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«Gold Standard of Thin Janice Rowland & Kathleen Rowland Copyright 2012 Petals in the Gazebo Press, Kathleen Rowland Cover Art Copyright 2012 Mariya ...»

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Brown the tofu in a sesame-oiled nonstick wok or skillet and set aside. Combine vegetables in a bowl and marinate 30 minutes. Add another teaspoon of sesame oil to wok over medium high heat. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir-fry 3-4 minutes or until carrots are tender. This meal contains 227 calories per serving with 9 grams of fiber.

Verona Vegetable Bean Soup—6 servings

Soup is a mainstay crutch for when the body needs to eat something. Similar to Jenny Craig’s Tuscan Soup, our version is also 80 calories per bowl and absolutely delicious. Because the smaller dried beans (like navy, pink, red, and black beans, as well as lentils) are easier on the digestive system than larger varieties, we have replaced the white beans. Now, don’t get snarky about the missing pasta. There are other high-calorie varieties of this soup. You want to be skinny!

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In a large pot, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Sautè onion until tender.

Add other ingredients with enough water to cover. Simmer uncovered on low heat for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add some hot water while it cooks if becoming too dense. Add the parsley and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste the soup and add salt if needed. Add the basil and remove from heat. Shake on some parmesan cheese. Enjoy a couple of bowls!

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Vichyssoise is the classic French cold potato soup. Made ahead and refrigerated for up to two days, it’s an elegant accompaniment to a green salad with chicken on top.

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Heat oil in a nonstick Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add broth and potatoes and cook until tender. Pour into a food processor and give it a whir with ricotta.

Transfer and chill. Stir in milk before serving and add a garnish.

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Surprising as it is, this soup has zero Weight Watcher Points. Similar to Weight Watchers’ basic soup, our recipe allows a hungry person to eat a lot. The Woodbridge Spa Soup has less cabbage, and we’ve added spinach.

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2 T. fat-free mayonnaise 1 tsp. lime juice 2 to 4 drops Louisiana-style hot sauce 2 8-inch spinach tortillas or other tortillas 2 or more large lettuce leaves 1/2 medium green pepper, julienned 2 slices pepper Jack cheese In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime juice and hot sauce. Spread over tortillas. Top with lettuce, green pepper and cheese; roll up tightly. One serving is 200 calories. Enjoy with fruit.

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For optimal health, both aerobic exercise and strength training are recommended by the medical profession. Aerobic exercise is any form of exercise that will stress your cardiovascular system and raise your heart rate. Common aerobic exercises include jogging, running, cycling, swimming or an aerobics class that keeps you moving. Strength training workouts can include free weights, Pilates, yoga, or weight machines at a fitness center. These “core” exercises build muscle by resistance either through self-resistance or the resistance of an actual weight. Both aerobic and strength training have benefits. Aerobic exercises help you increase your lung capacity and strengthen your heart. Strength training helps build up your muscles, which will increase your metabolism and burn fat faster. When you include both types of exercises as part of your weekly workout routine, your body will be stronger, healthier and more toned.

Exercise routinely and daily. Even if you can only exercise for a few minutes each day, you will see more benefit from working out 20 minutes, five days per week rather than two hours on one day. By alternating aerobic exercise and strength training, you'll work your body in different ways, develop a more balanced, flexible physique, and give your muscles a chance to recover from the strength training.

If you have a serious medical condition that you feel might prohibit you from beginning a new exercise routine, please speak with your doctor or health care provider first. Always use good judgment. If an exercise feels too stressful on your body, slow down, step back, shorten the time or skip that particular exercise. Anytime you feel lightheaded or dizzy, stop your activity and sit down. Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated so you can avoid muscle cramps and fatigue. The small, frequent and nutritious meal plan (see Chapter Three) is highly recommended. Wear comfortable clothing that won't restrict your movement and be sure footwear is supportive. If you are moving so quickly that you cannot carry on a normal conversation, you are pushing yourself too hard and should slow down. Using your food journal, log your exercise for the day so that you can chart your progress.

**** What’s the skinny on working out—does it make us hungrier? The answer is no, according to a recent study at the University of Chile. People who had exercised three times a week for 90 days had twice the levels of an appetite-suppressing protein in their blood than nonexercisers. Most people ate less by about 300 calories on days they exercised.

But other people tended to eat after a workout. This group believed they deserved a reward for a job well done or believed their bodies had to refuel.

According to Henry Anhault, D.O., a spokesman for the Endocrine Society, “Unless you did a long and super intense session or started on an empty stomach, you don’t need to eat afterward.

Drink water,” says Dr. Anhault. In spite of these findings, we recommend planning your snack meal afterward. Or exercise and afterward, eat a meal. Who knows, we might fall into this group.

**** Dust off that treadmill! An estimated 55 million Americans have unused exercise equipment (such as treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical trainers) in their basements and attics. If you’re one of them, consider setting yours up near the television and hopping on during a favorite show. Just 20 minutes of moderate exercise daily is enough to cut your cancer risk by 18% by keeping your levels of estrogen (a powerful trigger of many female cancers) low and steady all month long.

My friend Reba Studebaker, a legs model, has developed a balanced exercise routine: a 30minute jog on Monday, an hour of Pilates with focus on core muscles on Tuesday that includes warm-up and cool-down time, 30 minutes of cycling on Wednesday, free weights and powerbands to strengthen arms and legs on Thursday. On weekends and other times, she uses her stationary bike, which sits in front of her flat screen.

**** Core strengthening—what’s it all about? There is buzz these days about strengthening your core, and many new products available online claim to work wonders in no time. It’s nice to think there’s a gadget for tightening abs. Or that you can achieve the same effect with simple crunches at the gym or at home. Too bad it’s not that simple. Your core is your body’s power zone, where all your movements begin. This area provides the foundation for other movements.

Core strengthening is a critical part of your workout.

What is it exactly? The core is one of the more misunderstood muscle groups in your body, but it’s one of the most important. Abdominals are only part of the core story. While abs are included, there are actually 28 other muscles that make up the core. These can be broken down into three sections: abdominals, the muscular structure of the hips and the structure of the spine.

Wrap-around muscles, on your sides and back, are located deep within the torso and help stabilize the spine by creating a layered effect with abdominals for increased stability. All combined, core muscles provide a solid foundation for your arms and legs, affecting your balance and the amount of force your body can produce. For example, according to the Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation, 60% of the power produced by a baseball pitcher during a pitch comes from the core. When working the core, focus on quality rather than quantity of movement.

The idea is to use many muscles in a synchronized movement. Examples of exercises include the bridge, the plant, or traditional sit-ups, up and down and side to side. Pilates, yoga, and other exercise classes are terrific for keeping your core in shape. The benefits of a strong core are more protection and stability for your back and spine, better coordination and posture, and less back pain.

**** Since people live longer nowadays, it’s even more important to age gracefully. Happy people do it best with the benefits of exercise, from lower blood pressure to improved mood.

These benefits are just too great to pass up. So most people who want to remain active eventually learn to accommodate their aging bodies by changing sports or exercise routines. There are, however, a few rules of thumb to keep in mind. Recent studies have taught exercise physiologists a lot about what combinations of physical activities work best at different ages. But the same physiologists also warn that you shouldn’t get so hung up on the new advice that you abandon your old routines. “Anything is better than nothing,” says Wendy Kohrt, a professor of medicine at the Center on Aging at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. “Whatever you will do to remain physically active is what I suggest you do.” To keep exercise interesting, mix it up. Consider hiking on the weekend.

**** A report from the journal, Psychological Science, tells us how we can reboot our brains in minutes with a walk in a park! When two groups of volunteers were asked to stroll, one through city streets and the other through a park, the park walkers scored higher on attention and recall tests afterward. Nature scenes are restful, which rejuvenates the brain. The overstimulation of city scenes tires us out, the researchers explain.

Taking a dog for a walk is an instant happiness booster. Research shows that just looking at a photo of a dog alters brain chemistry, flooding us with feel-good neurotransmitters. A furry friend is loyal and loving. It’s no surprise that spending a little walk-time with one releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone that helps us get along with others. And it gets us moving.

**** If you are a runner or walker, it would be tedious to count steps unless you let a pedometer do it for you. Stanford University researchers found that hooking on a pedometer helped people walk an extra mile a day. No wonder most of them lost three pounds in 18 weeks without changing their food plans. Being able to see your step progress on the pedometer and reaching daily goals is extremely motivating, according to lead study author Dena Bravada, M.D.

Pedometer wearers saw their systolic blood pressure (the top number) drop nearly four points, enough to significantly reduce their risk of stroke and heart attack.

**** The number one exercise to get flat abs is the bicycle maneuver. It’s even more effective than sit-ups. Lie on a mat with your lower back in a comfortable position. Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle, and then move slowly through a bicycle pedaling motion, alternately bringing your left elbow to your right knee, and then your right elbow to your left knee. Do not pull on your head and neck during this exercise. I use a pillow under my head and don’t lift up.

This is considered an advanced exercise, and the lower your legs are to the ground, the tougher the exercise is. The bicycle maneuver should be modified (one leg on the ground at a time) considerably for anyone who has suffered spinal injury, herniated disks, abdominal hernias, or is in mid to late pregnancy. Attaining a flat and tight abdominal area does depend on the amount of body fat we have. After we lose the inches, anyone (yes, anyone!) can enjoy having flat abs.

**** The abdominal vacuum is the best exercise for the tummy bulge according to experts.

This exercise works our transversus abdominis, the muscle that holds tummies tight. Basically, it’s a thin sheet of muscle running along the sides of the abs and joining connective tissue, serving as the body’s natural corset. Every time we suck in our stomachs, we’re using our transversus. Interestingly enough, the transversus is actually the only muscle that allows us to “suck in” our stomachs. You can exercise this muscle while driving in your car. You can “suck it in and then let go” to the beat of music!

**** Baby your muscles by S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G. Particularly when stressed, you tense muscles in your shoulders, neck and jaw. In turn, this can produce pain and a stiff nick. Need a simple antidote? Everyone knows the gentle stretches below. But if you are sitting at your desk at work, try this: Bend your neck and roll it toward one shoulder, then down so your chin is on your chest and toward the other shoulder. When you’re done, reverse direction.

Surfers (always fanatics about sunscreen) begin with stretches. Then it’s off to the beach to surf the gnarly waves. A surfer’s fitness routine is tailored to promote surfing and catching waves. Typically, a surfer does not lift weights. Heavy lifting required for such an endeavor does not dovetail with the ideal surfing exercise routines. A body builder would end up being too stiff.

Surfers strive for a mix of strength training, cardio, leapfrogging across the floor, and jumping squats. Cardio is necessary to develop the stamina needed for those days when long stretches of paddling are necessary. Running outside is fine, or use a treadmill when you’re at the gym or at home. It's a good idea to set a slight incline on the treadmill to more closely simulate “street conditions.” A minimum of 1.5 miles is sufficient for most of us, and that can also be mixed with the arm-bike machine for an upper-body cardio workout. Stretching afterwards is also very important. Flexibility helps avoid injuries while surfing.

**** Sailing translates to thigh strength from constant squatting. Consider taking sailing lessons if you live near a lake or bay. My husband and I sail from Newport Harbor to the ocean. There’s so much to see with seals, birds, and fish moving about. We sail a motorless sailboat and hoist the sails ourselves.

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