In her latest book, Today Show contributor Joy Bauer, R.D., explains that if you make the right diet choices, you can boost your mood, improve your memory and even see healthier skin, hair and teeth (not to mention drop a few pounds)! Bauer gives you her eating prescription in Food Cures, a book that follows her motto "life is hard . . . food should be easy."
Food Cures highlights 17 different conditions or common health complaints and offers solutions or suggestions based on cutting-edge science to eat your way to your goals. We asked Bauer to share three tips to try today for two areas our readers often ask for help with: easing exercise-induced muscle soreness and busting through a weight-loss plateau.
If you experience post-workout aches and pains...
- Eat salmon twice a week. "The omega-3s are potent anti-inflammatories. I like canned if I'm in a hurry or hoisin-glazed," Bauer says.
- Eat one red bell pepper a day. Surprise! Red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as oranges. The vitamin can ease body aches.
- Add a few slices of fresh ginger to hot water. "Ginger has the same compounds in it as many anti-inflammatory medications," Bauer says.
If your weight loss efforts have slowed...
- Spice up your meals. Add hot sauce, jalapenos or other spicy components to your dishes, as they "suppress appetite and rev metabolism," according to Bauer.
- Drink two glasses of water before meals. It will help you feel less hungry by the time you begin to eat.
- Start dinner with vegetables. Whether it's salad, a vegetable-packed soup or a handful of carrots or cucumber slices, these bites will fill you up without many calories.
Looking for a bit more guidance? Try this simple sample meal plan from Food Cures, which Bauer recommends for those trying to lose a few pounds. Bonus: It contains a few of the foods she also recommends for achy muscles.
Click below for the 1,500-calorie multitasking menu.
This low-cal breakfast has staying power, thanks to plenty of protein from eggs and beans. (Photo by Christopher Gallo)
Breakfast Skinny Breakfast Burrito: Beat 1 egg with 2 egg whites. Scramble in a heated pan coated with oil spray. Mix cooked eggs with 1/4 cup black beans and 2 tablespoons shredded fat-free or reduced-fat cheese. Wrap in 1 whole grain tortilla (100 calories or less). Add optional onion, bell pepper, salsa and/or hot sauce.
Lunch Turkey, Cheese and Avocado Sandwich: Layer 4 ounces sliced turkey breast, 1 slice reduced-fat cheese, 2 or 3 thin slices avocado, lettuce, tomato and onion between 2 slices reduced-calorie whole-wheat bread (50 calories or less per slice). Add optional mustard and 2 teaspoons reduced-fat mayo or hummus. Enjoy with 1 cup crunchy red bell pepper strips.
Snack 1 tablespoon peanut butter with celery sticks; ginger tea (hot water mixed with sliced ginger)
Dinner Sweet Salmon over Arugula with Broccoli: Mix 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce and 1 tablespoon honey. Drizzle over 1 wild salmon fillet (6 ounces) and grill or broil 10 to 15 minutes, basting every few minutes. Serve over a large mound of baby arugula leaves tossed with 1 tablespoon lightly toasted, slivered almonds and 2 tablespoons reduced-calorie dressing. Enjoy with unlimited steamed broccoli.
Treat 2 standard cookies
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