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Shrinktheplanet Weight Loss

Diet Blog


Five Easy Ways to Eat Less 0

Posted on December 08, 2014 by Grace
Five Easy Ways to Eat Less Calories

1. Eat a Salad before Dinner

The first course of a meal can encourage a healthy diet, but it’s not necessarily because of the calorie count, a british study has found. Researchers at the University of leeds gave 40 dieters a green salad (with tsp of olive oil & balsamic vinegar) with their meal and 40 dieters no salad with their meal before serving them 2 slices of pizza. The dieters who consumed the salad ended up eating 50% percent less pizza than did those who did not have the salad and overall eating less calories by adding a salad. Greens are high is fiber and very low in calories so this is the perfect addition to your meal for a couple of reasons: one is that fiber is filling so having greens before your meal with help you eat less and two is greens add nutrients to your diet. So eat your greens and feel good while losing weight.

2. Drink 6 – 8 Glasses of Water Daily

Another thing that affects many people who are trying to lose weight in a negative way is feeling the need to snack on something between meals during the day and also late at night. Most of the time, that feeling is actually not hunger but thirst! That’s right. Instead of reaching for the snacks, grab a glass of plain water and drink it slowly. Then see if you still feel hungry. Chances are, as long as you have eaten a reasonably filling and nutritious meal previously, the sensation you were feeling was actually thirst, not hunger.

You can save yourself hundreds of calories every day by drinking a glass of water every time you feel like grabbing a snack. This in itself is a major boost to any weight loss program and one that so few people even know about!

3. Add More Protein to your Diet

Losing weight requires you to eat fewer calories, yet once your body senses this, it slows itself to conserve energy, hampering your efforts. You can counteract this by increasing the percentage of protein you eat. Digesting protein requires more heat and consequently burns more calories than digesting fats or carbohydrates. Eat 100 calories of fat, for instance, and you expend no more than 3 calories digesting it. Eat 100 calories of carbs, and you expend no more than 8 calories. Eat 100 calories of protein, however, and you expend no less than 25 and as many as 30 calories. This “waste” of energy, known as the thermic effect of food, has also been linked to a greater feeling of fullness, so consuming more protein also helps you stick to your diet.

4. Portion Control

Portion control is an effective way to lose weight because when you Monitor your portion sizes, you decrease the amount of food that you eat. A study published in Obesity Research found that portion control produced more weight loss in a pool of obese subjects than reduced fat intake, increased fruit and vegetable consumption, and increased exercise.

It’s not just obese men and women who can benefit from eating smaller portions. Most of us, regardless of our size, eat more food than our grandparents did.

In fact, research suggests that the average American male eats seven percent more calories per day now than he did in 1980, while the average American woman consumes 17 percent more calories daily. American waistlines are growing due to inactivity and increased food consumption at home and at restaurants. Part of the problem is “portion distortion” — we don’t know what a standard serving size is.

How much one eats is just as important as what kind of food one eats in the quest to lose weight. A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who reduced their food portions by 25% managed to cut down 250 calories a day, amounts that could help them shed half a pound a week! The crucial thing to realize as you attempt to manage your weight is that your weight is a direct function of the number of calories that you ingest through food and drink as compared with the number of calories that you burn off.

5. Weight Loss Goal Sheet

Are you are looking for an Online Tracking Tool to use for keeping track of Daily Calories and Exercise Program?

Then a Weight Loss Goal Sheet is what you need to reach your Weight Loss Goals!

Tracking your daily food and exercise is a great idea if you are trying to lose weight. A large study recently showed that planning out and keeping track of your weight loss goals can double your weight loss. Using this tool gives you the ability to really customize your food and exercise workouts that are uniquely suited to your weight loss goals. Are looking to lose weight you can Get started now…Learn the “Weight Loss Success Steps”, a path that will guide you every step of the way. The program will give you the fundamentals and support you need to reach weight loss goals.

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Activity Trackers for Weight Loss 1

Posted on December 08, 2014 by Grace

Fitbit Activity Tracker Reviews

Why does an activity tracker
help you lose weight?

Entry-level trackers can provide a picture of your everyday habits and fitness progress to motivate you toward a goal or keep track of your current health. Losing weight and getting healthy can be fun!

Do you want to live an active lifestyle – Get healthy, lose weight and maintain the weight loss? Well then an activity tracker could be your tool to success in reaching your goals.

Activity Tracker Device Benefits:

  • Steps tracking

    A simple way to track your activity level is by logging the number of steps you take. The most accurate way to track your steps is with an accelerometer or GPS. With this type of tracker, you have more options of where it can be worn — from in a pocket to around your neck or on your wrist. Some activity trackers can also calculate your calories burned using this information and/or personal data.

  • Calorie counting

    Activity trackers calculate calories burned in a variety of ways. Using your heart rate to determine this is one of the more accurate ways because it takes into account your personal exertion. Other trackers use their own equation to calculate this value — based on steps logged and/or stairs climbed. You might also input your weight and/or age to create a more custom calculation.

  •  Distance traveled

    Keeping track of your distance traveled is another way to work toward your fitness goals for activities like running, cycling and hiking. A variety of activity trackers can calculate the distance you’ve traveled through an accelerometer or GPS.Sleep quality and alarm clocks.

  •  Tracking progress online

    Making it even easier to follow your progress, some trackers can download your information to a tablet, smartphone or laptop. You’ll find trackers that use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to transfer information, whereas others download information via USB. Once the information is downloaded, apps can analyze your progress, offer personalized workout plans, compare stats with friends, and more. Apps are created for a variety of operating systems, so you’ll want to make sure the tracker’s app works with your tablet or smartphone’s operating system (such as Android, iOS, etc.). For a more comprehensive view of your habits, you may also be able to input information like what food you eat, amount of water you drink and more.

    Each activity tracker comes with its own brand-specific app. Designed specifically to work with your activity tracker, this app combines all of your stats in one convenient place, making it easy to spot trends and find ways to improve your results. A variety of trackers also sync with third-party fitness apps that you may already use, such as RunKeeper, Lose It! or MapMyFitness. The easier it is to track your progress, the easier it will be to reach your health and fitness goals.

 

Try this Activity Device for Steps Tracking,
Calorie Counting & Online Tracking

 

NIKE+ FuelBand SE!

Think you live an active life? Prove it with a NIKE+ FuelBand SE! A versatile training tool you wear on your wrist, it tracks the intensity of your workout or activity and shares how much NIKEFuel® your movement earns. LED lights let you see how it stacks up against your daily goals; they also show the time, calories burned, and steps taken. Sync it with your smartphone to monitor your progress and start a competition with friends.

It comes in 3 different sizes: small, medium/large and extra large, although all versions do come with a spacer that you can insert/remove to change the size a little. The spacers are easy enough to add and remove and really do work quite well in adjusting the size of the band to get the perfect fit. If you’re not sure which of the sizes to get there is also a small sizing guide on the box which you can measure up to. We would recommend opting for the smaller one and then increasing the size with the spacers included.

The clip of the wristband hides the USB which plugs into you computer to charge or upload information. This design keeps it hidden out of the way until it is needed and keeps the band looking modern and stylish. The LED’s that light up when the button on the front is pressed are surprisingly bright and stand out even in bright daylight. Once you reach your goal just sit down and watch your display as it lights up with an array of pleasing colours.

The Nike Fuelband SE is still not waterproof, although the water resistance of the device has been improved. If you’re just washing up or going for a shower then you’ll be just fine keeping it on your wrist, but if you’re off for a swim, you’ll have to remove it. This is mainly due to the USB connector being exposed under the clip.

The Nike+ FuelBand SE is a comfortable design and keeps you motived to exercise….displays calories , time and steps. Doesn’t track stairs climbed, heart rate or sleep. The fuelband’s sharing system really helps you stay motivated by sharing your progress with your friends. You can share it with your Nike+ groups, Facebook, Twitter and Path.  It’s nice to brag your progress in the face of those that just sit all day to criticize others on Facebook instead of taking care of their own health… just saying. ‘Win the hour’ reminds you have to move at least five minutes every hour if you want to avoid damage to your spine long-term. It’s true it’s hard to notice it’s time to move since it lacks of a vibration notification, so it’s kind of a miracle if you see your band flashing (considering you forget you are wearing it), but it’s also true that you can link it to your phone to get respective notifications on-screen, just like getting a message.

Try this Activity Device for Steps Tracking, Calorie Counting,
Sleep Patterns & Online Tracking.

 

Fitbit

The Fitbit counts steps, calories burned, distance traveled, flights climbs, and even has an alarm. The alarm has to be activated from the app on your phone, but it syncs very quickly, so there really isn’t ever a problem to do it. At first I didn’t think the step count was completely accurate as I have a few hundred steps before I even start my day.  But the website does state that it would take a couple of days for the device to be able to read your patterns and track your movements. On the second/third day of wearing the device you will get accurate steps taken, miles ran or walked and also calories. It also tracks sleep patterns and this can help you figure out your sleep patterns and get into the routine to go to bed at a particular time to wake up rested. The cellphone alerts are excellent, you can use it with your iPhone and some android devices as well.  Overall, I think this device is worth giving a try. For those that are wondering if it motivates me to walk/run my 10,000 steps, Yes, it does! Once the 10,000 steps are accomplished, there’s this mini celebration going on in the device, it’s so cute, I love it.

The Fitbit Charge is NOT waterproof, so you’re gonna have to take it off before showers and getting into a pool.

Below are additional benefits for the Fitbit that the Nike+ fuelband doesn’t have:

  • Stairs climbed

    Some activity trackers feature a built-in altimeter to record how many steps you’ve climbed each day. This is another way to monitor your activity and meet a fitness goal. Some activity trackers can also calculate your calories burned using this information and/or personal data.

  • Sleep Patterns

Many trackers with an accelerometer can also monitor your movement to determine sleep patterns. Some trackers require that you change to sleep mode to do this. With this information, trackers will give you a description of sleep quality based on your patterns. You can also find trackers with a silent alarm that will vibrate to wake you up.

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Turkey, Ham & Cheese Sandwiches 0

Posted on November 23, 2014 by Grace

Enjoy turkey leftovers with this delicious sandwich!

And to reduce calories be sure to add the low fat mayonnaise. This sandwich is based on the classic French croque monsieur. Turn it into a croque madame by adding a fried egg on top.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 8 slices country bread
  • 1/4 cup Low fat mayonnaise
  • 8 oz Gruyere or Swiss Cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 lb leftover roast turkey, sliced
  • 8 thin slices deli ham
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 cups baby arugula or other greens (about 4oz)
  • 1 cup small seedless red grapes, quartered

Directions:

Heat broiler with oven rack positioned 5 to 6 in. from the heat.  In a medium bowl, stir together the shallot, vinegar and 1/4 tsp salt; set aside.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Arrange 4 slices bread on the prepared sheet and spread each with 1 Tbsp mayonnaise and 1/4 tsp mustard.  Top with one-third of the cheese, then the turkey and ham.  Sprinkle half the remaining cheese on top and broil until the cheese is melted and the sandwich filling is warm, 3 to 4 minutes.

Top the sandwiches with the remaining bread and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  broil until the cheese is melted, 1 to 3 minutes.

Add the oil and remaining 1/2 tsp mustard to the vinegar mixture and whisk to combine.  Toss with the arugula and grapes and serve with the sandwiches.

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Cheddar-Chive Biscuits 0

Posted on November 22, 2014 by Grace

 

Spice up your biscuits with this cheddar – chives yummy recipes.  Cut calories by adding reduced fat cheddar cheese, diet sprite and you can also substitute heavy cream for low fat buttermilk. All great alternatives to reduce calorie without the flavor for this delicious biscuits recipe.  And get started early by making ahead just freeze biscuits, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months. To reheat, place frozen biscuits in a 375 degrees oven for about 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup lemon-lime diet soda (such as sprite)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 3 oz low fat extra-sharp cheddar, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.  Make a well in the center.  Using a fork, gently stir in the soda and 1/2 cup heavy cream, mixing just until incorporated (do not over mix).  Fold in the chives and all but 1/2 cup of the cheddar.

Drop spoonfuls of the batter (you should have 8 total) onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the remaining Tbsp heavy cream, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar and bake until puffed and golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.  Serve the biscuits warm or at room temperature.

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Roasted Glazed Carrots 0

Posted on November 22, 2014 by Grace

 

Tasty Veggies Low Calorie Treats!

 
Who says veggies need to be boring?

This is a great healthy low calorie side dish that the entire family will love. It is a great way to get the kids to eat their veggies. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner why not spice up your dinner with these delicious roasted carrots.

Ingredients

  • 3 lb medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3-in pieces
  • 1 red chili pepper (such as fresno or serrano), halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 2-in. piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp honey

 

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots, chili and ginger with the oil, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

2. Transfer half the carrots to a second baking sheet.  Roast both sheets until the carrots are golden brown and tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

3. Remove from oven, drizzle the honey over the carrots and toss to combine.

Makes 8 servers

per serving 147 calories, 7 grams of fat, 0 mg chol, 4 grams of fiber

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Increase Energy & Reduce Calories with Oatmeal 0

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Grace

Eat Oatmeal & Reduce Daily Calories

Supercharged Morning with Oatmeal

How oats deliver all day feel good and help reduce daily calories:

Boost Immunity

A unique fiber found in oatmeal (called beta-glucan) stimulates the production of white blood cells responsible for killing bacteria and other pathogens.  According to researchers at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, this effect can strengthen the body’s natural defenses against cold and flu viruses by up to 750 percent.

Rev up Happy Hormones

Enjoying an oat enriched sip will have you feeling sunnier in just 20 minutes, report researchers at the Colorado Neurological Institute in Englewood. Credit goes to the grain’s rich store of manganese, a trace mineral that optimizes the thyroid gland’s output of mood-boosting hormones.

Dial down Appetite

Oats contain complex carbs that prompt the stomach to release more of a hunger-suppressing hormone (cholecystakinin). The payoff: Penn State researchers found that a daily serving of oatmeal helped dieters cut between meal snacking by 81 percent and shed pounds.

 Try this great tasting Oatmeal Recipes

Get More Oatmeal Recipes


    Blueberry & Almond Oatmeal Recipe:

    Mix it up:

    Boil 1 cup of water over high heat. Add 1/4 cup of whole gain oats. Cook, stirring, for 25 minutes, until the oatmeal is soft. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Add 1/4 cup of fat-free milk, a tablespoon of slivered almonds, 1/3 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, and a teaspoon of ground flaxseed. Mix and serve.  This recipe provide a great balance of fruit and protein that are essential to a good health diet.

    Makes 1 serving. Per serving: 251 cal, 7 g fat (0.5 g sat), 40 g carbs, 41 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 10 g protein

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Chocolate Oatmeal with Chia Seeds Cookies 0

Posted on October 21, 2014 by sierra

Chocolate Oatmeal Chia Seeds Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chia Seed Cookies Recipe

Did you know that chia seeds can help you lose weight? Chia Seeds work to slow digestion and the body’s absorption of carbohydrates. This helps maintain the feeling of fullness and minimizes blood sugar spikes. Keeping balanced levels of blood sugar is also important for both health and energy. Eat less by increasing your fullness and what a great way to stay full – add these healthy high protein high fiber cookies and start cutting calories. But remember to control your portion amounts we all enjoy our snacks so don’t give them up just keep in mind potion sizes – two cookies daily will keep you satisfied and slim.

Learn more about chia seeds

Ingredients

Makes 36 cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats (1/2 ground to flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1/2 cup shaved dark chocolate or semisweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl or stand mixer cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla and egg until well blended. Grind half the oatmeal in a spice grinder until flour like. Combine the ground oats with whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt; blend into the batter until just moistened. Mix in the whole oats, rice krispy cereal, chia seeds and shaved chocolate until evenly distributed. Using a cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop on lightly greased cookie sheets. I like to press them down with a flat bottomed cup dipped in sugar. Cookie in photo below on bottom left has not been pressed down. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to newspaper to cool.

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Chessy Hash Brown & Kale Breakfast 0

Posted on September 25, 2014 by Grace

Kale Eggs Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast tip: hash browns potatoes are a faster alternative to regular potatoes, with crisp and delicious results. Try this delicious breakfast delight it;s pretty easy to prepare and very nutritious and low in calories.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 10 large eggs
  • 2 cups frozen hash brown potatoes (not thawed)
  • 2 red fresno peppers, thinly sliced
  • 6 oz extra-sharp cheddar or gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 small bunch kale or swiss chard (about 1/2 lb), thick stems removed, leaves chopped
  • mixed green salad, for serving

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Heat the oil in a 9-in cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, season with 1/2 tsp salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs.  1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Fold in the hash browns, peppers and all but 1/2 cup of the cheddar.

3. Stir the garlic and thyme into the onion and cook for 1 minute. Add the kale and cook, covered, tossing occasionally, until beginning to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Transfer the egg mixture to the skillet and stir to distribute the ingredients.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar and bake until set, 20 to 25 minutes. (For a golden-brown top, broil for 1 to 2 minutes after baking) serve with salad, if desired.

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Fall Tasty Smoothies 0

Posted on September 24, 2014 by Grace

Whether it’s morning fog or an afternoon slump, we all have those times when we could use a little energy boost.  For a healthy, all natural way to increase your get up and go, sip a nutrient dense smoothie! These recipes are the perfect way to start a busy day or ward off a midday energy dip.  And the best part is it’s not just a quick fix. They’re packed with the vitamins and macronutrients you need for lasting energy and overall great health.

Fall Smoothie Recipes:

Pomegranate Healthy Smoothie

Fight Fatigue with a Pomegranate Pear Smoothie!

This tart pom and pear blend is refreshingly light and vibrant. Studies show potassium-rich pomegranate juice can nix feelings of fatigue and the complex, slow-releasing carbohydrates in pears keep you fueled for hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned or fresh pears, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/3 cup pure pomegranate juice
  • Honey or agave, to taste
  • 1 cup of ice

Directions:

Add pears, orange zest and juice to blend; blitz until smooth. Sample, then add honey or agave to taste.  Add ice; blend until frosty. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy.

Boost your Energy with a Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie!

Sweet Pumpkin Smoothies

This smoothie tastes like a decadent slice of pumpkin pie. It is perfect for breakfast! Why is it such an effective energy booster? Both pumpkin and cashews are rich in magnesium, which you body needs to convert food into energy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs. canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbs. cashews
  • 1/4 cup pitted dates
  • 1/2 pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup ice

Directions:

Add pumpkin, cashews, dates, pumpkin pie spice and coconut water to blender; blitz until smooth. Add ice; blend until smooth. Add ice; blend until frosty. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy.

Tortellini Pasta Salad 0

Posted on September 23, 2014 by Grace

Diet Pasta Tortellini Meal

Ingredients:

  •  1 pkg (9 oz) tricolor cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups trimmed sugar snap peas
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 Tbsp pesto
  • 2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 40 black olives, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil

Directions:

1. Cook tortellini in a large pot of boiling water per the package directions, stirring occasionally. Add sugar snap peas, carrots, and broccoli and cook until tender but still crisp, about 3 minutes.

2. Drain pasta and vegetables, and rinse with cold water.  Place into a large bowl and toss with the pesto.  Fold in the tomatoes, olives, and pepper. Garnish with basil, if using.

Did you know that olives are packed with belly-fat fighting nutrients, including monounsaturated fats and polyphenols?

Dish nutrition (per serving): 367 cal, 15 g protein, 50 g carb, 8 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 13 g fat, 780 mg sodium.

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