Monday, July 26, 2010

McD's Fruit Smoothies

Some people, myself included, have been wondering the nutrition info on the McD's fruit smoothies.....well, I did a little digging & this is what I found.

A full-sized 12-oz. WILD BERRY Smoothie has 210 calories, 0.5g fat, and 2 - 3g fiber.

Not bad for a yummy, cool treat!

HG's Not-So-Secret BBQ Sauce

PER SERVING (half of recipe, about 3 tbsp.): 37 calories, 0g fat, 347mg sodium, 9g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 8g sugars, <1g protein -- POINTS® value 1*

1/4 cup canned tomato sauce
2 tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. brown sugar (not packed)
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Mix well. (That's it!)


Happy BBQ-ing! YUM!!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Salt or No Salt?

Most doctors would agree that limiting your salt or better yet, foregoing it completely, would be the best for your overall health. Most of us know how dangerous salt can be for those with high blood pressure, but did you know that salt, and the sodium in it, is problematic even for those who have no high blood pressure issues?

Salt elevates blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure puts more wear and tear on your blood vessels, heart, kidneys, and other organs. Many studies have shown that you are much better off with lower blood pressure. Did you know that eating less salt might even delay the onset of high blood pressure? In fact, in some cases you can control your high blood pressure by restricting your salt with no drugs in the picture. Pretty cool, huh?

How many of you know the recommended amount of salt per day? It's 2,400 milligrams.

Here are a few ways you can cut down on your salt intake:

Leave the saltshaker off the table. We get enough salt in the food we eat where we don't need to add anymore at the table.

Try to stay away from prepared and processed foods. An easy quick change is to substitute frozen vegetables (minimal salt) for canned vegetables (usually salt-heavy).

Most foods labeled "lower salt" still have way too much salt. Make sure you read all the food labels for the actual salt and sodium content.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Banana Pudding Squares

Recipe by

prep time
30 min
total time
3 hr 30 min
24 servings

What You Need
35 Reduced Fat NILLA Wafers, finely crushed (about 1-1/4 cups)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Sugar Free Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
3 Bananas, sliced
2 pkg. (1 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Pudding
3 cups cold fat-free milk
1/2 square BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, grated

Make It
MIX crumbs and margarine; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch dish. Refrigerate until ready to use.

BEAT Neufchatel and sugar in medium bowl with whisk until blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP; spread over crust. Top with bananas.

BEAT pudding mixes and milk with whisk 2 min.; spread over bananas. Top with remaining COOL WHIP and chocolate. Refrigerate 3 hours.

Kraft Kitchens Tips
How to Evenly Spread COOL WHIP over Dessert
Stir remaining COOL WHIP gently in tub until creamy; spoon small dollops over dessert. Use small metal spatula to spread COOL WHIP over dessert.
How to Easily Remove Dessert from Dish
Line dish with foil before using, with ends of foil extending over sides of dish. Use foil handles to remove chilled dessert from dish before cutting to serve.

Makeover - How We Did It
We've made over this favorite dessert to save you 80 calories and 13 g of fat per serving compared to the traditional recipe. We used Reduced Fat NILLA Wafers and margarine instead of flour, butter and peanuts for the crust. In addition, we cut the amount of sugar and chocolate in half and used better-for-you products in the creamy layers. These simple changes result in a great-tasting dessert that can save you both fat and calories!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Take the Bloat Out of Your Diet

If you often feel bloated after eating, simple changes to your diet can help.
By Kristen Stewart
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

We all know the pleasures of a good meal, and how that can be followed by discomfort around the waistband when we've eaten too much. While occasional episodes of feeling bloated after eating are the price we pay for overindulgence, for some people this unpleasant sensation is an all too common occurrence.

But don't throw down your napkin in surrender just yet. There is hope. With the proper diet adjustments and simple changes in eating habits, it is possible to enjoy food and feel good afterward.

Why Am I Bloated After Eating?

In a nutshell, that uncomfortable, bloated-after-eating feeling is typically caused by too much intestinal gas and/or excessive contents in the intestine. This in turn makes the stomach swell and feel tight.

The exact cause of bloating, however, can vary from individual to individual. Some people feel bloated after eating because they simply ate too much. The more a person eats, the longer it takes for the food to move from the stomach to the small intestine for digestion and the more bloated after eating you can feel. Other people may be sensitive to certain types of food.

For people who are lactose-intolerant, consuming regular milk and dairy products can cause discomfort. In addition, too much fiber in your diet can contribute to bloating after eating.
There's more content below this advertisement. Jump to the content.

"High fiber intakes are not a problem if you are used to them, but going from a low to high [fiber diet] too rapidly can cause temporary discomfort in some people," says Susan B. Roberts, PhD, professor in the nutrition and psychiatry departments at Tufts University in Boston and author of The Instinct Diet (Workman). You definitely want to enjoy the health benefits of a high-fiber diet, but add fiber to your diet more gradually if you think that's the source of your bloated feeling.

The number of calories you eat can also be a trigger. The body secretes hormones from the walls of the intestines that can cause nausea and bloating when too many calories are consumed. Try eating four to six small meals rather than three large meals a day.

How to Eliminate That Bloated-After-Eating Feeling

"Eating smaller meals can help prevent bloating," says Joan Salge Blake, RD, clinical associate professor in the department of health sciences at Boston University. "And slow down!" Eating or drinking too quickly can cause excess air to be swallowed, which contributes to the problem, she says.

In addition, watch what you eat. "Fatty foods take longer to digest," says Lona Sandon, RD, assistant professor in the department of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "Also, vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and beans can cause more gas to be formed when digested in the small intestine." Of course, this doesn't mean you should avoid these healthful choices, just try to eat smaller portions of them at each sitting to see if that helps your body digest them more easily.

Here are some other ideas to relieve bloating after eating:

* Drink plenty of fluids, like water, to aid digestion. Sip slowly throughout the day, however; don't chug. as that will defeat the purpose. Carbonated beverages and drinks like coffee that have a diuretic effect don't count.
* Consider adding probiotic yogurt — Dannon is one brand to try — to your diet to encourage a healthy digestive tract. Keep in mind it may take a few weeks to notice its positive effects.
* Take a walk after you eat and get adequate exercise on a regular basis; both can ease bloating and help with overall digestion.

As for over-the-counter aids, "they're really only Band-Aids," says Dr. Roberts, "whereas eating the amount of calories your body needs and no more is a real cure."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Guilt-free Yummy Pulled Pork

'Cue the Pulled Pork

PER SERVING (2/3 cup): 220 calories, 6g fat, 540mg sodium, 16g carbs, 1g fiber, 12g sugars, 24g protein -- POINTS® value 5*

No-guilt BBQ pork!?! Prepare to be wowed...

1 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. brown sugar (not packed)
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups sliced onion, cut into 2-inch strips
3/4 lb. raw lean boneless pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat
3/4 lb. raw boneless pork shoulder (the leanest piece you can find), trimmed of excess fat
Optional: crushed red pepper

To make the sauce, place all ingredients except onion and pork in the crock pot. Stir until mixed. Add onion and pork and coat well with the sauce.

Cover and cook on high for 3 - 4 hours or on low for 7 - 8 hours, until pork is fully cooked.

Remove all the pork and place it in a large bowl. Shred each piece using two forks -- one to hold the pork in place and the other to scrape across the meat and shred it.

Return the shredded pork to the crock pot and mix well with the sauce.

If you're serving a group, keep the crock pot on its lowest setting, so the pork stays warm. If you like, season to taste with crushed red pepper. Yum time!


Monday, July 12, 2010

What You Should Know About Sugar Substitutes

Six artificial sweeteners are currently approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are all controversial because of questions about their safety and effectiveness. Information and misinformation abounds. Here's what you need to know to decide if sugar substitutes are right for you.

SACCHARIN was the first artificial sweetener approved by the FDA back in1958. It is known by the brand names Sweet'N Low, Sugar Twin, Sucaryl, Adolph's and Sweet 10. Saccharin is 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar and contributes no calories to the diet. It can be used as a tabletop sweetener, in cooking and baking and is found in a variety of commercially prepared food products such as sot drinks, canned fruit, baked desserts and chewing gum.

ASPARTAME, a protein-based sweetener sold as Equal, NutraSweet and Natra Taste, was approved in 1981. Aspartame contains the same number of calories as sugar, by weight, but because it is up to 200 times sweeter than sugar, much less is used. Aspartame cannot be used in cooking or baking because it loses its sweetness when heated.

It is used as a tabletop sweetener and is also found in many commercial products such as soft drinks, juice and milk drinks, puddings and pie fillings and frozen desserts. Anyone with the medical condition phenylketonuria (PKU) must avoid using this sweetener because they cannot metabolize one of its ingredients.

ACESULFAME K (Ace-K), a calorie-free sugar substitute sold as SweetOne, Sunette and DiabetiSweet, was approved for home and limited commercial use in 1988. Since it is stable at high temperatures, Acesulfame-K can be used in cooking and baking. In 2003, FDA approval was extended for Ace-K's use as a general commercial sweetener.

SUCRALOSE, sold as Splenda, is a derivative of sugar that was approved in 1998. Because it is not actually a sugar, however, it is not recognized by the body as a carbohydrate and therefore it passes through unabsorbed and provides no calories. Sucralose is used as a tabletop sweetener as well as in cooking and baking.

NEOTAME, a form of aspartame that does not affect people with phenylketonuria (PKU), was approved in 2002 for use in commercial products but not for home use. It is found in soft drinks, desserts, baked goods, yogurt, ice cream, non-dairy desserts and chewing gum. Neotame is reportedly 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar and contributes zero calories to the diet.

REBAUDIOSIDE A (Reb-A), a purifed form of the sweetener stevia sold under the brand names Truvia, SweetLeaf and PureVia, was approved by the FDA in 2008 as an all-purpose sweetener. It is 250 to 300 times sweeter than sugar and calorie-free. Thus far, this sweetener seems to be the safest for your body. It is the only one that does not disrupt body/organ functions & does not raise your blood sugar.

With the exception of aspartame's known limitations for a very small group of people with a rare disease, there is no evidence that any of the currently approved artificial sweeteners will cause harm to anyone, or that one is any more or less healthful than another. Animal studies have occasionally shown artificial sweeteners to be toxic, or cancer-causing when fed in massive amounts, but these effects have not been seen in human studies. Consumer reports of headaches and other complaints exist but none have been confirmed through research as routine side effects from normal use of any of these products.

In general, the American Medical Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Dietetic Association, American Diabetes Association and other expert health groups approve the moderate use of artificial sweeteners as safe and acceptable as part of a program for controlling blood sugar and managing weight.

Pregnant women and parents who are considering using artificial sweeteners for their children should consult with their doctors first. Although there is no evidence that any of these sweeteners will harm either of these groups, pregnant women and children are not normally encouraged to cut calories in their diets, so the use of non-caloric sweeteners may be discouraged on that basis alone. Of the approved sweeteners, only saccharin crosses the placenta, but research shows no evidence that it will harm a fetus. But since extensive research has not been performed on the use of artificial sweeteners by children or during pregnancy, most health experts recommended limited use for these groups, at most.

By Susan McQuillan
Reviewed by QualityHealth's Medical Advisory Board

Saturday, July 10, 2010

20 Worst Drinks in America 2010

20. Worst Water
Snapple Agave Melon Antioxidant Water (1 bottle, 20 fl oz)
150 calories
0 g fat
33 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 2 Good Humor Chocolate Éclair Bars

While “Worst Water” may sound like an oxymoron, the devious
minds in the bottled beverage industry have even found a way to
besmirch the sterling reputation of the world’s most essential
compound. Sure, you may get a few extra vitamins, but ultimately,
you’re paying a premium price for gussied-up sugar water. Next
time you buy a bottle of water, check the recipe: You want two parts
hydrogen, one part oxygen, and very little else.

19. Worst Bottled Tea
SoBe Green Tea (1 bottle, 20 fl oz)
240 calories
0 g fat
61 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 4 slices Sara Lee Cherry Pie

Leave it to SoBe to take an otherwise healthy bottle of tea and
inject it with enough sugar to turn it into dessert. The Pepsiowned
company’s flagship line, composed of 11 flavors with
names like “Nirvana” and “Cranberry Grapefruit Elixir,” is
marketed to give consumers the impression that it can cleanse
the body, mind, and spirit. Don’t be fooled. Just like this bottle of
green tea, all of these beverages are made with two primary
ingredients: water and sugar.

18. Worst Energy Drink
Rockstar Energy Drink (1 can, 16 fl oz)
280 calories
0 g fat
62 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 6 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts

None of the energy provided by these full-sugar drinks could ever
justify the caloric load, but Rockstar’s take is especially frightening.
One can provides nearly as much sugar as half a box of Nilla
Wafers. In fact, it has 60 more calories than the same amount of
Red Bull and 80 more than a can of Monster. If you’re going to
guzzle, better choose one of the low-cal options. We like Monster;
it offers all the caffeine and B vitamins with just enough sugar to
cut through the funky extracts.

17. Worst Bottled Coffee
Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino (1 bottle, 13.7 fl oz)
290 calories
4.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated)
45 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 32 Nilla Wafers

With an unreasonable number of calorie landmines
peppered across Starbucks’ in-store menu, you’d think the
company would want to use its grocery line to restore faith in
its ability to provide caffeine without testing the limits of your
belt buckle. Guess not. This drink has been on our radar for
years, and we still haven’t managed to find a bottled coffee
with more sugar. Consider this—along with Starbucks’
miniature Espresso and Cream Doubleshot—your worst
option for a morning pickup.

16. Worst Soda
Sunkist (1 bottle, 20 fl oz)
320 calories
0 g fat
84 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 6 Breyers Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches

Wait . . . but aren’t all sodas equally terrible? It’s true they all
earn 100 percent of their calories from sugar, but that doesn’t
mean there aren’t still varying levels of atrocity. Despite the
perception of healthfulness, fruity sodas tend to carry more sugar
than their cola counterparts, and none make that more apparent
than the tooth-achingly sweet Sunkist. But what seals the orange
soda’s fate on our list of worsts is its reliance on the artificial
colors yellow 6 and red 40—two chemicals that may be linked to
behavioral and concentration problems in children.

15. Worst Beer
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (1 bottle, 12 fl oz)
330 calories
0 g fat
32.1 g carbohydrates
9.6% alcohol
Carbohydrate Equivalent: 12-pack of Michelob Ultra

Most beers carry fewer than 175 calories, but even your average
extra-heady brew rarely eclipses 250. That makes Sierra’s Bigfoot
the undisputed beast of the beer jungle. Granted, the alcohol itself
provides most of the calories, but it’s the extra heft of carbohydrates
that helps stuff nearly 2,000 calories into each six-pack. For
comparison, Budweiser has 10.6 grams of carbs, Blue Moon has 13,
and Guinness Draught has 10. Let’s hope the appearance of this gutinducing
guzzler in your fridge is as rare as encounters with the
fabled beast himself.

14. Worst Kids' Drink
Tropicana Tropical Fruit Fury Twister (1 bottle, 20 fl oz)
340 calories
0 g fat
60 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: Two 7-ounce canisters Reddi-wip

Don’t let Tropicana’s reputation for unadulterated OJ lead you to
believe that the company is capable of doing no wrong. As a
Pepsi subsidiary, it’s inevitable that they’ll occasionally delve
into soda-like territory. The Twister line is just that: a drink with
10 percent juice and 90 percent sugar laced with a glut of
artificial flavors and coloring. You could actually save 200
calories by choosing a can of Pepsi instead.

13. Worst Functional Beverage
Arizona Rx Energy (1 can, 23 fl oz)
345 calories
0 g fat
83 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 6 Cinnamon Roll Pop-Tarts

Obviously Arizona took great pains in making sure this can came
out looking like something you’d find in a pharmacy. But if your
pharmacist ever tries to sell you this much sugar, he should have
his license revoked. And if it’s energy you’re after, this isn’t your
best vehicle. Caffeine is the only compound in the bottle that’s
been proven to provide energy, and the amount found within is
about what you'd get from a weak cup of coffee.

12. Worst Juice Imposter
Arizona Kiwi Strawberry (1 can, 23 fl oz)
345 calories
0 g fat
81 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 7 bowls of Froot Loops

The twisted minds at the Arizona factory outdid themselves with
this nefarious concoction, a can the size of a bazooka loaded
with enough of the sweet stuff to blast your belly with 42 sugar
cubes. The most disturbing part isn’t that it masks itself as some
sort of healthy juice product (after all, hundreds of products are
guilty of the same crime), but that this behemoth serving size
costs just $.99, making its contents some of the cheapest
calories we’ve ever stumbled across.

11. Worst Espresso Drink
Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream (venti, 20 fl oz)
660 calories
22 g fat (15 g saturated)
95 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 8½ scoops Edy’s Slow Churned Rich
and Creamy Coffee Ice Cream

Hopefully this will dispel any lingering fragments of the
“health halo” that still exists in coffee shops—that misguided
belief that espresso-based beverages can’t do much
damage. In this 20-ounce cup, Starbucks manages to pack
in more calories and saturated fat than two slices of deepdish
sausage and pepperoni pizza from Domino’s. That
makes it the equivalent of dinner and dessert disguised as a
cup of coffee. If you want a treat, look to Starbucks’ supply
of sugar-free syrups; if you want a caffeine buzz, stick to the
regular joe, an Americano, or a cappuccino.

10. Worst Lemonade
Auntie Anne’s Wild Cherry Lemonade Mixer (32 fl oz)
470 calories
0 g fat
110 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 11 bowls of Cookie Crisp cereal

There is no such thing as healthy lemonade, but Auntie’s line of
Lemonade Mixers takes the concept of hyper-sweetened juice and
stretches it to dangerous new levels. See, sugar digests faster
than good-for-you nutrients like protein and fiber, which means it’s
in your blood almost immediately after you swallow it. Drinking the
3 or 4 days’ worth of added sugar found here jacks your blood
sugar and results in strain to your kidneys, the creation of new fat
molecules, and the desire to eat more. Ouch.

9. Worst Hot Chocolate
Starbucks White Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream
(venti, 20 fl oz)
520 calories
16 g fat (11 g saturated)
75 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 9 Strawberry Rice Krispie Treats

See that stack of Rice Krispie Treats? It’s just three treats shy of
two full boxes. Unless you were a contestant on Fear Factor—
and there was a sizeable monetary prize on the line—you’d
never even consider noshing down that much sugar at once. But
here’s what’s interesting: While that stack is the sugar
counterpart to this atrocity from Starbucks, it still has 40 percent
less saturated fat. Makes us wonder what’s going on in the hot
chocolate. Stick to beverages with single-flavor profiles instead of
pile-on recipes like this and you’ll fare better every time.

8. Worst Frozen Coffee Drink
Dairy Queen Caramel MooLatte (24 fl oz)
870 calories
24 g fat (19 g saturated, 1 g trans)
112 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 12 Dunkin’ Donuts Bavarian Kreme Doughnuts

Coffee-dessert hybrids are among the worst breed of beverages.
This one delivers 1 gram of fat and 4.6 grams of sugar in every
ounce, making even Starbucks’ over-the-top line of Frappuccinos
look like decent options. Maybe that’s why DQ decided to give it a
name that alludes to the animal it promises to turn you into. If you
can bring yourself to skip DQ and head to a coffee shop instead,
order a large iced latte with a couple shots of flavored syrup and
save some 600 calories. But if you’re stuck where you are, you’re
better off pairing a small treat with a regular cup of joe.

7. Worst Margarita
Traditional Red Lobster Lobsterita (24 fl oz)
890 calories
0 g fat
183 g carbohydrates
Carbohydrate Equivalent: 7 Almond Joy candy bars

Of all the egregious beverages we’ve analyzed, the Lobsterita
surprised us the most. The nation’s biggest fish purveyor is one
of the few big players in the restaurant biz to provide its
customers with a wide selection of truly healthy food options. We
would hope they’d do the same with the beverages, but obviously
not. Drink one of these every Friday night and you’ll put on more
than a pound of flab each month. Downgrade to a regular
margarita on the rocks and pocket the remaining 640 calories.

6. Worst Float
Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Soda (vanilla ice cream and cola)
(large, 28.6 fl oz)
960 calories
40 g fat (25 g saturated, 1.5 g trans)
136 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 9.7 Fudgesicle fudge bars

Done right, an ice cream float can be a decent route to indulgence.
Go to A&W and you’ll land a medium for fewer than 400 calories.
Order it with diet soda and you’ve dropped below 200 calories. So
why can’t Baskin-Robbins make even a small float with fewer than
470 calories? Because apparently the chain approaches the art of
beverage-crafting as a challenge to squeeze in as much fat and sugar
as possible. Whatever you order, plan on splitting it with a friend.

5. Worst Frozen Fruit Drink
Krispy Kreme Lemon Sherbet Chiller (20 fl oz)
980 calories
40 g fat (36 g saturated)
115 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 16 medium-size chocolate eclairs

Imagine taking a regular can of soda, pouring in 18 extra
teaspoons of sugar, and then swirling in half a cup of heavy
cream. Nutritionally speaking, that’s exactly what this is, which is
how it manages to marry nearly 2 days’ worth of saturated fat
with enough sugar to leave you with a serious sucrose hangover.
Do your heart a favor and avoid any of Krispy Kreme’s “Kremey”
beverages. The basic Chillers aren’t the safest of sippables
either, but they’ll save you up to 880 calories.

4. Worst Frozen Mocha
Così Double Oh! Arctic Mocha (gigante, 23 fl oz)
1,210 calories
19 g fat (10 g saturated)
240 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 41 Oreo Cookies

A frozen mocha will never be a stellar option, but we’ve still never
come across anything that competes with this cookie-coffee-milkshake
hybrid from Così. Essentially it’s a mocha Blizzard
made with Oreo cookies and topped with whipped cream and an
oversize Oreo. The result is a beverage with more calories than
two Big Macs and more sugar than any other drink in America.

3. Worst Drive-Thru Shake
McDonald’s Triple Thick Chocolate Shake (large, 32 fl oz)
1,160 calories
27 g fat (16 g saturated, 2 g trans)
168 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 13 McDonald’s Baked Hot Apple Pies

There are very few milk shakes in America worthy of your
hard-earned calories, but few will punish you as thoroughly as
this Mickey D’s drive-thru disaster. Not only does it have more
than half your day’s caloric and saturated fat allotment and
more sugar than you’d find in Willy Wonka’s candy lab, but
Ronald even finds a way to sneak in a full day of cholesterolspiking
trans fat. The scariest part about this drink is that it’s
most likely America’s most popular milk shake.

2. Worst Smoothie
Smoothie King Peanut Power Plus Grape (large, 40 fl oz)
1,498 calories
44 g fat (8 g saturated)
214 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 20 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

If Smoothie King wants someone to blame for landing this high on our
worst beverages roundup (and truth be told, its entire menu is riddled
with contenders), the chain should point the smoothie straw at
whichever executive came up with the cup-sizing structure. Sending
someone out the door with a 40-ounce cup should be a criminal offense.
Who really needs a third of a gallon of sweetened peanut butter blended
with grape juice, milk, and bananas? Sugar-and-fat-loaded smoothies
like this should be served from 12-ounce cups, not mini kegs.

1. Worst Beverage in America
Cold Stone PB&C (Gotta Have It size, 24 fl oz)
2,010 calories
131 g fat (68 g saturated)
153 g sugars
Sugar Equivalent: 30 Chewy Chips Ahoy Cookies

In terms of saturated fat, drinking this Cold Stone catastrophe is like
slurping up 68 strips of bacon. Health experts recommend capping
your saturated fat intake at about 20 grams per day, yet this
beverage packs more than three times that into a cup the size of a
Chipotle burrito. But here’s what’s worse: No regular shake at Cold
Stone, no matter what the size, has fewer than 1,000 calories. If
you must drink your ice cream, make it one of the creamery’s
“Sinless” options. Otherwise you’d better plan on buying some
bigger pants on the way home.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lose That Lower Gut Flab

Ugh, the lower gut — it's often the last thing to go, right? Lower-abdominal flab can be downright persistent, but it can be reduced with the right diet and exercise regimen. If your gut instincts are telling you to start crunching, you're on the right track. Although crunches by themselves won't burn belly fat, they will strengthen your core, burn intramuscular fat, and help you build lean, calorie-burning muscle. If you want an exercise that specifically targets the lower and transverse abs, try the Reverse Crunch. Reverse Crunch

* Lie on your back with your feet off the floor, knees bent, and ankles together. Bring the tops of your quads inward and onto your stomach so that you don't swing your legs to gain momentum during the movement. (This also helps you isolate your lower abs during the crunch instead of engaging the hip flexors.) Relax your head, neck, and shoulders, resting them on the floor. Rest your arms at your sides, palms face-down on the floor.
* Lift your pelvis off the floor, and curl it toward your rib cage. Make sure to exhale fully while you're crunching in order to maximize the contraction.

If you really want a challenge, hold your arms out at your sides and several inches off the floor. This helps to further isolate your abs, prohibiting your arms from assisting in the crunch by pressing off the floor with your hands.

By: Jillian Michaels

The correct way to weigh yourself:

I can't believe I was doing it wrong all these years. WE MUST SPREAD THE WORD. LOL

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I am all for watching what you eat, but.....

I am all for watching what you eat, but I do believe a holiday is a holiday and it is meant for celebrating. Enjoy the foods that you would normally enjoy for that holiday, because the rest of the year you are being so good watching everything else that goes into your mouth. Now this doesn't mean that you need to eat more than one helping, but enjoy it instead of craving it for one day. These are FREEDOMS we do get to enjoy. HAPPY 4th OF July everyone!

Remember moderation in all things!

A few changes to this Blog

I just wanted to let those of you who follow this blog know that I'm going to be changing it into MORE than just a "weight-loss" will now feature articles & recipes that deal with "health & wellness" also. I am keeping the name of the blog the same since it is an established name now. PLEASE FEEL FREE to add your own ideas, comments, recipes, articles & of course WHINING to this blog!!!! I love hearing from you about your successes & struggles & I LOVE to hear WHINING, because it makes me feel better knowing I'm not the only one whining about things!! LOL Thanks SO MUCH being part of this blog!!!! Muah!!!! ;)

10 Fourth of July Health Hazards


Fourth of July is a time for picnics, parades, and of course, patriotism. But for many Americans, the holiday may end very differently than it began--with a terrifying trip to the emergency room. In addition to common culprits like fireworks and grilling, Independence Day injuries often arise from seemingly safe sources, such as foods, drinks, and fun in the sun.
Independence Day Injuries-Averted

Whatever your plans this holiday, beware the following health hazards.

1. Fireworks.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), fireworks account for an estimated 10,000 emergency room visits every year, and over two-thirds of these accidents occur during June and July. What's more, firecrackers, rockets, and even sparklers can cause permanent damage to the hands, head, and face, as well as blindness. The best policy? Leave the fireworks to the pros-and focus on finding a safe spot where you can enjoy the display.

2. Grilling.
Everyone loves outdoor cooking, but backyard-grilling accidents cause more than 2,000 fires, 300 injuries, and 30 deaths in the United States annually, the Insurance Information Institute reports. To prevent accidents at your holiday barbecue, check your grill hoses for cracks, brittleness, sharp bends, holes, and leaks. Always keep propane gas containers upright, and move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease. In addition, keep flammable liquids, like gasoline, away from the grill at all times.

3. Insect Bites.
Insects may seem like a minor inconvenience, but in some cases, bites and stings can cause life-threatening reactions. Fortunately, there are ways to keep the pesky critters from spoiling your Fourth of July fun. Wear insect repellent with 10 to 30 percent DEET, reapply it after swimming or sweating, and check yourself regularly for ticks. If you're allergic to bee stings or spider bites, keep an epinephrine kit handy. Be sure to seek immediate medical attention if you experience serious symptoms following a sting or bite, such as shortness of breath, fever, chills, redness, excessive hives, muscle cramps, weakness, nausea, or vomiting.

4. Choking.
Sadly, more than 3,000 people die each year as a result of choking, and some of the most common culprits include hot dogs. If frankfurters are on your Fourth of July menu, be sure to cut them lengthwise and then into smaller pieces, especially if you're feeding them to kids, and watch out for other summer fare that could pose choking risks, such as whole grapes, carrots cut on the diagonal, peanuts, and popcorn. In addition, don't forget to chew your food properly, and never walk or run while you have food in your mouth.

5. Sunburn.
UV exposure is not only the leading cause of photoaging and skin cancer; it can also put you at risk for sunburns, which can range in severity from cases of minor redness to those resulting in debilitation or even death. Fortunately, you can prevent them by wearing protective clothing, regularly applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and avoiding being in the sun during midday, when UV rays are at their strongest. If you notice any signs of severe sunburn, such as pain, blistering, headache, confusion, fainting, or nausea, it's important to get to an emergency room right away.

6. Food Poisoning.
The dog days of July are perfect for light outdoor eating. But the sweltering weather can also be a breeding ground for foodborne bacteria, such as E.Coli and salmonella. To reduce your risk of exposure, wash your hands with antibacterial soap before and after food handling, cook all meats and eggs thoroughly, and wash any utensils and surfaces that come into contact with raw foods (rather than letting them come into contact with other edibles). If you notice any of the telltale signs of foodborne illnesses-nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, fever, bloody stool-be sure to seek out medical attention immediately.

7. Alcohol Poisoning.
Fourth of July is a celebration, and it can often set the stage for alcohol abuse. While adults should be careful to limit their consumption or refrain from booze completely, according to experts at the University of California San Diego Medical Center, even young children may be at risk. To prevent accidents from happening, don't leave full or leftover cocktails lying around, and never allow a child to sip from your glass. In addition, driving while intoxicated is a common holiday risk, so make sure that you, your family, and friends never get into a car whose driver has been drinking.

8. Drowning.
Tragically, some 3,000 drowning deaths occur in the United States every year, and most of the victims are children. In fact, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental deaths among children 1 to 14 years old. At your Fourth of July festivities, don't forget to keep swimmers, and especially kids, in your sight at all times. For very young children, the American Red Cross recommends practicing "reach supervision" by staying within an arm's length reach. Adults should also remember that alcohol and water sports don't mix.

9. Dehydration.
Thousands of Americans suffer from dehydration every year, and the hot, humid weather makes people particularly susceptible. The good news: The condition is totally preventable. Remember to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day; don't overexert yourself; stay in cool, shaded areas whenever possible; and avoid alcoholic, caffeinated, or carbonated beverages, which can deplete your body of hydration. Symptoms of dehydration typically include darker colored urine, constipation, bloating, dry mouth, a lack of energy, and muscle cramping, and if left untreated, the condition can escalate to heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

10. Heatstroke.
Also known as hyperthermia or sunstroke, heatstroke could definitely put a damper on your holiday soiree. Young children, the elderly, and people who engage in intense physical activity are particularly at risk, but everyone should take precautions. To stop overheating before its start, be sure to drink plenty of liquids; wear light, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat; and avoid strenuous exercise in hot weather. If you suspect you or a loved one may have heatstroke, notify your local emergency services as soon as possible.

Reviewed by QualityHealth's Medical Advisory Board

The 7 Scariest Summer Foods!

It's summertime, and the living is easy-but eating healthfully can be hard. Some of the season's most popular foods, like potato salad and fried chicken, contain massive amounts of calories and fat, while others, such as hot dogs, boast ingredients that may be downright dangerous. How can you avoid the most frightening hot-weather fare? Read on as we reveal the seven scariest foods of summer.

Summer Food Shockers

These seasonal staples are all positively calorific, and some could even put diseases on your menu (thanks to scary ingredients like sodium, trans fats, and nitrates).

Potato Salad. It's a favorite at picnics and backyard barbecues, but don't let the name "salad" fool you-this creamy side dish is more fattening than most summer entrées and desserts. The standard mayo-and-potato variety packs over 350 calories and 20 grams of fat per cup, and its culinary cousins (macaroni, chicken, tuna, and egg salad) are every bit as diet-deadly.

Fried Chicken. Just a few pieces of this seasonal classic pack a staggering amount of calories and fat. While fast-food versions are outrageously fattening (a thigh and drumstick at KFC contain a total of 520 calories and 40 grams of fat), homemade varieties aren't much healthier. What's more, fried chicken generally contains stratospheric amounts of sodium, which can increase your risk for hypertension (high blood pressure).

Hot Dogs. They're fixtures at state fairs and little-league fields, but these handheld delights are hardly light summer fare (the bun alone usually contains about 100 calories). Even worse, like many processed meats, hot dogs are often loaded with carcinogenic preservatives called nitrates, which have been linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

Grilled Corn. It's hard to believe that corn could sabotage anyone's diet. But while the boiled variety is low in calories and fat, grilled versions are slathered in butter, which can translate to hundreds of additional calories and more than 10 additional grams of fat per ear. Plus, all that butter can increase your risk for high

Snow Cones. This cool, colorful treat may look low-calorie (after all, it's basically a big chunk of ice), but looks can be deceiving. Thanks to the sugary syrup and flavorings, snow cones contain a whopping 550 calories per 12-ounce serving-and they're devoid of any nutritional value. Other empty-calorie summer culprits include taffy, cotton candy, and fried dough.

Cool Whip. With only 25 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per serving, this ubiquitous dessert topping has a reputation for being diet friendly. But look a little closer at the label, and you'll find that it's far from nutritious. Cool Whip actually contains both high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oil (that's code for "trans fat"), an ingredient that could increase your chances of developing coronary artery disease.

. These refreshing libations may seem like a good way to cool down on a hot summer's day, but a single daiquiri packs more than 300 calories and loads of sugar. If you're looking for slimming summer cocktails, opt for wine spritzers or sangria-and steer clear of other diet-deadly drinks, like pina coladas, Long Island iced teas, and wine coolers.

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