These Are My 4 Favorite Milk Alternatives

Cow’s milk is rich in nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium and amino acids, or protein. If you're planning on switching to a milk alternative, you need to fill those nutritional needs. Which are the best milk substitutes?

1. Soy Milk: Super-Nutritious, Mild but Weird

Soy milk is a nutrient superfood, which makes it one of the best milk alternatives for your health. It has almost the same amount of protein that cow’s milk does, a filling 7 grams per cup. This protein contains all the essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own, which is why vegetarians and vegans benefit a lot from drinking soy milk.

There’s only one tiny catch, at least for me: the taste. I’m not a huge fan of the flavor of soy milk or tofu (another high-protein food made from soy).

What I would recommend is to start yourself off eating soy yogurt. After you get used to the texture and flavor, mix soy milk with fresh fruit and enjoy a nutrient-packed morning smoothie.

2. Almond Milk: Thick, Creamy, and Delicious

Personally, I could drink almond milk all day long. It has a slightly sweet, nutty taste and an amazing texture. Imagine drinking a creamy glass of whole milk, but way better for your waistline.

This is my go-to option for recipes that call for milk, such as baked goods or creamy Italian dishes. I also love it with coffee because it’s like having a shot of amaretto and cream.

Any downsides? It's low in protein. So, while almond milk is an excellent replacement for cow’s milk flavor-wise and calorie-wise, it doesn’t fill your protein needs completely.


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


3. Coconut Milk: Sweet, Great for Weight Loss, But High in Fat?

If you haven’t tried coconut milk yet, trust me, go out and buy yourself a carton. This sweet treat will put a big smile on your face.

But is it healthy? Yes and no. This tropical drink gives you lots of vitamin D, vitamin B12 and other nutrients. But it also has the same amount of fat as whole milk.

The interesting thing is that some scientists think the type of fat in coconut milk and coconut oil can actually help you lose weight. These MCTs help your metabolism burn fat instead of storing it. They may also calm your appetite and improve your cholesterol levels.

4. Macadamia Milk: All-Around Amazing but Expensive

This rising superstar would be my favorite milk alternative … if it wasn’t so darned expensive in the stores near me. Macadamia milk has it all: great flavor, lots of protein, a smooth texture and few calories.

As long as you choose a fortified version, you’re getting magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium and vitamin B6. Plus, this creamy nut milk has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids too, which are amazing for heart health. Macadamia milk is low in carbs, making it ideal for keto dieters.

All in all, with half the fat of cow’s milk, one-third the calories and the same amount of protein, this nutty milk is a homerun for parents and kids. Just maybe not for your wallet.

The Best Alternative Milk for Your Family

Honestly, no one said you had to choose just one. Try a few kinds and settle on the ones that fit your lifestyle. It’s OK to use some for coffee, some for cooking, some for smoothies and some for drinking happily.

Ranking Salad Dressings From Most Healthy to Least Healthy

There's nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy a variety of salad dressings. These days, you have a lot of options for giving salads a kick of flavor. What are the best healthy salad dressings?

The Healthiest Salad Dressings

These are my favorite dressings, and they won't add to your waistline:

  1. Vinaigrette: These dressings are full of flavor and focus on a few simple ingredients. What I love is the endless variety. You can go for balsamic vinegar, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar — even strawberries! And with basil, cilantro and other herbs, all I can say is “yum.”
  2. Green Goddess: It’s easy to find green goddess dressing made with a base of Greek yogurt. This gives you the creaminess you crave without the fat. Along with probiotics from the yogurt, you’re getting lots of vitamins from olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and green onions.
  3. Greek or Mediterranean Dressings: Think creamy Italian dressing, minus the cream. Many Greek dressings use avocado oil and extra-virgin olive oil for thickness. Both of these oils give you lots of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant vitamins.
  4. Sesame Ginger: My kids love Asian-style dressings, and I think they spice up meals at home. Look for real garlic, ginger and rice wine vinegar in the ingredients, and try to keep sugar down with nut butter.
  5. Honey Dijon: Both Dijon mustard and honey make dressings thicker and smoother naturally. If you’re adding a salad to a meat-and-potatoes meal, try this dressing. The reason it's near the bottom is that you have to keep an eye on sugar and calories with store-bought versions.

The Least Healthy Salad Dressings

Basically, anything with the word “creamy” in its name is going to shock you into falling backwards when you look at the fat content and calories. This includes blue cheese, Caesar dressing, thousand island, French and (sigh) everyone’s favorite ranch dressing.

Now the good news. You can find reasonably healthy alternatives to each. Some replace mayo with avocado oil, coconut milk or Greek yogurt. Others go big on flavor from high-quality ingredients (like more blue cheese) to reduce the amount of other ingredients. Herbs and spices such as chipotle, jalapenos, basil, dill, parsley and chives add a boost of flavor all by themselves.

The Benefits of Homemade Salad Dressings

Homemade dressings offer a lot of benefits:

  • You control salt and sugar levels
  • Non-refined, natural oils give you more heart benefits than many store-bought dressings
  • Fresh ingredients provide more vitamins and minerals
  • Homemade dressings offer more flavor with less fat
  • Dressing you make at home doesn’t have any preservatives

That said, as a mom, it’s not always easy to find the time. Don't feel guilty if organic from the store is the best you can do.

A Sensible View of Dressings

I like to take a balanced view of mom-hood and weight loss. Focusing too strictly on every calorie can make healthy eating a chore. Isn’t encouraging your family to eat more salad a good thing?

It keeps you and your kids munching on fresh ingredients: romaine lettuce, arugula, alfalfa sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, yellow peppers and avocados. That's WAY better kids begging for pizza every night because they're tired of plain vinaigrette with every salad.

More salad + healthy dressing options = more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate and more! That’s a win in my book. So, don't punish yourself if you buy (gasp!) the tiniest bottle of (double gasp!) Ranch dressing sometimes.

5 Reasons Why Fiber Is So Important

I like to think I know the basics of good health. But periodically, I learn some new health fact that catches me by surprise. The importance of fiber is one of those health facts I didn’t really grasp until recently. Sure, I’ve always known fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, but I didn’t realize just how necessary it is for optimal health and digestive function. Here are five reasons why fiber is so important for all of us to consume regularly.

1. Helps Control Blood Sugar

If you struggle to keep your blood sugar under control, eating fiber may help. It’s especially helpful for people with diabetes to consume sufficient soluble fiber to slow down their body’s absorption of sugar. For those of us who don’t have diabetes, eating insoluble fiber may help us avoid developing it.

2. Promotes Normal Bowel Movements

Nobody likes to talk about their bowel movements (unless you’re my over-sharing Aunt Kathy), but how often you go is really important. The consistency of your poop is also really important. If it’s consistently runny, adding some fiber to your diet can give it a little bulk so you’re more regular and can pass your stools more easily.

Whew. Now that we got that topic over with, let’s move on to the next reason why fiber’s so important!


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


3. May Decrease the Likelihood of Hemorrhoids

OK, so going from bowel movements to hemorrhoids isn’t exactly a step up. But it’s important to talk about how fiber can potentially help us avoid developing hemorrhoids. That reason alone is good enough for me to increase my daily intake of fiber!

In addition to decreasing your likelihood of getting hemorrhoids, studies show that a high-fiber diet may also lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Research is still being done to understand exactly how fiber helps prevent colorectal cancer, but it’s thought that it has something to do with how fiber ferments in the colon.

4. Assists With Healthy Weight Maintenance

It’s generally easy to put weight on, but difficult to take it off (unless you’re someone who can’t seem to gain weight no matter how hard you try). When you’re trying to let go of a few extra pounds, you probably think about exercising, cutting out sugary foods and drinks, and eating healthier. But if you’re neglecting to eat sufficient fiber, you could be making your weight-loss journey more difficult than it needs to be.

High-fiber foods are typically more filling than foods with little to no fiber. That means the more high-fiber foods you eat, the easier it will be for you to manage your appetite and keep your weight in check. Additionally, foods high in fiber typically require more chewing, which means you’re expending more calories to eat them.

5. Reduces the Risk of Some Diseases

One of the most surprising things I have learned about fiber is that it may reduce your risk of developing some diseases. According to studies, there is a link between increased dietary fiber intake and reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. So if you have a family history of cancer, make sure you add fiber to your daily healthy eating plan!

Though fiber has a lot of great benefits, it’s possible to eat too much of it. If you feel like your fiber intake is clogging you up and messing with your regularity, it may be time to cut back a little bit. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men aged 50 or younger consume 38 grams of fiber daily. Women aged 50 0r younger should aim to consume 25 grams of fiber per day.

Some good sources of fiber include vegetables, seeds, nuts, fruits, whole-grain products and legumes. Figure out how to incorporate these foods into your daily meals and you’ll start reaping the benefits of a high-fiber diet.

My Go-To Natural Sugar Substitutes

I may not have the body of a goddess, but I do like showing off some pleasant curves at the beach (just a little). One of the biggest things that has helped me burn way more calories, and that I know can help you, too, is avoiding refined sugar. Of course, ditching table sugar doesn’t mean giving up everything sweet. Try these natural sugar substitutes instead.

1. Fruit

My absolute favorite substitute for sugar is real fruit. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, peaches and pineapples all have a great blend of tart and sweet that makes me smile.

Do you like smoothies for breakfast? You don’t need sugar. Just add a banana, some date paste or applesauce to the blender with the rest of your ingredients. You won’t notice the difference.

Eating fruit gives your body tons of antioxidants and enzymes. They protect your heart, balance blood sugar levels, give you more energy, fight inflammation, improve digestion and strengthen your immune system.

Why Not Try This?

Take a handful of raspberries, chop half a banana, and mix it with a serving of Greek yogurt when you're feeling hungry. The burst of protein and nutrients will energize you and tide you over until later. Real fruit, both fresh and frozen, has a lot of dietary fiber, so it calms the munchies like junk food never can.

2. Stevia

This natural sweetener comes from South America. Stevia is herbal, not artificial, so you don’t have to worry about any weird side effects (those terrible headaches) like with aspartame and saccharin.

The leaves of the stevia plant have been used as sweeteners for at least 500 years. Pressing the leaves provides an extract that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. But it has ZERO calories!

For tea or coffee, stevia is my go-to sweetener. You only need a few drops. For baking, go with stevia powder. Just remember to use less than half the amount you would with refined sugar because it’s so potent.


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


3. Honey, Pure Maple Syrup and Organic Molasses

Honey is a true superfood. It has special prebiotics that benefit your gut flora, plus lots of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins for your heart and eye health. Honey has been famous for its healing powers since the times of ancient Egypt!

Personally, I adore the taste of honey, which is why I usually prefer it over maple syrup or molasses. But all three of these thick liquids are good sugar substitutes with important nutrients. Of course, they’re also high in calories, so you have to be careful with how much you use if you want to lose weight.

I love to make oatmeal with rolled oats and drizzle a tablespoon of honey on top with a dash of milk. Instead of marinades with brown sugar, use organic molasses.

What About Monk Fruit Extract?

This exotic sweetener is natural, tasty and filled with nutrients. Monk fruit extract doesn’t have any calories, so it’s good for weight loss programs. Unfortunately, where I live, it’s also really expensive. If you can afford it, definitely try it!

Sugar Free Living Isn’t That Complicated

It’s OK to enjoy honey, stevia and fruit whenever you want during the week. To be honest, I find making sweet things for breakfast, like homemade muffins, granola or pancakes, is easier for me as a mom. For supper time, chicken (honey-lemon chicken anyone?) and pork recipes work great with honey instead of sugar. You don't need refined sugar.

How and Why To Try Hot Yoga at Home

Hot yoga is the “hot” new workout trend that offers a wide variety of benefits. If you think the idea of doing yoga in a hot and sweaty environment sounds like torture, you’re in for a treat! While it’s true that yoga isn’t “hot” unless it’s done in a humid and warm environment, it’s a much more enjoyable practice than you’re probably imagining in your head. You don’t have to take my word for it, though. Here’s how and why to try hot yoga in your own home this week.

Understanding the Point of Hot Yoga

I have to admit, I used to look that people who did hot yoga were a little crazy. Why in the world would you choose to exert your body in an environment that forces you to release as much sweat as possible? But now that I’ve learned more about it, I’ve come to understand the point of this unconventional form of exercise.

Hot yoga offers the same benefits as traditional yoga (you know, the standard benefits like improved strength, stress reduction and flexibility), but it also gives you an even more intense workout in less time. So if you don’t have an hour to spend on a typical yoga routine, you can spend half an hour doing hot yoga and get the same benefits! Plus, the humid environment a hot yoga session provides is meant to replicate the humid natural environment found in India, where yoga originated. So you get a more authentic experience from doing hot yoga than from doing traditional yoga in an air-conditioned environment. Just make sure you drink lots of water before you get your sweat on!

Benefits of Hot Yoga

Now that I’ve got you thinking hot yoga may not be so bad, here’s a list of some of the impressive benefits the practice can provide.

  • Increased calorie burn

  • Improved flexibility

  • Reduced stress

  • Improved mood

  • Boost in cardiovascular health

  • Improved bone density

  • Decreased blood glucose levels

Now keep in mind that in order to maximize these benefits and stay safe during your hot yoga session, you need to stay hydrated. Drink water before, during and after your hot yoga session. You may also want to guzzle a low-calorie sports drink to restore your body’s electrolyte balance.

If you’re pregnant, don’t do hot yoga unless you’ve been given the green light from your doctor. And if you have certain health conditions, such as low blood sugar, heart disease, anorexia or a history of fainting, hot yoga may be too intense for you.


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


How to Start Hot Yoga at Home

While prepping your space for a hot yoga session requires a little effort, it’s worth it if you don’t have a gym membership or don’t have time to go to an official hot yoga class. Here’s how to set up any room in your home for hot yoga.

  1. Designate one room in your home for you hot yoga session, and close the doors and windows.

  2. Put a small space heater in the room to bring the space to your desired temperature.

  3. Consider adding extra layers if the space heater isn’t getting the room warm enough for your liking.

  4. Bring in a humidifier and steam things up!

  5. Have a water bottle on-hand at all times.

  6. Complete your planned yoga session, making sure to take frequent water breaks throughout.

  7. If you need help coming up with your own hot yoga workout routine, look online or find a favorite workout on YouTube. You can also make things more fun by inviting a friend to come work out with you.

Hot yoga isn’t for everyone. But for those who like a challenging workout that delivers maximum benefits in minimal time, it’s a must-do routine to work into your weekly schedule. Give it a try this week to see if you’ll fall in love with it like I did!

What You Should Know About Eating Yogurt for Gut Health

Hey there! Are you ready to talk about gut health for a little bit? I know, it’s not the most riveting topic, but the health of your gut is directly related to your overall physical and mental health. I’ve learned over the years that most gut imbalance issues don’t resolve themselves on their own. In fact, seemingly minor things such as occasional heartburn or excessive gas often turn into bigger problems down the road if you ignore them while they’re small.

Whether you have occasional digestive issues or you’re constantly fighting abdominal pain and other unpleasant symptoms, there are things you can do to restore the balance of your gut bacteria. One of those things is incorporating quality yogurt into your regular diet. Here’s what you should know about eating yogurt for gut health.

What Yogurt Can Do for Your Body

If you look at a spoonful of yogurt, you might think to yourself “this doesn’t really look that special.” But you’d be wrong! Hidden in that unassuming bite of delicious goodness are a bunch of microscopic bacteria known as probiotics. While the thought of little squirmy things on your spoon might make your stomach feel a little queasy, just know that the little guys inside yogurt are your friends. Think of them like microscopic superheroes getting ready to plunge into your stomach acid and beat up all the “bad guys” in there.

If you still need a little convincing that yogurt should become a regular part of your plan, here are some of the best things about yogurt.

  • It’s high in protein. Your body needs protein to maintain muscle mass, regulate your appetite and control your weight.
  • It’s good for digestive health. The key, though, is to look for the types of yogurt that contain probiotics. Otherwise, you’re missing out on one of the most important benefits yogurt can provide.
  • It has a lot of nutrients. Quality yogurt contains B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D (in fortified versions). These vitamins can help your body feel and function great.
  • It may prevent osteoporosis. Thanks to its calcium, phosphorous, potassium and protein content, yogurt is great for your bones. It can strengthen them and help you stave off unpleasant diseases such as osteoporosis.
  • It may enhance your immune system. Did you know many of your immune system cells are found in your gut? That came as a surprise to me. So if you want to build your immunity, you should start by giving your digestive system the probiotics it needs to thrive.
  • It could help you maintain your weight. Foods that are high in protein tend to reduce levels of hormones responsible for appetite. Additionally, there are several studies that show eating yogurt is associated with lower body fat percentage and body weight.

There’s a good, long list showing why you should start eating yogurt today. For best results, though, you need to stay away from the more sugary versions. Instead, opt for yogurt that is low in sugar and provides you with plenty of probiotics. You can even go with a plain version and add berries or fruits to sweeten it without all of the added sugar.


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


Considerations for Those Who Are Lactose Intolerant

Some people are lactose intolerant, which means they can’t consume dairy products without experiencing unpleasant symptoms. If you are one of those people, you may be able to get some of the benefits of yogurt by simply consuming probiotics in supplement form.

Additionally, some people with mild lactose intolerance are able to consume kefir, which is a yogurt-like drink that contains lots of probiotics. The bacteria within kefir break down much of the milk, and some brands of kefir claim to be up to 99% lactose-free.

Whether you choose to get your probiotics from yogurt, kefir or supplements, you’re making a wise decision. Your gut and your health will thank you!

The Best Alternatives to Peloton in 2021

One of the reasons Peloton bikes are so popular is that they’re more than an exercise machine: They’re a lifestyle. Unfortunately, this particular lifestyle also costs a pretty penny. What if you don’t have upwards of $1,900 to spend on exercise equipment? You can save money by choosing smart alternatives.

The Best Features of Peloton Bikes

Peloton-style bikes are sleek, stylish and state-of-the-art. Four main features make this type of equipment stand out:

  • Virtual classes: One of the biggest things that makes Peloton bikes popular is the online experience. You can access live group workouts, exercise to awesome videos, hang out with friends in a virtual community and follow your favorite instructors. And let me add that you can do it all in your pajamas.

  • Touchscreens: An essential part of the Peloton experience is a touchscreen that lets you interact with content as your working out. Most people use this to follow virtual instructors or imagine they’re mountain biking in the wilderness. This working mom may or may not secretly use it to watch Netflix and burn calories at the same time.

  • Ride customization: This part is pretty unbelievable. Some Peloton-style bikes control the way your workout feels as you’re riding. Online instructors may even be able to tweak these settings for the group. Let’s say you’re taking a virtual mountain biking class. As you “climb,” the bike makes you work harder for it, and “going downhill” gives you a chance to rest.

  • Fitness apps: At first, an exercise app doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. It may not take long before this is one of your favorite features, however. Keeping track of distance, speed, heartrate and other stats helps keep you motivated. You can see how active you’ve been today, this week, this month and this year.

Before you go shopping for a Peloton or similar exercise bike, take some time to think about which of these features is most important to you. That way you get a killer exercise option for less.


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


My 3 Favorite Alternatives To Peloton Bikes

Choosing high-quality exercise bike alternatives can save you a LOT of money. They're not a Peloton, but they offer most of the features of one. Here are my three favorite options in a nutshell:

  • Bowflex C6: This bike has no membership requirement. You can use online workout apps and classes from YouTube for free, or sign up for whatever fitness subscription you want. Plus, solid quality for a budget price is hard to resist.

  • Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX3: What helps you save money here is that you can use your own tablet instead of buying a special touchscreen. With a $1,040 price tag ($1,400 with subscription), you’ve just saved almost $1,000.

  • ProForm Studio Bike Pro: With this option, you pay $39 monthly for a subscription but get the bike for free. It has all the top-tier features you expect, including adjustable touchscreen and resistance control. The catch is you have to keep the subscription for three years, bringing the grand total to $1,400 (still less than $1,900). If you can only afford to pay a little each month, this is a great solution.

Connected bikes are an awesome solution for helping busy moms stay in shape. You get a whole-body workout with on-demand virtual classes at any time of day. There’s no searching online for exercises or scheduling dance classes ahead of time. You just hop on the bike, turn on the screen and start burning belly fat!

The Art and Science of Foods That Fill You Up

A big part of healthy eating is filling up on the right foods. The problem is that trying to avoid cravings can feel crazy sometimes. Some people eat lunch and feel hungry again an hour later. What’s up with that?

The Science Behind Feeling Full

The reason you feel full after eating something is all in your head, literally. As your stomach digests your meal, it sends signals to your brain telling you that you’re not hungry anymore. Your body takes time to break down food into nutrients, releasing hormones that help you feel full and content.

Even your emotions are involved. Have you ever noticed how happy and satisfied you are after eating a meal that you love? On the other hand, when you’re stressed or depressed, you probably feel hungrier than normal. This is all because of hormones.

The Reason Some Foods Make You Feel Full Longer Than Others

Why are some foods more filling than others? One reason is that they take longer to digest. The more time your stomach spends processing food, the less time it has to feel hungry. Here are a few things that can make any meal more filling:

  • Fiber: Foods that are high in fiber take longer for your body to digest. Fiber turns the things you eat into a kind of gel, slowing them down as they move through your intestines. Another benefit of fiber is that it balances your blood-sugar levels, basically telling your body that your energy levels are good so you don’t need to eat anything else.
  • Protein: When you eat protein, your body releases specific hormones responsible for feelings of fullness. High-protein foods are the best snacks for calming the munchies. Eggs have a lot of protein, and so do nuts and different types of fish.
  • Water: Getting enough water with meals is a great way to calm your appetite. Not only does water have zero calories, it contributes to fullness. Fruit that naturally has high water content is very filling, such as a slice of watermelon or some fresh pineapple.

Other foods help you stay full longer because they have a low energy density. In other words, they have a lot of volume but not very many calories. You feel satisfied without feeling guilty.


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


The Best Foods for Calming Hunger

The munchies can make cutting calories from your diet easier said than done. To have success with your weight loss goals, reach for these foods at meal time:

  • Soup: Cooked veggies and protein with plenty of water are the perfect recipe for a filling meal.
  • Greek yogurt: This healthy treat has a lot of protein and probiotics to calm hungry feelings.
  • Vegetables: Did you know that broccoli is 90% water? Leafy greens are packed with fiber, too. Carrots are another filling choice.
  • Fresh fruit: Apples, bananas and oranges have plenty of fiber and water, and they’re super-fast to grab on the go.
  • Potatoes: Boiled or baked potatoes are among the most filling foods on the planet. Scientists think they have a special protein that suppresses appetite.

My personal recommendation is to add a salad to everything (but skip the ranch dressing). If you’re making spaghetti for your kids, make some salad, too. That way you eat fewer calories but still feel satisfied. This helps calm nighttime snacking temptations a lot.

The Best Natural Ways To Get Electrolytes

Bottles

Did you know that electrolytes help your body conduct electricity? I’m not talking about zapping your hair into a frizzy nightmare like in the cartoons. Any time your muscles or nerves go to work, they need energy, which is where electrolytes come in. The more you sweat, the more of these essential vitamins and minerals you lose.

Woman Running on Beach

Electrolytes Are Pure Energy … Literally.

You should be getting potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium every day anyway, but your muscles especially need them before, during and after physical or mental exertion. This is why being dehydrated makes you feel like your body is shutting down. And your brain isn’t exactly thrilled either; low electrolyte levels cause problems with concentration and mood.

Gatorade

Gatorade and Powerade and Vitamin Water, Oh My!

How do sports drinks stack up when it comes to giving your body the electrolytes it needs? They’re popular, that’s for sure. But there’s a bad reason for that: Most are filled with sugar.

In one popular brand, the ingredient list I saw read “water, crystalline fructose, cane sugar” and less than 0.5% of different vitamins. In other words, you’re basically getting water and two types of sugar.

Relying on these drinks for your daily fix of electrolytes is like hitting the snooze button on your alarm by taking a sledgehammer to it. Sure, they give you electrolytes, but they also give you a ton of fat-boosting carbs, which is what I’m trying to get rid of when I exercise!


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


Coconut Water

The Best Options for Getting Electrolytes and Staying Hydrated.

Believe it or not, you can actually get a lot of electrolytes for free. My other favorite sources are 100% natural, as close to healthy as you can get. Here’s how to hydrate the right way:

  • Tap water: In may areas, tap water naturally has quite of bit of magnesium, sodium and calcium, meaning it compares to pretty much all of the sports drinks on the market. Of course, some people don’t love the taste.
  • Coconut water: This is nature’s answer to electrolyte water. Coconut water has absolutely everything you need for workouts: sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. It has a pleasant, neutral taste and just 46 calories a cup. I guess getting lost on a desert island isn’t that bad after all!
  • Watermelon: This refreshing summertime fave is over 90% water, making it smart for pre- and post-workout hydration. Sometimes I eat a few slices and other times I drink homemade watermelon juice. Watermelon has a lot of potassium and magnesium.
  • Tart cherry juice: Unsweetened tart cherry juice is rich in electrolytes and vitamins. It has 14% of your daily potassium, 60% of the vitamin A and 40% of the vitamin C you need. Plus, several studies say this juice can increase muscle strength while reducing soreness and recovery time!
  • Milk: Calcium, potassium, protein … remind you of anything? That’s right, milk! Most people wouldn't think of a milk moustache for electrolytes, but this healthy drink is actually one of the most balanced (unless you’re lactose intolerant). Since milk is more filling than other options, however, I would recommend drinking it after workouts, not before.
Coconuts

If you really want to target the perfect electrolyte balance for your body, make a smoothie! A blend of watermelon, frozen mango (or another favorite fruit), milk, pumpkin seeds and coconut water hits the spot after exercising. Always add a sprinkle of sea salt (1/8 teaspoon for every 5 cups of your smoothie) since that’s the electrolyte you sweat the most.

How To Make a Weight-Loss New Year’s Resolution That Will Actually Stick!

Measuring Tape

We open up a shiny new year by declaring all the things that will be different this year. We'll eat better. We'll exercise more. In reality, though, our resolutions last maybe a week, and then it's back to the same old thing, right? What if there was a trick to making a new habit stick? What if this trick worked even for habits you had tried (and failed) to cultivate many times in the past? News flash: There is such a trick, and it really does work. (Spoiler alert: It's actually not a trick at all. It's science.)

2021

Remember Your Why

Take a bit of time to dig down into why you want to lose weight this year. Get specific. Don't settle for a vague feeling of nostalgia. Instead, write down the personal and health benefits you want to gain by losing weight. Focus on outcomes, such as playing with your grandchildren without getting winded or being able to climb stairs without knee pain from the extra weight on your joints. Post your "why" somewhere you can see it often.

Goals

Set Specific Goals

Now that you know exactly why you want to lose weight write down what that will look like for you when you've accomplished it. Will you be down a certain number of pounds or pants sizes? Will you know you've hit your goal when you can walk a set distance without feeling like you need a nap? Write it down, whatever it is.


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Focus on Habits

After completing the two steps above, you've got your resolution. Now comes the part where you make it all happen. You already know how to lose weight. Although the details may vary depending on your health and other circumstances, it basically comes down to eating better and moving more. What new habits do you need to incorporate into your life to make weight loss happen for you? Create two category headings: one for food and one for movement. Under each heading, write down one or two habits to start with. One could be about filling up on fruits and veggies, and another could be about doubling your average daily steps. Try to choose new habits that are slightly out of reach but don't feel impossible.

Exercise

Tie It All Together

Once you have your new habits in mind (and down on paper!), figure out how to tie them to habits you already have. For example, you already brush your teeth every morning. If you want to create a new habit of drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning, attach the new habit to the existing habit by placing your water glass next to the toothpaste so you remember to grab it and fill it up. If your new habit is eating two servings of fruit at breakfast and you're a coffee drinker, place a cutting board next to the coffee maker and link chopping fruit with waiting for the coffee to brew. Once your new behaviors start to truly become habits, add a couple more, always piggybacking onto something you already do.

Happy New Year

Give Yourself Grace

The true secret to success in anything is never to give up. New Year's resolutions that really stick are those you don't give up on, even when you have setbacks. When you feel like you've failed at keeping your resolutions, dust yourself off and start again. You've got this!