Eat, Drink and Be Brainy

More and more studies continue to emerge on the brain fit benefits of some food and drinks. The best part is that some of these are foods and drinks that many of us enjoy. We all know that fruits and veggies help our general health, but what other goodies help the function of the brain and could be part of our brain fitness program?

A new study in the Journal of Nutrition evaluated the cognitive performance of over 2,000, seventy – seventy four year olds who regularly eat chocolate, drink tea, or drink wine. Researchers compared these adults performance on a battery of cognitive tests to same-age adults who did not partake in one or all of these culinary delights.

The study concluded that eating chocolate, drinking tea or drinking wine, was associated with improved performance on tests for learning, memory, word association and other types of intellectual function. What’s more is that eating and drinking all three was better than one or two. Now let’s get to a little of the nitty-gritty.

Chocolate – How Much and What Kind.

Chocolate eaters performed better than non-chocolate eaters, but don’t go out and stuff your face too much. First of all, the benefits are confined mostly to dark chocolate and the higher the concentration of cocoa, the better. This is where most of the beneficial flavonoids come from in this particular delicacy. As for the amount, about 10g per day did the trick, which is about one-third of an ounce for you non-metric types. Just a little square after dinner will do it.

Tea Time

Tea drinkers did better than those who didn’t drink tea on all the cognitive tests as well. The researchers in this study were not able to separate green tea from black tea drinkers. Both types of tea have about equal concentrations of flavonoids anyway, but green tea has been more strongly associated with cognitive performance in the past. This may be due to the fact that it has more of a specific ingredient called, catechins. However, most of the tea drinkers in this particular study population probably drank black tea – so pick your poison, or in this case, your antidote.

Wine and Dine

Wine had the strongest effect on cognitive performance in this study. However, it was a relatively modest amount that had the biggest effect, on the order of about half a glass per day. After that, there wasn’t really any added benefit. The study did not include heavy drinkers to evaluate how much is too much. However, past studies have indicated about one to two glasses a day may be OK. White and red wines were not separated for this study either and many previous studies have implicated red wine more strongly in overall health. But, several studies have also implicated any alcohol in moderation to improved cardiovascular tone, which probably translates into neurovascular health as well (the blood supply to the brain).

A big caveat to all of this is that these older adults had likely been eating dark chocolate and drinking tea and wine for a long time. It’s unclear how long is necessary to see beneficial effects for any of these, but like most things, it’s likely that the earlier the better, but it’s never too late to start. Of course, these studies are also associative, which means we can’t say for sure that chocolate, tea and wine cause better cognitive performance, but those who use them seem to do better.

So this holiday season, curl up by the fire with a nice glass of wine, cup of tea, or dark hot chocolate and think about thinking about stuff more clearly.

Eating, Drinking and Getting a Six Pack

A Guide to Getting the Best Abs and Six Pack.

Did you know that there are a variety of foods and drinks that you can consume that on the surface you may think are bad for you (but can actually aid muscle growth and definition).

For example: Did you know that:

Red Wine drunk in moderation (maximum 1-2 glasses a day) can have a beneficial effect on the gut. This is actually based on a research study based on a study of people who drank this amount. The study by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2012 found that people who had been drinking Red Wine had large amounts of good bacteria in their gut and lower amounts of bad bacteria in their gut.

By drinking safe amounts of Red Wine people can also get a positive response in relation to slowing down and moderating the blood sugar levels produced after a meal. By doing this the body’s insulin levels are controlled, the appetite is reduced and it enables the body to stay lean and healthy.

What other foods can help you to get a six pack? There is growing evidence to suggest that not only do people eat too much but we need to return to the diet that are paleolithic ancestors enjoyed i.e. eating and enjoying natural food that were found in their environment, such as.

Fruits
Vegetables
Wild Fish (such as Salmon).
Eggs
Nuts
Seeds
Potatoes (yes this is a Carbohydrate – but some carbs can be good for a six pack).

Considering that our ancestors ate this diet for thousands of years research now suggests that this is a diet that we are programmed to eat (and should still be eating). This is called the Paleo diet (now a popular diet used to get lean). The only problem that we currently find with this diet is that food manufacturers and growers tend to modify the food i.e. genetically change the sweetness, appearance, the speed they grow and other key characteristics. For example did you know that wild blueberries have been found to have double the amount of antioxidants than cultivated blueberries.

So with this in mind it’s important to take notice of what you eat as much as how much exercise you do. If you don’t have a healthy diet then you are very unlikely to ever get a six pack and the kind of body that you ultimately want.

Eat, Drink and Sleep Well to Lose Weight

You have managed to gain weight for reasons unknown to you. You have tried a few steps to lose the extra weight you have gained but they never seemed to work. Hence I have put together three easy ways that can help you lose weight without an exercise or a diet.

You have to give your body the necessary food it needs to grow and stay healthy. So the simplest method is to eat your meals on time. Have all your meals on time without a delay or skipping them. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You have slept for several hours and your dinner has completely digested. When you skip this meal you tend to eat more than your share of food for lunch. If breakfast is a difficult meal to have then all you need to do is eat a single slice of bread or a cookie and wash it down with your usual beverage. Gradually you will get used to this and you will be eating the most important meal of the day. This meal kick starts your body and prepares you for the rest of the day.

Next you would have to drink a lot during the day. When I say drink I mean a lot of water during the day which is very important. There are several kinds of teas available in the open market today. Many of them can help you lose weight. You can have black tea made very light and with as little sugar as possible or better yet half a teaspoon of honey. Green tea has been found to be very beneficial to lose weight. Dandelion root tea as well can help. So drink any of these teas or mix it up and benefit from it.

Sleep is one other factor that is very important for your body. You will need to get more than just the beauty sleep that your body requires. When you sleep it should be uninterrupted and peaceful and you need to clear your mind to allow your body to rest better.

Birmingham AL Restaurants – The Brightstar Restaurant, Chez Lulu, and Mudtown Eat & Drink

Perhaps people don’t think of Birmingham, Alabama when they think of cities with great culinary traditions, but they should. Birmingham isn’t just a one-dish town. You can find any type of cuisine in this city of a quarter of a million people, and you can find it in most any price range. People who live in Birmingham love wowing their out-of-town guests by taking them out for some of the best food to be found anywhere. The Bright Star Restaurant, Chez Lulu, and Mudtown Eat & Drink are three great examples.

The Bright Star Restaurant is at 304 19th Street North in Bessemer. It has been there since 1907 and specializes in Greek style cuisine, seafood gumbo and pies. Owners Jim and Nick Koikos are regularly at the restaurant overseeing the meal preparation. Of the 90 member staff, the average length of service is 7 years, which is quite long in an industry with very high turnover. The seafood served at The Bright Star is flown in from the Gulf coast every day, and Jim and Nick are committed to using only the best ingredients in every dish they serve.

Chez Lulu is located at 1909 Cahaba Rd., about a mile from the Birmingham Zoo. The menu features fresh soups and tartes made with fresh vegetables, and custom dips and spreads. Entrees lean Mediterranean, and gourmet sandwiches are served on hearth baked breads from the Continental Bakery next door. Both bakery and restaurant are owned by Carole Griffin, who designed both spaces with a very European feel. The peasant garlic soup is reported to be excellent, and the restaurant sometimes features live music.

Mudtown Eat & Drink, at 3144 Green Valley Rd. does catering in addition to the primary restaurant business. It prides itself on being “part of the neighborhood fabric.” The menu offerings often involve fresh fruit, and salads with dressing on the side are another signature item. The cooking oil is as close to TFA (trans fatty acid)-free as you can get. Mudtown is also proud to obtain much of its produce from local sources. Entrees from their extensive menu include grilled tilapia with basil balsamic vinaigrette, Monte Cristo sandwiches and that great southern staple, fried green tomatoes.

Eat, Drink and Look Younger!

Your mother was right when she said “eat your fruits and vegetables”! Your skin is your largest organ and the most exposed to elements both inside and out. You can slap on the most expensive creams, but without knowing the whole story you will be sadly disappointed with the results. The great news is that your skin is one area where you can make a noticeable difference to the way you look, FAST. Incorporating these easy and delicious tips, you can start looking and feeling younger within weeks.

EAT

Foods rich in vitamin A help form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and mucus membranes. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye. Polyphenols, found in berries, play a major role in keeping the skin healthy. Flavonoids are among the most beneficial nutrients that you can derive from plants and plant products. They are antioxidants found naturally in plants. Antioxidant-rich foods include berries, grapes, pomegranate, walnuts, almonds, black beans, cooked tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, whole grains and superfoods such as seaweed. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C. Other great sources of vitamin C include papayas, carrots and citrus fruits.

A mutually beneficial relationship exists between flavonoids and vitamin C. Each substance improves the antioxidant activity of the other, and many of the vitamin-related functions of vitamin C also appear to require the presence of flavonoids. Vitamin C has shown positive results as UVA/UVB protection, decreasing hyperpigmentation (brown spots) and increase collagen production, all factors in aging skin.

For that young, dewy look, you need to seal this water into your skin. To do that, you need to eat healthy essential fats. Not only do they make your cell membranes stronger-which helps prevent harmful toxins from being absorbed-they also keep moisture from getting out. Without plenty of omega 3, 6 and 9, drinking water is like trying to fill a paddling pool with a hole in it. Be sure to include at least one serving of these essential fats per day such as salmon, unsalted nuts, seeds, avocado, and vegetable oils such as canola oil, olive oil and safflower oil.

It’s also important to know that a disrupted digestion prevents proper absorption of nutrients, thus starving your skin of the raw material to keep it looking young. Certain foods and supplements can help improve liver function and liver detox systems are enhanced by broccoli sprouts, seaweed, and dark greens.

DRINK

I am sure you have been told a million times to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Well, you are going to hear it one more time. Drinking water regularly can help muscles increase, fat to be lost, and skin to shine, creating a better version of the body you have.

According to the Mayo Clinic, water is used for a variety of functions in the body, such as moistening tissues and protecting internal organs, dissolving nutrients to be absorbed by the body, lubricating joints and regulating body temperature. Water helps the kidneys flush out waste products as well as help in oxygen transport to the cells of the body.

Elderberry and cranberry juices are good choices for their immune boosting and anti-bacterial properties. Avoid high sugar juices, especially from exotic fruits such as banana and mango, because sugar is the ultimate skin-ager.

The polyphenols in red wine and green tea contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that detoxify and help repair cell-damaging free radicals in the body.

PUT IT ON EVERYTHING

Try adding flaxseed, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, honey, lemon and lime to your food and drink to add a punch of flavour that harbors a powerhouse of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, stomach-soothing, and liver-and heart-protecting effects.

Some foods and herbs may alter the effects of some prescription and non-prescription medications. If you have allergies, are currently being treated with medications or have an illness, you should first talk to your health care provider.

LOOK YOUNGER!

5 Skin Care Basics

Cleanse and Tone
Exfoliate (facial scrubs and fruit enzyme peels work to soften and break down and digest dead skin cells.)
Nourish (serums and masks)
Hydrate (day and night creams or lotions with hyaluronic acid)
Protect (sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 15 or more)

10 Deadliest Skin-Aging Sins

Research shows that there are, in fact, two distinct types of aging. Aging caused by the genes we inherit is called intrinsic (internal) aging. The other type of aging is known as extrinsic (external) aging and is caused by external or environmental factors. Here are some of the worst extrinsic factors.

Smoking
Sun exposure
Sugars
Alcohol
Stress
Lack of sleep
Bad food choices
Dehydration from lack of water intake, using too hot water or exposure to very cold and hot temperatures
Harsh cleansers or products containing toxic ingredients
Lack of exercise. Exercise helps to tone your muscles and get your blood flowing.

Our mobile esthetic services offer professional esthetic, hand and foot treatments in the comfort of your own home by an experienced esthetician. Ideal for those with busy day schedules, the elderly or convalescing people. Afterall, there really is no place like home.

Tips For Eating & Drinking During Sports and Exercise

Proper sports nutrition isn’t just for before and after the game. You need to take care of yourself while you’re playing too.

If you’re exerting yourself for a long time, you may need to make sure you eat a light snack. If your match or sports practice is less than ninety minutes long, water or a sports drink will probably be enough to keep you feeling fine. Eating fruit as a snack, can keep you well hydrated, but you’re also give your body a little boost of carbohydrates at the same time. Strawberries, grapes, chunks of pineapple or orange are all good choices.

If you’re really running or practicing hard–giving it all you’ve got for more than an hour, you probably need to have a snack and it should be high in carbohydrates. Our bodies use carbohydrates for energy and snacking on carbohydrates during a grueling practice or sporting event will help to keep your body going. Sufficient energy is a must during practice or any sporting event and for that you have to have carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates keep your brain working properly. Not enough carbs and your brain is really going to notice how tired you are from all the running you’re doing. Sufficient carbohydrates, though, can actually distract your brain a little so it isn’t quite so aware just how hard you’re working.

If you’re participating in an all day event, you definitely need to pack some snacks and meals, and of course, healthy food is the key. Cereal bars, wraps, fruit, pasta, rice, or whole wheat sandwiches with lean meat are all good choices because they are all very high in carbs. That’s important because carbohydrates are more quickly digested than protein or fat. Fatty foods or proteins can actually cause muscle cramps, upset stomach or feeling of fatigue and sluggishness.

Keeping snacks and meals cold can be hard to do when you’re outside running or practicing. Freeze just one water bottle gives you a nice ice pack to keep everything in your cooler cold. When the bottle melts, you can drink that too!

If you want to play at your best, you have to be sure you stay well hydrated. In general athletes need to drink more fluids than non-athletes. If you are playing really hard or in particularly hot or humid conditions, you may need even more water.

You don’t drink sodas with caffeine. Caffeinated beverages actually dehydrate your body. Instead you want to drink more water before the start of practice or the game, and make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids while you’re exercising too. Proper hydration is really the foundation of sports nutrition.

My name is Rhys Gwilliam and I’m a 16-year old kid from the beautiful islands of New Zealand (“Aotearoa”). I am a keen sportsman and understand that good nutrition and exercise is essential to stay in peak form. So you could say that I have a passion for health. I enjoy sharing my personal experiences and my daily goal is to help others live healthier lives.

Type 2 Diabetes and Healthy Eating – Pledge to Yourself to Eat, Drink and Be Mindful

Sometimes the best way to hold ourselves accountable for making a healthy change is to create a pledge. A “mindful eating pledge” should include the promise to yourself you will make an effort to change one habit you know is holding you back from becoming a healthier person. Your pledge could be…

to chew your food more before swallowing, or
focusing on your feelings when you eat.

Whatever you choose to work on, here is why pledging is essential…

by pledging to yourself, you are making a statement that says you are important and your needs should not be ignored. Most of us rarely take time out of our day to work on our connection with food. But this could quickly be done at any meal or anytime you feel the need to sort out your feelings: like on the way home from a stressful day at work.
establishing a relationship between your emotions and food decisions could have an impact on critical health factors, such as stress and obesity. If you pledged to slow down when you eat, maybe you will find you do not need as much food as you have been eating to satisfy your hunger.

Your pledge could be a promise to work on reversing or preventing a chronic health condition, such as Type 2 diabetes. Mindful eating works to seek out any negative emotions before you choose to eat. It also asks you to think about what you are eating and why. So before you tell yourself you deserve the unhealthy food item because you had a bad day, think about why you had a bad day and understood eating unhealthy food will not help. If every person who has ever used food as comfort, soothed their feelings using methods other than food, they would be healthier and happier.

A promise to yourself is an important event. Even if you keep it to yourself, it should not be broken. You would not think of breaking a promise to a friend, so do not think it is okay to let yourself down…

your pledge could be to choose foods that are more nourishing to your body, or
maybe you pledge to stop counting calories and listen to your body more.

Write your pledge down and use it as motivation or post it on Facebook and have your friends hold you accountable. Be mindful of each and every bite you take, eat with purpose, and make sure you are fully focused on your food choices before you decide to eat.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

Birmingham AL Restaurants – The Brightstar Restaurant, Chez Lulu, and Mudtown Eat & Drink

Perhaps people don’t think of Birmingham, Alabama when they think of cities with great culinary traditions, but they should. Birmingham isn’t just a one-dish town. You can find any type of cuisine in this city of a quarter of a million people, and you can find it in most any price range. People who live in Birmingham love wowing their out-of-town guests by taking them out for some of the best food to be found anywhere. The Bright Star Restaurant, Chez Lulu, and Mudtown Eat & Drink are three great examples.

The Bright Star Restaurant is at 304 19th Street North in Bessemer. It has been there since 1907 and specializes in Greek style cuisine, seafood gumbo and pies. Owners Jim and Nick Koikos are regularly at the restaurant overseeing the meal preparation. Of the 90 member staff, the average length of service is 7 years, which is quite long in an industry with very high turnover. The seafood served at The Bright Star is flown in from the Gulf coast every day, and Jim and Nick are committed to using only the best ingredients in every dish they serve.

Chez Lulu is located at 1909 Cahaba Rd., about a mile from the Birmingham Zoo. The menu features fresh soups and tartes made with fresh vegetables, and custom dips and spreads. Entrees lean Mediterranean, and gourmet sandwiches are served on hearth baked breads from the Continental Bakery next door. Both bakery and restaurant are owned by Carole Griffin, who designed both spaces with a very European feel. The peasant garlic soup is reported to be excellent, and the restaurant sometimes features live music.

Mudtown Eat & Drink, at 3144 Green Valley Rd. does catering in addition to the primary restaurant business. It prides itself on being “part of the neighborhood fabric.” The menu offerings often involve fresh fruit, and salads with dressing on the side are another signature item. The cooking oil is as close to TFA (trans fatty acid)-free as you can get. Mudtown is also proud to obtain much of its produce from local sources. Entrees from their extensive menu include grilled tilapia with basil balsamic vinaigrette, Monte Cristo sandwiches and that great southern staple, fried green tomatoes.

Eat, Drink and Look Younger!

Your mother was right when she said “eat your fruits and vegetables”! Your skin is your largest organ and the most exposed to elements both inside and out. You can slap on the most expensive creams, but without knowing the whole story you will be sadly disappointed with the results. The great news is that your skin is one area where you can make a noticeable difference to the way you look, FAST. Incorporating these easy and delicious tips, you can start looking and feeling younger within weeks.

EAT

Foods rich in vitamin A help form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and mucus membranes. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye. Polyphenols, found in berries, play a major role in keeping the skin healthy. Flavonoids are among the most beneficial nutrients that you can derive from plants and plant products. They are antioxidants found naturally in plants. Antioxidant-rich foods include berries, grapes, pomegranate, walnuts, almonds, black beans, cooked tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, whole grains and superfoods such as seaweed. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C. Other great sources of vitamin C include papayas, carrots and citrus fruits.

A mutually beneficial relationship exists between flavonoids and vitamin C. Each substance improves the antioxidant activity of the other, and many of the vitamin-related functions of vitamin C also appear to require the presence of flavonoids. Vitamin C has shown positive results as UVA/UVB protection, decreasing hyperpigmentation (brown spots) and increase collagen production, all factors in aging skin.

For that young, dewy look, you need to seal this water into your skin. To do that, you need to eat healthy essential fats. Not only do they make your cell membranes stronger-which helps prevent harmful toxins from being absorbed-they also keep moisture from getting out. Without plenty of omega 3, 6 and 9, drinking water is like trying to fill a paddling pool with a hole in it. Be sure to include at least one serving of these essential fats per day such as salmon, unsalted nuts, seeds, avocado, and vegetable oils such as canola oil, olive oil and safflower oil.

It’s also important to know that a disrupted digestion prevents proper absorption of nutrients, thus starving your skin of the raw material to keep it looking young. Certain foods and supplements can help improve liver function and liver detox systems are enhanced by broccoli sprouts, seaweed, and dark greens.

DRINK

I am sure you have been told a million times to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Well, you are going to hear it one more time. Drinking water regularly can help muscles increase, fat to be lost, and skin to shine, creating a better version of the body you have.

According to the Mayo Clinic, water is used for a variety of functions in the body, such as moistening tissues and protecting internal organs, dissolving nutrients to be absorbed by the body, lubricating joints and regulating body temperature. Water helps the kidneys flush out waste products as well as help in oxygen transport to the cells of the body.

Elderberry and cranberry juices are good choices for their immune boosting and anti-bacterial properties. Avoid high sugar juices, especially from exotic fruits such as banana and mango, because sugar is the ultimate skin-ager.

The polyphenols in red wine and green tea contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that detoxify and help repair cell-damaging free radicals in the body.

PUT IT ON EVERYTHING

Try adding flaxseed, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, honey, lemon and lime to your food and drink to add a punch of flavour that harbors a powerhouse of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, stomach-soothing, and liver-and heart-protecting effects.

Some foods and herbs may alter the effects of some prescription and non-prescription medications. If you have allergies, are currently being treated with medications or have an illness, you should first talk to your health care provider.

LOOK YOUNGER!

5 Skin Care Basics

Cleanse and Tone
Exfoliate (facial scrubs and fruit enzyme peels work to soften and break down and digest dead skin cells.)
Nourish (serums and masks)
Hydrate (day and night creams or lotions with hyaluronic acid)
Protect (sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 15 or more)

10 Deadliest Skin-Aging Sins

Research shows that there are, in fact, two distinct types of aging. Aging caused by the genes we inherit is called intrinsic (internal) aging. The other type of aging is known as extrinsic (external) aging and is caused by external or environmental factors. Here are some of the worst extrinsic factors.

Smoking
Sun exposure
Sugars
Alcohol
Stress
Lack of sleep
Bad food choices
Dehydration from lack of water intake, using too hot water or exposure to very cold and hot temperatures
Harsh cleansers or products containing toxic ingredients
Lack of exercise. Exercise helps to tone your muscles and get your blood flowing.

Our mobile esthetic services offer professional esthetic, hand and foot treatments in the comfort of your own home by an experienced esthetician. Ideal for those with busy day schedules, the elderly or convalescing people. Afterall, there really is no place like home.

Practical Weight Loss Advice – Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Following weight loss advice is a dicey proposition, to say the least. Who do you trust? And why would you trust them? Changing your diet to lose weight along with learning to eat right is a key component to losing weight. With the adoption of healthier eating habits, you can not only lose the extra weight but also maintain a healthy weight for years to come.

Food Diary. To understand your current weight and how you got there, take at least one week and write down everything – EVERYTHING – you ingest. If you eat one saltine cracker or two jelly beans, write it down.

o Calorie count. Start with that first cup of coffee in the morning and follow through with each and every morsel that passes your lips. Read your packaging labels and follow portion sizes to correctly assess how many calories you are eating for each food you consume.
o Be honest. If you exceed portion limits but really do not want to document the banana cream backslide, you are only deceiving yourself. Avoiding the truth is hurting no one else but you. Keeping an accurate daily diet record will allow you to more efficiently make adjustments that will produce the most favorable results.
o Not just what but when. What you eat is important, but also when you eat it. If you make a habit of a midnight snack, you have no opportunity to burn the calories. Avoid eating significant calories after 6pm, opting for low calorie snacks.

Substitutions. Changing your eating habits does not always mean to sacrifice what you love. If you feel deprived, you are less likely to follow through with your commitment. Try these substitutions of your favorite foods to maintain your obligation to weight-loss and better health:

o Instead of a cheeseburger… choose a grilled chicken sandwich on a wheat bun. Add some romaine lettuce and mustard to replace the cheese, white bread, and saturated fat.
o Instead of macaroni and cheese … choose a baked potato. Skip the butter and sour cream and add pepper and fat free ranch dressing to your baked potato. Carbs are not necessarily a bad thing, but there are healthier preparations from which to choose.
o Instead of chips … choose lowfat, crunchy options and mix your own snacks. For example, homemade Chex® mix can satisfy many a taste preference without packing on the pounds. Try mixing Honey Nut Chex®, wheat Chex®, square cheese snack crackers, and twisted pretzels for a satisfying snack without the high fat content of chips.
o Instead of a soda … choose bottled water with a twist of lemon. Soda has no nutritional value – NONE. Plain water can be a bit bland and artificial sweeteners are not recommended in large quantities. The reduction in sugar will result in an immediate and noticeable difference.
o Instead of ice cream … choose sherbet. Sherbet has no milk fat but tons of flavor. If you simply cannot stomach sherbet, opt for sugar free or low fat ice cream instead.

Snacks. Embrace snacking in your new weight loss world. Snacking does not always mean a king size candy bar or a pint of ice cream. Snacks should consist of (ideally) about 150 calories and should be spaced between meals to maintain your metabolic rate while avoiding excessive hunger. Try these snack suggestions to stay on your weight loss track:

o Fruit. Grapes have roughly 4 calories each. So, 15 grapes paired with 8 low fat vanilla wafers are only 170 calories.
o Vegetables. Baby carrots have the crunch many find necessary to sustain their days but low calorie content. At 5 calories each, 7 baby carrots (35 calories) paired with 2 tablespoons of fat free ranch dressing (30 calories) and 5 saltine crackers (60 calories) are a 125 calorie hunger buster.
o Dessert. For those who feel like chocolate is one of the basic food groups, sugar free pudding is available. Prepackaged choices can take the guesswork out of portions. Combined with 2 tablespoons of fat free whipped topping, you can curb that sweet tooth with a mere 60 calories.

Regardless of whether a quick bite seems trivial to you, to your body it is calories. Changing your eating habits to lose weight does not necessarily mean eliminating your eating altogether. There are healthy choices that can satisfy your cravings and fulfill your nutritional needs. The key is to follow portion recommendations and limit your fat and sugar intake. It is time to eat to live rather than living to eat.