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20 Easy and Delicious Recipes with Avocado

20 Easy and Delicious Recipes with Avocado

Avocados are a near perfect food. They are creamy, versatile, nutritious and, dare I say, decadent (a rare adjective to apply to something so healthy). That said, a common complaint among the dieter set is that these green wonders are just too fatty to be eaten daily and in large quantities. While it is true that, by vegetable standards, avocados are quite fatty, it is important to note that not all fats are created equal. Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart attack and improve brain function. In addition, avocados contain Vitamins E (an antioxidant) and B6 (which promotes healthy skin).

Here are 20 easy and delicious ways to prepare meals using avocados:

Breakfast

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    The Egg-o-cado

    Halve an avocado and remove the pit. Pour a raw egg into the indent left by the pit and bake until the egg is cooked through. Serve with salsa.

    Avocado on Toast 

    Replace the butter or cream cheese that you would normally slather on your morning toast with avocado and sprinkle with sea salt.

    Avocado Pancakes

    Take your favorite pancake recipe (and, no, we are not talking about the just add water mixes) and replace all but a tablespoon or two of the oil or butter with avocado puree, simultaneously reducing saturated fat and adding some vitamins.

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    Kiwi Avocado Green Smoothie

    Make a creamy and delicious superfood smoothie with avocado, kiwi, lime, a handful of kale and a drizzle of honey.

    Breakfast Pizza

    Throw together a simple breakfast pizza in a hurry by layering together a tortilla, some mashed avocado (or guacamole) and a fried egg. Top it off with some hot sauce or a squeeze of lime.

    Lunch

    AvocadoTunaSalad-025

      Green Egg Salad

      Replace the majority of the mayo in typical egg salad with pureed avocado for a nutritious and filling take on an old favorite.

      Smashed Chick Peas and Avocado

      For a completely animal-free alternative to egg salad, blend chick peas and avocado in a food processor with some lime juice and cilantro. Serve as the filing of a sandwich.

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      Grilled Chicken and Avocado Salad

      Toss some grilled chicken and avocado slices into a salad of baby spinach. Serve with the chopped up fruit of your choice and a vinaigrette salad dressing.

      Tuna and Avocado 

      You may be noticing a pattern here. Avocado is an excellent replacement for other, less healthy fats. Try replacing all the mayonnaise in traditional tuna salad with mashed avocado. Add a pinch of sugar for some added sweetness.

      Zucchini and Avocado Soup

      In a food processor, puree cooked zucchini and green onion with avocado and vegetable broth. Season with cilantro and lime juice.

      Dinner

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        Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos

        Combine grilled shrimp, black beans, fresh cilantro, avocado and lime juice into tacos. Serve with some salsa verde.

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        Pasta with Green “Alfredo”

        Make a creamy pasta sauce without the cheese by mixing pureed avocado with lemon juice, basil, garlic and olive oil. Serve over spaghetti.

        Avocado Lime Salmon

        Prepare a rough chopped salsa of avocado, red onion, hot peppers, lime juice and olive oil. Dollop on top of baked salmon. Serve on a bed of brown rice.

        Avocado Mac n’ Cheese

        Blend together in a food processor, avocados, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix into cooked elbow macaroni and add butter and grated Parmesan cheese until you reach the desired taste and consistency.

        Grilled Shrimp, Mango and Avocado Skewers

        Put shrimp, large chunks of mango and avocado on wooden skewers. Brush with terriyaki sauce and grill until cooked through. Serve with rice.

        Dessert

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        avocado-mousse

          Avocado Ice Cream

          Freeze a couple of peeled avocado slices and blend them with honey or simple syrup to make an ice cream.

          Chocolate Avocado Pudding

          Combine coconut milk, melted chocolate and pureed avocados to make this delicious pudding.

          Avocado Whip

          Whip together in a food processor avocado, sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Chill and serve.

          Fudgey Brownies

          These brownies replace the egg with pureed avocado.

          Guacamole Cream Pie

          What happens when you cross a banana cream pie with a popular green Mexican condiment? It sounds gross but it tastes great.

          Featured photo credit: Avocado/Liz West via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on May 22, 2019

          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

          There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

          One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

          In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

          Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

          1. Cat Camel Stretch

          Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

          Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

          Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

          Here’s a video to guide you through:

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          2. Go for a Walk or a Run

          This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

          Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

          The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

          Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

          Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

          3. Jumping Jacks

          Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

          Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

          4. Abductor Side Lifts

          Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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          Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

          5. Balancing Table Pose

          This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

          Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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            6. Leg Squats

            Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

            Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

            The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

            7. Push Ups

            You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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            An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

            Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

            This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

            8. Bicycle Crunches

            There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

            Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

            9. Lunges

            Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

            Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

            This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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            10. Bicep Curls

            You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

            Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

            Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

            Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

            Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

            These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

            You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

            Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

            More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

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