This time of the year, we’re seeing eggs with different colors, patterns and fillings (we’re looking at you, chocolate and peanut butter treats!). Swap the store-bought sweets for the real thing and get health benefits to boot. Here’s why the breakfast staple is an egg-cellent ingredient:
- One egg has only 72 calories but 6g of protein to keep you satisfied.
- They contain lutein to boost your eyesight and choline to keep your memory sharp.
- Eggs contain vitamin D, which most of us don’t get enough of and need to boost immunity.
Get your fill with these slimmed-down recipes, courtesy of Whole Foods Market:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 3/4 pound red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 packed cups (about 4 ounces) baby spinach
- 1 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers, drained well
- 8 eggs, lightly beaten
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick (or well-seasoned cast iron) skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions, and cook about 2 minutes. Add potatoes, salt and pepper, stir well, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, add spinach and toss well. Let cool 10 minutes. Wipe skillet clean. Stir peppers and eggs into potato mixture.
Heat another 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Transfer mixture to skillet and cook, running spatula around edges and gently shaking occasionally to prevent sticking, until eggs are set and bottom is brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Carefully invert onto a large plate. Heat remaining oil in skillet and slide tortilla back in, cooked side up. Cook about 5 minutes to golden brown. Transfer back to plate and let cool at least 10 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.
We’re right in the middle of National Nutrition Month—the perfect time for a pantry raid! We asked Allison Enke, R.D., a dietitian with Whole Foods Market, to help us examine our kitchen shelves and shopping lists to see if we’re picking the proper fueling foods. Keep reading for her picks for the 10 essential items active women need in their pantries, refrigerators and freezers. “These foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients,” says Enke.
1. Oatmeal. Soluble fiber from oatmeal, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Click here for 11 fun ways our readers jazz up a usual bowl of oats!
2. Berries. A handful of frozen berries adds antioxidants and fiber to your morning smoothie or oatmeal. Blueberries are only 80 calories per cup, Enke notes, and they pack a powerful nutrition punch by supporting brain, eye and heart health.
3. Fish. Fatty fish are one of the best foods sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids and also provide vitamin D, a critical nutrient that many women lack (it works with calcium to preserve bone strength). Enke keeps cans of ready-to-serve 365 Everyday Value Wild Alaskan Red Sockeye Salmon in her pantry to add to salads or to make salmon patties for a quick, healthy dinner.
4. Flaxseed. Not a seafood fan? Flaxseeds are also rich in omega-3 fats, and they’re also filled with fiber. Mix a spoonful into oatmeal, Greek yogurt or smoothies to add flavor, texture and nutrition.
5. Quinoa. It contains all 9 essential amino acids as well as bone-boosting minerals like copper, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. Try it in one of these FITNESS fan-favorite meals.
To see the other five foods you should always have on-hand for quick, nutritious meals and snacks, click below.
Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
Rise and shine—it’s workout time! This morning, FITNESS headed to The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers for a little rock climbing to celebrate the launch of ZICO Pure Premium Coconut Water’s latest beverage, ZICO Latte. Coffee and coconut water together at last? This is too good to be true.
After summiting about 35 feet and completing two climbs (hello, full-body workout!), we tested ZICO’s non-dairy, coffee-infused concoction. Billed as “The Official Sponsor of Early Risers,” ZICO Latte contains five electrolytes, provides 45-59mg of natural caffeine and packs as much potassium as a banana. Thanks to its unique flavor fusion—the latte taste takes the forefront and masks the notes of coconut—the drink can both jumpstart your morning and keep you hydrated during your workout.
More from FITNESS: Q&A: When Should I Drink Coconut Water?
Megan Fox. Jennifer Hudson. Amanda Seyfried. Katy Perry. Those are just a few of the celebs trainer Harley Pasternak has whipped into A-list shape. Here at FITNESS, we’ve been getting a lot of Harley time lately (lucky us!). Not only is he the newest member of our advisory board, he recently treated us to an exclusive staff workout to talk about his latest collaboration with New Balance with the New Balance 5 Factor997 for cross-training and his latest book The Body Reset Diet, which helps you lose weight fast (we’re talking five days fast) in a healthy, non-cleansing or detoxing way. See what Harley had to say about his new program below (spoiler–it involves quitting the gym!) and find out why if you don’t already have one, you should go get yourself a blender ASAP!
What prompted you to create this new plan for The Body Reset Diet?
I finally understood the sense of urgency women have in wanting to see a difference in the way they look and feel. They don’t want it to take weeks, they want to see a change this week. It made me realize that I need to offer them a healthy option to quickly drop weight and transform their body. I wanted to talk them out of doing cleanses and using diuretics and show them that there is a healthy way you can lose weight and feel great.
In the book, you map out a three-phase plan to slim down that incorporates smoothies in each phase. What are some common myths you’ve heard in the past from your clients about smoothies?
People definitely don’t know the difference between blending and juicing. They think blending is for body builders and they are all just forms of protein shakes packed with calories that bulk you up. But that’s wrong. Believe it or not, a fresh cold pressed apple juice can have twice the calories of an entire blended meal and four times the sugar! Read more
Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
Did you eat breakfast this morning? Of course you did. So here’s a better question: what exactly did you eat? Thanks to low-carb crazes and high-cholesterol concerns, it can be difficult to make a morning meal decision that leaves you not only feeling full, but energized and ready for the day. To debunk some of the most popular myths, we turned to nutritionist Heidi Skolnik, owner of Nutrition Conditioning, Inc. Can you separate fact from fiction?
Why are there so many misconceptions about healthy breakfast options?
I think we’re just bombarded with information. Nutrition is such a popular topic, and everyone is interested in it. But we get information from all different kinds of places; it’s hard to sift through it and figure out what’s credible and solid and what isn’t.
What’s one of the biggest myths you continually set straight?
“I’m going to save my calories for later. I don’t like to eat breakfast because I can control myself in the morning, and then I can save those calories and eat them at dinner.” That really sabotages anyone who’s trying to lose weight. We know breakfast skippers have higher BMIs (body mass index) than breakfast eaters. When you skip breakfast, you’re way more likely to overeat later. Of course you get hungry later, but you can eat and be satisfied as opposed to eat dinner and raid the refrigerator for the rest of the evening. It’s hard for people to put together that what they eat in the morning affects their appetite at night, but that connection exists.
With that being said, what are some of the healthiest breakfast options?
The very most basic guideline is to include a whole grain, a protein, and a whole fruit or 100 percent fruit juice. An example of that would be a breakfast sandwich: go ahead and get an English muffin with egg and eight ounces of 100 percent Florida Orange Juice, which will give you vitamin C, potassium, folate, phytonutrients – all of those wonderfully occurring nutrients in oranges. Or you can make yourself a yogurt parfait. I happen to like Greek yogurt because it’s high in protein. Add some fruit, granola and some healthy nuts on top.
What are the best on-the-go choices?
If you’re commuting, a whole-wheat pita with some peanut butter and sliced banana is really easy to take and go. You can eat it in the subway, on a train, in a taxi, on a bus – however you commute. Or, if you’re one of those who can’t get it together until work, then keep instant oatmeal at your desk and pair that with some yogurt and juice for a more balanced meal.
Whether you’re an Equinox member or not, the gym just made finding a healthy spot to nosh at as easy as turning a page. That’s because they’ve teamed up with Zagat to create Zagat’s Dining Out. By Equinox. It’s a health-conscious Zagat guide highlighting restaurants located near the 58 Equinox locations in cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Dallas and Washington, D.C. Stop by select Equinox shop locations and pick up your copy to start navigating the restaurants in your area.
The guide helps launch Equinox’s new nutrition philosophy, which consists of 12 pillars of healthy eating (you can read about them at q.equinox.com). We flipped through the book and quickly reached a verdict: We’ve got a lot of eating to do in 2013! And that’s just fine with us.
Zagat’s Dining Out. By Equinox. is available at 28 Equinox stores for $18.95.
More from FITNESS: Eat Out and Still Lose Weight
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
When it comes to food cravings, an ooey gooey slice of pizza is at the top of almost 50% of Americans’ list, according to a study done by Sbarro and Kelton Research. But you don’t have to forgo your favorite food just because you’re trying to slim down. Sbarro recently launched a new menu option, the Skinny Slice, for a diet-friendly way to get your fix. We talked to celebrity nutritionists, Tammy and Lyssie Lakatos, aka the Nutrition Twins, about the new item and how to indulge your cravings and enjoy your favorite foods while still sticking to your weight loss goals.
What makes the Skinny Slice a better option?
It’s loaded with vegetables, like roasted peppers, mushrooms and onions, to fill you up with fewer calories. There’s 270 calories per slice. The pizza is also made with whole milk and real cheese. We use a little less, but the fresh ingredients pack on flavor so you don’t miss anything.
What’s a recipe for healthy pizza you can make at home?
Use a whole wheat pita or tortilla to make it lower in calories. Spread a layer of tomato sauce and use a little cheese and fill up on vegetables. You’ll be satiated that way. A lot of store-bought crusts are thick, so using an open-faced pita or muffin keeps the portion smaller.
When ordering food, what are easy rules to follow?
Rule #1: Stay away from anything fried. It almost doubles the calories. Look for vegetables. High fiber foods will fill you up for fewer calories. Look for what’s grilled, baked or broiled.
How can someone still enjoy their favorite foods while staying healthy? What substitutions can they make?
It’s all about balance and moderation. It’s fine to have a treat. We wouldn’t want to deprive ourselves. If you have a sweet tooth, satisfy chocolate cravings by rolling a date in cocoa powder. You can also take an overripe banana, slice and freeze. It’ll be like chips but super sweet because it’s ripe. Or blend it and make it into a smoothie instead of having ice cream. For something crunchy and salty, celery sticks with all-natural peanut butter is always a hit.
It’s all about portion control. If you have trouble moderating how much you eat, eat something hot or cold so you’re forced to slow down.
Written by Rachel Torgerson, editorial intern
Anyone who watches Down Home with the Neelys on the Food Network knows that Gina Neely likes buttery, southern cooking. So when we heard that she was participating in George Foreman’s Weight Loss Challenge—a 12-week food and exercise plan complete with week-by-week grocery lists—we were more than curious to see how it would pan out. Fast-forward twelve weeks later and Gina’s lost 20 lbs and gained a new, healthy lifestyle. We chatted with her about what changes she’s made (and sticking to!), her favorite recipes and even her Billy Blanks workout tapes.
What inspired you to make these changes in your life?
I think it was just when I went to the doctor and got my physical. She told me my cholesterol was getting a little high. I just said, “You know what? I’ve got to start changing that!” This is my body and if I’m not going to be good to it, it’s not going to be good to me. I said to my girls, “If I don’t do this and make time for myself, if you need me, I’m not going to be around.” And that’s just a really serious part of it: making sure that you’re healthy for your loved ones.
Was it hard to start the challenge?
The first week and a half I noticed my pants fitting a little looser and I was like, “Hey, hey, hey!” I was already doing little things like taking the bun off of my burger, but sticking to the challenge really helped me see the results. I lost 20 lbs and 12 inches by the end.
On the show and in your restaurants, you’re surrounded by food constantly. How do you stay focused and motivated?
When I’m in the restaurant, I’m around food a lot, so it’s kind of just picking at it and filling up. The George Foreman helped me stop doing that so much because it’s a fast meal, as opposed to a bunch of chopping. Because after doing that all day, you don’t want to put effort into dinner; you’re over it. The grill cleans up easy, it makes cooking fun and my girls can use it.
The recipes in FITNESS magazine can’t really be as easy and tasty as the mouthwatering pictures in the magazine make them look, can they? Some readers write in and say they are a bit skeptical, so I (quite an amateur when it comes to the kitchen), decided to put a dish to the test. My hands know their way around a keyboard way better than a cutting board, so believe me when I say everything that I can do, you can as well!
The evening I needed dinner, I was going to indoor cycling class soon after work—meaning I didn’t have much prep time the day of. This also meant that I would need something filling (it was going to be a late meal) yet nutritious (so I wouldn’t undo all of that hard work at the gym). I stumbled upon a yummy-looking fix: Vegetable and Chickpea Curry.
The evening before, I took about 20 minutes to chop all of the vegetables and scooted them into my little slow-cooker dish with the rest of the ingredients to be cooked, which I then placed in the refrigerator. When I came home to change for my workout, I poured in the vegetable broth, put the meal into the slow-cooker and flipped it on high.
By the time I returned from class, my kitchen smelled like an Indian restaurant. I stirred in the light coconut milk and prepared some quick-cooking stove top brown rice, and dinner was ready!
I surprised myself and a pal who joined me for dinner with the gourmet result, which really looked fairly similar to the image in the story, and the taste lived up to the description from the recipe developer. Click below to see the side-by-side pictures and get the recipe to try yourself.