A bottled Frappuccino is tasty, but at 200 calories and 31 grams of sugar, it's not the best option for a caffeine fix. Enter Coco Cafe. This bottled coffee beverage is made with hydrating coconut water, so not only does it bring down sugar and calorie counts, but it also contains more potassium than a banana! Keep watching to hear what we think of its latest flavor offerings!
There's nothing like biting into a homemade cookie right out of the oven, but all the butter, eggs, and cream add fat, cholesterol, and calories to your diet. If you can omit those ingredients and make your recipes vegan, you'll be doing your heart and your waistline a favor. Don't want to compromise on flavor? Of course, you don't. Here are five easy ways to veganize basic desserts so your butter-loving self will hardly notice the difference.
- For eggs: You probably remember making volcanoes when you were a kid using baking soda and vinegar. That amazing foaming reaction can offer the same binding qualities as an egg. For every egg, use one tablespoon of vinegar along with one teaspoon of baking soda. This egg replacer works best in cakes, cookies, muffins, and quick breads. If you want more fiber in your baked good, make flax eggs by mixing two and a half teaspoons flax meal and three tablespoons of water.
- For butter: Instead of fat-and-cholesterol-filled butter or shortening, choose either avocado, banana, or prune puree. Whatever the amount of butter the recipe calls for, use half fruit puree and half Earth Balance margarine. Try it in cookie, cake, and quick bread recipes.
- For milk or yogurt: This substitution is a cinch since soy, almond, and coconut milk taste like dairy milk. Choose vanilla-flavored for an even sweeter treat. The same goes for recipes that call for yogurt or sour cream. Just replace those ingredients with either soy or coconut milk yogurt. And tofutti cream cheese is made with soy but tastes so much like regular cream cheese that it makes a perfect vegan substitute.
- For buttermilk: Mix one cup of soy or almond milk with one tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and let stand for five to 10 minutes.
- For chocolate: Semisweet chocolate chips aren't vegan, but what's a chocolate chip cookie without them? Go for dark chocolate chips instead, like the ones used in these Vegan Samoas. Just be sure to read the label since some brands contain milk. Add a little espresso powder for a richer chocolaty flavor.
Curious if your foodie habits are hindering your workout results? Our friends at Health share five common missteps and how you can make healthy changes.
By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD
Whether you earn your living working up a sweat, or squeeze in workouts when you can, it's easy to fall prey to eating errors that unintentionally hold you back from getting the most out of your workouts. Here are five common missteps I see, and how to correct them to reap the rewards of your hard work.
Eating too little fat
Despite my recommendations to include good fats at every meal, like avocado, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil, some of my clients remain fat phobic, and will scale back, fearing that fat is "fattening." But the truth is, getting enough fat is a smart strategy for both sports nutrition and weight control, because fat: delays stomach emptying, so you feel fuller longer; increases satiety, to shut off hunger hormones; boosts antioxidant absorption, which in emerging research is related to leanness; and ups metabolic rate, to help you burn more calories. In fact, fat is one of the most vital nutrients in your diet, because it's a structural part of your cells, which means you can't heal a cell or construct a new one without enough fat to perform these important jobs. Cutting back too much can result in fatigue, chronic hunger, or a lack of satiety, irritability, depression, a weaker immune system, and an increased injury risk. So even if you're trying to reduce your body fat percentage, don't be afraid to add almond butter to a smoothie, top your salad with avocado, and sauté your veggies in extra virgin olive oil. Filling the fat gap can be the key to finally seeing results.
Using a sports drink when you really don't need one
If you sweat heavily, work out for more than 90 minutes, or exercise in hot, humid conditions, reaching for a sports drink rather than plain water is a smart way to keep hydrated, stay fueled, and replace the electrolytes lost in sweat. But if you're exercising for less than an hour and a half, in a climate-controlled gym, plain water should be fine. The carbs in sports drinks are designed to keep you going when you can't stop to eat, but if your muscles don't need the fuel, just one 20 ounce bottle means consuming a surplus 35 grams of sugar, the amount in about 20 gummy bears. And while unsweetened coconut water is a little lower, an 11-ounce jug still contains 15 grams of potentially unneeded carbs.
Keep reading for more three more mistakes.
Do you, like me, equate sun-filled May days with outdoor eating and drinking? If so, then you'll spring for this speedy, supersimple, no-cook bean salad.
Macaroni and potato salads may get most of the love, but I'd argue the unsung hero of the picnic is actually the bean salad: it's light, full of wholesome ingredients, and satisfying. This six-bean version in particular boasts a symphony of flavors; it's sweet, savory, tangy, a little bit spicy, and bright (thanks to the addition of fresh dill). Best of all, it's free of any cream or mayonnaise, so you'll never have to worry about it baking in the Summer sun.
Get the effortless bean salad recipe now.
You're famished after a tough, heart-pumping, muscle-burning workout and you're ready to grab a snack. It's important to choose a healthy pick-me-up to refuel your body as well as repair and build your muscles — so no, a doughnut isn't the best choice. Aim for a snack that contains more carbs than protein and a little bit of fat. A rough ratio could be 25 percent protein, 60 percent carbs, and 15 percent fats. Be sure to eat your around 150-calorie snack within 30 minutes of completing your workout. Here are a few you can try.
Vanilla Banana Protein Smoothie
Photo: Leta Shy
Carbs: 25 grams
Fat: 1 gram
Protein: 16 grams
Honey Cinnamon Chickpeas
Carbs: 23 grams
Protein: 6.2 grams
Creamy Peanut Buttery Apples With Grapes
Carbs: 21.5 grams
Protein: 8.4 grams
Keep reading for two more post-workout snack ideas.
High in vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber, red bell peppers make a perfect accompaniment to protein-rich lentils in this low-calorie recipe. Even better news? You'll be surprised at how large an under-250-calorie portion of this cheesy red pepper and lentil bake really is. Make a batch of this dish ahead of time and reheat throughout the week for a quick evening meal.
If your hair is dull, dry, and brittle, forget spending tons of money on shampoos and styling products that claim to offer shine and moisture. You need to replenish your hair from the inside out! Made from hair-healthy ingredients like Greek yogurt, blueberries, and kidney beans, this smoothie will help moisturize the scalp and encourage growth. The beans also offer biotin, which is not only great for your hair, but for your skin as well.
This under 400-calorie smoothie contains almost 20 grams of protein. If you're skeptical about the beans and spinach, the fruit overpowers their mild flavors so you hardly even notice they're there.
If you feel like you're falling off the fit wagon, look to this quote for inspiration. Remember that consistency is your key to success.
There's nothing better than some grilled goodness for Memorial Day weekend. If you've taken on a vegan or vegetarian diet and you're tired of those prepackaged burgers, you're in luck. There's something to tempt vegans regardless of their preferences, from white bean to black bean to portobello — no one-size-fits-all here! Click through to get inspired for your start-of-Summer backyard BBQ bliss or a weeknight supper.
In the beginning of a weight-loss journey, pounds melt away like ice on a hot Summer's day. But as you get closer to your goal, it's not unusual to hit a plateau. Here's how to keep those pounds dropping and keep the weight off for good.
- Beef up your workouts: If you've been steadily working out and following the same routine, your body has probably grown accustomed to the routine. Rattle your body's chain a little and kick up the intensity of your workouts to further challenge your muscles. Work out longer or harder, increase the size weights you're lifting, do more reps of strength-training moves and vary the order, or try doing two workouts in one day.
- Go for fiber: Since your metabolism is already working pretty efficiently, eat fibrous foods that take longer to digest, so your body has to expend more energy to break them down. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, and legumes are where it's at, but focus on these foods with the highest amounts of fiber.
- Include these foods: Imbalances in your digestive tract have been linked to weight gain, so to restore the balance of bacteria in your gut, eat nonfat yogurt for the probiotics. Lack of calcium as well as vitamin D can also make it harder to lose weight, so be sure to eat dairy products and these calcium-rich fruits and veggies, as well as these foods high in vitamin D. Omega-3s are also vital for a healthy metabolism, so include fish, eggs, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds in your diet too.
- Get your z's: Not getting adequate sleep (at least six hours) can also decrease leptin, the hormone that makes you feel satiated, while it increases ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Research shows that feeling sluggish the following day causes you to eat an average of 549 extra calories without even realizing it. Lack of sleep also slows down your metabolism, making you burn 20 percent fewer calories a day.
- Cut out the cocktails: Boozy beverages not only offer your body empty calories, but since your body is working so hard to get rid of toxins, they also inhibit the production of glucose, which is needed for maintaining normal blood sugar levels and in turn slows down your metabolism. Not to mention, getting a little tipsy also clouds your judgment so you're more likely to say yes to another cosmo and a slice of cheesecake to go with it. Go for water or metabolism-boosting green tea instead.