Oatmeal & Flax seed Bars

2 2/3 cups oats
1/3 cup flax seed meal
2 medium bananas, mashed
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit if you prefer)
2/3 cup pecan nuts, chopped (or other nuts if you prefer)
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp liquid honey
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease cookie sheet.

In large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix. Add bananas, beaten egg, oil and honey and blend well. Mixture should be sticky (very sticky!).

Now comes the messy bit: Make the bars by shaping the sticky dough into 1/3 thick bars as quickly as you can and place them on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes.

These make perfect and healthy breakfast bars or lunchbox treats and are cheaper and healthier than store bought ones.

Broccoli and Walnut Stir-fry

Broccoli and Walnut Stir-fry
(Serves 4)


2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp walnuts
1 cup of vegetable broth
1 cup mushrooms, such as fresh shitake, sliced
1 head of broccoli, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
3 tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Seeds to garnish


Heat oil in a wok and saut carrots and onions until almost tender. Add broccoli and walnuts and stir. Add 1 cup of broth and cook until veggies are tender. To thicken the sauce, add the dissolved cornstarch. Stir briefly, then add soy sauce, salt and pepper to your taste.

Sprinkle with seeds of your choice and serve with whole-grain noodles.

"Mental Edge" Monday: Butler Who?

Mental Edge Monday Topic #7: Butler Who? I had to take this opportunity to acknowledge the unbelievable ascent to basketball’s elite that Butler University has achieved. As a former college basketball player, the Butler story is unbelievable. For a million dollars, I could not have told you what Conference Butler played in, what state they were from, or one player’s name. Now they are back to the NCAA final for the second year in a row. What gives? I am by no means a Butler Basketball expert, but I have had opportunity to observe the tournament this year and have some thoughts as it relates to mental toughness

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"Mental Edge" Monday: Butler Who?

Three Effective Weight Loss Exercise Pointers

When you are attempting to slim down, everything you are able to do to make exercise easier and more efficient helps.  If you have been fighting to make exercise a lasting portion of your life, or if you’re merely starting a workout routine, have a look at these weight loss exercise pointers to better your results:

1) Make your workouts as efficient as possible.

Recall that when you are doing cardio exercise, you want to incinerate as many calories as you are able to for the whole length of time you’re working out.  This is generally accomplished by working at your optimal level of intensity for as long as you are able to, not counting the warm up and cool down periods.

However, if you’re just starting out or restarting your workout routine, you will need to take it easier than somebody who’s already in decent shape and is able to withstand higher intensity workouts.  As you become stronger and establish stamina, you should be able to gradually boost the level of intensity that you are able to withstand comfortably and safely.

2) Take it beyond the workout.

Another crucial weight loss exercise tip involves remaining active even beyond your every day workouts.  A every day workout will without doubt provide some great health benefits and make weight loss easier – but if that is all the physical activity you acquire every day, you are restricting your advancement.  As an alternative, do what you are able to in order to become more active all day long.  Take walks with your kids, pets, spouse, friends, or colleagues.  Keep a set of light dumbbells in your office and do a couple of short reps during breaks.  Clean and organize your garage and basement on the weekends.  Every bit of physical activity adds up and betters your fitness level.

3) Exercise is merely one piece of the formula.

Final weight loss exercise tip to bear in mind is that weight loss isn’t merely about exercise!  Yes, exercise is really important, but you can not use exercise to compensate for poor eating habits.  Remember, calories in, calories out.  You need to burn more calories than you assimilate to slim down, and that will be a good deal easier to accomplish if you’re reducing your caloric intake in addition to exercising every day.

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Do You REALLY Want to Lose Weight and Get Fit?? Here’s The BEST Workout We’ve Found!

I know, you’ve seen it on TV and heard all the hype, but honestly, the Total Gym is hands down the best piece of workout equipment that we at HIP to be FIT have ever found. All of our editors use this in their own homes. Why?

1) It’s quick – You can get a full body workout in only 10-20 minutes a day.
2) We have room for it in our homes – it folds to about the size of an ironing board and slides under a bed or couch easily!
3) It has everything you need – stretching, pilates, cardio training, resistance training – on only one machine!
4) It’s also for muscle building, not just weight loss and general fitness – simply set a higher incline to build and sculpt muscles!
5) No hassle – it comes FULLY ASSEMBLED! and…
6) There’s no risk – you can try it risk free for 30 days for only $1!

I’ve personally purchased dozens of exercise machines – whatever’s being advertised, I fall for it. The Total Gym is the ONLY one I’ve stuck with – and I have to say that I LOVE it! So worth the cost – and with their payment plans, a single mom like me was able to afford it.

Learn more about the Total Gym today – then come back here and share your story with us! We’d love to hear from you.

Coconut Marinated Shrimp with Pineapple Topping


1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons lime juice, divided
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar substitute
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (20 ounce) can of crushed pineapple in its own juice, drained well
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped very fine
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced


Use a shallow bowl that can be covered tightly and place the coconut milk into the bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon lime juice and the soy sauce. Stir to combine ingredients. Add the brown sugar substitute and stir well until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the shrimp and toss to coat evenly. Add the pepper and stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. This can be left to marinate overnight if you prefer. Place the drained pineapple in a mixing bowl. Add both types of peppers and stir together. Add 1 tablespoon of lime juice and stir well. Cover bowl and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Remove the shrimp from the marinade. Place 5 shrimp on a water soaked bamboo skewer. Continue until all the shrimp are used. Heat grill to medium heat. Place the skewers on the heated grill. Grill for 4 minutes then turn. Continue gilling an additional 3 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and place on a large platter. Cover with the salsa before serving.

Nutritional Information (Approximate Values):

329 calories, 22 g protein, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 52 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 406 mg sodium per 5 shrimp and 1/2 cup salsa serving.

Low-fat Creamy Summer Salad Dressing

cup cottage cheese
cup natural yoghurt
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
A few fresh chives, chopped

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend well for about 30 seconds.

Pour the dressing into a jug and season with salt and pepper.

Toss with your choice of salad (this is ideal for coleslaw, but can also be used for other salads) and sprinkle with freshly chopped chives.

This dressing can also be served as a dip with raw fresh vegetables.