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Jason transformed his look. And his LIFE.





Hailey and her fab results from doing The Human Trainer X50 Challenge.





Nathan- Before and After The Human Trainer X50 Challenge




And now... Linda has accepted the challenge:


"I workout, but my problem is consistency. Like right now, August through October involved vacation, family visits, followed by long work hours. This lead to eating junk, loss of portion control, and barely working out. I gained 10 lbs. I'm looking forward to the X50 challenge because I hate going to the gym, and I'm hoping the daily pre-assigned daily workouts will get me back on track, and even better. i'm getting married next year after all!"



LIKE our Facebook Page to follow Linda's journey with The X50 Challenge




The Human Trainer® X-50 Day Fitness Challenge is the perfect plan to kick-start you on the road to life-long fitness and wellness. We’ve made it super easy to get and stay on track for life with our instructor guided 50 day program. From the minute you log in and create your profile, to your last workout, we will guide you through your health and lifestyle transformation at every step and get you in the best shape of your life!



The Human Trainer X-50 Program.

30 day FREE trial. You have nothing to lose... except maybe a few unwanted pounds. CLICK HERE for more info and to sign up NOW!

Sunday, 18 October 2015 07:43

Autumn Apple Recipes

We all know that Fall is the time for apples. Apple picking not only makes for a great family time, but a great workout too!

But once the fun day is over, what do you do with all those apples! Here are some fantastic, original apples recipes that you may have never thought of:


French Onion and Apple Soup






3 tablespoons unsalted butter


15 cups sliced yellow onion (about 4 pounds) 


3/4 teaspoon black pepper


1 Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apple, peeled, quartered, and cut into julienne strips


3 thyme sprigs


2 bay leaves


1/2 cup Madeira wine or dry sherry


6 cups lower-sodium beef broth 


1/2 cup apple cider 


1 tablespoon sherry vinegar


10 (1/2-ounce) slices sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes


2 cups (8 ounces) grated Gruyère or Swiss cheese


Thyme leaves (optional)



1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Continue cooking 50 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add pepper, apple, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves; cook 3 minutes or until apples soften. Add wine; cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add broth and cider; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Discard bay leaves; stir in vinegar.

2. Preheat broiler.

3. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan; broil 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after 1 minute.

4. Preheat oven to 500°.

5. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 10 ovenproof soup bowls. Divide the croutons evenly among bowls, and top each serving with about 3 tablespoons cheese. Place bowls on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 500° for 8 minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.



Apple and Rosemary Pork Roulade






1 teaspoon olive oil 


3/4 cup pre-chopped onion 


3/4 cup chopped Fuji apple 


2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic


1 tablespoon cider vinegar


1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary


1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed 


1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided


1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cooking spray


1/3 cup no-salt-added chicken stock (such as Swanson)


3 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider


1 teaspoon Dijon mustard



1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion, apple, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add vinegar and rosemary; cook 1 minute. Place apple mixture in a small bowl. Wipe pan clean.

3. Slice pork lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves, laying pork flat. Starting from the center, slice each half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side; open so pork is flat. Place plastic wrap over pork; pound to an even thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle evenly with 3/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spread apple mixture on pork. Roll up, jelly-roll fashion.

4. Return pan to medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork, seam side down; cook 4 minutes or until browned, carefully turning occasionally. Place pan in oven. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 145°. Remove pork from pan; let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

5. Return pan to medium-high heat; add stock, cider, mustard, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Serve over pork.


Potato-Apple Latkes




6 cups shredded peeled Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 pounds)

2 cups shredded Gala or Honeycrisp apples (about 2 medium) 


1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided


1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


2.25 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup) 


6 tablespoons canola oil, divided 


1 teaspoon turbinado or granulated sugar 



1. Combine potatoes, apples, and 1 teaspoon salt in a colander. Let stand 20 minutes, pressing occasionally with the back of a spoon until barely moist. Combine potato mixture, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour to potato mixture; toss well to combine.

2. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add potato mixture in 1/3-cupfuls to pan to form 4 latkes; flatten slightly. Cook 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove latkes from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure 3 more times with remaining oil and potato mixture. Sprinkle latkes evenly with sugar.


Squash-Apple Turnovers

served as a side dish or appetizer






2 teaspoons olive oil 


1/2 cup minced onion 


2 cups (1/4-inch) diced peeled butternut squash


1 cup (1/4-inch) diced peeled Jonagold apple (about 1/2 pound) 


1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled goat cheese 


2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


1 (11.3-ounce) can refrigerated dinner roll dough


1 tablespoon honey mustard


2 teaspoons water


2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk


Cooking spray



1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté for 3 minutes. Add squash; sauté for 5 minutes. Add apple; cook 6 minutes or until squash and apple are tender. Stir in salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Gently stir in cheese and thyme.

3. Separate dough into 8 pieces. Roll each portion into a 5-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Combine mustard and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl. Lightly brush top sides of dough circles with mustard mixture. Spoon about 2 tablespoons squash mixture onto half of each circle, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Fold dough over filling; press edges together with a fork to seal. Brush milk over dough. Place turnovers 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 19 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.



Savory Baked Apples






2/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth


1/3 cup uncooked brown rice 


1/3 cup dried cranberries


1/3 cup apple cider


4 large Rome apples, cored 


1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted and divided 


1 (4-ounce) link sweet Italian sausage, casings removed 


3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion 


1/3 cup finely chopped carrot 


1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper


3 garlic cloves, minced


1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


3 tablespoons minced green onions


3/4 teaspoon kosher salt


1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage


1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese 



1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.

3. Combine cranberries and cider in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add mixture to rice.

4. Using a small spoon, carefully scoop out centers of apples, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell, and chop apple flesh. Brush the inside of apples with 1 tablespoon butter. Place apples on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until just tender.

5. Preheat broiler to high.

6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and sauté 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove from pan; drain. Wipe skillet, and melt remaining butter in pan. Add chopped apple, yellow onion, and next 3 ingredients (through pepper); sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sausage, onion mixture, walnuts, and next 3 ingredients (through sage) to rice; toss. Divide rice mixture evenly among apples; top with cheese. Broil for 5 minutes or until golden.




Recipes by:





Saturday, 17 October 2015 00:00

The Human Trainer Butt Blaster Workout

With the shorter days and cooler temperatures comes the urge to sit and veg. Plus, if you work an office job you're back to sitting all day. Don't let you butt get into an Autumn Rut. Kick your rump into gear with this Human Trainer Butt Blaster Workout.

 onelegsquat 1

1) Stand facing the main straps, keeping arms extended at eye level. Palms facing in.

2) Press hips and buttocks towards the floor

3) Keep the arms straight and the head and chest lifted

4) Press up through standing leg to starting position



- Keep weight in the heels 

- Do not lift back heel

- Should feel like your sitting back and down


cradlesprinter 1

1) Stand facing away from the main straps and place one foot in one foot cradle

2) Extend the opposite arm from the suspended foot forward and other arm stays resting at side

3) Press suspended foot down and back into a reverse lunge as you reach resting arm forward

4) Press up through the front foot to return to starting position



- Keep the suspended foot firmly pressed into the foot cradle for stability

- Lower the front knee to 90 degrees, knee over ankle


airsplits 1

1) Place both feet (toes down) into foot cradles

2) Begin in High Plank with both hands directly under shoulders

3) Press both legs out laterally 



- Keep the body in a straight alignment with core engaged

- Keep the head and hips lifted and in line with the spine


arm lunge 1

1) Stand facing the main straps in a wide stance

2) Keep elbows resting at side of the body, palms facing in

3) Lunge to the left side and press hips back and down

4) Press up to the start position and repeat on right side



- Keep head and chest lifted

- Keep core engaged throughout the movement


scissorkicks 1

1) Begin sitting on the ground facing the straps

2) Place both heels in foot cradle and lie down on your back with both legs extended and feet directly under the anchor points

3) Press the heels down into into the foot cradles and lift your hips upwards 

4) Press the right leg down as your left leg lifts upward

5) Keeping the hips lifted press your left leg down as your right leg lifts upward

6) Continue alternating reps



1) Keep the hips lifted throughout the movement

2) Press heels firmly into foot cradle for stabilty 







Wednesday, 14 October 2015 00:00

Fall Fitness Tips

Fall is a fantastic time to start a new fitness program because you can enjoy the cooler temperatures and outdoors. Plus, getting into a fitness routine NOW will help you to create good habits in time for the holiday season and winter months.


Here are some tips and ideas to help you take full advantage of autumn:


Take part in Fall activities.

Fall is full of fun outdoor events like pumpkin & apple picking, corn mazes, haunted trails, and building leaf piles; all of which are great calorie burners.


Enjoy the colourful fall foliage, and the crunch of leaves by taking up hiking, biking, or using a sturdy tree as your anchor for portable fitness equipment. If you live near the beach or a lake take advantage of the fact that these areas are much less crowded in the fall and enjoy a game of volleyball, or paddle-boarding, or kayaking. All of these suggestions are a great change of pace from a typical gym session and make for a great workout. 


Go for a Cause.

With the season comes many runs for charities such as Run for the Cure. Having a goal like a great cause can be a wonderful motivator.


Prepare for shorter days.

With fall, comes staying dark later into the morning, and getting dark earlier in the evening. The adjustment to the shorter days can make you more tired than usual. Get into the habit of working out early so you are less likely to be tempted to skip it. 


But just cause it’s dark doesn’t mean you can’t workout outdoors. You just have to be smart and safe. Wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.


Work out at home.

If you’re just not in the mood to take it outside, working out at home can make the shorter days less noticeable. Try the Human Trainer X50 Challenge for your “on demand” personal trainer.


Dress for the Weather.

It may not feel that cold or maybe you’re in denial that summer is actually over, but if you plan on spending an hour or more outdoors you may underestimate the temperature. Wear wind-shielding clothing and dress in layers. Don’t forget you hat and gloves.


Wear Sunscreen.

We tend to associate the need for sunscreen with warm weather, but even on a grey, chilly day you need to protect yourself from UV rays. If you plan to exercise for extended periods of time, reapply sunscreen every two hours.


Stay Hydrated.

People often feel less thirsty when it’s chilly, but staying hydrated is still major important. Don’t forget to bring your water bottle with you!


Drink Tea.

Tea is a great way to stay warm on those colder, damp days. Green and black teas contain antioxidants that help  keep the immune system strong so you can stay healthy and active throughout the season.


Stay away from the Halloween candy!

According to the National Institute of Health, the average person gains about a pound a year around the holidays. Be sure to keep cut veggies and fruit, and healthy snacks at arms reach to avoid reaching for the sweets. This is especially helpful at the office, where Halloween candy tends to pop up on co-worker’s desks.  


CLICK HERE for Healthy Halloween Treats












Tuesday, 06 October 2015 00:00

Germs at the Gym - How to Protect Yourself

We go to the gym to get healthier, but ironically it may be one of the easier places to get sick. Studies have found rhinoviruses (the demon behind the common cold) and Norovirus (which causes stomach flu) on 63% of gym equipment, and the showers have been found to be a hotbed for fungi responsible for foot infections. Researchers also found that disinfecting equipment didn't kill off all germs. (Home workout anyone?)


Now, now, no need to get the heebie jeebies. Here’s everything you need to know to protect yourself and continue to get the benefits of your gym workouts: 



Germ Zone: Free Weights, Machines, Exercise Balls

Cardio machines especially, are more likely to get wiped down then say, free weights, but that doesn’t mean they’re clean. For instance, people don’t usually think of wiping down a bike seat which has been found to have traces of staph, fungi, and yeast.


Fight it with wiping down equipment with disinfectant before and after use. If your gym doesn’t provide spray or wipes carry antibacterial gel and use it on your hands before and after your workout.



Germ Zone: Exercise Mat

Gyms rarely clean down each, individual mat properly which can lead to skin infections, athlete's foot, colds, flu, and Hepatitis A.


Fight it with bringing your own mat and to make sure to clean it after each use with a bleach-based wipe or a 60% alcohol disinfectant spray and let it air-dry. If you must use a gym-owned mat, sanitize it before use, or put a towel over it. You can even purchase non-slip yoga socks so you don’t have to workout barefoot.



Germ Zone: Gym Bag

Sure, most germs in your bag are your own and therefore harmless to you, but the problem lies on the outside of your bag. Setting your bag on a bench, locker, or floor can attract: staph, salmonella, E.coli, and pseudomonas, which can cause eye infections, says Charles Gerba PhD, environmental microbiologist at the University of Arizona.


Fight it with choosing a vinyl or plastic gym bag because germs and bacteria are less likely to stick to these materials, says Elaine L. Larson PhD, the associate dean for research at Columbia University School of Nursing.  If you use a canvas or cloth bag, wash it once a week with hot water and bleach and then put the bag in the dryer for 45 minutes. Keep dirty clothes and sneakers in a plastic bag within your gym bag, that you change frequently. Swab your gym bag inside and out with disinfectant wipes before bringing it in the house.



Germ Zone: Crowded Areas and Group Classes

Classes tend to get over crowded, and with people breathing and sweating heavy germs are sure to be flying around.


Fight it with keeping your distance — try to keep reasonable space (for example, two arm lengths) between yourself and others. Try to use the gym during non-peak hours and choose a machine that’s not right beside someone else.



Germ Zone: Locker Room

The sweaty, humid locker room is a germ’s nirvana. Sneakers and other shoes that have been worn outdoors track in all kinds of bugs including, get this… fecal matter!which harbors organisms that can give you stomach flu and Hepatitis A. Before you sit on the bench naked here’s some food for thought: studies have detected traces of STD’s and vaginal yeast there. Ew!


Fight it with always wear flip-flops in the locker room and shower; sit on a towel, and keep your workout shoes for gym use only.



Germ Zone: Towel

You may think the towels they provide at the gym are clean, but most gyms use the same hamper to transport dirty towels and clean ones… Guess what that does?


Fight it with bringing your own towel of course! Mark one side with an X and make sure that is the only that side should make contact with gym equipment. Bring a separate towel for your shower — try an antibacterial one to reduce your risk for infection.



Germ Zone: Water Bottle AND Fountain

When you take a sip from your bottle germs move into your bottle from the rim, and they reproduce quickly. Using the bottle without washing it after just a few days can be the equivalent of drinking from a public swimming pool! As for the water fountain, fellow gym-members may put their mouth directly on the spout, some may even spit in it.


Fight it with bringing a reusable water bottle and filling it up at home. Wash it in the dishwasher daily and store it in the fridge — germs are less likely to form in cold conditions. Avoid bottles with a pull-up spout or a built-in straw. Instead, choose a widemouthed bottle with a screw cap.



Germ Zone: Pool

According to the Center for Disease Control, 62% of pool-related diarrhea outbreaks are the result of the chlorine-resistant pathogen cryptosporidium, which is spread by contaminated fecal matter. In addition, bacteria, such as pseudomonas, can cause ear and eye infections, says Elizabeth Scott PhD, co-director of the Simmons College Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community in Boston.


Fight it with your sense of smell. Chlorine releases its distinct scent as it reacts with microorganisms, so the stronger the smell, the dirtier the pool. Always wear goggles, swim cap, and earplugs when swimming. 



Germ Zone: Shower

The gym shower is another humid germ-haven and is therefore full of fungi and bacteria that can cause athlete's foot, ringworm, and warts.


Fight it with showering as soon as you get home instead of at the gym. If you do shower at the gym, use antimicrobial soap, and wear flip-flops in the shower. Blow-dry your feet to make sure they're moisture-free.



Other things to keep in mind:


  • Cover cuts or broken skin with a bandage before going to the gym.
  • Wash your hands before and after your workout.
  • Don't shave at the gym or immediately before going there because germs can enter your body through tiny nicks.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wash your weight-lifting gloves regularly in hot water.



If you find a painful red spot or a bump It could be a MRSA infection. See a doctor immediately. 


And last but not least — if you’re contagious STAY HOME! Don’t risk spreading infections and illness to others. There are plenty of great at-home workouts you can do while you heal. If you are an athlete with an infection or illness avoid competing until you have your doctor’s okay.




Resources: Fitness magazine, Better Health magazine

Sure, there are some equipment that is better off never passing your doorway, but these space-saving beauties are worth having, and make needing a gym membership to stay fit a thing of the past.


Chin Up Bar


Pull Ups and Chin Ups are key exercises needed to build upper body strength, and are easier to successfully achieve than one may think. 


Try the Astone Fitness Chin-Up Bar- it allows you to easily and temporarily turn a doorway into a multi-position chin-up bar for a low cost. 


Adjustable Dumbbells


Adjustable dumbbells are great for two main reasons: You get a lot of different weight options for less than getting individual weights, and they take up a lot less space than a full set.


Suspension Gym


They’re portable and create an effective full body workout for beginners through advanced exercises. Hang it from ceiling mounts, an over head beam, or temporarily over a door. 


Check out The Human Trainer - the most versatile suspension gym on the market.


Jump Rope


A jump rope makes for an incredible cardio and lower body workout combined. If you’re going to get a jump rope, you should spend a few extra bucks and get a good one.


Resistance Bands


There are a ton of different exercises to be done with exercise bands. Get a door anchor and it can pretty much replace dumbbells and a hefty cable machine. 


Core-Training Wheel


Trust me- a core wheel can hit the mark and target ab muscles you didn’t even know you had. There are a number of varieties so do your homework and chose one that works for you.


Exercise Ball


There are lots of cool exercises that can be done on an exercise ball. You’ll be surprised the variety you can achieve.


Exercise Mat


Needing a mat is pretty much a given. It gives you the grip you need for exercises like planks, and slight cushioning which helps with curl ups. Basically, it’s great for any floor exercise. 


Agility Training Kit


High Intensity Training is quickly replacing standard long-winded cardio sessions as results can be achieved in as little as 10 minutes. An agility training kit is exactly what you need to keep it interesting and add variety to your HIIT.


Foam Roller


Since a got my foam roller I don’t workout without it. It’s fantastic for massaging and stretching sore muscles on your entire body.





Saturday, 05 September 2015 18:50

5 Make-Ahead Family Recipes

Oven-Baked Fish Sticks

fish-sticks-coleslaw-ictcrop gal



Coat the fish in seasoned bread crumbs, then freeze. To cook, bake until crisp and opaque throughout, about 20 minutes. 


Serves: 8

Hands-On Time: 40 min

Total Time: 55 min



3 cups panko bread crumbs

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)

kosher salt

3 large eggs

2 1/2 pounds skinless tilapia fillets, cut into 1-inch strips

coleslaw and ketchup, for serving



Heat oven to 450° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread crumbs with the oil, seafood seasoning, and ½ teaspoon salt.

Toast in oven,tossing once, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl and wipe out the baking sheet.

In a second shallow bowl, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon water.

Working with a few pieces at a time, dip the fish in the beaten eggs (shaking off any excess), then coat with the bread crumbs (pressing gently to help them adhere).

Place in a single layer on 2 large parchment-lined large baking sheets.


Bake the fish sticks until crisp and opaque throughout, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with the coleslaw and ketchup.


The uncooked fish sticks can be frozen for up to 3 months. First freeze them on the baking sheets until firm, then transfer to freezer bags.

To cook, bake from frozen on parchment-lined baking sheets until crisp and opaque throughout, 18 to 20 minutes.


Toasty Mac and Cheese

toasty-mac-cheese-ictcrop gal


Eat this cheesy, creamy meal right away, or freeze unbaked for up to 3 months. 


Serves: 8

Hands-On Time: 45 min

Total Time: 1 hr




6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dishes

1 pound cavatappi, penne, or another short pasta

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

5 cups whole milk

kosher salt and black pepper

1 pound Cheddar, grated (about 4 cups)

1 cup grated Parmesan (about 4 ounces)

1 cup crushed buttery crackers (about 16 crackers)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

buttered green beans, for serving



Heat oven to 350° F. Butter eight 6-ounce baking dishes or two 8-inch square baking dishes. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less

than the package directions suggest; drain and return it to the pot.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes (do not let darken).

Gradually whisk in the milk; add 1¼ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking occasionally,

until the sauce thickens slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the Cheddar and Parmesan.

Add the sauce to the pasta and toss to combine. (The mixture will seem wet.) Dividing evenly, transfer the mixture to the

prepared baking dishes and sprinkle with the crackers and parsley.

Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with the green beans.


This dish can be frozen, unbaked and covered in plastic wrap, then foil, for up to 3 months. To bake, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove the plastic wrap, re-cover with foil, and bake at 350° F until heated through, 20 to 25 minutes for 6-ounce baking dishes

or 50 to 55 minutes for an 8-inch square baking dish. Uncover and bake until golden, 5 to 10 minutes more.


Chicken With Tomatoes and Thyme

chicken-thyme-2 gal



Prep each portion in individual bags and freeze, then roast in a baking dish when you’re ready to eat.


Serves: 4

Hands-On Time: 10 min

Total Time: 1 hr




1 lemon

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

8 sprigs thyme

1 tablespoon capers

4 small chicken thighs

4 small chicken drumsticks

kosher salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 1-quart resealable plastic freezer bags



Freeze It: Slice the lemon into rounds. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and their liquid, lemon, thyme, and capers.

Divide them among the 4 plastic freezer bags.

Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add 1 leg and 1 thigh to each bag. Freeze, for up to 3 months, until ready to cook.

Cook It: Heat oven to 400° F. Remove the bags of chicken and tomatoes from the freezer (you’ll need 1 bag of chicken and tomatoes for each serving).   Empty the contents of each bag into a baking dish. Drizzle with the oil, using 1 1/2 teaspoons for each serving. (For 4 servings, use 2 tablespoons oil.)

Roast until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 50 minutes.


Sausage, Cauliflower, and Kale Potpie

sausage-kale-potpie gal

Delicious and easy, the casserole may be assembled (except for the puff pastry) and refrigerated up to 1 day in advance.


Serves: 8

Hands-On Time: 25 min

Total Time: 1 hr




1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed and meat broken into 3/4-inch 


2 medium onions, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

kosher salt and black pepper

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 bunch kale, torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets

2 sheets puff pastry (one 17.3-ounce package), each cut into 4 rectangles



Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, tossing occasionally,

until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl.

Add the onions, rosemary, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the drippings in the skillet and cook,

stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the kale, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing, until the kale is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the kale mixture and cauliflower to the sausage and toss to combine.

Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch or some other 3-quart baking dish and top with the puff pastry, overlapping the rectangles slightly.

Bake until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Pasta With Kale and Walnut Pesto

pasta-kale-walnut gal


Prepare the unusual pesto—made with walnuts, kale, pecorino, garlic, and olive oil—and refrigerate or freeze. Combine with pasta for a quick meal when you’re too busy to cook.


Serves: 4

Hands-On Time: 20 min

Total Time: 30 min




1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons walnuts

1 bunch kale, thick stems discarded and leaves torn (about 12 cups)

1 cup grated pecorino (2 ounces), plus more for serving

1 small clove garlic

kosher salt and black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

3/4 pound fusilli, penne, or some other short pasta



Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool.

Chop 2 tablespoons of the walnuts and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until bright green, 30 seconds.

Transfer the kale to a colander (reserve the cooking water);

squeeze dry when cool enough to handle.

In a food processor, combine the kale, pecorino, garlic, the remaining ⅓ cup of unchopped walnuts, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Process until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream.

Bring the reserved cooking water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the pesto and ¼ cup

of the reserved cooking water and toss to coat (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry).


Serve the pasta sprinkled with the pecorino and chopped walnuts.


For more great recipes like these visit



Recipes by

The average American sits at a desk job for approximately 10 hours a day.  Do these exercises to strengthen your back to prevent back pain and posture problems. Remember, to get up, walk around, and stretch as often as you can. 

Do 10-Reps (on each side) of each exercise.


Two-Arm Reverse Flies


Facing the Human Trainer straps, hold one handle in each hand with both arms extended in front of you,
keep both elbows slightly bent, palms facing each other and hands close together.
Begin to open your arms so that they are extended at your sides as you retract your shoulder blades together. Return to start position and repeat.


 Rotational Pulley Power Pull

    Rotational Pulley Power Pull-1Rotational Pulley Power Pull-2

Stand with feet hip width apart, facing towards the pulley. Begin leaning back slightly with both arms extended forward at chest height, palms facing in towards each other.
Keeping your core muscles engaged, pull the right arm back towards the chest as the left arm extends forward. Continue alternating sides maintaining a steady breath and
movement pace.
TIPS: Use your core muscles to initiate the rotation of the arms and body. Keep arms and chest lifted throughout the movement with head and neck in neutral alignment.


Rotational Pulley Alternating Flies
Rotational Pulley Alternating Fly-1Rotational Pulley Alternating Fly-2Rotational Pulley Alternating Fly-3 
Stand with feet hip width apart, facing towards the main straps. Begin leaning back slightly with both arms extended forward at chest height, palms facing in towards each other. Keeping the arms straight, pull the right arm back and to your side while rotating the torso with the right arm. Continue alternating sides.
Two-Arm Rotating Grip Row
Start facing the straps. Hold one handle in each hand with palms facing down and arms straight at shoulder level. Pull your arms back towards your body so your chest comes to meet your hands. Both hands will rotate 180 degrees during the movement and finish facing up at shoulder level. Return to start position and repeat.
One-Arm Row 
Start facing the straps. Grasp one handle in your right hand, palm facing in with you arm extended straight at shoulder level. Keeping your shoulders down, pull your body so your chest comes up to meet your right hand. Return to start and repeat position and complete the desired repetitions, then repeat with left side.
Two-Arm High Row 
Start facing the straps. Hold a handle in each hand, palms facing down with arms extended straight at shoulder level. Keeping your elbows and shoulders down, pull your elbows back as you lift your body until your hands are by your ears with your elbows behind you. Return to start position and repeat.
We also suggest performing lumber (low back) exercises, neck, shoulder and anterior chain exercises and a full body stretching routine to compliment these and other posterior back exercises. 
Saturday, 05 September 2015 11:00

20-Minute Superset Workout

It's quick. It's cardio. It's complete toning, head to toe. The only thing this workout isn't: tough on joints. "High intensity doesn't have to mean high impact," says celeb trainer Brett Hoebel, who took this calorie-blasting routine from his new how-to book, The 20-Minute Body. Perform the exercises in pairs, aka supersets: Do the first two moves back to back, then rest a minute. Repeat the superset once more (breather included), then go on to the next pair. Get hold of a resistance band or tube—such as RIPCORDS—then start the clock.


Superset 1: Thruster

Targets shoulders, abs, butt, legs


Stand with feet shoulder-width apart on center of resistance band, holding a handle in each hand; bend elbows by sides, bringing hands in front of shoulders, palms facing forward.

Squat, then quickly stand, pressing arms overhead. Lower arms to start position and repeat. Continue for 1 minute.


MAKE IT EASIER: Perform move without band, or do not press band overhead.


Superset 1: Spider-Man Push-Up

Targets shoulders, chest, abs, obliques, butt


Start on floor in plank position, balancing on hands and toes, body forming a straight line.

Bend elbows to lower torso toward floor as you bend left knee out to side.

Press up and return to plank. Repeat, this time bending right knee out to side.

Continue for 1 minute, alternating sides.


MAKE IT EASIER: Do modified push-up on knees.


Superset 2: Single-Leg Dead Lift

Targets butt, hamstrings


Stand with right foot on shortened band (crisscross band on floor and stand on intersection), holding a handle in each hand, arms by sides with palms facing each other; lift left leg behind you.

Hinge forward from hips, lifting left leg, until body is parallel to floor.

Squeeze glutes and hamstrings to return to start, straightening up as you lower left leg. Continue for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.


MAKE IT EASIER: Perform move without band.


Superset 2: Crossover Jack

Targets shoulders, arms, legs


Stand with feet wider than shoulder width, arms extended out to sides, palms down.

Quickly jump feet in, crossing left foot in front of right, as you cross extended arms in front of you, left forearm over right.

Return to start and repeat, this time crossing right over left. Continue, alternating quickly, for 1 minute.


MAKE IT EASIER: Do regular jumping jacks.


Superset 3: Tripod Plank

Targets chest, abs, butt


Start on floor in forearm plank position, balancing on forearms and toes, body forming a straight line.

Lift left foot and hold plank for 30 seconds.

Switch legs and hold plank for 30 seconds.


MAKE IT EASIER: Keep both feet on floor.


Superset 3: Cobra T

Targets shoulders, back, butt, hamstrings


Lie facedown on floor with elbows bent by sides, palms on floor near shoulders.

Squeeze thighs, lifting feet slightly off floor with toes pointed, and raise arms and chest.

Draw shoulder blades down your back while forming a goalpost with bent arms (upper arms out to sides at shoulder level). Hold lifted position for 1 minute.




Article by Fitness Magazine

Wednesday, 09 September 2015 00:00

Healthy Office Snack Ideas

Don't get caught in front of the vending machine again. Pack these healthy snacks (each less than 200 calories) to keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the work day.

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