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Weightloss Salad Extravaganza

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5 Healthy Travel Hacks to Help You Stay on Track

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Traveling isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds. Long drives, cab rides, flights, hours in terminals, and the occasional jaunt through a train station can result in major stress — on the body and mind. For me, travel is a fact of my everyday life. The benefit of that, beyond frequent flyer miles and knowing how to pack very quickly, is knowing the simple tricks to staying healthy while on the go.

So how do you make sure your traveling doesn’t interfere with your healthy habits? Here are my five best tips that you can start today to get back on track!

1. Bring Healthy Snacks With You
The stress of traveling can make you hungry, so it’s a good idea to keep something on hand that will satisfy you. Let’s be honest here, there aren’t many healthy options on an airplane, so packing healthy snacks is your best bet. According to Toronto-based culinary nutritionist Keisha Luke, “Try to bring along some mixed nuts, low-sugar or naturally sweetened with raw honey, maple syrup, agave, or even dried fruit granola, protein balls (natural peanut butter, oatmeal, honey, and nuts), fruits, and opt for water when offered a beverage.”

2. Wear Your Exercise Shoes
Heck, wear your sweats, too! Why? Because exercise clothes and shoes are never out of style, plus dressing for fitness means that you’ll be more likely to walk to your destinations. You’re also more likely to go check out the city, the gym, or the mall a few blocks away without calling a cab.

The more you walk during your time away from home, the better you will feel. Take the long way, take the stairs, whatever you’ve gotta do to keep moving, do it.

3. Order à la Carte
Most meals are already put together for you on many menus, and most of the time you’ll have no idea what the calorie content is. Luke told us to keep it simple: “Order things you know are healthy. For dinners, pick a lean cut of meat and choose sides that are as simple as possible such as steamed veggies, brown rice, quinoa, or a side salad.”

For lunches, choose turkey wraps, salads, or other lighter fare and opt for more simple dressings. Say no to fries as a side, and choose sliced tomatoes, cottage cheese, or even a small salad instead. Remember: there’s no law that says you have to finish everything they put in front of you. We won’t tell your mom, honest!

Breakfast can be tricky with all the sweet treats offered such as pancakes, french toast, and more, so choose wisely and go for good old eggs and oatmeal if you have to. Even a cup of yogurt can be a great option here.

For drinks, stick to water or unsweetened tea. If you drink alcohol, keep it to a minimum and choose wisely. No cola in your mixed drinks; go for unsweetened grapefruit juice or seltzer and lime as a mixer.

4. Bring Your Personal Trainer and Nutritionist With You
Literally! With today’s technology making it possible, you can still travel and complete your sessions with a personal trainer or fitness apps. Either plan ahead with your trainer for some Skype sessions to stay on track, or as certified personal trainer Heather Neff told us, “Use LiftSession.com; all you need is a laptop or tablet and some WiFi (which is usually available and free at hotels) to get in a great workout.”

Mobile personal trainer apps and sites allow you to connect with a live online personal trainer and never miss a workout while you are traveling. You can do it from the comfort of your own hotel room (or mom’s guest bedroom).

You can do the same thing with your nutrition. Either seek out food delivery services that will get your meals to you no matter where you are, or seek out a culinary nutritionist in the city you plan on visiting to give your diet a new kick.

5. Do Your Best and Don’t Dwell on a Mistake
You’re traveling, after all. This is supposed to be an exciting time where you get to try new things and let loose a little. My best advice would be to never eat two bad meals in a row, keep moving as much as you can, and enjoy your time away. In addition to that, try to de-stress and have a little fun. You deserve it.

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50+ Lunch Recipes That Help With Weight Loss (and Are Under 500 Calories!)

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You’re trying to lose weight, so you pack a salad for lunch. But by 2 p.m., you’re famished! In order for a lunch to be filling and help you lose weight, experts say to eat between 20 and 30 grams of protein and at least eight grams of fiber. These under-500-calorie lunches are perfect!

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The 1 Change I Made to Cure 10 Years of Feeling Bloated

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Entering college was supposed to be all bliss and excitement, but I had such terrible digestive issues, I wouldn’t dare stray far from my dorm bathroom. It was so embarrassing, feeling so bloated and being so gassy, the only person I could confide in was, of course, my mother. In her thick Long Island, NY, accent she said, “Aww, yaw just nervous. You’ll feel bettah soon.”

But months later, nothing had changed. I felt happier at college than I’d ever felt in my entire life and I was far from nervous. I still felt like sh*t, though. As a vegetarian who lived on cheese, I was lactose intolerant in a major way, so giving up dairy helped. I even gave up gluten but pretty much felt the same — tired and bloated. Every time I ate, I had digestive pains. Plus, I thought being a gluten-free vegetarian would help me drop my college weight gain, but I was actually gaining more weight.

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Why? Gluten-free baked goods, breads, pastas, and vegan ice cream and cookies were part of my daily diet, so no wonder the scale numbers were going up. And even after giving up gluten for 10 years, my stomach was still a bloated mess. It wasn’t until I ditched the processed junk and started eating more salads, roasted veggies, soups, beans, whole grains, and fruits that I noticed the enormous difference I had been hoping for. I felt energized and lighter, and, most importantly, I had no more belly bloat. I mean NONE. I even started introducing a little gluten back into my diet and still felt amazing.

The cure? Fiber. I wasn’t eating close to enough on my junk-food gluten-free, vegetarian diet. I started focusing on getting at least 25 to 30 grams a day, which worked out to at least eight grams at each meal and three to four grams for each of my two snacks. To ensure I get my fill, I add ground flaxseed and berries to my smoothies and baked goods, chia seeds to my overnight oats, use avocado when I make pesto pasta, and add beans, quinoa, and sunflower seeds to my salads.

I was not only free from the chains of feeling bloated, but eating more fiber filled me up and I wasn’t nearly as hungry as I had been, which helped me eat fewer daily calories, and in, turn lose weight. Talk about a major win-win, people!

American diets tend to focus on getting more protein and eating fewer carbs, so if you find that you’re feeling bloated, gassy, and you can’t remember the last time you pooped, check your fiber intake! As a general rule of thumb, make sure to get fiber every time you eat, whether it’s through veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds, or whole grains. If you need some meal and snack inspiration, check out these recipes:

High-Fiber Breakfast Ideas
Fiber-Filled Smoothies
Top 10 High-Fiber Foods
High-Fiber Snacks
High-Fiber Fruits

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Is There Something Healthier Than Chia Seeds?

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Decisions, decisions. You’re stirring up a bowl of oatmeal, whirling together a smoothie, or baking some muffins. Do you add chia seeds or flaxmeal? You know both offer protein, fiber, and omega-3s, but which one offers more? The comparison chart below will settle this.

1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

Calories
60
37

Total Fat (g)
4
3

Saturated Fat (g)
0
0

Carbs (g)
4
2

Fiber (g)
4
2

Protein (g)
2
1

Calcium (mg)
64
17.9

Iron (mg)
1
0.4

Omega-3s (g)
2.4
1.6

Omega-6s (g)
0.8
0.4

Are you surprised? Although almost twice the calories, chia seeds also offer twice the fiber, protein, and iron. If you go with chia, it offers over three times the calcium and almost double the omega-3s. If you’re trying to get more nutrition bang for your buck, looks like chia is the way to go. Sprinkle seeds on salads, throw them in the blender for your morning smoothie, add them to your overnight oats, or make chia pudding.

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Try This 2017 Healthy Self-Care Challenge

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Reduce stress and live a healthier life this year by making your New Year’s resolution about self-care. With simple, practical indulgences, you’ll find outlets to balance the stresses of your day to day and give yourself the mental strength to take on more challenges in 2017. And it’s not selfish — when you feel better and take better care of yourself, you’re able to give more to others, too. Get after bigger and better goals in the coming months by taking care of number one with some much needed TLC.

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Get at least one massage (more if you can!).
Try a restorative yoga practice.
Start using and diffusing essential oils; try lavender, eucalyptus, rose, and more.
Gratitude journal several times throughout the month to remind yourself of what you’re grateful for.
Find an awesome therapist, and commit to regular sessions.
Spend more time alone, on your own schedule, with no one telling you what to do.
Plan a vacation with your best friend — even if it’s a weekend staycation!
Try acupuncture, reiki, or another natural healing practice.
Spend at least one day a month this year doing an outdoor activity, like forest bathing or grounding.
Find a healthy smoothie or salad recipe that you absolutely love, and make it at least once a month.
Get at least eight hours of sleep a night, especially on weeknights.
Commit to going on a walk daily, even if it’s only five minutes of fresh air outside to clear your head.

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You'll Never Eat Another Gummy Bear or Marshmallow Again After Hearing What It's Made From

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If you look at the ingredients on a package of gummy bears — even organic ones — you’ll see expected things like corn or brown rice syrup and sugar. But you’ll also see something called gelatin. Seems innocent enough, but its source might surprise you. Gelatin is a yellowish, odorless, and nearly tasteless substance that is made by prolonged boiling of skin, cartilage, and bones from animals. It’s made primarily from the stuff meat industries have left over — we’re talking about pork skins, horns, and cattle bones. Ugh.

I guess if you’re into the philosophy of using the whole animal, you’ll be psyched about this. Plus gelatin contains 18 amino acids, so it does offer some nutritional benefits. But if you’re vegan, you’ll definitely want to skip the chewy candies and your great-aunt’s Jell-O mold — it’s made with gelatin, too. This animal-derived ingredient can also be found in some vitamins and medications, marshmallows (not Trader Joe’s — they’re vegan!), cheeses, yogurts, soups, salad dressings, jams and jellies, fruit snacks, and canned hams. If this tidbit of info grosses you out, you’ll want to pay closer attention to these products’ food labels.

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Add Some Pantone 2017 Greenery to Your Workout Wardrobe

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Pantone’s color of the year reminds us of a few things: fresh, new beginnings . . . springtime . . . and also avocados, matcha, and salad. If you’re looking for more of this color (“Greenery”) in your life, and perhaps you also prefer to channel “avocado” when you’re on a run or in the gym, then we have the perfect gear for you.

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Do These 6 Things on Sunday to Lose Weight All Week Long

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You know you should be eating right and exercising all week to reach your weight-loss goals, but when you’re so rushed between work and family responsibilities, it’s tough to have time to make it happen. A little planning goes a long way, so here are some things you can do on Sunday to ensure you stay on a healthy path all week long.

Plan Your Workouts

Don’t just think to yourself that you’ll squeeze in a run here and a trip to the gym there — plan it out. Sit down with your weekly calendar and jot down every workout just as you would doctor’s appointments and meetings. Use this time to call your fitness buddy or trainer to make dates, check out studio schedules to find classes you want to take, and check the week’s weather to figure out which days will be best for outdoor workouts.

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Hit the Hamper

Nothing puts a damper on a workout more than not being able to find a clean sports bra, so do a couple loads before Monday, making sure you have everything you need, from your running tights to yoga tops to the towel you use to wipe sweat from your brow. Lay out your outfits for each day’s workout so you’re not running around the house Tuesday morning trying to find your missing sock.

Gather Your Gear

Collect whatever you need to work out — a yoga mat, sneakers, or earbuds — and make sure everything is set so you can easily grab the items throughout the week. Pack your gym bag, and put it by the door or in your car so you won’t forget it when you leave for the day. If you exercise at home, put your favorite fitness video in the DVD player and lay out your dumbbells and resistance band. Sunday is also a great time to make a couple new playlists to inspire your kick-ass workouts (if you don’t have time, subscribe to our workout playlists on Spotify).

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar
Plan Your Meals and Snacks

Sit down and write out a weekly eating plan including all meals and snacks for the week. If you need a little inspiration, check out these healthy recipes. After making out a grocery list to include everything you’ll need to whip them up, hit the health food store and stock up for the week. Since produce is best enjoyed within a few days of purchasing, note what fruits and veggies you’ll want to pick up halfway through the week.

Make things even easier by prepping in advance: wash, cut, and store veggies to be used in dinner recipes, cut up fruit for smoothies or snacks, and cook up some whole grains and store them in the fridge. Cook some of these make-ahead breakfasts in advance, like a week of overnight oats, or turn on the crockpot to make something you can eat a few nights that week, like these under-400-calorie meals.

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Pack It Up

If you’ll be away from home during the day, cut down on the temptation to go out to lunch or grab a cookie by packing lunches and snacks from home. Making five salads for the week is easy and healthy, or you can whip up a big pot of soup and freeze small portions in glass containers to grab for lunch. Also set aside 10 snacks for the week (two per day), such as Greek yogurt, cheese sticks, and containers of carrots and hummus, or measure out 100-calorie portions of trail mix, whole-grain crackers, or cereal. It’ll probably take about an hour to get it all ready, but it’ll end up saving you time during the rest of the week.

Hit the Hay

Once everything is all set, take a nice hot bath, slip on your PJs, and hop into bed early. Unwind with an evening yoga sequence or a calming book, and you’re more likely to have a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed for the week ahead.

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