Roast Two Pumpkins & Make These 5 Recipes to Eat All Week Long — Meal Plans from The Kitchn

‘Tis the season for pumpkin! From jack-o’-lanterns on neighbors’ doorsteps to sugar pumpkins at your local grocery store, it’s easy to embrace this ubiquitous orange squash.

This week we celebrate the pumpkin with five recipes designed to make the most of them. You start by roasting a couple of pumpkins. Stuff and eat one for Sunday supper, then use the creamy innards of the other all week long for stew, cookies, and one-pot pumpkin pasta.

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8 Ways to Use Roasted Squash Any Time of Day — Tips from The Kitchn

Winter squashes, like butternut, kabocha, acorn, and delicata, fall into the category of foods that are super versatile and always handy to have around. Sure, they’ll keep for a while sitting in a dark corner on your countertop, but there’s a much better way to put them to use — even when you don’t have any specific recipes in mind.

Roast a batch (or two) of your favorite kind of squash over the weekend, and you’ll be amazed at all the ways you can use it in meals, from breakfast through dinner, all week long.

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Baking School Graduation: Here’s Your Final Project! — The Kitchn’s Baking School

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The Kitchn’s Baking School Graduation: Your final project!
Join The Kitchn’s Baking School: Sign up and see all The Kitchn’s Baking School assignments

Congratulations! You have completed The Kitchn’s Baking School! What an exhilarating, sugar-filled month it has been. Surely your fridge and freezer are packed with sweet goodies, or you’ve made some awesome new friends and are now the best neighbor ever after having shared all your amazing creations over the weeks. Most of all — you should be so proud of yourselves (insert happy dance around your kitchen)! We did it!

Before you officially graduate, here is your final project: We’re putting together many of the things you learned along the way in the creation of one spectacular layer cake. Are you ready for your final trophy?

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What to Read This Weekend — Food News: October 26 – November 1

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Black Coffee for Bodybuilders Support Gains

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Around 60 percent of Americans live for a daily cup of Joe. It’s a popular mood and energy-booster, especially among working adults. But it has a lot of benefits beyond that.

Studies have proven that coffee – the natural one, not the processed one with harmful additives – can help reduce your risk of chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, liver disease and even certain types of cancers.

Even athletes have discovered its benefits when it comes to maximizing muscle gains. In particular, black coffee for bodybuilders has shown positive effects. But we’ll get to that.

Let’s start with the benefits of coffee in general. Here’s an interesting infographic made by Tantika Tivorat on Prevention:

This Is Your Body On Coffee (Infographic)

For more details, you may want to check this article by Kris Gunnars on Authority Nutrition:

13 Proven Health Benefits of Coffee (No. 1 is My Favorite)

Coffee is actually very healthy. It is loaded with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients that can improve your health. The studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases. Read more…

Now let’s focus on the positive effects of coffee when it comes to weight loss and muscle-building. Black coffee is actually the choice of many athletes and bodybuilders – an 8-ounce cup of pure black coffee (no added sugar or creamer!) contains only 2 calories and no fat.

Read more about its bodybuilding benefits in this article on Flex Online:

Black Coffee for Bodybuilders

For years FLEX has recommended that bodybuilders drink plenty of black coffee every day. And we’re happy (and a bit surprised) to welcome the U.S. government aboard now that a dietary panel made a similar recommendation earlier this year: Every healthy adult should drink three to five cups of black coffee per day for optimal health. That’s particularly good news for bodybuilders who are trying to cut body fat while staying energized for intense workouts. Here are five ways black coffee helps support your bodybuilding gains. Read more…

To wrap this up, black coffee for bodybuilders is good as it increases strength, boosts energy, promotes better recovery, burns unwanted fats, and basically, maximizes gains.

Coffee is good for anyone to reduce inflammation that causes chronic illnesses. It also eases stress and depression, even boosts your brain health and memory. There’s really no reason to not have another cup of Joe – a lot of studies say so!

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These Foods Account for More Than 60 Percent of Calories

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Processed foods, as the name says, are those that underwent certain processes that change their natural state, including additions of salt, sugar, fat, artificial colouring and other harmful ingredients that wreak havoc on your health. Food manufacturers do this for convenience or safety reasons.

Common examples are breakfast cereals, cheese, ready meals, soft drinks, candies and junk foods like potato chips and more. These foods account for more than 60 percent of calories in the American diet. Read on in this article by fitness editor Christa Sgobba on Men’s Health:

Unbelievable But True: These Foods Account for More Than 60% of Calories in Americans’ Diets

Your shopping cart is probably filled with crap: Most of the food we purchase is heavily processed, new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found. Read more…

True, it’s hard to avoid these foods because they’re delicious! But remember that their deliciousness comes from food additives that cause unwanted weight gain and chronic diseases. It’s better to take these off your grocery list.

Don’t risk it – there are studies that have reported that even exercise cannot help you shred off the chemicals in your body. Personal trainer Laurel Leicht compiled six proven reasons on Huffington Post:

6 Reasons Why You Can’t Out-Exercise An Unhealthy Diet

Sure, you could eat whatever you wanted in high school and stay thin as a rail. But unfortunately you’re not 17 anymore, and even if you work out ’round the clock, you can’t transform your body if you constantly give in to cravings, high-fat foods and sweet treats. The truth is, flat abs are made in the kitchen, and no amount of cardio and crunches can sculpt a sleek physique if you maintain an unhealthy diet. Read more…

Now if you miss the taste of certain unhealthy foods, here are a few alternatives, which are whole and raw, on Slice of Health:

HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES FOR JUNK FOOD

Sometimes, the real challenge lies in finding a way to eat healthy. When there is an immediate need to satiate hunger, there is a common tendency to indulge in what is available – which is most often junk food. The most important way to go about this is to indulge in food that is healthy, and a good substitute for junk food – especially because indulgence in junk food can go a long way to disparage your health and system. Eating and snacking healthy is vital for one’s longevity – and healthy longevity. Here are some useful foods you can indulge in to ensure that you substitute your junk intake: Read more…

In conclusion, you need to avoid heavily processed ones as these foods account for more than 60 percent of calories in most diets, so better just make a move and encourage everyone to take them off their diets. These cause cancers, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes and more!

It’s also important to check the nutrition labels because some products will trick you with their “natural” labels when they are not really natural.

You can’t always excuse yourself to eat unhealthy meals just because you’ll “eat clean” the next day. It doesn’t work that way. You have to be consistent with your diet in order to totally clean yourself. Cheat meals once in a while are okay, but not regularly. You’ll be surprised on how your taste buds won’t even like your old favourites!

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Best High Volume Back Exercises

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I know you’ve been itching to achieve a V-taper – there’s more reason why you need to work your back. Toning it is essential not only for improving your body’s physical appearance, but also for keeping it stronger than ever. It also improves your posture, enhances your flexibility, and prevents injuries and soreness that you may get when doing different sets of exercises.

Simple twists, turns, rotates, and bends will improve your back, but it’s better to spice up your workouts every now and then. Here are some of the best high volume back exercises, suggested by UKBFF bodybuilder and personal trainer David Lyszczek on My Protein:

Top 5 Muscle Building Back Exercises

Even though the idea of a “perfect” physique definitely differs between most gym goers, very few will deny the impressiveness of a decent v-taper. A thick, wide and flaring back will give you that comic book-like body shape; but to get to this stage it’s going to take some hard work and grind. Simply resting your elbows on imaginary lats, following the “fake it until you make it principle” simply won’t cut it. Don’t leave building your back muscles to a chance, pick up the five movements listed below and say farewell to being able to scratch your back ever again. Read more..

We all know that it’s almost impossible to tone and strengthen your back without the use of any equipment. But an article written by Alex Orlov shares a 5-minute workout, which surprisingly makes it possible, on Huffington Post:

The 5-Minute Back Workout You Can Do Without Weights

Bathing suit season may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to slack on working your back. Even though you can’t see your posterior when you look in the mirror, you rely on this pillar of strength each and every day. Read more…

Lastly, powerlifter and bodybuilder Mike O’Hearn recommends a very badass workout on Muscle and Fitness:

POWER BODYBUILDING: BIG BACK COUNTRY

Last month you got a taste of the power bodybuilding world with my chest workout. Now, it’s time to smash your back with the same kind of weight and volume. The basic principles of the two workouts are identical—start with a main lift where you go as heavy as possible for your working sets, taking as much time as you need between sets to fully recover. Read more…

If you feel like you’re always suffering from pain, I suggest you focus and exercise your back. And since it is the foundation of almost every full-body workout, doing these high volume back exercises will help you do your other workouts easily.

You can’t get stuck on your ab work forever. Remember, your body also needs to improve its power, not just its overall aesthetics. Start with short reps and low-intensity exercises, then gradually increase them as your fitness level increases.

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