4 Easy Ways to Keep Your Waistline in Check Over The Holidays

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  1. Pencil in physical activity. Treat exercise as you would any other important event—a party, a business meeting, a date—and write it on your calendar. And this doesn’t mean you need to make a trip to the gym. If you’ve nixed the trainer and gym membership to save your pennies, go outside and walk or run for 20 to 30 minutes; before your morning shower is a great time to do this. Think about what you want to wear, eat, and accomplish that day. You’ll start your days with a renewed sense of purpose and empowerment that will help keep you on track.
  2. Plan your meals ahead. Doing so is a great want to control cost and calories. Do you have leftovers from a healthy dinner you made? Bring them for lunch. Or grab staples like yogurt, oatmeal, cottage cheese, and fresh fruit from your fridge and pantry and bring them to work for breakfast and a snack. Not only will you eat healthier and save money, but you’ll feel prepared to turn down office fare like donuts and bagels at breakfast, the never-ending spread of mystery sandwiches for lunch, and those ubiquitous holidays gifts of chocolate, cookies, and cupcakes that seems to arrive at the same time daily. And if the 1:00 lunch meeting is absolutely unavoidable, peruse the restaurant’s menu ahead of time and arrive knowing what you want to order.
  3. Don’t arrive hungry… to holiday dinners and parties, that is. Many people forgo food before an event to save up calories, but being ravenous upon arrival makes it that much easier to binge and that much harder to select healthier options in the face of temptation. And we’re all familiar with the allure of those mini quiches, tuna tartars, bite-size burgers, bacon-wrapped scallops… Need I go on? Make it a point to have a healthy (and satisfying) snack before heading to the bar or party. My favorites include a Luna or Gnu bar, or two fiber-rich crackers with a wedge of Laughing Cow Light cheese. And don’t forget: Ladies, wear something fitted like a little black dress and gentlemen, buckle your belts one notch tighter—the more aware you are of your body, the less you’ll eat.
  4. Celebrate with limits. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of the holidays, but set boundaries for yourself when it comes to the never-ending supply of canapés and alcohol. For each hors d’oeuvres you grab, take a napkin and aim not to exceed four. As for alcohol, I am not about to advise you abstain entirely. That’s simply not realistic. However, make it your modus operandi to alternate your elixir of choice with a glass of water or seltzer with a lime. Not only will you save calories (and money if it’s not an open bar), but you’ll also maintain control over what you eat.

Try Trading This For That…

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To satisfy a sweet tooth, trade that slice of hot apple pie for a steamy skim latte dusted with apple-pie spice. Calorie savings: 200

Stave off winter’s chill with a third of the calories—and 4 times more filling fiber—by replacing your standby cup of creamy New England clam chowder with hearty minestrone. Calorie savings: 180

For a satisfying on-the-go breakfast, grab a bowl of piping hot oatmeal with almonds instead of a sausage, egg, and cheese on a bagel. Calorie savings: 335

Banning the "Pickable, Poppable, Dippable, Unstoppable"

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Eating is fun. Eating is sometimes unconscious. Put those two facts together with large quantities of food and you’ve got a diet disaster in the making. You know what I’m talking about: those chips in laundry bag sizes, those chocolate samplers that layer on forever… It’s just too tempting. Even healthy foods like cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks and hummus dips can wreak havoc when eaten in large quantities. Many of my clients are champion “mindless eaters” and, when faced with a big bowl of, well, just about anything, they’ll keep going until they reach the bottom. The solution to this is obvious: don’t expose yourself to the Pickable, Poppable… See The Wall Street Diet, page 29 for some specific Pickable, Poppable solutions. But it’s helpful just to recognize that you can’t have vast quantities of food around. Rely on portion-controlled snacks. But small quantities of items like energy bars. Don’t keep a drawer full of healthy, tempting snacks at work. And when you put out the bowl of cherry tomatoes out for the kids, keep it out of your reach!

How to look and feel fabulous this summer

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Have you looked at the calendar lately? There are less than 60 days to Memorial Day weekend! 30 and 40° weather will soon be a memory, and we’ll be basking in 80° sunshine. If your New Year resolutions slipped away in the past few weeks, buried by cold weather, snow, work and family responsibilities, don’t worry: there’s still time to get healthy, fit and lean for summer!

Stress and work productivity
Some of us work better under stress. Give me a deadline, and my creative juices start to flow! The Yerkes-Dawson law states that as stress increases, so does efficiency and production – to a point. At some level, stress becomes too much for us, and burn-out grinds performance and efficiency to a halt.

Stress also has a food connection. Chronic stress actually increases the production of cortisol, a hormone that makes us crave rich, sweet, pleasurable foods. Cortisol demands food high in fat and carbohydrate such as potato chips, donuts, and ice cream to provide a steady source of energy in case we need escape from raging saber-tooth tigers, or deal with escalating work requirements. Cortisol also tells our body to store those extra calories as fat cells in our abdomen, which then turns off the stress hormones.

What do you do when your stress levels zoom through the ceiling? After 9/11, a survey by the American Institute for Cancer Research found that 20% of people were eating more comfort foods such as mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. 19% sought out sugar to reduce their stress, reaching for cookies and ice cream. Comfort foods such as cookies, snack crackers, and donuts may make us think we feel better. But that feeling only lasts for a few minutes, and then reality kicks in. We feel physically terrible because our blood sugar is dropping like a rocket. We feel emotionally drained because we ate far more than we anticipated. Our stress levels go even higher because we feel like we just can’t cope and meet our health goals at the same time.

A 3-step approach for success
Don’t let your hectic work, social, and travel schedule get in the way of meeting your health and fitness goals. In my new book, The Wall Street Diet, I outline numerous strategies to reaching your goals. Instead of increasing your stress levels by adding yet another project – a diet – to your already jam-packed life, put these three simple yet effective tips into place.

Tip 1: Prioritize
Maybe you have 5, 10, or more items on your to-do list to get your body health-and-fitness-ready for summer. Prioritize that list, and focus on just one weak area. If you try to do everything at once, you’re going to increase your stress levels, which typically leads to inactivity and failure. Each week pick one primary goal for the week, and stick with it.

For example, you might decide to start with alcohol consumption. Alcohol is the fastest way to add empty calories, and it weakens your resolve to choose healthier foods. The average serving of 1.5 ounces of 80-proof alcohol contains about 90 calories before adding mixers. There’s no need to abstain from alcohol completely. Instead, you might choose to drink only one mixed drink per day. Or you might decide to stick with a glass of wine and forgo high calorie mixers. Try drinking mineral water with a slice of lime at a cocktail party instead of alcohol.

By prioritizing your to-do list, you’ll keep your goals manageable and feel successful. Each small success breeds even more success, and before you know it you’ll make progress in every area on that list.

Tip #2: Prepare
Preparation trumps will power every time. Plan out what you’re going to eat for breakfast and lunch. Limit yourself to one or two breakfast choices, and just a few lunch options to keep it simple and hassle-free. Plan for at least three days per week where you have a finite lunch and dinner, such as a turkey sandwich from the corner deli or a frozen meal for dinner. Pick one or two snacks to bring with you each day. A 6-ounce container of Dannon Lite and Fit yogurt, a Kashi TLC granola bar, an apple, or a Babybel light cheese are satisfying, healthy snacks that won’t increase your stress levels.

Plan ahead for a weekly massage to work away stress. Take a 5 minute walk outside in the middle of the day to let the sunshine revive your spirits. Before you step into a stressful meeting or pick up the phone to call a difficult client, take 5-10 deep, slow breaths. Let the air fill your lungs and energize your body, and exhale away stress and tension.

#3: Recover
If you view any slipup as a defeat instead of a bump in the road, or you demand perfection in your eating habits, you’re more likely to increase your stress levels and strike out on your health and fitness goals. Resetting yourself by doing something active and concrete helps you restructure your thinking so you avoid an all-or-nothing attitude that cripples your success.

Use a Protein Day after a day filled with eating disasters to get right back on track. Base your meals and snacks around protein: eggs or egg whites for breakfast, grilled chicken or fish in a salad for lunch and with steamed vegetables for dinner, and canned tuna or sliced turkey for snacks. A Protein Day gives your body a break from carbohydrates and breaks the cycle of overeating and then feeling terrible.

Another recovery tool is a Veggie Night, where you microwave a white or sweet potato and two cups of vegetables. In less than 10 minutes you have a satisfying meal that helps erase the earlier lapses of the day. Enjoying a Veggie Night helps you regroup, so you wake up the next morning feeling light and ready for a balanced breakfast.

Two months and counting!
Enjoy the warmer weather, sunnier days, and longer periods of daylight as we move through Spring into Memorial Day Weekend. With the tips outlined here, you’ll be beach-ready before you know it!

Research Round-up: Eat Soup, Eat Less!

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Several past studies have determined that eating soup prior to a meal can decrease hunger, increase fullness, and reduce subsequent meal intake. The reasons behind why soup has this effect, however, are still being tested. Possible explanations include the temperature, amount consumed, fat content, energy content, and viscosity. In a recent study published in Appetite in April 2007, Flood and Rolls investigated the effect the form of soup had on subsequent meal intake. They served the same soup recipe in four different ways: broth and vegetables served separately, chunky vegetable soup, chunky-pureed vegetable soup, and pureed vegetable soup. Sixty participants ate lunch at the laboratory for five consecutive weeks. Each week they were given a different soup or no soup at all prior to their meal. Though the researchers found that having soup reduced subsequent meal intake by an average of 134 calories, they did not find that the type of soup had any significant impact. While we still don’t know why soup helps to curb our appetites, we definitely recommend eating low-calorie soup to help reduce your intake at meals!

Cold Survival: How to Stock a Healthy Pantry and Freezer

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In winter, we tend to hibernate. Our meals and snacks end up being foods that are hiding in the back of our cupboards, take-out, or fast-food that we can quickly pick up on our way home from work. As a result, many gain weight over the winter months. To help combat that reality, it is best to stock a healthy pantry and freezer.

Pantry
Breakfast:

  • Kashi GoLean Cereal: 10 grams of fiber, 13 grams of protein, and 6 grams of sugar. Plus, it’s only 140 calories per cup!
  • FiberOne: 14 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, and only 60 calories per ½ cup.
  • McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal: Steel cut oats contain more fiber, iron and vitamin B than regular rolled oats. This breakfast will be sure to fill you up!

Snacks:

  • Fiber Rich Crackers: For 2 crackers, you get 5 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and only 40 calories. Put some peanut butter or a slice of turkey on top and you have yourself a great snack!
  • Soy Crisps (Glenny’s, Genisoy): Great, low-calorie snacks to keep on hand.
  • Snack Bars: See our September Newsletter for our favorite picks.
  • Canned Fruit in Water: A great snack that provides a serving of fruit for the day.
  • Mott’s Healthy Harvest: Applesauce that has no added sugar. Another great way to get in a serving of fruit.
  • Laughing Cow Lite Cheeses: With only 35 calories per serving, these are a great snack. And yes, they do not need to be refrigerated (although we think it tastes better if you do).
  • Smart Pop Mini Bags: Only 110 calories and 2 grams of fat, this microwave popcorn is far superior to the movie theater type!

Soup:

  • Campbell’s 25% less sodium Soup at Hand: Low in calories, convenient, and now with 25% less sodium.
  • Imagine Soups: Boxed soups that are low in calories, lower in sodium, and that are great on their own or as a base for other recipes.

Other:

  • Canned Beans: Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans – no matter what variety you choose, they are high in fiber and protein, and great to add to salads, stews, or soups.
  • Canned Tuna in Water: A staple from your childhood – it still tastes great and is good for you!
  • Tasty Bites Meals (Madras Lentils, Kashmir Spinach, Jodhpur Vegetables, Bombay Potatoes, Bengal Lentils): Complete meals that are vacuum-packed, low in calories, and delicious! Available at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco, and online.
  • Shirataki Noodles: Made of tofu and yam flour, these noodles are a great substitute for regular pasta. For a 4 ounce serving, it’s only 20 calories, 3 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber.

Freezer

  • Bird’s Eye Steamfresh Vegetables: Vegetables that you can microwave straight in the packaging.
  • Tabatchnick Soups: Delicious, microwaveable soups, that are low in calories and that come in a variety of flavors.
  • Amy’s Organic Bowls and Burritos: These complete meals come in a variety of flavors.
  • Veggie Burgers: Try Boca burgers, Gardenburgers, Morningstar Farms, or Dr. Praeger’s.
  • Kashi All Natural Meals: High in fiber and low in calories, these convenient meals are perfect any day of the week.
  • Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts: Get them flash frozen, such as Empire or Purdue. You can cook them individually – straight from the freezer!
  • Jennie-O Extra Lean Ground Turkey: If you keep this on hand, meatballs, meatloaf, or burgers, are always a possibility!
  • Vacuum-packed Frozen fish: It takes almost no time to defrost, and in some cases can even be cooked straight from the freezer. Costco carries a large variety, as does Trader Joe’s.

Breads
These get their own category because they can be in your pantry or the freezer. If you only have one or two people at home eating the bread, we highly recommend freezing it. This way, it won’t go bad and you won’t be tempted to overindulge!

  • La Torilla Factory Wraps: Only 110 calories and high in fiber!
  • Light Bread (Arnold’s Bakery Light Whole Wheat, Pepperidge Farm, Nature’s Own Light, Weight Watcher’s): Only 40-50 calories per slice – having 2 slices will be less than or equal to 1 slice of regular bread!
  • Light English Muffins (Weight Watcher’s, Thomas’s Light): Have it with peanut butter or an egg for a satisfying breakfast

Defending your Waistline on Super Bowl Sunday

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Super Bowl Sunday can be one of the toughest days of the year when it comes to eating. With the unlimited spread of snack foods, giant hero sandwiches, pizza, wings, and not to mention beer, it can be pretty hard to defend those resolutions that were made just a few weeks earlier. This year, however, with just a little planning, we can easily score big on taste without penalizing our waistlines.

The Game Plan

Prior to Kickoff
First, ensure that you aren’t starving by the time your Super Bowl party starts. Make sure that you eat regular meals (i.e. breakfast, lunch, and a PM snack) before you arrive at your party so that you can perform well at game-time.

The Defense
As a Super Bowl party guest, you will be playing on someone else’s turf, and so you will need to be on the defensive.

  • When you get to the party, hold off on hitting the food table. Converse with the other guests, and grab a glass of water to help fill you up.
  • Allow yourself a small taste of everything at the party that you want. After that, bench the fattier options, and send in the low-cal replacements.
  • Bring something with you. Prepare a healthy dish such as a turkey chili, or arrange a colorful fruit or vegetable platter with a low-fat yogurt based dip.
  • Bench the high-cal beverages. Though Super Bowl Sunday may encourage loads of beer drinking, remember that one regular beer contains about 150 calories. Try water, seltzer, or diet drinks instead. If you feel you are missing out on the alcohol, try a wine spritzer (1/2 wine, ½ sparkling water), or even a light beer.

The Offense
If you’re the one throwing the party, you have the home field advantage. Instead of putting out the usual fatty fare, surprise your opponents and slim down the options.

  • Though chili has a wonderful healthy base of beans and tomatoes, the beef, sausage, cheese, and sour cream can intercept your healthy eating plan. Try choosing extra-lean ground beef or turkey, or opt for a soy crumble. Try low-fat cheese and/or non-fat sour cream in place of the higher calorie condiments.
  • Instead of saucy, fried wings, try oven-frying some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cut the breasts into bite size pieces, dip them in egg whites or buttermilk, and dredge them in either breadcrumbs or cornflake crumbs. Bake in the oven and serve with a honey-mustard or barbecue sauce.
  • Foot-long heros may be an old standby on Super Bowl Sunday, but the high-fat and high-sodium meats, the cheeses, the oil, and the mayonnaise (not to mention the sheer quantity), can easily add up to hundreds of extra calories. Instead of buying the pre-made sandwiches, make a sandwich platter. Arrange different lean meats like turkey, chicken, and ham. Put out low-fat dressings and mayo, and loads of veggies. Provide a variety of whole grain breads, wraps, and rolls.
  • For a low-fat cornbread, use part whole-wheat flour, low-fat or fat-free buttermilk, and canola oil.
  • Bake tortilla chips or pita wedges and serve with low-fat dips that use fat-free or reduced-fat yogurt, sour cream, or cream cheese as their base.
  • Load your potato skins with salsa and a sprinkling of reduced fat cheese instead of bacon and cheese sauce. Top with a small dollop of non-fat sour cream if desired.
  • Order pizza without cheese and ask for extra veggies.
  • Put out pretzels, popcorn, and baked chips instead of greasy potato chips.
  • Don’t forget the veggies! Put out a big vegetable platter with a variety of cut-up veggies and low-fat dip.
  • Provide other drink options aside from beer. Keep plenty of water, coffee, and diet drinks on hand.

Whether you’re at home or away this Super Bowl Sunday, you are now prepared to avoid getting sacked by those extra pounds. Now all you need to do is hope that your football team is as prepared as you are.

Water, water, everywhere, but that’s not what I want to drink!

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Did you know an 8 oz pina colada on a hot summer night will set you back about 500 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat? Remember too, that liquids do not help us to feel full and satisfied. Drinking high calorie libations will not curb your appetite at meal times, so when the thirst hits, here’s what to do. What will you drink this weekend?

Serving Size Calories Survery Says… Serving Size Calories Survey Says…
Pina Colada 8oz 500 + 5 grams of saturated fat Try again White Wine 8oz 160 + 0 grams of fat Good choice
Regular Beer 12oz can 146 Not so bad but… Lite Beer 12oz can 99 Better
Wine Cooler 12oz 125 That’s the equivalent of one regular hot dog Wine Spritzer 12oz 120 Enjoy
Soda 12 oz 155 13 teaspoons sugar Flavored Seltzer Any size 0 Why not
Cranberry Juice 8oz 116 31 grams of pure carbs Cranberry Spritzer in Sparkling water 8oz 15 Bingo!

Diet Tips to Look Your Summertime Best

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Ready or not, it’s time to shed those layers of clothing. Play smart and prep ahead of time for upcoming events so you look and feel your ‘summer best.’

  • Break a Sweat – There’s no better time to intensify your exercise routine. Diet, exercise and adequate sleep are the integral pieces to the slim down/tone up puzzle. Warm weather is a great motivation to get moving and mix it up. Give your body and metabolism a nice jumpstart, try incorporating various workouts into your weekly schedule — a scenic run through Central Park or a cycling class, some light to moderate strength training for toning, maybe a yoga or pilates class or two and you’re set! Choose a type of exercise you truly enjoy and success is a sure thing.
  • Fill Up on Fresh Fruits & Vegetables – Spring and summer bring endless delicious fresh fruits and vegetables to your table. Hit the farmers’ market or your local grocery store and stock up on seasonal produce. Color your plate with greens, asparagus, artichokes, red peppers, berries, peaches, plums, melon, snap peas, tomatoes, basil, summer squash and an array of other fresh picks. Keep cut veggies in your fridge directly at eye level when you open the door – they’re great for a quick munch or to pair with a lite yogurt dip or ¼ cup of hummus for a healthy snack. Aim for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day! (1 serving of raw vegetables = 1 cup • 1 serving of cooked vegetables = ½ cup • 1 serving of fruit = 1 piece or 1 cup fruit salad/berries)
  • Water…and More Water! – Staying hydrated in the heat is a key component to replenishing your body’s needs and keeping a slim, fit figure by promoting healthy metabolism and digestion. We often misread signs of ‘hunger’ when in actuality, we’re thirsty! Quench your thirst before you get dehydrated by keeping a bottle of water with you at all times. Our bodies adapt to warm weather by perspiring more efficiently, meaning we need pay that much more attention on maintaining hydration levels. Guzzle 2 or 3 – 24oz sport bottles or 2 liters a day and that unwanted ‘beach bloat’ will be history in no time! Tired of plain ol’ water? Spruce it up with a slice or two of lemon or lime or try unsweetened iced herbal or green tea. (If you’re on the go, try Starbuck’s Passion or Green Iced Teas with a little Lemonade for a fun treat – just ask for it unsweetened to keep the calories and sugar to a minimum!)
  • Beat the Bloat – Feeling a bit bloated is never welcomed, particularly when we’re dawning summer clothing and beachwear. A few quick tips to slenderize your stomach – skip things that increase your consumption of extra air such as carbonated drinks (diet sodas, seltzers etc), gum, and drinking through a straw. Limit your consumption of salty, sodium-rich foods such as canned soups and vegetables, frozen dinners, cold cuts, processed snacks – remember the daily recommended intake of sodium is 1,500 milligrams with a maximum upper limit of 2,300 milligrams. Try a quick trick and check food labels to ensure you’re staying below your sodium goal – just one cup of canned soup can have upwards of 800-900 milligrams of sodium! Also, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to decrease sodium and water retention and to keep your digestion going strong! Finally, if you’ve got a sensitive stomach, watch out for artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame etc) in beverages, gum and foods – they may act as diuretics and can cause a bloating effect.
    Do reach for citrus as well as fruits and vegetables with high water content like watermelon and cucumber which help encourage water loss, again helping to bring down bloating.
  • Think Lite & Turn on the Grill – Summer is the perfect time to lighten up at meal and snack times. Winter’s hearty comfort foods are a thing of the past. Indulge yourself in healthy, satisfying dishes packed with vitamins, minerals and flavor that happen to be on the lighter side. Grilling is an incredibly healthy, easy cooking method that allows you to whittle down the fat and boost aroma and flavor. Get creative and grill up your favorites — chicken breasts, fish, seafood, vegetables, or even some fresh pineapple or peach slices for a new, lite twist on dessert! A little olive oil, fresh lemon or citrus, herbs and spices are excellent ways to enhance grilled foods and bring dishes to life healthfully!
  • Homerun Snacks at Baseball Games – Summertime is synonymous with an exciting baseball game. If you’re worried about what to eat when you head into that extra inning, think again! Surprisingly, you can find some great choices at the ballpark. For a nutritious, satisfying snack, look to the guy selling roasted peanuts. Share the bag with others, though peanuts are loaded with healthy fat, they are high in calories. Aim for a serving, about 28 peanuts (165 calories). If you’re not a nut lover, many stadium concession stands now carry veggie dogs and veggie burgers, an excellent choice without the saturated fat of a regular burger. If nothing else, come prepared…pack a turkey sandwich on whole wheat or some fresh fruit or veggies to snack on. Moderate your beer consumption, enticing as they are. Sip on one or two lite beers and keep water by your side over the course of the big game.
  • On Top of Your Diet & Your Golf Game – Play a round of 18 holes can certainly stir up a hearty appetite. Pack some healthy snacks like fresh cut fruits and vegetables or high fiber crackers and low-fat cheese to bring in the golf cart. Read your hunger cues to keep your metabolism, energy levels, and your golf swing going strong. Allowing yourself to go too long, over 4-5 hours, without any food can set you up for over doing it at your next meal.
  • Handling Happy Hour – Who doesn’t love finishing out a long workday with a cocktail or two, especially when the weather’s warm. But when happy hour invites start piling up, so can the alcohol calories. Drink in moderation, one or two lite beer, glasses of wine or liquor drinks. Switch to club soda or seltzer as a no-calorie mixer instead of sugary tonic water, soda and cranberry juice. Stay hydrated by sipping on a glass of water in between drinks. You can always surpass alcohol altogether and hold onto a glass of refreshing club soda and lime. Let yourself get engrossed in a great conversation with a colleague or friend, remember you’re there to socialize and enjoy the company of others, not just the drinks.
  • Stay Focused on Your Goal — Our most important tip on this list, stay motivated and focused on your ultimate goal! Reward your hard work every now and again, treat yourself to something just for you that’s not food related…a massage, a manicure, a new CD – you pick! Eat healthfully, stay active and restore energy levels with sound sleep and an incredible summer is around the corner.

Health-Friendly Favorites

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Here it is…some of our favorite items for your next grocery list. The sacred list revealed just for you.

The Breakfast Bundle:

  • Kashi GoLean Cereal – You’ve heard us boasting about this cereal again and again. You can’t get much better than 10 grams of fiber, 13g of protein and a mere 6g of sugar all for just 140 calories per cup. Toss in a few blueberries or strawberries, some skim milk, and you’ve got a champion breakfast that’s kind to your waistline and cholesterol. It’ll keep you satiated and energized throughout the morning. Skip over GoLean’s “Crunch” counterpart and save your sugar for a fresh piece of fruit instead! If you need to go easy on your digestive system, check the shelves for Kashi’s Heart to Heart cereal. Still low in sugar and calories it’s another healthful start to your morning.
  • McCanns Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal — Oatmeal’s an excellent, nutrient-rich jumpstart to your morning. Steel cut oats in particular rise above the rest in whole grain content, containing more fiber, iron and B vitamins than standard types of rolled oats. With this hot cereal, a little goes a long way. Though the portion size is just ¼ cup of uncooked oats, the end product is a hearty bowl of steaming oatmeal – a great breakfast to fuel you first thing in the morning or as an energizing snack before hitting the gym or anytime.
  • Fage Total Greek Yogurt (0% or 2%) – So many of you can’t seem to stop raving about Fage yogurt, we just had to include it in our ‘best of’ list. Packed with 7 more grams of protein than most other plain low-fat yogurts, this container of Greek goodness is low in sugar and touts a deliciously creamy consistency. Pair with fresh fruit or a sprinkling of high-fiber cereal and you’ve got a calcium-rich, low-calorie breakfast or sprinkle with cinnamon for a satisfying snack. Stonyfield Farms Organic Low-fat Plain Yogurt and Horizon Organic Non-fat Plain Yogurt are also great choices.

Lovin’ the Lunch Crowd:

  • La Tortilla Wraps – A world of exciting lite lunch options awaits you with La Tortilla wraps. Why are these particular tortillas so darn special? With a mere 50 calories, 8 grams of dietary fiber and 2 grams of fat, you can’t beat the nutrition facts on this label. Most other wrap brands average between 130-250 calories and usually skimp on the fiber content (fiber is digested more slowly and helps us maintain satiety much longer). Choose from a variety of flavors and spice up lunchtime. Get creative with healthful ingredients such as grilled chicken strips, turkey slices, lite tuna salad, a rainbow of veggies, low-fat cheese, avocado slices and much more!
  • Applegate Farms Turkey Slices – No nitrates (chemical preservatives) or antibiotics, low in sodium and very versatile…we’re big fans of this brand name for deli meats. Great for sandwiches, wraps, to toss into salads or even just as a quick, filling snack on their own, test out these turkey slices, we’ll think you’ll be quite pleased.

Snack Attack (Go ahead, you’ve got the tools to handle it!):

  • Low-fat Laughing Cow Cheese – We’re bringing you back to your childhood with these fun circles of red-cased cheese. Low-fat Laughing Cow circles or wedges are super-easy to toss in your work/travel bag when you’re on-the-go or to keep on-hand in your fridge. Just 35 calories a pop and a good source of calcium, 1 or 2 pieces serve as great snacks alone or with high-fiber crackers or apple slices.
  • Glenny’s Soy Crisps – If you craving that ‘chippy’ crunch, we’ve got just the answer. Soy chips pack in crunch, flavor and a nice dose of protein to fill you up without all the extra-calories or hydrogenated fats found in many other chips. Reach for the 1.3oz – with 140 calories and 10 grams of soy protein per bag.
  • Lara Bars – A wholesome, all-natural snack, Lara Bars are made with organic fruits and nuts making them great sources of vitamin E, healthy omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, and fiber not to mention antioxidants and an array of other vitamins and minerals. Be mindful that these bars are slightly higher in calories and healthful fats — excellent to keep around for when you get caught in a bind and hunger hits! They’re also great go-to items for travel, long runs or hikes, or simply running errands all weekend!
  • Gnu Bars – Relatively new to the market, Flavor & Fiber bars by Gnu Foods provide a powerful punch of fiber along with complex carbohydrates that will rev you up around the inevitable 4pm slump. At 130 calories, these are great organic option for an afternoon or pre-workout snack or a quick breakfast on-the-run. Bonus points, the kids will love ‘em too!

DeLITEful Dinners:

  • Amy’s Kitchen Organic Bowls – Can’t bear to think about making dinner after a long day? Skip the high-calorie Chinese take-out and reach into the freezer for an easy, flavorful meal by Amy’s Organics. Don’t fear, you can still go ethnic – high on flavor and healthful ingredients. Amy’s has a great line of vegetarian entrees that convey realistic portion sizes to the tee (amazing what a normal portion looks like isn’t it!). Our favorites happen to be loaded with veggies and protein. In particular, we love the Tofu Vegetable Lasagna, Low-Sodium Brown Rice, Vegetables & Tofu Bowl, Indian Palak Paneer, Indian Mattar Tofu, and Low-Sodium Black Bean Vegetable Enchiladas to name a few!
  • Shirataki Noodles – For all you pasta lovers out there, this favorite pick is for you! Shirataki noodles are a fabulous substitute for pasta or rice in a variety of dishes. Made from tofu, Shirataki noodles go well with any dish or flavoring, Italian, Asian, you name it. And yes, at 40 calories for the entire 8oz serving, you can have the whole bag!

Tasty Treats:

  • Stonyfield Farms Squeezers – Pop these organic yogurt tubes in the freezer for a fun, creamy evening treat for a skinny 60 calories and get a boost of your daily calcium need at the same time!
  • Tofutti Fudge Pop Treats – We’re big chocolate fans, and we know many of you are too! Yes, chocolate, in moderation, can fit into a healthful diet. Satisfying that craving with Tofutti Fudge Pops – rich flavor for only 30 calories!

Movie Theatre Munchies:

  • Smart Pop Mini Bags – Heading to the movie theatres is always a fun activity until you hit the snack bar…watch out for a high-calorie disaster zone! Bypass the movie popcorn, a small with butter is a whopping 580 calories and 47 grams of fat! Instead, bring your own – Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop Mini Bags are a tasty, healthful choice at 110 calories and 2 grams of fat per bag. What a difference, munch away! We also love Good Health Half Naked Popcorn with Olive Oil (but be sure to stick to the 4 cup portion size!)
  • Essence Water (by Glaceau)– Need something cold to go with your popcorn? Essence Water brings a little excitement to your good ol’ H20. Naturally flavored and zero calories, pick your favorite fruited flavor to sip on. Great for when you’re watching the big screen or anytime.

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