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Diet and Nutrition



The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need for Holiday Shopping

2014 Fitness Tracker Review Guide

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These are the top wearable fitness trackers you should consider using to monitor your fitness goals. Last year’s 2013 Fitness Tracker Review Guide was a huge hit, so we’re doing it again with the new 2014 models. Several bands have gotten bumps in battery life, there are new and improved features across the board, and some new players to consider.

BUDGET CONSCIOUS

The two notable entries are aimed squarely at the budget-minded among us, with price points both under $60. They don’t pack all the high-tech bells and whistles of their more expensive siblings, but for many, they get the job done and serve as a reminder to be more active.

For a modest $50, you’ll find the Jawbone UP Move, which clips onto your shirt, pants, blouse, or purse. It’s a pedometer, first and foremost, and via the free iPhone or Android apps, also helps you keep track of calories consumed and calories burned.

The $60 Fitbit Zip competes head-on here, but is also waterproof up to 30 feet.
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Julie Wilson Lost 100 Pounds and Now Helps Others at Retrofit Ministries

Julie Wilson lost and gained the same pounds for years. Finally, she decided to take a new approach. One night she made a quiet vow to her young daughter, asked for strength from God and then took baby steps toward her goal. After losing 100 pounds, now Julie is helping others.

Julie Wilson beforeafterMore from Julie in her own words -

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I always ate very fast and my portions were out of control. I didn’t know how to eat “one” of anything. While I have always loved vegetables, they were few and far between. I remember coming home after middle school and eating a box of macaroni and cheese for a snack along with two hot dogs. Then, I would eat dinner.

I was an athlete in middle school and high school, playing basketball, soccer, and throwing shot put – so I justified my eating. In high school, I got a job at McDonald’s where I worked for 5 years and gained 80 lbs.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? On December 12, 2010, I looked at my newborn daughter and promised her I would be an example for her. I had to do this for good.

How did you lose the weight? I started by tracking my food on My Fitness Pal. As time went on, I realized I needed to change the types of food I was eating. I ate smaller portions, drank more water, and started exercising.

What diet and exercise methods did you employ? I started my journey differently than my previous attempts. I vowed to keep my faith in God and trust him for strength. I tracked my food, pushed the baby in the stroller, did Taebo videos at home, and found a love for running. After losing 80 pounds, I joined a gym.


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Pizza Hut Introduces 2 Billion Ordering Options! Do We Need That?

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If variety is the spice of life, then Pizza Hut may just become over-seasoned. The pizza chain recently announced a complete overhaul of their menu, which according to Pizza Hut, can be combined in more than 2 billion ways.

With these changes, Pizza Hut becomes the newest member of a growing list of long-standing restaurant chains adjusting to cater to a new, younger taste. That new taste has some interesting demands, and it’s nice to know people are listening.

More customers, particularly millennials, are looking for more variety in their food choices, which include a selection of more exotic flavors and higher-quality food. They’re also looking for the ability to completely customize their order. We’re blaming Chipotle (in a good way) for that one.

To help customers get their customization on, Pizza Hut is introducing five new ingredients: Peruvian cherry peppers, classic meatballs, sliced banana peppers, premium salami, and fresh spinach. There are also six sauce options, which include old favorites and new flavors like honey sriracha and creamy garlic parmesan.

Pizza Hut Now Delivering a New Whole Wheat Pizza to Meet School Lunch Nutrition Guidelines


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Cozy Winter Dinner for Four: Turkey and Herb Stuffed Acorn Squash

turkey-acorn-squash

Some (huge) part of me loves hunkering down for the cooler months. This season mean more time by the fire, with a book, wearing cozy sweaters, and playing board games. Maybe this means I’m secretly an 85-year-old woman living in a millennial’s body, but maybe I’m OK with that.

One of my favorite parts of fall and winter is spending time in the kitchen creating wholesome, seasonal recipes. I love all of the winter vegetables and making “comfort food” that won’t ruin my wellness goals — like these fall comfort foods for vegetarians. My household tries to avoid excessive grain consumption, and increased veggies, the result being my favorite format of dinners: stuffed anything. Stuffed zucchini, butternut squash, these stuffed kale and bean sweet potatoes — name the veggie and I’ve packed it with goodies and served it as a meal.

acorn-squash

So then I tried to include the much less popular cousin of the beloved butternut or spaghetti squash, and experimented with acorn squash. It is perfect for a foggy fall night and lasts forever to make GREAT leftovers — even served cold! Plus, acorn squash is more nutrient-dense than any of its other summer squash relatives. Score!

stuffed-acorn-squash

Acorn squash is loaded with vitamin C to boost the immune system, vitamin A for healthy vision and skin, and has more than 9 grams of dietary fiber! This is more than one-third of the daily requirement and helps to regulate blood sugar, diabetes, and digestion. Plus, hello, isn’t she so pretty?

To choose a ripe acorn squash, look for one with a dark green color, with a small patch of yellow or orange. The skin should be hard and the stem slightly withered.

acorn-squashes

For this recipe, slice the squash lengthwise, brush with olive oil and dust with nutmeg. Remember a little bit of this powerful autumnal spice goes a long way!

I chose to stuff the squash with ground turkey, as it is leaner than red meat and the subtler flavor lets the squash taste take center stage! Like all of my recipes, this is extremely forgiving in what you choose to throw in to the stuffing mixture. Consider adding red and green bell peppers, chopped onions, or sun-dried tomatoes. Those are some of my favorite bonus additions when I have them lying around the house.

minced-garlic-and-herbs

But for the purposes of guiding you on a ready-to-follow recipes with little improvisation needed, I’ve literally stuffed this recipe with some of the best natural flavor agents around. Minced garlic and onion, sweet raisins, and a trio of fresh herbs like parsley, basil, and thyme. The aroma before you even start roasting will fill your senses and boost your anticipation of this meal.

stuffed-turkey-acorn-squash

As always, I’d suggest tossing any almost-moldy greens into the mixture right at the very end so they wilt slightly and blend in with the other flavors. I’m always looking for ways to hide any extra veggies!

If your tummy and nutritional choices allow, you may even want to top with crumbled feta cheese before drizzling with balsamic vinegar and serving for an extra flavor boost!

And one more favorite preparation tip? I’ve made this with sweet potato flesh combined with the turkey mixture. Having both acorn and sweet potato together makes it extra yummy!

Turkey and Herb Stuffed Acorn Squash
serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise with seeds removedacorn-squash-stuffed-turkey

1 lb. ground turkey

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, minced

16 oz. baby spinach

3 celery stalks, chopped

1/4 cup raisins

1 tsp. parsley, chopped

1 tsp. thyme, chopped

1/2 tsp. basil, chopped

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

2+ tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground pepper

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter or coconut oil

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and adjust rack to middle position. While it warms, brush the squash lightly with olive oil and dust with nutmeg. Place squash, cut-side up, on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Brown the ground turkey. Add the diced onion, garlic, and celery, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes until soft.

3. Stir in herbs, spices, and raisins. Add spinach and wilt 2-3 minutes. Add in butter or coconut oil and combine over medium heat.

4. Spoon filling into acorn squash and roast for 20 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.


ALSO TRY THESE PERFECT FALL MEALS

Twice-Baked Shepherd’s Pie

Whole Wheat Chicken Pot Pie

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese


Recipe by Katie McGrath; Photos by Kacy Meinecke for DietsInReview.com



TaVona Boggs Lost 82 Pounds and Started a Social Fitness Group for Women

TaVona Boggs spent most of her adult life on a diet. When she wasn’t on one, she was thinking she probably should be. Finally, she learned how to make peace with food and gave up on what she calls the, “all or nothing” mentality. After an 82-pound weight loss, TaVona is competing in duathlons and inspiring other women to break out of their comfort zones.

TaVona collage

When did your weight struggles begin. As early as age 10, I remember begging my mom to buy me a thigh master. Throughout high school I kept my weight in check with physical activity, like cheer leading, volleyball and more, but once I entered an intensive physical therapy program in college, the weight crept back on.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I did not know how to eat properly. My solution was to eat what college kids ate and when the weight escalated, I would diet down to what I thought was an appropriate weight only to gain it back once I stopped dieting.

What prompted the change? I stepped on the scale one day and it said 224 pounds. At that point I had become so sick of dieting I couldn’t do it one more time so I said to myself, “I have to learn how to eat real food, and still enjoy myself.”

How did you lose the weight? With my mother’s encouragement, I decided to join a commercial weight loss program. With the support of the ladies in my group and my mentor, I was able to get to my goal of 155 pounds. After a while, counting points and managing my weight through exercise only got me so far. I oscillated, then got stuck and eventually saw the weight starting to come back on.


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