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11 Foods That Help You Shed Pounds

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Fruits and vegetables in a heart shape over a white background

Everyone seems to be looking for the secret to losing weight.  There is no real mystery.  Calories in vs calories out.  And yet, most of us who want to lose some pounds, still struggle with it.  We struggle because although we know what we want and the basics of what we need to do, life gets in the way and in the end, it is still tough.

So, if it is still tough, why not do whatever we can to make the process work the best that we can make it.  

Let’s make the calories we eat work in our favor.

This is a small list of some foods that have way more nutritional value than most of us realize.  So, if we are going to eat, let’s make what we eat give us the most value possible.

1. Waterworks

Ever heard of drinking water to lose weight? The diet tactic actually works, along with eating foods that contain a lot of water, like fruits and veggies. In a University of Tokyo study, women who ate high-water-content foods had lower body mass indexes and smaller waistlines. Researchers speculate that the water in these foods may fill you up so you eat less. Make the strategy work for you by adding more of these in-season fruits and veggies—each is at least 90% water—to your meals.

2. Broccoli

Did you know broccoli is a great source of fiber and calcium?

3. Cabbage

Rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, cabbage is a great immune-booster. Enjoy it lightly sautéed in a stir-fry or paired with sweet-tart apples.

4. Cauliflower

Like other cruciferous veggies, cauliflower is full of cancer-fighting phytonutrients and is a great source of vitamin C and folate. Nibble on raw or lightly steamed florets to maximize cauliflower's antioxidant power.

5. Grapefruit

A powerhouse for heart health, grapefruit contains vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium, along with pectin, a soluble fiber that may be a strong ally against atherosclerosis. Pink and red varieties also have vitamin A and lycopene, a phytochemical that protects arterial walls from oxidative damage. To get the juiciest specimens, select fruits heavy for their size.

6. Lettuce

With a mere 60–70 calories per pound, lettuce is high on the list of diet-friendly foods. Romaine lettuce alone is a great source of B vitamins, folic acid, and manganese, which helps regulate blood sugar and is essential for proper immune system function. Choose other dark green or purple varieties such as green or red leaf for the most nutrients, and toss with a zesty homemade vinaigrette.

7. Radishes

These brightly colored vegetables are packed with potassium, folic acid, antioxidants, and sulfur compounds that aid in digestion. Don't forget the leafy green tops, which contain six times the vitamin C and more calcium than the roots. Thinly slice and toss in a fresh green salad or julienne for coleslaw.

8. Spinach

Tender and flavorful, this leafy green is rich in iron, folic acid, and vitamin K. It also contains disease-fighting antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C, as well as the phytochemical lutein, which protects eyes against age-related macular degeneration. Use as a substitute for lettuce in a salad, lightly sauté with shredded carrot, sliced mushrooms, and garlic for a savory omelet filling.

9. Cucumber

This summer veggie has a higher concentration of water than any other food—in fact, 96.7% of the fruit is made up of water. It’s also incredibly easy to integrate into your meals. Toss some sliced cucumber on salad, dip some sticks in hummus for a snack, or try whipping up refreshing cucumber soup!

10. Celery

You may have heard that celery has negative calories. While that may not quite be accurate, it’s also not that far off from the truth. Since celery is mostly made up of water, it only contains 6 calories per stalk. But despite the low-calorie count, it keeps you feeling full and satiated, thanks to the added bonus of fiber. Celery also isn’t short on nutrition—it contains folate along with vitamins A, C, and K. So whether you need a filling snack or meal add-on, celery is a pretty amazing weight loss superfood.

11. Green peppers

They may seem pretty dense and hearty, but bell peppers are actually made up of 92% water. And not only are these veggies great for your waistline, but they also pack a ton of antioxidants. Grill them up for a satisfying dinner or slice up some raw pieces for a healthy snack.

 

These great tips are courtesy of health.com.  

Below is the article along with recipes.

health.com

 

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.- Jim Davis

What is the BEST Time to Workout?

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What is the BEST Time to Workout?

So I am looking through my notes and see a question that intrigues me.  

It is;  

I am not a morning person, do I have to get my workout in first thing in the morning?

That is a really great question.  People in the fitness industry may have one answer and people in the diet industry may have another.  The long and the short of it is, it is truly up to you.

Here are some little details that may help you decide what is best for you.

Working out in the AM

  1. Lifting weights really kick your metabolism into gear.  You will burn more calories, in general, the rest of the day.
  2. There is less of a chance of getting your dedicated gym time bumped by an appointment.
  3. The endorphins will give you a great feeling to start the day in a better mood…once you are done.
  4. Believe it or not, the gym is less crowded in the early hours.
  5. It will become a habit, to wake up and get it done.

Working out in the PM

  1. Working out at the end of the day allows you to burn off the stress of the day.
  2. Generally, there are more classes available in the evening.
  3. Depending on how late you like to go, the later it is, the fewer people are there.
  4. You will be more likely to get an accountability partner to go with you.
  5. You are not as rushed for time, therefore your mornings are calmer.
  6. You can generally extend your workout if you want because you are not on your way to work/school.

 

In the end, you will find excuses to not go to the gym regardless the time.  Or you will make that commitment to yourself and get it in.  The most important thing is getting it done.  There are pros and cons to both times to workout and if you ask your brother in law who has never worked out, they are both bad times and that is what we tend to do, ask people who don’t make it part of their routine.

My advice is to try both times if you can.  Or even a lunchtime workout.  Just try to find the time that actually works for your timetable.  Your body will adapt to whatever you tell it to.  If that is sitting on the couch or playing tennis, doing fasted cardio or going through the drive-through.  We are adaptable creatures, so adapt to “getting it done” and you won't regret it.

 

Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live. – Jim Rohn

 

 

Best Chicken EVER

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The hardest part of making dinner each and every night is coming up with ideas that;

  • Everyone will like it
  • Doesn’t take me half the day to make it
  • I don’t have to shop for weird stuff to make it

And most importantly

  • I actually enjoy making it and eating it too.

 

It’s funny how at some point in the day I have always been expected to stop doing whatever I am doing and think about making supper.  When the kids were little, that made sense as I was an at home mom and really I enjoyed being at home and it was part of what I did.

But now, I am a grandma.  I am cooking for usually only two people sometimes three, but more people than that, I have advanced notice.  Ok, ok, maybe I am just grumbling now, but my role has changed.  I am not spending my day chasing my children anymore although sometimes I am spending the day with my grandson, and that is not nearly as exhausting.  I am now writing, researching, hiking, going to the gym, reading, learning, so I am not in the kitchen as much.

So, when I found this recipe, I had my doubts, but that didn’t last long.  This is truly one of the easiest, yet best tasting chicken recipes with the least amount of time to invest, and I have all these ingredients in my kitchen.

Take a read and try it out.  It has become a favorite in our family.

 

Best Chicken EVER

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh rosemary

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, syrup, and vinegar.
  3. Place chicken breasts into 9×13 baking dish. Season with salt & lots of pepper.
  4. Pour mustard mixture over chicken. Make sure each breast is coated. Put some more pepper on, if you want, we like pepper so we add more.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  6. Season with fresh rosemary.

 

I could talk food all day. I love good food. – Tom Brady

 

 

Adapted from rachelschultz.com

 

Reboot Your Weight loss Journey

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Make Today Ridiculously Amazing

So, you are doing everything right, you eat right, you exercise, you drink your water, you drink less alcohol, yet, after all of that, your weight doesn’t budge.  Sound familiar?  It does to most of us that are yet again trying to lose some weight.  

There are actually a whole lot of reasons why you are not losing.  And after all, is said and done, you may never know the whole truth or real reason.  I know, that sucks.  But, it does not mean that you should throw in the towel.  It means that you might want to shake things up a bit.

So, here are a few things to try to reboot your weight loss plan.

1. Take a good hard look at your food.

  • Be honest, if you need to track again, do it.

2. Change up your exercise routine.

  • Your muscles get bored and stop trying hard.  Teach them something new.

3.  Lift some weights.

  • The more you lift weights, the more energy you will use, which means the more calories you will burn.

4.  Drink more water

  • Water is so important to your body.  It is the quickest way to get rid of waste, including fat.

5.  Find a new or renew your accountability partner.

  • Venting about your frustrations actually is very healthy, so do it, just not online.

6.  Get your sleep

  • Do everything within your power to get enough sleep.

7.  Talk to your healthcare practitioner.

  • Whether it's a doctor or naturopath, make sure that your body is actually healthy enough for this journey.  

8.  Make sure you really want this.

  • Sounds silly, but we all sabotage ourselves to some degree, make sure you are really ready to take this journey on.  Continuing on when you are not ready can do more harm than good.

9.  Remove the negative.

  • Look at the obstacles in your way.  Eliminate all you can, people, temptations, whatever makes it harder.

10.  Relax and get ready for the journey.

  • Taking time to meditate, have a bath, read a novel, light a candle, some real YOU time will go a long way when the journey gets tough.  Because it will.

Make sure that your timeline is also an achievable one.  You should remember that you are in for the long haul, not just that holiday in a couple of months.  Being healthier with a lower weight may take way longer than you plan, but in the end, it is always worth it.

The other thing to keep in mind is that a healthier you may not necessarily mean a lighter you.  If your heart is healthy, your organs to what they are supposed to do, and your lungs can keep you breathing, you are already way ahead.  You are healthier.  And remember that muscles weigh more than fat.  Healthy is always the goal.

 

What's so fascinating and frustrating and great about life is that you're constantly starting over, all the time, and I love that. – Billy Crystal