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Does Your Egg Float? Be Careful! Plus: Perfect Boiled Eggs

via – Greatist.com

eggs

Looking for single-serving protein bites? No need to rely on pre-packaged bars or protein-powder energy balls. Nature already has what you need: eggs. And thank you, chickens of the world, for giving us this versatile superfood. Not only do they bind together delicious baked goods and create all kinds of breakfast dishes (Omelets! Fritattas! Stratas, oh my!), but they can also be whipped into meringues or creamy condiments.

But why make things so complicated when the simple, humble boiled egg is already a thing of beauty? Hard-boiled, it’s the perfect protein on-the-go snack. Soft-boiled, it can convert an English muffin into a decadent morning meal with the runny yolk acting as a built-in “special sauce.”

But here’s the issue: It’s super easy to miscalculate the cooking time on boiled eggs. (If only those shells came with a preview window!). And it’s almost tragic to break into an egg hoping the yolk will be appropriately runny, only to find it entirely solid—or vice versa. Never fear, we have the ultimate guide to perfectly boiling your eggs every time, every way.

The Technique

Step two: Place the pot on the stovetop over high heat.

Step three: When the water starts lightly boiling around the eggs, cover the pot and move it to a burner that’s off or onto a potholder on the countertop.

Step four: On your mark… Get set… Hit the timer! See below for eggs perfectly boiled to your liking.

The Timing

Three minutes: Whites are soft and slightly gloopy. Yolks are completely liquid.

Four minutes: Whites are set but soft and floppy. Yolks are still runny but a little more solid.

Six minutes: Whites are soft but firm. Yolks are smooth and pudding-like.

10 minutes: Whites and yolks are totally firm, but yolks are still creamy.

15 minutes: A completely solid, hard-boiled egg.

Post-boil, dunk these suckers in an ice-water bath for a minute. Tap ‘em on the counter to gently crack and peel them open. Voilà! Your perfect egg!

A Question of Freshness

Now, eggs are only delicious if they’re fresh. (There’s a reason rotten eggs are the stuff of playground taunts.) If you’re not sure whether your eggs are ready for eating or past their prime, dunk them in a glass bowl filled with water and compare them to this handy visual.

On the bottom of the bowl: 100-percent fresh and at peak flavor.

One corner lifted: A week or so old. Entirely edible!

Standing on a point: A couple weeks old. Eat stat.

Floating at the top: Super old! Do not eat!


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Apple Pie Baked Apples

via – Sheena Dinga, Team AVAC®

baked apple

I usually have some amazing story to go along with why I decided to make these delicious recipes that I found; unfortunately my story this time is because it looked so good. I am just obsessed with finding healthy desserts because I love to eat them, but hate the guilt that follows….anyone with me?

This I simply wanted to share because the holidays are coming up sooner then we think and I thought this would be appropriate to add to any dessert menu. Enjoy!!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups chopped apples (about 2 apples)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
  • scant 1/8 tsp uncut stevia OR 1/4 cup sugar of choice
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • whole apples (filling makes enough to stuff 12 apples, but you can make fewer if you want leftover filling to eat plain or to top waffles or pancakes)
  • granola or ice cream, if desired

Instructions

(The filling can be made a day or two ahead of time if desired. Or, if you’d prefer quicker a baked apples recipe, feel free to use canned or jarred apple pie filling instead of my homemade filling.) For the filling: Place 1 cup of the chopped apples in a small pot with the water. Bring to a boil, then cook on low for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, blend all other ingredients except the whole apples in a blender until smooth.  Add the blended mixture to the saucepan and bring back to a boil. Immediately turn to low heat and cook 30 minutes, stirring very occasionally. Let cool, then refrigerate uncovered or loosely covered. Wait at least 4 hours before proceeding with the recipe, as this filling thickens in the fridge.

For the baked apples:
Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease a baking pan or line with parchment paper. Slice the tops off each whole apple, and scoop out the center by cutting around the core with a knife and then scooping out the core and a bit of the flesh with a spoon. (Eat the scooped out flesh, or save for a different recipe.) Place in the pan and bake 22 minutes, then remove from the oven and scoop about 3 tbsp (or as much as you can fit) filling into each baked apple. Return to the oven and bake another 14 minutes. Finally, broil 2-3 additional minutes.

Credit goes to ChocolateCoveredKatie.com

-Sheena


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Lydia’s AbsoluteFIT Journey – “Fair” Is Only for Renaissances and Counties

via – Lydia M., AVAC’s AbsoluteFIT blogging goddess

 

men weightYou wanna know what’s not fair? How easy it is for men to get and stay fit.

Example: My husband, who found out recently at a company-sponsored health fair that he is A) not only an inch taller than he’d self-reported for the last 20 years or so (WHAT??), which is already taller than average, but also B) currently at 16 percent body fat, with the blood pressure of a TODDLER. What does he do to stay fit? Oh, you know … he runs a few miles three times a week.

Not. Freaking. Fair!!! I mean, I’m glad for him, honestly, but the amount of effort I have to put in — with AbsoluteFIT, food tracking, etc. — to get results vs. how little it takes for him? Gaaaaaah!

“Fair,” however, is neither here nor there — everyone’s fitness journey is theirs alone, and the factors at play are many indeed (genetics, gender, effort, time available, predilections for ice cream vs. the vegan entree, etc.). Also, I fully recognize that I have it easy compared to a lot of people — I’m certainly not complaining, especially since I really do enjoy my AbsoluteFIT program and the sense of accomplishment I get from working at it.

But way back at the start of this lifestyle makeover, I promised you all honesty, and so here it is: Dang it! I want a metabolism like Mr. Suddenly-Six-Foot-Three! Waaah! [shakes fist at sky]

—Lydia M. 

View AVAC’s AbsoluteFIT Schedule


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Time to Bring your Outdoor Workouts Inside

via – Jon Cebula, Team AVAC®

outdoorto indoor

As fall approaches and the weather outside begins to cool, it’s now time again to bring our Summer workouts back indoors for the fall and winter seasons. But just because you’re inside doesn’t mean the fun is over. Fall is a great time to turn your interest towards something new. Now is the perfect opportunity to try out that new class you’ve been thinking about; maybe it’s building up a great sweat during an intense spin class, or how about burning some calories in an H.I.I.T class (High Intensity Interval Training), and perhaps its tapping into your inner ballerina during a Barre class or even showing some flex appeal in yoga. If it’s new and been on your mind, try it out! Fall is a time for change, so why not throw in some change to your workout routine?

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean we need to pack up the workouts for the winter. Reinvent your fall and winter workouts so that “Swimsuit Season” doesn’t loom over your head come spring time. Plan ahead and plan for success! The training staff here at AVAC® is waiting and ready to help you plan for success with your indoor routine.

-Jon Cebula, Fitness Trainer | Almaden Valley Athletic Club®

Contact Jon to schedule your training today!

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Let’s “Rally for the Girls!” | October 2, 3

rftg banner

Register by September 25, and you’ll receive a reduced rate!

With October just around the corner, many people have pumpkins, costumes and trick or treating on their minds. However, did you realize that October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Breast Cancer is a disease that doesn’t really effect you until it effects YOU. You, or a close friend, a family member, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a brother… the list goes on. Many of us don’t give it much thought until the devastating day when you receive a phone call from dear friend distraught with the frightening news about her latest mammogram results. Or the day when your doctor sits you down his office with that sympathetic “look” on his face.

In the U.S, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, on average, every 2.5 minutes. Some studies reveal that women have a one in eight chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some point in her life. But it’s not just women who are at risk — men also have a slight chance. In fact, approximately 440 men will die from breast cancer this year.

This prognosis doesn’t have to be a death sentence. With early diagnosis breast cancer can beat. Today, 97% of women diagnosed with localized breast cancer at an early stage survive more than 5 years, and due to early detection and advances in treatment, rates of breast cancer have decreased by 2% in the last decade alone.

Treatment solutions can be very expensive however, especially for those with low income. Because many of these people have inadequate or no health insurance, many will be unable to work throughout their treatment — adding a huge financial toll to an already difficult struggle.

The Breast Cancer Emergency Fund (BCEF) is a non-profit organization providing quick and compassionate emergency financial assistance to low-income people battling breast cancer in order to cover basic human needs, lessen financial burdens and improve quality of life.

AVAC® is proud to have selected BCEF as our aid organization recipient in our upcoming “Rally for the Girls” benefit event scheduled for October 2 & 3. At our prior “Rally” event in 2013, we raised over $10,000, and our goal is to surpass that amount this year. This is something that we can’t do it alone! We need your help and support to reach our target. There are two fun events that we hope you’ll join us for:

Friday, October 2
“Kick Off BBQ” on our pool deck. Food will include chicken kabobs, gourmet hamburgers, veggie burgers, a large array of salads & more. Each participant will receive an event t-shirt, dinner, one drink ticket and one raffle ticket. Additional drink and raffle tickets can be purchased. There will be raffle prizes, games & a silent auction during the evening. This is an event you do not want to miss.

Saturday, October 3
“Day Of Fitness” with a full schedule of Group Fitness, & AbsoluteFIT classes for you to choose from. Each participant will also receive an event t-shirt, a goodie bag, raffle ticket, & drink ticket. Raffle will be pulled throughout the day during classes.

To view Saturday’s class line up and find out how to register, go here.

Register by September 25, and you’ll received a reduced rate!

-Stephanie Doty | Team AVAC®


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These “Healthy” Foods Have Way More Sugar Than You Thought

via – realsimple.com | By Abigail Wise

Think you’re eating healthy? You might want to think again. Sugar hides everywhere in our diets.

measuring-cup

Photo by Walter B. McKenzie/Getty Images

 Aside from the occasional birthday cake or candy binge, you might think you’re a healthy eater most of the time. But sugar lurks in more than just the obvious places, like candy bars and cupcakes. In fact some so-called “nutritious” go-tos are actually packed with enough sugar to satisfy a mouth full of sweet tooths (er, sweet teeth?), and then some.

SugarScience, a new initiative from the University of California, San Francisco, along with a long list of partnering health departments across the country, is working to educate consumers about sugar. The information on the site comes from 8,000 research papers and warns against the risks of consuming too much sugar, including liver disease, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes.

When it comes to sugar, less is usually more. The World Health Organization recommends adults consume a max of 25 grams (or six teaspoons) per day. With the average American getting more than 19 teaspoons daily, it’s safe to say that we could stand to cut back a bit. “[The recommended limit] is not very much at all and a hard goal to meet, considering that most of us consume three times as much added sugar as what’s recommended,” says Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., CSSD.

But it’s not always the obvious sugar bombs that add up—here are some sneaky foods to avoid in the grocery aisles.

Yogurt

When it comes to sugar, yogurt can pack a powerful punch. Some kinds even have more sugar than a Twinkie, and low fat and flavored brands, in particular, might contain as much as 29 grams of sugar per serving. That doesn’t necessarily mean we have to kick yogurt out of our diets though. When shopping for it, avoid flavored or low-fat varieties, as those tend to have more sugar than plain yogurt. “Look for brands with no more than 20 grams sugar per single serve container,” says Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., NBC’s Today Show diet expert, and founder of Nourish Snacks. “Or buy plain and doctor it up with fresh chopped fruit.” You can also add a teaspoon of sugar, honey, or maple syrup so that you control the amount of added sweeteners in your yogurt, Bauer says.

Granola

Sprinkling granola over that plain yogurt can actually add back in the sugar you avoided by swapping out flavors for the original. One half cup can cost you more than 12 grams. Plain, unflavored granola bars are better, but not great, still clocking in at six grams. If you’re really craving crunch, replace the granola with aprotein-rich nut, like a handful of almonds.

Sports Drinks and Fruit Juice

Think twice before hydrating with a sports drink after a grueling workout. Just one drink can pack five teaspoons of sugar, according to Harvard University. Orange juice is even worse, containing 10 teaspoons, the same as a can of soda. Skip the sugar altogether by quenching your thirst with water next time you hit the gym. If you’re not willing to give up juice, Bauer suggests adding in the same flavor of seltzer to drive down natural sugar by 50 percent and give it some fizz.

Salad

Salad itself may be good for you, as long as it’s stuffed with a variety of veggies, but it’s what you drizzle on top that adds a surplus of sugar. And the seemingly healthy “low-fat” option is often the worst choice, as the fat that gets cut out is often replaced with sugar. So, a two-tablespoon serving of Italian dressing has 2 grams and thousand island and fat-free French have a whopping 6 grams of sugar.

Ketchup

While it’s not necessarily a health food, adding a dash of ketchup to your meal isn’t as harmless as you may think. Just one tablespoon of the condiment contains a teaspoon of sugar. That’s one sixth of your allotted daily amount.

Does this mean we should swear off sugar altogether? No need to panic. It’s still OK to indulge in sweet treats and foods that carry natural (and small amounts of added) sugar. “It does mean that we should read food labels and keep tabs on how much added sugar we eat in a day,” says Upton.

She also recommends avoiding flavored and processed foods, which are notorious for packing in the sugar. The key is to limit both the amount of sugar that we eat and how often we eat it, says nutritionist Rochelle Sirota, R.D., C.D.N. And Upton suggests learning to recognize the sometimes tricky names for added sweeteners, which include words like “evaporated cane juice” and “dextrin.” Steer clear of the food if a sweetener appears in one of the top three listed ingredients, she says.