For people sensitive to gluten eating enough fiber can be tough, which does not make a body happy. A diet lacking in fiber can spell problems for the digestive system since it relies on fiber to "stay regular." That's not all: fiber reduces your risk of breast cancer, treats belly bloat, and helps you feel fuller, longer. Being gluten-free might make foods like whole wheat, rye, and barley off-limits, but it doesn't mean you can't get fiber the natural way. Keep reading to learn about some of the best gluten-free sources available and how to cook with them.
Having trouble losing those five pounds you've been swearing off since the start of the new year? While you may be working tirelessly to rid yourself of that last pesky weight, you may be duping your own body into failure without even knowing it. Come check out these five reasons why you may not be meeting your weight loss goal.
- Your H20 level: Are you drinking enough water? You may not be getting enough to keep your body burning the calories and fat you've been trying to get rid of. Keeping hydrated will help you to keep your metabolism going and the calories burning.
- Don't forget breakfast: While you don't need to load up on flapjacks and sausage, you should eat a healthy breakfast to get your day started. If you get going without any fuel in the tank, your tummy may trick you into snacking on the wrong things or eating an over-sized lunch.
- Empty calorie sips: Check the nutritional data on your coffee or sodas to make sure you're not taking down too many empty calories. An easy fix? Switch to plain old water. See point number one!
Ready to see points four and five? Just read more
We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!
The "Godfather of Fitness," the adorable and inspiring Jack LaLanne, passed away on Sunday at the age of 96.
Check out this video of LaLanne talking about his book, "Live Young Forever." Our favorite quote: "I can't afford to die, I'd wreck my image." It's impossible to wreck your image, Jack. You are an American icon and will be missed!
Here are 5 things we learned from the man who started a fitness revolution:
- Strength Training Is Essential: Jack came onto the fitness scene when lifting weights was reserved for body builders, like the Governator. But through his fitness clubs and TV show, he helped Americans realize that strength training isn't just about baby oil and bulging biceps. It's about stabilizing joints, jacking up our metabolisms, burning more fat and allowing us to live more active, longer lives.
- Eat a High-Fiber Diet: And make it mostly fruits and veggies. As LaLanne once said: "How do you build your your bank account? By putting something in it every day. Your health account is no different. What I do today, I am wearing tomorrow. If I put inferior foods in my body today, I'm going to be inferior tomorrow, it's that simple." Inspired? Order his juicer! We're big fans.
If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then a banana a day may keep the leg cramps away. When people hear the word potassium, they often think immediately of bananas. While the yellow fruit may be a decent source of the essential nutrient, it doesn't pack the most punch. Why, you may ask, do we need a good dose of potassium? In addition to the mineral potentially helping to reduce hypertension, it can also help with bone growth and muscle cramping. So all you long distance runners or those with fragile bones should check out these five foods that are chock full of the good stuff.
I once had a trainer who couldn't help himself from chanting, "An idle minute is a minute wasted." Given, his job is to keep bodies in motion and lifting weights, but he's got a point. When I'm at home sitting on the couch, I can hear his voice as I urge myself to do squats or other exercises during commercial breaks. While those moments in front of the tube are priceless, there are plenty of other unusual places you can squat it out, too. Come check them out!
It's unfortunate but true: most women don't eat the 25 to 30 grams recommended daily for fiber. Not only does getting your fill of fiber keep you regular, which flattens your belly, it also satiates your hunger helping to curb overeating. Most importantly, eating the recommended daily intake of fiber also helps lower your cholesterol, prevents heart disease, and reduces your risk for breast cancer.
If all those healthy reasons and a flatter belly have you questioning how to meet this quota, check out my list of 10 snacks to add to your fiber intake.
- 1 medium pear: 5 g
- 1/4 cup dried blueberries: 5 g
- 3/4 cup Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal: 6 g
- 3 figs: 10.5 g
- Almond & Apricot KIND bar: 5 g
To see the other five snacks read more
Whether you're thinking about bikini season or getting ready for your wedding day, abdominal exercises are a great way to strengthen your core, improve your posture, and put you on the path to fabulous shape. And the more you focus, the more effective your ab work will be.
Check out some of my favorite crunchless ab exercises, then add some oomph with these five tips below.
- Pull your navel to your spine. This classic Pilates refrain reminds you to engage your abs and focus your efforts on those muscles. For the lower abs, picture an imaginary line about two to three inches below your belly button, and pull that line toward your spine too.
- Add a light weight. To increase the challenge, hold a light dumbbell or medicine ball in front of your chest.
- Bring your legs together. When doing ab work on a stability ball, bringing your legs closer together will make it tougher to balance, thereby making your core work harder.
- Don't rest between reps. Keep your muscles engaged by not allowing your head or shoulder blades to touch as you come down from each move.
- Avoid using momentum. To ensure that your abs are working as hard as possible, control your movements and avoid using momentum. It's even OK to pause between reps (just don't put your head down!) if you keep your abs tight through the range of motion.
Earth Day is turning 40 this year, which is a great excuse to make your healthy lifestyle even healthier. And while I know most of you are already doing your part by recycling and wearing eco-friendly clothes, there's always more that we can do to green our fitness. Here are five healthy (and simple) ways to celebrate Earth Day this week.
- Bike to work. Not only is riding a bike good for your health, it's great for the environment too. Pedaling everywhere helps you conserve the planet's resources and reduce the amount of pollutants going into the air. Compared to a car, it also takes way less energy and parts to manufacture and ship a bike to consumers. If biking just isn't an option for you, take public transportation or try carpooling instead.
- Use less energy. Reducing how many things you turn on and switch off is a no-brainer, but use Earth Day as an excuse to really unplug. Reducing energy has its health benefits too: taking the stairs is a great way to burn calories, and turning off your computer or TV is a great way to de-stress and increase social interaction.
To find out how else I'll be celebrating Earth Day, read more
Biking is my favorite form of locomotion. The world moves by at the perfect pace when pedaling. You can take in the view and still feel the wind in your face. Riding a bike is a great green way to get around since you can travel a greater distance in a shorter time when compared to walking, and it can be faster than driving, depending on gridlock traffic.
Here are five reasons to bike to work, bike about town, and bike for errands:
- Eco: Let's start with the greenest reason — biking reduces your carbon footprint. Using pedal power, rather than fossil fuels, for short trips and commutes can reduce your carbon emissions by an estimated 11 percent.
- Cardio: Cycling is a wonderful, joint-friendly form of exercise. Instead of burning oil, you burn calories on your bike. Biking for 30 minutes at a moderate pace burns around 230 calories
- Strength: Biking about town builds leg strength. Pedaling tones your quads and hamstrings as well as your calves, helping you get ready for the short shorts of Summer. Tone your gams while maximizing your pedal power.
See two other reasons to hop on your bike when you read more
While it's a bit strange that a holiday associated with a bunny also includes eggs, it's one of the reasons I love Easter so much. Even if you don't have kids, dyeing eggs is a fun activity to do with friends — any excuse to be social is a good one! After the celebration is over I often see a lot of eggs going to waste, but instead of throwing them out why not keep them? Since hard boiled eggs stay good in the fridge for up to a week, enjoy them as an afternoon snack or use them in a salad or sandwich. Better yet, make a batch of these delicious (and better for you!) not so devilish eggs.
If you're still not convinced, here are five reasons to enjoy Easter eggs after Sunday:
- The majority of an egg's nutrients are in its yolk. An egg yolk is full of B vitamins, iron, and vitamin D. And while it's true that most of an egg's fat and cholesterol are also in its yolk, the American Health Association says that eating one egg a day is OK: the cholesterol found in an egg's yolk is counterbalanced by all that good stuff.
- One large egg has about 70 calories, making it a low-calorie, nutritious snack.
- Eggs are high in the amino acid leucine, which helps muscles utilize the fuel glucose. This means it's a great source of protein that helps preserve muscle mass and provides power, strength, and energy. Make them your go-to pre-workout snack!
- Eggs are rich in choline, a nutrient essential to healthy brain function including memory.
- Just like carrots, eggs are good for the eyes. Eggs contain lutein, a type of carotenoid that helps fight macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness.