Recipe: Orange Vegetable and Lentil Stew

This weeks hearty Orange Vegetable and Lentil winter stew is loaded with all things orange that are good for you! It is another magazine find, and yet again I’ve altered a few things to make it healthier.

Vegetables and fruits that are bright orange get their color from a high concentration of Beta-carotene. Why is that important for your health? Because Beta-carotene helps your body create Vitamin A and is a powerful antioxidant that helps boost your immune system. It also aids in good vision – didn’t your mother always tell you to eat your carrots?

So what comes to mind when I say “eat orange foods”? Carrots and oranges? Well – here’s a LOT more orange things you might not have thought of. Enjoy!

Orange Vegetable and Lentil Stew

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Video: Tony Robins at TED – Why We Do What We Do

Tony Robbins speaking for 22 minutes at TED on why we do what we do. Tony discusses the hidden forces that motivate everyone’s actions. Could easily be said that this might be the best 22 minutes you spend on yourself today.

Tony Robbins is one of the worlds leading motivational speakers. His book “Unlimited Power” was a critical part of me starting my own weight loss journey.

Does Weight Watchers Consider Inches Lost or Just Pounds?

It’s come to my attention that Weight Watchers does not track inches lost over the week, but rather focuses squarely on the scale, giving no credit to a gain in muscle. Does weight watchers understand or even promote an active lifestyle? and if they do, they simply MUST understand that a body building muscle is going to drop inches as it burns more fat, which wouldn’t register on the scale.

Imagine the psychological impact of a man or woman who’s been increasing their exercise frequency and intensity, watching what they eat, counting the points and proud of what they’re accomplishing as they get stronger, only to be totally discouraged at a weight gain a week later.

I Question The Weight Watchers Approach

Does Weight Watchers take into account an increase in muscle mass and a decrease in inches as a successful week? or is it just the reading on the scale that counts?

weight watchers inches or pounds

Muscle weighs the same as fat, let me be perfectly clear about that.

1 pounds of muscle is equal to 1 pound of fat, just as 1 pound of hammers is equal to 1 pound of feathers.

A pound is a pound.

However, a pound of muscle is more dense than fat and takes up less space.

As one exercises, he or she begins to stimulate the body to compensate for the work load and it does so by building more muscle. That muscle in turn is metabolically active, and begins to burn more fat, even while sleeping. As the body burns the fat, it becomes smaller in size because a pound of fat takes up more space than a pound of muscle. The body burns the fat as long as the body remains in a calorie deficit each day.

We shrink, yet it’s possible to weight the same, trading 1 pound of fat for 1 pound of muscle.

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Your Fitness Future Foretold: 20 Predictions for the New Year

This is a guest post by Tom Venuto, the author of the #1 best selling diet book Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle

Happy New Year! In this article, I’m going to predict your future and forecast exactly what kind of results you’re going to get in the next 12 months. Sylvia Browne, step aside… I’m pretty good at this.

Several years ago, a public relations firm in New York City asked me to write an article for one of their publications about fitness trends and predictions for the coming year.

It turned out that my “crystal ball” was pretty darn accurate. I nailed most of the predictions I made about aerobics classes, yoga, core training, “holistic” approaches, online personal training technology, the baby boomer market, increasing obesity and many other subjects.
fitness predictions for the new yearI do confess, it wasn’t that difficult, because instead of just guessing, I actually did some research on industry statistics and I also had some “inside insights” because I’d been a health club manager for so many years and was privy to fitness business trends.

This year, instead of making predictions for the whole fitness industry, what if I could take out my crystal ball again and predict with 99% precision exactly what kind of results you will achieve with your body by the end of the year?

Well, no problem, I can do that too!

I would claim that I have some kind of “gift” for this, but to be honest, you and I don’t need to be psychic to make predictions like these.

There are two things you can always count on: (1) Nature’s laws of cause and effect, and (2) human nature.

On that basis, here are my

20 fitness predictions for the new year

I PREDICT that if you can reach into your pocket on any day this year and pull out a card or piece of paper with all your body and fitness goals written on it in vivid detail, the odds are 95 to 1 in favor of you achieving every one of those goals before the year is out.

I PREDICT that if you focus your thoughts on your goals and how you are going to achieve them, all day long, you will reach your goals so fast this year, it will make your head spin.

I PREDICT that if you focus your thoughts on health woes and body fat problems and if you think about what you don’t want, all day long, your problems will get worse than ever this year.

I PREDICT that if you made a new year’s resolution, but you didn’t turn it into a specific, written goal with a deadline and a strong reason why you must achieve it, you will freely abandon it the moment the going gets tough.
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Poor Me Syndrome

PMS. The Poor Me Syndrome.

Guys, you too can be afflicted by PMS and not even know it.

This disease selects all gender, every ethnicity and all demographics!

Its running rampant and I saw three cases of it yesterday. Myself included!

Levels of severity can differ day to day and some of the symptoms to watch for might include:

  • Making excuses
  • Justifying to yourself that you have chosen to do the ”right” thing
  • Commiserating with others
  • Seeking sympathy

gym bag
I will share a personal experience with you. On Tuesday, I believed I couldn’t go to the gym because I was too busy from my work and at the end of the day I felt tired. A raise of hands if you’ve felt the same way. That was my belief but actually it was my own personal opinion created by what I thought was my own reality.

It all begins with a single thought and snowballs from there



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Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlic

We found this roasted squash and garlic recipe in a magazine and altered it to be more healthy – as we do!

All I have to say is “ah garlic!” We love it! We put it in almost everything we cook, in large quantities. We actually thought we used a lot of it until we went to Thailand and took some cooking classes there (yes we’ll share those recipes soon). Our teacher and host put about 12 cloves into one pot of soup. It was great!

Seriously – garlic has long been known for its healing qualities and was at one time thought to ward off not only vampires but the plague too. Cook this roasted squash in the afternoon and your house will smell so great when everyone gets home they won’t be able to keep their hands off it.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlic

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Video: The Basic Squat

This squat video by the American Council on Exercise shows proper form and technique for the squat. They’re doing body weight squats in this video, to show form and function, but it’s also a good idea to progress to a point where you’re using weights.

Adding weight to your squat can come in the form of a barbell across the shoulders, dumbbells in each hand, a in one or both hands or even a dumbbell in one or both hands.

Body Weight Exercises

Bodyweight exercise is fantastic. Push-ups can be done anywhere you have a floor and they’re one of the perfect vacation exercises. Squats are just as easy to perform anywhere you have a floor. If you’re using body weight, you can begin with one or two if you’re quite large, then progress as you get stronger. If you’re already quite strong, do a massive set of 50 or 100 squats.

Jeff Anderson the Muscle Nerd uses a combination of many different types of bodyweight exercises plus gym tools in his Combat The Fat Workout program. I’ve used the Combat The Fat Workout as my primary training routine when I was getting in shape to climb to Mt Everest Base Camp in Oct of 2008. I needed endurance and lung capacity to be able to handle the 9 hour days of climbing and Jeff’s program did the trick.

I’ve recently added a squat challenge to my body weight challenge section in my “other” forum. Challenge yourself, see how many squats you can do in 2 minutes or try another one and see how many long it takes you to do 100 squats.

Watch the squat video, make sure you’re using proper form, because when it comes right down to any training you do, it’s all about form, not the weight.

Eating At The Table – Food For Thought

It wasn’t until today that I decided that I need to revitalize a old tradition from my childhood and reminiscent of the Thanksgiving or recent Eating at the table.

Eight weeks ago, we purchased a gorgeous dark wood pub style table and chairs for our kitchen.

We live in a smallish condo. perfectly comfortable for two with no designated dining area. I chose the table because of the dark wood and it gave the area special warmth. A place for us to dine together. Until then, we had a tiny table not suitable for two.

40% of North Americans eat with their family at home each night each week

eating in front of the tvUntil then and even after we had the table, we shuffled our plates on our laps while we unconsciously, almost zombie like, sat to watch a sit com, the news or whatever reality tv show was on. After a busy day at work and especially throughout the Christmas season, it was our time to relax and our time to rest.

After recently talking to a couple at a party, I learned that they too would quite often watch tv with tv trays. Not only the two of them but their children as well.

Now, I suspect that we aren’t the only ones doing this.

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Recipe: Mint Pea Lime Soup with Spinach

Greens, greens and more greens! It is not only a very festive Christmassy color, but most things you can eat that are green are super charged with nutrition. Dark leafy greens are on the top of the charge for nutrient density, and the more you can eat of them the better.

Many people think of “rabbit food” when you say “dark leafy green” but you can do so much more with them than just salad. This recipe uses green peas, spinach and fresh mint leaves which makes it not only good for you but really tasty. Anyone that knows Rob and I, know we like to taste our food so we look for recipes that are healthy AND taste great. No one wants to eat flavorless food. Add more lime, or add some chili peppers if you want it to have more zip.

Mint Pea Lime Soup with Spinach

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