Sizzling Summer Steak Salad

May 14, 2009

Here’s a great recipe for a summary steak salad. Of course you can add or take away whatever you want, but this is the way we made it. The best part, its mild preparation and low calorie. Use it as a main dish or a side dish. (for those vegetarians, replace the steak with some meaty portobello mushrooms) ENJOY!

8-12 ounce sirloin or flank steak
1 container triple washed bibb or butter lettuce
half a can of beets
sliced mushrooms

crumbled gorgonzola cheese
cherry tomatoes
dried red pepper flakes
1 cucumber
1 red onion
salt
ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves

Season both sides of steak with salt, pepper and chopped garlic cloves. Grill steak to desired your temperature. Once steak is cooked to your liking remove it from the grill, thinly slice and set aside.

Halve the cherry tomatoes and chop cucumber, onion, beets, and mushrooms. Combine everything in a big bowl with the lettuce. Add a handful of crumbled gorgonzola and place the steak slices on top. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes and toss all together.

Top your salad with this easy, healthy homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Blend together: garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and any herbs of your choice. Just make sure your oil to vinegar ratio is 3 to 1.
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Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Lift Weights

May 13, 2009
1. Improve Cardiovascular Conditioning. Consistent resistance training results in lowering blood pressure and lowering resting heart rate. A lower resting heart rate allows your heart to work less to pump blood leading to improved cardiovascular health.

 

2. Help Prevent Broken Bones. Weight Training improves your bone mass density by as much as 10-15 % in as little as 6 months. As women age, the risk of developing osteoporosis becomes greater and weight training can help prevent this.

 

3. Increase Fat Loss. Just lifting a few days a week can help add up to 2 pounds of muscle in just 2 months. 1 pound of muscle helps burn an extra 50 calories per day; having more muscle burns calories; which helps burns fat.

 

4. Beat Depression. Lifting weights has been shown to improve self confidence and reduce the symptoms of clinical depression.

 

5. Make everyday tasks easier. Whether your holding your child, lifting boxes or carrying groceries, weight training helps condition your body. From luggage to carrying groceries, or carrying your child. Lifting weights can makes these tasks much easier.


What is Foam Rolling and How Can it Help Me?

May 12, 2009

Known as the poor man’s massage, the foam roll has become the choice fitness tool for strength coaches, and personal trainers looking to help their clients move better and stay pain free.  Now its time for you to discover the benefits of “that foamy thing” collecting dust in the corner of your gym.

 

The technical term, known as self-myofascial release, is a stretching technique that focuses on the neural system and the fibrous tissue that surrounds and separates muscle tissue. It is generally recommended for anyone seeking to reduce muscle soreness caused by muscle adhesions(knots) or trigger points, that cause disrupted blood flow to a particular muscle group. It is believed that by applying gentle force to the knot the foam roll can be used for injury prevention, increased flexibility and muscle recovery. 

 
When you should foam roll is the subject to much opinion.  In fact, foam rolling can be done everyday before physical activity, during your cool down and can even be used for core exercises. Though foam rolling is meant to relax and stretch your muscles, the process can feel much like a sport massage and show you what you’ve been missing by only doing traditional stretching exercises. All it takes is just 5-10 minutes to notice a difference in the way your  body moves.
 
The method of foam rolling I prefer is to find a tender spot (which indicates where the knot is) and maintain pressure on that spot for a minimum of 20 to 30 seconds.  Doing this will increase the elasticity of the muscle while decreasing the over-activity of the muscle. Depending on the extent of the knots and an individuals ability to consciously relax, it may take longer to achieve the desired result.
 
Adding foam rolling to your daily routine will keep you pain free. It goes a long way to keeping your muscles conditioned, increasing the benefits of your workout. So the next time you see a foam roll, I hope you’re inspired to pick it up and try it out. You’ll be learning a new technique and helping those muscles you work so hard to tone.
 
Check out performbetter.com to get your own foam roll.