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Archive for » April 15th, 2017«

Daniel Fishel/Evan Lockheart/Thrillist

Step 2: Knife Skills!

Step 4: Get Dressed

Step 5: Plate It Up!

I took particular offense to Step 5, because if I want to gorge my gullet to Peak Performance by eating straight out of the skillet like an animal, I have every right to.

But I didn’t. I portioned two generous servings and, unsurprisingly, found all that hard work paid off. Despite being practically vegan (a great name for a reality show) and directly sponsored by every Masshole’s adopted god, the meal was excellent. Like, I would eat this by choice. And ultimately, I really only like to eat things by choice.

We were off to a good start.

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Eating avocados every day can help you lose weight in this problem …

Here is some very good news for guacamole lovers everywhere: A new review of scientific literature suggests that eating avocado is a simple (and delicious!) way to prevent metabolic syndrome. Dubbed “the new silent killer,” metabolic syndrome is the term used to describe a combination of three or more risk factors for heart disease and diabetes (think high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and large waist circumference, for example).

The review, conducted by Iranian researchers and published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, looked at 129 previously published studies examining the effects of avocado consumption on different components of metabolic syndrome. Most of the studies involved the fleshy part you’re used to eating, but some also included avocado leaves, peels, oil, and seeds, or pits.

The researchers concluded that avocados have the most beneficial effects on cholesterol levels, and that consumption of the creamy fruit can influence several different measurements: LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and phospholipids.

That’s not all, though. “The lipid-lowering, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic, and cardioprotective effects of avocado have been demonstrated in several studies,” wrote the authors, and most of those studies recommend eating the fruit on a daily basis. In other words, avocados can help fight pretty much every aspect of metabolic syndrome.

“This is just yet another study to show that avocados truly deserve superfood status,” says Health’s contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, RD, MPH. Sass was not involved in the review, but says it includes an “impressive range of studies.”

Sass points out that avocados can help stave off belly fat, the most dangerous type of fat to carry. And even though they’re high in (healthy) fat compared to other fruits, it’s hard to go overboard and eat too much. “Fortunately avocado is very satiating,” she says. “It’s almost like they have a built-in stop-gap.”

Research also shows that people who eat more avocados weigh less and have smaller waists than those who don’t, even when they don’t consume fewer calories overall. “This is yet another example of how not all calories are created equal,” Sass says.

RELATED: 18 Superfoods for Your Heart

Plus, avocados are a good source of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, in addition to their heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. And, as the review notes, they’re generally safe and better tolerated than synthetic medications.

Want to add more avocado to your regular diet? Besides using the fruit to make guacamole and super-trendy avocado toast, you can also whip it into smoothies, add it to omelets and salads, and—with a little seasoning—use it as a topping for sandwiches, soups, fish, chicken, pizza, you name it. Avocado can even be used as a replacement for butter in baking recipes, and its creaminess makes it a good base for desserts like ice cream and pudding. (For more ideas, check out 25 Amazing Avocado Recipes for the Avo-Obsessed.)

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“If you’ve never tried avocado in these ways, trust me, you’ll love it,” Sass says. “Avocado blends well with both sweet and savory ingredients, and provides the satisfaction factor that makes dishes decadent. Incorporating more avocado into your diet is like having your cake and eating it too!”

Oh, and while the study looked at several parts of the plant, Sass recommends sticking with the flesh for now. “We don’t yet know enough about the safety of eating pits and peels,” she says.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

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Here’s how to get the right nutrients in your diet when you’re vegan

Being vegan throws up a lot of nutritional challenges (Picture: Getty/Metro)

The number of vegans in Britain has risen by more than 360 per cent over the past decade according to research by the Vegan Society.

If you’re a vegan or thinking about making the switch, it’s important to note that following a plant-only diet can present a number of nutritional challenges.

Meat alternatives for vegans and vegetarians – we tried and rated them all so you don’t have to

A vegan diet can make it more difficult to supply your body with the right amount of nutrients each day, for example.

So it’s important to carefully plan your meals to ensure you consume a wide variety of highly nourishing foods.

There are three crucial areas to be aware of on a day-to-day basis:


When following a plant-based diet, you may find that you struggle to get enough protein at first.

The good news is that there is plenty of vegan protein sources such as natural soy, lentils, beans, quinoa, and seitan.

(Picture: Getty)


The US National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends that adults between the ages of 19 and 50 get a minimum of 1,000 mg of calcium a day.

For vegans, the key is eating a variety of naturally calcium-rich foods.

Things like kale, bok choy, almonds, soy beans and figs are great.

You can also have calcium-fortified foods such as cereals, plant-based milks, and tofu.

Make sure the tofu you get has been fortified with calcium (Picture: Getty)


Iron deficiency is common among vegans, because they are not necessarily swapping red meat with other foods that provide the mineral.

The best way to prevent the deficiency is by eating plenty of whole grains and legumes, as these are packed with Iron.

It’s also sensible to consume foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, cabbage and leafy greens, as this dramatically improves the rate at which your body absorbs iron.

Vitamin C helps (Picture: Getty)

Some healthy vegan foods you should try

1. Tempeh is a traditional soy product originating from Indonesia. It’s made with the whole soybean with very little processing, it’s also high in protein with 19g per 100g.

2. Agave Nectar is a syrup that is made from the Agave tequilana (tequila) plant. It’s a great alternative to honey, which vegans avoid because bee health is sacrificed when it is harvested by humans.

3. Black beans are prized for their high protein and fibre content. They also contain several other key vitamins and minerals that are known to benefit human health.

4. Chickpeas are considered both a vegetable and protein food, helping you hit two important food groups at once. They are also rich in a number of important nutrients that keep you well and they provide fibre too.

There are so many things you could do with chickpeas (Picture: Getty)

5. Seitan is a meat substitute made from wheat that is a great way to get protein on a vegan diet. It has 75g of protein per 100g.

6. Tahini is most commonly known as an ingredient in houmous. It’s made from toasted, ground hulled sesame seeds and is rich in minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and iron.

7. Seaweed contains a high amount of fibre and is rich in calcium, magnesium and iodine. It’s a great addition to soups and noodle broths to add flavour where meat would usually be used.

8. Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning, produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji and sometimes rice, barley, or other ingredients. Miso is packed with nutrients and has been shown to have positive effects on blood pressure.

9. Flax Seeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fibre, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3.

10. Nutritional Yeast is inactive yeast made from sugar cane and beet molasses. Packed with B vitamins, it has a nutty, cheesy flavour and is often used to emulate cheese in vegan dishes. It can be sprinkled on pasta, salads, baked potatoes, soups or even popcorn.

Nutrition expert Luciano Venezia is the Co-Founder of EDO – an app that evaluates food labels to provide people with nutritional values and all the necessary information needed to live a healthy vegan lifestyle.

MORE: Vegan Burd: The vegan chocolate taking Scotland by storm

MORE: 25 vegan meat alternatives ranked from worst to best

MORE: The definitive ranking of high street vegan lunches

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Why I’m Breaking Up with "Healthy" Ice Cream

Everyone and their mom is “into health and fitness” these days—and don’t get me wrong, that’s great. Only good things can come from having more healthy, happy people in this world. (Yay workout endorphins and vegetables!)

But because these topics are ~super trendy~ RN, people looove to share what they’re doing every step of the way—including endorsing workouts or diets they love, and trying things they’ve seen other people blast on the Internet. It’s like the modern-day, adult version of peer pressure: If everyone is going Paleo, and doing juice cleanses, and Instagramming from SoulCycle, you should probably do it too, right? If it worked for them, it’s gotta work for you. (BTW, social media isn’t always great for your health.)

And that’s exactly what’s happening with this damn ice cream.

ICYMI, “healthy” ice cream brands are blowing up too. Halo Top, Arctic Zero, and Enlightened are debatably the best-loved brands (at least on Insta), and clock in at just 240 to 300 calories per pint. Then there’s Wink Desserts, which boasts a 100-calorie pint (say whaaaa). In one 1/2-cup serving from their chocolate pints, Halo Top, Arctic Zero, and Enlightened each have about 35 to 60 calories, 3 to 5g of protein, 3 to 5g of sugar, and 0 to 2g of fat. Wink has just 25 calories, 2g protein, 0g sugar, and 0.5g fat. Their nutritional facts (compared to 1/2 cup of chocolate Häagen-Dazs, which has 260 calories, 5g protein, 19g sugar, and 17g fat) seem like straight magic, am I right?

A post shared by Halo Top Creamery (@halotopcreamery) on Mar 30, 2017 at 12:42pm PDT

For this exact reason, when I first tried these ice creams about a year ago, I was hooked. The kinda-bloated feeling and weird aftertaste were worth the fact that I could eat an entire pint of this low-calorie, high-fiber, high-protein ice cream and still be within the caloric and macronutrient parameters of having a “healthy” day. The flavors were surprisingly diverse and totally filled my stomach while satisfying my raging sweet tooth. Not to mention, it was so low-cal that I could afford to top it with peanut butter, cereal, banana, and whatever other treats I wanted. “This is the perpetually hangry fit girl’s dream,” I thought, and immediately told all my friends to try it. (You’ll die at this if you know what it’s like to be constantly hungry.)


Somewhere along the way, I forgot about this ice cream. I never made the distinct decision to stop eating it, but instead, I was treating myself with full-fat Ben and Jerry’s on the weekends. Yeah, I couldn’t dietarily “afford” to eat these treats every night, but some chocolate and a spoonful of peanut butter were enough to satiate my sweet tooth for the night, and the occasional splurge on a high-fat, high-sugar, high-cal treat felt 100 percent welcome.

One day, I found myself with not one but six free pints of this “healthy” ice cream. I proudly brought it home and told my roommate she was going to be ~obsessed~ because we could basically eat all of them in one sitting and it’d be totally chill. We snuggled in with a chick flick, a bottle of wine, two spoons, some pints, and went to work. (Zero shame.) After a few spoonfuls, we looked at each other and put them down. Bleh. I had zero desire to put this meh-tasting ice cream in my mouth just for the sake of it being healthy. I no longer wanted to eat an entire pint of this stuff just because I could. Six months later, we still hadn’t reopened them. The freezer-burned cartons ended up in the trash during spring cleaning.

While my fascination with these “healthy” ice creams has waned, the social media fanbase seems to be gaining steam. I see proud selfies and product shots posted by every fit-fluencer I follow, and every time I see one on my newsfeed, I can still taste the mediocrity in my mouth.

The thing with insanely healthy processed treats is this: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. To me (and many other health professionals who are experts on this stuff), healthy eating is about eating fresh, whole foods—foods that humans have messed with as little as possible.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Just think about it: If they took out the calories, fat, and sugar (the things that naturally make things taste delish), how the hell do companies make this stuff taste good? Take your eyes off the nutritional facts and take a look at the ingredients instead. Chances are, anything that’s devoid of sugar but still tastes sweet is full of sugar alcohols: erythritol, xylitol, and many other ingredients that end in “-ol.” (Check out your sugarless chewing gum.) Those little guys are great for causing bloating and digestion issues. (Here’s what else you need to know about sugar alcohols.) You’ll also likely see carob gum and/or guar gum, a thickener that may cause your gut to overproduce bacteria. While none these ingredients are outright *eViL*, I’m not the biggest fan of bloating.

That chocolate Häagen-Dazs may have more fat and sugar in one serving than the others have in the entire pint, but at least the ingredients are things you could find in your fridge: cream, skim milk, sugar, processed cocoa, and egg yolks. Plus, the fat in regular ice cream can help satiate you so you might not even want to eat the whole thing. The milk gives you some much-needed calcium to help fight osteoporosis. Your mouth (and gut) will probably be happier too. And isn’t that better than 300 throwaway calories?

ron swanson ice cream gif

All that aside, tell me which sounds better: enjoying a little bit of indulgent ice cream or teaching yourself to tolerate an imposter? I’m not saying that these “healthy” ice creams don’t taste good to some people. But if you’ve had real ice cream anytime in the last month, you’ll know that the frozen treat touching your taste buds is a sham. Personally, I’d choose to treat myself to just one or two scoops of Edy’s slow-churned or Talenti gelato (because that ish is GOOD)—not fill my belly to the brim with something that’s second-rate. (I also love burpees, so maybe I’m just an extremist?)

In a society obsessed with more, more, more, the allure of this “healthy” ice cream is that it offers a way to have your cake (er, ice cream?) and eat it too. It says, “Yes, you can binge on me and still feel healthy.” It says, “There’s no need for portion control—lick the bottom of the carton. It’s totally cool.” The focus is on quantity over quality. But is it really a treat if there’s nothing inherently treat-like about it? If you want a dessert, you should have a freaking dessert.

I’m not saying I have a perfect relationship with food (does anyone, really?). I may eat that whole pint of gelato if I feel like it. I’m not saying “healthy” ice cream is the only problem; there are plenty of questionable low-cal foods that I’d argue against in the same way. I’m also not saying you have to agree with me. Each person’s health and fitness ~journey~ is different. If you want to eat “healthy” ice cream, then, by all means, do so. We all have our vices.

As for me? I feel better with a whole lot of kale and a generous scoop of full-fat Phish Food—and I’m going to Instagram that. Because life is too freakin’ short to eat ice cream you don’t like.

Jessie James Decker: Her Exact, On-The-Go Diet For Flat Abs After Having Two Kids

Jessie James Decker has been named the new face of the South Beach Diet program! See how the busy mom of two stays healthy — read about her workouts and meal plans below!

Jessie James Decker, singer, songwriter, and mom, has been named the new spokesperson for the South Beach Diet, the company announced on April 13.

Quick and easy are two things that Jessie needs in her diet — and SB gives her that!

“My days often consist of juggling work while running around after my kids, and sometimes I forget that I need to focus on myself. With the South Beach Diet, I can easily grab a meal, a bar or a shake, and be confident that I am eating healthy, even on the go.”


“I’m a busy mom and I don’t always have the time to cook a big meal. I love being able to grab the Banana Nut or Blueberry Ricotta Muffins for breakfast. For lunch, the Vegetable Chili is one of my favorites. And I can’t seem to get enough of the Toffee Nut Bars. They’re addictive.”


“I work out two to three days a week. I love doing circuit training, where I sweat really hard and lift heavy weights.”

Celebs At The Gym — Stars Working Out


The main objectives of the South Beach Diet is that you eat high protein foods, minimize carbs, and cut out added sugar.


They have nearly 75 pre-packaged or frozen meals. Some of the best selling meals are the Beach Shack Chocolate Shake, Blueberry Ricotta Muffin, Ham Veggie Frittata, Chicken Roma, Home-style Chicken Brown Rice, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Lunch Bar.

“I have been following the principles of the South Beach Diet for quite some time,” Jessie said in a press release. “What I love about the new South Beach Diet program is that not only does it fuel your body with the foods you need, but it teaches you how to eat to achieve optimal health. I want to help other women and men live a healthy lifestyle and educate them that dieting doesn’t have to be about deprivation.”

HollywoodLifers, would you try the South Beach Diet like Jessie James Decker?

Lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and 4 other diseases through your diet

Reducing your risk for developing many diseases could be as simple as shopping the perimeter of your supermarket and getting better acquainted the foods that create a plant-based diet. That’s the premise of Whole Foods CEO and co-founder John Mackey’s new book “The Whole Foods Diet: The Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity,” which he co-wrote with Alona Pulde, M.D., and Matthew Lederman, M.D.


Before you roll your eyes at another complex piece of advice suggesting you eat more fruits and veggies, consider Mackey’s two simple rules for eating to reduce your disease risk:

Rule 1:  Eat whole foods instead of highly processed foods.

Rule 2: Eat mostly plant foods (90+ percent of your daily calories).

And, make sure you get your “essential eight” daily:

  • Whole grains
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Beans and other legumes
  • Berries, other fruits
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Leafy greens
  • Nonstarchy vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds

“By following this way of eating, you can have significant strides in your health,” Mackey told Fox News.


Fox News talked to Mackey and Lederman to learn more about which foods can help reduce your chances of developing some of the diseases linked to the most common causes of death in the United States. Here are their suggestions:

1. Heart disease
“If someone has heart disease [or is trying to help prevent it], eat whole, unrefined plant foods,” Lederman said. A diet consisting of 90 percent plant foods can significantly impact heart disease and help reverse it, he pointed out.  

2. Cancer
[Cruciferous vegetables] contain glucosinolates, which break down to create isothiocyanates and indoles, and may inhibit the development of cancer, and help protect against tumors,” Lederman said. Cruciferous veggies include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radishes, collard greens, artichokes, arugula and kale.


3. Alzheimer’s disease
Berries prevent against cognitive decline, Lederman said. “It’s not just that raspberries or blueberries help, but … people eating this whole-food diet tend to be protective against these brain diseases,” he explained. To boost your brain health, reach for juicy fruit like blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, cranberries and currants.

4. Autoimmune disease
When someone is suffering from an autoimmune disease, his or her immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the body. Following a typical western diet can cause inflammation in the body and contribute to autoimmune diseases, research suggests. “Inflammation shows up in the body in different ways,” Lederman said. For example, studies have found that diets high in plant fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in walnuts, sunflower seeds and flax seeds) may help reduce the chance of developing multiple sclerosis, a common autoimmune disease. “Allow your immune system to function optimally … so it can heal wounds where it needs to,” he said. “If people can get this [plant-based diet] down, they’re going to feel better,” Lederman said.


5. Parkinson’s disease
To help protect against Parkinson’s, which causes tremors and difficulty with movement, consider following an anti-inflammatory diet. While the precise cause of Parkinson’s is unknown, the medical community generally agrees an inflammatory event or episode contributes to the initiation of neurodegeneration. “When you eat whole, unprocessed foods, you decrease inflammation, improve blood flow, remove waste, and bring nutrition to the cells,” Lederman said. “Your body’s immune systems thrives on this diet.” Some studies have found that people who eat more peppers have a lower risk for developing Parkinson’s disease. Other research suggests people who eat berries, apples and oranges have a reduced risk of developing the disease.

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