Tag Archives: healthy snacks

Don’t Do The Vending Machine Walk of Shame – We’ve Got Your Best Choices

Last week I told you about some of the wacky vending machine items that clever entrepreneurs are offering up. And while some of them had potential, like the fresh salad machines in Chicago, others were completely impractical, like the caviar kiosk in Los Angeles.

For those of us who just need a little afternoon pick-me-up, the typical vending machine offers a convenient choice of snacks to grab and go, but which item is the best choice?

healthy vending machine snacks

When hunger pangs hit and you slide your dollar into the machine, remember to choose a snack that has a healthy balance of protein and fiber. This will keep your blood sugar from spiking, combat the dreaded foggy brain, and keep you feeling satiated for a longer period of time. When it’s time to push the button, keep these healthier options in mind.

Salty Snacks

Planters Sunflower Kernels – 160 calories, 4g fiber

Triscuit Original Snack Crackers – 240 calories, 6g fiber

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5 Things You do that Erase the Benefits of a Yoga Class

yoga class

Picture a serene room full of calm smiles, deep breaths, and mindful movements and you have an idyllic yoga setting. Peaceful instrumental music strums in the background as the sunlight peaks through the windows. Sounds perfect, right? Like just the place for tranquility and happiness! So why do some yoga sessions make you feel more stressed out afterward? Here’s a hint: It’s not about the setting. And it’s all about you. Here are 5 things you may be doing to sabotage the success of your yoga class, and easy fixes for each.

1. You Arrive Late
Nothing disrupts the first sun salutation like rushing in a few minutes late, squishing in between the rows to find a spot for your mat, and attempting to collect yourself after class has already begun. The first and last few minutes of class are arguably the most important and beneficial for your mental and physical health: crucial moments to slow down and check in with your mind and body.

Instead? Shoot for setting up your mat 10-15 minutes BEFORE the class is set to start. Use this time as much deserved “me-time” to stretch, close your eyes, do whatever you need to do to set your day aside and focus on what your yoga practice may bring you that day.

2. You Compete with Your Neighbor
Your yoga practice should be just that:  yoga PRACTICE. This means there is no good or bad, right or wrong way to do it. As long as your alignment is safe, and you are not bringing harm to yourself or others, all is fair game. It might be tempting to check out the skinny-mini with her designer tank top in the front row (…how is her Warrior II lunge that low?!), but you’re not doing anyone any favors, especially yourself.

Instead? Keep your eyes closed if you have to, and focus on how your practice feels on the inside, rather than how it looks on the outside.
3. You Add to Your Mental To-Do List
Inhale arms up (“eggs, milk, spinach”), exhale forward fold (“run to the bank, fold my laundry”). Does this sound like your internal monologue during your class? It can be tempting to tune out and let your body to the work while your mind wanders. But the most powerful part of these 60 to 90 minutes are arguably your work on staying present.

Instead? Set your to-do list aside because you can always pick it up the second class ends. But for now, connect your breath and movements together so tightly that there is no room for any other thoughts.
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6 Ways to Makeover a Boring and Bland Salad

salad

By Team Best Life

As the weather warms up, you might be looking for easy meal solutions that don’t require turning on the oven. We’ve got a suggestion: Salad! Think your salad has to leave you hungry or dissatisfied? We can help! To create a full-meal salad that really fills you up, use the following tips:

Go green. You may be most familiar with iceberg and romaine lettuce, but why not experiment with other greens that offer different flavors and provide different nutrients? Give these greens a shot: arugula, butterhead, escarole, kale, mache, mizuna, spinach and watercress.

Choose a variety of veggies. The classics, like carrots, radishes and celery, are no-brainers. But if you want to be more adventurous, you can sprinkle on some roasted red peppers, canned artichoke hearts, or hearts of palm. Best Life lead nutritionist Janis JIbrin likes blueberries, beets, pomegranate seeds, butternut squash and fresh mint.

Get your fat fix. Stir in just one high-fat addition, such as 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese, 1 tablespoon of nuts, or ¼ cup of sliced avocado. That will help keep you satisfied without adding too many calories to your bowl and help you absorb some of the vitamins from the vegetables. (more…)

Wacky But True: Study Using Voodoo Dolls Proves “Hangry” is a Real Thing

voodooFor years I felt original for using what I thought was my own word to describe how cranky, snippy, and sassy I get when I haven’t eating in a long time. The word is “hangry”, a fusion between hungry and angry, and it describes pretty perfectly the mood that affects many of us when we have low blood sugar. Hearing the first few people use my word was exciting and unifying, like we were apart of the same witty food-pun club! But lately I’ve been hearing it more than ever, so I am reluctant to admit that perhaps I did not, in fact, invent the word hangry. (I’m also being overdramatic, so perhaps I am currently hangry.)

At any rate, science has recently solidified the use of this word: A new study shows that being hangry is a real thing, or at least proves that being hungry definitely affects a person’s mood.

Researchers from Ohio State University set out to prove that low blood sugar is indeed the underlying cause of hunger-induce crankiness. (Read the full NPR report here.) But they didn’t just want to look at how strangers interacted, they wanted to know how we treat our loved ones when we’re hangry, so they studied spouses. 107 couples were recruited for the study and each given voodoo dolls. (more…)

Chips Made With “Healthier” Ingredients May Not Be as Healthy as You Think

When the snack time munchies strike, you know that a handful of potato chips isn’t the way to go. Instead you reach for chips made out of quinoa, sweet potatoes, or veggies. But are they really a better option?

sweet potato chips

Unfortunately, just because a chip is made out of something traditionally considered healthy, it isn’t a guaranteed healthy snack choice. The process used to make chips, no matter what they’re made out of, can strip many of the foods’ natural health benefits.

When looking for the perfect crunchy snack, it’s important to pay close attention to what’s on the nutrition label and in the ingredients list. For example, our friends over at Shape Magazine found a chip made from quinoa (a normally fiber-rich food) that contained essentially no fiber per serving. However, the chips did have 9 grams of protein and just 12 grams of carbohydrates per 20-chip serving. (more…)

What NOT to Do When Dining Out, from a Guy Who’s Lost Over 100 Pounds

Eli Caro RT smiling hands on waist

You would think that after losing over 100 pounds, getting in the best shape of my life, maintaining it for 5 years. becoming a weight loss coach, motivational speaker and published author on the book “Fat Boy to Fit Man: A One Step at a Time Story of Success“, that it would be easy for me not to revert to old habits, right? WRONG!

Although it has become some what easier for me than when I first started on this journey, there are still times that I fall prey to the desires of wanting to eat mindlessly. (Eat mindlessly. HA! Who am i kidding? Pigging out is really what I want to do sometimes.)

Just last weekend, my fiancee and I went out to meet some friends for brunch.  That morning I had gone to the gym and done an intense work out. Shortly after I arrived home and showered we left for our Sunday brunch.  I was STARVING, yet I didn’t eat anything post work out because I reasoned that I was going to have a nice meal at brunch. BIG MISTAKE!  Before we even got to the restaurant, my stomach was growling and I was about to chew my fiancee’s arm off! (Ok, I’m exaggerating. I was just going to nibble on her ear!)

8 Sinless Game Day Recipes for the Denver Broncos Fan

The words healthy eating and football food aren’t exactly synonymous. When you think of your typical game day fare, foods like buffalo wings, pizza, and nachos come to mind. In Colorado, we’re all about keeping a healthy lifestyle. The Centennial state has been named the thinnest state in the U.S. for several years in a row—but that doesn’t mean that we don’t like to indulge every now and then! It’s definitely possible to create some healthy alternatives using some of the ingredients that Colorado is known for, including green chiles, lean game meats, and even beer!

Since the Denver Broncos have made it to the big game this year, Coloradoans have something even more special to celebrate! Here are eight great recipes that include everything that Colorado does best.

These winners are sure to please the palate of the biggest Denver fans:

bisonburger

Bison Sliders
Bison has quickly gained popularity as one of the best burger making proteins. It’s a healthier alternative to beef and has the same delicious flavor. Blair from the Cookin’ Skinny blog shows you how to make the most delicious sliders that will please every beef lover at your table.

Denver Scrambled Eggs
Start off the morning of the big day with this take on the famous Denver omelet. Also known as the western omelet, this dish is believed to have been named by cooks working on the transcontinental railroad (but no one really knows!). This lighter version of the classic breakfast is simple to make, big in flavor, and can easily be enjoyed any time of day. (more…)

Rx for Better Health: Eat More Apples

doc with apple

You’ve heard the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It’s an old English adage, but there’s actually a lot of truth to the saying: Study after study shows the merits of eating antioxidant-rich apples include everything from cancer prevention to reduced risk of heart attack to improving the health of your brain. Best of all, the fruit weighs in at under 100 calories a pop, which means they’re part of a healthy diet and may even help you lose weight!

Take a look at our list of the health benefits that come from eating apples then stock up on the red and green fruits at the grocery store. (Use our handy apple guide to select the right type for you.) Remember, much of the health benefits of apples can be found in the peel, so aim to eat whole apples, not apple sauce or apple juice.

The latest research shows:

Apples may work as well as statins: A majority of adults over 50 are prescribed statins to lower cholesterol, but a new study from the UK found that eating an apple each day is just as effective at reducing risk of heart attacks and strokes. As in, you get the same health benefits as with statins but without any side-effects.

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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…)

Pledging to Say No to Candy this Halloween is Less Scary Than You Think

Candy is undoubtedly a staple of the month of October. You can’t go into a grocery store without being bombarded by the sight of shiny orange and black packaging drawing you in for a “fun size” bite of chocolate. But what if this year, instead of falling for the tricks of holiday advertising, you gave your body a treat of a candy-free October?

halloween candy

That’s the idea behind HealthyLiving How To’s second annual No Candy Pledge. Taking place through the entire month of October, the No Candy Pledge encourages you to stay away from sweets in order to start the holiday season off right. The holiday season can wreak havoc on a healthy eating plan, so removing sweets from your diet in the month before it really starts can be a good way to avoid extra holiday weight.

The pledge asks you to say no to all pre-packaged Halloween candy, sweets, treats and desserts. With so many other sweet options for fall, we don’t think that’s a particularly unmanageable challenge. Instead of snacking on mini chocolate bars or other sweets, try enjoying the fruits of the season, like apples or pumpkins. (more…)