Category Archives: Health

Renew Fading Friendships

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A function of maturing and making your way through life is that you’ll occasionally leave behind someone you really care about. It might be your best friend from high school, your old neighborhood buddy, a college dorm roommate, or even a past co-worker you connected with.


Over time, you may find yourself yearning for another conversation, a lunch out or evening spent with a long-lost friend. But after so much time has passed, how can you renew fading friendships before they disappear completely?


Consider these suggestions to re-connect with a friend from your past:


  1. Give your friend a call. You might freeze up at the thought of calling because, after all, it has been so long. However, the only way of renewing your friendship is to make contact. Just do it.

  • Tell her you’ve missed her. Mention you’ve been thinking about the fun you had shopping and playing tennis together and that you want to maintain your friendship. Listen to how she feels about the relationship. Inquire about what’s going on in her life.
  1. If you don’t have your friend’s telephone number, call his parents or drive by the last residence where he lived. Knock on the door and inquire of the residents if they know what happened to him. Contact a mutual friend and ask where your old friend is living now or how you might get in contact.
  2. Set up a rotating commitment. Once you contact your friend and discover he wants to continue your friendship, suggest the two of you get together on an ongoing basis to keep your relationship going.
  • For example, meet for dinner every other Wednesday evening. Get together one Saturday a month for lunch. A standing appointment keeps you both looking forward to spending time with one another.
  1. Be willing to make the extra effort. If your friend lives 90 minutes away by car, when you call, say you’d love to drive over and spend some time with him. Show you’re willing to do what’s necessary to see your friend occasionally. Hopefully, your friend will eventually be willing to drive over to see you as well.
  2. Write a letter and send it by snail mail. A hand-written letter shows you put some time and thought into what you wanted to say. Plus, your friend will have a tangible representation of your attempt to contact him, which means he’ll notice your efforts to get in touch.
  • This method is particularly helpful when you don’t have the person’s telephone or cell numbers.
  • Send a letter every other month for 6 months or so and include all your contact information, such as your cell phone number, home phone number, e-mail address, and home address. Doing so will make it easier for your friend to contact you using whatever method he prefers.

  1. Once you’ve established initial contact, use technology to stay connected. Find out from your friend if he uses e-mail and texting. If so, send him an e-mail every few days. If your friend prefers a quick text, use texting to stay in touch.
  2. Consider Facebook. After you’ve made your initial contact, find out if your friend is on Facebook. If so, “friend” him and use Facebook to keep in touch.

It’s a great feeling to discover an old friend wants to renew your relationship. Go ahead and be the one who takes the first steps to rekindle an old friendship. Use these methods to re-connect with that wonderful friend from your past.


4 Signs That Someone Is Insecure

Source: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

You’re with someone you’ve just met, and within seconds you feel that there’s something wrong with you.

Up until meeting this person, you were having a pretty good day, but now you’re starting to question everything from the way you look to the accomplishments you’ve racked up over your life so far. Let’s say the person is the mother of one of your children’s playmates. Not only does she seem perfectly outfitted, but in simply introducing herself, she’s made it clear that she’s got an important job and a perfect family life, and that she associates with all the right people.

It’s easy to get thrown into a personal purgatory of self-doubt in these situations. Whether it’s a social contact or a business interaction,  people who want everyone to know how big they are can make the rest of us feel pretty small. Just think how much better you’d feel if you could brush these situations aside and go on about your day without doubting yourself and your life.

It turns out that armed with a simple set of detection tools, you can not only help yourself feel better, but also recognize the weaknesses in the façade of those practically perfect people.

The psychology behind this process stems from the theory of the Viennese psychoanalyst Alfred Adler, who coined the term inferiority complex.

According to Adler, people who feel inferior go about their days overcompensating through what he called “striving for superiority.” The only way these inwardly uncertain people can feel happy is by making others decidedly unhappy. To Adler, this striving for superiority lies at the core of neurosis.

We now think of this striving for superiority as a feature of narcissistic personality disorder, that deviation in normal development that results in a person’s constant search to boost self-esteem. The two kinds of narcissists are the grandiose (who feel super-entitled) and the vulnerable (who, underneath the bravado, feel weak and helpless). Some may argue that at their core, both types of narcissists have a weak sense of self-esteem, but the grandiose narcissist may just be better at the cover-up. In either case, when you’re dealing with someone who’s making you feel inferior, there’s a good chance that narcissism is the culprit.

Narcissism doesn’t always reach pathological levels, but it can characterize people to more or less of a degree. Using the concepts of “overt” and “covert” narcissism instead of grandiose and vulnerable, some personality researchers believe that they can learn more about the type of narcissism you might spot in everyday life. University of Derby (U.K.) psychologist James Brookes (2015) decided to investigate the way that people high on these tendencies actually feel about themselves both in terms of self-esteem and self-efficacy, or one’s confidence in their ability to succeed.

Using a sample of undergraduates—an important point to keep in mind—Brookes analyzed the relationships among overt and covert narcissism, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. The two forms of narcissism were not related to each other, supporting the idea that these two subtypes have some validity. Examining which were more related to self-esteem, Brookes found that those high on overt narcissism in fact had higher self-esteem: Their need to feel “special” seemed to play the most important role for these self-aggrandizing individuals. Covert narcissists, for their part, had lower self-esteem scores.

Looking at self-efficacy, or the feeling that you can reach your desired goals, the overt narcissists also won the day, compared to their more hypersensitive and insecure counterparts. In particular, for overt narcissists, the need to have power over others seemed to give them the sense that they could accomplish anything.

The Brookes study provides some clues, then, into what makes up the narcissisticpersonality. It can also offer insight into the ways you can interpret the actions of narcissistic friends, coworkers, or partners through examining their insecurities:

  1. The insecure person tries to make you feel insecure yourself.
    When you start to question your own self-worth, is it typically around a specific person or type of person? Is that individual always broadcasting his or her strengths? If you don’t feel insecure in general, but only around certain people, it’s likely they’re projecting their insecurities onto you.
  2. The insecure person needs to showcase his or her accomplishments.
    You don’t necessarily have to feel insecure around someone to conclude that inferiority is at the heart of their behavior. People who are constantly bragging about their great lifestyle, their elite education, or their fantastic children may very well be doing so to convince themselves that they really do have worth.
  3. The insecure person drops the “humble brag” far too often.
    The humble brag is a brag disguised as a self-derogatory statement. You’ve all seen these on Facebook, when an acquaintance complains about all the travel she has to take (due to the importance of her job), or all the time he has to spend watching his kids play (and, by the way, win) hockey games. (The “Facebook gloat” is a bold-faced brag which is easier to spot but may very well have the same roots.)
  4. The insecure person frequently complains that things aren’t good enough.
    People high in inferiority like to show what high standards they have. You may label them as snobs, but as much as you realize they’re putting on an act, it may be hard to shake the feeling that they really are better than you. What they’re trying to do, you may rightly suspect, is to proclaim their high standards as a way of asserting that not only are they better than everyone else, but that they hold themselves to a more rigorous set of self-assessment criteria.

Returning to the Brookes study, there can be aspects of overt narcissism that actually do work in helping the insecure feel more confident in their abilities. However, this comes at the price of making everyone else feel less confident. I wouldn’t recommend bolstering your sense of self-efficacy by putting down everyone else.

To sum up: Being able to detect insecurity in the people around you can help you shake off the self-doubts that some people seem to enjoy fostering in you. Taking the high road, and not giving in to these self-doubts, may also help you foster feelings of fulfillment both in yourself, and in the insecure people you know and care about.


Brookes, J. (2015). The effect of overt and covert narcissism on self-esteem and self-efficacy beyond self-esteem. Personality And Individual Differences, 85172-175. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2015.05.013

Copyright Susan Krauss Whitbourne 2015





“Dave, can I borrow six bucks?” my friend Chuck asked. We had met up at the gym for a quick sweat session, and on the way out he was ogling the refrigerator at the cafe.

“I can’t believe how expensive this stuff is,” he said, pulling out a carton of protein shake. “What’s ‘ferric pryophosphate’ anyways?”

“Look,” I told him, snatching away the carton. “I don’t know what that is, nor would I ever recommend ‘pyridoxine hydrochloride,’ ‘sodium hexametaphosphate,’ or any of the other weird chemicals in here.” I stuck the container back in the fridge. “I’ll lend you the six bucks, but only if you spend it on a whole week’s worth of ab-building foods, instead of this overpriced chemistry set.”

While there are merits to some of the fancy supplements on the market, there’s no need to break open your piggy bank to buy your way to perfect nutrition. Nature has already created an array of muscle-building, fat-melting superfoods that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, or send you into a frenzy of Googling to figure out what it is you’re really ingesting. In fact, the very best food for abs are cheap, plentiful, natural, and come with an array of healthy side benefits as well. Here are some of my favorites. And blast belly fat–in just two weeks–with these essential 14 Ways to Lose Your Belly in 14 Days!


Cost: $1 a serving

Similar in taste to sunflower seeds, these nuts are derived from hemp seeds, which are also used to grow cannabis. (We know what you’re thinking. The answer is no.) By weight, hemp seed nuts provide more high-quality protein—6 grams per tablespoon—than even beef or fish. Each nut is also packed with heart-healthy alphalinoleic acid. Find them in your local health-food store or in the natural-products section of your grocery store.

Eat This, Not That! tip: Enjoy straight from the bag, or sprinkle a handful on salads or in your morning oatmeal. And to get the abs you really want—and lose up to 16 pounds in 14 days with mouthwatering breakfasts, lunches and dinners, with 150+ recipes—buy the brand-new book from Abs Diet creator David Zinczenko: Zero Belly Cookbook!


frozen mango

Cost: $1 per serving

Think of the frozen packages as the better berries for your health — and budget. Fresh berries tend to be slightly more expensive than their frozen counterparts and are prone to growing mold quickly if they aren’t prepped perfectly. Frozen fruit is also the perfect on-hand solution to squashing sweet cravings before they lead to a binge. Frozen mango is particularly good to have in the house; it boasts a sherbet-like consistency that can keep you from polishing off your pint of Ben & Jerry’s while delivering vital nutrients you’ll never find in the frozen dessert aisle.

Eat This, Not That! Tip: Frozen versions of your favorite fruits are also killer for creating weight loss smoothies. Plus, swapping out ice in favor of frozen fruit is an easy way to keep your shake from getting watered down. “Just make sure the bag does not have any added sugars, syrups and salts,” Isabel Smith, RD, cautions.



Cost: $1 per serving, with two servings per tin

These oily fish are a top source of omega-3 fats, rivaling even salmon. Plus, they’re packed with bonebuilding calcium. Research shows that omega-3s can improve everything from your cholesterol profile to your mood to your ability to ward off Alzheimer’s. Look for sardines packed in olive oil. Crown Prince Natural brand is inexpensive, but more discerning eaters may want to check Whole Foods or for upscale products.

Eat This, Not That! tip: You can eat them straight from the can, but for a more sophisticated approach, wrap a sardine around an almond-stuffed olive. Or you can chop sardines and stuff them inside a peppadew pepper. Peppadews are just one of the 20 Superfoods for Abs You’ve Never Heard Of!


Cost: $1 per serving

If you’re really hungry, you could eat two of these bad boys without passing the 200-calorie mark. Cottage cheese is a good addition to your diet because it’s high in protein and relatively low in calories. It’s also considered a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs to function properly.

Eat This, Not That! tip: “You can also pair your own Breakstone’s individual low-fat cottage cheese with a piece of fresh fruit,” suggests Maria-Paula Carrillo, MS, RDN, LD.


bell pepper

Cost: $1 per pepper

Even if you eat well and exercise, constantly pulling your hair out can prevent your abs from showing. When we stress out, the body starts pumping out the hormone cortisol, which encourages the body to store cholesterol-raising fat around the midsection. The good news is that vitamin C-rich foods like peppers, broccoli and Brussels sprouts can help keep you trim. How does eating the produce squash stress? According to German researchers, the nutrient can lower levels of cortisol during stressful situations, helping those abs take center stage.

Eat This, Not That! tip: Grab a pepper and a few eggs, and get crackin’! This mighty fat-frying duo is sure to help you fit into your skinny jeans in no time. Eggs contain a metabolism-boosting nutrient called choline, and peppers are a good source of vitamin C. What does vitamin C have to do with weight loss? Getting an adequate amount of the nutrient can help fight off cortisol, a hormone that causes fat to accumulate around the midsection. Chop some peppers, add them to a hot pan with some olive oil, add in two or three eggs and scramble them up to stay slim.


greek yogurt

Cost: $1 for a regular yogurt serving—usually a bit more for Greek, but we’ve seen Chobani on sale for a buck per 5.3 oz single serving.

Nutrient-dense Greek yogurt is as buzzed about as any pop culture icon, with some brands boasting their own pop-up shops in SoHo and YouTube spoof videos. But does it have the staying power of, say, Beyonce? All signs points to yes. Good Greek yogurts are low in sugar, high in protein and creamy enough to make you think they’re sinful, making this weight loss staple a perfect breakfast-on-the-go or snack to quell that angry 3 pm hunger.

Eat This, Not That! tip: navigating the dairy aisle is no easy task; with tons of brands offering “authentic” Greek yogurt lined up on your grocery store shelves, you may need a little help weeding out the good from the bad. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best (and worst) Greek ‘gurts: so you don’t have to stress or even read nutrition labels on your next grocery trip. Click here to discover the 11 Best Greek Yogurts for Abs!



Cost: 95 cents per serving

What does it take to become the number one tennis player in the world? A lot of practice. Nerves of steel. And, if you’re Novak Djokovic, a strict gluten-free diet that he says has played a major role in helping him attain the number one ranking. The newly crowned U.S. Open men’s singles winner and reigning Wimbledon champion reveals what he eats during a tournament, in his bookServe to Win. And honey’s one of them. “I eat two spoonfuls of honey,” he says. “Every day. I know what you’re thinking: Honey is sugar. Well, yes, it is. But your body needs sugar. In particular, it needs fructose, the sugar found in fruits, some vegetables, and especially honey. What it doesn’t need is processed sucrose, the stuff in chocolate, soda, or most energy drinks that gives you an instant sugar shot in the body, where you feel like ‘Wow!’ I don’t like ‘wow.’ ‘Wow’ is no good. If you have ‘wow’ now, that means in thirty minutes you’re going to have ‘woe.’”

Eat This, Not That! tip: If you can stretch your budget, Djokovic recommends “manuka honey, which comes from New Zealand. It is a dark honey made by bees that feed on the manuka tree (or tea tree), and has been shown to have even greater antibacterial properties than regular honey.”



Cost: 75 cents per red apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away—at least if you keep the peel on. While traditional advice for saving the skin was based mainly on its fiber content (an average apple provides 4.5 grams, or nearly two servings of Metamucil), there’s a growing body of research to suggests it’s actually polyphenols in the peel—non-digestible compounds capable of doing everything from increasing sexual pleasure to reducing cholesterol—that are responsible for the apple’s doctor defense. In fact, one study showed 75 grams of apple reduced “bad” cholesterol levels by 23 percent compared to an equivalent serving of notoriously fiber-rich prunes. The health a-peel doesn’t stop there. New research suggests polyphenols can fight cancer, and promote the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut that aids weight loss.

Eat This, Not That! tip: Tart Granny Smith apples reign supreme when it comes to healthy fiber and polyphenol content, research suggests.


chicken skewers

Cost: A mere $1.40 per pound, per whole chicken; $1.60 per pound of chicken legs—and for 2 servings per pound, that works out to 70 or 80 cents per serving!

In our Eat This, Not That! food lab, we compared all major cuts of beef, pork, poultry and alternative meats through a rigorous equation to assess their core nutritional value. The criteria? High protein-to-fat ratio; density of 10 essential nutrients commonly found in proteins; and low saturated fat concentrations and cholesterol levels. Light chicken meat won out handily over all other cuts, with chicken breast being the best you could buy. But for an almost equally healthy chicken alternative, a dark chicken leg will save you 89 cents a pound—and it scored higher in
nutritional value than all cuts of beef except for kidney and liver.

Eat This, Not That! Tip: You can also opt for frozen chicken breast, which contains almost identical nutrients at half the price as the fresh breast. In our taste tests, we found it impossible to tell the difference between fresh and frozen. Or, if you’re more of a meat eater, check out these 5 Best Cuts of Beef for Weight Loss!


canned pumpkin

Cost: 57 cents per serving
High in fiber, low in calories and full of vitamin A—pumpkin has got a lot to offer your body. Sure, you may consume enough pumpkin at Thanksgiving for an entire year, but pumpkin goes well in more than just pie. At less than $1.50 per can, it’s worth keeping a few stashed away in your pantry.

Eat This, Not That! tip: Pumpkin puree can be used in both sweet and savory dishes—bread, cookies, oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, smoothies, stews, you name it. Just a few tablespoons are enough to help improve digestion and boost immunity.


Cost: 50 cents per serving
Recently crowned superfood numero uno, watercress may be king of the produce aisle as a nutrient powerhouse. A study report published by the Centers for Disease Control that ranked 47 fruits and vegetables by amounts of 17 disease-fighting nutrients positioned watercress at number one. Kale didn’t even make the top 10! Gram for gram this mild-tasting and flowery-looking green contains four times more beta carotene than an apple, and a whopping 238 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin K per 100 grams—two compounds that keep skin dewy and youthful. The beauty food is also the richest dietary source of PEITC (phenylethyl isothiocyanate), which research suggests can fight cancer. Results from a trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest a daily dose of 85 grams of raw watercress (that’s about two cups) could reduce DNA damage linked to cancer by 17 percent.

Eat This, Not That! tip: A cup of watercress provides 4 calories. Yes, FOUR. So go ahead and eat the whole bag. Exposure to heat may inactivate PEITC, so it’s best to enjoy watercress raw in salads, cold-pressed juices and sandwiches. Click here to learn about the other Top 10 Greens Healthier Than Kale!


Cost: 79 cents per sweet potato
The vibrant tubers are called superfoods for good reason: They’re packed with nutrients and can help you burn fat. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index, which means they’re absorbed slowly and keep you feeling full longer. They’re also rich in carotenoids, powerful antioxidants which help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance, which prevents calories from being converted into fat. And their high vitamin profile (including A, C and B6) give you more energy to burn at the gym.

Eat This, Not That! tip: Fries don’t have to be fried to be delicious. Infuse sweet potato fries with a welcome smoky flavor by grilling them. The twist helps balance the spud’s natural sweetness. Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven!


whole wheat pasta

Cost: 57 cents per serving

You know brown is better, but do you know why? It’s because whole wheat contains three parts of the grain, all nutrient rich and fiber-filling. Also try varieties with lentils, chickpeas, black beans or quinoa. And, bonus health tip: If you’re whipping up a pasta sauce, try throwing some flax seeds in the mix, suggests Rachel Fine, MS, RD, CDN. “They’re a great source of healthy unsaturated fats, which are powerhouses for the body’s immune system,” she says. See, because our bodies are exposed to pollutants in the environment, they’re in a constant state of low-severity inflammation. Thanks to their unsaturated fat content, flax seeds help the body battle that inflammation, according to Fine.

Eat This, Not That! tip: Jovial Einkorn Rigatoni is our go-to brand. Because it has never been hybridized, Einkorn is one of the purest species of wheat out there, say its proponents. The whole grain is rich in protein and fiber, and just one serving of this pasta dishes up a quarter of the day’s phosphorus (a nutrient that’s typically only found in milk and meat) and 80 percent of the day’s manganese, an essential nutrient that helps the body process cholesterol, carbs and proteins. Don’t miss these other 10 Essential Carbs That Build Muscle!


pumpkin seeds

Cost: 49 cents per serving

Six dollars per pound may not seem super cheap, but to even breach one pound of raw pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas), you’re going to be taking home what looks like whole year’s supply. The great thing about these crunchy seeds is that you only need to consume them in small quantities to reap the health benefits. One ounce contains more than eight grams of protein and is also high in iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc (important for a healthy immune system).

Eat This, Not That! tip: Add into salads, oats and yogurt, or pop them in your mouth as is for a quick snack.



Cost: 43 cents per serving
It may be green and leafy, but spinach is no nutritional wallflower. This noted muscle builder is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Bonus: Folate also increases blood flow to the nether regions, helping to protect you against age-related sexual issues. And spinach is packed with lutein, a compound that fights macular degeneration. Aim for 1 cup fresh spinach or 1/2 cup cooked per day.

Eat This, Not That! tip: Make your salads with spinach; add spinach to scrambled eggs; drape it over pizza; mix it with marinara sauce and then microwave for an instant dip.


tuna sandwich

Cost: 41 cents per serving

Tuna or to-not? That is the question. As a primo source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), canned light tuna is one of the best and most affordable fish for weight loss, especially from your belly! One study in the Journal of Lipid Research showed that omega 3 fatty acid supplementation had the profound ability to turn off abdominal fat genes. And while you’ll find two types of fatty acids in cold water fish and fish oils—DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)—researchers say DHA can be 40 to 70 percent more effective than EPA at down regulating fat genes in the abdomen, preventing belly fat cells from expanding in size. But what about the mercury? Mercury levels in tuna vary by species; generally speaking, the larger and leaner the fish, the higher the mercury level. Bluefin and albacore rank among the most toxic, according to a study in Biology Letters. But canned chunk light tuna, harvested from the smallest fish, is considered a “low mercury fish” and can–and should!–be enjoyed two to three times a week (or up to 12 ounces), according to the FDA’s most recent guidelines.

Eat This, Not That! tip: “Before my morning training session, I like to have a bit of tuna,” says Dr. Sean M. Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, ATC/L, CSCS Owner and PT. “I slice heirloom tomatoes into a bowl, top them with a can of wild-caught tuna and drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top. This provides a great low-carb protein punch, essential polyunsaturated fats and a serving of raw vegetables.” And don’t go for the cheap fish! Click here to find out How Tilapia is Worse than Bacon!



Cost: 36 cents per serving
Along with other legumes, chickpeas are a new weight-loss superfood. Their high fiber and protein content increases satiety, and a number of studies have shown that people who add them to a reduced-calorie diet lose more weight and have lower cholesterol.

Eat This, Not That! tip: Chickpeas make you feel fuller longer and lower body mass by releasing cholecystokinin, an appetite-suppressing hormone. This snack’s good balance of proteins and fats make hummus a comfort food in more ways than one.


peanut butter

Cost: 29 cents per serving, for the good stuff

A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found a link between the consumption of peanuts and a decreased risk for heart disease. Resist buying reduced-fat versions! The healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats found in peanuts are what provide those heart-healthy benefits. Due to its caloric density, peanuts and peanut butter should be consumed in small portions, but that modest two-tablespoon serving offers eight grams of protein on average.

Eat This, Not That! tip: Don’t sweat super-expensive almond and nut butters, if you can’t afford them. A simple serving of Smucker’s Creamy Natural Peanut Butter will get the job done. Although if you want to spluge, go for one of these16 Best Nut Butters for Weight Loss!


Cost: 28 cents per pound

A bloated belly can make even the most toned stomach look a bit paunchy. Fight back against the gas and water retention with bananas. One study found that women who ate a banana twice daily as a pre-meal snack for 60 days reduced their belly-bloat by 50 percent! Not only does the fruit increase bloat-fighting bacteria in the stomach, it’s also a good source of potassium, which can help diminish water retention. Once you’ve kicked the bloat to the curb, you can hit the beach with confidence and show off that hard-earned body!


Cost: $2.90 per dozen, so 24 cents each

When it comes to eggs, it seems we’ve been given scrambled messages. Many of us opt for egg whites over whole eggs because word on the street is that the yellow contains too much cholesterol and raises the risk of heart disease. However, new research has found that cholesterol levels in our bodies are impacted by the types of fats in our food, not just the cholesterol content. Not to mention, yolks contain nutrients that may help lower the risk of heart disease, including protein, vitamins B12 and D, folate and riboflavin.

Eat This, Not That! Tip: What’s more, eating the whole egg can help keep you slim. In fact, they’re one of our top fatty foods that will help you lose weight. The yolk contains a nutrient called choline that boosts metabolism and turns off belly-fat genes. If the thought of eating whole eggs still makes you uneasy, try making an omelet with one whole egg, two egg whites and some chopped vegetables.


olive oil

Cost: 24 cents a serving

Extra virgin olive oil may increase blood levels of serotonin, a hormone associated with satiety. Plus, olive oil is also loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants that help battle many diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and brain deterioration.
Eat This, Not That! tip: Expensive extra-virgin, with its robust flavor, should be saved to dress salads, vegetables and cooked dishes. For cooking purposes, regular or light olive oil is sufficient.


Cost: 21 cents per serving

Quinoa, make some space at the table—there’s a new ancient grain on the block. Kamut is a grain native to the Middle East. Rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, it’s also high in protein while low in calories. A half-cup serving has 30% more protein than regular wheat (six grams), with only 140 calories. Eating kamut reduces cholesterol, blood sugar and cytokines, which cause inflammation throughout the body, a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found. Toss it into salads or eat it as a side dish on its own.

Eat This, Not That! tip: Buy it and boil it. Or try Eden Foods Kamut and Quinoa Pasta. In addition to serving up a good amount of protein and fiber, the noodles have 20 percent of the day’s magnesium—a nutrient not normally found in pasta. Not getting enough magnesium has been linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease. Click here t find out which other 10 Surprising Foods You Need For Abs!


Cost: 20 cents per potato

Thanks to the popularity of low-carb diets, white potatoes have been unfairly blacklisted. After taking a second look into the science, you’ll see there’s no need to be scared of the spuds—they’re actually powerful hunger tamers that can help you slim down. In an Australian study that measured the satiating index of 38 popular foods, researchers discovered that potatoes were not only more filling and satisfying than dietary demons like doughnuts and cake (no surprise there), they also ranked better than healthy picks like brown rice and oatmeal. As a result, research participants ate less on the days they consumed them. Not to mention, this root vegetable is also a good source of potassium, vitamin C and belly-filling fiber.

Eat This, Not That! tip: Ditch high-cal potato toppings like sour cream and bacon bits, and enjoy the spuds with olive oil, rosemary and fresh pepper instead.



Cost: 19 cents per serving

Aside from generally being sky-high in sugar and basement-low in protein, breakfast cereals are pricey. A 12-ounce box can run upwards of $6 for a dozen servings. By contrast, there are 30 servings in a two-pound container of Old Fashioned Quaker Oats (the silo-shaped package, not the instant packets), which rings in at under $4. Oats are high in soluble fiber and anti-inflammatory compounds, which increase satiety and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Eat This, Not That! tip: Sprinkle a serving with cinnamon (one of the best fat-burning spices) or top it with fruit.


Pu-Erh Tea

Cost: 19 cents per cup

A fermented Chinese tea with an earthy flavor, Pu-erh can literally shrink the size of your fat cells. To discover the brew’s fat-crusading powers, Chinese researchers divided rats into five groups and fed them varying diets over a two month period. In addition to a control group, there was a group given a high-fat diet with no tea supplementation and three additional groups that were fed a high-fat diet with varying doses of pu-erh tea extract. The researchers found that the tea significantly lowered triglyceride concentrations (potentially dangerous fat found in the blood) and belly fat in the high-fat diet groups. It’s a natural fat-blaster, along with barberry, rooibos and white tea.

How to drink it: We love Pu-erh so much, we made it part of our brand new weight-loss plan, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in just one week!


Cost: 19 cents for organic
Snack time needs some attention, too. Those of you who didn’t know popcorn was considered a “health food” have been missing out! Microwave popcorn does not qualify, unfortunately. Plain popcorn kernels are a whole grain food high in fiber and antioxidants. When air-popped, the classic snack only contains about 30 calories per cup.

Eat This Not That! tip: You can also pop kernels on the stove in coconut or olive oil for a more indulgent flavor. Sea salt, cinnamon, Parmesan cheese or herbs and spices are a healthy way to kick the flavor up a notch.


black beans

Cost: 16 cents per serving

All beans are good for your heart, but none can boost your brainpower like black beans. That’s because they’re full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function. A daily 1/2-cup serving provides 8 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber. It’s also low in calories and free of saturated fat.
Eat This, Not That! tip: Wrap black beans in a breakfast burrito; use both black beans and kidney beans in your chili; puree 1 cup black beans with 1/4 cup olive oil and roasted garlic for a healthy dip; add favas, limas, or peas to pasta dishes. OR make this Black Bean and Tomato Salsa: Dice 4 tomatoes, 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 jalapeños, 1 yellow bell pepper, and 1 mango. Mix in a can of black beans and garnish with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and the juice of 2 limes.



Cost: 14 cents per serving

Lentils are like the Chuck Taylors of nutritional all-stars—old-school, somewhat pedestrian in style, yet hugely popular the world over. The edible pulse has been a part of the human diet for some 13,000 years—an inexpensive form of vegetarian protein and fiber touted by health experts for its ability to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, promote fat metabolism and dampen appetites.

Lentils are a resistant starch, a slow-digesting fiber that triggers the release of acetate—a molecule in the gut that tells the brain when to stop eating. In fact, a systematic review of clinical trials on dietary pulses found that people who ate a daily serving of lentils (about 3/4 cup) felt an average 31 percent fuller compared to a control diet. And a second study found a diet rich in blood-sugar stabilizing foods like lentils could reduce disease-related inflammation by 22 percent!

Eat This, Not That! tip: Replacing meat with lentils can increase a recipe’s fiber content while lowering saturated-fat. Swap four ounces of ground beef (280 calories) for a cup of cooked lentils (230 calories) in your chili, and you’ll boost fiber by 16 grams while slashing 22 grams of fat from your meal.


frozen peas

Cost: 11 cents per serving

The days of finding a rotten half head of lettuce at the back of your fridge can be a thing of the past — if you get to know the frozen foods section of your local supermarket. And don’t you dare feel bad for skipping the produce section in front; frozen veggies retain more nutrients than their fresh-sold counterparts because “the frozen ones are picked then immediately (or soon after) frozen,” according to Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. “Just read the labels on frozen packages to make sure there is no added sodium, sugar, or chemicals,” she advises. Plus, frozen veggies can be used on your own schedule — without fear of waste. Adding a handful of frozen spinach or other veggies to dishes here and there is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense way to boost satiety and lose weight.

Eat This, Not That! Tip: Frozen vegetable medleys are an easy way to get more variety into your diet. Different colors of produce are natural indications that you’re getting different vitamins and minerals; the more colors you eat, the better. Next time you’re at the store, grab a bag of frozen tri-color bell peppers. Peppers are low-calorie and rich in vitamins A and C, which are important for healthy vision and vibrant, glowing skin.

And the #1 Cheapest
Food for Abs…

canola oil

Cost: 5 cents per serving

Canola, derived from the seeds of a plant in the broccoli family, has near-perfect 2.5:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats. According to a study review published last year in Experimental Biology and Medicine, people who achieve a dietary ratio similar to this have been able to battle cancer, arthritis and asthma more effectively. It’s also rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid that may play a role in weight maintenance, according to a recent study.

Originally posted on



Healing Negative Childhood Memories With Journaling

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Have you ever found yourself confronting painful memories of situations you experienced when growing up? Remembering these situations can be like re-opening old wounds and feeling the same emotions over and over again. Fortunately, you can use some very productive strategies to help you heal. One of those strategies is journaling – writing down how you feel and think.


Try these journaling techniques to help you resolve the pain of negative childhood memories:


  1. Write about what you thought and felt. Going back in time, ponder what the negative situations were like for you. Did you feel embarrassed when Dad pointed out your teeth to people? Were you angry about Mom’s consistent efforts to make you stand up straighter and taller? Write it down.
  2. What are your current thoughts and feelings? Next, use your current “adult mind” to take a look at the situation the best you can. What does your adult mind tell you about what really happened? Maybe you see things more clearly now. Was Mom or Dad’s goal to simply make you a “better person?” Jot down your current interpretation of the situation.

  3. Document how the challenging situations affected you then. How did you react as a child to what happened? How did you make sense of the trying situations then? Who, if anyone, did you talk to about the troublesome times? Mention them in your journal.
  4. Ponder how the hurtful events from the past affect you now. See if you can make any connections between your past and present. Make a conscious decision to better manage your feelings and behavioral choices now. Write down how you can manage your emotions differently.
  5. Vow to gain understanding. If it was a situation when your parent did something that you just couldn’t understand, can you make sense of it now? Maybe your father didn’t make you stay home from a trip to punish you – perhaps he thought you’d be exposed to something unsavory or even unsafe and he was hoping to protect you.
  • Explore these possible explanations through writing in your journal.
  1. Re-write your history. Re-construct your childhood on paper how you would have liked it to be. It’s a learning experience to formulate how you would have liked your growing up years to have been different. Re-writing your history can also help you heal.

  2. Make a conscious decision to overcome your past. Whatever your old hurts, decide to disconnect them from your current life. This effort must be made consciously and with great thought. Write down how you can release yourself.
  3. Recognize these events were in the past. As you record your thoughts and feelings, make note of how long ago the situation or events occurred. Label them as “in the past” in your journal. Start a new section called, “In the present” and write about how you’ll respond to those types of hurts now.
  4. Formulate a plan to let it go and move on. In your writings, consider steps you might take to move on in your life and live more openly and without being tethered to your historic pain.
  5. Give yourself permission to release the old, negative emotions. In your journal, jot down that you no longer have to carry the hurt. Allow yourself permission to leave it behind you. You can even draw a picture of the tangled web of feelings and state you’re leaving all the pain right there between the lines of your journal.


Expressing yourself with pen and paper, or even on a computer, will help you discharge your troublesome feelings and move on with your goals. Live your best life now by using journaling to help heal old wounds.


Road Trip Rules for Healthy Eating

Heading out on a road trip with family or friends is exciting! Such a journey can help you create cherished memories, strengthen your relationships, and release the stresses of life.


When driving from place to place, you’ll almost certainly want to indulge in the various cuisines you encounter. After all, that’s a big part of enjoying the full experience of the regions you visit.

It’s nice to know that you can savor the local flavor without giving up healthy eating.


Adapt these road trip rules for eating to enjoy the best of both worlds:


  1. Plan stops ahead of time. One of the most foolproof ways to maintain healthy eating habits when on a road trip is to plan food stops ahead of time. Advance planning will enable you and your traveling companions to eat at the opportune meal times, choose healthy options, and avoid getting cravings with every restaurant sign you drive past!




  • Use a map to plot out your stops, and then research the available eating options in each location. That way, you’ll have control over what you eat. You can find good locally-owned restaurants with a variety of regional dishes to choose from.

  1. Pack healthy snacks. Even with planning meal stops and eating on schedule, you’re bound to get the urge to snack when you’re on a road trip. Take along plenty of healthy snacks to satisfy your inklings to nibble as you view the countryside.


  • Pita chips with salsa or hummus is perfect because it’s both healthy and easy to eat while you’re driving.
  • Fruits like apples, bananas, grapes and berries are also convenient, healthy, and not messy while you’re trying to drive.

  1. Time your final pit stop for each day. Make your last meal stop close to dinner time, but also close to your rest stop for that night. That way, you won’t end up getting hungry when you finally settle in.


  • Once again, using your map will allow you to determine the best food stop closest to your night’s rest stop.
  • Plan to eat your heavier meal at lunch and then choose a last stop for the day that has menus with lighter, healthier options.images (1)


  1. Order group meals. Ordering for the group as opposed to individual meals will allow you to control your portions easier.


  • You won’t be as tempted to clean a large plate of food to avoid wastage. Group servings are usually just enough for the number of diners.

  • Eating as a group can also help you to gauge exactly what you’re consuming while on the road. This may be especially helpful if you have kids. Group choices make it easier to keep track of what they’re eating as well, so their experience isn’t limited to the same old kids’ meals throughout your trip.

Group dining

Does the open road beckon you?

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With these road trip tips, you’ll enjoy the experience of visiting different locations and tasting their cuisines, and head back home weighing the same as you did when you started out!


Four Small Diet Changes With a Big Impact


Are you at your wit’s end with diets that haven’t produced results worth talking about? You might find one that lets you lose a couple of pounds, bimagesut then they come right back. So where has that gotten you? Unfortunately, right back where you started.





The good news is you can very easily make some changes that will let you get off that diet roller coaster for good!


Try these four small diet changes that pack a lot of punch:


  1. Make H2O your beverage of choice. Even the beverages that claim to have zero sugar are often loaded with calories or unhealthy chemicals! Replace those beverages with pure water and you’ll start to notice changes in how you feel and look almost instantly!


  • Give your water a kick by squeezing some fresh lime juice into each glass you drink.
  • Try not to quit sugared drinks cold turkey or you may end up feeling deprived. Instead, treat yourself to a soda or fruit beverage at the end of each week if you met your daily water consumption targets.
  • Drinking a glass of water before meals also helps you to feel full quicker so you don’t eat as much food.


  1. Cut down your portions. It’s possible to cut portion sizes without leaving the table feeling hungry. Sometimes, timing makes all the difference:


  • A plan that may work well for you is to eat five times a day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks in between. Have small portions so your total daily consumption still falls within your recommended caloric intake.

  • When you eat so often, your body never has a chance to feel really hungry, so you’re not as tempted to eat large portions.


  1. Switch snacks. While it’s important to indulge in comfort from time to time, you may want to assess whether the snacks you’re eating are the healthiest options.


  • For example, if you like candy bars, try replacing them with cereal bars, fruit or fruit salad, yogurt, Jell-O with fruit, frozen fruit bars, and other snacks with less sugar and fat. Fruit is nature’s candy – you’ll still get to satisfy your craving for sweets, but in a healthier way.
  • If you prefer crunchy snacks like chips, opt for crunchy raw veggies or nuts.
  • One trick that works is to prepare snacks ahead of time so they’re ready whenever you’re hungry for a quick snack. Cut up celery, carrots, and broccoli into easy “grab and eat” portions. Cut up several kinds of fruits, make tasty fruit salads with melons, grapes, berries and more, and store in portion-sized sealed containers.


  1. Skip the sides. Sides like potato salad, macaroni and cheese and stuffing could be your downfall. While you’re allowed to indulge a little, remember that these have the highest caloric values. Eat only small amounts of these sides while you fill up on the meats, vegetables, and fruits for dessert.


If you adapt these simple diet changes, it will just be a matter of time before you see remarkable changes in your fitness. Your body will respond automatically because you’ll be treating it to the things it loves – healthy alternatives!


So instead of jumping from one fad diet to the other in search of the best fitness and weight loss results, try making some simple changes to how and what you eat. Not only will you look better and get the results you’re looking for, but you’ll also feel better throughout the course of each day. Give it a try and see for yourself!