Spinach Bean Dip with Smoked Paprika RecipeSpinach Bean Dip with Smoked Paprika

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Spinach Bean Dip with Smoked Paprika Recipe

Snack smart at your next party with this bean dip. It’s low in saturated fat and perfect for dipping fresh vegetables or for spreading over pita bread. It can also be used as a vegetarian sandwich spread or as the filling for a healthy quesadilla.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2 tbsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.5g
2%Saturated Fat 0.3g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 105mg
Total Carbohydrate 5.3g
Dietary Fiber 1.6g
Sugars 0.8g
Protein 1.6g
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: About 2 cups, 16 servings

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup canned white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach, reduce the heat to medium, and cook about 4 minutes more, until the spinach is wilted and the onions have softened. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  2. To the bowl of a food processor, add the white kidney beans and the garbanzo beans. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the cooked onions and spinach. Pulse until a puree begins to form, about 5 to 6 pulses.
  3. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Pulse until smooth, about 5 to 6 more pulses. Serve immediately, at room temperature.

Does Thin Mean Fit?Does Thin Mean Fit?

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Does this mean fit?

Maintaining a healthy body weight is important, but it should not be confused with being physically fit. Simply being thin does not protect you from health conditions related to a sedentary lifestyle.

Research supports fitness.

A person can appear thin while having excess visceral fat -- the fat around vital organs that increases disease risk -- making weight alone a poor indicator for overall health. Researchers use the term metabolically fit to describe a person who is a regular exerciser and overweight, but is without health risk factors, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Studies show that, despite being overweight, the metabolically fit have no higher death risk than those who are fit and maintain a normal weight.

This research indicates that thinness doesn’t always equal fitness, but it is also no reason to abandon your weight loss goals. Maintaining a healthy weight puts less stress on your joints and can improve your energy levels.

Measure your fitness.

Fitness should be your goal regardless of your body weight. There are three components that define your total fitness level:

  • Cardiorespiratory endurance – Often measured by the step test, it is the ability of the heart, lungs, and vascular system to work together to transfer oxygen and carbon dioxide within the body during activity.

  • Muscular endurance, power, and strength – Measured by push up tests, sit up tests, and hand grip, it’s the ability of the muscles to contract, generate force, and sustain repeated contraction.

  • Flexibility – Measured by the sit-and-reach test, flexibility is a measure of the range of motion around joints.

Fitness centers, worksite health fairs, and university exercise labs provide tests for these components.

Pass these health tests.

Health tests help you identify risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Remember that those considered metabolically fit do not have health risk factors despite the fact that they are overweight according to their BMI. Regularly schedule appointments with your healthcare provider to assess these health indicators. He or she may recommend more tests to determine your overall health status.

  • Fasting blood glucose - 70 to 100 mg/dL is normal
  • Triglycerides - below 150 mg/dL is desirable
  • HDL cholesterol - greater than 60 mg/dL is desirable
  • Blood pressure - less than 120 mmHg over less than 80 mmHg is normal

Exercise regardless of your weight.

Exercise is a key factor in staying metabolically fit. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week for improved health. Also incorporate two or three days of strength training and two or three days of flexibility training each week for a balanced exercise program to improve your metabolic fitness.

9 Ways to Spring Clean Your Fitness Plan9 Ways to Spring Clean Your Fitness Plan

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Spring Clean Your Fitness Plan

Purge old workout gear.

Socks wear thin, sports bras lose support, waistbands stretch out, and the UPF in sun-protective clothing decreases with each wash. Toss exercise clothing that is worn out and donate what you don’t wear. Tennis shoes last for about 300 to 400 miles of activity. Get fitted for a new pair, and donate those that are past their prime to a program such as Soles4Souls.

Simplify your diet.

Now is the time to take advantage of spring's fresh produce. Concentrate on lighter foods and fewer ingredients. Skip the packaged products, and reach for fruits of the season, such as strawberries, raspberries, and apricots. Incorporate nutrient-rich asparagus, pea pods, and crisp greens into your meals.

Add a meditative workout to your week.

Head out on a nature hike or stretch at a place in the park with the best views. Take in your surroundings and be grateful for the gift of exercise and health.

Invite a friend.

Expand your support network. Start a walking group and exercise together a few times a week. Host a monthly cooking club where each member shares healthy ways to make favorite meals.

Set a goal for summer.

Pick a fun 5K to walk or run, set the number of standard push ups you will accomplish in one set, or aim to climb all the stairs at the stadium without stopping for a break. Whatever the goal, make sure it spells S-U-C-C-E-S-S.

Throw out a bad habit.

Maybe you can’t resist the candy dish after a stressful morning meeting, you skip stretching after workouts, or you indulge in a few more specialty coffees each week than you should. Even with all the positive changes you have made, there is likely one bad habit that sticks around. Now is the time to kick it to the curb.

Try a new exercise time.

Extended daylight is one of the best things about the arrival of spring. If you've been squeezing in a lunchtime workout all winter, try switching things up with an early morning run or a tennis match after work.

Trade in a boring routine.

Your body needs new challenges to stay fit so it’s important to change up your workout routine every four to six weeks. Spring is a great time to introduce new exercises by taking your workout outdoors. Try boot camp at the park, join a weekend cycling club, or try trail running.

Get a check up.

The American Heart Association recommends that adults have a cholesterol check every five years. If you are overdue, spring is the perfect time to make an appointment with your doctor to assess your overall health status.

Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Fresh Herbs and Lemon RecipeGarlic Roasted Asparagus with Fresh Herbs and Lemon

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Fresh Herbs Recipe

In addition to being rich in vitamins A and K, asparagus is a source of saponins, which possess anti-cancer properties and the potential to improve blood pressure. Asparagus also contains a prebiotic called inulin that promotes a healthy digestive tract.

Fresh asparagus is one of the easiest vegetables to prepare. It cooks quickly and pairs well with citrus and herbs. Serve this side dish with steamed fish or grilled chicken.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.5g
2%Saturated Fat 0.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 73mg
Total Carbohydrate 5.9g
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
Sugars 2.6g
Protein 2.7g
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

Cooking time: 10 minutes


  • 1 lb. asparagus, tough part of stems trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir in the parsley, chives, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour the dressing over the asparagus and move the stalks around to ensure that each is coated. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender.
  5. Use a spatula to transfer the asparagus to a serving platter. Scoop up any roasted garlic and herbs from the baking sheet and place on top of the asparagus. Serve immediately.

How to Exercise for Weight LossHow to Exercise for Weight Loss

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Exercise for Weight Loss

Find activities that you enjoy

Include all three components.

A good fitness program includes three types of activity - cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility training.

Cardio: Your cardio sessions use large muscle groups for an extended period, burning the calories necessary for weight loss. At the same time, aerobic exercise works the heart, which makes it stronger and improves cardiovascular health. Choose activities that raise your heart rate and keep it elevated, such as dancing, hiking, jogging, or swimming.

Strength training: Weight machines, free weights, muscle conditioning classes, Pilates, and jump training all qualify as strength training. Some forms of yoga have also been found to increase muscular strength. Strength training burns calories, reduces muscle loss as you age, and gives your muscles a toned appearance. Incorporate strength training at least two times per week with exercises that work all major muscle groups.

Flexibility training: Activities that improve your range of motion can reduce your risk of injury and can improve your physical performance. Flexibility training can simply be stretching each muscle group after a workout, or it may already be a part of your activity such as with martial arts, yoga, or Pilates.

Find activities you enjoy.

Consistency is a major factor in your success with losing weight and keeping it off long-term. Enjoying your exercise routine impacts your ability to be consistent over the long run. If you feel there are no activities you enjoy, it’s time think outside the box. Jumping on the trampoline with your kids, or playing in an adult volleyball league count as exercise just like cardio machines and classes at the gym. If you find that you don't like the first plan you try, don't give up in frustration. Explore some new activities until you find some that you enjoy.

You must invest the time.

The American College of Sports Medicine reports that exercising more than 250 minutes per week is necessary to lose significant weight (at least 3% of body weight) while also improving the likelihood that you will keep the weight off. Below is a sample weekly exercise program that totals 315 minutes, involves all three fitness components, and includes a variety of activities.


  • Hiking: 60 minutes


  • Stationary Bike: 30 minutes

  • Full-body Strength Training: 20 minutes

  • Full-body Stretching: 10 minutes


  • Indoor or Outdoor Walk: 45 minutes


  • Modern Dance Class: 60 minutes


  • Elliptical Machine: 30 minutes

  • Full-body Strength Training: 20 minutes

  • Full-body Stretching: 10 minutes


  • Doubles Tennis: 30 minutes


  • Rest

Do the math.

Weight loss depends on creating a deficit between energy intake and energy expenditure. To lose body fat, you need to burn more calories through metabolism and physical activity than you ingest through food. Tracking your exercise with the MyFoodDiary Exercise Log, combined with using the food diary to track food intake, will help you balance your eating and activity to create the calorie deficit you need to reach your weight loss goal.

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