TOP HEALTHY EATING TIPS

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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