Health

Food

How the Chefs at Great Restaurants Get Salads to Taste So Delicious

Steal their tricks to start craving more veggies.

When you eat a salad at a nice restaurant, it tastes amazing. But when you make one for yourself for lunch on a random Saturday, it can be kind of sad. That’s why we tapped Adin Langille, executive chef of the recently opened New York City restaurant David Burke Fabrick—which has the type of salads you dream about at night for weeks afterward—to share some of his secrets. Learn from them to take your own salads up a notch, and if you’re feeling extra-ambitious, use the recipes he’s shared to recreate some of his best veggie-based dishes at home.

MORE: 9 Genius Tips to Make At-Home Salads Taste So Much More Amazing

Infuse Your Own Oil
The burrata salad at Fabrick is kind of like the Inception equivalent of salad: It’s a recipe within a recipe within a recipe. Don’t let that scare you off, though. Making your own infused oil—and then using that to make a flavorful quinoa salad—isn’t hard. It does require a little prep work—but once you taste the difference, you’ll never go back to boring old salads again.

Burrata Salad
1/2 small watermelon, cut into rectangular pieces
5 baby beets, roasted and peeled
1 bunch asparagus, blanched
1 tomato, sliced
6 thin slices of prosciutto
1 cup basil quinoa salad (recipe below)
3 balls of burrata cheese, cut in half
1/2 tsp espelette pepper or ground chili powder
2 Tbsp basil oil (recipe below)

Arrange all ingredients playfully, and garnish with basil oil and shaved* raw beets.

 

Basil-Quinoa Salad
2 cups water
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 cup white quinoa
2 Tbsp basil oil (recipe below)
Salt and pepper

1. Heat water and salt in a small pot until it boils. Add quinoa slowly, and stir until water starts to simmer. Reduce heat to low, and cover.
2. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until quinoa pops and becomes tender. Cool, and fluff with a fork.
3. Toss with basil oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Basil Oil
3 bunches basil, picked and cleaned
2 cups olive oil

Place basil and oil in a blender, and puree on high until mixture begins to steam and separate. Strain through a cheesecloth (it’s available in many grocery stores or at cooking supply stores).

*You can use a vegetable peeler or a mandolin to shave veggies, which just means making thin slices of them.

MORE: 10 3-Minute DIY Salad Dressings You’ll LOVE

Mix Multiple Lettuces
At home, you probably stick with romaine or kale and use that as your lettuce base. But switching up your leafy greens makes for a better salad right from the start. This one from chef Langille combines kale and escarole, then tops them with carrots, fennel, beets, and dressing.

Kale and Escarole Salad
1 bunch kale, washed, dried, and cut into 1″ pieces
2 heads escarole, washed, dried, and cut into 1″ pieces
1 cup baby heirloom carrots*, shaved**
1 cup baby fennel, shaved**
1 cup baby beets, shaved**
1/2 cup white balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and dress until all leaves are coated but not dripping. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp honey
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients except the oil in a mixing bowl, and whisk together.  Slowly drizzle the oil into the mixture to form an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*You can use regular baby carrots if you can’t find heirloom.
**You can use a vegetable peeler or a mandolin to shave veggies, which just means making thin slices of them.

MORE: How Many Leafy Greens Can You ID Correctly?

Be Picky with Your Ingredients
Rather than making his market salad with just any type of goat cheese, chef Langille uses triple crème goat cheese because of its luscious texture. Similarly, he uses heirloom cherry tomatoes instead of the regular kind you find in the supermarket. Of course, you can substitute in any type of goat cheese or tomatoes in a pinch—but to really take the flavor up a notch, it helps to use premium and sometimes a little out-of-the-ordinary ingredients.

Market Salad
1 bunch romaine, washed, dried, and cut into 1″ pieces
1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley, picked, washed, and dried
1 small bag baby spinach, de-stemmed, washed, and dried
1 cup white balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe on previous page)
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray
2 cups potato, diced
2 cups bacon, cut into small chunks
2 pieces triple crème goat cheese (soft creamy cheese with bloomy rind)
2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes*, halved
1 cup white button mushroom, washed, dried, and shaved**

1. Toss all greens in a mixing bowl with vinaigrette, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Spray a pan with cooking spray, then pan-fry diced potatoes over medium heat until tender throughout, about 8 minutes. Throw in bacon, and cook until heated through.
3. Cut goat cheese into bite-sized pieces. Place greens on a plate, then top with goat cheese and tomato. Finish with bacon and potato mixture, and add shaved fresh mushrooms on top.

*You can use regular cherry tomatoes if you can’t find heirloom.
**You can use a vegetable peeler or a mandolin to shave veggies, which just means making thin slices of them.

All recipes adapted from Adin Langille, executive chef of New York City’s David Burke Fabrick.

MORE: 8 Ways to OWN Your Next Trip to the Farmer’s Market

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Food

Is This Scary Additive In Your Kitchen?

Why a food company has pledged to stop using it

If you’re even a casual reader of food ingredient labels, chances are you’ve come across something called carrageenan. Derived from nutrient-rich red seaweed, it’s a natural thickener added to tons of different products, from soy milk to ice cream to processed meats—although you’ll often find it in meat substitute products aimed at vegans. Carrageenan has been used in packaged food for years without controversy, and the FDA has and still deems it safe. But that didn’t stop WhiteWave Foods, the company behind Horizon cow milk and Silk soymilk, from recently announcing that they’re phasing carrageenan out of these products.

MORE: 7 ‘Healthy’ Ingredients That Are Making You Gain Weight

They’re not the only company to be down on carrageenan, either. Yogurt manufacturer Stonyfield Organic beat WhiteWave to the punch, proclaiming in February 2013 that they planned to stop using carrageenan. Both companies say they axed the ingredient because of customer feedback—not because they felt it was unsafe.

Why are some people so down on carrageenan? Over the past few years, food activists have sounded the alarm because recent animal studies have linked carrageenan to inflammation in the gut. “Some research suggests that it impairs glucose tolerance and affects insulin resistance, raising the risk of diabetes,” says Janet Brill, Ph.D., R.D., a Philadelphia-based nutritionist and author of Blood Pressure Down. While the potential risk exists, it’s not proven; research needs to be done on humans rather than animals to explore the effects of carrageenan consumption further.

MORE: Is Rabbit Meat Good for You? 

So should you go through your fridge and start chucking all the products that contain carrageenan? Not necessarily. “If you’re super-concerned with eating clean, you may want to cut down on foods that contain it or give it up all together,” says Brill. “But it’s in so many products, it’ll be hard to avoid. And also, whatever thickening additive is brought in it might be even worse for you.” A better idea: Just avoid processed food as much as possible. That way you’ll minimize your risks associated with consuming carrageenan—or any other additive.

MORE: 7 Ingredients Nutritionists Always Avoid

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Food

Q&A: What’s the Difference Between Multigrain, Whole Grain, and Whole Wheat?

Find out which one you should watch out for.

The question: “I always see food labeled as ‘multigrain,’ ‘whole grain,’ and ‘whole wheat.’ Is there even a real difference between the three?”

The expert: Amanda Bontempo, M.S., R.D, an ambulatory oncology dietitian at New York University Langone Medical Center

The answer: These three are definitely different, with two of them being great for your health (and the other, not so much). The key word to look out for when shopping, no matter which grain you’re going for, is “whole.” When you see that on a package, flip it over to double-check that the ingredients say “whole,” as well.

The “whole wheat” label means the wheat in that product hasn’t been refined so healthy components like endosperm and bran are left intact, says Bontempo. Unrefined products also have many more nutrients like B vitamins and trace metals like iron, zinc, and copper. This isn’t to be confused with things that say they contain “100 percent wheat”—that only means it’s completely made of wheat, not that said wheat is unprocessed. Along the same vein, something labeled “whole grain” is made of unrefined cereal grains like barley, rice, oats, or flax.

Multigrain products are the ones to watch out for, says Bontempo. There are no standardized regulations or definitions for the label “multigrain,” so it can be added to any packaging as long as the food inside it contains more than one type of cereal grain. Something can be multigrain and still be processed, bleached, or refined in a way that removes any real nutritional value. That isn’t to say that something labeled “multigrain” is necessarily bad for you; if you see something that says it’s “whole multigrain,” you’re good to go—but otherwise, you’ll need to do a closer reading of the label to see if it contains whole grains or nutrient-depleted processed ones.

More from Women’s Health:
5 Myths About Going Gluten-Free
Slimming Whole Grain Recipes
4 Gluten-Free Ways to Get the Nutritional Benefits of Whole Grains

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Food

4 Delicious Ways to Use Bruised Fruit

Turn your not-so-rotten food into delicious treats!

This article was written by Talia Ralph and repurposed with permission from Food52.

So your delicious summer fruit is past its prime? Don’t toss it in the trash just yet! Even with a few blemishes, there are still delicious ways to use these foods. Fruits (and vegetables) that are slightly banged up can still taste just as good as if they were fresh, depending on how you prepare them. Here’s how to put your bruised ingredients to good use:

James Ransom

Make a Juice or Smoothie
Nicks and bruises disappear into delicious juices like this Champagne-worthy strawberry sipper or this pretty concord grape and lemon soda. For a hearty summer breakfast, bust out the blender for a green smoothie (perfect for your roughed up mangoes and avocados), or set up your dates with slightly mushy bananas.
 

James Ransom

Jam Out
If your fruit is already on its way to mashing itself up, there’s no need to keep it from its ultimate fate: delicious jam. Tomatoes get bruised, too, especially if you get a little too overzealous about their seasonality and buy a few too many. Since they’re technically fruit, we’re going to go ahead and say this jam is par for the course. The same treatment can be used on strawberries, apricots, and other fruits. Make extra, use it in this chic shortbread tart, and give your fruit a third life.
 

James Ransom

Fire Up the Oven
If you’re okay with turning up the heat, you can bake your bruised fruit into cakes and crumbles. Because everything tastes better in a pastry.
 

James Ransom

Freeze ‘Em
Sweaty from all that baking? Good thing you put some homemade ice pops in the freezer first. Bananas, strawberries, mangoes, and more all make deliciously refreshing desserts.

More from Food52:
How to Make Any Ice Pop Without a Recipe
How to Make Any Veggie Burger Without a Recipe
The Essential Techniques That Every Home Cook Should Know

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Food

Watch This Dog Balance 100 Fruits And Vegetables on His Head

This just might be the best 100 seconds of your day.

We have to admit, we’re suckers for a cute animal video. Case in point: this YouTube gem of an adorable dog named Maymo showing off his produce-balancing skills.  From watermelon to carrots to kiwi, Maymo—who has his own YouTube channel—skillfully keeps fruits and veggies on his head to impress his owners (and now us). Check out the silly video below:

We may or may not have watched this video of melancholy Maymo multiple times. Our favorite part is the lettuce faux-hawk at 0:11. Although we can’t help but wonder if his owners are really going to eat all that produce after their dog wore it as a hat. Just sayin’.

More from Women’s Health:
You HAVE to See Ballerina Misty Copeland’s Kick-Butt, Girl-Powered New Commercial
7 Beachy Summer Scents That You Need in Your Life
You HAVE to Watch These Guys Try on Spanx

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Food

5 Healthy Grains with More Protein Than Quinoa

Allow us to introduce you to some wholesome and delicious ingredients you've never heard of.

Quinoa’s known for its high protein content, and with good reason. The seed (yes, it’s technically a seed—not a grain) contains eight grams of protein per cup. Plus, it’s considered a complete protein, meaning it packs all nine essential amino acids your body needs. But it’s definitely not the only grain stand-in out there that’s loaded with protein. In fact, these five options—spelt, kamut, teff, amaranth, and sorghum—all contain even more protein than quinoa.

More From Women’s Health:
7 Amazing Ways to Use Almonds 
The 10 Healthiest Food Combos Ever
11 Foods Nutritionists Always Keep in their Refrigerators

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Food

5 Awesome Side Effects of Eating Healthier

Just in case you needed another reason to eat more fruits and veggies

From spending time with people you love to scheduling fun vacations, you probably do a lot in the name of happiness. But as it turns out, maintaining a positive outlook might not be all about what you do—but also what you eat. A new study from The British Journal of Health Psychology finds that people who eat more fruits and veggies have a higher sense of purpose, engagement, curiosity, and creativity—and they’re more likely to have a positive attitude.

For the study, researchers asked 405 17- to 25-year-olds to keep an Internet diary for two weeks. Each day, they recorded how many servings of fruits, vegetables, sweets, and fried potatoes (yes, this is a little random) they ate. They also answered questions about how engaged, curious, creative, positive, and negative they felt, as well as how much sense of purpose they had for that day. On days where the participants ate more fruits and veggies, they reported higher levels of those positive qualities.

MORE: 4 Delicious Ways to Eat More Fruit

Although the participants’ daily consumption of produce ranged from zero to four servings—and the average daily serving was just over one—apparently that was enough to impact the participants’ outlooks. The researchers wrote that they could only speculate as to why chowing down on produce led to a better attitude on life, but it could be because of the nutrients found in those foods. Eating foods packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and B vitamins could improve your wellbeing since those nutrients help your body produce feel-good chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, say the study authors.

MORE: 11 Foods Nutritionists Always Keep in their Refrigerators

The study authors note that these findings aren’t strong enough to show that eating produce actually causes a mood boost. (After all, the study was only correlational, and previous research has found that a positive mood may make people more likely to eat healthier.) While more research needs to be done, it certainly can’t hurt to swap your afternoon vending machine snack for fruits and veggies.

MORE: 8 Genius Ways to Use Veggies You Never Would Have Thought Of

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Food

9 Scary Ways Too Much Alcohol Affects Your Body

It might be time to cut back on the cocktails, ladies.

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7 Ingredients Nutritionists Always Avoid

If you see these ingredients on a food's label, stay far, far away from it.

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8 Foods That Decrease Inflammation and Help You Lose Weight

Because eating these foods is so much easier than counting calories

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8 Foods That Give You an Afternoon Energy Boost That AREN’T a Cup of Coffee

Put down that jittery cup of joe and back away slowly. Here are your new go-to p.m. pick-me-ups.

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.

More like this from Women’s Health:
QUIZ: What’s Your Body Trying to Tell You?
7 Things No One Ever Told You About Caffeine
14 Foods Nutritionists Never Eat

 

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Health

4 Fabulous Outdoor Workouts to Fall in Love With ASAP

Give these four sports a whirl and get a vital dose of Vitamin N (that would be Nature) while you're getting your sweat on

Research shows that exercising outdoors is more satisfying and can burn more calories. These effective nature-based workouts will seriously tone your bod—but they’re so fun, they feel more like play. So… what are you waiting for?

Beach Volleyball
The bikini body–building sport is all about quick sprints, lunges, and squats on nature’s best fitness foundation: sand. Studies reveal that running on the stuff uses significantly more energy than running on a firm surface, meaning beach volleyball torches far more cals then the indoor kind.

The secret to good passing: Keep it simple. Use as little arm motion as possible and make your legs your main power source. This will get you a stronger, more forceful pass.

Don’t wait until the ball is in the air to start chasing it; the key to beach volleyball is interception. As soon as your teammate touches the ball and you see her body positioning, jump into action.

Key Move: The Platform
Cup one hand under the other and bring thumbs together, but do not interlock your fingers. Keep your hands, wrists, and forearms in a steady, straight line (elbows unbent) when bumping the ball.

Pro tips from Anna Biller Collier, University of Southern California volleyball coach

Stand-Up Paddleboarding
To keep from falling over on a floating board, every muscle from your shoulders to your calves has to get involved.

First-timers can kneel on the board to practice staying steady.

If you’re paddling on your right side, your left hand should be on top of the paddle, and vice versa.

Key Move: The Basic Paddle
A. With your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, hinge forward at the hips, placing the paddle in the water in front of you.

B. Drive your arms back toward your waist; keep them straight and brace your core as you pull through the water.

Pro tips from Jon Ham, creator of Stand Up Paddle Fitness: A Conditioning Guide

Tennis
Playing on the regular can improve bone health, metabolism, and agility—and reduce stress and anxiety, per a new study. Not enough for ya? The anaerobic capacity of tennis players is similar to that of sprinters (read: swinging a racket blasts serious calories).

Get actual tennis shoes. Average running sneaks aren’t made for the quick side-to-side changes of direction that tennis requires.

Keep a loose grip. When you hit the ball, your hand automatically tightens; squeezing too hard beforehand can mess up your swing.

Key Move: The Forehand
A. Make a C-shaped loop in the air as you bring your racket back.

B. As you swing, transfer your weight to your other foot.

C. Try to hit the ball upward, from the six o’clock to the 12 o’clock position.

D. Keep your eyes on the ball as you. . .

E. . . .sweep the racket across your body, elbow pointing toward the ball.

Pro tips from Howard Waldstreicher, professional tennis coach

Trail Running
It’s way more mentally, physically, and visually stimulating than slogging on a treadmill. Plus, it makes you a more efficient runner: Research shows that people shaved significant time off of their race results after six weeks of hill practice.

There’s no need to go the distance—a 5-K will cut it. Elevation changes and uneven terrain add plenty of difficulty. (A tough trail run can take twice as long to complete as a road-based one!)

Focus on keeping your effort steady rather than your pace. In terms of exertion, you want your charge downhill to feel comparable to your crawl uphill.

Pro tips from running coach Ian Sharman, founder of Sharman Ultra Coaching

Key Move: The Short Stride
A. For better stability on rugged ground, take shorter, quicker steps, landing on your mid-or forefoot.

B. Keep your eyes on the path three to five feet in front of you. It’s okay to alter your arm movement for balance.

Kayaking
It’s a fierce (and scenic!) upper-body activity: Each time you pull your paddle through the water, you’re working your arms, shoulders, back, chest, and entire core. Pick up the pace for an intense cardio sesh.

Shoulder strength kayaking speed. Adding pushups to your regular fitness routine will help you go faster and longer in the water.

Before you dress, check the water—not the air—temperature on nodc.noaa.gov. If it’s under 60°F, you’ll want to wear a wet suit or dry suit.

Key Move: The Forward Stroke
A. With hands shoulder-width apart, hold the paddle out in front of you, perpendicular to your body.

B. Rotate your core and shoulders to one side as you dig the blade into the water.

C. Push with your upper hand, pull with your lower hand. Switch sides every other stroke.

Pro tips from Leigh Jackson-Magennis, REI kayak expert

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Food

Power Up With Protein

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.

 

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Food

Is It Safe to Take Caffeine Pills Before a Workout?

Are these supplements good fuel for a gym session—or can they cause real harm?

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.

More From Women’s Health:
5 Things That Make You Tired
The Biggest Workout Fueling Mistakes
9 Natural Ways to Feel More Energized

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Food

Fit Bride, Week Four: “I’m reenergized and revitalized”

See how Fit Bride Renee Appelle stepped it up for week four

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.

 

Food

Most People Prefer Coffee to Sex

The best part of waking up… is still coffee

coffee in bed

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.

More from Women’s Health:
How to Make a Coffee Cocktail
Good News For Coffee Lovers
There’s HOW Much Sugar In That Coffee?

Food

Energy

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Jumpstart Your Morning

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Food

Fatigue Facts: 5 Things That Make You Tired

Your extreme fatigue might be coming from one of these energy suckers

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TAKING ENERGY

What Causes Tiredness? The Surprising Things That Make You Sleepy

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5 Sneaky Energy Suckers

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Your extreme fatigue might be coming from hidden sources. Nixing these spirit-depleting factors from your life will automatically help reboot your verve.

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April 2012

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