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Ingredient of the Week: 8 Chocolate Recipes to Fall in Love With

Creamy, dreamy and luscious, it’s hard not to fall in love with chocolate. For all those chocoholics out there, rejoice at the fact that chocolate — in moderate amounts — does have health benefits. Whether you prefer dark or milk chocolate with or without extras, there is a chocolate for all taste buds. With Valentine’s Day right around corner, these eight delectable recipes are perfect for the occasion.

1. MATCHA WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE | LOVE AND LEMONS

Green tea and white chocolate are a “matcha” made in heaven. Matcha is made by grinding the whole green tea leaf into a powder. Because you consume it in its entirety, matcha provides more antioxidants and nutrients than simply steeping tea. Share this vibrant green mug of deliciousness — which only requires four ingredients — with anyone who loves rich, creamy white chocolate. Recipe makes 2 servings at 12 ounces each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 176; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 180mg; Carbohydrate: 20g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 18g; Protein: 2g

2. COCOA AND CHILI RUBBED PORK CHOPS | GIMME SOME OVEN

A simple spice rub coats these these juicy pork chops. The combination of ancho chili powder, cocoa and brown sugar produces a dish with sweet, smoky and subtly spicy flavors. For an easy dinner, pair with sauteéd greens or roasted veggies. Recipe makes 2 servings at 1 pork chop each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 274; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 83mg; Sodium: 396mg; Carbohydrate: 7g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 35g

3. VEGGIE QUINOA CHOCOLATE CHILI | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Hooray for sweater weather and coming home to warm slow-cooker meals! In this hearty dish, fluffy quinoa and tender veggies drown in a chili-spiced tomato sauce thickened with baker’s chocolate. No slow cooker? No problem — we share instructions for the stovetop, too. Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 1/2 cups each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 263; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 381mg; Carbohydrate: 45g; Dietary Fiber: 12g; Sugar: 9g; Protein 12g

4. “THE ONE” CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE | BUDGET BYTES

Feel like treating yourself? Indulge in this chocolate mug cake perfectly portioned for one. Add a dollop of peanut butter in the center for a ooey gooey treat fit for any special occasion. Recipe makes 1 serving.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 318; Total Fat: 23g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 1mg; Sodium: 101mg; Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 7g

5. CHOCOLATE COFFEE RUBBED STEAK | FOOD FAITH FITNESS

Skip going to the steakhouse with your own just-as-restaurant-worthy dish. This easy steak recipe is packed with complex flavors, thanks to a spice rub made with coffee, cocoa powder and coconut. Recipe makes 2 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 594; Total Fat: 20g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 168mg; Sodium: 497mg; Carbohydrate: 6g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 96g

6. DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND BARK | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Celebrate this sweet holiday by nibbling on creamy dark chocolate bark from Dietitian Debbie Dishes. It’s made by melting dark chocolate, then adding in your favorite nuts and dried fruit. These homemade treats are handy to have around, especially when you need a little pick-me-up. Recipe makes 5 servings at 1 (2-inch long) slice each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 202; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 9g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 32mg; Carbohydrate: 20g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 12g; Protein: 3g

7. DARK CHOCOLATE AVOCADO MOUSSE | HELLO GLOW

This decadent-tasting dessert will satisfy even the most hard-core chocoholic. Creamy avocado and rich dark chocolate make this vegan mousse luscious but still healthy. Cocoa powder contains antioxidants while avocados are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats. Recipe makes 4 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 80; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 13mg; Carbohydrate: 7g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 1g

8. GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE OAT MUFFINS | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Simple and easy, these gluten-free chocolate muffins are great to pack for work or the gym. Naturally sweetened with bananas and honey, these muffins are loaded with complex carbs to keep you satisfied longer. Freeze extras for a quick breakfast on crunch-time mornings! Recipe makes 12 servings at 1 muffin each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 250; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 31mg; Sodium: 115mg; Carbohydrate: 37g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 7g

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Ask a Trainer on Losing Weight [Video]

Why am I not losing weight? Are free weights or machines better? How do I stay healthy while traveling? What in the heck is a macro?

We asked you to share the questions you always wanted to ask a personal trainer, nutritionist or running coach, and after more than 1,000 comments on Facebook, we realized something we’ve always known deep down: Fitness is still a great mystery. We know we’re in an era where you can “just Google it,” but sometimes you want to hear from an expert, a friend, a person.

Throughout 2017, our network of trainers and nutritionists will answer your questions in this video series called “Ask a Trainer.” We’ll cover diet, exercise, wellness, fitness myths, jiggly machines, red wine and more, all in the hope of providing you with the even more of the tools you need to meet — and exceed — your own goals.

This is not — we repeat — not a high school health lecture or a doctor’s appointment. This is running into your trainer at a bar, having a glass of wine and asking him/her that endless stream of questions you never have the time (or maybe courage) to ask at the gym. We’re here with you on this journey — and our trainers are, too.

In the first installment, our trainers addressed your questions on losing weight — a topic so commonly mentioned, we had to make two videos about it. You can catch part two in the coming weeks.

For every question, we’ve got someone who can answer it, so share your questions in the comments below to inspire our next check-in with our trainers.


Read More:
The Science Behind Why Water Is Good for Weight Loss
9 Signs of Progress That Aren’t a Number on the Scale
5 Reasons Why You Should Allow Yourself to Eat All Foods
How Stress Can Affect Your Weight (It’s Worse than We Thought)


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Daniel’s Weight-Loss Secret? 2 Pounds Per Week

Weight loss is hard, and it can be daunting — but if you boil it down to a series of attainable, short-term goals, you’ll give yourself a much better fighting chance. That was the approach Daniel Felvus took. A 27-year-old editor in Swansea, Wales, he decided he had enough of eating junk food and weighing more than 200 pounds. He tried a gimmick diet but found it wasn’t arming him with strategies to make lasting changes to his habits.

So last fall, he tried MyFitnessPal and simplified his strategy down to a simple credo: Track food, log exercise and aim for two pounds lost per week. How did it go? Felvus has dropped 52 pounds in less than six months. “I now feel great, and I’m looking forward to a bright and healthy future,” he reports.

Here’s Daniel in his own words:

I’ve battled with my weight all my life. I was overweight as a teenager growing up, weighing 200 pounds when I was only 13 years of age. As I got older, the weight started to drop off, even though my eating habits didn’t change. I thought I had it perfect: I was thin and still eating nothing but junk food, and I wasn’t gaining anything. Eventually, this changed and I gradually began gaining the weight back to the point where I ended up weighing the most I ever had at 219 pounds. I realized I had to do something about this. I’d been introduced to MyFitnessPal by a friend a few years back when the weight had started to increase.

However, I didn’t dedicate myself to it as I was impatient and I didn’t want to lose weight the healthy way — I wanted to lose it quickly. Evidently, this attitude only made things worse and I continued to gain. Eventually, I decided enough was enough and I promised myself I was going to stick with MyFitnessPal for at least one week to see if I lost any weight. To my surprise and delight, I lost two pounds, and that’s what the app said I was going to lose! So I continued to stick at it — each week, I’d lose exactly what the app said I was going to! It is now five and a half months later and I have lost 52 pounds and reached my goal weight. I can’t say enough good things about this app and it’s now helping friends of mine in a similar situation.

Check out the video he made to learn more about his journey:


READ MORE

> 20 More Non-Scale Victories by MyFitnessPal Users
> The Sandwich Walker: One Man’s 100-Pound “Active Helping” Quest
> Watching Your Weight When It’s Your Job to Drink: Lew’s Quest


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Recipe: Easy Cheesy Crustless Quiche

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Crustless quiche is the more manageable cousin of a full-on quiche recipe. This easy version packs plenty of breakfast veggies (think onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach) and cheese into a portable egg cup. You can make a batch of these ahead of time and reheat for busy mornings.

Easy Cheesy Crustless Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup or 110 grams)
  • 1/2 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium (120 grams) tomato, diced
  • 2 cups (60 grams) baby spinach
  • 10 large (50 grams each) whole eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup (80 grams) 2% milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/3 cup (40 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 ounces (about 1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use cooking oil to grease a nonstick muffin pan and set aside.

While oven is preheating, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions for 5 minutes, until soft; add bell peppers, tomato and salt, and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes. If using sausage, then add along with bell peppers and tomatoes and sauté for another 5 to 7 minutes.

Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute more. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, flour, cheese, salt and pepper until well combined.

Portion out the vegetable (and sausage) mixture into 12 muffin wells. Pour the egg mixture on top, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until firm.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 6 |  Serving Size: 2 quiches

Per serving: Calories: 237; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 367mg; Sodium: 413mg; Carbohydrate: 8g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 15g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 222mg; Iron: 12%; Vitamin A: 30%; Vitamin C: 22%; Calcium: 16%

Energizing Tips (optional)

  • Add in 6 ounces of chicken sausage, finely minced, before baking (see instructions above) to up calories, fat, protein and flavor. (Per serving: Calories: 292; Total Fat: 18g; Carbohydrate: 9g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 21g)
  • Serve with 1 cup of baby greens for more vitamins and minerals. (Per serving: Calories: 287; Total Fat: 15g; Carbohydrate: 9g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 15g)
  • Serve the quiches with 1 whole wheat English muffin for more calories, carbs and fiber. This makes a quick on-the-go breakfast. (Per serving: Calories: 371; Total Fat: 16g; Carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 21g) 

Photo Credit: Demi Tsasis

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