Make Like Super Mario with the Power of Mushrooms!

Make Like Super Mario with the Power of Mushrooms!

In the Super Mario series of video games, the mustachioed hero gets super powers every time he gobbles up a “Super Mushroom.” Now, you may not need to rescue princesses and throw fireballs on a regular basis, but gobbling up the mushrooms you buy at the supermarket can work wonders for your health.  

The tender little gems are full of vitamins that help make red blood cells, keep your nervous system healthy, and help your body use energy from food. Mushrooms are also an important source of minerals, which do everything from controlling blood pressure to strengthening your immune system.

Lose weight, stay healthy, save money

Mushrooms also contain lots of fibre. Research shows that fibre helps you maintain a healthy body weight by making meals more satisfying and, in turn, reducing portion sizes.

Smaller portions save you money, as does the meat-extending power of mushrooms. Simply replace half the meat in a meal with fresh mushrooms, and voila! You’ll get the same meaty taste while spending less on dishes like burgers, lasagna and tacos.

Is all this why the creators of Super Mario used mushrooms for power-ups? Maybe they just loved the delicious taste of this wonder food, which is the key ingredient in this easy-to-prepare and easy-to-follow recipe.

Balsamic Mushrooms with Herbs

This recipe feeds two people, so double the ingredients if you want to feed four, or if you want some leftovers to add to steamed rice or salad greens for lunch the next day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil or olive oil
  • 6 ounces of button mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped herbs such as thyme, rosemary and parsley

STEP 1: Heat canola oil or olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

STEP 2: Wash and add mushrooms.

STEP 3: Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

STEP 4: Add butter and balsamic vinegar.

STEP 5: Drizzle with honey and sauté until a glaze forms, about 1 minute.

STEP 6: Remove the pan from the heat, season the mushrooms to taste with salt and pepper, and add chopped herbs.

More mushroom ideas

Want more healthy and delicious recipes for cooking with mushrooms? Check out these beauties:

Now, time to cook up some mushrooms, tell us about your favourite mushroom recipes in the comments below…and maybe launch a few fireballs while you’re at it!

Are you thinking about boosting your energy with tasty and satisfying recipes?

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Dump the slump with these energy boosting snacks

Dump the slump with these energy boosting snacks

What would you say is the most popular time for Canadians to snack? Is it:

  1. Between breakfast and lunch
  2. Between lunch and dinner
  3. After dinner
  4. Late night

If you circled “b,” you’d better wipe the ink off your screen. Then pat yourself on the back: You nailed it! Yes, statistics show that nearly a quarter of all Canadian snacking happens between lunch and dinner.

Why are snacks so popular between 1 and 5pm? It’s simple: Many hard-working guys need snacks. Depending on what you’ve eaten (or not eaten) since getting out of bed, you may not have consumed enough calories to meet your body’s energy needs as the day wears on. Contrary to what some diet plans tell you, snacking isn’t “bad.” In many cases, it’s necessary! The “3pm slump,” as it’s called, is real, and that’s why healthy snacks are important.

The key is to choose snacks that give you the energy you need without bringing unhealthy fat, and excess sugar and salt, to the table. Thankfully, there are plenty of tasty and easy-to-prepare options that fit the bill. What healthy snacks give you energy? Here are three prime examples:

Sliced vegetables and humous.

Sliced veggies with guacamole or hummus

It doesn’t get any easier, or a whole lot tastier, than buying a bag of those crunchy baby-cut carrots, a container of prepared guacamole or hummus, and dipping like you’ve never dipped before. Carrots, after all, are jammed with Vitamin A, which is essential for keeping your eyes and skin healthy. A 2014 study, meanwhile, found that eating more carrots produced “a significantly decreased risk of prostate cancer,” which is the second-most-common form of cancer among men.

Guacamole is made mainly from avocados, which are rich in vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Hummus is based on chickpeas, which are packed with protein, fibre and other nutrients.

The carrots-guac-hummus combo gives you two different dipping options. Add some sliced red peppers to the mix, and suddenly you’ve got four. Red peppers satisfy all your daily Vitamin C needs (and then some), which helps keep your gums healthy, helps your body recover from injury, and may even reduce the risk of some cancers and prevent signs of aging.

Whichever option you choose, creamy deliciousness meets satisfying crunch. And if you want to take the two dips to the next level, the new “8 Delicious Recipes for a Healthier Game Day” ebook contains awesome easy recipes for both. Download it for free today!

Yogurt and berries.

Berries and Greek yogurt

If sweet snacks are more your style in the afternoon, Mother Nature has just the thing. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are naturally sweet, and each of them offers an impressive array of health benefits.

Strawberries and raspberries are Vitamin C powerhouses, while all three berries are rich in digestion-aiding fibre and antioxidants that help flush toxins out of your body and help fight several forms of cancer.

Stir any or all of these tender gems into some low-fat, zero-cholesterol Greek yogurt — which is full of bone-strengthening calcium and muscle-building protein — and you’ve got an afternoon snack that tastes as good as it is for you.

Trail mix.

Trail mix

Sweet and savoury flavours come together easily and deliciously when you combine protein-rich nuts with any number of tiny, healthy delicacies in a ziploc bag or plastic container.

There’s the basic “GORP mix” — that’s Good Old Raisins and Peanuts — with the dried fruit being full of fibre, antioxidants and vitamin C. What else can you do with trail mix? The options are endless! Here are some ideas to get you started:

The Commuter: Need a little pick-me-up on the drive, walk, pedal or run into work? Mix up some chocolate-covered coffee beans, raisins, peanuts and almonds.

The Picnic: Mimic the universally popular PB&J with peanuts, dried strawberries, peanut butter chips and shredded wheat cereal.

The Radical: You want sweet and savoury? You’ll get it big-time by blending barbecued almonds, low-sodium beef jerky, dried cherries, M&Ms and sunflower seeds.

 

This blog is part of our healthy snack series:

Are you thinking about boosting your energy with tasty and satisfying recipes?

Download the free “7 EZ Power-Up Recipes” ebook.

Unhealthy habits? Crazy expensive! Curbing them? Free and easy!

Unhealthy habits? Crazy expensive! Curbing them? Free and easy!

Picture this: You’re a contestant in one of those old-school game shows. The host smiles and says, “Behind door No. 1…we have…a new car!” The wild applause finally dies down, and then it’s time to open door No. 2: “It’s a luxury vacation!” Pretty sweet, right?

The tension builds as the polyester-clad cheeseball saunters over to the final door. “Or,” he says, winking, “you could choose what’s behind door No. 3…which is…wait for it…a year’s supply of cigarettes, alcohol and fast food!”

Some audience members start yelling “Take the car!” Others scream, “The trip! The trip!” How many point at the smokes, booze and deep-fried junk? Not a single one.

Little do they know that all three things are worth more or less THE SAME AMOUNT.

Unhealthy habits cost you big time

That’s right: Over your lifetime, a 2015 study found, the cost of knocking back five drinks a day, smoking two packs a day and carrying an extra 150 pounds of body weight can add up to about the same amount as getting a new car or taking a luxury vacation every single year.

But wait, there’s more: What would happen if you quit smoking and drinking, shed that excess weight, and invested all the money you saved for the next 45 years? Brace yourself: Including savings on life insurance, you’d be a whopping $8.6 million richer. Imagine that pile of cash behind Door No. 4!

Cutting back on those unhealthy habits helps a lot, no doubt, but one drink and five cigarettes a day, along with 70 extra pounds, still adds up to $1.7 million over your lifetime. Ugh!

No one likes to lose money, let alone millions of dollars, but there is some good news here: The more you chip away at those unhealthy habits, the closer they get to costing nothing at all. Wondering how to break unhealthy habits? Let’s look at some easy ways to get there!

Easy tips for drinking less

Use different glasses: Studies have shown that people pour less wine into narrow glasses than wide ones, which in turn reduces the rate of consumption, and that leaving a glass on the table instead of holding it yields a smaller pour. Likewise, straight-sided beer glasses with measurement markings slow down the rate at which we drink.

Glasses half full: Again, studies have shown that filling glasses only halfway up results in significant reductions in booze intake.

Drink liquor on the rocks: Adding ice to drinks dilutes them, cutting the alcohol content (by volume) and reducing the frequency of refills.

Steer clear of boozy situations: Parties or nights on the town lead to drinking. Controlling the environment — say, by inviting friends to your home for dinner — can lead to less alcohol consumption.

Stop equating fun with alcohol: Make a list of activities you enjoy that don’t have to involve booze — playing sports, gardening, photography, getting it on, the list goes on — and slot them in at those times when you’re likely to be tempted to drink.

Easy tips for quitting smoking

Cut down slowly: Carefully track the number of cigarettes you smoke each day, and then reduce that number by one each day. If you currently smoke 40 a day, for instance, that gives you almost six weeks to get down to zero — and that journey can be made much easier by using the tips that follow…

Find a Quit Buddy: Whether it’s a friend, family member or co-worker, a Quit Buddy is someone you can count on to support you in your journey to kick the habit. If they’ve quit smoking themselves, all the better, but what really matters is that they’ve got your back.

Call a free Quit Coach: Simply dial 1-877-455-2233 to connect with a specialized expert who can assess your readiness to quit smoking, help you pick a quit date, and help establish a quit plan that includes tips and tools to get you ready. Once your quit date arrives, your coach will call to check on your progress, review the challenges, reinforce your reasons for quitting, provide new coping strategies, and help you get back on track if you’ve had a slip. Learn more here.

Use free text support: Texting QUITNOW to 654321 will launch a free three-month mobile texting service that sends you supportive messages and quit tips based on your quit date. Learn more here.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist: Over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and chewing gum, as well as prescription medications like Varenicline and Bupropion, can help reduce cravings and boost your chances of quitting. Learn more here.

Easy tips for losing weight

Drink more water: This fills up your stomach and makes you feel less hungry, which curtails cravings for unhealthy snacks and late-night junk food. Dietitians Canada recommends that guys aim for about six large glasses every day, so knock back one when you get out of bed, one with every meal — we’re up to four glasses already! — polish off another throughout the day, and finish with a final glass a few hours before bed.

Take the stairs: Bypass the elevator or escalator and you’ll burn around 10 calories per minute while strengthening the biggest muscles in your legs. If a climb takes five minutes, and you make the climb twice a day — when you get to work and after lunch, let’s say — you’ll burn around 100 calories. Easy, right?

Try food swaps: Replacing unhealthy foods with healthy ones makes a big difference to your weight and overall health in the long run. Instead of choosing fatty, sugary or salty snacks or meals, simply go for healthier alternatives: Nuts instead of potato chips, whole-grain bread instead of white bread, a side salad instead of french fries, the list of tasty and satisfying swaps goes on and on.

Take the Weekly Fitness Challenge: Think working out has to take hours and requires a gym membership and fancy equipment? Think again! From lunging around the office to doing push-ups while watching the big game, the Weekly Fitness Challenge slides exercise seamlessly into your schedule.

cover blueprint for better with white male

Are you thinking about making healthy changes? If so, we’ve got your back!

Download the free “Blueprint for Better: The 5 Stages for Building a Healthier Life” right now.

How to own Monday with Sunday food prep

How to own Monday with Sunday food prep

How can consecutive days be so different?

The term “Lazy Sunday” exists for a reason, as does the expression “easy like Sunday morning.” But Monday? Every day is a gift, but we’d probably return Monday if it came with a receipt. It sure feels like the second day of the week was invented to punish us for all the fun we have on weekends!

Another reason to love Sunday is that it prepares us for Monday, and this can extend beyond rest and relaxation. One great way to make Monday easier and more enjoyable, along with the other four weekdays, is to use Sunday spare time to whip up a few quick and easy breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. The recipes that follow show you how to food prep for the week and what food to prep for the week. This can save you money over restaurants or take-out, and help you eat to healthier at the same time.

Grizzly Bear Chilli

Grizzly Bear Chili

This satisfying winter warmer will satisfy your Grizzly-sized hunger for at least three lunches or dinners. Want to make enough chili for six meals? Simply double up the ingredients. It takes just 15 minutes to make, can be stored in the freezer, and then quickly defrosted and reheated on a stove or in a microwave.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 4 11-ounce cans of crushed or chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cans of mixed beans
  • 2 can of black beans
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 4 diced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup pickled jalapenos

Instructions:

  1. Open all three cans of beans and drain. Fill a bowl or pot with water and add the beans to the water. Let sit while you prep the rest of the chili.
  2. Chop your onion and dice your garlic.
  3. Grab a pan and splash a bit of coconut or olive oil in it. Fry up your ground turkey, onions and garlic.
  4. Empty the cans of tomatoes into a slow cooker or large pot. Add the chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin and turkey mixture.
  5. Stir the bean/water mixture, drain, and add the beans to the slow cooker or pot.
  6. Prior to serving, stir in the jalapenos.

Mediterranean Salad

Mediterranean chicken salad

Store this deliciously hearty salad in the fridge in a sealed container, and split it into two protein-packed lunches or dinners. To avoid a soggy salad, be sure to add the dressing right before digging in.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cups arugula (or another leafy lettuce-like option)
  • One small can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds
  • 10 small Mozzarella balls, halved
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 black pitted olives, sliced
  • 1 grilled chicken breast, sliced and cooled.
  • Ground pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine the dried oregano, ground pepper, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in a small plastic container or jar with a secure lid.
  2. Seal the container tightly, shake it, and put it in the fridge. That’s your salad dressing for the week!
  3. Combine all the other ingredients in a large plastic container. Seal the container and shake lightly.

Cayenne-spiked nuts

Cayenne-spiked stove-roasted nuts

You don’t even need a fridge to store these protein-packed nuggets. Just toss them in a resealable freezer bag and snack at will!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unsalted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Roast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a separate bowl.
  2. In the same skillet warm your oil then add the spices, stir for another 30 seconds.
  3. Re-add your nuts and stir until evenly coated.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool before serving.

Red Ferrari Smoothie

Red Ferrari Smoothie

Fill up your blender with this tasty, protein-packed beverage and put the whole sealed jug in the fridge for gulp-and-go breakfasts throughout the week.

Ingredients:

  • Two cups of water
  • A heaping handful of frozen strawberries
  • Four tablespoons of low-fat Greek yogurt
  • A handful of unsalted nuts
  • A handful of spinach leaves
  • A scoop of your favourite protein powder

Instructions:

  1. Put everything in the blender, put the lid on, and mix on high for 30 seconds. Now you know why this speedy recipe is named after a sports car!

More quick and easy Sunday prep options

These two ebooks are full of ideas for easy meals you can make on Sunday and enjoy throughout the week. Download both, for free, today!

8 Delicious Recipes for a Healthier Game Day

7 Healthy Guy Recipes in Under 10 Minutes

8 delicious recipes for a healthier game day

Want to make a full spread of crowd-pleasing game day food? Get the free handy booklet.

Download “8 Delicious Recipes for a Healthier Game Day” ebook right now.

Five easy changes show guys how to live longer

Five easy changes show guys how to live longer

What would you do to gain another 12 years of life? That’s a dozen more years of doing all the things you love, of being with all the people you love, of popping bubble wrap, of “accidentally” dipping bacon in peanut butter…you get the idea. Before you answer that question, however, you should know this: According to recent research, there are five easy things any guy can do to achieve this goal.

By using lifestyle questionnaires and medical records from 123,000 American volunteers, Harvard University researchers identified five behaviours that together contribute to longer life expectancy:

  1. Following a healthy diet
  2. Controlling body weight
  3. Doing regular exercise
  4. Drinking alcohol in moderation
  5. Not smoking

Compared with volunteers who did none of these things, men who adhered to all five saw their life expectancy at age 50 jump by 12 years, from 76 to 88. The five-behaviours crew was also 65% less likely to die of cancer and 82% less likely to die of heart disease.

New ebook drives the point home

The Harvard findings reflect the health picture painted by the new “Where Do You Stand?” ebook from the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation. This unique guide is designed to give you a simple but clear picture of your health by comparing your unhealthy behaviours to those of other Canadian men. Those unhealthy behaviours — smoking, poor sleep, inactivity, alcohol consumption and unhealthy eating — are pretty much the flipside of the healthy behaviours covered in the Harvard study.

The takeaway here: Boarding the healthy train is literally a life-saver! Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place for tips on how to live longer and feel better through easy changes to your daily routine. So why wait? Let’s get the train rolling RIGHT NOW:

Follow a healthy diet with food swaps

The Harvard study defined a healthy diet as being rich in items such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains, and low in red meat, saturated fats and sugar. So how do you get there? Simple: By swapping unhealthy foods for ones that will help you gain those extra years. For example:

Whole-grain bread instead of white bread: Unlike nutrient-stripped white bread, whole-grain bread is packed with bran and germ, which contain vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein, and fiber.

Fish instead of beef: Lean red meat can be good for you, but wild salmon, wild tuna, sardines and anchovies, for example, are packed with healthy omega-3s and light on other fats.

Salad instead of fries: Swap out the usual fatty french fries that come with your restaurant main dish for a fresh, crunchy salad. A side of fries contains about 300 calories and 20 grams of fat, while a side chef salad with vinaigrette dressing has a third the calories, nearly a tenth the fat, and is packed with vitamins and fibre.

Control body weight by drinking more water

Having a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 25 was the Harvard standard. Your BMI is your weight in kilograms, divided by your height in metres, then divided again by your height. Make is easy – calculate your BMI, use this handy BMI calculator.

Since you’re not getting any taller, the only way to bring your BMI down is to shed some pounds. The aforementioned food swaps will help with that, of course, and here’s another easy weight-loss tip: Drink more water!

Knocking back five tall glasses each day is a simple, easy, no-cost way to lose weight. Drinking water fills up your stomach, which makes you feel less hungry. At the same time, your body actually burns calories to process the water you drink. Because water has zero calories, you’re getting something for nothing.

Studies have also shown that drinking water reduces our intake of sugary soda pop. So that’s another smart, easy swap: Water instead of pop!

Get regular exercise by walking more

The study defined regular exercise as getting at least 30 minutes of it a day. As with your diet, this can be easily achieved by working more walking into your day. For instance:

Walk your kids to school instead of driving: It’ll set a good example for the brood, do them some good as well, and give you all some extra time together.

Walk to work from a more distant parking lot: And if it’s a cheaper lot, you win again!

Use the stairs instead of the elevator: Hoofing it up stairs burns a third more calories than regular walking.

Walking briskly for 30 minutes burns around 250 calories, with men who walk five city blocks in a day lowering their risk of heart attack by 25 percent.

Drink alcohol in moderation with these hacks

According the Harvard study, “moderation” means having no more than two servings of alcohol a day. If that sounds like a tall order, these hacks can help:

Use different glasses: Studies have shown that people pour less wine into narrow glasses than wide ones, which in turn reduces the rate of consumption, and that leaving a glass on the table instead of holding it yields a smaller pour. Likewise, straight-sided beer glasses with measurement markings slow down the rate at which we drink.

Glasses half full: Again, studies have shown that filling glasses only halfway up results in significant reductions in booze intake.

Steer clear of boozy situations: Parties or nights on the town lead to drinking. Controlling the environment — say, by inviting friends to your home for dinner — can lead to less alcohol consumption.

Stop equating fun with alcohol: Make a list of activities you enjoy that don’t have to involve booze — playing sports, gardening, photography, getting it on, the list goes on — and slot them in at those times when you’re likely to be tempted to drink.

Quit smoking with QuitNowMen.ca

This one’s pretty black-and-white: If you smoke, it can shorten your life. While tobacco use is at record lows, it’s still a major contributor to guy problems ranging from erectile dysfunction to more serious health risks, like stroke, heart disease and all kinds of cancers. If you’re thinking of quitting, check out QuitNowMen.ca to learn how to control triggers, cravings, and curb the effects of withdrawal.

cover of the where do you stand ebook

Do you have a clear picture of your health? See how your health compares to other Canadian men.

Download our free eBook Where Do You Stand?

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