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Award-Winning Recipes for Your Oscars Party

Written on February 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm , by

Every year a group of girlfriends and I get together to watch the Oscars. OK, let’s be honest: I have a bunch of girlfriends I get together with. The Oscars happen to be on, but it’s a great excuse to have a girl’s night out and enjoy some wine and great food.

All that aside, though, parties usually leave a lot to be desired in terms of healthy foods. To help keep overindulgence to a minimum, consider serving these dishes (or bringing them to pass!), so everyone can munch in between guessing the winners. After all, between the drinks and the food, those calories can add up quickly, and we want you to dream about donning those red-carpet dresses yourself.

Layered Cheese, Bean and Avocado Dip

You may be familiar with seven-layer dips.  They’re popular, but can add way too much fat and a crazy amount of calories.  This one, however, saves your waistline. First things first: swap traditional sour cream for cottage cheese – it’s a versatile, nutrient-rich ingredient (I like Daisy Brand’s low-fat variety, thanks to it’s small ingredient list and no additives, preservatives or thickeners). Now just follow the recipe below for a protein-packed appetizer to enjoy while watching the stars walk the red carpet.  Since protein boosts satiety, it won’t leave you starving. Now that’s a win-win.

Serves: 16 (5 tablespoons per serving)

Ingredients

  • 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 1/4 cups Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Layer  black beans on a 10-inch serving plate. Layer avocado over beans; drizzle with lime juice. Top with diced tomatoes. Stir cilantro, chili powder, cumin and lime peel into the cottage cheese; layer over tomatoes. If desired, sprinkle with a little additional chili powder, shredded lettuce, and shredded cheese. Serve with chips. For a heartier meal, add grilled chicken or ground beef.

Cos-MOHR-politan

What’s an awards show without some fun drinks? I found this creative, super-tasty recipe (that actually has some nutrients) that won’t totally dehydrate you and leave you with a hangover the next day, thanks to the electrolyte-replenishing coconut water. And at only 45-60 calories per serving, you can serve it straight or use it as a mixer for your party’s signature drink.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz. blended scotch whisky
  • 2 oz. Vita Coco
  • 3 oz. Ginger Beer (or ginger ale)

Build ingredients directly into a rocks glass filled with ice and stir briefly. Garnish with a lime wedge, if desired.

More from FITNESS:

Why Celebrities Shouldn’t Be Fitness Role Models

Skinny Sips for Your Oscar Party

The Best of Oscar Beauty

Healthy (and Not-So-Healthy) Foods That Fool

Written on December 20, 2013 at 9:16 am , by

Go ahead, get a little nutty.

We are questioned all the time about the healthiest this or the best that.  Women in particular are looking for smart, convenient options to feed themselves and their kids. And, sure, we all know carrot sticks and hummus can be a smart, healthy snack, but there are other options that may come as a surprise…and others that you’d think would have a big red X over them, but don’t.

Nuts.  They’re tricky because they are high in fat and calories compared to other munch-worthy foods. To make sure you don’t get fooled, watch your quantity. Two preliminary behavioral nutrition studies from Eastern Illinois University found that you may be able fool yourself into feeling full by watching what you eat—literally. In one experiment, empty pistachio shells may have helped curb calories by acting as a “visual cue” of how many the subjects had eaten. Subjects in this study who left pistachio shells on their desk reduced their calorie consumption by 18 percent, compared to those who routinely removed shells throughout the day. You might look like a bit of a hoarder at your desk, but whatever works, right? Either way, we still recommend clearing it all off before heading home.

Guacamole. Like nuts, this treat from avocados is high in fat, but a super healthy one that’s good for your bod.  It’s easy to DIY: all you need is some avocado, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime juice. But if the thought intimidates you, Wholly Guacamole makes theirs out of nothing but pure ingredients.  Try it out as a dip for veggies, or as a sandwich topper to use in place of mayo.

Frozen Meals. These can be healthy? Yep. In an ideal world, we’d all have beautifully balanced meals on the table each night like Mrs. Cleaver.  But it’s 2013 and that’s not always realistic.  So when you are faced with choosing a frozen meal options, look for one that’s not loaded with preservatives and sodium, and has a small ingredient list. LYFE Kitchen has a new line of tasty meals, and Amy’s Kitchen and Kashi have quality options. Again, this isn’t us giving you permission to pop one of these in the microwave every week, but are they good to have on hand in a pinch? For sure.

Fast Food. We’ve told you it’s possible to do drive-thru the right way, and we’ll say it again, in case you need a gentle reminder. The key is making the best decisions with what’s available.  Subway does a good job of making that easy with the variety of menu items you’re offered, particularly when compared to many other burger or fried chicken joints. I prefer the oven roasted chicken and add spinach, tomato and olive oil.  I get the protein I’m looking for, yet it’s not fried like foods you’d find at most other quick-service restaurants.

Related: Get more nutrition and women’s health advice from Chris and Kara Mohr.

3 Healthy Candy Swaps for Trick or Treating

Written on October 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm , by

Consider handing out a little less sugar. (Photo by Bryan McCay)

Happy almost-Halloween! Outside of the topic of costumes, the next important topic revolving around this ghoulish holiday is, of course, the candy.

With two kids, we’ll be hitting up the trick-or-treating circuit. I don’t know who will get more, but I do know that in either case it’s. A. Lot.  Estimates suggest kids eat about 3 cups worth of candy on Halloween night alone.  That doesn’t even speak to the leftovers for the next week or so!

If you and your family want to enjoy candy, enjoy candy. Our girls will, within reason. We usually have them pick their 5 favorites and then toss the rest.

But candy isn’t just coming into the house. Sometimes it just stays there, never leaving. After all, who’s guilty of buying too much candy when they invite trick-or-treaters to their doorstep? I know we have. For a fighting chance in the battle of the bulge, consider picking some better-for-you choices this year. That way, when your neighborhood kids don’t come in droves like you expect, you’ll still have some goodies to munch on (nom, nom, nom). Need some ideas? These are the 3 we’ll be offering:

Wonderful Pistachios. These are a go-to Halloween giveaway for us.  It started last year when our then-3.5-year-old saw the little bags in the grocery store and wanted some.  Always happy to oblige when she asks for quality foods, we picked them up. To our surprise, we actually had several kids thank us for giving something different, and their parents were equally as happy.  Less sugar highs! They can be found in a 1-oz. bag, providing just 80 calories of nutrient-rich goodness without any added sugars.

POM POMS are new treats we’ll try this year, now that they’re for sale in convenient individual containers. Handing out fresh pomegranates might be a bit weird, so these prepackaged seeds are ideal. POM arils (the edible seeds) are nutritious, delivering nutrients like vitamins C & K, potassium and fiber, among others.  They’re crunchy.  They’re sweet.  And they’re nice for variety to move away from the typical candy.  The downside: they can be messy, so help your kids eat them (and steal some for yourself to enjoy in cottage cheese, Greek yogurt or just as a plain snack).

Justin’s 80-Calorie Nut Butter Packs.  OK, these might just be a bit too addicting.  I was recently introduced to them at the Annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conference. They’re convenient, healthy and packed with nutrition.

Now while you might be thinking our house will get egged, last year when we gave out Pistachios and mini Clif Bars, we actually had several “thank you’s” from parents…and even their kids. Think about it, and enjoy your trick or treating!

Related: Get more nutrition and women’s health advice from Chris and Kara Mohr. 

3 Top Supplements for Women

Written on October 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm , by

Photo by Flickr user stevendepolo.

Photo by Flickr user stevendepolo.

Here at Mohr Results, we get more questions about dietary supplements than anything else.  Women often want to know about the “best” supplement for fat loss or skin health, while sometimes it’s about energy, bone health, or general wellness.

Since the question comes up so often, we thought we’d share some of our favorites.   But remember that supplements aren’t in place of a poor diet, but instead a complement to veggies, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats and grains.  We actually refer to them as “complements” instead of supplements, since the intention is that they do just that.  That being said, here are three complements/supplements we encourage adding to your own diet.

Fish Oil

If we could take just one ‘complement’ this would be it.  Most people do not get enough omega-3 fats.  We certainly encourage increasing omega-3’s in the diet by eating more cold water fish — like wild salmon, anchovies and sardines — but also understand that these aren’t always the most popular.  To complement our intake of fatty fish, we add Nordic Naturals fish oil to our daily regimen for us and our girls, who are 4 years-old and nearly 2 years-old.  Omega-3 fats are important for heart health, brain health, recovery from workouts and so much more.  A recent study even showed that up to 96,000 people die each year from not getting enough omega-3 fats.

Multivitamin

When it comes to nutrition, the whole is better than the sum of the parts.  In other words, ingredients and foods eaten together offer more benefit than a single nutrient.  A quality multivitamin is an example of this in supplement form, providing a variety of essential vitamins and minerals important to the diet.  We use, like, and trust Rainbow Light for Women and Rainbow Light for Men (for the guy in your life).  The nutrients come from whole foods (versus just isolated nutrients) to complement what we eat in our diet.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another common deficiency in the diet.  It is challenging to get D from the diet; it comes from foods like sardines and anchovies, egg yolks, milk, and to an extent, mushrooms.  But  many people typically don’t usually eat enough of these foods, and relying on Vitamin D from the sun just exposes you to other health problems. (Using sunscreen is critical since it protects us from harmful UV rays, but it also blocks vitamin D conversion.) Most experts encourage a minimum of 1000 IU’s daily, which is easily found in a variety of ‘compliments.’

We both also use protein, regularly, but hardly consider that a supplement; it’s just a convenient source of nutrition.

Of course some women may have some other unique needs, like calcium or iron. But when considering the “basics” of what we believe all women would benefit from, it’s these 3 supplements.  Daily.

RELATED: Get more nutrition and women’s health advice from Chris and Kara Mohr.

4 Tips for Top-Notch Health

Written on May 16, 2013 at 3:31 am , by

Chris Mohr Fitness

Dr. Christopher Mohr, PhD RD is a nutrition spokesperson and co-founder of MohrResults.com with his wife, Dr. Kara Mohr, PhD.

I am surrounded by estrogen.

My wife and I have two daughters. We run Mohr Results Women Only Fitness Boot Camp. I am a Registered Dietitian, a profession that is 97% female. And I currently have pink toenails after our almost 4 year-old thought it would be fun to “paint daddy’s toenails like mine.”

It’s fitting, then, that I would be writing about ways to celebrate YOU — for National Women’s Health Week.  Of course, at Fitness magazine, every week is women’s health week…but now the rest of the country jumped on board and this whole week has officially been a week to celebrate YOU.

So: How do YOU celebrate YOU?

Taking care of your body from the inside out (and the outside in) is surely a great start. That means fueling your body with quality nutrients to perform at your peak, physically and mentally.  Physically, it may be at the gym and/or playing mom and chasing little ones around all day.  Mentally, it may be at the office and THEN chasing little ones around all day.

Regardless, the foods you fuel your body with can make or break you.  After all, don’t you want to have the most energy possible instead of wanting to curl up and excuse yourself from the rest of the world?

Here are 4 ways to support your health:

1. Two words: Move. More.  We are not meant to sit all day, every day.  If you work a traditional 9-5 type job, though, this is exactly what happens.

2. Hydrate. Your goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces (if you weigh 150 pounds, that is 75 ounces, or around 9 cups of water daily). Try adding some citrus fruit to water, or a splash of juice to seltzer, to make it more appealing.

3. Snack smart. Eating frequent meals can keep your energy up, curb cravings and help feed your body the fuel it needs to chase after kids, stay focused at work or whatever it may be. The key is that snacks should: 1) include some protein, 2) include healthy fats, 3) be convenient 4) include fiber (bonus!).

KIND Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein (OMG!) is one of our faves—it has a little added protein boost, healthy fat AND 3 grams of fiber all packaged in convenient awesomeness.  These are awesome because they A) taste great, B) offer satisfying protein and fiber C) provide healthy fats.

4. Fuel Your Body with Fresh, Quality Foods.  This is an important one.  Outside of the snacks you choose, the other meals you eat are important too.  Start with a quality breakfast (eggs, oats, a homemade smoothie, or even just a piece of fruit and some nuts) and then follow it up with a quality lunch and dinner.

Now, the lunch and dinner parts can be tricky.  You’re on the go, challenged on what to eat, or maybe don’t like to cook.  The same “rules” apply for meals as they do snacks — protein + healthy fat + fiber = awesome.  For an on the go option, I love Subway’s Double Chicken Chopped Salad.

There you have it.  Four super easy, practical strategies to take care of you.  When you take care of you, you aren’t just taking better take care of everyone else, you’re also celebrating YOU.

RELATED: Get more nutrition and women’s health advice from Chris and Kara Mohr.

Heart Health Tips to Live By

Written on May 6, 2013 at 11:11 am , by

people jogging with dog

Your pooch’s heart health will be better, too! Photo by Christa Renee

A few months ago, we were reminded during “heart month” about how heart disease kills way too many women. As the seasons change and some of us feel reinvigorated to revamp their diets and routine, we want to urge you to remember these super-simple steps to reduce your chances of heart disease. By employing these easy strategies, you’re helping to make sure you don’t wind up a statistic.

1. Engage in at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity, 5 days/week.  This isn’t for weight loss but basic heart health.  Whatever exercise you like — walking, cycling, weight lifting, swimming — works, though variety is ideal.  No matter how busy you are, everyone has the time, so try to make it!

2. Stand up.  Sitting is the new smoking.  Where can you find time in your day to stand and move , beyond structured physical activity?  Maybe rather than watching TV, you go for a family walk before or after dinner.  Start a walking group at work or investigate stand-up desks if you work at home.  If you have dogs, take them for a walk instead just letting them out back.  There are a lot of opportunities to move — you just need to be creative, take control and make a conscious effort to make you a priority.

3. Eat more omega-3 fats.  Omega-3 fats are amazing for us. The best way to get them in the diet is from foods like wild seafood (salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies), among others.  Read more

One More Time: 3 Healthy Foods for Your Heart!

Written on February 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm , by

Photo by Flickr user Boz Bros.

Photo by Flickr user Boz Bros.

You know by now that February is American Heart Month…but since heart disease is the #1 killer in America and this month is a shorty, it’s worth reminding you about some healthy foods that can lower your risk:

1. “Good” Fat. The low fat craze in the early 90‘s had it all wrong. Our favorite healthy fats are olive, canola and fish oil.  The last you can’t cook with, but the first two are great to use in place of less healthy options like soybean oil, shortening, or margarine.

As for fish oil, there are a lot of data suggesting adding fish oil — AKA omega 3 fat — can drastically improve health, including the health of your heart.  In our house we use, like, and trust Nordic Naturals — our children (a 3 ½ and 1 year-old) both take it daily.

2. Dark Chocolate. The key is picking a quality dark chocolate; we use 100% raw cacao if baking or making hot chocolate. (Aim for 70%+ cacao if eating it by itself, which it usually tells you on bar). Dark chocolate can help improve cholesterol, circulation, and insulin resistance, while reducing blood pressure.

3. Eggs.  Say what? The “high in cholesterol” whole eggs? Absolutely. Here’s the sunny side of eggs—we love the data on how eating eggs can help you lose weight.  One study compared subjects eating a bagel breakfast vs. an equal amount of calories from eggs. The result? The egg group lost almost twice as much weight and had an 83 percent greater decrease in their waistlines.

-Chris and Kara Mohr, mohrresults.com

 

3 Smart Superbowl Snack Ideas

Written on January 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm , by

Pigs in a Blanket

Step away from these little piggies. Photo courtesy of Flickr user kalebdf.

You’re just one month out from the New Year’s Resolutions you set.  And if you’re like many people, fat loss was at the top of that resolution list.

But can you guess the average amount of calories an American consumes while snacking during the Superbowl?

About 1,200. This doesn’t include meals or drinks. (!)

So what can you do? Swear off all the wings, guac, chips, and beer while cheering for your favorite team?  That’s certainly not realistic…so let’s instead share some options that would be better. Try these snacks this year:

1. In-Shell Pistachios – Yes, pistachios are high in fat, but it’s super-healthy fat. With all the other food options around, in-shell pistachios can help you slow down because it takes time to remove that shell and you won’t be mindlessly munching. Adding to this snack strategy: Keep a bowl in sight that has the shells that were removed  – seeing how much you’ve already had might just curb how much you eat during the game. (FYI, we’re personal fans of the Wonderful Pistachio Sweet Chili flavor.)

2. Pizza! Kashi now makes frozen pizzas that are great (and less expensive than what you’d pay from a traditional pizza chain!).  The BBQ Recipe Chicken pizza is a really good, unique, and may very well appeal to those guests who would normally crave wings instead.

3. White Bean Dip – A strong-flavored dip is a great trick because it makes you feel satiated, it won’t break the bank in terms of calories, and you can pair it with heathier chips. (We’re partial to the Food Should Taste Good brand.) But back to the dip… here’s a recipe from Food Network’s Giada De Laurentilis that’s a big hit in our house.

Happy munching!

-Chris and Kara Mohr, mohrresults.com

3 Ways to Enjoy Cranberries

Written on December 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm , by

 

cranberries antioxidant food

Photo by Lynn Klapperich

Since it’s cranberry season and the little fruits are loaded with antioxidants, we wanted to share a few ideas of how to enjoy them…other than getting out your can opener. Cranberries are very tart on their own — our daughter Ella tried one around Thanksgiving and made the cutest, scrunched up face — your best bet is to incorporate cranberries into other foods.

Here are three ways to enjoy the nutrient dense, super healthy berry into your diet:

 Add a handful to a smoothie.  Mix 1/4 cup whole cranberries, 1 cup unsweetened coconut almond milk, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 scoop whey protein powder and a splash of your favorite juice (Welch’s 100% purple grape juice works well).  Blend until smooth and you reach desired consistency.

•Try a Cranberry SOYJOY bar. These  bars include whole fruit and are one of our must-haves for when we take long drives.  With 140 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, SOYJOY is a great snack on the go snack.   While heating them isn’t an option the car, when at home, unwrap them and put them in the microwave for 10 seconds for a really great treat.

•Add dried cranberries to a bowl of oats.  Now the key here is to read the label to find the ones sweetened without sugar; some brands sweeten with apple juice, which is a better option.  Fresh is always best, but it’s a little tougher on the palate with cranberries.

There you have it.  A few options to incorporate this great for your berry into your diet, outside of just the gelatinized sauce in a can.

Happy Holidays!

-Chris and Kara Mohr, mohrresults.com

Related from FITNESS: Top 10 Healthy Foods with Antioxidants

Q&A: What Should I Feed My Kids?

Written on September 12, 2012 at 8:45 am , by

pistachios

Photo by Mike Jensen.

Nutrition pros and FITNESS contributors Chris and Kara Mohr answer your pressing diet Q’s…

—-

September means one thing to moms across the country: Back. To. School!

Though there’s certainly a bit of sadness — time with the kiddos is reduced, pools are closed, vacations are over and freedom comes to a screeching halt — let’s be honest, there’s also a sigh of relief for both moms and kids.

One question that always comes up from the moms we work with, though, is “What should I feed my kids at school?”

It’s tough sorting all the messaging, marketing and information companies throw at us. So we wanted to share a few things we do for our daughter that have seemed to work well.  Fueling kids’ bodies is important.  They’re active, they’re learning, and they need to stay alert.  Soft drinks and sugar laden snacks won’t do it. But fiber, protein, healthy fats and the right fluids will.

Let’s  look at four smart options within those categories above and aren’t overly processed, high in sugar, or full of junky ingredients.  The best part of all of these: They’re all perfect for kids (and adults).

1. Wonderful Pistachios.  These are a personal favorite in the Mohr House.  Our 3 year old loves them because they’re fun to “crack open” and of course taste good.  We love them because we know she’s eating something great for her.  Outside of that — you get the most “bang for your buck” with these little green buggers at 49 nuts per serving!  They’re great for after school, at the office and because they’re non perishable, on the go.  Since they’re a good source of fiber, healthy fat and protein, they’re also great for satisfying cravings and keeping your energy consistent between meals.

2. Oranges and Grapefruits.  These aren’t more ‘magical’ than other fruits, but their tough skin makes them more durable and therefore portable, without getting bruised.  And kids like the wedges since they’re more “fun” to eat than many others fruit options.

3. Apple & Peanut Butter Sandwiches.  Ella, our 3 year old, LOVES these.  The apple slices act as the “bread” and the peanut butter holds them together.  Slice an apple thin, spread a side with peanut butter — just like you would with a sandwich — put them together and voila, a fantastic snack.  The apples are of course fantastic for you with all their vitamins, minerals and fiber.  And the natural peanut butter is loaded with healthy fat and protein to help fill you up as well.

4. Sabra Hummus cups.  We love hummus.  And we like that Sabra came out with little individual serving size cups.  They’re convenient, they’re high in fiber and protein, and when you use veggie sticks, like celery or carrots, as the vehicle of delivery, it’s even better.  Enjoy.

That’s it.  Four, super easy, super convenient, and amazingly healthy snacks (that your kids will love).  Pack these in their lunch boxes to help load them up with a great fuel and plenty of goodness.