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Wellness Resolutions for 2017

‘Tis the season for goals! It may be a cliché, but we think the start of the new year really is a great time to assess how you feel, what successes you’ve had over the past 12 months, and what progress you’d like to make in the future. Giving yourself a moment to set your goals and priorities for the year is, in and of itself, a great way to increase mindfulness, decrease stress, and set yourself up for success.  Try setting both long term and short term goals, and consider reassessing your goals every week or month. You are allowed to be flexible, you are allowed to delay a goal, restart completely, or even decide that one of your resolutions is just all wrong for you.  Remember to consider your wellness and happiness, not just your waistline, to set yourself up for a happy 2017. Read more

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Michaela’s Organic Guilt-Free Nutella Recipe!

Ok Nutella lovers; who knew our fabulous Michaela was also a chef! Here is her recipe for all organic, guilt-free Nutella!fullsizerender-6


1 cup Organic Hazelnuts

3 Oz. Organic, 80% Cacao Dark Chocolate

2 Tbs. Flaxseed Oil

2 Tbs. Organic Confectioner’s Sugar

2 Tbs. Organic, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1/2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

3/4 Tsp. Sea Salt

Read more

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Favorite Food: Artichokes

Hey Long + Lean Pilates fans, and happy 2015 to you! One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to try a new recipe every week, including foods that I may not be very familiar with in the kitchen! As part of this journey, the Long + Lean Wellness Blog will feature one awesomely healthy food as our Favorite Food of the Month. We will then share a new recipe for that Favorite Food each week to help you incorporate it in to your diet.


Photo via artichokes.org.

Starting off the Favorite Food of the Month series is the humble artichoke! The artichoke is definitely underrated, and since it’s often dipped in butter or aioli, people tend to forget that it has some awesome nutritional benefits. Keep reading to find out what’s so fabulous about artichokes and how to prepare them easily TODAY!

Why we love artichokes:

  • Low in calories and fat! There’s just 60 calories for one medium artichoke, and less than 1 gram of fat and yet….
  • Artichokes are full of dietary fiber, giving you 14% of your daily recommended fiber intake
  • Great source of folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin K, and B-complex vitamins
  • Artichokes provide you with a healthy dose of the antioxidants and minerals your body needs such as potassium, copper, iron, and calcium
  • They’re so fun to eat!
Easy Artichoke Preparation:
Start eating artichokes with a super simple preparation like boiling them! Here’s how…
  1. Cut off any nasty thorns from the outer leaves (optional)
  2. Cut off the end of the stem, leaving about 1 inch remaining. Some people do eat the whole stem but it tends to be bitter. If you want to try the stem, just cut off the very end of it and peel the tough skin off before cooking.
  3. Rinse under cold water.
  4. Fill a pot with water. You can add whole garlic, lemon slices, and/or a bay leaf to the water for additional flavor if desired.
  5. Place the artichokes in the pot in one single layer.
  6. Bring the pot to a boil and continue cooking for about 35 minutes. When they’re done, you should be able to peel the leaves off easily.
  7. Remove the artichokes and allow to cool slightly then go ahead and enjoy!!
Artichoke Tips:
  • Don’t eat the whole leaf! Once cooked, peel one leaf off at a time and use your teeth to scrape off the soft flesh at the base of the leaf. You can also eat the heart of the artichoke that becomes exposed once all the leafs have been peeled off (Artichoke hearts, YUM!)
  • When you get to the heart, make sure to scrape away and discard the fuzzy stuff, that’s not so great to eat.
  • For optimal healthy eating, try eating these with just a touch of salt, like you would with edamame  or some extra lemon instead of dipping in butter. Or maybe just dip every other leaf in butter. 😉
Did you know?
“Artichokes can also be made into an herbal tea. “Artichoke tea” is produced as a commercial product in the Da Lat region of Vietnam. The flower portion is put into water and consumed as an herbal tea, called alcachofa in Mexico. It has a slightly bitter woody taste.” – Wikepedia
Check in to the blog next week for a fun and delicious artichoke recipe!!
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5 Reasons Your Body Loves Pumpkin Season Too!

Photo via beanurbanfarmer.com

Pumpkin is EVERYWHERE during the beautiful fall season and we all go crazy for it! The good news is your body can benefit from the pumpkin overload that your mind and taste buds crave. Let’s be honest for one minute here; your pumpkin spice latte probably does not have real pumpkin in it. Also, the benefits listed below aren’t good reasons to eat pumpkin cream cheese muffins everyday. BUT you should indulge in pumpkin treats every once in a while and explore some healthy pumpkin recipes this fall to reap these awesome pumpkin plusses:

1. FIBER Keeps You Full: Pumpkin has a really good fiber-to-calorie ratio (7 g. of fiber for every 80 calories) so it can keep you feeling full and satisfied without consuming tons of calories. In case you weren’t sure, more fiber and fewer calories equals weight loss!

2. Beta-Carotene Can Fight Cancer: Just like with carrots and sweet potatoes, pumpkin’s festive orange hue means it’s a great natural source of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Beta-carotene may be influential in fighting cancer and you’re much better off getting it through food than a supplement. It’s good to eat orange!

3. Carotenoids Keep You Young: The same antioxidants that make your body a lean, mean, cancer-fighting machine also help your skin stay young and beautiful by slowing down the development of wrinkles.

4. Potassium Gives You Energy: Similar to bananas, pumpkin puree packs a powerful dose of potassium that can help you refuel after a workout. In fact, one cup of cooked pumpkin actually has MORE potassium than a banana. Pumpkin’s potassium will help your body restore its electrolyte balance so your muscles can continue to function properly.

5. The Seeds Are Super:  Pumpkin seeds, often thought of with nostalgia, are actually powerful super foods for your health! Can you believe a little seed can pack in protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc? These nutrients, plus the high level of phytosterols in pumpkin seeds, can help ward off depression, lower risk of bladder stones, reduce cholesterol, and help prevent cancer.

So go ahead, roast some pumpkin seeds, make pumpkin waffles, or try a savory recipe like this one for Pumpkin Risotto. Your body will thank you.