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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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5 Ways Women Inspire Us to Be Healthy & Fit

Wednesday is International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme is #BeBoldForChange. In celebration, we asked you to tell us your stories of the women who keep you on track to become the best version of yourself — whether it’s to get moving, to get fit, lose weight, be strong, be a hero or just plain be a role model. We read your responses — all of them — and we found there were some common themes. Here are a few featuring women that inspired us to power through and be our best.

They helped us get moving.

They hold us accountable when things get tough.

They push us to go to places we’ve never been.

They encourage us to be the best versions of ourselves.

And above it all, they bring a smile to our face.


READ MORE

> How Running Formed a Powerful Friendship From 150 Miles Away
> 10 Great #TransformationTuesday Successes on Instagram
> How MyFitnessPal Empowered Me to Beat My Eating Disorder
> 20 More Non-Scale Victories by MyFitnessPal Users


The post 5 Ways Women Inspire Us to Be Healthy & Fit appeared first on Under Armour.

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How Low Hemoglobin Can Affect Weight Loss?

Find Out How Low Hemoglobin Can Affect Weight Loss!

Hello All!!!

Weight loss on your mind? You are trying hard but not able to lose weight? The reason can be low hemoglobin levels.

What is hemoglobin?

Hemoglobin are iron containing proteins in the blood on which oxygen travels. Low hemoglobin levels prevent your heart from delivering sufficient amount of oxygen to various parts of the body.

Low iron levels in your body can make you feel tired and fatigued. Thus, it becomes harder to burn calories by exercising. And this hinders weight loss. This is why Low Hemoglobin Can Affect Weight Loss!

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Causes of low hemoglobin levels

A low hemoglobin count can be due to natural reasons or due to various illnesses. Young women can have a low hemoglobin level during menstruation or when they are pregnant.

Deficiency of iron and eating

A lack of iron in the body will make you develop different symptoms. You may notice that your appetite has decreased and there is an unexplained weight loss. Also, patients with a deficiency of iron can have craving for some unusual foods. This is called pica. You can read about it here!

Pica in Kids and Women How To Handle Pica

Deficiency of iron and exercise

A lack of iron may make you eat less but at the same time it causes you to burn fewer number of calories. When you suffer from iron deficiency anemia, your energy levels are low as your body is unable to make sufficient red blood cells. This can make staying physically active and exercising harder as you will have chronic fatigue. Lack of enough exercise can result in burning of a fewer calories making it difficult for you to lose weight.

Foods rich in iron

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You need to consume foods high in iron when you have a deficiency of it. Foods high in iron content are dried fruits, lentils, liver, lean red meat, fish, oysters, tofu and green leafy veggies. You also need to include foods that are rich in vitamin C as it helps the body absorb iron better. Include lots of citrus fruits like oranges and sweet lime. You can have strawberries and broccoli too.

Foods that are having a high calcium and caffeine content can hinder with the iron absorbing capability of the body.

The bottom line

Lack of iron can promote weight loss but not in a healthy way as it is only due to a loss of appetite. However, at the same time it may make it harder for you to lose weight. If you think you have low levels of iron, you should consult a doctor. He or she will advise you best.

Hope you liked reading this post on how Low Hemoglobin Can Affect Weight Loss!

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Meet Your Secret Weapon for Weight Loss: The Lunchbox

Lunch is often an afterthought. Most of our mornings are far too hectic with snooze buttons, workouts, showers and last-minute scrambles to get ourselves, our kids, our pets and our partners fed, dressed and out the door. (Wow, even reading that sentence is exhausting.)

We often spend seconds thinking about breakfast, much less lunch. But if you’re looking to put more accountability into your eating habits, you probably already have a secret weapon in your kitchen.

Meet your lunchbox — or maybe it’s an unused kid’s lunchbox. So what if it’s got “Star Wars” or “PAW Patrol” characters on it? We’re not judging. For about $ 10, you can successfully manage your next meal with this one simple tool that just might be the key to shedding that extra handful of pesky pounds you can’t seem to shake.

YOU’LL PLAN AHEAD

Whether you pack your lunchbox the night before or factor in an extra 5–10 minutes before the morning commute is up to you. Simply having it thought out and consolidated eliminates last-minute drive-thru trips, vending machine lunches and office-cafe crawls, while also saving you calories, money and even time.

A successful weight-loss plan is just that: a plan. It’s knowing what to eat, when to eat it and when to stop. A lunchbox filled with healthy choices answers the what and the when — i.e., at lunchtime, not after a slew of meetings when you’re just looking to shove the closest $ 3 sandwich down your throat. It also tells you when to stop: when the lunchbox is empty.

Once you get into the groove of thinking about how you’ll fill your lunchbox, you’ll naturally start factoring in the time to pack it, adding the contents to your weekly shopping list and saving money, too.  

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

YOU’LL ADD VARIETY TO YOUR DIET

Most trendy bento-style lunchboxes have three, four, even five areas for food. Sandwiches, salads and wraps are obvious fillers for the biggest compartment — all are great vessels for whole grains, lean protein and veggies. The smaller spaces work nicely for fresh cut fruit, yogurt, hummus, nuts, popcorn or even a piece or two of dark chocolate. By filling the spaces with healthy, nutrient-dense foods, you’ll be armed with plenty of supplies that allow you to skip the vending machine snacks.

The extra compartments allow for more creativity, too. Some lunchboxes function more like coolers, with cold packs or insulation in case your work space doesn’t have a refrigerator. Those options are great to keep things like salads, yogurt, tuna or chicken salad sandwiches and veggie-packed wraps fresher for a longer period of time, and they offer you more options than the processed, shelf-stable foods that once littered the classic lunch box.

YOU’LL MASTER PROPER PORTIONING

Lunchboxes are not designed to hold an oversize, restaurant-portion feast. The bento varieties naturally limit portions, and even those without dividers limit how much food you’re able to tote in one box. Unlike eating out — where you’ll be tempted to finish an oversize sandwich and fries just because they’re there and you don’t want to waste the hard-earned money you paid for them — packing a lunch enables you to be in control of how much you consume.

The key to successful weight loss can be as simple as arming yourself with the right tools.

Not sure where to start and what to pack?

If quick and easy is your need, start with this lineup of lunches ready in less than 15 minutes. For those organized enough to pack lunch the night before, here’s a list of boast-worthy, make-ahead lunches. And for those who simply want to be the envy of all of your co-workers, here’s a tasty lineup that upgrades your sad desk-lunch to stellar status.

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