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11 Things You Can Do to Improve a 40-Cent Bag of Ramen (Slideshow)

11 Things You Can Do to Improve a 40-Cent Bag of Ramen (Slideshow)


Just because it’s cheap, doesn’t mean it has to taste that way

Add Some Miso Paste

Truthfully, miso paste is pretty expensive. However, a little bit of miso goes a long way, so in the long run you get more bang for your buck. On top of that, miso has a buttery, savory flavor that you can’t really get anywhere else. For example, this miso ramen stir-fry would not taste nearly as good without a good dose of miso.

Roast Some Vegetables

Instant ramen on its own is anything but nutritious. In fact we’d say it’s pretty nutrient-poor. That’s why adding hearty vegetables is the logical next step. For example, this roasted vegetable ramen soup recipe uses some high-fiber, highly nutritious vegetables like broccoli and carrots to make for the perfect meal for one.

Add Some Bacon

We think it’s been proven by now that bacon makes literally everything better, so why not put it in your ramen? This bacon and egg ramen takes the best parts of breakfast, and uses it to upgrade your cheap ramen. We could probably eat this every day.

Make a Burger

If ramen is a trendy food, then the ramen burger is the ultra trendy sibling that ramen has always been jealous of. Really, what is more satisfying than a perfectly cooked burger between two ramen buns? This recipe uses sesame oil and soy sauce in the burger itself for a savory bite and totally fancy meal.

Use a Chinese Classic

Merging cheap ramen with a Chinese take-out favorite adds dimension and flavor. In this case, we are talking about beef and broccoli. This recipe tops instant ramen noodles with classic beef and broccoli. It’s delicious, it’s inexpensive, and we want it.

Make Pad Thai

Pad Thai is another take-out dish that everyone seems to love, and it’s surprisingly easy to make. And ramen pad Thai is even easier and more delicious. This recipe uses unsweetened peanut butter for a pad Thai that is savory and delicious.

Make Pizza

Yes, you heard us correctly. We said pizza and we meant it. Ramen pizza uses the same kind of idea as the ramen burger does. Your ramen crust will be everything you ever dreamed your instant ramen would be. Plus, you can top it with pretty much whatever you want.

Add Some Meatballs

…Teriyaki meatballs to be precise. We do want to keep in touch with ramen’s Asian roots. The meatballs in this recipe are sweet and savory, and the meal is big enough for a dinner party with friends. They never have to know that the ramen is instant.

Make Breakfast

Omelets are the perfect breakfast food for two reasons: they are hearty and filling, and you can put whatever you want in them. And you know what we put in them? Ramen! That’s right, a ramen omelet is the perfect way to incorporate your favorite instant food into your breakfast.

Add Some Zest

Overall, instant ramen can be pretty one-note when it comes to flavor. Luckily, adding a bit of zest to it is not hard. This lemon chicken ramen soup is light and flavorful, and still relatively inexpensive. Your wallet and your stomach will thank you.

Think of Korea

Kimchi is a Korean staple, and we can see why. It’s so delicious that we want to put it in everything, so we did! Well, we put it in our ramen, at least. Kimchi ramen stir-fry is super quick, super cheap, and, well, just downright tasty.


10 Golden Rules to Weight Training for Over 40s

If you’re looking to slow down ageing and stay younger and vibrant through your 40s, 50s, 60s and well beyond, then science shows again and again that resistance training with weights is vital.

Improved brain function, health, metabolism, blood sugar control and overall decreased risk of all-cause mortality are just some of the headline benefits of lifting weights we discussed in-depth in Part 1.

But here we take this potentially life-changing scientific knowledge a step further and show you how we create training programs with hundreds of clients over 40 at UP to get them in the best shape of their lives.

When we read about the ‘inevitable’ onset of sarcopenia and how we will waste away as we approach our middle ages, we call B.S.

We have seen too many cases of middle-aged clients building muscle and losing fat at rates equal to, sometimes even better than our younger clients, to know this is not true.

A look at some of the transformations scattered through this four-part series are clear-cut evidence.

Rob proving that results can be equal to, or even better than those in their 20s when in your late 40s.


Beyond Butter: 7 Popcorn Flavors to Upgrade Your Snacking

I can't fault buttered popcorn there's no denying that it's delicious. But there are so many other possibilities beyond that basic flavor! I've been working on some new ideas recently, and want to share them in time for the Super Bowl (the way things are going with the "Deflate Gate", you can at least be thankful no one will accuse you of under-inflating your popcorn). If you don't have a good popcorn popper at home, check out my preferred brown paper lunch bag microwave method.

Without further delay, here are seven flavors to change up your popcorn routine. Three of them are special ones I made just for the popcorn, and the other four are adaptations of the potato chip flavors I shared recently (the popcorn-specific flavors won't work on the chips because they require wet ingredients, whereas, with the addition of fat, the powdered chip flavors work perfectly on popcorn).

Matcha and White Chocolate Popcorn

This sweet popcorn blends bright green Matcha tea with melted white chocolate for a subtle, Japanese-inflected flavor (take a look at our white-chocolate taste test to see which we like the best). Matcha, which comes as a powder, has a fresh, grassy flavor by itself it can even be a little bitter, but when dissolved into the sweet white chocolate, its harsh edges are erased while still having its main flavors come through.

Drizzle it on the popcorn while tossing to coat it evenly, then pop it in the fridge for a few minutes to help set the chocolate, and you'll be ready for snacking in no time.

Brown-Butter Maple Popcorn With Pecans

Brown butter couldn't be easier to make (check out our guide here). Once the butter's properly browned, maple syrup and pecans are added, and then the mixture is cooked until a caramel forms and thickens slightly. That all gets drizzled on the popcorn, tossed to coat, and briefly chilled in the fridge to speed up the hardening of the caramel.

The result is rich and nutty, both from the brown butter and the pecans—it's almost like pecan pie in popcorn form with a maple twist (but not nearly as cloyingly sweet).

Bagna Cauda (Anchovy-Garlic) Popcorn

For a bold, salty, savory kick, I took a page out of the Italian canon with this bagna cauda flavor. A sauce made with butter, olive oil, garlic, and anchovies, bagna cauda is traditionally used as a dip for vegetables, but here I drizzle it all over the popcorn. Think of it as your basic buttered popcorn flavor pumped up with lots of garlic and anchovy flavor—it's a serious grownup twist.

Za'atar (Thyme, Sesame, and Sumac Spiced) Popcorn

Za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice mix typically made with dried thyme and oregano, tart sumac, and sesame, is an awesome flavoring for popcorn. The sumac adds a nice berry tartness to the blend, while the herbs add woodsy notes, and the sesame a nutty quality.

It's also extremely easy to make, assuming you use store-bought za'atar: just toss the popcorn with olive oil, sprinkle on the za'atar and you're done.

Miso-Soup-Flavored Popcorn

Another flavor that couldn't be easier, since it comes straight out of a package, is this one with instant miso soup mix. Here, I toss the popcorn with melted butter, add the powdered miso soup on top, and then finish it with crumbled seasoned nori snack sheets. It's like miso soup in snack-mix form.

Thai Red Coconut Curry Popcorn

For lovers of spicy foods, this popcorn flavor is based on a classic Thai coconut curry. The flavor comes from a blend of dried coconut flakes, chili powder, powdered ginger and garlic, fresh lemongrass, and dried makrut lime leaves, all mixed together in either an electric spice grinder or a high-powered blender, until pulverized. This one packs a bit of a spicy punch, but it's all evened out with the sweetness of some muscovado sugar (you can also just use brown sugar).

Chicken Dinner-Flavored Popcorn

The silliest of the bunch, the idea here, which I originally created for potato chips, is to capture the flavor of an entire roast chicken dinner: a browned bird stuffed with garlic, lemons, and thyme, with a side of sautéed mushrooms. Because it's a mix of so many specific things, it's not necessarily a flavor you'd be able to guess upon tasting, but once you know what the blend is designed to evoke, it'll click. The secret ingredient is nutritional yeast, which I always enjoyed for its savory, roast-chicken flavor, even though it's a vegan product to that I add some dried mushroom, lemon zest, garlic powder, and thyme. Just like mom used to make.


Why 40-yard Dash?

It tells us pure athleticism in a linear sense. People who say "the 40-yard dash isn't very specific," "you're not changing directions," "in football you never run a straight line" . that's all ridiculous to me.

It's pure athleticism. When you look at the components of accelerating and transitioning and you look at the muscle action that is involved in the cyclical action of that finish, you're looking at the explosive reflex properties of those muscles.


To fight arthritis&hellip

Try: Strength training, 2 to 3 times a week

The risk of developing arthritis increases with age. However, chronic joint pain and stiffness can plague adults of all ages&mdashespecially those who are overweight and those who have suffered a previous joint injury, according to the Arthritis Foundation. That said, it's never too soon to start protecting your body. (These 10 strength-training moves for women over 50 should definitely be part of your exercise routine.)

Strength training is one of the best ways to prevent the aches and pains. "Strength training has been proven to decrease pain associated with arthritis&mdashand prevent its onset in the first place," Perkins explains. And you don't have to spend hours in the weight room to reap the benefits. "All you really need to do is some form of a squat, deadlift, and overhead press to strengthen multiple joints and muscles." (Here's how to perform a pain-free squat.)


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Shortening

Crisco has come a long way in terms of trans fat&mdashso far, in fact, that according to the label, the popular shortening now contains 0 grams. But a closer look at the ingredients list shows that partially hydrogenated oils are still there.

Companies are allowed to round down and put "0 grams" on the nutrition label if their product has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. But if you do a lot of baking&mdashor a lot of eating once the cookies come out of the oven&mdashthose trace amounts can add up to unhealthy levels.


11 Things You Can Do to Improve a 40-Cent Bag of Ramen (Slideshow) - Recipes

We do love our guys but aren’t they a hard bunch to buy for sometimes? That’s why we do our best to seek out silly, clever and functional finds that will get your guys grinning this season.

The Guy Who Has Everything

1. Say goodbye to wire brushes and create a custom grill cleaner with this great scrape $24.95

2. Your guy can always be the Macgyver in sticky situations when he keeps this very handy pocketmonkey in his wallet $12.95

3. Whether your guy is on the search for the best beer, best view, best fishing, or best bungee jumping, this interesting and educational book covers it all $19.99

4. This great guide bel ongs on every guy ‘s book shelf. It’s a good go-t o for making a perfect martini, giving a great massa ge, basic car ma int enance and even horse betting. $9.95

5. Be ready for any last minute formal event in a flash with this classic bowtie . $8.95

6. Finally, art guys can appreciate! Create a custom sign f or your guy’s man cave , garage or office starting at $18.00

Super Stocking Stuffers

1. Say goodbye to cracked hands with this all natural skin stick $7.95

2. Ever wish you could zap the people you don’t like wi th a space gun? Well , look no further

now you can with this silly sounding keychain $4.95

3. Why not mark all your must-read pages with mustaches? $14.95

4. Crunch, snap, shape and fiddle with this addictive twiddle stress releiving desk toy $10.95

5. This telescoping back scratcher will take care of any afternoon itch… perfectly sized to keep in an office desk or night stand $7.95

6. This addictive putty is fun for play, reliev ing stress and givin g your hand a work- out. I t’s infused with a fine metal substance that magically att racts to the included ma gnet $15.95

7. This working pewter compass of the world was made for the wanderlusts on your list. $17.95

8. Have your man smelling super fine with this handsome hand crafted soap $5.95

The Guy That Likes a Good Laugh

1. Keep a few of these trick golf balls on hand for some extra fun on the green. $ 3.95 each

2. Give your guy a good laugh & make your bathroom smell better with this hilarious Heavy Doody toilet spray. Simply spray it into the toilet before you do your business & it’ll keep unpleasant odors at bay $9.95

3. Your family members may think twice before they devour dad’s favorite chips when they see this silly googly eyes bag clip $3.50

4. Every charming & funny guy always needs a few jokes in his back pocket. Add to his library with t his chock full book of clever jokes. $9.95

5. It doesn’t matter how old they are… boys love farts $10.95

6. This funny and heart warming read will bring big grins to guys worried about their oldness $10.95

The Guy That Likes a Good Beer

1. Showcase your favorite beer caps with pride in this clever shadow box $23.95 (back in stock next week)

2. Keep your brew nice and chilly with the help of this insulated glass $17.95

3. If you rather keep it in the bottle this fun freaker will insulate it fashionably $10.95

4. Keep your bottled beer icy cold to the very last drop when you use a chillsner $29.95 set of two

5. If it has anything to do with beer, it is in this book. A great addition to any beer lover’s library. $15.95

6. Let your friends really know your views on this tasty beverage with these funny coasters $18.95

The Guy That Likes Interesting Books

1. Have a little fun poking fun of both parties with this funny read $9.99

2. Ever wonder what a bathroom looks like in China, India, Iceland or Japan? You don’t need to wonder anymore with this must have bathroom literature $9.95

3. Coolness graphed is a most clever take on what is cool and not cool about suits, zombies, ponytails and more $12.95

4. History just got a lot more interesting with this tell-all read $16.95

5. Life flies by pretty fast. Inspire your guy to make the next 5 years amazing $15.95

6. Calling all fans of trivia… this chock full book of interesting facts was made for you $12.95

The Guy That Can’t Get Enough Bacon

1. Deck the halls with boughs of… bacon? Yes-sir-ee, we have bacon for your tree. A must-have addition to any bacon lover’s ornament collection. $7.95

2. Work bacon into your menu from appetizers to desserts with this bible for bacon lovers everywhere $14.95

3. Bacon lovers may never use regular mayonnaise on their sandwiches ever again after they try this tasty option. $6.95

4. Just sprinkle a bit of this magical salt and add that amazing bacony taste to just about anything. $4.95

5. Who said flossing isn’t fun? Have you tried using bacon flavored floss? $4.95

6. If your guy is riding the bacon bandwagon, these toothpicks would be a great addition to his collection of meat flavored oddities. $2.95

The Guy That Plays Bartender

1. Style up your space with a few funny pooch brew signs $21.95

2. Four out five doctors agree these silly shot glasses are the best cure for your ails $21.95 set

3. Make your liquor store list on this cheeky notepad $5.95

4. Add this ultimate 10 in 1 cocktail tool to your arsenal and you will be able to craft any drink $29.95

5. Next, you just need a library of recipes and your guests will be uber impressed $14.95

The Guy That Likes Fun and Games

1. Your guy might not be able to golf year round but he can still putt around with this campy mug $12.95

2. How does your husband rate? This fun quiz book is full of curious questions you could ask all the married guys at your holiday gathering. $5.95

3. How manly is your dad? Have fun finding out by having him take this test full of questions like: (multiple choice) A bear is about to attack you. You should… and (True/False) Your chances of surviving a plane crash improve 40% by sitting towards the front. $12.99

4. Is your pop a movie buff? Test his knowledge with this artful & fun movie puzzle book $14.95

5. Impress your waitress or turn cash gifts into clever creatures with this creative dollar bill origami book $5.95

Grandpa Already Has Everything

1. Be entertained while feeding your backyard wildlife with this super silly squirrel bungee feeder $15.95

2. Take the frustration of remembering all your passwords by keeping them in this handy log $7.95

3. Give your lobes a workout and keep your mind young with this helpful read $8.95

4. Grandpa has lots of stories.. Encourage him to share some of them in this journal that is sure to turn into a family keepsake once filled $11.95

5. Give grandpa a jump start on his new season of life with this inspiring book $15.95

6. This simple mug tells it like it is. Fill it with his favorite beans for a sweet gift from the kids $14.95

Do you like finding goodies that will make your guys grin? We’re happy to share some of our unique ideas. Simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email and you’ll be in the loop & get our latest scoop.


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Nabisco Good Thins

Nabisco's new Good Thins crackers load in whole grains (but are not 100% whole grain) for a filling snack with 2 grams fiber and 2 grams of protein. For the ultimate snack, tell your college student to pair these crackers with cheese, fruit, or a dip like hummus for an extra filling factor.

What Tasters Said: "Both are so satisfying and really do the trick for that salty-crunchy snack craving."
"Yum! These are great. Cheddar is super crisp and savory while sweet oat is the perfect salty-sweet balance."

Nutrition Facts: (serving size: 30 grams or about 21-23 pieces)
130-140 calories, 4-5g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 170-190mg sodium, 2g fiber, 2-3g sugar, 2g protein


Everything we love about a German potato salad (bright vinegar, fresh herbs, a little heat)—but make it smoky, charred, and grilled.

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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Foods that raise blood pressure

Being smart about what you consume is the key to successful blood pressure management. In fact, the initial therapy for treatment is diet and exercise. If these two factors can be managed and maintained, blood pressure will start to normalize. All physicians will stress the importance of diet and exercise to their patients, as it will potentially bypass their need for prescription medication that could have unwanted side effects.

The following are some common foods that raise blood pressure when consumed regularly and should be avoided, or at the very least, reduced in consumption by high blood pressure diagnosed patients. Foods that raise blood pressure naturally include:

Processed foods

These foods tend to have a high amount of salt as either a preservative or for taste. This may help the manufacturer increase the shelf life of their product to help save some money, but it comes at the cost of your health. It is advisable to avoid processed foods such as chips, pickled goods, pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, frozen mixes, ketchup, dressings, dried soup mixes, as well as lunch and deli meats

Fatty foods

Diets high in fat have shown through research to be a contributor to high blood pressure. Studies done comparing such diets to vegetarian diets show a definite contrast, as most vegetarians were seen to have to have blood pressure significantly lower. Vegetables contain a high amount of fiber as well as polyunsaturated fats, both of which lower blood pressure.

Alcohol

Excessive amounts have been shown to increase blood pressure to dangerous levels. Having as many as three drinks in one sitting can temporally elevate blood pressure and possibly stay in that high range if you binge drink regularly.

Coffee

Caffeine is a stimulate found in coffee, and it is the reason why you feel awake after drinking a cup. But like most stimulants, it can temporarily increase blood pressure. It is thought that caffeine blocks adenosine, a hormone responsible for keeping blood vessels widened.

Refined sugar

Excess sugar leads to more fat being created in the body. It is estimated that most Americans consume around 240 pounds of sugar each year on average, contributing to excess fat creation. Weight gain and being overweight increases blood pressure.

Chinese take-out

Known for having excessive amounts of sodium. A single dish of beef with broccoli may sound tasty but can contain up to 3,200mg of sodium. This is about double the daily recommended intake.

Frozen pizza

While convenient and inexpensive, frozen foods such as this pack a lot a sodium as it enhances that flavor and allows for a longer shelf-life. One serving, which may only be a slice or two, can have as much as 1,000mg of sodium.

Baked goods

Packed sweets that may or may not have some decorative icing on them can be a tasty treat, but they often contain salted saturated fats, sugar, and sodium-rich agents. Eating too many pastries, cakes, or even cookies can lead to obesity and raising blood pressure.

Canned tomato products

One cup of tomato juice can have as much as 680mg of sodium, while canned pasta sauce can have as much as 1,300mg of sodium.

Red meat

While eating a huge steak sounds appetizing, it is considered a fatty food. They are also likely to be seasoned with salt to enhance the natural meaty flavor. It is only recommended to have a small amount of red meat in a healthy eating plan, as too much can be bad for both the heart and blood vessels.

Sauerkraut

A common condiment eaten with hot dogs, this food item may often go under the radar as it is technically a vegetable, but it is often made using a lot of sodium. It is estimated to contain as much as 460mg of sodium in one serving.

Ramen noodles

Very popular among college students owing to its cheap price and relative tastiness. This product, however, contains 14g of fat and as much as 1,580mg of sodium in one package.

Bacon

A national favorite, but also one that packs a lot of fat. Three slices of the stuff can have as much as 4.5g of fat and about 270mg of sodium.

Donuts

This fried pastry is a favorite among many for its sweet taste and satisfying aroma, but donuts may be the worst snack ever. A single donut can contain more than 300 calories with 43 percent fat and 53 percent carbohydrates. Also, it is fried, which adds saturated and trans fats. Any healthy diet should avoid this food.

Frozen pot pies

It is estimated that a single serving of this food contains about 1,400mg of sodium and about 35g of fat. This equates to about 50 percent of your daily recommended intake for both, just in a single serving of food.

Whole milk

While drinking milk is often considered nutritious, whole milk can be a high source of fat. One cup has about 8g of fat, five of which are saturated (the type of fat linked to heart disease).

Canned chicken noodle soup

A food commonly eaten during times of sickness, canned soups can have as much as 760mg of sodium in a single serving. Eating a whole can pack as much as 1,800mg of sodium.

Pickles

While considered a low-calorie food, the pickling process introduces a lot of sodium to the cucumber. Eating three medium sized pickles can have about 2,355mg of sodium, which is way more than the daily recommended amount.

Margarine

Some brands of this butter substitute contain trans fats, which can be bad for cardiovascular health.

Sugar

Found in most every food, added sugar raises calorie count, which can lead to weight gain and obesity.

Table salt

A common staple on any dinner table, adding too much salt to your food can directly lead to increases in blood pressure, leading to damage to the heart and arteries.

Managing blood pressure may seem like a never-ending battle that requires a lot of sacrifices, and that may be true. But if you were to think of how it affects you in the long term, how it can shorten your lifespan&mdashtaking you away from family and loved ones&mdashgiving up that can of soda or bag of chips doesn&rsquot seem like a bad trade.