Tag: fitness

What to Eat and What to Avoid at the Salad Bar

Eat It:

The standard salad-bar option of iceberg lettuce is very low in calories, only 8 per cup, but contains very few nutrients. Instead, opt for spinach, spring mix or romaine lettuce. They, too, are low in calories, but also contain folate, vitamin C and eye-healthy lutein and zeaxanthanin.

Pile on the colorful veggies! Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini and cabbage are all great toppings that deliver good-for-you antioxidants (thanks to their richly colored pigments) for very few calories. One vegetable to maybe put a cap on is corn: 1/2 cup has 88 calories (the same amount of broccoli has only 16). Don’t keep it off your salad plate altogether, though—this summertime favorite still has a substantial amount of fiber, folate and vitamin C.

Like vegetables, fruit tossed onto your salad will give you an added boost of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. Some tasty and super-healthy options include berries, peaches, melon, apples or grapefruit. The key to adding fruit to your salad is going fresh: you’ll avoid added sugars and save calories by skipping dried and canned fruit. For example, 2 tablespoons of raisins and 1 cup of grapes both have the same number of calories.

Protein (Chicken, Eggs, Ham, Beans & Tofu)~
Studies show that eating protein helps you feel full longer so you don’t get hungry. Add lean chicken or a hard-boiled egg to your salad. A bonus for eggs is that they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that help keep eyes healthy. Skip ham, which often contains a lot of sodium (three 1-ounce slices have more than 25 percent of the recommended daily limit).

Good vegetarian protein sources include tofu and beans. A 1/2 cup of black beans contains nearly 8 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. Chickpeas are a common salad-bar topping and while they can be a filling, fiber-rich option, they’re a bit more calorically dense (1/2 cup packs 145 calories).

Choose Carefully:

Salad Dressings~
Replacing creamy dressings, such as ranch (73 calories, nearly 8 grams of fat per tablespoon) and blue cheese (76 calories, about the same amount of fat), with a noncreamy Italian (43 calories and 4.2 grams of fat) or balsamic vinaigrette (45 calories per tablespoon and 4.5 grams of fat) practically cuts your calories and fat in half.

The best option, if available, is to drizzle on a little heart-healthy olive oil (1 teaspoon has only 40 calories and 5 grams of fat) and your favorite vinegar (cider vinegar, for example, has just 3 calories per tablespoon).

Cheese is another source of protein, which helps add staying power to salads. If possible, keep the calorie count down by topping your salad with low- or fat-free options.

If only full-fat cheeses are available, pick ones with strong flavors, such as feta, blue, Parmesan or aged Cheddar—and count on just a little bit going a long way to keep the calories and saturated fat in check. Of those more pungent cheeses, feta offers the fewest calories at 74 per ounce. Blue, Parmesan and Cheddar have 99, 116 and 113 calories per ounce, respectively.

Choose Carefully or Avoid:


Be choosy when it comes to salad toppers.

• Nuts and Seeds: Nuts offer healthy fats and some protein, but they’re high in calories, so pay close attention to how many you add. A small handful of almonds (22 to be exact) contains 169 calories and 14 walnut halves boasts 185 calories. You can be a bit more generous with the pistachios: one serving is 49 nuts, for 162 calories. For added crunch, try a sprinkle of sunflower seeds; while these also are relatively high in calories (47 per tablespoon), they contain healthy fats and are full of antioxidants too.

• Olives: Olives are a low-calorie choice at about 7 calories each. They do, however, deliver a fair amount of sodium: depending on the type of olive, 1/4 cup could deliver as much as 717 mg of sodium. Go for green—they’re the lowest in calories and have the least amount of sodium.

• Bacon bits: Two words: Skip these. Bacon bits—and similar add-ons, such as crunchy onions—look appetizing when you’re standing at a salad bar, but they can be high in sodium and “empty” calories.

• Croutons: Pass on these too. A 1/2 cup may contain almost 100 calories and 247 mg of sodium. If you must have croutons, choose ones that are whole-wheat or whole-grain.

Healthy Smoothies: Best Smoothie Ingredients & 10 To Ditch

Find out the healthiest smoothie ingredients and 10 to ditch.

Whether you enjoy smoothies for breakfast, a snack or even dessert, they’re a great way to increase your daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

But depending on the ingredients they’re made with, smoothies can quickly turn into unhealthy calorie-bombs filled with sugar and saturated fat. The healthiest way to enjoy a smoothie is to make your own so you know how much of and what foods you are getting. Wondering how to make a smoothie? A good smoothie should contain a blend of ingredients with protein and fiber to help keep you full and provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.




Best High-Protein Smoothie Ingredients

• Nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
• Nonfat or low-fat plain milk
• Tofu
• Natural peanut butter
• Almond butter
• Plain soymilk
• Plain almond milk

Best Fruits for Smoothies
Use fresh fruit, frozen fruit or fruit canned in water or its own juice.

• Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
• Mango
• Pineapple
• Peach
• Banana
• Apple
• Melon
• Cherries
• Apricot

Best Vegetables for Smoothies
Use raw vegetables.

  • Carrot
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber

Healthy Smoothie Additions for Flavor and Additional Nutrition
• Flaxseed
• Chia seed
• Old-fashioned oats
• Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
• Vanilla extract
• Coconut water
• Unsweetened cocoa powder

Smoothie Ingredients to Ditch
To keep your smoothie as healthy as possible, avoid adding these ingredients, which provide a lot of calories in the form of sugar and saturated fat, with little or no fiber or other nutrients.

  •  Sugar-sweetened fruit juice or concentrate
  •  Full-fat dairy products, such as milk or yogurt
  •  Flavored yogurt
  •  Whipped cream
  •  Ice cream
  •  Sorbet
  •  Sherbet
  •  Chocolate syrup
  •  Full-fat coconut milk
  •  Canned fruit in syrup

~Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D.

Get a Flat Belly with These 3 Healthy Weight Loss Meals

If you are trying to achieve a flat belly, then careful meal planning can really make the difference in how quickly you achieve your goal. Avoiding processed foods and opting for whole, organic and unprocessed ingredients can help you shed pounds and inches rapidly, but most of us find that stopping in at a fast food restaurant is easier than planning a meal.

But you can actually craft a meal plan in just a few minutes that is easy to implement and follow, even in a busy modern lifestyle. Here are three flat belly meal plans that you can adapt to your own daily routine:


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the best way to stoke your energy for the remainder of your day. Skipping breakfast is like starting out on a road trip with an empty gas tank. Don’t do it! Instead, make sure to start with a serving of protein (in fact, you should have protein at every meal) and a variety of complex carbohydrates such as fruit, vegetables, and sprouted grain bread. Here are a few meal suggestions to get your day started right:

2 whole eggs, scrambled with a bit of butter, sliced tomatoes and 1 slice of grain bread

Cooked quinoa with coconut milk, sweetened with honey or stevia, and a small serving of berries

Low sodium bacon with ½ grapefruit and grain toast


You should include a serving of protein with lunch as well. Reheating leftovers from dinner is always a good bet, but you can also try the following healthy meal plans:

Grilled salmon over a bed of sautéed zucchini, brown rice pilaf, and ½ cup of strawberries
Stir-fried chicken with peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli
A sandwich made with nut butter and grain bread and a green salad with oil and vinegar dressing


Dinner is your chance to get creative and seek out new recipes to satisfy your palate. Make extra to serve for lunch the next day, and you are set! Just make sure you always include a serving of protein with a healthy balance of carbohydrates. Here are a few suggestions:

Baked Tilapia over asparagus tips, a cup of fruit, and a green salad with oil and vinegar dressing
Taco Salad made from lean ground beef, avocado, salsa, tomato and lettuce (never buy iceberg lettuce, which is nutritionally valueless)
Gluten-free meatloaf with a side of spaghetti squash and sautéed peppers and onions


It’s important to keep your blood sugar level by including at least two snacks as part of your eating plan. The portions should be smaller than your meals, but these snacks are a way to keep your hunger at bay so you won’t be tempted to overeat at meals. Opt for a healthy mix of protein and carbs, as in these examples:

Cottage cheese with blueberries or other fresh fruit
A handful of raw nuts and pumpkin seeds with raisins
2 Tbs nut butter on 1 slice sprouted wheat bread

Just a little careful planning on your part with these healthy weight loss meals will help you achieve your goal of getting a flat belly. And you won’t be tempted to hit the drive-thru on the way home!


Get Fit For Life

Get Fit for Life… by Jenny Flynn

You don’t have to look like a supermodel; besides getting the body you want, weight loss can improve your health and your future.

The health benefits of staying at a normal weight are huge and well worth your effort. Studies prove that living a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure. Also, your chances of contracting many kinds of cancer are also lessened with proper diet and exercise.

It may seem unfair that a lot of emphasis is placed on the importance of one’s appearance. But, did you know that how you look affects how you feel about yourself and also how others perceive you and your attitude toward yourself. Self confidence allows you to effectively relate to others .

So? How do we do this? First, take care of your body, it’s the only one you have. Get healthy and maintain the weight loss; you’ll enjoy higher energy levels, greater physical mobility and ultimately an increase in self-esteem.
Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.