Top Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Starting TODAY!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Dec 28, 2012 11:35:00 AM

GRRRRRRR...

Why is it that some people can eat whatever they want, exercise as little as they want, and still stay slim and trim when some just look at a piece of food and goes right to the hips, tummy, thighs, or rear end? The answer, as frustrating as it may be, is that they probably have a faster metabolism. Good news though...by making simple food and exercise choices it is possible to boost and even repair a sluggish metabolism. We have put together our top five tips to help get that little calorie-burning furnace of yours humming along without a hitch!

1. Don't skip breakfast, make sure it contains protein.

Want a sure-fire way to increase your metabolism? Eat breakfast!  In addition to reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes, studies found that those who start the day off right may increase their metabolism by as much as 10%! What should you nosh on to be most effective? Make sure it’s a healthy morning with whole-grain cereal and fruit, whole-wheat toast and peanut butter or fat-free yogurt, and a handful of granola.

what happens when you skip breakfast


2. Build Muscle

Yup, it's a fact...as we age we tend to lose muscle, gain fat and our metabolism slows down as a result. One of the best methods for combatting these unfortunate effects of father time is with regular strength or resistance training. Resistance training stimulates muscles to become stronger and healthier, providing your body with beneficial improvements in strength and function. Resistance training also reduces fat mass and increases muscle mass.  Research suggests that resistance training may even increase life expectancy.


3. Eat every 2-4 hours to keep blood sugar stable

Depriving your body of fuel is a surefire way to slow it down. Food stimulates energy metabolism needed for digestion in a process called “dietary-induced 

how to stabilize blood sugar

thermogenesis.” When you slash calories, the calories burned by eating are greatly diminished and so is your metabolic rate.

Restricting calories also signals the body that there is no food available, so it tries to conserve stores of carbohydrates and fat by slowing down its metabolism. The best way to boost your metabolism is to eat regular meals with snacks when necessary to give your body a constant supply of healthy fuel.


4. Cut refined carbs from your diet

If you are trying to rev up the old metabolic rate it is a good idea to avoid or strictly limit refined, processed carbohydrates (apart from an occasional treat). Refined carbohydrates are a major cause of weight gain, obesity, insulin resistance, and many diet-related diseases. Replace those foods with "fat-burning" foods to speed up your metabolism.

What is a refined carb?

5. Fill up on lots of veggies and clean sources of protein, like chicken or fish.

Vegetables that are high in fiber and of the non-starchy variety such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, endives, celery, tomatoes, and peppers are the best metabolism boosters. What's their secret? They have the most fat-burning properties and also have minimal impact on your insulin levels. Foods that burn fat and calories help in regulating and boosting your metabolism. 

Lean proteins such as skinless chicken breasts can also increase your metabolic rate. The digestion of protein stimulates cellular activity leading to the burning of the excess fats. Best sources? In addition to skinless chicken, try turkey breast, egg whites, fish, and seafood.

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Become a Lean, Mean Calorie Burning Machine!

As you can see there are many things that you can do each and every day to combat a sluggish metabolism and give your weight loss and fitness efforts just the boost it may be needing. From what you are putting into your mouth to what type of exercise you are doing, the lesson here is that IT ALL MATTERS! Whether you take on all five at one time or just work on doing better and better one at a time, you can't go wrong with these five ways to boost your metabolism. A leaner stronger you is just waiting inside of you and it's time to let her out!

 

Tired of not getting the desired results from your current eating/exercise plan, confused about what to eat, want to take your body to the next level, or just want to live more healthfully, prevent disease, live longer, stronger years, and age beautifully? Have we got the solution for you! If you are living in the local Chantilly area, you are invited to a FREE, can't miss seminar to help you learn how to properly fuel your body, fire up your metabolism, and get the most from your exercise program!

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Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, healthy eating for women, fat burning

4 Shockingly Unhealthy Seasonal Hot Beverages

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 30, 2012 11:24:00 AM

BRRRRRRRRRR...

As the days turn colder and winter is at its official start, the urge to warm our bodies with something rich, creamy and comforting can be strong....it's sometimes not always the best choice in the world in terms of our waistlines. 

“With flavored drinks, the problem is the sugar,” explains Marissa Lippert, RD, author of The Cheater’s Diet. “At four to five pumps of syrup per drink, you can rack up anywhere from 150 to 300 extra liquid calories.” So before you unknowingly knock back a meal’s worth of calories, check out these 4 Unhealthy Seasonal Hot Beverages from Prevention Magazine, plus slimmed-down versions you can sip guilt-free.

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Unhealthy Hot Chocolate: Starbucks White Hot Chocolate

You’re probably not expecting a light treat when you order hot chocolate anyway, but this frothy concoction is heavier than it appears. Order a whipped cream–topped grande made with 2% milk, and you’re guzzling your way to 490 calories and 65% of your saturated fat for the day, as well as more sugar than two Snickers candy bars.

Try this instead: Starbucks Hot Chocolate. Downsize to an 8-ounce serving, ask for skim milk and no whipped cream, and indulge in a chocolate treat that comes in under 200 calories. It will stomp out your chocolate craving for less than half the calories.

Unhealthy Seasonal Drink: Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Coffee With Cream

Yes, it tastes like fall, but in this case, you’re better off eating a slice of pumpkin pie than sipping this seemingly harmless coffee. Not only does a large pumpkin coffee with cream contain a whopping 330 calories, but the pumpkin syrup in the season hot beverage also contains a toothache-causing combination of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and brown sugar.

Try this instead: Small Dunkin’ Donuts Cinnamon Coffee. “Flavored coffees are great for saving calories,” says Lippert. For only 15 calories, you get spice-filled flavor guilt-free. Add a teaspoon of sugar, and you’re still right around 30 calories.

 

Unhealthy Caramel Drink: Au Bon Pain Caramel Macchiato

Macchiatos by themselves are a light blend of espresso and steamed milk. However, with the addition of a few caramel “dots,” this drink morphs into a full-blown dessert. A medium 16-ounce drink contains 430 calories and more sugar than three of Au Bon Pain’s white chocolate chunk macadamia nut cookies.

Try this instead: Au Bon Pain Medium Nonfat Latte With Whipped Cream. Even with the extra 20 calories from the whipped cream, this seasonal hot beverage is still less guilt-inducing than the macchiato.

 

Unhealthy Latte: McDonald's Nonfat Hazelnut Latte

We’ve already recommended choosing nonfat lattes over other coffee drinks, and with good reason—they’re typically right around 100 calories and contain 30% of your daily calcium. Unfortunately, this “light” latte from McDonald’s doesn’t meet the criteria. A medium nonfat hazelnut latte has a cringe-worthy 220 calories and 55 g of sugar. 

Try this instead: McDonald’s Small Cappuccino. “Cappuccinos contain less milk, so you can splurge on full-fat milk,” says Lippert. This creamy drink is just 120 calories, but it’s rich enough to taste like a treat.

 

It's Not Necessarily All Bad

Research has found that certain hot beverages including coffee may not always be detrimental to your health. It is important to remember that not everything you heard about the positive effects is true. 

Download your copy of "Coffee & Health: Fact or Fiction" from the good folks at The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee.

 

 
 
Nutrition Information From: Prevention Magazine, December 2011

 

 

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Topics: nutrition advice for women, healthy eating for women

The 5 WORST Fitness Habits on the Planet!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 13, 2012 10:39:00 AM

bad fitness habits

Taking the time to examine the way you exercise can offer various differences in being safe and keeping the body well balanced along with better results. Here are five of the worst fitness habits you need to know about in order to make sure that you are maximizing your workout and preventing injury.

1.  Holding Your Breath During an Exercise – Breathing steadily in a regular manner has a lot of advantages. For example, inhaling and exhaling properly can help you exert more energy while doing some moves. It can also aid in the balanced production of lactic acid which is necessary for muscle build-up. With proper breathing, you can have a stable heart rate. The maximum oxygen level to the blood can be well-delivered with a full breath. This, in turn, will bring enough energy to muscles on the move.
 
2.  Sticking With the Same Exercises – Challenge is something that your muscles need to produce better results. Your muscles will simply adjust when sticking to the same workout routine and progression will be difficult to achieve.  Simply change up your exercises every week or two by increasing weight, adding sets and repetitions, as well as adding new exercises like Zumba, yoga, etc.  This will not only prevent injury and produce better results but will prevent boredom as well.
 
3. Fueling the Body – Properly fueling the body before and after your workout is essential for maximum results and recovery. The body needs glucose for fuel so if you are a morning exerciser, make sure you eat one hour before you exercise to give your body the energy it requires.  If your blood sugar is low, your body ends up stealing it from your muscles. Consuming a mixture of protein and carbohydrates will be optimal for exercise performance.

Drinking a protein shake with fruit is ideal. 
A post-workout meal is important for refueling the muscles.  Your muscles break down during exercise and giving your body proper nutrition after your workout is highly beneficial for muscle recovery and growth.  Try drinking a protein shake with fruit or making sure you consume both protein and carbohydrates within an hour after exercising.

4.  Bad Form – Safety is essential during your workout and the best way for you to be safe is to maintain the correct form. If you do not put serious consideration on proper movement and form then you are no longer attaining the best benefits that exercise can offer. Plus, with bad form, you are adding much risk of injury. Remember, slow and controlled is best when using weights.
 
5.  Slacking off on Stretching -  After a hard workout, the last thing most people want to do is stay and stretch.  However, flexibility is very important as we age in preventing injury and maintaining health for your body.  The next time you work out simply plan ahead and allow time for stretching all major muscles including hamstrings and lower back.

So how are YOU Doing?

Do not despair if you found that you were guilty of one (or maybe even more than one) of these bad fitness habits. The key here is to make changes so that you CAN get the results that you want. Instituting the help of a personal trainer and/or a nutritionist can be a tremendous help in answering the "what am I doing wrong" question many of us have when it comes down to our exercise program. So don't be afraid...go ahead and ask for help. we would love to hear the questions that you have! Drop us a note in the comment section or just click the button below and we will get to as many questions as we can.

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Topics: women's health, exercises for women, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, fitness for women, Strength training for women

How You Can Fight Food Cravings...and WIN!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 21, 2012 3:13:00 PM

What's Your Vice?

fight food cravings

Maybe it's the smooth, melt-in-your-mouth taste that comes from chocolate, perhaps it's the salty crunch from a crisp potato chip, could be sweet sugary confection that you crave -- all you know is that you really REALLY want it BAD! The question becomes do you give in or fight it? Do you truly want whatever the objection of your taste bud's affection or is your mind tricking you into believing if you don't give in to indulging "just a little bit," the craving will become so bad that the "little bit" will turn into a pig out fest of epic proportions! 

 

If you have ever wondered why you crave certain foods at certain times, there has been a recent surge of research on the subject of the how's, and why's of food cravings as well as what to do about them.

According to a recent blog post on WSJ.com, research has found the following:

  • Food cravings activate the same reward circuits in the brain as cravings for drugs or alcohol, according to functional MRI scans, tests that measure brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow.
  • Nearly everyone has food cravings occasionally, but women report having them more often than men, and younger people crave sweets more than older people do.
  • In one study, 85% of men said they found giving in to food craving satisfying; of women, only 57% said they did.
  • While many women report craving salt, fat or bizarre combinations of food during pregnancy, researchers can't find much scientific validation. They suspect folklore and the power of suggestion instead.

Why? Why? Why?

For a long time, it has been the belief of researchers that what we crave has something to do with the body's efforts to correct a dietary deficiency of some sort. For example, those who salivate over the thoughts of a big juicy steak might be low or missing iron in their diet. chocolate lovers might be missing magnesium or the mood-boosting chemical phenylethylamine, a chemical humans produce naturally when they are in love.

Health Journal writer, Melinda Beck, says no way, "...a growing body of research casts doubt on the nutritional-deficiency notion. After all, few people crave vitamin-rich green leafy vegetables and many other foods contain more phenylalanine than chocolate—including salami and cheddar cheese."

Current research has revealed the following as the most likely reasons why we experience food cravings:

Learned behaviors and experiences -  As a child, you may have been consistently rewarded with a sweet treat when you had a bad day. The learned behavior of having something sweet to lift your spirits became a habit that is very hard to break.

Hormonal fluctuations - Certain hormones in your body help control appetite. Ghrelin is the hormone you produce that drives you to eat, while leptin is the hormone that signals satiety. Normally, these hormones act as a checks and balances system to keep your appetite in check. However, under certain physiological conditions, such as sleep deprivation, this system is thrown off because the hormones are not produced in proper proportion to one another. Estrogen, cortisol, and serotonin can also play a role in food craving frenzies, and whether due to stress, sleep deprivation, or the normal hormonal fluctuations of a woman’s menstrual cycle, these hormones can drive you to seek out nutrient-dense, fatty, sugary foods.

Environmental factors and sensory stimulation - Studies have found that the sight, smell, taste, or even just the thought of favorite foods can lead to intense cravings. Experiences, like seeing food advertisements on TV or passing a bakery and smelling the aroma of fresh-baked bread, can also initiate food cravings. Certain social settings, like a party or environmental factors, such as dim lighting in a restaurant, can fuel our drive to indulge.

Because It Makes Us Feel Good- In the U.S., about 50% of women who crave chocolate say their cravings peak around the onset of their monthly period. But researchers haven't found any correlation between food cravings and hormone levels, and postmenopausal women don't report a big drop in chocolate cravings, a 2009 survey found. Some psychologists suspect that women may be "self-medicating," because sweets and carbohydrates spur the release of serotonin and other feel-good brain chemicals.

How the Heck Do I Fight Food Cravings and Win?

how to fight food cravings

 

 

  1. Stay well hydrated - Very often when you feel “hungry” it’s your body's way of telling you to drink more. Water also acts as a natural appetite suppressant because it keeps your stomach full, and this is why it’s our number one way to fight food cravings!
  2. Wait a few minutes - Have you ever noticed that cravings don’t last long? If you give them a few minutes you may just find you actually don’t need anything after all. Try doing something else to take your mind off the craving for 15 minutes, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or walking the dog, etc.
  3. Avoid your trigger foods - Marcia Pelchat, of the Monell Center, reasons that you can only crave what you eat so if you switch up what you are eating you can lessen your current food cravings and even build new ones for healthier options. In her study, volunteers were asked to drink a bland dietary-supplement drink for five days. Participants noticed that during this time they craved fewer of their trigger foods. So, if you’re trying to avoid your food triggers, remember that the first few days are always going to be the most difficult. Again, it may not be possible to completely eliminate your old cravings, but if you can avoid your trigger foods for a while you may notice you begin to crave them less. 
  4. Choose a healthy snack instead - Sometimes ignoring your cravings or drinking water simply won’t cut it! On these occasions make a healthier choice instead. I’d suggest drinking a big glass of water and eating around 1 1/2 ounces of mixed unsalted nuts and seeds to help satisfy those cravings.
  5. Indulge once in a while - Allowing yourself a treat on occasion can be a really helpful strategy for most people in fighting food cravings. The thing to remember is portion control. So, if you feel like eating chocolate, have a few small squares and go for a high cocoa version – as a general rule of thumb, aim for 70 percent (or higher) cocoa for the most disease-fighting antioxidants. (Source: DietBlog.com)

All is NOT Lost, Friends

As women, we can sometimes feel incredibly guilty when we are not able to fight off food cravings. We are quick to resign ourselves to despair and then figure, "I have already started so I might as well finish" and that is how a scoop of ice cream swiftly can become us staring at a spoon in the bottom of an empty carton. While it's never easy to fend them off altogether, you will find over time when you employ some of our suggestions to keep those cravings at bay, the actual craving will diminish on its own over time. Remember folks...slow and steady wins the race!

Tell Us

How do fight food cravings? Drop your favorite suggestion in our comments section. We'd love to hear from ya!

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, fat burning, nutrition

Fish Oil Pills Not Heart Healthy? What?!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 12, 2012 11:14:00 AM

Is Fish Oil the New Snake Oil?

For years we have been told that as far as heart health, nothing could be better for you than taking a few fish oil pills as part of a healthy daily diet. Now a shocking study conducted by the American Medical Association has revealed that fish oil pills do not reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes in spite of the fact that they have long been used as such and sometimes even prescribed by doctors as a preventative. This edition of Nutrition Advice for Women takes a look at the recent findings about fish oil supplements and examines some alternatives to popping a pill.

fish oil pills

 

Say It Ain't So...

The existing theory behind the use of fish oil pills in the diet was that they "help make the blood less ‘sticky’ and lower blood pressure by relaxing vessels, thus making heart attacks and strokes less likely." (huffingtonpost.com)  To be more specific, the findings came from over 20 studies that included more than 70,000 patients and found that taking the Omega-3 fatty acids found in these pills boasted no "significant effect on rates of heart attacks, strokes and heart-related deaths." (dailymail.com)

Study author Dr. Evangelos Rizos, of the University Hospital of Ioannina in Greece, said: “Our findings do not justify the use of omega-3 as a structured intervention in everyday clinical practice or guidelines supporting dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid administration.” The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Fish oil supplements are hugely popular as dietary supplements among Americans. Though it is hard to pin down an exact figure for sales of such products, an article in Forbes magazine noted that, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, over-the-counter fish oil supplements accounted for $739 million in sales in 2009. Meanwhile, in 2010 Americans spent nearly $4 billion on products fortified with extra omega-3s, according to the market research firm Packaged Facts.

Not Everyone Agrees

Many who have been convinced that the key to a healthy heart and longevity lies party in a bottle of the amber-colored pill find themselves very disappointed by these findings, but not everyone in the medical field agrees with them. Conflicting information abounds, for example, a study published two years ago found one gram a day supplement could help extend the lives of those with heart failure, and patients who have had heart attacks are already advised to take a pill daily. 

The relevance of the current study has been questioned by some. Dr. Carrie Ruxton, from the Health Supplements Information Service, said: “Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their heart health benefits with a significant body of evidence.”

According to an article on abcnews.com, "Patients and doctors like the idea that it is natural and has no real side effects," said Dr. Howard Weintraub, clinical director of New York University Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. And some doctors say the findings of the new study are no reason to cut bait on fish oil pills.

"Meta-analysis (like the type used in this study), particularly when neutral, should not be used to draw a conclusion," said Melvyn Rubenfire of the University of Michigan.

So What SHOULD You Do Instead...Go Fish!

alternative to fish oil pills salmon

 

Many experts say the best way to get fish oil is just to eat fish. The American Heart Association (AMA) currently recommends that people get their dose of omega-3 fatty acids from eating two servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, per week. For the fish-averse, a slightly different kind of omega-3 fatty acid can be found in flaxseed, walnuts soybeans, and canola oils. In addition, many cardiologists, and nutrition experts agree that regardless of its nature, no supplement is a "magic bullet" and they should never be used as a substitute for a healthy diet pattern. 

 

Still Confused?

As the debate on to fish or not to fish rages no, you may still be a little confused as to what types of fish are best to add to your diet and in what amounts in order to get the questions about fish oil supplement studyvital omega-3 fatty acids that we all need. The AMA has published Fish 101 which is a handy guide to more specific consumption recommendations. In addition, you should consult your doctor before starting or stopping any supplement regimen. 


You can also drop us a note in the comments section below or submit your question privately and we would be more than happy to forward it on to our team of experts!

 

 

 

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, healthy eating for women, nutrition

Buying Organic is Good for You...Except When It's Not

Posted by Angie Quehl on Aug 16, 2012 11:40:00 AM

Shopping Organic Doesn't Always Mean Healthy

Increasing numbers of us are waking up to the benefits of eating in more healthy ways and looking for food products that are made with our health – and the planet’s health - in mind. Organic food stores are flourishing, as the go-to places for healthy nutrition.

organic market


If you’ve recently decided to boost your own health by eating better, it’s likely you’ve made a few exploratory trips to the local natural foods stores. You may even have purchased a few items and perhaps you were amazed at how delicious they were. Sure, it’s ‘health food,’ but those crackers were outstanding; that ice cream was to die for. You may assume that anything you purchase at the health food store is ok to consume and free of health risks. Turns out that it’s a bit more complicated than that. Since people adhere to all different kinds of diets, even health food stores offer a huge variety of products, not all of them suited to a style of consumption that’s dedicated to strictly healthy practices.


If you are serious about your nutrition for fitness, you’ll need to carefully examine all food labels, even those from trusted health food resources. Here’s why:

1.   Gluten-free foods have become the recent craze and a smart one to say the least, however, when purchasing gluten-free one must watch the sugar content. Sugar is organic, but it is never healthy in anything other than very small amounts. On average, Americans consume 30 teaspoons, (that’s 475 calories) of added sugars on a daily basis, which is more than three times what’s recommended by the American Heart Association. And according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, 16 percent of kids' and adolescents’ total daily calories come from added sugars! So, keep an eye out on sugar content in the gluten-free department.  These tend to be misconstrued as “healthy” and even though one may give up gluten, they may end up adding just a bit too much sugar in the diet.

2.   Vegetarian “faux-meats” and frozen entrees may be made from nutritious ingredients, but how much fat and how many calories do they pack in? Also, be aware of your consumption of processed soy since that is essentially what you are eating. You might want to check those numbers before indulging in extra helpings. Organic or not, such products should be consumed with restraint.

20 Frozen Entrees - Nutritional Break Down

3.   Organic soups are another health food product to watch out for. While these are generally better than traditional, non-organic canned soup, they can still contain more than half your recommended daily allowance of sodium. It’s recommended to look for soups with less than 400 mg per serving (and to watch out because many cans actually have two servings). You can always spice up your soup with herbs to make more flavor. 

Favorite Soups of the Experts

Eating organic foods is generally good for people and for the environment. But in the midst of the craze to establish a better diet, take the time to make sure you really are buying the excellent nutrition you are looking for.

Still Confused?

We completely understand! Navigating your way through all things "organic" can be a daunting task. Sorting through nutrition advice for women, in general, gets even tougher when there are conflicting reports on everything from soup to nuts. We would love to help you with those burning questions! Drop us a line in the comment box or click the button below and fire away!

 

Ask Fitness Questions Here
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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, healthy eating for women, nutrition

10 Easy Secrets to FIGHT the FAT

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jul 19, 2012 12:03:00 PM

It's the Little Things

Have you hit a plateau in your weight loss program? Are the pounds slower to come off these days? Are your muscles sore? Do you feel like blowing off your workout and diving into stuffed crust pizza with pepperoni? All that’s normal. Try these 10 smart ways to turbocharge your weight-loss efforts. When it comes to cooking and eating, tiny tweaks can add up to more pounds lost and another notch on your belt.

Master Your Midday Meal

1. Know Your Deli Meats
Which deli meats are healthiestSandwiches are the architecture of the common lunch-eater, but you need to start with a solid foundation. The hierarchy of health, in descending order:

  • Turkey and chicken
  • Roast beef
  • Ham
  • Weird processed things like salami and olive loaf

2. Turn Your Sandwiches Green
Replace mayo with a spread of ripe avocado to moisten a dry sandwich. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated (good) fat to help lower your cholesterol. Plus, researchers at Ohio State University found that phytochemicals in avocados may help prevent mouth cancer.


3. Be Slick with Your Oil
"Avoid splashing 'light' olive oils over your salads," says Elena Paravantes, registered dietitian for the Hellenic Dietetic Association in Greece—light varieties have fewer cancer-fighting antioxidants than the extra-virgin kind, plus they have a less intense flavor. Not sure if your oil's up to snuff? "Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil should have a fruity, peppery, slightly bitter taste and leave a faint burning sensation on the throat," she says
Hone a Restaurant Strategy


water to reduce food cravings4. Start Your Meal with an H20 Appetizer
Drink two glasses of water before every meal. This will keep you hydrated and make you feel less hungry, possibly reducing your food intake and aiding weight loss.


5. Always Say "Iced Tea"
Get into a healthy habit. When the waitress asks what you want to drink, always say "iced tea—unsweetened." You'll cut calories and earn a dose of antioxidants, which are crucial to your body's defense against heart disease, cancer, even wrinkles. A U.S. Department of Agriculture study found that a serving of black tea had more flavonoids than a serving of broccoli or carrots.


6. Go Halfsies
Here's a simple rule for buffet eating at a party that'll help you keep your meal balanced for weight loss: Fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruit. Fill the rest of your plate with equal amounts of whole grains and other high-fiber carbs, and lean protein.

Give in to Chocolate Cravings

7. You don't have to deprive yourself of the sweet stuff.
woman-mouth-teeth-sweets-37831Shave dark chocolate into savory dishes like chili and barbecue sauce--you'll add a rich flavor along with flavonoids. They can lower your risk of heart disease and keep your cholesterol in check. And shaving ensures you don't overboard on the dark.

Cook Smart

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8. Create the best steam for your broccoli
For perfectly cooked and nutrient-rich vegetables, rinse, throw them in a sealed container, and microwave for 3 or 4 minutes. Boiling, blanching, or over steaming zaps vegetables of their nutrients—the only water you need is the drops that cling after rinsing.


9. Rinse Your Beans
Canned beans—kidney, cannellini, chickpeas—are a quick and easy way to add protein and fiber to your meals. But they can also spike your daily sodium intake, increasing your risk of stomach cancer and high blood pressure. Simply rinsing them, however, will shed one-third of their sodium.


10. Swap Red Meat for Lentils
To make a low-fat, antioxidant-packed lasagna, use half the usual amount of ground meat and make up the difference with red lentils. They're still protein-packed, but lentils are fat-free and high in fiber, making them more filling, too. And since red lentils have a neutral taste, they'll simply soak up the flavors in your sauce. You won't even notice them. Promise.

Source: Excerpt from The Belly Off Diet via Women's Health Magazine
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Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, healthy eating for women, weight loss for women

12 Healthy Meals in 12 Minutes or Less

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jul 2, 2012 7:20:00 PM

Yup...You Read It Right!

It IS possible to make a meal that not only healthy AND tasty but can be put on your plate in 12 minutes or less. This is awesome news as so often even the most well-intentioned woman can find herself with a burger in one hand and a soda in the other just because it is fast and convenient. we don't have to tell you that the latter is NOT an example of good nutrition advice for women or anyone else for that matter!

Make these yummy meals for yourself, for your family or for guests. Added bonus...you don't have to be Julia Child to whip 'em up...you just have to have a kitchen and 12 minutes (or less)!

For Breakfast

1.  Breakfast Quickie Cookie
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine ½ cup oats, ¼ cup liquid egg whites, 1 ½ tbsp. brown sugar, 1 ½ tbsp. all-purpose flour, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, ½ tsp. baking powder, 2 tbsp. raisins, and cinnamon to taste. Flatten half the mixture into the bottom of the bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Pop cookie out of the bowl and repeat with the second half of mixture.

2.  Sun-Dried Tomato Omelet
Coat a pan with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Pour in 3 egg whites mixed with 1 tsp. water and salt and pepper (to taste). When eggs begin to set, top half with 

2 tbsp. goat cheese½ cup fresh spinach, and 2 tbsp. chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Fold in half and cook 2 more minutes, or until egg whites are set, veggies are warmed through, and cheese is melted.

kaitlyn-chow-554382-unsplash-933075-edited

3.  Breakfast Taco
In a pan spritzed with cooking spray over medium-high heat, scramble 3 egg whites, a small handful of spinach leaves, and 1 tbsp. drained and rinsed black beans. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap mixture in an 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla and top with 1 tbsp. salsa

4.  Berry Yogurty Smoothie
Blend together ½ cup frozen strawberries½ cup frozen blueberries1 cup plain low-fat yogurt2 tsp. honey, and ¼ cup milk of choice.

 

For Lunch

5.  Taco Salad
For the dressing, combine 2 tbsp. salsa1 tbsp. low-fat Greek yogurt1 tsp. olive oil, and 1 tsp. chili powder. Serve dressing over a salad with 2 cups baby spinach½ thinly sliced celery stalk1 chopped scallion1 tbsp. chopped black olives2 tbsp. corn and ¼ cup drained and rinsed black beans. Optional: Add ½ lightly toasted tortilla cut into strips to each salad. 

6.  Low-Carb Roll-Up
On a plate, layer 1 slice low-sodium deli turkey and 1 slice provolone cheese. Spread the
cheese with 1 tsp. pesto (homemade or store-bought!) and top with 2 slices of avocado. Roll up the turkey and repeat 2 more times. 

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7.  Curried Chicken Salad
Combine 2 tbsp. nonfat plain Greek yogurt and ¼ tbsp. curry powder. Add ½ cup roasted chicken (diced)1/8 cup red onion (diced)¼ cup grapes (halved), and 1 tbsp. cilantro (chopped). Serve atop a large handful of mixed greens

8.  Loaded Sweet Potato
Prick 1 sweet potato with a fork 4 to 5 times. Microwave on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate for 4 to 5 minutes. Split open lengthwise and top with 2 tbsp. nonfat Greek yogurt1 tsp. honey2 tbsp. drained and rinsed black beans, and a pinch of paprika.

 

For Dinner

9.  Portobello Burgers
Preheat a grill or grill pan. Whisk together 1 clove garlic (minced)½ tbsp. balsamic vinegar1 tbsp. olive oil, and ½ tsp. fresh basil (finely chopped). Drizzle half the sauce over 1 Portobello mushroom cap. Grill the mushroom for 3 to 4 minutes per side, covered.

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 Meanwhile, combine the remaining sauce with ½ tbsp. light mayo and spread on 1 whole-wheat bun (lightly toasted). Place the mushroom cap, 1 tomato slice, and 1 lettuce leaf on the bun. 

10.  From-Scratch Fish Sticks
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice 1 6-oz. cod filet into 6 strips. Season with 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar1/8 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. paprika. Bread each by dipping into 1 egg (scrambled) and then ½ cup seasoned whole-wheat breadcrumbs. Place on a foil-lined
baking sheet, spritz fish strips with cooking spray, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until opaque throughout. Serve with a green salad (2 handfuls of spinach or mixed greens with a spritz of oil and vinegar) for a healthy dose of veggies! 

11.  Couscous with Chicken Sausage Ragu
Cook 1 serving couscous according to microwave instructions, about 7 to 10 minutes. While couscous is cooking, heat ½ tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Slice open 1 uncooked chicken sausage to remove the casing and add meat to the pan. Add ¼ cup onion (chopped)and sauté, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon. When the meat is no longer pink (about 4 to 5 minutes), add 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes1 garlic clove (minced)1/8 cup basil leaves (chopped), and salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 2 minutes to warm through and toss with couscous.

12.  Superfood Shrimp Scampi Pasta
Prepare 1 serving angel hair pasta according to package instructions, about 10 minutes (including the time it takes to boil the water). Heat ½ tbsp. olive oil in a frying pan and cook ½ lb. peeled and deveined shrimp seasoned with a pinch of salt for 3 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove shrimp and add 1 tbsp. olives (chopped)1 tbsp. parsley (chopped), and 1 clove garlic (minced). Cook 1 minute and add 1 cup fresh baby spinach½ cup halved cherry tomatoes¼ cup chicken broth, and 1/8 cup white wine. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in shrimp and serve with pasta

 

Even MORE 12-Minute Recipes from the Greatist.com...

 

Share with the Class!

We would love to pass along some of your fast and healthy favorites! Drop your name and a link into the comments section so we all can add some delish new dishes to our repertoire!

 

If you need a little help coming up with some convenient and healthy options and you live in the Chantilly area, we have a brilliant nutritionist on staff as well as our nationally recognized Nutritional Coaching for Women program that can help guide you on your way. Contact Us for more details.

Source: Recipes from www.thegreatist.com
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Topics: nutrition advice for women, healthy eating for women, healthy recipes

Women's Wellness: Avoid Vacation Weight Gain This Year!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 21, 2012 11:00:00 AM

Don't Pack on The Pounds this Year!

vacation needed alba dawn resized 600Courtesy of Alba Dawn

 

As summer arrives, you're probably really looking forward to your vacation, taking a break and enjoying some great sights, not to mention great food. Unfortunately, if you're like the average person, you may came back with more baggage than you bargained for, literally. "You can easily pack in over 4,000 calories a day on vacation without even realizing it," says Jen Andrus, R.D., a nutritionist in New York City. "That translates into five pounds of weight gain for a one-week trip.” Follow these five simple steps to ensure you come home from your trip with no regrets and no extra pounds.

Control Your Splurging:  A trip to France wouldn’t be complete without the buttery croissants and rich cheeses and Italy wouldn’t be half the fun without the hearty pasta dishes followed by the famous gelato. If you plan properly and commit to “tasting” not splurging on one guilty pleasure per day, you are more likely to choose wisely and still enjoy indulging without the guilt or extra pounds.

Limit the Alcohol:  We all know cocktails by the pool sounds so relaxing, but the problem is they fill you up with calories only. Try 800 calories per drink! Yes, a Pina Colada has 800 calories. So, could you imagine drinking two or three per day? Try limiting your alcohol to one per day or supplement your beverages to 80-calorie spritzers or a 200-calorie Bloody Mary.

Eat Dinner Early: Having a late dinner can really mess with your metabolism, leaving you feeling sluggish the next morning. Although you're probably busy enjoying your destination, make time to have dinner earlier rather than later. You should be awake and moving for at least two to three hours between dinner and bedtime for best results.

Watch Portion Sizes: Restaurant meals often give you much more food than you would usually eat in one sitting. Therefore, pay special attention to portion sizes. You can even request a to-go box right when your food arrives and take half of it off your plate right away. Another idea to cut calories and fat is to split an entree with someone else.

Exercise Every Day: Although getting some R and R by the pool and maybe diving into aavoid vacation weight gain great book may be exactly what you’ve been yearning for, try not to be too sedentary. Definitely enjoy those moments, however, make sure to spend at least 30 minutes being active every day, whether you're swimming, working out in the hotel's exercise center, or just running up and down the stairs rather than taking the elevator. You can also get exercise by exploring your destination on foot as much as possible.

Your vacation doesn't have to undo all the hard work you have put into improving or maintaining your health and wellness. With a little bit of focus and attention on these five steps, you can avoid putting on weight while enjoying a vacation and it will be easier for you to transition back into your routine when you get home.

 

Bon Voyage!

We'd love it if you would share in our comments section below your ideas on how to keep slim and trim on your vaca this year! Tell us where you're heading and what kinds of fun activities you have planned to help keep the motor runnin'! And remember, if you come back having done just a tad more indulging than you wanted, we've got the best personal trainers and women's wellness experts around to give you nutrition advice and more the can help you get back on track!

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, healthy eating for women, fitness tips

6 Gross Things Found in Your Food: Nutrition Advice for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 18, 2012 4:00:00 PM

Nasty Things in Everyday Food

When pink slime oozed into public consciousness, we all scrunched our noses. What was this mystery substance—a food additive made of beef trimmings that are heated, compressed into blocks, and then exposed to bacteria-killing ammonia—hiding in processed meat? It also got us thinking about what other shocking ingredients go undercover in our grub. In the edition of Nutrition Advice for Women, we take look at what Prevention Magazine's research revealed including some surprising secrets that rival—and possibly even beat—pink slime.

1. Prozac In Your Poultry pexels-photo-286580

Bad news for those of you who swear by the curative powers of chicken noodle soup: the chicken may be sicker than you are. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University tested bird feathers and found a laundry list of feed additives, including banned antibiotics, antidepressants, allergy medications, arsenic, the active ingredient in Benadryl, caffeine, and other prescription and over-the-counter drugs.


How to avoid it: If you’re looking to plate a less-medicated piece of poultry, go organic instead. Organic regulations forbid the routine use of antibiotics (and all of those other drugs mentioned above) in chicken feed.

Photo by Achim Bongard from Pexels

2. Sheep Oil In Your Gum

Not to burst your bubble, but there might be something rather unsavory in your chewing gum. It’s called lanolin, a term for the oil sheep produce in their wool. These greasy secretions are used as softeners in foods and masked with the vague food label “gum base.” Lanolin is also used as an emollient in beauty products, from skin and hair care to cosmetics.
How to avoid it: Luckily, there are vegan versions of all of these products. If you’re concerned about eating lanolin, go for those, instead.

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3. Wood Pulp In Your Cereal

Wood pulp brings a “plant-based diet” to a whole new level. Cellulose is usually made from nontoxic wood pulp or cotton, and the cheap filler is stuffed into shredded cheese, salad dressing, and ice cream to thicken it without adding calories or fat. Cellulose is fibrous, which is why it appears in so many high-fiber “healthy” snacks and breakfast cereals—and it’s even in organic products, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal.
How to avoid it: Checking your food labels is crucial and steer clear of terms like microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), cellulose gel, and cellulose gum, and carboxymethyl cellulose.

4. Cow Enzymes In Your Cheese

Cheese is often the last holdout for vegetarians: a decadent way to indulge without eating meat and a primary source of protein. Unfortunately, some cheese is anything but suitable for a meat-free diet. That’s because a lot of cheese is made with rennet, whichamanda-kerr-226442-unsplash contains an enzyme extracted from the fourth stomach of newborn calves. Rennet is used as a cheese curdler, sometimes in tandem with another enzyme called pepsin, which is extracted from the stomach glands of hogs.
How to avoid it: Fortunately, some companies are using alternatives that result in truly vegetarian cheese. Check food labels, and be wary of ingredients listed merely as “enzymes.”

Photo by Amanda Kerr on Unsplash

5. Duck Feathers In Your Dough

We were as shocked as you will be to learn that duck feathers are often packed into our favorite processed bread in the form of L-cysteine, an agent used as a dough softener. It’s in bagels, cookie dough, bread, pies, and more. While there are other sources of this filler available, a 2007 investigation by the nonprofit Vegetarian Resource Group found that about 80% of L-cysteine was derived from our feathered friend.
How to avoid it: It might not be on ingredient labels, so you’ll have to check with the manufacturer to find out if they use L-cysteine. You can also avoid L-cysteine by eating products that are Kosher or gluten-free, or by baking your own bread.

6. Fish Bladders In Your Beer

Here’s some news that will drain the “happy” out of your happy hour: Widely used in the beer-brewing process is a form of collagen called isinglass, which is made from the swim bladders of fish. Isinglass clumps with the beer’s yeast and sinks to the bottom, allowing for a much clearer brew.
How to avoid it: Because isinglass combines with the dregs of the barrel, it usually can’t be detected in the final product. But if you’re still queasy at the thought, grab a case of vegan beer instead.

pexels-photo-1128975

 Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Check Out Some Other Food Pitfalls to Avoid:

 

 

 

 

Source: Prevention Magazine, 7 Gross Things in Your Food

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Topics: nutrition advice for women, healthy eating for women, nutritional coaching for women

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