The 30-Day Treadmill Workout

The 30-Day Treadmill Workout

Today’s post is brought to you by Shape.com

Against all odds, you might just fall in love with the treadmill this month, thanks to this killer workout program that uses speed, hill, and endurance intervals—plus body-weight moves with the treadmill…

Image result for treadmill workouts

In addition to helping you beat boredom, the roughly 30-minute-long interval workout will help you become a stronger runner by improving your endurance, speed, and power over the month, while also sculpting your entire body with killer hill intervals and body-weight moves that incorporate the turned-off treadmill. (You can also opt to do them on a mat instead.) Don’t worry, you’ll also have time for recovery—which can mean a jog or a walk if you’re a beginner—to get your heart rate down and prepare you for the next interval. And most importantly, since the program is built around your own personal base pace (more on how to figure out that number below), it’s designed for all levels of athletes—even those brand new to running.

How it works: The first week, you’ll follow the workout as-is. If you’re new to running, start implementing this workout into your routine two days per week, Arzon suggests. The rest of the week you’ll spend doing low-impact workouts like spinning or yoga, plus one “long” run—whatever that means to you. While this is a great opportunity for those training for longer races to get their miles in, it can also be swapped for 60 minutes of sustained cardio, such as 30 minutes on the StairMaster and 30 minutes on elliptical, Arzon says. For the rest of the month, you’ll focus on improving one component of the workout each week—speed, hills, or endurance—while keeping the other areas the same. (This ensures you don’t increase your total distance by more than 10 percent per week, a good safety measure.) Even though you’re only making one component harder at a time, you’ll probably see improvement across the board, she says.

Before you begin your treadmill workout, start with some pre-run dynamic stretches that will improve your range of motion and loosen up your muscles to help reduce your risk for injury. And after you finish your cool-down sesh, turn the treadmill off and use it for some quick static stretches that will help loosen up tight quads, glutes, lats, and hamstrings.

Treadmill Challenge Chart

www.ScullyFit.com

Lunch for a Month: 31 Grab-and-Go Meals Under 400 Calories

Lunch for a Month: 31 Grab-and-Go Meals Under 400 Calories

Today’s post is brought to you by Shape.com 

Pesto, Sun-Dried Tomato, and White Bean Salad

1 OF 31

1/2 cup white beans tossed with 1 tablespoon jarred pesto, 6 sliced sun-dried tomatoes, and 2 cups baby arugula: 245 calories

Chicken Salad Pita

2 OF 31

1 whole-wheat pita (6 1/2-inch diameter) stuffed with 1/2 cup chopped leftover chicken breast, 1/2 grated apple, and 1 tablespoon lowfat Greek yogurt: 344 calories

Vegetarian Mediterranean Wrap

3 OF 31

1/4 cup hummus, 1 sliced tomato, 1 tablespoon feta, and 4 chopped black olives wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla: 296 calories

 

Summer Rolls

4 OF 31

Divide 12 large cooked shrimp and 1 cup each bean spouts and shredded cabbage between 4 rehydrated rice paper sheets and wrap up burrito-style: 287 calories

Club Salad

5 OF 31

2 slices deli turkey, 1 cup grape tomatoes, 1 slice crumbled bacon, and 2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce tossed in 1 tablespoon lowfat mayo. Serve with 5 pita chips: 254 calories

Goat Cheese Lentil and Couscous Salad

6 OF 31

1/4 cup cooked lentils mixed with 1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat couscous, 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese: 223 calories

Marinated Kale and Chicken Salad

7 OF 31

Add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil to 2 cups shredded kale and let marinate overnight. Toss in 1/2 cup diced leftover chicken and 1 tablespoon dried currants: 333 calories

Vegan Pate

8 OF 31

1/4 cup cooked lentils pureed with 2 tablespoons walnuts and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Serve with 4 whole-wheat crackers and 4 large olives: 371 calories

Sushi Sandwich

9 OF 31

2 slices deli turkey, 1/4 cup grated part-skim mozzarella, and 1 chopped roasted red pepper rolled into a whole-wheat tortilla and sliced into rounds, sushi-style: 296 calories

Roasted Vegetable Sandwich

10 OF 31

1 roasted red pepper and 2 slices roasted eggplant with 1 slice provolone cheese on whole-grain bread: 310 calories

Apple Sandwich

11 OF 31

Core 1 apple and slice horizontally into 4 slices. Sandwich 1 tablespoon cashew butter topped with 1 tablespoon pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) between slices to make 2 sandwiches (or 1 big one): 234 calories

 

Chicken Salad Salad

12 OF 31

1/2 cup diced chicken mixed with 2 tablespoons lowfat mayo, 1 tablespoon raw pistachios, and 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds over 3 cups mixed spring greens: 286 calories

Bento Box

13 OF 31

1/2 cup each cooked brown rice and prepared seaweed salad with 1/4 cup each cubed marinated tofu and edamame: 312 calories

Spicy Chickpeas and Tuna

14 OF 31

3 ounces olive-oil packed light tuna (drained) with 1/2 cup chickpeas and cayenne to taste over 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce: 290 calories

Curry Egg Salad

15 OF 31

Mix 2 hard-boiled eggs with 2 tablespoons lowfat Greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon hot curry powder. Serve with 3 papadums (thin lentil flatbreads): 251 calories

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

16 OF 31

2 chopped roasted beets tossed with 2 cups baby spinach, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese: 242 calories

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup

17 OF 31

Puree 1/2 cucumber, 1 avocado, and juice of 1 lime: 365 calories

 

Provolone Pasta with Beans and Tomatoes

18 OF 31

1 cup cooked whole-wheat pasta tossed with 1 cup steamed string beans, 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes, and 1 tablespoon grated provolone: 249 calories

Chili Pita

19 OF 31

1 whole-wheat pita (6 1/2-inch diameter) stuffed with 1/4 cup each refried beans and salsa and 2 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese: 300 calories

Avocado-Turkey Rolls

20 OF 31

4 slices deli turkey rolled with 1/4 sliced avocado, 1 slice crumbled bacon, 4 large lettuce leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika: 264 calories

Mustard Hummus Mash

21 OF 31

1/2 cup chickpeas mashed with 2 tablespoons each mustard and lowfat mayo on 2 slices toasted whole-wheat bread: 350 calories

Breakfast for Lunch

22 OF 31

Soak 1/2 cup oats in 1/2 cup lowfat milk overnight, and add 1/2 sliced banana and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts before you dig in: 305 calories

 

Quick Quinoa Tabbouleh

23 OF 31

1 cup chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers with 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves over 1 cup cooked quinoa: 267 calories

Sesame Salmon Lettuce Wraps

24 OF 31

3 ounces canned wild salmon tossed with 1 cup broccoli slaw and 2 tablespoons sesame dressing wrapped in 4 large lettuce leaves: 300 calories

AB&B

25 OF 31

1 tablespoon almond butter and 1/2 sliced banana sandwich on whole-wheat cinnamon bread: 331 calories

Peanut Chicken Pita

26 OF 31

1/2 cup chopped chicken mixed with 2 tablespoons each bottled peanut sauce and chopped cilantro, stuffed into a whole-wheat pita (6 1/2-inch diameter): 379 calories

Tarragon Caprese Salad

27 OF 31

2 ounces sliced fresh mozzarella with 2 sliced beefsteak tomatoes and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon: 246 calories

Mexican Quinoa

28 OF 31

1/2 cup cooked quinoa tossed with 1/4 cup each black beans and thawed corn kernels, 1 diced red pepper, and chipotle chili powder to taste: 240 calories

Roast Beef Wrap

29 OF 31

3 ounces lean deli roast beef, 1 cup bagged coleslaw mix, and 1 tablespoon horseradish in a whole-wheat wrap: 267 calories

Bagel with Lox

30 OF 31

2 tablespoons vegetable cream cheese, 2 slices smoked salmon, and 1 tablespoon fresh dill on bagel thins: 250 calories

2-Bean Grilled Chicken Salad

31 OF 31

1/2 cup chopped grilled chicken on 2 cups romaine with 1/4 cup each small white and black beans, 1/8 sliced red onion, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and juice of 1 lime: 259 calories

 

15 Unique 30-Day Challenges Guaranteed To Make You A Better You

15 Unique 30-Day Challenges Guaranteed To Make You A Better You

Today’s post is brought to you by Jeff Boss, Contributor on Forbes.com

The appeal of 30-day challenges is they offer just enough time for a new goal to be palatable yet long enough to be challenging. While many people wait until January to set their new year’s resolutions, the window of opportunity is always open for those who want to set new goals. In fact, the window never really closes because anytime is the right time to conjure up new aspirations and strive towards improvement.

To help spur new ideas for personal optimization, here are fifteen 30-day challenges designed to help make you a better You:

1. Avoid words with contractions for 30 days. What contractions do is highlight the negative, such as words like “can’t,” “won’t,” “shouldn’t.” Instead, flip the focus of that sentence around such that you focus on the positive rather than the negative. Here’s an example:

“I don’t want to go to dinner there” (negative) versus “I would rather go to dinner elsewhere” (positive). The purpose of this is to retrain your brain to look for the positive in everything rather than default to the negative.

 2. Set a “no expectation” rule for 30 days. What expectations do you have of yourself? Of others? What new views would you have if there were no expectations? What are the beliefs that constrain your expectations? How would your relationships with others change if you didn’t have expectations of them? Expectations are formed based on personal life experiences, upbringing, culture, religion, etc… When you suspend judgment for the moment, you open your mind to entirely new possibilities.

3. Start exercising within two minutes of [insert activity here] for 30 days. This could be anything ranging from waking up and putting on your running shoes immediately to checking into your hotel room and heading immediately for the gym. The goal here is to “rest later” by not giving yourself the option to procrastinate.

4. Create daily white space in your calendar for 30 days. What would you do if you had just an hour to yourself every day? Read a book? Exercise? Play with the kids? More so, how would that single hour impact your life for the better? The point here is that everybody has the same amount of time every day but not everybody has the same priorities. So how, then, do other people seem to have more time and get more things done? The answer is they know what their priorities are and how to stick to them. Make it a goal to set time for yourself and you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel—and how much more you get accomplished as a result.

5. Eliminate sugar. This was extremely hard for me because sugar is in everything (and it tastes so good!). Studies indicate that sugar rots the teeth, impedes mental acuity, adds to obesity, increases chances of depression and serves as a stepping-stone towards diabetes. How’s that cupcake sound now?

6. Read everyday. While time is always a constant struggle (see #4), technology isn’t. Wait let me rephrase that. Technology abounds as does time, so leverage the accessibility that mobile apps and e-readers provide by downloading newspapers, magazines and books to your smartphone and reading whenever you can. Waiting in line for Starbucks? Read. Waiting in line for anything? Read. In other words, look for the little slivers of time throughout your day where you can optimize.

7. Listen intently for 30 days. Let your mind wander during conversation (but not in the “I’m no longer listening to you” way) rather than thinking of what to say next.

8. Keep a Quid Pro Quo log for 30 days. Keep track of how much you “give” versus how much you “get.” Aim to increase the former.

9. Journalize your decisions. This is a great way to build emotional intelligence as doing so will shed light on three different areas: 1) what leads to good or bad decisions; 2) what causes you to be decisive; 3) the emotions wielded as a result of your decisions.

 10. Change your taste buds in 30 days. No, the veggie tofu sesame wrap with sprouts doesn’t sound good—nor does it taste good—but there are significant health benefits (mental and physical) to eating for performance versus eating what tastes yummy. Taste buds can be trained; they’ll adapt to whatever you want them to like through repetition.

11. Keep a surprise journal. Along similar lines of #9, when you record surprises you reveal blind spots; lapses in vision or erroneous judgment. These are extremely valuable as you can reflect upon these surprises and ask yourself, “how could I have anticipated this sooner?”

 13. Increase your happiness in 30 days. Studies have shown that sharing positive moments at least three times a day will turn that frown upside down—for the long term. The Happier app allows you to do just this as well as learn from others what makes them happy.

14. Become a better speaker in 30 days. When you’re speaking to an audience and feel an “uh” or “mmm” coming on, take a breather. Just pause, slow down, and wait for your mind to catch up with your mouth (or vice versa). Taking this extra second will also instill greater confidence as a speaker.

15. Exercise for 30 days. No, not a 30 day boot camp of non-stop training but rather a month of planned exercise routines. Common exercise schedules are to follow a five days on, two days off or a three days on, one day off schedule.

Jeff is the author of Navigating Chaos: How To Find Certainty in Uncertain Situations and former Navy SEAL. 

www.ScullyFit.com

It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising!

Today’s post is brought to you by Harvard Health

It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising!

Exercise can ward off chronic disease and help you maintain your independence and mobility. But the older we get in the United States, the less active we are, according to a study published Sept. 16, 2016, in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers analyzed data from a 2014 national health survey, focusing on adults ages 50 or older. Over all, about 28% of those people had not exercised in a month. But inactivity increased with age: non-exercisers amounted to about 25% of people ages 50 to 64, about 27% of people 65 to 74, and about 35% of people 75 or older.

The good news? “It’s never too late to become physically active! We have research studies showing that changing from being inactive to active—whether occurring in your 40s, 50s, 60s, or even 70s—is beneficial for health,” says Dr. I-Min Lee, a Harvard Medical School professor. Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking. If you’re unable to meet that goal, remember that any physical activity will provide health benefits, so do what you can manage based on your ability and your doctor’s advice.

Exercise Tips for Beginners

There are a variety of simple exercises you can do to build strength without leaving your home. Below are a few examples Healthline.com recommends to help you get started on your new path to fitness.

Abdominal Contractions

To increase strength in abdominal muscles

Take a deep breath and tighten your abdominal muscles. Hold for three breaths and then release the contraction. Repeat 10 times.

Wall Push-Ups

To increase strength in chest and shoulders

Stand about three feet away from a wall, facing the wall, with feet shoulder-width apart. Lean forward and place your hands flat on the wall, in line with your shoulders. Your body should be in “plank” position, with your spine in straight, not sagging or arched. Lower your body toward the wall and then push back. Repeat 10 times.

Pelvic Tilts

To strengthen and stretch muscles in the lower back

Take a deep breath, tighten your buttocks, and tilt your hips slightly forward. Hold for a three-count. Now tilt your hips back, and hold for three seconds. It’s a very subtle movement. Repeat eight to 12 times.

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

To strengthen postural muscles and stretch the chest

Sit up straight in your seat, rest your hands in your lap, and squeeze your shoulder blades toward one another. Focus on keeping your shoulders down, not hunched up toward your ears, and hold for three seconds. Release and repeat eight to 12 times.

Toe Taps

To strengthen lower legs

Sitting in a chair and keeping your heels on the floor, lift your toes high enough that you can feel the muscles along your shin working. This helps keep blood circulating in your legs and also strengthens the lower leg. Repeat 20 times.

Heel Raises

To strengthen upper calves

Sitting in a chair, keep your toes and the balls of your feet on the floor and lift your heels. Repeat 20 times.

Knee Lifts

To strengthen thighs

Seated in a chair, with your arms resting but not pressing on the armrests, contract your right quadriceps muscles and lift your leg. Your knee and the back of your thigh should be two or three inches off the seat. Pause for three seconds and slowly lower your leg. Complete eight to 12 repetitions and then repeat with the opposite leg.

Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch

To stretch the shoulders and back

Bend your right arm, raising it so your elbow is chest level and your right fist is near your left shoulder. Place your left hand on your right elbow and gently pull your right arm across your chest. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat with the opposite arm.

Ankle Rotations

To strengthen calves

Seated in a chair, lift your right foot off the floor and slowly rotate your foot five times to the right and then five times to the left. Repeat with the left foot.

 

www.ScullyFit.com 

5 Morning Habits That Shape Your Whole Day

5 Morning Habits That Shape Your Whole Day

These practices will change your state of mind and routine for the better.

What you do in the morning contributes greatly to the tone of your day. When we roll out of bed after hitting snooze 15 times and neglect to plan for what’s ahead, we throw up a prayer for chaos into the ether… and more than likely, chaos is what we will get.

There are plenty of posts about the habits of the most successful people, but there really is a reason the way they begin their days impacts how well it goes. Not only on a functional, logical level (you have your ducks in a row, you have a schedule and a plan, you have organized the essentials for things to run smoothly), there’s something psychologically very powerful about beginning your day in a way that says, “I am a competent human and, man, do I have this day on lockdown”.

From getting on top of the logistics to the positive psychology tricks you can employ, here’s how to leap out of bed on the right foot—and stay on it until you get back into bed at night.

1. Make your bedquilt-layered-on-bed

Sounds pretty simple and probably something your mom would remind you to do, but there’s a reason making your bed in the morning sets you up for success. This simple act of organizing—sheet, sheet, cover, pillows—and leaving your bedroom in a presentable condition reinforces to your highly impressionable, half-asleep brain that order and calmness abound. More calmness equals less stress, and less stress equals better mood, more productivity and (hopefully) a better day.

2. Hydratehydrate

Your cells have been without water for several hours, so reintroducing water before any other substance (yes, that includes coffee) is key to prepping your GI tract for efficient work throughout the day. It’s an easy way to rehydrate your body if you do it on autopilot. Plus, if you sip water throughout the morning, you may end up consuming two of your eight recommended glasses for the day. Set the tone for great hydration first thing.

3. Plan your dayplan_your_day

 A simple list of the three big things you’d like to accomplish in the short term (i.e. before noon, before the end of the day) can go a long way in terms of helping you move calmly through the day. Putting it on paper or in your phone takes away the stress of remembering and can serve as a helpful reminder of your goals. Even if it’s “pick up dry cleaning, find birthday card and make quinoa,” a few small tasks to keep you on track will make for better time management all day. As they say, those who fail to plan plan to fail, so prioritize the big things to make the rest of the day run even more smoothly.

4. Play music you lovelisten-to-music

Regardless of your morning plans, a soundtrack of uplifting, energizing tunes will help prime your mind for positivity all day long. Pick whatever makes you happy and use it to get through your must-do’s for before you leave the house. Bonus: Great music makes a long commute way less stressful.

5. Movetrail-running-w-dog-jpg-html

Want to feel better mid-afternoon? Make time in the morning to get your body in motion. Whatever it is—gentle stretching, walking the dog, going to CrossFit—starting your day with movement revs your metabolism and stokes your energy for the day. Plus, you’re more likely to make better food choices if you’ve done something positive for your body earlier in the day. You’ll get that great workout in (it’s harder to make excuses first thing) and you’ll reap the benefits for hours afterwards. It’s a win all around.

This post was originally published on ClassPass’s blog.

www.ScullyFit.com

Try this Do-Anywhere HIIT Workout to shake up your fitness routine!

Try this Do-Anywhere HIIT Workout to shake up your fitness routine!

If you are looking for a workout to shake up your normal fitness routine, you’ll love this High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout brought to you by HealthCentral.com.

hiit-workout-for-scullyfit-site-11-21-16

Health Fitness Revolution breaks down why HIIT workouts are so beneficial:

What’s not to love about High Intensity Interval Training? As it’s name suggests, the workout involves various intervals – usually of high intensity – ensuring you get a maximum benefit from your workout. HIIT boosts your metabolism while burning tons of calories in a short period of time. These are only a few of the many benefits you can earn through HIIT.

Here’s our list of the Top 10 Health Benefits of HIIT:

  • Helps build endurance – High intensity training adapts to the cellular structure of muscles which enables you to increase your endurance while doing any type of exercise. “Journal of Physiology,” posted a study where people participated in HIIT for eight weeks and the results showed that they had doubled the length of time they could ride a bicycle while keeping the same pace.
  • Burns calories and fat in a shorter period of time – HIIT is great if you have a limited amount of time to work out. Studies show that 15 minutes of high intensity interval training burns more calories than jogging on a treadmill for an hour.
  • Effective energy use – HIIT uses a system of work-hard-then-recovery intervals, alternating between high intensity workouts with short resting periods. Through interval training your body learns how to efficiently use the energy that comes from your body’s energy system. HIIT also helps remove toxic wastes from your muscles during the resting periods. Alternating between the exercises also helps you breathe effectively.
  • Boosts metabolism – The American College of Sports and Medicine said that High Intensity Interval Training helps you consume more oxygen than a non-interval workout routine. The excess amount of oxygen consumed helps increase your rate of metabolism from about 90 minutes to 144 minutes after a session of interval training. Thus the increased metabolism helps burn more calories at a faster rate.
  • Burn calories and fat hours after you leave the gym – When participating in such high intensity workouts your body’s repair cycle goes into hyper drive. This means in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout your body is still burning calories and fat whereas in steady-pace workouts, you may not.
  • No equipment necessary– HIIT workouts are extremely cost efficient because you need zero equipment! All you need is a little open space. HIIT workouts utilize your own body weight, so any workout that gets your heart rate up quickly such as plyometrics, high knees and jumping jacks can be implemented into a HIIT workout. In fact, weights can actually make sometimes make the workout less effective because your main focus in HIIT is getting your heart rate up rather than toning a particular muscle group.
  • Lose fat and not muscle – Steady cardio is often associated with losing muscle. HIIT workouts, however, combine weight training (the weight being your body) and effectively allows dieters to preserve their muscle gain while still shedding weight.
  • Choose your own workouts – The great thing about High Intensity Interval Training is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just running or biking. In fact, you can pick any cardio workout and make it an interval workout. You can bike one day at max speed for 30 seconds and take 45 second intervals in between and the next day you can switch it up to jogging or aerobics.
  • Good for heart health – They say that extreme training helps build extreme results. It’s hard for most people to push themselves to an anaerobic zone where you lose your breath and feel your heart pounding faster and faster. With interval training it’s easier to push yourself to that level because of the rest interval that comes right after you reach that point. This helps keep a healthy heart and helps blood flow effectively throughout your whole body.
  • Challenging – HIIT workouts offer seasoned workouts a new challenge and beginners a quicker way to see results. You are constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone therefore you can never get bored with your workout!

www.ScullyFit.com

34 Healthier Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

Today’s post is brought to you by Kate Morin at Greatist.com 

34 Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes

It’s that time of year again: Families gather (and bicker), turkeys get browned on the outside and left accidentally frozen on the inside (whoops), gravy ends up a lumpy mess, and cranberry sauce plops loudly from white-labeled cans everywhere. Though we can’t promise no bickering, this list can help save your Thanksgiving meal. Here you can find all the recipes you could possibly need to prepare a successful dinner for any size family. Most are our own personal creations, but we’ve also included some stars from the kitchens of our very awesome recipe contributors too.

Salads and Starters

2. Spicy Kale Salad

Kale is the perfect hearty fall green to use as a base for any seasonal salad. Try this easy option with freshly grated pecorino cheese and red pepper flakes as a side dish or starter with a little kick.

With eight simple ingredients and less than 10 minutes of prep time, this spinach and sprouts dish brings a little California sunshine to any dinner table.

4. Curried Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin just screams Thanksgiving. Start your meal with this simple soup filled with warming spices to get your gourd on.

5. Arugula Salad with Fennel, Apple, and Pecans

On a day when nearly every dish is an indulgence, it’s smart to start with something a little greener to fit in those important nutrients and antioxidants. This combo of arugula with crisp and refreshing fennel and apple is the perfect solution. (The balsamic-dijon vinaigrette doesn’t hurt either!)

Sides

We can’t get enough Brussels sprouts at Greatist. The addition of pancetta and maple make these healthy little guys just the right amount of decadent (without going overboard on the unhealthy stuff).

7. Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter and Sage

Looking for the perfect turkey pairing? Try these roasted Brussels sprouts topped with earthy brown butter for a delicious addition to any Thanksgiving table.

8. Healthier (Vegan) Creamed Corn

Instead of heavy cream, this version of the classic uses coconut milk to achieve a luscious texture. But it doesn’t taste tropical thanks to all the amazing spices.

9. Cranberry-Orange Sauce with Thyme

Repeat after us: No. Canned. Cranberries. Anyone who can boil water can make this recipe sweetened with honey and orange.

10. Basil Cranberry Sauce

For those who prefer an herbal twist on the side, here is the answer. Plus, there’s no added sugar; the sauce is sweetened with apple juice.

11. Green Bean Casserole

This classic side dish is typically anything but healthy. However, this version takes out all the bad stuff by swapping in, well, less-than-bad stuff. Grandma will never know the difference.

12. Kale and Butternut Squash Stuffing

Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, no Thanksgiving would be complete without the holiday staple. And this quick and easy recipe is full of unexpected veggies and can be made vegetarian-friendly.

Savory muffins sound weird—we know. But trust us. This combo of pumpkin puree and cheddar bring life to otherwise bland dinner table bread options.

14. Cauliflower Leek Puree

White, fluffy, and absolutely delicious, these look like mashed potatoes but have loads more flavor and are even creamier (hat tip to the Greek yogurt).

15. Roasted Asparagus

With just three ingredients and less than 20 minutes from start to finish, this roasted asparagus recipe makes one simple, crowd-pleasing dish.

16. Maple and Sage Roasted Squash

It does take some muscle to chop up a butternut squash. This recipe makes it totally worth the workout. Colorful, sweet, and savory, it requires only five ingredients.

17. Hearty Greens with Garlic

We know, we know, greens aren’t a “traditional” Thanksgiving dish. But take a chance this year, and pick your favorite leaves to toss with a hearty dose of garlic. They taste great and offer an extra-heavy dose of antioxidants!

18. Apple-Parsnip Mash

Another potato replacement, this inventive take uses apples and parsnips to make a similarly colored dish that’s slightly sweet and 100 percent velvety. You may never eat mashed taters again.

19. Honey-Orange Carrots

Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, but all too often they’re just plain boring. These carrots are a refreshing change, and because they’re roasted, they take little effort so you can spend less time in the kitchen.

Mains

20. Cranberry Pecan-Stuffed Pork Chops

Not a fan of poultry? Try pork this Thanksgiving. (Yes, you can call it Pork Day if you must.) Plus, the cranberry-pecan stuffing is the bomb.

21. First Timer’s Guide to Cooking the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Taking your first stab at cooking the big bird this year? Don’t even try to enter the kitchen without this simple guide.

22. Herb-Stuffed Turkey Breast

Hosting Thanksgiving can be a hassle. And wrestling a 20-pound turkey can make things extra stressful. Take this less-traditional route and choose a smaller piece of the bird—the breast—for a creative (and equally delicious) main dish.

23. Quinoa and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Mushrooms

These sweet potato and quinoa stuffed mushroom caps are just as filling as a hunk-o’-turkey and can be enjoyed by anyone around the dinner table.

Desserts and Drinks

Cookies may never be a health food, but whole-wheat flour, flaxseeds, and pumpkin add more fiber, omega-3s, and antioxidants. And they all go fabulously with chocolate chips.

25. No-Bake Pumpkin Custard

With only five ingredients and no oven required, this stress-free dessert tastes just as good as grandma’s pumpkin pie.

26. Quinoa Apple Cake

With a quinoa and apple base, this snack cake is filling enough to kill that dessert craving. And since it’s Thanksgiving, go ahead and serve it à la mode!

27. Harvest Fruit Compote

Looking for a way to use up all that fall fruit? Try this simple compote for an all-natural sugar fix. Serve with ice cream, fresh whipped cream, or angel food cake for some extra decadence.

28. Healthier Coconut Macaroons

Macaroons may not be the first thing that comes to mind on Turkey Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make these coconutty balls. And they’re so (so!) much easier to make than pie.

29. Cranberry-Pear Crisp

Combine two favorite fall fruits and top with a crispy sugary crust for the perfect blend of tart and sweet. It also looks gorgeous, and anyone can make it, even novice bakers.

30. Fruit Salad with Lemon-Lavender Syrup

Peaches, plums, and cherries, oh my! This sophisticated fruit salad gets kicked up a notch with a lemon-lavender syrup. The perfect light dessert.

31. Baked Apples

You might need to wait a few hours after dinner to have room to enjoy these warm, gooey, oat-stuffed apples. Regardless, they’re the perfect way to warm up after that mid-afternoon nap.

32. Apple Cider Margaritas

What better way to kick off the festivities than a nice, stiff drink? Try this fall take on a traditional summer cocktail. “An apple a day” applies to apple cider too, right?

33. Peach Rosemary Crisp

You’re in for a real treat with this dessert combining the natural sweetness of juicy peaches with a savory twist. A welcome substitute for classic apple crisp.

34. Hot Mulled Wine

Wine is always a winner—let’s be honest. But wine slightly warmed with lots of awesome fall spices? That’s a Thanksgiving victory for sure.

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8 Metabolism Secrets That Help You Blast Calories

Today’s post is brought to you by Health.com

8 Metabolism Secrets That Help You Blast Calories

Discover how to torch more calories every day and boost your metabolism in this complete guide to your body’s fat-burning engine.

Your metabolism

It’s no wonder metabolism is a subject of fascination and speculation: The process that turns food into fuel powers all that we do. “Even when you’re sleeping, your body requires energy for things like breathing and repairing cell damage,” says Donald Hensrud, MD, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. The number of calories you need to perform such basic functions is called your resting metabolic rate (RMR)—and it can affect everything from your waistline to your energy level. Read on to learn how to keep your metabolism revved so your body is operating at just the right speed.

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Dieting can lower your metabolism

“Whenever you cut calories, your metabolism slows down, often by more than you’d expect,” says Kevin Hall, PhD, an obesity researcher at the National Institutes of Health. Studies have found that formerly obese people have a 3 to 5 percent lower RMR than people who’ve never had to lose weight. But such a drastic slowdown isn’t inevitable. Other research has shown that regular exercise can counteract the effect. And a gradual weight-loss strategy can help keep your metabolism humming. A good rule of thumb: Reduce caloric intake by no more than 500 calories a day, and torch roughly the same number through exercise. A 1,000-calorie daily deficit should help you lose about 2 pounds a week. greens

Chronic stress slows your burn

Wigged-out and gaining weight? No, it’s not in your head (unfortunately). Research suggests that when you’re totally frazzled, your metabolism stalls. One reason: Chronic stress stimulates the production of betatrophin, a protein that inhibits an enzyme needed to break down fat, per a University of Florida study. Other research found that women who experienced a stressful event the day before eating a single high-fat meal burned 104 fewer calories over the seven hours following the meal than their more chillaxed counterparts. “The stressed women also had higher insulin levels, which contributes to fat storage,” says study author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, a professor at The Ohio State University. These effects could lead to a gain of 11 pounds a year, she says.

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Intermittent fasting may help

For the most part, experts have advised against cleanses and other trendy fasts. But research now shows that alternate-day fasting—which entails eating without restriction one day, then consuming about 500 calories the next—can trigger weight loss without mucking up your metabolism. Women who followed this plan for eight weeks lost an average of 13 pounds, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago. “When we compared the change in their resting metabolic rate to that of subjects who lost weight by consuming 25 percent fewer calories overall, we didn’t see any differences between the two groups,” says study author Krista Varady, PhD.

What’s more, after the first few days, most of the women in the alternate-day fasting group didn’t report feeling hungry. But Dr. Hensrud cautions that further research is needed to determine the long-term effects of this strategy. If you’re tempted to try it, do so under a doctor’s supervision.

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Lift weights the right way

There’s no question that strength training is a good way to combat the drop in metabolism that comes with age. But new research suggests that when you’re lifting weights, the ideal strategy is to go slowly. Resting for two to three minutes between sets may actually promote more muscle growth than a shorter rest interval, according to a U.K. study published this year. “The most important thing is to just do it, two or three times a week,” stresses Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body-for-LIFE for Women. To reap the most benefits, add your strength training to a HIIT workout (like a boot camp class), she says.

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Protein is key

You’ve probably heard that the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. And you know protein is essential for muscle growth; it helps prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue that happens as you get older and when you cut calories, says Caroline Cederquist, MD, an obesity specialist in Naples, Fla., and the author of The MD Factor Diet. But the trick, she adds, is to divide your intake evenly throughout the day. “You can utilize only 4 to 6 ounces of protein at a time. If you consume more than that at one sitting, it will get stored as fat.”

Research backs up her advice: A 2014 study found that people who took in 30 grams of protein at each meal had 25 percent better muscle protein synthesis than those who ate 90 grams in a day in irregular portions (10 at breakfast, 15 at lunch and 65 at dinner). As for the best sources of the nutrient, study author Emily Arentson-Lantz, PhD, a scientist at University of Texas Medical Branch, suggests lean meats, seafood, legumes, eggs, dairy and nuts.

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You can blast calories all day long

6 A.M.: Work out. You can melt up to 20 percent more body fat by exercising in the morning on an empty stomach, according to a 2013 U.K. study.

7:30 A.M.: Have the right smoothie. Swiss research found that folks who consumed whey protein at breakfast burned more calories throughout the morning than folks who ate a high-carb meal.

11 A.M.: Refill your water bottle. In a German study, drinking 17 ounces of H2O increased metabolic rate by about 30 percent for more than an hour.

1 P.M.: Add some sweet red peppers to your salad. They contain a metabolism-boosting chemical called dihydrocapsiate.

3 P.M.: Take a call on your headset and go for a walk. Small bursts of activity like this can torch up to 350 calories a day, found Mayo Clinic researchers.

7 P.M.: Turn off your iPad before dinner. Exposure to blue-enriched light (the kind emitted by electronic devices) during the evening meal increases insulin resistance, according to a 2016 Northwestern Medicine study.

7:15 P.M.: Enjoy some carbs. A 2014 study showed that people who saved most of their daily carbs for nighttime burned more calories after lunch than those who ate their carbs early on.

9 P.M.: Turn down the heat. Sleeping in colder temps ramps up your body’s production of brown fat, a type that burns calories, per a study in Diabetes.

conshohocken restaurants, local table market fresh cafe smoothie

Certain health problems can affect your metabolism

Thyroid disorders: An overactive thyroid (called hyperthyroidism) can cause your metabolism to speed into overdrive, while an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can make it slow to a crawl. Fortunately, both conditions can be controlled with medication.

Prediabetes: This condition elevates insulin levels, which inhibits fat metabolism, explains Dr. Cederquist. But lifestyle measures such as exercise and a low-glycemic diet can help repair metabolism.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: Neither condition affects metabolism directly, but both can make exercise painful—and not exercising enough can lead to muscle loss and a drop in metabolism, explains Dr. Cederquist.

Polycystic ovary syndrome: Women with this hormonal imbalance are at higher risk of developing insulin resistance, which can in turn impact metabolism. Possible treatments include birth control pills to regulate hormone levels and the diabetes drug metformin.

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30-Day Burpee Challenge

November’s Burpee Challenge is brought to you by 30DayFitnessChallenges.com

Why Burpees?

Burpees are a full body strength training exercise. With every rep, you’ll work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs. Burpees burn mega calories and better yet, they speed up your metabolism so you’ll continue to burn calories long after you finish your reps. Burpees also require no equipment so you can do them almost anywhere!

 

How to do a Burpee:

  • First, stand up straight, then get into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Kick your feet back into a push up position and immediately drop your chest to the ground.
  • Bow your chest up, then return your feet back to the squat position as fast as possible.
  • Immediately jump up into the air as high as you can.

Burpees are all about speed, but if you go too fast you’ll burn yourself out after doing just a few reps.

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This challenge is for all fitness levels. Remember: A little progress each day adds up to big results!

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Scully Company Wins 3rd Place in the Fit Company Challenge!

Scully Company Wins 3rd Place in the Fit Company Challenge!

Scully Company participated in the Fit Company Challenge in Philadelphia! As a team, we took on a variety of competitive strength and endurance exercises, ultimately aiming to Work Fit and Live Fit.

As a result of our dedication and training, we were thrilled to win 3rd place overall in our division as well as first place in two of the three challenges! We are already looking forward to participating in the next Fit Company Challenge scheduled for 2017.

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The Fit Company Challenge was an effective and easy way for us to get our office fit and feeling good! Open to all fitness levels, this event created the excitement and motivation we needed to get fit while also providing us the opportunity to work together as a team.

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