The Dieter’s Secret Weapon

almond-coleslawIf you think that weight loss is all about cutting foods out, you’re missing a big part of the picture. Eating more of certain foods can actually help you to lose weight!

Grandma called our secret weapon roughage, and you may know it as Mother Nature’s pipe cleaner, however, it is now being called The Dieter’s Secret Weapon.

What is the Dieter’s Secret Weapon?

FIBER!

Fiber is just about the best thing around if you are watching your weight.

Why Fiber?

Because fiber makes calories disappear. Several studies have shown that people who doubled their intake of fiber from 12 grams of fiber to 24 grams actually cut their calorie absorption by 90 calories a day! That’s a 10-pound weight-loss in a year, without even stepping on a treadmill! Note: Men 50 years of age and younger should consume at least 38 grams of fiber per day, while men older than 50 years of age should aim for at least 30 grams of fiber daily. Women 50 years of age and younger should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day, while women older than 50 years of age should aim for at least 21 grams of fiber daily.

How does fiber prevent calories from ending up on your rear-end and on your belly?

Fiber, which is the cell wall of plants (the part you can’t digest), actually mops up molecules in your digestive tract, such as carbohydrates, fats and sugars—and their calories—and sweeps some of them out of your body when it passes through. What’s more, since you can’t digest it, fiber adds satisfying bulk to food, yet without calories! And, fiber takes longer to work its way through your digestive tract so it staves off hunger. So if you want to fill up and not out, eat foods with fiber, the more the merrier!

Which foods have fiber?

Whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, bran, quinoa, etc.), fruits, vegetables and beans all are great ways to get your fiber. This is excellent news! You don’t have to give up pasta, just eat a little bit less and fill the space in your stomach by tossing veggies in with your pasta. And if you want to go for the best choice and get extra fiber in the process, try whole-wheat pasta with those veggies. And, no need to nix pizza, just use whole-wheat crust and load up on the veggie toppings. And of course, go for the low-fat cheese while you’re at it if you want to save calories and artery clogging fat.

Here are common foods that may contribute to your fiber intake:

  • ½ cup Kelloggs All-bran w/fiber 15 grams
  • 1 medium apple, with skin 3.7 grams
  • 1 cup kidney beans 9.0 grams
  • 1 packet oatmeal, flavored 2.6 grams
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa 3 grams
  • 1 cup whole wheat spaghetti 6.3 grams
  • ½ cup cooked broccoli 2.6 grams
  • 1 medium potato with skin 4.6 grams
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread 2.6 grams

Fiber’s Added Bonus

  • Lowers cholesterol- Soaks up fats and forces them through the body before they can do any damage
  • Lowers risk of heart attack
  • Lowers risk of high blood pressure
  • Lowers risk of stroke
  • Powerful weapon against Type II diabetes (slows glucose absorption)

One word of caution: If you currently don’t consume very much fiber, then add foods with fiber gradually to your diet. Adding fibrous foods too quickly can cause stomach distress, yikes!

What are your favorite ways to get fiber in your day?

For more tips and over 100 delicious recipes to get more fiber, please check out our book The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure.  You’ll also get a 10-day weight loss jumpstart and detox plan.

It’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Day–Get the Energy You Had As A Kid!

If you’re a peanut butter and jelly fan and you’re all for keeping your energy level high like you did when you were a kid, today may just be your lucky day—it’s National Peanut Butter and Jelly day. If you want to have the energy to get that early morning workout in, stay alert at work and be fully charged when you pick up your kids, peanut is just as much your best friend now as it was when you were a kid. It’s packed with staying power with its high protein, fiber and healthy fats that will keep you going strong and it’s a good source of magnesium to help you to make the most of the food that you eat by turning it into energy. Here’s one of our favorite energy boosting PB&J Sandwiches…

PB&J with Banana Coins

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon peanut (crunchy or smooth depending on our mood)
  • 1 teaspoon blueberry jelly or your favorite fruit spread (Welch’s makes some great spreads with no preservatives, artificial flavors or colors)
  • ½ banana, sliced into coins

Directions:

Toast bread. Spread the peanut butter and jelly on the toast. Place banana coins on top of jelly and enjoy!

How do you like your Peanut butter and jelly? Are you crunchy or creamy? What flavor jelly do you like best? What time do you eat your sandwich to give you the best energy?

 

It's Peanut Butter & Jelly Day--Get the Energy You Had As A Kid!
 
PB&J with Banana Coins
Ingredients
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon peanut (crunchy or smooth depending on our mood)
  • 1 teaspoon blueberry jelly or your favorite fruit spread (Welch’s makes some great spreads with no preservatives, artificial flavors or colors)
  • ½ banana, sliced into coins
Instructions
  1. Toast bread. Spread the peanut butter and jelly on the toast. Place banana coins on top of jelly and enjoy!
  2. How do you like your Peanut butter and jelly? Are you crunchy or creamy? What flavor jelly do you like best? What time do you eat your sandwich to give you the best energy?

Good Morning America Health: Five Tricks To Lose 25 Pounds by Summer

Five Tricks… Save Five Pounds with Each! That’s 25 Pounds Saved by Summer!

Trick 1:

The “Eat Out While Dining In” Trick: We all hear that you should eat at home more often because it will save you fat, calories and sodium. The truth: Many people come home and assume that their food is automatically healthier. Not true! Often people actually add a lot of butter to their meals at home as they’re trying to get it to taste like it does at the restaurant. Unfortunately, this adds excess fat and hundreds of calories, just like it does at the restaurant.

The trick: Make your food at home and make it taste like you are eating out, but keep it much healthier. At home use a light spread and pay attention to how much you use—you get the great buttery flavor, but without all of the calories and artery clogging fat. Not only will you cut the calories in half and cut the fat, you’ll save five pounds—between using it in the pan, flavoring your veggies, your omelets, your breads, etc. Make this swap daily and save 5 pounds just in time for summer.

Trick 2:

The “Drink Your Nutrients, Not Your Calories” Trick: The brain doesn’t compensate for calories we drink by making us want to eat fewer calories. So drinking caloric beverages can easily spell weight gain. People seem to forget this!

The trick: Instead of that afternoon Frappuccino, you can go for tea or iced tea with lemon—you still get a little caffeine but you save your waistline. You also get disease fighting antioxidants and lots of flavonoids that help to keep your blood vessels healthy, protect your skin and provide other health benefits. One average-sized, medium Frappuccino has 250 calories (high in sugar). Swap it for tea for big savings. You can even go for flavors like mango green tea or honey and lemon green tea.

Swap this daily to get your afternoon boost and lose 5 pounds by summer!

Trick 3:

The Have Your Cake and Stay on Track Too” TRICK: We’re the first to say that you can have a daily indulgence and lose weight. In fact, this is the secret that will keep you on track so you don’t go off the deep end and binge due to feeling deprived.

The trick: Limit the high calories treats– ice cream, cake, cookies or muffins for calorie controlled delicious treats like Skinny cow or Vita-Tops. Instead of that 600 calorie muffin, go for portion control and go for the Deep Chocolate Vita-Tops which have just 100 calories will conquer a sweet tooth. And instead of that cup of ice cream for your daily dessert (480 calories), have a Skinny Cow Truffle Bar (100-110 calories) so you feel like you’re really indulging.

Make either of these swaps daily and lose 5 pounds by summer.

Trick 4:

Apply our “Italian restaurant” trick: The trick: We love big portions, but to keep the calories in check, we always order a side of steamed veggies (without oil or butter!) to mix right into our meal. This way, when our meal is delivered to the table, we immediately cut the meal in half (such as pasta at an Italian restaurant) and put half of the meal on a bread plate to be put in a doggie bag for another day. Then we dump the big serving of veggies right into the remaining half of the meal. This way, we still feel like we are eating a large plate of food, but we’ve trimmed the calories by several hundred, at the least. Clearly, this is wonderful because you can actually eat pasta and not let the calories get out of hand.

This is so easy and if you use our Italian restaurant trick at least once daily, you’ll lose five pounds by summer.

Trick 5:

The “Trade Your Downward Dog in for A Run with Your Dog” Trick

The trick: Swap yoga for cardio. We all know that yoga is good for you—it increases flexibility and reduces stress. But when it comes to calorie burning, it falls short when compared to cardiovascular exercise. Studies show that when people do yoga, they perceive themselves to be burning a lot more calories than they actually are. It may feel challenging because you are engaging your core, but you’re not truly burning calories the way that you do during cardio. We’re not saying yoga isn’t good, it’s actually great, but it’s not a huge calorie burner. So instead of doing your daily yoga routine, do cardio instead… You burn about 200 calories for an hour of yoga vs. about 450 doing aerobics or speed walking for an hour. (Ideally, keep the yoga and add the cardio!)

Yes, this means you’ll lose 5 pounds by summer!

What of these tricks will you do first to lose 5 pounds by summer?

Kutoa Health Bars: Helping Youth In Need

So proud to be friends with the Kutoa Health Bar Team! Not only do they make delicious, energy-revving and nutritious bars, they also help kids in need! There’s nothing as invigorating as giving back to the community. Look at what Kutoa Health Bars are doing. Talk about doing something to feel good and to boost your energy!

kutoa_bars

For Immediate Release

Covenant House California Partners with KUTOA Health Bars

to Spread the Health to Youth in Need

Covenant House California and KUTOA provide nutritional supplies and education to homeless youth

San Francisco/Los Angeles, March 8, 2012 — Covenant House California (CHC), which helps homeless and at-risk youth, and KUTOA, a company dedicated to creating healthy products and giving back to the community, have joined together to help at-risk teens with their critical nutritional needs.

“The trauma of living on the streets reaches beyond the physical for all of the youth who come to Covenant House California. Homeless kids need immediate help with food, shelter and medical and psychiatric care,” says Melanie Merians, chief development and communications officer for CHC. “But once the kids are safe, we want them to lead happy lives as well as understand the value of keeping both their bodies and minds healthy. This is why the KUTOA partnership is so important for us.”

KUTOA, which debuted its first line of health bar products in October 2011, will supply a large amount of wrapped, non-perishable, all-natural health bars to CHC to help feed hungry youth living on the streets of Los Angeles and Oakland, California as well as those at the CHC campuses.

“Without your health, you have nothing,” says Joey Grassia, KUTOA founder and CEO. “Our health bars are a balanced meal and based from whole, non-processed fruit and nuts – the bars are composed completely of all-natural ingredients. We are deeply inspired by the work of Covenant House California and hope our bars will help these youths to become healthy, contributive members of their community.”

Almost every night, CHC’s Outreach program drives a van through the streets of Los Angeles and the Bay Area to find homeless youth and offer them food, blankets and care. Now, KUTOA will now be an important part of that effort.

In addition, during the month of March, for every KUTOA bar that is sold, another bar will be donated to Covenant House California. KUTOA and CHC will use the KUTOA bars as a jumping off point to teach the youths about health and nutrition. “The kids in our program need to understand the importance of eating good, whole food,” says Merians.

KUTOA Health Bars are 100% natural and are crafted from organic oats, fresh Michigan cherries and blueberries, and raw San Joaquin Valley nuts. The bars are sweet and delicious and come in three varieties: Blueberry Almond, Cherry Cashew and Raisin Peanut.

About Covenant House California:
Covenant House California (“CHC”) is a non-profit agency that saves the lives of at-risk and homeless youth. With campuses in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, CHC offers comprehensive services including crisis shelter, wholesome meals, street outreach, transitional housing, counseling, healthcare, job and life skills training, arts enrichment, mentoring and academic preparation. Since 1988, CHC has impacted the lives of more than 160,000 homeless youth. More than 80 percent of CHC’s funding comes from private donations. For more information about CHC visit their website: www.CovenantHouseCalifornia.org. You can also follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/covenanthousecalifornia or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/covenanthouseca.

An estimated 12,000-15,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 21 are living on the streets

of California. Many of these homeless and runaway teens have aged out of the foster care system and are left to fend for themselves. Many are victims of physical or sexual abuse and are

desperate to escape gang membership or a life of prostitution.

About KUTOA:
KUTOA was founded with the mission to empower change by spreading the most fundamental need for happiness and prosperity – our health. To that end, we have consciously handcrafted delicious health bars that not only allow you to live well, but also enable you to empower change around the world – bars that are both good for you and good for the world.

Our 100% natural health bars are crafted from organic oats, fresh fruit and nuts – never with any preservatives, additives or artificial ingredients. We believe that eating an all-natural diet is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and we have gone through great lengths to ensure that all our ingredients adhere to the highest nutritional standards.

Our delicious all-natural bars are only half of the equation. When you purchase a KUTOA Health Bar, you are not only making a health conscious decision in your own life, you are also giving health to a child in need. The health you give this child will empower them to live a healthy life, go to school, and become a contributing member of their community.

For more information about KUTOA bars: www.kutoa.com. Follow KUTOA on Facebook www.facebook.com/kutoabars and on Twitter www.twitter.com/kutoabars.

Weekend Workout

Weekend Workout

It’s a holiday weekend (YES!), which means an extra day to squeeze in a less- rushed workout! Don’t turn this extra time into a lazy day; use it to feel healthy. happy and energized. Nothing helps you to accomplish these things like a good workout.

  • Take the day to push yourself that extra mile. Workout at home with a video on exercise on demand (if you have it), or grab a yoga DVD to unwind!
  • If you live somewhere where it is warm, go out for a walk or run, or go for a hike if that’s available to you.
  • If you really have the time, try a new class. Our clients tell us they love Zumba, and we’ve found a website that can direct you to the nearest class! http://www.shape.com/fitness/zumba-fitness-class-locator

What’s your favorite workout?

Twice Baked, Twice as Smart Recipe Photo Contest

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We ‘re excited to be working with the Unitied States Potato Bo ard (USPB) on an easy-to-enter Twice Baked, Twice as Smart recipe photo contest in which you could win $500 and a signed copy of our book, The Secret to Skinny! You can enter on our Facebook page by clicking the “Photo Contest” tab, or by visiting the USPB’s Facebook page, Potatoes, Taters and Spuds. Good luck!

We’ve teamed up with the United States Potato Board to remind potato lovers everywhere why potatoes are “twice” as smart and to announce an easy-to-enter recipe photo contest.

“Twice baked potatoes are twice as fun! Plus, you get twice the nutritional punch as potatoes are loaded with vitamin C and potassium.” Not only that, one medium-size (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato contains just 110 calories per serving and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

Including the twice baked recipe is optional, but you are required to describe your twice baked creation with a creative photo caption. Entries will be narrowed down to the top five by a vote on Facebook and then we are so excited to announce that yours truly will serve as contest judges to select the Grand Prize winner and Runner-Up! Entries will be accepted until March 7th.