Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

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Pick a Pocket Full of Pawpaws: Sure to be the Hottest New “it” Fruit

pawpaws

Now is the time for “pickin’ up pawpaws and puttin’ ‘em in your pockets” as the children’s chant goes. The best pawpaws are the fully ripe fruits that have fallen to the ground between mid-August and mid-October, perfect for stuffing your pockets or your face!

Pawpaws are the largest edible fruit native to the U.S. and are an indigenous plant to 26 states east of Nebraska, reaching from Florida to New York. The fruit was an important food for Native Americans and early settlers. Pawpaws graced George Washington’s table in colonial days. And even animals aren’t missing out on this delicious treat — squirrels, raccoons, possums, and bears happily feast on aromatic pawpaw flesh.

Pawpaws are large fruits, similar to mangoes or papayas, ranging in color from yellow to green with skin often flecked. When over-ripe, the skin will turn brown like a banana. They have big black seeds that are easy-to-remove, a custard-like texture, and a flavor that is related to bananas, mangoes and melons. They are known commonly as a poor man’s banana.

“It has a sweet, yet rather cloying taste….a wee bit puckery” is the way their taste was described by a botanist of yore.   
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Why is Everyone So Terrified to Eat Bananas? A Dietitian Peels Back the Truth

banana
by Amy Margulies, lead registered dietitian for Retrofit

You’ve probably heard people talking, or read articles online, about why eating bananas is bad for you nutritionally and can impede weight loss. While some people insist that bananas are just fine, others are convinced this is a fruit you should stay away from if you’re trying to lose weight – and many do, just in case the rumors are true. But what’s the real deal with bananas? It’s time to peel open this myth.

What the critics are saying

The controversy started with Dr. Susanna Holt, an Australian researcher who developed the Satiety Index, a way to evaluate how full different foods make you feel. “We found that bananas are much less satisfying than oranges or apples,” Holt stated at the conclusion of the satiety study.

Bananas are generally higher in calories from carbs than most fruits. So for those who are counting calories, this may seem like a poor choice for a snack. People have also observed that bananas cause a “binding” effect, or put more simply, they cause constipation. That’s something you don’t want when you look to the scale for signs of progress.
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Chef Secrets: 11 Kitchen Essentials for Easy Cooking and Healthy Eating

kitchen

By Team Best Life

Some kitchen setups support weight loss efforts while others sabotage them. (The one pictured above looks like a good start to us!) Luckily it’s easy to make over a less-than-healthy cooking and baking space. If you have the right gadgets on your counters and fill your fridge and cabinets with the right foods your kitchen can be a weight loss haven, says Best Life chef Sidra Forman. Here are her 11 healthy kitchen essentials:

Must-Have Gadgets
1. A peeler
A good peeler opens up a whole world of fresh vegetables that might otherwise seem like a huge amount of labor to get through.

2. A salad spinner
Greens are low in calories and loaded with fiber, vitamins and phytonutrients, plant chemicals that protect against disease. A salad spinner makes it easier to incorporate them into your diet. Whether you’re cooking with them or creating a salad (like this tasty Peach Salad with Balsamic Dressing), you’ll want to start with clean and dry greens.

3. A roasting pan or heavy bottom skillet
Roasting is a cooking method that doesn’t require a ton of fat and brings out the flavors in all sorts of foods. If you do a lot of roasting, you’ll need a heavy bottom skillet. These allow you to cook over high heat—they distribute the heat nicely throughout the bottom of the pan—so food cooks properly without burning. A larger size pan is a good buy because you can use it for a lot of different foods.
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Indulge in a Smoothie Happy Hour! How a Splash of Booze Transforms Your Healthiest Smoothie Recipe

If you are anything like me, you like to stay fit but have a good time at night, too. I have the perfect answer for you. Below, I have some great (and healthy!) smoothie ideas that will be (almost) as healthy with a splash of spirits!

strawberry smoothie

Girls night, game night, or movie night can be an empty calorie bomb after a few rounds of daiquiris, martinis, and wine. Those calories in alcohol really add up! But when you make a compromise to indulge with a little of your favorite liquor swirled around in your favorite homemade fruit and veggie-based smoothie, then you get to enjoy a little of everything.

Enjoy these five healthy smoothies paired with a splash of somethin’!

Strawberry Whopper +Coconut rum

Strawberries, spinach, cacao powder, and coconut rum?! Somebody stop me! I am dead serious–this smoothie with a bit of rum is so delicious, and completely guilt free. Since this recipe, created by Nutritious America, already calls for coconut water, it is not that much of a stretch to imagine it with coconut rum instead. To avoid the smoothie becoming too watery, substitute half a cup of the coconut water for the rum instead. Voila! Delicious.
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Have Dessert for Breakfast with Frozen Banana Ice Cream Parfaits

There are some foods that are better enjoyed at a restaurant. Parfaits are not one of them. They’re often way too sweet, more so than is necessary. A breakfast parfait should be light, subtly sweet, and filling. And that’s exactly what we’ve created.

frozen banana parfait
Forget what you know about yogurt parfaits and follow along closely. Here, the yogurt is a garnish and homemade “ice cream” takes center stage. See, when you freeze bananas and blend them, the texture is eerily similar to ice cream. When you add a little vanilla, you’d be hard pressed to recognize the difference.
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