Carrot Cake Energy Balls

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Carrot cake is, like, healthy, right? Because, carrots.

Hold it right there. While it’s true that carrot cake does contain traces of beta-carotene from carrots and omega-3s if it has walnuts, it’s still cake. It’s made with refined flour and plenty of oil and sugar. And, let’s be real, it’s usually smothered in a thick layer of cream cheese frosting (in other words, cream cheese fluffed up with butter and sugar).

But it tastes so good.

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Shake-cation: 7 Shakeology Recipes from Around the World

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It’s the middle of April, which means you’re stuck in the middle of the long wait for the summer holidays to begin (42 days until Memorial Day Weekend, but who’s counting, right?). While it may not make much sense to spend all day thinking about vacation destinations, it absolutely makes sense to think about (and make) Shakeology. Where’s the connection? Well, we decided to make our daydreaming productive and round up Shakeology recipes inspired by flavors from around the world (mainly places we wouldn’t mind visiting right about now). Now you can visit a different country every day this week without needing to leave your kitchen AND get your daily dose of dense nutrition at the same time. Check out the 7 Shakeology recipes from around the world and drink up! Oh, and no need to thank us.

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How Phytonutrients May Help Reduce Inflammation from Exercise

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If you’re a serious runner, you’ve likely seen The Jericho Mile, a 1979 Emmy-Award winning film about Larry Murphy — a Folsom State Prison inmate with a 3:52 mile and a shot at the Olympics. About three-quarters of the way through the movie — as Murphy contemplates his first big race in the cafeteria — another inmate gives him a bowl of melon and a bit of advice: “Fruit’s good for you, man, eat plenty of fruit.”

Mic drop. If only Murphy had listened.

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Spring Salad with Peas and Radishes

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Spring is finally here! This salad, made with fresh peas, sliced radishes, and a lemon vinaigrette is the perfect way to celebrate the end of winter.

Total Time: 27 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 2 min.
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
Hot water
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups fresh shelled peas
1 head Bibb lettuce (or arugula), washed, patted dry, leaves torn
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
2 Tbsp. shaved pecorino Romano cheese (optional)

Preparation:
1. Bring water to a boil in medium saucepan.
2. Combine lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
3. Add peas to water; cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain.
4. Plunge peas into ice water for about 10 minutes, or until peas are cold; drain again. Set aside.
5. Combine lettuce and mint in a large serving bowl; mix well.
6. Top with peas, radishes, and cheese. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to blend.
7. Divide evenly between four serving plates.

Calories in Spring Pea Radish Salad

If you have questions about the portions, please click here to post a question in our forums so our experts can help. Please include a link to the recipe you’re asking about.

The article was originally published on our Team Beachbody blog. Here’s the link to the original post.

No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,800–2,100 Calorie Level

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No time to cook? Maybe cooking is not one of your strengths? Or, maybe you just don’t feel like spending the afternoon sweating over a hot stove? Good news! With this no-cook meal prep menu, you can enjoy a week of wholesome meals without ever turning on your oven. All it takes is a little chopping and stirring. Sound easy? We think so. And, there are bonuses: This meal prep is insanely fast and there is almost no clean-up.

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How Often Should I Work Out to Maintain My Weight ?

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You put in the hours, pumping iron, logging miles, sweating buckets, overhauling your diet, and (most important) staying consistent. And the results speak for themselves — every time you look in the mirror, a leaner, more athletic person stares back at you. You’ve even bought yourself a new wardrobe. So now what?

Some people will keep going, perhaps taking up triathlons, joining a hoops league, or training for the CrossFit Games. But others will want to take their foot off the gas and appreciate what they’ve accomplished. The key is not to leave it off for too long — 2 weeks of inactivity is all it takes to notice significant declines in strength and cardiovascular fitness, according to a recent study in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. Indeed, the body is incredibly efficient at adapting to whatever demands (or lack thereof) are placed on it.

So now that you’ve crossed the finish line, how can you keep from backpedaling and losing what you’ve built? Just follow these simple steps.

Cut Back Gradually
Smart training plans (like those available on Beachbody On Demand) can allow you to work out 5 or 6 days a week with no ill effects (read: overtraining). But once you reach your strength and endurance goals, you can reduce your workout frequency without losing your hard earned gains, according to a study at the University of Alabama. The researchers found that adults aged 20 to 35 who worked out just one day a week not only saw no loss of muscle, but actually continued to gain it (albeit at a greatly reduced rate). Our recommendation: Start by reducing your workout frequency by a third, then a half, and so on until you find the minimal effective dose that’s right for you.

Keep It Intense
Even a single set of a strength-training exercise can produce hypertrophy (i.e., muscle growth), according to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. So if your goal is to hold on to what you have, one or two sets per move per workout should do the trick. The key is to keep them challenging; you should always feel like you stopped two reps short of failure. Take a similar approach with cardio. In a recent study in the journal Physiological Reports, a team of British researchers found that a single, intense, 20-minute interval workout every five days allowed participants to maintain levels of cardiovascular fitness built through much higher frequency training programs.

Dial In Your Diet
Here’s the one category where you might have to be more diligent than you were before you reached your goal. As you cut back on your workouts, you’re going to start burning fewer calories. To avoid the fate of the ex-athlete who balloons 50 pounds when he hangs up his cleats, tighten up your diet as you reduce your training time. “On the days you don’t work out, cut 300 to 500 calories from your diet,” says Dr. Jade Teta, founder of The Metabolic Effect, a fitness and nutrition coaching service focused on maximizing results with minimal effort. “Ideally, those calories should come from starchy carbs and sources of empty calories [i.e., junk food] rather than from protein or veggies,” says Teta.

Stay Flexible
These general guidelines are just that: General guidelines. Though lower frequency, more intense workouts seem to work for most people looking to maintain their fitness gains, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution. “It’s going to be different for everyone,” says Teta. So be a detective: Monitor your strength, weight, definition, and overall sense of well-being as you tweak your exercise and eating habits, and be ready to adjust everything up or down accordingly.

Author
Andrew Heffernan CSCS, GCFP
This article originally appeared in our Team Beachbody blog. Here’s the link to the original post.

Master the 5 Toughest Moves in 22 Minute Hard Corps

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When trainer Tony Horton set out to create his newest, military-inspired workout program,22 Minute Hard Corps, he wanted to keep the exercises basic. Why? Because the less time you spend learning complicated moves, the more time you can spend building muscle and burning fat. But don’t mistake “basic” for “easy.” Every single move in 22 Minute Hard Corps will test your endurance, tax your strength and power, challenge your mobility and coordination, and require your undivided focus to perform it correctly. Proper form, after all, is the secret to building super strength.

That goes double for the following five exercises — the toughest in the program. Master them, and you’ll not only muscle up and slim down faster, but you’ll also squeeze more from each and every rep. The result: A fitter, leaner body in record time.

Gorilla Crawl
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat as low as you can, placing your hands on the floor outside your right foot. Shift your weight to your hands and jump your feet to the right so they land outside your right hand. “Gorilla crawl” one more time to the right, and then switch directions. Continue alternating back and forth.

 

Frog Burpee
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and drop into a three-quarter squat with your hands raised in front of you, palms forward. This is the starting position. Place your hands on the floor, and then kick your legs back into a pushup position. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Pause briefly, and then repeat.
Frog Burpees | BeachbodyBlog.com

Split Lunge Thrust
Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders (elbows tucked, palms in), and assume a staggered stance with your right foot forward. Lower your body into a lunge, and then simultaneously jump up and press the weights directly above your shoulders. Scissor-kick your legs in the air, landing with your left foot forward. Immediately drop back into a lunge and repeat. Continue alternating legs.

Mountain Squat
Stand tall with your feet should-width apart. If you have a Beachbody PT Sandbag, hold it firmly on your right shoulder with your right hand. If you don’t, hold a dumbbell firmly against the right side of your chest with your right hand. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and place your left hand on the floor behind you as you lower your body to the ground (you should now be laying completely flat, face-up). Pause, and then reverse the movement to return to the starting position.

Scissor Slicer
Sit on the floor with your legs together and your arms out to your sides. Keeping your legs straight, lean back slightly and lift your heels a few inches off the floor. This is the starting position. Without bending your knee, lift your right leg as high as you can, and reach for your toes with your left hand. As you lower your right leg and left arm, raise your left leg and reach for your toes with your right hand. Continue alternating. (Don’t let either heel touch the ground for the duration of the move.)

This article originally appeared in our Team Beachbody blog. Here’s the link to the original post.

1,200–1,500 Calorie Level Meal Prep in 90 Minutes or Less

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If you’re not a meal planner, consider adding up how much time you spend each week cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the fly, running to the grocery store for ingredients, or going through the drive-thru when you feel like you don’t have the time or energy to cook. More than likely, that will add up to an hour a day. On the other hand, you could spend 90 minutes (or less) meal prepping one afternoon and save hours during the week. Hours that could be spent working out, playing with your kids, spending time with friends and family, or doing anything else you love to do!

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5 Ways to Use Hard-Boiled Eggs

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How many Easter eggs will your family decorate this year? A dozen? More? By the time the last Easter basket is emptied on Sunday, and the official haul is counted, you could be looking at a fridge full of rainbow-colored hard-boiled eggs. How will you eat them all?

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Avocado Egg Salad Toast

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Egg salad is one of those tricky foods that seems healthy. It’s made from eggs and it’s got the word salad right there in the name, but mayonnaise is the glue that holds it together and turns it into the creamy spread you know and love.

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