All posts tagged nutrition

4 Vegetarian Ways To Get Your Iron

Sorry, meatheads, this one isn’t for you… If you love your veggies but are struggling to get the amount of iron you need daily, take a look at the list below to capture some ideas. These foods are rich in iron and can easily kick meat’s butt to the curb:

1)Spinach (iron) + red bell peppers (C)

There are plenty of ways to pair these two. Raw, minced peppers in a spinach salad works, as does spinach cooked into a stuffed bell pepper. Or try sliced peppers sautéed with spinach. I love this combo with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper.

2)Broccoli (iron) + tomatoes (C)

Toss steamed broccoli florets in sundried tomato pesto. Or to put together dinner in minutes, sauté broccoli and tomatoes with onions, mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, and Italian herb seasoning. Complete the meal with a lean protein (like chicken breast, salmon, or white beans) and a small serving of a healthy carb (such as quinoa or brown rice pasta). To get an iron boost at breakfast, add broccoli and tomatoes to an omelet or frittata.

3)Black beans (iron) + cabbage (C)

One of my favorite ways to combine these two is in black bean tacos, each topped with a generous portion of vinegar-based slaw. Black bean-stuffed cabbage rolls are another great option. Or simply add whole, chilled black beans to a slaw.

4)Dark chocolate (iron) with strawberries (C)

If you didn’t know that dark chocolate is a good source of iron, I’m thrilled to deliver the good news. Melt and drizzle it over whole strawberries. Or add chopped dark chocolate and sliced strawberries to your morning oatmeal, whip them together in a smoothie, or fold them into protein-packed Greek yogurt. For a fun and healthy dessert, try frozen pops—pour almond milk, chopped dark chocolate, and minced strawberries into molds, along with seasonings like fresh grated ginger, chopped mint, or ground cinnamon.

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Foods To Avoid Like The Plague According to a Food-Safety Expert…

Food-borne illnesses affect millions of Americans each year with sickness and sometimes even death; so being aware of what you consume should be a top priority (think recent Chipotle incident). Bill Marler is the most prominent food-safety lawyer in the US and he recommended 6 foods that he avoids at all cost, so we listened up and took some notes:

1. Unpasteurized (“raw”) milk and packaged juices.

Unpasteurized milk, sometimes called “raw” milk, can be contaminated with bacteria, viruses and parasites. Between 1998 and 2011, there were 148 food poisoning outbreaks linked to raw milk and raw milk products in the US—and keep in mind that comparatively few people in the country ever consume these products, so 148 outbreaks is nothing to ignore

2. Raw sprouts.

Uncooked and lightly cooked sprouts have been linked to more than 30 bacterial outbreaks (mostly ofsalmonella and E. coli) in the US since mid-1990s. As recently as 2014, salmonella from bean sprouts sent 19 people to the hospital.

3. Meat that isn’t well-done.

Marler orders his burgers well-done. “The reason ground products are more problematic and need to be cooked more thoroughly is that any bacteria that’s on the surface of the meat can be ground inside of it,” Marler says. “If it’s not cooked thoroughly to 160°F throughout, it can cause poisoning by E. coli and salmonella and other bacterial illnesses.”

4. Prewashed or precut fruits and vegetables.

I avoid these like the plague,” Marler says. Why? The more a food is handled and processed, the more likely it is to become tainted

5. Raw or undercooked eggs.

You may remember the salmonella epidemic of the 1980s and early ’90s that was linked mainly to eggs. If you swore off raw eggs back then, you might as well stick with it. The most recent salmonella outbreak from eggs, in 2010, caused roughly 2,000 reported cases of illness.

6. Raw oysters and other raw shellfish.

Marler says that raw shellfish—especially oysters—have been causing more foodborne illness lately. He links this to warming waters, which produce more microbial growth.



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Source: Bill Marler, managing partner, Marler Clark, Seattle. Mr. Marler is a prominent foodborne-illness lawyer and a major force in food policy in the US and around the world. For the last 20 years, he has represented victims of nearly every large foodborne illness outbreak in the US.

Sugar Identified as Newest Drug To Be Aware of

This new finding may change the way you look at that sweet piece of candy you thought was innocent all along. Turns out, Weight-loss expert Dr. Sally Norton suggest sugar has a very devious side… It is being compared to cocaine and other addictive drugs and alcohol *currently drying away my tears*. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you have a sweet tooth like me, it’s good to be away this addictive substance could be more damaging then we thought…

Studies in mice have clearly shown that sugar is addictive.

By manipulating the diet of the mice to include more or less sugar, or to produce a sugar withdrawal effect, scientists can produce similar behaviour to true drug addiction.

What’s more, in a study by French scientists, rats chose sugar over cocaine – even when they were addicted to cocaine.

Not surprisingly, in humans such studies are a bit more difficult to do.

However, research using brain scans found that drinking sugary milkshakes triggered the same ‘reward centre’. 

And as with any potentially addictive substance, the more we consume, the more our reward receptors get numbed to it – so we look for even more to re-create that ‘high’.

You may have one of the most common modern-day dependencies – sugar addiction.

With overconsumption of sugar now deemed as harmful to our health as alcohol or tobacco – contributing to rising rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardio-vascular problems and some cancers – cutting back on the white stuff could just be one of the best things you do to improve your health and weight this year.

Check out these healthy snacks to help you avoid the devious sugar and reach your resolution goals!


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4 Foods That Provide the Most Energy For Your Mid-day Pick-Me-Up

Now days the food industry markets convenience over health and with the hustle and bustle of society, that’s often the option that is the most appealing. However, that option isn’t always the healthiest option and can leave you drowsy halfway through your day… Below are 4 foods that will boost your energy in a healthy way and keep you rockin’ throughout your whole day!


Larabars (the original version, at least) are great for when you’re on the go, because they’re naturally sweetened by an important bodybuilding fruit—dates. Dates not only provide the chewy, sweet backbone for these simple bars, but will also supply quick-acting energy to a fatigued body. Additionally, dates are an excellent source of potassium—gram-for-gram they contain nearly double the potassium of a banana.

Potassium plays an extremely important role in energy metabolism and muscle contraction. Larabars can be found at grocery stores nationwide—or better yet, make your own. Blend dates, nuts, and the unsweetened dried fruit of your choice in a food processor, and then form the mixture into bar-shaped pieces, letting it chill in the fridge.

Green Smoothie

Loaded with an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, a green smoothie can provide a kick-start to your morning—something that a cup o’ Joe can’t compete with. Simply blend some of nature’s best green energy-boosters: dark, leafy greens, frozen fruit, and a zero- or low-calorie liquid of your choosing.

© Kesu01

© Kesu01

Dark, leafy greens are rich in iron—a mineral that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout the body, making it essential for energy production.  Adding vitamin C-rich citrus fruits, like papaya and mango, can also help boost energy levels, while at the same time masking the often bitter taste of the greens. Vitamin C helps maintain proper functioning of the adrenal gland, which regulates hormones involved in stress and energy levels. Additionally, your body needs Vitamin C to help properly absorb the iron from the dark, leafy greens.

Trail Mix

When assembled correctly, trail mix can serve as a portable, lightweight snack made up of energy-dense ingredients, like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. Instead of buying pre-packaged versions, purchase energy-boosting ingredients separately, and combine them yourself. Nuts in trail mix often contain magnesium, a vital nutrient for your body vital for the breakdown of glucose into energy. (That’s why a magnesium deficiency can result in low energy levels.)

Pumpkin seeds are one of the richest sources of magnesium, as are nuts like almonds, which also supply protein and fiber to better stabilize blood sugar levels and regulate energy. Eating nuts in combination with unsweetened, dried fruits, like mangoes or apricots, makes trail mix the ideal treat for quick-acting, long-lasting energy. And if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, top the trail mix off with some dark chocolate chips for a little extra energy.


Fatty fish, like salmon, are one of the best natural sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to improving heart health, omega-3s boost levels of EPA and DHA in the brain, and therefore help increase energy and focus.



Salmon is also an excellent source of tyrosine—an amino acid that functions as a precursor in the production of the body’s “fight or flight” hormones: norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine. These hormones can influence mood, energy, and alertness. Lastly, salmon provides vitamin B12, a vitamin capable of boosting energy levels. A cooked serving of Atlantic salmon provides over half of the daily recommended amount of vitamin B12.


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The Pro’s and Con’s of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar With Every Meal…

Apparently it’s a thing… Apple Cider Vinegar has quite the following of people who swear by it and believe it will cure just about any problem you may have (reduce blood sugar after you consume food, and help your body absorb more nutrients from food to name a couple). If you’re not on board, maybe you should be, but I’ll let you determine that after you read what happened to  Stephanie Eckelkamp, senior associate editor at Prevention Magazine, who drank it with every meal she had..

Taking ACV after a meal works much better.

The whole pre-meal thing didn’t work for me. After all, what was the point of feeling semi-nauseous and not wanting to eat before a healthy meal that you’d planned on eating? A better option, I found, was drinking it when I’d already eaten a meal but was still feeling hungry for more. Because I already had a base of food in my stomach, I avoided that queasy feeling, but the ACV definitely helped reduce my desire to polish off leftover Christmas cookies. (Follow these suggestions on how to drink apple cider vinegar for weight loss.)

ACV can help get things moving.

This was unexpected (and I’ll spare you details), but there was a definite correlation between ACV consumption and, well, let’s call it decreased transit time. I could definitely see the appeal of using this as a gentle,natural laxative when things are backed up. Who knew?

You’ll burn your esophagus unless you learn to drink ACV the right way.

Don’t take this stuff straight–it burns like fire (worse than vodka, and with no pleasant buzz). Your best bet: Mix 1 tablespoon with 8 ounces of water, and then drink it with a straw to minimize contact with your tastebuds. I found this method tolerable, although the taste was still slightly reminiscent of feet after a sweaty summer workout session.

Bottom line: While this experiment was enlightening and it did help curb cravings, I’m not making the ACV-water blend part of my daily routine. Instead, I’ll be more likely to use it periodically to quell a Krispy Kreme craving or if I’m constipated. And I’m definitely all about using it in healthy homemade dressings to get more nutrients out of all my salad veggies.



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Ladies! The Perfect Meal for the Woman’s Body

Eating healthy can be a complex winding road, especially when you want to specialize your foods to benefit your personal body and lifestyle. As a woman, we have special needs that men don’t specifically need in their diets, so watch this video below to get the ideal foods for your body:

Nutrition Expert Suggests Taking These Crucial Steps Post Workout

You just got home from crushing your workout at the gym, open your  fridge, and think… what’s next? It is so easy to ruin a perfectly good workout with your actions post training. Sure, you realize you need to replenish your body, but how do you do that without completely ruining what you just worked so hard for? Cynthia Sass, a sports nutritionist, with, gives tips on getting the most out of your workout through these post training tips:

Eat within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise.

If you’ve had a particularly tough workout, try to eat a “recovery” meal as soon as possible. Exercise puts stress on your muscles, joints, and bones, and your body “uses up” nutrients during workouts; so post-exercise foods are all about putting back what you’ve lost, and providing the raw materials needed for repair and healing. In fact, it’s the recovery from exercise that really allows you to see results in terms of building strength, endurance, and lean muscle tissue. Not recovering properly can leave you weaker as you go into your next workout, and up your injury risk.


Think beyond protein.

Protein is a building block of muscle, so it is important post exercise, but an ideal recovery meal should also include good fat (also needed for healing muscles and joints), as well as plenty of nutrient-rich produce, and a healthy source of starch such as quinoa, sweet potato, or beans. These foods replenish nutrients that have been depleted, and provide energy to fuel your post-exercise metabolism.

© wollertz

© wollertz

A great post-workout meal might be something like a smoothie made with either pea protein powder or grass-fed organic whey protein, whipped with fruit, leafy greens, almond butter or coconut oil, and oats or quinoa, or an omelet made with one whole organic egg and three whites, paired with veggies, avocado and black beans.



If you sweat heavily, exercise in high humidity (which prevents cooling of the body) or your workouts last longer than 60 minutes, you might need a sports drink rather than plain water during exercise. These beverages are designed to keep you well hydrated, but they also provide electrolytes to replace those lost in your sweat (like sodium, which makes sweat salty; and potassium, which helps regulate heart rhythm), as well as fuel to keep you going. If your workouts are less strenuous, shorter, climate controlled, or not so sweaty, plain H2O is probably fine. The general rule of thumb is to drink at least two cups of fluid two hours before exercise, another two cups 15 minutes prior, and a half-cup every 15 minutes during. Post exercise, aim for two cups of water (16 ounces) for every pound of body weight lost, and monitor the color of your urine — if you’re well hydrated it should be pale.


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Vegetarians: 8 Protein Packed Meals To Shut Up The Meat Heads

If only you had a dime for how many times you get asked, “do you even get enough protein bro?” (And yes, they’ll even call you ladies bro). Although it’s an extremely annoying question, it is super important to keep in mind that your protein intake is vital in maintaining your strength and high performance ability. If you’ve crossed meat out of your diet for the long haul, below are 8 protein packed meal ideas to keep you healthy and strong… AND under 400 calories. Take that meat heads!

1. Salsa Verde Lentil Tacos With Mango-Pomegranate Pico

Two tacos = 389 calories and 15.9 grams of protein. Nom nom nom.

Get the recipe here, via Ambitious Kitchen

2. Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Omelet Sandwich

Skip your regular drive-thru breakfast sandwich — this guy’s 149 calories and packs 22.8 grams of protein.

Get the recipe here, via The Healthy Foodie.

3. Cheesy Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Poached Eggs

365 calories, 19 grams of protein, and so much cheesy goodness.

Get the recipe here, via How Sweet It Is.

4. Kale, Chickpea, and Fennel Salad With Orange Vinaigrette

The perfect packed lunch = 398 calories and 22.1 grams of protein.

Get the recipe here, via BuzzFeed’s 2015 Clean Eating Challenge.

5. Baked Zucchini Fritters

Each fritter has only 89 calories and 7 grams of protein, so treat yo’self to a nice stack.

Get the recipe here, via My Purple Spoon

6. Roasted Fennel, Asparagus, and Red Onions with Parmesan and Hard-Boiled Eggs

This one is a little over, at 446 calories, but with the 33.5 grams of protein it packs, it’s worth it.
Get the recipe here, via BuzzFeed’s 2015 Clean Eating Challenge.

7. Blackberry Yogurt Parfait

314 calories and a whopping 30.1 grams of protein. Gooood morning.

Get the recipe here, via BuzzFeed’s 2015 Clean Eating Challenge.

8. Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

Each bowl has 180 calories and 16.6 grams of protein.

Get the recipe here, via The Healthy Foodie.


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Your Must Have Guide To A Healthy Drive-Thru

Sometimes life gets in the way and the only option is to go through the fast food drive-thru. So, if you’re going to do it, let’s make sure it’s done right! Provided below are 5 common fast food places with the healthiest options they have available. Take notes, so on your next long road trip, your meal doesn’t completely ruin the perfect week of healthy eating you had 😉


Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap (vegetarian) 

290 calories

19 g protein

10 g fat (3.5 g saturated, 0 g trans)

830 mg sodium

33 g carbohydrates (6 g fiber, 4 g sugar)

Protein Bistro Box (vegetarian) 

380 calories

13 g protein

19 g fat (6 g saturated, 0 g trans)

470 mg sodium

37 g carbohydrates (5 g fiber, 19 g sugar)

See all nutrition info for Starbucks here.

Panera Bread

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries and Pecans (vegetarian) 340 calories

6 g protein

14 g fat (2 g saturated, 0 g trans)

160 mg sodium

51 g carbohydrates (9 g fiber, 16 g sugar)

Avocado, Egg White & Spinach Breakfast Power Sandwich (vegetarian) 400 calories

12 g protein

13 g fat (6 g saturated, 0 g trans)

650 mg sodium

52 g carbohydrates (5 g fiber, 5 g sugar)
See Panera Bread’s full nutrition info here.


Egg McMuffin

300 calories

17 g protein

13 g fat (5 g saturated, 0 g trans)

750 mg sodium

31 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 3 g sugar)

See more nutrition info for McDonald’s here.

Taco Bell

Sausage and Cheese Biscuit Taco

370 calories

14 g protein

23 g fat (10 g saturated, 0 g trans)

640 mg sodium

29 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 7 g sugar)

Grilled Breakfast Burrito – Fiesta Potato (vegetarian)

340 calories

10 g protein

15 g fat (3.5 g saturated, 0 g trans)

790 mg sodium

43 g carbohydrates (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar)
See Taco Bell’s breakfast menu nutrition info here.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Bacon Guacamole Flatbread

360 calories

17 g protein

17 g fat (5 g saturated, 0 g trans)

850 mg sodium

34 g carbohydrates (5 g fiber, 3 g sugar)

TWO Egg-White Sausage Wake-Up Wraps

300 calories

18 g protein

14 g fat (6 g saturated, 0 g trans)

720 mg sodium

28 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar)
See all Dunkin’ Donuts nutrition info here.

5 Easy Ways to Conquer Your Cravings

Sweet and salty, captivating carbs, charming chocolate and the alluring thought of cheese; each of these common cravings can send even the strictest dietician into a mouth watering frenzy. But lucky for you, Kris Carr, New York Times and #1 Amazon best-selling author, wellness activist and cancer thriver has provided 5 ways to conquer your cravings!

  1. Stay hydrated. Make sure you’re drinking about half your body weight (lbs) in ounces of water daily (if you’re 140 lbs, drink 70 oz water a day). Thirst and dehydration make you feel hungry, and may kick up your cravings. Drink water throughout the day to help you stay hydrated and control your hunger.

  2. Eat something else. Even though you feel like you “need” a chocolate bar, chances are you’ll be just as satisfied with a healthier alternative, such as hummus, nuts, fresh berries, low-glycemic whole food desserts, or even a cup of tea. Having better choices on hand to munch on can help distract those cravings until they pass.

  3. Exercise and stay rested. Rather than relying on french fries and cookies to help you feel relaxed and happy, go for a brisk walk during the day and get into bed with a good book a little earlier in the evening. These habits produce endorphins just like the best tasting truffles on the planet. Plus, the exercise may boost your serotonin levels—something that should help you skip sugar and extra carbs more easily too.

  4. Make meditation and sunshine a priority. Taking a few minutes every day to meditate and getting 10-15 minutes a day of sunshine or light therapy may boost serotonin levels so you’re not reaching for Snickerdoodles to turn your mood around.

  5. Avoid trigger foods for 21 days. Your taste buds have a great memory. If you really want to break a food craving, one of the best ways is to avoid eating those foods for a set period of time. Find a new food or drink—low-glycemic smoothies and desserts, fresh berries, guacamole and rice crackers, raw cashews, nut “cheese,”—to grab when you’re having a craving for candy, cheese, or chips.


To learn more about why these cravings occur, read the rest of the article at: