A 4th of July Recipe: Southwest Steak Salad

SW Salad USA

Happy 4th of July!

Kick up your 4th of July festivities a notch with this crowd-pleasing, healthy take on a Southwest steak salad! It’s gluten-free, chock full of color, flavor, and crunch, and has just a little bit of a kick. It’s basically the perfect salad for a party.

Southwest Summer Steak Salad

Southwest Steak Salad

Ingredients
• 1 lb. ribeye steak
• salt & pepper to season
• 1 head of green leaf lettuce, thinly sliced
• 1 piquillo pepper, julienned
• ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
• ½ cup unsalted sweet corn
• ½ cup low sodium black beans
• ½ cup orange bell pepper, diced
• ½ avocado, sliced
• cilantro for garnish
Cilantro Avocado Dressing:
• 1 cup fresh cilantro
• 1 avocado
• ¼ cup fresh lime juice
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
• salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Grill the rib eye steak to your liking and let rest
  2. Combine all ingredients for salad dressing in a food processor or blender and combine.
  3. Assemble all ingredients for salad, add dressing and mix well.
  4. Add steak slices on top and enjoy!

 

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7 Tips to Pump You up When You Lack Motivation

7 Tips to Pump You Up When You Lack Motivation

Feeling unmotivated? That’s okay! But it doesn’t mean you should pass up your workout. After all, exercise is one of the best motivators – you just need to get started.

Keep your fitness in check with these seven tips for working out when you lack motivation:

1. Crank Up the Tunes

It’s hard to resist moving to the beat of a great song. Keep a playlist of your favorite energizing tunes on hand to help get you pumped up to workout.

image-pgx-blog-point-20160502 2. Try a New Workout

When your regular workout just isn’t cutting it, opt for something new like a Zumba class, power walking, or challenging yourself to a 20-minute Tabata workout!

3. Watch a Sports Clip

There’s something inspiring about watching other athletes in action, so queue up a short clip of extreme surfers, sprinters, or ultra-endurance athletes and soon you’ll be out the door.

4. Schedule a Friendly Game

An hour playing beach volleyball, tennis, or soccer with friends sounds a lot more fun than working out – yet that’s exactly what you’re doing. The key is committing to the game ahead of time so that you’re accountable for showing up – even when you feel unmotivated.

image-pgx-blog-point-20160502 5. Envision Your Goal

Research shows that visualizing your goal increases your motivation to reach it. Take a few minutes to envision how wonderful you’ll feel after your workout and how much fitter and stronger you’ll look after one month of regular exercise sessions.

 

6. Commit to Ten Minutes

Ten minutes of exercise sounds more appealing than 45. To get myself out of bed for early morning runs, my mantra is that I only need to put on my running clothes and run for ten minutes. If I don’t enjoy myself, I can go back to bed. But 99% of the time I keep going.

7. Reward Yourself

No matter your age, rewards are great motivators. The trick is to keep them healthy! Some possible rewards include a new book, a massage, or a Dark Chocolate *PGX® Satisfast™ Vegan Protein smoothie.

*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX.

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Conquer Your Post-Workout Hunger With These 3 Meals

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During exercise, your body is burning calories and depleting stored energy. To replenish your energy, and to help your body get the protein and other nutrients it needs, healthy and satisfying post-workout meals are key.

It’s important to keep in mind that food can take a while to digest, so ideally you’re aiming to eat as close to completing your workout as possible. However, for the times when that’s simply not possible, remember to pack a light snack, like an apple or a healthy bar, to help stave off big hunger urges until you get home and can prepare a healthy meal.

3 Healthy Post-Workout Meals

Conquer your post-workout hunger with these three healthy, hearty, and mouth-watering meals:

image-pgx-blog-point-20160502 1. Salmon With Yams and Kale

Yams are a versatile superfood and a tasty way to add fiber and potassium to your diet. Salmon is a delicious protein that adds omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins to your plate. This savory and nutritious dish is an easy option for busy weeknights.

Instructions:

  1. Cut the yams into ½-inch slices (you can peel the skin off if you’d like), fill a pan with ½-inch of water and steam until easily pierced with a fork. Mash together.  *You can sprinkle with cinnamon prior to steaming for added flavor.
  2. Sprinkle wild salmon with lemon, salt, and pepper. To bake: for each inch of thickness, the salmon will take about 8 minutes in the oven at 425 °C.
  3. Sauté the kale in a frying pan with olive or coconut oil, and garlic  for 35 minutes.

2. Almond, Banana, Spinach Shake

Oftentimes, you’ll see bodybuilders drinking their post-workout meal. This is because liquid doesn’t take as much time to digest as solid food, and they want to get protein into their systems quickly to get the most benefit out of it.

Try whipping up this tasty smoothie for a quick post-workout meal:

  • Unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • Frozen banana
  • Almond or peanut butter
  • Spinach
  • Hemp seeds (optional)
  • Chia seeds (optional)

Almond Banana Smoothie

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Depending on your taste, you can play around with how much of each ingredient you like.

image-pgx-blog-point-20160502 3. Brown Rice Burrito Bowl

Brown rice is a great source of fiber. Black beans also offer a lot of fiber, protein, and vitamins.

The following are the basics of a good burrito bowl, but you can spice yours up any way you like it. With burrito bowls, anything goes!

  • Brown rice or quinoa
  • Black beans or white kidney beans
  • Refried beans
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Cheese (cheddar, jack, havarti, etc.)
  • Sour cream
  • Olives
  • Lettuce or spinach
  • Cilantro
  • Green or red onions

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How to Make the Most out of Your Treadmill

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A treadmill can offer a great workout; they keep you at a consistent, controlled walking or running pace, can be done indoors, and can be modified to focus on specific exercise goals.

Many people have a love/hate relationship with treadmills. When it’s rainy and cold treadmills are awesome, but when it’s warm and sunny who wants to be stuck running inside when they could be getting their workout outside.

When jumping on the treadmill begins to feel like just another boring workout, try some of these ideas to shake up your routine and make the most of your treadmill:

HIIT the Treadmill!

Consistent running or walking can get boring, so it’s a great idea to spice up your treadmill workout every now and then with circuits and new movements, like this HIIT cardio circuit:

Please ensure that you have been cleared by your doctor for cardio exercise prior to doing this workout.

HIIT Cardio Treadmill Workout

  • 23 min fast walk (warm up)
  • 1 minute at 5.0 speed
  • 30 seconds at 4.0 (slow jog)
  • 1 minute at 6.0 speed
  • 30 seconds at 4.0 (slow jog)
  • 1 minute at 6.5–7.0 speed
  • 30 seconds at 4.0 (slow jog)
  • 30 seconds at 3.0 (walk)
  • Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4

image-pgx-blog-point-20160502 Shake Up Your Moves

If you’ve been sticking to simply walking and running on your treadmill, it may be time to shake things up! Here are three movements I love to do with clients that you can try:

 

1. Walk Backwards

Walking backwards puts more pressure on your quads and calves, which generally take a back seat when walking (glutes and hamstrings are more so used for walking). For an even bigger challenge, increase the incline!

2. Side Steps

Side stepping focuses more on your hips and inner/outer thighs. It’s a fun way to add a little variety and flavor to your routine, with the benefit of focusing on different parts of your legs.

3. Hold Your Arms Up

Holding your arms above your head can elevate your heart rate while also giving your upper body a great workout. For an added challenge, try adding light weights, or moving your arms in a circular motion.

Whether you like a steady walking pace, a major incline, or a decline jog, a treadmill can be the source of many great workouts  not just walking and running!

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6 Healthy and Simple Bread Swaps You’ll Love

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I confess, I’m rather fond of bread – perhaps a little too fond. I grew up making bread with my mother and it’s still one of my favorite culinary pastimes, especially as it makes my house smell wonderful! But while I love bread, it’s not something I should be eating all the time, which has led me to wonder, what are some creative and healthy bread swaps?

Eating less bread opens you up to enjoy a more varied and nutritious diet. In addition to crowding out many more nutrient-rich foods, even whole wheat bread can be high on the glycemic index, putting a demand on insulin production.**

High-gluten bread can also pose something of a challenge to people who are sensitive to gluten and wheat. Sourdough bread (where the flour is already partially digested through fermentation) may be a good option for some people who struggle to digest other types of bread, but who still want their bread fix.

6 Healthy and Simple Bread Swaps

If you’re like me and are a little too reliant on bread as a dietary staple, try the following six ideas to help cut down on bread and improve your nutrient intake:

image-pgx-blog-point-20160502 1. Corn Tortillas

A fantastic wheat-free replacement for bread, and much lower in calories, corn tortillas can be used to make salad and vegetable wraps, burritos, and even burgers! Corn tortillas are so versatile, you can even transform them into oven-baked tortilla chips, perfect for dipping in hummus and salsa.

 

2. Sweet Potatoes

In a pinch, two slices of baked sweet potato can be used in place of a burger bun, providing a healthy dose of the antioxidant beta-carotene in the process. You could also use sweet potatoes and oat, or rice flour to make delicious wheat-free bread.

3. Cucumber Halves

Slicing an English cucumber lengthways and then scooping out the flesh leaves you with an excellent vessel into which all your typical sandwich fixings fit perfectly. Pop the halves of the cucumber together and you have a refreshing sandwich!

4. Leafy Greens

Large leaves of iceberg lettuce, romaine, little gem, flat kale, or cabbage can make an excellent alternative to slices of bread when making a sandwich or wrap, significantly cutting calories and carbohydrates.

5. Stuffed Veggies

Eggplant, bell pepper, and large mushrooms, such as portobellos, are excellent bread alternatives and can be easily stuffed with mashed pesto tofu; rice or quinoa and veggies; a mixture of ground nuts, herbs, and onions; or chickpea and tahini mash as a rustic hummus filling.

6. Overnight Oats or Savory Oatmeal

If toast is your go-to breakfast food, it can be hard to think of alternatives that are just as easy, delicious and filling first thing in the morning. Don’t worry! Overnight oats offer a simple, tasty and nutritious breakfast that you make the night before and can grab on the way out the door. Here’s how:

  1. Mix a half cup of oats with a cup of almond milk
  2. Add a tablespoon of chia seeds, a mashed banana, and a dash of cinnamon and maple syrup for extra sweetness
  3. Leave in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight

Savory oatmeal, with bok choi, sesame oil, sliced carrots, tamari, puffed tofu, garlic and ginger is also a delicious alternative to a full English breakfast with toast.

image-pgx-blog-point-20160502 For a true bread-like option, you might consider making Ezekiel bread using sprouted grains and legumes, including millet, spelt, and lentils. Not only do the sprouted ingredients add extra nutrients and beneficial bacteria, they’re also more easily digested. Some bakeries and grocery stores carry sprouted bread, or you can make your own!

** This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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