Motivation Monday – Karen McWatters (Boston Strong) Congrats to all the Runners of the Boston Marathon!!!

2

When the first bomb went off, Karen McWatters was only a few feet from the blast. That blast took a great deal from Karen, but what it gave her would help make a difference in the life of a person she had never met.

Train, Eat, Rest & Repeat – Benefits of Squats

1
barbell-squat
  1. Builds Muscle in Your Entire BodySquats obviously help to build your leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves), but they also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building.In fact, when done properly, squats are so intense that they trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone in your body, which are vital for muscle growth and will also help to improve muscle mass when you train other areas of your body aside from your legs.

    So squats can actually help you improve both your upper and lower body strength.

  2. Functional Exercise Makes Real-Life Activities EasierFunctional exercises are those that help your body to perform real-life activities, as opposed to simply being able to operate pieces of gym equipment. Squats are one of the best functional exercises out there, as humans have been squatting since the hunter-gatherer days. When you perform squats, you build muscle and help your muscles work more efficiently, as well as promote mobility and balance. All of these benefits translate into your body moving more efficiently in the real world too.
  3. Burn More FatOne of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is actually to gain more muscle! For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day. So, if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will automatically burn 500-700 more calories per day than you did before.
  4. Maintain Mobility and BalanceStrong legs are crucial for staying mobile as you get older, and squats are phenomenal for increasing leg strength. They also work out your core, stabilizing muscles, which will help you to maintain balance, while also improving the communication between your brain and your muscle groups, which helps prevent falls – which is incidentally the #1 way to prevent bone fractures versus consuming mega-dose calcium supplements and bone drugs.
  5. Prevent InjuriesMost athletic injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues, which squats help strengthen. They also help prevent injury by improving your flexibility (squats improve the range of motion in your ankles and hips) and balance, as noted above.
  6. Boost Your Sports Performance — Jump Higher and Run FasterWhether you’re a weekend warrior or a mom who chases after a toddler, you’ll be interested to know that studies have linked squatting strength with athletic ability.1 Specifically, squatting helped athletes run faster and jump higher, which is why this exercise is part of virtually every professional athlete’s training program.
  7. Tone Your Backside, Abs and Entire BodyFew exercises work as many muscles as the squat, so it’s an excellent multi-purpose activity useful for toning and tightening your behind, abs, and, of course, your legs. Furthermore, squats build your muscles, and these muscles participate in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, helping to protect you against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  8. Help with Waste RemovalSquats improve the pumping of body fluids, aiding in removal of waste and delivery of nutrition to all tissues, including organs and glands. They’re also useful for improved movement of feces through your colon and more regular bowel movements.

Credit: Fitness Mercola
 

Happy Garlic Day – Health Benefits of Garlic

5

GARLIC BULBS ON DISPLAY

  1. Treats Acne

This herb may not be found in acne products’ list of ingredients, but it can serve as a natural topical treatment to get rid of blemishes. Allicin, the organic compound in garlic, has the ability to stop the damaging effects of radicals and kill bacteria, according to a 2009 study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. In its decomposed form — sulfenic acid — allicin produces a fast reaction with radicals, which makes it a valuable herb for treating acne scars, skin diseases, and allergies.

  1. Treats Hair Loss

A head full of hair that smells like garlic could help in the treatment of hair loss. The herb’s extremely high sulfur content contains keratin, the protein hair is made of. This stimulates fortification and growth. A 2007 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venerology and Leprology found the use of a garlic gel added to the therapeutic efficacy of topical betamethasone valerate for alopecia areata treatment can be effective to induce hair re-growth.

  1. Fights Common Cold

Garlic’s allicin can serve as a health aid during times of illness. Rene Ficek, a registered dietician and a lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating in Illinois told Medical Daily in an email: “Garlic cloves contain a healthy dose of allicin, but you may still need a few cloves per day to feel the effects.” However, garlic supplementation can also be used to ward off viruses.

A 2001 study published in the journal Advances In Therapy found a daily garlic supplement can reduce the number of colds by 63 percent compared to not taking supplements. Moreover, the average length of cold symptoms was also reduced to 70 percent, from five days in the control group to 1.5 days in garlic supplement group. These findings suggest the allicin-containing supplement has a protective effect against the common cold.

  1. Lowers Blood Pressure

A garlic supplement a day may help keep your blood pressure at bay. Its active compounds can significantly reduce blood pressure comparable to the effects of prescribed drugs. Aged garlic extract between 600 to 1,500 milligrams (mg) was found to be just as effective as the drug Atenolol prescribed for hypertension in a 24-week period, according to a 2013 study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Garlic is believed to activate the production of the endothelium-derived relaxation factor, according to Ficek, due to the herb’s high amount of polysulfides — sulfur — containing molecules. This leads to smooth muscle relaxation and vasodilation (widening of blood vessels), following the relaxation of the smooth muscle in the vessel wall. Garlic supplements can achieve these effects efficiently without the bad breath compared to raw garlic.

  1. Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Garlic can help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering total LDL cholesterol. A 2000 study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found the effect of garlic on total cholesterol level in people with elevated levels moderately reduced cholesterol levels. Vandana Sheth, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics told Medical Daily in an email that this is achieved by “diminishing the activity of main cholesterol-producing enzyme in the liver.” Garlic supplements can enhance the body’s ability to dissolve blood clots that would otherwise increase the risk of heart attacks by closing the arteries.

  1. Enhances Physical Performance

Garlic can help increase exercise capacity and reduce exercise-induced fatigue. “[G]arlic has a long history of being used in ancient cultures to reduce fatigue and enhance the work capacity of laborers,” Ficek said. Garlic oil has been shown to improve the exercise capacity of people with heart disease. A 2005 study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found participants with heart disease who took garlic oil for six weeks saw a reduction in peak heart rate by 12 percent. This was accompanied by an improvement in their physical endurance during a treadmill exercise.

  1. Improves Bone Health

The alkalizing vegetable is filled with bone-healthy nutrients such as zinc, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Risa Groux, a holistic nutritionist and ChazzLIVE expert told Medical Daily in an email: “Garlic is really high in manganese, which contains enzymes and antioxidants that facilitates the formation of bones and connective tissues, bone metabolism, and calcium absorption.”

Garlic may help reduce bone loss through the increase of estrogen in females. A 2007 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found garlic oil was able to preserve the skeletal health of rodents when under a hypogonadal situation. In other words, garlic contains nutrients that act as building blocks for healthy, strong bones.

Garlic can be a flavorful addition to your dish and also double as a valuable aid to your health. 

Credit: Medical Daily

Happy National Animal Crackers Day – Which is your favorite Animal Cracker?

5

animalcrackers

These fun little crackers are usually in the shape of circus or zoo animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, bears, and monkeys.

Animal-shaped crackers were first brought to the United States during the late 1800’s. The demand for these treats skyrocketed so bakers began to produce them domestically.

Stauffer’s Biscuit Company was the first company to produce animal crackers in 1871 in York, Pennsylvania. Other local bakeries soon came together under the National Biscuit Company, or “Nabisco Brands.” It was not until 1902 though that the animal cracker’s box débuted its “Barnum’s Animals” circus theme.

Did you know that since their start in 1903, there have been 37 different animals included in Barnum’s Animal Crackers? Today more than 40 million packages of animal crackers are sold each year around the world. To celebrate National Animal Crackers Day, enjoy a box (or two) of some delicious Barnum’s Animal Crackers!

568

Which is your favorite Animal Cracker?

Day of the Mushroom – Fettuccine in Creamy Mushroom and Sage Sauce Recipe

4

439095

Ingredients

8 ounces spinach fettuccine pasta

  • 
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 
1 shallot, chopped
  • 
1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 
4 ounces chopped fresh oyster mushrooms
  • 
1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 
salt and pepper to taste

 PREP
10 mins

  • COOK
20 mins
  • READY IN
30 mins

148200

Directions

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  • Heat olive oil a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook shallots and garlic until transparent. Stir in mushrooms, and cook until tender. Mix in heavy cream and sage. Cook and stir until thickened. Toss sauce with cooked fettucine, and season with salt and pepper to serve.

Credit: All Recipes

Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World – Who had the greatest influence in your life?

5

time-cover-misty-copeland-today-150416_25e140b11fea17223841ebe8d67bbda7.today-inline-large

Time magazine unveiled its 12th annualTime 100 Most Influential People in the Worldissue on Thursday, which once again features figures ranging from politicians to pop culture icons, from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to Kanye West.

Five prominent people made the separate covers: Kanye West, Misty Copeland, Bradley Cooper, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Jorge Ramos.

The list takes into account those who have inspired others, positively or negatively, and each person on the list has a profile written about him or her by another notable figure. Entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk profiles West, Oprah Winfrey writes about producer and director Lee Daniels, presidential hopeful Rand Paul writes about billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar does the honors for NBA commissioner Adam Silver, and legendary actor Jack Nicholson profiles Lorne Michaels.

time-cover-kanye-today-150416_25e140b11fea17223841ebe8d67bbda7.today-inline-large

President Barack Obama is on the list for the 10th time, the most of any of the honorees, followed by presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton making her eighth appearance. The list features 40 women, including education activist Malala Yousafzai, 17, who is the youngest person on the list for the third straight year. The oldest of this year’s honorees is 88-year-old Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi.

The TIME 100 issue goes on sale on Friday.

The most influential people, who had the biggest impact in my life are my parents because they taught me the value of self-worth and Bruce Lee, who caught me to Be Like Water.

Tell us who influenced you to be the person you are in your life?

National Eggs Benedict Day!!! – How do you like your Eggs Benedict?

3

1920px-Eggs_benedict

It’s National Eggs Benedict Day! Eggs Benedict is a breakfast dish made with two toasted English muffin halves topped with poached eggs, bacon or ham, and tangy Hollandaise sauce.

Many people claim that they invented Eggs Benedict. According to one story, in 1894 a Wall Street broker named Lemuel Benedict went to the Waldorf Hotel to find a cure for his hangover. At the hotel restaurant he ordered buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and Hollandaise. The restaurant chef Oscar Tschirky loved the dish so much that he added it to the menu and named it after Mr. Benedict.

Another account comes from a man named Edward P. Montgomery. In 1967 he wrote a letter to The New York Times Magazine claiming that he’d discovered the true inventor of Eggs Benedict. Montgomery’s note contained a recipe created by Commodore E.C. Benedict before his death in 1920. Montgomery received the recipe from his mother who was an acquaintance of the Commodore.

Picture Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org

Credit: Punchbowl

National Glazed Spiral Ham Day!!! – Tangerine-Glazed Easter Ham With Baby Carrots

4

FO1D18_tangerine-glazed-ham_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

Ingredients

1 (8 to 10-pound) smoked ham, bone-in, skin on

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch fresh sage leaves

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in chunks

2 tangerines, sliced thin, seeds removed

2 cups tangerine juice

2 cups light brown sugar, packed

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

11/2 pounds carrots, peeled

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Put the ham in a large roasting pan, fat-side up. Using a sharp knife, score the ham with cuts across the skin, about 2-inches apart and 1/2-inch deep. Cut diagonally down the slashes to form a diamond pattern; season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Chop about 8 of the sage leaves and put it in a bowl; mix with the oil to make a paste. Rub the sage-oil all over the ham, being sure to get the flavor into all the slits. Bake the ham for 2 hours. Now there is plenty of time to bang-out the tangerine glaze.

For the glaze: Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chunks of butter, tangerines, tangerine juice, brown sugar, water, and spices. Slowly cook the liquid down to a syrupy glaze; this should take about 30 to 40 minutes.

After the ham has been going for a couple of hours, pour the tangerine glaze all over it, with the pieces of fruit and all. Scatter the remaining sage leaves on top and stick the ham back in the oven and continue to cook for 11/2 hours, basting with the juices every 30 minutes.

Scatter the carrots around the ham and coat in the tangerine glaze. Stick the ham once again back in the oven and cook for a final 30 minutes, until the carrots are tender, the ham is dark and crispy, and the whole thing is glistening with a sugary glaze.

Set the ham on a cutting board to rest before carving. Serve the carrots and tangerine glaze on the side.

Credit: Food Network

National Pecan Day!!! – Bacon and Cane Syrup Pecan Pie Recipe

6

051113052-03-bacon-pecan-pie-recipe_xlg

For the pie dough

  • 7-1/2 oz. (1-2/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 5 to 7 Tbs. ice water

For the filling

  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 cup cane syrup, such as Steen’s or Lyle’s
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled cooked bacon (3 or 4 strips)

Make the pie dough

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the largest pieces are about the size of corn kernels, 8 to 12 one-second pulses. Drizzle 5 Tbs. of the ice water over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture becomes a moist, crumbly-looking dough that holds together when squeezed in your hand, 4 to 6 pulses. If the dough is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of ice water and test again.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Gently gather and press the dough into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Let the dough sit at room temperature to soften slightly (it should be firm but not rock hard), 5 to 20 minutes, depending on how long it was chilled. Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface with a lightly floured rolling pin until it’s about 13 inches wide and 1/8 inch thick. Roll from the center of the dough to the edges and try to use as few passes as possible to avoid overworking the dough. After every few passes, run an offset spatula or a bench knife under the dough to be sure it isn’t sticking, and give the dough a quarter turn. Reflour the work surface and rolling pin only as needed—excess flour makes the crust tough.

Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate by rolling it around the rolling pin and unrolling it into the plate. You can also fold the dough in half and unfold it into the plate. To fit the dough into the plate, gently lift the edges to create enough slack to line the sides without stretching the dough. Trim off all but 3/4 inch of the overhang. Roll the dough under itself to build up the edge of the crust. Crimp the edge of the crust with your fingers. With the tines of a fork, prick the crust all over. Chill for up to 1 hour in the refrigerator or about 30 minutes in the freezer.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Line the piecrust with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking until the bottom looks dry and the edges are golden, 5 to 7 minutes more. Cool on a rack while you prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and put a large, rimmed baking sheet on the oven rack.

Make the filling

Put the egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl set on a kitchen towel and add the vanilla. Combine the sugar, butter, cane syrup, cream, and salt in a 1-quart sauce-pan. Heat over medium heat just until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisking vigorously and constantly, very slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the yolks. Strain through a fine strainer set over a 1-quart measuring cup.

Fill and bake the pie

TIP:

Pour the filling over the pecans in a slow, spiral motion; if you go too fast, the pecans may move, leaving gaps in the finished pie.

Spread the pecans evenly in the piecrust. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon evenly over the pecans. Slowly pour the filling over the pecans. Put the pie on the baking sheet and bake until the center of the pie is slightly firm to the touch and the filling doesn’t wobble when the pie is nudged, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before serving. 

Make Ahead Tips

The pie dough may be made up to 1 month ahead; wrap it well in plastic wrap and foil and freeze it. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before rolling it out. The pie can be made up to 1 day ahead (store covered with plastic at room temperature), but it’s best eaten warm.

Credit: Fine Cooking

Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States? – What are your thoughts, does she get your vote?

9

Clinton-2016-tattoo-595x1056-576x1024

According to Yahoo, Hillary Clinton announced yesterday that she will be running in 2016. With a tweet and a Web video this weekend, Hillary Clinton is expected to announce that she’s running for president. Clinton is then expected to hit the road, making her first stops in Iowa, where she came in third during the 2008 Democratic caucus.

Washington Post columnist Robert Costa about the challenges facing the former secretary of state, senator and first lady as she begins her battle to win the White House.

Costa said the Clinton insiders he’s spoken with tell him that she doesn’t want to have a big announcement. “She wants to be low-key with her announcement and focus on voter interaction,” said Costa. “That’s why it’s a social media enterprise. It’s going to be Twitter, a Web video, Facebook and going to the early primary caucus states to show the voters that she wants to engage with them.”

“Her team feels like they’ve escaped large political fire and fallout,” said Costa. “They’re happy it happened before her launch, and if you look at her poll numbers, they’ve remained stable. She’s taken a bit of a hit, but not a major hit.”

There has also been debate about what role former President Clinton will play in his wife’s campaign. Costa said we shouldn’t expect to see that much of President Clinton in the beginning of the campaign.

“This is about Secretary Clinton; this is her time to get back into the arena,” said Costa. “President Clinton is popular with Democratic voters and is popular with all Americans, if you look at polls across the country. You can expect for him to be a prominent yet strategically used figure on the campaign trail.”