Asparagus and White Bean Soup RecipeAsparagus and White Bean Soup


Asparagus and White Bean Soup Recipe

This soup provides a hearty, filling meal without the excess fat and sodium of canned versions. It uses fresh asparagus that provides vitamin K. The white beans add both protein and fiber. When blended, the beans thicken the soup to a creamy consistency without the need for cream or butter.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.9g
3%Saturated Fat 0.6g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 372mg
Total Carbohydrate 41.3g
Dietary Fiber 10.3g
Sugars 3.9g
Protein 14.2g
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans no salt added white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ¼ cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp fine ground sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Parsley and shredded parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a 3 to 4 quart pan over medium-high. Add the garlic and onion. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the asparagus and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. Stir in the beans and then the vegetable broth. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
  3. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree for 10 to 15 seconds, until the soup is smooth. Return the soup to the pan on low heat. Stir in the salt and pepper. Serve warm, garnished with parsley leaves and shredded parmesan, if desired.

Gym Etiquette RulesGym Etiquette Rules


Gym Etiquette Rules

Everyone has encountered exercisers who seem to think they are the only ones at the gym. While you can’t control the behavior of others, you can do your best to follow gym etiquette rules and set a good example. Over time, your politeness and consideration may rub off on others.

Be timely

You might think that slipping into a group exercise class late is harmless, but it can disrupt both the instructor and fellow members. Missing the warm-up and any special instruction at the start of class can also put you at risk for injury. Out of respect for everyone in the class, arrive 5 minutes early for a safe and effective workout.

Clean up after yourself

Putting weights away and wiping down machines should not be left to gym employees. A dumbbell in the walkway could easily trip someone, and leaving sweat on equipment is inconsiderate. Re-rack weights in the appropriate spots and use the complimentary spray bottles to disinfect the equipment.

Know the rules

Pay attention to posted rules and ask the staff questions about what is and isn’t appropriate. Some gyms prohibit members from joining a class late for safety reasons and many have time limits for cardio machines to ensure everyone has a chance to exercise.


There is nothing worse than a person who hoards the 10 pound dumbbells for 30 minutes while they rotate through their exercises. Speak up and ask to take turns with equipment. Offer to do the same if you see someone eyeing the items you’re using.

Quiet down

Loud conversations, talking on a cell phones, and banging weights creates an unpleasant atmosphere for everyone around you. Speak quietly, take your phone calls outside, and keep the grunting and banging to a minimum.

Skip the body sprays

Activity can heighten sense of smell making even the faintest spray of cologne or perfume unbearable. Avoid applying sprays and scented lotions several hours before a workout. If you store workout clothes in the locker room for multiple uses, be sure you stay aware of when that stinky shirt needs to hit the laundry basket.

Watch where you rest

When you take a break after a set or stop to send a text, move out of the way of other exercisers. Don’t take up valuable mirror space or sit on a workout bench. If you are deep in conversation with the person on the cardio machine next to you, step off your machine to continue your talk once your session is complete and allow someone else to get started.

The 5 Essentials for Weight LossThe 5 Essentials for Weight Loss


Essentials for Weight Loss

Choose a Realistic Goal

A realistic goal is one that is both challenging and achievable. If it is too easy, you will lose interest; too hard and you may give up. Research shows that if you are overweight, losing just 10 percent of your body weight can improve your health. Start there and aim to lose one to two pounds per week. If you still need to lose weight once you reach your 10 percent goal, set out for another 10 percent at the same pace.

Build a Support Group

Share your goals with loved ones, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Consider beginning a weight loss plan with a friend. One study showed that when friends signed up for a weight loss program together, they were more successful at keeping the weight off. It’s also not uncommon for a support group to include people you have never met, such as a gym instructor or people with shared interests on social media or website forums. When you create a healthy environment by surrounding yourself with like-minded people, you build a supportive network that makes it easier to reach your goals.

Give Exercise and Eating Equal Attention

Combining both exercise and healthy eating improves overall health and weight loss while creating healthy habits to keep the weight off long term. Healthy eating and exercise work hand in hand to keep you fit. Nourishing foods fuel your workouts, and exercise improves your mood and brightens your outlook making it easier to commit to healthy choices. Giving both equal attention creates a healthy lifestyle balance. The days you eat a little more, exercise will help burn those extra calories. When you have to skip a workout, healthy eating helps control your calorie intake so you can stay on track.

Recognize Hunger Signals

When you eat mindfully, you put the focus on the food and how you feel during the meal. This helps you recognize when your taste buds are satisfied and when you feel physically full. As you get better at recognizing hunger signals, your portion sizes will grow smaller and choosing healthy foods will become natural. These changes also help you control cravings. With time, you will need two bites of cake to feel satisfied instead of two pieces.

Plan Ahead

Planning and preparation are essential for making the healthy choices that are necessary for weight loss. Without them, you will fall into a trap of excuses for why you are too busy to make dinner or squeeze in a walk. Plan and shop for meals over the weekend and spend a couple hours preparing meals and snacks for the week. Make calendar appointments for your exercise and give them the same priority as you do work meetings and doctor appointments. Planning will pay off in weight loss success.


Ricotta Toasts with Fresh Strawberries RecipeRicotta Toasts with Fresh Strawberries


Ricotta Toasts with Fresh Strawberries Recipe

These easy toasts make a quick breakfast or snack. Part skim ricotta cheese provides protein and fresh strawberries supply vitamin C.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 toasts
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g
10%Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 190mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.3g
Dietary Fiber 2.8g
Sugars 6.9g
Protein 6.4g
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes


  • 8 slices whole wheat baguette
  • ½ cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 8 to 10 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint


  1. Preheat the broiler and place the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Broil until toasted and browned, about 3 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta and honey. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta over each toast.
  3. Place a few slices of strawberry over the ricotta on each toast. Sprinkle the toasts with chopped mint and serve.

Hidden Sources of SodiumHidden Sources of Sodium


hidden sources of sodium

Sodium is an essential mineral that is important for muscle and nerve function, but too much may put you at risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that healthy adults consume fewer than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day so look out for the following hidden sources.

Canned foods

One cup of chicken broth can have as much as 860 milligrams of sodium. Some canned green beans contain 390 milligrams per half cup. When you use these products in recipes that call for even more salt, the sodium content in your meal can get out of control. Always look for canned foods with “low sodium” or “unsalted” on the label.


From scalloped potato kits to pancake mixes, these products serve as shortcuts to save time in the kitchen, but it may not be worth it. Flavorings and preservatives add excess amounts of sodium to these packaged foods. Some baking mixes contain 410 milligrams per serving. Check labels closely before you decide to save time cooking with these products.

Poultry, Fish, and Seafood

Chicken and fish can be a healthy choice, but don’t ignore the nutrition label just because they are fresh foods. Some poultry is injected with sodium and some fish and seafood are washed in high-sodium baths to improve flavor, texture, and appearance. Injected poultry can have five to eight times more sodium than untreated poultry. Look for labels stating that there is no added salt or sodium.

Salad Dressings

A salad full of vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein can quickly be ruined by pouring on a high-sodium salad dressing. Two tablespoons of ranch dressing contains as much as 260 milligrams. Trade bottled dressings for olive oils, flavored vinegars, and citrus juice. You can also try mixing up your own low-sodium salad dressing at home. (See 5 Low-sodium Salad Dressing Ideas.)


When you use bread, lunch meat, and cheese to build a sandwich, you are combining three of the worst culprits for hidden sodium. Turkey sandwiches from popular fast food restaurants can contain 800 to 1400 milligrams! By selecting low-sodium bread and topping it with homemade vegetables, roasted chicken or hummus, you can drastically reduce the sodium in your meal.


Eat better. Feel better. MyFoodDiary Categories Exercise
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