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Make Your Own Brownies That Can Be Much Healthier

Make Your Own Brownies That Can Be Much Healthier

Baking, and desserts in general, is a staple in some households. Whatever your favorite dessert or other baking favorite, it’s fun and often relaxing to prepare and eat, but not so fun if you’re trying to incorporate healthy eating into your diet.

The good news is, healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to cut out all the foods you love, even desserts. There are ways to prepare just about any recipe in a much healthier way. You can use alternative ingredients or substitute one ingredient for another to make it healthier. Even desserts packed with sugar and calories, like brownies, can be prepared with fewer calories and a better type of fat.

Here are just a few examples of healthier brownie recipes you can make at home.

Reduced-Calorie Brownies

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    Have you ever counted how many calories are actually in your standard homemade brownie? One delicious square has more empty calories (energy your body burns through quickly without much benefit to your health) than you might think. High quality, alternative ingredients are the solution to this calorie-packed problem.

    Still want to enjoy your brownies without all the extra calories? Try this reduced-calorie brownie recipe and see how it turns out. It uses Greek yogurt to help the brownies keep their form and the texture you love while using less butter and fewer eggs in the process.

    Dairy-Free Brownies

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      There are plenty of opportunities to get all your required daily servings of dairy, and dessert certainly doesn’t have to be one of them. Maybe you’re looking for a dessert that doesn’t have any extra dairy mixed in (not very easy to come across, since we love rich, creamy and chocolate-filled everything). Maybe you’re allergic to dairy and are tired of missing out on all the deliciousness.

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      Give this dairy-free brownie recipe a try if you’re on the hunt for something a little different. It uses pumpkin puree to replace some of the ingredients needed to keep a typical batch of brownies from getting too dry or falling apart, and it probably tastes just as good, too.

      Healthy Brownie Bites

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        When a fresh pan of brownies comes out of the oven, it’s up to you (the baker), to choose how each square “portion” is cut. Theoretically, you can make each serving as big as you want to. Which is great for your sweet tooth and not so great for your waistline.

        The healthy key to this protein-packed recipe is portion control. In this case, less is more. The smaller you make your brownie bites, the more you’ll have to share with family and friends. If you’re still worried you’ll eat too many at once, you can leave three or four in the refrigerator at one time and freeze the rest for later.

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        Chocolate Avocado Brownies

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          You may have heard avocados are healthy, even though they’re loaded with fat. How is that possible? How is the fat in an avocado different from the fat in butter?

          Put simply, the kind of fat found in an avocado, called unsaturated fat, is better for your body to process and use than the kind of fat found in butter, called saturated fat. It’s “healthy” because it has the opposite effects on your body – it actually lowers your risk of developing heart disease, for example.

          This brownie recipe uses avocado instead of butter, meaning your brownies will still taste rich and creamy. They just use a different, healthier form of fat in order to do so.

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          Conclusion

          There’s no law that says you’re not allowed to enjoy your desserts. Made a little healthier, and in moderation, you can still get your chocolate fix at home whenever you need it.

          Featured photo credit: alex lang via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on August 13, 2018

          5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship

          5 Exercises To Improve Intimacy and Create a Better Relationship

          Making love can be simultaneously the most pleasurable and the most stressful experience that we share with another human being. It is a natural conclusion of the ritual of intimacy we engage in with a person we find attractive on both a physical and psychological level. Yet, we are far removed from our animalistic roots, and that which was once a matter of instinct has become somewhat complex. This is a good thing; we have grown as a society, and there are many factors involved when it comes to the relationship between sexual partners. However, we have also lost a great deal of the physical prowess our primitive ancestors had.

          They engaged in a huge amount of physical activities daily — activities that ensured their cardiovascular system and muscles were in great shape, which allowed them to have healthy libidos, strong erections, and the muscular strength, limberness and endurance to maintain different positions for a long time without getting exhausted. Luckily, we can regain some of these animalistic traits with the right kind of training. Here are some essential exercises that will help improve your relationship, but making you more confident in intimate settings, which means that you’ll have more satisfying intercourse.

          Don Juan

            1. Cardio for Stamina

            If you’re out of shape, the first thing you’ll notice during intercourse is that you start to breathe heavily, sweat profusely and tire easily. This means you’ll have to shift your posture frequently and limit yourself to a few positions you feel comfortable with or significantly slow down the pace. A high BMI has also been linked to potential problems with erectile dysfunction. Cardiovascular exercises like running, jumping rope, swimming and cycling will build up your aerobic stamina and enable you to perform longer before becoming fatigued, thus having better intercourse. They’ll also help manage your weight, possibly helping performance.

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            Triathlon symbol
              • Running – 10-20 minutes a day (1-3 miles a day is more than enough)
              • Jumping rope – 5-20 minutes a day
              • Swimming – 30 minutes a day
              • Cycling – 30 minutes a day

              The time in minutes denotes time spent actively performing the exercise, and you need to factor in a bit more time for warming up before and cooling down after the exercises.

              These exercises can be performed every day or every other day, and the goal is to work on both endurance and speed. Don’t just go at a snail’s pace; constantly try to improve your time or add some mileage.

              2. Strength-Training for Your Lower Body and Core

              The next thing you’ll need to focus on is improving both the strength and muscular endurance of the hip flexors, abdominals and spinal erectors. These are the muscles engaged in thrusting and circular motions, and they also stabilize your body in a number of different positions. The legs also play an important role, particularly in standing and kneeling positions. Here are a few exercises that will help you strengthen up this area:

              Barbell squats
                • Heavy barbell squats – set up at a power rack at the gym and make sure you use proper form and weights that you can lift 3-8 times. Do this exercise before anything else in the gym for 4-5 sets to get big and powerful legs, as well as tighten up the muscles of the core. This is useful for both men and women, particularly if you enjoy the woman-on-top positions and standing positions. You can do hack squats on the machine if your gym lacks a power rack, but you won’t get the core-strengthening benefits

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                Zercher squat
                  • Zercher squatsthis type of squat is a perfect way for guys to strengthen their body for standing positions where the woman is lifted off the ground. Build up a foundation of strength first, and then use lighter weights and go for 10-12 repetitions to focus on muscle endurance.

                  Glute bridge
                    • Glute bridgethis exercise is great for working the glutes and hip thrusters, and should be done for ultra-high reps —up to 100 — to increase muscle endurance. Once you become stronger in this movement, you can upgrade to the barbell glute bridge and keep the reps high — around 10 to 15.

                    Hyperextensions
                      • Hyperextensions – excellent for strengthening the spinal erectors, this exercise (or a variation of it) may be done in most gyms and even at home. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions at the end of your workout.

                      Ab wheel rollout
                        • Ab wheel rollout – this is a great exercise for strengthening the abs, and requires only a piece of inexpensive equipment. It will help you stay stable and hold positions longer without getting tired during intercourse. Do three sets of this workout for as many repetitions as you can.

                        Cross body crunch
                          • Cross body crunchthis exercise improves your ability to perform explosive twisting motions, particularly good for improving your stamina in the spoon position where you’e lying on your side. Do 2 to 3 sets of this exercise at the end of your workout.

                          Incorporate these exercises into your routine 2 to 3 times a week.

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                          3. Upper-Body Strength Training

                          Upper-body strength plays an important role in many popular sex positions where the arms are used to provide a stable base or hold onto the partner. These including missionary, doggy style, the stand and carry (with the woman holding onto the man’s neck) and others. Use these simple exercises to improve upper body strength and endurance:

                          Plank exercise
                            • Plank – while bench pressing is great for building a big chest, you will find yourself in need of static strength, muscle endurance and a strong core. This exercise is a great way to increase the amount of time you are able to hold positions that require you to support yourself with your arms. For added difficulty, straighten out your arms like at the top of a pushup and hold as long as you can.

                            Close grip pushups
                              • Close pushups – a pushup variation that focuses on triceps, which are the first to give out during a prolonged missionary or similar position. Go for very high reps, 20 t0 50, to work on muscle endurance.

                              Chin ups
                                • Chin-ups – A great upper back and biceps builder, this exercise will also target the core if you try to be as straight as possible when lifting yourself up. You can jump to help make things easier, or just hold as long as you can if you aren’t strong enough to perform a single chin up. Do 3 to 4 sets for as many reps as you can.

                                These exercises, done about three times a week, will help you develop a strong upper body that can keep going and hold you up for extended periods of time.

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                                4. Pelvic-Floor Exercises

                                You don’t have to perform these at the gym, although you could do them after your workout without anyone even noticing. The idea behind Kegel exercises is to improve blood flow to the sex organs and strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor in both men and women. By locating these muscles and tightening and relaxing them for intervals of 5 seconds for 10 to 15 repetitions at a time, several times a day, you can improve pleasure and performance during sex. Women can tighten their vaginal walls for increased pleasure to both them and their partner, while men can delay ejaculation by tightening these muscles.

                                5. Flexibility Moves for Legs and Hips

                                Lion stretching

                                  If you want to avoid getting cramps — or even worse, pulling a muscle during intercourse — you should do a few simple stretches every day. The more limber you are, the more comfortable you’ll be with more exotic poses. Here are a few simple stretches to improve hip and leg flexibility:

                                  Take a few minutes to warm up with some light running or jumping jacks before stretching, and spend some 10 minutes on these stretches. You can do them in the morning and at night, or shortly before intercourse.

                                  With just a few hours a week devoted to exercise, you can improve your relationship significantly. If you focus on these exercises, over time, you just might become dynamite in bed.

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