Avoados and Weight Loss– What’s the Connection?

We all know that avocado is a delicious superfood that’s gained quite a bit of popularity over the last few years, but do you know why?  They’re great for weight loss!  While they have fat and a fairly high calorie count for a fruit, they’re a great food to add to your diet, especially if you’re trying to lose weight!  Keep reading to learn why!

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Avocados have been found to lower LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad one!), because it’s high in monounsaturated fat (the good kind!).  High LDL cholesterol is a factor in insulin resistance, excess weight, and obesity.  Kill all those birds with the same stone by adding avocados to your daily diet!

 

Avocado oil, which has a slightly nutty flavor, has a higher smoke point than olive oil but has almost the exact same nutritional profile!  Making this switch will help you to eat more monounsaturated fats, and it’s  been found that diets packed with monounsaturated fats actually prevent fat distribution around the belly area by regulating the expression of certain fat genes!

 

If you’re eating lots of veggies but not enough monunsaturated fats with them, you won’t be able to absorb all of the caratenoids (disease-fighting compounds) that veggies can contribute to your diet!  By adding olive oil and especially avocado or avocado oil, you’ll be making the right combination to help your body take full advantage of all of the other nutrients on your plate, too!

 

Avocado has also been labeled as a hunger-killer– just half of an avocado added to your lunch will make your 40% less likely to have the munchies a few hours later.  The satiety that avocados offer comes from their creamy texture, their healthy fats, and their great combo of vitamins and nutrients.  Make sure you’re popping an avocado half in your lunch each day to keep yourself from mindless snacking or overeating in the afternoons!

 

So, if you’re looking to lower your bad cholesterol, turn off your body’s fat genes, and knock off bad snacking habits, avocados have got your back!  Try adding them on top of toast, in salads, or even by themselves!  They’re easy to pack as they come in their own skin, and they’re easy to add to hummus or make guacamole with.  Because it’s such a popular superfood right now, there’s no shortage to the recipes out there on how to add it to your diet in a variety of ways, so no excuses!

 

How do you like to eat your avocados?

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Top 4 Workplace Diet Tips

Changing your diet habits can be tough stuff, especially when you have to eat away from home!  Staying on track while managing social lunches, boredom, and energy drain at work can be the biggest challenge, but there are ways to get around those issues!  Check out the tips below to help you manage your diet while at work!

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Pack your lunch and snacks.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but you won’t believe how many people try to make their diet work while going to the same rotation of lunch spots with their co-workers.  Honestly, there are only so many days in a row that you can eat a chef salad at lunch, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to find a spot that offers one in the first place!  Packing your lunch will help you save a ton of money, which worst case scenario helps you pay for higher quality food products, best case scenario you save for a vacation or go shopping for clothes!  Besides saving money, you’ll be able to eat exactly what you need to eat when you need to eat it!

It’s not as hard as it might sound, at first.  #MealPrepping is an entire (and beautiful) hashtag on instagram where you can get inspiration on how to prepare all your lunches for the week at the same time!  While you’re at it, prep snacks (think carrots and celery, hummus, yogurt, small salads or fruit salads, cheese cubes– the list of possibilities is huge!) that will keep you from wandering to the vending machine.

 

Drink lots of water.

Especially while we’re working, we often feel bored or thirsty and mistake it for hunger!  If you’re getting the munchies but you know it’s not time for a snack yet, have a glass of water.  You can take a bottle with you to make infused water if you like flavors, or you can even brew cold teas to take with you!  Of course, if it’s hot, have a coffee or a tea here and there, but the point is to stay hydrated and to give yourself a chance to fix your munchies issue before diving into another plate of food!

 

Treat yourself.

While you don’t want to go overboard with treating yourself, you don’t want to go overboard on your strict diet either!  Decide on one day per week where you can treat yourself with something– a lunch out with your coworkers, a snack from the vending machine, a soda after lunch– but only once per week!  And of course, if you’re really on track and don’t want to invite temptation back into your life, treat yourself with something else– a lunch time manicure, lunch in the park instead of in your office, or something else that you can look forward to every week.  Use it to reward yourself for sticking to your diet each week!

 

Find a partner.

There’s probably someone else in your office that’s dieting, too.  Or maybe one of your teammates wants to start bringing their lunch too but they don’t want to eat lunch alone every day.  Find your people!  Talk to them about eating lunch together in the office a few times per week (or every day, or once per week, whatever floats your boats).  That way you won’t feel antisocial or alone at lunch every day and you’ll even have someone to trade tips with and chat with over lunch!  You could even work together to bring different snacks each day– you just pack two of whatever you’d take for yourself, and she packs two of whatever she was bringing for her!  Basically, find a way to make the diet scene at your office less lonely.  It’s always easier to stay on track with something when you enjoy it, so find ways to make your diet easy to follow and enjoyable!

 

What are your top tips for following your diet in the workplace?

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Best Ways to Avoid Bloating

Bloating is a common health problem, but just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s not terrible! It might be a chronic problem for you, or it could just be an occasional issue– after eating certain foods or as a PMS symptom. Bloating has many different causes, but there are ways to prevent it from happening to you! Check out the tips below on the best ways to avoid bloating!

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Watch the foods you eat.

A huge culprit of bloating can be the foods we eat.  Some foods are known for causing bloating, so these are foods that we want to avoid.  Certain vegetables, dairy products, and anything with lots of fiber in it might cause you to suffer bloating.  Read more here about foods to avoid if bloating seems to be a common problem for you!

 

Walk around.

It sounds too easy to be true, but one common cause of bloating is sitting still for too long.  If you have a desk job, you might experience bloating simply because you aren’t moving enough.  This means that the natural gases inside of your body aren’t moving either, they’re just sitting there building up and making you feel like an uncomfortable balloon.  Try getting up once each hour to walk around, even if it’s just for 3-5 minutes.

 

Stop using straws.

What do straws have to do with anything?  Well, it’s been proven that people that drink through straws swallow more air than they would if they were drinking from a glass like normal.  Swallowing excess air brings extra gas into your body that can contribute to bloating.  Skipping the straw is simple and an easy way to lessen the amount of air you take in while at lunch or while working.

 

Take OTC medication.

There are several brands of pills that will help you avoid the buildup of gas that causes bloating.  Many of them will advise you to take it prior to eating, especially if you’re going to be eating troublesome foods.  If you’re not sure which one is best for you or if it might combine safely with other medications you take, be sure to consult your physician.

 

Try yoga.

Yoga is a great way to stay healthy, and if you’re feeling bloated, a few minutes of yoga stretches and positions can help you out big time.  You can even do some of them in bed!

 

What are your best tips for avoiding or dealing with bloating?

 

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Healthy Fats are Key to a Good Diet

Everybody is worried about fat– body fat as well as fat in our food!  It’s only natural that we begin to see fat as a bad thing.  We’ve been told to avoid it at all costs, after all.  Many products come in a low-fat option and television commercials are constantly convincing us to buy the newest supplement or workout program to burn fat fast!  It’s important to remember, though, that we need fat in our diet!  Continue reading to see what types of healthy fat you should be including in your diet!

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The truth is that not all fats are created equally.  We’ve villified fat in our culture to a point that many of us have cut TOO MUCH fat out of our diets!  So how can you know which fats should be on your table and which fats you should be avoiding?

The simple way to remember it is that Trans fats are bad and should be avoided, Mono- and Poly-unsaturated fats are good, and saturated fats are up for debate.

While we’re recommended to consume a very small amount of fat, the problem is that all fats are being lumped into one category here, but all fats aren’t the same.  Of course we want to cut trans fats out of our diets, but we definitely want to keep Omega-3 fats, and in fact most people need to be consuming more of them!  Check out these five sources of healthy fats that you can include in your diet to round out your nutrition!

 

Avocadoes

Packed with protein, vitamin E, and fiber, these guys bring even more good stuff to the table– they’re rich in monounsaturated fats (the good kind!).  Try adding half an avocado per day to your diet– they’re easy to add to salads, sandwiches, and wraps and also make a great soup or chili topping!  They can go on top of toast or be eating solo, too!

 

Dark Chocolate

The saturated fats in dark chocolate will help you to slow your digestion and feel less hungry!  On top of that, it’s packed with antioxidants that fight free radical damage.  A few ounces per day is all you need! Eat it as a snack between meals or add it to your oatmeal or yogurt in the morning!

 

Whole Eggs

If you’ve only been eating egg whites, listen up!  While the whites are solid proteins, the yolk of the egg contains fat and cholesterol.  However, most of those fats in the yolk are monounsaturated, and the overall fat profile of the egg yolk has been found to actually REDUCE LDL (bad cholesterol)!  On top of that, eggs are the top dietary source of choline, a nutrient that shuts down the genes that cause us to store fat around our liver.

 

Salmon

By adding two servings of wild salmon to your diet each week, you’ll be getting the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids that will help to protect your heart!  Try it as a main, a salad topping, or in a sandwich or wrap!  Just make sure you’re buying wild caught salmon, as farmed atlantic salmon does not have the same healthy qualities!

 

Olive Oil

This oil is packed with polyphenols, which are great for fighting cancer risk!  They contain adiponectin, a hormone that breaks down fat!  Extra virgin olive oil has also been proven to increase blood levels of serotonin, which helps us to feel fuller faster and avoid overeating!

 

What healthy fats do you try to work into your diet each week?

 


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Top Foods To Improve Brain Function

We all need our brains to work quickly!  Work, parenting, and enjoying our hobbies or social events all require a fast-working brain!  How can you make sure your brain is in great shape?  One of the best ways to care for your brain is to eat foods that improve brain function!

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Coldwater Fish

Try eating 3-4 servings of coldwater fish (tuna, salmon, etc.) throughout the week, as the FDA suggests.  EPA and DHA fats are contained in these fish, and they’re in their ready-made form, making it easy for our bodies to digest them and put them to use right away!  These fats are important for healthy brain functioning and for protecting our joints, so eat up!

 

Tomatoes

One of their super ingredients, lycopene, has been found to fight the free radical damage that occurs at the onset of dementia, so make sure you’re adding tomatoes to your diet where you can — salads, soups, and sandwhiches are great places to start!

 

Broccoli

This vegetable is a great source of Vitamin K, which helps improve brain functioning, so make sure you’re packing it into your meals!  Try it roasted, grilled, raw, or grated into meatballs, soups, and salads!

 

Avocadoes

Packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, avocadoes are great for helping to maintain a healthy bloodflow in your body.  Your brain will reap the benefits of a healthy bloodflow, and they also lower blood pressure! Try adding olive oil to your dishes that contain avocadoes– they pair well together and you’ll get double the boost of monounsaturated fats, which studies have shown to actually slow brain aging!

 

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties which make it a must in your healthy-brain diet!  It contains natural stimulants which will help your brain to focus on the task at hand, and it stimulates endorphin production, which will help to regulate your mood in a healthy way!

 

 

What are your favorite brain-healthy foods?  How will you try to incorporate these into your current food habits?

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

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Tops Foods To Improve Brain Function

We all need our brains to work quickly!  Work, parenting, and enjoying our hobbies or social events all require a fast-working brain!  How can you make sure your brain is in great shape?  One of the best ways to care for your brain is to eat foods that improve brain function!

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Coldwater Fish

Try eating 3-4 servings of coldwater fish (tuna, salmon, etc.) throughout the week, as the FDA suggests.  EPA and DHA fats are contained in these fish, and they’re in their ready-made form, making it easy for our bodies to digest them and put them to use right away!  These fats are important for healthy brain functioning and for protecting our joints, so eat up!

 

Tomatoes

One of their super ingredients, lycopene, has been found to fight the free radical damage that occurs at the onset of dementia, so make sure you’re adding tomatoes to your diet where you can — salads, soups, and sandwhiches are great places to start!

 

Broccoli

This vegetable is a great source of Vitamin K, which helps improve brain functioning, so make sure you’re packing it into your meals!  Try it roasted, grilled, raw, or grated into meatballs, soups, and salads!

 

Avocadoes

Packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, avocadoes are great for helping to maintain a healthy bloodflow in your body.  Your brain will reap the benefits of a healthy bloodflow, and they also lower blood pressure! Try adding olive oil to your dishes that contain avocadoes– they pair well together and you’ll get double the boost of monounsaturated fats, which studies have shown to actually slow brain aging!

 

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties which make it a must in your healthy-brain diet!  It contains natural stimulants which will help your brain to focus on the task at hand, and it stimulates endorphin production, which will help to regulate your mood in a healthy way!

 

 

What are your favorite brain-healthy foods?  How will you try to incorporate these into your current food habits?

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

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Top 5 Clean Eating Mistakes

Clean eating has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and for good reasons!  It’s a great way to cut out the junk that comes with processed foods, and it helps boost the amount of nutrients in our diets!  But there are a few mistakes that litter the path to clean eating.  Make sure you know how to avoid them!

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Juicing

It’s so so popular, and everyone wants a vitamix, but watch out for juices!  Because most of the calories come from sugar, your body won’t process it quite the same way as it would a piece of fruit.  On top of that, when drinking your fruits via juice, you’re missing out on important opportunities to fulfill your fiber needs for the day! Limit your juice intake to make the most of those calories!

Fruit Binges

While fruit is healthy and a great way to get lots of nutrients, eating too much of it can trigger your blood sugar and set off your hunger signals, causing you to eat too much fruit in one sitting or to go out and seek for something to eat right.this.second.  Make sure you’re getting your daily requirements for fruit, but don’t eat 3 oranges in one sitting! Pair your fruit with a few slices of cheese or some nuts to help stabilize your bloog sugar!

Snack Time

If you’re focused on clean eating, don’t let snacktime derail your hard work!  Make sure your snacks are just as balanced as your meals– a bit of fiber, a bit of protein, a bit of fat, etc.  This will help you really feel satiated when you’ve finished the snack, and you won’t go on a kitchen raid to find the next snack to start on!

Processed Foods

Even if you’ve cut out the boxed mac and cheese with that neon powder, you might still be relying too much on processed foods.  Try to eat as little as possible from bags, boxes, cans, and jars.  Buy whole food ingredients and set aside time to meal prep at the beginning of each week.  This will help you avoid the excuse of convenience that leads most of us to pick up highly processed foods at the supermarket!

 

Overeating

Just because you are eating whole and clean foods doesn’t mean you can overeat!  Many people think that because they’re eating healthy foods, they can eat more than they used to put on their plate.  The truth is that even with your organic chicken and your spinach and carrots and apples, you’ve got to stay in control of your portions!  Don’t throw caution to the wind and binge (although to be fair, a binge on apples is much less severe than a binge on donuts!) just because your food is healthy.  Limits are good for everything, even for clean food.

 

What are your biggest challenges when it comes to clean eating?

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Top Ways To Avoid Bloating & Cramps

Find out what you can do to prevent bloating and cramps!

Bloating and Cramps are two of the most uncomfortable — and most common– stomach issues out there. Everyone suffers from these from time to time, and some people are chronic sufferers.  While they both seem common, there are ways to avoid them!  Read more about how to prevent them below!

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Avoid the Usual Culprits

We know that some specific foods cause gas, bloating, or cramping simply because of their contents (sulfuric compounds, high fiber content, etc.), so make sure you read up on what foods commonly cause these problems, and start cutting them out of your diet to see if you feel a difference! If you see a difference after cutting out one of these common culprits, consider keeping it out of your diet for good.

 

Use Probiotics

Find a good probiotic supplement, which will help you cut down on inflammation from foods.  Take them along with whatever other multivitamins or supplements you take daily.  They’ll help to regulate the flora in your gut, which will help to prevent these common digestive problems.

 

Change your Lifestyle

Some changes in your day-to-day life and habits might help you prevent these uncomfortable symptoms if you are a chronic sufferer.  It might be helpful for you to eat smaller meals, stop chewing gum, and stop using straws– all actions that will help prevent you from swallowing excess air.  You might need to find more time in the day to get moving (even if you’re just walking), which will help gas in your body to shift around instead of sitting in place and becoming concentrated.

 

Use Over-the-Counter Remedies

You could benefit from lactase supplements when consuming dairy, or a host of other OTC medicines that can help to prevent (or if you’ve already eaten, alleviate) cramping, bloating, and gas.  Do your research about which might be best for you, and if you have any questions, make sure you consult with your doctor.

 

Consume Peppermint

Often used to soothe upset stomach symptoms or help digestion, it’s a common and easy to find flavor.  Peppermin tea or peppermint candies can be used after eating to help settle your stomach and aid digestion.

 

What do you do to avoid cramping, bloating, and gas?

 

Find out what you can do to prevent bloating and cramps!

 

 

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Top 5 Foods To Improve Your Memory

Find out which foods to include in your diet to improve your memory!

We know that there are certain foods that help certain parts of our body, but there are also specific foods that are great for our brains!  Read the list below to find out 5 great foods that will improve your memory!

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Avocados

This fruit is such an amazing food, especially for your brain!  They often get the bad reputation of having a high fat content, but it’s important to remember that the fat contained in avocados is the good fat (monosaturated!), which happens to be amazing for your brain!  It’s also great to for healthy glowing skin and for stabilizing your blood sugar levels!  Because they contain vitamin K and folate, they’re also great at preventing blood clots in the brain and improving cognitive functioning (key to memory!).  On top of all that, they’re rich in Vitamins B and C, which your body doesn’t store and thus must replace daily!  Try it smashed on toast, in your smoothies, or on top of a salad!

 

Broccoli

Even if it’s not your favorite vegetable, this veggie is so versatile that it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll find a way to enjoy it.  It’s high in vitamin K and choline, which are great for boosting your memory.  It’s also packed with vitamin C!  Eat it raw as a snack or in your salad, roast or grill it with other veggies, toss it in a stirfry, grate it into meatballs– the possibilities with broccoli are truly endless!

 

Dark Chocolate

Put that snickers down and listen up!  Dark chocolate is full of flavanols, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.  They help lower blood pressure levels and improve blood flow to the brain and the heart.  The rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate, the better.  Opt for a minimum of 70% cacao to get their full benefit!

 

Salmon

Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your brain and thus, your memory!  Be aware that the health benefits of salmon apply to wild-caught Alaskan salmon, not farmed salmon.  A filet of salmon is a super versatile ingredient– broil it, pan fry it, put it into croquettes, serve it in a salad or in pasta– there are a ton of ways to enjoy a healthy piece of salmon, and you should aim to have 3-4 servings of fish per week anyway!

 

Beets

 

One of the easiest veggies to prepare (literally boil them until they’re soft), these guys are literally crammed with nutrients!  They reduce inflammation and are packed with cancer-preventing antioxidants.  On top of that, they’re packed with nitrates that help boost the flow of blood to the brain, which will absolutely boost your memory!  Add them to your salads or eat them as a side dish to get their benefits!

 

What foods are you trying to include in your diet to benefit your brain?

Find out which foods to include in your diet to improve your memory!

 

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Top 7 Breakfast Ideas for Gym Goers

The best breakfast ideas for morning workouts!

Going to the gym early in the morning has plenty of benefits– it helps you mark off the gym from your to-do list instead of procrastinating, it gives you an early dose of feel-good endorphins, and can help you feel more alert and energetic for the rest of the day.  But if you wake up early to go to the gym, what should you eat for breakfast?

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Yogurt Parfait

It looks fancy, but it will take you less than two minutes to put your greek yogurt, berries, and granola in a cup! It’s a quick breakfast with a bit of protein and natural sugar and carbs to get your body ready to run!

 

High-Protein Oatmeal

Your body will need the carbs and the protein to power you through a high-intensity workout, so make your oatmeal the way you like it, but add nuts and the nut butter of your choice!  This will help to fuel your body throughout your workout and after, and you won’t feel lightheaded or dizzy while pumping iron in the morning!

 

Protein Smoothie

 

If you don’t have much of an appetite in the mornings but you KNOW you need to kickstart your metabolism for the day, try having a protein smoothie.  It can be as simple (milk, greek yogurt, protein powder, fruit) or as complicated as you want to make it, but get some calories in you!  Better yet, start your day with a good dose of protein to make the most of the exercise you’re about to do!

 

Apples and Peanut Butter

It won’t take you but 2 minutes to put together, but it will stay with you throughout your workout.  Slice an apple and top each slice with some peanut butter, raisins, chia seeds, or other chopped seeds or nuts that you like to add to your dishes.  This can be eaten on the run, too, if you have room in your gym bag for a food container!

 

Avocado and Egg Toast

If you boil your eggs ahead of time, this breakfast will take about as long as it takes to toast your bread!  Mash your avocado on top of your toast and slice your hardboiled egg on top.  You can add salt or pepper, paprika, olive oil, sri racha, or whatever else you’d like on top to boost the flavor level of your breakfast!  The healthy fats of avocado, complete protein of the egg, and the healthy carbs in your whole grain toast are the winning combination for a healthy breakfast!

 

Omelette

Eggs are always cheap and fast to cook.  Throw in a bit of leftover protein from last night’s dinner, any veggies you might like to include, and tada!  Full of protein and a great vehicle for other ingredients, omelettes are a great breakfast to get your  day started with, especially if you need a protein fix after a workout!

 

Freezer-Friendly Prepped Breakfasts

You can make tons of options ahead of time and then freeze them, ensuring that you always have something healthy that’s ready to go when you are!  Bacon, egg, and broccoli cups made in muffin tins are a great option!  Turkey and egg breakfast sandwiches are a classic, and breakfast burritos with your favorite proteins are popular, too!  In one sitting, you could easily prepare breakfast for 2 weeks if you take the meal-prepping + freezer route!

 

What’s your favorite pre- or post- gym breakfast?

The best breakfast ideas for morning workouts!

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