7 Food Combos that Triple Weight Loss

 

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

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Cucumber, Lemon, and Water

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

 

Almonds, Berries, and Cottage Cheese

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

 

Apple, Spinach, and Ginger

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

 

Avocado, Quinoa, and Black Beans

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

 

Olive Oil, Potatoes, and Pepper

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

 

Apples, Cinnamon, and Peanut Butter

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

 

Oatmeal, Cinnamon, and Blueberries

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

Which of these combos are you going to try first?

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Top 10 Foods That Age You

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

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Energy Drinks

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

 

Breakfast Meats

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

 

Deep-fried Anything

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

 

Trans Fats

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

Charred Meat

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

 

High Fructose Corn Syrup

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

 

Alcohol

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

 

Freezer Dinners

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

 

Chips

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

 

Sugar

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

 

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

 

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Top 10 Foods to Get You Bikini Ready!

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

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Beets

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

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

 

Eggs

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

 

Green Tea

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

 

Mustard

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

Dark Chocolate

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

 

Cilantro

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

 

Lentils

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

 

Raspberries

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

Freshly Ground Pepper

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

 

Bananas

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

 

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

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10 Habits that Make you Sick and Fat

Habits can be good or bad, but no matter what, they affect our everyday lives.  The good news is that habits can be formed and changed, so it’s never too late to form good habits and it’s always possible to change the bad ones!  Find out which 10 habits are making you sick and fat, and how to make positive changes!

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You’re Still Drinking Soda

It’s easy to be addicted to sodas– the sugar and caffeine rush is nice, to say the least, and weaning yourself off brings on a few days of irritability and sluggishness, so the easiest thing to do is to just keep drinking it!  But did you know that sodas can contain things like flame retardant chemicals, BPA can-linings that contain synthetic estrogen, and caramel coloring which has been proven to cause cancer?  When you think of soda like that, it sounds disgusting.  Break your soda habit cold-turkey and power through a few days of grumpiness to get to the other side.  To make it easier, pack fruit infused water and tea with you each day so you always have something interesting to drink and won’t feel tempted by the vending machine!

 

Your House is Void of Healthy Snacks

Even if your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are healthy, snacking on unhealthy foods can totally undo any progress you’ve made in  your diet.  Cut the cookies, chips, and candy from your shopping list and take a few minutes each week to chop celery and carrots, cut cheese cubes, bake kale chips, air pop popcorn, etc. to make sure you always have healthy snacks on hand!

You Love Empty Calorie Traps

To be fair, everyone loves empty calorie traps, but it’s important to avoid them! Any trip to a restaurant is full of empty carb traps– bread, chips, happy hour cocktail specials, etc.  They’re also to be found in the snack aisle at your supermarket!  Go on the offensive and decide that you aren’t eating carbs unless there’s vitamins, protein, or a little healthy fat involved in the mix, too!

 

You Watch TV All Evening

Watching TV, besides the obvious effects on our brains, usually means sitting down.  And on top of that, it usually means eating while sitting down!  Why is that bad?  Most of us sit all day at work, which we already know is bad for our health.  If you’re doing it when you get home, that’s just adding fuel to the health fire.  Now imagine the mindless munching that we’ve all partaken in now and again from being hypnotizes in front of the television.  We’re not burning any calories, we’re consuming even more of them, and we’re missing out on prime time opportunities to get out and move, go to the gym, or socialize with friends!  Try limiting your TV time and take a walk each evening, take the dog for an extra walk to the park, or even just clean around the house– the important thing is to make sure you get a bit more movement in each day.

 

You don’t Get Enough Quality Sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for regulating our metabolisms and emotions, but many of us don’t get the recommended amount of hours each night.  7-8 hours is the ideal amount of sleep, and it needs to be quality sleep!  That means making your room as dark as possible, lowering the ambient temperature a bit, and avoiding the blue light of television or telephone screens at least 30 minutes before going to bed.

 

You don’t Release Stress Well

Life today is stressful, it’s a known fact.  Work, family, finances– the list goes on when it comes to sources of stress.  It’s going to happen, but how we deal with that stress plays a big role in our health.  Make sure you’re not stewing in stress.  Find your best self care strategies for stress relief and use them every day!  Whether it’s a yoga or kickboxing class, a run around the block, a good chat with your mom, a hot bath– do it!  Stress raises your cortisol level which, among other terrible things, contributes to fat accumulation, so make sure you’re managing your stress properly!

 

You Order Combo Meals at Lunch

Studies show that you could be adding hundreds of calories more to your meals by ordering the combo meal instead of just the main portion.  It’s likely that you’d otherwise be full with just that sandwich, but with more food looking you in the face, you’re likely to keep eating even after you’re not hungry.

You Always Clean Your Plate

Many of us were made to clean our plates as children, but now you’re an adult, so stop it! The truth is that often we’re well on our way to being full before our plate is empty, but while the food is there, we’ll just keep eating.  Stop eating when you’re about 75-80% full, and just sip your drink.  After about ten to fifteen minutes, you’ll probably realize that you’re now totally full (and if you’re not,you can opt for a healthy snack later).

 

You Don’t Lift Weights.

If you want to burn more fat, you need to add muscle to your body.  The best way to do that is by lifting weights.  It’ll also boost your body’s testosterone production, which is one of the hormones you can activate in your body to burn more fat! Hit the weights section up 2-3 times per week and then follow up with a healthy meal afterwards!

 

You Eat Too Quickly

Everybody is on a tight schedule these days, but it’s still important to take your time when eating.  This will help  you to swallow less air, which will help with  gas and bloating.  Plus, it will help you to really focus on what you’re eating and to recognize when you’re full, which will help you to avoid overeating!

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Top 4 Teas that Melt Fat

 

Did you know that there are teas that will help you burn fat?  That’s right!  Exercise and a balanced diet are important tools in melting fat, but there are teas that can help you get the job done, too! Keep reading  below to find out which four teas will melt fat and get you even closer to your fitness goals!

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Pu-Erh Tea

Never heard of it?  That’s ok! Originally from China, this fermented tea can shrink fat cells and lowers triglyceride concentrations, which are dangerous fat accumulations in the blood.  Have a glass or two of this tea each day to reap the benefits!

 

Barberry Tea

Barberry is a shrub, and the stems, roots, and leaves can all be used to make tea!  They contain berberine, a fat-burning compound.  Studies show that they can also reduce the surface area of fat receptors, meaning that even when  you do consume high-fat foods, this tea could keep your body from absorbing it and adding more body fat!

 

White Tea

White tea has the amazing ability to block fat cells’ formation while simultaneously boosting lipolysis, the body’s natural process of breaking up fats that are already stored.  On top of that, white tea is high in catechins, which are antioxidants that signal for the release of fat in cells.  Even better, white tea can make your liver more efficient at converting fat into energy!

 

Rooibos Tea

This South African tea is a natural fat melter! The compounds contained in this tea can help to inhibit the formation of new fat cells, and they also help boost the metabolism of fat.  Processing existing fat more quickly and blocking new fat from forming?  Yes, please!

Try to replace your coffee habit with a tea habit (or at least one cup a day!) and remember that you can do a lot with a cup of tea! Try adding fresh herbs, lemon or orange slices, and other interesting flavors, but watch out for adding too much sugar.  If you aren’t a fan of hot beverages, try brewing them and drinking them cold!

Try a combination of at least 2 of these teas each day, combined with your healthy diet and exercise routines, and see  how much fat you melt in a month!

 

What’s your favorite way to drink tea?

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5 Steps to Changing Your Taste Buds

Learn how to change your taste buds to crave and enjoy healthy foods!

Taste is one of our most important senses, and it can get us in trouble if we have cravings for certain tastes!  Potato chips, chocolate, or sugar– the list of tastes we love (but that are actually bad for us) goes on and on!  But did you know that you can CHANGE your taste buds?  I’m serious!  Use these five steps to reprogram your taste buds to keep you from craving foods that will derail your progress!

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Fight the Addiction.

Addiction?  What addiction?  Let me tell you:  science says that the serious overdoses of sugar and fat in our diet are addictive to our taste buds, and that they also dull them!  That means that you’ll crave those tastes but constantly need more and more to get your fix, and you might not be able to register new tastes as they actually are.  So step 1 to changing your taste buds is to make a serious commitment to swearing off large amounts of these ingredients.  You don’t have to go cold turkey!  Try weaning yourself off of them and finding enjoyable replacements for fatty or sugary foods and drinks.  Over time, it will get easier to avoid (but warning: you might pass a couple of grumpy days as your body and brain adjusts!).

Try it Again and Again.

It can be difficult to try foods that we’re sure we don’t like, but it’s an important step in reprogramming your taste buds.  If you have bad memories of hating broccoli as a child, maybe it’s time to try it again.  And if you find that you don’t like it, you’re not done!  Try it with a minimum of 2 ways of preparation:  Maybe you don’t like sauteed broccoli, but you might like it roasted, in a creamy soup, or raw in a salad.  Sometimes we think we don’t like the taste of something when really it’s the texture.  When it comes to vegetables, texture can change so much just by cooking ingredients differently.  Set a goal to try 3 foods each week that you normally don’t eat.  Kale, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, and lentils might be a great place to start, but go with what will work for your personally!

 

Trick your Brain!

If you’re still not a fan of something that you KNOW you should be including in your diet, try and pair it with something that you do like.  For example, if you’re still not a fan of brussel sprouts, try sprinkling them with parmesan cheese after cooking.  At first you’re just masking the taste a bit, but you’re brain will start to associate BOTH tastes with happy feelings instead of just the cheese.  After trying this magical combo a few times together, you’re likely to find that brussel sprouts are a new dish in your regular rotation!

Become a Mouth Breather.

A big part of our sense of taste comes from our nose (shocking, right?), so sometimes you may think you don’t like the taste of something, but what you actually don’t like is the smell!  Quite a few vegetables have scents that are different from their actual tastes, but if you’re smelling it in front of your mouth for 15 seconds while you debate whether you’re going to eat it or not, all you ever get is the disagreeable smell.  Take stinky vegetables and try boiling or roasting them to help remove the sulfurous compounds that cause their odors.  Another good tip?  Your sense of smell is weakest in the evening, so save dinner for the time of day when you get wild and adventurous with new and healthy foods. Try to avoid taking huge whiffs of food before taking a bite if you know it’s a food that you have a complicated past with.

 

Spice Things Up!

If you’re really craving salty, fatty, or sugary flavors but you’re being so so good by avoiding them, try to keep your mouth entertained with other flavors!  Soy sauce, chili pepper, sri racha, vinegar (and all of its variants!  Rice vinegar is a great and interesting taste to add depth to stirfrys, for example), mustard, lemon, and fresh herbs are all great ways to create interesting tastes that will liven up any pot of green beans or lentils!

Make Small Changes

If you consider yourself a really picky eater, this is an important step to consider.  If you’re a fan of butter, don’t drop straight into dark olive oil– try a lighter one to ease yourself into the transition.  If you’re a chocolate lover, don’t move from milk chocolate to 80% pure cacao!  Start with smaller percentages of cacao and work your way up.  Water down your juices or sodas with a bit of water until eventually you don’t need such intense sugary tastes to get your sweet fix!  Sometimes making huge and sweeping changes is really setting yourself up for failuer.  Humans are creatures of habit and that’s ok.  Start small but stay constant and you’ll end up where you need to be!

 

What are your best tricks for trying new foods and tastes?

 

 

Learn how to change your taste buds to crave and enjoy healthy foods!

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Top 10 Foods and Drinks that Cause Bloating

Find out what foods and drinks to eliminate from your diet to get rid of bloating!

Bloating is the worst, and it happens to all of us at some point or another.  Most bloat can be avoided though, because it’s caused by the foods or drinks that we consume! Read the list below and see what foods or drinks you can eliminate from your diet to help avoid bloating!

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Carbonated Drinks

Because they contain carbon dioxide, these drinks are terrible for bloating!  Try drinking cold teas or infused water if you need something with flavor!

 

Sugar Alcohols

Do Xylitol, Sorbitol, or Mannitol ring a bell?  These are commonly used as sweeteners in processed foods and drinks, and they are known to cause inflammation and bloating.  Make sure you’re checking the food labels and ingredients lists of the processed foods you put in your cart!

Booze

Alcohol can make you retain water.  No thanks!  Make sure you keep your alcohol intake to a minimum during the week in order to avoid bloating!

 

Beans and Lentils

Because of their fiber contents, beans can be tough to digest for some people.  Some beans, such as pinto beans or black beans, can be easier to digest than others (thanks to the thinner skins they have).

 

Dairy Products

Lactose can bother some people and cause severe bloating or other stomach problems.  Even if you don’t have a serious intolerance to lactose, you might experience some bloating after eating cheese, heavy creams, millk, or yogurt.

 

Apples and Pears

These fruits are great to eat on the go, but because of their high fiber content, they can sometimes cause bloating while being digested.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Kale and broccoli, along with a few others, can cause bloating while being digested. They contain a type of carbohydrate called Raffinose, and our bodies don’t produce the enzyme necessary to digest it. Roasting these veggies will make them a bit easier to digest.

 

Wheat

While it was originally a controversial claim, it’s now a widely accepted fact that many people have an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat and wheat products.  It’s everywhere in processed foods, too, so if you think you have this intolerance, it’s time to start clean eating!

 

Onions

These guys contain fructans, which are soluble fibers that can cause bloating.  If you think they’re causing bloating, try cutting them out of your cooking ingredients for a few weeks and see if their absence makes a difference!

Pizza

I know, I know.  It’s delicious.  But it’s also packed with fat and salt.  All of that sodium can cause you to retain water, and the fat will prevent your belly from emptying on a normal schedule, causing you to feel bloated and full.

What foods do you try to avoid to stop bloating in its tracks?

 

Find out what foods and drinks to eliminate from your diet to get rid of bloating!

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Skinny Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Yields: 8 servings – serving size: 1 cup – fat 3g – calories:170 – carbs:16g

This is a quick, easy, yet delicious low calorie chicken noodle soup! Taking advantage of a supermarket’s rotisserie chicken makes this recipe only 30 minutes!

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Skinny Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1lb) cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 medium stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cups low fat chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat egg noodles
  • 4 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, add oil and chicken to med-high heat, cook chicken until almost thoroughly cooked.
  2. In a medium-large pot (at least 3 quarts) add chicken and all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. let boil for 15 min. Turn off heat and allow to simmer for 5-6 min. Add crackers on top if desired. Enjoy!
http://revampfitness.com/skinny-chicken-noodle-soup/

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Meatballs With Spicy Marinara Sauce

 

Our Revamp Fitness’ lean version of the classic Italian dish uses ground turkey as leaner, low-calorie alternative to ground beef. Nutritious garnishes like minced onions, parsley, and red pepper flakes give these meatballs a spicy kick with a host of health benefits. After trying one of these warm, chewy balls, your taste buds will be surprised this recipe is both delicious and easy on your waistline!

These meatballs are the ultimate companion to whole-grain spaghetti noodles or pasta, and will forever put an end to fatty, lackluster spaghetti dinners!

Yields: 6 servings – serving size: 2 meatballs – calories:260 – fat: 10g 

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Meatballs With Spicy Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • Meatballs: 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp black pepper, divided
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • Marinera Sauce:
  • 1 (24oz) jar marinera sauce
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix all the meatball ingredients (except ground turkey). Add the meat and incorporate into the ingredients with your hands. Roll into 12 (1 1/2 inch) meatballs and place on a nonstick or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 min. Turn the meatballs over and bake an additional 10 min, or until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, pour marinara sauce and crushed red pepper into a saucepan. Cook on the stove top over low heat until simmering. Add cooked meatballs. Garnish with parsley and onions. Enjoy!
http://revampfitness.com/meatballs-spicy-marinara-sauce/
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Top 6 Nutritionist Rules To Live By

Try implementing these 6 simple rules that nutritionists swear by and see how your life changes!

We’d all love to live a perfect healthy life, but it can seem unattainable at times.  Between working, raising kids, studying, keeping up with family and our relationships, and everything else that life throws at us, nutrition often takes a back seat and is seen as a luxury.  It doesn’t have to be that way, though!  Try implementing these 6 nutritionist rules to live by in your own life and see what healthy benefits you get in exchange!

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Rule 1: Choose whole foods that are close to their natural source.

If it comes in a box or bag, only requires heating, and foods that you recognize don’t appear in the first 5 ingredients, it’s probably not something you should put in your body.  Opt for easy-to-cook foods and 3-5 ingredient recipes that won’t take you long to cook and still resemble their ingredients when done.  Chickpea curry, Greek salad, pumpkin soup, vegetable stirfrys– they look like their original ingredients even after you’re done cooking them!  Aim for meals like that and you won’t end up putting a bunch of mystery chemicals in your body.  You’ll also avoid a lot of added sodium, fat, and other undesirables.

Rule 2: Eat the rainbow.

The more (natural) colors on your plate, the wider array of vitamins and nutrients you’re getting.  Opt for 3-4 different colors in each dish at minimum.  Think of carrots, peppers, and greens for a simple side salad, then have a fruit salad for dessert.  There are many sneaky ways to get lots of different colors in your meals.  Challenge yourself to get a certain amount of colors in your produce aisle next time you’re there, and see what kind of amazing combos you come up with at meal-times!  The benefit, of course, is that it increases your vegetable intake in general, and specifically your variety of vitamins.

Rule 3: Control your portions at restaurants.

Restaurant meals are almost always bigger than what we would have served ourselves at home, but it’s hard to leave it on the plate and stop eating halfway through, especially when you’re about to pay for that food!  Restaurant food is also often packed with salt and butter and sugar, so the calories a simple meal out can pack could be astronomical!  Try asking for lunch sized portions, asking for healthy substitutes (a side salad instead of fries), or do the old faithful trick:  When your plate arrives, ask for a to-go box immediately.  Before you take even the first bite, put half of it in the to-go container.  Now you’ll be eating less and when your eyes see you’re empty plate, you’ll know you’re done (without having eating the whole.dang.thing.) and you’ll have a lunch or dinner ready to go for tomorrow!

 

Rule 4: Shop the Perimeter.

Grocery stores are tricky places!  The freshest ingredients are usually around the perimeter, and if you get sucked into the cereal vortex of the middle of the store, you’ll also be hit with tons of other processed foods.  Even on the frozen veggie aisle you might be tempted by pizza bagels and ice cream, so keep your will strong!  You may need to venture into the center for other products such as peanut butter, flour, or other staples, but try to get most of your food from the meat counter and produce section and you’re almost guaranteed to leave with fewer processed and high-calorie foods.

Rule 5: Watch out for calorie traps.

Things that we add to food for flavor also often include a calorie or sodium bomb.  Try to avoid sauces that are cream based (including salad dressing!) and stick to dressing your foods in hot sauce, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, lemon, herbs, and spices! Your meals will feel (and truly be) lighter and you’ll avoid piling on empty calories to each meal.

 

Rule 6: Go for the fiber of whole fruit.

Juicing has been a popular trend for a while now, but consider swapping juices for fruit, especially if you don’t make the juice yourself.  Many store-bought juices don’t contain as much of the fruit as the claim and often include added sugar or artificial sweeteners.  The benefit of swapping out fruit juice for the whole fruit is in the fiber, which many of us don’t get enough of.  Try eating an apple or an orange at breakfast and start the day with water or green tea instead of the typical glass of juice!

 

What’s your favorite healthy eating tip that you swear by?

Try implementing these 6 simple rules that nutritionists swear by and see how your life changes!

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