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The Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 + budget tips for eating organic!

What is the dirty dozen & clean fifteen?

The dirty dozen and the clean 15 refer to the fruits and vegetables that are the most and least contaminated by pesticide use, according to the Environmental Working Group.  Paying attention to which foods we buy organic is important because pesticides have been linked to a variety of health problems, including hormone disruption, cancer and brain toxicity.  Pesticides present real health risks, particularly to children and those with health concerns. Buying organic can be expensive and can be a gradual process. Knowing which foods are important to buy organic will help minimize pesticide consumption while keeping your budget in check!

What if you can’t afford to buy organic? It’s important to remember not to avoid the foods on the dirty dozen even if you cannot buy them organic. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a healthier choice than processed foods. Besides, non-organic processed foods are sure to contain a ton of chemicals too!

Here are a few tips on how to eat organic on a budget…

*Use coupons and download apps! Whole Food has an app that tells you what foods are on special that week and coupons.  Also, check out your favorite company website for special promotions and printable coupons.

*Budget! Write out a weekly and monthly budget to help you keep track of both erratic spending and responsible spending. This will allow you to see your spending habits and help you prioritize purchasing organic food within your budget.

*Do it yourself, rather than buy it. Make your own organic granola bars, kale chips, smoothies, and juices instead of purchasing them to save money.

*Shop the frozen isle! Organic frozen produce at the store is cheaper than fresh, especially if the fruit or vegetable is out of season.

*Make the right choices…Meat and dairy (animals products like chicken, eggs, cheese, butter, yogurt, milk) are the most important to buy organic because of the combined risk of pesticide, anti-biotic and cancer causing growth hormone exposure. Really try to buy these products organic.

*Only buy organic fruits and veggies from the Dirty Dozen list.   For example, if you have a choice between more expensive organic red peppers and less expensive conventional asparagus, choose the asparagus.

The Dirty Dozen (in order of contamination)

Apples
Celery
Sweet bell peppers
Peaches
Strawberries
Nectarines
Grapes
Spinach
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Blueberries
Potatoes

The Clean 15 (in order of least contamination)

Onions
Sweet Corn
Pineapples
Avocado
Cabbage
Sweet peas
Asparagus
Mangoes
Eggplant
Kiwi
Cantaloupe
Sweet potatoes
Grapefruit
Watermelon
Mushrooms

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Your Guide To Clean Eating Grocery Shopping!

Your Guide To Clean Eating Grocery Shopping!

Here are a few tips for making the most of your trip to the grocery store!

*Shop with a grocery list and stick to it. Some people find it helpful to write out a meal plan for the week and only buy the items you need for those meals. This way you won’t waste food AND money!
*Stick with fresh, unprocessed foods. Think lots of fresh fruits and veggies and less pop tarts, chips and cookies! 😉
* Avoid shopping when you’re hungry. You’ll be more tempted to buy junky food.
*Fill your cart with lots of fresh, healthy vegetables, quality meats, eggs and fruit.
*When buying grain products, look for the words “whole grain” in the first ingredient. Also switch things up and try gluten-free products such as brown rice & quinoa.
*Choose reduced-fat cheese and 1% or skim milk. Or try almond, cashew or coconut milk instead of cow’s milk, it has twice the calcium and is dairy-free!
*Buy unseasoned fish, chicken and lean cuts of meat and add your own seasoning such as Mrs. Dash (no sodium, lots of flavor!) at home.
*Skip sweetened beverages; drink water instead. You’ll save money and calories!
*Read the Nutrition Facts tables to help you make better food choices.
*Shop the perimeter! If you stick to the walls instead of going down the aisles where all the junky processed foods are, you’re more likely to find clean foods.

Here is a sample clean eating grocery list you can try out on your next shopping trip…

*Fresh fruits (nothing canned) apples, berries of all types, grapefruit
*Fresh veggies (nothing canned) asparagus, spinach, all squash, zuchinni, carrots, Brussel sprouts (try the balsamic roasted Brussles sprouts recipe below!), lettuce, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, peas, mushrooms, eggplant, cabbage
*Healthy Carbs black beans, chickpeas, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, lentils, corn, sweet potato, white potatoes, peas, oats, millet, 100% whole grain flour, 100% whole grain rice, 100% whole grain bread, pasta and tortillas
*Healthy Fats (for nuts choose raw and unsalted & limit to a small handful daily at most, for nut butter limit to 2 TBSP) walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, coconut, avocado, nut/seed butter – almond, cashew, sunflower& peanut butter, olive, avocado and coconut oil, organic full fat Greek yogurt
*Protein Choose free range or organic whenever possible- Beef, bison, buffalo, venison, pork chicken, turkey, eggs, fresh caught salmon, tuna, cod, flounder, shrimp
*Seasonings Any seasoning – make sure its MSG free!
*Natural Sweetners Local honey, stevia, coconut sugar, palm sugar, cacao nibs, pure maple syrup, agave nectar and dried fruits
*Beverages Filtered water, lemon water (drink first thing upon wakening!), wine (limit to one glass daily) black coffee (or sweetened naturally with organic whole cream) herbal tea, unsweetened dairy free milk (coconut, almond, cashew) organic cow milk

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
serves 4
Ingredients:
1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375F. If your coconut oil is solid at room temperature, place the two tablespoons of coconut oil in a small bowl, and set it on top of the oven to warm while you prepare the Brussels sprouts. If the top of your oven isn’t warm enough, you can place the bowl inside the oven for 2 minutes to melt.
Slice the Brussels sprouts in half, and place them in a large bowl. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the halves, and toss well to coat. Add the melted coconut oil, and toss again to coat. Arrange the Brussels into a single layer on a baking sheet, cut-side facing down, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 mins, flip then bake an additional 15 minutes.

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Stay Healthy This Summer + Outdoor Trail Workout!

Tips for Staying Healthy this Summer!

  1. Stay cool and hydrated! Drink water, at least two to four cups (16-32 ounces) upon waking, and similar amounts if you are going out for activities and exercise.
  2. Protect yourself from sunburn!  Cover up with a hat and use a natural sunscreen that will help keep you protected minus the extra chemicals.
  3. Keep with your exercise program or begin a new one! Cardiovascular exercise is important for keeping the heart strong and healthy. If you only work out in a health club, take some time to do outdoor activities such as walking/jogging/hiking, biking, swimming, or tennis.  Try the outdoor trail workout below to switch things up!
  4. Eat seasonal! Eat foods that are cooling and light such as fresh fruits, vegetable juices, salads, and lots of water.   Summer time is when all the best fruits & veggies are in season!
  5. It’s fine to OCCASIONALLY indulge in a summer treat like a slushy, ice cream, or other sweets, but always get the smallest size possible and don’t treat yourself every day. Once in a while is fine, but if you are craving something sweet, opt for fresh fruit. Detox your taste buds and cut out the artificial sweets all together 😉
  6. Enjoy a alcohol beverage or two, but don’t go crazy. These alcoholic drinks just add empty calories, not to mention, too much alcohol is hard on your body and can harm your health/fitness goals.
  7. Eat your fruits and veggies first, this way you will start getting full from the fiber/water content and will potentially eat less of everything else on your plate. You can also try drinking a glass of water before your meal to help curb your appetite.
  8. Make sure your plate is colorful at cookouts! Choose lots of fresh fruits and veggies. You will get fuller, faster and are more likely skip seconds.
  9. Watch the condiments at cookouts. Calories in condiments can add up quickly, like using 1/2 a bottle of BBQ 😉 .
  10. Portion control. It’s easy to overload your plate at BBQs. Pick up a smaller sized plate so you won’t be able to pile on as much food 😉 .

Summer Trail Workout

Mixing walking, running, sprinting and strength training transforms a hike from a simple walk into a full-body workout.

How it’s done: As you continue along the trail, change your pace: For example, go easy for 2 to 3 minutes, pick it up a bit for 3 to 5, then sprint or speed-walk hard for 15 to 60 seconds. Recover at a slower pace until your breathing returns to normal. Then move into a strength move for 60 to 90 seconds, (push-ups and triceps dips on a log or one-legged squats on a flat, sturdy surface.) This makes up one cycle. Do 4 to 6 cycles, mixing up the strength moves and varying your speeds throughout your workout.

 

 

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Don’t Hibernate! Stay Active This Winter! + free indoor cardio workout!

Don’t Hibernate! Stay Active During Cold Weather!

It’s starting to get cold outside! Winter weather can often really test our will power to get out the door for a workout. After all, who likes to dressing in layers to go for a run, or risk slipping on ice when out for a walk? Even heating up the car early in the morning to get to the gym for your favorite class can be tough!  Although you may want to stay in your warm bed, winter shouldn’t be a time that your fitness plans hibernate (especially with all of those holiday treats around!) With the right frame of mind and the right mix of exercises, it can be much easier to beat the winter blues and keep your exercise plan on track. Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of your winter workouts!

#1 Change your attitude. Winter isn’t just about cold weather, it’s a whole new season! Embrace this time of year by sitting down and revisiting your goals, then plan out what you’d like to accomplish during the next few months.
#2 Get creative at home. Getting to the gym can be more difficult when it is cold and nasty outside, but never use snowy weather as an excuse to miss your daily exercise. Instead, work out at home. Whether you play a DVD workout, invest in a few pieces of fitness equipment or even just use your body weight for a great workout, exercising at home can be a convenient (and fun!) solution to staying on track.

#3  Try something new. Sign up for a new class or join an indoor sports league such as soccer, indoor volleyball or a boot camp class to get you up and moving during the winter months!

#4  Set a big goal—and some little goals. If you find yourself lacking motivation this winter, shake things up with a challenging, new goal. It can be anything from losing those last 5-10 pounds, to running a 5K or even being able to do a few pull/push ups. Just make sure you choose a goal that you really want and that will stretch you beyond your comfort zone to reach it. Setting a smart goal that you then break down into smaller, achievable steps is a great way to start. This type of goal-setting allows you to focus on the bigger picture.

#5  Get excited. If you’ve never been a winter fan, start focusing on what you do love about it and how this time of year provides new opportunities for your fitness and health. From eating delicious in-season produce to sipping some sugar-free hot cocoa with your loved ones, there is much to love about winter when you embrace and appreciate it!!

 

In case you were curious, here are a few of the healthy in-season produce to stock up on:

Cabbage

Winter Squash

Brussles Sprouts

Potatoes

Onions

Beets

Carrots

Turnips

Parsnips

Sweet Potatoes

 

Stuck indoors?  Try this in door cardio workout, no gym or equipment needed 😉

Tips: Perform each circuit 3 total times.  For example, 3 x 1 minute walking push ups/1 minute jumping jacks/ 1 minute plank/30 second rest.  You would perform 1 minute of walking push ups, immediately followed by 1 minute of jumping jacks, immediately followed by a 1 minute plank, then rest for 30 seconds.  After the rest is up, you repeat exactly what you did above, two more times total.

 

  • Warm up Circuit: 3 x 1 minute running in place /1 minute Clapping Jacks/15 second rest
  • Cardio Explosion Circuit: 3 x 1 minute tuck jumps /1 minute walkouts /1 minute squat twists (squat with a twist at the top) /30 second rest
  • Power Cardio Circuit: 3 x 1 Walking Push ups(walkouts)/1 minute Up/Down Planks/2 minutesLunge Kicks(just do a stationary lunge then a kick at the end) /30 second rest
  • Speed Cardio Circuit: 3 x 30 second Burpees/2 minutes  Speed Squats(super fast air squats) /1 minute Mountain Climbers/ 45 second rest
  • Cardio Explosion Circuit:  3 x 1 minute tuck jumps /1 minute walkouts (you can do these on the wall if needed) /1 minute Squat Twists/30 second rest
  • Speed Cardio Circuit: 3 x 2 minute  Side Shuffles(or side to sides in place) /1 minutefrankenstien walk(or standing in place, just stand tall, holding your arms out straight, try to walk/or walk in place touching your feet to your hands alternating legs)/30 seconds High Knees

 

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Breaking Food Addictions! + free morning workout

Breaking Food Addictions

Eating healthy and losing weight seems impossible for many people.  Despite their best intentions, they continually find themselves eating large amounts of unhealthy foods, even though they know it is causing them harm.  Food addiction is simply being addicted to junk food in the same way as drug addicts are addicted to drugs.  It involves the same areas in the brain, the same neurotransmitters and many of the symptoms are identical.  Processed junk foods have a powerful effect on the “reward” centers in the brain, involving brain neurotransmitters like dopamine.   The foods that seem to be the most challenging include processed foods (your typical “junk foods” such as cookies, candies, pastries, sodas, ect)  as well as foods that contain either sugar or wheat, or both.  Food addiction is not necessarily about a lack of willpower but is about eating the wrong foods.

Here are a few signs you may have a food addiction…

*You frequently get cravings for certain foods, even if you just finished a healthy and satisfying meal.

*When you give in and start eating a food you were craving, you often find yourself eating much more than you intended to.

*When you eat a food you were craving, you sometimes eat to the point of feeling excessively full.

*You often feel guilty after eating particular foods.

*You sometimes make excuses in your head about why you should eat something that you are craving.

*You have repeatedly tried to quit eating or setting rules (includes cheat meals/days) about certain foods, but been unsuccessful.

*You often hide your eating of unhealthy foods from others.

*You feel unable to control your consumption of the “junk” foods, despite knowing that they are causing you harm (includes weight gain).

 

If you can relate to 4 or 5 of the above symptoms, you may have a food addiction.  If you feel you do, no worries! Here are a few steps to help you get back on track and break that food addiction once and for all!

*Don’t go cold turkey: such rigid thinking can make you crave the offending food even more.  Allow yourself to enjoy the food, but occasionally and in sensible amounts.

*Control your home environment: Just as someone with an alcohol problem shouldn’t buy a bunch of beer, you shouldn’t overstock your kitchen with foods you find addictive. Exercise purchase and portion control.

*Retrain your brain: In order to be satisfied with two cookies instead of an entire bag, you need to change the way your brain sees food on the plate. Switch to smaller plates and bowls to automatically reduce portion sizes

*Exercise regularly: Exercise also satisfies the pleasure centers of your brain in the same way food does.  It increases dopamine levels and raises the number of dopamine receptors in the brain.

*Learn to eat only when you’re hungry: One classic tool that weight loss experts use to teach people how to better manage their appetite is the hunger scale. The scale ranges from 0 to 10, with 0 being ravenously hungry and 10 being overstuffed. Eat when you begin to feel hungry (2 or 3 on the scale) and stop when you feel comfortably satisfied (5 or 6).

*Deal with your emotions: Try to get better at tolerating sensations of sadness, anger, or boredom, rather than rushing to soothe them with food.

 

Rise & Shine!  Try out this 6 am workout before you head to work a few mornings each week!

1 minute v-sit

20 star jumps

20 tricep dips

15 squats

25 wall push ups

10 lunges (each leg)

1 minute plank

*repeat 3 times!

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Healthy Eating Strategies For A Busy Life! + a Free Recipe & Workout :)

Strategies To Eat Healthy When You Don’t Have The Time

How do you make smart eating choices when your schedule is crazy and you feel as if you don’t have the time!? It’s hard, I Understand!  Preparing healthy meals can sometimes feel like a huge demand when your schedule is jammed packed.  Eating healthy on a time budget does take a little extra planning but it’s easier than you think!  Invest just a little extra time and I will pay off!  Here are a few strategies to help you maintain consistently healthy meals even with the busiest schedule:

Make a list. Take some time one day every week to make a shopping list so you purchase all of the ingredients for your recipes in advance. Keeping a list and sticking to it saves time, money, and unhealthy food from ending up in your shopping cart. PS: never go to the grocery store hungry!

Go frozen. Frozen vegetables become a real timesaver. Same goes for frozen grass-fed beef, chicken, wild-caught salmon, and organic berries. Shopping at warehouse stores can become a real time and money saver.  Just buy the very best quality you can find.  If you have the freezer space then stock up for weeks or even months with these essentials.

Choose pre-prepped.  Choose fresh pre-washed salad greens or fresh produce, which drastically reduces kitchen work. They might be a bit more expensive, but if you’re short on time they’re worth it.

Try canned foods.  Always choose lower-sodium versions and read labels carefully to be sure that extra sodium, sugars and other unwanted ingredients aren’t sneaking into your diet.

Schedule a preparation day and make it fun. Once you’ve shopped and have a well-stocked kitchen, you’ll want to prepare for the days ahead. Choose one or two days during the week (Sunday’s seem to work well) when you are going to spend extra time in the kitchen cooking and preparing as much as you can in advance. That means chopping veggies, making salads, grilling chicken and cooking brown rice and other whole grains in advance. Get your kids involved to make the process fun and a good learning experience!

When you’re really crunched for time, at least go healthy. Even when you do your best, you’ll have days where everything falls apart and even throwing together a simple salad becomes impossible. Many grocery stores now have hot bars with healthy selections and salad bars. Stopping by the store on your way home for a rotisserie chicken along with sautéed pre-cooked vegetables makes a simple “fast food” meal without the sugar and fat in drive-thru foods. Always do the best you can under the circumstances you are given, your diet doesn’t always have to be perfect!

*Try making a batch or two of these simple Salsa Turkey Burgers then you will always have a healthy and tasty protein choice ready to go in your fridge!  Pair this with a whole wheat wrap/ burger bun or brown rice and veggies such as asparagus for a complete meal.

SALSA TURKEY BURGERS

1 lb ground turkey (99% fat free)
1/3 cup quick cooking uncooked oats
4 tbsp chunky salsa (use medium or hot for extra kick) & 2 egg whites

Directions

Combine all ingredients until well mixed.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide into 4 patties and bake at 400 until done (approximately 20-25 minutes or so), flipping halfway.

Use your that weight room TST offers!  Try this Metabolic Workout before work, after work, or during your lunch break!

Metabolic Workout 

GIANTSET #1
Jump Squats

Push Ups

Dumbbell Tricep Kick Backs

Superset #2
Alternating Arm Dumbbell Shoulder Presses

30 seconds of Alternating Front Lunges

Superset #3
Squats

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Superset#4

Hammer Curls

Dumbbell Upright Rows

 

You can do this workouts 2x per week, and if you still have some energy, you can finish off with some cardio. You can also try alternating between light/heavy days, where for one workout you shoot for 15 reps on each exercise (light day) then the other day you shoot for 10 reps (heavy day).

 

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Curb those sugar cravings + paleo cookies recipe!

Curb Those Sugar & Unhealthy Carbohydrate Cravings!

Do you head to the vending machine to get a sugary snack and/or soda during your afternoon slump? Eating sugary snacks can just makes you crave more sugary snacks! Eating lots of simple carbohydrates without adequate proteins or fats can quickly satisfy hunger and give you a short-term energy boost, but they quickly leave you hungry again and craving more junk. Here are a few steps you can take to stop those junk food cravings once and for all!

*Indulge a little! If you are really craving something then don’t completely deny yourself. Deprivation can often lead to overeating. Give yourself a small cookie, a fun size candy bar or one piece of two of dark chocolate- just keep it to 100 to 150 calories.

*Combine foods. Combine an unhealthy food or a treat food with a heAalthy one. Try dipping fruit such as bananas and strawberries in some melted dark chocolate or mix some almonds with a few chocolate chips to satisfy your sweet tooth.

*Go cold turkey. If you cut out all processed foods and sugars the first 3 days can be pretty rough! Some people find their sugar cravings go away completely while others find them greatly diminished.

*Reach for some fruit. The natural sugars and fibers in the fruit will help satisfy your sweet tooth and keep away from hunger while providing healthy nutrients.

*Get moving! When a craving hits get up and go for a walk or do a set of push-ups, jumping jacks and crunches. Exercising will help get your mind off the craving and within a few minutes it will pass!

* Eat more regularly. Eating every 3-4 hours can help regulate your blood sugar and keep your bad cravings away. Eat complete meals that contain healthy protein, fats and carbohydrates.

*Slow down and focus. For one week try to focus on what you are eating and think about your meals and snacks in advance. Make it a point to eat only what you intend to and don’t give into temptons.

*Reward yourself for sticking to a healthy low sugar diet! Go shopping, get a massage or treat yourself to whatever it is you enjoy! Just try not to do junk food rewards 😉

*Get the right kind of support. Many people turn to sweet foods when they’re stressed, depressed, or angry. But food doesn’t solve emotional issues. Consider whether emotions are involved in your sugar cravings and whether you need help to find other solutions to those emotional problems.

need a healthy recipe to fix your sweet tooth?! Try this paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe!

1/3 c coconut flour

1/4 each of coconut oil & pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs or 6 egg whites

1/4 tsp sea salt

a few chocolate chips to taste

bake at 350 for 14 min… Enjoy! :)

image

 

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Achieving A Balanced Diet + New Superfood Recipes!

Achieving  A Balanced Diet

Developing healthy eating habits isn’t as hard or restrictive as many people imagine. The main steps are to eat mostly foods from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans while limiting consumption of processed foods. Here are a few steps to help you achieve a healthier and more balanced diet!

1) Eat a variety of foods
Eating a wide assortment of foods helps to ensure you get all of the disease-fighting potential that foods offer. You are more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan by switching up your healthy food sources to prevent boredom as well.
2) Keep an eye on portions
Feel free to eat all the fresh fruit and veggies you like! However, make sure to not over indulge on calorie dense foods such as pizza and ice cream. Decline “super-sizing” your meals and pick an appetizer or share and entrée with a friend when dining out. Keep in mind the portions we get at restaurants are often way too large! Also make sure you are reading your food labels and checking the serving size. It is easy to eat an entire box of cookies so make sure you measure out the correct size to avoid over eating 😉
3) Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
If you are on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, make sure to eat 2.5-3 cups of veggies and up to 2 cups of fruit a day. Fill your plate up with a variety of colors- green, red, yellow, orange, blue and purple fruits and vegetables. The rich colors mean they are filled with disease fighting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
4) Eat more whole grains
Switch out your white bread for bread made from whole grains such as whole wheat, oats and barley. Avoid any products that contains “white flour” or “enriched flour” on the label. Make sure your bread reads 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain. Also start including healthy grain alternatives in your meals such as brown rice, oatmeal and quinoa.
5) Limit refined grains and added sugar
The refined carbohydrates found in snacks, baked goods, white pasta and white bread are stripped of its fiber and nutrients. Limit the sugar and empty calories that cause weight gain from sodas and candy.
6) Eat more fish and nuts
Consume more healthy unsaturated fats such as almonds, walnuts, fish and avocados. These fats are still calorie dense so watch your portions, but they do not tend to promote weight gain because they are satisfying. Fatty fish such as salmon has healthy omega-3s that can help prevent heart disease.
7) Watch the liquid calories
Make your first beverage choice be water! Save a ton of calories by cutting out soda and juice that’s loaded with sugar. If you drink juice, make sure its 100% fruit juice and limit it to one cup a day.
8) Get rid of trans fats
Trans fats are in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used in many processed foods such as baked goods, margarine and snack foods. Trans fats raise the bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower the good (HDL) cholesterol which increases the risk of heart disease.
9) Cut back on your cholesterol consumption
Cholesterol is found only in meat and eggs. The average person shouldn’t consume more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day and 200 mg a day if you have high cholesterol or other coronary risk factors. Try cutting back on your meat and egg portions and try adding egg whites, fish or beans to get your required protein intake.
10) Watch your calcium and vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D is vital for bone health. The average American needs 1,000 to 1,200 mg a day. You can get calcium and vitamin D by consuming fat free or low fat dairy products or fortified beverages. Try switching to unsweetened almond milk which is double the calcium of cow milk if you don’t get enough or take a supplement.

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Try these NEW Superfood recipes your whole family will love!

Gluten Free Baked Cheesy Pasta

2 cups rotini pasta (I use brown rice to make gluten free – you can also do corn or quiona pasta  but 100% whole wheat will do of you don’t need it gf)
1, 14 oz can of diced tomatoes*
1, 14 oz can of pasta sauce*
6-8 oz low fat shredded mozzarella cheese*
Additional spices such as oregano and rosemary
Directions:
Cook the pasta then mix the remaining ingredients together and bake for 30 minutes at 400 deg.

* make these Ingridents organic since they are part of the dirty dozen !

Blueberry Buckwheat Bread, gf, no added sugar

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
4 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon chia seeds

4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix the dry ingredients then the wet & bake in a loaf pan at 375 deg until done! (About 30-40 min I think;)

Enjoy!!!

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10 Tips To A Thinner Thanksgiving!

#1 Eat Breakfast

While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, experts say eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a bowl of oatmeal — so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering.

#2 Lighten Up

Make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories.

A few suggestions…

  • Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
  • Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods.
  • Reduce oil and butter wherever you can.
  • Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.

Also, keep in mind that some holiday foods are better choices than others.

White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories.  AND if you keep your portions small, you can enjoy whatever you like!!!

#3 Get Active

Create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods!

#4 Drink responsibly.

Unfortunately, liquid calories can sneak up on us during the holidays. Go easy on the booze and stick to a healthier cocktail like a vodka soda or bloody mary to avoid excess sugar. 

#5 Skip the seconds.

Wait about 20 minutes (the amount of time it probably takes to feel full) before filling up the dinner plate again. Unless you’re really hungry, save some food for leftovers! 😉

#6 Don’t deny dessert.

The holidays shouldn’t be about restricting certain foods — just try to enjoy them in moderation! Stick to one slice of pie instead of totally skipping the dessert table.

#7 Chew slowly.

How quickly we eat really does matter.  Chewing slowly could mean less calories consumed, so take a chill pill when digging into the dinner plate .

#8 Hydrate.

Make sure to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Not drinking enough could spark hunger pangs, which may actually be thirst.

#9 Go easy on the appetizers.

Cheese and crackers can happen any day of the year. Save your appetite (and calorie consumption!) as it gets closer to dinnertime.

#10 Focus on Family and Friends.

Thanksgiving is not just about the delicious bounty of food. It’s a time to celebrate relationships with family and friends.  Try a few of these healthier Thanksgiving recipes I love!

Sweet Potato Bread Pecan Bread
1 1/2 cups flour of choice (I use Spelt flour)
½ tsp sea salt
1 to 1.5 tsp baking powder
1 cup stevia for baking
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 TBSP oil (I use coconut)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons milk (use coconut, soy, almond or rice milk to make dairy free)
2 eggs
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 8×4-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.
2. Add oil, milk and eggs; blend well. Stir in sweet potatoes, pecans and raisins until well mixed. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Apple Crisp
Ingredients
Filling:
6 cups diced apples (I like a mix of Granny Smith & Macintosh)
⅓ cup sugar (coconut, maple or palm sugar)
3 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon maple syrup
juice from ½ lemon
Topping:
⅓ cup sugar of choice (I used coconut sugar)
¾ cup quinoa flakes
⅓ cup flour of choice (I used spelt or brown rice flour)
¼ cup coconut oil, room temperature
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Instructions
*Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9×13 dish or large casserole dish with a dab of coconut oil and set aside.
*Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat apples in the mixture. Make sure everything is well mixed before dropping into the prepared casserole dish.
*Place topping ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
*Sprinkle topping over apples.
*Place in preheated oven for a total of 50 minutes, covering with a loose fitting glass lid or sheet of aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent the top from burning.
*Once complete, allow to sit with lid off for 20 minutes or so. Then top with a small scoop (remember, moderation!) of healthy low sugar ice cream or topping of choice!

 
Healthier Green Bean Casserole
Ingredients
2 (16-ounce) bags frozen green beans, thawed
1 (10-ounce) can low-fat cream of mushroom soup
3/4 c skim milk
1 tsp black pepper
1 c canned fried onions

If desired, stir in 2 cups sautéed mushrooms.

Directions
Mix soup, milk, and pepper in a large bowl, then stir in the thawed green beans. Transfer to a greased casserole dish.
Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 30 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and top with the onions. Bake another five minutes to crisp the onions.

Makes 10 servings (heaping 1/2 cup)

Enjoy & have a healthy & happy holiday season!!!

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Super-foods for Weight Loss!

real food

These multitasking “super foods” provide multiple disease-fighting nutrients, fill you up so you can enjoy plenty of food without excess calories, and are easy to include in everyday meals.

Black beans

A cup of black beans packs a whopping 15 grams of satisfying protein and doesn’t contain any of the saturated fat found in other protein sources, like red meat.

Oats

Oats are rich in fiber, so a serving can help you feel full throughout the day. Just a half cup of this healthy carb that boosts metabolism and burns fat.

Avocados

There’s no reason to be afraid of eating fats, as long as they’re the right fats. Oleic acid, a compound in avocados’ healthy monounsaturated fats may trigger your body to curve its hunger. Keep your serving to a quarter or a half of an avocado. This creamy fruit is also packed with fiber and protein.

Salmon

Lean sources of protein help you feel full without adding fat. However, 50% of women ages 18 to 50 don’t get enough of this essential nutrient. Up your intake with salmon; it’s a leaner choice than red meat and is chock-full of omegas.

Blueberries

Best known for their anti-aging effects, blueberries, also are full of filling fiber and low in calories: A 1-cup serving has only 80 calories, and 4 grams of fiber.

Broccoli

Cooked or raw, this veggie is well-known for its cancer-preventing powers. With lots of filling fiber in less than 30 calories a serving, it’s a super-food to prevent weight problems too.

Brown rice

Brown rice is a heartier, fiber-packed alternative to less-than-super white rice. It is also a low-energy-density food, meaning it’s heavy and filling but low in calories.

Pears

Just one pear packs 15% of your daily recommended amount of fiber. One study found that women who ate three pears a day consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than those who didn’t. Eat the skin though; the skin is where all that filling fiber is hiding!

Wine

Resveratrol, the antioxidant found in grape skin, stops fat storage. Studies show that moderate wine drinkers have narrower waists and less belly fat than liquor drinkers. Drinking a glass can boost your calorie burn for a good 90 minutes.

Grapefruit

A compound in this fruit can lower insulin, a fat-storage hormone, and that can lead to weight loss. It’s also a good source of protein, and because it’s at least 90% water, it can fill you up so you eat less.  Sprinkle a bit of stevia on it if you don’t like the sourness.

Almonds

Nuts are another super-food rich in healthy fats that help you lose weight. Swap almonds for a carb-heavy snack like crackers.

Green tea

Like water, green tea can help fill you up and loose a few pounds. Plus, the antioxidants in green tea will up your fat burn and calorie burn. One study found that five cups a day could help you lose twice as much weight, most of it around your middle.

Dark chocolate

A bit of dark chocolate here and there can slow down digestion so you feel full longer and eat less at your next meal. Dark chocolate is full of the healthy fats we need; studies show eating a diet high in these healthy fats can rev your metabolism to burn fat and calories. It may also help by curbing cravings for salt, sweet, or fatty foods.

Eggs

This breakfast staple is loaded with protein that will curb your appetite.

Try this recipe: Scrambled egg burritos

Makes two burritos

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic butter or coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese or vegan cheese if dairy free is needed, divided
  • 2 (8-inch) tortillas (preferably whole wheat such as Ezekiel or Brown Rice), heated
  • 4 tablespoons chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons salsa

Preparation

  1. Whisk the first 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium bowl.
  2. Coat a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and melt butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Add the egg mixture, and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula to scramble.
  3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese down the center of one tortilla; top with half of the scrambled egg, 2 tablespoons tomato, and 1 tablespoon chunky salsa.
  4. Roll up burrito-style (fold bottom up and sides to center). Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Make this breakfast burrito even healthier by using egg whites instead of whole eggs to cut back on cholesterol and saturated fat. Use fat-free milk and fat-free cheese to cut out even more fat.

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