Cardio myths that make you fat

These common misconceptions might be keeping your scale stuck, but there are easy ways to change that and lose more weight!

To Speed Up Weight Loss, Skip Strength Training And Focus
On Cardio

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All cardio and no strength isn’t just boring, it may cause you to burn fewer calories overall. “Strength training builds lean muscle mass, which both increases your metabolism and decreases fat,” says celebrity trainer Elizabeth Hendrix Burwell, co-owner of High Performance Gym. “So the more muscle you build, the more calories you burn on a day-to-day basis.” Some strength training workouts can even double as cardio: A recent study by the American Council on Exercise found that kettle bell exercises can burn up to 20 calories a minute—the equivalent of running at a 6-minute mile pace!

Do Cardio First, Then Hit The Weights

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This age-old question is about as common as the chicken-or-the-egg conundrum: Should you start with cardio or strength training? “If you’re hitting the treadmill for an intense cardio session and then plan to hit the weights afterward, you’ll have little left in your tank to make your resistance training count,” says Lindsay Vastola, a certified trainer and founder of Body Project Fitness and Lifestyle. When it comes to doing a full, high-intensity cardio session and an entire resistance training workout, perform each on separate days, Vastola says, so you can give both your all and burn more calories in the process.

You Should Burn At Least 500 Calories During Your Cardio Sessions

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Slogging away on the treadmill to hit some magic number is a waste of time and energy since machines can only roughly estimate your metabolic rate, Vastola says. Ignore the red digits on the console and focus on intensity instead. If you work harder in shorter bursts, you’ll burn more calories even after your workout is over. Use a heart rate monitor (aim to stay between 75 to 85 percent of your max heart rate) or the rate of perceived exertion scale of 1 to 10 (strive for an 8 or 9 on high-intensity intervals) to determine if you’re working hard enough.

Stay In The “Fat-Burning Zone” If You’re Trying To Lose Weight

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Your body does burn fat as fuel during lower-intensity workouts (a.k.a. the “fat-burning zone” of about 65 percent of your max)—however that’s not necessarily what you need to focus on for weight loss. What counts the most is your overall calorie expenditure, not the fuel source. “The higher the intensity of your workout, the more total calories you will burn,” says Marta Montenegro, a certified strength and conditioning coach and adjunct professor of exercise and sports sciences at Florida International University. That burn lasts up to 24 hours after your last rep or step, and studies show you’ll shrink your belly fat faster, she adds.

Doing Cardio On An Empty Stomach Burns More Fat

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You can’t drive a car without gas, so why expect something different from your body? The trouble with this theory is that the large muscles that power you through your cardio exercise rely heavily on a combination of carbs and fats for energy. When you run or bike on an empty stomach, your body will turn to the carb and fat fragments in your bloodstream and muscle stores, not to the fat in your fat cells to energize your workout, says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University.

If You Do Enough Cardio, You Can Eat Whatever You Want And Still Lose

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We wish! Not only do most of us (and the machines we work out on) overestimate how many calories we burn during our workouts, we underestimate how many calories we’re eating too. Exercise alone just isn’t effective enough to burn fat, says Bret Contreras, a certified strength and conditioning specialist. “A recent study suggests that the average obese person loses approximately five pounds of fat over the course of eight months through cardio or resistance training alone,” he says.

Now you can be sure you’re doing it right!

Love,

Helwi El Hayet

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Skinny Greek Turkey Burger

A burger that is Skinny Jeans approved. Healthy, delicious and juicy all for just 240 little calories.

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Ingredients

2 cups extra lean turkey (99 Percent Fat Free)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped (if you use a jared kind, make sure to get the type that is in water NOT oil)
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (Again, water, not oil)
1/4 cup feta cheese
pinch Salt And Pepper
4 low calorie whole wheat muffins (100-110 calories)
4 tbs FAT FREE SOUR CREAM

Preparation

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In a bowl, add the turkey, Panko, garlic, oregano, basil, 1/2 tsp salt, and egg. Using your hands, mix until combined. Split into four equal portions and form into patties.

You’ll need a skillet that has a lid. Place it over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Allow to get hot but not smoking. Cook the patties for about 3 minutes, or until browned. Turn over and cook for another three minutes. Add the chicken broth to the pan, cover and allow to steam for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the patties reaches 165 degreed. Remove from pan and allow to drain on a stack of 3-4 paper towels.

In a bowl, add the artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, feta, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Lightly toast the English muffins.

Spread the English Muffins with 1/2 tbs Fat Free Sour Cream on each side.

Place the turkey patties on the English muffins, add the artichoke/red pepper mixture.

Enjoy this light lunch or dinner!

Love,

Helwi El Hayet

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Chinese Chicken and Noodle Salad

Crisp, clean, and fresh. It’s everything you’re looking for in a healthy main dish and it’s packed with flavor! The orange-soy-sesame dressing is delicious. Double the dressing recipe and save some for the next day!

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Ingredients

1 (3 oz.) package low-fat ramen noodle soup mix (discard the seasoning packet!)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp. canola oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 slices fresh ginger
3 Tbsp. ORANGE JUICE
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
5 tsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
5 tsp. Sugar
3/4 tsp. sesame oil
2-3 cups shredded Napa cabbage (less than 1/2 of a head of cabbage)
1 medium carrot, shredded
3 green onions, chopped

Preparation

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Preheat oven to 350*.

Crumble ramen noodles onto a large baking sheet. Add the almonds, sesame seeds, and canola oil. Toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and then bake for about 5 minutes more, until golden brown. Let the noodle mixture cool completely before using.

Meanwhile, place the chicken breasts in a medium-sized skillet or saucepan with enough water to cover them. Add the ginger slices and salt. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, gently, until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, 10-15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid and allow to cool. Shred the chicken breasts and set aside.

Combine the orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil in a small resealable container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine, until the sugar has dissolved.

Just before serving, combine the cabbage, carrots, green onions, noodle mixture and chicken. Toss with the dressing and serve. Serves 4.

Bon Appetit!

Love,

Helwi El Hayet

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April’s food day

April Fools’ Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other.

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In Italy, France and Belgium, children and adults traditionally tack paper fishes on each other’s back as a trick and shout “April fish!” in their local languages (pesce d’aprile!poisson d’avril! and aprilvis! in Italian, French and Flemish, respectively). Such fish feature prominently on many French late 19th to early 20th century April Fools’ Day postcards.

The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392). Many writers suggest that the restoration of January 1 by Pope Gregory XIII as New Year’s Day of the Gregorian Calendar in the 16th century was responsible for the creation of the holiday, sometimes questioned for earlier references.

What are the origins of this day?

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Precursors of April Fools’ Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria, held March 25,[2] and the Medieval Feast of Fools, held December 28,[3] still a day on which pranks are played in Spanish-speaking countries.

In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392), the “Nun’s Priest’s Tale” is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two.[4] Modern scholars believe that there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts and that Chaucer actually wrote, Syn March was gon.[5] Thus, the passage originally meant 32 days after April, i.e. May 2,[6] the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in 1381. Readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean “March 32”, i.e. April 1.[7] In Chaucer’s tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.

In 1508, French poet Eloy d’Amerval referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally “April fish”), a possible reference to the holiday.[8] In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on April 1.[6] In 1686, John Aubrey referred to the holiday as “Fooles holy day”, the first British reference.[6] On April 1, 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to “see the Lions washed”.[6]

In the Middle Ages, up until the late 18th century, New Year’s Day was celebrated on March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation) in most European towns.[9]In some areas of France, New Year’s was a week-long holiday ending on April 1.Many writers suggest that April Fools originated because those who celebrated on January 1 made fun of those who celebrated on other dates. The use of January 1 as New Year’s Day was common in France by the mid-16th century, and this date was adopted officially in 1564 by the Edict of Roussillon.

A study in the 1950s, by folklorists Iona and Peter Opie, found that in the UK and those countries whose traditions derived from there, the joking ceased at midday. But this practice appears to have lapsed in more recent years.

Love,

Helwi El Hayet

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Spinach and Rice

In honor of International Spinach day we’re giving you the recipe for the Lebanese version of Popeye favorite dish!

Popeye-Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 pounds of fresh spinach, chopped, washed, drained
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cups of olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cup of water
  • 1 1/3 cups of long-grain rice
  • 5 1/4 cups of water
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

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Preparation:

In a stock pot, sauté the chopped spring onion in the oil over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Add spinach and 1 1/3 cups of water and cook until the spinach wilts, about 5-7 minutes. Add rice and 5 1/4 cups of water, bring to a boil, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice and salt, cook for another 5 minutes and remove from heat. Stir, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes until the dish “melds.”

Enjoy this healthy meal!

Love,

Helwi El Hayet

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Smokey Ham And Corn Salad

Fresh corn, diced smoked ham and crunchy croutons  tossed with a smoky, creamy dressing in this light spring salad. Serve with some fresh seasonal fruits

  • 1/3 cup
    reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons
    distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon
    paprika, preferably smoked
  • 1/4 teaspoon
    salt
  • 8 cups
    trimmed frisée or 8 cups mixed salad greens (about 1 large head)
  • 1 medium
    tomato, diced
  • 1 cup
    diced fresh corn kernels
  • 1 cup
    croutons, preferably whole-grain
  • 3/4 cup
    diced ham

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Chocolate brownies

Chocolate brownies are one of our favorite desserts ever. They are so simple, yet nothing tastes better with a cold glass of milk, or topped off with some vanilla ice cream. Try this quick recipe tonight and your family will beg you to make them every week!

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Ingredients

Brownies:

1 ½ cup sugar
1 stick butter
4 eggs (separate yolks and whites in different bowls)
1 can of chocolate syrup
1 cup flour

Frosting:

1 ½ cup sugar
1 stick butter
6 tablespoons milk
½ cup chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix all of your wet ingredients in a large bowl (except egg whites). Now add in your dry ingredients and mix well. Beat your egg whites until fluffy. Now carefully fold into the brownie mix. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes. Check every so often to make sure they don’t burn. Once you can stick a toothpick in the middle and pull it out clean, they are done. Set brownies aside.

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Frosting:

Mix all of your ingredients together except the chocolate chips. Pour into a saucepan and boil for one minute. Add in your chocolate chips and stir until melted. With a whisk, beat the mixture for about 5 minutes. Now spread over brownies and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Bon Appetit

Love,

Helwi El Hayet

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How to pamper your mother

Don’t have a gazillion bucks to send mom to Paris or Milan for a weekend shopping spree? Yeah, we don’t either. So here are more sincere and engaging ways to pamper the most special woman in your life.

Write a poem

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Write a poem or a few words from the heart, print and frame them, then wrap with lace and ribbons. You can also send her a book of published poems. Most mothers adore sentimental thoughts from their family or friends.

Take a scenic drive

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Pack a picnic or some of mom’s favorite snacks and take her on a scenic drive in the country or a nearby town or forest preserve.

Special scrapbook

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Make a Mother’s Day scrapbook. Have pictures and mementos of all things mom, or about a trip or event you shared together. Marcus Tullius Cicero once said, “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.” Bet his mom was proud.

Home spa

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You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create a spa experience for mom. Make a relaxing experience for her right in her own bathroom with a few items from the kitchen. With these inexpensive treatments, you’ll come up smelling like a rose and keep the green stuff in your wallet.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses Facial
• Large, shallow bowl
• 1 cup rose petals
• 2-3 drops rose essential oil; more or less to your taste
• 1/2 gallon near-boiling water
• 1 bath towel
Place rose petals and oil in the bowl. Add near-boiling water (about a 1/2 gallon; be careful!). Cover head with the towel and lean over bowl, steaming face for 10-15 minutes. Follow with Petal Soft Face Scrub (recipe below). After the water cools, add it to a spray bottle and mist face for a quick pick-me-up.

Petal Soft Face Scrub

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• Quarter size amount of facial cleanser (baby wash works great!)
• 1 drop of rose essential oil
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
Apply to wet face in gentle, circular motion, paying attention to nose, forehead and chin while avoiding sensitive eye area. Rinse with warm water. Apply your favorite moisturizer.

Blissful Rose Water Bath

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Displays Its Inauguration Package
• Small bowl
• 2 cups Epsom salt
• 4-5 drops rose essential oil; (more or less to your taste)
• Petals from one rose
Mix Epsom salt with the and rose essential oil in bowl. Add the scented salt mixture to a hot running bath; scatter rose petals in the water, get in and relax. Don’t forget to dim the lights, light a candle and enjoy a good, long soak with a glass of wine.

You Glow Girl Scrub

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• Jar with lid
• 2 cups Epsom salt
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 3-5 drops rose essential oil
Add all ingredients to a container. Shake or stir to distribute. Apply scrub in a circular motion to rough areas, paying special attention to elbows, heels and knees. (Don’t use on your face as it is too abrasive!).
Hope we helped you out!

Happy Mother’s day!

Love,

Helwi El Hayet

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Chic Mother’s day Gifts

Shopping for a fashionable mom is no easy feat, so we turned to the top trends from the Spring 2012 runways for inspiration. From graphic arts to sportif chic, see our picks for the perfect gift to give the mother in your life a token of appreciation.

1- Make-up kit

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Every mom needs to look perfect at all times so getting her a traveler make-up kit will put a smile on her face and keep it flawless at all times!

2- Fashionable book

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How about you combine reading with a Fashion icon? “The Gospel according to Coco Chanel”  is a  biography of the world’s most elegant woman is sure to ring true to your graceful Mum.

3- Jewelry Box

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We all Diamonds are a girl’s best friend so all of your mother’s baubles deserve a pretty place to call home. So how about a personalized jewelry box ?

4- A High Fashion Manicure

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These nail polishes are a step above the rest: Everything from the high-coverage, glossy formula to the chic nude shade makes for a truly glamorous manicure. (Dolce & Gabana, Dior, Chanel)

5- Tote

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“A woman’s mind is as complex as the contents of her handbag; even when you get to the bottom of it, there is ALWAYS something at the bottom to surprise you!”. Handbags get an update for spring in the form of boxy shoppers as seen on the runways of Bottega Veneta, Miu Miu and Prada.

6- Fringe accessorizes

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Designers in Paris explored their swinging sides with fringe detailed bracelets and necklaces so your mom could definitely  rock this style!

7- Get metallic

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Gold and silver jewelry also made a minimalist yet bold statement on the runways so how about a encrypted gold or silver necklace or ring to make this day extra special?

8- Chic Heels

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The days of skinny stiletto heels seem long gone as designers reinvented the stacked heel in different shapes and sizes for spring’s warmer days and let’s face it our mothers will probably rejoice! Check out these designs from Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein.

We wish you a happy fashionable and chic Mother’s day!!

Love,

Helwi El Hayet

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Spring Nail Trends

Contrast was the name of the game when it came to nails at this season’s Fashion shows. Looks ranged from light and innocent to dark and dangerously chic this season. We saw pretty swan white polishes, barely-there French manicures and buff looks juxtaposed with black vamp shades, medieval “cage” inspired designs and the most breathtaking of all—the “dripping blood” effect. Balancing out these more extreme styles, we noticed plenty of glamorous metallic varnishes and colorful two-tone manicures that added the perfect pop of sparkle and impact.

Pale Nails

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Neutral, cream colored nails for spring isn’t such a shock—it’s a minimalist trend that’s been gaining momentum since last year . This season, toning down your nails is the new way to play it cool.

The Dark Side

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A dark romantic mood was also noted backstage. From the grayish navy shades at Jason Wu to the purple vinyl at Marchesa, the dark angel look went over big.

Flashes of Metallic

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Gold, silver, cooper—there were no shortage of luxurious finishes at the spring shows. For those who want to experiment with the trend without going too far, try painting just your tips with a bit of sparkle or decorating one or two nails with specks of gold.

Two Tone Manicure

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Bold without being too over the top, the dual polish effect got plenty of play at the shows. A new twist on the French manicure, the look is easy to do on your own. Just pick contrasting shades that flatter your skin tone and use a small brush to paint on a graphic style—try a half moon, a vertical split, a V-shape or a diagonal strip.

Edgy Elements

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Manicurists played around with dark and dangerous themes, giving us a medieval “cage” effect with crisscrossed strips, a shark-bite jagged edge , a goth-inspired reverse mani and the much talked-about “dripping blood” look with tiny splatters of red polish at Prabal Gurung. Twisted!

What’s your Nail personality?

Love,

Helwi El Hayet

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