Easy Steak Dinner {With Mustard-Shallot Sauce}

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 25m
Ingredients:
1 1/2 pound sirloin steak (1 inch thick)
kosher salt and black pepper 2 teaspoons
olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
1 pound green beans

Directions:
1.  Season the steak with ¾ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest 5 minutes, then slice against the grain.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and shallot.
3. Meanwhile, steam the green beans until tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
4. Top the steak with the mustard sauce and serve with the green beans. {GENTLY BORROWED  FROM REALSIMPLE.COM; REPOSTED WITH LOVE}

Coconut Macaroons

Makes 16 cookies
Hands-On Time:10m
Total Time: 35m
Ingredients
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 14-ounce package sweetened shredded coconut (about 5 cups)

Directions
1. Heat oven to 325° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
2. Vigorously whisk together the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until glossy, foamy, and the sugar is mostly almost dissolved. Fold in the coconut, stirring until evenly combined.
3. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop the batter in mounds (about 2 tablespoons each) 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes; let cool completely. The macaroons will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.  {GENTLY BORROWED  FROM REALSIMPLE.COM; REPOSTED WITH LOVE}

8 Sophisticated Italian Pasta Recipes | RealSimple.com

http://www.realsimple.com/m/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/popular-ingredients/italian-pasta-recipes-00100000097167/index.html?xid=dailyrecnews-03-22-2013

My Weekend Detox – In A Nutshell

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As ya’ll know, if you have been keeping up, this is myit2Day Detox Weekend. Well, I started a day early. The way I see y, the more so can flush out, the better! My plan is to detox for the weekend, then If so can afford it, go stockup on more mineral H2O, and run with the week, detoxn’ eating fruits n’ veggies, n’ proteins; along with doing a mix of these exercises listed. I was introduced to “Back on Pointe” a while back from Pintrest, and immediately fell in love! Please go by, and show them some love!!!! Hopefully I’ll able to have some layer on, to bog about the outcome! I have a total of 100 lbs to loose, n’ .. I want them all GONE!! Beach body, here I come!!!

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P.S. If ya’ll haven’t found My IG, its here pm my blog, please check it out, I have posted detox recipes to it, and I keep it utd on the next nest #Healthy things Im currently working on. If you find me on IG, from my blog, please, PLEASE, comment on one of my pic, letting me know! I {

Chicken “Love” Soup – JIT for Valentine’s Day!

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1 tablespoon olive oil three large carrots, cut into hearts (see instructions above) 1 medium onion, diced 2 celery stalks, sliced
into 1/4 inch pieces 2 stalks fresh thyme (optional) 1 bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 2 large sage leaves (optional) 4 cups low sodium chicken stock (All-Natural Swanson Chicken Broth, or Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock are my favorites.) 2-3 cups water 1/2 teaspoon vinegar pinch cayenne pepper (use your own discretion) salt and pepper, to taste 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (Poulet en Papillote is my favorite way to cook chicken breasts, and you can follow these instructions.) 1/2 pound small pasta, such as farfalle or rotini, cooked for about 1 minute fewer than the recommended cooking time fresh parsley

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1. In a large pot set over medium-low heat, combine olive oil, carrot hearts, diced onion, celery, thyme (both kinds), bay leaf, and sage. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add in stock, a cup of water, and vinegar. Add in cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. After about 20 minutes, check the soup for flavor, and add more water, salt and pepper, as necessary. 

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2. In each individual bowl, place the desired amount of chicken and pasta, cover with a ladle of the soup, and top with parsley.

I’m going to do this for my hubby, this Valentine’s Day, But since out stove was KIA, in going to use our (Wedding Gift) Crock Pot. 😀

What Have You Got To Lose??

Herbs that can help melt fat, suppress appetite, and reduce bloating and water weight

Maintaining proper weight can be a lifelong challenge. Despite the substantial amount of money Americans pay for weight-loss gimmicks, pills, and plans, taken together they all show a dismal 5% long-term success rate.

Researchers deem obesity a chronic health condition. They say that it must be managed, like high blood pressure or diabetes. That there’s no easy cure. Being overweight puts you at higher risk for diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease, stroke and cancer, and even modest weight loss will reduce these risks. Letting go of as little as 5 to 10% of your total weight may lower blood pressure, raise good cholesterol, and improve blood sugar balance. And you’ll live longer.

There are some genetic factors, but fundamentally, total body weight is due to diet and exercise. Nutritional supplements can also assist in controlling appetite or jump-starting metabolism.

Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium), called zhi shi in Chinese, and used in traditional Chinese medicine for enhancing digestion and circulation, is the source of the anti-obesity active ingredient synephrine, a chemical cousin to neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. By binding to beta-3 receptors found in adipose tissue and involved in thermogenesis and increasing metabolism, synephrine accelerates the removal of unwanted fat stores.

This extract of bitter orange provides a metabolism boost that is similar to ephedrine, but the mechanism of action is slightly different, so synephrine tends to cause less jitteriness and heart rate increase than ephedrine. One study from 2011 found that bitter orange raised metabolic rates without corresponding elevations in blood pressure and heart rates.

There have been assorted minor concerns raised about bitter orange and cardiovascular health, but a 2011 paper in Phytotherapy Research found it to be safe and to have no serious adverse effects. The usual dose is 3-30 mg of synephrine per day, as needed.

People have been using green tea for thousands of years, but only in the last few years have we begun to research the anti-obesity benefits of this ancient beverage. Over the past decade, evidence has been accumulating that demonstrates that green tea enhances weight loss, and several new scientific discoveries support it for that use. Taiwanese researchers recently studied 120 obese persons by giving them a green tea-based meal replacement. Over 12 weeks, subjects lost an average of 15 pounds and had improved cholesterol numbers. Dutch scientists concluded that the green tea catechins and caffeine act synergistically through diverse mechanisms to promote weight loss. A 2011 paper drew similar conclusions.

The usual weight-loss dosage is 300-450 mg daily of a green tea extract standardized to contain 80% total polyphenols and 50% epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), although studies have used up to 1,200 mg per day, often along with caffeine from the tea.

Caralluma cactus (Caralluma fimbriata) is a succulent plant that has been used as a natural appetite suppressant in India for centuries. Like hoodia, another popular slimming cactus, caralluma (sometimes appearing on the label as “Slimaluma”) has been used by indigenous traveling hunters to suppress appetite. For centuries, people have eaten the wild desert cactus as a vegetable, in chutneys and pickles, or raw. It is believed to block the activity of several enzymes involved in the formation of fat and to modify the appetite control mechanism of the brain. One study from India showed significant decrease in body weight, body mass index, hip circumference, body fat, and food intake over 60 days. Ayurvedic experts have noted no adverse effects and no toxicity.

Some products available in the U.S. combine caralluma extract with EGCG from green tea, which seems to create a synergistic effect on appetite control and weight loss.

Herbs can be a valuable adjunct to a weight loss or maintenance plan. When you give these a try, I think you’ll like what you don’t see.

Italian Herb Grilled Chicken

For those of you, who follow me on Instagram {IG}, I promised you an Italiano Recipe! Well, here is one of my favorites. Enjoy! – Ami Recipe from Aggie’s Kitchen {Link to full post: http://aggieskitchen.com/2009/07/12/italian-herb-grilled-chicken/}

1.5 lb chicken breast 1-2 TB dried oregano (about a small palm full) 1-2 TB dried thyme 1-2 TB dried basil 1-2 TB garlic powder good pinches of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper olive oil

In a small bowl, combine oregano, thyme, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside how much you will use for chicken, save the rest in air tight container for future use.

Lay chicken breasts on baking sheet or plate. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with seasoning and rub. Drizzle olive oil on both sides of chicken. Place on hot grill, over medium heat. Grill 5-7 minutes on each side or until done, when juices run clear.

Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting. 

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Composting for Beginners Want to start composting? Let’s break it down.

As we progress further in a new decade, we’ve realized that a mindbodygreen lifestyle is universally accessible. We’ve realized that we don’t need fancy yoga clothes to rock a Warrior II, we can mediate without achieving the enlightened state of the Dalai Lama, and we can chisel our dream bodies while eating real food. Composting is no different.

Composting nestles nicely into the democratization of environmentally friendly practices. It has never been easier to cultivate a green life that includes not only separating our paper, glass, and plastic waste and depositing it at the curb once a week, but also includes using our food and yard refuse in a proactive way. Composing allows us to nurture a synergistic relationship with the natural world, and with all of the technology and information available to us, it’s never been easier!

No longer does composting involve tedious, smelly and complicated steps. It’s conducive to everyone’s lifestyle, even lazy environmentalists who care about the earth but prefer simple ways to green their homes. So why not just store your yard and food waste and transform it into something that benefits and beautifies the world?

Not only is composting a simple action with countless benefits, but its growing popularity renders it the hottest way to repay Mother Earth. Celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Daryl Hannah, and of course infamous treehugger and comic genius, Ed Begley, Jr. (pictured left) all compost. Even Starbucks lauds the practice by offering customers free 5-lb bags of used coffee grounds to add to their steaming pile of environmental goodness. The Denver International Airport also understands the importance of composting. It is currently collaborating with A1 Organics, Colorado’s leading recycling business, to install 65-gal compost containers throughout the airport, especially in employee break rooms and restaurants. If big name celebrities promote it and if significant establishments find ways to engage the public in it, then composting truly is something everyone can do.

Let’s break down this seemingly complex process, discredit misconceptions and address some common questions.

What is compost? What does it look like?

Compost is earthly material produced from the natural decomposition of organic matter. Basically, it’s composed mostly of once-living things turned into soil and fertilizer. When fully decomposed and ready for garden use after several months, our composted yard and food scraps look somewhat like topsoil.

Why should we bother to compost? Doesn’t our yard and food waste just biodegrade in landfills anyway?

Yes, our organic waste eventually decomposes in landfills, but the non-organic trash surrounding it prolongs the process. According to the United States EPA, yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 23 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. That’s a lot of waste to send to landfills when it could become useful and environmentally beneficial compost instead! Earth911 lists that compost enhances the physical structure of our soil, stabilizes our soil’s pH levels, and controls erosion. Let’s give our overwhelmed landfills a break and use our organic trash to nourish our gardens and change the world.

What do I need to get started?

Think storage. Purchase a compost bin — one of the most popular and affordable ways to store refuse. Visit your local garden store or check out what mass marketing stores offer online to find a compost bin that accommodates your needs and lifestyle. From enormous to tiny and from electrically run to self-operated, a host of compost bins under $100 await your discernment and selection.

Live in an open area and have some outdoor space? Perhaps try a larger compost bin that spins and holds many gallons of waste. Kickin’ it in an urban environment and strapped for space? Purchase yourself a tiny compost bin that discreetly nestles in with your furniture and appliances.

If you’d like to invest in a more complex compost bin, choose from several innovations. Small, plug-in devices that heat scraps to speed the decomposition process run close to $400 and work well in small spaces for people without the desire or time to turn their compost. Those of you with more space might like large, globe-shaped compost units that hold 70 gallons of waste are priced around $200 and contain several air tubes to aerate the contents and produce compost after only 4-6 weeks. Some compost bins, priced around $100 use stackable layers to house worms that eat scraps and leave compost behind.

Although it might seem like you need all of this composting technology to give some love to Mother Earth, no elaborate equipment is necessary. Feel free to channel your inner carpenter and build your own compost bin. Visit EarthEasy for simple instructions or check out hundreds of how-to videos online. Chicken wire, one of the most malleable materials, also makes a great place to store refuse. Just mold it into a wide, cylindrical shape and start composting!

What do I compost first?

As Scott Meyer, editor of Organic Gardening Magazine says, “Compost happens — you don’t have to do a lot to make it work, but a few tips can make it more manageable.” Keep this in mind and the composting process will rarely overwhelm or frustrate you.

Here’s a great way to remember what successful composting requires:

Brown – Refers to the carbon part of the carbon to nitrogen ratio, an essential balance that sparks decomposition and produces usable compost. While numbers vary, an easy way to compost is to include roughly the same amount of carbon and nitrogen scraps. Brown ingredients include shredded paper, straw and leaves. These ingredients should be the first ones you throw into your bin, your first layer.

Green – Refers to the nitrogen component of a compost pile. Green ingredients include table scraps and animal manure.

Water – Ensure that your pile has the wetness of a damp, wrung-out sponge by watering it once a week or twice a month.

Air -This crucial ingredient speeds decomposition and mitigates odor, keeping insects and animals out. Turn your pile a few times a month with a garden fork or mechanism on the bin, or simply shake around the bin to aerate the waste.

Don’t forget to include soil in your pile, as only 1 tablespoon contains 6 million

microorganisms that devour your scraps and produce compost.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll have fine compost within 6 months. Thinking BGWA will help you remember all of the critical ingredients in compost and turn your trash into treasure!

What can’t I compost?

Meat and dairy produces should not go into your compost pile. They produce odors when they decompose, attracting animals and validating all of those unfortunate misconceptions about composting at home. Eggshells are the only animal products that you can compost — they’re high in calcium level and great additions to your pile.

It’s trendy, it’s simple and it’s for everyone. Composting is now one of the easiest ways to green our lives. By composting, we can practice environmentalism on a local level and affect our planet on a large scale. With comprehensive information and innovative technology at our fingertips, we can incorporate composting as a mainstay of our mindbodygreen lives.

first image via earth911 last image via waystogogreen