Are You Eating Enough Protein?

Make sure you're getting enough protein to maximize your workouts and nutritent intake!
We all know that protein is an important part of a healthy diet, but do you know if you’re eating enough of it? Different sources say different things, and the amount ultimately depends on your body and your physical activity level, but it might be time for an information tune-up to make sure you’re doing the most you can to stay on track with your fitness and nutrition goals!

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Proteins are the building blocks of the body. They make up our muscles, tendons, organs, and skin.  They are also used to make enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and several other tiny molecules that serve important functions.  Proteins are essential to not only growing our bodies or muscles, but also in maintaining them.
An important thing to remember about protein that it’s nott just about quantity. It’s also about quality.
Generally speaking, animal protein provides all the essential amino acids in the correct ratio for our bodies to make the best use of them.  If you’re eating animal products (like meat, fish, eggs, or dairy) every day, then you’re probably already doing pretty well, protein-wise.  If you don’t eat animal foods, then it can be slightly more challenging (and requires a bit of research and planning) to get the protein and essential amino acids that your body requires.

So how much should you be consuming?

Adults in the U.S. are encouraged to get 10% to 35% of their day’s calories from protein foods. That’s about 46 grams of protein for women, and 56 grams of protein for men.  It’s not hard to get this amount if you eat two to three servings of protein-rich foods a day, according to the CDC.
  • A 3-ounce cut of meat has around 21 grams of protein. A normal 8-ounce cut of meat could have over 50 grams of protein.
  • One 8-ounce yogurt container has around 11 grams of protein.
  • One cup of milk has 8 grams of protein.
  • One cup of dry beans has around 16 grams of protein.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, specifically for women.
Pregnant women are encouraged to get around 10 grams of protein extra while pregnant, and it’s recommended that 20-30 grams of their entire protein intake for the day come from low-fat dairy products, as the calcium and Vitamin D are good for the bone health and development of both the mother and the baby.
Nursing mothers are recommended a 20 gram increase in their protein intake per day.  Both of these recommended increases are small and don’t have to mean a lot of extra calories or food.  An additional serving per day of greek yogurt or beans will often be enough to help meet these increases.
Making sure you’re meeting your body’s protein requirements is a great way to maintain and build lean muscle, which will help your body to burn more calories by simply maintaining it.  You just have to watch it because some forms of protein also come with high amounts of fat and other not-so-great additional ingredients.  Try monitoring your protein intake every day for a month, with the goal to reach your maximum daily requirement, and see if you don’t see a difference in your muscle definition, energy, and even in your skin and hair!
What’s your favorite way to add more protein into your meals?
 Make sure you're getting enough protein to maximize your workouts and nutritent intake!

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HEALTHY EATING

6 Simple Green Smoothies That Make Salad Taste Like Dessert!

 

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25 Foods High in Magnesium

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Magnesium has a history of being left in the dust, but the overlooked mineral deserves a place in the spotlight. Magnesium has numerous crucial functions. It’s one of the most important nutrients for your health!

Magnesium powers more than 300 chemical reactions in your body, some of which include maintaining a steady heart rhythm and regulating blood sugar levels. Coined the “miracle mineral”, this nutrient can also alleviate bloating and constipation while reducing fluid retention. Do you constantly feel sluggish and groggy? Are you suffering from an inability to relax? You might be dealing with a magnesium deficiency. As one of the developed world’s most common nutritional deficiencies, that certainly doesn’t make you a minority!

Here’a a compiled a list of simple, wholesome foods bursting with the magical mineral. By simply scribbling some foods down on your grocery list and squeezing them into your daily menu, you could notice a dramatic difference in your energy levels and overall state of health!

1. Bananas
Praised for its potassium-rich profile, a banana also offers a whopping 32 mg magnesium, serving as a wonderful grab-and-go energy booster!

2. Spinach
This vibrant superfood is bursting with health benefits and offers a great source of magnesium that’ll control inflammation and blood sugar levels.

3. Sunflower Seeds
Besides boasting a gloriously golden image, sunflowers also offer up incredibly healthy seeds. Bursting with antioxidants and vitamins, this powerful superfood also carries 80% of your recommended daily magnesium.

4. Plain non-fat Yogurt
Magnesium and calcium form a dynamic duo in the protein-filled milk product. The mineral allows for easier absorption and use of calcium in your body.

5. Lentils
Lentils make the perfect vegetarian dinner staple with a scrumptious nutty flavor. Their high magnesium levels are associated with improved blood flow and oxygen throughout the body, making them super heart-healthy legumes.

6. Dark Chocolate
Considered a “cheat” food by many, dark chocolate actually carries a bunch of healthy properties. In terms of magnesium, the tasty treat delivers roughly half your daily recommendation per 100g serving. Enjoy a small slice when you feel that afternoon crash creeping up.

7. Pumpkin Seeds
These nutritional powerhouses are small but mighty. Stuffed with plant compounds like free-radical scavenging antioxidants, the magnesium-rich superfood makes a portable, heart-healthy snack.

8. Collard Greens
This loose, cabbage-like veggie has been praised for centuries due to its calcium-rich and cholesterol-lowering properties. Chock-full of vital vitamins and incredible minerals, the leafy green staple tastes amazing in a variety of dishes, besides being great for your health.

9. Whole Wheat Pasta
Whole grains offer a healthy dose of magnesium. Unlike refined starches, the bran and germ component in whole grains stores the magical mineral. Whip up a wholesome, whole-wheat pasta dinner to get your fix!

10. Wild Salmon
Salmon offers a great deal of magnesium, clocking in at around 60 mg per half fillet. Besides tasting delicious, the decadent superfood is also an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3s and beneficial fats.

11. Artichokes
One cup of artichokes offers about 71 mg of magnesium. Experts say that the unique vegetable can also aid digestion, strengthen your liver, and improve gall bladder function.

12. Dates
Dates offer massive health benefits, such as boosting nervous system health and improving your digestion system. Snacking on a date before a meal can prevent overeating. These delights are high in natural sugars, making them an effective energy booster on a sluggish day. Each dried fruit packs a healthy dose of magnesium, so grab one before heading out the door!

13. Oatmeal
Oatmeal reigns supreme on the list of healthiest foods out there. The hardy cereal grain gives you the stamina to carry you through a chaotic morning schedule and packs a great deal of filling fiber and slow-releasing carbs to keep you satisfied for hours. A cup of cooked oats clocks in at around 58 mg of magnesium, so dive into a bowl at breakfast!

14. Flaxseed
Flax is making a comeback! The powerful health food dubbed the “forgotten oil” was praised centuries ago due to its medicinal and nutritional properties, but its short shelf life made it expensive to produce and transport. Nowadays, the superfood is more obtainable, and nutritionists continue to name it a pantry must.

15. Soybeans
One serving of soybeans will meet about 20 percent of your daily magnesium needs, making them a great legume to add to your menu! Toss a few fiber-rich beans into your salad and stir-fries for added delicious texture along with a zap of protein and fiber.

16. Halibut
This deliciously tender fish is bursting with B vitamins and omega-3s, making it a high quality protein and an excellent source of magnesium. Health experts say halibut can improve the electrical properties of heart cells and lower the risk of stroke.

 17. Almonds
These fruit seeds might flaunt a high-fat nutritional profile, but don’t stress! Monounsaturated fats are dubbed “good fats” for a reason. They can stabilize blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels. Along with their magnesium abundance, these crunchy nuts contain high amounts of potassium. Grab a small handful for a healthy energy boost!

18. Brown Rice
With its low-glycemic index, brown rice makes a great energy-boosting starch to add to a meal. A cup of these whole grains contains 84 mg of magnesium. To crank up your meal’s magnesium levels, pair brown rice with black beans. Both wholesome ingredients provide all 9 essential amino acids when combined.

19. Peanut Butter
The savory spread delivers a healthy dose of magnesium. Oftentimes considered a guilt-ridden indulgence due to its caloric profile, peanut butter (enjoyed in moderation) can fight cravings and actually help with weight loss!

20. Tofu
These chewy, nutrient-rich blocks can serve as a base in countless dishes with their subtle flavor and firm texture. The low-calorie superfood boasts high amounts of protein and hooks you up with calcium, magnesium, and iron.

21. Broccoli
Along with adding scrumptious texture and flavor to your meals, broccoli has powerful detoxification properties that can flush contaminants. In addition to cancer-fighting properties, broccoli can also lower inflammation and improve your immune system.

22. Brazil Nuts
These delicious beauties are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, nutrients proved to help lower bad cholesterol in the blood. In addition to packing in high levels of magnesium, this exotic superfood offers a host of other miracle minerals like selenium, copper, potassium, iron, and zinc.

23. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans add a scrumptious chewy texture to any meal while offering a healthy dose of protein and fiber to keep you full for hours. A cup of kidneys weighs in at 70 mg of magnesium, so toss a few cans in your cart next time you’re grocery shopping!

24. Figs
Lusciously sweet with a chewy flesh and candied skin, dried figs are a no-brainer when it comes to getting your magnesium fix. Along with satisfying a sweet tooth and curbing cravings, figs offer a great source of dietary fiber, making them an effective weight loss snack!

25. Cashews
These oily nuts offer a wealth of monounsaturated fats, healthy nutrients that stabilize insulin levels and battle stubborn belly fat! Like its fellow tree nuts, cashews are packed with antioxidants. They also offer an excellent dose of magnesium, along with other key minerals like copper.

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9 Best Brain  Diet Foods

Your brain needs the right nutrients to perform at top level.

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Eating the right foods can help you look, feel, and think better. That’s right. Research proves that certain foods enhance your everyday brain skills. Besides making you sharper, a diet comprised of the right nutrients can protect your brain against degeneration, warding off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Eating brain food also nourishes your neurons and boosts your brain’s production of neurotransmitters.

If you’re wondering which brain diet foods you should go after, we’ve rounded up our top picks of foods that’ll boost your brainpower. These wholesome, uber-nutritious noms are bursting with key nutrients to enhance your memory, attention, and learning abilities. Who knew your diet could make you smarter?

1. Walnuts
Take a good look at a walnut. It looks suspiciously like the human brain! It’s no surprise these miracle nuts make the ultimate brain food. Replete with omega-3s, fatty acids crucial for normal brain functioning, walnuts are also known to raise melatonin levels. This helps you ward off sleeplessness and sluggish brain activity. Grab a few before dashing out the door!

2. Salmon
You might’ve been told to eat salmon before a big test, and the advice has some validity. Deep water fish like salmon are chock-full of omega-3s, which boost the synapses in your brain associated with memory. We’re not saying a salmon dinner will have you acing tests left and right. With the fish’s memory-jogging properties, however, it could help!

3. Lentils
Sharpen up with some lentils! Lentils deliver a steady dose of glucose to the brain. Glucose serves as the major source of energy for cells in the body and powers up brain cells. The fiber in lentils monitors and stabilizes the release of glucose, so your brain cells can use them optimally. Fiber also has a satiating effect, helping curb cravings.

4. Pomegranate Juice
Just as your body feeds off the nutrients from your food, so does your brain! Uber-nutritious pomegranate juice offers a feast of incredible brain-boosting nutrients. With its soaring concentration of antioxidants, pomegranate juice prevents free radicals from damaging brain cells. Its antioxidants repel radicals from your heart. Science shows people with healthy hearts tend to have better memories.

5. Spinach
Spinach offers an infinite spectrum of health benefits. It’s no wonder the superfood literally supercharges your brain. Spinach contains a bunch of vital enzymes and nutrients that strengthen synapses and release healthy levels of neurotransmitters. You can’t go wrong by following in Popeye’s footsteps and squeezing more spinach into your diet!

6. Blueberries
These deep blue beauties taste great and are miraculous for the mind! When it comes to studying and test-taking, the fabulous fruits are a no-brainer. Research shows that blueberries activate neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells, in a region of the brain responsible for memory. They also enhance mental speed and cognition. Munch on a handful and feed your brain!

7. Beets
These ruby-red vegetables are full of fiber and low in calories, making them perfect for weight management. But that’s not all! They offer a bunch of brain-boosting properties as well. Beets contain a hefty dose of natural nitrates, which your body converts to nitric oxide. This nitric oxide causes the walls with blood vessels to swell, allowing your brain more oxygen, nutrients, and energy.

8. Eggs
These protein-packed superfoods deliver a great source of choline, a vital nutrient that often falls in the category of B vitamins. Your mind benefits from choline, thanks to the nutrient’s ability to maintain the structure of brain cell membranes. It also helps relay messages from the brain to your nerves and muscles. Cheap, versatile, and delicious, eggs are your foolproof go-to when it comes to healthy brain food.

9. Oats
Oats are nature’s medicine for the mind. Bursting with iron, zinc, potassium and B vitamins, oats keep your brain functioning at its full capacity thanks to these nutrients. The versatile superfood also contains glucose, which delivers energy to your brain cells. Its high-fiber profile allows for a steady release of this glucose while warding off cravings and keeping hunger at bay.

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7 Underrated Foods That Do Wonders for Your Health

These 7 foods are tasty and great for your health

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We tend to shower a certain host of superfoods with attention. As a result, we often ignore less trendy health fare. By giving unpopular foods the cold shoulder, you’re doing your body a disservice! We’re shining the spotlight on 7 Underrated Foods that do Wonders for your Health. With each item offering its own list of health benefits, they’re a must on any nutrient expert’s grocery list. These top picks are widely available and super familiar. It’s easy to enhance recipes with their distinctive, delicious flavors.

1. Egg yolks

The whites get all the hype, but what about the yolks? These sunny egg centers are often dismissed for their fat and cholesterol content, but don’t let those numbers scare you away! With their fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, egg yolks contain most of the superfood’s nutrients. They’re one of the richest sources of the vitamin choline, a B-complex vitamin associated with improved brain function and reduced inflammation.

2. Garlic

Garlic is your knight in shining armor when you feel a bug creeping up. Garlic fights viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, steers away congestion, and prevents heart disease. Its funky scent comes from an oozy liquid that inhibits the growth of bad bacteria

 3. Shrimp

This fruit of the sea is a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. Its high-protein, low-calorie profile sets it apart from other fabulously healthy fish. Shrimp fills you up and curbs cravings without the excess calories present in fattier fish. It makes a delectable appetizer at any get-together or dinner party.

4. Cashews

Don’t let almonds get all the attention! Cashews are downright delicious and offer a ton of health benefits. A small handful of these nuts can boost your energy levels, improve your mood, and prevent heart disease. They deliver a good source of protein and fiber to ward off cravings and keep you full. Just make sure to opt for raw, unsalted cashews over the fried and flavored versions that reverse all their positive effects!

5. Seaweed

Nutrition experts swear by certain vegetables, and seaweed is no exception. Don’t let its slimy appearance scare you! Seaweed contains alginate, a natural fiber that improves digestion and reduces fat absorption. It’s a good source of iodine, an essential mineral critical for healthy thyroid function. If that weren’t enough, the super sea veggie also delivers a boatload of calcium and vitamin B12.

6. Hard Cheeses

It’s not every day you hear “cheese” and “healthy” in the same sentence. But we’re not referring to overly-processed American cheese or fatty, calorie-laden soft cheeses. We’re talking about hard cheeses aged over a considerable length of time. Parmesan and Asiago offer a significant source of vitamin K2, which protects against cancer and heart disease. Despite being high in calories, cheese requires your body’s energy to digest (which actually burns calories!) and its high protein content will keep you full for hours.

7. Sauerkraut

There’s more to less-than-approachable foods than meets the eye. Exhibit A: Sauerkraut. Although a tad pungent, the fermented vegetable is one of the healthiest foods available. Sauerkraut delivers a boatload of healthy bacteria to the gut. These nutritious microbes aid digestion and nutrient absorption. A healthy gut sets the stage for an all-around healthy self. With its ability to boost energy levels and strengthen your immune system, the sour cabbage brings more than improved digestive health to the table. Sneak the superfood into your diet by adding a spoonful to your salad or layer on a sandwich.

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5 Best and Worst Salad Toppings

Do’s and don’ts for Topping Those Greens

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Green crunchy goodness! There’s so much about the humble salad that shouts good health and weight loss…until it comes to toppings. Salad toppings can make or break your journey to shed pounds. Learn the 5 best and 5 worst salad toppings so you can stay on track to a slimmer, healthier you.

Salads have long been a go-to food on healthy meal plans. While fresh greens and vegetables are smart food choices for anyone who wants to lose or maintain weight, many women end up adding unnecessary fat and calories by choosing the wrong toppings. Even toppings labeledhealthy can be hidden sodium or sugar traps that will wreck your weight loss journey. Find out which salad toppings are dos and which are don’ts.

5 Best Salad Toppings

1. Homemade Salad Dressings
DIY dressing recipes give you complete control over taste and ingredients. By using clean eating ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, lemon, honey, and more, you benefit from all the flavor and none of the ingredients that add bulk to your waistline.

2. Seeds
From chia to flax to pumpkin, seeds punch up the nutritional factor–and the crunch factor!–in any salad. Chia and flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart. Pumpkin seeds contain zinc, magnesium, and tryptophan (the “sleep” amino acid found in turkey), plus they offer anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Greek Yogurt-Based Dressings
Non-fat Greek yogurt is a healthier alternative to calorie-bomb creamy dressings. It delivers protein and a heaping helping of probiotics, which boost gut health. Try this homemade

4. Legumes & Other Plant-Based Proteins
Get a meaty fix by using chickpeas, beans, or tempeh (a cake-like food made from soybeans). These ingredients provide a plant-based protein source that will recharge your mind and body, making them a smart choice for refueling at lunchtime.

5. Eggs
Boost protein power the healthy way by adding one hard-boiled egg to your salad. Recent research suggests that adding an egg to your salad improves the body’s ability to absorb inflammation-fighting nutrients from the vegetables [1]. Many women can safely consume one egg each day, but if heart health is a concern, stick to a hard-boiled egg white.

5 Worst Salad Toppings

1. Creamy dressings
Processed cream-based dressings are easily among the worst salad toppings. Creamy dressings labeled light aren’t necessarily healthy either. What you lose in fat or calories you gain in sodium, sugar, or artificial sweeteners. Fat-free creamy dressings are also notorious for incorporating high fructose corn syrup.

2. Whole Cheese
Some fats, like those found in olive oil, can be healthy additions to the menu; however, consuming too many fat-rich, whole dairy products, like cheese, can weigh down your weight loss efforts. Limit cheese toppings for salads to a light sprinkling of low-fat feta or shredded mozzarella. If you’re eating takeout or dining at a restaurant, ask the server to put the cheese on the side so you can control how much you consume.

3. Processed Meats
From bits of salami to slices of bacon, processed meats are a go-to salad topping for some. Research has linked processed meats, including bacon, to an increased risk of cancer. Some experts argue that regularly eating processed meats is in the same cancer-risk category as smoking. Do your body a favor and pass on these worst salad toppings!

4. Fried Chicken or Shrimp
Salads can be a way to boost healthy protein intake – unless you’re mixing in fried chicken or shrimp. The excess fat and calories will virtually negate any of the good stuff found in your greens.

5. Dried Cranberries
I know—they’re tasty. And they make a salad look pretty too! The problem is that dried cranberries are high in calories—up to 123 in a ⅓ cup serving. That same serving size contains…wait for it…a whopping 26 grams of sugar, or the equivalent of half a can of soda. Yikes!

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7 Cold and Flu Fighting Foods

Prevent and relieve symptoms naturally

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Nutrition plays a big role in supporting the immune system, which is charged with protecting your body from invaders that range from the simple cold to complex cancer. Nutrients like vitamins and minerals give the immune system the ammunition it needs to do its job well. A healthy diet can’t prevent every disease, but it can ensure your immune system has the tools to fight as well as it can.

Processed foods are stripped of the vitamins and minerals that support the immune system. By choosing a clean-eating lifestyle—one that focuses on minimally-processed or whole foods—you give your body what it needs to support an immune system less vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, and disease-causing processes. The foods that fight colds below are a smart way to start.

1. Banana
Bananas are a tummy-soothing winner. They’re easy on the stomach, making them a natural for nursing the body through diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

2. Garlic
Garlic is packed with antiviral and antibacterial properties that support a healthy immune system.

3. Green or Black Tea
Tea is a natural cold and flu fighter because it offers high levels of antioxidants like L-theanine, a known immune booster. Avoid processed tea drinks and reach for unsweetened tea or tea that’s lightly sweetened with a natural sweetener like honey. (Bonus: honey is rich in antioxidants for added immune support.)

4. Mushrooms
Mushrooms probably aren’t the first cold-fighting flu to come to mind, but they’re a major source of zinc, which bolsters the immune system to help battle the sniffles. Shitake mushrooms in particular may have antiviral properties [1]. Add mushrooms to an omelet with fellow cold-fighter garlic to give sniffles a one-two punch.

5. Red or Pink Grapefruit
The rosier varieties of grapefruit are rich in compounds called bioflavonoids that boost the body’s natural immune reaction. Grapefruits are also high in vitamin C, which may help fight colds.

6. Soup
Grandma was right. Broth-based soup, particularly chicken soup, contains cysteine, an amino acid that thins mucus. Soup hydrates the body, which is a critical part of the healing process.

7. Spicy Foods
Whether it’s chili peppers or ginger, spicy foods are natural decongestants that help unclog a stuffy nose by temporarily shrinking blood vessels.

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50 Ways to Eat Clean

Try these foods to clean up your diet.

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It’s unhealthy to have an all-or-nothing mentality. Eating clean is not about being perfect; it’s about making the best choice as often as possible and working to be healthier and stronger every day. Getting all your nutrients will fill you with vigor and energy, improving your body, mind, and mood. Below, we have compiled the 50 Ways to Eat Clean, plus included clean recipes throughout. These tips are meant to be a guide to help you become a little healthier and a bit stronger each day.

1. Start your day with a glass of water.
The first thing we consume in the morning awakens our metabolism and starts our digestive system. For many of us, this means coffee. If our coffee comes in the form of a sugary blended drink, our digestive track will be hit with a full dose of sugar before it’s fully revved up. A glass of water will wake up your body without any excess sugar or fats.

2. Eat breakfast.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after all. A balanced breakfast will kickstart your metabolism and provide all-day energy. Recent research has found that people who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat throughout the day. Not to mention it’s easier to get out of bed when you know you have a delicious meal waiting for you!

3. Work sugars out of breakfast.
For the same reason that a sugary coffee is detrimental in the morning, a sugar-filled breakfast can leave you feeling slow and groggy. Avoid putting too much sugar in your oatmeal and save starchy breakfasts such as pancakes for special occasions.

4. Make your breakfast larger and your dinners smaller.
Many of us think of breakfast as the smallest meal of the day, with dinner being the largest. Our bodies actually work better in reverse. A hearty breakfast with lean proteins, healthy fats, and slow-digesting carbs will give you energy throughout the day and work to fend off cravings. A large dinner can lead to restless sleep or interrupted digestive processes.

5. Train yourself to use less sweetener.
Even if you use a natural sweetener like honey, too much sugar has a negative effect on your health. Processed or unprocessed, sugar quickly makes its way into your bloodstream, causing spikes and weight gain. Train yourself to use less sweetener by slowly decreasing the amount you put in your coffee and oatmeal.

6. Focus on incorporating more healthy foods.
If your main focus is to stay away from chocolate, a healthy diet can seem restrictive. Instead of eliminating your favorite foods, try incorporating more fruits and vegetables each day. Your body will be satisfied by the healthy items, leaving less room for sweets and junk foods. Remember that there’s always room for a treat as long as it’s enjoyed in moderation.

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30 Day Gluten Free Challenge

These easy tips and tricks will help you determine if gluten free is right for you.

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Do you feel bloated, drained, and sluggish? Gluten could be contributing to these blah symptoms. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, gives foods like bread and dough their chewy texture. Unfortunately, those who are gluten sensitive can experience increased inflammation in the body, especially the gut. Gluten sneaks past the gut barrier and enters the immune system. This throws your immune system into full gear, causing it to develop antibodies to attack gluten which can, in turn, attack the body.

Going gluten-free has been a trend among celebrities and health enthusiasts for years. But why? Experts claim that ditching wheat can wash away pounds, enhance physical performance, decrease belly fat, and boost energy levels. If that doesn’t convince you, supporters attribute improved digestion, less bloating, and clearer skin to their gluten-free diet. Wheat plays a prominent role in the American diet. It’s tough to cut the chemical out entirely. But don’t stress – SkinnyMs. is here to help!

Jump on this 30-day challenge and cut gluten from your diet for one month. These tips and tricks will help you ditch the detrimental protein and make you feel lighter, happier, and more energized.

1. Stock Up On Produce

Lucky for you, all fresh fruits and vegetables are gluten-free, providing you with an infinite list of potential recipes under your belt.

2. Give Your Kitchen A Makeover

Going gluten free will have you preparing your own meals, since there’s a shortage of premade gluten-free options. Ease the transition by making your kitchen gluten-free-friendly and removing all gluten items.

Having trouble parting with scrumptious, carb-filled snacks? Don’t fret. There are plenty of gluten-free alternatives that’ll satisfy those taste buds.

3. Start Fresh

Cut out gluten completely and avoid contact with all ingredients containing gluten. For example, if you make a salad with croutons for your family, don’t simply remove them from your plate and call the dish gluten-free. Make your dishes gluten-free from the start without any modifications.

4. Befriend Other Whole Grains

Instead of mourning the absence of gluten-stuffed foods like pizza and pasta, stock up on healthy whole grains that don’t contain the protein. Brown rice, corn, and quinoa are excellent options.

5. Swap Starches

Trouble reconciling your love for baking with your gluten-free plan? Don’t sweat it. Plenty of safe flours exist that make perfect alternatives. These include brown rice flour, millet flour, and quinoa flour. Opt for high-protein, non-grain flours like almond flour and hazelnut flour to pack a protein punch in your recipes.

6. Add Texture and Flavor

A gluten-free diet shouldn’t have you munching on cardboard. The challenge doesn’t mean giving up savory foods. Adding chopped nuts, dried fruit, or shaved coconut can do wonders for your food’s texture. Opting for applesauce, Greek yogurt, or brown sugar will boost moisture levels.

7. On the Go? Don’t Give Up!

We understand that hectic days have you running around like crazy and leave no time for at-home meal prep. That’s why it’s important to keep stashes of travel-sized gluten-free snacks around. This will minimize the temptation to cheat and spoil your goals.

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5 Benefits of Drinking Black Coffee

It’s alright to indulge in your favorite morning beverage!

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Black coffee may be bitter, but its health benefits are sweet. Coffee is full of nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that improve overall health, brain function, and may even help prevent diseases. Many of these health benefits are due to caffeine, a natural stimulant. Read on to learn our favorite 5 Benefits of Drinking Black Coffee!

Note: These perks apply to pure, black coffee. Artificial sweeteners and syrups destroy coffee’s natural health benefits.

1. Black coffee raises energy levels and brain activity.
Caffeine is a stimulant that allows your brain to increase dopamine levels. Because of this, coffee improves all cognitive functions. Drink on and work productively.

2. Black coffee helps you lose weight.
Caffeine’s stimulant effects don’t stop in the brain. It also boosts your metabolic rate, which means your body burns fat faster with caffeine’s assistance.

3. Black coffee is full of nutrients.
Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals – coffee has it all. Though the percentages of vitamins and nutrients in coffee are small, they add up over a few cups. Americans get most of their antioxidants from coffee. Antioxidants play a large part in reduced cancer risk.

4. Black coffee may lower the risk of certain diseases.
Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease, depression, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and cancer are just a few of the diseases that cancer protects against.

5. Black coffee is a natural pain reliever.
Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, which allows temporary pain relief. Though this is a wonderful health benefit, you shouldn’t rely on caffeine as a long-term pain reliever. Over time, you will become dependent on the substance, which will cause pain rather than relieve it.

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7 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

There really are no excuses.

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Health should not be a privilege. Your access to healthy meals shouldn’t depend on your income. Sometimes it seems like in order to buy the latest health products or to eat organic, you need to empty your bank account. Many specialty health stores are known for their outrageous prices, while bargain supermarkets seem to carry only junk food and processed snacks.

It’s not impossible to eat healthy on a budget. Whole, nutrient-packed foods don’t need to come from expensive specialty stores. From frozen fruit to bulk grains, you can get nutrition without breaking the bank. Check out our top 7 tips for eating healthy on a budget.

1. Check out the frozen produce.
Many of us prefer fresh fruit and veggies because they’re full of color and flavor. Unfortunately, fresh also means they don’t keep for very long. Consider frozen fruits and vegetables a healthy, budget-conscious alternative. You won’t waste any money on food that goes bad before you eat it.

Buying frozen also means you can buy in bulk. Many wholesale retailers carry large bags of mixed veggies that are perfect for stir-frys. Another benefit to buying frozen is that your fruit is smoothie ready! No more adding ice that waters down your green smoothies.

2. Buy frozen chicken.
You can save money by purchasing large bags of lean frozen chicken. Look for chicken breast without the skin to keep things extra-healthy. Chicken is a protein-packed ingredient that you can use in every meal. It’s also much more economical than other protein sources.

3. Go crazy for legumes.

Beans and lentils are packed with hunger-quenching fiber and muscle-building protein. They also happen to be super cheap! A bag of beans is an inexpensive investment that will last a long time. Beans are incredibly versatile, meaning this one ingredient can be used in a variety of healthy recipes.

4. Plan your meals.
A little bit of meal planning can make a huge difference. When you know exactly what dishes you will be preparing, it’s easy to keep yourself from buying food that will rot. Meal planning is also essential when switching to a healthier diet. Having a set meal plan keeps you from resorting to fast food and quick microwavable meals.

Before grocery day, make a rough outline of the meals you will be preparing that week. This also gives you time to check for items you already own.

5. Pack your lunch.

If you spend $5 on lunch five days a week, it comes out to over $100 per month. For five dollars, you can buy a bag of mixed greens with some healthy vinaigrette, or a loaf of whole grain bread and some deli meat that will feed you for several days. Whenever possible, pack lunch instead of eating out. This will save both money and calories.

6. Shop at the Farmer’s Market
While this isn’t true for all cities, some farmer’s markets offer better deals on fresh produce. Check out your local farmer’s market to compare prices and learn about all the fruits and vegetables grown in your area.

7. Stay away from brand names.
Just as with clothes, you often pay more for recognizable names in the grocery store. Many brands go out of their way to make their product seem the most natural and healthy. This isn’t always true. Many stores carry generic products that are just as good and just as healthy as the big names.

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7 Ways to Eat Clean on the Road

Hit the road the healthy way.

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Does traveling trip up your healthy eating habits? Hitting the road doesn’t need to widen your waistline! Check out these 7 ways to eat clean on the road.

Whether you’re conferencing or sightseeing, traveling can seem like a healthy eating trap. Sometimes you’re tempted by tasty local fare that looks too good to pass up. Other times you might find yourself too busy to grab a bite – and then you overeat when you finally do get the chance.

But you don’t need to fall prey to the traps that have tripped you up in the past. We’re sharing no-hassle ways to eat clean, no matter where you are or what’s on the agenda.

1. Eat 4-6 small meals each day.
Travel can be hectic. It’s not uncommon to skip meals while you’re on the road. Don’t do that to yourself! Eating regularly throughout the day maintains a steady blood sugar level so you’re less likely to overeat at meals. If you don’t have time to stop for a meal, check out the next step for ways to eat clean while you’re on the move.

2. Pack a snack stash.
Bringing your own clean-eating snacks helps you avoid convenience stores, fast food places, and other unhealthy eating traps. Pack fresh fruit and vegetables, if possible. Bananas and apples travel relatively well for short periods, as do sugar snap peas, sliced peppers, and baby carrots. Single-serve bags of unsalted nuts, like walnuts and almonds, are smart eating choices too.

3. Hydrate often.
Few things are as dehydrating as travel. Crazy schedules, dry hotel air, and other factors can make you feel like a dried-out husk. Always keep water on hand and sip it throughout the day. If you tend to forget to drink water, set an alarm on your smartphone to remind yourself to drink every 20-30 minutes.

4. Keep tabs on alcohol consumption.
Whether you’re indulging in cocktails before the keynote or Mai Tais by the pool, drink alcohol, a major source of empty calories, in moderation. Reduce your consumption by drinking one full glass of water between each alcoholic beverage

5. Visit food markets instead of eating at restaurants.
Another way to eat clean while traveling is to take advantage of local food supermarkets, which often provide healthier options than typical restaurant fare. If there’s a fridge in your hotel or rental, stock it with healthy market foods like nonfat plain Greek yogurt, minimally-processed hummus, veggies, and fruit. Toss whole grain crackers or pretzels in your basket, too. You’ll save yourself calories, fat, and sugar. Your wallet will be happier, too!

6. Indulge occasionally.
Truth: some treats are meant to be savored. Don’t be afraid to let yourself indulge in local tastiness, whether it’s a cappuccino in Italy or shoofly pie in Amish country. The key is to stick to small portions. Dessert time is a fantastic time to share if you’ve got travel companions.

7. Eat smart when you eat out.
It can be tricky to completely avoid restaurants while traveling, so check out these basic guidelines for smart eating while you’re out-and-about.

  • Order the smallest portion available.
  • Choose dishes that are baked, roasted, steamed, broiled, or grilled.
  • Ask for vinegar, lemon, or extra virgin olive oil to dress salads.
  • Request that heavy sauces be served on the side to better control your intake. 

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WELLNESS

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10 Minute Yoga Sequence For Relaxation & Stress Relief

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8 Healthy Things Every Child Should Learn From His/Her Mother

Healthy and unhealthy habits are learned at a young age.

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Health and unhealthy habits are formed at a young age. Whether positive or negative, most children learn these habits from their parents. Here are 8 Healthy Things Every Kid Can Learn From Their Mom to help them be healthy in the future.

1. How to enjoy healthy eating 

The foods we eat as children are closely related to the foods we eat as adults. Kids that grow up eating junk food on a regular basis can carry the habit into adulthood. They’re likely to pick up fast food and soda when there’s no time to make dinner.

A child with a bad diet is more likely to crave food with trans fats and added sugars as an adult. Processed ingredients can be as addictive as cigarettes, alcohol, and gambling. Refined sugars act like a drug. The more we eat, the more we crave.

A healthy diet starts early. One thing a child can learn from their parents is that fruits and vegetables are satisfying, flavorful parts of our diets. Fruits can be just as sweet as desserts, and seasoned vegetables can taste much better than greasy french fries.

2. Drinking water instead of soda

Sodas and most fruit juices are filled with addictive processed sugars. When sugar hides in our drinks, we often don’t realize how much we’re consuming! The American Heart Association recommends that adults eat no more than 25 to 37 grams of sugar in a day. A single 20 oz bottle of soda contains around 65 grams.

It’s easier to start avoiding soda at a young age than to reverse an addiction later on. Kids should learn the importance of drinking water. You can add slices of citrus or cucumber to water for a refreshing natural flavor.

3. The importance of breakfast 

Making breakfast a morning ritual raises the chance that your child will continue to have breakfast every day throughout college and adulthood.

Skipping breakfast has been linked to lower performance at school, weight gain, and higher junk food consumption. On the other hand, kids who eat a healthy breakfast tend to concentrate better, perform well at school, and have more energy for sports.

4. Love for the outdoors 

Television, laptops, tablets, cell phones: there’s no lack of indoor entertainment. But too much time inside can be bad for your kids. Staying indoors can result in vitamin D deficiency and a sedentary lifestyle that leaves people vulnerable to obesity and heart disease.

Kids should learn from their parents how to enjoy time outside. Children that spend all their free time in front of a screen will see this as the norm and likely continue this habit into adulthood. Children that lead a more active lifestyle are more likely to crave physical activity as adults. They’ll learn to enjoy things like hiking, running, and biking.

5. Reading 

The love of books grows from seeds planted early. The more a child reads, the better the child becomes at reading. The better a child is at reading, the more likely he or she is to enjoy books. Soon your kids will pick up books on their own, explore the genres that intrigue them, and learn all kinds of interesting things along the way.

6. The importance of family time 

Whether it’s nightly dinners or Sunday outings, family time is a tradition that will stay with your kids forever. Quality bonding time makes tons of great childhood memories and gives children the confidence to know that they have backup. Teaching your kids that there are people who will love them even when they make a mistake is a priceless gift.

7. How to say you’re sorry 

We all mess up at some point in our lives. We break things, forget important dates, and accidentally hurt the people who love us most. When we inevitably make mistakes, it’s important to know how to give a heartfelt apology. Oftentimes, there’s nothing we can do to fix what we’ve broken – but saying sorry can heal a lot of hurt. You can teach your children how to make amends at a young age.

8. How to dream big 

When you’re a child, imagination comes easy. There’s monsters hidden under the bed and fairies in the backyard. A broken broom can be anything from a galloping horse to an all-powerful magic wand. Nothing is impossible. But as we grow up, we lose the ability to see the fantastic in everyday life. There’s only dust bunnies under the bed and bugs in the backyard. A broken broomstick is only a broken broomstick.

Encourage your kids to dream big when they’re young, and the promise of possibility will stay with them forever.

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How to Dodge Afternoon Drowsiness

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Everyone has suffered from a post-lunch crash that makes you want to nod off into dreamland. Despite a productive morning, something sucks your energy away and drags you into an afternoon slump.

Your internal clock paired with fluctuating blood sugar levels are to blame for this normal PM response. Lucky for you, ways to combat afternoon drowsiness exist!

Bad foods and hurtful habits can have you dozing away at the office. We’ve gathered some tips and tricks that’ll help you avoid the two o-clock droop and keep your energy levels from spiraling.

1. Eat For Energy
High-glycemic foods like white bread and sugary cereal can cause the dreaded energy drop. Foods with refined carbs, especially processed foods, are digested quickly, triggering immediate blood sugar spikes followed by a dramatic plummet.

2. Get Some Sun
Take a quick break and change up the atmosphere! Removing yourself from your work for a few minutes can refresh and motivate you. Going outside to soak up a few rays will boost your mood and get you out of that stifling office. Exposure to bright light presses the reset button on your internal body rhythms and helps convince your system that it’s time to get a move on!

3. Do Some Cardio
Ironic as it might sound, squeezing in a little exercise when you feel a crash approaching will jumpstart your energy levels and wake you up. Short bursts of energy can promote blood flow to the brain and rev up your system. Anything to get your muscles moving and your heart pumping will increase mental clarity. Try these do-anywhere workouts for a quick cardio pick-me-up!

4. Hydrate
If you don’t drink enough water, dehydration can take a toll on your mood, ability to think, and, worst of all, your energy levels. Your body’s organs need water to function properly. Adequate hydration will improve your mental and physical performance. So drink up!

5. Sniff Citrus
Citrus scents stimulate alertness and revitalize your senses. Just one whiff of a grapefruit, orange, or lemon can boost your mood and kick-start your energy levels. Thanks to their high vitamin C content, these fabulous fruits eliminate irritability and fatigue while revving up your engine. For a quick energy fix, keep an orange at your desk or apply some citrus-scented lotion.

6. Go Easy on the Coffee
Coffee has its upsides, like helping you perk up quickly. Unfortunately, the beloved beverage comes with some extra baggage. The highly acidic substance acts as a diuretic, which can have a dehydrating effect on your system. The energy it gives you is only temporary. You might enjoy an initial state of alertness, but you’re bound to crash later. Limiting your coffee intake will also prevent carb cravings!

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5 Easy Changes for Better Sleep

5 small changes to better sleep!

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Nobody deserves to go through life tired, but we often yawn and rely on coffee to get us through the day. Many of us lack energy because of improper sleep. Sleep is necessary for your brain and body to recover from day-to-day activities. It’s the time when we regenerate brain cells and rebuild muscle.

Part of leading a healthy lifestyle is getting enough sleep. If you’re having sleeping problems, check out these 5 Small Changes for Better Sleep.

1. Eat dinner 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
A full stomach can disturb sleep. When you sleep, your body shuts down certain processes so it can focus on recovery. Digesting prevents your body from stopping certain metabolic processes and affects your quality of sleep. Likewise, going to bed with a rumbling stomach can be uncomfortable. You want to eat early enough to have digested most of your food, but not so early that you’re already hungry again. If you must, have a light snack before bed, but steer clear of anything with added sugars or high calorie content.

2. Don’t have caffeine in the evening.
Everyone’s body processes caffeine in different ways. Some people can drink a single cup of coffee and be up for hours, while others can sip espresso right before bed. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try stopping caffeine consumption in the early afternoon. Give your body enough time to process any caffeine you’ve consumed during the day and avoid having any more. This includes black and green tea, energy drinks, regular coffee, and even decaf coffee.

3. Read a book instead of browsing the internet.
The bright light from your laptop or cell phone screen fools your brain into thinking it’s earlier than it is. This makes it difficult for you to fall asleep. Try cutting yourself off from all tech devices about an hour before bed. Your body will relax and understand it’s time to rest. No more wasting time tossing and turning!

4. Keep a regular sleep routine.
Keeping an irregular sleep cycle can mess up your internal clock. If you go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, you’ll find that the habit becomes natural. You’ll be able to fall asleep on time every day.

5. Don’t keep clutter on your bed.
A cluttered bed is common among college students and other people who live alone. This clutter includes laundry that needs to be put away, books, school notebooks, electronics, or superfluous pillows. All of this limits the amount of space on your bed. You want your brain to associate bed with sleep, not chores or work. Keeping these items away from your bed will help you get better, more restful sleep.

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5 Secrets From Healthy People

Top tips to supercharge your immune system.

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No strategy can help every person stay healthy 100% of the time. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to boost your immune system and reduce your risk of falling prey to every illness-producing bug. You’ll notice that these changes are the same ones that help you lose weight and improve your overall well-being. If you’ve been putting off adopting a healthier lifestyle, you now have one more reason to join the club: fewer sniffles, sneezes, and heaves!

1. Healthier people manage stress.
Long-term stress produces high levels of cortisol and epinephrine, hormones that damage the body over time by weakening the immune system. You have plenty of options for managing stress. For example, research showed that people who meditated over eight weeks had significantly more flu-fighting antibodies than those who didn’t meditate [1]. Become one of those people who rarely gets sick by doing

2. Healthier people eat fewer processed foods.
Nutrition plays an important role in how well our bodies are able to fight off bacteria and viruses. Processed foods, like boxed dinners, are often stripped of the nutrients that support the immune system. Minimally-processed and whole foods offer all the nutritional goodness Mother Nature has to offer, from antioxidants to phytonutrients.

3. Healthier people move.
Exercise boosts immunity in several ways. It causes white blood cells, which fight off disease, to circulate more rapidly to kill bacteria and viruses. Working out also lowers levels of the stress-related hormones that trigger illnesses.

4. Healthier people get shut-eye.
Getting good quality sleep in the proper amounts is essential to staying healthy. During sleep, the body reboots the immune system so it’s better able to fight off invaders.

5. Healthier people connect with others.
People with social networks are less likely to suffer colds and the flu than those without social connections. Connected people have better survival rates when they do experience illnesses [2]. If you want to help prevent sickness, shut off the glowing screens and spend quality time with friends and/or family.

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8 Ways to Naturally Lower Anxiety

Relax the natural ways.

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A little anxiety can be good when it pushes us to make positive changes or perform better. However, too much anxiety can wreak havoc on our health and well-being. Sometimes anxiety triggers symptoms like headaches, muscle tension, moodiness, or sweating. It affects the body internally, raising blood sugar levels and triglycerides (unhealthy blood fats), as the body tries to make more fuel available for perceived threats.

These ways to lower anxiety will help you relax and restore your emotional well-being. If anxious thoughts regularly interfere with your ability to live the life you want, please talk with your family doctor or a mental health professional.

1. Choose good mood foods.
Bad carbohydrates, like packaged chips, crackers, and refined sugar, impact brain function and blood sugar. Give your brain and body the foundation it needs to operate at its peak by choosing healthy foods to support better moods — foods like Greek yogurt or dark chocolate.

2. Make ZZZs a priority.
The body reboots itself during sleep. Lacking in the shut-eye department can wreak serious havoc on your moods.

3. Make time for tea.
Tea time isn’t just a quaint custom you read about in books. Herbal teas have long been used to lower anxiety levels and improve moods. Research also suggests people who consume green tea have lower levels of depressive symptoms

4. Sweat it out.
Working out several times a week reduces stress hormones. If it’s been awhile since you’ve broken a sweat, get started!

5. Give yoga a go.
Yoga combines physical movement with controlled breathing exercises to naturally lower levels of stress hormones. One study suggests yoga can reduce emotional distress, including anxiety. What’s more, study participants reported better sleep, fewer headaches, and less back pain.

6. Limit alcohol.
Alcoholic drinks are full of empty calories and, sometimes, refined sugar, but they also affect levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters that play a role in mood.

7. Go alkaline.
Acidic foods don’t just trigger heartburn. They can raise the body’s pH enough to cause problems like weight gain and anxiety.

8. Spend time with friends.
Social support is one of our favorite ways to lower anxiety naturally. Numerous studies show that healthy social connections help people better cope with stress and anxiety [3]. Grab a pal or loved one and take a long walk.

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7 Things You Didn’t Know About Apple Cider Vinegar

Who Knew?

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Coined “mother nature’s perfect food”, apple cider vinegar is more than just regular vinegar flaunting an apple-themed profile. With its incredible health and beauty benefits, the vinegar’s powers are borderline magical, making the condiment a must in any pantry.

So where does the oh-so-wonderful apple cider vinegar come from? The super tart liquid comes from fermenting apple cider. The fermentation process exposes the apple’s natural sugar to bacteria and yeast, causing it to break down into alcohol, and then vinegar.

People trying to slim down swear by its weight loss affects, while beauty enthusiasts attribute their luscious hair and clear skin to the condiment. We’re here to give you the 4-1-1 on apple cider vinegar, and why it’s so much more than just a salad dressing!

1. Lose Weight with ACV
People swear by apple cider vinegar as a weight loss aid-no wonder it’s been widely admired and applauded for centuries. ACV will certainly lend a helping hand when you’re on the road towards a slimmer you! Its nutrients, enzymes and organic acids act as an appetite suppressant, controlling your cravings and giving you a feeling of fullness. At the same time, ACV speeds up your body’s metabolic rate and reduces water retention, all of which can accelerate the weight loss process!

2. Get Healthy, Gorgeous Hair with ACV
For beautiful, shiny hair, mix one cup of warm water with a tablespoon of vinegar and rinse hair with the solution after washing. Not only does the process make your hair silky smooth and glossy, it also clears grease build-up and soothes itchiness. This works because the vinegar balances the PH in your hair while sealing the cuticle. So if you’re longing for luscious locks, forget the beauty store- make a trip to your kitchen!

3.Relieve Aches and Muscle Pain with ACV
The acetic acid in Apple Cider Vinegar can help soothe sore muscles after that crazy intense workout or ski trip your friend mistakenly agreed to go on. Thanks to the acetic acid, ACV can provide temporary relief by penetrating and warming muscles. The vinegar aids in the electrical exchanges of the body, reducing the risk of cramping. At the same time, it regulates your body’s fluid levels, which maintains balance and reduces muscle cramp intensity. Simply mix with water and rub over affected areas, and you’ll let out that sigh of relief in no time!
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4. Clear Your Skin with ACV
If you desire clear, healthy skin, bust out that ACV for a simple solution that will blow you away. The vinegar balances the pH in your skin due to its natural antiseptic properties, making it an effective, refreshing facial toner. It also has antibacterial abilities, so dabbing the dressing on blemishes or pimples help will help remove them. At the same time, wave goodbye to those frustrating acne scars you waste loads of makeup trying to cover. ACV helps reduce inflammation and infection in the skin, so dilute some with water and dab over scars to see results!

5. Treat Acid Reflux with ACV
Countless people swear by apple cider vinegar’s ability to relieve acid reflux. It sounds ironic-relying on something so acidic to treat acid reflux; but hear us out. The natural remedy inhibits acid reflux by breaking down fats and improving digestion. At the same time, it has acetic acid, an acid weaker than the type your stomach produces, so it helps buffer the acidity level in your stomach and aid in acid production. To keep these symptoms of indigestion at bay, mix two tablespoons with a cup of water and drink up!

6. Boost Your Energy Levels with ACV
Forget coffee-put some pep in your step with ACV! The tart liquid will deliver a healthy boost of energy- minus the crash. Research claims that raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar improves stamina due to the combination of its incredible immune system benefits and the powerful alkalizing effects. So what are you waiting for? Turn that lazy afternoon into a productive, energy-driven day by mixing a couple tablespoons with water.

7. Fight Infection with ACV
When fighting off a frustrating cold or healing an infection, look no further than Apple Cider Vinegar! ACV knows what’s up when it comes to strengthening your immune system. It promotes your body’s production of friendly bacteria, which improves conditions in the body and enhances your overall immunity. At the same time, the presence of malic acid in ACV works as a powerful antiviral, which battles cold or flue-like symptoms. The golden liquid just keeps on giving!

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7 Foods That Tackle Stress

Gain control over your stress levels before they control you. It starts with what you eat.

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We all get stressed from time to time. Unfortunately, this powerful emotion can have destructive effects on your body. The anxiety from stress triggers your hormones to behave in different ways. Shoving your stress under the rug like it doesn’t exist will only make it worse. The good news is you can eat to beat stress! We don’t mean turning to comfort food and mindlessly guzzling down mac & cheese and brownies. Certain foods have calming properties and the ability to lower anxiety levels. They’re also highly nutritious.

1. Asparagus
Asparagus is rich, delicious, and helps you chill out on the days you’re feeling, well, the total opposite of chill. Green vegetables like asparagus boast countless health benefits, but the key to their calming capabilities lies in B vitamins. These nutrients are essential for regulating emotions, lowering anxiety, and fighting off depression. A serving of these fleshy green spears delivers a substantial amount of B vitamins, along with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

2. Blood Oranges
The name might have a spooky ring to it, but we promise that these tasty citrus fruits only have helpful qualities. Blood oranges are full of vitamin C, containing a higher amount of the essential vitamin than their bloodless counterparts. Foods with high doses of vitamin C lower blood pressure and reduce concentrations of cortisol, the stress hormone. Kick back, prop your feet up, and peel yourself one of these fabulous fruits..

3. Milk
A glass of milk is the perfect remedy when you’re feeling physically anxious and fidgety. Milk contains the protein lactium, which lowers blood pressure and has a calming effect on your system. It contains substantial amounts of potassium that can relieve stressed muscles and tension. Pour yourself a glass to ward off anxiety!

4. Almonds
Stress takes a toll on your immune system. Combat this by munching on a few almonds! Almonds are an ideal stress-relief snack because of their amazing health benefits. They contain high amounts of vitamin B2 and E, which lower anxiety levels. These nutritious nuts also boost your immune system.

5. Salmon
A little salmon on a stressful day might be all you need to reduce your anxiety levels. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that can completely reverse stress symptoms. These nutrients boost serotonin levels and lower anxiety hormones like cortisol. You’ll finally regain control of your emotions and return to your productive, stress-free self.

6. Oatmeal
A warm bowl of oatmeal soothes the soul, comforts the tummy, and induces feelings of tranquility. The timeless breakfast food stimulates production of serotonin thanks to its nutrient-rich complex carbs, which have a powerful calming effect on your system. Oats are a slow-digesting food that your body takes time to absorb. Because of this, their stress-fighting effects last longer.

7. Walnuts
There’s a host of reasons for you to befriend the wonderful walnut. One of them is its powerful ability to lower high blood pressure and keep your blood pressure levels stable. If you’re prone to stress, you might have higher levels of adrenaline and anxiety than others, which can wreak havoc over time. Avoid this by munching on some walnuts here and there. They’ll do your heart and system a favor.

 

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6 Ways to Beat the Bloat

Beat the bloat with these simple steps.

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We’ve all experienced a nasty belly bloat. Bloating makes you feel ginormous, and it’s not just in your head. Your tummy actually looks larger when you’re bloated. But fear not, because SkinnyMs. is here to help you bloat no more! We’re sharing 6 Ways to Beat Bloating.

Bloating has a number of causes. Some of them are medical, like stomach bugs or food allergies. However, many cases of bloating are trigged by how and what we eat. The good news is that making a few simple changes can reduce bloating and help you look and feel better.  These no-bloating tips will help you get started.
1. Drink more water.
When you’re dehydrated, your body conserves water by retaining it, leading to bloating. Avoid carbonated beverages and sugary sports drinks, and instead hydrate with H20.

2. Slow down while eating.
Take your time during meals and snacks. Eating too quickly can make you swallow excess air, which contributes to bloating. Another benefit to slow eating is that chewing starts the digestive process. Chewing food fully allows digestion to work more efficiently, which will help prevent bloating (and an upset stomach).

3. Eat 3 small meals and 2 healthy snacks each day.
Consuming too much at one sitting increases the risk of bloating. Instead of eating a traditional three large meals per day, eat three smaller meals and two nutritious snacks.

4. Pack in the probiotics.
Probiotics are natural bacteria that support healthy digestion and balance out bad bacteria in the digestive tract. Yogurt is a rich, versatile source of probiotics.
5. Boost potassium intake.
Potassium is a mineral that plays a role in regulating body fluids. Potassium also flushes out excess sodium, which increases water retention. (Sodium is a common ingredient in processed foods.) Potassium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, bananas, sweet potatoes, lentils, and salmon.

6. Add diuretic foods to your menu.
Diuretics are substances that cause the body to produce more urine. Eating these types of foods is a wonderful way to beat bloating because they help flush extra fluid from the body.

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Top 18 Motivational Quotes for Everyday Success

Check out these highly motivational quotes.

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These motivational quotes are a great way to reignite the spark in your health and wellness journey, and in other areas of your life, as well. Don’t just read them and click away, either. Bookmark these quotes or pin them to your Pinterest motivation board. Save an image and make it the background on your phone or tablet. You can even print out these motivational quotes and post them on your fridge or vision board, so that you can revisit these bits of wisdom when the path gets rough or steep.

  1. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. Gloria Steinem
  2. A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true. Steven Covey
  3. Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Tony Robbins
  4. People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily. Zig Ziglar
  5. I never dreamed about success. I worked for it. Estee Lauder
  6. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Arthur Ashe
  7. Invent your own next chapter. Seth Godin
  8. Nothing will work unless you do. Maya Angelou
  9. I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse. Florence Nightingale
  10. Fall seven times and stand up eight. Japanese Proverb
  11. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. Dalai Lama
  12. Don’t make a habit out of choosing what feels good over what’s actually good for you. Eric Thomas
  13. Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you. Oprah Winfrey
  14. When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful. Eric Thomas 
  15. I’m fearless, I don’t complain. Even when horrible things happen to me, I go on. Sofia Vergara 
  16. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” Audrey Hepburn
  17. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Zig Zigler
  18. It is our choices, far more than our abilities, that show what we truly are. J.K. Rowling.

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Tips to Heal and Prevent Stretch Marks

You do have options!

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Are stretch marks stretching your mouth into a frown? There’s no doubt about it, regardless of age or ethnicity, these unsightly marks afflict many women, including an estimated 9 out of 10 pregnant women. This is your guide to understanding stretch marks and how to prevent and heal them.

What are stretch marks?

Stretch marks are actually a type of scar that occurs when the body grows faster than it can create new skin. The growth causes the elastic fibers beneath the top layer of skin to break, creating that familiar mark. Reasons for rapid growth include:

-Puberty
-Weight gain
-Pregnancy
-Fast muscle growth through intense bodybuilding

Initially, stretch marks appear purplish or reddish, but they often fade over time. Marks on women with lighter skin typically fade to light pink or a silvery color, while the scars on those with darker complexions may become a tone lighter than the surrounding skin.

Disheartening but true, stretch marks can appear virtually anywhere. The breasts and stomach are common problem areas, but marks can also pop up on the upper arms, hips, thighs, or butt.

Stretch Mark Prevention & Healing Tips

While total stretch mark prevention may not be possible, we can take steps to reduce our risk as well as help these marks heal better.

1. Stay hydrated.
Dry skin loses elasticity, so one way to help reduce the chance of developing stretch marks is to drink water regularly throughout the day. Another way to stay hydrated is to eat foods with a high water content, such as grapefruit, apricot, and cauliflower.

2. Keep skin moisturized.
A good moisturizer improves and hydrates skin, which may help prevent stretch marks. Lotions with vitamin C, in particular, may stimulate collagen production and help skin regain elasticity. Apply moisturizer once or twice a day, ideally following a shower or bath, while the skin is still damp.

3. Try a nourishing scrub.
Because they occur underneath the top layer of skin, it can be a challenge to treat stretch marks topically.  There’s a good variety of body scrubs designed for this purpose. Check them out online for largest selection.

4. Get up and move.
Regular exercise promotes blood circulation, allowing skin cells better nourishment and more efficient detoxification, which tones skin and reduces the appearance of stretch marks.

5. Consider using retinoid products.
If you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding, a retinoid product, like those used for anti-aging, may boost cell turnover and spark collagen growth. Over-the-counter retinols will take longer to work than the prescription retinoid called tretinoin. Always consult your doctor before using retinoid products on any part of your body. 

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ARM WORKOUTS

Best 3 Workouts for Toned Triceps

Fight the flab with these triceps toning moves!

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Tone up your triceps! Everyone wants powerful, well-defined, and sculpted arms.  Triceps make up roughly 2/3 of the muscle mass in your arms, so strengthening them should be your number one priority if you’re looking to score beautiful arms before warmer weather arrives. The Tricep Tone it Up Workout, for all fitness levels, will give you the challenge you need to earn a pair of toned and defined arms without that underarm jiggle.

Option 1:  Triceps Tone It Up for All Fitness Levels

Equipment Needed: One set of dumbells of medium weight(think 8-12 lbs).

What to Do:  Choose the fitness level below for a customized workout. For optimal results, perform the Tricep Tone it Up Challenge two times weekly on non-consecutive days. This routine is meant to be a challenge, so prepare for some noodly arms when you’re through with your first workout.

Beginner Level: Complete 1 round; rest 15 seconds after each exercise
Intermediate Level:
Complete 3 rounds; rest 10 seconds after each exercise
Advanced Level:
Complete 5 rounds; rest 30 seconds after each round (no rest between exercises)

Exercises:

1. Tricep Extensions – 12 reps
2. Tricep Kickbacks –
12 reps each arm
3. Skull Crushers –
12 reps
4. Tricep Dips –
12 reps
5. Tricep Pushups –
12 reps
6. Plank Jumps – 30 seconds
7. Reverse Plank –  30 Seconds

Option 2: Summer Triceps Toning Workout

Toned triceps make your entire arms look slim and fit. This workout will get rid of that extra “jiggle” around the underarm by getting rid of stubborn fat and sculpting sleek muscles! This routine is designed to burn, burn, burn…that stubborn fat while uncovering the tricep muscle! This is a fast paced workout that is cardio intensive, so get ready to sweat!

Equipment Needed: One set of medium weights(8-12 lbs)

What To Do : Complete one exercise after the other with little to no rest. Rest 30 seconds after each complete circuit. Perform this routine two times weekly for best results.

Beginner Level: Perform 2 circuits.
Intermediate Level: Perform 3 circuits.
Advanced Level: Perform 4 circuits.

Exercises:

1. Tricep Kickbacks – 15 reps each arm
2. Run in place with high knees – 30 seconds
3. Triangle Push-ups – 15 reps
4. Run in place with high knees – 30 seconds
5. Tricep Extensions – 15 reps
6. Run in place with high knees – 30 seconds

Option 3: One Move To Toned Triceps

I know you’re thinking, “One move? Yeah, right.” Half way through this routine, this one move will feel like 100. One move on its own isn’t 100% effective, but one move done with a dynamic twist will make all the difference in changing your body.

Ladder routines have different variations, but one factor in common: climb! Essentially, you’re doing a set number of reps and as you progress, you increase that number by a set total you predetermine. Regardless of your level, ladder routines are meant to squeeze every single energy surge out of you until there is nothing left. Ladder routines condition your muscles, train and strengthen them to work through fatigue. This tricep pushup ladder routine will tone your arms and build muscle which will in turn help blast unwanted fat. Start climbing.

Equipment Needed: Water to stay hydrated and a towel or soft surface for your hands.

What to Do: After each “set” rest for 5 seconds. 1 push-up, 5 seconds rest, 2 push-ups, 5 seconds rest, etc.

Beginner’s Level: Add +1 from the previous number; 1,2,3,4,5,…
Intermediate Level: 1, then multiple of 2’s; 1,2,4,6,8,…
Advanced Level: 1 then multiple of 3’s; 1, 3,6,9,12,…

Work until failure. Failing in fitness is ok! When you work your muscles until failure, it just means that you’ve worked your muscle to exhaustion. That’s something to be proud of! Do this 2 times per week with at least 2 days of rest in between each day. Keep track of your climbs and see how much you’ve progressed!

TRICEPS EXTENSIONS         TRICEPS KICKBACKS

Image result for woman triceps kickbacksImage result for woman tricep extensions

SKULL CRUSHERS

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TRICEPS DIPS

Image result for woman triceps dips

PLANK JUMPS

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REVERSE PLANKS

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TRIANGLE PUSH UPS

Image result for woman triangle pushups

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Slimming Summer Arm Workout

Just in time for summer!

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With the arrival of summer weather comes sleeveless tops and dresses that let us soak in the sun and feel cooler, breezier, and more free. If you’re looking to tone your arms, our slimming summer arm workout will have them tank top ready in no time.

Get your dumbbells out and get ready for variations on the bicep curl, and tricep exercises, that will slim your arms and reveal the definition you’re looking for. Perform these exercises twice per week, with at least two days of rest in between each workout, in order to allow your muscles to recover.

Equipment Needed: set of light-medium dumbbells (5-10 lbs), interval timer

What to Do: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds without rest in between exercises. Rest 1 minute in between each circuit. Perform this workout twice a week with at least 2 days rest in between.

Beginner’s Level: 3 rounds
Intermediate Level: 4 rounds
Advanced Level: 5 rounds

Exercises:

1. Bicep Curl
2. Triangle Push-up
3. Tricep Kickback
4. Tricep Extension (each side)

TRIANGLE PUSH UPS

Image result for woman triangle pushups

TRICEPS EXTENSIONS         TRICEPS KICKBACKS

Image result for woman tricep extensionsImage result for woman triceps kickbacks

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5 Minute Arm Workout

Sexy arms in just 10 minutes per week!

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You always notice your arms. Walking, typing, eating or waving, your arms are always in the forefront. They may not be where you want them to be just yet, so we’re here to give you a quick and intense workout to get that definition and some of those cuts you’ve been aiming for.

This workout out is concise and focused on strengthening your biceps and triceps. The stronger you are, the more you feel you can accomplish. Since your arms are so important for everyday life, make them stronger and feel accomplished in everything you do. For just 5 minutes twice a week, you will feel the burn in your arms without burning up extra time in your already busy days.

Equipment Needed: Interval timer, two medium weights(think 12-15 lbs), yoga mat or flat bench

What to Do:  Perform each exercise for 1 minute and immediately jump into the next exercise. Repeat two times. No rest needed! Perform this workout 2 times a week to strengthen and tone your arms.

1. Bicep Curl
2. Hammer Curl
3. Tricep Kickback
4. Tate Press
5. Skull Crushers

SKULL CRUSHERS

Image result for woman scull crushers

TATE PRESS

Image result for woman tate press exercise

            HAMMER CURL

Image result for woman hammer curl

Image result for woman triceps kickbacks

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Best Move for Toned Triceps

A single step to strong, defined triceps.

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Toned triceps make your entire arms look slim and fit. This workout will get rid of that extra “jiggle” around the underarm by getting rid of stubborn fat and sculpting sleek muscles! This routine is designed to burn, burn, burn…that stubborn fat while uncovering the tricep muscle! This is a fast paced workout that is cardio intensive, so get ready to sweat!

Equipment Needed: One set of medium weights(8-12 lbs)

What To Do : Complete one exercise after the other with little to no rest. Rest 30 seconds after each complete circuit. Perform this routine two times weekly for best results.

Beginner Level: Perform 2 circuits.
Intermediate Level: Perform 3 circuits.
Advanced Level: Perform 4 circuits.

Exercises:

1. Tricep Kickbacks – 15 reps each arm
2. Run in place with high knees – 30 seconds
3. Triangle Push-ups – 15 reps
4. Run in place with high knees – 30 seconds
5. Tricep Extensions – 15 reps
6. Run in place with high knees – 30 seconds

TRICEPS KICKBACKS        TRICEPS EXTENTIONS

Image result for woman triceps kickbacksImage result for woman tricep extensions

TRIANGLE PUSH UPS

Image result for woman triangle pushups

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H.I.I.T. Your Arms Workout

High intensity interval training burns more calories than most cardio routines.

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H.I.I.T. stands for High Intensity Interval Training. H.I.I.T. alternates between high intensity exercise and short periods of rest, then repeats the sequence or circuit. Short periods of high intensity exercise followed by short periods of rest, burns more calories and subsequently more body fat than maintaining a steady pace.

This arm workout combines weight lifting, which targets the tricep and bicep muscles, and cardiovascular exercise, which targets the fat covering up the arm muscles. By combining strength training and cardio you are creating a powerful fat burning routine, making you a fat burning machine that continues to burn fat for up to 24 hours after the workout is over.

While interval workouts are great for burning fat and sculpting a lean body, the recipe for getting healthy, losing excess body fat, and creating a toned & defined body, is created by consistently combining these three elements: a clean eating plan, High Intensity Interval Training, and Weight Training.

Equipment Needed: Two sets of dumbbells, one light weight set(3-5 lbs) and one medium weight set(8-12) and interval timer.

What to Do: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds and rest 10 seconds after each one; complete four circuits

Exercises:

1. Jumping Jacks
2. Hammer Curls
3. Tricep Extension
4. Jumping Jacks
5. Bicep Curls
6. Tricep Kick Back
7. Jumping Jacks
8. Triangle Push Ups

TRICEPS KICKBACKS                 TRICEPS EXTENSION

Image result for woman triceps kickbacksImage result for woman tricep extensions

TRIANGLE PUSH UPS

Image result for woman triangle pushups

            HAMMER CURL

Image result for woman hammer curl

Participants of this workout should speak with their doctors about their individual needs before starting any exercise program. This Web site is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice and supervision of your personal physician. Any application of this or any other exercise routine set forth in this program is at the viewer’s discretion and sole risk. See your physician before beginning any exercise program. This is especially important if your family has a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, cigarette smoking, or other health conditions.

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6 Must- Do Exercises for Toned Arms

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The days are getting longer and the air outside is getting warmer. You know what that means… it’s time to take out those tank tops and sleeveless dresses! If a little jiggle in the arm area has made you reluctant to welcome the arrival of spring and summer, we’ve got some exercises just for you. Here are 6 exercises that give you sexy and toned arms that will just beg to be shown off deep into fall.

Equipment Needed: set of 10 pound dumbbells to start.  Increase weight when this amount is no longer challenging.

What to Do: Perform the following workout 2 x’s weekly.

1. Tricep Kickbacks – 3 sets of 10 on each arm
2. Tricep Extensions – 3 sets of 10
3. Standing Bicep Curls – 3 sets of 10 on each arm
4. Chair Dips – 3 sets of 10
5. Side Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 10
6. Pushups – 3 sets of 10

TRICEPS EXTENSIONS         TRICEPS KICKBACKS

Image result for woman triceps kickbacksImage result for woman tricep extensions

SIDE LATERAL RAISE

Image result for woman side lateral raise

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