Today was another type of day. Exciting and predictable at the same time. Rain, I mean downpour, hail, sunshine, warmer temperatures, and then cold breezes, not only that but even lighting and thunder. Yes, just a typical spring day in Greater Vancouver. If you don't like the weather, just wait an hour, because what comes next, just might be what the doctor ordered.
The garden barely had time for the spring blooms, and the wind came an took all the cherry blossoms and spread them all over the ground, like a carpet of pink. It was like confetti falling from the sky. It to was beautiful. All part of the changes coming up.
Today, I received an email that was talking about the following foods as fat burners. Not the way we believe now, but the way we used to believe in the old days, when everyone was healthy.
A Good Egg
Overweight adults who ate two eggs for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight (and felt more energetic) than those who started the morning with an equally caloric bagel, recent studies show. Other findings reveal that egg eaters consume 300 fewer calories per day, adding up to a loss of three pounds per month. “Eggs help level out blood sugar, provide energy-boosting protein and are full of nutrients,” says wellness coach Jessica Smith. “If you can’t stomach eggs in the morning, eat them for dinner instead.”
Sauer power. The fermented cabbage called sauerkraut contains a “friendly” bacteria proven to enhance digestion, speed up weight loss and boost immunity, according to Smith. Rich in vitamins and potassium, sauerkraut has a mere 27 calories per serving. Stuff it in your sandwich, heat it as a side dish or load it onto a baked potato.
This Spud's For You
“Potatoes got a bad rap during the low-carb craze, but they are a perfect weight loss food – a blend of nutrients, fiber and protein with a low-calorie price tag,” says Smith. One baked white potato (with skin) offers six grams of protein, and over 1,500 mg of potassium, for under 300 calories. Top it with salsa or veggies and low-fat cheese for a starchy side dish or snack.
Rich, creamy, filling…and healthy? Once you go Greek (as in Greek plain yogurt) for breakfast or dessert, it’s easy to forego those midnight fridge raids (not to mention the midmorning snack attack). “It’s so delish that I like to cap off the night with yogurt instead of ice cream,” says Kara Wiley, star of the “Element: Slim and Tone Pilates” DVD. Opt for the version with two-percent fat; it’s more satisfying, with heaping doses of calcium, protein and good bacteria.
Quinoa is King
Deemed “the supergrain of the future” by Deborah Klein, author of 200 Superfoods That Will Save Your Life (McGraw Hill), quinoa is a high-fiber and high-protein replacement for rice that’s packed with nutrients (and gluten-free, to boot). “Since this grain is so high in fiber, giving you more satiety per chew, quinoa can help prevent overeating and thus help with weight loss,” says Klein.
“Artichokes are the perfect weight loss food, an amazing source of fiber,” says Klein. One boiled artichoke has 150 calories, with over 10 grams of protein and plenty of calcium and folic acid. “For a great snack, have a steamed artichoke with your favorite flavoring—mayo, hummus, or Italian dressing—as the fat source,” Klein suggests
As you’ve probably concluded, fiber is your friend when it comes to weight loss. Barley’s packed with the stuff, helping food digest smoothly as it curbs hunger for hours. The whole grain has promoted weight loss for 2,500 years, even impressing ancient physicians who endorsed it for shedding pounds way back in the day.
Lean, Mean Black Beans
“Beans are the healthiest food on earth,” declares Klein. Above and beyond their antioxidants, they regulate blood sugar to stave off cravings and bouts of overeating. “It’s a perfect balance of fiber, fuel and protein for increased satisfaction.” So don’t knock the “meatless” burrito or burger till you’ve tried it – most are loaded with black beans.
Taste the Paste
“It might sound off the wall,” says Klein, “but canned tomato paste is a great weight-loss food, providing five grams of dietary fiber per half-cup.” She recommends cracking open a can to thicken spaghetti sauce and tortillas. “It’s a great fat-free satisfier,” she says, “plus an excellent source of fuel.”
Flax to the Max
Here’s where a little addition to your food results in subtraction…on the scale. “Ground flaxseed is the number-one key food for weight loss,” says Klein, pointing to its high amount of fiber. “Sprinkle two tablespoons a day on top of cereal or fat-free yogurt to give you more for your chew
Eating more (and better snacks) is key to any weight-loss strategy, making you far less likely to gorge on belt-busting meals. So enjoy 10 almonds with a piece of fruit, suggests Klein. “These nuts are high in fiber, quick to grab and excellent on the go.”
Milk, Cheese & Yogurt
Low-fat, calcium-rich foods can help you lose weight in the long term. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that obese women who doubled their daily intake of calcium from 600 milligramsper day to 1,200 milligrams over the course of 15 weeks lost an average of 11 pounds—without cutting calories! Plain low-fat yogurt, especially the Greek-style stuff, provides muscle-friendly protein and contains less sugar than other types. In addition to building muscle, calcium will help you attain a strong, vibrant mane, because hair is almost all protein.
Nothing beats pure protein when it comes to building muscle. The problem with most store-bought beef, however, is that the majority of cattle are fed grain, which gives their meat a relatively high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. This, in turn, contributes to a host of problems. The fatty acids in grass-fed beef, on the other hand, are skewed toward the omega-3 variety. Such beef also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which studies have shown helps reduce belly fat and build lean muscle.
Bright-red peppers have high levels of antioxidant vitamins A and C, according to James O. Hill, PhD, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado and co-founder of America on the Move, a national weight-gain prevention initiative. Green and yellow peppers contain less vitamin A [than red peppers], but all peppers are naturally fat free and low calorie, and they contain 3 grams of fiber per chopped cup, making them excellent snacks or mealtime fillers.
Selenium is a vital trace mineral that mops up those pesky free radicals and helps protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, according to Matthew Kadey, RD. A cup of Brussels sprouts contains twice as much selenium as, say, butternut squash or kale. “Your thyroid can’t produce certain hormones without it,” he says. “You can blame hormones for a lot of bad stuff, but they also happen to run your entire system— and thyroid hormones,specifically, control the metabolism of every cell in your blood
In terms of lean protein, white meat chicken (minus the skin) reigns supreme. And lean protein is also a terrific source of coenzyme Q10, which assists skin cell turnover. (So goodbye flaky old dead cells, and hello fresh, rosy new ones!) You can easily grill enough chicken for a week’s worth of meals—to chunk into salads or slice for sandwiches, for example.
A San Diego State University study turned up this bit of fulfilling news about dried plums, aka prunes: They’re supremely satiating. Women who ate 12 prunes one day, then ate the equivalent calories’ worth of low-fat cookies the next day, said they felt significantly less hungry 2 hours after eating the fruit than they did after eating the cookies. The abundant fiber and sorbitol (a sugar alcohol that the body metabolizes slowly) in prunes keep blood sugar and insulin levels in check. Prunes may also help shrink your waistline. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that among 74,000 women surveyed, those who got more fiber were 49 percent less likely to suffer weight gain.
This is now your official go-to dip instead of the calorie bomb that is ranch dressing (75 or more calories per tablespoon!). High in fiber and lower in saturated fat and calories, hummus pairs equally well with veggies. To make it, mix the following ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy: two 10-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained, with 1/3 cup liquid reserved; juice of one lemon; 3 tablespoons olive oil; two garlic cloves; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to use.
Made from pressed soybean curds, tofu was once the bastion of vegetarians. But the plant protein in tofu— which comes in firm or soft varieties, and is delicious marinated and tossed in salads—provides a full complement of amino acids, as well as isoflavone, which helps muscles recover from exercise.
Tuna is one of the best sources of lean protein, but instead of mixing in a lot of mayo and turning it into a fatty disaster, add pepper, hot sauce, and some fresh lemon juice. Or toss some chunk light into your salads. A 3-ounce serving contains 11 mg of heart-healthy niacin, which has been shown to help lower cholesterol and help your body process fat.
Treat Yourself to a Hot Beverage
In addition to getting your fill of cold water, soothe yourself with a nice hot cup of coffee or green or black tea. These drinks stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, and stimulation leads to calorie burn, says Lisa Davis, Ph.D., vice president of research and development for Medifast. Studies show that three cups of green tea a day can burn anywhere from 78 to 106 calories, says Dr. Davis.