Good riddance to the days of low-fat diets! Thanks to research that shows the higher fat Mediterranean diet is ultra-healthy, nutrition experts now advocate 30 to 35 percent of your total daily calories from fat instead of 20 to 25 percent. Learn more over at Level Foods’ blog.
By Donna Fennessy
Believe it or not, losing weight doesn’t have to take all your will power—or even all your brain power. You can actually make small and painless changes to your lifestyle to create an environment that encourages healthy habits that will help you peel off pounds. “Many people try to be aware of food and their intake, but we have so much going on that it can feel overly burdensome. Then, we end up giving up,” says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of Mindless Eating (Bantam). “The key to losing weight is to mindlessly lose weight.” You can do this by changing your environment using these slimming strategies:
Figure out your downfall. There are five major areas where people tend to overeat: At meals, during snacks, at parties, at restaurants or at your desk or car. In general, most people will find that they struggle with one or two of these areas. So the easiest thing to do is determine which of these trip you up the most and try to focus on those. Come up with a list of three small changes you can make that will help you overcome this eating obstacle, and aim to do these three things every day for a month. This will help you bring your eating back under control.
Dish it out. This is an easy trick: Instead of serving food family style (large plates loaded with food that you leave on the table so people can easily go back for seconds, thirds and more), try dishing it out onto individual plates from the stove or counter. “We tend to over-serve,” Wansink says, “and that’s bad because we eat 20 to 30 percent more of anything that’s served family style.”
Pick the perfect plate. We tend to judge fullness by relying on visual cues, such as a clean plate. Using smaller plates for your smaller portions will help you feel more satisfied and can prevent overeating.
Mindlessly eat better. “About a third of the people we counsel don’t want to eat less—they simply want to mindlessly eat better,” Wansink says. To do this, keep nutritious snacks on hand. Nibbling away on baby carrots or pepper sticks is much safer and healthier than reaching into a giant bag of chips.
Oh, yum! These Flaxseed Morning Glory Muffins are bound to be the perfect morning (or afternoon) treat! Get the recipe for these delicious muffins over at Level Foods’ blog.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
We call this “freezer fudge” because it is incredibly chewy when chilled. If you keep it out too long it will melt. New York City based chef Sarma Melngailis runs the Pure Food and Wine restaurant and its offshoot, One Lucky Duck, a take-out spot that also sells snacks and ingredients online at oneluckyduck.com. She is also the author of Raw Food Real World. Reprinted with sodium adjustments with permission from Raw Food Real World (Harper Collins, 2005).
This recipe is Vegetarian.
This recipe has no red meat, no pork, no eggs, no wheat.
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, or raw carob powder, sifted to remove any lumps
2 1/2 tablespoons coconut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, stirring well. You can also use a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, but its more fun to do by hand.
2. Spoon the mixture into little candy molds, flatten with a spoon, and cover with parchment or wax paper. Or line a square baking pan with parchment or wax paper and, pour batter into pan, pressing down evenly to flatten. Place in freezer to chill. If using the pan, remove from the freezer for an hour or so, flip it out of the pan onto a flat surface and cut into 4 squares or rectangles.
3. These should be stored, covered, in the freezer (otherwise they will get too soft and mushy) where they would keep quite well for a long time if they didn’t always get eaten too fast.
We’re officially in the thick of winter, which means the way we navigate life on a daily basis is slightly shifting. Read up on 3 different tips, to make it a smooth transition.
By Liz Plosser
There’s nothing quite like the phrase, “No thanks, I’m watching my weight!” to bring a dinner party or happy hour to a screeching halt. But there’s no reason your healthy-eating plan has to be a downer for you and your fellow celebrants. First, remind yourself that you should be proud that you want to change your eating, says Keri Gans, R.D., a nutritionist in New York City. “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about.” Then, use these sly strategies the next time you’re among not-so-health-conscious friends, family members or coworkers to stay the course without attracting eye rolls and whispering from the peanut gallery.
Situation: Dinner out with friends
Danger zone: Everyone’s leaning toward ordering nachos, burgers and other fatty fare-and you don’t want to make a scene with a low-calorie pick.
Sly strategy: While the group is mulling over the menu, drop a subtle hint about your light order so no one can accuse you of being a killjoy. Say, “I have been eating so much meat lately, I really feel like a piece of fish. Or I had a huge, late lunch, so I’m just going to get a salad,” Gans recommends.
Situation: Family dinner at a relative’s house
Danger zone: After narrowing her eyes upon seeing your slimmer figure, your aunt insists on serving you seconds and dessert.
Sly strategy: “Don’t feel miffed—she’s probably just jealous!” Gans says. The simple words “No thank you, I’m full” should work like magic when your aunt shows up with seconds. And if she plops more food on your plate anyway? Place your utensils facedown on the dish, pop in a breath mint and move the plate away: Each of these actions signals—to both you and your family—that you’re finished with your meal.
Situation: Office birthday party
Danger zone: Your coworkers are making small talk over pieces of ice-cream cake—and you’re panicking about how rude you’ll look if you don’t indulge like everyone else.
Sly strategy: Make yourself a mug of warm tea and hold it as you mingle. Sipping tea will keep your mouth every bit as occupied as that forgettable piece of cake. Then focus on networking around the room: Make a game of how many people you can chat with. Free from the distraction of food, you’ll likely find yourself connecting more than usual with colleagues.
Situation: An invitation to go to the movies
Danger zone: You planned to hit the new body sculpting class at the gym at 7 p.m.—you’d have to blow off your workout to catch the film with your pal.
Sly strategy: Don’t hem and haw. Immediately tell your friend you would love to go, but you already have plans. That’s the truth—you don’t have to elaborate and it’s unlikely she’ll pry. Then, suggest catching a show together on a different night.
Situation: Happy hour with coworkers
Danger zone: You’ve eliminated alcohol as part of Phase I, and you don’t want to seem like Debby Downer while your friends clink cocktail glasses.
Sly strategy: “Order diet soda or sparkling water with slices of lemon or lime,” says Gans. Even though you’re going sans spirits, the festive garnish will make them—and you—feel like you’re 100-percent part of the party. And lest you feel tempted to sip from an umbrella-embellished glass, keep in mind that sugary cocktails, such as margaritas, can pack as many as 500 calories. Gulp!
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch OR dinner, oatmeal is always a good choice. Especially when there’s an Earth Balance spin on it. Get the full recipe for it on their blog!