Having celiac disease or an allergy to gluten can make simple things like dining out and grocery shopping much more challenging. You learn to become a label-reading whiz and know just the right questions to ask your waiter before ordering an item off the menu. But as much as we can try to be gluten ninjas, we still need a little help along the way. If you're an iPhone owner, here are some apps that will come in handy when you're on the go.
I generally stick to a rigid exercise routine and focus on eating fresh, healthy foods in moderation, but when the calendar turns to my birthday week, or I'm attending a celebration like a wedding, I like to let loose and enjoy the more decadent foods I love without reservations. Peanut butter cups. Artisan mac and cheese. Cake. Sign me up. I'll happily work it off later so I can enjoy the moment.
Birthday or not, so-called cheat days give you something to look forward to and can prevent you from feeling deprived. While the notion isn't for everyone (especially if you're actively trying to shed pounds), celebs like Jessica Biel and Sandra Bullock practice this same technique, and trainers like Harley Pasternak even encourage the method.
Do you sneak in a few extra servings of your favorite things on special days, or do you shun sweets and fancy eats in the name of healthy habits regardless of the celebration?
Source: Flickr User saechang
This post is from the OnSugar blog An Outside Eye. Read her thoughts on doing a three-month elimination diet.
I just finished up three straight months of a fascist eating program courtesy of my insightful and talented acupuncturist, Caylie See. As I wrote about in the beginning, I went cold turkey off coffee and tea, sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy, vinegar, soy, potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, among other things. I also took Chinese herbs three times a day for three months, swallowed a handful of acidophilus pills every morning, got needles stuck up in me weekly, did yoga regularly (yup), started hiking more, journaled every day, and just generally took immaculate and spectacular care of myself.
Now that I am wrapping up this program, people in my life are asking me how I feel. "You must feel amazing," they say.
The truth is, I don't feel that much more amazing than I did before — which was far from amazing. (What is the opposite of "amazing"?) My size six jeans still don't fit by a long shot; I still get a stomachache every single time I get anxious (which is always); yoga still feels like torture; I still can't walk straight up a hill without getting winded and really irritable. I still need 10 hours of sleep a night and feel like I have the flu if I don't get it. I still get nasty PMS and I still feel mildly congested and sinusy most of the time.
To find out what positive things came from the diet, read more
"I'd be crazy to sit here and tell you that I've never thought about it. [But] I never can beat myself up about it. I definitely am not restrictive. [Laughs.] You're a human being, you live once and life is wonderful, so eat the damn red velvet cupcake."
— Emma Stone on the pressure to measure up to Hollywood's standard of staying skinny. Emma is one of three actresses photographed by Matthias Vriens-McGrath for Glamour's May issue, which will be on newsstands April 5. Ashley Greene and Freida Pinto were also chosen by the magazine to show off bright floral looks for the Spring.
I love bread, something that became very apparent to me while doing the Remove diet. Since gluten was off-limits, I tried my share of gluten-free bread, and from my own experience, most of it is not good. Store-brand gluten-free breads are rock hard and are really only edible when toasted, but even then, they're still pretty bad. It ended up being easier to give up bread altogether than eat the gluten-free stuff. That was until I found Udi's Gluten Free Foods — a line of bread products that could easily pass for having gluten in them.
The first thing that you notice about Udi's is that it's not sold in the frozen-food aisle with all the other gluten-free bread. Udi's has somehow managed to come up with a bread that is shelf-stable and can be eaten directly from the package; no heating necessary. Then you'll notice how light Udi's is — it's airy, moist, and looks like bread. It also tastes good, and for those living with celiac disease, it's a chance to enjoy good bread, muffins, bagels, and pizza crust without having to make them yourself. Udi's will also fool your gluten-eating friends. It was weeks before my boyfriend realized that he was eating gluten-free bread. Compare that to the previous gluten-free bread I had that he promptly spit out.
Months after ending the Remove diet, I'm still eating Udi's bread. Partly because it's good, and because it's good for me. Having learned that I'm sensitive to gluten, I now pick and choose when and what gluten-based products I eat. Having Udi's makes it easy to enjoy toast with my eggs, a healthy pizza for dinner, or a sandwich for lunch. And while I don't know how they make it unlike any other GF bread on the market, mu guess is it's because Udi's comes from a group of artisan bakers. Udi's already had several cafes and bakeries in Colorado before coming up with a bread for their gluten-intolerant friends. I'm just glad that they eventually made their way into stores.
Do you treat yourself as well as you treat your friends and family? A growing area of psychological research called self-compassion suggests that giving our selves a break and accepting our imperfections can lead to better health and can help beat depression and anxiety. It turns out, people who find it easy to be supportive and understanding of others tend to score quite low on self-compassion tests, putting themselves down for their own perceived failures like being over weight and not exercising.
Self-compassion is not to be confused with self-indulgence, notes Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field. It may seem obvious to be kind to yourself, but Neff, an associate professor of human development at the University of Texas at Austin, told The New York Times, “[People] believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.” She uses the example of a parent whose child is doing poorly in school. Most parents would offer support, such as a tutor. But when adults find themselves in a similar situation — struggling at work or eating too much junk food--they fall into a cycle of negativity and self-criticism. “The problem is that it’s hard to unlearn habits of a lifetime,” Neff said. “People have to actively and consciously develop the habit of self-compassion.”
Could self-compassion lead to life-satisfaction? Try turning around your thinking of self-deprecation and deprivation and imagine how you would treat a small child who loved very much. How would you support them and help them feel better and be healthier? How can you be kind to yourself in this moment?
Posing in a pink bikini, actress Vanessa Hudgens looks ab-tastic on Shape magazine's April cover. In the issue, the star opens up about her favorite workouts (kickboxing, Pilates, and spinning) and gets real about her 2007 fast-food addiction. Four years later, Vanessa is eating healthy and kicking major butt in the action-packed Sucker Punch (out in theaters on March 25), a role she had to get in major shape for. Check out what else Vanessa had to say:
- On her past fast-food addiction: "I was so unhealthy. I used to go to Cold Stone Creamery, get a tub of Butterfinger ice cream and eat it all before bedtime. And my fingers were permanently stained orange from Cheetos . . . I lived on Hot Pockets and never touched vegetables; I needed to do something about my diet."
- On her now love of healthy eating: "It's [spinach salad with grilled chicken or salmon, almonds, feta, truffle oil, and Himalayan sea salt] my favorite meal . . . I like egg white omelets with veggies or oatmeal with almonds and fruit . . . When you're putting good stuff into your body, you feel so much better."
- On the benefits of working out: "Exercise is amazing from the inside out. I feel so alive and have more energy."
See what Vanessa had to say about staying in shape when you read more
Here are four weight loss lessons that OnSugar blogger Coach Lark Says learned from the A&E series, Heavy.
What I like about the A&E show Heavy compared to The Biggest Loser is that it demonstrates clearly how challenging it is to achieve lasting weight loss. Under a 100-percent controlled diet and with full-time trainers for five to six hours a day on a strenuous exercise program, these people are losing one to two pounds a day.
Then, after a month, they go home to see if they can keep losing weight. They get a trainer at home and the council of a nutritionist. Frequently, they gain weight back during the period when they have to integrate the program back into their daily lives.
It’s a struggle, but all the episodes I’ve seen, ended with weight loss of 90-150 pounds after six months.
The take home message:
- Find ways to bring accountability into your diet. Know how many calories you are consuming roughly and add them up each day. A food journal for a month or two can be very educational.
- Know that a 300 lb. person exercising intensely for five to six hours a day can subsist healthily on 1,200-2,000 calories a day. When you eat this lightly, you only feel like you are starving. Your body will actually love it.
- Work out hard to stoke your metabolism. By building strong muscles you get tons of energy, look great, and burn more calories — allowing you to consume more without weight gain.
- No one’s body is perfect. We are all a bunch of beautiful weirdos. So get comfortable with your body and show it some love! It’s the only body you’ve got, after all. Might as well accept it.
A favorite tech accessory is getting an update, and shelves will be stocked with the new iPad 2 this Friday at 5 p.m. But if you haven't been able to justify shelling out $500 or more on the tablet, you may want to peruse the health and fitness options for the device. From gorgeous instruction videos to calorie counters, there are several apps to motivate you to be your healthy best.
As of now, apps for other popular tablets like the Android-powered Motorola Xoom or Samsung Galaxy Tab are few and far between, but if you're thinking about grabbing an iPad 2 this week, check out these healthy apps for the iPad after the break.
I like to have a glass half full outlook on life, so when I learned that my croissant-obsessed days were over, I got creative in the kitchen, real creative. And not only that, but what I learned is that staying away from white rice and its cohorts is actually much better for me healthwise! Compared to white rice, brown rice is light years ahead in terms of nutritional value. Did you know that if you eat just two servings of brown rice a week, you can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, while eating white rice on a regular basis increases the chances of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent? Here's a little tip for all you sushi lovers: If a restaurant doesn't offer brown rice sushi, ask them if they can make your sushi without the rice. Tell them you're not a stickler if it falls apart and they'll usually oblige.
White rice is what's inside brown rice after the brown rice is polished down, removing the bran and the beneficial nutrients. Keep reading to see a white rice vs. brown rice comparison chart.