multi-dimensional cardio class and attempt to keep up with the instructor. Start slow. When you head into the new class, let the instructor know your background or discuss the best class for you with the facility’s group exercise instructor.

Ask for help. When you’re switching to a new workout entirely, make sure you know how to do it correctly. For example, if you’ve never lifted a weight and are thinking of incorporating strength into your routine, consult the fitness manager and ask for a free training session to learn proper technique.

Change your intensity. If you feel that your workout has become less of a challenge, gradually increase the intensity. So if you are taking 60 seconds between each set, drop your recovery to 45 or 30 seconds. Another way to increase intensity: If you have an hour, set up 20-minute fitness challenges and work without taking a rest, or see how many repetitions you can achieve of your favorite exercises. Remember to always practice good form.

Add a partner to your mix. Having your besty sweat it out with you will naturally push you harder. Plus he or she may have be able to introduce you to a new style of training, workouts, or exercises, and may make it a lot more fun.

http://www.shape.com/blogs/fit-list-jay-cardiello/it-time-change-your-exercise-routine

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

MEATLESS MONDAY CROCK POT SWEET POTATOES!

Let the crockpot do all the work with these Slow Cooker Loaded Sweet Potatoes. Individual foil packets make them easy to serve and cleanup is a breeze!

Ingredients:

sweet potatoes
cooked rice (or quinoa, wheatberries, etc)
black beans, cooked
cooked meat (optional- try chicken, pork, chicken sausage, etc)
peppers
onions
cumin
shredded cheese
Additional toppings as desired: avocado, salsa, lettuce, etc

Instructions:

Cut the sweet potatoes in half. Depending on their size, put either one or both halves on a large sheet of foil.

  1. Top each potato with rice, beans, meat (if desired), peppers and onions.
  2. Sprinkle with cumin.
  3. Top with cheese.
  4. Fold foil to make a closed packet around each potato and place in the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  6. Remove and serve warm. Top with avocado, salsa, lettuce, etc as desired.
  7. Ingredients

    sweet potatoes
    cooked rice (or quinoa, wheatberries, etc)
    black beans, cooked
    cooked meat (optional- try chicken, pork, chicken sausage, etc)
    peppers
    onions
    cumin
    shredded cheese
    Additional toppings as desired: avocado, salsa, lettuce, etc

    Instructions

    1. Cut the sweet potatoes in half. Depending on their size, put either one or both halves on a large sheet of foil.
    2. Top each potato with rice, beans, meat (if desired), peppers and onions.
    3. Sprinkle with cumin.
    4. Top with cheese.
    5. Fold foil to make a closed packet around each potato and place in the slow cooker.
    6. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
    7. Remove and serve warm. Top with avocado, salsa, lettuce, etc as desired.

Ingredients

sweet potatoes
cooked rice (or quinoa, wheatberries, etc)
black beans, cooked
cooked meat (optional- try chicken, pork, chicken sausage, etc)
peppers
onions
cumin
shredded cheese
Additional toppings as desired: avocado, salsa, lettuce, etc

Instructions

  1. Cut the sweet potatoes in half. Depending on their size, put either one or both halves on a large sheet of foil.
  2. Top each potato with rice, beans, meat (if desired), peppers and onions.
  3. Sprinkle with cumin.
  4. Top with cheese.
  5. Fold foil to make a closed packet around each potato and place in the slow cooker.
  6. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  7. Remove and serve warm. Top with avocado, salsa, lettuce, etc as desired.

http://www.theleangreenbean.com/slow-cooker-loaded-sweet-potatoes/

Resistance Band Run-Down

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Resistance bands are an incredible tool for building and shaping your muscles. Not only are they super effective, but they are affordable as well. A good set of bands can last you for years, however, you need to use and treat them properly. Keep your bands in tip top shape by avoiding these 5 common mistakes:

1. Avoid “Sawing” your bands – Sawing is when you your bands are anchored and you alternate pulling one side of the band at a time, almost like a pulley. This action creates friction, and heat which can literally melt your bands.

2. Never wrap your bands around a hard stationary object – Resistance bands are made out of latex ( a soft material). When they are in contact with a hard surface and then stretched, the friction can literally can tear the latex.

3. Do not thread your bands through small hooks or wires – One of the most common mistakes with resistance bands is threading them through a wire fence, eyelet or ring to secure them. When they are stretched in this scenario, the securing object acts like a knife and literally cuts the band in half.

4. Do not shorten the bands to increase resistance – Most damage to resistance bands occurs when users shorten the length of the band, or stretch it further to create more resistance. This action can stretch the band beyond its elasticity and eventually create tears.

5. Do not leave your bands in direct sunlight, or in a dry environment – Latex is a natural material. Similar to other natural materials it will break down in direct sunlight, or dry out in hot and dry conditions.

http://www.bodylastics.com/blogs/bodylastics-blog/40738435-top-5-mistakes-with-resistance-bands-that-could-cause-them-to-snap

 

Five Relaxation Tools

Relax 2

The positive health effects of relaxation are seemingly endless, spanning from reducing blood pressure to improving concentration and reducing feelings of anger and frustration. We all need to take a break from the stresses of everyday life, and luckily you don’t need to be a yoga aficionado to unwind.

Eat (and sniff) citrus fruits. A study published in Psychology Today called vitamin C a “stress buster” because of its ability to prevent a spike in anxiety-inducing cortisol.  Snacking on citrus fruit or taking a vitamin C supplement can lessen you physical and psychological reactions to stress and help you unwind.  Even just the smell of these acidic fruits may be enough to reduce anxiety (as well as help with digestion)!

Take a stroll outside. When we exercise outside, our levels of the stress hormone cortisol are reduced more significantly than when we work out indoors at the gym or on the treadmill.  Plus you may get a boost of energy – some research suggests that just being in nature reduces exhaustion and increases your get-up-and-go!

Take some time to check out the fishies. Ever wondered why there are always fish tanks in your doctor’s or dentist’s office.  Research conducted found that only five minutes of contact with aquariums, or other nature-like features, significantly decreased feelings of stress anger, fear and other unpleasant emotions.

Listen to some music. Music can elicit feelings of euphoria and intense pleasure in the human brain.  Music increases the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that plays an important role in relaxation by decreasing the production of stress hormones.  We may also look to our favorite playlists when we’re feeling stressed or need a moment of peace.

Meditate.   OK, so this isn’t a wacky way to relax, but it’s one that’s almost guaranteed to work.  Meditation is a scientically proven way to reduce stress and negative emotions in the body according to the Mayo Clinic.  When you meditate, which can be accomplished through guided meditation or other forms such as yoga or Tai Chi, be sure to dim the lights and set a soothing atmosphere.

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/stress-management/national-relaxation-day-pictures.htm

 

 

Cirque Indy – A New Kind of Work-out

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FLIP OUT

http://www.indianapolismonthly.com/news-opinion/nine-indy-workout-hotspots/

Difficulty: Easy  (upper arms, core)

The entrance to Cirque Indy, located amid warehouses just off Mass Ave, would be nearly impossible to find if the owner hadn’t painted the door with vertical red and white stripes. And when you do spot the place, it feels like you need a password to get in. But just swing the door open to uncover a cavernous space with five lengths of shimmery fabric, a hoop, and a trapeze hanging from the ceiling. The AERIAL SILKS INTRO/BEGINNER of just a few people starts out with stretching and some Pilates, and then moves on to what you’re really there for: the circus stuff. You’ll get your own silk (actually a super-strong nylon-cotton blend) and learn to weave it artfully around your arms, all the better for lifting yourself into various positions, like “legs straight out in front of you” or “legs bent like a dancer’s.” Then owner/instructor Mary Brumbaugh, who opened her studio in 2012, will knot your silk so you can stand on it, sit, or do cool poses. Moves like the Coffin—lying down, back straight as a plank, stretching the silk as wide as possible—involve wrapping parts of your body with the silk to help maintain balance. But don’t worry; you’re never more than a few feet off of the mat-covered floor, at least in the intro class. You will, however, notice slightly throbbing triceps for the next few days. $20 per class. 617 N. Fulton St., 317-509-0086

What To Wear: Something close-fitting, so it doesn’t get caught in the silks as you wind them around your body. 

Good to Know: Arrive in your workout gear—there’s just a single bathroom for changing. 

 

 

Phones at the Playground?

Playground Parenting

National Playground Safety Week is April 18 to 22 — are you checking your phone or watching your child? A playground observation study, conducted by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle, found that adult supervisors didn’t spend too much time on their phones, but when they did, they became so distracted that more than half failed to respond to the children. For example, when children called out to adults from the playground, 56% of the time the adults did not respond, speak or look away from their phones. Consider putting the phone away when you and your children are at the playground and being present.