Tag Archives: diet

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Nutritional Needs for Growing Teens

It’s no secret that kids are constantly growing and need plenty of healthy food in their diets. But what about teenagers? Many of them haven’t reached their full height, so what do they need? How about the teens who are full grown? Do their nutritional needs change as their vertical growth stops? Here is what you need to know to keep your teens well fed and healthy.

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Day Off DOESN’T Mean Diet Off

Eating Junk FoodDepending on which diet or fitness plan you follow, you may have a day off each week where you get to relax a bit. Sometimes it means you can eat whatever you want, sometimes it means you don’t have to exercise. Either way, it’s really tempting to go crazy on that day because it’s your only day to do so. Unfortunately, this can undo some of the progress you’ve made during the week, and end up causing more frustration than happiness. Although it is important to allow yourself to relax sometimes, there’s a smart way to relax and a not so smart way to relax.

 

 

Not-So-Smart

You’ve been really healthy all week, so now it’s time to reward yourself. Today you get to eat whatever you want and be totally lazy. For breakfast grab a huge breakfast burrito and large caramel macchiato. This will run you about 750 calories. For lunch you grab a burger, fries and large soda. This will set you back about 1,900 calories. For dinner you decide to eat a few slices of a stuffed Chicago style pizza. Each slice is around 350 calories, so let’s say you eat two for a total of 700 calories. By the end of the day, you grand total of calories could be near 3,400. If your regular diet has you eating close to 2,000 calories a day, this one day of splurging cost you an extra 1,400 calories. In order to burn this off, you would need to do the stair climber for 90 minutes, spin for 90 minutes, or run 12 miles.

SMART

You may not need to do your regular exerciser regimen on your day off, but that doesn’t mean you have to be completely sedentary. Instead of going for a long run, go for a nice walk outside. Instead of eating meat and cheese covered pizza, reach for one with some healthy veggies and a thinner crust. If you want to splurge on ice cream, go for frozen yogurt instead. You can still relax on  your day off without causing a major set back in you weight loss efforts.

 

 

Take Baby Steps With Your Diet

Vector inscription.Starting to eat healthy is a great goal, and one that many of us have. We all want to have a body that looks good, feels good, and allows us to do everything we want. Some of us are lucky enough to have metabolisms that don’t require diet vigilance, but most of us are not. If you’re like me, you have to work hard to make sure your body doesn’t keep increasing in size every year. Some people choose to make huge dietary changes, but most of the time, these don’t last long because they’re too strenuous. I suggest taking things down a notch to make small, simple changes. Just like a child learning to walk for the first time, you need to take baby steps with your diet. Here are my Top 3 Diet Baby Steps.

Choose Brown Over White

When you go shopping, choose 100% whole wheat or sprouted wheat bread instead of white. Grab a bag of brown rice instead of white rice. Eating whole grains keeps you full longer, provides you with more nutrients, and gives you a delicious nutty flavor.

 

Water, Water, Water

Simply drinking more water each day will improve your skin and hair, decrease your appetite, and help you lose weight. It’s the most simple thing you can do to have a healthier diet.

Bean Swap

Whenever possible, use beans in a recipe instead of meat. This works great with chili, tacos, burritos, soups or salads. Beans provide you with protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B-6 without any added sodium, fat or cholesterol.

Calcium: For More Than Just Bones

Raw Organic Green Collard Greens

Calcium is a mineral that most of us associate as a necessity to build strong bones. Calcium is essential for bone strength and about 99% of the calcium in our bodies is in our bones and teeth. However, calcium is used also for helping our blood clot, assisting in our nerves sending messages and helping our muscles contract. It is very important Having a calcium rich diet is essential for our bodies to perform well and to stay strong.

When I was 15 years old I became lactose intolerant. The symptoms were severe, and I had to remove dairy products from my diet. One of my greatest concerns was getting enough calcium in my diet to keep my body functioning properly now and preventing my bones from becoming weak in the future.  Cheese, milk and and yogurt are all great sources of calcium, but if you have to avoid dairy, here are some excellent alternative calcium rich foods.

Collard Greens have 268 milligrams per one cup cooked. Try this Quick Feijoada Salad.

Broccoli has 86 milligrams in 2 cups raw. Try this Broccoli with Thai Cashew Dip.

Kale has 101 milligrams in 1 cup raw. Try this Kale Smoothie.

Edamame has 98 milligrams in 1 cup cooked. Try Fresh Edamame Salad.

Oranges have 74 milligrams in one large orange. Try Orange Blueberry Bran Muffins.

Tofu has 434 milligrams per 1/2 cup. Try these Tofu Stuffed Shells.

Almonds have about 75 milligrams per ounce. Try these Sauteed Green Beans, Peppers and Almonds.

5 Tips for Slim and Trim Fast Food

Protein burger wrapped in lettuceIn recent years, fast food has become the villain for weight gain and obesity across the country. Documentaries have been made about the unhealthy nature of most fast food chains, causing quite a debate over whether or not we should avoid fast food chains altogether. This has caused several major chains to start listing the nutritional content of their food items, which is a great step towards understanding what goes into most fast food items. Here are 5 tips to help you decide which types of fast food items to enjoy, and which to avoid.

1. Avoid Mayonnaise: For every tablespoon of mayonnaise, you consume an extra 90 calories and 10 grams of fat.

2. Try Veggie Burgers: If you’ve never tried one before, you might be surprised how good it tastes. They contain less calories and fat than beef burgers, plus more fiber.

3. Veggie Toppings: When you think about added toppings on a burger, skip the cheese, bacon and fried items, and go for lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mushrooms or peppers.

4. Lose the Bun: Hamburger buns include added calories and carbohydrates that you don’t  need. Replace the bun with a lettuce wrap for a much healthier option.

5. Ditch the Shake: The average fast food shake will cost you around 500 calories, while an unsweetened lemonade or iced tea is less than 50 calories.

Water Logged Foods for Better Hydration

Fresh Tomatoes and Green Pepper Splash in Water Isolated on WhitDuring the hot summer months, it’s easy to get dehydrated if you don’t may attention to your water intake. Although it’s important to drink plenty of water, you can also get a large percentage of water from the foods you eat. The trick is to know which foods have high water content. I want to share some of the most water logged healthy foods you can eat, plus some delicious recipes I love to use for these extremely hydrated foods.

With over 96.7% water, cucumbers are great for hydration, and can be eaten fresh, pickled, or blended. This cucumber lime slushie is fresh, tangy and extremely healthy. Tomatoes are also a great source of hydration, containing 94.5% water. Watermelon isn’t too far behind with 91.5% water. This watermelon tomato salad combines both for a simple taste that’s perfect for a lunch, or side dish.

You may be surprised to learn that radishes have an impressive 95.3% water. Some people love to eat radishes in their raw form, but if you don’t prefer this, we have a simple radish dip you can make that goes well with any fresh vegetable. Make ahead and snack on at lunch time, or serve as a healthy appetizer when you have company.

Green Peppers are near the top of the list with 93.9% water. If you like these sweet crunchy peppers, I suggest a colorful 3 pepper salad that combines peppers, tomatoes and lettuce for a delicious and water filled meal. Spinach rounds out my list of favorite water logged foods with 91.4% water. I love to eat spinach raw, cooked, or blended up in a smoothie. One of my favorite salads is a spinach avocado walnut salad that combines my two favorite foods: spinach and avocado.

 

 

 

 

Consistency is the Framework of a Healthy Diet

good food, health and lifeSo, you’re sitting in your living room, thinking about how you want to get more healthy. You think about starting to exercise more, eating healthier foods, and make a promise to avoid the fast food drive through windows you love so much. These are all great ideas that can help you get healthier, but only if you are consistent with them. Doing these things for one or two weeks won’t do much, but if you stick with it for a month or more, changes will start to happen. If you were to pick only four things to change in your diet, these are the top four we recommend. Be consistent with these and you’ll have great success!

1. Drink plenty of water – Aim for 8 glasses each day.

2. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies – Aim for 2 types of fruits and 2 types of vegetables each day.

3. Eat lots of fiber – Aim for 2 servings of oats, brown rice, whole wheat bread or other whole grain each day.

4. Eat healthy protein – Aim for 2 full servings of low fat meat, beans, soy, or eggs each day.

 

Mindful Eating in 5 Simple Questions

Food for thoughtMindful eating is a phrase you may or may not have heard before. In case it’s new to you, let me give you a brief explanation. Mindful eating means you with intention and attention. Everything you put into your body has a purpose, and you pay attention to how it makes you feel. The more mindful you are about your diet, the more you’ll be able to cater it to help you perform at your best. Here are five simple questions that will help you be more mindful with your diet.

1. Am I hungry or just bored?

2. How will I feel after I eat this food?

3. Will this food give me energy or take it away?

4. Am I eating slow or fast?

5. When did I eat last?

Ask yourself these five questions and it will help you pay more attention to what your eating, when you’re eating, how much you’re eating, and how it makes you feel. Soon you’ll find a better balance that will help improve the quality and longevity of your life.

Moderation In All Things

Vegan Lunch Food My PlateToo often when people think about dieting and healthy eating, they automatically assume they have to give up certain foods that they love. This is perhaps why so many people choose to just keep eating unhealthy. Who wants to give up things that they love? Fortunately, you don’t have to give up everything you love in order to be healthy. It’s all about using good judgement and moderation with your diet.

If you absolutely love french fries, you don’t have to completely cut them out of your diet, just moderate when you eat them. Set up a reward system. Say for every 10 days you eat at least 3 vegetables a day, you get to eat one small serving of french fries. If you love brownies, allow yourself to eat one small brownie at the end of each week you stick with other healthy eating habits. This way you still get to indulge, but on a healthy scale.

Eating healthy is not about giving up everything you love, it’s about choosing to love your body enough to give it what it really needs. You can eat unhealthy foods in moderation and still lose weight. It’s all about planning and dedication. This week pick your unhealthy treat of choice and design a plan for eating it in moderation. Do this for at least 3 weeks and track your progress. Little by little you’ll be able to start eating a healthier diet while still enjoying the foods you love.

Variety is the Spice of Life

Vegetables with rice, bean and lentilThis month we’re focusing on the four staples of a healthy diet, and the first staple is VARIETY. When you hear the word diet, you might focus on all the things you can’t eat instead of focusing on all the things you can eat. The world is full of amazing and healthy foods to eat, so now is your chance to get out and try something new!

Although fruits and vegetables all contain healthy vitamins and minerals, they contain different ones, and different amounts of them as well. In order for your body to get everything it needs, you need to eat a large variety of both fruits and vegetables. It may sound hard to do, but it’s really not if you work on it a little bit at a time. Here is what we suggest.

The next time you go to the store, pick one fruit and vegetable that you’ve never tried before. Look up the best way to eat it and give it a try. You may like it, and you may not, but at least you  tried. If you do this week after week, you’re sure to find something you like that you can add to your regular food items. The more you try, the more you might like. In no time, you’ll have a large variety of healthy food items you eat on a regular basis.