Tag Archives: healthy eating

Halloween Treats!

 

Jack-o_Lantern_Stuffed_Peppers

Halloween is around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited. According to lore, Halloween (or formerly Hallows’ Eve) represented a time when the ghosts of the dead would come back to earth. People feared that if you left your house, you might come across one of these ghosts; so to avoid being recognized, people would wear masks to blend in with the disembodied spirits.

For more healthy eating tips and such…click here!

These days, Halloween is a much more family-friendly event, filled with creative and playful costumes, pumpkins on doorsteps, haunted houses, and plenty of festive treats. And I don’t know about you, but I usually associate this holiday with heaps of sugar. Chocolate bars, toffees, candies, you name it. It’s enough sugar to make my teeth hurt just thinking about it — and to get the kids really bouncing off the walls! Thank goodness it only comes around once a year…

Jack-o'-Lantern Stuffed Peppers Recipe

What I love about this jack-o’-lantern stuffed peppers recipe is that it’s a festive twist on a savory dish that lets my family enjoy the holiday with a little less sugar. They’re a fun Halloween treat to prepare for your kids and something you can feel great about them digging into! The fun part is in carving the bell peppers, which act as edible jack-o’-lanterns. You’ll want a sharp knife for this, and ideally one that’s small enough to make tiny cuts (a paring knife works well). Then you’ll simply carve out little eyes, a nose, and a smile. And ta-da, the hard part is over!

Jack-o'-Lantern Stuffed Peppers Recipe

These cute little jack-o’-lantern “pumpkins” are filled with a fiesta-inspired mix of spices, ground turkey, and black beans. The filling comes together in a pinch, and the flavors are reminiscent of a much more wholesome taco filling. You can keep these vegan by swapping the filling with this Quinoa Stuffing recipe. Once your filling is prepared, simply stuff it inside your carved peppers and pop them in the oven. A sprinkling of cheese brings this dish together. Serve warm and dig in. Happy Halloween!

Jack-o'-Lantern Stuffed Peppers Recipe

 

Stuffed PeppersJack-o’-Lantern Stuffed PeppersThese festive Stuffed Peppers are perfect for Halloween!Course: Main CoursePrep Time: 25mCook Time: 35mTotal Time: 60mServings: 4 servings, 1 bell pepper eachIngredients:– 4 medium orange bell peppers– 2 tsp. olive oil– 1 lb. raw 93% lean ground turkey– ½ medium onion chopped– 1 clove garlic finely chopped– 1 Tbsp. chili powder– ½ tsp. ground cumin– Ground black pepper to taste; optional– 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce, no sugar added– 1 cup black beans drained, rinsed– 1 cup cooked brown rice– ¼ cup water– ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheeseInstructions:1) Slice stem end off peppers. (Reserve for later use.) Remove seeds and veins from peppers. Cut a jack-o-lantern face out of one side of each pepper. Stand peppers upright in baking dish. Set aside.2) Preheat oven to 400º F.3) Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.4) Add turkey; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until almost browned.5) Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.6) Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.7) Add chili powder, cumin, pepper (if desired), tomato sauce, and beans; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.8) Add rice; mix well.9) Fill peppers with turkey mixture. Top with reserved stem end of peppers Add water to the baking dish. Cover with foil.10) Bake peppers for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender-crisp.11) Remove stem top of peppers, sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.12) Replace tops and serve.

 

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 426
Total Fat: 18 g
Saturated Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 99 mg
Sodium: 622 mg
Carbohydrates: 35 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sugar: 8 g
Protein: 31 g

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1½ Protein
½ Dairy
1 Grain/Tuber/Legume Carb
½ Vegetable

P90X3 Portions
2½ Carb
2 Protein
½ Fat

Body Beast Portions
1½ Starch
½ Legume
2 Vegetable
4 Protein
½ Fat

Portion Fix Containers
2 Green
1 Yellow
1 Red
½ Blue
½ tsp.

For more information on portions and exercise options…click here!

 

Photographs by Anguel Dimov

Authors

Help others by helping yourself!

 

DO WHAT YOU LOVE

summer health

What does it mean to be a Team Beachbody Coach? It means earning an income while you help yourself and others live healthier, more fulfilling lives. It’s being passionate about helping to end the trend of obesity in this country. All by doing what you love—staying fit and healthy, while inspiring others to do the same.

The inspiration doesn’t stop at helping others: you can become a leader – but you are also lead by your team.  You are held accountable when you hold your team accountable.  If you have trouble staying on task – what better way to stay the course than to have others look to you for motivation and encouragement?  I don’t have time to work out every day. I don’t always eat right. But, by helping others get started on their path to a healthier life, I keep myself going.  I can relate. I can empathize.  I can sympathize. I can help others get through their challenges AS I get through mine.  We do this together.  I rely on my team as much as they rely on me.  When I see someone struggle – or fall off track – or give up, I help them get started again.  And, with that, I also start over. I am encouraged by my team’s success…and I am motivated by my team’s failures.

Whether you’re already a “product of the product”—someone who’s found success through one of our world-class fitness solutions or products—or whether you were inspired by watching a friend or family member transform their lives the same way, becoming a Coach will reward you in ways you never thought possible—physically, personally, and financially.

Think you’re up for the challenge? Click below and start creating change—in your life and in the lives of others—today. You can be part of something so big, it’s changing the world, one healthy decision at a time. How cool does that sound?

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Here are some quick pictures of where I’ve come from in the last few years:

weight loss diet
Here’s another…I dreaded having my picture taken!

 

Six months…down 25 pounds

 

DennisAndStacyInFrontofHill1260x840FINAL

 

 

What are Probiotics and why do you need them?

Beachbody-blog-probiotics
What are Probiotics and why do you need them?

The short answer:
Your gut is filled with bacteria, good and bad. Good bacteria aids digestion, boosts immunity, and combats a number of gut-related illnesses. Emerging research shows it may also impact weight loss and influence mood. Bad bacteria hampers good bacteria and can make you sick in an assortment of ways, oftentimes involving repeated trips to the bathroom.

The two fight constantly.

Probiotics contain good bacteria. You’ll find them either in supplement form or through real foods like yogurt, tempeh, kimchi, miso, and kombucha. By taking them, you’re fortifying the troops. While they’re generally an excellent idea, they’re particularly important after you’ve had an infection or you’ve taken a round of antibiotics, because these things tend to wipe out the populations in your gut.

The long answer:
The therapeutic use of probiotics is an excellent example of ancient wisdom existing long before Western science could pull its head out. There are references to curdled milk in the Bible (Genesis 18:8 and Isaiah 7:15 if you’re keeping score), but the party really got started around the start of the 20th century when Nobel Prize–winning scientist Dr. Elias Metchnikoff reported that Bulgarian shepherds tended to live almost twice as long as urban Parisians where he was living. He pinned this on the formers’ intake of fermented milk, which he felt contained “good” and “anti-putrefactive” microorganisms.

It’s unclear how Metchnikoff made the connection between these two rather disparate groups, but it gave birth to the modern investigation of probiotics, so let’s not complain. For the last hundred plus years, science continues to discover more and more good things about the bugs living in our intestines.

The 100 trillion (give or take a trillion) bacteria that live in your gut can be divided into over 500 types. Many of the important ones fall into one of two genera, Lactobacillus andBifidobacterium. Under that, there are several species, many of which have specific benefits. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to be especially effective in combating lactose intolerance and Montezuma’s Revenge (or “traveler’s diarrhea” if you want to be boring about it). However, unless you have a specific issue that you’re trying to address, you probably don’t need to stress about all the species.

Fun fact one: the bad bacteria you’re working to keep in check include Helicobacter pylori,Escherichia coli (E. coli), and salmonella.

Fun fact two: we’re born without bacteria in our guts, but the populating begins when we pass through the birth canal. Our first gasps of air provide yet more bacteria, as does breast milk, which is especially rich in probiotics.

It’s well-established that probiotic consumption helps with almost any intestinal issue you can think of, including constipation, lactose intolerance, GI infections, gas, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, IBS, and IBD. It’s been shown to be effective in treating vaginal and urinary tract infections and atopic eczema. There’s also research showing probiotics may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

There are a few theories as to how this all happens. One is that good bacteria simply take up the space in the gut that the bad bacteria would take over. There’s also the fact that some good bacteria stimulate the immune system by promoting the release of various white blood cells that kill pathogens. A third idea is that many bacteria use the same fuel sources. For example, Clostridium difficile, which causes diarrhea and inflames the colon, is dependent on sugar—but so are many good bacteria. It all comes down to balance. If you have plenty of good bacteria in your gut, they’re going to dominate the monosaccharide buffet.

Look beyond GI issues, and current science on gut bacteria and probiotics gets even more amazing. A Washington University study on identical twins—one overweight and one thin—showed that they had entirely different gut microbiota, suggesting certain bacteria in your system promotes weight gain. (A separate UC Berkeley study suggests the evolutionary reason for this is that people in northern climates need more body fat, so their gut bacteria actually shifts to promote weight gain.)

But if you think popping the right probiotics will soon be the key to dropping pounds, don’t get too excited. Yet another study on mice shows that “weight loss bacteria” doesn’t seem to thrive on a high in saturated fat, low-fiber diet. However, they tend to propagate when fed a diet filled with fruits and veggies.

Researchers are also looking seriously into the gut-brain axis. In other words, those little bugs in your belly might actually have a say in your decision-making process. For instance, gut bacteria produce 95% of your serotonin, a powerful “feel-good” neurotransmitter.

And a Texas Tech University study on mice found that feeding mice the bad bacteriumCampylobacter jejuni drove up their anxiety levels.

So, yes, you should consume probiotics. How many depends on your situation. Antibiotics wipe out the microbes in your gut, so a supplement is an excellent idea after a round of those. Beyond that, if you have a gut-related issue, it’s worth researching which probiotic might help and supplement thusly.

Quality probiotic supplements can be pricey though. For most people, a solid diet filled with probiotic foods should do the trick. (For the record, Shakeology contains Bacillus coagulans, an especially hearty probiotic that can survive at room temperature when many probiotics require refrigeration.)

Yogurt is also a great source. However, it’s important to read the label. The bacteria that make the flavor and texture that Western society considers yogurt can’t survive the voyage through our GI tract, so manufacturers enhance the stuff with other strains, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.

Kombucha, or fermented tea, is another great probiotic food that’s especially trendy right now. It may take a while to learn to appreciate its tangy taste, but it’s worth it. Another benefit of kombucha is that it’s incredibly simple to make.

Beyond that, there are tons of other foods out there that are technically probiotic, including tempeh, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, and various cheeses. Unfortunately, these foods are often heated or pasteurized in such a way that kills the bacteria, so check on the label to verify if the probiotics are still active. Another option is to seek out a boutique producer who deliberately maintains the bacteria in their foods. Or you might want to make them yourself.Sandor Ellix Katz’s The Art of Fermentation is an excellent resource for your bacterial DIY needs.

On a final note, remember that fruit and veggie thing a few paragraphs up? Well, it applies to all the benefits of probiotics. Gut bacteria thrives on certain foods called prebiotics, so it’s crucial to make them part of your diet. Foods especially high in prebiotics include asparagus, onion, leek, garlic, artichokes, oats, and bananas. Yacon root, which you’ll find in Shakeology, also contains prebiotics.

So make prebiotics and probiotics a cornerstone of your diet because if you’re good to all those little bugs in your gut, they’ll return the favor tenfold.

Ready to try adding some amazing probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, and whole-food nutrition to your diet? CLICK HERE!

Microfibers…what are they?

4 Folded Microfiber cloths, assorted colors

What is it?

At only 1/200th the size of a strand of human hair, Norwex Microfiber is one of the most innovative products in the cleaning industry today. When combined with the unique Norwex knitting process, Norwex Microfiber becomes a highly effective cleaning agent and can hold up to seven times its weight in matter. Unlike cotton cloths that will simply spread the dirt, grease and other particles around, Norwex BacLock® * Microfiber lifts these particles up into the cloth and away from the surface. Once inside the cloth, the Norwex micro silver in the cloth goes to work with self-purification properties against mold, fungi and bacterial odor within 24 hours, so that it is ready to use again.

Get your own MICROFIBER here!

When a traditional cotton cloth is used to wipe your surface, dirt and moisture are pushed around and into the surface crevices, leaving it moist and unclean. Norwex Microfiber attracts dirt, grease, and moisture, leaving the surface clean and dry. Once these particles are inside the wet cloth, the micro silver in the cloth goes to work with the self purification properties against the mold, fungi and bacterial odor within 24 hours, so that is is ready to use again.

How to use it:

Work with eight clean sides

  1. Fold the cloth in half.
  2. Fold it again. You now have a total of eight clean sides to work with. For the Window Cloth and Car Cloth, fold it again and you have 16 sides.
  3. Place your whole hand on the cloth and wipe with even strokes. The cloth should be flat against the surface being cleaned.

Use it Wet to Clean

Dampen your cloth with water to loosen dirt and debris, leaving surface free from everything.  Used wet, the microfibers work together to provide superior cleaning results. Simply wet the cloth, wring, and wipe away dirt and debris from all washable surfaces. For spot cleaning use the Norwex Spray Bottle to apply water to the surface before cleaning.

Use it Dry for Dusting

Use dry to pick up and hold dust.  Used dry, the Norwex Microfiber produces an electrostatic charge that attracts and holds dust particles. The electrostatic effect created enhances the cloths’ ability to attract dirt and dust particles. As you lightly wipe the surface the microfiber attracts and draws up even the smallest particles of dust, trapping them in the fibers until the cloths are rinsed or laundered.

How to take care of it:

    • Wash slightly dirty microfiber cloths with Norwex Dishwashing Liquid under warm, running water. Rinse thoroughly, hang to dry or drop into the dryer.
    • Launder microfiber cloths separately or with other lint-free laundry. Dry completely.
    • Use Norwex Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent for best results.
    • For deep, stubborn stains or odors, microfiber can be boiled for 10 minutes to allow fibers to swell and release the debris.
    • Between launderings, use our Rubber Brush to remove dirt from dry Mop Pads and Entry Mat.
    • Do not use bleach, fabric softeners or dryer sheets when laundering microfiber as these additives coat the fibers and reduce their ability to clean effectively.
    • Do not use microfiber (except Norwex Optic Scarf ) on anti-glare surfaces.

Microfiber Warranty:

At Norwex we are proud of our unique, high quality microfiber and want you to be as thrilled as we are with the product.  We are happy to assist you with any item that did not meet your expectations. Our two-year microfiber warranty covers any problem you may encounter outside of normal wear and tear. If you are not pleased with how a microfiber product has worn or performed you may contact your Consultant to have the item replaced, at no additional charge, through Norwex Customer Service Returns.

Products with BacLock® 

BacLock regThis graphic is noted throughout the catalog to differentiate those products that contain an antibacterial agent for self-cleansing purposes only. The agent is solely designed to inhibit bacterial odor, mold and/or mildew growth within the product.

 

CLICK HERE to try a cloth out.  

Chemicals of Concern Quiz:

 

 

Our Global Challenge:

We realized early on that household pollutants negatively impact our health and our environment. Most of the chemicals in products in our homes have never been assessed for their impact on human health. Indoor air pollution is one of the top five highest ranking environmental health problems in America with chemical levels up to 70 times higher than outside. Research and information on the health effects of manufactured chemicals has not kept pace with their development and use.

  • In the last 50 years, the global production and use of manufactured chemicals has increased substantially. More than 80,000 new chemicals have been created.
  • Indoor air pollution is one of the top five highest-ranking environmental health problems in America.
  • Evidence shows homes have chemical levels up to 70 times higher than outside.
  • Most of the chemicals that people are exposed to every day have never been assessed for their impact on human health.
  • Parabens utilized in personal care for decades have been shown to have potential harmful effects.

What we do know is the harm chemicals have on humans is extensive. Most concerning are the growing links to chemicals that surround us in everyday life. They are linked to serious diseases such as birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities. Many today believe the extensive use of chemicals indoors contributes to many of our ‘modern’ diseases such as allergies and asthma.

Our Mission at Norwex is to improve quality of life by radically reducing chemicals in our homes. In addition, the Norwex products make cleaning faster and more cost effective than traditional cleaning products.

Beautiful Globe (Earth) resting on a vibrant green leafThe Norwex Solution

  • With Norwex Microfiber System, you will not breathe, touch or ingest chemicals – you simply create a cleaner, healthier indoor environment.
  • Naturally Timeless personal care products offer cutting-edge technology coupled with organic and natural ingredients – without harmful parabens or preservatives.
  • SAVE Time – the Norwex Cleaning System decreases cleaning time by 75% or more.
  • SAVE Money – An average household spends $600-$800 a year on chemical cleaning products and supplies. By using Norwex products you can realize up to a 90% savings!
  • Norwex helps make cleaning fast,fun and easy and teaches your family how to improve their health and environment!

At Norwex, our Purpose is simple but powerful: The idea that working together, with trust, integrity and honesty as our Core Values and radically reducing chemicals in our homes as our Mission, we can improve the world around us. The Norwex Purpose touches many facets of life with the end result being the ability to collectively make a powerful and positive difference in the world we live in and the lives we touch.

Go get yourself some great toxin-free cleaning supplies for your home and body – and for those you LOVE. Click HERE!

How to Lose Weight, Not Muscle

 

If you’re ready to join the 14 day FREE clean eating group, click here!

If you’re ready to jump in with a Challenge Pack…go HERE!

 

Losing weight and gaining muscle can often seem at odds. You’ve heard the classic advice: If you want to shed pounds, you have to eat fewer calories while burning more of them. If you want to gain muscle, you have to do just the opposite, increasing your caloric intake while working your muscles hard. So is it possible to attack the two most popular fitness goals at the same time? The answer is an unequivocal yes. Just follow these three simple rules.

 

Skip the Long Runs
If you want to lose fat, don’t go the aerobic route, say researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Louisiana. Their study comparing the weight-loss results of people who did aerobic workouts while dieting with those who only dieted found that steady state cardio (think: jogging, stationary cycling, rowing) added almost nothing to the weight loss equation. When it comes to shedding pounds, you want to be the hare, not the tortoise: A 2011 Australian study found that shorter, tougher workouts (e.g., sprints, intervals, high-intensity strength circuits) consistently resulted in significant fat loss. Added bonus: Working out at a high intensity specifically targets abdominal fat—the most insidious kind that wraps around your internal organs, increasing the size of your belly and your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

 

Don’t Starve Yourself
If you want to lose fat, you have to cut your caloric intake. But if you also want to also maintain (or even build) muscle, cutting a little works better than cutting a lot, according to Norwegian scientists. Their study found that strength-training athletes who cut calories by 30 percent saw no change in muscle mass, but those who cut calories by just 19 percent were able to increase their muscle mass while also leaning out. Shoot for losing no more than 1 percent of your bodyweight—or roughly 1 to 2 pounds—per week, suggest the researchers.

 

Prioritize Protein
You need protein to build muscle. If you want to lose fat at the same time, you may need even more: A 2016 study found that overweight men on an intense fitness routine and a calorie-restricted diet were able to gain muscle over a 4-week period—but only if their protein intake was high. Protein should make up slightly more than one-third of your total caloric intake. Don’t want to do the nutritional math? Eyeball it: Meat, fish, poultry, and other protein should take up about a third of your plate at each meal.

If you’re ready to join the 14 day FREE clean eating group, click here!

If you’re ready to jump in with a Challenge Pack…go HERE!

Authors

Andrew Heffernan CSCS, GCFP

The 8-week Transition Diet

 

Will alcohol keep me from reaching my fitness goals?

 

Ready to start on YOUR fitness journey? CLICK HERE.

 

Want to clean up your eating? Click HERE for a FREE 14 day meal planner.

Ask the Expert: Will Drinking Alcohol Hurt My Results?

By Steve Edwards

When it comes to getting fit and healthy, alcohol is one of the first things you’re told to eliminate from your diet. Yet studies regularly show that those who drink live longer and healthier lives than those who don’t. So, what’s the deal? Is alcohol a magic potion for a long and healthy life, or is your fitness the only thing it’s going to take the edge off?


Woman Sunning Near a pool with a Glass of Wine


The consumption of alcohol in some form or another has been around since the first caveman left some fruit in the sun too long, causing it to ferment (what a crazy night around the fire that was). Since we’ve always had it and, if history is any indication, we always will, we should have a strategy about how to use it.

What is alcohol?

Alcohol starts out healthy enough, as a plant, where it’s the byproduct of the decaying process (fermentation). Although it’s technically a depressant, its effect on the human body manifests as making you feel giddy, powerful, and awesome on the dance floor. And because it’s natural, you know, like tobacco and opium, it’s got to be good, right? Oh, wait. Maybe not.

And just like other natural things, the food industry has found unnatural ways to create alcohol that tend to be cheaper and even less healthy. But, I’m nitpicking because ultimately alcohol is alcohol. You’re going to get hammered whether you drink Night Train or single-malt Scotch—although all the chemicals in the rotgut might give you a worse hangover.

Glass of LiquidAnd for you out there who think you’re beating the system with your Diet Coke® and rum, alcohol has calories. A lot of them. At 7 calories per gram, alcohol has more calories by volume than both carbs and proteins and slightly less than fats. (Plus, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine,1 drinking diet soda with alcohol could get you drunk faster.)

More importantly, these calories have no food value. That’s right. Nada. Zilch. You’re adding calories to your diet, the only performance enhancing quality of which is to help you brag about yourself down at the pub.

The big question people usually ask me is whether or not they should drink alcohol while doing P90X®, INSANITY®, or one of our other boot camp–style programs. When you’re trying to change your body, the crux is making the nutritional switch from high-calorie/low-nutrient foods to low-calorie/high-nutrient foods. Since alcohol is a very high-calorie/no-nutrient food, you can see why it never ranks very high onMichi’s Ladder.

Keep in mind that we’re not telling you to abstain from alcohol forever. We’re advising you cut down on it—or completely cut it out—while you’re trying to transform your body.

What about all the studies showing alcohol is good for you?

The lifestyle studies that show up on the wires almost ubiquitously champion alcohol consumption because moderate drinkers always outlive everyone else. In fact, one major study showed that even excessive drinkers lived longer than teetotalers. There is no scientific surface explanation as to why this would be the case, so most experts chalk it up to lifestyle. Those who drink tend to be less stressed about life, in general, and stress is intricately linked to shorter life spans.

This is why our nutrition guides also generally give parameters for moderate drinking. If it makes you happy then, by all means, don’t quit. Just learn to be a healthy drinker.

But as I said above, when you’re doing one of our programs, the rules of nutrition shift slightly. You’re pushing your body harder, so it behooves you to keep nutrition tiptop. Furthermore, if you can’t go 90 days without a drink, you might want to consider your relationship with alcohol. It is, after all, an addictive substance.

The Dark Side of Drinking

And on that topic, alcohol has a dark side beyond calories. It can easily lead to an excessive path. If you’re a clever writer, you might make a nefarious career out of being a boozer, but it wreaks havoc on most of us.

Behavioral issues aside, let’s take a quick look at how alcohol can add up from a dietary perspective. A 12-ounce beer is about 150 or so calories. Ditto a 5-ounce glass of wine. One shot (1.5 oz) of the straight stuff has between 85 and 115 calories, depending on what proof it is.

Man Lying on the Floor next to a Glass of LiquidUnfortunately we tend to have more than that one serving. Often a lot more. Those longevity studies give the best numbers to folk who have 1–2 drinks a day, not those taking the Silver Bullet Express to every sporting event on TV.

When you pound a twelver during a weekend double-header, you’ve done serious dietary damage. Factor in that in our tendency to offset a drunken state-of-grace with greasy indulgences and it’s easy to see how Monday Night Football® at Cheers might result in unnecessary roughness. And despite the advice you’ll get on Good Morning America®, a quick jog the next day is not going to fight the beer belly you’ll get from those binges.

So the short answer here to whether it’s okay to drink when you’re working out is, “Sure. In moderation.” If you don’t already drink, I don’t think you need to start, but if you’re already a drinker, limit your intake and take the occasional time off, especially if you’re into a serious training cycle.

Do that, and I’ll raise a glass to you!

 

Want to clean up your eating? Click HERE for a FREE 14 day meal planner.

Nine foods that aren’t as healthy as you think!

 

Beachbody-Blog-9-Healthy-Foods-Dont-Eat

Are you ready to get your veggies and fruits in one healthy, whole-food shake? Get your servings HERE!

If you have a cheat meal or eat unhealthily every so often, that isn’t so bad (we try and follow the rule of eating an 80% clean diet). But, what if you’re eating badly and don’t know it? Sure, you stay away from deep-fried Oreos, but is your favorite “health food” snack keeping you from reaching your goals?

Here are nine foods that have successfully disguised themselves as “diet-friendly” foods. Don’t let them fool you.

Granola
Shocked? Granola is often touted as an outdoorsy health snack. Yet, it’s super high in calories and many variations are loaded with sugar and saturated fat.
Solution: Go raw. Muesli is basically just raw granola and it tends to have less sugars and oils—but just in case, always read the label. If you are trying to lose weight, make sure to measure to keep your portion size reasonable.

Frozen Diet Meals
Frozen dinners are not as healthy as they advertise. Though many are low in calories (most range from around 240–400 calories), they are highly processed, lacking in nutrients, and brimming with sodium. Although they may seem convenient, you give up a lot in exchange for the convenience of a three-minute microwaved meal.
Solution: Prepare healthy meals in bulk at the beginning of the week to deter you from having to choose these unhealthy convenient options. Or, if you absolutely must, read the labels. Some brands are better than others. Amy’s Kitchen, for example, does a better job than most.

Sports Drinks
Note the word “sports” in the title. These drinks are specifically designed to replenish carbs, electrolytes and other nutrients during long, hard efforts. In any other situation, they’re just sugar water. You might as well drink soda.
Solution: Generally, sports drinks are only useful for hard exercise going longer than an hour. Otherwise, you’re probably better off with water. However, if you’re eating at a calorie deficit and you’re having a hard time making it through your 30–60 minute workout, a little extra blood sugar might help, so experiment with a diluted sports drink. And again, read labels. High fructose corn syrup or artificial dyes won’t give you the fitness boost you’re looking for.

“Fat Free” Products
“Fat Free” might look good on paper, but your body actually needs fat! Plus, as Nutrition Expert Denis Faye explains, in most of these products “they just replace the fat with carbs and salt, so you’ve basically gone from pouring a little unsaturated fat on your salad to dumping on a pile of sugar.”
Solution: Stick with simple homemade dressings, like balsamic vinaigrette, and, if you’re out, ask for them on the side to control how much you’re using.

Muffins
American-style muffins first came into popularity at the end of the 18th century…and never went out of fashion again. But, this sweet quickbread is hardly healthy. Take those tempting blueberry muffins you see at some classic coffee chains. They’ll pack on about 460 calories and 15 grams of fat. Not to mention they’re usually made with refined flour, tons of sugar, and goodness knows what preservatives.
Solution: Almost all store-bought muffins should really just be avoided. If you’re really craving a muffin, try this flourless chocolate muffin that’s lower in calories and higher in fiber and other good-for-you components. Or, this plum bran muffin if you’re looking for a real fruit and fiber boost.

Sushi
As far as proteins go, fish deserves a high place in your diet and sushi can be a great way to enjoy it. However, most sushi is more rice than fish, and sometimes, it’s been deep fried (we’re looking at you, spider roll) or coated with mayonnaise (cue the dynamite roll and almost any sushi that has “spicy” in the name). While it’s never a complete junk food, like many items here, you can’t chow down without restraint and expect to see nothing but benefits.
Solution: If you do rolls, try to choose rolls made with brown rice or those that are low-carb (in other words, rice free). Or, stick with sashimi.

Pretzels
Don’t confuse these travel-friendly little bites that are low in fat, for a “healthy” snack. This carb-heavy, calorie-laden treat is almost completely devoid of nutrients and is often high in sodium. For instance, you’ll get an entire day’s worth of sodium in one cup of Rold Gold pretzels.
Solution: Stick to nutrient-dense snacks like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds. Just keep an eye on the serving size if you’re watching your weight.

Veggie Chips
Just because something contains the word “veggie” in the name doesn’t mean it’s healthy. High in fat and sodium, Veggie Chips are often extraordinarily high in fat and sodium and, honestly, not much better for you than potato chips.
Solution: When snacking, eat your veggies raw—and dip them in hummus if you want to add flavor.

Tea
What’s the problem with tea today? It’s mainly not tea! Most mass-produced teas come bottled with preservatives and designer drinks like chai lattes pump the sugar and additive content through the roof.
Solution: Try Tejava (which is all-natural and just contains brewed tea), stick to unsweetened teas from your local coffee shop, or brew your own. It’s easy!

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Glowing Green Smoothie…Mix it up!

 

 

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Switch up your smoothie routine by combining your favorite greens into a delicious and vibrantly colored smoothie bowl. We used spinach, but you could swap in arugula, watercress, or kale. Shakeology makes it even more nutritious, so you can feel extra good about your morning meal or your afternoon snack. Eating your veggies has never been so easy, or so tasty!

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:
¾ cup almond milk
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1 cup raw spinach
1 cup ice
¼ large banana, cut into thick slices
1 medium kiwi, peeled, cut into thick slices
2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

Preparation:
1. Place almond milk, Shakeology, spinach, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.
2. Place smoothie in a medium bowl. Top with banana, kiwi, and coconut; serve immediately.

Glowing Green Smoothie Bowl