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Fit Foods for Life: Berries Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

By Rob Poulos On March 1, 2013 No Comments

Just about anyone looking for foods that burn fat will inevitably stumble upon berries as an option. Although blueberries generally get all the fat burning spotlights, plenty of other berries have fat burning benefits and more.

If you’re looking for a way to eat more fruit, keep reading for the health benefits of berries.

Berry Varieties

As I stated earlier, blueberries may be the most powerful berries but they aren’t the only berry in the basket!

If you want more fat burning foods in your diet, consider strawberries, cranberries, grapes, blackberries or raspberries in your diet. Many of these berries are seasonal, however many can be found in most supermarkets year round.

About Berries

The first thing you should know about berry nutrition facts is that berries are quite low in calories. One cup of blueberries has just 84 calories, while one cup of sliced strawberries has 53 calories. This low calorie count is just one reason to add berries to your diet.

The one thing that stands out when looking at the nutrition information for berries is that they are packed with plenty of essential nutrients your body requires. Vitamins A, C, E, K, B6 and B12, which you probably already know gives you tons of health benefits. Other vitamins like folate, niacin and riboflavin are present in smaller amounts.

One mineral that all berries have impressive numbers is manganese, which gives berries their superstar status as antioxidants.

Now let’s see what the health benefits of berries are, since we know what vitamins and minerals are contained within!

Health Benefits of Berries

Fiber is what gives berries their fat burning power; making you feel full so you eat less and requiring more energy to burn. The vitamin C found in most berries helps boost the production of cartinine, which is a great metabolism booster for fat loss!

Another major health benefit of berries is their immunity boosting capabilities. In addition to keeping your defenses high against general illnesses, berries also improve heart health. These antioxidants also balance blood fat levels, which helps regulate high cholesterol. Other antioxidant health benefits of berries include its ability to fight certain types of cancer. The high amounts of manganese found in all berries, but particularly grapes and raspberries are especially helpful in flushing out the digestive system of toxins.

Some doctors recommend eating berries to help regulate blood sugar. This is one of the best health benefits of berries since many overweight individuals either have diabetes or insulin resistance or are at risk of getting it.

Finally, eating cranberries and blueberries can help reduce and prevent bladder infections. And these are just a few of the health benefits of berries.

Making the Most of Berry Nutrition Facts

Maximizing the health benefits of berries means finding ways to incorporate them into your diet—ways that you’re inclined to enjoy. Choose fresh berries when possible but fresh berries and real (100%) juice are also helpful ways to get more berries!

  • Mix blueberries and raspberries with a banana and fat-free yogurt for a .
  • Berry Sundae: strawberries, blueberries & blackberries topped with whipped cream and chopped nuts.
  • Mix yogurt, berry and roasted oats for a healthy snack.
  • Add ½ cup blueberries to cold cereal or oatmeal for a dose of sugar!
  • Top mixed greens with sliced strawberries.
  • Mix all your favorite berries with Greek yogurt for an immune-boosting breakfast smoothie.
  • Pack a bowl of berries to replace your daily candy fix.

Berry nutrition information should be very enticing for anyone whose goal is to burn more fat!


Diet-Friendly Breakfast: Oatmeal Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

By Rob Poulos On February 22, 2013 6 Comments

For decades, we’ve chowed down on it for breakfast.  It’s even been integrated into our favorite cookies and bars, advertised as a healthy way to lower your cholesterol levels.  And now, nutritionists are recommending it as a great way to watch your weight.

Of course, we’re talking about oatmeal, the meal that does every heart (and body) right.

Though most people compare oatmeal to glue, not all oatmeal is bland–and in fact you can make it tasty with just a few simple additions.  With less than 160 calories per serving and a whopping 4 grams of dietary fiber, it’s also a great way to watch your weight while reducing your risk of colon cancer and high blood pressure.  Here’s how.

Oatmeal Nutrition Facts: Why It’s Good

Most people opt for cereal or scrambled eggs for breakfast, but don’t forget the healthiest breakfast of all–a bowl of warm, smooth oatmeal.

Clocking in at 150 calories per half cup, it isn’t the lowest calorie breakfast around.  But, from a nutritional standpoint, few breakfast foods come close.  Here’s why: Along with monounsaturated fat (the good type of fat), oatmeal also contains no cholesterol, plenty of dietary and soluble fiber, and 10 percent of your daily recommendation of iron.  This means you’ll have stronger bones, muscles, and a happier tummy–both soluble and dietary fiber work to improve the health of your digestive system.

For dieters, here’s the real reason to get excited about fiber: Fiber helps people eat fewer calories throughout the day, according to research.  It’s an all-natural appetite suppressant, without the nasty side effects of appetite-suppressing drugs, such as ephedrine.

Oatmeal’s Health Benefits

For 150 calories per serving, oatmeal contains innumerable benefits–and the benefits get even sweeter.

As well as acting as a natural appetite suppressant, fiber is also great for your blood cholesterol.  According to recent research, people who ate oatmeal regularly lowered their LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels.  It also may lower your risk of heart disease, one of the most common–and deadliest–diseases in the United States.

It’s also great for reducing your risk of colon cancer, according to scientists.

Have high blood pressure?  Oatmeal is a favorite among people with high blood pressure.  Additional research shows that eating oatmeal could lower your blood pressure, equaling a lot of good for your heart.

How to Make Oatmeal Taste Great

While no one disputes the healthfulness of oatmeal, many of us skip it for breakfast simply because it tastes unpleasant–having the consistency and taste of glue, according to some consumers.  So how can you make it taste better?  Here are some ways to amp up its umami factor:

–  Add berries.  A dash of sweet berries can add the right amount of sweetness to an otherwise bland bowl of oatmeal; berries also provide an additional level of phytochemcials that may have a protective effect against cancer.

–  Sugar and cinnamon always please.  In minute amounts, sugar isn’t harmful–and with a dash of cinnamon can make a bowl of oatmeal taste like a warm, moist cinnamon roll.  If you’d rather skip sugar, then there are always alternatives, such as Splenda, which contains fewer calories but still tastes just as sweet.

–  Go with raw honey.  If you don’t like sugar, adding a squirt of raw honey can amp up its sweetness while still being relatively healthy.  Don’t be afraid to add other spices too to make it even more flavorful!


Fit Foods to Get Lean: 3 Healthy Breakfasts for Weight Loss

By Rob Poulos On February 6, 2013 No Comments

While eating breakfast won’t rev up your metabolism (that’s a myth according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition), research shows that people who do are usually leaner–and make better food choices throughout the day.  Having a healthy breakfast isn’t just great for your weight either: Studies show that it also has a profound impact on your energy and concentration levels.  That’s good if you’re in school, at work, or just need a great way to sustain your energy levels throughout the day.

So what are some good healthy breakfasts for weight loss?  To stay fit (and alert), here are some delicious, low-calorie alternatives to your favorite meals:

Healthy Breakfasts for Weight Loss

1. Instead of sugary cereal, have oatmeal with honey and berries.  Who doesn’t love a sugary bowl of raisins and cereal?  Unfortunately, your health won’t–most sugary cereal equals more than your day’s recommended allowance of sugar.  Sugary cereals are also less likely to contain enough fiber and micronutrients to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Try this instead: For a healthy alternative, switch out the cereal for plain oatmeal topped with honey and your choice of berries for something naturally sweet.  If you want an extra dose of vitamin C, strawberries are your best bet; for a good heaping of phytochemicals (good for cancer prevention!) try a handful of blueberries or blackberries.

2. Instead of scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, try organic eggs with vegetables.  Eggs are a good way to get full fast–its extra dose of protein has a satiating effect on hunger–but with it comes high amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat.  Add cheese and ham to the mix and these amounts are doubled, if not tripled.

Try this instead: Trade saturated fats for healthy fats by cooking with organic eggs instead, which are higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to lower bad cholesterol levels.  For an extra dose of healthy micronutrients, also switch out ham and cheese for low calorie vegetables, such as carrots and tomatoes.  If you can’t go without cheese, then there’s no need to sacrifice–many companies make low-calorie or low-fat versions of your favorite flavors, such as cheddar and mozzarella.

3. Instead of a breakfast bar on-the-go, prepare a healthy fruit smoothie instead.  Breakfast bars are a quick way to fill up right before work, but they aren’t necessarily healthy–most bars are loaded with sugar, fat, and minimal amounts of micronutrients and fiber.  It’s also more likely to make you feel famished when lunch time rolls around, tempting you to overeat.

Try this instead: Need a quick way to fill up?  Instead of reaching for a breakfast bar, try making a fruit smoothie instead.  To prepare, add any fruit of your choice, a splash of milk, and low-fat yogurt into a blender before blending thoroughly.  Pour in a cup and you’re good to go!

Seriously low on time?  Don’t forget the ultimate health food–peeled, raw fruit.  Toss a few fruits in your bag before work for a super quick way to dine on-the-go.


Dieters, Need Food Fast? 3 Super Easy Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss

By Rob Poulos On January 24, 2013 1 Comment

Want to slim down?  Research shows that people who eat frequent meals usually weight less–and make better food choices.  And you too could take advantage of this by eating more frequent snacks throughout the day–but what’s best?  To separate healthy from unhealthy, here are three easy snacks that will add a healthy boost to your diet-friendly lifestyle:

Easy Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss

Want a healthy–and diet-friendly way–to eat more snacks throughout the day?  Here are three delicious snacks that won’t break your caloric budget:

1. Sliced vegetables with hummus.  Here’s a double bang here: An assortment of phytochemical-rich vegetables paired with heart-healthy hummus.  Vegetables such as fresh carrots, celery, and tomatoes are low calorie and virtually free of fat, whereas hummus provides another delicious benefit–a good dose of fiber, since most hummus is made from chickpeas.  Together, this snack does a body good.

How to make it: For fresh hummus, combine a 16 ounce can of chickpeas, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and pinches of garlic, salt, and tahini in a blender.  Blend thoroughly, slowly adding in water to soften the mixture, until all of the ingredients are fully integrated.  Afterward, serve in a bowl with sliced, fresh vegetables.  For spicier hummus, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

2. Frozen yogurt popsickes.  Ice cream popsicles can be delicious during a heat burst, but they’re aren’t necessarily figure-friendly–just one popsicle can pack over 200 calories and 10 grams of fat, none of which are heart-friendly.  For a healthier twist, opt for a healthier, low-fat alternative instead–frozen yogurt popsicles.

How to make it: For figure-friendly snacking, add low-fat plain yogurt, a touch of honey, and your favorite selection of berries into a small mixing bowl.  Combine all of the ingredients until fully integrated.  Afterward, pour the mixture into a ice cream popsicle mold and stick popsicle sticks into each mold.  Stick the mold into a freezer for several hours to allow it to solidfy.  Afterward, remove and serve as is.

3. Healthy trail mix.  If you don’t have time to sit down to have a proper meal, then don’t reach for a bag of chips–reach for something healthier instead, such as healthy trail mix.  Packed full of nuts and dried fruit, you’ll get a double whammy here: healthy omega-3 fatty acids and a touch of cancer-fighting antioxidants.

How to make it: Add a cup of almonds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and dried bananas into a small bowl, mixing gently.  Next, add in a touch of sugar, salt, and if spice is your preference, some ground cayenne pepper.  Again, mix thoroughly until everything is fully integrated.  Separate into small plastic baggs and you’re ready for instant snacking.  Tip: For different trail mix, dried blueberries, blackberries, or even strawberries are great ways to add additional phytochemicals to your daily diet.

Also, don’t forget nature’s greatest snack–fresh, succulent fruit.  Simply wash, peel if desired, and eat raw.  It’s naturally sweet and good for you!


Fit Meals in Under 5: Super Easy Healthy Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss

By Rob Poulos On January 11, 2013 No Comments

So here’s the scenario: You’re on a diet, and those bags of chips in your drawer aren’t in on the deal.  Neither is the meatball sub sandwich your co-worker is maniacally wolfing down–but you’re really, really hungry.  So what do you reach for?

In the world of calories and lunch time food, one answer reigns supreme: Home-cooked food is your best calorie-saver.  But not all meals are considered equal when it comes to maintaining your healthy calorie balance.  With the CDC recommending a 500 calorie deficit per day, adding something innocuous, such as a dressing or extra cheese, could undo your deficit just over your lunch hour.

So what choices are best?  To help you make the best choices for your waistline, here are several healthy lunch ideas that will keep your weight under wraps:

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss

Need to trim down for lunch?  Try these diet-friendly lunch ideas on for size:

1. Skinny tuna sandwich–on whole wheat.  Tuna sandwiches have always been the blue collar worker’s fave lunch of choice during hectic weekdays, but they’ve never been calorie-friendly–though tuna is healthy, the glob of mayonnaise adds too much fat and calories to this meal.  For a healthier spin, try this: Replace the mayonnaise with a dollop of low-fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.  Plain Greek yogurt contains fewer calories and fat and has another bonus–it contains muscle-building fiber!  Serve on whole wheat bread for an extra dose of fiber as well.

2. Protein salad.  Salad is the dieter’s favorite meal of choice during work hours, but not all salads are best–for instance, loading up your salad with dressing or croutons can easily rack up hundreds of calories, which aren’t usually healthy.  For a healthier way to beef up your salad, go low-cal–try raspberry vinaigrette as a replacement for creamy salad dressing, or switch croutons for helpfuls of almonds or dried fruit.

3. Soup before lunch.  While it may not be the most convenient choice for workers, it does a world of good for staying fit–research shows that people who have soup before a meal eat 20 percent fewer calories throughout the day.  For the healthiest bet, stick to classics–broth-based soups, such as vegetable or chicken noodle soup, are healthy ways to fill up without overdoing your caloric budget.  Add whole wheat bread to the mix for fiber too–fiber can also help you feel fuller on fewer calories!

4. Healthy, nutritious stir fry.  Nobody would dare turn down a savory, Chinese stir fry–but most stir fries often contain caloric sauces that amp up its unhealthy factor.  For a healthier twist, try this: Replace sauce with hot sauce and dry spices to cut down on the calorie load.  You can also add more complexity by adding in almonds, sunflower seeds, or a dash of cranberries or apples.  It may sound weird, but it makes it savory and sweet–a wonderful burst of flavor perfect for the mid-day meal.  Bon appetit!


Caffeine Review: Is the World’s Favorite Superdrug Really That Great?

By Rob Poulos On January 6, 2013 No Comments

You could call it the world’s favorite stimulant drug.

Of course, we’re not talking about amphetamine, nicotine, or even ephedrine.  And no, it’s not every college student’s favorite drug of choice, Adderall.

It, surprisingly, is caffeine.  90 percent of American adults consume it daily, and the number is expected to rise.

In small doses, caffeine can do wonders.  Acting as a central nervous system stimulant, it helps keep drowsiness at bay, allowing people to work or exercise harder.  It’s also a key ingredient in many diet aids–mainly because it’s also reputed to drive your hunger away.

But is caffeine really the super drug that should stay popular–or even legal?  This review will keep you informed.

Caffeine: What is It?

Most of us know the basics of caffeine: A cup of it will keep our brains hard-wired for activity.  It’s found in coffee, carbonated beverages, and most energy drinks.  There are even cafes that thrive on the sale of caffeinated beverages, such as Starbucks and Caribou Coffee.

But what is it really?

Well, here’s the real scoop.

Caffeine is a stimulant drug, found naturally in the seeds and fruits of some plants.  Plants use caffeine because it acts as a natural pesticide against bugs.  Caffeine kills it, but somewhere down the evolutionary line, humans began harvesting it and figured out it did much more.

In nature, it’s not too hard to find a good source of caffeine.  Kola nuts and guarana berries are big carriers, as well as Mate plant and the Yaupon holly.  To get a good dose of this caffeine, people usually make a brew out of the plant.  The most common form of this is coffee, although yerba mate is also popular in South America.  Some companies also add it artificially to beverages, such as carbonated soda.

The result: A great way to take a drug that gives you a natural, stimulant high.  And it’s legal.

Benefits of Caffeine

Despite bearing the moniker of a stimulant drug, caffeine has a surprising amount of benefits: As well as being a natural energy booster, it may even reduce your risk for certain diseases.

For instance, a pool of studies show that caffeine consistently reduced caffeine drinkers’ risk of Parkinson’s disease by 80 percent.  Those who drank caffeine regularly also faced a lower risk of colon cancer–a lowered risk of 20 percent, according to researchers.  If you have a family history of cirrhosis or gallstones, there’s even better news: Caffeine drinkers faced a significantly lower risk of developing these conditions.

Dieters are also in for a bigger surprise–it may act as an appetite suppressant.  According to Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, caffeine may temporarily reduce your appetite, though that alone won’t help you lose weight.

Disadvantages of Caffeine

Although caffeine can do a body good–in moderation–consuming too much caffeine can cause unwanted side effects.  According to researchers, consuming more than 250 milligrams of caffeine per day can cause nervousness, irritability, and insomnia; some people may even develop heart palpitations.  At 300 milligrams, the effects are even worse–it can worsen anxiety and trigger manic-like symptoms.  If you want to avoid this, then do the smart thing–drink your caffeine in moderation.

Verdict: Caffeine is a good thing, but it’s not a miracle worker.  And, of course, drink it in moderation.


Lean Recipes: A Super Tasty Sugar-free Skinny Banana Bread Recipe

By Rob Poulos On January 5, 2013 1 Comment

On Sunday mornings, Grandma loved to make mashed potatoes, creamed corn, turkey, and her famous banana bread after a quick Catholic Mass.  And it was so, so good.  Sitting at the family table, she quietly combined the buttermilk, flour, nuts, and mashed bananas into a large, metal bowl before plopping it in the oven for 45 minutes–and oh, the smell was so divine–before serving it with a slice of butter.  You couldn’t get enough of it, honestly.  You even asked for seconds.

Back to Earth now, you’re no longer that little kid waiting for dessert after Sunday Mass.  In fact, you’re pretty old–and plump.

Grandma’s famous banana bread would taste good now, but you’re on a diet.

How to Make Skinny Banana Bread

For diet-conscious bakers, the traditional banana bread recipe won’t do–it’s filled with sugar and fat, which don’t necessarily lend to a healthy diet.  So for this recipe, you’ll need to make some changes.

What to do without: If modifying your own family recipe, look for ingredients that contain either fat or sugar.  Once you do, ask yourself, “Can I replace this with something healthier?”  For instance, most recipes call for sugar; perhaps you can replace it with a low-calorie sugarless sweetener instead.  Or, for butter, you can opt for a low-calorie substitute.

Doing so should shave 100-200 calories off a serving of banana bread.

For other healthy options, consider taking ingredients out that won’t dramatically alter the flavor of the bread, such as nuts.  You’ll still enjoy the rich flavor of banana bread, but with fewer calories.  Alternatively, you can replace the nuts without a crunchier substitute that’s lower on the calorie scale.  You’ll still retain that wonderful crispness of banana bread, but just with a few minor changes.

A Healthy Skinny Banana Bread Recipe

If you don’t have a banana recipe on hand, here’s a skinny banana bread recipe that is sure to please:

Skinny Banana Bread

Ingredients:

– 1 1/4 cups sugar substitute

– 1/2 cup low-calorie butter

– 1/2 cup skim milk

– 2 eggs

– 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas

– 2 1/2 cups flour

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 1 teaspoon baking soda

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

Optionally, you can also add in nuts, although they will increase the caloric load.

Instructions:

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Take a loaf pan and coat it with a light butter or vegetable spray.  Set it aside.  In a large bowl, combine the sugar substitute, butter and eggs, stirring until well blended.  Next, add the skim milk, vanilla extract, and bananas, mixing it until smooth.  Finally, add in the flour, salt, and baking soda until you reach a smooth, lumpless consistency.  Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and allow it to cook for 1 hour, or until the top is browned.  Let it sit for another hour before serving.

For the best banana bread, consider serving it with a serving of frozen yogurt (vanilla is best) or having it with a brunch of soup, salad, and light string cheese.


Pterostiblene Assists With the Lowering of Blood Pressure

By Rob Poulos On October 30, 2012 No Comments

Blood pressure in adults may be reduced with the help of a form of pterostilbene. Pterostilbene is a compound that naturally occurs in blueberries. A clinical trial was done on the effects of this compound and the findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s 2012 Scientific Sessions on High Blood Pressure Research on September 20,2012 in Washington, D.C.

This study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study undertaken by the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy researchers. The researchers were looking to see if pterostilbene improves cardiovascular health. This ingredient is being marketed under the name pTeroPure.

Researchers studied 80 patients suffering from high cholesterol. High cholesterol was defined as a total cholesterol level of 200 or greater and or an LDL cholesterol level of 100 or greater. For six to eight weeks, twice a day, study participants took 125 mg doses of this compound, 50mg doses, 50mg doses combined with 100 mg of grape extract or a placebo, according to the principal investigator of the study, Daniel M. Riche. Body weight, blood pressure and blood lipids were assessed at both the beginning and end of the study for each participant.

Reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure were seen in those patients receiving the high pterostilbene. Patients who received the low dose of pterostilbene combined with grape extract showed a decrease in systolic blood pressure, according to Mr. Riche. Mr. Riche works at the UM Medical Center in Jackson as an assistant professor of pharmacy practice and medicine.

Significant reductions in blood pressure were seen in those in the high-dose pterostilbene group as compared to those who received a placebo. This reduction was 7.8 mmHg in systolic BP and 7.3 mmHg in diastolic BP. LDL cholesterol increased in those taking pterostilbene, but this increase was less in those already on medication to lower cholesterol. Those who received the grape extract didn’t see any reduction. Those not on cholesterol-lowering medication also saw a decrease in body weight when taking pterostilbene. This was not seen in those taking other doses or the placebo.

ChromaDex patented the use of this ingredient from UM for commercial development in 2010. They are marketing it under the brand name pTeroPure in their BluScience line of dietary supplements. This line is available through 17,000 outlets across American. The company provided the university with support during the year long study. Frank Jaksch Jr., the CED and co-founder of ChromaDex states, they are pleased that the university undertook the first human study to provide clinical proof of this ingredient. The study adds credibility to the products while allowing for further market expansion opportunities.

Co-investigators in this study included Dr. Marion Woodford, professor of medicine, Michael E. Griswold, director of UMMC’s Center for Biostatistics, Justin M. Cherman, associate professor of pharmacy practice and Krista D. Riche, a St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson clinical pharmacy specialist. David D. Allen, Dean of the School of Pharmacy, states the school is pleased to be working with ChromaDex to improve the health and well-being of Americans and people the world over though the use of this dietary supplement ingredient.

ChromaDex is an industry leader in terms of biochemical and phytochemical reference standards as well as the creation of intellectual property associated with this. They are committed to providing dietary supplement, nutraceutical, food, cosmetic and beverage industries with unique ingredients as well as analytical services and tools designed to meet all quality, efficacy, product regulatory, and safety standards along with sustainable ‘green chemistry’.


Delicious Skinny Margarita Recipe!

By Rob Poulos On September 23, 2012 No Comments

Finding lower calorie or lower fat recipes is something we all could use, particularly when it comes to alcoholic drinks. Those big beautiful drinks served at your favorite restaurant are a calorie and fat minefield, sometimes with as much as 600 calories per glass! Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a skinny version of some of the most popular drinks?

Yeah, we thought so too which is why we’ve created this skinny margarita recipe. The key to skinny cocktail recipes is serving size and ingredient list. If you can keep both of these on the low end you can enjoy cocktail hour without regretting it tomorrow. Whether you like your margaritas frozen or on the rocks, this is one recipe you’re sure to enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ oz. tequila
  • ¾ oz. triple sec
  • ½ cup ice cubes
  • 1 lime wedge
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ¼ oz. sweetened lime juice (like Rose’s)
  • Margarita Salt (optional for glass)

Directions

  1. FROZEN: Combine tequila, ice, triple sec and juices in blender.
  2. Run until smooth.
  3. Garnish with lime wedge.
  4. ON THE ROCKS: Fill cocktail shaker with ice.
  5. Add all ingredients except lime wedge & salt and shake for 15 seconds.
  6. Strain into margarita glass and garnish with lime wedge.

Tip: Run lime wedge around rim of glass then dip in margarita salt for a perfectly rimmed glass.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 112
Servings: 1
Serving Size: 1 glass
Protein: 5 g
Fat: <0.1 g
Carbs: 4 g

Change It Up

There isn’t much you can do to change up a margarita recipe but you can definitely change the flavor by replacing the juice with fruit. The key is to stay away from those pre-made margarita mixes because they have so much sugar—which means fat—that you’ll drown your sorrows in more margaritas out of despair!

Make different flavor margaritas by:

  • Add one cup fresh strawberries, pineapples or watermelon to blender.
  • Add 1 cup of sorbet to blender.
  • Use fresh fruit juice for on the rocks.
  • Try gold or silver tequila.
  • Experiment with tequila of different ages for an enhanced flavor.

Finding alcoholic beverages that you can enjoy without worrying about fat, calories or carbs is a must for anyone trying to lose those last few pounds. Let’s face it; giving up the occasional beer or cocktail isn’t likely to happen so rather than pretending, it’s time to be proactive and find a way to fit these drinks into your fat loss plan.

Besides, think of how impressed your friends will be when they find out that you’re a closet bartender! They never have to know that these drinks are “skinny,” only that they taste good so grab your cocktail shaker and get going!


Healthy Lemon Poppy Waffle Recipe

By Rob Poulos On August 2, 2012 No Comments

When it comes to breakfast most of us are either pancake people or waffle people. The problem for both types of people is that traditional pancakes and waffles don’t do much to help you lose weight…until now. The truth is that the best way to maintain your fat loss efforts and enjoy breakfast is to experiment with different waffle recipes until you find one that meets all of your weight and taste criteria.

One trick that I use when creating healthy versions of less than healthy dishes like waffles is to find a way to minimize or eliminate my need for sugary add-ons like syrup. This lemon and poppy seed waffle recipe has flavor cooked right into the waffle so syrup is pretty much unnecessary. If you do need to add something sweet, consider fresh berries.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups healthy baking mix (such as Buckwheat & Flax from The Pure Pantry)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest

Directions

  1. Combine eggs, oil and baking mix into large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in club soda, vanilla and lemon zest & juice.
  3. Fold poppy seeds into batter.
  4. Preheat waffle iron and add non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Pour batter into waffle iron until covered and cook according to instructions.

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 182

Servings: 12

Serving Size: 1 waffle

Protein: 2.7 g

Fat: 13.2 g

Carbs: 12.9 g

 

Change It Up

Waffles can be quite easily changed up to fit whatever mood you’re in. If you’re looking for a sugar fix or you feel like something savory, it’s completely possible with just a little bit of imagination and a semi-full fridge. If you’re already tired of current golden buttery waffle recipes, consider these tips to make your mornings more interesting!

  • Add 1 cup of strawberries, raspberries, blue or blackberries to the batter.
  • Add cinnamon and nutmeg to the batter.
  • Replace the lemon zest and juice with orange for more flavor.
  • Add garlic and rosemary for a savory breakfast waffle.
  • Add some lean turkey sausage to the waffle batter for more protein.
  • Experiment with rum or almond extract.
  • Use extra virgin organic coconut oil instead of olive oil for a fruity flavor.

As you can see there are so many different ways to make healthier waffles that you might be tempted to try them all out in one week. Just remember that even these healthier waffles are not something that should be eaten daily, as a breakfast with more protein, healthy fats and nutrients and less sugar should be your morning staple.


List Of 10 Healthy Foods To Add To Your Diet, Today!

By Rob Poulos On June 23, 2012 No Comments

One of the things that can make fat loss so difficult is the vagueness of much of the advice on the web, well the vagueness and the misinformation. This is especially true when it comes to what healthy foods you should be eating to maximize your fat loss.

Look online you’ll find no shortage of lists of healthy foods, but 10 different lists will have different criteria for defining ‘healthy’. For some healthy means low in calories, for others low in fat, and others still mean nutrient dense. So today we’re going to just give you a list of 10 healthy foods that help you maximize your fat burning potential.

Berries

Berries generally top the list of healthy foods of all types, but they are great fat burners because many berries like blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have as much as 8 grams of fiber per cup, giving you great fat burning ability. What’s even better is that berries make the perfect low calorie sweet snack so you can satisfy a sugar craving and burn fat at the same time!

[Combine fat burning foods for a yummy quinoa berry salad!]

Bison

A delicious and much leaner alternative to beef, bison has been popping up in grocery stores all over the country. As a lean protein, bison will make you feel fuller longer so you don’t over eat, and the protein takes so long to digest that you will even burn a few calories during digestion. A meat that satisfies your hunger and burns fat deserves a place on your weekly meal plan.

Use bison for burgers, meatloaf, casseroles and in any other dish that calls for beef.

Kale

It’s no secret that you need more dark leafy greens in your diet and they just don’t get darker than kale. Although kale is an acquired taste, it is also low in calories and high in fiber, making it the ultimate fat burner on this list of healthy foods. Its full of the right types of carbs and packed with nutrients so you give your body what it needs while helping it burn what it doesn’t.

Make kale as you would spinach, or bake them for a delicious snack of kale chips.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the constants on the lists of healthy foods because its green, it’s fibrous and it is quite delicious! With just 20 calories per cup of broccoli and tons of vitamin C broccoli makes you healthy while helping you eat less throughout the day.

Eat broccoli in soups, use it for dips instead of chips, or simply steam a few florets to go next to your favorite lean protein.

Quinoa

Although you won’t find quinoa in many people’s cabinets today, that is slowly starting to change as quinoa makes an appearance on just about every list of healthy foods on the web. Quinoa has tons of nutrients like iron, copper and manganese, and best of all it is a great source of protein and fiber. The combination of fiber and protein means you’ll stay fuller longer, which means no excess snacking between meals and tons of fat burning!

Mix quinoa with vegetables, put some in your chili or add it to a boring salad for a boost of protein and earthy goodness!

Garbanzo Beans

Whether you’re a vegetarian in need of more fat burning or you’re looking for a delicious bean to enhance the flavor of your meatless dishes, then look no further than garbanzo beans. Also known as chickpeas, these beans are packed with fiber and protein for the ultimate fat burning combination.

If you need a quick dip to entertain guests, consider hummus with vegetable sticks as a great fat burning snack that won’t interfere with your fat loss goals.

Sweet Potatoes

If you love potatoes but you need something that gives you a little more, then add sweet potatoes to your meal this week. Many lists of healthy foods seem to forget the sweet potato—probably because sweet is in the name—but you get plenty of protein, fiber and the right kinds of carbs in just 1 sweet potato! The deliciously sweet taste of this potato will satisfy a sugar craving without excess fat.

[Get your favorite fast food meal done right—bison burger & baked sweet potato fries.]

Use sweet potatoes in place of any potato recipe, or mash them up and add them to risotto or make a healthy pie with nutmeg and allspice.

Walnuts

When it comes to healthy fats for fat burning, the lists of healthy foods always give all the glory to almonds but the truth is walnuts are a great low fat food to add to your diet. The truth is that we all need fat in our diets, as long as it’s the good healthy, low fat foods like walnuts.

With low fat foods like walnuts you’ll give your body the right combination of nutrients to produce real fat burning results. And best of all, walnuts are a great and convenient snack in between meals.

Mackerel

You know that no list of healthy foods is complete without at least one fish because fish is such a great source of lean protein, which is exactly what you need to burn more fat. But since salmon gets all the attention and quite honestly you’re probably wondering what other types of fish you can add to your diet for greater fat burning, we’re spotlighting mackerel.

More than fat burning, mackerel is a good source of essential fatty acids which can help slow down your metabolism and stave off obesity. When combined with the protein in mackerel, you can see how a serving on your plate can help you increase your fat burning abilities.

Low Fat Yogurt

Dairy often gets a bad reputation when it comes to fat burning, mostly due to cheese and cream but the truth is you can still have dairy foods and burn fat as long as you choose wisely.

Low fat dairy products like skim milk, low fat cheese and low fat yogurt are low in calories and provide you with low amounts of fat for a well balanced diet perfectly suited for fat loss. And low fat yogurt can be used to coat chicken breasts for a delicious Middle Eastern dish or mixed with nuts and berries for a fat burning snack before lunch.

This is by no means a complete list of healthy foods, but give your diet a little diversity by trying these foods and you’ll never get sick of eating for weight loss!


Tricks To Help You Burn Off Weight Fast

By Rob Poulos On April 4, 2012 1 Comment

Some of us need to lose weight simply to avoid risky health problems and to look & feel better about our appearance, while others simply want to burn weight fast for a special occasion like a wedding or class reunion. Whatever your reasons are for needing to burn fat faster, all that matters is that you go about it in a healthy way.

Rather than resorting to fad diets to burn more weight, consider a few easy tricks that can help you burn more fat every day. Keep reading to learn more.

Fat Burning Foods

One way to help you burn fat is to add more fat burning foods to your diet. Fat burning foods are foods that burn additional calories during the digestion process so you get to burn faster than an unhealthy diet filled with sugar, sodium, fat and calories.

One of the best things about using fat burning foods to lose weight fast is that there are enough of them in a wide variety of food groups that even a picky eater will be able to find a few to add to his or her diet. Foods like salmon, eggs and almonds have a significant amount of protein that will satisfy your appetite as well as omega 3 fatty acids which help you burn more and faster.

You can also add a cup or 3 of green tea your diet, add a variety of berries to your day by making a smoothie or adding them to another fat burning food—oatmeal! Vegetarians aren’t left out either; a cup of kidney beans can give you 11 grams of fiber and 15g of protein so you burn fat and eat less food.

[Add fat burning foods like broccoli and dark greens to your diet.]

Lean Protein

Lean proteins like salmon, chicken or turkey breasts (without skin) and egg whites are another great way to burn fat fast. Because protein satisfies your appetite and takes a lot longer to convert, it burns more calories than foods that are easily converted during digestion.

A diet with lean proteins will help you lose weight because protein is an incredible source of energy thanks to the hard work your body does converting protein to energy. This means that not only does protein burn faster, but it gives you tons of energy so you can make it through a fat burning workout too.

Weight Training

One of the best ways to burn more fat is to enjoy a regular weight training program. Muscle burns more than fat, up to nine times as much so the more lean muscle you gain the more effective fat burning you will experience.

Weight training can also help you to burn fat fast because it increases the rate at which you burn calories at rest, so regular weight training will help you burn calories when you’re just sitting down watching a movie. But weight training can also boost your ability to burn weight fast in those few hours right after your weight training program.

[Mix up your workouts so you can continue to burn fat fast.]

Skip Happy Hour

If you want to continue to burn fat you will have to give up happy hour or at least reduce your alcohol intake during happy hour. Drinking alcohol adds unnecessary liquid calories to your diet that you probably forget to include in your daily intake, which means you have more weight to burn, not less.

Alcohol slows down your metabolism and the more alcohol you drink, the slower it becomes, which is counterproductive to your goal of burning weight fast. Another problem with alcohol for weight loss is that when you drink more of the fat from your diet gets converted to fat. This is especially true if you already have a diet that is high in fat and calories.

You don’t need to get rid of alcohol forever but if your goal is to reach a certain weight or body fat percentage, a diet with lots of alcohol won’t help you get there.

Keep It Interesting

One of the best ways to burn more fat is to keep your exercise routines  interesting by alternating between a variety of activities. The more you perform the same exercise, whether its yoga or running or swimming, the more your body gets used to it and the less weight you burn off. To make sure you’re getting the most out of every single workout, switch it up by doing a different activity at least one day each week.

Pick a few different activities that you enjoy such as rock climbing, basketball, handball, dancing or bicycling. These activities will make sure that you burn weight each time you work up a sweat.

Go To Bed

Even if you pride yourself on being a night owl, you need to go to bed earlier if you have an early wake up time. When we don’t get enough sleep it is more difficult for our bodies to get rid of excess weight because we don’t process carbs as efficiently as those who get a full night of sleep. The few hours of sleep you get, the more insulin and cortisol we have, which helps us keep weight rather than but if off.

Most of us require 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night to feel well rested so that our bodies perform at a maximum level. So if you have to be up early, you need to go to bed earlier if you want to quickly achieve your fat loss goals.