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fitness Fitness on a Budget Food & Nutrition

12 Summer Recipes With up to 38 Grams of Protein

Warm weather is synonymous with barbecuespicnics and simple, no-cook meals. These delicious recipes take advantage of summer staples and are high in protein — they contain up to 38 grams per serving for less 425 calories.

1. GRILLED CHICKEN, LENTIL AND PEACH SALAD | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 258; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 44mg; Sodium: 465mg; Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 19g

2. STRAWBERRY AND SPINACH SALAD WITH ROTISSERIE CHICKEN | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 317; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 61mg; Sodium: 132mg; Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 28g

3. CURRIED CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH RAITA | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 175; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 62mg; Sodium: 204mg; Carbohydrate: 6g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 24g

4. STRAWBERRY AND TOMATO PANZANELLA SALAD | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 270; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 25mg; Sodium: 374mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 10g

5. SPICY CHICKEN BURGER | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 345; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 65mg; Sodium: 465mg; Carbohydrate: 40g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 34g

6. SWEET POTATO CRUST BBQ CHICKEN PIZZAS | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 383; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 91mg; Sodium: 425mg; Carbohydrate: 33g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 27g

7. CHIPOTLE BLACK BEAN BURGERS WITH AVOCADO SALSA | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 237; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 47mg; Sodium: 388mg; Carbohydrate: 27g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 2g; Protein 10g

8. NORWEGIAN SEAFOOD BURGERS | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 319; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 184mg; Sodium: 443mg; Carbohydrate: 11g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 38g

9. GRILLED HONEY-LIME CHICKEN WITH COWBOY CAVIAR | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 357; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 82mg; Sodium: 334mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 37g

10. SPICY BURGERS WITH TAHINI AND HARISSA CARROT SLAW | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 423; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 75mg; Sodium: 585mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 32g

11. GRILLED CORN & ZUCCHINI FLATBREAD | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 246; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 7mg; Sodium: 309mg; Carbohydrate: 41g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 9g

12. FLANK STEAK WITH AVOCADO SALSA | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 232; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 64mg; Sodium: 340mg; Carbohydrate: 7g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 27g

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fitness Fitness on a Budget Food & Nutrition Healthy Meals Uncategorized

How To Actually Keep Your New Year Resolution

Happy new year 2021 background concept with clock, party hat, balloon, ribbon, 3D rendering illustration showing importance of keeping new year resolutions
Create a great future by achieving your new year resolutions. GETTY

We’re all looking forward to where 2021 will take us—and perhaps best of all it will take us out of 2020. If you’re like most of us, you’re full of starry-eyed hope and determination to accomplish a raft of new year resolutions. But statistically, you won’t keep them. According to a classic study, only 19% of people do. You can buck the trend, however, and keep your resolutions—following the guidelines below.

First, know you’re in good company setting new resolutions. Beginning in ancient Rome, renewed plans were part of festivals celebrating Janus (think: January)—who looked to the past and to the future—honoring home, family, friends and civil life. People worked only in the morning and had the afternoon off for parties, gift giving and offering blessings to each other for success in the new year.

For the 81% of us who have struggled to keep our resolutions, our brains are working against us. Research published in Current Biology found we are more likely to repeat pleasing activities because we get a hit of dopamine (the feel-good neurochemical) when we approach previously-positive activities. Even seeing a delicious dessert causes the release and can thwart your efforts to select the vegetables you’ve resolved to eat instead.

So how can you succeed where you’ve failed before? How can you finally achieve your new year resolutions? Here are 10 tips which can put you on a path toward a positive 2021:

#1 Make It Real

Distinguish between your overall vision and habits. Focus on your big bets but be specific about the daily habits which will accumulate toward success. Be sure your habits are specific and actionable. While your aim may be to ‘be a better person,’ a powerful habit will be to volunteer at your preferred agency for one hour per week. Perhaps you want to write a book. Great, but you’ll be more likely to achieve this desire by committing to writing for a half hour a day, five days a week. Be specific about the actions you’ll take, not just the end you want to achieve.

#2 Be Reasonable

You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: ensure your aims are attainable. If your goal is to play at Carnegie Hall and you’re only just learning the violin fingering for “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, you’re reaching too high. Set ambitious targets that are attainable and keep in mind you can build over time. This year, you may learn the rudimentary grammar for a second language and seek to spend an hour a week with a native speaker. Perhaps in subsequent years, you can seek to be truly fluent.

#3 Tie Your Actions To Your Identity

Fascinating research has identified people have more success shifting their behaviors when they link them with their identity, rather than using willpower. Perhaps you’d like to take a Saturday afternoon nap rather than the long walk you promised yourself. If you simply apply willpower, you may be more likely to take the nap instead of the walk. But if you tell yourself something like, “I am not a person who shirks my responsibility to fitness,” or, “I am a person who keeps my commitments to myself,” or “I am a person who values action over slacking,” you will be more likely to make strides toward your new, preferred behaviors.

#4 Link Your Habits

Another powerful way to successfully adopt a new set of habits is to link a new behavior to an existing one. For example, if your big goal is to expand your knowledge and you’ve decided you want to listen to informative books more often, link your listening to another habit that is already part of your daily repertoire. Perhaps every day while you’re brushing your teeth and getting ready, you can listen to your Audible book selection.

#5 Establish Accountability

Write down your targets, this will help you be accountable to yourself. In addition, share your goals with others and ask them to check in with you and give you feedback. If your goal is to avoid procrastinating on your projects at work, ask your colleague to give you a friendly nudge when they hear you putting things off. Or if you want to do daily push-ups, ask your roommate to give you a gentle reminder if evening is approaching and you haven’t dropped for 10.  

#6 Share The Process (Or The Pain)

One of the best ways to keep your resolutions is to make them mutual. Partner with others who have the same aims. If your goal is to be more creative, find a buddy with whom you can craft regularly. Or if your objective is to run a marathon, find a friend with whom you can train daily. If you want to lose your Covid 15 weight gain, establish a small group of similarly-minded pals with whom you can commit and commiserate.

#7 Realize The Power Of Small Steps And Mark Progress

An important strategy in maintaining changes in behavior is to reduce your perception of effort. An interesting example, published in Sports Medicine, found people stuck with their exercise programs for longer periods of time when they drank coffee. The reason: because the caffeine gave them bursts of energy and reduced their perception of exertion. Incremental effort works this way as well. Take small steps. Also, track your progress over time. Use a calendar and mark off the days you’ve accomplished your new behavioral goals. Track yourself and make things visible to give yourself an important, tangible sense of accomplishment. Perhaps your goal is to find a new job. Plan to reach out to two new contacts or apply for one new job per day. Give yourself credit for every small step you take and reward yourself along the way.

#8 Take Breaks

As the saying goes, “Everything in moderation, even moderation.” Build in days when you can celebrate. For example, if your goal is to do intermittent fasting, plan for one day a week when you eat throughout the day. If you plan for small moments of reprieve from your new behavior, you won’t be cheating (read: you won’t have to beat yourself up). You can help ensure you give yourself time to take a breath and recharge for the next bout of following your new rules.

#9 Manage your Mindset

Changing behaviors isn’t easy. Your current ways of doing things have carved pathways in your brain, and establishing new linkages can be uncomfortable. Get comfortable with discomfort and reassure yourself you can do it. You have some exciting aspirations and if they were easy, they probably wouldn’t be worth doing. Those who achieve their resolutions are distinguished from those who don’t by the ability to put aside short-term satisfaction for long-term gain. Consider how you’ll feel immediately compared with the trade-off over time. The chocolate cake may be delicious in the moment, but the tightness of your pants (because we’ll have to wear button pants again someday) is an unfortunate trade off. Remind yourself you’d rather have the lasting goodness of health and fitness, than the quick hit of chocolate bliss.

#10 Remember Your Why

Perhaps most important for your ongoing motivation is to remember your overall purpose. You want to acquire a new skill, so you can make an awesome contribution at work and have terrific credibility in your field. You want to learn a language, so you can make a greater contribution in your community. Or you want to get healthy, so you can provide support for your family over the long term. The big picture is always motivational, so don’t just focus on laying bricks, keep in mind the cathedral you’re building.

The pandemic has been terrible and horrible, but it has provided the opportunity to learn, grow and become more resilient. Use the difficulty of 2020 as a jumping-off point for 2021 and all you’ll accomplish as you go forward. You can achieve your new year resolutions. You can succeed. You can make 2021 a year of progress and positivity.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tracybrower/2021/12/27/how-to-actually-keep-your-new-year-resolutions/?sh=67a05d3e32f6

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Fat & Figuring It Out Podcast Food & Nutrition Uncategorized

Build a Healthier Super Bowl Party Plate

The Super Bowl is one of the greatest days of the year, whether you’re actually watching the football game or just grazing the buffet of football game bites. However, with appetizers and fried food galore at your fingertips, it’s quite easy to go a little bit overboard without even realizing it. During the span of a typical four-hour game, most Americans will consume an average of 2,400 calories and 121 grams of fat. If you factor in your pre-game and post-game festivities, you are looking at a serious marathon of eating and drinking.

Avoid Mindless Eating

Woman Driving Car and Eating

CREDIT: PHOTO: JORDAN SIEMENS / GETTY

We know, that’s much easier said than done, but it truly is a great goal to have when the apps keep on coming. Make it a point to put all your food on a plate before you eat it, and then walk away and sit at a table. This way you’ll be able to have an idea of exactly how much you’re consuming. If the game gets tense and you’re feeling a little anxious, reach for some veggies to munch on or maybe a piece of gum. If you park yourself in front of the chip bowl, it will be no surprise that you’re probably going to be munching on way more than you realize.

Don’t Drink All Your Calories

Grapefruit Beergaritas

CREDIT: PHOTO: GREG DUPREE

What’s a game of football without an ice cold beer? If you want a brew to sip on while you watch, then you definitely should have that. We recommend sticking to one to two beers, because with increased alcohol consumption comes poor food decisions down the road. If you like the fizz of beer but don’t want the calories, reach for sparkling water with a splash of fresh fruit juice. Whatever you do, don’t reach for the soft drinks. Sodas are packed with calories and sugar, and we’re trying to save room for all the snacks, right?

CREDIT: ANN TAYLOR-PITTMAN

The Magic Is in the Dip

Jalapeño Popper Bean Dip

CREDIT: PHOTO: GREG DUPREE

It’s easy to tell yourself that a dip is a harmless appetizer, but with all the calories and fat packed into just one scoop, you’d be surprised at the havoc they can wreak on your healthy-eating goals. Opt for protein-packed, clean dips like hummus, fresh salsa, tzatziki, or jalapeno popper bean dip. As much as we love a good cheese or ranch dip, the calories add up faster than with a healthier alternative.

Go For Smaller Portions

Portion Cues

CREDIT: PHOTO: IMAGE SOURCE / GETTY

Most Super Bowl spreads are jam-packed with finger foods like dips, wings, nachos, and chips, so it’s important to scale back on portions if you’re hoping to help yourself to a variety of fix-ins. That’s why we think sliders are a great option over a full-size burger. When it comes to dips, a spoonful or two will let you enjoy the flavors without piling up the calories. And those delicious jalapeno poppers that are definitely the best part of a football party? Stick to one or two, and then fill your plate with more veggies.

All in all, the day should be about hanging out with quarantined family and over a good football game. It’s inevitable that you’re going to throw back some salty snacks and munchies during any sporting event, so there’s no need to get too hung up on calories. So grab a beer and make a plate of your essential game day snacks, because half-time is about to start and you don’t want to miss it.

Source: https://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/how-to-eat-healthy-during-super-bowl-party

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fitness Fitness on a Budget Food & Nutrition Healthy Meals Uncategorized

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Source: MyFitnessPal

Small changes add up to big results over time, especially if you’re looking to lose weight with tweaks to your nutrition and fitness habits. Moreover, making simple changes gradually helps ensure it’s an overall lifestyle change and something that’s sustainable long term — preventing the likelihood you’ll gain the weight right back.

“People should plan to establish habits that they can follow indefinitely,” says Tami Smith, a certified personal trainer based in Williamstown, Massachusetts. “They should ask themselves this question: ‘Is this something that I can see myself adhering to forever?’ If the answer is no, then it’s not a great plan.”

The healthy habits outlined below are ideal for starting small, although if it’s still intimidating, don’t worry, you can always go at your own pace and implement two a week or even two a month. Find what works best for your lifestyle and build from there.

While it’s a great plan to form better weight-loss in the new year, you can always start (or return to it) anytime.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss
Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Replace some of your caloric beverages with water. Keep a water bottle nearby to encourage you to drink regularly throughout the day. “Increasing one’s water intake is definitely an important tool in any weight-loss program since it can help fill you up,” says Keri Gans, RDN, a nutrition consultant based in New York City and author of “The Small Change Diet.” “If someone does not like the taste of water, I suggest flavoring it with fruit slices or herbs or pouring a glass of sparkling water.”

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Adding short spurts of exercise to your schedule increases your step count and also helps counteract the negative effects of sitting. “Three 10-minute walks per day can eventually be condensed to two 15-minute walks per day, then one 30-minute walk,” says Smith. After that, you might want to continue to increase your distance, notes Smith.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Instead of eliminating certain items from your diet, gradually add more fruits and vegetables, which provide several important vitamins and minerals and nutrients like fiber that keep you full. Over time, you may find yourself gravitating toward produce, instead of processed foods, which saves calories and helps you shed pounds. “Choose to have one fruit per day, perhaps as a dessert with lunch, and then build to 2–4 servings per day,” says Gans. The same goes with vegetables; gradually build them into your diet, starting with breakfast. The more successful you are, the more likely you are to keep including more.”

Bodyweight exercises are awesome for improving strength and building lean muscle, which can help burn more calories.“I recommend starting with bodyweight exercises before attempting to add weights to the mix,” says Smith. Pick a bodyweight exercise (or two) to master such as lunges, burpees or pushups. Perform 4 sets of 12–15.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

If mindless snacking is your downfall, consider what you’re eating and your portion sizes. “View snacks as mini-meals,” suggests Gans. “Focus on enjoying something that is less than 200 calories, contains under 6 grams of added sugar, more than 5 grams of protein, and at least 3 grams of fiber.”

You’ll be more likely to follow through long term if you stick with a pace that feels achievable.

“Start at a low intensity and build as your fitness levels improve,” says Sergio Pedemonte, a certified personal trainer based in Toronto. Go for a walk, do some gentle yoga or cycle at an easy effort, for example.

Writing down what you eat and drink can help you realize every morsel you’re consuming, including food you steal from other people’s plates or bites you sample while cooking. “Many people who are starting a weight-loss program benefit from food journaling,” says Gans. “It enables them to see exactly what they are eating and when, as well as mistakes they may be making.” Use an app like MyFitnessPal to help you notice trends and make healthy swaps.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

“I recommend beginners start with 2–3 full-body workouts a week for one month before moving into split training — i.e., upper-body and lower-body workouts,” says Pedemonte. This can help you get the most bang for your buck at the start, and it doesn’t have to be super long, either. Try this 10-minute, no-equipment, total-body workout.

Think about the healthy changes you want to make to your diet — high-protein make-ahead breakfasts, more fruits and vegetables, fewer soft drinks — and map out the items you’ll need the next time you get groceries. “Planning meals ahead of time and shopping accordingly is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success,” says Gans. It’ll save you time, money and calories.

You might feel like pushing yourself, but avoiding too much too soon may keep you from becoming sidelined unnecessarily. “Starting slow minimizes the risk of getting injured the first week,” says Pedemonte. One way to make sure you’re not overexerting yourself is to calculate your heart rate zone (or use a monitor like Wahoo Fitness TICKR to do it for you) and aim to stay in zones 1–3 this week and progress until you can spend more time in zones 4 and 5.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Remember, consistency beats perfection for losing weight. If you’re eating healthily 80% of the time, you’re on target. If you slip up, don’t feel like all is lost — just be prepared to follow healthy habits again at the next meal. “Healthy eating does not mean choosing healthy foods 100% of the time,” underscores Gans. “One of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success is already be mentally prepared for some failure.”

Fitness challenges, like this 31-day squat, lunge and pushup plan can help you commit to moving your body daily. Building and maintaining a streak can be motivating and keep things exciting. “It’s a great way to connect with others, particularly during these times,” notes Smith, so be sure to get your loved ones involved.

Your 7-Day Guide to Forming Better Habits For Weight Loss

Sleep is often overlooked, but it greatly impacts nutrition, fitness and weight loss. Aiming for quality sleep (at least 7–8 hours per night), can help curb cravings, allow your body to recover after a tough workout and keep hormones in check to support weight loss. “Setting a bedtime allows you to make better decisions about what you eat and when you eat it,” says Pedemonte. “[And] while the body is sleeping, it goes through a recovery process that allows the body to burn fat, repair tissues and build muscle.” Check-in with how much sleep you’re getting, and if it’s not enough, set your bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until you hit your goal.

Source: My Fitness Pal

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fitness Food & Nutrition Uncategorized

11 Ways to Prevent Weight Gain During Shelter-At-Home

11 Ways to Prevent Weight Gain During Shelter-At-Home

As countries around the globe attempt to “flatten the curve” of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many of us are hunkering down in accordance with shelter-at-home orders. While losing weight is certainly still doable during this time, a smart goal to focus on instead is maintaining your current weight.

“It’s normal to feel high stress and anxiety in the face of so many uncertainties, and you might even feel tempted to go into survival mode and toss your healthy food and lifestyle choices out the window,” says Dr. Richa Mittal, a weight-loss specialist based in Frisco, Texas.

The good news: It’s possible to combat stress-eating and couch-sitting to maintain your weight and come out of this experience even stronger — you just need the right strategy.

SET A DAILY CALORIE GOAL

Similar to when you’re focused on losing weight, “maintaining your weight requires keeping track of how many calories you’re putting into your body,” says Gerald E. Nissley, PsyD. One of the simplest ways to do that is to set a daily calorie goal and keep track of your intake of food and drinks with an app like MyFitnessPal. Even if you don’t log every day, regularly checking in can help you stay on track and make sure you’re not over- or under-eating to maintain your weight.2

ESTABLISH A MORNING AND EVENING ROUTINE

Deviating from your typical routine during the pandemic can make your mood tank, but the reverse is true, too: Re-establishing a routine can help raise your spirits and ward off stress. Pro tip:Frame your day with a wake-up and wind-down routine, suggests Molly Carmel, a licensed clinical social worker. “This can bring comfort and normalcy at a time that feels so abnormal and uncertain,” she says. What’s more, getting enough sleep also helps keep your metabolism healthy, which can support your weight-maintenance efforts.

Creating healthy routines doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, consider a brief meditation or brisk morning walk to help energize you in the morning, and an easygoing stretch routine or hot bath to de-stress before bed.

SCHEDULE YOUR MEALS AND SNACKS

It’s no surprise following a consistent schedule of healthy eating and exercise can help you maintain your weight over time, according to a study in Obesity. “When you have a set schedule, you’re more likely to incorporate healthy routines and habits on a daily basis — and consistency gets you closer to your goals,” says Carmel.

On a paper calendar or with an app, schedule meal and snack times throughout the day. Then, set reminders to help take the guesswork of when you should be eating and use the alarm bell as a cue to log your intake.

COMMIT TO MOVE EVERY DAY

Another way to reduce stress and maintain your weight: Get moving at least once a day. “Our bodies crave movement and the feel-good endorphins that come with it,” says Carmel. As such, make it a point to put daily workouts on your calendar, too. With multiple YouTube videos, Instagram tutorials and free apps, there are plenty of ways to add variety to your new at-home workouts, she says.5

FIND A VIRTUAL ACCOUNTABILIBUDDY

It can be a struggle to stick with your workout schedule if you don’t have someone to keep you accountable, so partner up with a friend for a FaceTime workout, suggests Dr. Mittal. Even if it’s only a text check-in before and after you workout, you’ll get some much-needed social connection, a mood boost and added motivation. Plus, research shows working out with someone can compel you to push yourself harder than you would if you were solo.6

ACCEPT THAT SETBACKS ARE A POSSIBILITY

Sticking with a healthy eating plan and exercise routine is especially difficult when so much is going on in the world. “Times are hard, so remember that you don’t have to manage this perfectly,” says Carmel. Rather than getting down on yourself when you skip a workout or consume extra calories, be compassionate with yourself. Remind yourself of the times you showed up to sweat it out and better controlled your portions in the past. Then, commit to getting back on track.7

COMBAT STRESS

Stress can threaten your weight-maintenance goals by dialing up cortisol levels which in turn can trigger cravings for comfort foods. The fix: Find ways to de-stress by soothing yourself and leaning on others, suggests Carmel. For instance, you might include diffusing essential oils and playing your favorite music, listening to a guided meditation or podcast, taking a walk outside (while social distancing, of course), reading a book or calling a friend or family member.

CLEAN UP YOUR GROCERY LIST

During shelter-at-home orders, trips to the grocery store have to be more intentional, especially if you’re eating on a budget. Now’s the perfect time to cut down on processed foods and stock up on healthy staples like fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables as well as whole foods with long shelf lives like dry lentils and beans, recommends Mittal. Focusing on healthy eating choices and reducing temptations is more likely to help you maintain a healthy weight.

MEAL PREP SNACKS

In the midst of such high-stress times, some impulsive eating is to be expected, but you can plan ahead by stocking up on nutrient-dense, low-calorie snacks. Where and how you store your snacks can make a difference, too, says Nissley. For instance, if you know you’ll eat a bag full of chips or a package of cookies in no time, opt for pre-portioned snack packs instead. “Keep them on an out-of-reach shelf or inside a cabinet instead of on your countertops or kitchen table,” suggests Nissley. This way, you have time to ask yourself first, “Am I really hungry?”

SEPARATE FOOD FROM ENTERTAINMENT

To cut down on grazing and avoid reaching the bottom of the chip bag in one sitting, make it a point to only eat when you’re free of all distractions, says Dr. Mittal. That means shutting off the TV, putting your phone down and stepping away from your laptop before you sit down to eat. Eating more mindfully and engaging all five senses, helps you recognize when you’re actually full and prevents overeating.

CELEBRATE THE WINS

“Any step in the right direction is a reason to pat yourself on the back,” says Carmel. Stick with your workout? Prepare a healthy dinner? There are plenty of non-scale victories that can indicate improvement to your overall physical and mental health. Make sure to take a moment to celebrate steps forward and acknowledge your progress.

Source:  BY LAUREN KROUSE APRIL 30, 2020 

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Did You Know Food & Nutrition

WARNING: One Bowl of Rice is Equivalent to Two Cans of Soda

D

Rice is Equivalent to Two Cans of Soda

If you’re diabetic, have prediabetes, or are simply worried about your sugar intake, you may be overlooking a certain mainstay in your cupboards.

White rice is a food typically considered a staple in most diets; this is certainly true of American culture, but even more true among Asian demographics. With this in mind, it may come as a surprise that white rice in large doses can increase the risk for diabetes.

This understanding explains why diabetic rates are higher in Asians than other populations. Contrary to previous theories, it’s not a matter of genetics, but the levels of starch found in white rice. In such large amounts, starch can flood the body with blood sugar, thereby increasing diabetic risk. How much of a risk are we talking? Well, according to Zee Yoon Kang, chief executive of the Health Promotion Board, when white rice is eaten daily, it can increase the risk of developing diabetes by up to 11%.

Concerned? That’s understandable. Here are some other things to consider:

Coca-Cola and Pepsi

On average, one bowl of rice has about double the level of carbohydrates of a can of soda. All of this excess sugar can put a strain on the pancreas; this is because the pancreas, by means of insulin production, converts the sugar in our blood into usable energy. Certain foods, white rice among them, cause problems then by dumping too much sugar into the blood at one time.
When there is too much sugar in the blood, the event is referred to as a ‘sugar spike’. Sugar spikes are bad for the body because they overtax the pancreas, which makes it less effective in the future. What this means is over time, the pancreas gets weaker and weaker, which limits its ability to generate insulin. This means sugar levels in the body steadily rise as a result.

Excess sugar leads to kidney damage, and kidney damage leads to diabetes. So, put simply, too much starch in white rice leads to too much sugar in the blood, followed by organ damage and diabetic complications.

brown rice

There are other factors that tend to contribute to diabetes. For example, a higher body mass index plays a part, and to a degree, genetics and family history do as well. As for the role that white rice plays in this, it, and other refined carbohydrate foods come packed with loads of extra sugar.  Fortunately, the solution is simple: eat brown rice! Studies show that even replacing as little as 20% of the white rice you consume with brown rice can cut diabetic risk. Furthermore, brown rice, as well as other varieties of rice, simply packs more of a nutritional punch than typical white rice anyway.

If you’re dead set on keeping white rice in your diet, that’s okay. Just be sure to eat it in moderation. A good time to consume white rice is immediately after a workout. Post workout, your body will be seeking to quickly recover energy, and so the quick energy of white rice will be immediately broken down for the body’s use.

Another problem with rice (all rice) that is recently becoming more prevalent is the presence of arsenic in rice. Arsenic, typically known as a substance toxic to humans, does occur naturally in the environment, usually bonded to some other compound. It is found in rocks and ends up in water as well, which means it ends up in plants, and therefore, in our food.
Normally, this is of little concern, because arsenic only appears in small amounts. However, human activity and pollution (pesticides, herbicides) have greatly increased the level of inorganic arsenic in the environment. Given the ability of rice to take in so much water, it comes as little surprise that high levels of arsenic can end up in rice as a result.

Arsenic is deadly to humans, particularly children. It can cause a number of harmful effects, including factors that contribute to heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and narrowed or blocked blood vessels. It can also hinder cognitive development.

While the level of arsenic in rice is increasing, fortunately, for the time being, it is not a serious health concern, according to the FDA, which as establish various levels at which arsenic becomes harmful. If this is cold comfort, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself:

Washing Rice

Washing and/or soaking rice in water can remove some of the arsenic. The same goes for using lots of water during cooking. Furthermore, different varieties of rice, such as basmati and jasmine rice, typically harbor less arsenic than white or brown rice. In general, when it comes to healthy eating, and therefore healthy living, do your best to buy organic, non-chemically treated products, clean and prepare them properly, and consume a wide variety of food, rather than too much of any one thing. Remember, healthy eating is healthy living.

Many Asians consume refined carbs, such as noodles and rice. These foods come with a lot of sugar. What’s even worse is that if you have a high body mass index, your diabetes risk increases the more you eat white rice.

Thankfully, there are ways to combat this risk increase and among them is to replace 20% of white rice consumption with brown rice. By simply doing so, you cut your risk by up to 16%.

Source: http://www.healthiguide.com

Categories
Food & Nutrition

Is it OK to Eat Deli Meat?

Is it OK to Eat Deli Meat?

Sandwiches are a lunchtime staple and it’s easy to make healthy high-protein versions of your favorites, like turkey or steak. However, deli meat often gets a bad rap for being highly processed (which ups the sodium content). Still, “cold cuts can definitely fit into a well-balanced diet, but the frequency may depend on the type,” says Keri Gans, RD, author of “The Small Change Diet.”

Here, a look at how different cold cuts compare nutritionally, why sodium content matters and how to make a healthy sandwich that helps you reach your health goals.


As you can see, turkey, ham and roast beef run pretty similar in terms of calories, fat and sodium. It’s salami that is markedly higher in fat (including saturated fat) and sodium.

THE SODIUM DILEMMA

“The problem with many deli meats is they are very high in sodium, and for salt-sensitive individuals, this may increase their risk for high blood pressure and heart disease,” says Gans. Even if you’re not particularly worried about salt, think about how you feel after eating a sandwich packed with cold cuts. “For some people, very high-sodium foods can cause bloating, which leads to GI discomfort,” she adds.

Cold cuts are among the top 10 sources of sodium in the American diet, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Consider that the recommendations are to limit your sodium intake to 2,300mg per day. If you’re eating a sandwich with bread, deli meat, cheese and mustard, you may get 1,500mg of sodium in a single meal, says the CDC — and that’s before sides like chips and a pickle.

ARE PRESERVATIVES A PROBLEM?

Deli meat often contains nitrates or nitrites, which are added as preservatives to keep slices fresh. A report from the American Institute of Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund says there’s evidence consuming processed meats daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer. It’s less clear, however, if it’s the nitrates specifically or because of other factors such as lifestyle. “More research is needed, but, in moderation, deli meat is safe,” says Gans.

TIPS FOR EATING DELI MEAT

If you eat a lot of deli meat, look for those free of added nitrates or nitrites. Applegate is one example; major brands also have lines free of these preservatives, says Gans.

Most people should also opt for cold cuts that are lower in sodium (you can look for low-sodium or reduced-sodium on the label). If you have a sandwich, it’s also a good idea to cut back on saltier foods for the remainder of the day.

Choose wisely: “Turkey, ham or roast beef are better choices than salami, bologna or pastrami, because they are lower in sodium, calories and fat,” says Gans. “Fresh roasted” is another buzzword to look for at the deli counter, she says. “These may include fewer preservatives, and thus, less sodium.”

HOW TO BUILD A HEALTHY SANDWICH

Gans advises using four slices of deli meat, max. “Build bulk by adding veggies, not more meat,” she says. Along with the standard lettuce and tomato, consider piling on cucumbers or sliced carrots for crunch or using grilled veggies as toppings. Avocado or hummus can replace mayo or cheese as a spread, which adds healthy monounsaturated fats.

You can also cut down on sodium by using one piece of bread and making it open-faced. Or, try placing a couple pieces of turkey between two slices of bell peppers as the “bread,” or roll it up in hearty greens like kale or collards.

Source: My Fitness Pal

Categories
Food & Nutrition recipes Uncategorized

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Blender Muffins

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Blender Muffins

YIELD: ABOUT 17 MINI MUFFINS

TOTAL TIME:15 MINUTES

PREP TIME:2 MINUTES

COOK TIME:8 TO 9 MINUTES

The fastest and easiest batter I’ve ever made. Combine all ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and blend until smooth. The muffins are gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, and they’re under 100 calories each (66 calories if you omit chocolate chips). For all the health claims you could make about these muffins, the best part is that they taste every bit as good as muffins made with flour, gluten, and lots of added sugar. The peanut butter flavor is pronounced and bold, while the banana disappears almost entirely. I used mini chocolate chips because they’re size-appropriate for the mini muffins.

  1. INGREDIENTS:
  2. 1 medium ripe banana, peeled
  3. 1 large egg
  4. heaping 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I recommend using classic storebought peanut butter, and not natural or homemade)
  5. 3 tablespoons honey (agave or maple syrup may be substituted)
  6. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  7. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  8. pinch salt, optional and to taste
  9. heaping 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare mini muffin pans by spraying very well with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pans; set aside. If keeping gluten-free for health reasons, simply use cooking spray or grease the pan.
  2. To the canister of a blender, add first 7 ingredients, through optional salt, and blend on high speed until smoothy and creamy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir in by hand; don’t use the blender because it will pulverize them.
  4. Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop that’s been sprayed with cooking spray (helps batter slide off spoon or scoop easily), form rounded 1 tablespoon mounds and place mounds into prepared pans. Each cavity should be filled to a solid 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until the tops are set, domed, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.  Due to their small size and oven variance, make sure to watch your muffins closely, and bake until done. Allow muffins to cool in pans for about 10 minutes, or until they’ve firmed up and are cool enough to handle. Muffins are best fresh, but will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Categories
fitness Food & Nutrition Holiday Fast Track

8 Food That Are Surprisingly Good For Weight Loss

Click the link below to listen to my Podcast, Fat and Figuring It Out:

Losing weight doesn’t always have to be about deprivation and denial. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Successful, sustainable weight loss is far more attainable when you focus on the quality of food rather than the quantity. Eat wholesome, nutritious, (and even calorie-filled) foods and you’ll be far more satisfied and content on less. Many of the foods people think are off-limits when it comes to losing weight are the very foods that have the ability to actually help us reach our goal. Here are eight foods that cannot only help you reach your weight-loss goal, but help you keep it off for good.

Drink skim and stay slim? Not always so when it comes to dairy. A recent study published in the American Journal of Nutrition found that more than 18,000 women who consumed more higher-fat and whole-milk dairy products had a lower risk of being overweight

How can this be? Some essential fatty acids are stripped when milk is skimmed — the very component that may help you feel fuller sooner and stay full longer with full fat products. Several studies have found that when people reduce the amount of fat in their diet, they tend to replace it with sugar and refined carbohydrates, which can have a worse effect on overall health.

Bottom line: Eat a variety of dairy and worry less about how much fat it contains. Limit high-sugar ice cream treats, and buy plain yogurt with no added sugars, which tend to pile up in the flavored and fruited varieties.

In addition to healthy fats, nut butters contain an impressive amount of protein and fiber, too. Peanut butter boasts a plentiful 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons along with 2 grams of fiber. 

A study from Harvard School of Public Health found that regular nut consumption among a group of more than 51,000 women was associated with a lower risk of weight gain and obesity. A similar study in the Journal of Nutrition found that weight changed very little among people who consumed a normal versus nut-enhanced diet. In other words: Nuts and nut butters can be a healthy addition to your diet, even when trying to lose weight. Try snacking on nut butters in between meals to sustain your appetite. A 200-calorie cashew or peanut butter snack is far more satisfying and filling than say, 200 calories of crackers or pretzels.



Shopping tip: Skip the reduced-fat versions, which ironically tend to have more calories, sugar, sodium and preservatives than regular nut butter. Buy those that list nuts — and maybe a bit of salt — in the ingredient list, and use them as a way to eat more whole grains, fruits, and veggies. What’s not to love about an apple smeared in almond butter? 

Pasta is surprisingly low on the glycemic index — a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale of 0 to 100, based on how quickly they raise blood-sugar levels. The lower the number, the longer it takes to digest, leaving you with a steadier source of fuel to support energy levels. Whole-grain pasta falls in the 32–37 range (about half that of white bread), while white pasta averages in the mid-40 range — still much lower than that slice of white bread. And because pasta is traditionally tossed with other wholesome foods like seafood, vegetables and olive oil, a healthy pasta meal is far from off-limits for those concerned about their weight. 

Pro tip: Stick to whole-grain varieties, double up on veggies and skip the super cheesy, cream-based sauces.

Rich in high-quality protein, healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals, eggs are a low-calorie, nutrient-dense choice when it comes to snacks and meals. At just 70 calories per egg, there’s no reason not to enjoy the entire egg, yolk and white combined. Yes, egg yolks are a source of dietary cholesterol, but recent studies now prove that dietary cholesterol has less of an effect on blood cholesterol than we once thought. The evidence says eating whole eggs in moderation is safe, and some studies even show they may aid in weight loss when eaten in place of refined carbs. 



Bonus: Eggs are super cheap and cook quickly — a perfect solution for busy, time-crunched mornings. Cook your eggs in olive oil and use them as a vessel for sautéed greens and vegetables, then serve them over whole-grain toast for a complete, well-balanced, weight-conscious meal. 

What most people fail to realize is that per ounce, dark meat chicken or turkey (from the leg and thigh) only has about 5 extra calories and 1g of fat more than white breast meat. The skin is where most of the fat lies — skip that on any part of the bird for a far more calorie-conscious choice. Dark meat poultry tends to be more tender, juicy and rich in flavor than white meat — requiring not only less butter and oil to cook with, but also less sauce or creamy condiments to make it palatable than breast meat. It’s a great source of lean protein that may leave you more satisfied at meal time, and less likely to overeat later. 

Dark meat contains more myoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein that gives it a gray-reddish color, as well as more iron and zinc — two immune-boosting minerals.


READ MORE > 4 SIGNS YOU’RE EATING TOO LITTLE WHEN TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT


Portion tip: Thighs are about half the size of the breast, making them a far more portion-savvy option than today’s 9- and 10-ounce breast halves. Double bonus: They’re cheaper, too.

When it comes to weight loss, limiting liquid calories can be the key to success. Alcohol carries 7 calories per gram, which not only adds up quickly, but goes down quickly, too. But giving up our occasional cocktail at the end of a long day is non-negotiable for some. 

Red wine may be more beneficial than white, according to one study from Washington State University, which found the polyphenols in red wine (including resveratrol) may even prevent obesity by aiding in metabolism. The heftiest boost of polyphenols comes from whole grapes, but wine certainly carries a portion of those benefits. 


READ MORE > THIS IS WHAT A SERVING OF WINE ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE


Bottom line: Alcoholic beverages won’t necessarily aid in weight loss, but they do help us relax and wind down from stressful days. In moderation, alcohol is good for the heart, too. Drink responsibly (not on an empty stomach), limit your intake and choose a 120-calorie glass of wine over sugar-loaded cocktails and carbohydrate-dense beer for better weight-loss success.

Your daily cup of joe may do more than just help you roll out of bed each morning. It stimulates the brain and nervous system, and contains antioxidants that may help improve glucose metabolism — which not only helps suppress the appetite, but also lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Caffeinated coffee may also stimulate thermogenesis, and the body’s ability to burn more fat stores, improving performance in endurance exercises like running and biking. 

While the effects of coffee on weight loss are likely minimal, the overall health benefits are reason enough to enjoy a cup or two each morning as part of your daily routine. A 2014 systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 studies found those who drank their morning cups of coffee were actually at the lowest risk for heart problems

A cup of advice: Not all coffee is created equal — most of the benefits associated with coffee are singular to black coffee — not the cream and sugar-filled coffee beverages from drive-thrus and coffee boutiques. Limit the flavored (and over-priced) lattes to a rare treat.

Just one or two bites of rich, satisfying chocolate can not only reduce stress levels, but help curb cravings for other sugar-loaded treats, too. High stress levels can lead to cortisol hormone spikes, which increase the appetite and emotional eating behaviors. 

The benefits of chocolate are specific to the concentration of cocoa flavonoids, which have been shown in studies to have multiple health benefits, such as improving blood flow to the brain and reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels, blood sugar and blood pressure. The higher the percentage of cacao, the greater the benefits. 

Buying tip: Skip the convenience store and check-out lane chocolate bars, which contain a lot of added fats and sugars — which can counteract some of cocoa’s health benefits. Look for bars with at least 70% cacao or higher, with a short, simple ingredient list … and indulge in just an ounce or two. Eating too much will work against you.

Source: BY SIDNEY FRY, MS, RD

Categories
fitness Food & Nutrition Workout Wednesday

Workout Wednesday: 10 WAYS TO MAKE FITNESS AND NUTRITION A PRIORITY

10 Ways to Make Fitness and Nutrition a Priority

10 Ways to Make Fitness and Nutrition a Priority

If you feel stuck in a rut and have no idea how to get back on track with your fitness and nutrition goals, you’re not alone. I totally get you, and I know it’s a hard spot to be in when you desperately want change. Rationally, you know you need to get back on track, but it feels too overwhelming or that “everything else” is getting in the way of you feeling good again.

Shifting your mindset when you are feeling unmotivated and in a fitness or weight loss plateau is tough, and it may just take some soul searching mixed with a little strategery to get you back on track. Here are our best tips for getting unstuck and making fitness and nutrition a priority, again.

1
LOSE THE JUDGMENT

Saying “I am” is a powerful phrase and can be used for good or bad. This is because “I am” is linked to your identity. It’s important first and foremost to separate any negative unhealthy behaviors from “I am” statements that define you. No, you are not lazy, unmotivated, stuck or a slacker. Maybe your actions are resulting in you feeling these things, but making that mindset shift to separate actions from identity can be a powerful tool. You feel stuck, you feel lazy, you feel unmotivated, you feel like a slacker. You absolutely have the power to change those feelings — and they do not define you.

2
CREATE SPACE

We’re talking about giving yourself space for soul searching. Maybe that’s going on a walk or sitting outside or at a coffee shop to clear your head enough to ask yourself questions about where you are on your health journey. Maybe start with “I feel unmotivated or stuck (or fill in the blank) because … “ and see what comes up for you.

Take this a step further and journal it on paper. Allow yourself to write freely without judgment or overthinking. Free writing doesn’t even have to make sense, but truly the answers to whatever problem you are facing with your motivation are within you. You just need to create enough space to ask the right questions. What would it look like to make your change? What would happen if you didn’t do it? Does it provide a breath of fresh air, create clarity or make you more inspired?

3
DEFINE YOUR WHY

Do you have kids or grandkids? Setting a healthy example is a big priority for many parents as well as living a long and healthy life to enjoy your little ones and their little ones. Handed a few bad genes? Many people eat well and exercise regularly because they want to reverse or prevent diseases that could be influenced by lifestyle factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, depression and the list goes on.

Know the reason why you want to make a change (and write it down, save it to your phone’s lock screen or tape it to your mirror or fridge) to keep you centered and channel those positive vibes and motivation.

4
BLOCK TIME

This is a great strategy for those who need routine and thrive on daily schedules. Plan your week on a Sunday to determine when, where and how you can get movement in, or make a list of simple dinner ideas for the week. Go ahead and pre-book your workouts if you have to check in at a studio or group fitness class. To create that routine and build momentum, you may find it’s easier to stick to if you set time aside every day for your health, by either committing to the routine of “sweating daily” in any form or by carving out time, at the same time, every day. Maybe you set aside two hours on a Sunday to grocery shop or meal prep. Developing a pattern builds a healthy momentum and flow to help your habits stick.

5
NAME YOUR TOP 3

In the morning, or even better the night before, look at your “to do’s” for the next day and pull out your top 3, making 1–2 of them personal dos that accomplish your health priorities. Ask yourself, if nothing else gets done today/tomorrow, what would make me feel proud of myself? Put at least one of those responses in your top 3 list and at the end of the day when you’ve checked it off, your confidence will get a nice boost.

6
TAKE A SANITY BREAK

We all need sanity breaks in our day, so take time to sit outside to eat your lunch or go to that barre class during your lunch break. Maybe you’re a morning person and working out first thing and refueling with a balanced breakfast sets the tone for your entire day. If nighttime is more your style (or fits your schedule better), get that workout in before you head home or prioritize it for after you tuck the kids into bed. Eating well and moving daily influences mental health — when we take care of our body we feel less anxious, more confident and better overall.

7
INVOLVE THE KIDS

Hey, maybe you feel stuck because you simply have no “me time.” If you are a stay at home or work from home parent, or work too many hours at the office and you find yourself choosing to workout or spend time with your kiddos, maybe you just need to involve the kids in your workout. If you have little ones, push them in the jogging stroller or go to a park and they can sit in the stroller while you do your weights workout, or use them as the weights while you do squats or push press. The whole family will benefit from involving the kids in your workout. Same goes for healthy eating, you may feel that it’s hard to eat well because the kids won’t eat the same healthy meal. Get them involved in the grocery shopping and meal prep because eventually (with practice and patience) they will catch on to your family’s new style of eating.

8
PUT MONEY ON THE LINE

Spa day, vacation, new outfit? Pick something that you’d like to work towards, and save 5, 10 or 20 dollars every time you do a workout. If you and your partner want to plan a little getaway, instead of booking it right way, create a challenge to work together by working out toward that vacation.

9
COMMIT TO THE FIRST STEP

Think about the first thing you have to do to achieve your health goal. With working out, commit to putting on your workout clothes, shoes and filling up your water bottle. Rarely do you do these things and then sit on the sofa. With healthy eating, commit to putting dinner in the crockpot in the morning, making smoothie bags or overnight oats for faster breakfasts, or going to the grocery store to have healthy ingredients on hand to eat well all week long.

10
FIND YOUR TRIBE

From social media challenges and healthy living groups, health challenge groups in apps and group fitness classes, to following healthy living influencers on social — there are ways to stay motivated and inspired all around us.

Source: KRISTINA LARUE, RD, CSSD, LDN

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