7 Food Combos that Triple Weight Loss

 

We all know that some foods are super foods when it comes to weight-loss and nutrition, but did you know that even regular, non “super” foods can boost your weight loss efforts when combined properly with other foods?  If you’re looking to get the most out of your diet, keep reading the list below to see which simple food combinations you can start working into your diet to get all the best benefits you can on the diet-side of your health journey!

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Cucumber, Lemon, and Water

Not only can this combo replace other calorie-rich drinks in your diet, it also helps burn fat!  The lemon juice contains polyphenols that you body can use to burn fat, as well as work as an appetite surpressant.  Get vitamins K and C from the cucumber!  And of course, staying hydrated helps your body work more efficiently!  Try prepping a few bottles of this water each night to take to work each day.  Give it a month, and along with healthy eating habits and exercise, reap the benefits of the fat-burning power of this combo!

 

Almonds, Berries, and Cottage Cheese

The slow-digesting protein in cottage cheese will help you stay full while getting you a full dose of amino acids, and it’s extremely low-fat!  Throw in some berries to get a good serving of antioxidants and almonds for a great dose of healthy fats.  This makes the perfect snack or breakfast!

 

Apple, Spinach, and Ginger

Try making a green shake in the morning with protein and vitamin-packed spinach.  Get a little sweetness and fiber from green apples, and throw in some ginger for an extra fat-burning boost!  This makes a great breakfast option or afternoon snack!

 

Avocado, Quinoa, and Black Beans

Think burrito bowls sans rice, or rice and beans with a twist!  The protein and vitamins you’ll get form the quinoa and black beans make this a great meal for any time of day, but especially after a workout!  And the avocado will help you to feel full, give you a great dose of vitamins, and boost the amount of healthy fats in your diet!

 

Olive Oil, Potatoes, and Pepper

When cooked in a healthy way and eating in moderation, potatoes can help us to lose weight, because they’re packed with potassium that helps us to burn fat!  Bake them in olive oil for the heart-healthy benefits of healthy fats, and add pepper for flavor and to get a dose of that cholesterol-lowering piperine.

 

Apples, Cinnamon, and Peanut Butter

Perfect for a snack or a quick meal in the afternoon, this combo packs everything– vitamins and fiber from the apple, protein and fat from the peanut butter, and cinnamon’s fat-burning attributes!  Easy to make and to always have on hand in the kitchen, this little snack can pack a huge fat-burning punch!

 

Oatmeal, Cinnamon, and Blueberries

Oatmeal might seem plain, but it’s whole grains are heart-healthy and proven to keep us feeling fuller for longer.  Add to that the super-food properties of blueberries and the fat-burning qualities of cinnamon and you’re all set with a healthy breakfast that will keep you full until lunch while tasting great and giving you the necessary dose of vitamins and fat-burning polyphenols!

Which of these combos are you going to try first?

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Top 10 Ways to Be Happier

Everyone wants to be happy, but few people realize that happiness is something that we can cultivate, not something that we just stumble upon!  It’s an action to participate in daily, not a gift that we should expect at our door at any minute.  Still, it can be tricky to navigate the musts of life– the kids, the rent, the work schedule, and beyond– while remembering to mindfully cultivate happiness, so check out my top 10 ways to be happier in the list below!

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Stop comparing.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” wrote Theodore Roosevelt, and he was right on the money.  One of two things inevitably happens when you compare yourself to someone else.  You either judge them negatively to soothe your own opinions or perceptions about yourself, or you judge yourself negatively because your perception or opinion of that other person is higher than the one you have of yourself.  Both of these are toxic, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to stop.

Try to mentally correct yourself every time you go in for a comparison.  Another woman having a happy family doesn’t mean that your family is less happy.  Another co-worker getting a raise doesn’t mean that you aren’t appreciated.  Your neighbor being gorgeous doesn’t make you less beautiful.  When you stop the constant comparison, you offer grace to other people and to yourself to just be human.  We all have good and bad days, and we all have good and bad traits.  Not everything is visible on the surface, so stopping this unhealthy behavior is one of the biggest steps towards being able to celebrate with others the joys in their life while still caring for your own!

 

Connect with others.

It sounds so simple, but it’s true– humans are social animals, and we need some socializing besides just our family or co-workers to really live a full life.  Whether it’s a running group, a book club, a volunteer organization, or a choir, get out there and find something that interests you, and then find where you can meet others interested in the same thing.  Chances are you’ll make lifelong friends, and even if you don’t, you’ll get the double benefits of regularly pursuing an activity that serves no other purpose than making you happy, and you’ll get to do it with people that you have something in common with!

 

Eat clean.

Clean eating can have a dramatic effect on our moods (not to mention our bodies and health stats!), so consider dropping processed foods.  You don’t have to dive in head first, either– it’s a big change!  Try adding more organic fruits and veggies to your diet and slowly cutting out foods that come in boxes or bags.  You’re bound to start feeling better, you’ll probably lose a bit of weight, and you’ll definitely find a new recipe (or four) that you love!  Taking care of our bodies and minds means literally caring about what we put into our bodies, so consider this an important first step on your journey to cultivate happiness.

 

Keep learning.

Sounds philosophical, but it’s true that we should never stop learning.  You might be done with formal education (or maybe you’re ready to chase that degree), but there are so many other things out there to learn.  You could learn how to embroider, how to speak Spanish, how to bake vegan cakes, or how to blog!  There is a wealth of information available to us for (mostly) free on the internet, and there are plenty of ways to turn your learning adventure into a new hobby or excuse for social meetups!  Keeping your brain active will help you to feel happy, and the good feeling that comes with mastering new skills is addictive!

 

Set goals.

Just because you’re making it alright in life doesn’t mean there isn’t more you could achieve.  Setting goals helps give us something to measure progress with, and it also helps us break big things we want into smaller and more manageable steps.  Whether your goal is to save up enough money for a trip to Greece or learn a new language or lose 20 pounds or change careers, there are so many mental health benefits to setting out a blueprint to achieving something you want, and then using it to move through the necessary steps toward success.  Whether it’s grafting plants into a beautiful technicolor garden, mastering the culinary art of sushi, or going back to school, there’s always something great out there to be achieved, and you deserve to be chasing it!

 

Use your body.

Exercise has great benefits for both your physical and your mental health!  If you hate the gym, though, don’t write off exercise altogether.  Keep trying until you find a physical activity you really enjoy.  It could be swimming, hiking, weightlifting, kickboxing, yoga, ballroom dancing, fencing– the list is infinite, really.  The point is that you should be using your body to move through the world in a purposeful way that makes you happy and keeps you healthy.  Punishing yourself with workouts is a no-go.  Find an exercise that you truly enjoy, and then reap the benefits of working out without it feeling like a chore!  You’ll sleep better, your body will be healthier, and your mind will regulate your endorphin production– all a winning combination to cultivate happiness!

 

Help other people.

No matter who you are, you’ve got something to contribute to this world.  Start small, in your community– even if you don’t have money to donate to organizations, you probably have a skill that could do some good for someone.  You could teach English to recent immigrants, run donation drives for food or clothes, or help high schoolers with their university applications or resumés.  There are so many ways to help others– when you really start looking, you’ll see opportunities everywhere!  The mental benefit of doing something for others is huge– research has proven over and over again that we enjoy a mood boost when we do something kind for someone else.  Go out there and get that mood boost, and make your community a kinder place in the process!

 

Stop worrying.

Easier said than done, right?  Of course it is!  But it’s true that worrying about tomorrow robs us of our peace today.  Concern is warranted in some situations, but how much time do you spend each week worrying about things that might happen?  Things that, in the end, don’t happen, or were going to happen inevitably and were thoroughly unaffected by your worrying?  Imagine someone showing up at your door with a gift box filled with all of the time you’ve spend on pointless worrying!

It’s important to be proactive when you know a problem is on the horizon, but try to cut back your pointless worrying.  You might have to establish a mental mantra, such as “I will not worry about things I cannot change”.  You can also try “reverse worrying”– every time you catching yourself with silly or dramatic “what-if”s, give yourself a positive “what if” for each negative one you think.  Actively and mindfully balancing out the possibilities of the future can help you to have a more positive outlook.

Plan a trip.

Even if international travel isn’t in your budget, a trip can be more affordable than you think, and it can do you a world of good! Think of the type of travel you are interested in– are you dying to go to Europe, take a road trip, go camping?  If your budget is a limit, try looking for nearby “getaway” deals on groupon and airbnb.  Even if you just drive 3 hours out of your hometown, changing your scenery and routine will give you the chance to readjust your perspective on your life, enjoy some time away from the daily grind, and give you the opportunity to see new places, meet new people, and try new things.  Then you get to experience the joy of coming back home and sleeping in your own bed again!

 

Spend some time outside.

We used to live outside, don’t forget!  It’s important for us to spend time outside, and even moreso for those of us that live in big cities and concrete jungles!  Whether that means camping, going for a walk in a park, or having a tea and reading a book in a garden, make sure you spend a little time outside to reconnect to the world.  Extra points if you get your hands and feet in the dirt!  And while you’re at it, try greening up your office and your home with a few new house plants!

 

 

Which of these tips could you start enacting this week to cultivate your own happiness?

 

 

 

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Top 10 Foods That Put You In A Bad Mood

 

Many things can affect our moods in positive or negative ways, but few things are as powerful as the food we eat!  Just think how irritable you feel when you’re really hungry, or how happy you feel after you’ve eaten your favorite healthy lunch!  We know that some foods are mood-boosters, and you know what that means:  some foods can put you in a bad mood, too!  Keep reading the list below to find out which bad-mood foods you should be avoiding!

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Baked Goods

Packed full of sugar and saturated oils, these guys often leave us feeling lethargic, tired, or depressed (not to mention the guilt onset after throwing back multiple brownies or cookies!), so opt for healthier snack or dessert options instead of passing by the bakery!

 

French Fries

The perfect storm of high fat, sodium, and refined carb content, french fries are a common craving (and a common side dish, too!) that can put us in a funk.  The reason?  The cause our energy to peak (very fun), and then suddenly drop (not fun at all), which makes us feel sluggish and tired.  Opt for a baked potato or a side salad at lunch instead of french fries!

 

Alcohol

The fact that it’s labeled a “depressant” says it all– while consuming it can bring us a short period of happiness and giggles, it ends in a mood drop, and that’s not even mentioning the potential hangover and dehydration!  Make sure to drink at least one glass of water between each drink (more is ideal!) and drink on a full stomach and in moderation!

 

Soda

You alread know it’s basically poison!  But did you know that the intense sugar rush we feel from drinking a soda also ends in an abrupt crash just a few minutes after we finish drinking it?  Not to mention the cancer-causing ingredients they can contain and the bloat they often cause, this reason alone is enough to swear off sodas!  Try flavored waters, fresh juice, or a chocolate milk if you’re really craving something besides plain old H2O.

 

Lunch Meat

Processed meat for sandwiches or hotdogs is full of nitrates, food colorants, and lots of other nasty additives and preservatives, which can cause bloating, mood swings, water retention, and even headaches!  Steer clear of the deli at lunch time and keep your mind and body happy for the rest of the afternoon!

 

Margarine

The high amount of processed fats in margarine can cause a blood sugar imbalance, which can lead to mood swings and weight gain!  Don’t let this sneaky food onto your plate– if you think it’s butter but you’re not sure, ask!  And clear it out of your fridge and try an organic butter instead of margarine for cooking at home!

 

Canned Food

You might think these are healthy options for cooking at home since they’re usually legumes or vegetables, but you haev to watch the sodium content on the can’s label!  You also need to check and see if the can is labeled “BPA-Free”, as the chemical BPA has been linked to chronic mood disorders (among other nasty side effects)!

 

Potato Chips

So tempting, but so terrible!  These guys are usually fried in vegetable oil, meaning they’re packed with saturated fats.  These fats work against the good-guy Omega 3 fatty acids that we’re so intent on adding to our diets!  Don’t let your small potato chip snack undo all the good fats you got from that avocado and olive oil in your salad at lunch!  These guys can cause inflammation and even mood swings due to the damage they do to the balance of healthy fats in your diet!

Processed Foods

If it comes in an individual wrapper inside a box, you can pretty much bet it’s processed.  These foods are often high in refined sugar content, as well as saturated fats and all types of preservatives, additives, and colorants.  That means you’re in for a wild blood sugar ride as the sugar hypes you up and then crashed you back to the ground, which negatively affects your mood!  Opt for a piece of fruit, some crackers and cheese, or a few veggies with hummus if you’re feeling hungry for a snack during the day!

Packaged Seeds

If the seeds you’re buying have been processed in any way, there’s a good chance they’re coated in a preservative called potassium bromate.  This chemical can interfere with your thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine.  When your thyroid is out of whack, your mood might be, too.  One of the first thing doctors check in patients with depression is their thyroid levels!  Try purchasing organic seeds that haven’t been processed with any chemicals if you’re looking to enjoy the benefits that seeds and nuts bring to a healthy diet!

 

Are you surprised that these foods made the list?  Are there any of these foods that you need to clean out of your cabinet?  Let me know in the comments section!

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8 Things to Do Before Bed to Lose Weight


Everyone knows that weight loss requires exercise and proper eating habits, but there’s so much more to consider if you want to guarantee your weight loss success!  By forming healthy habits and routines, getting in all the little tips and tricks you’ll need to employ each day becomes really simple and second nature!  Check out this list to find the 10 simple things you can do before bed each night to boost your weight loss success!

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Go to bed at a decent hour.

This seems like a no-brainer, but many of us aren’t getting enough sleep, and good quality sleep!  Count back from the time you have to wake up in the morning, and give yourself 8 hours.  It might mean you need a 10 or 11 pm bedtime, but just try it.  Getting a full 7-8 hours of sleep each night not only replenishes your energy, it also provides your bodies with the positive effects of fasting, which can help you to get or stay lean!

 

Stop eating a few hours before you sleep, but don’t go to sleep hungry!

Make sure your dinner is a properly balanced meal so that you’re getting all the nutrients you need before clocking out for the day!  You want to avoid going to sleep immediately after dinner in order to give your body a chance to begin the digestion process normally.  That said, some days just don’t run on the routine we prefer– it’s not healthy to go to bed with a growling stomach, so if you haven’t had a good solid meal but you’re ready to sleep, try having a serving of cottage cheese– it’s low fat, high protein, and also contains tryptophan, which has powerful sleep-inducing effects!

 

Look away from the screens

Set up a bedtime routine where you use low-lighting and NO SCREENS to start relaxing.  The blue light from screens can prevent the release of sleep hormones that help us get good REM sleep, so try getting in bed and reading a book or a magazine for 30 minutes before you go to sleep! Getting enough high quality sleep will allow your body to heal from your workouts, it will keep your brain happy and your immune system healthy, and will also regulate your hunger hormones throughout the night and the next day!

Lower your ambient temperature

Some people claim to only be able to sleep if they have cold air blowing in the room– this makes a lot of sense because sleep researchers have found that REM sleep occurs more quickly for people sleeping in a room with a slightly lower than ambient temperature.  Even better? When our bodies are cold, they start burning our brown fat reserves– that means belly fat!  Imagine burning belly fat all night while you sleep!  Take advantage of this sleep hack and see the results for yourself!

Take a bath or a shower

Studies show that a shower or bath– especially when our heads are submerged– has a blood-pressure lowering effect.  This makes it a great way to relax and prepare for bed, and also serves as a temperature drop cue for our lizard brains– when humans lived outside under the stars, the temperature drop of the setting sun was a sleep cue!  While we don’t live the same way anymore, studies show that recreating this temperature drop helps prepare our minds and bodies to sleep.

 

Eat peppers

Seems simple, but did you know that the fat-burning compounds in peppers continue working throughout the digestive process?  Throw some chopped peppers into your dinner a few nights per week to reap the benefits of fat burning while you sleep!

Wear yourself out

While working out in the morning has a lot of fans and positive benefits, working out at night can be great for you, too!  It might not work with your schedule, but it’s worth a try.  You’ll burn even more calories while you’re sleeping, and you’ll sleep well after that physical exertion.  Throw in a post-workout, pre-bedtime shower and you’re setting yourself up for some amazing, restorative sleep!

 

Have a glass of wine

Red wine contains heart-healthy compounds and can give off a bit of a sleepy effect as well!  Try to have your wine and hour or two before bed so that your body has time to process the sugars it contains.

 

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Top 10 Foods That Age You

Just like there are foods that can help to keep us young, there are also foods that age us!  Make sure you know what foods to avoid to keep premature aging at bay!  Keep reading below to find the 10 worst foods that cause us to age faster!

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Energy Drinks

Whether you only drink them in cocktails, have a daily habit, or only partake occasionally, energy drinks should be eliminated from your healthy diet!  They’re packed with sugar, and the acid they contain can really damage the enamel on your teeth.  The caffeine content and the sodium these drinks pack can also lead to dehydration, which isn’t doing your skin any favors.  Opt for tea, vitamin-packed juices, or water!

 

Breakfast Meats

Bacon, sausage, ham– these processed meats are high in sodium and often contain preservatives.  These preservatives can produce free radicals in your body, which are a culprit for cancer.  Opt for organic options, farm fresh options that don’t contain chemicals, or vegetarian options.

 

Deep-fried Anything

When we fry foods like this, we’re heating oil to very high temperatures, which produces free radicals.  These free radicals can do a lot of damage to our health, but there are also more “superficial” concerns– these free radicals are terrible for the aging process on our skin!  Avoid deep-fried foods whenever possible!

 

Trans Fats

Found in many places (think donuts or pastries, for example), these fats can cause high levels of inflammation, and they also make our skin more vulnerable to UV rays!  Avoid trans fats if you’re looking out for your skin!

Charred Meat

Even if you love your meat really really well done, try to avoid eating meat that’s been blackened.  This charred meat causes inflammation, which can break down collagen in the skin.  If you want a young face, you want to keep your collagen in tact!

 

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Found to be even worse for your skin than sugar, high fructose corn syrup is found in an incredible amount of processed foods.  The easiest way to cut this out of your diet is to start clean eating!

 

Alcohol

Drinking to excess can cause those pesky free radicals that age our bodies from the inside out.  The occasional glass or two of wine won’t hurt, but try to choose alcohols that are no sugar added, and definitely avoid those sugary cocktail mixes!

 

Freezer Dinners

These are sodium bombs!  Even the healthy/diet oriented brands can contain a huge amount of sodium.  The problem is that these are often marketed as sugar-free or fat-free, but when processed food is labeled free of sugar, fat, or sodium, you can bet that those other two factors are packed in tight in order to keep the food tasty!  Try making your own freezer dinners by meal prepping ahead of time!

 

Chips

The salt and the crunch can be so satisfying, but you can find those factors in plenty of other healthy foods!  Potato chips are often fried, and you don’t want those calories or fats.  On top of that, sodium levels on most chips are through the roof, which can cause dehydration, among other problems.  If you’re looking for crunch, try a crisp green apple, carrots and celery (with hummus!), or whole grain crackers!

 

Sugar

This little villain pops up all over the place, and while it can be difficult to cut out totally from your diet, it’s not that hard to cut back!  Avoid obvious overloads such as candy, margaritas, and baked goods, because sugar can damage collagen in your skin (among other health problems that we already know about)!

 

Which of these are you going to cut out of your diet?  What are the replacements that work best for you?

 

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3 Fatigue-Causing Foods

Most of us have busy schedules and it’s easy to feel fatigued every now and then.  Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen as well as getting enough sleep are the best ways to combat fatigue, but did you know there are foods that may be causing it too?  Keep reading to learn about the 3 foods you should cut out of your diet in order to stop fatigue in it’s tired, tired tracks!

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Pasta

Who doesn’t love a good bowl of pasta every now and then?  The problem is that it can be a cause of fatigue!  Why?  Because it’s packed with simple carbohydrates, eating pasta causes an immediate blood sugar spike.  This spike in blood sugar causes our insulin levels to fall.  This sudden and extreme change in our bodies causes the onset of fatigue.  Try avoiding pasta, and if you really have to have it, try making zoodles (spiralized zucchini noodles) or at least opting for whole grain pastas.

 

Dairy Products

While these can have great healthy benefits, some people might find them hard to digest.  That difficulty in digestion usually happens in the lower intestine.  People with very mild allergies to dairy products may find that they cause inflammation, and when that happens in the lower GI tract, it can prevent our bodies from absorbing all the other good nutrients that we’ve eaten.  That lack of nutrients is a definite cause of fatigue, so if you’re feeling chronically fatigued, try going a week or two without dairy and see if that changes!

 

Gluten

Not everyone needs to be on a gluten-free diet, so let’s get that out of the way right now.  However, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac’s, you might have a gluten sensitivity.  That sensitivity to gluten could be causing inflammation and other uncomfortable symptoms in your system, which are definitely triggers for fatigue!  Try cutting back on gluten, or cutting it out of your diet entirely, for a few weeks if you suspect this may be the cause of your fatigue.

 

Do you suffer from chronic fatigue?  What diet changes have helped you?

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Top 5 Ways to Get a Flat Belly After 40

Turning 40 is a milestone for many people:  it signifies reaching a level of maturity and professionalism and perhaps even balance in life that most of us recognize as an important checkpoint.  But it also marks a lot of changes in the body.  You might still be operating under the habits that worked for you best when you were in your 20s or 30s, so it’s important to recognize that you can have great health, high energy, and even a flat belly after 40, it just takes a different set of knowledge than what you used to use!

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Love your workouts.

The first commandment of having a flat belly after 40 is to love your workout.  Why?  Well, by the time you get to 40, you’re in full-on career mode and it’s likely that you also have a family.  Add in social events and other responsibilities and your schedule is crazy full, right?  Everybody has used the ”too busy” excuse at some point or another to avoid working out, but here’s the thing:  If you don’t really enjoy your workout, you’re always going to use that excuse.

Find a workout that you enjoy– hiking or climbing, swimming, zumba, hot yoga, boxing… the list is almost infinite!  You might have to try a few different workouts to get to one that you really like, but have patience and keep an open mind, because once you’ve found a workout that you really enjoy, you’ve done half the hard work of actually working out!

 

Drink way more water.

We all know that drinking water is important to our overall health, but staying completely hydrated is one of the best things you can do when working toward a flat belly.  Besides drinking plenty of water throughout the day, try drinking a glass of water any time you want a snack.  Give it 15 minutes after you’ve finished the glass of water, and if you’re still hungry, go get that (healthy) snack.  Often we’re bored or thirsty, and we’re confusing the signals that our brain sends us with the hunger signal.  Drinking an extra glass of water never hurt a soul, and it might just solve your problem before you go off in search of more calories!

 

Sugar isn’t bad for you.

AHEM: sugar from fruit isn’t bad for you.  Added sugar is definitely not good, but you shouldn’t be skipping out on fruits because you’re trying to avoid sugar.  Added sugar and natural sugar work differently in the body, and when you’re getting sugar from fruits, you’re also getting a ton of other good stuff that justifies that sugar.  Bananas are filled with potassium and can help flatten your belly.  Apples are great sources of fiber, and we know that fiber is a must for flat bellies!

 

Watch your protein intake.

You read that right– it’s totally possible (and fairly common) to consume too much protein.  And what happens when we consume too much protein?  Well, your body can turn some of that protein into stored fat, and that’s what we’re definitely trying to avoid!  Make sure you’re getting the daily recommended amount of protein, and make sure you’re being smart about it– Having a protein shake for breakfast isn’t the best use of your protein allowance if you’re going to work out at 5 pm.  It’s important to have a bit of protein at each meal or snack to help you feel full, but save your big protein attack for after working out!

 

Cut back your salt intake.

Eating salt can dull our body’s reactions to fatty foods, making us require more of said foods in order to feel full.  Besides other health problems that salt can cause, too much of it can definitely trick us into packing on extra body fat.  Skip the salt (or use it sparingly) and turn to other spices that are full of flavor!  Make sure the pepper you’re using is freshly ground, as it contains a compound that burns fat!  Finally, if cutting back salt is tough for you, at the bare minimum, only use it while you’re actually cooking, and take it off the table when you serve the food.  Many people cook with salt AND add salt to the top of their food after serving it.  Don’t double dose yourself!

 

Exercise an hour each day.

This sounds like more than the recommended daily amount, right?  It is.  30 minutes per day is a nice recommendation for exercise, but that’s meant for people who are maintaining their healthy shape.  For those of us that want to lose weight, we need around an hour each day of moderate activity– think that if you could hold a conversation with the person next to you, but you’d still be breathing a bit harder than normal, that’s moderate.  This includes walking or jogging with the dog, dancing, and plenty other activities.  The important thing is to work that hour in.  Maybe it’s a 30 minute walk in the mornings and a 30 minute bike ride after work, maybe it’s one full hour in salsa class or at the gym– find what works for you and make it part of your daily routine!

 

What other tips do you follow to get a flat belly after 40?

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5 Ways to Lose Weight With Lemons

Lemons are often seen as a garnish, or something to squirt on salads, but did you know that lemons can help you lose weight?  There are plenty of ways to use lemons to lose weight, but I’ve chosen the top five ways to work into your daily habits! Keep reading to see how you can use something as simple as a lemon to lose weight!

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Season Veggies and Other Food with Lemon

Vegetables are must in any healthy diet, so try seasoning them with lemon juice after roasting, steaming, or stirfrying.  This will boost the flavor as well as the vitamin C content!  You can do the same trick with fish or chicken as well!

 

Add Lemon to Green Tea

We already know that 4-5 cups of green tea per day can help you burn more fat, but did you know that by adding slices of lemon to your tea, you preserve the natural polyphenols that exist in lemons, helping your body take full advantage of their fat burning properties!

Make a Homemade Salad Dressing

Ditch the store-bought dressings that are packed with sugar, fat, and sodium (yes, even the diet and low-fat ones).  Make your own by squeezing lemons and adding other healthy ingredients like olive oil or avocado oil, lemons zest, honey, salt and pepper, and any other spices you like to cook with!

Make Healthier Cocktails

Cocktails are famous for being packed with sugar, but you can make them healthier with lemons!  Lemon juice, club soda, and vodka or gin make for a great cocktail that you don’t have to feel guilty about later– the lemon will keep your taste buds happy without overdosing you on sugar!

 

Make Infused Water

If you’re having trouble getting enough water each day, try infused water!  Staying hydrated is an important aspect of your health, especially if you’re trying to lose weight!  You can make infused water very easily– gather the ingredients you want to use– Lemon, obviously, but maybe you’d like to add mint or basil, rosemary, or other fruits (think strawberries, kiwis, etc.) Adding a bit of flavor to your water will make it more tempting to drink, but the good news is it’s got just a bit of juice and sugar from the things you’ve put in it, and no mystery ingredients that you sometimes get from fancy coffee drinks or energy drinks!

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Top 10 Foods to Get You Bikini Ready!

So it’s almost swimsuit season and you’ve been hitting the gym and working your diet since January, right?  Great.  Now see what foods to add to your diet to make sure you’re ready to show off your new bikini this summer!  Keep reading to find out which foods are the best to help you get ready for swimsuit season!

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Beets

Find out which foods you should be including in your diet to improve brain function!

Did you know that beets work as a natural detoxifier?  Skip the juice cleanse and avoid going hungry while still filtering out all the nasty stuff that accumulates in our bodies over time.  Beets are relatively cheap, easy to repair, and great for tossing in salads or smoothies!

 

Eggs

With a complete amino acid profile, eggs make for the perfect lean protein dose at any time of day.  They’re great in the morning, post workout, at lunch, or as a snack!  On top of that, they’re one of the best sources of choline, which will help your body burn more fat!

 

Green Tea

It sounds like a lot, but it’s definitely do-able:  4-5 cups of green tea each day will give you the needed catechins (fat-blasting antioxidants) to clear the fat out of your fat cells– especially in the tummy region!  Try replacing your coffee habit with green tea.  Drink it hot or cold, just make sure you’re adding this to your bikini diet!

 

Mustard

If you are going to have a sandwich or a burger, leave off the other condiments (mayonnaise and ketchup can be packed with fat or sugar) and opt for mustard.  Why? The capsacin contained in mustard can boost your body’s fat-burning function for hours after you consume it!

Dark Chocolate

You may have given up high calorie desserts in your quest for a bikini body, but you don’t have to give up chocolate!  Dark chocolate (think 70% cacao or greater) is important for a healthy gut, and it’s great at reducing inflammation!  Keep some in your fridge and make sure you eat a few small squares each day- use it as dessert or a treat after having gone to the gym!

 

Cilantro

Get ready to hear something wild:  the unique blend of oils found in cilantro can help push heavy metals from our bodies that often get stored in our fat cells.  That’s not so wild, right?  WRONG!  Having these heavy metals stored in our fat cells often contributes to our muscles and other tissues not healing or maintaining themselves correctly, and this aggravates the appearance of cellulite. So adding cilantro to your dishes can help you to purge those heavy metals out of your cells, which will help your tissues to repair themselves properly and thus lessen the appearance of cellulite!

 

Lentils

These little guys are a cheap and versatile way to get tons of protein in while keeping fat calories to a bare minimum!  A cup of lentils has three times the protein of a single egg, and only one gram of fat!  Try a lentil soup, lentil burgers, or lentils as a side dish.  Toss them on salads or in chili, too!

 

Raspberries

Besides being delicious, these little guys are great at reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to your muscles, which helps them in the repair process after an intense workout!  Toss them in smoothies or in yogurt or just eat them plain!

Freshly Ground Pepper

It sounds too simple to be true, but it is!  Freshly ground pepper (not that powdery stuff– get a grinder!) contains piperine, which is a compound that helps stop the formation of new fat cells.  Sprinkle this stuff on everything!

 

Bananas

This fruit is packed with Potassium, which helps the body flush out excess water and sodium- two common culprits of a bloated appearance.  Keep your potassium levels high to keep your tummy looking flat!

 

What are your go-to foods when you’re trying to get bikini-ready?

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10 Best Protein Food Sources

We all know that protein is a key part of our diets, but do you know the best places to find protein?  Meat comes to mind of course, and it definitely makes this top 10 list, but there are many other great protein sources that might surprise you!  See what other protein sources make this list and try working them into your diet!

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Eggs

These babies have 6 grams of protein each, and they come with a healthy dose of choline and the most perfect amino acid profile we could ever ask for!  Not to mention that on the protein scale, they’re fairly cheap (and very versatile)– Eggs should definitely be on your list of protein sources for a healthy diet!

 

Spinach

Popeye wasn’t lying, guys.  Spinach is a great source of protein– A cup of spinach has half the calories of a boiled egg and almost the same amount of protein!  Whether you like it cooked or fresh, spinach can definitely find a place on your plate, as it’s versatile, easy to pair with other meals, and not nearly as expensive or difficult to find as some other trendy greens.

Peas

Wanna get even more protein in a cup of greens? Go with green peas!  One cup of these has almost 9 times more protein than the amount of protein in a cup of spinach!  Can you believe it?  Great as a side dish or tossed into a salad, these guys need to make an appearance every now and then in your protein-packed diet.

 

Beans

Let’s take a moment and be thankful that there’s such a variety of beans out there, because it’s a food we should be trying to eat every day!  A great source of fiber and protein, beans help us to feel fuller for longer, so eat them as a main dish or toss them into beans, soups, rice, or wraps and salads whenever you can!

 

Lentils

Get ready for this:  One cup of lentils has more protein than 3 eggs, and only 1 gram of fat.  Whaaat?  Lentils are great additions to soups and chilis, and stand alone as a great stew or side dish, too.  Not only that, they can also be used to make veggie meatballs or burgers.  Cheap? Yes. Versatile? Very.  Put these on your grocery list!

 

Halibut

A super lean fish that cooks up firm, this whitefish has all the benefits that come with eating fish (healthy fats, choline, etc.) and includes a hefty dose of protein.  Give yourself a break from salmon and tuna and try some halibut filets!

 

Pork

Did you know that pork and beef are head-to-head for the amount of protein they contain?  It’s easy to believe the false information that red meat has the most protein per serving, but it’s simply not true!  Not only that, but pork has some great benefits as well– pig farms are less damaging to the environment, and white meat poses a lower risk of breast cancer for women.  Try a tenderloin cut if you like your pork to have the texture of beef steaks!

Turkey Breast

Lean and packed with protein, turkey breast is a versatile ingredient to toss into salads or wraps, use in sandwiches, or eat all by itself!  Turkey actually packs more protein than chicken, so consider that when grocery shopping prior to your weekly meal prepping session!

 

Greek Yogurt

Specifically the 2% variety– 7 ounces contains 20 grams of protein!  Isn’t that wild?  It’s great for a snack, post-workout fuel or for getting your day started at breakfast time!

 

Low Fat Cottage Cheese

A diet food of the past, cottage cheese deserves a comeback.  At 15 grams for a half-cup, this is a great source of protein.  Eat it at breakfast with fruit or at lunch on top of a salad to get a great dose of protein!

 

What are your go-to foods for protein?

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