The humble cucumber may seem like a simple water-rich vegetable with little nutrients. But actually, studies show that fresh cucumber extracts contain many potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients! This makes them a great kitchen ingredient for a smooth and supple face! This refreshing cooling vegetable contains 95% water, and provides important benefits for skin including lightening, brightening, hydrating and toning.
You can use it as a toner for oily skin and as a moisturizer for dry skin. Check out the nutrients in it that make it an amazing skin friendly ingredient:
Started drinking carrot juice recently and want to know what kind of benefits you’re getting from it? In this article, Beauty and Tips takes a look at the best 35.
Carrots are a really popular vegetable. Think back to when you were a kid and your mom tried really had to get you to eat more fruit and veg. She probably didn’t have much luck, right? However, when it came to carrots you probably thought they weren’t that bad – at least compared to spinach!
Carrots look pretty snazzy too and it’s true what they say – they do help you see better! In fact, there’s lots of health benefits to carrots, which is why some nutritionists go as far as calling them a super food.
However, carrots are one thing while carrot juice is quite another. See, as healthy as carrots are, drinking carrot juice each day is actually more beneficial than eating one or two carrots. A single glass usually contains at least three carrots, and the juice is stuffed with vitamin K, potassium, manganese and more.
So what’s it going to do for you? Here they are…
35 Benefits of drinking carrot juice
Carrot Juice Reduces Your Risk of Developing Heart Disease
Heart disease is now the biggest killer of American adults. In 2008 alone, it killed one in four adults in the U.S. That’s a pretty scary statistic but here’s thing: Heart disease can be prevented.
There are many prevention measures you can take but they can largely be split between two groups: Diet and exercise. Daily exercise is important and so is what you eat. If you eat the right food and drink, you can slash your risk of developing heart disease.
Because carrots are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A, they help to bolster your immune system. And when your immune system is strong, your heart is also strong.
The vitamin A content is key. Vitamin A looks after your heart and can reduce your risk of both stroke and heart disease.
Carrot Juice Can Ease Stress
Anxiety and stress affect a lot of us and diet is very important for keeping us calm. Because carrot juice contains potassium it can help us overcome both stress and anxiety.
Carrot Juice Provides Oral Health Benefits
We all brush our teeth twice a day, right? We all care about our oral health and want our teeth to be as white as possible, and we all want to combat the germs that live inside our mouths.
However, to keep on top of your oral health, you need to do more than just clean your teeth twice a day.
Drinking carrot juice each day is important if you want to double down on your dental health and prevent issues with your teeth in the long term. This is because carrots are very good at scraping food particles and plaque off your teeth while carrot juice itself stimulates your gums and helps you to produce more saliva.
Moreover, carrot juice contains helpful minerals that destroy germs which would otherwise cause tooth decay if left unchecked.
Carrot Juice Can Lower Bad Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol: Good and bad, and you don’t need us to tell you that you need to raise your level of good cholesterol while lowering your level of bad cholesterol.
Again, it all comes down to your diet. Foods that are rich in bad fats – such as bacon – will raise your bad cholesterol levels, while foods rich in good fats will bring them down.
Carrot juice contains zero bad fat, which means it’s great for you! And because it contains lots of potassium, it can also lower your bad cholesterol levels, which further reduces your risk of having a heart attack.
Carrot Juice Helps Maintain Water Balance
The human body contains lots of different cells. To function, they all need the right balance of water. Because carrot juice contains potassium, it’s able to help your body maintain the right water balance.
Carrot Juice Can Boost Cognitive Performance
Who wouldn’t want to be smarter?
In fact, it’s not always a case of wanting to be smarter. Sometimes we just want to be able to think faster, respond quicker and access our memories better.
Imagine you’re at work and suffering from a severe case of brain fog. It’s a nightmare! It’s hard to think straight and your productivity goes down. If only there was a way of boosting your cognitive performance!
There are actually many ways to improve cognitive performance, and drinking carrot juice is one of them. Why? Because carrot juice contains fibre and complex carbs which provide you with more energy and boost the flow of blood that makes its way to your brain. This in turn improves memory, alertness and focus. WIN.
Carrot Juice Can Stabilise Body Temperature
Carrot juice is rich in iron and it is this nutrient that helps to regulate your body’s temperature. The more your body is able to absorb iron, the better your temperature is controlled. This can prevent overheating.
Carrot Juice Can Slow Down The Ageing Process
As incredibly sad as it is, here’s the thing: We all have to get older. Eventually, we will be as old as our parents are now! It’s a scary thought, but even scarier is the idea that we could look older than we actually are.
Some people age faster than others, and while this is sometimes down to genetics, it’s also down to how we life our life. If you drink, smoke and eat junk food, you’re probably going to age pretty darn fast.
Drinking carrot juice each day is a great way to slow down the ageing process because it contains lots of beta-carotene, a compound that prevents and even reverses cell damage. If cells age slower, it means that YOU age slower!
Carrot Juice Boosts Immunity
We need our immune system to help us fight infection and disease. When we don’t give our body the right nutrients, our immune system breaks down and we become susceptible to sickness. Drink carrot juice each day to boost immunity.
Carrot Juice Helps Your Blood To Clot
Carrot juice contains the all-important vitamin K, which helps our blood to clot.
This is key because the faster our blood clots, the less we lose. Moreover, it also speeds up the healing process, which means we’ll be feeling better in no time at all!
Carrot Juice Helps Wounds To Heal
Following on from the above benefit, carrot juice also helps your wounds to heal.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been there as kids: We’ve got a bit too giddy with our friends, performed a stunt in the street, fallen over and cut ourselves pretty badly.
And because we refused to eat the carrots our mom was wanting to give us, our wound took ages to heal!
However, if you want to speed up the healing process where wounds are concerned, you need to eat more fruit and veg because it’s the vitamins and minerals in them that work on wounds.
For example, carrot juice is loaded with vitamin C, which is the magic ingredient that encourages wounds to heal faster. Awesome!
Carrot Juice Can Prevent Anemia
Because it contains so much iron, carrot juice is able to prevent and reverse anemia.
Carrot Juice Can Prevent Stroke
Stroke doesn’t get talked about a huge amount in the media but if you’ve known someone who’s had a stroke, you’ll know exactly how devastating it is.
Like a lot of debilitating illnesses, stroke can be prevented by doing the right things, and studies have shown that drinking carrot juice each day can greatly reduce our risk.
Carrot Juice Helps With The Formation of Enzymes
Our bodies need enzymes, and because carrot juice is rich in iron it helps with their formation.
Carrot Juice Can Help To Control Diabetes
Cases of diabetes are on the rise, with studies finding that 1 in 10 American adults might have it.
However, like a lot of debilitating diseases – including cancer and heart disease – diabetes can be prevented. All we need to do is fix up our lifestyle and do the right things.
For a lot of us, that just means that we need to eat better. Because while there are a few reasons for why diabetes might develop in a person (including genetics) diet plays a key role. If your diet is rich in sugar and carbs and alcohol, it can lead to diabetes.
Carrot juice is a great way of controlling diabetes if you happen to have it because they’re low in carbs and non-starchy. And because they have a low GI rating, they can prevent those truly horrible blood sugar spikes.
Carrot Juice Enriches Lactation
Another amazing benefit of carrot juice is that it enriches lactation.
Carrot Juice Can Prevent Cancer
At this point you’re probably thinking – is there anything carrot juice can’t do? The answer is – few things!
Look, many of us live in the shadow of cancer. Statistics say that one in three people will get cancer at some point in their life, which means a lot of us will go through life knowing someone who has it. However, instead of giving up the ghost and saying ‘whatever will be, will be’ there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing cancer. And one of them is drinking carrot juice.
Carrot juice works as an anti-cancer agent because it contains carotenoids that can prevent the likes of breast, colon, prostrate and bladder cancer from developing.
Carrot Juice Detoxifies The Body
Every now and then, we need to detoxify. What does this mean? It basically means that our body needs a cleaning.
And before you argue “My body doesn’t need a cleaning!” here’s the thing: Everyone’s body needs a clean-up now and then, even the hottest celebrities! This is because our system gets overrun by toxins, either from our diet or from the environment. And when this happens, we start to feel pretty darn lousy. Symptoms include headaches, indigestion and skin conditions, such as acne.
Because carrot juice is rich in nutrients, it does a good job of cleaning up your system, purifying your blood and eliminating toxins. It also helps your body to achieve a healthy acid-alkaline balance.
Carrot Juice Can Boost Appetite
Wish you had a better appetite for food? Gain weight by drinking carrot juice as it will boost your appetite.
Carrot Juice Looks After Our Lungs
Lung health isn’t something we really think about until things go wrong. To make sure things don’t go wrong, drink lots of carrot juice as its vitamin A content is very lung-friendly.
Carrot Juice Improves The Strength Of Your Bones
How strong are your bones? Bone heath and strength isn’t really something a great many of us spend time thinking about – it certainly doesn’t keep us awake at night! But bone health is very important because cases of the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis are on the rise. And when your bones weaken, the quality of your life is severely disrupted.
Carrot juice helps to fortify your bones because it’s a good source of vitamin K, an essential protein-building vitamin that helps your body to bind calcium better. And when you bind calcium better, your bones become stronger as a result.
Carrot juice also contains potassium, another nutrient that helps strengthen bones.
Carrot Juice Can Beat The Flu
Got the flu? Too bad, you probably feel pretty miserable right now! However, the best way to beat the flu is to maintain a well-balanced diet. Because carrot juice contains vitamin C, it’s a great way to beat the flu as quickly as possible.
Carrot Juice Thins The Blood
Why would we want to thin our blood? To prevent a stroke, which comes as a result of a blood clot.
Carrot juice is rich in vitamin E, which prevents your arteries from hardening and therefore can prevent all kinds of nasty heart-related issues.
Carrot Juice Can Prevent A Hormonal Imbalance
A hormonal imbalance can cause all kinds of issues. Because of its protein content, carrot juice helps to balance your body’s production of hormones.
Carrot Juice Cleans The Liver
A great number of us take our liver for granted. We go out at the weekend, have a few drinks and jokingly say that our liver is going to hate us for this in the morning.
But if you were to really think about the great job that your liver does for you, you might start to treat it a tad better.
When your liver is overrun by toxins, it can’t do its job properly. And when your liver can’t do its job properly, you start to feel pretty darn lousy. Tiredness, headaches and skin conditions begin to hit.
Want to treat your liver better? Carrot juice is a start. It eliminates toxins from your liver, ejecting them from your skin. Carrot juice boosts this process, which in turn cleans your liver and allows it to do its job properly again. Excellent.
Carrot Juice Controls Blood Sugar Levels
The last thing you want is high blood sugar levels. Drink carrot juice each day to stabilise your blood sugars and prevent nasty spikes.
Carrot Juice Treats Infections
If we told you how many infections and germs your body is exposed to on the daily, you’d probably freak out (it’s like a million!).
The good news is that your immune system is pretty good at snuffing out most of these infections and germs so that you don’t get sick all the time.
Naturally, it can’t snuff them all out all the time, and every now and then you’ll probably get sick.
Back to the good news: Carrot juice has disinfectant and antiviral properties which allow it to both prevent and treat infections, either external or internal ones. Drink it daily and you can nip infections in your colon, urinary tract, intestine, stomach, throat and mouth in the bud pretty darn quickly.
Carrot juice can also help with rashes and gangrene.
Carrot Juice Eases Gas
One of the most common reasons people take themselves off to the doctor is because of indigestion. Whether the symptoms are mild – gas or bloating – or severe – cramping, diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome – few of us go through life without getting indigestion at some point.
Some of us suffer from it a lot, but most of the time it’s down to a poor diet. If you eat the wrong things consistently, you will end up with abdominal gas that can be hard to shift. And while gas isn’t life threatening and will go away of its own accord eventually, it’s still pretty painful!
It can also be embarrassing.
To relieve abdominal gas, try drinking a glass of carrot juice. Thanks to its carminative nature, it can soothe your stomach and reduce bloating.
Carrot Juice Boosts Energy Levels
Need a jolt in energy? Tired of feeling tired? Drink more carrot juice!
Carrot Juice Helps You Urinate More
Why would a person want to urinate more? Frequent urination can eliminate water weight and it also ensures that your body is discarding as many toxins as possible.
Like coffee and alcohol, carrot juice is a diuretic – a healthier one! This means that it promotes frequent urination, which can eliminate up to 4% of your body fat.
Carrot juice can also help to eliminate uric acid, excess bile, renal calculi, and it also brings your blood pressure down.
Carrot Juice Improves Vision
Remember when you were a kid and your mom told you that you should eat more carrots because they help you to see in the dark? It sounds like an old wives tale but there’s actually some truth to it.
See, carrot juice improves vision by reducing the risk of macular degeneration in elderly people. This is because carrots contain a compound called beta-carotene. When an enzymatic reaction occurs, this compound splits and forms pro-vitamin A, a key nutrient that improves vision.
So now you can tell your kids that carrots help them to see better and you won’t feel like you’re lying!
Carrot Juice Can Help With Pregnancy
Pregnancy is amazing. All of a sudden, you’re looking after two bodies! Because you now have a growing person inside you, you need to make sure that you do all that you can to keep them healthy. And because carrot juice is rich in nutrients, it’s well worth drinking each day.
If you’re pregnant at the moment, your doctor might told you that you need to put on weight. A good, healthy way to do just that is to drink carrot juice. A glass contains up to 4 carrots and its vitamin C and beta-carotene content is a great way to gain weight.
Carrot juice can also help with the recovery process once you’ve given birth because it loads you with energy.
Carrot Juice Can Make You Stronger
Who says you need to eat steak to be stronger? Vitamin E boosts our physical strength and carrot juice contains lots of it! This key vitamin can also limit muscle damage after a workout.
Carrot Juice Can Promote Hair Growth
Is there a woman alive who doesn’t care about her hair? Probably not. Let’s face it, hair is important and any man that tells us not “get over it” when our hair is falling out in great chunks and taking ages to grow back is not worth our time!
The thing is that hair doesn’t tend to fall out for no reason, and if it’s slow to grow back? There’s usually a reason for that, and it comes down to a deficiency of some sort.
Because carrot juice contains vitamin E and C, it’s able to boost circulation and promote healthy hair growth.
At the same time, carrot juice – when drank on the daily – can slow down the ageing process so that your hair doesn’t grey before your time.
Carrot Juice Can Prevent Muscle Disorders
Because of its potassium content, carrot juice is able to prevent muscle disorders. Potassium ensures that nerves and muscles function correctly.
If you’re trying to lose weight , it’s easy to be tempted by diets that promise weight loss fast. While some diets are obviously gimmicky and not worth your time, the promise of a low-fat or low-carb diet sparking weight loss is intriguing and actually pretty legit. Both eating philosophies have been around for a while, and you’ve probably met people who have tried one or the other and lost weight.
But when it comes to choosing what’s best for you, it’s more than just choosing one macronutrient to cut back on for a month or two. Following both a low-fat and low-carb diet can definitely result in weight loss—whether or not they’re the healthiest, most sustainable weight-loss methods is another story.
Also, important disclaimer before we move forward at all: And if you have a history of disordered eating, cutting out entire food groups is something you should discuss with your doctor beforehand. Actually, even if you don't have a history of disordered eating, it's a good idea to consult a medical or nutrition expert before radically changing your diet in this way. If you're interested in losing weight, it's important to recognize that diets alone are not sustainable in the long-run, and that the process is long and takes a lot of work on a lot of levels. Beyond focusing on your nutrition intake, you also need to make sure you're getting good, consistent, quality sleep, and minimizing your stress. And in addition to that, it's important to keep your expectations reasonable and focus on changes that are healthy, not harmful. Not all weight-loss goals are realistic or achievable; and even if they are, they may not be worth it in light of what single-mindedly focusing on weight loss can do to your mental health. The bottom line with weight loss is that it's deeply personal, it's different for everyone, and there's no magic bullet or quick fix. The most important thing is to be respectful of your body and mind and be kind to yourself.
With that being said, if you're still interested in adjusting your diet for weight loss, here’s what you need to know about trying to lose weight by adopting either a low-carb or low-fat diet.
In the short term, either method will help you drop pounds.
Cutting calories , no matter if they’re coming from fat or carbs, reduces your overall energy intake and will help you lose weight. “From a straight weight loss perspective, it doesn’t make a difference,” Gary Foster, Ph.D. , chief scientific officer at Weight Watchers International, psychologist, obesity investigator, and behavior change expert, tells SELF. You may lose more upfront cutting carbs —they hold onto water so the water weight will come off quickly. But you’ll lose weight on either a low-carb or low-fat diet as long as your overall calorie intake is lower than the amount of energy you’re burning .
The problem is that the more restrictive your diet is, the more likely it is to fail.
Initial weight loss may make it seem like you’re on the right track, but if your diet isn’t sustainable long term, it’s going to fail, Foster says. Excluding foods may seem doable or even appealing in the short term “because the rules are easy to follow, but ultimately it’s short lived because it’s not sustainable,” says Foster. Limiting what foods you can and cannot eat will inevitably lead to boredom and feelings of deprivation. Most people aren’t going to keep doing something that makes them feel that way.
Foster says that research shows that if people can maintain a calorie deficit by developing eating habits and behaviors that are sustainable, it will always result in greater weight-loss success, no matter what they’re even eating.
It’s also important to remember that nutrition and weight-loss programs should be very personalized.
The truth is, what works for you might not work for your friend . It’s so individualized, Jackie Baumrind, M.S., R.D., dietitian at Selvera Wellness , tells SELF. “Instead of trying to pick one ting and eliminate it, you need to see what works best for your body. Some people gain and others lose on one diet.”
And that not all carbs and fats affect your body in the same way.
Experts are realizing more and more that not all calories are created equal . When you’re cutting calories for weight loss, it’s just as important that you cut and keep the right thing—that’s what ultimately matters most for your long-term health. “Carbs in broccoli, watermelon, and asparagus are quite different from carbs in cookies, candies, and pastries,” Foster says. “Healthy oils and saturated fats are going to act differently in the arteries and on your overall health.” Weight loss may be your immediate goal, but developing sustainable eating habits that also improve your health will benefit you most in the long run—you’ll look and feel healthy on both the inside and outside.
Cutting back on both fat and carbs, by ditching the not-so-healthy kinds and sticking with the healthiest ones, is best.
If you’re cutting calories, you don’t have to choose between fat and carbs. You can and should cut a little bit of both—just make sure to cut the not-so-healthy ones. For example, lower your carb intake by eating fewer pastries, sugary cereals, and white flour products, but keep whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. While saturated fats might not be tragically horrible for us like we once believed, we know there are plenty of healthier fats that we should be eating daily , so opt for those instead when you can. You’ll end up naturally filling up on nutrient-dense foods, controlling your portions better, and ultimately eating only what your body needs.
That’s why experts agree that developing healthy eating habits always trumps cutting food groups or going on a diet.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Adopting a healthy diet is always better than going on a diet. Developing healthy eating habits , eating more nutrient-dense foods and less sugary , nutritionally void foods, and controlling your portions is what will lead to lasting weight loss. It might happen more slowly, but it’ll stick.
Luckily, Foster says most people are starting to adopt this mindset. “People used to say, ‘Just let me lose weight. Just get me there.’ Now folks are saying, ‘I want to lose weight but if I don’t come out with healthier eating patterns and a greater sense of fitness, then I’m just not interested.’” There really is no sense in suffering through a month of deprivation to just put the weight back on again once you stop dieting. If may require more patience and persistence to reach your weight-loss goals in a healthy and sustainable way, but we promise it’s worth it.
Acai bowls have been blowing up Instagram feeds for years now, and with good reason. Not only do they look good, they taste amazing—all while giving you a serious dose of produce, plus whatever healthy add-ons you put on top. Right? Actually, while acai bowls are good for you in theory, experts point out that there are a lot of potential pitfalls with the dish, especially if you'd like to lose weight .
Before we get to that, it's important to keep in mind that health and weight loss look different for every person. If you want to lose weight, what works for you might not work for others, and vice versa. And before making any changes, consider whether they're helping or harming your health and happiness. For example, if you have a history of disordered eating , you should talk to your doctor before starting a new eating plan, especially one geared for weight loss. Even if you don't have that history, setting healthy, realistic goals and expectations is essential. Weight loss is about a lot more than how you prep meals like acai bowls. You've also got to think about whether you’re getting good rest and trying to keep your stress levels down, along with factors outside of your control, like health conditions and hormones. It's most important to stay in tune with your body and treat yourself with as much kindness as possible.
Now, when it comes to acai bowls, there are a few key things to know. “Acai is great, but I find that acai bowls have a health halo among my clients,” Jessica Cording , a New York-based R.D., tells SELF. “They eat a bowl in the morning and feel like they’re set for the day, healthy eating-wise.”
The acai puree packets that are used to make the bowls aren’t really an issue—a 100 gram packet of Sambazon puree contains just 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, and no sugar. But the things that are added to make a bowl (often almond milk, berries, and bananas) add up calorie-wise, mostly from sugar, Cording says.
The sugar load is an issue for another reason, too. “Even though it's the naturally present sugar in the fruit, it's still a lot for the body to handle in one sitting, especially if there's minimal protein or fat to buffer the breakdown of that sugar,” Cording says. As a result, your blood sugar can spike and then plummet, leaving you feeling hungry not long after you have a bowl.
That said, you don’t need to swear off acai bowls—experts say you should just be smart about how you have them. Try these tricks for a healthier bowl:
1. First of all, make them yourself.
It’s easier than you think to make an acai bowl at home. And, when you do, you can control what—and how much of each ingredient—goes into it, Cording says. (You can buy frozen acai puree packets online or at your local health food store.)
2. Watch your bowl size.
Most of the recipes you'll find make a massive bowl, so you can often halve the ingredients list for a better serving size. “Acai bowls can be such a great whole-food choice for a meal or snack, but the typical portion size is way over the recommended 1 cup serving for most fruits, especially since it's mostly blended, contributing too much sugar at one time inside your body,” Beth Warren, R.D.N., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living a Real Life With Real Food , tells SELF.
3. Curb your toppings and sweeteners.
Treats like granola, nuts, and coconut are delicious, but they’re also high in calories . That’s why Cording recommends you limit yourself to one or two toppings and keep tabs on how much you add of each. Warren also says it's a good idea to take a pass on added sweeteners, like honey, since you already get so much natural sugar from the fruits.
4. Load up on protein.
A protein source, like natural peanut butter or chia seeds, can help lower the glycemic load of the bowl and help stabilize your blood sugar, Warren says. With a little extra protein, you’ll likely feel fuller longer and won’t experience a blood-sugar crash afterwards that can leave you feeling irritable and hungry.
5. Throw some greens into the mix.
To balance out some of the sugar, try blending greens like spinach and kale with the acai puree. Then you can put fruit you'd otherwise blend on top so you can better gauge your portions, Warren says.
Overall, experts are pro-acai bowls when they’re done right. “Acai bowls are a great whole food choice for meal or snack as long as you are mindful about portion sizes and added ingredients,” says Warren.
Watch: How To Make 6 Healthy Breakfast Toasts For Weight Loss
If you’re determined to figure out how to meal prep , you’re in luck. Nothing feels more adult than actually preparing your meals in advance. When your fridge is stocked with ready to eat grains, vegetables, and proteins, you can throw together a satisfying meal in a matter of minutes—bing, bang, boom…breakfast, lunch, dinner. You’re eating well, saving time, and living your best life.
Now if only meal prep were actually easy to do. Making enough food for a week’s worth of meals is time consuming, and if you’ve never done it before, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you get started. For one, you’ll need to carve out at least a couple hours a week to do it, because no matter how hard you try, one hour just isn’t going to cut it. You’ll also want to invest in the right cooking equipment and food storage units, and stock your freezer, fridge, and pantry with healthy ingredients that are built to last.
Once you’ve done all this, you’re still probably going to encounter the occasional meal prep bump in the road, because there are a handful of common mistakes that can trip up even the most expert meal-prepper. Of course, prepping healthy meals isn’t always about weight. There are plenty of good reasons to plan and make ahead, like saving time after work, saving money, and controlling what you’re eating by making it yourself. But if you are trying to lose weight, it’s important to note that what works for some doesn’t always work for others. And it’s incredibly important to think about why you actually want to lose weight—and whether doing so is a healthy decision that will make your life better. For example, if you have a history of disordered eating , you should talk to your doctor before starting a new eating plan. Even if you don’t have that history, setting healthy, realistic goals and expectations is key. Really, weight loss is about a lot more than what you make when you meal prep. Consider your stress levels and sleep quality, plus factors outside of your control, like health conditions and hormones. Above all, be kind to yourself!
With that said, whether your goal is weight-loss or healthy eating, these four mistakes could get in the way. Read ’em, learn ’em, and ditch ’em.
1. You’re prepping too much food.
When it comes to meal prep, better safe than sorry isn’t always the best attitude to have. Over-prepping can often leave you with more food than you actually need. And if you don’t recognize that you’ve gone overboard, then you’re likely to divvy it all up into Tupperwares and consume excess calories while patting yourself on the back for your hard work. It just takes a little measuring and math: If you only eat a half cup of brown rice at a time, and you’re trying to prep enough for five different meals, 2 1/2 cups should hold you over. Anymore than than and you’ll end up eating more rice than you meant to.
If you’re playing it too safe with your portions, you may find you didn’t actually make enough. This is annoying because you’re either going to run out of food by Wednesday, or you’re going to be stuck eating insanely small meal portions all week long. Too small meals won’t keep you satisfied, which may lead you to overcompensate with extra snacks, or by making your next meal too big. (Or both.)
Unfortunately, there’s no perfect solution to avoid under-prepping, at least not while you’re just starting to get into a routine. When you first begin meal prepping, you’re not going to know exactly how much food you’ll always need. So, for the first couple of weeks, take note of how you feel after each meal. If you find that you’re still hungry, you may want to up the portions. And if you find that you’re too full, do just the opposite.
3. You use store-bought sauces and dressings.
Store-bought salad dressings are often full of extra calories, added sugars, and more sodium than those that are homemade. It’s an easy way to take a meal down a couple notches on the health-o-meter without even realizing it . Luckily, there are lots of ways to add flavor without dousing your good intentions in compromising condiments. Try flavoring your food with a few sprinkles of your favorite spices (turmeric , anyone?). Even just a light drizzle of olive oil or spritz of lemon juice can do wonders to a meal. If you feel like making your own dressing, a simple vinaigrette is one option that you can throw together in a jiff. Start with three-parts oil to one-part vinegar, season it with salt and pepper, and (if you like to turn up) a splash of lemon juice, then mix it all up, drizzle, and go.
4. You don’t actually like the food you cooked.
This happens to me all the time. I make a bunch of food because I know it’s good for me, and I convince myself that I’m going to eat it, and I’m going to like it. But then the time comes to dig in and I remember that, no, I don’t like fennel, or I am not into this plain chicken breast, so I just end up buying something else to eat instead.
This is both a waste of money and time, and the food I usually end up eating isn’t all that healthy . If this is a problem you’re all too familiar with, the solution is simple: Don’t try to force yourself to eat something just because it’s “healthy.” Prep foods you know you like or that sound legitimately delicious. Because when recipes like these high-protein pastas exist, there’s no reason healthy eating should be a drag.
Have you ever wondered, “what is a hair mask and do I need a hair mask?” First, let’s be clear that it isn’t something you wear on your head. But it is something you put on your hair, and it can help you have the locks you’ve longed for. A hair mask is an easy and simple way to improve shine and manageability while providing nourishment to the cuticle, and it can be done right at home.
But who needs a hair mask? Well, it’s great for just about anyone, but can definitely offer hair health benefits for anyone who spends a lot of time in the sun, pool or adds color or other chemical products to their hair. While my DIY hair dye is the way to go, realistically, we know that most head straight to the salon for a change in color — but those chemicals truly damage the hair over time, especially if not used properly.
Whether you color your hair at the salon or at home, giving your hair and scalp a good mask treatment on a regular basis can help take care of those unruly strands. (Just like certain vitamins boost hair health.)
You may be thinking that your daily conditioner can do just as well, but because the conditioner just sits on the surface of the hair briefly, it can’t get to the cuticle, which is where the benefits occur. And if you are concerned about existing split ends, a hair mask treatment can make a difference. A haircut is part of the solution, but regular treatment can help those split ends retain moisture and be less noticeable. (1)
Background of Your Hair
To better understand, let’s learn a little bit about hair. Hair is a structured network consisting of the cuticle, cortex and medulla. The medulla is usually found in coarser hair like grey hair, thick hair and beard hair, and may have a lot to do with split ends.
The cuticle contains overlapping scales known as keratinocytes. Some people have thicker layers of cuticles, whereas others have thinner layers. Those with thinner layers are more prone to breakage.
You have probably heard about hair having protein. It is true. Beneath the membranes of the cuticle cells are three layers that contain proteins, some of which are responsible for the absorption of water and the hair’s ability to repair damage formed by such chemicals as hair color products. (2) The cortex contains the mass of the human hair and is comprised of protein and melanin as well as a matrix of fibrous structures called macrofibrils. When hair goes through different processes from cosmetic dyes, to perms and even hair straightening, it affects the strength of the hair and its ability to stay healthy. These products and processes can cause major damage such as split ends or cracks to the cuticle. And keep in mind that most shampoos out there contain a ton of chemicals too. It’s clear that excessive and repeated chemical treatments, poor grooming habits such as using shampoos and conditioners with chemical-laden ingredients, environmental exposure, and even poor management of hair ties and brushing techniques can produce changes in hair texture that cause that frustrating hair breakage, tangling and frizzing. (3)
Regardless of where you are in your battle to have luxuriously, shiny thick hair, preventing cuticle damage by using this DIY hair mask may be able to save you plenty of heartache.
How to Make a DIY Hair Mask for Dry or Curly Hair
To make this DIY hair mask, it is easiest if you use a blender, though you can use a bowl and whisk. Let’s start by placing the hair-benefitting coconut oil and avocado in the blender. For curly hair, you may want to try the olive oil per the ingredients list above.
If you are using the whisk method, you will need to soften the coconut oil first by slightly heating it. Coconut oil has long claimed reign as the king of oils for just about everything from whitening your teeth to zapping those zits, but it’s also the perfect ingredient for a hair mask. Coconut oil works because it’s high in fatty acids, which provide much needed nourishment and moisturizing for the scalp and hair. Studies have shown that coconut oil reduces hair breakage, possibly because it penetrates the hair follicle.
For the curly headed, olive oil is an emollient that can penetrate the hair. Olive oil is great for curly hair because it is naturally lightweight, allowing it to provide moisturizing without weighing down curls.
Avocado has long been used for improving the condition of the hair by moisturizing. The avocado is known as one of the most nutrition-packed foods on the planet, and it may prevent your hair from falling out while promoting hair growth! Being deficient in some vitamins can greatly affect the health of your hair from how shiny it is to to how thick it is. Avocados contain a fair amount of vitamins B and E, which can help protect and strengthen hair deep down to the cellular level. (4)
Now that you have blended the oils and avocado, add the eggs and honey for the DIY hair mask. Eggs are probably no surprise since they have been used to promote healthy hair since the 1940s, but what makes them so great? Eggs are jam-packed with lecithin and protein, two attributes that can help strengthen and moisturize your hair. And because egg yolks are great at binding all of the ingredients, it helps provide an evenly applied mask. (5)
A bonus is the sulfur they contain, which may help reduce dandruff. And, of course, honey can add to the emulsifying feature that the eggs provide, but it goes well beyond that. Raw honey is a humectant attracting moisture from the air. It’s antibacterial, containing lots of antioxidants, which leads to healthy scalp and hair all while sealing moisture and adding shine. (6) (7)
Now that you have blended all ingredients, let’s add the last ingredients for your DIY hair mask: rosemary and lavender essential oils. Rosemary oil has phenomenal properties, making it a great addition to this DIY hair mask. It has been reported that some experience an increase in new and rapid hair growth after using rosemary essential oil on a regular basis. In fact, people that live in the Mediterranean area have been using rosemary for hair care of hundreds of years. It works because it promotes cell division while dilating blood vessels. This action stimulates hair follicles that encourage new hair growth. Additionally, studies have shown an increase in healing of the scalp due to microcirculation. (8)
Lavender essential oil is great for hair, and like rosemary, can even help with hair growth. A study by a group of dermatologists showed that “44 percent of alopecia patients who were tested experienced new hair growth when they massaged their scalp daily with lavender and other essential oils for seven months.” (9)
Once you have combined all ingredients into your blender, blend again making sure they are well combined. To apply, dampen your hair, then apply the mask evenly throughout, making sure to cover all of the hair, especially the ends. Once you have applied it, cover the hair with a shower cap or towels so that you do not get it on your clothes. If you have long hair, tie it up first, then cover it. Allow the mask sit for 45 minutes to an hour. Wash out the mask with a natural shampoo and conditioner. For best results, try applying this mask once a week.
Most have no problem using any of these ingredients; however, if you notice any irritation, stop using immediately. One or more ingredients could cause an allergic reaction. Also, be careful avoid getting the mixture in your eyes. Make sure your essential oils are 100 percent certified organic for best results.
DIY Hair Mask with Lavender and Rosemary Oil for Healthy, Beautiful Hair
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1 application (double the recipe if you have very long hair)
I love finding new ways to exfoliate and hydrate my skin, and this DIY cucumber body scrub not only makes my skin super-soft, the smell is also intoxicating! The best news is, you can blend this easy cucumber body scrub at home using just a few simple but nourishing ingredients.
Cucumber body scrub
This cucumber body scrub recipe offers a super way to have a refreshing scrub without harsh chemicals or bold scents overwhelming you.
A cucumber scrub is light and smooth while still cooling and energizing.
The freshness in the cucumber and optional basil will awaken your skin, while the sugar gently buffs off old skin cells and reveals healthy new layer of skin. The cherry on top is the moisturizing coconut oil that will absorb into your skin leaving it silky smooth.
Use as the last thing you do in the slower and simply rinse off, then pat dry (instead of rubbing), this will help keep the coconut oil on your skin and moisturize all day long, giving your arms and legs a gorgeous, healthy glow.
I really love cucumbers in beauty products. I’m partial to the fantastic scent, but cucumber is also full of antioxidants, reduces inflammation and ultra-hydrating.
This cucumber body scrub takes very little effort to whip-up, and it’s a great way to pamper your skin. I love using it to scrub the rough skin on my knees and elbows and find that my skin looks and feels plumper after I’ve used it.
Grab the recipe and instructions for this great DIY cucumber body scrub below and be sure to let me know how you like it if you give it a try!
Wash the cucumber and basil and pat dry then toss in the blender, you can pre-chop or slice before blending. Pour the sugar on top and then add in soft or liquid coconut oil. Whip until the cucumbers have broken down and you’re happy with the consistency; this took about 45 seconds to a minute in our blender. If the cucumber is chilled or cold when it goes in the blender then it may cause the coconut oil to solidify, this happened with mine and wasn’t a problem at all, yours might just look a pinch different from what is shown if the ingredients you use are all room temperature.
Pour into a jar that can be sealed and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. This should keep nicely for up to two weeks. Simply plan to take it out of the fridge a little bit before you will use it or you can scoop some out and put it into a shower or bath safe dish when ready to use. If giving this as a gift, be sure to remind friends that they’ll need to keep it chilled and an eye on the shelf life because of the fresh ingredients.
*Just make sure to take extra care when using oils (like the coconut oil in this) in the bath or shower as they can make surfaces and floors slippery.
If you enjoyed this post, please follow me on Instagram and don't forget to say hello! You can also tag your recipes and crafts with #DearCrissy. I'd love to see how you've been inspired! 💗
While healthy snack ideas are nice in theory, it may be hard to put them into practice. We live in a world that's equal measures go-go-go and all about convenience, meaning that it's usually so much easier to grab something rather than whip up a healthy snack yourself. But here's a little weight-loss secret: Preparation is everything, especially when it comes to snacks . While you might have all your healthy meals set in stone, if you go too many hours in between them without eating, you leave yourself open to becoming ravenous and hangry, then housing a box of cookies in the blink of an eye when you hadn't actually meant on indulging. Healthy snack ideas and recipes are essential for avoiding those moments, which is why we're here to help you out.
Of course, healthy snacks are only part of what you eat in a day, and what you eat in a day is only part of what it takes to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way. If that is your goal, there are other things you need to think about in order to get there. (If it's not your goal, that's cool—all this advice and all these snacks are helpful ways to eat and be healthier overall.) To lose weight you need to be thoughtful about your physical activity, your stress levels, how much sleep you get, and any confounding medical issues. Food is just part of the equation. The truth is, losing weight is a different experience for every person. What might work for your best friend might not work for you, and that's fine. And if you have a history of disordered eating , it's a good idea to check in with your doctor before changing your eating habits.
These healthy snack ideas are intended to supplement healthy meals. They can help you take care of yourself in the spaces in between—to keep you full and fueled and feeling your best, all day, every day.
If you want to sate a salt craving, eat…
1. 23 almonds (161 calories). Almonds serve up healthy fats , which play a big role in making food both tasty and satisfying.
2.Brami Lupini Beans (35 calories). These edamame-like beans contain 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per serving, both of which are key in helping you stave off hunger. As if that weren't good enough, they also contain no added sugar.
3. 3 tablespoons hummus and 5 large baby carrots (125 calories). Given that hummus is made of chickpeas, it's a snacking star, packing in protein and fiber to keep you full. Plus, it's a pretty tasty vehicle for getting in your daily recommended 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day .
4. 2 cups sliced bell peppers and 2 tablespoons guacamole (108 calories). What a delicious way to eat the rainbow —bell peppers offer fiber, plus a whole host of vitamins (A, B6, C, K, and folate, in particular). When paired with the healthy fats in guacamole, you've got a satisfying snack that'll go the distance.
5. 1 ounce of Salt Of The Earth Popcorners (110 calories). These popcorn-based chips are free of added sugar, contain healthy fats, and make a great substitute when you're craving typical potato chips.
6. 1 Wasa Wholegrain Crispbread topped with 1 tablespoon avocado and 1 tablespoon hummus (80 calories). Whole grains are a key part of a healthy diet. As complex carbohydrates, your body has to work hard to break them down, meaning they help to keep you full. Plus, whole grains contain fiber, too, for a satiating cherry on top of this healthy sundae.
7. 10 steamed medium asparagus spears topped with 1 tablespoon toasted almond slivers (114 calories). Fragrant pee aside, asparagus offers nutritional benefits like fiber, protein (yes, really!), and potassium , while the almonds add some healthy fats to keep your stomach happy.
8. 1 small potato cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of finely chopped rosemary, baked at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, then dipped in 1/4 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt (206 calories). Potatoes have a bad reputation, but they're actually a healthy carb—as long as they're topped with the right things. In this snack, the olive oil and Greek yogurt provide fat and protein to keep the potato's carb content from spiking your blood sugar.
9. 1/4 cup black beans combined with 1 tablespoon salsa, 1 tablespoon cottage cheese, and 1 tablespoon guacamole; eat with 4 celery stalks (101 calories). Black beans provide a good dose of fiber , the salsa adds some veggies, cottage cheese contributes some helpful protein, and the avocado in guacamole brings healthy fats to the table.
10. 1/4 cup 1/4-inch-thick cucumber slices, tossed with 3 ounces plain 2 percent Greek yogurt, 2 teaspoons chopped cashews, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill (107 calories). Cukes are a water-rich vegetable, which can help them boost your hydration levels. People often think they're hungry when they're actually just thirsty , so keeping up with your water intake is a major part of avoiding unnecessary snacking.
11. 1 slice whole-wheat toast brushed with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, topped with 1 tablespoon plain 2 percent Greek yogurt and a mixture of 3 tablespoons diced tomatoes with a pinch of chopped garlic and basil (130 calories). This lightened-up bruschetta serves up the antioxidant lycopene, thanks to the tomatoes, some protein, courtesy of the Greek yogurt, and some healthy carbs from the bread (plus, of course, a lot of delicious flavor).
12. 1 Laughing Cow Swiss Original wedge and 6 Triscuits (170 calories). Such a simple snack, but it packs a nutritional punch, with a mix of protein, healthy carbs, and even some calcium, to boot.
14. 1 ounce buffalo mozzarella, 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, fresh basil (94 calories). Um, yum. Although this snack is low in calories, it feels pretty indulgent, which is convenient, since finding healthy foods you enjoy is the cornerstone of weight loss.
15. 1 stick Sargento Natural String Cheese + a kiwi (126 calories). Adding some creamy, cheesy goodness helps keep the kiwi's sugar content (7 grams per fruit, FYI) from spiking your blood glucose levels, which can create a cycle that throws your appetite out of whack.
16. 1 ounce Habanero Lime Peeled Snacks Peas Please (120 calories). Does anything scream "healthy" like munching on some baked peas as a snack? These have no added sugar, plus 5 grams of fiber and protein each per serving.
17. 1 cup unshelled edamame (189 calories). Edamame has a delightful surprise: Its protein content comes in at 17 grams in each cup. Eat it on its own, or use it in one of these high-protein snack recipes if you're feeling a little fancier.
19. 1/2 cup Lightly Salted Wonderful Pistachios (160 calories). These nuts can aid your weight-loss efforts thanks to their hearty helpings of healthy fats, fiber and protein. Plus, the act of removing them from their shells forces you to slow down , a helpful habit when you're trying to lose weight.
20.SeaSnax Toasty Onion Roasted Seaweed Sheets , 2 ounces canned tuna, and 1 ounce avocado (170 calories). These are easy to whip up, but still feel complex enough to pat yourself on the back. To give all these healthy fats and protein some zing, drizzle lemon on top.
21. 2 pieces prosciutto, 4 dried figs (154 calories). Pretend you're lounging in an Italian villa with this snack, which pairs protein and fruit-based carbs in a pretty luxe way.
22. 1 6" Subway turkey breast sandwich on whole-wheat (162 calories). The protein and carbs are a great base for a veggie-loaded sandwich. This one's perfect as a large post-workout snack after an intense bout of exercise.
23. 1/2 piece whole-grain toast, topped with 1 scrambled egg and 1/4 avocado (197 calories). This Instagram-perfect snack has a foundation of carb-y deliciousness that you finish off with protein and creamy healthy fats.
24. 1 whole-grain English muffin, 1 ounce plain Greek yogurt, and 4 chicken breast slices (208 calories). Protein-rich Greek yogurt is a great stand-in for mayo, and it gets a lift from the added protein in chicken breast slices, helping to avoid hunger pangs. And thanks to the English muffin's carbs, you'll enjoy an energy boost, too.
25. 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds in the shell (143 calories). To make these healthy fats taste even better, sprinkle whichever spices your heart desires on top.
26. 1/4 cup Saffron Road Wasabi Chickpeas (130 calories). These roasted chickpeas are filled with 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per serving, so eat up!
27. 1 ounce Enlightened Sriracha Roasted Broad Beans (100 calories). Every ounce of these little guys is loaded with 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber —perfect for preventing any impulsive trips to the office vending machine.
If you're trying to satisfy a sweet tooth…
28. 8 ounces plain 2 percent Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup fresh raspberries (234 calories). You get protein and healthy fats, plus a dose of antioxidants.
29. 20 frozen grapes (40 calories). This snack is sweetness epitomized—expect a boost of energy thanks to those tasty carbs.
31. 10 strawberries and 1 inch Brie cheese (97 calories). Strawberries provide fiber, while even a small amount of the brie can help keep you full because of its fat content (plus it feels like a real treat—always a good thing).
32. 1/2 banana rolled in 1 tablespoon frozen semisweet chocolate chips (123 calories). When you want a sweet healthy snack, turn to bananas. The possibilities are basically endless, as evidenced by this mix! As an added bonus, potassium is a helpful debloater.
33. 1 cup uncooked oatmeal prepared with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk and topped with 1/2 banana (218 calories). Oats are another one of those carbs that can help you lose weight thanks to all their fiber. To add some calorie-free sweetness besides the banana, experiment with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
34. 1/2 an apple and a Justin's Classic Almond Butter Squeeze Pack (238 calories). How fitting that this snack contains the word "classic"—does it get any more old-school than this? Pairing an apple, which has energizing carbs, and a nut butter, with its protein and healthy fats , is a match made in heaven.
35. 1 Cherry Pie LaraBar (200 calories). Although bars are often loaded with ingredients that make them not-so-healthy, many R.D.s are fans of Lara Bars due to their simplicity. This bar kicks weird additives to the curb, with only three ingredients: cherries, almonds, and dates.
36. 1/2 a bar of Alter Eco Deep Dark Sea Salt Organic Chocolate (223 calories). Your answers to the healthy-snack-recipe gods have been answered. Step 1: Get a bar of intense dark chocolate. Step 2: Put some in your mouth. Step 3: Benefit from this superfood's antioxidants and indulgent taste.
37. 2 strips dried mango with 1 ounce macadamia nuts (219 calories). Dried fruit can go overboard in calories and sugar, but there's no reason you can't enjoy small amounts as part of a snack, along with some nuts for healthy fats to prevent a blood-sugar rollercoaster ride.
38. 1 box Horizon Organic Low-Fat Chocolate Milk (150 calories). It seems like chocolate milk and health would be complete enemies, but this drink is actually a winner because it blends protein and carbs in an easy-to-consume way, which is why many R.D.s love it as a post-workout snack .
39. 1 Yasso Cookies & Cream Frozen Greek Yogurt bar (100 calories). Stoke your foodie nostalgia with this healthier version of an ice cream bar, which relies on Greek yogurt to deliver some filling protein under the guise of a delectable treat.
40. 1 1/4 cups Smartfood Sweet And Salty Kettle Corn (140 calories). Sometimes even the biggest sweet tooth wants flavor that's a bit more layered, which is where the hint of salt in this snack comes in. And since popcorn is a whole-grain, these little kernels do your body good.
41. 1/2 a sliced pear with 1 ounce 70-85 percent dark chocolate (220 calories). While you can certainly snack on dark chocolate by itself, sometimes adding in another ingredient makes it even better. Enter: pears, which pack ample fiber in their skins, meaning this snack will help keep your stomach from rumbling before it's time for your next meal.
42. 1 cup apple slices dipped in 2 tablespoons caramel topping (160 calories). Yes, even when you're trying to lose weight, you can still have what basically amounts to a candy apple as long as it's in moderation! Giving yourself the freedom to eat these kinds of sweet treats, instead of banishing them to a "forbidden foods " list, makes it much more likely that you'll be able to enjoy a reasonable portion instead of overdoing it.
43. 1 clementine with 4 ounces plain 2 percent Greek yogurt (123 calories). Clementines' natural sweetness means you can enjoy this protein-rich treat without honey or any other version of added sugar.
44. 1 piece whole-grain toast, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1/2 banana (251 calories). This simple snack is a breeze to make, but it doesn't skimp on nutrients, offering fiber, healthy fats, and some protein , too.
45. 1 cup warm unsweetened apple sauce (105 calories). Spoon this up for an easy snack with fiber and 52 grams of vitamin C , aka 86 percent of your daily recommendations of this essential nutrient.
46. 1 CLIF Nut Butter Peanut Butter Bars (230 calories). Here's another bar option that rises above typical grocery store energy bars, thanks to its 7 grams of fiber and 27 grams of carbs, which largely come from oats and oat-based flour.
47. 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Clusters (190 calories). Granola often has a "health halo," as in, it seems like an inherently healthy food when the store-bought varieties are anything but. Luckily, some granola is definitely healthier than others, like this pick, which only has 5 grams of added sugar per serving, but 10 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 30 grams of energizing carbs .
48. 7 Annie’s Oatmeal Cookie Bites (130 calories). Fuel up while pleasing your palate with these oatmeal cookie bites, which offer 4.5 grams of healthy fats per serving for some stick-to-your-ribs nourishment.
49. 1/4 cup 365 Everyday Value Backcountry Bundle Trail Mix (120 calories). Whether you're on a strenuous hike or just trying to power through a busy day at work, a good-quality trail mix is your friend. The only problem: It can be hard to figure out which ones are actually healthy. Try this one, which features carbs, protein, and healthy fats, thanks to its almonds, raisins, cranberries, pistachios, and sour cherries, plus some sweetness due to a hint of sugar.
51. 1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen spinach, 1/4 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt, and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk blended (165 calories). Pre-made smoothies are often brimming with added sugar, so make your own version that gets natural sweetness and creaminess from a frozen banana. The spinach (you won't be able to taste it, promise!) adds fiber and the Greek yogurt contributes protein, so you won't be hungry 2.5 seconds after downing this treat.
52. 1/2 cup blueberries with 4 ounces cottage cheese and 1 teaspoon honey (159 calories). If you happen to love cottage cheese, you're in luck—this divisive food can help you get your daily fill of protein . Mix it with blueberries for fiber and antioxidants and honey for sweetness.
53. 1 brown rice cake topped with 1 tablespoon almond butter and 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (230 calories). Help yourself to some complex carbs you can get creative with! You can layer tons of different ingredients on top of a brown rice cake, but this combo shines thanks to its healthy fats, protein, and pomegranate-provided antioxidants.
54. 1 Medjool date stuffed with 1 tablespoon peanut butter (160 calories). This is a dietitian favorite for a reason—this easy-to-make snack has protein and healthy fats in spades.
Weight-loss meal plans are key if your goal is to lose weight in a sustained and healthy way—the more you plan ahead, the less actual on-the-spot thinking or decision-making you have to do around your food choices. That's why meal prep is such a gift, if a potentially time-consuming one—batch cooking to make sure you have enough healthy meals and snacks to last you throughout the week helps lower the chances that you'll wind up hangry and give in to the siren song of takeout or office treats when you hadn't planned on indulging. If you think about it, it's a little effort up front to avoid a lot of effort down the line.
For this story, we've rounded up a breakdown of different breakfasts , lunches , dinners , and snacks , along with their calorie counts, that you can mix and match to add up to around 1,500 calories per day. That might not be exactly right for you depending on a number of factors, so you should read How Many Calories You Should Be Eating For Weight Loss to get a better understanding of the math here. And also remember that your daily caloric needs may vary based on things like exerting yourself in a hardcore high-intensity interval workout , so you should definitely eat however much your body needs for proper fuel. The key to sustainable weight loss is to do it in a healthy way; crash diets don't help you, they're counterproductive.
And one more quick note here about weight loss in general, before we get more into it: Weight loss is so, so, so personal, and there are a ton of different factors that play a role in it—from your sleep to your stress to your hormones. What works for one person may not work for you, so it's important to do what feels right for your body, and also to set realistic expectations about your own goals (and, not to mention, check in with yourself about why exactly those are your goals in the first place). And if you have a history of disordered eating , it's important to discuss any dietary changes with your doctor before jumping in to any kind of weight loss plan.
With all that being said, here are make-ahead breakfasts, lunches, and dinners you can prep to help you eat healthy, and yes, possibly lose weight while you're at it.
Breakfasts: about 300 calories each
Cook 1/2 cup quick oats as directed on package (it will yield 1 cup).
Top with 1/4 banana, sliced, 1/4 cup mandarin orange slices, and 2 tablespoons chopped cashews.
Heat 1/2 cup frozen raspberries (or frozen strawberries), 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup in a small nonstick pan over low heat until warm, about 2 minutes.
Toast two Kashi GoLean Original 7 Grain Waffles.
Spoon berry mixture over waffles.
Heat vegetable oil cooking spray in a small skillet over medium-high heat.
Sauté 1 cup fresh spinach until wilted, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from skillet.
Beat 1 egg and pour into skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, about 1 minute.
Add 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar and stir until melted, about 1 minute.
Wrap spinach, scrambled egg, and a splash of hot sauce in a warmed (microwave for 8 seconds) whole-wheat tortilla (8 inches).
Serve burrito immediately with an orange.
Mix 1 cup cottage cheese, 1/4 cup natural unsweetened applesauce, and 1/4 cup raisins in a bowl.
Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.
Alternate layers of plain Greek yogurt (1 cup total) and blueberries and/or strawberries (frozen, thawed; 3/4 cup total) in a parfait glass, ending with a yogurt layer on top.
Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped almonds.
Lunches/Dinners: about 400 calories each
Toss 3 cups mixed greens with 1/4 cup roasted potatoes, 1/4 cup snap peas, 6 cherry tomatoes, and 6 Kalamata olives.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Top with 4 ounces baked salmon.
Quick Chicken Quesadilla
Place a whole-wheat tortilla (8 inches) in a large pan over medium heat (no cooking spray).
Cover half of tortilla with 1/8 cup shredded cheddar, 1/4 cup diced cooked chicken breast, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro.
When the cheese begins to melt, flip empty half over and cook 1 more minute. Flip and cook 1 minute more.
Serve with 1/4 cup salsa and an apple.
Combine a 3-oz can chunk-light tuna in water (drained) with 1/4 cup chopped celery, 1 tablespoon plus 11/2 teaspoon Greek yogurt to replace mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives, and 1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper.
Pile on to 2 slices whole-wheat bread.
Serve with 1 cup raw veggies and a piece of fruit.
Serve with 1 cup cooked whole-wheat couscous and a piece of fruit.
Layer heated veggie burger, 1/2 cup salad greens, 4 cucumber slices, and 1 tablespoon healthy salad dressing between 2 slices whole-wheat bread.
Serve with 11/2 cups cooked broccoli with 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar, melted in microwave.
Snacks: about 200 calories each
Hard-boil 1 egg.
Cut it in half, remove yolk, and mix with 1 1/2 teaspoon Greek yogurt to replace mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh chives, 1⁄8 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of salt .
Spoon mixture onto whites.
Serve with 5 Triscuits and 7 cherry tomatoes.
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crunch
Spread 1 level tablespoon peanut butter over 3 Triscuits.
Top each with 4 semisweet chocolate chips.
Curried Cashews (serves 4)
Mix 1 cup unsalted, raw cashews with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon curry powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Bake at 350° on a cookie sheet until nuts look dry, about 20 minutes.
PB&B Burrito (serves 2)
Spread a whole-wheat tortilla (8 inches) with 2 level tablespoons peanut butter.
Top with 1/2 banana , sliced (leaving a 1/2-inch border without banana on one side).
Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Roll up toward border and cut burrito in half.
While still hot, toss contents of a 100-calorie microwave popcorn bag, popped, or 4 cups air-popped popcorn with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1⁄8 tsp salt (spritz air-popped popcorn first with vegetable oil cooking spray to help topping adhere).
Chips And Salsa
Cut 2 6-inch corn tortillas into 6 equal wedges each; brush lightly with 1 tablespoon olive oil , and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake at 425° on a cookie sheet until edges are crisp, about 10 minutes.
Serve with 1/2 cup salsa (mix a 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles, 1/4 cup diced red onion, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, and 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice). Makes about 2 cups salsa. Refrigerate unused portion.
Melt 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave for about 40 seconds.
Core and cut 1 Granny Smith apple (or other fruit of your choice) into 8 wedges, then dip into chocolate.
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Getting a manicure is a great way to keep your fingernails in shape, but have you thought about your cuticles and why they are important? Cuticles keep dirt and bacteria out of the body. If the cuticle does not exist or has been cut away, it leaves the body vulnerable to infection and nail fungus because dirt and bacteria can get underneath the skin in that area. So the cuticle actually protects you!
What is the best way to care for your cuticles? The right combination of vitamins and minerals, in a cuticle cream or cuticle butter, provides nutrients to the cuticle. Cutting the cuticles will only lead to problems such as ridges and white spots on the nails, in addition to a possible entryway for bacteria. The cuticles are intended to protect while being soft. By using essential oils combined with a few other amazing ingredients, you can make your own DIY cuticle butter that moisturizes and softens the cuticles, literally at your fingertips! And this combined with my DIY moisturizer for dry skin can offer amazing results for soft, attractive hands. (1)
How to Make Cuticle Cream
To make your own cuticle cream, start by filling about one-third of a small saucepan with water. Bring the water to a boil. Now, combine the shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil into a mason jar or heat safe glass container, and place it in the pan. As these ingredients melt, blend them together with a spoon or whisk. Shea butter is a favorite of mine because it is loaded with stearic and oleic acids as well as vitamin E and vitamin A. It boosts collagen, too, which is a major benefit to the skin and its youthful appearance. Beeswax falls right in line with shea butter, adding amazing moisturizing benefits because it’s also rich in vitamin A. As an emollient, it softens and hydrates the skin while maintaining healthy cellular structure. And, of course, coconut oil adds benefits to this easy-to-make cuticle saver by offering antibacterial and moisturizing properties. It also contains lots of antioxidants.
Now, remove from heat and add the vitamin E, lavender, lemon and myrrh essential oils. We know vitamin E is great for the health of your skin. Even though vitamin E is found in the shea butter and beeswax, adding a little more can provide some added benefits. Vitamin E helps strengthen the cuticles. Plus, it adds moisture and elasticity, which is helpful for keeping them soft. Additionally, it is a natural anti-aging nutrient that reduces inflammation. What’s better is when you combine vitamin E with vitamin C found in lemon essential oil, it gains the ability to fight even more inflammation.
Lavender essential oil is not only relaxing, but it is also a very healing ingredient for the skin due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics. And myrrh is favored among essential oils for healthy skin and cuticles because it is great at preventing fungal infection. Tea tree essential oil is another great option to prevent and/or heal nail fungus.
Once you have blended all of the ingredients well, transfer to a small container or jar and let the mixture cool to room temperature. This will solidify it into a butter or dense cream. To use, massage a small amount onto and around the cuticle area. Allow it to sit for 10–15 minutes. Or simply massage it in, using it as a moisturizer for the entire hand. You can apply the cuticle cream daily. Make sure to wash your hands well before dipping into the container. Or, use a spoon or knife to scoop out the cream so that you do not contaminate it with bacteria since we do not add preservatives. This recipe will last several months, so you can store it in your bathroom cabinet.
DIY Cuticle Cream with Lavender & Myrrh
Total Time: 5 minutes
1 tablespoon organic beeswax
1 ½ tablespoons organic raw shea butter
½ teaspoon organic coconut oil
2 drops vitamin E oil
2 drops lemon essential oil
8 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops of myrrh essential oil
2 drops tea tree essential oil (optional)
Fill about one-third of a small saucepan with water. Bring the water to a boil.
Combine the shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil into a mason jar or heat-safe glass container. Place the jar in the pan.
Blend ingredients together with a spoon or whisk.
Remove from heat and add the vitamin E, lavender, lemon and myrrh essential oils.
Transfer to a small container or jar and let it cool to room temperature.