Eggs ‘n’ Greens
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups spinach
1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
Add half the olive oil to a heated skillet, saute mushrooms and spinach, and remove to a plate. Add remaining olive oil to the skillet. Crack egg into the pan and cooksunny-side up. Add egg to vegetables. Drizzle with Sriracha sauce.
Total: 230 calories
1/3 avocado, mashed
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 oz white albacore tuna, drained
1 thick slice tomato
1 piece butter lettuce
1 slice red onion
1 slice whole-grain bread
Combine avocado with lemon juice and fold in tuna. Stack tomato, lettuce, onion, and avocado and tuna mixture on bread for an open-face sandwich.
Total: 350 calories
Mix 1 Tbsp unsweetened dried cherries; 3 strips unsweetened mango slices, chopped; 1 Tbsp almonds; 1 Tbsp pistachios; and 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds.
Total: 280 calories
Cookout for One
1 organic beef hot dog
1/2 cup organic baked beans
1 whole-wheat hot dog bun
1/2 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
1/2 Tbsp sweet relish
1 cup sliced honeydew melon
Cook hot dog, and heat baked beans in a saucepan. Serve hot dog in the bun, topped with mustard and relish, with beans and melon on the side.
Total: 490 calories
1 cup frozen green grapes and 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
Total: 190 calories
Indulge Without Bulge
To stay below 1,600:
Add: Julie’s Organic Sorbet Bar, Mandarin Orange (60 calories)
Subtract: Sunflower seeds from first snack (60 calories)
You know the feeling. Your shoulders sag forward, your eyelids are heavier than paperweights, you’ve read and reread the same sentence seven times in a row…it’s the dreaded 3 p.m. slump, and your options for a quick pick-me-up feel few and far between. Impromptu headstand? You’re frightening your officemates. Car nap? Try not to get fired. Instead, you slug another cup of caffeine, only to find yourself tossing and turning at midnight, the cycle beginning again the following day. (Find out 5 other things that make you tired, here.)
Put down the coffee pot. There are other great options for an instant energy upgrade, says Keri Gans, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and author of The Small Change Diet—they just take a bit of know-how and planning ahead.
The key to beating the dreaded afternoon slump, Gans says, is being prepared with healthy snacks on-hand, specifically, foods with carbs for quick energy, and that are high in fiber, protein, and/or healthy fats to provide longer-lasting energy, without the jolt of caffeine.
“A lot of times, when we’re crashing in the middle of the day, we’re simply hungry,” says Gans. “What you need is carbs, that’s the bottom line. Then, protein and fat keep you satiated longer, so it’s a win-win.”
Clear out some space in your desk drawer or office fridge for these 8 snacks that pack a true energy punch:
A fresh piece of fruit + a serving of almonds. “It’s perfect: healthy, with quick energy, and so portable,” says Gans. And, you’ll be pleased to hear that Gans chuckles at the notion that we should steer clear of certain kinds of fruit. “The carbs and sugar in fruit is natural,” she says. Oranges, bananas, grapes—they’re all delicious and fair game.
Roasted edamame. Peeking in her own cabinets, Gans spots this favorite energy-boosting food—”it’s very high in fiber and very high in protein.” To make this nutty, chewy snack, simply thaw frozen shelled edamame beans, toss with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, and roast on a baking sheet at 375°F for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until the beans begin to dark and crisp up. Gans recommends a ¼ cup serving.
Baked black bean or lentil chips + The Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedges. “It sounds weird, but cheese and chips is a great combo for energy,” says Gans. “Just smear it on!” The baked chips are packed with protein and fiber, and The Laughing Cow Light spreadable wedges boast 7 flavors and 35 calories each. Try the Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle flavor. “Spicy can wake you up!” says Gans. For more foods packed with fiber, check out this list of 15 healthy high-fiber foods that make you feel full and satisfied.
Low-fat chocolate milk. “You could be dragging because you’re dehydrated,” says Gans. “Sometimes, something cold and refreshing is all you need.” Gans buys Organic Valley’s individual drinks; “I love them as a pick-me-up.” For more help in the hydration department, definitely check out these 10 ways to drink more water.
Greek yogurt + fresh berries. Go for the low-fat, not non-fat, version of this go-to snack, Gans offers. “You want that little bit of fat for energy with staying power.”
Grapefruit wedges + cottage cheese. Again, opt for the healthy fats from low-fat (2% milkfat) cottage cheese (Gans likes the 90-calorie Breakstone version). Pair a hearty scoop with grapefruit wedges for an instant pick-me-up, courtesy of the protein in the cottage cheese, grapefruit’s natural carbs, and the aroma of citrus that instantly awakens your senses.
KIND bars. “They’re low in sugar, high in fiber, and easy to take along with you,” says Gans. “I love the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, and a new one, the Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond.” You had us at dark chocolate!
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars. You can’t go wrong with a sweet treat that also fights the urge to doze off under your desk. Gans digs the Mint Chocolate Chip Yasso bars—the minty taste wakes up your senses, and you’ll get an energy boost from 13g of sugar (a lot of it coming naturally from the lactose, she says), and staying power from 6g of protein, but all with only 100 calories. Prefer Peanut Butter Cup or 80-calorie Mango? Lucky for you, there are currently 11 flavor choices.
Think a convenient, on-the-go breakfast or lunch has to come between two slices of bread? Think again. Healthy, delicious, protein-packed meals now come in a bowl, thanks to the geniuses at Panera. Their “power menu” offers all the things you need to fuel up for your day, whether that means a tough meeting, a grueling workout, a fun adventure, or all of the above.
The secret to their power-boosting meals: Lean, clean protein sources like roasted turkey, egg whites, and antibiotic-free chicken that keep you full, help build muscle, and boost your energy (no more post-lunch slump!). Plus, they’ve got nutrient-filled greens and veggies and tasty extras like creamy hummus.
Try a delicious breakfast combo, like the Power Breakfast Egg White Bowl with Roasted Turkey (which has 26 grams of protein and only 170 calories), and you’ll never start your day with a bowl of sugary cereal again. Or pick the Power Chicken Hummus bowl for lunch—all-natural, antibiotic-free chicken with cilantro jalapeno hummus over baby spinach (which has 25 grams of protein and just 330 calories)—and leave behind soggy deli salads for good. Whatever bowl you choose, you’ll get a satisfying high-protein meal that’s low in carbs and calories without sacrificing flavor.
Consider power bowls your secret weapon for keeping those resolutions to eat healthy meals, get in shape, and go bigger and better in everything you do. Power up your new year with Panera and make every day a winner. Power bowls. Part of a powerful day.
Did you catch the latest controversy on The Biggest Loser? Last week, trainer Jillian Michaels gave her team caffeine supplements before a workout without a doctor’s permission. The team was penalized for it, but Michaels stands by the supps, saying that they’re effective. “A caffeine supplement is significantly healthier than unlimited amounts of coffee,” she said on the show.
So what’s the deal? Michaels isn’t wrong—caffeine in any form can boost energy and improve performance, says Nancy Clark, MS, RD, a Boston-area nutritionist and author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. Problem is, one caffeine pill might contain more of the drug than a person needs.
“A recommended target is about 1.5 mg of caffeine per pound of body weight,” says Clark, and that’s the high end of sports nutrition guidelines. So if you weigh 150 pounds, that equates to 225 mg of caffeine—about 12 to 18 ounces of coffee. A pill that contains 200 mg of caffeine is close to that target but if you’ve already had coffee that day, or if you take a caffeine supplement before an afternoon workout, you might be awake all night, Clark warns.
Ultimately, too much caffeine can also lead to a caffeine overdose—a real condition characterized by symptoms such as irritability, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and mental fogginess. Any of these can make you feel lousy, not to mention screw up your plan to kill it on the treadmill.
Considering the risk of these scary symptoms, and the fact that dosing up on caffeine might leave you too wired to sleep at night, Clark doesn’t recommend relying on caffeine in any form and instead suggests jumpstarting your energy by eating healthy foods.
After last week’s wake-up call, Fit Bride Renee Appelle and her trainer Dan Sigafoos from Crunch Fitness really cranked up the intensity in their workouts. The results? Renee’s much happier with her progress and is showing some major improvement—especially in her attitude and focus. Read on to see how Renee used last week’s advice to motivate her for week four!
What was the hardest move you had to do?
“This week I had to do landmines. It’s an unnatural move that I wouldn’t do in my daily routine—it’s like punching upward. Anytime you incorporate a new exercise into your life that’s not how you normally use your body or muscles, it poses a bit of a challenge.”
A landmine is an awesome arm-toning workout.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned?
“I’ve been losing and gaining weight these past few weeks, and now I’d down 3 pounds. Dan thinks I’m on a more consistent path toward my goals—but this isn’t a smooth, linear route. This is a work in progress. You have to go through the craziness before you get on to the correct path.”
“Diets and workouts help, but I’m adding a lot of personal cardio into the mix. I used to go into my workouts mindless—like watching an episode of The Real Housewives. But I wasn’t really pushing myself when I wasn’t with Dan. I’ve realized that even when he’s not around, I do need to push myself because it’s a short period of time. Dan’s taught me that I can do this.”
How are you feeling?
“I’m reenergized and revitalized by this whole process. I’ve gone down in weight, feel stronger, and look better. Weight loss and fitness have never been something competitive for me, but I want to be healthy and fit in my clothes. At work, I always want to be my best and show everyone what I can do, and Dan has helped me fire up my motivation in my workouts.”
Renee’s a lot stronger now than she used to be—thanks, Dan!
Anything funny happen during the week?
“I have a hard time turning my brain off from work when I’m working out. When we’re doing an exercise—like alternating lunges—I forget what position I just did. So when I end up doing three lunges on my left leg, Dan will crack a joke about it, but he’s always having to count left or right for me to remember.”
Lunges look easy, but try doing 60 reps back-to-back.
If your partner isn’t up for morning sex, don’t take it personally: More than half of people say they would rather drink coffee than have sex, according to a new survey commissioned by Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts.
Researchers conducted the survey by calling 7,455 people from six areas around the world—the United States, Dubai, China, France, Germany, and India. They found that 51 percent of respondents said they could go longer without sex than they could without coffee—and 62 percent said they would ditch alcohol for the morning pick-me-up.
It’s not that people are addicted to caffeine (OK, maybe a tiny bit), but a majority of the people from the survey said that drinking coffee stimulates their creativity and helps them relax.
If you can’t start your day—let alone function for eight hours straight—sans a cup of joe, stick to four six-ounce cups a day (max) to reap the benefits of coffee without giving yourself the jitters. And if the liquid stuff isn’t cutting it for you, consider whipping up one of these tasty coffee recipes instead.