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5 Greens You Can Eat to Your Heart’s Content (Kale Not Included)

Written on August 1, 2014 at 10:27 am , by

Written by Macklin Stern, editorial intern

Brace yourselves, FITNESS readers: A global kale shortage may be coming.

Are you still breathing?

Apparently kale is a lot more popular now than it was in 2012 (310 percent more popular, according to recent research from GrubHub), meaning our favorite leafy green may not be as readily available in the near future.

But don’t worry. We’re taking the necessary precautions to help our fellow green freaks cope. We’ve even placed “Kale missing; Reward: happiness and health” signs all over Manhattan (just kidding—though we would if it would help).

We also turned to nutrition expert Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., FITNESS advisory board member, to give us the scoop on some alternative green superfoods that provide similar benefits to kale. All are packed with Vitamin K, which promotes bone health; zeaxanthin and lutein, which are vital for eye health; and iron, which helps carry oxygen throughout the body. And because they’re so good for you (and so low-cal), Bonci suggests eating a cup of these raw veggies each day (or 1/3 cup cooked). Get ready to fill that crisper!

Collard greens: Sauté some onions, toss in a little curry, add a few golden raisins, and you’ve got your next mouth-watering way to gnaw on these babies. “It provides a sweetness that counteracts the natural bitterness of this green,” explains Bonci.

Mustard greens: Into eggs? Try some mustard green frittatas. “I usually take a bunch of different vegetables and egg to hold it together, and then spread about 1/3-cup of  store-bought bruschetta sauce over the top,” she says.

Turnip greens: ”You can take on a Middle Eastern dish, like Sleek (a dish typically full of kale, bulgar wheat and black-eyed peas), but instead of making it with kale, add turnip greens,” she says. “You can sauté it in olive oil, then add in the traditional ingredients. It’s wonderful.”

Spinach: Sprinkle on some lemon olive oil or orange olive oil to bring out the flavor, recommends Bonci. “Doing this won’t bring back those images that people have of slimy spinach in the cafeteria, which is why most people don’t eat it,” she says. Yep, we remember.

Swiss chard: Throw some in a skillet and add a little lemon zest to amp up the “yum” factor, explains Bonci. Then you can use it to build your favorite lunch salad. Easy peasy.

If you do manage to get your hands on some kale and need an extra crunch, learn how to make some scrumptious kale chips. No need for greasy potato chips here.

Photo by Lisa Shin

More from FITNESS:

Get to Know Your Greens

It’s Easy to Be Green: Healthy Recipes for Green Smoothies

Go Green: Superfoods to Add to Your Diet

 

Sipping the (Green) Juice — Right at Home!

Written on July 22, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

We get all hyped up over the green stuff as much as the next gal, but we’ll admit it – those tiny bottles can make a big dent in our wallets. That’s why we’re pumped about the founders of Pressed Juicery‘s new book (on sale today!), Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing and Living WellIn addition to dishing out how juicing can have a place in a healthy diet, they’ve shared over 70 recipes from the shop’s most popular bottles. Below, a sneak peek into the book with three juice recipes you’ll be dying to make today. The best part? Each recipe is surprisingly simple (some require a juicer, others just steep and sip) – with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen. Cheers!

Greens 9

Rich in vitamins C , K, and A, broccoli also has high levels of B vitamins and the minerals manganese and potassium. Broccoli is part of the cruciferous family, which is renowned for a laundry list of health benefits, most notably its anticancer properties. It also contains a key component that aids in hormone balance, spe­cifically targeting harmful xenoestrogens found in substances such as plastics and conventional meat, dairy, and soy. Finally, it is a powerful anti-inflammatory and detoxifying agent, and it promotes colon and cardiovascular health. This recipe also includes alfalfa sprouts. We love sprouts for their concentrated vitamin content and increased enzyme count.

MAKES 1 TO 2 (8-OUNCE) SERVINGS

  • Small handful of alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 6 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 3 kale leaves
  • 3 or 4 florets broccoli, to taste
  • 1 Fuji apple

Lemon Ginger Mint Water

Crush the ginger and mint together with a mortar and pestle or a fork. Combine with the water and lemon slices and allow the mixture to steep for at least 45 min­utes before drinking.

MAKES 2 (16-OUNCE) SERVINGS

  • 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 5 sprigs fresh mint
  • 4 cups water
  • 1⁄2 lemon, sliced

Vanilla Almond Milk

This is one of our most popular menu items. Remember to blend the almonds and water (see below on a quick how-to). Once the con­sistency is smooth, add the rest of the ingredients and blend again until smooth, then strain.

MAKES ABOUT 2 (8-OUNCE) SERVINGS

  • 1 cup raw, organic almonds
  • 2 cups purified water
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • Seeds from 1⁄2 fresh vanilla bean, or 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 date, pitted (optional)

HOW TO BLEND ALMONDS

For Soaking the Nuts:

  • 2 cups of water for every 1/2 cup of almonds

For Blending the Nut Milk

  • 2 cups of water to every 1 cup of almonds

Nut Milk Yields

  • 1 cup of almonds and 2 cups water = 2 cups of almond milk
  • 2 cups of almonds and 4 cups of water = 2 cups of almond milk

Add the desired about of almonds to a container with the required amount of purified water for soaking. Cover and soak for 1 to 2 days, then drain the almonds, rinse them with fresh water, and drain again. Place the soaked almonds in your blender with the required amount of purified water. Pulse the blender at low speed, and then increase the speed to the highest setting and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. You know you’re on the right track when the almonds have formed a fine meal and the water is cloudy and white. (If you’re using a food processor, this step will take about twice as long.) Once the almonds and water are smooth, add sweeteners or other flavorings.

Reprinted with permission from Juice by Carly de Castro, Hedi Gores & Hayden Slater (Ten Speed Press, © 2014).

More from FITNESS: How to Juice for Your Health

What Jessica Alba Eats That You Don’t

Written on June 27, 2014 at 9:50 am , by

Jessica Alba loves salt.

Did that catch you by surprise? We about fell out of our chairs when she said it during a private cooking class last week with Chef Anthony Sasso of New York’s Casa Mono restaurant, but then again, it just means she’s up-to-date on her nutrition news. Maybe she reads FITNESS…

So why were we cooking with Alba? As the new brand ambassador for Zico Coconut Water’s “Crack Life Open” campaign, the actress helped Sasso create various dishes that can all be made using coconut water: a chicken marinade, salad dressing, ice pops, or even chocolate cake. Umm, yum!

Alba is no stranger to flavor (her weaknesses: cheese, crackers, wine, French bread, and all things Mexican—we can totally relate, girlfriend), but she knows what foods to stay away from. “I try to eat as much fresh and natural food as possible,” she says. “I don’t eat a whole lot of processed food or packaged food.”

Well, that explains her perfect bod. She loves kale and butter lettuce, and keeps an abundant supply of fruits and veggies at home for hubby Cash Warren and daughters Honor, 6, and Haven, 2. (When she’s on the go, it’s dried fruit and nuts.) She even has a hanging felt wall that she uses to maintain her herb garden. Amazing!

“We use bananas a lot in the house,” she says. “We use apples, strawberries, and watermelon, but then it also depends on what’s in season. We get a monthly delivery of organic fruits and vegetables and it’s whatever is in our box that we just use.”

Her secret to dishing up the perfect kale salad? “Massaging the kale was something that changed my life,” she says.  “I tried to make it so many times at home and it’s just not the same when you don’t.”

Try it yourself: mix ¼ cup of Zico Coconut Water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper to get the dressing. Knead the kale with your hands into the dressing until the kale becomes soft. Sweeten it up with some peach, plum, and nectarine slices, toss in some blackberries and almonds, and violà! You have a refreshing summer salad with dressing you didn’t just grab off the shelf, and are one step closer to following a Jessica Alba-approved diet. Sign us up!

Photo courtesy of ZICO Premium Coconut Water

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How One Granola Bar Brand Is Saving Lives—Literally!

Fast Food Gone Healthy: Panera Ditches All Artificial Ingredients

Maria Menounos’ 5 Favorite Get-Fit Tips

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

Eat Like an Olympian: Healthy, Travel-Friendly Breakfast Ideas

Written on February 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm , by

Bake scones at the beginning of the week for an easy grab-and-go week-day breakfast! (Photo courtesy of Grain Foods Foundation)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Establishing healthy eating habits can be simple enough at home, especially when it comes to squeezing breakfast into a morning routine. We all know how much it helps us to fuel our minds and bodies through long days, tough workouts and stressful periods of life. But when you throw traveling into the mix, making smart food decisions suddenly becomes a struggle. Even Team USA is having a rough time getting their Greek yogurt fix over in Sochi!

And as we know all too well, available fast food options rarely measure up to the munchies we choose at home on a daily basis. Luckily, Grain Foods Foundation Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D. has some tried-and-true recommendations up his sleeve for those mornings when eating off of a plate just isn’t in the cards. Trust us—prepping homemade breakfast items before a big trip can make a world of difference when you’re standing in that ticket line.

“Eating on the run doesn’t have to be a chore,” says Gaesser. “With just a little planning, travel-friendly options can help you start the day right. Just as Olympians fuel up to perform their best, your breakfast should contain a mix of carbs to give you energy, and protein to keep you satisfied till lunch.” So whether you’re about to log long hours in your car, trek to work via train or face the TSA’s air travel security line, be sure to bring one of these portable breakfasts for easy, instant energy.

Bake these raisin scones the day before heading out of town for a quick dose of whole-grain oats and fiber-rich dried fruit that carries well in your bag.

Prep a super-simple snack mix and pre-portion it into plastic bags for an easy breakfast or afternoon snack. We like this one.

Make healthy breakfast cookies out of your favorite cereal toppings for an easy alternative to your usual routine. The more fruit and nuts, the better!

Trade a bowl of oatmeal for baked oatmeal cups! Perfectly portioned, easily transported and oh-so-delish. Get your recipe here.

Pack a whole-grain pita pocket with peanut butter and banana or apple slices with a dash of cinnamon for an on-the-go breakfast sandwich full of fiber and the good kind of fats.

Want more healthy, travel-ready ideas? Check out this cool “Grains on the Go” infographic.

More from FITNESS:

10 Diet Tips from Olympic Nutritionists

10 U.S. Olympic Hotties in Sochi

No More Excuses: Breakfast Recipes for Every Morning

Game On! Slimmed-Down Recipes for Super Bowl Sunday

Written on January 31, 2014 at 3:06 pm , by

Get the recipe for these Chicken Fajita Bowls below! (photo courtesy of Miki Duisterhof)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

From fit men in spandex to flashy halftime shows and the best commercials of the year, we all sport different reasons for tuning in on Super Bowl Sunday (we obviously can’t wait for Bruno Mars and RHCP). But there’s one thing we can all agree on: game-day snack fest is a surefire way to destroy our diets. “Even a relatively modest consumption of Super Bowl fare—including pizza, potato chips, beef nachos and sodas—adds up to more than 2,000 calories and 81 grams of fat on game day,” says the Calorie Control Council, a non-profit organization that represents the low-calorie and sugar-free food industry. And those estimates don’t even include the meals before kickoff!

Now, we’re not saying you have to be the drag of the party and nibble on lettuce while everyone else chows down on burgers. We love everything in moderation. But to help you keep the best Super Bowl flavor without the excessive calories and fat, we nabbed a few slimmed-down recipes—that taste just like the originals—from , Haylie Pomroy, celebrity nutritionist and best-selling author of The Fast Metabolism Diet. With clients like Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and several NFL athletes in her rotation, we know these football-ready recipes will have us cheering for our fave teams – and keeping our waistlines in tact.

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets

“This nugget makeover uses an unexpected ingredient — sprouted-grain pretzels — for crunch,” says Pomroy. “They’re great for dinner with the family, or as a healthy party snack.” They also use egg whites instead of whole eggs to get more protein without adding fat. Try dipping in mustard for an extra flavor boost.

Serves 5
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

  • 3/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup finely crushed sprouted-grain pretzels (Unique 100% Sprouted Pretzels work well)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning of your choice (such as smoked paprika, chipotle powder, garlic powder or Italian seasoning)
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into bite-size pieces

Read more

Tackle Healthy Tailgating With Top Chef Stefan Richter

Written on November 21, 2013 at 11:44 am , by

The pro’s tailgate time-saving trick: caramelize onions the night before the game for sweet flavor, sans stress. (Photo courtesy of Stefan Richter)

Hot dogs, nachos and burgers are tailgate staples but can lead to healthy practice turnovers. Topping them off with calorie-dense condiments and cocktails? Game over. Cheer on your favorite team (and your own self-control) with these three guilt-free swaps from Top Chef contestant and Stefan’s at L.A. Farm Chef/owner Stefan Richter. Winning never tasted so good.

Add Flavor, Not Fat. “Everyone loves Sloppy Joes!” Richter says. Use lean ground turkey meat instead of beef and add in your favorite veggies like onion, green pepper and metabolism-boosting habanero. “The spicier, the better.” Spoon onto a toasted whole-grain bun from your local bakery and you’re ready for kickoff!

Re-Think Your Drink. What kind of six-pack do you really want? Forget the heavy brews and try Richter’s crowd pleaser: Mulled Cider. “Mix together two quarts apple cider, two allspice berries, a tablespoon of brown sugar and a sliced apple and orange,” he suggests. Lightly simmer on the grill then serve, spiking with a rum or bourbon of your choice for a hot toddy.

On the Light Side. German coleslaw is a must for this Finland native who spent the majority of his childhood in Germany. “We don’t use a mayonnaise base,” he explains. Start by combining a bag of shredded cabbage with chopped onion and green pepper. “For the sauce, boil a cup of brown sugar, a cup of white vinegar, a sprinkle of celery seeds and a half a cup of oil.” Pour over the veggie mix and chill for a refreshing, better version of the unhealthy stuff.

Want to add a festive flair to your football foods? ‘Tis the season to sport your spirit by serving and eating from plates of your team’s colors and logo. “Tailgating is paper plates and Solo cups,” the chef explains. “Why make a mess out of something that’s quick, fun and easy?” Now that deserves a touchdown dance. Hut, hut, hike!

More from FITNESS:

Rocco DiSpirito’s Healthy Tweaks on a Classic Italian Dessert (Recipe Included!)

Written on September 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm , by

Want to cook like Rocco? Check out the best-selling author’s Now Eat This! Italian cookbook for more of his waist-friendly cuisine and tips. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Written by Kristen Haney, editorial intern

While most of us are guilty of digging into a decadent dessert from time to time, these caloric bombs aren’t the best way to maintain a svelte waistline. But at a recent dinner hosted by Shutterfly at New York’s SD-26, celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito gave an array of Italian favorites an image reboot, slashing calories, sugar and fat.

As we snapped away photos to create our own personalized recipe books with Shutterfly’s new Photo Story app, the host of the upcoming syndicated Now Eat This! TV show demonstrated how to make lightened up Italian eats. Our favorite was his insanely easy take on raspberry Italian ice. The dessert blends together in minutes and boasts a fifth of the calories you’d normally find in the icy treat. So next time you’re jonesing for a frozen treat, bust this healthy recipe out and consider your craving curbed.

Dig in! No guilt here with Rocco’s healthy spin on an Italian classic. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

 

Instant Italian Ice
(55 calories/serving)


Ingredients

  • 6 packets Stevia
  • ½ teaspoon xantham gum
  • 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups frozen unsweetened strawberries (do not thaw)

Directions
Mix the Stevia and xantham gum together in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Pour the agave nectar, lemon juice and water into a high-powered blender. Cover and blend until well combined.

Add the stevia and xantham mixture to the blender. Cover and blend on low until the mixture is well combined, about ten seconds. Add the still-frozen strawberries to the blender. Cover and blend on high while pushing the strawberries down into the blade with the wand, until the mixture is smooth but still frozen, about 5 to 10 seconds.

Spoon the strawberry ice into paper cups or chilled bowls and serve immediately. This ice will stay fresh and tasty, tightly covered, in the freezer up to a month. If it is too hard after freezing, simply temper in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving or put in the microwave on high for 5 to 10 seconds until just soft enough to scoop.

More from FITNESS:

Iron Chef Michael Symon Teaches Us How to Bake Healthy Biscuits

 How to Pack a Low-Calorie Picnic: 4 Healthy Recipes

Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day with a Healthy Comfort Food Twist

Fit Links: How Before and After Pics Are Really Made, A Twist on Stuffed Veggies and More!

Written on August 30, 2013 at 11:23 am , by

Stuffing fresh foods with other good-for-you ingredients? We approve.

This week’s fit links from around the web:

  • Hate those gimmicky before/after photos that come with every quick-fix weight loss ad? Us, too. Which is why we love that personal trainer Mel V took matters into her own hands, and posted on Instagram how she created the “I Dropped a Crazy Amount of Weight” images in 15 minutes. - MelVFitness
  • The best city to snag a healthy meal at work? Washington, D.C., you win-Fox News
  • If you think running is enough to counterbalance sitting at a desk all day, you’re wrong. Here’s why sitting is being dubbed the new smoking. – Runner’s World
  • ‘Tis the season of weddings. We love these fun pre-bachelorette party baskets for your bride-to-be (Psssst: We spy a copy of FITNESS in there!) -Peanut Butter Fingers
  • Instead of peppers on your pizza, put the pizza in your peppers! (Say that five times fast) We’re loving this Italian twist on the stuffed veggie. -Healthful Bites

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.