Five Easy Ways to Eat More Spinach (Your Muscles Will Thank You, Says Science)

by Siobhan O’Connor

Siobhan O’Connor is a natural beauty and health expert and the co-author, with Alexandra Spunt, of the blog No More Dirty Looks.

It turns out that Popeye was onto something: Besides providing the body with protein, iron, powerful antioxidants, and a natural glow, spinach may also benefit muscle building. So much for the puny-vegetarian stereotype!

And since it’s such a health superstar, we’re going to tell you how to incorporate it into your diet without having to think too much about it. Here’s why.

The Daily is reporting on a new(ish) study published in Cell Metabolism which showed that eating spinach may help muscles work more efficiently during exercise. Apparently the inorganic nitrate found in spinach does this by fueling mitochondria—the little engines in our cells that could—with more energy on less oxygen. The lead scientist on the study, Dr. Eddie Weitzberg, compared it to being able to run a car on less fuel but at the same speed.

Whether or not you’re taking the GOOD 30-day challenge or did our own Vegan For a Week Challenge (and have been following ourMeatless Monday recipe series), eating more spinach is a great idea. Its mild flavor makes it one of the most versatile super foods, and it pairs easily with (or hidden in) just about anything. Because you can buy it frozen it’s also convenient and affordable.

Here are a few no-brainer ways to add it to a meal:

Hidden in smoothies: You can load a smoothie with spinach and still have it taste like vanilla ice cream—it’s truly an incredible trick for anyone who thinks they hate veggies (if you’re dealing with a finicky kid—or as I was, a finicky man—just add blueberries to hide the color). Smoothies are also a happy home for spinach because the iron is more readily absorbed with vitamin C, which is found abundantly in fruits. Go for strawberries right now—they have a ton of C and they’re in season (at least in California).

In omelettes: Whether you want to power up at breakfast, or make a lazy dinner, adding spinach to an omelette will take it to the next level. I like doing a Greek-inspired fast frittata with olive oil, onion, and feta. Just saute the onions in a pan that can go in the oven, then add the spinach and let it cook down for a minute. Then pour in your eggs and let that sit until it looks like the bottom half is cooked; then sprinkle it with feta, salt, and pepper and throw it in the oven under the broiler. When the eggs brown at the edges and the feta bubbles you’re done. Takes ten minutes, tastes gourmet.

With pasta or on pizza: It really doesn’t matter whether you like a red sauce, a cream sauce, or a simple olive oil drizzle on your pasta or pizza—spinach pairs with all. You can easily add it to something store-bought but a recent taste triumph at my house involved frozen peas and spinach sauteed in olive oil and garlic in a pan. To that I added the brown rice pasta from Trader Joe’s (cooked of course), some red chili flakes, lemon juice, and lots of salt and pepper. If you’re vegan you’re done (or you can add some nutritional yeast to taste). If you like cheese, throw in some parmesan. If you want meat in there, prosciutto works great.

As a side: This is basically the same as above but without the pasta. Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan with some chopped garlic and saute your spinach for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste along with a squeeze of lemon juice (for both flavor and some vitamin C).

In a salad: Spinach can be added to just about any salad—from a caesar to a chopped to a simple olive oil and vinegar variety. I like making a good vegan caesar dressing with the following: 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs vegenaise, 1 tsp dijon, juice of a lemon, 1 tbs of capers (if you like them), 1 tsp of nutritional yeast (if you have it/like it), and salt and pepper to taste. (Note: if you use the capers you may not need the salt, taste it first.) Do a romaine and fresh spinach mix and add anything you like to it: You can go traditional with croutons and parmesan, or make it more of a mixed vegetable salad with artichoke hearts, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Ok, your turn! What’s your favorite way to use this muscle-building age-fighter?

Photo (cc) from Flickr user srqpix

 

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52 of the Healthiest Superfoods

Fill up on these nutrient packed foods. They can help you fight disease, feel more energetic and even lose weight!

Step into any supermarket and you’ll see thousands of labels shouting good-health claims: Whole grains! No trans fats! Essential vitamins and minerals! But figuring out what really is part of a healthy diet is getting harder and harder in these days of information overload. And it shows in the sobering statistics: 68% of Americans are overweight or obese—which is a big reason more of us are developing diseases such as diabetes, and at younger ages.

 To fight off disease, fill up on these nutrient-packed foods instead. Feel more energetic and even lose weight.

52 Superfoods

  1. Eggs Each egg has 6 grams of protein but just 72 calories. No wonder researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, found that eating eggs for breakfast (as part of a low-cal diet) helps you slim down.
  2. Tomato sauce It’s loaded with lycopene, which makes your skin look younger and keeps your heart healthy. In fact, a Harvard study found that women with the most lycopene in their blood reduced their risk of a heart attack by 34%.
  3. Dried plums (prunes) They’re packed with polyphenols, plant chemicals that have been shown to boost bone density by stimulating your bone-building cells.
  4.  Walnuts Just 14 walnut halves provide more than twice your daily dose of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that’s been shown to improve memory and coordination.
  5.  Brussels sprouts They have more glucosinolates (compounds that combat cancer and detoxify our bodies) than any other vegetable. For a side dish that will make you wonder why you’ve been avoiding them, slice each one into quarters, then sauté in olive oil with chopped sweet Vidalia onions.
  6. Acai juice A glass or two of this anthocyanin-rich berry juice can dramatically boost the amount of antioxidants in your blood, say Texas A&M University researchers.
  7. Apples They contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of lung cancer.
  8. Bok choy This calcium-rich veggie can protect your bones and may even ward off PMS symptoms.
  9. Steel-cut oats Because they’re less processed than traditional oats, they’re digested more slowly—keeping you full all morning long.
  10. Salmon You’ll get all the heart-smart omega-3s you need in a day from just 3 oz.
  11. Avocados Their healthy fat keeps you satisfied and helps you absorb other nutrients. For a new twist, brush a halved avocado (pit removed) with olive oil and grill 1 minute. Serve with red onion, sliced grapefruit and balsamic vinegar.
  12. Spinach A half-cup provides more than five times your daily dose of vitamin K, which helps blood clot and builds strong bones.
  13. Canned pumpkin It’s filled with natural cancer fighters alpha- and beta-carotene.
  14. Cauliflower White foods can be good for you! This one is packed with cancer-fighting glucosinolates.
  15. Scallops A 3-oz serving has 14 grams of protein but just 75 calories.
  16. Collard greens They’re exploding with nutrients like vitamin A, zeaxanthin and lutein, which keep your eyes healthy.
  17. Olives They deliver the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat you get in olive oil, but for just 7 calories per jumbo olive!
  18. Brown rice It’s a top source of magnesium, a mineral your body uses for more than 300 chemical reactions (such as building bones and converting food to energy).
  19. Oysters These keep your immune system strong. A 3-oz serving (about 6 oysters) dishes up a quarter of your daily iron, plus nearly twice the zinc and all the selenium you need in a day.
  20. Edamame One cup has a whopping 22 grams of plant protein, as well as lots of fiber, folate and cholesterol-lowering phytosterols.
  21. Strawberries They’re loaded with ellagitannins, phytochemicals that may halt the growth of cervical and colon cancers.
  22. Lentils A great source of meat-free protein, a half-cup of cooked lentils also gives you nearly half your daily folate, a B vitamin that protects a woman’s unborn baby from neural tube defects.
  23. Bran flakes Their whole grains keep your heart in tip-top shape by reducing inflammation and melting away belly fat.
  24. Kiwifruit (kiwi) Italian researchers found that it reduces asthma-related wheezing, thanks to its high vitamin C content (one kiwi has 110% of your daily requirement).
  25. Black beans They’re loaded with protein, fiber, and flavonoids—antioxidants that help your arteries stay relaxed and pliable.
  26. Sunflower seeds A quarter-cup delivers half your day’s vitamin E, which keeps your heart healthy and fights infection.
  27. Sardines 3 oz provide more than 100% of your daily vitamin D. Sardines are also a top source of omega-3 fats. Try adding mashed canned sardines to marinara sauce and serving over whole-wheat pasta.
  28. Asparagus A half-cup supplies 50% of your daily bone-building vitamin K and a third of your day’s folate, it’s a natural diuretic so it banishes bloating, too.
  29. Bananas They’re loaded with several kinds of good-for-you fiber, including resistant starch (which helps you slim down).
  30. Broccoli sprouts They have 10 times more of the cancer-preventing compound glucoraphanin than regular broccoli.
  31. Fat-free milk With a third of the calcium and half the vitamin D you need in a day, plus 8 grams u of muscle-building protein, it’s the ultimate energy drink.
  32. Baked potatoes Each one packs a megadose of blood-pressure–lowering potassium—even more than a banana.
  33. Sweet potatoes Half of a large baked sweet potato delivers more than 450% of your daily dose of vitamin A, which protects your vision and your immune system.
  34. Flaxseed Not only is flaxseed loaded with plant omega-3s, it also has more lignans (compounds that may prevent endometrial and ovarian cancer) than any other food. Store ground flaxseed in your refrigerator and sprinkle on yogurt, cold cereal or oatmeal.
  35. Greek yogurt It has twice the protein of regular yogurt.
  36. Dried tart cherries Researchers at Michigan State University found their potent anthocyanins help control blood sugar, reduce insulin and lower cholesterol.
  37. Wheat germ A quarter-cup gives you more than 40% of your daily vitamin E and immune-boosting selenium.
  38. Whole-wheat english muffins You get 4 ½ grams of fiber for only 134 calories.
  39. Tea, green and black tea prevent hardening of the arteries, according to researchers at the University of Scranton.
  40. Peanut butter This smart spread has arginine, an amino acid that helps keep blood vessels healthy.
  41. Blackberries The king of the berry family boasts more antioxidants than strawberries, cranberries or blueberries.
  42. Mustard greens These “greens” (actually a cruciferous veggie) are a top source of vitamin K. For a tasty pesto, chop them in a food processor with garlic, walnuts, Parmesan and olive oil.
  43. Grapes They’re a leading source of resveratrol, the plant chemical responsible for the heart-healthy benefits of red wine.
  44. Soy milk A good source of vegetable protein, calcium-enriched soy milk has as much calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk.
  45. Brazil nuts They have more selenium than any other food. One nut delivers your entire day’s worth!
  46. Canola oil A Tbsp of this heart-healthy oil has all the alpha-linolenic acid you need in a day, plus two different forms of vitamin E.
  47. Blueberries They improve memory by protecting your brain from inflammation and boosting communication between brain cells.
  48. Oranges One orange supplies more than 100% of the vitamin C you need in a day. It’s also a good source of calcium and folate.
  49. Watercress With just 4 calories per cup, this cruciferous veggie delivers a hefty dose of vitamin K, zeaxanthin, lutein, beta-carotene and cancer-fighting phytochemicals.
  50. Turkey breast It has 20 grams of satisfying protein but just 90 calories per 3-oz serving.
  51. Barley A top source of beta-glucan, a fiber that lowers cholesterol and helps control blood sugar.
  52. Shiitake mushrooms One serving (about ¼ lb) provides as much vitamin D as you’d get from a glass of milk.

Because Your Time Matters: Post-Workout Meals in Under 15 Minutes

Because Your Time Matters: Post-Workout Meals in Under 15 Minutes

After the gym, the last thing I want to do is cook — I’m tired and sweaty and ordering takeout just seems easier. But eating the right foods after a workout is essential since it helps the body repair and recover from the hard work it was just put through. Before you give up on the idea of having a healthy, homemade post-workout meal, take a look at these recipes. These meals are a great balance of protein and carbs and take around 15 minutes to prepare!

Herb Chicken-Tofu Burgers

10 Great Foods For Great Looks!

From http://www.good.is/  Good Magazine online:

Reposted from a Great Article by Author of No More Dirty Looks!

You can slather yourself from your forehead to your pinkie toe in organic lotions, but if you think that alone will make you glow, we have some bad news. From its well documented health benefits to its undeniable impact on physical beauty, good nutrition is the pillar of every kind of healthy lifestyle. That doesn’t mean you need to swear off bacon and beer or anything. The trick is finding the right balance.

But with new studies coming out every month about what we should put in our mouths—not to mention the unending discovery of mysterious superfruits from deep in the forests of wherever—it can be hard to keep track of what, exactly, we should be eating. To simplify things, here’s a can’t-go-wrong shopping list. Bon appétit!

1. Tomatoes. Organic tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, a powerful antioxidant shown to help fight illnesses of all stripes. They’re also loaded with vitamins C and A, and if you believe Dr. Oz, they could be as good or better than açai and goji, those trendy, expensive antioxidants you couldn’t stop hearing about for a few years.
2. Green tea. In a nutshell, people who drink green tea have about a dozen health advantages over people who do not—from cancer prevention to longevity to gentler skin aging—thanks to its antioxidant polyphenols. Organic green tea is preferable (nothing undoes positive health effects like a load of pesticides) and can be found in bulk for cheap at large grocery stores.
3. Broccoli. This is the item on the list you’d be best off learning to love if you don’t already, because its nutrition profile beats out all other veggies according to a Harvard University study. It has well-documented anti-inflammatory effects, which can help with everything from eye health and arthritis to heart disease and sun damage. Eat it a couple of nights a week if you can. A favorite simple recipe is broccoli steamed with olive oil, salt, and garlic.
4. Salmon. You obviously want to be careful about sourcing when it comes to any fish choice—check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s new recommendations for salmon here—but the short version is, wild Alaskan is a good bet. Salmon is loaded with anti-inflammatory omega 3s, healthy fats, and vitamin B12. Bonus side effect: Glowing skin.
5. Extra virgin olive oil. It’s gotta be EV: Eat it for heart-disease prevention, cancer prevention, its cholesterol-lowering good fats, its antioxidants, and because it’s completely and utterly delicious and frankly, a good olive oil tastes better than butter.
6. Dark leafy greens.Yes, they can be bitter and less than exciting at first, but they are loaded with vitamins and iron and can be snuck into meals easily (omelets, pasta, salads, etc.). Prepared the same way as the broccoli suggestion takes five minutes and is super tasty with eggs for breakfast.
7. Walnuts. These shelled suckers are packed with good fats (the monounsaturated kind), which is great for heart health, lowering cholesterol, boosting brain function, and reducing inflammation. You don’t need many of these to reap the benefits, though. Go easy.
8. Blueberries. What gives these guys a leg up on other fruit is the fact that they’re super low in calories and very high in vitamin C, fiber, vitamin E, and other brain-boosting nutrients. A Tufts University study found that when they evaluated 60 other fruits and veggies for their antioxidant capability, the blues came out on top.
9. Dark chocolate. You should eat this because it’s delicious, and because a recent study also showed its capacity to protect skin from UV damage. The claims that its packed with antioxidants have been recently called into question—you can read more about that here and here—but for now? Might as well go for it.
10. Avocados. As if anyone needed another reason to eat avocados, it’s encouraging to know that in addition to being nature’s unadulterated butter, they’re also loaded with cholesterol-lowering power, potassium, folate, carotenoids, vitamin E, and happiness-inducing monounsaturated fats. (And yes, guacamole counts.)

Powerful Food Combinations!

This is reprinted from an article in Men’s Health.  I have the link to their free newsletter at the bottom.  It has great information for great nutrition and health.

Epidemiologist David R. Jacobs, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota calls it food synergy, and he, along with many other nutritionists, believes it might explain why Italians drizzle cold-pressed olive oil over tomatoes and why the Japanese pair raw fish with soybeans. “The complexity of food combinations is fascinating because it’s tested in a way we can’t test drugs: by evolution,” says Jacobs. And, he adds, “it’s tested in the most complex of systems: life.”

Tomatoes & Avocadoes

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a pigment-rich antioxidant known as a carotenoid, which reduces cancer risk and cardiovascular disease. Fats make carotenoids more bioavailable, a fact that makes a strong case for adding tomatoes to your guacamole.
“This also has a Mediterranean cultural tie-in,” says registered dietitian Susan Bowerman of California Polytechnic State University. “The lycopene in tomato products such as pasta sauce is better absorbed when some fat (e.g., olive oil) is present than if the sauce were made fat free.” This may also explain why we love olive oil drizzled over fresh tomatoes.
And when it comes to salads, don’t choose low-fat dressings. A recent Ohio State University study showed that salads eaten with full-fat dressings help with the absorption of another carotenoid called lutein, which is found in green leafy vegetables and has been shown to benefit vision. If you don’t like heavy salad dressing, sprinkle walnuts, pistachios, or grated cheese over your greens.

Oatmeal & Orange Juice

A study from the Antioxidants Research Lab at the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that drinking vitamin C-rich orange juice while eating a bowl of real oatmeal (read: not processed) cleans your arteries and prevents heart attacks with two times as much efficacy than if you were to ingest either breakfast staple alone. The reason? The organic compounds in both foods, called phenols, stabilize your LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or so-called “bad” cholesterol) when consumed together.

Broccoli & Tomatoes

New research shows that this combo prevents prostate cancer, but no one is sure why.
In a recent Cancer Research study, John W. Erdman Jr., Ph.D., of the University of Illinois, proved that the combination shrunk prostate-cancer tumors in rats and that nothing but the extreme measure of castration could actually be a more effective alternative treatment. (What more motivation do you need to embrace this one-two punch?)
“We know that tomato powder lowers the growth of tumors,” says Erdman. “We know that broccoli does too. And we know they’re better together. But it’s going to take years to find out why.”

Blueberries & Grapes

“Eating a variety of fruit together provides more health benefits than eating one fruit alone,” says Bowerman. “Studies have shown that the antioxidant effects of consuming a combination of fruits are more than additive but synergistic.”
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition by Rui Hai Liu, Ph.D., from Cornell University’s department of food science, looked at the antioxidant capacity of various fruits individually (apples, oranges, blueberries, grapes) versus the same amount of a mixture of fruits, and found that the mix had a greater antioxidant response. According to the study, this effect explains why “no single antioxidant can replace the combination of natural phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables.”
The author also recommends eating five to 10 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables daily to reduce disease risks, as opposed to relying on expensive dietary supplements for these compounds. “There are a huge number of compounds yet to be identified,” adds Jacobs.

Apples & Chocolate

Apples, particularly Red Delicious, are known to be high in an anti-inflammatory flavonoid called quercetin, especially in their skins. (Note: It’s important to buy organic because pesticides concentrate in the skins of conventionally grown apples.) By itself, quercetin has been shown to reduce the risk of allergies, heart attack, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and prostate and lung cancers.
Chocolate, grapes, red wine, and tea, on the other hand, contain the flavonoid catechin, an antioxidant that reduces the risks for atherosclerosis and cancer. Together, according to a study done by Barry Halliwell, Ph.D., a leading food science professor at the National University of Singapore, catechins and quercetin loosen clumpy blood platelets, improving cardiovascular health and providing anticoagulant activity. Quercetin is also found in buckwheat, onions, and raspberries.
Susan Kraus, a clinical dietitian at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, recommends the following combinations: sangria with cut-up apples; green tea with buckwheat pancakes and raspberries; and kasha (roasted buckwheat, made in a pilaf) cooked with onions.

Lemon & Kale

“Vitamin C helps make plant-based iron more absorbable,” says nutritionist Stacy Kennedy of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. It actually converts much of the plant-based iron into a form that’s similar to what’s found in fish and red meats. (Iron carries oxygen to red blood cells, staving off muscle fatigue.)
Kennedy suggests getting your vitamin C from citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli, and getting plant-based iron from leeks, beet greens, kale, spinach, mustard greens, Swiss chard, and fortified cereals.
So whether you’re sautéing dark greens or making a salad, be sure to include a squeeze of citrus. You’ll increase your immunity and muscle strength with more punch than by eating these foods separately.

Soy & Salmon

It’s true that soy has been shown in studies to lower sperm counts, but that’s mainly in processed forms such as soy cheese, soy milk, and the unpronounceable forms listed on the labels of your favorite artery-clogging processed foods. This means that eating unprocessed forms of soy, such as edamame and tofu, is perfectly fine in moderation.
That’s good news because, according to Mark Messina, Ph.D., former director of the diet and cancer branch of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health and now an adjunct associate professor at Loma Linda University, an isoflavone in soy called genistein inhibits enzymes in the colon and prostate, raising the amount of vitamin D bioavailability in those tissues. “The higher vitamin D levels may offer protection against cancer,” says Messina. “There is emerging research suggesting that vitamin D reduces cancer risk, and many people don’t get enough of the vitamin. You do make it in your skin, but most people don’t make enough.”
Fish such as salmon and tuna are high in vitamin D, so take a cue from the Asian diet and eat fish with a side of edamame.

Peanuts & Whole Wheat

According to Diane Birt, P.D., a professor at Iowa State University and a food synergy expert, the specific amino acids absent in wheat are actually present in peanuts. You need, and very rarely receive in one meal, the complete chain of amino acids (the best form of protein) to build and maintain muscle, especially as you get older. In short, while this combo exhibits only what Birt calls a “loose definition” of food synergy, it gives good evidence that a peanut-butter sandwich isn’t junk food if it’s prepared with whole-wheat bread (not white) and eaten in moderation (once a day).
So enjoy a peanut-butter sandwich right after a workout instead of drinking a terrible gym-rat shake. Just make sure the peanut butter doesn’t have added sugar, chemical ingredients you can’t pronounce, or cartoon characters on the label.

Red Meat & Rosemary

Grilling over an open flame produces nasty carcinogens, but if you get a little more experimental with your spices, you can temper the cancer-causing effects of the charred flesh.
The herb rosemary, which mixes well with all kinds of grilled foods and contains the antioxidants rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid, was recently shown in a Kansas State University study to lower the amount of the cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (or HCAs) that appear in the charred meat when you grill at temperatures of 375°F to 400°F. Why? It’s thought that the herb’s antioxidants literally soak up the meat’s dangerous free radicals.

Turmeric & Black Pepper

A tangy yellow South Asian spice used in curry dishes, turmeric has long been studied for its anticancer properties, anti-inflammatory effects, and tumor-fighting activities known in nutrition-speak as anti-angiogenesis. The active agent in the spice is a plant chemical, or polyphenol, called curcumin.
One of the problems with using turmeric to improve your health, according to Kennedy, is its low bioavailability when eaten on its own. But there’s a solution, and it’s probably in your pantry.
“Adding black pepper to turmeric or turmeric-spiced food enhances curcumin’s bioavailability by 1,000 times, due to black pepper’s hot property called piperine,” says Kennedy. “This is one reason it’s thought that curry has both turmeric (curcumin) and black pepper combined.” Translation: You’ll get the benefits of turmeric if you pepper up your curries.

Garlic & Fish

Most seafood lovers don’t realize there’s a synergy of nutrients inside a piece of fish: Minerals such as zinc, iron, copper, iodine, and selenium work as cofactors to make the best use of the natural anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-reducing fish oils EPA and DHA.
What’s more, cooking your fish with garlic lowers your total cholesterol better than eating those fillets or cloves alone. A study at University of Guelph, in Ontario, found that garlic keeps down the small increase in LDL cholesterol that might result from fish-oil supplements.

Eggs & Cantaloupe

The most popular (and an awfully complete form of) breakfast protein works even better for you when you eat it with the good carbohydrates in your morning cantaloupe.
According to Kennedy, a very basic food synergy is the concept of eating protein with foods that contain beneficial carbohydrates, which we need for energy. Protein, Kennedy reminds us, slows the absorption of glucose, or sugar, from carbohydrates.
“This synergy helps by minimizing insulin and blood-sugar spikes, which are followed by a crash, zapping energy. High insulin levels are connected with inflammation, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. By slowing the absorption of glucose, your body can better read the cues that you are full. This helps prevent everything from overeating to indigestion.”
So cut as many bad carbs (i.e., anything white, starchy, and sugary) as you want. But when you eat healthful carbs (whole grains, fruit, vegetables), don’t eat them on their own.

Almonds & Yogurt

We already know that good fats help increase lycopene absorption. But did you know that many essential vitamins are activated and absorbed best when eaten with fat?
Vitamins that are considered fat-soluble include A, D, and E. Carrots, broccoli, and peas are all loaded with vitamin A and should be paired with a healthy fat such as the kind found in olive oil. Vitamin D—rich products include fish, milk, yogurt, and orange juice.
So toss some almonds into your yogurt, eat full-fat dairy foods, and pair your morning OJ with a slice of bacon. To get the most vitamin E with fat-soluble foods, try baked sweet-potato slices or spinach salad topped with olive oil.

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How I lost 50 Pounds – And You Can Too!

When it comes right down to it – diets and excessive exercise don’t work.  We punish ourselves by starving and doing things we don’t enjoy and inevitably that is doomed to failure.  There is no secret at all to weight loss.  You simply have to burn off more calories than you take in.  If you look at charts of how much you can burn in calories per hour during different activities, versus how many calories are in food the answer is obvious again.  Don’t eat as much.  No matter how much you exercise, bad food has more calories than great exercise.  At my current weight, running for an hour, at 8 mph burns 1,500 calories.  Problem is – I am not going to go running for an hour.  Meanwhile, a Carl’s Junior Six Dollar burger has 1,520 calories, not counting the drink and fries.  It takes a few minutes to eat a fast food meal with 2,000 calories, but an hour an a half of running to burn it off.  Voila! – Don’t eat so many calories.

Most diets mean you have to give up things.  You feel more and more like you are suffering.  I have not really given up anything.  I started by eating one salad per day.  For one of my main meals, I simply eat a salad.  I like the pre-made ones I get at Safeway.  They cost around $3.50, but the chances of me chopping up my own salad is pretty slim.  They each have under 350 calories and the best thing is – I like them!  I don’t feel punished because they taste good.

Second thing, I stopped eating after 7 pm at night.  Even bad food can be burned off if you stay up long enough.  If you eat then go to bed, it turns to fat.

Third, I don’t eat fast food and avoid eating out in general.  The portions at all these places are huge and the calorie intake is terrible.  One meal at a fast food place has enough calories for two days.

Fourth, I eat slow and I stop eating when I am no longer hungry.  When I do eat out, I almost always end up getting two or three meals out of one meal.  I eat slow, enjoy the company, and rarely get half way through my plate before asking for a box.  Later, if I get hungry, I have an extra meal out of it.  I used to finish my plate AND eat later.  Now one meal covers two meals.

Fifth, I drink a lot of fluids.  Coffee, diet sodas, water, etc.  The more fluids I drink, the better I feel and the less I get hungry.  I don’t drink fruit juices or sugared drinks though because they have tons of empty calories.  Coffee is a great hunger reducer for me.

Sixth – I try to exercise, but I suck at it.  So I try to be active at least.  I splash around in the pool, get the mail, roam around with the dogs and other things I actually enjoy doing.  You can’t exercise if you have to force yourself every time.  Find something you enjoy.

Seventh – I don’t talk about my diet or annoy people constantly with what I am doing.  I hate listening about food and diets and I think if we dwell on it, we will eat even more.

Eighth – I am a stress eater.  So, I reduced my stress by changing careers and that has really helped my urge to eat.

Ninth – I used to eat if something bad happened, or if something good happened.  Get a raise at work – celebrate with pizza.  Have your boss yell at you at work – Console yourself with ice cream.  I now force myself to reward myself and console myself with non-food items.  This was actually very difficult at first, and even now my first thought for reward and consolation is food.  Try buying a new outfit, going to a movie, buying a favorite book, inviting a friend out to coffee, golfing, instead.

So, now I have lost fifty pounds and I have another fifty pounds to go.  I eat what I want, but only when hungry and stop when I am full.  I drink a lot of fluids.  I went from no salad to one per day.  I have lost the fifty pounds over about eight months.  It took years to put on the weight, it will take time to take it off too.  Give yourself time to lose, don’t beat yourself up.  I tried other things for twenty years and none of them worked.  Hopefully, my simple plan will help you as well.

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