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5 Foods to Eat for a Healthy Heart 

Hey Everyone,

Try to integrate these foods for a healthier heart!  

Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber and contains beta-glucans, which help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels. One half-cup serving provides about 4.5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. 

Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been associated with a reduction in heart disease risk. Salmon is also a natural source of healthy protein and vitamin D. One three-ounce serving -- the size of a deck of cards -- contains 17 grams of protein. The American Heart Association recommends including at least two servings of fish per week (particularly fatty fish).

 Broccoli is chock-full of the antioxidant vitamins A and C. It is a cruciferous vegetable, and part of the Brassica family, which also includes Brussels sprouts, bok choy, kale, and collards. Members of the Brassica family are rich in phytochemicals, known to have antioxidant properties.

 Peanuts are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fat and contain protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. Regular consumption of peanuts has been associated with lower risk for coronary heart disease in people who eat them instead of other high-fat foods. Peanut consumption has been shown to improve lipid profiles in those with high cholesterol.

 Avocados are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which may help raise levels of HDL (good chol
esterol) while lowering LDL (bad cholesterol). They are also high in the antioxidant vitamin E.


Five Ways To Beat Flu Season - from Dr. Oz 


The flu is no fun (as if you needed us to tell you that!). Symptoms range from sniffles and chills to a high fever that keeps you home from work all week, or worse-flu lands 200,000 people in the hospital each year and kills more than 30 thousand in this country alone. There are antiviral drugs that can make you feel a little better and shorten the illness's duration. But of course your best bet is to not get the flu in the first place! Fortunately there are several simple and smart ways to defend yourself this flu season. And none of them requires full body armor or hiding in a bunker until April.

1. Get a flu shot. This one seems obvious, but it's amazing how many people don't get their flu shots. Only 37 percent of Americans got them last year, and it's looking the same this year. There's no guarantee that it will prevent your getting sick; the flu shot has been 60 to 70 percent effective in recent years. But it's definitely worth a shot! Go to your doctor, a local clinic or one of many drug store chains that offer walk-in vaccination. It takes all of five minutes, kicks in after two weeks and will keep you flu-free through spring.


2. Wash your hands … and your keyboard. And your phone. And doorknobs, faucets, the door to the fridge-any surface you use a lot and share with others. If the people around you are carrying the virus, they can spread it easily by touching or breathing on the stuff you use every day. And they might not even realize what they're doing: You can start spreading the flu a full day before you even get that I'm-coming-down-with-something feeling.

3. Keep moving. Regular exercise isn't just great for the parts of your body you can see. It might also help keep your immune system in tip-top condition. There's a clear connection between physical activity and immune function and researchers are trying to identify the specific effects. One early study found that women over 60 who kept active had more responsive immune reactions than their sedentary peers. Don't let the cold weather keep you huddled on the sofa. Get your body in fighting shape-inside and out!

4. Get plenty of sleep. If you do come into contact with the dreaded flu virus, it's important that your body is ready to put up its dukes to fight it off. Your immune system needs all the energy it can get to successfully battle viral invaders. The hours you spend sleeping are when your body can focus on rest and replenishment. Fewer hours in bed means less energy and a weakened immune state.

5. Supplement your diet. There are several foods you can eat or supplements you can take to give your immune system some added power. Vitamin D3 helps your immune system. It's hard to get enough from the winter sun, so consider taking supplements. You can also try chicken soup, large doses of vitamin C (500 mg every 4 hours), zinc lozenges, or anti-viral elderberry extract, all of which have been shown in studies to shorten the duration of colds or flus by 50 percent. 

Stay tuned next week for more FIT TIPS to supplement your program.


Ways to burn more Calories! 




 Have A Cup Of Green Tea




Green tea offers numerous health benefits and will cause you to burn more calories daily. This beverage is very rich in antioxidant content and will help fend off free-radical damage that could lead to disease. Be sure to serve your green tea with some lemon rather than added sugar to prevent the addition of unnecessary calories.

Add A Few Hot Peppers 
Adding a few hot peppers to your meal is another quick way to instantly burn more calories. Hot peppers as well as chili peppers contain capsaicin which will cause the body to start expending more energy as heat, increasing your total calorie burn. If hot peppers aren’t your thing, then cayenne pepper will work the same way.

Power Your Meals With Protein 
One of the fastest, easiest ways to instantly boost your metabolism is to simply get more protein into your diet. Each time you eat a protein-rich food, the body is going to expend so many calories simply breaking it down, making this an ideal way to instantly increase your daily calorie burn. For each 100 calories of protein that you consume, you’ll only net around 75 of those calories, so you can see how this could easily add up.

Bring Back Your Carbs
Those currently on low-carb diets for extended periods of time are also going to be at risk of a sluggish metabolism. Your carbohydrate intake is closely linked to your thyroid gland function, so not eating enough will decrease its effectiveness, slowing your calorie burn. Start adding some healthy carbohydrates back into your diet before and after your workout as well as in the meals just following. You’ll be less likely to store them as body fat and notice a dramatic difference as a result.

Get Up And Move 
Another easy way to boost your calorie burn is to simply get up and move more. Sitting for extended periods throughout the day is really going to cause a reduction in your metabolic rate and lower your total amount of calories burnt. Try to set a timer and get up at least once an hour, if not every 30 minutes, and walk around for a couple of minutes. At the end of the day this
could add up to an extra 100-200 calories and make a big difference on your progress.

Play Sports
Performing short bursts of body-weight exercises whenever you have a free second is another great way to up your total daily calorie burn and strengthen your muscles. Every so often, get down and do 20 push-ups, bodyweight squats, crunches or, if you have a bar available, pull-ups. You’ll also energize yourself in the process.
Stop-and-go sports are an excellent way to rev up your metabolism and blast calories fast. The nature of these sports mimics that of interval training, so join in a game of basketball, hockey, soccer or football whenever time permits. As an added benefit, you’ll also boost your muscle strength and coordination by playing.

Prioritize Sleep
Those who don’t get enough sleep at night are also going to be at risk of suffering from a slow metabolism. In addition to that, getting enough sleep will also increase your glucose tolerance, so you’ll be able to handle any carbohydrates you consume that much better. This means you’ll have a lower chance of suffering from an increase in body fat.

Read Rather Than Watch TV 
Settling in at night to watch TV for hours at a time is one of the lowest calorie-burning activities, so why not make more of your free time? Instead, pick up a good and do some reading. Not only will you enrich your mind, but reading burns up far more calories as the brain stays active metabolically speaking. Since it runs off pure glucose, this means you’ll burn up more of the carbohydrates you’ve eaten while reading than when watching late-night talk shows.

Use Diet Breaks Wisely 
Being on a low-calorie diet for an extended period of time will also significantly decrease your total daily calorie burn. To help overcome this so that you can burn calories faster, implement diet breaks every four-six weeks while on the program. Two days of higher-calorie eating will immediately help reverse the resulting sluggish metabolism and help you burn more calories total

Super-foods and Budgeting by Dr. Oz 

Supermarket Staple #1: Tree Fruits (Apples, Pears)

Why It's a Must Have: White fleshed fruits and veggies (such as apples and pears) have been shown to help reduce heart disease even more than their colored counterparts. Apples are also rich in quercetin, a flavonoid with strong anti-inflammatory properties. The pectin found in the skin and the anti-aging polyphenols in apples help reduce artery and cell damage, and their fiber has also been linked with reduction of LDL-cholesterol and body weight. In fact, one Brazilian study published in the journal Nutrition found that women who ate three apples or three pears a day lost significantly more weight than those that ate the same amount of calories, but didn’t consume the fruits.

Budget Bonus: Shop for produce on a Tuesday or Wednesday, when it is more likely to have just arrived, instead of waiting until the weekend. Most markets receive deliveries during the week, and fruits and veggies that have just made it to the store means they be more likely to stay fresher longer (and get eaten, not wasted) at home. And if you can, buy local apples at your farmer’s market in the spring, summer, and fall to cut costs and improve their nutritional value. Local fruits and vegetables are picked and sold immediately, helping them retain their nutrient level.

Supermarket Staple #2: Citrus Fruits (Oranges, Lemons, Limes) 
Why It's a Must Have: Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C. One German study found that vitamin C helps reduce stress levels and return blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol to normal levels after a stressful situation – which may help prevent chronic stress and decrease body fat storage in the abdomen. Eating 2-4 servings of fruit (including at least one serving of a citrus fruit) per day to reap their nutritional benefits. And, if weight loss is your goal, you may want to focus on grapefruit -- one 2004 study conducted by the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic, found that subjects who ate half a grapefruit before each meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds over 12 weeks (some even lost more than 10 pounds), without making any other dietary changes.

Budget Bonus: Skip fresh fruit when it’s out of season (in the US, citrus is typically in season from late fall and through winter) since fruits have to travel further during off-season. In off-season, reach for canned citrus fruit in its own juice or flash frozen citrus.

Supermarket Staple #3: Stone Fruits (Peaches, Plums, Apricots, Cherries, Tangerines) 
Why It's a Must Have: This (mostly) sweet group of fruits is a delicious way to eat your vitamins and fiber. Tart cherries in particular, are an anti-inflammatory powerhouse that recent studies have shown offers greater results for gout-related pain reduction than for prescription drugs. They contain an intense amount of the antioxidants; the anthocyanins responsible for their bright red pigment are also good sources of Vitamin A, making them helpers for eye health as well. They also help reduce heart disease risk, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood lipids, and may reduce risk for type 2 diabetes.

Budget Bonus: Stone fruits are summer season fruits, so it’s best to buy them fresh when they are least expensive, and most plentiful locally, during the warmer months (check out the free app Locavore for help finding local, in-season produce). Skip the pricier imports and buy frozen varieties (sans added sugars and syrups) instead when they aren’t in season.

Supermarket Staple #4. Bananas 
Why It's a Must Have: Bananas are often mislabeled as a ‘fattening fruit’ but don’t believe that erroneous myth. Not only are these fat-free, 100-calorie fruits easy to eat on the go, but they are a good source of vitamins A and C, fiber and potassium – which could help slim you down. “Bananas are a fantastic source of potassium, which can help reduce blood pressure and prevent water retention.

Budget Bonus: Good news – you can skip the organic versions of this fruit without worry. “Bananas are one of the least ‘dirty’ fruits. Save even more money by purchasing bananas that are still slightly green, since they will last longer.

Supermarket Staple #5: Grapes
Why It's a Must Have: Swap out your candy bowl for a bunch of healthy, naturally sweet grapes. This water rich fruit makes a great energy-boosting snack that can also help to reduce inflammation, which may lower your heart disease risk and even reduce arthritis pain. Grapes contain high levels of anthocyanins, flavonoids and resveratrol, all of which aid the heart in the task of pumping blood to the brain and other organs resulting in an energy boost.

Budget Bonus: Save by buying grapes in season (while it depends on the variety, most grapes grown in the US arrive from California, where they are in season from late June to December), and reaching for raisins during off-season. Raisins have all the same great benefits [of grapes] and contain no added sugars.

Supermarket Staple #6: Melons 
Why It's a Must Have: Antioxidant rich melon fruits may help promote weight loss. Melons are very rich in vitamin C, which studies have shown helps to prevent stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from peaking. Since stress hormones store more fat, especially in the abdomen, eating foods rich in vitamin C may help to shed unhealthy visceral (belly) fat. And, if you like watermelon, eat up! It may help you reduce your body fat faster. According to one 2011 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, daily supplementation of the amino acid arginine (found in watermelon) helped laboratory mice lose 64% more body fat over three months.

Budget Bonus: Steer clear of the pre-cut containers of melons that can cost up to three times as much and stick with in season melons instead. Not sure how to tell if they’re ripe? Give them a good squeeze – a ripe melon shouldn’t feel like concrete, but shouldn’t be too squishy either. And watermelon? Give it a little knock – a ripe one should sound hollow.

Supermarket Staple #7: Greens (Romaine, Arugula, Iceberg, Cabbage, Collards, Turnip Greens, Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard)
Why It's a Must Have: Greens contain a variety of antioxidants and phytochemicals that help your body stay healthy. Swiss chard, for example, is a magnesium powerhouse that can help boost your energy level and has been shown to reduce depression. And just one cup of raw collard greens meets half of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C. All leafy greens are must-haves for their low-calorie, nutrient-dense contribution to any meal plan for healthy living.

Budget Bonus: Buy leafy greens fresh in loose bunches as the cut, packaged options cost up to $2-3 more. Frozen greens are acceptable for same nutrition but avoid canned or ‘seasoned’ varieties as they are usually not only more expensive, but high in sodium.

Supermarket Staple #8: Baby Carrots 
Why It's a Must Have: These portable, prepped and easy to eat veggies are rich in carotenoids, which are great for eye and heart health. And you can maximize the absorption of their nutrients by eating them with a healthy fat, such as hummus or peanut butter (both also on this grocery list).

Budget Bonus: Something to chew on: while baby carrots may be a bit pricier than regular carrots, you may be more likely to eat them since they don’t have to be prepared before eating. And they are still cheaper (and much better for your health and waistline) than that bag of chips.

Not Reaching Your Weight-loss Goals?? 8 Possible Reasons 

You eat too much sodium. The recommended daily allowance for sodium is 2,300 mg. But if you're over 50 years old, have high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease or are African American, your sodium intake shouldn't go above 1,500 mg per day.

Your sugar intake is too highAccording to the American Heart Association, women should have no more than 6 tsp (24 g) of added sugar per day. But many of us get about 22 tsp per day. Sugar is hiding in places you don't expect.

You skimp on fiber. Fiber slows the rate at which your body digests food, so your energy levels remain more stable and you feel full longer, which helps with weight management. Fiber may also reduce your risk of constipation, heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer. Women need about 25 g per day, yet most of us eat just 10 to 15 g, according to the National Institutes of Health

You don't eat enough proteinToo little protein can't keep hunger at bay, which can lead to mindless snacking and weight gain. A piece of toast for breakfast isn't going to hold you as well as a protein-rich egg would. Women need about 46 g of protein per day, according to the CDC.

You overdo it on red and processed meats. Meat is an excellent source of protein, with about 21 g per serving. But according to the American Cancer Society, studies have shown a link between lunch meat, sausage and pepperoni and colon cancer. Protein portion size is just 3 ounces. That's the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand.

You don't drink enough water. Not drinking enough fluids can trigger hunger if you're even slightly dehydrated. While your needs vary each day based on how active you are, how hot and humid it is and how much water-heavy foods you're eating, here's a general recommendation: six to eight eight-ounce glasses per day, according to the NIH.

You overdose on carbs. Forty-five to 65% of your total daily calories should come from carbs, according to the CDC. The problem is we overindulge in them. Not only are carbs in pasta and bread but also in fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.

You skip meals. This is probably the biggest nutrition mistake on the list. There's consistent evidence that people who skip meals, especially breakfast, are more likely to be overweight. You need calories to burn calories.


 A new study in the in the Journal of Obesity  claims that people of average weight who think of themselves as fat are more likely to become fat. Psychological stress is thought to cause weight gain.

Here are a few ways to think yourself thin:

1. Get some pictures of what you'd like to look like.

2. Write out how many pounds you'd like to lose.

3. Do the dishes. People who eat off smaller plates are said to think they have eaten more than they actually have.

4. Make fit friends.

5. Be messy. Leave your food wrappers out to remind yourself how much you've eaten.

I have found that surrounding yourselves by like minded people will help with achieving your goal no matter what it is. Teaching me number 3 was my mom's favorite of course. -Felipe

Natural ways to suppress your appetite, Stay fuller longer! 

 Water, Water, Water. When you're trying to lose weight and exercising more, water should become your new best friend, but it's not always easy to drink the required eight glasses a day. Experiment with calorie-free flavored waters like Vitaminwater zero. They can satisfy your taste buds and keep you hydrated on your way to the beach.

Rotisserie-Cooked Turkey or Chicken Breast. Keep a Tupperware container filled with precooked chicken or turkey breast in easy reach. These are convenient sources of protein that keep your blood sugar from dipping and your appetite from rising. Eat them cold or reheated; sliced, diced, or cut into strips; alone or on salads and in fajitas.

Summer Vegetables. You'll benefit from keeping vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, and red, green, and orange peppers on hand to make meals more flavorful and filling, with fewer calories. Use them in wraps or to fill out pasta dishes, serve them as a side dish, or keep it simple and pile them high on a plate sprinkled with freshly grated cheese.

Melons. Throughout the summer, stock up on an array of seedless watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew to cube and have on hand when you feel the urge to "pick." Their high moisture content dilutes the calories per serving and provides you with more water - a great way to hydrate and feel fuller sooner.

Fat-Free Yogurt. Protein-rich dairy foods have been shown to aid in weight loss, so try starting your day with a yogurt parfait. Layer your favorite fat-free yogurt (try Fage 0%, which is thick and super-creamy) with berries and crushed nuts or granola. Bonus tip: This makes a great dessert, too.


 Burger King

Option #1: Quaker Original Oatmeal (140 calories, 30 calories from fat, 5 grams of protein) is the best choice available on BK’s breakfast menu; just make sure you’re not ordering the maple and brown sugar flavored oatmeal.

Option #2: While it’s a far less nutritious offer, Burger King’s BK Breakfast Muffin Sandwich with eggs and cheese (220 calories, 80 calories from fat, and 12 grams of protein) is the healthiest breakfast sandwich on the menu.

Dunkin’ Donuts
Option #1: The Egg White Turkey Sausage Wake-Up Wrap (150 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 11 grams of protein) is a great way to start off the morning.

Option #2: The Egg White Veggie Wake-Up Wrap (150 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 10 grams of protein) is a sound choice for those looking to steer clear of meat for breakfast.

Au Bon Pain
Option #1: The Egg Whites and Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich (230 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 19 grams of protein) is a great, straightforward choice.

Option #2: For those with a slightly more adventurous palate, the Egg Whites, Cheddar, and Avocado Breakfast Sandwich (310 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 20 grams of protein) is another solid option.

Option #3: The small oatmeal (170 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein) is good for those seeking a lighter breakfast.

Option #1: Egg McMuffin (300 calories, 110 calories from fat, and 18 grams of protein)

Option #2: Fruit & Maple Oatmeal without Brown Sugar (260 calories, 40 calories from fat, and 5 grams of protein)

Option #1: If you’re really craving a morning trip to Sonic and want to make the healthiest choice possible, opt for the Jr. Breakfast Burrito (260 calories, 140 calories from fat, and 12 grams of protein).

Option #1: Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Summer Berries (140 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein)

Option #2: Wendy’s Artisan Egg Sandwich with Applewood Smoked Bacon (380 calories, 21 grams of fat, and 19 grams of protein)




Boosting performance may be as simple as changing when you eat. The primary goal of sport nutrition is to enhance optimal performance. By increasing the availability of muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrate) before, during, and after activity, you will be able to sustain the intensity of the activity as well as facilitate recovery from each training session.


What should you eat pre-exercise?

  • Eat a small meal about 2-3 hours before exercise or competition.
  • Consume foods that are high in carbohydrates and low in fat.
  • Drink a carbohydrate beverage or small snack consisting of 10–30% carbohydrate an hour before exercise.
  • Avoid eating foods high in sugar (candy, syrups, soft drinks), which provide an initial rush of energy followed by a crash that leaves you feeling sleepy.
  • Each has individual food preferences, so encourage them to experiment with different food combinations to find the right mix.

What should you eat during exercise?

  • Typically there is enough energy stored in the muscles to fuel workouts lasting between 60 and 90 minutes.
  • During prolonged or strenuous exercise sessions over 90 minutes in duration, eat or drink carbohydrates at regular intervals throughout the session.
  • Drink 8 ounces (1 cup) of a sports drink containing a 6–10% carbohydrate concentration every 15–20 minutes.


What should you eat post-exercise?

  • Don’t have them wait to eat. Refueling within the first 2–3 hours after exercise is crucial for fast recovery.
  • The athlete should drink a high carbohydrate beverage (10–30% carbohydrate concentration) immediately following a workout.
  • Liquids are absorbed very quickly and help with optimal rehydration.
  • Make sure the athlete eats a well-balanced, high-carbohydrate meal and drinks plenty of fluids, especially within the first 2-3 hours following the exercise session.

 Practical Application

  • For optimal glycogen resynthesis,  follow these carbohydrate intake guidelines during the 20 hours following a workout:
  • Immediately after exercise (15–30 minutes): 75–100 grams of carbohydrate
  • Within the next 2–3 hours after exercise: 100 grams of carbohydrate
  • Every 4 hours thereafter: 100 grams of carbohydrate
  • In practical terms, 75–100 grams of carbohydrate is equivalent to eating:
    • A banana and a bagel
    • 1⁄2 cup of raisins and a slice of bread
    • 2 cups of orange juice and a cup of yogurt


Nutrient Update: Although this article’s original focus was on glycogen and hydration, it’s important to recognize the value of adding protein to your meals. Chocolate milk is one popular example of a protein/carbohydrate beverage used for recovery.

"The National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends you consume 1.5 to 2.0 g/kg of body weight of protein to ensure adequate protein intake. If your involved in moderate amounts of intense training (2 – 3 times per week for 30 – 45 minutes per session) should consume levels at the lower end of this range (110 – 130 grams/day for a 75kg athlete) while those involved in high volume intense training should consume levels at the upper end of this range (130– 150 grams/day for a 75kg person).