Monday, July 17, 2017

Watermelon "Pizza"




With no added sugar! 




Coconut Cream (whipped)
Coconut Flakes


1. Cut a ripe watermelon into round discs about 1-2 inches thick.
2. Scoop 8 ounces of coconut cream into a bowl.
3. Use a mixer to whip the cream until it reaches a soft consistency.
4. Cut 2-3 strawberries into thin slices.
5. Cut 1-2 kiwis into thin slices.
6. Cut 1 apricot into thin slices.
7. Spread the mixed coconut cream around the top of the watermelon disc.
8. Place the cut strawberries, kiwis and apricot slices on top of the coconut cream.
9. Add in blueberries, coconut flakes and granola.
10. Sprinkle a few sprigs of mint across the top the dessert.
11. Enjoy!
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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Naturally Suppress Your Appetite

found on Caroline Apovian,
Do you find yourself constantly snacking throughout the day? Do you feel cravings no matter what you eat? Does your hunger distract you from your work and weight loss goals? Try these eight simple interventions that help to reduce hunger pangs, cut calories, and banish cravings.

1. Eat Protein for Breakfast

Protein is the most satiating of the macronutrients, meaning that it helps you to feel full the longest. Protein also guards and builds up lean muscle mass, which is a key component in maintaining a healthy, efficient metabolism. A popular study comparing weight loss breakfasts divided overweight participants into two groups. The first group was fed a low protein bagel breakfast, and the second was given a high protein egg breakfast containing the same amount of calories. Over the eight-week study period, the egg group had lost 65 percent more weight and a 34 percent greater reduction in waist circumference. 
Need an easy and fast way to power up on protein in the morning? Try my protein powder for weight loss and dozens of free smoothie recipes.

2. Pay Attention to Fiber

Foods that contain high amounts of fiber take longer to digest than other foods, increase feelings of satiety, and raise our metabolic rate, meaning that we will burn more calories following a high fiber meal. Consuming enough fiber in the diet also reduces blood sugar and insulin levels. As an added benefit, most high fiber foods are naturally low in calories and high in nutrients—the most effective combination for weight loss. High fiber foods that are especially good at keeping appetite under control include:
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Whole Grains

3. Have a Cup of Decaf

Coffee drinkers have a slight weight loss advantage as compared to those who abstain. While drinking non-caloric liquids in general helps dieters to feel full longer between meals, coffee stimulates the release of a hormone called peptide YY, which is associated with greater feelings of satiety. In one study, decaf coffee seemed to produce this feeling more strongly than caffeinated coffee.
Want to turn your coffee into a high protein weight loss meal? Try my hot base mix. It’s the only protein powder designed to dissolve in hot liquids, and it makes your coffee taste like a latté!'

4. Drink That Water!

Most Americans aren’t getting the prerequisite 8-12 glasses per day. Water keeps the metabolism running smoothly, stops hunger pangs, and is necessary for every function our body performs. Last year, a team of researchers from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. asked 84 individuals with obesity to drink two full glasses of water half an hour before each of their meals for 12 weeks. On average, the group lost nine pounds each during that time without making any other weight loss interventions.
Moreover, the body registers calories much more effectively when they are chewed as opposed to consumed in liquid form. The exception to this rule is drinking high protein smoothies made with whole fruits and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water will help to limit calories from juices, sweetened teas, sodas, and other empty calories that do not translate into satiety.

5. Think Big

If you are like most Americans, you are accustomed to large portion sizes. When starting a new diet, the very thought of cutting back on calories may trigger hunger pangs. Use visual tricks to help your body to feel full by using smaller plates and loading them up with foods that are low in calories, but high in volume. Some foods that are high in volume and low on calories include:
  • Celery
  • Arugula
  • Watermelon
  • Bok Choy
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberries
  • Honeydew melon
  • Broth-based soups
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 6. Move for 10 Minutes

    Short intervals of intense exercise help to decrease levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and increase levels of the satiety hormone PYY. Exercise also helps to reduce stress, which is a leading cause of sudden hunger pangs and cravings. Before every meal, try a brief 10-15 minute bout of aerobic exercise.

    7. Play Tetris!

    Many times during the day, cravings come from a desire to alleviate boredom, or to experience a reward, rather than actual homeostatic hunger. Quash these sorts of cravings with a brief game of Tetris or Candy Crush. Even a few minutes of playing an online game helped participants to reduce cravings in one study.

    8. Sniff Some Peppermint

    Different studies have shown that certain fragrances, including peppermint, suppress the appetite. In one study from Wheeling Jesuit University, participants sniffed peppermint essential oils every couple of hours over the course of two weeks. They reported decreased cravings, less overall feelings of hunger, and significantly lower daily calorie intake than when they did not use the peppermint essential oil. Try using an essential oil yourself, or recreate the effect with unsweetened peppermint tea.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rice and Chickpea Salad With Cherries

 Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

This simple, summery salad gets texture and tart-sweet flavor from fresh cherries.
If you can't find fresh cherries, use dried instead: Add 2 tablespoons boiling water to 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries, let them stand for 10 minutes, then drain and chop them.
Where to Buy: If you don't want to cook your own brown rice, look for pouches of precooked brown rice, such as Uncle Ben's brand, or cooked/frozen brown rice, available at Whole Foods Market.
 ested size: 4 servings


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, warmed (see headnote)
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (may substitute white wine or sherry vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 32 fresh cherries (about 9 ounces), pitted and quartered (see headnote)
  • 1 3/4 cups home-cooked or no-salt-added canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (from one 15-ounce can)
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled or in pinches (about 1/2 cup)


    Combine the brown rice, scallions, basil, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cherries and chickpeas in a mixing bowl, stirring to incorporate. Taste, and add more salt and pepper, as needed.
    Divide among individual bowls, sprinkle each evenly with the goat cheese, and serve.
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Knee Pain Smoothie

Your knees are among the most important joints in your body. They play an integral role in proper posture and all movements of the legs, from walking and running to standing and jumping. However, injury, wounds and aging can cause the ligaments and tendons in the knees to lose their lubrication and flexibility over time.
While this process is natural, it’s important to do what you can to protect your knees from damage so they can stay strong, healthy and flexible. Maintaining strong muscles and a healthy weight are key to healthy joints. Your muscles help support your joints and can lower the risk of wear and tear and help prevent damage and injury. Maintaining a healthy weight is equally important, as extra pounds apply excess weight and stress on your knees when you walk. The knees need to remain strong and flexible so they can support your body and help you maintain your mobility and live a happy and healthy life.
Whether you have bad knees or want to maintain healthy ligaments and tendons, this amazing smoothie recipe can help. Featuring three powerful ingredients of pineapple, cinnamon and oats, this smoothie can help strengthen ligaments and tendons, as well as facilitate the natural lubrication of the knees.
Pineapple contains three powerful vitamins that play an integral role in joint health. Bromelain helps reduce pain and inflammation, while vitamin C helps produce and repair collagen, the protein in connective tissues that keeps the joints strong. Pineapple is also rich in copper, which promotes healthy joints.
How to Use Pineapples to Help Strengthen Your
Cinnamon and oats are also key ingredients for healthy joints. Cinnamon is prized for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and the avenanthramides in oats help reduce inflammation.
Along with strengthening the knees, this nutrient-packed smoothie can boost your energy and strengthen other parts and systems of the body. The smoothie also contains a variety of other vital nutrients, including magnesium, silicon, potassium and calcium, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties, alleviate pain and swelling, and promote strong bones. Best of all, this smoothie is absolutely delicious!
Pineapple, Cinnamon and Oats Smoothie Recipe
  • 1 cup natural oatmeal, cooked
  • 1 cup water
  • 40 g honey
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh natural orange juice
  • 7 g cinnamon
  • 40 g crushed almonds
Squeeze the juice from the pineapple chunks into a cup or bowl. In the blender, add the orange juice, honey, almonds and cinnamon and blend well. While the blender is still running, add the pineapple juice and oatmeal. Once mixed and smooth, add some ice cubes and blend again. Enjoy!
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Sleep in Cooler Bedroom. and lose fat


Here's Today's Tip... Sleep in Cooler Bedroom.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the optimal temperature for sleep is between 65 – 67 degrees Fahrenheit (F). The body naturally decreases temperature to initiate sleep, and sleeping in a room that’s set at a cooler temperature can help facilitate this process. Interestingly, research suggests that some instances of insomnia may be related to poor body temperature regulation.
In addition to optimizing sleep, new research also shows that sleeping in a cooler bedroom may also have a positive impact on metabolism and metabolic health. In a recent study published in the journal Diabetes, a group of researchers affiliated with the National Institutes of Health assessed the effects of varying bedroom temperatures on brown adipose tissue (BAT), metabolic rate, and insulin sensitivity in a group of healthy young men.
Before continuing, it’s important to note that BAT is a very distinct type of fat and drastically different than unwanted body fat (i.e., white adipose tissue, WAT). The function of BAT is to burn calories as heat in order to keep the body warm when exposed to cold temperatures.  However, BAT levels seem to decline with age and appear to be lower in individuals with higher levels of WAT. Activating BAT and tapping into its ability to increase thermogenesis (and burn WAT) is a novel, cutting-edge angle of the anti-obesity equation.
During the first month of the crossover study, participants slept in a climate-controlled research facility set at 75 degrees F. During the second month, the temperature was set at 66 degrees F. During the third and fourth months, the temperature of the rooms was set at 75 and 81 degrees F, respectively.
The results of the study were striking. During the second month when the young men slept in the moderately cooler room (i.e., 66 degrees F), they experienced significant increases BAT amount and activity. In fact, their amount of brown fat nearly DOUBLED. What’s more, sleeping in the colder room also led to significantly increased metabolic rate, improved insulin sensitivity, and beneficial changes in the hormones leptin and adiponectin.
According to the study’s senior author Francesco S. Celi, “These were all healthy young men to start with, but just by sleeping in a colder room, they gained metabolic advantages” that could add up over time. By lowering the temperature (to 65 – 67 degrees F), you may not only sleep better, you may effortlessly tweak your metabolism for the better. To Solid ZZzzzzz...
I hope you are enjoying your weekend, Change That Up.
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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Accurately evaluating how hungry you are

The most helpful healthy-eating tool: Accurately evaluating how hungry you are

The most helpful healthy-eating tool I know is not about what or what not to eat — it’s about tapping into how hungry or full you feel.
Learning (or, I should say, relearning) how to listen and respond to your body’s hunger and satisfed or fullness (satiety) cues is an invaluable key to nourishing yourself well and avoiding overeating. It can help you find balance in any situation, from an ordinary Wednesday night to a weekend beach party.
Healthy babies are born with fine-tuned hunger-satiety mechanisms. Whether they accept food and how much they eat are internally motivated — they feed when they are hungry and stop when they are satisfied.
  But as we grow up and begin to interface with the world, we are influenced more and more by external forces. We are praised for cleaning our plates; we are given candy as a reward for good behavior; we learn to expect a snack during a 45-minute mommy-and-me class; or perhaps we are teased for having a voracious appetite. Before long, these messages take over, and decisions about when and how much to eat become increasingly detached from our physical feelings.
By the time we are adults, we are well-practiced at ignoring our internal cues of hunger and fullness. We eat because we are compelled to finish what is heaped in front of us, because we “deserve” that doughnut after a long day’s work, because plowing through a bucket of popcorn is just what you do at the movies or because a TV ad sparks a chocolate craving.
On the flip side, we also learn to ignore our genuine physical hunger as we accrue years of practice

  with restrictive diets that tell us our appetite is a beast we have to fight.
When I was in private practice as a dietitian, I developed a tool called the Hunger Continuum to help my clients reconnect with and honor their internal sense of hunger and satisfaction, and it proved to be immeasurably helpful. Many have told me it was the one thing that helped them the most — that no matter the circumstances, they were able to stay on a healthy track if they kept the Hunger Continuum in mind.
All it requires is that you stop, check in with yourself, and assign a number to how hungry or satisfied you are on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “famished,” 10 is “painfully stuffed” and 5 is a neutral point of balance. The goal is to stay toward the middle of the scale, between 3, where you have strong but not overwhelming feelings of hunger, and 7, where you are full, but not very full.
To do this, you need to listen to your body, eat when you feel genuine physical hunger — not bored hunger, lonely hunger or stressed-out hunger — and stop eating when you are satisfied but not stuffed.
What number would you say you’re at right now? If you can’t quite tell, don’t worry. It might take some practice, given the many years spent hushing that internal voice. But even if you are not exactly sure where you are on the scale at a given time, merely stopping to check in can help.
It’s best to eat when you reach a 3 — letting your appetite build a little past those first stirrings of hunger but satisfying it before you become ravenous. It’s not always possible to hit that mark — sometimes you don’t have control over when you are able to eat — but you can set up your routine to make it easier to achieve.
Although it sounds contrary to eating according to your appetite, establishing a regular eating pattern helps by getting you into a predictable daily rhythm so you become hungry around the same times each day and can plan your meals and snacks accordingly. That pattern can be three squares a day, mini-meals or something in between — whatever works best for you.
nce that is established, you’ll be better armed to listen to your body and more inclined to pass on the oversize muffins that show up in the break room at work, because you realize you are comfortably at a 5 on the continuum from breakfast earlier. And when you listen to your body’s cues, you will also have the wherewithal to eat something when you are genuinely hungry, even if it is not on the official schedule.
The other side of the spectrum, perhaps more critical for most of us, is knowing when to stop eating. How often do you push back from the dinner table overly stuffed or realize you are beyond full when your spoon scrapes the bottom of the pint of ice cream? You can avoid that kind of overeating, ultimately improving your digestion and keeping your weight in check, by using the continuum.
To use it effectively, make sure you eat slowly, savoring each bite, to give your stomach a chance to tell your brain it has had enough. As you eat, pause to check in periodically to recognize how your satiety is building, and stop eating when you reach a seven on the continuum — comfortably full but not very full. By stopping here, you harness the most personalized and self-nurturing method of portion control, one that responds to your physical needs. Unlike scales and measuring cups, it’s a tool that is with you wherever you go.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Healthy bones for a lifetime

Throughout life, bone health is especially important for women, who face a higher risk of osteoporosis than men do. Get savvy about what makes your bone bank strong.
Your bones do more for you than you realize. Certainly, they give you the structure and support you need to breathe, walk, carry a heavy bag or ride a bike. And they also protect your organs, anchor your muscles, and store and supply calcium, a mineral that all body cells need. But in recent years, researchers have also discovered that the skeleton plays an important role in the endocrine system, helping to regulate your body's metabolism and sensitivity to insulin.
Throughout life, bone health is especially important for women. Osteoporosis — a disease that causes bones to become more fragile and prone to break — is twice as common in women as in men. About half of white women will develop an osteoporosis-related bone fracture at some point. To put this in perspective, that's more than the risks of breast cancer, heart attack and stroke combined. The risk of osteoporosis and fracture is somewhat lower for black, Asian and Hispanic women.
Think of your skeleton as a bone bank. Just as your financial health benefits from funds that you put aside and can draw on in times of need, your bone health can benefit from a fund of calcium and other minerals stored in your skeleton. Good bone health depends on keeping your bone bank account amply supplied with minerals that can meet your body's needs.

Your bone bank

 Lots of transactions take place in your bone bank account. That's because your bones are living, growing tissues that are constantly changing. Throughout life, bits of old or worn-out bone are broken down and removed, and new bone is formed. This process, called remodeling, is akin to deposits and withdrawals in your bone bank account. Through this process your skeleton refurbishes and maintains itself.

During childhood and adolescence your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and the skeleton grows in size and density. Bone density refers to how much calcium and other minerals your bones contain. The amount of bone tissue in your skeleton (bone mass) increases rapidly. For girls, maximum bone growth takes place in the years between puberty and age 18, and peak bone density is achieved by the early to mid-30s.
But in your early 30s, things begin to change. That's when most people reach their peak bone mass — the maximum amount of bone mass achieved. After that, withdrawals begin to exceed deposits. You gradually start losing bone density in the spongy type of bone tissue (trabecular bone). Although this is normal, what's not normal is when withdrawals exceed deposits at such a rate that portions of your skeleton become weak and brittle.
How likely you are to develop osteoporosis will depend on how much bone mass you attain during your youth and how rapidly you lose it after that. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have in the bank and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.
Some aspects of bone mass aren't within your control. Genetic factors influence how strong and large your bones will be. And in general, women have a lower bone mass than men do. But you can take steps to ensure a healthy bone bank account. While it's important to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, the same steps will also protect your bones during adulthood.

What does it mean to have strong bones?

Here are some terms related to bone strength and the bone bank concept.
  • Bone mass is the total amount of bone tissue in your skeleton. Think of it as the total assets in your account at any time.
  • Bone density refers to how tightly that tissue is packed — how mineral-rich your bones are. Envision dollar bills crammed into a safe deposit box. The higher your bone mineral content, the denser and stronger your bones are. When bones contain fewer minerals than normal, they eventually lose their internal supporting structure.
  • Bone strength refers to the ability of bone to withstand stress and is dependent on bone quality, including mass and density. You might compare this to your bank account's ability to handle large daily transactions. In other words, the more bone you have and the denser it is, the stronger your skeleton is — the more plentiful your bone bank account.
Having strong bones make it less likely that you'll develop osteoporosis or experience fractures.


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