Not getting the booty exercise results you are aiming for can leave you feeling like you should be joining Saggy Butts Anonymous, rather than reaching for that sexy new bikini you bought last year.
While you may not be striving to be as ‘Bootylicious’ as Destiny’s Child, you may be wondering how can I increase my glute strength? How can I get a perkier butt? How can I lose the chicken butt?
Getting the right butt exercise results is the #1 thing that I see girls struggle with. Either they are quad dominant or hamstring dominant, and they do not know how to change this. Any attempts to build a perky butt just results in their thighs getting bigger or leaving them with back pain.
What are you talking about Courtney?
My bad, let me explain.
When you are quad or hamstring dominant, it means that you transfer the force of your workouts into these areas instead of your butt, so you do not see the booty exercise results that you should. This is part of the reason I had so many issues for a while, my glutes simply would not fire.
If you have ever finished a booty workout and found that the next day either your hamstrings or quads are suffering, then you more than likely fall into this category.
Or, you could be suffering from sleepy butt syndrome…
WHAT IS SLEEPY BUTT SYNDROME?
When you sit for extended periods of time (as is extremely common in many lines of work), your booty can fall into a kind of ‘booty amnesia’. This is otherwise known as sleepy butt syndrome.
Your gluteal muscles ‘sleep’ due to being inactive and overstretched, and other parts of your body such as hips, shoulder and pec muscles become overactive to compensate.
This can transform into your workouts, and we can relate this back to being quad or hamstring dominant as well.
Not activating your glute muscles effectively means that other parts of your body do all the hard work, and your butt just gets… well… lazy…. and you have consistently weak glute muscles.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR GLUTES ARE NOT ACTIVATED?
As I mentioned earlier, you will certainly know if you are not activating your glutes if you wake up with sore hamstrings or quads after a butt workout.
You may also have that tired and achy muscle feeling in your butt after prolonged periods of sitting.
And now I hear you asking – “how do you work your glutes?”
HOW TO ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES
Focusing on contracting your glute muscles is key when you are doing butt-focused exercises.
Taking a moment to tense and contract your butt before and during exercises will help activate your booty.
One glute activation exercise that you can do whenever you are standing around is this:
Stand with your knees slightly bent
Focus on your glutes and use them to lift one leg out to the side. If you are not feeling it in your butt, then try again.
Lower the leg slowly, still working your butt. Then change legs. Do a set of 15 for each leg.
You can try this exercise while cooking dinner, or even in the morning while you are waiting for the coffee to brew.
Some great exercises that you can do for butt exercise results are:
Single-leg glute bridges
Superman flutter kicks
Straight leg hydrants
WHAT DOES GLUTE ACTIVATION DO?
Glute activation ensures that it is indeed your glute muscles that are working. Unless you are powering the movement you are doing through the glutes, your body might rely on your hamstrings or quads to do the hard work.
Glute activation helps you fix hamstring domination or quad domination problems.
Some other things you can do to help are:
Including hip bridges and glute isolation movements into your workout warmup.
Focusing on mind-muscle connection
Doing glute isolation exercises at the end of your workout.
Working with a foam roller to reduce quad tightness
You may also want to consider booking a session with a personal trainer, so they can check if you have any bad workout habits that are letting you down.
WHAT IS THE BEST BOOTY WORKOUT?
I’ve had a bunch of questions from my girls and Instagram followers about specific butt isolation workouts. Girls tend to ask what exercises lift your buttocks and what exercises make you bum firmer.
These workouts are great isolation exercises for your booty. They are easy to do in the comfort of your living room or bedroom too!
I recommend doing these workouts and following the timed nutrition, and you should start seeing results within a couple of weeks.
And if you want a little more help, let’s chat about joining one of my accountability groups. This will give you a better understanding of mentally connecting with your muscles for more effective workouts, learning how to eat for muscle gain, and accountability to keep going strong. .
NOW, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Now that you have a better idea on how to get those butt exercise results you have been dreaming about, it is time to get to it.
And please do not forget, you are beautiful no matter how big or small your butt is, and no matter how many songs about big butts you hear!
With more than two in three adults in the U.S. overweight or obese — and about 50 percent of those folks actively trying to lose weight — it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re getting the most accurate information about weight loss.
Ever wonder where fat goes when you gain weight? If so, consider yourself lucky because most of us know exactly where it goes. (Hello, face and hips!)
In younger women, excess fat tends to accumulate in adipose tissue located around the hips, thighs, and buttocks (think: “pear-shaped”), as well as the breasts. Females store fat all over but tend to carry it predominantly in the hips, thighs, and buttocks when they’re younger (i.e., premenopause). During and after menopause, excess fat increasingly begins to accumulate around the abdomen.
Men tend to take on more of an “apple” shape, storing excess fat predominantly around their belly region. Unlike women, this typically doesn’t change during their lifetime — bad news for those growing beer bellies.
Of course, if you’re doing strength-training workouts like those in Body Beast and eating well, you’re probably gaining weight that isn’t fat: It’s muscle.
Contrary to popular belief, muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat — a pound is a pound regardless of its composition. The confusion stems from the fact that muscle is more dense than fat, so it appears to weigh more by volume. In other words, a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat.
So, if you’re getting stronger and you’re smaller in size, but you’re seeing the number on the scale go up a bit, it’s likely due to the “lean mass” (aka muscle) you’re building.
The Two Types of Body Fat
Just as all bodies are not created equal, not all body fats are equal, either. Pears, apples, and other shapes aside, the color and the location of your body fat are probably just as important as the amount you’re packing when it comes to your health.
You’ll be pleased to know not all body fat is bad. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of body fat:
White fat makes up the majority of fat in your body. Its primary purpose is energy storage, but white fat also pads and insulates the body, helping protect vital organs and maintain body temperature. It also produces a form of estrogen and several appetite-regulating hormones.
While body fat percentage can provide information regarding overall health and disease risk, getting an accurate reading typically requires expensive, hard-to-find equipment.
The good news is that body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference correlate well with fat mass percentage in large populations.
Waist circumference, which is an indicator of belly fat, should be less than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered within normal range, while those above are classified as overweight or obese.
Keep in mind BMI alone can be misleading for some individuals. If you’re muscular, BMI is a useless measurement, as it doesn’t distinguish between lean mass and fat mass, for example.
As such, it’s a good idea to consider additional factors like body composition, waist circumference, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as insulin levels, when discussing your health with your doctor.
The Two Types of White Fat:
1. Visceral fat
Visceral fat is found deep within the abdominal cavity, close to and surrounding vital organs like the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. When such organs are surrounded by fat, they have a hard time doing their jobs effectively.
But perhaps the most insidious quality about visceral fat is that it’s metabolically active, releasing hormones that can lead to inflammation and promote insulin resistance, which can increase your risk of diabetes. This kind of fat is also associated with a higher risk for heart disease.
Men are at greater risk for packing on visceral fat since they tend to store fat predominantly in their abdomens.
2. Subcutaneous fat
Subcutaneous fat lies just beneath the skin. When you “pinch an inch,” it’s subcutaneous fat you’re grabbing.
You might hate the appearance it sometimes takes — such as muffin tops and dimpled thighs (aka, cellulite) — but subcutaneous fat is less dangerous than visceral fat. It’s also beneficial in moderate amounts, as it both protects and insulates the body.
Of course, too much subcutaneous fat can be problematic, too, since carrying excess weight puts stress on the body, including the joints, heart, and circulatory system.
Another study on humans showed that regular exposure to colder temperatures may activate brown fat to burn more calories.
Short of moving to colder climes, this may not have a practical application in your daily life, but understanding the process of how white fat turns into calorie-burning brown (and beige) fat may help scientists find new ways to fight obesity.
3 Tips to Lose Body Fat
1. Cut back on added sugar and sweetened beverages
Not a fan of plain water? Dress up your water by adding your favorite fruits or herbs like mint and basil.
2. Pay attention to portion sizes
It sounds simple, but we all know looks can be deceiving, particularly when high-calorie foods come into play. If you’re not sure what a healthy portion looks like, try using Portion Fix containers to take the guesswork out of mealtime.
No fitness and weight-loss plan to help you lose baby weight is complete without nutritional adjustments. Getting back to your pre-baby weight may be your first goal; however, the most important thing to consider at this time is fueling your body for this next stage of motherhood.
We’ve compiled the most updated expert recommendations to commonly asked questions asked by new mommas who are eager to lose baby weight.
How Many Calories Should You Eat to Lose Baby Weight?
Fun fact: Your body uses more energy to produce a sufficient milk supply for your little one than it did throughout the pregnancy. In fact, your body requires more calories — approximately 500 calories for the first six months depending on body fat and extent of breastfeeding — than your pre-pregnancy needs. That’s about 200 calories more than your doctor likely advised you to consume during the second and third trimesters.
For those impatient mommas, know that breastfeeding women naturally lose one to four pounds per month without even lifting a finger. OK, to be fair, you’re doing quite a lot to nourish and care for your baby; it’s incredibly demanding work to nurture a newborn! Add that on top of the burn from your new workout routine, and you can safely lose weight while you continue to bond with and nurse your baby.
Just like any other stage of your life, your diet should be healthy, balanced, and varied. An adequate intake for nursing mothers who are trying to lose weight is ideally at least 1,800 calories or more to continue producing a healthy milk supply. Mothers who are unable or choose not to breastfeed don’t need these extra calories.
To find out how many calories you should eat to nurse, stay healthy, and start losing weight, Portion Fix can be adapted easily to meet these needs for new moms following a variety of Beachbody On Demand programs.
To determine which calorie bucket you fall into using Portion Fix, follow this formula:
Maintenance calories during lactation – 750 = Calorie target
*If your maintenance calories or calorie target is less than 1,800 calories, round up to 1,800 to ensure adequate nutrient intake to meet your daily needs — especially if you’re within the first six months of breastfeeding (to ensure a healthy milk supply).
What Should You Eat to Lose Baby Weight?
There are no “magic” weight-loss foods for nursing mothers, so using the food lists in the Portion Fix guide is a great resource when choosing healthful options.
You can approach this in one of two ways: If you’re using the Portion Fix Container System, we recommend jumping up two buckets. So if you were in Plan C, go to Plan E.
Another option is to add a container from each group:
Start with one more protein (red)
Add another healthy fat (blue)
Add a carb (yellow)
Add a fruit (purple)
Add one more oil or nut butter (tsp.)
Eat two more veggie (green) portions.
This will help you meet these four criteria: healthy, balanced, variety, and — if necessary — adequate intake (the 500 additional calories needed during lactation).
An important point to remember when losing weight while breastfeeding: Slow and steady wins the race. Gradual weight loss can help ensure you’re receiving enough energy to produce breastmilk as well as keep that milk supply safe.
By keeping your milk “safe,” we mean avoiding drastic, rapid weight loss because this may interfere with the quality of your breast milk. Chemicals and pollution in the environment combined with ones we encounter day to day, such as toxins in cosmetics, certain plastics, and pesticides in our food, are fat-soluble and stored in adipose tissue (fat cells). As you lose weight, fat is broken down and these toxins are released.
Your body is extremely efficient and can clear many of these toxins before they reach your little one through breast milk; however, if your weight drops too fast, it could be a larger burden on your system and higher toxin levels may end up in your milk.
Incremental amounts of toxins from normal exposure haven’t been shown to affect babies’ brains or development so there’s no reason to stop or avoid breastfeeding. But it’s best to be mindful of these sources and choose safer alternatives such as natural cleaning supplies, re-usable BPA-free water bottles, and organic produce. Overall, the antibodies, nutrients, and other benefits of breastmilk far outweigh any potential risks.
Nutrition Tips for Moms Who Want to Lose Baby Weight
If you’re working out, you may need additional water, depending on your sweat rate and the intensity and duration of your workout. Clear, light-colored urine can help indicate proper hydration.
Is it safe to have caffeine and/or alcohol while nursing?
Need a little coffee or tea in your life? According to La Leche League International, a little bit of caffeine shouldn’t pose a problem for most mothers and babies. The kicker is to keep it to a reasonable amount, less than 24 ounces (approximately 285 milligrams caffeine) of coffee, and possibly hold off until three to four months postpartum, as this is when the baby develops the ability to metabolize caffeine. If you notice your baby is fussy, wide-eyed and too alert, forgo the tea, coffee, chocolate, and other sources of caffeine.
If three to four months sans caffeine seems horrific, especially in your sleep-deprived state, just think back to the nine (plus) months you went without alcohol. Which begs the question, “Is it safe to ‘pump and dump’ or even have a glass while breastfeeding?”
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s advised to avoid habitual use of alcohol during the nursing stage; however, moderate use with ample time before the next feeding or pumping (at least two hours per drink) will allow the body to process and rid itself of the alcohol.
But alcohol clearance time varies for each individual, so be mindful of your unique response. In addition, alcohol can modify the taste of breastmilk, which your baby might reject. This could ultimately reduce his or her nutrient intake.
Are supplements safe?
In all likelihood, the intensity of your post-pregnancy workout routine won’t constitute a need for any specific sports-performance supplements. Nursing mothers should always consult their medical professional before beginning any fitness program or taking any supplement or meal replacement product, including those created by Beachbody, such as the Performance line and Shakeology).
Eating more food will most likely supply the additional macro and micronutrients necessary for milk production, as long as the meals are balanced and contain a wide variety of foods to supply a range of vitamins and minerals.
In general, women who are nursing compared to non-pregnant/non-nursing women need additional vitamin A, folate, iodine, and zinc. Other vitamins and minerals of concern include vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and certain B vitamins. Your doctor may suggest a post-natal multivitamin or specific supplements according to your personal health needs.
The Bottom Line
Remember that while some days you may feel desperate to get your old body back, it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself. Try to make slow, incremental changes as your body and mind adjust to this major life change.
Eating healthy and exercising will not only make you feel better in the long term, but it’ll also make you a better mom because you’re taking care of yourself. What’s more, as your baby grows, he or she will see and mimic your active and nutritious lifestyle — and that’s a gift that will just keep on giving.
If you compare the price of organic meat to non-organic, or a bag of almonds to a candy bar, you would think that healthy eating is only for the rich and famous.But when you look at the big picture, eating healthy is much more affordable than you might think.
Tips for Keeping Your Grocery Bill Down While Eating Healthy
The first, and possibly most important, step to eating healthy on a budget is toplan your mealsand snacks. The second is to write a grocery list and then stick to it. And the third is to prepare your own meals as much as possible.
Those three basic principles will take you far, but we’ve got a bunch more tips to keep your food and your finances healthy.
To get the most bang for your buck, tap into your inner Martha Stewart. To begin with, cook your own dinners and pack your lunch instead of eating out. Next, think outside the box — figuratively and literally.
I’m not suggesting you churn your own butter or make your own pasta, but a lot of packaged foods can usually be made more cheaply and healthfully at home — like popcorn. Instead of buying the portioned-out bags of microwavable popcorn, just buy a container of loose kernels, dump a couple tablespoons in a brown lunch sack, fold it over, and pop it in the microwave for two minutes. It’s still convenient, and quite a bit cheaper! You also have full control over what you add to it. Olive oil and sea salt is definitely a healthier option than a chemical-laden artificial butter.
A tip you may have heard before is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store. That’s because most of the processed/prepackaged foods are stocked in the middle aisles, while the healthier foods are kept in the outer aisles.
The whole foods you’re looking for include:
3. Buy Foods Whole (Not Pre-cut)
Buying whole fruits and veggies is much cheaper than buying them pre-cut. This also applies to meats and cheese. Buy of a block of cheese, and shred it or slice it yourself. Buy a whole chicken, and prep and freeze it instead of buying individual chicken breasts. Buy grains in bulk (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, etc.).
4. Choose Less-Expensive Protein Options
Meat is not the only source of protein. There are a lot of healthy protein options that are much less expensive than meat, like:
Nuts and seeds
5. Stock Up on Frozen Foods
Frozen fruits and veggies are still just as healthy — as long as no sugars or other unhealthy ingredients have been added. You can stock up on it when it’s on sale and, unlike fresh produce, you won’t find yourself throwing half of it away when it turns moldy in your refrigerator. Money-saver all around.
6. Choose In-Season Produce
It’s economics 101 — supply and demand. The fruits and vegetables that are in-season are easier to get, so they’re less expensive. Don’t know what grows when? Check out thisseasonal ingredient map. You can also consider growing some of your own fruits, veggies and herbs by starting acontainer garden.
7. Make the Most of Your Leftovers
Don’t throw away leftover food at the end of a meal! Pack it for lunch the next day. Freeze it, and have dinner for another night. You might even want to invest in a vacuum sealer likeFoodSaver®to keep your leftovers fresher, longer.
8. Look for Discounts
Discounts are everywhere; you just have to look:
Participate in your store’s customer loyalty savings program and use coupons.
Check out your local farmer’s market, where prices can be as much as 50 percent less than stores.
Look into rebate apps, likeSavingStar®.
Check out online retailers, likeThrive Market. They can offer up to 25 to 50 percent savings.
9. Make the Swap
Sometimes it’s just an even swap. Instead of buying white rice, buy brown rice. Instead of buying regular milk, buy anon-dairy option. Instead of buying regular yogurt, buy Greek yogurt. A lot of times, the prices are about the same for the healthier alternatives.
10. Eat Out for Less
It’s easy to save money at restaurants when you eat healthy. Stick with water instead of pricier, and often calorie-loaded, alternatives. Skip the appetizers and desserts. You can even order just an appetizer instead of a pricier entree. Or order a big meal, and share it with someone else.
If you’re not ordering regular coffee, there’s a good chance your morning cup has more calories than you think
For many, a cup of coffee is an integral part of their morning ritual.Shower, pack lunches, drop the kids off at school, pick up a cup of coffee and head to work.
Unfortunately, if we aren’t careful, this ritual can sneak hundreds of calories into our mornings. As you can see in the infographic, the calories in your drink can add up quickly, depending on what you order. Not only can the calories make a dent in your daily allowance, but also, most of them come from sugar.
In fact, many of these drinks have the same amount of sugar as a can of Coke; in some cases, it’s twice as much.
If you’re not careful you’re going to start your day with a sugar spike, which can leave you feeling drowsy — pretty much the opposite of what you want from your morning coffee.
Not only that, but if you order the same drink every weekday morning — say, a white chocolate mocha — this can add up to over 2,000 calories a week!
But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite coffee drinks. By using the tips outlined below, you can successfully reduce the amount of sugar and calories you consume in your coffee:
Nix the Whipped Cream
Removing the whipped cream on top of your drink can save you about 70 calories and half the fat.
Lighten Up the Milk
Instead of 2 percent or whole milk, opt for nonfat milk or coconut, soy or almond milk. Oftentimes, dairy alternatives will have no-added-sugar options, too.
Drink in Moderation
By reducing your drink size from 24 to 16 ounces, you can cut a third of the calories. A switch to 12 ounces will cut sugar and calories in half. Plus, do you really need a drive-through coffee every morning (and afternoon)? Making that cup of joe at home will help your health — and your wallet.
Ditch the Syrup
Instead of using flavored syrups for flavoring, add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger to help add flavor. You can also add a drop of your favorite flavor extract.
If you’re feeling this way, team Healthista has got your back. We spoke to three experts about the best natural libido boosters and ways to rev up your sex drive. So in the words of Marvin Gaye, ‘let’s get in ooonnnn.’
Zinc for a bit of chemistry
Oysters – that age old libido-boosting remedy that has staff at seafood restaurants rolling their eyes daily. Well, there might just be something to it. All thanks to one little mineral – zinc. Nutritionist Rob Hobson explained that ‘oysters are the historical sign of aphrodisiac because they look like female genitalia – this view was especially common in the Edwardian days when they were incredibly cheap to buy. These days, we know it actually has more to do with the high zinc content in the shellfish. If you have low levels of zinc this could lead to a low sex drive as it helps with testosterone production. It’s especially helpful for men as they also use the mineral to make sperm cells – so it’s also something to consider if you’re trying to get pregnant.’
Nutritionist May Simpkin agrees that zinc is a good call if you’re looking to up your libido. ‘Zinc is such an important mineral because it’s involved in so many chemical reactions in the body. If you want to really maintain your health and performance you’ve got to have a lot of zinc. That’s why when you don’t eat meat (which is a really great source of zinc) you’ve got to find it elsewhere and it’s not always easy… Oysters have really high levels of zinc but there’s also beef and lamb and sometimes fortified cereals will even have it as well. But if you’re not a meat eater I would say try and eat nuts, chickpeas and mushrooms.’
NHS guidelines suggest women have 7mg of zinc a day. If you feel as though you might not be getting enough zinc from your food, it might be an idea to try a supplement.
Vitamin E to increase sex hormones
Another micronutrient that can help with testosterone production is vitamin E, found in plant oils, nuts, seeds and wheatgerm. ‘If you’re lacking interest in sex or lacking desire, I recommend Vitamin E. Vitamin E is important for sexual desire because it increases testosterone levels, which therefore increases stamina and also raises desire. For men, it also raises sperm count and motility which is important as well. Increased testosterone levels also help with blood flow, oxygenation of the body and this makes it one of the key vitamins to enhance sexual performance,’ said Hay.
Good cholesterol to help your hormones
Good cholesterol is found in flaxseed, soy foods and fatty fish and Simpkin explained that it is essential in keeping our hormones balanced. ‘Cholesterol is actually the building block of our sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. So the whole concept of eating zero cholesterol and reducing it to very low levels could damage this. Eating foods that are high in good cholesterol helps in the production of female hormones and that does include testosterone, even though as women we have less testosterone – but that is what gives you that oomph.’ So Simpkin recommends getting your hands on foods like avocados, nuts, seeds and even eggs.
‘That’s why there is so much hoo-ha about statins [medication taken to help prevent heart attack]. They reduce your cholesterol level but they can sometimes reduce them too low and then you just don’t have enough to make all your sex hormones so then your hormone levels are all haywire.’
Fish oil to fix your mood
Nutritionist Rick Hay clues Healthista in on another great way to improve energy levels. ‘Research has shown that Omega 3’s and their benefits on mood and their ability to decrease anxiety and depression which in turn means that if these two are decreased your desire will be increased. Bio-Fish Oil can help to increase dopamine levels. Dopamine will improve mood but also help to trigger arousal. Omega 3 can also help with the moisturization of the skin and also help to moisturize mucus membranes which help to reduce dryness and create lubrication during menopause and hormonal changes.’
Dried Ginseng slices, capsules and roots. : iStock.Source:BodyAndSoul
Ginseng for an energy boost
And if you’re looking for a natural remedy boost – Hobson has the herbal remedy for you. ‘Ginseng is known to have a restorative effect and improve physical and mental energy as well as stamina. In China, it’s always been revered as a libido booster and I think that’s down to its energy boosting quality. Ginseng might be great for somebody that’s got a low sex drive that is linked to stress or fatigue to boost their overall wellness and energy levels. You can either have this herb as a tea or a capsule.’
St John’s Wort. Image. .Source:BodyAndSoul
St John’s Wort for a pick-me-up
St John’s Wort is another natural remedy that’s been described as being helpful for a flagging sex drive. While Hobson explained that a lot of natural remedies for libido are anecdotal rather than based on stacks of scientific evidence he does say that ingredients like this have stood the test of time. ‘Remedies like this have approved health claims, just down to the fact that they’ve been doing this job for a very long time. St John’s Wort has always been something that has been regarded as helpful as a natural alternative for depression. The idea is that if you treat your depression, you’re more likely to get your sex drive back.’
Chamomile for a good night’s kip
Simpkin stressed that getting enough rest is essential for revving up your sex drive. ‘If you’re constantly fatigued and you’re constantly lacking in sleep you’re going to be exhausted and that’s going to have an effect on your energy levels which is not going to help your libido.’ Hay suggests products which include ingredients that help aid sleep such as chamomile. ‘Chamomile seems to have the ability to connect to GABA receptors in the brain which promote the production of melatonin – a hormone that helps you sleep better.’
Gingko for better blood flow
Hay explained exactly how herbal remedy Ginko helps to improve your blood flow and why this makes it useful to improve libido. ‘It’s a botanical and as a herbalist, I’ve used it for many years successfully with my clients. Ginkgo aids blood circulation and it’s crucial to have good blood circulation to the sexual organs to help with good sexual function. BioCare Ginkgo Biloba is one supplement that I recommend. Ginkgo also reduces platelet aggregations which means that it helps to clear blood vessels and promotes vasodilation [which helps with blood flow to sexual organs]. Ginkgo contains terpenoids and ginkaloids, these are the chemical factors that help Ginkgo to produce its sexual enhancement results – it’s one of my favorite botanicals.’
Peanut butter for a protein punch
Energy levels have a huge impact on mood particularly with getting you in THE mood. Simpkin revealed that the most important thing you can do for your energy levels is to learn to control your blood sugars. ‘Control them so that your energy levels are not dipping. Make sure you’re combining your protein with carbohydrates and avoiding processed sugars like cakes, sweets and biscuits. They’ll give you a boost but you’ll come crashing right down as your blood sugars are removed and that’s not going to help with your energy levels.’
To avoid these energy dips, Simpkin suggests opting for foods that are high in protein. ‘You want to eat something that will release sugar more slowly, a good snack would be nut butter with oat cakes.’
Spiralizing can be a fun way to use everyday vegetables in new and exciting ways. In about 5 minutes, you can have the start of a perfect pasta dish or the base for a vegetable-heavy salad. Make healthier homemade curly fries to serve up with your favorite protein, like steak or grilled sausage. Many of the vegetables that you can spiralize do not even need to be cooked before using.
In terms of spiralizers, there are a few on the market ranging from a $15 hand-held machine to a $30 tabletop spiralizer, all the way up to an $80 stand-mixer attachment. The tabletop spiralizers often offer the most versatile size options for the price, with attachments for small and large noodles and a straight blade for ribbon cuts. Once you find your spiralizer, get to know what you can spiralize!
To start spiralizing, choose your vegetable then give it a good wash.
Step 2: Peel & Trim
Peel the vegetable if it has a thick outer layer (e.g., winter squash and broccoli stems), then trim both ends to create a flat base.
Step 3: Choose Your Blade
Machines typically come with variations on three options:
The thin blades create spaghetti-size noodles while the thick noodles look more like pappardelle or curly fries and the flat blade works for ribbon-width noodles. Most vegetables can be spiralized with any-size blade but most recipes will specify which to use. Also, your given machine’s guide will have in-depth information about the blades included and how to safely use them.
Step 4: Spiralize!
Once you assemble the spiralizer and safely secure the blade, push one end of the vegetable onto the spiralizer to secure it in place, then start spinning. Having just the right touch is important while spiralizing—push too gently and your noodles won’t form; push too hard and your noodles will break and the machine will clog. Push forward with a firm, steady grip, but allow the machine to naturally guide the vegetable through versus forcing it. If you need to trim down the length of your noodles for slaw or salads, place a loose pile on a cutting board and chop every few inches or so with a chef’s knife.
How to Spiralize without a Spiralizer
If you don’t have a spiralizer, there are a couple of ways to get noodle-like strips with items you might already have in your kitchen.
Vegetable peelers can achieve the flat noodles. Run the vegetable peeler down the length of vegetable, creating long strips.
Julienne peelers look like vegetable peelers with teeth, allowing you to create thinner, spaghetti-like noodles.
When it comes to spiralizing beets, any variety will do. However, yellow and Chioggia have less chance of staining compared to the red beet. Beets can be spiralized without peeling, but peeling the beets creates a nicer presentation. Once the beets are spiralized, use them raw in salads or sauté or roast them to use as noodles or a side dish.
Spiralizing gives you the perfect reason to look for broccoli with the stems. Broccoli stems can be every bit as delicious as the florets. To spiralize broccoli, trim the ends flat and peel the outer layer. Broccoli stems are best used fresh as the older, softer stems do not spiralize as well. Use the spiralized broccoli raw or sautéed.
If you’re looking for an alternative to pasta, spiralized butternut squash is the perfect veggie solution. Peel butternut squash before spiralizing and use the neck of the squash only, reserving the hollow part for another use. Avoid older, late-season squash; they tend to be too soft to work with the spiralizer.
Sauté or roast the spiralized squash for a solid pasta or side dish. Butternut squash can also be boiled or cooked in a soup; however, overcooking will make the noodles fall apart.
Similar to beets, any variety of carrot will work when spiralizing. However, it’s often easier to spiralize the larger varieties. Scrub the carrots well and you can get by without peeling. Spiralized carrots are great sautéed, steamed or roasted but are also delightful raw. Use the raw carrots in noodle bowls, spring rolls or salads.
Homemade oven fries are reason enough to invest in a spiralizer. The vegetable slicer allows you create perfect even-thickness curly fries ready for the oven in minutes. Use the larger noodle attachment and start slicing—you don’t even need to peel potatoes before spiralizing. Beyond fries, potatoes are great sautéed or roasted for hash browns.
Sweet potatoes are the perfect vegetable noodle that can be steamed or boiled, just be sure not to overcook the sweet potato noodles if boiling. The noodles should be cooked just long enough to be tender but not falling apart.
The most forgiving vegetables for spiralizing, zucchini (aka zoodles) and summer squash can be spiralized into every size and used in about every way. They don’t need to be peeled before spiralizing.
Summer squash and zucchini are wonderful raw or cooked as salads, noodle bowls, tossed in a stir-fry. If you plan on using the noodles raw, you can skip salting. If you plan to cook the noodles, lay out the spiralized squash on a tea towel or paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let the moisture draw out of the squash and pat it dry before using.
This often-overlooked vegetable is one of the easiest to spiralize. Trim the ends and peel if the outside looks rough or thick. Spiralized turnips can be used raw, roasted or sautéed. Try them raw in salads or use as noodles. Turnips are also great when added to a stir-fry.
By: Digestive Health Team | December 20, 2018 | Cleveland Clinic
1 (8-ounce) package dates ¾ cup walnuts ¾ cup almonds ¾ cup peanuts 3 tablespoons hemp seeds 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon 1½ teaspoons ground allspice
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and continuously pulse until the mixture is thoroughly combined but some chunks of nuts remain.
Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving an inch or two of overhang of paper on two opposite sides for easy lifting.
Spread the mixture in the prepared pan, using a spatula to firmly press it down against the bottom of the pan.
Allow it to set for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, then use the paper overhang to lift the entire slab out of the pan.
Cut into bars.
Nutrition information (per serving)
Makes 7 servings.
Calories: 397 Total fat: 26.7 g Saturated fat: 5.1 g Trans fat: 0.0 g Cholesterol: 0.0 mg Sodium: 4.2 mg Total Carbohydrate: 36.2 g Fiber: 7.6 g Sugars: 25.3 g Protein: 10.4 g
Pop quiz: How many vegetables do you eat in a day? If you’re well below the two to three cups that doctors recommend, well, you’re in a very crowded club. A 2017 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nine out of 10 American adults are missing the mark, when it comes to eating their veggies.
That’s an especially hard stat to swallow when you consider that “vegetables are the most nutrition-packed food group,” said Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, a registered dietician in Chicago and nutrition consultant for the Chicago Cubs. “They have fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemical plant compounds that can protect us against all kinds of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”
Does eating salad feels like a chore? Chomping on carrot sticks feel like a snore? Instead, try adding vegetables to dishes you already eat regularly, suggests Wendy Bazilian, PH, RD, a San Diego-based nutritionist and author of The Superfood Rx Diet. “This approach is kind of like playing a game: finding new ways to put together a dish so you can have a delicious meal — and well-lived life.” And as you eat more vegetables in familiar dishes, you may grow to love their tastes and textures — and eat them even more, she says.
Be a Sneak! Think your fave foods can’t be veggified? Try these 4 tips:
1. You crave: fried rice. Reach for: cauliflower.
Any trip through the grocery store will confirm that, when it comes to subbing in veggies, cauliflower is king. The versatile veg is easy to mash, roast and — yes — even rice. After washing and drying the head of cauliflower, simply chop it up either by hand or pulse in a food processor until it resembles rice, says Blatner. Every serving of this cruciferous vegetable packs almost half of your daily value of Vitamin C, as well as a healthy dose of fiber and protein.
You’ve seen mushroom burgers on plenty of menus, but did you know that you could put diced mushrooms directly into the meat patty? “Even the heartiest meat lovers rarely notice the difference,” says Bazilian, because the mushrooms add both moisture and umami. For most recipes, you can swap about one-third of the meat for diced mushrooms without having to make any major changes, Bazilian says. And that sneak will lower the burger’s saturated fat and calories, while upping its fiber.
Zoodles are all the rage these days — with reason, says Blatner. Spiralized zucchini has a spaghetti-like quality that’s versatile enough for most pasta dishes. Yet it’s less calorically dense than traditional pasta and won’t give you the usual blood sugar spike, says Bazilian. It also boasts a good amount of potassium, which can help control blood pressure and may lessen your risk of stroke. You can find zoodles in the freezer aisle at the grocery store or, to make the shape at home, use a mandolin or spiral vegetable slicer to cut the squash into ribbon-like strips.
4. You crave: mac and cheese. Reach for: butternut squash.
This comfort dish usually gets its richness from a double whammy of cheese and butter. But subbing in some pureed butternut squash can add a similar silky creaminess — with far fewer calories and less saturated fat, says Blatner. Butternut squash is also high in fiber and potassium, and it lends a subtle sweetness to the dish. “It’s really phenomenal,” she says. Subbing in some pasta made from chickpea, lentils, or black beans can add some fiber and protein.
Our latest program, The Ultimate Portion Fix, has over 300 pages of recipes to incorporate your favorite foods and healthy alternatives the entire family will enjoy. Send us a message if you are ready to change your nutrition!
autoimmune diseases, your immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign
cells and starts attacking them.
1 diabetes is one prime example, in which your immune system attacks the
insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.
can combat some of these diseases and may be especially important during early
show that getting enough omega-3s during your first year of life is linked to a
reduced risk of many autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes,
autoimmune diabetes and multiple sclerosis (62, 63, 64).
also help treat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s
disease and psoriasis (65, 66, 67, 68).
SUMMARYOmega-3 fatty acids can help fight several autoimmune
diseases, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis,
Crohn’s disease and psoriasis.
them from whole foods — such as fatty fish two times per week — is the best way
to ensure robust omega-3 intake.
However, if you don’t eat a lot of fatty fish, then you may want to consider taking an omega-3 supplement. For people deficient in omega-3, this is a cheap and highly effective way to improve health. Check out my recommendations over on Shop My Favorite Things Page!