3 ways to eat healthy when dining out

arestauIf you’re keeping an eye on your waistline, especially as we roll into summer, eating healthy while dining out can be a challenge.  Just one heavy meal outside of the home can blow a whole week of healthy eating.

Here are 3 things to keep in mind the next time you sit down at a restaurant.

1. Keep it simple.  Because healthy clean eating is almost always simple, the same thing applies to restaurant food.  Grilled, roasted, steamed, poached, broiled or baked proteins such as fish or chicken are the words that you should be looking for on the menu.

2. Skip the sauces, dressings, butters and gravies.  These are where the fat and calories are hidden.  Because you don’t know how these special sauces were prepared, it is in your best interest to ask for them to be served on the side.

3. Eliminate the restaurant expected restaurant traps such as the bread basket, high-calorie drinks and desserts.  Just tell the server that you don’t need the bread so that way you don’t mindlessly munch just because it’s sitting in front of you.  Choose to drink water with lemon or a simple alcohol drink, sodas and juices only pack on more calories.  And don’t even look at the dessert menu, or if you must, choose 1 to share with the table.

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Essential vitamins women need to take

Learn more about Vitamin D here, click picture.

Learn more about Vitamin D here, click picture.

Women require different vitamins through each stage of life and it’s important to be aware of what our bodies need especially as we age.  Throughout our 20’s and early 30’s, those baby-making years, doctors advise multivitamins and folic acid, but after that, when our bodies really start to change, so do our needs.

Yes, it’s true, if you eat a healthy diet, you can get the majority of the vitamins that you need from food.  But there are some that do need to be supplemented from our late 30’s on, here are the essential vitamins women need to take.

Calcium is the #1 vitamin that my doctor made me promise to take everyday from my late 30’s on and I took that very seriously.  Bones strength is what keeps our bodies standing upright and strong; calcium is an essential part of that.  Since osteoporosis is a real concern, talk to your doctor about how much calcium you need to take each day.

Vitamin D helps calcium absorb into the body and plays a large role in bone health also.  When deficient, the body will start to take calcium from our bones and cause diseases such as osteoporosis.  There are now supplements made specifically for women that contain both Vitamin D and calcium all in one, making it more convenient.

Vitamin C, an antioxidant, has always been known to keep you healthy and fight off bacteria, but don’t believe the hype that drinking orange juice will do this for you.  There’s not enough vitamin C in a glass of orange juice to supply your body with what it needs, plus it’s full of sugar and other fillers.  Taking a daily supplement of Vitamin C increases immunity and helps the system remove unwanted toxins.

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that helps keep cells healthy and fight off diseases.  It’s also been shown to keep skin healthy and is a big reason why fish oil supplements have become the rage in recent years.  But be sure to talk to your doctor about how much Vitamin E you should be taking, and all of the vitamins mentioned in this post, because every “body” has different needs.

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‘Zero Belly Diet’ reveals food that literally eliminates stomach fat

azeroOther than taking the time to read labels on the foods that we eat, how many of us really know what happens inside of our bodies once we’ve digested what we think we should be eating?  I am a very big fan of the David Zinczenko’s ‘Eat This Not That’ book series because he does all of the research for us.

Today, I took a close look at his newest venture that focuses on what’s considered to be the most challenging part of our bodies, the stomach.  ‘Zero Belly Diet’ spells it all out for us with details of what we should be eating to make the biggest impact on our mid-sections.  Here are a few highlights.

1. Eat whole eggs versus eat whites!  Why?  Becaue the yolk contains a B Vitamin called choline which directly affects the genes that cause fat storage in the abdomen.

2. Eat spinach versus kale!  Even though kale is the latest trend in green vegetables, most don’t realize that it’s loaded with sugar that remains undigested until bacteria in the gut ferments it.  Until this occurs, gas is produced in the gut causing bloat.  Spinach contains appetite surpressing compounds that will keep you feeling full longer.

3. Eat Grey Poupon Classic Dijon mustard versus ketchup!  Who knew that eating 1 tablespoon of this brand of mustard increased the metabolism by 25% for hours following?  Ketchup is a calorie sugar trap that has a direct negative affect on your belly.

Learn more while getting the calorie, fat, sodium, carb, fiber, sugar and protein contents of all of the foods you should and should not be eating in ‘Zero Belly Diet’.  Learn more about it here.

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Best times to drink water and the health benefits gained

Find out how much water you really should be drinking everyday here, click picture.

Find out how much water you really should be drinking everyday here, click picture.

By now, almost everybody knows how essential it is to your health in so many different ways to drink water as often as you can throughout the day.  But when are the best times to do that and what are the health benefits gained by doing so?  Here are some tips.

Wake up each morning and drink 2 glasses of water before reaching for that coffee; you’ll not only hydrate after hours of sleep, you’ll also help activate your internal organs for the day.

Before eating any meal, drink 1 glass of water 30-minutes prior to help your food digest better and prohibit yourself from overeating.

Drinking 1 glass of water before going to bed will not only help you hydrate before hybernating, it will also play a part in preventing a stroke or heart attack.

Want to know exactly how much water you should be drinking each day overall?  We’ve talked about it here.

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Sweet Potato vs White Potato; which one is healthier?

Learn about the 5 other high protein vegetables here; click picture.

Learn about the 5 other high protein vegetables here; click picture.

Potatoes have been pushed to the back burner too often while everyone thinks they should be jumping on the carb free bandwagon; which is a silly mistake for many reasons.  Did you know that both sweet and white potatoes are very low in calories, fat free, contain protein and only 7% of the daily recommended value of carbohydrates?

So which one is healthier for you?  This is a common question and most believe it’s the sweet potato that offers more nutrients over the white, but it turns out that they both pack a punch in a few different ways, here’s how it all lays out.

The Sweet Potato offers:

1. Up to 1/2 your daily Vitamin C requirement

2. High levels of Vitamin A

3. Greatly strengthens immune system

4. Contains higher levels of fiber; which will keep you feeling fuller longer

5. Sugar and salt content are higher than the white of course, so beware of that.

The White Potato offers:

1. High levels of folate; boosting brain and heart health

2. Contains more phosphorus than sweet; which keeps bones strong

3. Lower levels of sugar and salt; which will help you lose weight or keep it off

4. Essential nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and iron; but so do sweet potatoes.

So which one should you choose?  How about gaining the benefits offered from both by switching them out within your meals each week and enjoying what the sweet and white potato have to offer.  Keep in mind, roasting with a little olive oil, salt and pepper is the best method to eating potatoes in a healthy way!

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You don’t have to workout for hours to get significant results, period.

Check out more of my favorite workout DVD’s here (click picture).

The title of this post says it all.  How do I know this is?  Because I’ve experienced it first hand after pulling back and chilling out a bit with my workouts while getting the same results.  You don’t have to run 6 miles, 3 is ok and actually better for you overall.  You don’t necessarily have to do a 45-minute cardio circuit workout, 20-minutes will suffice.  And you certainly don’t have to do a an hour long yoga practice, unless you want to of course.

Why?  Well, in addition to the research to prove it, you can still make a significant impact on your body working out less and in addition, you could also be saving yourself from potential harm in the long run with the overuse of joints, bones and muscles.  This is what happened to me.  I was working out hard and long at least 6 days per week when suddenly my left knee gave out. I had a torn miniscus that needed surgery and rehab; which took some time and gave me a new perspective, but not enough.

I started working on my upper body more as I was recovering with lots of “hard” pushups, planks and weights; then came the bicep tendonitis.  At first I thought that I was just sore from all of the exercise, but when the pain started to spread down my arm, over my shoulder and up my neck, I knew something was wrong.  First order of business with a diagnosis like this is to stop doing any sort of upper body exercises paired with high doses anti-inflammatory drugs then rehab again.

Within one year both my lower body and upper body were screaming out for mercy, but since I knew that exercise will always be a part of my life, I had to find workouts that gave me the same results while not overpowering my body.  I simply had been working out too hard for too long and finally came to the realization that there’s no need for that to look and feel my best.

Here are 4 of my short effective workouts that offer a mixture of cardio, strengthening and elongating exercises that make me feel wonderful without taking too much of my time. Whatever exercises you choose to do, remember that something is always better than nothing, move your body, stay healthy and eat wisely.

akickJillian Michaels Kickbox Fastfix is a workout DVD that offers three tough 20-minute workouts that I do every week.  They fit into any busy schedule while giving you a kick butt workout that will break a sweat and make you feel strong, mentally and physically.

aphysPhysique 57 Thigh & Seat Booster is one of the most impactful body sculpting 30-minutes you’ll ever experience.  This barre type workout will tone your lower body like no other; while also strengthening your center at the same time.

ajackiewarnerPersonal Circuit Training with Jackie Warner offers 5 powerful workout options with 4 of them being only 15-minutes long.  You have the option to pick and choose which workouts you’d like to do each day with each one focuses on a different area of the body.  These workouts offer serious body-changing results that don’t take a lot of time.

aampedThe Ballet Physique “Amped Up” should be in every workout DVD library because it offers short bursts of exercises categorized into sections that work on different areas of the body or you can choose to do the whole workout in its entirety.  I love the thigh, butt and ab exercise options the most and will do 1 or 2 of them per day.

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Lemon Turmeric Water; reasons why you should be drinking it

aturmDid you know turmeric is potentially the most healthful herb in existence?  A medicinal spice that has been used in India for thousands of years is finally getting the attention it deserves.  There are numerous brain and health benefits that come from eating and drinking turmeric, here’s just a few of them.

  1. Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects that fight foreign invaders and repair damage.  It’s been shown to successfully treat arthritis more effectively than anti-inflammatory drugs.
  2. Turmeric can prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
  3. Turmeric has been shown to improve the function of blood vessels, regulates blood pressure and fight heart disease.
  4. Turmeric helps play a role in preventing cancer and potentially even treating it by reducing the growth of cells, particularly digestive cancers such as colon.
  5. Turmeric can alleviate symptoms of depression and has been shown to be as effective as prozac by boosting the brain’s serotonin and dopamine levels.

Now that you know all of the benefits of turmeric, one of the easiest ways to start including it in your diet is in drink form.  This particular simple drink includes another beneficial ingredient, lemon; which you can learn about here.  Just mix 1 1/2 cups of water, 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of turmeric and a pinch of cinnamon and drink up!  It’s actually quite tasty and knowing all the good you are doing for your body only makes it taste that much better.

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New study says drinking 1 glass of wine is equivalent to exercising for 1 hour


Learn how red wine can also release body fat here (click picture).

Who wouldn’t rather drink wine than go to the gym? Well, it turns out, a new study is showing that one glass of red wine could be equivalent to exercising for one hour by offering the same benefits. How is that possible?

Let me first start by saying that I would never condone drinking alcohol as a sport over traditional exercise, but I do find research like this interesting. Understanding what a glass of wine does once it enters your body, good or bad, is educating and important information for health and wellness warriors like myself.

So here’s the lowdown. The University of Alberta in Canada conducted a study and discovered that resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, can provide similar benefits compared to an hour of cross-training type exercise. One glass of red wine, and only red wine, not white or any other type of alcohol, can positively affect physical strength and overall performance, in addition to heart function.

The study is also very specific in saying that only one glass of red wine should be consumed each day, any more than that will not count as another hour at the gym but counted as additional calories causing potential weight gain; the opposite affect.

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