It’s an ancient South American grain that is relatively new to the American diet – but it’s gaining popularity due to its impressive health and weight loss benefits. It can be eaten as a hot cereal for breakfast, as a warm side-dish or whole-grain carbohydrate source in any well-balanced meal, or can be used to make a delicious cold salad – perfect for packed lunches or pre-workout snacks. Quinoa is also gluten-free, so it’s a versatile grain that can fit into any diet.
It’s a given! All of us ladies know that eating lots of sugar (lots of refined carbs in general) makes us fat. But is a little sugar ok?
When we’re dieting and trying to lose weight and get fit many of us allow ourselves the occasional sugar treat so that we don’t feel deprived. In fact, many diets and nutritionists out there recommend it, because feeling deprived can cause our diets to backfire!
Eating is a pleasurable activity, and when we deprive ourselves of that pleasure, over time our minds may subconsciously rebel, and one evening we may find ourselves downing a tub of ice cream, promising ourselves we’ll be better tomorrow. What is the cause of this reaction? Do we really have NO willpower?
Whether you decide that the occasional treat is doable for you or not, it’s important to know the chemical reactions that take place in our bodies when we eat sugar. These chemicals act on our minds and can affect our eating behavior on a subconscious level. Weakness and lack of willpower are not to blame! Being familiar with these chemical reactions can help you keep those voices in your head at bay.
Whether you’re embarking on a brand new fitness plan or planning to take it up a notch in your current plan, it’s important to consume the right fuel. I’ve been evangelizing lately on the importance of fueling your body because I’ve seen too many women restricting their calories too much. They are not getting enough nutrients, nor are they fueling their workouts adequately to get the most benefit from all of their hard work!
If you want to see a real difference in your energy levels and waistline, give some of these weight loss superfoods a try. These nutritional champions actually taste good and fill you up. This is healthy food you can look forward to eating!
You may have read my post last week about sugar, its addictive qualities, and its effects on metabolism, entitled, “Spike, Crash and Burn: How Even a Little Sugar Could Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss and Workouts”. Blood sugar and its effect on metabolism is an extremely important piece of the weight loss and fitness puzzle. As I explained, the spikes and crashes that sugar creates in our bodies can cause our metabolism to go into survival mode. These energy ups and downs send signals to our body that we don’t have a consistent source of energy to keep us moving. The body interprets this is a need to conserve energy, so it begins storing fat instead of burning it. In this survival mode, we may find ourselves working out regularly and not losing weight at all.
You may be thinking, “No problem, I’ll just replace sugar with artificial sweeteners!” But, do these products have consequences for our health? What about our weight loss goals?
Whether your current goal is weight loss or building toned muscle, chicken breast is an excellent source of lean protein in a healthy woman’s diet. For starters, chicken breast is low in fat, at only 4g per 4 oz serving. Compare this with chicken thighs, which have 12g of fat per serving, extra lean ground beef at 7g per serving, or a pork chop which has 13g per serving.
Chicken breast is also packed full of protein, at 25g per 4 oz serving. As you know, lean protein is crucial for muscle gain and recovery. The protein in your diet provides the amino acid building blocks you need to make myosin and actin, which are muscle cell proteins. Your muscles use protein to repair and grow muscle after you exercise.
Chicken breast is also very low in calories. With only about 150 calories in 4 oz, it is a very protein-dense food. To compare, chicken thighs have 236 calories per serving, extra lean ground beef has 185 calories, and a pork chop has about 250 calories. With chicken breasts, you’re getting a lot of bang for your nutritional buck, so you can afford to dress them up a little bit to keep things interesting!
If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for new chicken recipes – grilled chicken can grow old! Here are 5 tasty and easy internationally flavored dishes to include in your recipe rotation to help spice up your chicken breasts!
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