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It’s almost summertime, which brings the incongruous collision of picnic season and swimsuit season. The weather’s perfect for hiking, camping, barbecuing, and days at the beach—lots of opportunities for outdoor exercise, but just as many opportunities to pig out at pool parties, luaus, outdoor festivals, and county fairs. Here are some foods to try avoiding during the dog days of summer and some ideas for substitutions for picnic favorites.
- Fried chicken. It’s not the K or the C in KFC® that’s the problem. It’s the F for fried. And if you have any hope of staying slim this summer, it’s time to tell the Colonel you’re kicking the bucket. One extra-crispy breast will run you 460 calories and 28 grams of fat, 8 of them saturated. That’s almost three times the calories of a grilled, skinless breast and almost ten times as much fat. So clearly, you’re better off cooking the chicken yourself. But if you’re grabbing something on the run, you might want to visit the rotisserie case at your local supermarket. Try picking a chicken that’s not slathered in sugary barbecue sauce. And if you throw away the skin, you’ll save yourself from eating most of the fat and calories.
- Sandwiches. A picnic without sandwiches is like a picnic without ants. It just wouldn’t be the same. But of course, the sandwich is only as good as the sum of its ingredients. If you’re using white bread, you’re just eating empty carbohydrates. Make sure you buy whole-grain bread, and that it has the word “whole” in the ingredient list. Wheat bread is essentially the same as white bread, only with a little molasses added for brown coloring. It’s nutritionally the same, if not worse. Whole wheat bread, on the other hand, contains the fiber and the vitamins you’re looking for. For lunch meat, try avoiding processed meats like bologna and salami. They’re packed with extra fat and sodium. And when buying unprocessed meats like turkey or roast beef, make sure they really are unprocessed. The makers of some brands of turkey grind up the skin and dark meat and then press it into lunch meat form, so you’re really getting as much fat and sodium as you’d get from bologna. Watch out for flavored turkey as well. Most of the time the secret ingredient is salt. If you want to be really healthy, buy a whole turkey breast from your poultry section and roast it yourself, so you can control how much salt is added.
- Brats and burgers. It’s always great to fire up the grill and start cooking up a mess of meat. And the good news is that grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook food. It adds tons of flavor and doesn’t add fat. Of course, the best thing to grill would be skinless chicken, fish, or vegetables. But if you’re craving a juicy burger or brat and a portobello burger just won’t do, there are still some decisions you can make to keep it on the lean side. For burgers, consider a leaner option than beef, such as ground turkey or buffalo. But as always, check the label. Some grinds of turkey have as much fat as a fatty grind of beef. Ground turkey breast is usually much leaner than ground turkey. If you’re going to make beef burgers, try to find a grind that is under 5 percent fat. Ground sirloin is usually pretty close. If you can’t find a grind that’s low enough in fat, ask your butcher to grind a lean piece of chuck roast or top sirloin for you. In addition to being leaner, this will also reduce your chances of picking up foodborne illnesses like E. coli, since only one cow is involved in producing a steak, as opposed to potentially hundreds in ground beef. In fact, if you’re someone who likes to eat your burger rare, having the butcher grind a piece of meat for you is a must do. Bratwurst is another delicious summer fave, but watch the fat and sodium content in those as well. The chicken, turkey, and even veggie versions of sausage sound like they’d be lighter, but they’re often just as fatty as the pork versions.
- Potato or macaroni salad. Mayonnaise is the culprit in these dishes. At 50 calories a tablespoon with 5 grams of fat, these side dishes can turn deadly for your diet in a hurry. But you can mitigate the damage somewhat. Instead of mayonnaise, consider using nonfat yogurt, food-processed nonfat cottage cheese, or nonfat ricotta cheese instead. You’ll get fewer calories, less fat, and lessen the risk of salmonella poisoning by going eggless. One way to make potato salad healthier is to leave the skins on the potatoes, as they have the fiber and most of the vitamins in the spud. For macaroni salad, use a whole-grain pasta to get extra fiber. Better yet, make a pasta salad with heart-healthy olive oil, vinegar, and lots of veggies.
- Baked beans. Beans, beans, the musical fruit … well, you know the rest. Full of fiber and low in fat, beans are a great side dish that will keep you full. What you want to watch out for is the sugar that is added to most baked beans—sometimes as much as 3 teaspoons in a cup. Try plain pinto beans, or my favorite, beans canned with jalapeños. Replace high-calorie sweet with low-calorie fire, and you won’t even miss the sugar. Three-bean salad is another flavorful way to consume your legumes without a lot of added fat or sugar.
- Trail mix. Summer’s a great time for checking out nature, and it’s always great to bring along a healthy snack. But check the trail mix ingredients. Some, especially those containing granola, can be loaded with super-unhealthy hydrogenated oils and fat. There are trail mixes on the market that have more fat than a large order of fries, so it’s definitely a buyer-beware situation. Also check out how much sugar is in the trail mix or granola bars you’re taking backpacking. Some bars aren’t much healthier than a Snickers®. If ingredients in your trail mix include chocolate chips and marshmallows, you may not have made the healthiest choice. Try making your own trail mix with healthy unsweetened oats, nuts, and dried fruit. Or take along a couple of P90X® Peak Performance Protein Bars.
- Ice cream. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. And we’ll really be screaming when we try to stuff ourselves into our swimsuits after eating everyone’s favorite fatty, frosty indulgence. It’s hard to resist a cool ice cream cone on a hot summer day, and the tinkling of the ice cream truck bell can still send me bolting into the street. But that scoop of vanilla can have up to 400 calories and 25 grams of fat, 15 of them saturated. If you’re culinarily gifted, you might consider making your own sorbet. If not, check out some of the ones available on the market. Sorbets are usually low fat or nonfat, although they can still have tons of sugar. Try to find some that are mostly fruit. Speaking of fruit, for a healthy frozen treat, how about sticking some fruit in the freezer? Most fruits, especially berries, grapes, and bananas, freeze quite well. They’ll last longer and popping a few frozen grapes in your mouth can cool you off on a hot day; and you’ll still get all the vitamins, fiber, and health benefits that a Creamsicle™ just can’t provide.
Accountability. What does that mean to you? To me, it means I must hold myself accountable for living my life the way I want to live it. We are all responsible for the choices we make and how we deal with the results of those choices is what defines who we are. I hold myself accountable and make healthy choices today so I know I will have a healthy future. It’s the small things that we do each day that really helps us be who we want to be. I made the choice to become an Independent Beachbody Coach to not only continue to hold myself accountable, but to also help others to realize they need to hold themselves accountable for their health, too. I’ve tried numerous workout regimens, various diets, fasts, etc. and I know that what works for me. I want to help you find a program that works for you. I want to help you achieve your fitness goals. I want to help you realize that you need to be held accountable for your health. Since I have become a coach, I have held myself more accountable for the choices I make. Let me help you hold yourself accountable and together we can reach your fitness goals. The best place to start is becoming a coach!! What are you waiting for? Starting holding yourself accountable for your health today. Not only will you feel better physically, but mentally and emotionally too! Check it out: http://www.beachbodycoach.com/jenlynne
Grab these seven great products to help allergy-proof your clothes, your house, and even your furry best friend
Allergy Armor Ultra Bedding
Sleep with mates, not mites. No matter what your relationship status, you’re definitely not snoozing alone. Every night, thousands of dust mites settle into your linens to feed on dead skin cells. Try Allergy Armor Ultra Bedding ($10 to $214, achooallergy.com), breathable microfiber alternatives to your traditional Egyptian cotton sheets and pillowcases. The fabric’s super-teeny “pore size” (the gap between threads) prevents microscopic critters from burrowing into your bed and skin. These sheets feel smooth, not stiff and they’re better than anything else on the market at keeping mites out.
Dyson Ball DC25 All Floors Vacuum
Suck it up. Vacuums with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter absorb the most dust and mold possible and remove close to 100 percent of the tiny granules floating through indoor air. A regular vacuum cleaner makes allergies worse because it lifts dust and spits it back into the air, says Howard Schanker, M.D., director of the Allergy Research Foundation in Los Angeles. So go for the stylish new DC25 Vacuum from Dyson ($499.99, dyson.com). It not only eats potato chip crumbs but also cleans the air, leaving behind about 150 times less mold and bacteria. Bonus: The gadget weighs only 16 pounds and makes Saturday chores feel less like a strength-training workout than the average Hoover.
AirPod Air Purifier
Join the Pod people. The idea of filtering air is brilliant: A purifier sucks in the bad, forces it through a filter, and expels the good. Most air filters, however, are so damn ugly that the aesthetically inclined would rather stock up on Claritin than place one next to their DWR end table. What to do? Enter the new AirPod Air Purifier ($100, airpurifiers.com), which combines the sleek look of an iPod dock, the power of a HEPA filter, and a fan so quiet you can hear yourself breathe a whole lot easier.
Danby Low-Temp Dehumidifier
Make yours a dry state. Southerners already know that balmy breezes and moist air roll out the welcome mat for mold and dust. But until you make a move to arid Arizona, dehumidifiers are your best bet for a dry environment. While most have decibel levels that rival an Airbus, the Danby Silhouette 58-Pint Low-Temp Dehumidifier ($260, allergybuyersclub.com) is quiet enough to keep in the bedroom. And the bedroom is definitely where you want this baby, since you spend a solid 8 hours in there every day doing nothing but breathing.
All Free Clear laundry Detergent
Make the most of laundry day. In a perfect world, allergy sufferers would send their laundry out and have a maid come in (see Home and Away). If hiring help isn’t an option, wash your clothes in All Free Clear laundry detergent ($6 for 32 oz, allergybuyersclub.com). It helps zap dust mites and cat dander, sneeze-inducing particles that cling to fabric. (P.S. Bleach does the same for whites and will save you a few dollars.)
Eucerin Calming Creme
Hit the showers. After a day in or around grass, give yourself a quick shampoo to remove all pollen, which is notorious for clinging to hair. Once you towel off, slather Eucerin Calming Creme ($7.50 for 8oz, available at drugstores) all over your body. It’s loaded with emollients that seal in moisture, and it’s especially soothing if you’re susceptible to allergies and eczema. (Doctors say that the allergy-prone are more likely to suffer from this skin disorder, characterized by dry, itchy, red skin, but they aren’t yet sure why.)
Allerca Hypoallergenic Cat
Pet something else. Pet dander is a stomach-turning combo of animal saliva and dead skin. And the coolest new “product” in the pet-dander wars has to be the brand-new Allerca hypoallergenic cat ($3,950, allerca.com). This little kitty was bred by a Los Angeles-based “lifestyle pet company” that created a genetic variant of the number one cat allergen, called Fel d 1. Result: a pet that lets you stay completely sneeze-and-wheeze free and looks just like an ordinary cat (not that weird hairless kind). Can’t bear to trade in your non-genetically engineered dog or cat, or pay four figures for an animal? Make sure to wash Fifi religiously once a week (bathing prevents dander buildup) and let her spend a lot of time outside or at the very least, off your antique sofa and John Robshaw quilt (you can live without the paw stains).
*Article from Women’s Health Magazine
Turbo Fire’s expected release to Beachbody Coaches ONLY is set for June 18! Coaches will have this program in their hands before the general public does and for a 25% discount off the regular price! This is a GREAT time to take advantage of becoming a coach has to offer! Haven’t had a chance to check out Turbo Fire? What are you waiting for!?
Want more information on being a coach and becoming both Financiall and Physically fit? Check out tonight’s webinar at 10:00pm EST! Rigster at http://www.instantpresenter.com/PIID=EE55DA8380
Decide. Commit. Succeed.