25 Recipes for When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking

What do you cook when you just can’t? That is, when you can’t handle doing much of anything—whether that’s thinking, watching the news, scrolling through Facebook, or just following an elaborate recipe with perhaps one too many steps and ingredients.

These 25 recipes are for when you can’t: ones that require little attention after they’re on the stovetop, in the slow-cooker, or in the oven, or have so few ingredients they come together without much thought.

We know, sometimes everything is too much. These aren’t. We promise.

JUST LET IT GO, LOW AND SLOW

Ground Meat Ragu ("The Butcher's Ragu")

Ground Meat Ragu (“The Butcher’s Ragu”)
Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup
Braised Oxtail Ragu

Braised Oxtail Ragu
Marcella Hazan's Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup

Marcella Hazan’s Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soupby Genius Recipes

Carrots Cooked Forever, à la Roy Finamore

Carrots Cooked Forever, à la Roy Finamoreby Merrill Stubbs

Short Rib and Pumpkin Chili

Short Rib and Pumpkin Chili
Whole Slow Cooker-Poached Chicken

Whole Slow Cooker-Poached Chicken
Southern Slow Cooker Choucroute

Southern Slow Cooker Choucroute

THINGS THAT ROAST FOREVER (SO YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT THEM)

Pernil

Pernil
Sweet and Savory Overnight Roast Pork

Sweet and Savory Overnight Roast Pork
Chicken Thighs Confit

Chicken Thighs Confit
Pork Belly Carnitas

Pork Belly Carnitas
Slow Roasted Lemon Chicken

Slow Roasted Lemon Chicken

FEWER INGREDIENTS, IPSO FACTO LESS TIME

Victoria Granof’s Pasta con Ceci

Victoria Granof’s Pasta con Ceci
Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Maria Speck's Shortcut Polenta

Maria Speck’s Shortcut Polenta
Parker & Otis' Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato)

Parker & Otis’ Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato)
Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches

Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches
Diane Kochilas' Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions

Diane Kochilas’ Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onionsby Genius Recipes

Daniel Patterson's Poached Scrambled Eggs

Daniel Patterson’s Poached Scrambled Eggsby Genius Recipes

Sally Schneider's Slow-Roasted Salmon (or Other Fish)

Sally Schneider’s Slow-Roasted Salmon (or Other Fish)
Canal House's Chicken Thighs with Lemon

Canal House’s Chicken Thighs with Lemon
Roger Vergé's Fried Eggs with Wine Vinegar

Roger Vergé’s Fried Eggs with Wine Vinegar
The Best Pan-Roasted Potatoes

The Best Pan-Roasted Potatoes

What do you make when you don’t want to think about cooking? Tell us in the comments.

7 Easy Veggie Chili Recipes That Prove You Don’t Need Meat to Make It Hearty

Chili is one of those cozy dinners we make once a week come wintertime. We’re pretty much always craving a spicy, warm bowlful. Bonus: It’s one of the easiest dishes to make vegetarian without changing much flavor or texture. So if you’re trying to cut back on meat or just get in more veg on a regular basis, veggie chili recipes are a must-have. These nine vegetarian (and some vegan!) chilis are just waiting to be made.

Red lentils and beans make for a super-filling chili that’s the best possible solution to warm up a cold winter’s night. The thick, stewy texture won’t leave you hungry for a second dinner either.

Expand your chili-horizons and throw cubed sweet potato and quinoa into a black bean-based veggie chili. For added easiness, the whole recipe can be dumped into a slow cooker and forgotten about until it’s time to eat.

Classic chili minus the meat doesn’t taste like it’s missing anything, so you best put on a pot of this pinto bean chili ASAP. A side of cornbread is definitely not optional.

Nope, that’s no typo: This chili has miso paste in it, and it is awesome. The savory paste adds a level of depth to the broth—other veggie versions just can’t compete.

While beans seem a no-brainer for vegetarian chili, give lentils a chance this time. Their quick-to-absorb tendencies make for a super-flavorful base to tomatoes, onions, pepper, and garlic. Our favorite part is that it’s self-thickened: Blend a few cups of the cooked chili until smooth, then stir it back into the pot.

White chicken chili is a classic, but who says chickpeas can’t take chicken’s place every now and then? This way-too-easy recipe uses a jar of salsa verde (which you might even have in your kitchen cabinet right now) and spices galore.

This smoky tempeh chili is best served with a bowl of rice and a dollop of zingy cashew cream. But TBH we’re ready to grab a bag of chips and start dunking, how about you?

 

To Catch A Marathon Cheat

Rochelle Yang started marathon training two years ago, working her runs into her hectic schedule as a full-time pharmacy student at the University of Iowa. She trained year-round, putting up with snow, sleet, and regular sub-freezing temperatures. Sometimes, it was hard fitting in runs into her day. After a 12-hour day of classes, studying, and working a part-time job, she’d get home at 7 PM, have a quick snack, and then bang out somewhere between 7 and 13 miles, sometimes on less than 5 hours of sleep.

“I’ll be honest,” Yang wrote to me via email, “there were many days I hated running” (although she did add a smiley to the end of that sentence).

She dreamed of running in the Boston Marathon someday, but didn’t think she’d hit the qualifying time in the near future. Her goal for the first marathon she ran, in June 2015, was simply to finish without stopping or walking. She finished in 3 hours 50 minutes, only 15 minutes shy of hitting the Boston qualifier time, commonly referred to as “BQ.” For the next four months, she trained hard trying to shave those 15 minutes off her time.

Read More: Running to Narnia: The Quest for the Two-Hour Marathon

At the IMT Des Moines Marathon in October 2015, Yang pushed herself, particularly in the last four miles, to hit BQ, which is 3 hours 35 minutes for her age group. “I remember thinking I would be okay with everything in my life going wrong for the next year if I could just beat the 3:35 pacer to the finish.”

Yang crossed the finish line, exhausted and numb. Once she regained a modicum of wind, Yang called her parents, fighting to catch her breath and holding back tears at the same time, which, she remembers, made her sound like she was injured. Her parents asked if they needed to call an ambulance. Finally, she got the words out so they could understand.

“Dad, I just qualified for Boston!” She ran 3:32:51, or BQ-2:09.

Yang at the Newport News One City marathon in Virginia.

Yang wasn’t automatically invited to run in Boston even thought she ran a fast enough time to qualify. Every year, more runners apply for Boston with BQ times than the race has slots. So they take applications on a rolling basis, accepting the fastest runners first and working their way backwards. Usually, all the slots are filled somewhere in the final group—between BQ-5 and BQ—but nobody knows exactly where the cutoff will be until the announcements go out. For the application period that ended just before Yang ran in Des Moines, the cutoff was BQ-2:28, 19 seconds faster than Yang’s time. It would be close.

Yang put in so much work to BQ that it never even crossed her mind that some people don’t put in the work. Some people cheat.


Derek Murphy started Marathon Investigation as “kind of an afterthought.” He followed the stories of notorious alleged marathon cheaters like Mike Rossi and Kip Litton on the LetsRun.com forums, but didn’t post much. Still, he realized the reason they aroused suspicion and got caught was because they publicized their fabricated accomplishments, attracting attention. After following Rossi’s case closely, Murphy wondered, “How many more people are like this guy but we don’t know about because they don’t put themselves out there?”

A business analyst in Cincinnati with a wife and two kids, Murphy downloads race results and looks for anomalies. For the Boston Marathon, bib numbers are assigned in sequential order, so the earlier you get accepted—and, therefore, the faster time you have—the lower the bib number. Based on this, Murphy can roughly predict what time that runner ought to run in Boston if they qualified honestly. If a runner is far off his or her predicted time, Murphy flags it.

From that list, Murphy looks at the mat times, which, using a digital chip in the race bibs, logs a runner’s splits every time they cross a mat at certain mile markers. From here, Murphy can spot issues quickly. If Murphy finds several missed mats in conjunction with impossible splits, such as a runner increasing their pace significantly over the second half of the race, they probably cut the course.

All in all, it takes Murphy about 30 minutes from the time he gets the data set to when he has a list of people who almost certainly cheated. From there, he researches their qualifying times and races, looking at photos, split times, and communicating with race directors on individual cases.

These methods are not all that different from those employed by LetsRun forum sleuths. Those threads—hotly investigating claimed athletic feats—have been some of LetsRun’s most popular, according to the site’s co-founder Weldon Johnson. Rossi, for example, gained international fame after the principal at his kid’s school sent him a letter about the child’s unexcused absences surrounding the 2015 Boston Marathon, in which Rossi ran. Rossi posted a snarky reply to Facebook, touting his personal accomplishments in qualifying for Boston. “They watched their father overcome, injury, bad weather, the death of a loved one and many other obstacles to achieve an important personal goal.” The Facebook post went viral and got him immense media attention.

But LetsRun’s forums uncovered what they believed to be conclusive evidence that Rossi cut the course in his qualifying race, and that he should have never been allowed to run in Boston. Rossi has denied that he cheated in the race, and Lehigh Valley Marathon race officials did not disqualify him after the fact despite LetsRun’s evidence.

More recently, a man named Robert Young tried set the record for fastest time running across America, but fell short amidst suspicions he was fabricating his efforts.

In the Rossi and Young situations, Johnson said, the threads were likely so popular because both runners insisted they were innocent. Young’s feat was under suspicion in real time, so there were always new developments for the message board to discuss. Most of the other cheating threads tend to be shorter-lived. “But,” Johnson added, “people are amazed at the sleuthing ability of some of our posters.” Indeed, these threads involve hundreds if not thousands of intense runners with finely-tuned bullshit detectors, all doing their own smaller version of Murphy’s marathon investigations.

Sometimes, commenters on Murphy’s site or in the LetsRun forums wonder why someone would cheat in a marathon, the ultimate individual sport. But that’s just one side of the question. After all, if running is such an individual sport, why would anyone spend so much time trying to catch them?


“For serious runners, race day is sacred,” Matt Taylor, Founder and CEO of running apparel company Tracksmith and former head of global marketing for running at Puma told me over the phone. This is in contrast to what he called the “health and wellness movement” over the last decade or so, which encourages people to be active, raise money for charity, and jog in goofy costumes where everyone gets a finisher’s medal. “I think that’s rubbed serious runners a bit the wrong way because it’s something we’ve always held as sacred.”

So is the sleuthing and outing of cheaters a way to re-claim their territory? Taylor thought it was possible, but allowed that it’s only part of the explanation. Particularly in the Rossi and Young cases, these guys were publicly bragging about their accomplishments, using social media to promote themselves. (He also emphasized that he doesn’t much care what other people do and doesn’t “want to be lumped in with people losing their shit over this.”)

Social media and modern technology function as a double-edged sword. The tweets and Facebook posts people put up of finisher’s medals they might not have earned taunt serious runners to out them. And the message boards, digital time mats, and race photos make it possible for it to happen in a matter of minutes.

But the main reason marathon cheats likely incite so much outrage in the running community is because cheating violates the very essence of the sport down to its philosophical core. As LetsRun’s co-founder Johnson explained, “Running in its purest form is not a battle for external recognition but a battle within ourselves. Cheating changes this and is such an affront to the sport, that people spend a lot of time combating this. Many hard-core runners can’t fathom why a runner would cheat in a race, so they go to great lengths to expose them.”

This is, more or less, why Murphy spends many of his nights sorting through spreadsheets and looking at marathon photos of people he’s never met. He also hopes it serves as a deterrent for anyone else who might course-cut their way to Boston. But there’s an even simpler reason why he does it.

Murphy has run in 10 marathons himself, but his last one was eight years ago. Then, he had kids. He doesn’t have the time or energy for training anymore. But, he still cares about running and considers himself a part of the community. Catching cheaters is his way of contributing now that he no longer participates. Also, spreadsheets and data analysis are his thing. He’s good at it.

We’re not saying any of these people cheated, but statistically speaking, one of them might have. Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Murphy first wrote about Jeff and Sheri Donnelly in April. According to Murphy’s research, Jeff ran the Boston Marathon four times: 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015. Jeff qualified for 2015 with a time of 3:27:49 at the Desert Classic in Arizona, but ran a 4:28:04 in Boston, a full hour slower. Or, to put it another way, he qualified with a 7:55-per-mile pace but ran Boston at a 10:13 pace.

The Desert Classic didn’t have mats, but Murphy looked up photos from the race, which occurred at the same time as a half-marathon. Both the half and full marathons were out-and-back loops. Jeff was photographed racing next to a 2 hour 30 minute half-marathoner towards the middle of the race, which doesn’t make any sense. Jeff clocked a full marathon in only an additional hour.

His wife, Sheri, ran in the same race. She signed up for the full marathon, but the organizers dropped her to the half-marathoners because her time—identical to her husband’s—would have meant she was the first female to finish, but they knew she wasn’t.

In late 2015, Jeff and Sheri ran the Surfer’s Point Marathon in Santa Barbara, CA, a two-loop marathon rife with course-cutting opportunities. Murphy found that Jeff wore a blue shirt over a green shirt for part of the race, but switched them at some point; a typical move for course-cutters in order not to be recognized by other runners.

Both Jeff and Sheri—who was also busted for course-cutting at the 2015 Big Wildlife Run in Anchorage, AK—ran BQ times at Surfer’s Point and, according to Murphy’s research, registered for Boston 2017, the same race Yang worked so hard to qualify for. Several calls to the Donnelly home were not returned.

Murphy also suspects Sheri ran the 2014 Boston Marathon with her husband despite the fact that she didn’t qualify by using his bib to forge her own, changing his number #5895 to #5855. As Murphy points out, bib #5855 for the 2014 Boston Marathon was a 42 year old male who was photographed throughout the race.

When asked about Murphy’s efforts specific to the Boston Marathon, a spokesman for the Boston Athletic Association, or BAA, told VICE Sports: “We rely on the race organizers and timing systems they employ to produce true and accurate results, and we also rely on the honesty and integrity of 99.99 percent of competitors who compete fairly and strive for their own personal records.”

Murphy couldn’t offer a precise number, but he estimates roughly three to four percent of Boston Marathon runners qualify by cheating. If accurate, this would mean roughly 600 runners out of 30,000 may have lied their way to the marathon.

“For the relatively tiny minority of participants who seek to gain unfair advantages,” the BAA said, “there is sometimes no better method of rule enforcement than from witness accounts and reporting of fellow participants who also believe in a clean sport. And when such transgressions are reported, we trust race directors to fully investigate the matter, and adjudicate their race results if necessary.”

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After putting together his dossier on the Donnellys, Murphy notified the Surfer’s Point Marathon race organizer, Bill Escobar, who reviewed the evidence and agreed with Murphy’s findings. In September, Escobar disqualified the Donnellys, and notified the BAA that these runners were no longer eligible for Boston.

That same week, Yang didn’t sleep well. She had applied for Boston and was anxiously waiting to hear back. She knew her chances were slim and tried her best to temper expectations, knowing -2:09 wouldn’t have made the cut for the previous year’s Marathon.

On Wednesday, September 28, she got the email. She was the only one in the office, so nobody heard her shout.

“YES!”

She didn’t know it then, but the 2017 Boston Marathon cutoff time for the female 18-34 age group was BQ-2:09, precisely Yang’s time. She straddled the cutoff line, but managed to fall just inside. Yang may have been the last person accepted for Boston 2017.

That day, another runner, via Reddit, brought Murphy’s website to her attention. The Donnellys weren’t the only runners disqualified thanks to Murphy’s work. Yang concluded that, if it wasn’t for him, she might not be in Boston.

Yang wrote Murphy an email, which he then posted to the site. She explained how she was just barely accepted, calling it “the biggest stroke of luck I may ever experience in my life. And I know I would not have gotten in if it weren’t for the investigative work you do!

“You help get illegitimate runners kicked out of Boston so those spots can be filled by runners who have earned them. The time that you’ve put in, the work that you do that maybe feels thankless sometimes–has allowed a young runner to be able to complete her dream and run in her first Boston Marathon. And for that, I cannot thank you enough.”

It’s hard to say whether this conclusion is true. As Murphy wrote in the post, his work doesn’t free up additional slots. A BAA spokesperson confirmed that disqualified runners don’t have their spots filled. Instead, fewer people run.

But, Murphy also uncovered several dozen runners in the year leading up to Boston registration who, without his efforts, could have registered with falsified BQ times. Would those runners have pushed the cutoff to BQ-2:08? It’s impossible to know.

This ambiguity opens the door to different interpretations, and the way runners perceive this dynamic is indicative of how they perceive running itself. You can believe Murphy helped Yang make the cutoff and that cheaters are an affront to everything the sport stands for. But you can also believe Yang will be running in Boston, not because of a business analyst in Cincinnati, but because of herself. She’s running in Boston because, at the IMT Des Moines Marathon, there were 49 turns, six loops, and 175 feet in elevation change. If she had run a single second slower—slowed up to avoid a crowd before pushing through, taken the long angle around a turn, an extra half-beat when grabbing a water at the water station—she wouldn’t be going to Boston, Marathon Investigation or not.

The Dalai Lama Reveals How You Can Discover the True Nature of Reality

Have you ever wondered about the true nature of reality? Is everything an illusion or is it real?

The Dalai Lama, as one of the world’s most influential spiritual teachers, has thought deeply about this question.

He has shared with us a simple path for figuring it out and experiencing it for yourself.

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The eight mundane concerns to let go of

The first step is to understand that there are eight mundane concerns that tend to dominate our lives. They are:

  • becoming elated when someone praises you;
  • becoming depressed when someone insults or belittles you;
  • feeling happy when you experience success;
  • being depressed when you experience failure;
  • being joyful when you acquire wealth;
  • feeling dispirited when you become poor;
  • being pleased when you have fame; and
  • feeling depressed when you lack recognition.

Someone seeking enlightenment into the true nature of reality should ensure that they are not being defiled by these thoughts.

By letting go of your attachment to these kinds of thoughts, you end up transforming your mind in very powerful ways.

Be glad when someone belittles you

As the Dalai Lama says:

“May I be gladdened when someone belittles me, and may I not take pleasure when someone praises me. If I do take pleasure in praise then it immediately increases my arrogance, pride, and conceit; whereas if I take pleasure in criticism, then at least it will open my eyes to my own shortcomings.”

This is indeed a powerful sentiment.

He continues:

“And may I, recognizing all things as illusion, devoid of clinging, be released from bondage.”

In the Buddhist teachings on the ultimate nature of reality, there are two significant time periods to consider:

  1. The actual meditation on emptiness.
  2. The period subsequent to the meditative session when you engage actively with the real world.

In the Dalai Lama’s view:

“Sometimes people have the idea that what really matters is single-pointed meditation on emptiness within the meditative session. They pay much less attention to how this experience should be applied in post-meditation periods. However, I think the post-meditation period is very important. The whole point of meditating on the ultimate nature of reality is to ensure that you are not fooled by appearances can often be deluding. With a deeper understanding of reality, you can go beyond appearances and relate to the world in a much more appropriate, effective, and realistic manner.”

He continues:

“The illusion-like nature of things can only be perceived if you have freed yourself from attachment to phenomena as independent discrete entities. Once you have succeeded in freeing yourself from such attachment, the perception of the illusion-like nature of reality will automatically arise. Whenever things appear to you, although they appear to have an independent or objective existence, you will know as a result of your meditation that this is not really the case. You will be aware that things are not as substantial and solid as they seem. The term ‘illusion’ therefore points to the disparity between how you perceive things and how they really are.”

Ten Amazing Ways To Get Fit and Stay Fit

Year after year, we make resolutions to say fit and keep our health in check. Then, as months dwindle till the year comes to a close and holidays approach again, we’re back to square one- obese and unhealthy. It is an unending cycle that we all can’t break if we are not determined to make lifestyle changes. Keeping fit is directly connected with our diets, because we are what we eat.

A fit, healthy lifestyle is achievable if we’re willing to commit to a lifestyle of good nutrient-dense foods, exercise and healthy habits. This is why you need to read these ten amazing ways to stay and remain fit if you desire to achieve your goal of a fit rocking body.

STOP COUNTING CALORIES

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You may be surprised that this is a crucial first step, it is imperative that you stop putting pressure on yourself and start to take actions that will help you get the healthy body you long to get. If your goal is weight loss, counting calories in foods will not do much in helping you achieve that goal, it’ll rather put unnecessary pressure on yourself to shed excess weight and is not sustainable in keeping the weight off, besides, real nutrient-dense foods do not require their calories to be counted as they are chock-full of healthy nutrients that will nourish your body.

GET MOVING

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It is very paramount that you maintain an active lifestyle If you want to stay healthy. You have to make activity a priority in as many ways as possible. It is even better if you partake in outdoor activities where you can get a lot of sunshine. You may also commit yourself to different ways of stay active: join a local gym, invest in exercise equipment and get a workout buddy or sign up for Zumba classes. It doesn’t have to be boring as long as you put your mind to it.

EAT HEALTHY

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Research has shown that over 80 percent of any fitness goal is linked with our diet. As a matter of fact, cells in our bodies are replicated daily and the material used to build them comes from the nutrition we put in our bodies. Embracing healthy diet rich in essential nutrients will provide the body with the proper nourishment needed to attain fitness goals. To eat healthy, your diet should ideally be composed of:

  • 45 percent carbohydrates
  • 30 percent protein
  • 25 percent fats

These can come from all natural foods and can also be sourced from healthy sources such as gluten-free breads, unbleached rice, non-genetically modified fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, oily fish and healthy cuts of fish and meat.

DRINK WATER

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Our bodies are made from 70 percent water and should ideally be the number one fluid that we put into our bodies. Hydration is key to reaching your health and fitness goals and your top priority should be to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water daily. You can start with drinking water as soon as you wake up, before breakfast and before you go to sleep at night. Drinking water will also help flush toxins from your body and help your body recover from the rigors of exercise.

If you do not like the taste of water, you can add fruits like lemon or lime to your water for a sharp zing.

CATCH SOME ZZZZSS

Sleep is a very important factor for you to achieve great health and stay in shape. A good 7-8 hours of sleep will get your body’s metabolism kick started and ensure that you keep the extra pounds off. Being sleep deprived will cause your body to be in an overactive mode to help you keep up with the rigors of the day and this will leave you feeling sluggish for the rest of the day and in turn, fat and unhealthy.

EXERCISE OUTDOORS

Exercising outdoors with a community of health-conscious people is one of the best things that can happen to your goal of getting and staying fit. It helps you stay on track to achieving your health and fitness goals and also help you get lots of sunshine which according to studies helps you lose weight.

SWAP FOODS

Eating foods in their natural state as much as possible can help you achieve your dreams of health and fitness. There are several instance where you can try this out such as:

  • Brown rice/quinoa for white rice
  • Gluten-free sourdough bread for white bread
  • Avocado for mayonnaise
  • Tofu for meats
  • Lettuce wraps for flatbreads

These small changes can make a big difference in your health and fitness.

QUIT FOCUSING ON JUST ONE PART OF YOUR BODY

This is very important in achieving your goal body. If you desire to tone up a specific part of your body e.g. your tummy, doing crunches alone will be counterproductive. A wide variety of exercises are needed to achieve your fitness goals.

THE POWER OF ROUTINE

It is important for you to have routines in your health and fitness goals. Routines help you stay on track when it comes to exercising and it makes a world of difference to your workouts.

Doing different routine exercise will ensure that you spread out focusing on different parts of your body and gives your body time to recover from a specific exercise. For example, if you had leg day on a Monday, you can choose to do a cardio routine on a Tuesday to balance it out.

GET A FAMILY

Joining fitness forums online or in real life can really help kick start your health and fitness goals for the year. You will find people in the health and fitness journeys as you are, some have gone above you in achieving their goals and being on such platforms can motivate and inspire you to achieve your goals.

Exercise, nutrition and lifestyle choices have been mentioned in this article simultaneously because they cannot exist separately. To live a fit and active lifestyle, all factors must be combined to achieve a healthier, fitter you.