Delectable dessert: Individual Chocolate Soufflé Cakes

End your meal on a lighter note with individual chocolate souffle cakes

End your meal on a lighter note with individual chocolate souffle cakes

Deliciously decadent-sounding, these soufflés are made with unsweetened cocoa for an intense flavor without the usual higher fat content from chocolate.

And since they’re conveniently sized into single servings, it’s easier to practice portion control with sweets when willpower has a tendency to go out the window.

Cooking Light’s Individual Chocolate Soufflé Cakes

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 1 soufflé)

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Coat 2 (6-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray; sprinkle each with 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  3. Combine 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, flour, cocoa, and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes, stirring until smooth. Spoon chocolate mixture into a medium bowl; cool 4 minutes. Stir in vanilla
  4. Place egg white in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Add remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (do not over-beat . Gently stir 1/4 of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared dishes. Sharply tap dishes 2 or 3 times to level. Place dishes on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until puffy and set
  6. Sprinkle each soufflé with 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar. Serve immediately

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 152 (4% from fat)
  • Fat: 0.6g (sat 0.3g, mono 0.2g, poly 0.0g)
  • Protein: 3.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 35.3g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Cholesterol: 0.31mg
  • Iron: 0.8mg
  • Sodium: 35mg
  • Calcium: 26mg

Source: Marcia Whyte Smart, Cooking Light, April 2007

Offering prayers and miles for those in Boston

Channing Tatum uploaded this image on to Instagram.  Copyright [Instagram/Channing Tatum]

Channing Tatum uploaded this image on to Instagram.
Copyright [Instagram/Channing Tatum]

Whether you’ve crossed it as a runner or watched it as part of the crowd, there’s no place on Earth quite like a marathon finish line – especially the Holy Grail of races, Boston.

Although I’ve never run the race myself, some of my fondest running-related memories were made on the Boston Sports Clubs‘ (BSC) rooftop near the race’s finish line, where I worked part-time as a personal trainer while in grad school.

The entire staff would gather above the entrance and cheer runners on for hours at a time, relishing in watching the range of emotions as they crossed the line – pure joy, relief, pride…and a thousand other thoughts at once.

That’s why it’s especially painful and surreal to see the stark contrast in this year’s coverage – of the same exact place where so many good memories have been made. Except now, in one moment, it’s been marred by an unbelievable tragedy. An incomprehensible act of evil.

But only momentarily will we falter. Little do they know they picked the wrong city and the wrong group of people. Boston is tough and has so much heart – and so do runners – which is why I know we will prevail and not allow this to let us lose our faith in humanity.

I think Kristin Armstrong said it best in her reflection on yesterday’s race, saying:

We cannot undo the evil that was done. But we can inhibit the goal of division. Let’s do that. Let’s not give them the pleasure of our division, the foothold of our futility.

Let’s instead do what runners do best. Let’s be strong. Let’s be patient as information comes in. Let’s pace ourselves. Let’s endure. Let’s close the gap and tighten up the pack. Let’s recover together.

The road ahead is long. But little do they know, we’re good with that.

Join me in praying and offering miles for the good people in Boston.

Yes, Kristin – I will be praying and running today for all those who cannot.

DIY lavender bath fizzies

Have a DIY spa day with these quick and easy homemade bath fizzies

Have a DIY spa day with these quick and easy homemade bath fizzies

Looking to soothe aching muscles after a long run or heavy lift, but don’t have the time (or budget) to get to the spa?

Try this simple at-home recipe for lavender bath fizzies, courtesy of Indie Lee, founder of the all-natural skincare line, Indie Lee & Co.

What you need:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup citric acid
  • 1 Tbsp Jojoba oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil

How to make it:

  1. Mix 1 cup baking soda and ½ cup citric acid together
  2. Add a tablespoon of jojoba oil to the baking soda mixture
  3. Add 15 drops of lavender essential oil, mix until it’s fairly smooth consistency
  4. If needed, add a few drops of water at a time, until the mixture is moist enough to stick together and hold a shape
  5. Form into individual tablets using tablespoons or ice cube trays
  6. Let dry overnight, then drop a few at a time into a hot bath and enjoy!

Extra tip: Customize with natural food coloring or dried flowers to enhance the fizzies, which also make terrific gifts when packaged separately in cellophane.

For more information and a step-by-step tutorial, watch the video here.

What’s your fit fix? Actor John Brotherton on healthy living & baring (almost!) all in Hollywood

Actor John Brotherton on the red carpet at the Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards. Photo credit: Contactmusic.com

Actor John Brotherton on the red carpet at the Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards.
Photo credit: Contactmusic.com

You may recognize him as the mysterious Jared Banks from daytime’s One Life to Live, but this summer actor John Brotherton will be turning fan’s screams of delight into screams of sheer terror in his latest project, The Conjuring.

Based on a true story, the movie tells the horrifying tale of how world-renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were called upon to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse.

It hits theaters on July 19, and if off-the-charts ratings from test screenings are any indication, we’ll be in for some major chills (so much so that it’s been upgraded to an R-rating from its original PG-13).

I sat down with Brotherton – who lives in L.A. with his wife, actress Alison Raimondi, and their two daughters, Shia and Saylor – to chat about how he maintains a healthy lifestyle despite a hectic Hollywood schedule.

Kinetic Fix: There’s a lot of talk about the pressure among leading ladies to stay fit; do you feel it as a male actor, as well?

John Brotherton: Absolutely. I remember one of my first days on ‘One Life to Live’ where I was wearing nothing but a flesh colored speedo for a scene so I could appear totally nude. My costar (with whom I was about to get very personal) was wearing a full nightie. I asked her, “Whoa, why am I the only one naked here?” She grinned and replied, “This audience ain’t tuning in to see me naked. Welcome to daytime.”

The reality is, Hollywood is vain and you are expected to look your best, always.

KF: What’s been your most physically challenging role to-date, and how did you prepare for it?

JB: Ironically, it was for a role I didn’t actually book. In 2010, I screen-tested for the title role in the remake of ‘Conan the Barbarian’ opposite Jason Mamoa (he eventually booked it). I had three weeks notice before the test, but I’m not exactly a giant, muscle-bound barbarian. So for those three weeks I was in the gym, twice a day, lifting incredibly hard with protein shakes before and after each workout – and more lean protein with every meal.

Each workout was focused on a specific muscle group (i.e chest, back, shoulders, etc.). I’d do three different lifts, five sets each lift, with reps of 20, 15, 10, 10, 10. Between each set I hit my core in various ways. The key was that I’d increase my weights every single workout.

It’s incredible what the body can do with intense hard workouts and the proper fuel. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but I know I made sizable strength gains in that short period of time.

KF: Wow! So describe a typical day-in-the-life for you in terms of diet & exercise, both during and between projects.

JB: I try to be consistent on a daily basis, but of course if a project is nearing, my training increases. Now that I’m in my thirties, my workouts have become less about ‘how much’ I can lift and more about full-body fitness. At the gym, I prefer to do a circuit rather than focus on one muscle group. I have a four mile run I try and do at least four days a week. I don’t exactly like to run, so for me, four miles is enough to push my body without the ‘torture effect’ kicking in. I also try and do the basics around the house, push-ups and pull-ups. Everyone should have a pull-up bar.

As far as diet, my house eats relatively healthy as a whole. We buy all our produce at the farmers market from local organic farmers, and we get all our meat from an all-natural butcher. Organic just tastes better and your body knows how to process it. Although, you’ll always find dark chocolate laying around and ice cream in the freezer. I’ve learned if you deprive yourself too much of the goodies in life, life just isn’t quite as fun…oh, and Sundays are reserved for pizza, of course. You gotta live a little, but all in moderation!

KF: Any tricks for eating clean on set despite 24/7 access to a buffet of craft service snacks?

JB: As much as I love and appreciate it, craft services can be the devil. There are always plenty of snacks on set, a lot of which is junk. Nuts and trail mix are my go-to snack. They satisfy the hunger bug and curb the junk food desire, especially if the trail mix has a few M&M’s to fend off my vicious sweet tooth.

KF: Last but not least, can you share a few of your favorite healthy-living tips with us? 

JB: First, put up a pull-up bar somewhere in your house and throughout the day jump up and do a few at a time. You don’t have to break a sweat, just trigger your muscles. You’d be surprised how quickly your body adapts. Same with push-ups; bang out a few here and there, for instance during commercial breaks or in your kitchen while you cook.

Second, crash diets don’t work. They lead to binges and erratic behavior. Just stay consistent and, without indulging too much, don’t deprive yourself of the stuff that makes you smile and say “yummy.” If you’re happy, it’s easier to be healthy…which keeps you happy, and so it goes…

Finally, I grill everything! Meats, veggies, whatever. It’s hard to eat too unhealthy when cooking on the grill. It’s one of my favorite pastimes: Sitting outside in the So-Cal sun, sipping on some frosty beverage, watching my kids play and smelling the grill work…it’s magic.

Healthy eats: Two-ingredient “Skinny” Ranch Dip

creamy-ranch-dip_lifesambrosiadotcom

Dress up your veggies with this simple ranch dip recipe.
Photo credit: Lifesambrosia.com

We could all stand to eat more veggies – but let’s face it, sometimes naked plant parts just aren’t gonna hit the spot.

So next time you’re struck with a mid-day snack attack, try this protein-packed ranch dip redux, which contains only about 10 calories per tablespoon:

“Skinny” Ranch Dip

  • 2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 package ranch dip mix

Stir…and enjoy those cruciferous crudites!

Get Your Fix: Zola’s “Fruits of the World”

Check out our latest and greatest healthy living obsessions!  Zola

If you read up on the 10 hot nutrition trends for spring, you know that coconut water is making a comeback (has it ever left?), thanks to its loyal following of fitness junkies and athletes who use it as a high-potassium replacement for sugary sports drinks.

But while I love to use the slightly-sour liquid in place of water or juice in smoothies, I’ve never really been a fan of sucking it down straight from the bottle – until now.

At the suggestion of my friend, Fit Approach co-founder Jamie Walker, I tried Zola’s version and found it is indeed all it’s “cracked” up to be (plus, as an ultra-marathoner, boot-camp instructor and yogi, I’m pretty sure Jamie knows a little something about hydration).

Not only does it contain five essential electrolytes – potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium – but unlike a lot of stuff that’s that good for you, it also actually tastes great.

How? Founder and intrepid traveler Chris Cuvelier has been trekking around the globe for more than a decade in search of the world’s best sources for the tastiest and most nutritious exotic fruits – which just happen to be Thai coconuts and Brazilian Açaí, by the way (the company also offers a yummy line of antioxidant-packed Açaí juices, too).

I guess you could say the, well, “fruits” of his labor turned out to be some pretty darn delicious and refreshing ways to replenish, re-hydrate and recover.

Thanks to the folks at Zola for providing samples for review; all opinions are my own. 

Advice for avoiding a spring break diet disaster

A vacation doesn't have to derail your healthy eating habits. Photo credit: Brobible.com

A vacation doesn’t have to derail healthy eating habits.
Photo credit: Brobible.com

It’s Spring Break season, and with so many folks hitting the beach, there’s no better time for some smart vacation eating tips from celebrity nutritionist and dietitian Lisa DeFazio.

Sure, you can hit the gym and watch what you eat before vacation, but when your flight is delayed or you’re faced with an all-you-can-eat (and drink) option at the hotel, temptation sets in. Here, Lisa tells us how to stay on track during that next trip without wasting your pre-vacation hard work.

Kinetic Fix: Lisa, I’m good all year ’round; won’t watching what I eat on vacation take all the fun out of my trip?

Lisa DeFazio: No! It’s not about watching what you eat the entire vacation, it is about choosing when to splurge and balancing daily food choices to help you look and feel your best! You also do not want to overeat every day consuming high fat, high sugar foods, as you will have less energy to enjoy the trip, not to mention you may not feel like wearing your bikini after a high fat high sodium meal!

KF: Ok, so say I’ve got an unexpected flight delay and will be stuck eating a meal the airport; what do I do?

LD: Many airports have better choices now, like sandwiches with fruit or a grilled chicken salad, but it’s always a good idea to pack some snacks in your carry-on to be sure you don’t end up with a slice of pizza and an ice cream cone during your flight delay. I recommend Special K Popcorn Chips [DeFazio has partnered with the brand to offer guilt-free snacking options] — with 120 calories per serving of 28 chips, this guilt-free snack is perfect to munch on at the gate.

KF: What’s the best approach if I’m on a cruise with that infamous all-you-can-eat buffet?

LD: First, look over the entire buffet to see what your choices are. Fill half your plate with salad, vegetables and fruit, choose lean grilled or baked chicken or fish, and rice pilaf or baked potato. Choose one splurge dish like mac and cheese or creamed spinach. Share dessert and drink water or diet soda.

KF: Easy enough. But what about the opposite – on a road trip – how can I eat healthy amid gas stations, convenience stores and diners?

LD: My gas station top picks are pretzels, yogurt, protein bars, vitamin water and nuts. At diners it’s a good idea to choose a turkey sandwich, grilled chicken sandwich, turkey burger or veggie burger and ask for fruit instead of fries.

KF: And if I’m on a budget, can I still eat out and stay healthy without breaking the bank?

LD: Go online and search for coupons at your favorite restaurants, research restaurants near you that offer better choices and compare prices. It is easier now with menus, calories and prices all online! You may be surprised that many healthier restaurants are not as expensive as you think!

KF: But if I do happen to indulge (or imbibe!) a bit more than usual, can I minimize the damage?

LD: Yes, many people have one splurge meal or day per week but just be sure you get back on track the next day. On the days before and after a splurge load up on fruits, veggies and protein, include high fiber carbs like sweet potatoes or brown rice, drink plenty of water and exercise!

KF: Finally, any quick tips on how to ease back in to healthier habits when I get home?

When you get home go to the supermarket and stock your fridge with fruits, vegetables, yogurt, lean protein and better-for-you foods! Stock the pantry with smart snacks like Special K Popcorn Chips, which pair nicely with protein-packed hummus or zesty salsa. Walking and drinking plenty of water will get you back into your routine. Take it slow, and do what you can!