One fresh idea we’re springing into like a new baby rabbit is breakfast salads. No, really. What isn’t to love? Loads of fruits and veggies at the start of the day, perking you up with vitamins and energy as you plunge into a workout or just work.
You've heard about an apple a day being good for you, but what about an egg a day?
Some dudes in Finland ate an egg a day and were less likely to develop diabetes than some other dudes who ate fewer eggs. The researchers found this to be true for high egg intake - one a day - compared to lower egg intake - about one a week. The researchers admit it’s not enough to draw direct causal conclusions yet, but it is enough for them to consider the role of certain egg-related compounds in the development of type 2 diabetes.
Their findings suggest that, for most people, up to an egg a day can fit into a healthy diet and lifestyle. In fact, one doctor suggested that if you’re trying to decide between the egg or the donut, definitely grab an egg.
If you’ve been reluctant to include many eggs in your diet, it’s high time to rethink their place on your plate. It’s been three years since the latest research overturned decades of bad press for those little yolky orbs. The alarming cholesterol warnings seemed warranted in the 80s and 90s, but researchers now know that the dietary cholesterol from eggs won’t raise your blood cholesterol level.
Not only are eggs not negatively affecting heart health, they’re actually improving it. Those egg-a-day folks showed a lower risk of developing heart disease.
So get crack-a-lackin on those flaky shells because hidden inside is a trove of nutritional benefit. Vitamin E, folate, protein, and choline are just a taste of the benefits. At less than 75 calories per large egg, just one or two makes a filling, satisfying meal or snack. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, salad toppings, appetizers, or pre- and post-workout snacks, there’s never a bad time to have an egg.
If you’ve ever been hangry, every loved one, co-worker, and unfortunate restaurant hostess knows about it. The intense feelings that come with primal hunger are irrational and irritable, and often complemented by lacking concentration, shaking, and racing heart. Getting too hungry may even make you feel anxious, more prone to mistakes, and completely incapable of making a decision.
The intersection of extreme hunger and the anger that comes with it has been colloquially coined as HANGRY, a term common enough that Oxford put it in the dictionary.
When we eat, our blood sugar spikes quickly and then slowly tapers off as the hours between meals pass. That’s when we get hungry again, when the glucose diminishes. Our brain critically depends on glucose to operate, so when it starts to get low we receive signals to address it - like lower energy or stomach growls. The more we ignore it, the more our brain panics as if it’s a life-threatening situation. That’s when the switch gets real, and our worst side shows itself.
Michael Lowe, a psychology professor and eating disorder specialist at Drexel University, told Wall Street Journal that as the body gets hungry it releases the hormones cortisol and epinephrine as a warning that blood sugar levels are diminishing. This was an evolutionary response during our caveman / hunter-gatherer days, so that we could start planning ahead to eat before the situation became dire. Our modern habits - with dieting or overeating - actually interrupt the normal process for eating only when we’re truly hungry. It’s further support for the argument that we should eat for fuel, not pleasure.
WHAT CAUSES HANGRY FEELINGS
The simplest cause for hanger is waiting too long to eat when your body is sending hunger signals. The longer you wait, the lower glucose levels fall, which spawns all of those physiological responses like the shakes, headaches, weakness/low energy, and mood swings.
Nutrition coach Mary Vance also says skipping meals, eating too much sugar (especially at breakfast), starting the day with coffee only, or not filling up with enough protein/fiber/fat can all cause hanger to consume your otherwise pleasant demeanor. Being mindful of when and how you eat can be the simplest and most effective way to prevent a hangry rage episode.
Lowe advises spreading food intake out across the day, eating more often but less quantity each time. This helps to maintain blood sugar levels and avoid the crash.
WHAT TO EAT WHEN YOU’RE HANGRY
When you’re feeling hungry but can’t stop for a full meal, or entering the danger of the hangry zone, focus on snacks that satiate and sustain, include fiber / fat / protein, and can quickly normalize blood sugar. These aren’t unlike the foods you should eat before a workout.
- Avocado toast on whole grain bread
- Cottage cheese and apples
- String cheese and grapes
- Fresh veggies with salsa, guac, hummus, dressing, or nut butter
- Handful of nuts (like almonds) and/or seeds (like chia)
- Plain yogurt with berries
- Plain oatmeal with nut butter
- Turkey or tuna sandwich with fresh veggies
- Hard boiled egg with whole grain muffin or toast
- Protein bars that are “clean” and natural, like Lara or Kind
DO NOT try to feed the hangry with cookies, candy bars, or other low-nutrient, high-sugar treats that only exacerbate the problem.
Food historians have got to name this the decade where pumpkin spice reigned supreme, right? Everything was fine until a lil spike in Google searches in 2011 for the flavor that has taken over our cereal, yogurt, beer, and, of course, lattes. The popularity reached critical mass in 2016, but every self-respecting woman in yoga pants, riding boots, and the faintest whisper of a chill in the air isn’t putting down the Official Flavor of Autumn anytime soon.
If you need some fresh ways to spice up your pumpkin spice and want to do it with the real thing, we’ve got a few recipe ideas that are anything but basic.
Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate - Delish simmers real pumpkin puree with milk, white chocolate, and a pinch of pumpkin spice for a decadently cozy drink.
Better-Than-Starbucks PSL - It’s the real maple syrup and real pumpkin puree that set this latte from Delish apart from the average drive-thru recipe.
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce - Pardon us but this might be the only thing we eat this fall. This Well Plated dish uses pumpkin puree with fresh sage, butter, milk, and nutmeg for an irresistibly comforting pasta dish you can toss with noodles or zoodles!
Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Bars - Gym day or couch day, these little homemade protein bars by Emilie Eats hit the spot! She uses vegan protein powder with pure pumpkin puree, almond butter, and a homemade blend of spices to pump up this snack.
Pumpkin Creme Brulee - Is this real life right now? Epicurious is killin’ us with this real pumpkin puree dessert that sounds crazy decadent and is going to make us look like Julia-freakin’-Child at this year’s family bake off!
Pumpkin Banana Smoothie - Breakfast, dessert, or maybe even both, we can’t think of a bad time to make Chef Savvy’s creamy little nutritional powerhouse. Real pumpkin, Greek yogurt, bananas, honey, and a little cinnamon and nutmeg feel like sippin’ pie any time you want.
Pumpkin Compound Butter - The only thing making us take a break from avocado toast this season is Tasty Kitchen’s compound butter. Whip up the butter with puree, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salted butter and then schmear that schtuff all over your bagels, toast, waffles, or the end of your index finger.
Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes - You know that really good Thanksgiving dream where you mix all the food together and just dig in? Steamy Kitchen basically accomplished that, you guys! The canned pumpkin, its complementary spices, and a little maple syrup blend right in with your white or sweet potatoes.
Pumpkin Spice Protein Pudding - We’ll go ahead and take seconds, please! The Betty Rocker’s rockin’ our world with this GF/dairy-free pumpkin spice breakfast-snack-dessert. Protein powder, eggs, coconut milk, and a whole can of real pumpkin puree have got nothin’ on those little snack packs.
Fresh Pumpkin Spice Cocktail - Have your pumpkin and drink it too with The Taste SF’s totally surprising pumpkin spice libation! They pretty much had us at vodka and fresh pumpkin...but then the horchata and ginger liqueurs made this an official love affair.Bruleed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie - If we left off a pumpkin pie, we wouldn’t be doing this fall flavor any justice. But, we’re anything but basic, so we found the most drool-inducing pumpkin pie recipe we could. Bon Appetit uses a chocolate pie dough!!! Then they fill it with what looks like a regular pumpkin pie filling...but with bourbon, real vanilla bean, and a scorched top for a candied finish. Mmm hmm.
If the summer heat zaps your energy and your appetite, you’re not alone. Our bodies process food at a slower rate when it’s hot, meaning we aren’t as hungry as usual. As well, the brain is trying to regulate all of the processes that keep our bodies cool and just doesn’t prioritize the appetite like it usually does.
When you need to eat but don’t quite feel like it, or just need some lighter bites that feel as refreshing as they are filling, give these quick, easy, summer recipes a try.
A little red onion and lime juice really punch up the bright, easy flavors in this side that serves just as well as a full lunch.
Makes enough for one or to serve a crowd and pairs with almost anything you plan to eat this summer. Blue corn chips and a bowl of guac make a pretty satisfying lite summer dinner.
Especially if you like to meal plan or prep meals ahead of time, this big salad will be a staple in your lite bite rotation.
The best flavors of summer come together in this fresh, light salad that goes perfectly on the side of just about anything or as a main entree salad that won’t leave you stuffed.
You likely already have these ingredients on-hand and the fives minutes to blend them up into something surprisingly refreshing and satisfying. The suggested toppings max out the yum factor!
On those days when you can’t bare to heat up the kitchen, this delightful combo of sweet shrimp and tart grapefruit can’t be beat.
Summer heat or not, you’ll want to eat this little finger food with your eyes. We love the creamy texture and crisp crunch of all these veggies rolled up in a tender tortilla. Lunch and dinner are served!
The flavors inherent to summer are some of the lightest and healthiest you can have all year, and every one of these recipes celebrate that. What’s your favorite way to nosh when the temperatures are unbearable outside?
For as much as new Dutchess Meghan Markle loves Prince Harry, there’s still room in her American heart for almonds. She’s a big fan of the tasty little teardrop-shaped nut and has been since she was on the Suits’ red carpet. She credits almonds with giving her a healthy energy boost, something she’ll no doubt need in the days and years ahead to sustain all of her commitments.
Almonds pack a mighty punch of good nutritional juju in a tiny little package. Eyeballing a 23-piece serving of almonds is a perfect daily snack to boost your mid-day slump, pre-game your workout, or take the edge off the munchies.
Full of the healthy fats, fiber, and protein our busy bodies need, almonds also offer a generous dose of vitamin E. They’re one of the best food sources for vitamin E, followed (not closely) by avocado, rainbow trout, red sweet peppers, and mango. The vitamin E nourishes skin, prevents the cells from oxidizing, and protects it from the sun’s UV rays.
Sure, a royal wedding would make anyone’s skin glow, but dietitians credit some of the Duchess’s fresh-faced complexion to the little nut.
Whether for good skin, a healthy snack, or to live vicariously through the newest royal, here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy almonds!
Justin’s Almond Butter Cups
Leave the peanut butter cups to the peasants because this new treat is good enough to be knighted! And soon, Justin’s will scandalize the nut butter world with jars of Cinnamon Almond Butter.
Skinny Dipped Dark Chocolate Cocoa Almonds
The Tower of London might be the only place these yummy little bites would be safe from our grasp! Just a hint of natural sweetness in a layer of dark chocolate wraps these almonds for both satisfying taste and texture.
Califia Farms Almond Milk
Pinkies out if you’re going to sip an almond milk this fine! Their chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and classic almond milks are decadently creamy on their own, or the perfect addition to tea time and summer smoothies.
Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt
Now just hold your royal horses! Super silky, dairy-free yogurt in flavors like key lime, pineapple, blueberry, strawberry and caramel sounds like something you could only eat with a silver spoon. So it’s cool that it’s available to commoners like us at Target, Whole Foods, Publix, and Sprouts.
How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you eat every day?
The answer could leave a lot of room for improvement for your overall health.
1 in 10 adults don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables…. NINETY PERCENT of U.S. adults! We hope you aren’t in that group, but if you are, we want to help you join the ten percent.
The USDA’s MyPlate program recommends about 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables each day. It’s really not as intense as you might think: one solid smoothie at breakfast, soup instead of chips at lunch, and a big salad at dinner would just about cover you.
We know these plant-based foods provide our body with essential nutrients, including fiber, and do a lot to stave off chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. But until recently, scientists could’t exactly pinpoint the deeper value of that fiber. When you know better, do better, as Maya Angelou said, and armed with some fresh studies on the subject, we should all aim to do better here!
These studies have found that dietary fiber feeds the billions of bacteria living in our guts, our microbiome. They actually eat the fiber before our bodies absorb what’s left. This keeps the bacteria, our intestines, and our immune systems happy, and when they’re happy our whole mind and body is happy. (After all, some 95% of serotonin, the happiness chemical, is produced in the stomach.)
When the mouse subjects in these studies followed a low-fiber/high-fat diet, that bacteria population crashed and shrunk. When fiber was introduced to this high-fat diet, they showed weight loss and a healthier bacteria population.
What scientists have discovered is that our bodies need a variety of dietary fiber to feed the many types of gut bacteria. And when we do that, the ecosystem in our stomachs remains balanced, our immune systems are stronger and our bodies have less inflammation and disease, and more energy!
Best Dietary Fiber Sources
You won’t need supplements if you can just add these naturally fibrous foods to your diet. Reach your fiber goals and fruit and vegetable goals all in one bite!
- Brussels sprouts
- Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans
- Apples (with skin)
- Pears (with skin)
- Brown Rice
- Pearled Barley
- Whole grain pasta and bread
What's your favorite source of fiber?
What are you eating before and after your workouts? If you’re sick or sluggish during the workout, then it wasn’t the right pre-sweat snack. And if you’re exhausted or slow to recover after a workout, you’re definitely not re-fueling properly.
This matters, so listen up.
First of all, the pre- and post-workout snacks are different beasts fueling very different ends of the workout spectrum. Treat them differently.
The pre-workout snack has two very important jobs: to give you adequate energy from the moment your workout starts and to jump start your body’s recovery efforts so you feel really good tomorrow. This snack should be simple and something your body can digest quickly. It should not be a big meal, you’ll be too full/bloated/gassy, nor should it be a fast-burning carb, like sugar, or you’ll fade out in the middle of the workout.
About 1-2 hours before you hit the gym, track, or studio, pre-game with one of these optimally-paired fast protein/moderate carb snacks:
- Protein bar that’s low sugar, low fat
- 8 oz. skim milk with a banana
- Non-fat Greek yogurt
- Smoothie with whey protein and fresh berries
- String cheese and a small apple
- Slice of turkey with a few low-fiber crackers
- Egg whites and white rice
The post-workout snack should also not be missed, and should be consumed as close to the end of your workout as you can manage. This is all about recovery, which is why lean protein (and a little bit of sugar) is the name of the game. The protein restores all that spent energy so you aren’t dragging the rest of the day, but it also repairs the muscles you just beat up.
This is where you start to build muscle and develop that toned look...rip the muscle while lifting, repair with protein, rip, repair, rinse repeat!
- Chocolate milk
- Whey protein added to your favorite sport drink
- Turkey, cheese, apples
- Non-fat Greek yogurt
- Peanut butter on whole grain crackers
- Cottage cheese with berries
- Add avocado to scrambled eggs or in a smoothie