Tag Archives: diet

Top 10 Healthiest Beers

Consider one of these ten beers next time you crack a bottle.

healthiest beers

These top 10 healthiest beers, ranked by details.com, may be your safest bet when it comes to preventing beer belly (besides not drinking at all). My top 3 favorites are No. 2, No. 4, and No. 7.

Number 1. Pacifico

Ranking first is the Mexican pilsner, Pacifico, with only 135 calories per bottle and 4.5% alcohol.

Number 2. Guinness

Also one of my personal favorites, Guinness is low in carbs (11 g), higher in fiber (3.5 g) and 4.2% alcohol. It’s also nitrogenated unlike most other beers making it less filling. I personally love the dark, robust flavor.

Number 3. Sierra Nevada

Coming in third, for my friends with a hoppier palate, is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with a higher alcohol percentage (5.6%) and 175 calories/bottle.

Number 4. Sam Adams Light

I don’t like light beer but the people at Sam Adams are masters of their craft. With 119 calories, 9 grams of carbs and 4% alcohol, Sam Adams makes the top 4 of the healthiest beers.

Number 5. Abita Purple Haze

I’ve personally never had Abita Purple Haze before but considering it’s brewed with fresh raspberries, only has 11 grams of carbs and is 4.5% alcohol, I could certainly imagine why it made the top 5 healthiest beers.

Number 6. Left Hand Good Juju

Made with fresh ginger this ale may help aid in digestion (of course alcohol-free ginger is a better option though). Left Hand Good Juju only has 131 calories, with 4.5 percent alcohol.

Number 7. Yuengling Lager

A personal favorite of mine, Yuengling lager only has 135 calories and 4.4% alcohol. Yuengling is a much more flavorful choice of beer than Budweiser or cheap college beers and is fairly inexpensive. I was glad to see this made the top 10 healthiest beers!

I paired Yuengling Lager with my Boneless Rib Sandwich for an incredible, health conscious BBQ dinner.

Number 8. New Belgium Sunshine Wheat

IPA-lovers rejoice, there’s another option for you. This American pale wheat ale only 145 calories/serving with 4.8 percent alcohol, and 13 grams of carbs.

Number 9. Flying Dog Snake Pale Ale

Another one for the IPA-lovers, Flying Dog Snake Pale Ale packs more alcohol (7.1% alcohol) and hops in each bottle than the others but comes at the price of 188 calories per bottle and 13 grams of carbs per bottle.

Number 10. Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA

Surprisingly, for a beer that’s 5.6% alcohol, this brew only contains about 11 grams of carbs per bottle. Definitely worth trying if you’re an IPA fan.

Pair these beers with my Top 10 Healthy BBQ Foods.

5 Caffeine Fitness Benefits

Go ahead, fill up that second cup of coffee. Turns out there are many caffeine fitness benefits!

caffeine fitness benefits
High Protein Vanilla Cinnamon Cappuccino

Caffeine is the most popular drug in the United States, especially as Americans look for new and convenient ways to boost their energy. There are several caffeine fitness benefits and lucky for us, there are many sources of caffeine:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Energy Drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Pre-Workout Mixes
  • Yerba Mate
  • Guarana Berries

Protein Packed Vanilla Cinnamon Cappuccino Recipe

While some sources are higher in caffeine than others, it doesn’t matter so much where you get your caffeine from. It’s matters more how much you’re getting (although obviously 100 mg of caffeine from coffee is easier/healthier than eating 1 lb of chocolate to get your caffeine). As far as the benefits of caffeine for fitness results go, here are 5:

1. Decreased Fatigue Time

In a study done with strength and endurance training athletes (TBA), athletes reported feeling less fatigued in between sets. Caffeine consumption did not result in greater power output however.

2. Increased Alertness

The caffeine jolt from a cup of coffee or a pre-workout will increase alertness prior to and during workouts. This is particularly helpful when strength training and being aware of weight balance, and when switching positions quickly during endurance training.

3. Increased Metabolism

Caffeine is present in most fat burning supplement complexes, but the metabolism increasing effect of caffeine is only temporary. Where caffeine really makes a difference is by stimulating an individual to get up and get moving when they might otherwise feel sluggish and want to sit. The extra movement stimulated by caffeine is more likely to help burn extra calories as opposed to just drinking more coffee to try to burn fat.

4. Increased Focus

An athlete with more focus can accomplish a lot more. Caffeine enhances motor performance and cognitive performance allowing an athlete to focus on their immediate goal with greater intensity.

5. Decreased Recovery Time

Due to the vasodilating effect of caffeine, more blood and nutrients are able to rush to sore muscles allowing them to potentially heal faster or at the very least feel better.

4 Keys to Faster Recovery

The 4 Best Ways to Heal Sore Muscles

250-350 mg of caffeine is generally where you’ll experience these caffeine fitness benefits but it also depends on your tolerance. Some people can barely handle 50 mg of caffeine and are better off using a non-stimulant, amino acid based pre-workout drink. Other people barely feel 150 mg of caffeine and can handle two scoops of a pre-workout mix with no problem. I generally have 1 cup of coffee (~100 mg of caffeine) in the morning and 150-200 mg caffeine pre-workout from either black coffee or a pre-workout mix several hours later to experience the caffeine fitness benefits. You may need more caffeine, less caffeine, or no caffeine depending on your needs.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

Are you finally starting to notice the buzz about the Mediterranean Diet? Here’s what you should know

 

Mediterranean Diet

The “Mediterranean Diet” is essentially mainstream validation of new scientific information regarding the health habits of people from the Mediterranean region. In fact, I was writing up sample meal plans for clients with meals like “Mediterranean Chicken Salad” and “Gyros” fresh out of college where I learned about the benefits of popular Mediterranean food (olives, cheese, lean meat, and more). That’s my way of saying I was about the Mediterranean diet before it was cool. Here’s what you need to know about the Mediterranean Diet:

1. High Fat Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is chock-full of nuts, olive oil, fish, and other healthy, high fat foods. In America we generally view fat as “bad” because we walk around the grocery store and see things advertised as “low-fat”, “reduced fat” or “fat free” everywhere (now we’re starting to see that with Gluten). Research is beginning to show more and more that fat isn’t necessarily bad for you…more of it actually may be better for you. In moderation, fat from plant based sources like almonds and olive oil may help reduce the risk of heart disease and may even help burn fat by mobilizing the fat already stored in your adipose tissue.

mediterranean dietavocado mediterranean diet

2. Food Sources

The Mediterranean Diet is almost exclusively whole, unprocessed food sources but is particularly higher in lean meats, fresh dark green vegetables, legumes, fish, and whole grains. Some of the foods that make this list are salmon, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, chicken, asparagus, kale, spinach, beans and wine.

mediterranean diet
3. Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Research is also beginning to show (over the last 5-10 years) that unsaturated fats from plant sources is helping to lower bad cholesterol (LDL), and balance good cholesterol (HDL) in people with high blood pressure and CVD. People from Mediterranean areas suffer from heart disease significantly less than Americans and think about it…they eat lean meats, plant based fats, whole foods and we eat fried everything, fatty meats (burgers, hot dogs, wings), and processed foods. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death for Americans and it’s also one of the most avoidable diseases.

4. Complete, Nutrient Dense Diet

Look closely at a Mediterranean Diet meal and compare it to an average American meal. The Mediterranean Diet meal is generally well balanced with lean meat (4-6 oz.), dark green vegetables, fresh fruit, complex carbs, wine, and olive oil or nuts. All different colors, textures, and flavors are found on that plate. With more variety and more colors comes more nutrients and health benefits.

5. Wine-centric Alcohol Consumption

Studies have shown that 2 glasses of red wine per day may help reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. Out of all your alcohol options, red wine is the healthiest due to it’s high level of antioxidants. While a craft beer may be delicious, if you’re left with the choice to opt for wine, you may want to consider it.

6. Not Calorie-Based

The Mediterranean Diet is based on a 2000 calorie diet. The meals aren’t pre-packaged and assigned an amount of “points”. The foods aren’t fortified with vitamins and minerals to make them more complete. The Mediterranean Diet is based off a whole foods, fresh produce perspective that values the quality of the food being eaten over the quantity available.

The 80/20 Diet Rule

5 Superfood Snacks to Boost Energy

Take a Mediterranean Diet approach to all of your cuisines and you’ll be looking at great health and fantastic results. Bring high quality, diverse flavors and fresh ingredients to every meal you make. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for 90% of your food and then go through the aisles and treat yourself to the things you crave. Most people do it the other way around.

10 Core Exercises That Aren’t Planks or Crunches

Tired of doing planks and crunches and still not seeing results? Try these 10 Core Exercises instead.

 

Core Exercises

If you’re doing planks and crunches for every core workout you’re going to want to change things up to see new results. These core exercises will target every muscle of your core ensuring you get the best results.

1. Cable Rope Crunches
Clip a double handled rope to a cable machine and set the weight to as close to your bodyweight as possible. In a kneeling position, holding the rope behind your neck, bring your elbows to your knees. Repeat for 15-20 reps. Make this exercise more challenging by twisting so you’re bringing your right elbow to your left knee, then your left elbow to your right knee, alternating with every crunch.

2. Hanging Leg Raises
You can perform this exercise hanging from a pull-up bar or in a roman chair. For this example let’s say you’re doing Hanging Leg Raises from a pull-up bar. Begin by hanging with your legs straight down. In a controlled motion, keeping your legs straight, bring your legs as close to the bar as possible. Return to the hanging position. Repeat for 15-20 reps.

3. Twisting Side Planks
Hold a stability ball in between your legs and keep your legs 6-12 inches from the floor. Sit up, reach diagonally (left arm to right foot) and touch the ball. Repeat, alternating sides, for 16-20 reps.

4. Windmill Leg Raises
Beginning in the same position as our Hanging Leg Raises, lift your legs up to the bar in a circular, clockwise motion. Repeat in a counterclockwise motion. You should be making large, 360 degree circles with your legs.
This is one of the hardest mentioned core exercises. Perform this exercise as slowly as possible. I perform them here on my Instagram. Try to go even slower than that.

5. Diagonal Medicine Ball Slam
Grab a 10-15+ lb medicine ball and start by holding it straight up over your head. Simultaneously throw the ball down on either side of your body and squat slightly. As you throw, you should twist your torso slightly so your right hand is over your left foot on one slam and your left hand is over your right foot on the other slam. Repeat for 15-20 reps.

6. Lumberjacks
Set the cable machine to a relatively light weight, with the handle up high. Begin with both hands holding the handle over one shoulder. Keeping your arms straight, bring the cable across your body at a 45 degree angle so your hands are now down at your opposite hip. Repeat for 15-20 reps on each side. Hold each rep for 1-2 seconds.

7. Smith Machine Sit Ups
Begin in a smith machine Bench Press position, with your feet flat on the bench. Keep your complete straight and sit up as high as you can, lifting your shoulder blades completely off of the bench. Hold for 1 second and return to the starting position. Repeat for 15-20 reps.

8. Ab Roll
Hold the Ab Roller with both hands and kneel on the floor.Now place the ab roller on the floor in front of you so that you are on all your hands and knees (as in a kneeling push up position). This will be your starting position. Slowly roll the ab roller straight forward, stretching your body into a straight position. Bring your hips as close to the floor as possible and pause. After a pause at the stretched position, start pulling yourself back to the starting position as you breathe out. Do this movement slowly and breathe.

9. Stability Ball V-Ups
Lay on the floor with your legs straight and arms stretched out behind your head holding a stability ball. Pick your feet up a few inches from the floor. This is your starting position. Keeping your arms and legs straight, bring the Stability Ball up to your legs, hold it in between your legs, and bring your legs back down to several inches from the floor. Repeat, this time catching the stability ball in your hands. Repeat for 15-20 reps.
Of all the mentioned core exercises, this is one of my favorites for beginners/novice level gym goers.

10. Turkish Get Up
Lie on your back on the floor and press a kettlebell to the top position by extending the elbow. Bend the knee on the same side as the kettlebell. Keeping the kettlebell locked out at all times, pivot to the opposite side and use your non- working arm to assist you in driving forward to the lunge position. Using your free hand, push yourself to a seated position, then progressing to your feet. While looking up at the kettlebell, slowly stand up. Reverse the motion back to the starting position and repeat.

Use any of these 10 Core Exercises in your next workout and see how much different they feel than just doing typical 30 second planks. Do a core workout 2-3 time per week, 5 sets of 15-25 reps or 30-60 seconds.

5 Superfood Snacks to Boost Energy

Need a snack? Ditch the chips and make one of these Superfood Snacks instead.

 

Superfood Snacks

Chips, cakes, and ice cream offer you nothing but fat, salt and sugar, and in overabundant quantities. These Superfood Snacks offer you fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy unsaturated fats that could even help you burn fat. Try these out:

1. “PB & J” on Ezekiel Bread

Toast a slice of sesame or cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread. Then, spread 1 tbsp. of natural almond butter and 1 tbsp. of raspberry preserves on it. This super-satisfying snack is the super-version of the classic Peanut Butter & Jelly on white bread.

Healthy Snack Ideas to Crush Cravings

2. Avocado Toast

Dominating the superfood world right now is Avocado Toast of all varieties. Toast a slice of 100% whole wheat or multigrain bread, then add 1/4 of an avocado (sliced) on top. Try topping it off with tomatoes, lox, 1 sunny-side up egg, or turkey bacon. The possibilities are endless.

3. Grapefruit & Honey

Taking a break from agenda of pushing my Loaded Apples recipe, try 1/2 a grapefruit with 1 tbsp. of honey instead of regular sugar. You get the health benefits of honey and some extra sweetness added to the fat-burning, high fiber grapefruit.

4. Sweet Potatoes w/ Honey & Cinnamon

I swear this tastes like eating a Sweet Potato Pie without any guilt and a fraction of the fat. Bake 1 large sweet potato and slice it down the middle. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and a drizzle (1 tsp.) of honey. Is there anything better than Superfood Dessert?

5. Date Bars (Lara Bars)

Lara bars are an amazing snack if you’re looking for a healthy fix. Made up of only 2-3 ingredients, Lara Bars are essentially just date bars with cashews, coconut, apples, almonds, etc.

What are the best fruits for diabetics?

Unbelievable Protein Muffin Recipes!

These superfood options are a great way to boost your energy and your  metabolism when you feel yourself crashing in the middle of the day. Pair them with a cup of coffee and get ready to feel 100% again.

Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes Recipe

What’s better than breakfast for dinner? Dessert for breakfast. Try this Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes recipe.

Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes Recipecarrot cake protein pancakes recipe

Imagine being able to eat spiced carrot cake bursting with autumn flavors without any guilt. What’s more, imagine being able to eat carrot cake after your workout to BUILD MUSCLE AND BURN FAT. Now that’s possible with this Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes recipe.

Ingredients
1/2 cup Flapjacked Carrot Spice Pancake Mix
1/2 cup of water
2 egg whites
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. lite maple syrup
1 tsp. coconut oil

Instructions
1) Mix pancake mix, water, egg whites, cinnamon and vanilla extract.
2) On a coconut oiled pan, cook the pancakes on a low-medium flame until golden brown on both sides.
3) Plate and drizzle maple syrup.
4) Serve.

Nutrition Info
Protein: 30 g
Carbohydrates: 41 g
Fat: 11 g

Want to make these Carrot Cake Pancakes even more Carrot Cakey? Make a cream cheese glaze or frosting:

Ingredients
2 tbsp. cream cheese
2 tbsp. butter (melted)
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Want more delicious pancake inspired recipes? Check these out:

Maple Glazed High Protein Jelly Donuts Recipe

High Protein Cookies

What Are The Best Fruits for Diabetics?

Of all the fruit out there, what are the best fruits for diabetics?

Best Fruit for Diabetics

You can eat all different types of fruit if you have diabetes. You don’t have to limit yourself to these fruit but be aware of the portions and carbohydrate content in each serving. The best part is, there’s so much variety with fruit that you can have a beautiful mix of colors and flavors to keep things fresh. Here are the best fruits for diabetics:

1. Strawberries
Strawberries are first on my list because for a single serving you’re able to eat 1 1/4 cups which is the most out of the other berries. “Strawberries are lower in calories and have three times more vitamin C than the other berries on this list

2. Raspberries
Raspberries have the most fiber compared to cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries making them a close second on the list.

3. Apples

Nothing beats a New York apple in the middle of Autumn. Apples are packed with fiber and vitamins, and are generally much less expensive than berries. Pick small-medium sized apples and make sure you eat them with the skin so you don’t miss out on any quality nutrition.

4. Oranges
I’m sure you know that oranges are loaded with Vitamin C, but did you know they’re also packed with fiber and potassium. Make sure you keep the rind (the white stringy stuff) intact.

5. Kiwis
Just in case you feel like changing things up, grab a large kiwi and eat around the fuzzy skin. “Kiwi is a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. One large kiwi has about 56 calories and 13 g of carbohydrates, so it’s a smart addition to your diabetes-friendly diet.” – Kelly Kennedy, RD.

At the end of the day, most fruits in moderation (about 15 g of carbs per serving) are a fantastic option for someone with diabetes. While fruits are high in sugar, they’re also loaded with vitamins and fiber. Learn how to incorporate them in your diet to achieve a balance in your overall health, diabetic or not.

Protein Muffin Recipes That Are Unbelievable

Can you burn fat & build muscle while eating muffins?! You can with these protein muffin recipes.

Protein Muffin Recipe

I made these 4 Unbelievable Protein Muffin Recipes using Flapjacked Mighty Muffin mix, a little creativity and some suggestions from some of my followers on Instagram. Each muffin has 20+ grams of protein, less than 30 grams of carbs, and less than 10 grams of fat. A regular muffin has closer to 15 grams of fat, 35+ grams of carbohydrates and about 3 grams of protein. Try these out instead:

1) Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Muffin

Add about 1/4 cup of water to the Double Chocolate Mighty Muffin mix and microwave for 45 seconds on high. Once cooked, use your spoon to dig a small hole in the middle of the muffin. Add 1 tbsp. of peanut butter to the center and make a melted peanut butter core!

2) Molten S’mores Sundae Muffin

Add about 1/4 cup of water to the S’mores Mighty Muffin mix and microwave for 45 seconds on high. Once cooked, add 1 tbsp. of reduced fat frozen vanilla froyo on top to make a molten S’mores Sundae.

3) Apple Turnover Muffin

Add about 1/4 cup of water to the Apple Cinnamon Mighty Muffin mix and microwave for 45 seconds on high. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of brown sugar on top and add 1 tbsp. of diced apples to make a delicious Apple Turnover High Protein Muffin.

4) Maple Pumpkin Muffin

Add about 1/4 cup of water to the Maple Pumpkin Mighty Muffin mix (my personal favorite) and microwave for 45 seconds on high. Add crushed pecans and a drizzle of lite maple syrup on top for an classic Autumn breakfast (or dessert) and an unbelievably healthy and delicious high protein muffin.

My friends at Flapjacked sent me these samples after I won their Instagram giveaway and their strategy definitely worked because I will be a customer. I’m not sure it possibly gets much better than high protein muffins in under 60 seconds. Check out their pancake mix also. My favorite is the carrot spice mix. I’ll have a recipe up for Carrot Cake Pancakes soon, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter so you get it directly to your inbox!

6 Healthy Snack Ideas to Crush Cravings

Need a healthy way to crush cravings? Try any of these 6 healthy snack ideas:

These healthy snack ideas will crush cravings, promote a healthy body and keep you feeling full and energized all day! Made up of whole foods, these healthy snack ideas are mostly made up of roasted nuts, cheese, fruit, meat, yogurt, and vegetables. Give ’em a try:

1. Roasted Almonds, Low Fat Cheese & Fruit.

Grab 1/2 oz. of roasted, unsalted almonds, 1/4 cup of low-fat cheddar cheese cubes and a piece of fruit for a protein and fiber packed snack. The blend of healthy fat, fiber, complex carbs, and protein will keep your energy levels up for hours.

2. Small Cobb Salad.

Crush your hunger cravings by slicing one hardboiled egg over chopped romaine and/or spring mix lettuce, bacon bits, cucumbers, tomatoes, and diced low-sodium ham for a snack loaded with veggies and protein.

3. Veggies & Hummus.

Load up on vitamins, minerals and fiber by dipping your favorite vegetables in 2 tbsp. of hummus for a low fat, low carb mid day snack. Try it with sliced peppers, carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers.

4. Loaded Apples

Slice up an apple and cover it with peanut butter, granola and honey for an unbelievably delicious pick me up. This is my personal favorite of the 6 healthy snack ideas. Get the recipe right here!

5. Greek Yogurt Parfait

The slow-digesting protein and probiotics in Greek yogurt will surely keep you feeling great all day. Top it off with crunchy granola, sliced bananas and a little honey. Get the recipe right here!

6. Homemade Trail Mix

Ditch the store bought trail mix. Mix a few ounces of roasted mixed nuts with 1/4 cup of dried fruit and 1-2 tbsp. of extra-dark chocolate chips. This should crush your sweet tooth AND your cravings.

5 Reasons to Meal Prep

There are 5 important reasons you should start to meal prep.

 

5 reasons to meal prep

If you want to save money, get better fitness results, eat better meals, never get “hangry”, and have fresh food “on tap” then read on. Making your meals in advance, whether that be 1 day, 3 days, or 5 days in advance, can have enormous benefits on your health and on your wallet. Here’s why:

1. Save Money

Bringing home-cooked meals to work can cost you as little as $2-3 for that meal. Compare that with closer to the average $10 that people generally spend on lunch and you can see how those savings can add up over time.

How Meal Prepping Can Save You Thousands

2. Get better fitness results.

Meal prep means you have more control over the exact amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat, fruit, and vegetables you’re eating. This puts you in the driver seat on the road to fat loss and muscle building.

3. Eat better meals.

When you meal prep you put yourself in charge of how the meals come out. You don’t have to be a great cook to make great meals. My recipes are easy to make (with the exception of some of the more extravagant ones) and take very little time. No disrespect to the classic bagel & cream cheese, but you could have a protein packed Greek yogurt parfait instead and be full way longer.

Cinnamon Vanilla Greek Yogurt Parfait (Recipe)

4. Never get “hangry”.

Like the Snicker’s commercial, are you not yourself when you’re hungry? Are you more irritable, sleepy, or light headed? When you meal prep you have access to high quality food every 3 hours which means just as you’re really starting to get hungry again you have a meal waiting.

5.Have fresh food on tap.

Piggy-backing off of #4, when you meal prep you have fresh food on tap. Being able to make your diet at least 80% whole food means you can eat high quality, nutrition dense food when you eat, instead of eating greasy pizza and calling that a meal.

High Protein, Low Carb Seafood Zoodles (Recipe)

I highly recommend checking out 6 Pack Fitness if you plan on getting into meal prepping. They make several lines of meal management bags ranging from backpacks and totes, to purses and briefcases.