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Probiotics 101

Written on July 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm , by

A friend of FITNESS for several years, Dr. Chris Mohr is always up for doling out helpful nutrition advice. When he recently swung by the office, he was even telling us about a new probiotic for cholesterol. Still a little confused on what probiotics are and why you should care? Listen in as Chris explains.

Want more? Read up on probiotics here:

 

Super-Satisfying Salads

Written on May 7, 2013 at 9:55 am , by

Garden Tapas with Tuna Salad

Enjoy a complete, satisfying salad so that you’re not hungry later. Photo courtesy of Dole Salads.

By Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD

As summer approaches, we start craving fresh foods. Hello healthy salad season—and just in time to help us slim down for summer!

With the help of Dole Salads, I am posting 31 delicious and simple salad recipes throughout the month of May—enough for a different salad every day.

Here’s the thing about salad: If you make one that’s too light, you’ll be hungry in an hour. But add the wrong ingredients, and your salad can have more calories and fat than a burger and fries. The trick to making a healthy salad that’s a satisfying meal is in the ratio of ingredients.

This the general equation for the perfect entrée salad:

2-3 cups veggies
+
3/4 cup or 3 ounces cooked protein
(~150 calories; beans, egg, turkey, tuna, etc.)
+
3/4 cup cooked grain or starchy carb
(~150 calories; brown rice, whole grain pita, quinoa, baguette, etc.)
+
2-3 Tablespoons fat
(~100 calories; dressing, cheese, nuts, etc.)

Each of this week’s salads has the perfect ratio of ingredients to fill you up without weighing you down. Try one for dinner tonight!

Garden Tapas with Tuna
Who says a salad has to be served in a bowl? This one is served on top of thinly sliced baguette pieces…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package (6 oz.) DOLE Tender Garden, coarsely chopped
  • 2 (2.6 oz.) pouches chunk tuna or 1 (5 oz.) can chunk light tuna in water, drained
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pimento
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons bottled capers, drained
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, coarsely chopped
  • Juice from 1 medium lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 (8 oz.) baguette French bread, cut into 12 slices, toasted
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, mix and toss all ingredients together thoroughly, except baguette. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired.
  2. Top bread slices with salad mixture.
  3. Transfer to plates and season with fresh pepper, if desired.

Serves 4. Serving size: 1/4 salad. 317 calories and 7g fat per serving.

Here are  more Super-Satisfying Salad recipes. Check back next week for a new round of salads!

About the Author: Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified specialist in sports nutrition based in Chicago. She is the author of The Flexitarian Diet. Dawn is working with Dole throughout the month of May to inspire more salad eating.

Flat-Belly Salads

Written on May 1, 2013 at 11:30 am , by

watermelon salad to lose weight

Reach your weight loss goals with a tasty watermelon salad. Photo by Laura Georgy, RD.

By Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD

Happy May! Beach season is right around the corner, so now’s the time to get bikini ready with some delicious and nutritious salad recipes. That’s right—you can eat your way to flatter abs!

With the help of Dole salads and in honor of National Salad Month, I am going to give you yummy, healthy and simple salad recipes every week this month for a total of 31 recipes—enough for a different salad every day. You’ll give your taste buds a treat (no boring salads here!), get more veggies and reach your better-body goals.

Each of the salads below has ingredients proven to help you slim down and fight belly fat. Dig in and you’ll be rocking a two-piece on the beach in no time!

Blue Watermelon Feta Salad
Flat-Belly Ingredient Spotlight: Watermelon
Watermelon has high water content and research shows foods with high water content may help you naturally eat hundreds less calories per meal.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 bag (5oz) Dole arugula
  • 1 cup cubed watermelon
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix lime juice, onion and feta until combined.
  2. Toss with arugula.
  3. Top with watermelon and blueberries.
  4. Culinary Notes: Mixing the lime juice with the onions mellows the onions’ flavor. For a quick dressing anytime, mix your favorite citrus juice with your favorite shredded/crumbled cheese.

Serves 2. Serving size: 3 cups. 130 calories and 5g fat per serving.

Here are  four more Flat-Belly Salad recipes. Check back next week for a new round of salads!

Mango Salad with Ginger Raisin Vinaigrette
Flat-Belly Ingredient Spotlight: Red Wine Vinegar
Vinegar at meals may help increase feelings of fullness, decrease calorie intake by about 70 calories per meal, improve blood sugars after meals and lead to less body fat over time.

Fresh Fruit Salad with Baby Spinach and Yogurt Poppy Seed Dressing
Flat-Belly Ingredient Spotlight: Pineapple
Pineapple contains bromelain, which improves digestion and decreases post-meal bloating.

Granada Seafood Salad
Flat-Belly Ingredient Spotlight: Sardines
Sardines contain omega-3 fat which may control appetite, increase calorie burning and decrease the amount of fat your body stores.

Spinach Salad w/ Thousand Island Yogurt Dressing
Flat-Belly Ingredient Spotlight: Mushrooms
Mushrooms are the only plant-based source of vitamin D, which research suggests may aid in the loss of belly fat.

About the Author: Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified specialist in sports nutrition based in Chicago. She is the author of The Flexitarian Diet. Dawn is working with Dole throughout the month of May to inspire more salad eating.

10 Foods Fit Women Need: Your National Nutrition Month Shopping List!

Written on March 19, 2013 at 9:29 am , by

How many of these items are regularly on your grocery list? (Photo by Peter Ardito)

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.

Read more

Training for a Spring Race? Try These Nutrition Tips

Written on January 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm , by

Morgan rounds the Ottawa Senators up for a cooking workshop this past summer. (Photo courtesy Molly Morgan RD, CDN, CSSD)

It may not feel like it right now, but spring will be here before you know it. If you’re training for a race (like the MORE/FITNESS Half-Marathon in April!) then you know that what you eat is just as important to how many miles you log. To help you reach your goal, Molly Morgan RD, CDN, CSSD and the nutritionist for the Ottawa Senators NHL team shared with us her tips on how to fuel up before, after and during those weekend long runs.

Spring race season is coming up! What are some tips for runners who are beginning to train for a race?

One of the biggest things I recommend is focusing on hydration. Our bodies are made up of 50-70 percent water and being properly hydrated is so important in the performance and recovery stages. So to start, runners should increase their base fluid intake.

What are the rules for hydrating before, during and after a run?

Before a game, or run, or whatever sport you’re doing you should try to drink 16 ounces of water two hours beforehand. Depending on how much you sweat, try to get in another eight to 16 ounces about 15 minutes before heading out the door. During is always the tricky part. Try to get about 6 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes if you’re doing a longer workout. Don’t rely on thirst as an indicator, and do your best to schedule hydration stops as much as you’re able to. After your run, you should drink 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound you lost. Obviously, we don’t all jump on a scale before and after a workout so you just have to use your best judgment. Hydrating afterwards doesn’t have to be instantaneous though, as long as you’re getting the fluids you need within six hours of your run, you’re in good shape. Read more

Need-to-Know Nutrition Advice from The Biggest Loser’s RD

Written on January 28, 2013 at 10:00 am , by

Forberg meets with the contestants every week during filming to make sure they are on the right diet track. (Photo courtesy of Subway)

FITNESS staffers are generally pretty active people, but come Monday nights you find us glued to our couch getting our weekly dose of Bob, Jillian, Dolvett and January cover girl Alison Sweeney on The Biggest Loser. So when we got the chance to chat with the show’s nutritionist, Cheryl Forberg, RD, on behalf of Subway, we jumped at the chance to steal her healthy eating tips that she gives to the contestants. Get some of them below, including ways to live healthy all year long, not just during resolution season.

What are some of the top tips you tell The Biggest Loser contestants when they get to the ranch?

For most of the contestants we are pretty drastically increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption (especially the vegetables), so that’s the first order of business. Next is having a budget of calories that is appropriate to what their body needs and getting quality calories, which is where the exercise part comes in as well. Aside from that I focus on eating their calories and ditching the caloric beverages, drinking more water, not skipping any meals and adding snacks to their diet.

What are some guidelines to keep in mind to keep a healthy diet past the resolution craze of January?

It’s all about planning ahead, because we are all so busy. When you’re not prepared you wind up pulling through a drive-thru or going to a vending machine. Exercise should be written in your date book just like a conference call would be. As for your diet, whether you do weekly menu planning, or get into a routine of what you’ll eat on the way to work, it’s all key. If you’re trying to lose weight, keeping a food journal is really important and something that is mandatory on the ranch. You don’t see it on the show every week but the contestants share their food journals with me every single day. This helps me see the number of calories they are getting and that they are getting enough calcium, protein and healthy fats and carbohydrates. The first week is hard, but we’re creatures of habit so we typically eat the same things every day. Once you look up something once, you won’t have to do it again. Read more

Bethenny Frankel’s Tips to Snack Out of It

Written on December 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm , by

Frankel sticks to nutrient-packed snacks under 200 calories to stay energized. (Photo courtesy of Almond Board of California)

If there is one takeaway from handling the swarm of dinner parties this time of year we’ve learned, it’s that nuts are your friends for keeping the weight off. That’s why Bethenny Frankel, busy mom, entrepreneur and now talk show host is teaming up with the Almond Board of California to share her favorite snack recipes during one of the busiest times of the year. So what’s Frankel’s top snacking tip? “Pay attention to when you’re hungry and what you’re hungry for (sweets, salty, crunchy, etc.) and figure out some go-to healthy choices to fit those cravings.” Check out the recipes below and remember, “Smart snacking doesn’t just mean it’s healthy, it means it is easy!”

Frozen Dark Chocolate Almond Banana Pops

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized bananas, cut in half widthwise
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, melted
  • 8  Popsicle sticks
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped

Directions

In a small heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips. Peel bananas and insert  Popsicle sticks into one end. Spoon chocolate mixture over bananas to coat. Sprinkle with almonds. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Serve frozen.

Nutrition info per serving: 168 calories, 8.5g total fat, 0.9mg cholesterol, 2.1mg sodium, 22.2g carbs, 3.4g dietary fiber, 2.8g protein

Read on for another one of Bethenny’s almond recipes!

Read more

Why You Should Shop a Little Smarter This Month

Written on October 10, 2012 at 10:34 am , by

Look for this seal when you shop for the Fair Trade stamp of approval. (Photo courtesy Fair Trade USA)

Written by Ashley Koff, R.D. FITNESS advisory board member and founder of Ashley Koff Approved

October is a unique time of year.  As summer ends and winter approaches, we make changes to adjust our bodies and minds.  The changing of seasons is a great time to think about our health and power – individually and globally. It’s an important time to learn about women’s empowerment and health issues (such as breast cancer awareness), but also another issue that affects women and sustainable food production directly–Fair Trade Month. It’s a time to think about how everyday purchases affect the lives of millions of families who produce the food that feeds us.

You may think of Fair Trade as a label for your daily cup of coffee, but do you know what’s behind it? Fair Trade certification helps to improve the lives of women and their families across the globe, as well as protect the environment. This really hit home for me when I heard is the story of Maria Filha de Jesus, a coffee farm worker in Brazil who has needed eyeglasses for many years but could not afford them (she is 60!); it was getting harder and harder to do her job and see at home. Now that Maria works on a Fair Trade farm, she receives a wealth of benefits and finally got her long overdue pair of glasses that will allow her to continue working with the ability to pick the best beans possible.

Everyone can help women like Maria with the power of their dollar. Buying Fair Trade Certified products like tea, coffee, chocolate and produce (among others) not only guarantees that you are getting quality products, it means mothers, children and communities worldwide get paid fairly which translates into better healthcare, social care, environmental care and so much more.

That’s why this month is the perfect time to celebrate women’s health and empowerment through your everyday choices. Creating big impact is easy. For example, simply swap one of your staple grocery items with a Fair Trade Certified product. Why not upgrade your morning caffeine routine by switching your typical brew for a cup of Fair Trade Certified coffee paired with a Fair Trade Certified banana? It’s that simple, and makes a bigger difference than you think.

Read on for a Fair Trade recipe perfect for fall from Koff. Read more

The Healthy Eating Tips Jillian Michaels Is Teaching Her Kids

Written on August 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm , by

Jillian makes meals with her kids, which include lots of veggies from their garden! (Photo courtesy of popchips)

It seems since stepping down from The Biggest Loser in 2011 life has gotten even busier for star trainer Jillian Michaels if possible. Aside from numerous TV appearances, her latest DVD Body Revolution and many other projects, she’s also been expanding her family as well! In just one month, Michaels and her partner Hilary Rhoades adopted their daughter Lukensia, from Haiti and gave birth to their son, Phoenix. We got the chance to catch up with the new mom on behalf of popchips to see how she’s teaching her kids healthy eating practices and how she fits in a good workout these days!

Congrats on the new additions to your family! What are some healthy eating tips you’re trying to incorporate into your kids’ lives?

Since the kids are so young (Lukensia is 2 and Phoenix is 3 months old) it is incredibly important that we develop healthy eating habits for them now. Whenever possible, I prefer to make their food myself, so I know exactly what they are eating. As a rule of thumb, I like to suggest to parents to use fruits and vegetables with bright colors, they are the ones with the most nutrients. Having meals at a set time helps establish a routine, making sure both kids are hydrated without resorting to sugary drinks. I also try to feed them organic foods as often as possible. Pesticides and other chemicals are pure poison to their little bodies and need to be avoided. Read more

Omnivore No More: Jackie Rosenlund Shares Why She Went Vegan

Written on July 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm , by

Jackie preps for a cooking scene while filming Eatin' Vegan. (Photo courtesy Maria Lanzillotti/GoodTV)

Jackie preps for a cooking scene while filming Eatin' Vegan. (Photo courtesy Maria Lanzillotti/GoodTV)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

When Jackie Rosenlund was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 19 years old, she decided to make herself feel better from the inside out. By switching to a vegan, plant-based diet she started noticing a shift in her health and spirits. Now she wants to share her journey with you through her new Web series Eatin’ Vegan, debuting on GoodTV in October 2012. We chatted with Jackie on how hard it was to become vegan and how it has impacted her life.

What made you switch from being an omnivore to a vegan?

About three years ago, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I would have painful flare-ups all over my body, in joints I didn’t even know existed! Instead of just following the regular plan of going on a prescription, I decided to seek alternative therapy. I worked with my chiropractor and massage therapist to learn more about how altering my diet would help me manage my pain.

At first I just cut out red meat and that helped a lot, so I explored other options. I became mostly vegetarian last year, but it was daunting to give seafood up. After coming home from traveling through Europe, I wasn’t happy with where my health was at, so I told myself, it was time to be 100 percent vegetarian. The more research I did, it made sense for me that in order to achieve optimal health and avoid future flare-ups, veganism was the answer. I made the full switch about five months ago.

Read more