Drink Up! The Top 5 Drinks Of Summer
Most people have a drinking problem.
I hope that got your attention! What I am talking about has nothing to do with martinis. I’m talking about developing a good water drinking habit. Water is first and foremost, the beverage of choice, especially when you’re trying to lose a few (or a lot) of weight. We can also add a few other refreshments that will tote up your liquid quota, without putting on the pounds or rotting your teeth.
But before I give you those lovely libations, let’s talk about water, shall we?
The fact is, your body NEEDS water. If you’re interested in making sure your body uses the nutrients you give it via food, you gotta drink water.
If you’re battling blemishes and want nicer skin, you gotta drink water.
If you’re wanting to avoid constipation -- or what I like to call the ultimate form of procrastination -- you’re gonna want to get friendly with water.
And the best part of being a water drinker is that water totally helps you to pare down the pounds. Never underestimate the very powerful tool of a handy water bottle.
But even a devoted water drinker is going to want a little something else in her glass -- yes, even me!
Top 5 Go-To Drinks For Summer And Anytime!
1) Smoothie Patrol! I love slurping a smoothie, especially first thing in the morning. Just a little plain kefir (good for your digestion) a big handful of frozen blueberries, a scoop of protein powder and some OJ and you’re good to go.
Sometimes I like it thicker and sweeter, so I’ll add a little overly ripe frozen banana. And sometimes, I add a secret ingredient that will make you gag (but you can’t taste it) but ratchet up the nutrients. Wanna know what it is?
Here’s the link to watch me make it!
2) Cranberry Cosmo. We all know the girls from Sex And The City liked theirs straight up, cold and with plenty of vodka! My version is sans vodka and mixed with a little orange juice. Take a glass, add crushed ice, fill half way with orange juice (orange juice is a super food, by the way!) and top with cranberry juice. For optimal nutritional punch, buy the kind in the health food store with no sugar.
3) Lemon Up Iced Tea. This one is simple, easy and extra lemon really helps with the vitamin C quota. Simply brew regular tea, let it cool, squeeze two lemons in a glass, add crushed ice and pour your tea over the top. If you prefer it a little sweeter, try using xylitol to sweeten it up. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and is available in health food stores. This is a safe alternative to artificial sweeteners for both diabetics and non-diabetics alike.
4) Green Gingered Tea. Brew some green, tea and set aside to cool. In a glass, add some crushed ice, grate a little ginger or sprinkle some dried ginger (you don’t need much!) and then add the cooled tea. You’ll be getting the health benefits of both green tea and ginger in one glass, as well as refreshing beverage.
5) Pomegranate Punch. The new darling of the nutrition world, pomegranate offers much more than a bunch of seeds that are hard to eat. The delicious juice actually has more antioxidants than green tea. Mix the juice half and half with either green or black brewed tea and you’ve got a wonderful (and powerful) antioxidant drink that is both refreshing and very healthy.
That’s it from me on the beverage front. I do need to mention however, that while I love everything listed above, water is my go-to beverage and it should be yours, too.
True Lemon also makes True Lime and True Orange. I have all of them. I can tell you they really do add that extra something to my water.
Stay cool this summer and remember, drink up!
Leanne Ely is New York Times Bestselling author and the Dinner Diva at SavingDinner.com. For more information, check out the website, www.savingdinner.com
June 28, 2010
6 Single Serve Must-Haves For The Dieter
You have probably noticed that single serving size products are hot items right now – walk down any aisle in the grocery store right now and you’ll find 100 calorie packs in just about everything!
While most of these items earn thumbs up because of their instant portion (and calorie) control, some are better than others. Many are nutritionally void, so don’t fall prey to impulse buys and “extras” to your diet just because they come in tiny packages.
However, if they help you stay on track because you would otherwise overdo it on the real sized package, then pick some up!
Below are some of my favorite portion controlled products. As you will see, the focus is on convenient and healthy since you know where to find the 100 calorie pack treats!
1. 100 Calorie Packs Emerald Snack Nuts. Even though nuts contain healthy fat and fiber – they are still high in fat, meaning higher in calories. Dipping your hand in the nut bowl too often can add quite a few calories to your day. Go nuts with portion controlled packs instead!
2. Bird’s Eye Steamfresh Singles. Now there is really no excuse to eat your veggies! Just pop one of these perfectly portioned bags in the microwave and you have a side of veggies in an instant!
3. Quaker Oatmeal Simple Harvest Instant Oatmeal. Yes, instant oatmeal is nothing new but what I like about these is that they are lower in sugar and higher in fiber than a lot of instant oatmeal. They even meet my criteria for a healthy cereal pick – less than 10 grams of sugar and more than 3 grams fiber.
4. 100 Calorie Bars (Hershey’s or Reese’s). Alright, you got me – these are not nutritious in the least bit! But, if you really need a chocolate fix, these will do the trick and in a portion controlled way! Sometimes, you just need the real thing – not modified versions of your favorites (like a lot of 100 calorie packs). Keep one in your drawer and not the whole box – like mini candy bars – you might not stop at one!
5. Pre-Cut Fresh Apple Slices. There’s something about a cold sliced crisp apple – yum! Now you can find them in single serve packs in the produce aisle. The bonus – they won’t brown like when you slice them yourself!
6. Sabra Hummus Cup with Pretzel Crisps. Hummus to go – genius! Carry some baby carrots along too and you have a healthy mini meal to go! This is a great pick when you are hungry but want something small from the grocery store.
Shauna Schultz, RD, has the nutrition solutions for all your weight loss questions.
October 1, 2008
Healthy Weight Loss Solutions For Women
The most simple and effective weight loss solution that I've found for women is... eat like a kid again!
If you’re a mom, you more than likely provide your children with healthy meal options and make sure they eat regularly, right? Well, how about you get back to the basics and do the same for yourself?
Besides setting a good example for your children, you’ll eat balanced, portion controlled and healthy meals yourself, leading to better weight management.
Don’t worry, even if you’re not a mom, you can still use the tips below and get back to the simpler things in life!
Try a tip or two a week and you’ll be on your way to being a kid again – who said we can’t go back in time?!
Tricks of the Trade:
• Balance it.
Balanced meals that consist of healthy carbs, protein and a little fat will keep you satisfied longer and provide you with the nutrients your body needs. At every meal, include a whole grain, lean protein, healthy fat and something colorful (aka – fruit or veggie!).
You probably don’t give your kids free access to the cookie jar, right? Apply the same rules to yourself – allow yourself one small treat a day and enjoy.
• Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.
This may be easier said than done, but this is something that you once mastered yourself. Get into the habit of slowing down and rating your hunger on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being starving and 5 being stuffed). Try to not let yourself get to a 1 or 5. This takes practice, but you’ll get the hang of it with practice – it’s time to back to intuitive eating!
• Sit down already!
Get away from the computer, desk or TV and sit down at the table and enjoy your meal. Families who eat together at the table eat healthier. An added bonus, you’ll slow down and master that intuitive eating we just talked about.
• Portion it.
A lot of kids I know freak out when their food touches (and some adults too!). This may seem silly, but you can use this to your advantage. Try packing your lunch in little containers or compartments – you can actually find them online by laptop lunches. These little wonders will work wonders for weight management by providing you with variety and portion controlled meals.
Give a try with the following examples.
Eating “Container Style”
Start with 4 or 5 little containers and fill them with different healthy foods. Include at least one whole grain, one protein, one fruit, one veggie and one “treat.” Here are a few examples:
• Compartment 1: Turkey sandwich on whole wheat with avocado, lettuce and tomato
• Compartment 2: Orange
• Compartment 3/4: Baby carrots with low-fat ranch dressing
• Compartment 5: 1 ounce dark chocolate
• Compartment 1: hummus
• Compartment 2: whole wheat pita bread slices
• Compartment 3: red bell pepper and cucumber slices
• Compartment 4: grapes
• Compartment 5: small oatmeal cookie
Cheese and Crackers:
• Compartment 1: low-fat cheese stick
• Compartment 2: whole wheat crackers and 2-3 ounces lean deli meal
• Compartment 3: cherry tomatoes and broccoli florets
• Compartment 4: light yogurt
• Compartment 5: trail mix with dried fruit and chocolate
Now it’s a family affair!
Shauna Schultz, RD, has the nutrition solutions for all your weight loss questions.
September 22, 2008