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11 Ways You Never Thought to Use Your Waffle Iron

Back away from the Bisquick, friends, because your waffle iron can do a lot more than make waffles.

By creating additional surface area, and applying a high temperature to it, a waffle iron produces new textures and flavors, crisping starches like rice or potatoes and caramelizing vegetables and fruits.

Just as a waffle’s myriad compartments hold syrup and butter, other foods similarly benefit when it comes to salsa, pesto and other toppings.

Altering the shape and topography of food doesn’t change its nutritional properties. This accords with the principle of “TITO,” or “Twinkie-in, Twinkie-out.”

Still, waffling your foods adds a fun twist to familiar favorites as well as reinventing leftovers.

1. VEGETABLES

A waffle iron is great for cooking veggies such as zucchini and other squash, eggplant, peppers and asparagus. Slice about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick, toss with olive oil,  kosher salt and cook for 3–5 minutes. Asparagus stalks 1/2 inch in diameter or skinnier work best. Go really green by making  these waffle iron kale chips.

2. FRUITS

Any firm-fleshed fruit suitable for grilling can also be tossed on a waffle iron.  Stone fruits, apples, pears, figs, pineapple and even plantains work well.

3. QUESADILLAS

You might wonder if the waffle maker will punch holes in a quesadilla. The answer: not really. Instead, it  makes little waffle-shaped tortilla pockets of cheesy goodness. A round waffle maker is probably better than a square one, but it’s hard to see how you’d go wrong either way.

4. OMELETS

For each omelet, beat two eggs plus two tablespoons of milk, stir in chopped onions and peppers, pour onto a waffle iron and cook until the eggs are set. Is it an omelet? Is it a frittata? You decide.

5. MUFFINS

Waffles are basically muffins anyway, though muffin batter is a little thicker and usually sweeter. Still, any muffin recipe will cook up in your waffle iron. Pour it in, close the lid, cook until steam stops coming out. Leave it in a little longer if you want a more crispy bite. Keep a sheet pan underneath your waffle iron to catch any spills.

With this in mind, you can see how a waffle maker would also be great for making banana bread,  carrot cake and even brownies.

6. HASH BROWNS

Hash browns and other grated root vegetables offer a wealth of waffle iron opportunities. Shred potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes on a waffle iron brushed with melted butter to produce  waffled hash browns. Combine with beaten egg for latkes. Change the flavor by substituting sweet potatoes for some or all of the potato or use  other root veggies like carrots, parsnips and turnips. Shred something else entirely, like zucchini, and bind together with milk, flour and grated parm to make fritters.

7. TATER TOTS

Some people may say these are simply another form of hash browns, but I beg to differ. Skip the grating and fill your waffle iron with tater tots for a crunchy delight.

8. GRILLED CHEESE

The grilled-cheese variations alone, when you consider the innumerable combinations of bread, cheese and other ingredients, are simply staggering. Here’s one example, another and another. I’d be inclined to make a grilled-cheese sandwich using two leftover waffles as the bread.

9. FALAFEL

Falafel is usually pan- or deep-fried, but when you make a waffle falafel, the only oil necessary is cooking spray. Bonus points for using a round waffle maker, since falafel shape matches round pita bread.

10. POTATO

Whole potatoes, baked or microwaved until tender first, take on a fabulous browned exterior in these waffle whole potatoes. Use red potatoes, yellow or Yukons.

11. REPURPOSE LEFTOVERS

There are a lot of leftovers that take on new life in a waffle iron. A short list: leftover fries, leftover pizza, leftover mac & cheese, leftover mashed potatoes, leftover stuffing, leftover fried rice, leftover risotto, leftover polenta, and leftover meatloaf.

The post 11 Ways You Never Thought to Use Your Waffle Iron appeared first on Under Armour.

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5 Ways Mindful Eating Can Help You Lose Weight

Snacking while cooking dinner, eating while writing emails, munching on the drive to work. Multitasking might save time, but when it comes to eating there is also a cost: distraction.

Multitasking while eating makes it challenging to be mindful. Ever sat in front of the TV with a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream and magically, the food vanishes before your eyes and you wonder what that last bite tasted like? Or maybe you find yourself at 10PM with calories remaining for the day so you go for the cookies, despite still feeling full from dinner. Whether eating is a result of physical or emotional distraction, both have the same end result: mindless eating.

Mindful eating is being aware of the taste, texture, aroma, presentation, and your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Getting to know your hunger and fullness is the secret to losing the weight for good and keeping it off.

1. EAT WITH BALANCE

Eating a variety of foods at each meal not only provides balanced nutrition, it can also help with meal satisfaction. Make sure that your plate has 3 foods: Fiber, Fat, and Protein. These three ingredients take the longest to break down causing a slower release of energy and keeping you fuller for longer. Find fibers through fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Opt for healthy fats like avocado, nuts, nut butters, seeds, and olive oils. Get protein from a variety of sources including meat, fish, poultry, tofu, tempeh, beans, and nuts.

READ MORE > 9 WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT THAT AREN’T JUST DIET AND EXERCISE

2. TIME YOUR MEALS

If you’ve been dieting or eating sporadically for some time, it’s time to recalibrate your hunger and fullness meter. Many people say that when they begin mindful eating that they don’t really feel hungry or full; that’s likely because your hunger and fullness meter is off. Begin to get back on track by eating food in regular intervals, about every 4 hours or so–paying close attention to portion size. This is enough time for your body to recognize the swings in energy levels without getting overly hungry. Keep in mind if you still are not hungry after 4-5 hours of eating, you might have eaten a bit too much at that last meal. Not to worry though! Simply wait until your body tells you it needs more fuel in the tank before eating again. Check out this article to dive deeper into understanding and listening to your hunger cues.

3. BE PRESENT

It can’t be overstated that to become a mindful eater, the mind and body must be present with the plate. Eat with intention, turn off the TV and shut down the computer while dining at the table. Distracted eating is a major contributor to unintentional overeating. Focusing on your meal or snack will not only lead to greater enjoyment of whatever you’re eating but a greater awareness of your hunger and satiety cues.

4. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

Becoming aware of the body’s internal cues to hunger and fullness will keep blood sugar stable and increase energy levels. Mindful eating requires trusting the body to know “how much” food is needed and when to stop. When you sit down to a meal ask yourself, “How hungry am I”, and give it a number from 1 to 10 with 1 being starving and 10 being stuffed. We tend to eat with our eyes over our stomachs; mindful eating is a turn from that norm. Even though mindful eating is a skill we were born with and have lost along the way, it will take some time to relearn. Instead of eating on autopilot and cleaning your plate out of habit, challenge yourself to put the fork down when you are actually satisfied (6-7) vs. stuffed (8-9). Remember to not let your body get overly hungry and eat when you feel a gentle hunger (3).

5. ACCEPT THE HERE AND NOW

So you want to make changes to your body composition and/or lose some weight, first start with loving your body just the way it is. If you find that you cannot accept yourself as you are, this is the first place to start on your mindful eating journey. The confidence that you find from within will keep you grounded and able to trust your body enough to be a mindful eater.

Mindful eating takes guts and can be scary, but on the other side there is freedom from the diet trap. Consider weight loss and improved body composition as a side effect of eating mindfully, instead of the end goal. For some this step can be achieved by finding an activity that you truly enjoy, cleaning out the closet and buying clothes that fit and look fabulous on you, or tossing the scale if it’s defining your self worth every time you step on it.

Lastly, remember to be patient with yourself as you begin eating mindfully. You might not feel good at it at first, but like with anything practice is key. Keep focused on your true goals and weight loss will be a side effect of your new healthful relationship with food.

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Ways To Heal Chronic Stress

How To Heal Chronic Stress?

Hello All!!!

The doctor’s clinic is frequently visited by individuals with chronic stress, depression and anxiety. Thanks to the stressful relationships and jobs these days.

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It is the society at large that makes all of us stressed. There is this rat race that seems to be heading nowhere! Competition is good only when it is healthy. It shouldn’t hurt your inner joy and peace.

People are stuck in a toxic lifestyle. Do you know that stress is linked with depression, heart disease and even cancer? Most often this stress is caused by you because you don’t say ‘no’ to anything. The to-do list seems never ending and multitasking ensues.

Stress

We have to fix this problem!

You would have heard umpteen times that to handle stress you need to eat well, sleep well, exercise, meditate, give up alcohol and smoking. Are these changes easy to make?

Let me tell you how to handle stress as it comes. Check out these 3 ways to heal chronic stress:

Let things go

Stress revolves around our feelings and emotions. Sometimes we are the ones who create the stress without even realizing it. The way out is to learn to let things go.

Situations get worsened with our stress and drama. Life becomes easier when we acknowledge a situation and then release it out. This way life becomes easier.

Giving an example here: You are stuck in peak time traffic. If you react negatively, you will only get stressed out. It would be better to acknowledge the traffic and not react to it. Just accept it and see how the situation turns easier to handle.

Do things you love

Painting to relieve stress

People often tend to forget their true passion. You need to rekindle the love for your hobbies and passions. Bring them to the forefront and see how your stress just melts away.

When you do something with all your heart, it happens effortlessly. Just try cooking a meal with love and passion and see how delicious it turns out. Do the same with no involvement, your food will never taste good. The stress inside us affects the flavour of the food.

Sing more often

We adults don’t sing too often but it is one thing that is very therapeutic. Singing is known to release vibrations that break up the blockages in us. It need not be the song of a nightingale, the mere act of singing is enough to push the stagnant energy that causes stress.

Woman-Singing benefits of singing

Just hum your favourite tune when you are stuck with something the next time. The situation will turn out to be less stressful.

This life is yours! You need to make it beautiful. Don’t try to control everything. Let life unfold the way it wants to. Try doing the above things and see the difference. The best part is that all mentioned above comes free! You need not pay anything from your pocket. And the returns you get are just too good! If you need more care, you can always visit the doctor!

Hope you liked this post on how to heal chronic stress!

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The post Ways To Heal Chronic Stress appeared first on Indian Weight Loss Blog.

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5 Surprising (and Delicious) Ways to Use Avocados

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You know that you can’t have amazing guacamole without vibrant, creamy, delicious avocados. But, did you know that by adding slices, dollops, scoops and chunks of avocados to other meals, you’re adding healthy fat, flavor, color and fiber? Here are five new ways — that don’t include putting guacamole in your cereal (ew) — to incorporate avocados into your every day.

STRAWBERRY + AVOCADO SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIE 

Makes 2 small smoothies.

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Soak 2 medjool dates in 1/4 cup hot water for 15 minutes. Then, in a blender or food processor, combine the soaked dates and the soaking water with 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/3 cup ripe fresh strawberries, 1/4 of a ripe avocado, 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup, 1 teaspoon maca powder (optional) and 4–5 ice cubes. Blend on high speed until well-incorporated. You want all the ice cubes and strawberry chunks to be blended. Pour into a glass. Stir in 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, and sprinkle another 1 tablespoon hemp seeds on top. Add a straw and enjoy!

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 207; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 82mg; Carbohydrate: 29g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 21g; Protein: 5g

EXCELLENT AVOCADO TOAST

Makes 2 slices.

In a small skillet over low-medium heat, toast 2 tablespoons each white and black sesame seeds — shaking the pan constantly to prevent burning — until just fragrant. (Note: Don’t leave the seeds unattended; they’re delicate and will burn!) Transfer the seeds to a small bowl. Repeat the toasting process with 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (again, shaking the pan to prevent burning). Once fragrant and lightly golden, transfer to the bowl with the sesame seeds. Next, slice open 2 avocados and remove the pits, then scoop the flesh into a small bowl, and gently mash with the juice of 1 lime, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a little salt and pepper (to taste.) Toast 2 large slices of sourdough bread to your liking. When the slices are toasted, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil (approximately 1 1/2 teaspoons per slice). Then spread the avocado mixture on the toast. Sprinkle the toasted pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds over the avocado, and top with 1 teaspoon Japanese furikake seasoning (optional) and 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, such as cilantro, dill and basil (optional).

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 474; Total Fat: 36g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 10g; Cholesterol: 1mg; Sodium: 2mg; Carbohydrate: 29g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 10

SWEET + SAVORY PORRIDGE WITH AVOCADO + EGGS

Serves 4

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In a small or medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Stir in 1 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup quinoa and 2 tablespoons chia seeds. Toast the grains until gently fragrant, then stir in 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are the consistency that you like. (You’ll know that the oats are done when they’re soft, the quinoa when it’s developed a halo around the grain and the chia when it’s absorbed some liquid.) Remove from heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon tamari, juice from 1/2 lemon and a pinch of salt. Serve with a fried egg, minced chives, sliced radishes and sliced avocados. Nutrition calculated for porridge only.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 230; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 184mg; Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 6g

CREAMY SRIRACHA AVOCADO SALAD DRESSING

Makes roughly 1 cup dressing

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In the bowl of a mini food processor or blender, combine the flesh of 1 large avocado and 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Blend until completely incorporated and creamy. Drizzle over fresh salads, dollop on rice bowls or as a dip for fresh vegetables. Store unused dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 628; Total Fat: 62g; Saturated Fat: 9g; Monounsaturated Fat: 44g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 162mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 10g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 3g

READ MORE > 3 QUICK AND EASY MASON JAR DESSERTS

CHOCOLATE-AVOCADO PUDDING

Serves 6

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In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment, combine 2 large avocados (pits removed) with 1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise and scraped, save the pod for another use), 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, 1/4 cup agave nectar, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Divide the pudding evenly among six 8-ounce Mason jars and chill (uncovered) at least 2 hours.

To serve, top with 1 tablespoon each nuts (chopped and toasted) or cacao nibs. Pudding can be made 3 days ahead, cover and chill.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 278; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 101mg; Carbohydrate: 42g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 30g; Protein: 5g

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