Your diet will go swimmingly using these easy-to-make recipes that feature sustainable, protein-packed fish.

Fish have a stacked nutritional resume (hello, mega-healthy omegas and muscle-building protein) that should place them at the top of your meal-prep roster. And even though research shows that women of childbearing age who regularly nosh on fish are at a lower risk of developing heart disease, very few women eat the recommended amount — of just 8 ounces per week!

Perhaps you’re concerned about contaminants and sustainability issues like overfishing or are worried that your paucity of fish-cooking skills means you’ll butcher that pricey halibut. Then there are the counter-side decisions you don’t know how to make: Should you buy wild or farmed? Frozen or fresh? Large fish or small?

Here’s the help you need to navigate these murky waters. Try these foolproof recipes using the healthiest, most sustainable fish and follow the fish-buying guidelines and you will never have to throw your meal overboard.


With 15 grams of high-quality protein per 3-ounce serving, cod is awesome muscle fuel. Cast your line for this swimmer and you’ll reel in a range of must-have nutrients, including phosphorus, selenium and potassium, as well as B6, which plays an essential role in dozens of enzymatic reactions in the body.

ECo-Smart: The most ocean-friendly choice is Pacific wild cod from icy Alaskan waters where measures are taken to prevent overfishing and the use of destructive fishing methods. Take a hard pass on Atlantic cod, which suffer from depleted stocks and which are permitted to be caught with high amounts of bycatch — fish or other marine species that are caught unintentionally with the target fish — which is often allowed to die and be discarded.

In the Kitchen: When it comes to cooking delicate fish like cod, it’s full-steam ahead. The liquid below your fish vaporizes, carrying heat to your meal and cooking it quickly but gently. Gussy up your steaming water with flavoring agents like citrus zest, ginger and herbs.

Bait-and-Switch: Good substitutes for cod are Pacific halibut, sole, lingcod, U.S. catfish, U.S. tilapia, barramundi and sablefish.

Cod Tacos With Strawberry Salsa

Hands-On Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 7 Minutes

Makes 4 Servings


1 cup hulled strawberries, diced
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
½ small red onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped basil or mint
juice of ½ lemon
1 cup water
1 tsp orange zest
juice of 1 orange
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
1¼ lb Pacific cod
¼ tsp salt, plus a couple of pinches
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne
8 corn tortillas, warmed
½ cup sour cream


In a large bowl, toss together strawberries, bell peppers, chili peppers, red onions, basil/mint, lemon juice and couple of pinches salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. To a medium-size pan or pot, add water, orange zest, orange juice, garlic and ginger. Line a steamer tray with parchment paper. Arrange fish fillets on tray and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Set tray in pan/pot, making sure it rests above the liquid, then cover tightly. Bring liquid to a boil and steam until cod is just barely cooked through in the center, about 7 minutes. (Alternately, steam fish in an electric steamer.) Transfer steamed fish to a cutting board and allow to cool, then gently break flesh apart into 1-inch pieces. To serve, place cod on tortillas and top with strawberry salsa and dollops of sour cream.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 288, fat 4 g, carbs 34 g, fiber 4 g, sugar 7 g, protein 30 g, sodium 283 mg


Rainbow trout has a mild taste and is a good swap for people who find salmon too “fishy.” Its rosy flesh is a top-notch source of omega-3 fats, which research shows can slash the risk for diabetes and heart disease. A palm-size serving of trout also gives you a quarter of your daily need for phosphorus, an important building block of strong bones. And since it’s a smaller fish, the risk of ingesting too many contaminants like mercury is low.

Eco-Smart: The trout you buy is almost certainly farmed, but fret not. The land-based tanks and raceways (man-made channels of flowing water used to mimic natural habitats) employed by most North American trout farmers cause fewer environmental woes than oceanic farming, which tends to sully wild waters with fish waste and which spreads diseases to wild fish populations.

In the Kitchen: One of the great worries about working with fish like trout and salmon is the fear of overcooking. Using lower cooking temperatures in the oven increases the time it takes to cook the fish, which means you can keep closer tabs on it, and the end result is a delicate texture and juicier meat.

Bait-and-Switch: Use trout in place of wild salmon and arctic char.

Recipe Hack: Use the leftover almond sauce on grain bowls, or thin it with some olive oil and use it as a salad dressing.

Trout With Herbed Almond Sauce

Hands-On Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Makes 4 Servings


1/3 cup unsalted roasted almonds
¼ cup buttermilk (or milk)
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 shallot, chopped
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup parsley
1/3 cup fresh mint
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1½ lb rainbow trout fillets


Place almonds in a food processor and pulse into small pieces. Add buttermilk, yogurt, shallots, spinach, parsley, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, cayenne and salt and process until smooth. Chill 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 300 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Season trout with salt and pepper and place skin-side down on sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until just barely cooked through in the thickest part of the flesh. Divide into servings and top with almond sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 334, fat 15 g, carbs 6 g, fiber 2 g, sugar 3 g, protein 42 g, sodium 262 mg

Rainbow trout is a good source of selenium, a trace mineral that promotes brain function, healthy immune system and fertility. When combined with vitamin e, selenium can act as an antioxidant to reduce the risk of cancer.


Nutritionally, this poor man’s oyster delivers a boatload of benefits, including quality protein, omega-3 fats and selenium. They also contain vitamin B12, which is vital for the health of your nervous system.

Eco-Smart: Farmed mussels are sustainable superstars with zero input aquaculture. Unlike farmed shrimp or salmon, which can require tons of feed and antibiotics to grow, mussels don’t need food or drugs. Moreover, they filter particulates from the water, actually making it cleaner, and don’t mind being packed tightly together so you can grow a lot of nutrition in a very small space.

In the Kitchen: Some people consider mussels a restaurant dish, but unlike most seafood, they are cheap and nearly foolproof to prepare. Most mussels are sold debearded and pre-cleaned to minimize teeth-rattling grit, and they keep well for a couple of days in your refrigerator in a bowl and covered with a damp paper towel. They’re sold alive, so never
keep them in a plastic bag, which suffocates them.

Bait-and-Switch: Use clams or cockles in place of mussels.

Italian Mussel Soup

Hands-On Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes

Makes 4 Servings


1 cup farro
4 cups water, divided
½ tsp salt, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp red chili flakes
¼ tsp black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 lb mussels
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
¼ cup sliced Kalamata or black olives (optional)
1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped


Bring farro, 3 cups water and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 25 minutes, or until grains are al dente. Drain excess liquid. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and heat 1 minute. Add fennel, red chili flakes, remaining salt and black pepper and heat 30 seconds. Add wine, bring to a boil and simmer 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, 1 cup water and thyme. Bring again to a boil, then add mussels. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 3 minutes, or until shells pop open. Use a slotted spoon to remove mussels from soup; discard any that have not opened. Stir farro, red wine vinegar and olives (if using) into soup. Remove mussels from shells and add flesh and their juices to soup. Serve garnished with parsley.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 515, fat 12 g, carbs 47 g, fiber 9 g, sugar 5 g, protein 42 g, sodium 726 mg


More flavorful than tilapia, the underappreciated catfish has a mere 130 calories per 3-ounce serving, making it very waistline-friendly. Nutritional perks include vitamin B12, selenium and phosphorus as well as thiamine, which is
vital for your metabolism.

Eco-Smart: According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, U.S. farmed catfish is a green-light choice because indoor farming tanks minimize environmental impact. Wild blue catfish caught in the Chesapeake Bay is also a good choice, but send imported catfish from Asia overboard because of questionable farming methods.

In the Kitchen: A quick braise helps keep delicate catfish fillets tender and moist, and greatly reduces the chances of overcooking it into rubber. This is harder to do with direct heating methods like pan-searing.

Bait-and-Switch: Use cod, lingcod, Pacific halibut, sole, U.S. tilapia, barramundi or sablefish in place of catfish.

Salsa Verde Braised Catfish

Hands-On Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes

Makes 4 Servings


1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 tsp grapeseed or canola oil
1 cup white onions, thinly sliced
¼ tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp black pepper
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1½ cups salsa verde
4 (4-6 oz) catfish fillets
juice of ½ lime
¼ cup unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
½ cup cilantro, chopped


Cook rice according to package directions. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy-bottom skillet. Add onions and salt and cook 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add cumin and black pepper and heat 30 seconds. Add broth and salsa verde and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and carefully place fish fillets in pan, spooning sauce over the top. Cover and simmer gently over low heat until fish is cooked through, flipping once, about 8 minutes. Squeeze lime juice over the top and remove from heat. Divide rice among plates and top with catfish. Spoon salsa verde sauce on top. Scatter on pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 478, fat 20 g, carbs 44 g, fiber 2 g, sugar 7 g, protein 28 g, sodium 636 mg


There are very few sources of omega-3 fats that are better than salmon, and a recent study from Tufts University found that people are more likely to age without health problems and disabilities when they have higher blood levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Salmon also contains plenty of vitamin D and astaxanthin (which gives it its rosy hue), which is being studied for its cancer-fighting properties. Bonus: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine names salmon the best omega-3-to-mercury-ratio fish of any option at the fishmonger.

Eco-Smart: Salmon farming is becoming more eco-friendly, but issues such as antibiotic use persist. When possible, opt for wild Alaskan salmon like chinook or sockeye. These species are healthy with no overfishing or notable contaminant risks. Feasting only on krill and tiny crustaceans, wild salmon also have a healthier fatty-acid profile than their farmed counterparts, and their rich, buttery flesh can’t be beat.

In the Kitchen: Believe it or not, nuking your salmon is a guaranteed fast, delicious meal. Microwaving the fish in parchment packets traps steam to add moisture and promises meltingly tender flesh — without making your kitchen smell like low tide.

Bait-and-Switch: Try rainbow trout, arctic char or catfish in place of salmon.

Salmon Broccoli Parcels With Horseradish Sauce

Hands-On Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes

Makes 2 Servings


1 cup red onions, sliced
3 cups broccoli florets, sliced
2 (5-6 oz) skinless salmon fillets
salt and pepper, to taste
1 medium orange, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp prepared horseradish
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
2 tsp creamy Dijon mustard
2 tsp cider vinegar


Fold two 14-inch-by-18-inch sheets of parchment paper in half. Open sheets and place equal amounts of red onions and broccoli on one side of each sheet. Place salmon on top of vegetables and season with salt and pepper (to taste). Top with orange slices. Fold parchment sheet over fish and vegetables and crimp shut. Microwave packets on high for 5 minutes. Open a corner to check that salmon is cooked through in the thickest part. If not, microwave in 30-second intervals until cooked. Let packets rest, sealed, 5 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, horseradish, dill, mustard and cider vinegar. Open packets and serve fish topped with horseradish sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 361, fat 13 g, carbs 25 g, fiber 6 g, sugar 14 g, protein 37 g, sodium 159 mg 

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Love margaritas but not all that sugar? This festive cocktail takes the edge off without derailing your efforts in the gym.

Who doesn’t like to unwind after a long week with a margarita? The problem is, they are loaded with sugar and could clock in around 600 calories each. I knew there had to be a way to have my cake and eat it too, so I created the cocktail I lovingly refer to as the “Amberita.” Enjoy the recipe below guilt-free — you deserve it!


1.5 limes, squeezed half lemon, squeezed .5 oz. Triple Sec 1 oz. Silver Tequila 1 packet of Truvia Salt rim with Tajin Seasoning

Yield: one serving

Calories: 129 Carbs: 9 Fat: 0 Protein: 0

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

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This berry-filled recipe — perfect morning, noon or night — is packed with antioxidants, protein and micronutrients

I try to keep my macros at 30 percent protein, 30 percent fat and 40 percent carbs because it helps keep my blood sugar level — and that’s why I developed this vanilla raspberry smoothie. The raspberries are high in vitamin C, the acai berry powder is a superfood that is high in antioxidants and fiber, the spinach is jampacked with iron and calcium, and the almonds are rich in healthy fats, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. I whip up this smoothie anytime I need a satisfying and delicious snack.

Vanilla Raspberry Smoothie

1 scoop low-carb vanilla protein powder

1 cup frozen raspberries (The trick is to unfreeze them 80 percent of the way.)

1 tbsp acai berry powder

handful of spinach

10 almonds

water (to reach desired consistency)

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

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This tropical recipe will brighten your day and give you a nutritional boost.

This recipe is one of my all-time favorites, thanks to its refreshing ingredients and vacation-like vibe. The pineapple is rich in vitamin C to boost your immune system, the avocado gives you a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, the coconut milk provides calcium and vitamin D to support your bones, and the protein feeds your muscles. Blend the ingredients up and you’ll immediately be transported to the beach. Enjoy!

Piña Colada Smoothie

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

6 oz coconut milk (fat-free postworkout; full fat at night)

½ cup frozen pineapple chunks

¼ avocado (optional)


Nutrition Facts: calories 241, protein 27 g, carbs 15 g, fats 9 g

Now in its fifth year, The Oxygen Challenge has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of the most badass coaches of all time: lifetime athlete and CrossFit Games champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and All-American track competitor and body-positive trainer Amber Dodzweit Riposta.

So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now with this 90-day training and nutrition program designed exclusively for Oxygen — it’s guaranteed to awaken your inner athlete, buoy your spirit and empower your life! Join the Challenge today.

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There’s nothing more romantic than treating your ticker right during American Heart Month.

What’s the most iconic symbol for Valentine’s Day? Hearts, of course! Whether they are cut out of red foil, drawn with a crayon or texted with a “<3,” they all represent love and affection. And while we’re on the subject of hearts, February 14 serves as a great reminder to do everything you can to protect your heart — not from potential heartbreak but from heart disease. Smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity and even stress all contribute to cardiovascular disease. After all, it can’t be a coincidence that February is also American Heart Month.

“Following a heart-healthy diet can be easy and tasty, if you follow a few simple rules,” says Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, a nutritionist in Los Angeles. “Get plenty of fruits and vegetables, and choose whole grains most often since these foods give you plenty of heart-healthy vitamins and fiber. It’s also important that you choose the right kinds of fats: Oils such as olive oils and the fats in nuts and seeds and avocados give you heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, provide omega-3 fatty acids that can lower triglycerides and blood pressure.”

So on this day dedicated to love, whether you have a sweetheart to cook a romantic meal for or you just want to give yourself the gift of self-love, whip up these delicious recipes that will warm your heart this Valentine’s Day.

Breakfast: Sunny-Side Up Avocado Toasts

Sunny-Side Up Avocado Toasts

One high-fat food you might want to include on your cholesterol-lowering menu is avocado. Researchers at Penn State University put participants on different diets during which they controlled their fat intake — and one of those groups was given one avocado a day. Even among groups that consumed the same amount of fat, the group that ate an avocado a day reduced their blood cholesterol levels more than the group that wasn’t eating avocado. “Try swapping avocado for mayonnaise on your sandwich, topping off your omelet with avocado slices or putting it on toast before you hit the gym,” Bannan suggests. The eggs provide good quality protein and heart-healthy nutrients, such as folate and omega-3 fatty acids. Bannan says choosing DHA-fortified eggs will further reap the omega-3 benefits for your heart. Finally, she says whole grains, including 100 percent whole-grain bread, are rich in protein, fiber, B vitamins and many other nutrients that help lower blood pressure and promote heart health.


½ large avocado, mashed

2 large eggs

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 slices 100% whole-grain bread

¼ tsp sea salt for sprinkling

1 green onion, thinly sliced (optional)

1 radish, thinly sliced (optional)

¼ tsp red chili flakes (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, mash avocado and set aside.
  2. In a small skillet, add oil and fry each egg until your desired doneness. Meanwhile, toast sliced bread.
  3. Add some mashed avocado to each slice of toast and top with fried egg. If desired, garnish toast with a few sliced green onions, radishes and red chili flakes. Serve right away.

Serves: 2

Recipe by Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN

Lunch: Banh Mi-Style Flatbread With Grapes

Banh Mi-Style Flatbread With Grapes

You already know red wine is good for the heart (hallelujah!) — but what about grapes? “The heart-healthy polyphenols found in red wine, including resveratrol, are also found in grapes of all colors,” Bannan says. “In addition, fresh grapes — with no fat, no cholesterol and virtually no sodium — are also a natural source of other heart-protective nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium, which may help promote healthy blood flow.” Plus, she says cooking with heart-healthy fats, like olive oil, which is high in unsaturated fats, can improve your blood cholesterol levels.


1 (14-ounce) package prepared pizza dough

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp lemongrass paste

12 ounces chicken breast, cut into ½-inch pieces

2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

½ cup shredded carrots

pinch sugar

1 tbsp rice vinegar (unseasoned)

2 cups halved green seedless California grapes

¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1 jalapeño pepper, very thinly sliced (remove seeds for less heat)


  1. Roll pizza dough into a 10-inch-by-14-inch oval on a lightly floured board. Transfer it to a baking sheet. Bake at 450 F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet, and stir in garlic and lemongrass paste; cook 1 minute. Add chicken and soy sauce. Stir-fry over medium-high heat until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Place carrots in a small bowl and stir in a pinch of sugar and vinegar.
  4. Spread chicken mixture over baked dough, then sprinkle it with carrots, grapes, cilantro and jalapeño slices. Cut flatbread into 8 square pieces.

Serves: 4

Recipe by Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN

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Preworkout Snack: Baked Raspberry Oatmeal Muffins

Fuel your workout with heart-healthy and energy-packed ingredients, like these grab-and-go muffins. The inclusion of milk and Greek yogurt in this recipe are important because a study recently published in The Lancet reveals consumption of dairy is associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. “Fruits, like the raspberries included here, contain a variety of phytochemicals called flavonoids, which may reduce blood pressure and prevent atherosclerosis,” says Gabrielle Fundaro, Ph.D., CISSN, CHC, a certified sports nutritionist, ACE-certified health coach and consultant for Renaissance Periodization. “Finally, the oats are whole grains that provide soluble fiber, which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”


coconut oil spray

1.5 cups old-fashioned oats

½ tsp fine sea salt

1 cup 2% milk

1 tsp vanilla

1.5 rounded scoops vanilla whey protein powder

⅓ cup toasted walnuts, chopped

½ tsp baking powder

½ tbsp cinnamon

½ cup Greek yogurt

2 tbsp liquid egg whites

3 tbsp sugar-free coconut syrup

½ tbsp coconut oil (liquid form)

2 cups raspberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with coconut oil spray.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine oats with sea salt.
  4. In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine milk with vanilla.
  5. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring until combined. Fold in 1 cup raspberries.
  6. Divide batter among pans and top with remaining cup of raspberries. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Yield: 12 muffins

Recipe by Gabrielle Fundaro, PhD, CISSN, CHC, consultant for Renaissance Periodization

Dinner: Pan-Seared Salmon on Arugula Salad

Pan-Seared Salmon on Arugula Salad

Omega-3 fatty acids — found in fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel — can reduce the risk of heart disease while helping to maintain healthy blood pressure and triglyceride levels. To achieve optimal levels of omega-3s, the American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fatty fish per week, which provides the equivalent of 250 to 500 milligrams of EPA and DHA omega-3s per day.



2 (5-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets

¼ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salad Dressing:

1 tbsp smooth tahini

4 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp fresh orange or tangerine juice (from about 1 small tangerine or orange)

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

¼ tsp honey

⅛ tsp kosher salt

1 small clove garlic, smashed (optional)


2 cups arugula leaves

1 cup mâche leaves (or 1 additional cup arugula leaves)

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 green onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into 1-inch lengths

1 tsp sesame seeds


  1. Season salmon with salt and pepper and heat a large skillet with olive oil. Place fillets skin-side down and cook over moderately high heat until skin is crispy and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. With a fish spatula, flip each fillet in pan and continue cooking on other side for another 4 to 5 minutes until cooked through. Keep warm and set aside.
  2. Make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, honey and salt until smooth and creamy. Add garlic clove (if desired) and lightly macerate into dressing. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine arugula, mâche (if using), radishes, green onions and sesame seeds. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently to coat.
  4. Transfer salad to 2 plates and top with salmon fillets. (The salmon will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

Serves: 2

Recipe by Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN

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Dessert: Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies

It certainly wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without some chocolate. Thankfully, cocoa powder contains polyphenols, which studies show may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. “While dark chocolate consumption has been associated with improved blood lipids, it’s important to note that some dark chocolate products are high in fat and refined sugar, so portion control is still important,” Fundaro says. “The avocado may increase HDL, or the good cholesterol.”


⅓ cup avocado puree

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ tsp baking soda

⅓ cup liquid egg whites

6 tbsp coconut sugar

2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce

⅓ cup whole-grain pastry flour

3 tbsp stevia-sweetened dark chocolate baking chips

sea salt (optional)

12 tbsp nonfat whipped topping


  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine wet ingredients (avocado puree with vanilla) in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Combine dry ingredients (cocoa powder with baking soda) in a separate small bowl.
  4. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Drop by even scoops to make 12 mounds on prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon, and sprinkle with sea salt (if using).
  6. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until slightly firm when lightly pressed. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. To make whoopie pies, sandwich 2 cookies together with 2 tablespoons nonfat whipped topping.

Yield: 6 whoopie pies

Recipe by Gabrielle Fundaro, PhD, CISSN, CHC, consultant for Renaissance Periodization

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Shake up your diet with these decadent, nutrient-dense recipes.

By now, you’ve probably heard of smoothie bowls. The concept is simple: Pour a perfectly blended smoothie into a bowl instead of a glass. But the magic doesn’t stop there. Smoothie bowls are notoriously packed with delicious toppings, from granola and berries to nuts and chocolate. These nutritious recipes make the perfect healthy breakfast or quick-and-easy snack.

Chocolate Peanut/Almond Butter Bowl

Chocolate Peanut/Almond Butter Bowl

Serves 1


  • 4.5 oz Reveri Vanilla Almond Blossom
  • 1 fluid oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 oz natural unsalted peanut butter, or natural unsalted almond butter
  • 2 tbsp chocolate whey or vegan protein powder
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
  • 3.5 oz ice


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until well-mixed.
  2. Pour mixture in a bowl and top with sliced banana, granola, chia seeds, walnuts or cacao nibs.

Triple Berry Bowl

Triple Berry Bowl

Serves 1


  • 4.5 oz Reveri Vanilla Almond Blossom
  • 1 fluid oz unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 oz frozen strawberries
  • 1.5 oz frozen blueberries
  • 0.5 oz frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp vanilla whey or vegan protein powder
  • 3.5 oz ice


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until well-mixed.
  2. Pour mixture in a bowl and top with granola, seeds, nuts or fruit.

Blue Majik Reveri Bowl

Blue Majik Reveri Bowl

Serves 1


  • 4.5 oz Reveri Vanilla Almond Blossom
  • 2 oz unsweetened coconut or almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple, or frozen peeled pear
  • ¼ cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1 tsp Blue Majik powder
  • 3.5 oz ice


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until well-mixed.
  2. Pour mixture in a bowl and top with fresh berries and cacao nibs.

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For Jen Widerstrom, clean eating feeds both her body and soul.

For Jen Widerstrom, clean eating feeds both her body and soul.

It’s not enough for former American Gladiators athlete and NBC’s The Biggest Loser trainer Jen Widerstrom to simply eat “healthy.” For this Oxygen Challenge 4 coach, the real difference comes from committing to a clean-eating nutrition plan — for life. “You work so hard to be healthy and vital, and when you put fuel in your body that’s been altered, it diminishes the return on that investment,” she explains. “When it comes to eating animal-based protein, we have to remember that we ultimately ingest whatever was given to that animal.”

In other words, any hormones and antibiotics these animals consume through their feed are transported into your body, which Widerstrom says can adversely affect your physical development and organ function. “Also, I care very much about the way animals are treated, especially when it’s for our benefit,” she says. “In the words of Mary Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science, ‘Nature is inhumane; we don’t have to be.’ I couldn’t agree more.”

Be Responsible and Well-Rounded

So what should you look for at the grocery store? “Be proactive — read the labels on your food,” Widerstrom says. “If the food is made well, they’re going to tell you on the packaging. If there’s no messaging, it’s often because the products contain antibiotics and hormones.” Making these determinations can be harder at a restaurant, but typically if a food is grass-fed, hormone-/antiobiotic-free or organic, it will be listed boldly on the menu.

“I also advise people to be conscious eaters instead of mindless ones,” Widerstrom says. “Have a clear understanding of what kinds of foods your body digests well, and focus on choosing real foods so you will look and feel your best.”

That being said, Widerstrom is a big proponent of having everything in moderation. “I’ll have a beer and pizza with the best of them, but I’ll sweat that day, and you better believe I’m eating my eggs and avocado that next morning!” she says.

Recipes — for Life

Jen Widerstrom, an NASM-certified trainer, is on a mission to share the importance of eating natural products — and that’s why she chooses to source her beef, turkey, chicken and jerky from Laura’s Lean. Here is a recipe that uses these all-natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free, grass-fed products.

One-Pot Chicken

Makes 2-3 servings


  • 1½ lb (3-4) boneless, skinless Laura’s Lean chicken breasts 
  • ¾ tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp lemon pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs of choice

Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine salt, lemon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Sprinkle mixture evenly over chicken on both sides. Heat oil in a large oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes each side, until nicely browned. Add rice wine vinegar and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. In another bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey. Pour over chicken and stir until coated. 

Cover pan with foil and place in oven. Bake 15 minutes, then add tomatoes. Bake another 5 minutes until tomatoes start to burst. Remove, sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve.

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Sometimes it’s tricky to divine which foods are fads and which are fab. Here are five fab finds for 2019 curated by certified trainer and nutritionist Alexa Uhurek.

Lupini Beans

Lupini Beans

This Mediterranean superfood was used by Roman warriors for fuel thousands of years ago. It’s high in protein and is a great low-carb alternative instead of lentils or chickpeas. Buy lupini beans dried, pickled or as a packaged product that is cooked and spiced.

Mushroom Coffee

Mushroom Coffee

Move over bulletproof coffee — there’s a new fungi in town. Mushrooms are adaptogenic, meaning they help your body naturally adapt to stressors by supporting your adrenal function. You can buy coffee already combined with mushrooms or buy the ‘shroom powder separate and blend yourself.



Moringa contains a diverse range of bioavailable nutrients, and the leaves, bark, seeds, flowers and roots are all used medicinally for a variety of ailments, including joint pain, diabetes, stomach issues and infection. Moringa has an earthy taste similar to matcha, and fresh leaves can be used in a salad. Powdered moringa can be used in smoothies or chia puddings, and it’s also available in capsules as a supplement.

Adzuki Beans

Adzuki Beans

These beans are a popular Asian legume with a rich nutty flavor. They are a great source of protein and fiber as well as molybdenum, a mineral that facilitates enzymatic reactions and works to detoxify the liver. They are slightly sweet and are used in many plant-based desserts. Buy them dry at your local grocery store.

Cauliflower Pizzza Crust

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

While trendy, cauliflower pizza crusts are actually pretty tasty and are a great low-carb, high-fiber alternative for homemade pizzas. You could spend hours making your own, or try one of the frozen products widely available in stores, such as the Paleo crust from Caulipower, which contains minimal, high-quality ingredients — and is gluten-free! (, $53 for a 4-pack)

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You’re only 60 days away from finally making exercise and clean eating part of your lifestyle.

Healthy New You with Katie Corio

New Year’s is approaching fast, and if you’re like 99 percent of the world, part of your resolution is to get fit/lose weight/eat healthy. Unfortunately, the majority of resolutioners will abandon their healthy goals by March, and so continues the cycle of gym memberships that go unused. So also continues the cycle of quick-fix programs and yo-yo diets, which not only do a number on your metabolism but which also undermine your confidence.

“I have been there,” says Katie Corio, NPC bikini competitor and creator of Oxygen’s Healthy New You online education program. “I have felt the guilt and the low self-esteem that comes with being out of shape. I understand what it is to want to be fit and healthy, but to have it seem so out of reach.”

Stats: Katie Corio 

Birth date: August 29, 1993
Height: 5’3”
Weight: 127 lb
Current residence: Del Mar, California
Sponsor: 1 Up Nutrition
Instagram: @cutekatiebug  @cutekatiebug_workouts  @fitforlift_ig
Twitter: @cutekatiebug
Snapchat: “cutekatiebug”

Rising Above

Corio went from being super active to sedentary after she tore her meniscus in a volleyball tournament. Though she did the work to rehab her knee, Corio gave in to the typical college lifestyle — late-night drinking, poor food choices and zero exercise — and quickly lost her physique. “I remember trying on bikinis in the dressing room and noticed how different I looked,” she says. “That’s when I decided I needed to make some real changes.”

Corio hired a trainer who competed in figure competitions and was immediately inspired to do so herself. She did three NPC bikini contests and a powerlifting event and excelled at them all. However, after her last bikini competition, Corio felt horrible. She had stiff, swollen joints and would lie in bed at night in tears wondering why she could not move. The doctors diagnosed her with rheumatoid arthritis and told her to stay away from the gym. “That was like a death sentence to me,” Corio says. “I thought my fitness days were over.”

The lab coats also wanted to dose her with medication, but Corio was reluctant. She researched alternative treatments and decided to try homeopathic remedies and an anti-inflammatory diet to control her symptoms. She continued doing physical therapy exercises to loosen and warm up her joints, and after several months, she was living and training almost completely pain-free.

“This filled me with hope that I could manage my symptoms naturally,” she says. “So I decided to train for a USPA powerlifting meet to prove to myself — and the doctors — that I could lift heavy and be strong with rheumatoid arthritis and that I didn’t need their harsh medications to cope.” Needless to say, she crushed her competition, squatting almost 300 pounds with perfect form and optimal mobility.

Total-Life Transformation

Even if you don’t have rheumatoid arthritis or the desire to squat the equivalent of a baby water buffalo, you likely can relate to Corio’s dressing-room drama. “That terrible day of trying on bikinis helped me move forward,” she says. “I was determined to improve my self-confidence and be happy with my body again. My intuition was telling me there were bigger and better things in store, and I fully committed to seeking those out. I didn’t realize at the time that much more than my body was going to change.”

Corio found that the healthier she got, the more her mindset and desires changed. “I started sitting a little taller, looking people in the eye and speaking with more deliberation,” she says. “I transformed from the inside out rather than the outside in. That, I think, is the secret beauty in living a healthy lifestyle: It isn’t just a physical improvement but a total-life transformation.”

Happy New You

This is the transformation Corio wants for you, as well, as the coach of our new 60-day Healthy New You online video program. “I know what it takes to break out of that cycle and can teach people how to maintain their health and fitness long term,” Corio says. “Together, we can turn any resolution into a daily, sustainable lifestyle.”

Corio’s program of consistent exercise and clean eating enables anyone at any level of fitness to succeed. “It’s about finding exercise options that you love and look forward to, and finding recipes and heathy foods you enjoy eating,” she says.

Her workouts are a progressive mixture of total-body training and bodypart splits using simple equipment (e.g., no gym membership required!) so you can do them anywhere, anytime — in 60 minutes or less! Corio also curated her best collection of recipes to share with program participants, and moreover, she will show you how to create your own healthy meal plan. “My step-by-step guide centers around macronutrients and teaches you how to put your meals together in a well-balanced and nutritious way,” she says.

“My hope is that you will use the Healthy New You program as a springboard to living a fit and healthy lifestyle,” she continues. “At the end of 60 days, you will have all the tools you need to make your new, healthy habits a permanent part of your life. Ladies, I got you! No more starting over. We will do this together, once and for all!”

Slow-Cooker Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew

Makes 6 servings

“’Tis the season to get cozy! Warm up with this easy, healthy recipe!” Corio says.


  • 1 lb extra-lean ground turkey breast
  • 16 oz sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 2/3 cup marinara sauce
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 bay leaves


In a skillet, brown ground turkey, breaking it up as it cooks. Remove and put into a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. The liquid level should fill the pot a little more than halfway with ingredients inside; add more chicken broth, if needed, to level out. Cover and cook 4 hours on high, or until potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaves and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 212, fat 1 g, carbs 30 g, protein 21 g, fiber 8 g, cholesterol 30 mg, sodium 468 mg

Ho-Ho Holiday Survival

Here are five tips from Katie Corio for avoiding collateral celebratory damage.

  • Pace yourself. Your eyes are usually bigger than your stomach. Eat a small portion and then wait before diving in for seconds.
  • Hydrate. A lot of times we mistake thirst for hunger. Drink a full glass of water between each helping of a meal for hydration and appetite control.
  • Exercise early. That way, you ensure it doesn’t get pushed back by family plans or lack of energy. Plus, you’re more likely to make healthier choices after a nice sweaty workout!
  • One is enough. Don’t deprive yourself of the joy of the holidays. Indulge in dessert but remember that one is enough: Have one piece of pie — not three!
  • Plan ahead. If you know you’ll be enjoying a high-calorie, home-cooked meal later in the day, eat light and healthy leading up to that meal.

Resolve to Evolve

Preregister now for the Healthy New You program! You’re only 60 days away from living your fittest life — ever. Go to and get ready to face down your resolutions!

The One-Plate Glute Workout

Believe it or not, Katie Corio’s glutes were flatter than a flap- jack before she started lifting. After years of trial and error, she found a winning formula that gave her a brag-worthy booty. Here are some of her favorite go-to moves to build gravity-defying glutes. 


Do all the exercises in order one after the other. Rest one minute and then repeat for a total of two rounds. Choose whatever weight plate is appropriate for your fitness level.

Exercise; Reps

Pulse Sumo Squat; 15
Plate Swing; 15
Walking Long Step Lunge and Twist;  15 (each leg)
Single-Leg Hip Thrust; 10 (each leg)
Single-Legged Romanian Deadlift;  10 (each leg)

Pulse Sumo Squat

Pulse Sumo Squat

Hold a plate with both hands and stand with your feet outside shoulder-width apart, toes turned out comfortably. Bend your knees and drop your glutes straight toward the floor, stopping when your thighs reach parallel. Rise back up a couple of inches, lower back to parallel and then stand all the way up to complete one rep.

Katie’s Tip: Focus on squeezing your glutes at the top of each rep — exaggerate it even — and go nice and slow for each rep.

Plate Swing

Hold a plate with both hands and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft. Break at the hips and push your glutes back to swing the plate underneath you and between your legs. As it comes back through to the front, quickly extend your knees and snap your hips forward, creating enough momentum to lift the plate to shoulder height. Guide it down carefully and go right into the next rep.

Katie’s Tip: Don’t round your back as you swing the plate between your legs. Keep it flat throughout.

Walking Long step Lunge and Twist

Walking Long step Lunge and Twist

Hold a plate with both hands at your chest. Take a large step forward, bending your front knee while keeping your back leg straight. Lunge until your front thigh is parallel to the floor, then twist your torso toward the forward leg. Return to center, push off your back foot and bring your feet together. Continue, alternating sides.

Katie’s Tip: Long step lunges target the glutes and hamstrings more than a traditional lunge. Exhale and blow out all your air as you twist.

Single-Leg Hip Thrust

Single-Leg Hip Thrust

Lie faceup, knees bent, and position a plate across your hips. Extend one leg straight up over your hip and then press down through your grounded foot to lift your hips toward the ceiling, keeping your hips square and the plate centered. Slowly lower to the start and repeat. Do all reps on one leg, then switch.

Katie’s Tip: Changing your foot position changes the emphasis of the move: The closer it is to your glutes, the more you engage your hamstrings; the farther away it is, the more you engage your quads.

Single-Legged Romanian Deadlift

Single-Legged Romanian Deadlift

Hold a plate with both hands and shift your weight onto one leg. Extend your opposite leg behind you, then hinge at the hips and lower your torso toward the floor as you simultaneously lift your leg behind you, hips square. When your torso and leg come parallel to the ground and/or you feel a stretch in your standing hamstring, return slowly to the start. Do all reps on one leg and then switch.

Katie’s Tip: Lower the plate over the arch of your standing foot and pull your shoulders back for optimal position and balance. 

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Fire up your diet with this fabulous superfood — dragon fruit.

Dragon Fruit Smoothie

Though it sounds exotic, dragon fruit — aka pitaya — is now commonplace in most grocery stores. This member of the cactus family has either white or bright pink flesh, and it is the latest superfood being researched for its role in things such as cancer prevention, immunity, increased energy and gut health. Here are five ways to enjoy this tasty, vibrant treat.

1. As a cancer-preventive condiment 

Research published in the Journal of Food Science revealed that the polyphenol and flavonoid content of both white and red dragon fruit contain cancer-preventative substances that help combat breast, ovarian, lung, liver and skin cancers. 

Dragon-Fire Salsa: Add 1 cup chopped dragon fruit, 1 chopped green onion, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, 1 chopped and seeded jalapeño pepper, and 1 tablespoon lime juice to a bowl. Stir to combine and add salt (to taste). Serve with tortilla chips or on top of fish.

2. As a muscle-building meal maker 

Dragon fruit contains a healthy dose of magnesium, which is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle contractions, blood sugar regulation and energy production.

Red Dragon Rice

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • ½ dragon fruit, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red chili pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ green onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add all ingredients except rice and saute. Add rice and stir until combined. Serve with chicken, shrimp or lean beef.

3. As a B-heavy breakfast 

A wealth of B vitamins are found in dragon fruit, including B1, B2 and B3 for improved immune function as well as vitamin B12 for energy, concentration, improved mood and red blood cell production. 

High-Pro Smoothie Bowl: Blend together 1 cup frozen mango cubes, 1 cup frozen pineapple cubes, 1 packet frozen pitaya puree, 2 handfuls spinach, ½ peeled kiwi, ½ cup almond milk and 1 scoop plain or vanilla protein powder. Top with granola or fresh fruit.

4. As an anti-aging treat 

Phosphorous helps protect and repair cells to preserve skin’s youthfulness and prevent premature aging. Dragon fruit contains 22.5 grams (per 100 grams) of phosphorous, as well as a ton of vitamin C — almost three times the amount as carrots — which boosts collagen production and fights free radicals. 

Happy Skin Sorbet: Blend 2 chopped dragon fruits (peeled) with ¾ cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Pour into a baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer. Stir every 2 hours for 8 hours, then allow to freeze overnight.

5. As a good-gut side 

The oligosaccharides found in dragon fruit act as prebiotics, improving digestion and gut health, controlling weight gain, and preventing cardiovascular diseases and cancer, according to research published in 3 Biotech. Dragon fruit also contains 1 gram of fiber (per 100 grams), aiding digestion and normalizing blood sugar. 

Dragon Fruit Salad: To a large bowl, add 2 cups chopped dragon fruit, 1 pint halved strawberries, 1 pint blueberries, 1 pint blackberries and 6 fresh mint leaves, finely shredded. Whisk together 2 tablespoons honey and 1/8 cup olive oil, then drizzle over salad. Stir gently and refrigerate 1 hour.

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