It’s time to ‘RETHINK FOOD’ because too many of us are sick!

arethinkfood

Unbelievable, eye-opening information about the association of food & disease, (click picture to learn more).

Did you know that the rate of the most common form of diabetes in America has gone up 700% since World War II?  That is a scary statistic since diabetes is a disease soley caused by what we eat.  Balance is key of course, but this book that I just happened to stumble upon has entirely affected my outlook on food, disease and the future of our health.  ‘Rethink Food 100 Doctors Can’t Be Wrong’ brings the connection between food and disease to the surface; a must read for everyone, really.

‘Rethink Food 100 Doctors Can’t Be Wrong’ exposes how doctors are medicating ailments with prescriptions rather than treating the underlining issues; which for the most part are reversible on their own.  Doctors aren’t necessarily doing this deliberately, they’ve been trained to do so because food and disease doesn’t play a serious role in medical school.  Fortunately, the discovery of the causes of diseases has started to become more evident and 100+ doctors have come together to share their findings in ‘Rethink Food’.

The biggest take away from this book is the fact that meat and dairy are not good for us and embracing a whole foods plant based diet is a better choice.  Even if you would never consider becoming a vegetarian, ‘think’ about incorporating more vegetables into your diet.  Maybe start with 1 vegetarian day per week, like a “mealess Monday” and see how you feel.  I’ve been slowly doing this within my diet and I have to say I feel better already.

I know that I’ve recommended a lot of health and wellness products over the years but this is one that can’t be overlooked, take a closer look at ‘Rethink Food 100 Doctors Can’t Be Wrong’ here and open up your eyes to food and your future health now, don’t wait.

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Are jalapeno peppers good for you? 7 reasons why you should be eating them!

ajala

Food & Mood; 5 foods proven to make you happier, learn more here (click pic).

Don’t be scared of jalapeno peppers, they’re not only delicious and a great way to add flavor to your meals, they are also a very healthy food that everyone should be including in their diets.  So to answer the question, are jalapeno peppers good for you?  Yes, they are!  And here are 7 good reasons why you should be eating them.

  1. Jalapeno peppers fight cancer.  Capsaicin is what makes chili peppers hot and this essential part of the vegetable has been shown in research studies to kill prostate cancer cells.
  2. Jalapeno peppers fight inflammation.  Capsaicin is also an anti-inflammatory agent known to relieve migraines and sinus headaches.
  3. Jalapeno peppers burn fat and help you to lose weight.  Capsaicin generates heat and stimulates the body to burn fat by increasing the metabolism.
  4. Jalapeno peppers help lower high blood pressure.  The high contents of vitamin A and C (more than an orange) contained in jalapenos help strengthen blood vessels; which enable the body to better adjust to fluctuations.
  5. Jalapenos can potentially cure intestinal issues like inflammatory bowel disease.  They’ve also been known to kill bacteria and prevent stomach ulcers.
  6. Jalapeno peppers relieve congestion.  Eating these hot peppers help clear mucus by stimulating secretions from your nasal area enabling you to feel better faster.
  7. Jalapeno peppers fight heart disease.  Yes, it’s true!  The capsaicin contained in jalapenos can help reduce cholesterol and triglycerides.  Studies how shown that other areas around the world who eat more hot peppers than we do have lower rates of heart attacks and strokes.

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How many calories are burned from sex? The question is finally answered!

ameee1

Learn more about ‘Love Sex Again’ here.

How many calories are burned from sex?  I got the answer for you!  This has been an old wives tale for some time and it’s important to clear it up once and for all.  Many tend to believe they’ve gotten theirexercise in for the day when they’ve done the deed.  But the truth is, having sex only burns about 5 calories a minute, according to Dr. Lauren Streicher, an OB-GYN and author of ‘Love Sex Again.’

“I wish it was true too”, says Streicher, adding, “Most people only have sex for maybe 10 or 15 minutes, so it’s about the same number of calories you’re going to burn going up a couple flights of stairs.”  Although you won’t get super fit from having sex, burning any calories is better than none at all so don’t fret, just enjoy your time between the sheets!

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5 tips and tricks to making a morning workout happen!

afab

Learn more about Kate Hudson’s Fabletics active wear line here (click pic).

We all have good intensions, especially at night when setting our alarm clocks, but it’s a very different story in the morning when we’re feeling exhausted and unmotivated.  The last thing that anyone wants to do is get up, never mind go workout.  But as you know, after that quiet time in the morning, before all the chaos erupts, it’s nearly impossible to squeeze a workout in.  So why not make it your mission to finally conquer the battle for good?

Here are 5 tips and tricks to making a morning workout happen.

1. Lay out your workout clothes at night.  Planning is the key to success with anything, especially fitting in a workout.  Think about it, if you get up and have to start opening drawers to find your sports bra only to learn that it’s in the hamper, you’re probably going to skip it all together.  But if you take a few minutes each night to lay out your sneakers, socks and workout gear, when you wake up all you have to do is stand up out of bed and put it all on.  Being dressed to exercise is the first step to success.

2. Forget the gym!  Yes, I said it.  Not a big fan of the gym over here.  Maybe a yoga class here or there but there couldn’t be anything less motivating to me in the morning than the idea of walking into a gym, never mind driving there, parking and the cost of becoming a member, yuck!  Instead, pick up a few of the best workout DVD’s ever and have them at your disposal.  The best part about these workouts is they are all only about 30-minutes long so there shouldn’t be any problem squeezing in exercise in the morning.

3. Reward yourself.  You don’t have to take the whole working out thing too seriously.  Life is too short to deprive yourself of anything.  If you’ve had a successful week of morning workouts, or any workouts at all, plan to reward yourself each weekend with a food or drink that you love.  It will keep you motivated.  You deserve it!

4. Early to bed, early to rise.  Let’s face it, even if you are a night owl, when you get into bed earlier you will probably fall asleep sooner.  Sleep is an essential component to a healthy lifestyle with the body needing at least 7 hours per night, learn more about this here.  Turning off all the electronics will absolutely help, allow yourself to decompress, breathe deeply and naturally fall asleep each night.  You’ll wake up ready to tackle any challenge.

5. Look forward to an improved mood.  Knowing that making a morning workout happen before your day starts is going to make you feel happier, invigorated and refreshed should be motivation enough.  Exercise has a direct effect on the brain by increasing seritonin levels; giving you a natural high.  Why not leave the house each day feeling happy and full of energy rather than sluggish and slow?  Learn more about this here.

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BLOATED? GASSY? 4 foods that could be causing it…

Eating healthy for life can be a challenge. Read more from Skinny Healthy Girl here.

Bloated? Here are 3 foods for a flatter tummy (click picture).

Did you know that most of us pass gas between 12-25 times per day?  It’s true! Abdominal bloating affects more than 1/3 of the American population and it’s quite normal. It’s common sense, when we eat or drink expansion occurs because space in our stomach and intestines has been taken up.  But if your having trouble fitting into your clothes each day because your of a swollen belly, you may want to be more aware of what you’re eating.

Here are 4 foods that could be causing your bloat and gas.

Beans-Although beans are so good for you and the perfect replacement for meat when you’re looking for a vegetarian option, they can cause bloat and gas.  But if you consistently eat them along with veggies, nuts and whole grains, they won’t bother you as much because your body will get used to them.  Check out my deliciously healthy black bean dip here.

Apples-Who would have thought?  Yes, they’re a healthy snack containing 4.5 grams of protein, vitamin C and fiber, but they also have sugars that can cause bloat.  Don’t stop eating apples, just space them out between meals in moderation.  Be aware, pears and peaches are also bloating.

Salt-We’re not just talking about the salt shaker here, sodium is in nearly everything that we eat nowadays so be aware of the sodium content of when buying food, read labels and always choose the low sodium options.  Salt is one of the most bloating things that you can put into your body and reducing it is the quickest way to drop pounds fast; learn more about this here.

Broccoli, cabbage & kale-These extremely healthy foods contain a sugar that will hang out in your gut until bacteria ferment it producing bloat and gas until then.  The good news is, this is another food that if eaten often actually creates a stronger digestive system, causing less bloat over time.  Cooking these foods before eating them also limits bloat; check out my broccoli cauliflower bake here.

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A nut that works as an anti-depressant? Oh yes!

acashewsIt’s shocking how quickly primary care doctors are prescribing brain medications within one visit to those who are feeling down and depressed.  Given, there are people who undoubtedly need to be medicated for their ailment, but how about all of the rest, aren’t there other options?

Rather than instantly filling a prescription to manipulate the most important organ in your body, why not inquire about what these patients are eating?  If they’re exercising?  What’s really going on in their lives?  Medication should be the last resort; there are other ways to feel better and here’s one of them.

Did you know that 2 handfuls of cashews is the therapeutic equivalent to a prescription dose of Prozac?  Here’s how.  Drugs like Prozac and similar antidepressants have a direct affect on serotonin levels, your body’s neurotransmitter that gives a feeling of well-being.  But did you know that some foods can do the same thing?

Believe or not, carbohydrates positively affect your brain so including them with your meals is going to make you feel happier.  Foods like beans, brocolli and nuts contain the starch needed so they stand on their own.  More specifically, one big handful of cashews per day has been shown to provide the same affect as a prescription antidepressants.

Add some exercise to these healthy unlifting foods and feel your serotonin levels skyrocket.  Please note; don’t ever change or start any drug program without consulting your doctor first, but consider incorporating cashews into your diet.  Learn how eating nuts everyday can also keep you slim and help you live longer here.

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Why you should be eating this root vegetable; the radish

aradishes

RADISHES from my garden; learn about another healthy food you should be eating here (click pic).

It’s our first year growing radishes in our garden and I’m loving it!  I never realized how easy they are to grow and how quickly they are ready to eat, it’s been a fun process.  With all of these beautiful radishes that we’re harvesting I had to come up with some ways to use them.  Plus, I wanted to learn the nutritional value of this pretty red vegetable and now I’m sharing all of this with you.

The radish is s a root vegetable that is related to kale, broccoli, cauliflower and horseradish.  They can be pungent so when adding them to your salad be sure to slice them thin.  I discovered roasting radishes reduces some of the harshness and makes them even more delicious.  Just cut them in half, drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes and serve.  Add a chopped onion and some red potatoes for a perfect combination!

Here’s why you should be eating this root vegetable; the radish…

  1. Radishes are very low in calories, yet are quite filling because of their fiber content.
  2. Radishes are a good source of anti-oxidants, electrolytes, minerals and vitamins.
  3. Radishes fight against prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers.
  4. Radishes are a good source of vitamin C and helps boost immunity.
  5. Radishes reduce inflammation.
  6. Radishes contain folates, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, thiamin and minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium.

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3 Foods for a Flatter Tummy

IMG_5102Who doesn’t want a flatter tummy?  Personally, I don’t know a woman who doesn’t.  We’re constantly dealing with hormones and our ever-changing bodies; both of which hava a tendency to show through our bellys.  We’ve talked about flat belly foods before and how crunches don’t work here.  Are you ready for 3 more foods you can start eating today for a flatter tummy tomorrow?

  1. Pineapples are full of something you may not have heard of before, bromelain, an enzyme that promotes digestion and reduces bloating.  They’re almost always available at the grocery store precut and ready to eat.  It’s also fun to grab a whole one, especially when they’re on sale, and cut it up yourself.  Pineapple is a perfect snack, especially in the summer, will keep you away from the ice cream.
  2. Ginger is one of my favorite ways to keep my belly flat.  I always eat it in combination with sushi and add it fresh to any Asian-style meal I make at home.  Ginger keeps gas away so you’re not walking around bloated all of the time.  Eat more ginger and look better in your jean today.
  3. Yogurt in your choice of non-fat, regular, Greek or even full fat, just be sure the label says that it contains live and active cultures.  These probiotics promote digestion and reduce the bloat while enabling you to maintain a flatter tummy.

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Exercising on vacation, it is really necessary?

Check out my favorite vacation workouts here

If you exercise, you know that consistency is key.  You can’t exercise from time to time and expect the physical and mental results that come along with commitment.  To maintain the look of your body and ensure you don’t fall off track it’s important to move everyday.  But what about exercising on vacation, is it really necessary?

I just recently got back from a 5-night vacation with my husband where we ate seafood non-stop, enjoyed hot fudge sundaes and drank wine by the shore; it was fabulous.  But coming from a lifestyle of exercising nearly everyday for the past 2 decades, it was hard to not exercise, while at the same time not fall into a food coma each day.

It’s funny how much more difficult it is to get up and exercise after a night outside of our normal lifestyle.  Each morning it got more and more challenging to put on my yoga pants as I asked myself, “do I really need to exercise today?”  Then I realized that I was eating and drinking outside of my comfort zone and those somewhat unhealthy choices were affecting my brain.

Listen, it’s ok to be unhealthy here and there and enjoy life to the fullest in every sense of the word.  Just because you eat some fattening food and skip your workout doesn’t mean you’ve fallen off the wagon, it just means you’re on vacation.  And of course, if you can take a weekend off from your healthy lifestyle and jump right back in when it’s over, all the power to you, always do what’s right for you.  I learned over this particular vacation that I cannot.

I’m not saying that I ran a marathon or went to the gym during my 5-nights away, far from it.  Who wants to put a ton of time into a workout while on vacation, not me.  But I did squeeze in one of my favorite 20-minute cardio workouts, UFIT Ultra Burn and within minutes worked up a sweat and felt amazing.  Check out UFIT here.

In addition to a couple walks to the beach I also brought along my Yoga Meltdown DVD and did workout #2.  In less than 30-minutes I had stretched and strengthened my entire body and was ready to take on another vacation day feeling fantastic.  Check out Yoga Meltdown here.

Lastly, to balance out all of those extra carbs and fat that I had taken in, I did one of my absolute favorite workouts, Kickbox Fastfix, and it’s exactly that.  You’re in and you’re out in 20-minutes flat with a cardio workout that torches calories from head to toe.  Check out Kickbox Fastfix here.

If nothing else, remember this, enjoy your time off, eat, drink and be merry.  But it is easy to lose the balance so just be aware and learn to indulge mindfully.  Always look and feel your best!!

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Declutter your life today; 5 easy ways

amyclosetI don’t know about you, but my house needs some serious Spring cleaning and decluttering.  Whether it’s a drawer so jam-packed that I can barely get it open or a closet that I can’t find anything in, everywhere I turn, there’s something looking back at me!

I’ve always been known as a neat, clean, tidy sort of person, kind of like Courtney Cox’s character, Monica on ‘Friends’.  For those serious ‘Friends’ fans, like myself, you might remember the episode where her secret was revealed.  Monica’s locked closet was pryed open by Chandler, who was curious to see what was inside.  Once opened, he was shocked to learn that  Monica wasn’t the neat-freak we all had thought she was, she too had clutter and it was hidden behind that door.

If you’re in the same boat as Monica and myself, here are 5 easy ways to start decluttering your life today…

  1. One drawer, closet or room at a time.  The most difficult thing about decluttering is feeling overwhelmed.  This feeling causes most people to do nothing and just walk away.  Instead, make the decision to keep your goals achievable and only tackle 1 drawer, closet or room at a time.  Maybe Monday will be a kitchen drawer?
  2. 3 piles; donate, keep or throw away.  Attack each cluttered area with a plan.  3 trash bags, boxes or even just piles on the floor with the intension of donating it, keeping it or throwing it away.  When it comes to your closet, the rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn it in a year, give it away and when you buy something new, let something go.  I always feel better about donating my cute clothes that I no longer wear because I imagine someone else enjoying them.  Plus, there’s the added bonus of a tax deduction; you can’t lose!
  3. Less is more.  Whether it be in a magazine, on the internet or even your friend’s dinner party, think about homes that you love and design aspects that look beautiful.  What do all of these things have in common?  Less is always more when it comes to decor, color stories and the layout of a room.  With that being said, aim for less in your home.
  4. Give yourself a break.  Decluttering can be exhausting, not only from the physical aspect of it but also the mental.  The thought process and emotional connections we have with stuff that we don’t want to part with can really take a toll.  If this happens to you, give yourself a break.  Go for a 15-minute walk around the block or practice a little yoga; do something that will uplift your mood and then get back to it, you’ll be glad that you did.
  5. Let go of electronics.  With laptops, televisions and cell phones (which are now more like mini-computers) we are almost always attached to an electronic.  From endless emails and scrolling through your Facebook timeline, this is another form of clutter in our lives.  Disconnecting from all of this will not only clear space in your mind, it will open up more time in your day to get outside, breath in the fresh air and think about positive things in life.  Letting go of electronics at least an hour before bed will also help you sleep better.

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Crunches don’t work; 3 secrets to losing belly fat

Read more from Skinny Healthy Girl here (click pic).

Best flat belly foods; click picture.

Who would have thought that all those crunches over the years weren’t doing anything to eliminate your belly fat?  There was a time when we were all led to believe that if we did crunches we would have tight strong midsections.  But it turns out that this particular exercise does nothing to burn fat.  So how do you lose belly fat?  Here are the 3 secrets.

  1. Specific exercises that strengthen and lengthen your entire body will enable you to lose belly fat.  These exercises are the plank, the superman pose and simple side bends that burn the bulge off of your muffin top.  In addition, most people don’t know that working out your butt helps burn the fat off of your gut.  Squats are the perfect example of an exercise that does double duty.  Check out the best ab workouts here.
  2. Eating flat belly foods is another secret to losing the fat.  What does that mean?  One of the biggest culprits that cause fat on the mid-section is processed foods because of the fat, salt and unpronounceable ingredients contained within them.  Instead, choose foods made up of healthy proteins and fiber that will keep you feeling fuller longer while enabling you to battle the belly fat like roasted chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs and Greek yogurt with berries.  Learn how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs here.
  3. The last and probably the most important secret to losing belly fat is reducing stress and increasing sleep to at least 6-8 hours per night.  Lack of sleep and stress can show on your belly because both will cause you to eat more, usually high fat foods.  Being consistent and going to bed at the same time each night while also incorporating yoga into your life will both help beat the belly fat.

David Zinczenko, author of ‘Eat it to Beat it’, says, “A sleepy person produces more of the hunger hormone ghrelin and that means an extra 120 calories a day, which is 12.5 pounds over a course of a year that you either have to learn to live with or work off.”  Learn more from David Zinczenko here.

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3 time efficient ways to get in shape fast and look hot this summer!

Read more from me here (click pic).

Check out the workouts I do to stay in shape here (click pic).

Who doesn’t want to look hot in the summer?  There’s that extra amount of pressure to be in shape within the warmer months when you’re wearing less clothing on those longer days.  So with everything else you have going on in your busy life right now, how are you going to get into amazing shape fast and look hot this summer?

I have no time!  That’s all I ever hear when people, especially women, tell me why they don’t workout.  And I believe them for sure!  But I have found that they do tend to find the time to fit in other activities like watching Real Housewives of NYC or drinking wine with friends.  Believe it or not, especially nowadays, when every exercise routine is built and based around the lack of time excuse, everybody can fit in a workout.

Forget the gym!  Who needs the expense, time and money it takes to find childcare, pay monthly dues and drive there with the hope of not having to wait to use a machine?  Working out at home is a sure thing, especially if you have the most effective efficient programs in hand.  Plus, did you know exercise does have to be lengthy to be effective? Here are 3 of the best!

Kickbox Fastfix with Jillian Michaels offers three 20-minute heart pumping workouts each one focused on a different area of the body, arms, abs and legs.  I love these workouts and do them every week, especially on those days I have no time.  Learn more about Kickbox Fastfix here.

UFIT DVD’s with Cindy Whitmarsh offers 20-minute workouts that pack a serious punch focusing on the body from head to toe.  She offers everything from cardio to strengthening workouts in this trio, all only 20-minutes long; that will get your body in amazing shape without wasting any time.  Learn more about UFIT here.

Ripped in 30 with Jillian Michaels is another one of her best because she whips you into shape in less than 30 minutes.  The core of the workout is 24-minutes and takes you through 3 circuits composed of 3-minutes of strength, 2-minutes of cardio and 1-minute of abs.  Learn more about Ripped in 30 here.

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Should you exercise when you’re sick?

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Should you or shouldn’t you?  This is the question of the day for me personally since I suddenly came down with a vicious cold and sore throat; paired with very little energy.  But it’s also a question often asked by many, should you exercise when you’re sick and keep the momentum going or is it a time to take a break?

The answer truly lies within the individual and the illness itself because no one knows your body like you do.  If you’ve got a little head cold or are just feeling off there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do some sort of exercise if you really want to.  But if it’s more like a flu where you feel run down or might even have a fever, it’s best to let your body rest and take a break, as I have done this week.

To be completely honest, I did squeeze in some squats each day, but not much of anything else.  And when you’re coming back to life, I find that easing your way back into your exercise routine is always best.  My first workout of choice when I started to feel better today was Yoga Inferno; the perfect way to stretch, build strength and infuse a bit of cardio into my recovery.

Learn more and check out Yoga Inferno here.

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Why eggs are a healthy breakfast choice, or any time of day

Learn "How to Boil the Perfect Egg" here.

Learn “How to Boil the Perfect Egg” here.

Starting out your day with eggs is a healthy choice in more ways than one.  If you aren’t already eating an egg or two for breakfast each day, you should be; here’s why.

Healthy eaters know that eggs are not only full of protein; they also contain choline, a type of B Vitamin that can improve the function of the nervous system and your cardiovascular health.

In addition, eggs are a protein-packed food so they promote weight loss because they keep you feeling fuller longer.  Choosing an egg over an empty-calorie snack will prevent you from snacking on high fat foods full of sugar later.

Follow up your workouts with an egg, a must for muscle repair after exercising.  Hard-boiled eggs are an easy way to do this, learn how to make them perfect every time here.

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There’s a difference between good fats and bad fats.  A doughnut for example generally contains more than 15 grams of fat that is going to make you gain weight, that’s considered to be a bad fat.  So unless it’s a special indulgence every once in a while; skip the doughnut.  But don’t skimp on the good for you fats listed below, they’re not only going to keep you feeling full, they promote heart health, are good for you and delicious.

  1. The avocado is one of my favorite foods because you can have it for any meal, including breakfast and because of the protein it contains, you’ll feel full longer.  Avocados contain monounsaturated fat that improves cholesterol and according to a study published in Diabetes Care, can also prevent belly fat.  Learn more about foods you should be eating to get a flat belly here.
  2. Peanut butter is another high protein food that is easy to incorporate into meals.  My favorite way to eat peanut butter is to have some on a rice cake or English muffin.  But you have to be careful and only have 2 tablespoons; that alone contains 16 grams of fat.  The good news is ½ of that is monounsaturated and peanut butter also contains polyunsaturated fat that has been known to reduce the risk of type 2- diabetes and heart disease.
  3. Eggs are another favorite on mine, I eat them nearly everyday.  If you eat a 3-egg omelet, you’ll be consuming 14 grams of fat, but you won’t be hungry for a long time.  Eggs contain saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which is what helps you feel full.  In the past they got a bad rap, but more recently eggs are a recommended protein.  Learn how to make the best most perfect hard-boiled eggs here.
  4. Olives are a big deal in my house.  We put them in stews, make olive dips or just eat them alone on a whole grain cracker.  The fat contained in olives is almost entirely monounsaturated, making them good for you in so many ways.

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