Tag Archives: Best Life diet

5 Snacks Disguised as Meals: Stay Full on the Go for Less than 500 Calories

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, Best Life lead nutritionist

What to eat when you’re stuck in a junk-food-infested office park, stretch of highway, or other nutrition wasteland? Try one of these five meals, all of which contain foods you can keep in your purse, desk drawer, or office fridge, or can be found at a coffee shop. They range from 370 to 480 calories.

trail mix recipe

Oatmeal topped with dried fruit and/or nuts and a 12-ounce nonfat or 1 percent latte

Approximate calories:  370

Nutrition highlights: This dish is rich in calcium and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber (from the oats), plus it offers phytonutrients from the coffee, dried nuts and fruits. It’s my go-to at Starbucks and other coffee shops.

Trail mix (2/3 cup)

Approximate calories: 450

Nutrition highlights: Nuts, seeds and dried fruit offer vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients and healthy fats. Make your own to control the ingredients and avoid a sugar rush. Try our Sweet & Nutty Trail Mix. (more…)

Go Ahead, Face Your Fears for Real Weight Loss Success

There are countless obstacles standing in between you and your goals, but not all of them are external. In fact, sometimes, our own fears make us our own worst enemy. Identifying and understanding these fears are the first steps to keeping ourselves from sabotaging our success. Take a look at some of the common fears below to see if any strike a chord with you.

bossy

Fear of failure. Fear of not reaching a goal may keep you from even trying. The same could be said about fear of back-sliding once you see success. Keep in mind that failure is simply a part of the process and that learning from it can only increase your chances of achieving your goal.

Fear of the unknown. You know that you want to reach your goal, but you don’t know exactly how your life will change as a result. For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight, it may seem scary to think of yourself as a smaller person. Will people treat you differently? Will more be expected of you? Face these questions head on. Addressing the niggling concerns in the back of your mind will help you banish them. (more…)

5 Fall Fruit Desserts to Bake, Poach, and Grill Your Way to 5 a Day

By Team Best Life

You already know that fruit is loaded with good-for-you nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals, all of which can keep you healthy, so we’ll save that lecture again. Choices certainly become a bit more limited in the fall and winter (unless you want to shell out for expensive imports), but there are plenty of in-season fruits that totally satisfy your sweet tooth. Our favorite way to get our fruit fix: Have it for dessert. Fruit is the perfect base for desserts because it’s naturally sweet. So this season, grab your favorite fall or winter fruit and bake, poach, or even grill your way to five a day.

apples pears

Bake It

Pop some fruit in the oven for a warm, melt-in-your-mouth treat. You can make a fruit crisp or crumble, which features a crunchy, sweet topping, or a fruit slump, which boasts a moister topping that literally slumps into the fruit while it’s baking. Or top your baked fruit with a little chocolate, as in this Baked Pear with Chocolate Sauce recipe.

Poach It

Simmer your fruit in liquid with a bit of sugar to create a juicy and mouthwatering dish. Want a little more flavor? Try adding some of your favorite spices, as shown in this recipe for Poached Fall Fruit: Grapes, Apples and Pears with Cinnamon, Cardamom and Anise. (more…)

Why Are Americans So Fat? 7 Little Reasons with Big Health Repercussions

By Team Best Life

Why are so many Americans—69.2 percent to be exact—overweight or obese? The answer seems obvious: We’re taking in more calories than we expend. But why is that? Check out these seven common weight gain triggers.

obesity soda
We slurp down sugary drinks.

This includes sodas, fruit drinks, sweetened iced tea and other beverages that cost about 140 to 150 calories per 12-ounce serving. They are a major source of added sugar in our diet. Guzzle just one can daily on top of your actual calorie needs and you could gain 15 pounds a year. A Canadian study that tracked toddlers found that those who drank more sugary beverages were 2.5 times more likely to be overweight compared to those who didn’t.

We consume too little fiber.   

This comes from not eating enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Aside from making you feel fuller on fewer calories (and thus, satisfying appetite), fiber may also promote a slimming gut flora, the population of trillions of bacteria that reside in our gut that are thought to influence everything from immunity to anxiety to obesity risk. (more…)

The Food Fighters: 5 Immune-Boosting Nutrients You Need to Ward Off Cold, Flu and Illness

By Team Best Life

For every day of good health you enjoy, you can thank your immune system. Adequate sleep (7 to 8 hours per night), regular exercise, and well-managed stress all contribute to boosting your immune system. In addition, what you eat has a direct effect on how well your body defends itself from microbes and other disease-causing foreigners. And the best foods have plenty of these nutrients.

vitamin c

Vitamin A

What it does: Once converted from beta-carotene in the body, vitamin A helps develop defensive T-cells that protect you from foreign bacteria and viruses.

Where to find it: Beta-carotene-rich foods (look for orange), such as cantaloupe, carrots, winter squash, and sweet potatoes. Also, leafy greens like collard, kale, mustard, and spinach.

Vitamin C

What it does: It stimulates the production of immune cells such as neutrophils, which attack bacteria and viruses while protecting these cells from free radical damage.

Where to find it: Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, sweet red pepper, tomato. (more…)

3 Ways to Get a Better Workout and Burn More Calories

By Bob Greene of TheBestLife.com

Did you hit up a Spin class, get in a run, or head out on a hike today? Good job!

Now, did you take some time to warm up, stretch and cool down? These three elements, which would set you back only about 20 minutes, are nearly as important as the workout itself. That’s because they can prepare you for your workout and may also help prevent injuries.

I know what you’re thinking: I just don’t have the time. I’m lucky enough to squeeze in a quick workout let alone all these extras. But I urge you to find time. Doing so will help you get a better workout and burn more calories. In other words, it’s worth the effort. Still not convinced? Take a look at how little time each element will cost and how big the rewards are.

stretch

Warm up

What it is: Light cardio aerobic activity done before a workout

Why you need it: It helps get your muscles ready for exercise. A warm up can be anything from a quick walk or slow jog to jumping jacks or jumping rope.

Time Investment: 5 minutes (more…)

5 Ways to Eat, Drink and be Less Menopausal

By Team Best Life

Menopause is thought of as just one of those things every woman has to go through, including its less-than-comfortable symptoms. But studies show that women can control just how bad menopausal symptoms are. It all depends on…

menopause
What you eat. Want to lower your incidence of hot flashes and night sweats? Avoid foods with refined sugar and high fats (like candy, cake or other sugary snacks). In one Australian study of 6,000 women, these foods correlated with a higher likelihood of hot flashes and night sweats. On the flip side, women whose diet was high in fruit and fish reported lower incidences of these symptoms.

What you drink. The Harvard Women’s Health Study revealed something surprising: Women who drink alcohol—just one drink a day—are less likely to gain weight in mid-life than those who don’t drink at all. (One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.) Red wine was found to be particularly protective. According to the researchers, this might be because women metabolize alcohol in a way that makes it less likely to result in increased fat. (more…)

Fit Enough to Fornicate! 5 Ways to Start Having More Sex With Your Partner

Dating is fun—especially in the flirty, passionate beginning of a relationship. But eventually, life settles in, and between the kids, family, work, and finances, you might forget all about that fire.

It’s perfectly natural—for most people, this passion plunge occurs between one and four years into cohabitation, and women experience it more than men. But that doesn’t mean you have to take the situation, um, lying down.

couple

Keeping in mind all the physical and emotional perks of frequent sex—the cardiovascular benefits alone are impressive—it’s well worth it to make the effort to keep the home fires smoldering. Here are some ways to do just that:

Keep on moving. The benefits of exercise are endless. In the sex column, studies show that people who exercise more get more action in the bedroom—and they’re more satisfied when they do. They also have more stamina and higher levels of self-confidence, which benefit sexual experience. (more…)

Chef Sebastien Archambault’s Toasted Farro Recipe Offers DC’s Blue Duck Tavern Diners More Whole Grains

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

Ever notice how hard it is to find a whole grain in a restaurant? That’s why I was surprised—and thrilled—to see “Toasted Farro” on the menu of Washington D.C.’s highly acclaimed Blue Duck Tavern. Farro is an ancient form of wheat grown in the Middle East and Italy; it’s a wild ancestor to the cultivated wheat we use now.

farro blue duck tavern

I loved the dish—it was both chewy and hearty. The mild-tasting grain was infused with flavors of lemon and herbs. I managed to wrangle the recipe, below, from Chef Sebastien Archambault. A stickler for using fresh, local ingredients, Archambault grew up in France and Texas and has worked with world-famous chefs such as Alain Ducasse. I guess that unusual upbringing is what it takes to put whole grains on the menu! (more…)

Just Start Saying ‘No’ to Get More Time to Build Healthier Habits

By Team Best Life

The people-pleasers and overachievers among us are always told that we need to get better at saying no—but sometimes deciding what you say no to is more challenging than actually saying the word. Check out these suggestions for taking back your time in a smart and efficient way.

Say No (Thank You) To…

fitness time
Excess meal prep and cleanup. Try lining your pans with foil for easy cleaning, or buy pre-cut veggies and fruits for various meals to limit preparation time. Love gadgets? From immersion blenders to hand choppers to slow cookers, there are myriad ways to save time and sanity in almost every step of the meal-prep process.

Daily TV time. Save up your must-see shows and watch a few together, bypassing commercials. Why? It condenses your TV-watching time while opening up other time slots. It also helps build anticipation—you’ll feel rewarded for the time you’ve earned. (more…)