What Nutritionists Really Think About “Cheat Days”

Anyone that has ever been on a diet or tried to eat clean knows that temptation is everywhere: whether it’s birthday cupcakes at the office or happy hour with your favorite pals. (Doesn’t it seem like when you’re trying to be healthier, treats are everywhere?) Even the healthiest of us, however, will have times where it’s necessary to treat ourselves. But how do you indulge without going completely off the rails? We surveyed real nutritionists on their philosophies to cheat days. Read ahead for their insights. Don’t get caught up in good vs. bad Whether you’re jonesing for a donut or a kale salad, your food choices are part of a larger lifestyle, so you shouldn’t beat yourself up too much for one decision. “I don’t really think of them as ‘cheat days’ as that feeds into the concept of foods being ‘good’ or ‘bad’… or what you eat being related to if you as a person you are ‘good’ or ‘bad,’” Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, founder of patriciabannan.com and author of Eat Right When …

Green Vegetables You Should Eat

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, we decided to create a list of our favorite “greens” to keep in the kitchen. Lucky for you, this list of foods boasts benefits ranging from energy boosts to gut health with some great cooking tips along the way. We hate to break with tradition, but it’s time to ditch the pot o’ gold for a bowl o’ green! Leafy greens (spinach/arugula/kale) Just because leafy greens are low in calories and high in water content doesn’t mean they aren’t doing anything for you. On the contrary, they are actually powerhouses when it comes to nutrition and something you should try to consume daily. They contain high amounts of vitamins A and C which are building blocks for your body’s natural defenses. Broccoli There’s a reason why our parents always told us to eat our broccoli. The vibrant green florets are well known for having many health benefits and often regarded as one of the healthiest foods in the world.  Broccoli contains high amounts of phytochemicals and other compounds seen …

Pure Cane Sugar vs. Artificial Sweetener

At 16 calories a teaspoon, pure cane (or table) sugar seems harmless, but the calories add up. Some use artificial sweeteners to cut calories and satisfy a sweet tooth, but most of them can leave a bad taste in your mouth. So which one is better: higher calorie pure cane sugar or no-calorie artificial sweeteners? Is sugar bad for you? Processed or natural sugar is a simple carbohydrate that your body uses for energy and is found in vegetables, fruits and dairy. Many processed foods have added sugar to enhance flavor and add color, texture and bulk. Sugar also helps balance acidity in some foods, which is why it is a main ingredient in some salad dressings. Low-fat foods often contain higher amounts of sugar to make them taste better. There are some health risks associated with sugar consumption, such as heart disease and excess belly fat. Are artificial sweeteners good for you? Artificial sweeteners are synthetic substances that are sometimes made from actual sugar or herbs. They are more concentrated than sugar, so you don’t have …

Holiday Cocktail Ideas

Just a spoonful of cinnamon sugar (and some pumpkin, buttered rum and autumn fruits) and you’ve got yourself a reason to celebrate this season. Sick of pumpkin spice lattes yet? We didn’t think so. But just in case you wanted to combine your love of the season with your passion for clinking glasses with your besties, we’ve scoured the web for the most mouthwatering cocktails inspired by your favorite autumn ingredients. Cheers! The best holiday cocktails The holiday season is a great time to celebrate, especially after the year we’ve all had. While all of these holiday cocktails contain alcohol, they can easily be made into mocktails by skipping the alcohol. Fig bubbly If you’re on the champagne campaign (and who can blame you?), you know don’t want to add too much flavor to distract from your bubbly beverage. Which is why fig makes the perfect fruit to mix with your sparkling wine. Simply slice one fig into about ¼-inch thick pieces and let the parts soak for a few minutes before adding just a teaspoon …

Six Oatmeal Recipe Ideas

With frigid air and wind, the last thing you’re in the mood for after commuting to work is cold yogurt and fruit. To the rescue? A hearty, healthy winter staple: oatmeal. But if you’re anything like us, the same ol’ oat can get old in a big hurry. Don’t worry, there are so many ingenious ways to make your breakfast something you’ll look forward to almost as much as coffee: Blueberry banana nut oatmeal Do you have six minutes? Great! You’ve got plenty of time to whip together a well-balanced, healthy breakfast that also tastes amazing. There are only eight ingredients in this tasty blend, and chances are you’ve already got most of them on hand. Learn how to make it at Iowa Girl Eats. Clean eating apple pie oatmeal This time of year, no one can judge you for wanting a slice of apple pie, so why not enjoy it first thing in the morning? Some allspice and cinnamon bring out the decadent flavor of this recipe, and a dab of honey gives it …

Is a High Fiber or High Protein Diet Better For You?

Go beyond a balanced diet with these food group-specific meal plans – Before you jump on the next fad diet, figure out what you want to accomplish from this lifestyle change. Are you looking to lose weight, build muscle, protect yourself against preventable diseases or just try more adventurous foods? Determining this can steer you to a diet you’ll actually enjoy and want to stick to. We know fruits, veggies and lean meats are key to a well-balanced meal, but portion sizes are everything. How much fiber and protein should we stick in our diet if the end goal is weight loss and healthy living? Is a high fiber diet healthy? Yes, a diet with plenty of dietary fiber is healthy. Nutritionists recommend that each person consume at least 20 grams of fiber each day, but many people don’t reach the minimum goal. Dietary fiber includes the parts of plants your body can’t absorb, which means it passes through your body almost completely intact. Soluble fiber makes you feel fuller and includes foods like oats, beans and …