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Pressure Cooker Recipes For Weight Loss

It is all about pressure cooking in 2017. This is a do-it-all kind of machine that helps you prepare your daily meals in half the time it would normally take you to do it and for much less than the average cooking. It will save you a lot of time and energy costs because pressure cooking is smart cooking. The pressure cooker can be used to make all types of foods including desserts. But if you haven’t found an excuse to get a pressure cooker yet, below are several reasons that would change your mind.

1. Low Carb buffalo chicken soup

A single cup serving of the buffalo chicken soup contains 247 calories, 521 mg of sodium and less than 1 g of sugar. The one component that makes this recipe good for your health is the pepper. Pepper contains capsaicin, a compound responsible for the hot sensation in pepper. This component is not only steamy in the mouth but it is also steamy in our metabolism system. However, even though the capsaicin sauce is good for our health, it is not recommended to have a great quantity of the same at the same time. Spreading it out throughout the day is the way to go.

You can also check this article best stainless steel cookware

2.Beef and broccoli

A cup serving of this recipe contains 345 calories, 342 mg of sodium and 3g of sugar. It is usually easier to make your quick order from the nearest Chinese restaurant because it is a quick fix. However, you might want to think twice before doing that. For starters, a single order of beef and broccoli from the Chinese restaurant would give you in excess of 710 calories and 24 grams of sugar. Now this is obviously more sugar and calories than what you would need for three days. To save yourself from this, prepare your own beef and broccoli recipe with your pressure cooker and lose weight.

pressure cooker

3.Crispy chicken carnitas

A single tortilla serving of this dish will give you 284 calories, 181 mg of sodium and 4g of sugar. Carnitas are basically roasted and shredded pieces of pork and chicken that are found in various snack packs such as burritos and fajitas. The best part of this recipe is that it comes with an anti-cellulite compound known as cilantro that help in breaking down those excess fats. Additionally, the recipe is also good for detoxification as it helps in removing the metals that tend to hide in the fatty cells in the body. With less of fat and toxins in your body, the cellulite will definitely be a thing of the past.

4.Risotto with butternut squash and sage

A single serving contains 187 calories, 198 mg of sodium and less than 1 g of sugar. Risottos are known for their high caloric content. This is because of their high content of cream. This recipe is however mixed with sage which comes in handy when dealing with forms of inflammation. The long grain rice and butternut is rich in hunger fighting fibers that help you deal with your fat problems once and for all. Besides being a serious taste bud rejuvenator, you will also be in proper terms with your waist.

5.Peanut butter cup cheesecake

Cake is supposedly the number one weight gainer and everyone knows this. But every once in a while it is not a crime to have your cake and eat it, literally. The peanut butter cheesecake should be your first stop. The best part about this is that it is also very friendly with your waist. It will shrink your waist and give you that figure you have always dreamed of. You can also include your cup of Greek yogurt instead of the heavy cream that accompanies it. This is healthy because it will substitute the high fat content but still offer the same consistency.

6.Rice and chicken

A single serving of this dish comes contains 298 calories, 75 g of sodium and 0 sugar. The best part about this is that it is a low cost meal that anyone can afford. This is because all you need is rice and chicken, water and some parsley. You can then add salad on the menu and you have a perfect dinner that would sustain a family of four. This is nothing short of a dinner miracle.

All these recipes should be done in a pressure cooker and you will achieve cooking speeds that you have never seen before, not mentioning the energy saving part of it.

10 Liquid Breakfast Options for People on the Go

Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but between kids, pets, spouses, careers and other obligations, it can also be the most rushed. Not anymore, though, here are just 10-morning meals that you can quickly toss back as you run out the door.

1. Strawberry-Kiwi Smoothie

Smoothies are, probably, the go-to for equally nutritious and time-effective breakfasts. You can get creative while preparing them, plus they are loaded with vitamins and nutrients.

In this respect, you don’t have to live on the beach to enjoy the sweet, tangy taste of kiwi. Just slice a kiwifruit into your blender along with ice and a couple of cups of apple juice. Add as many strawberries as you’d like, and throw in a dash of honey for extra sweetness. What we like most about Kiwis is that they have few calories and excellent nutritional value. Plus, this sour fruit is filled with vitamin C, which is a vital nutrient our body depends on.

2. Coffee

Consumed in moderation, coffee has a surprising amount of health benefits. It can increase your energy, improve your memory and even reduce your risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Did you know that, based on studies, coffee is a fantastic source of antioxidants? These are compounds that the body needs for fighting against the damage done by free radicals. In addition, other studies indicate that coffee could aid you to burn fat as well (as long as you don’t add too much sugar to it, of course). Caffeine is known to maximize the burning of fat, by 29 percent in lean people and by 10 percent in obese individuals.

You’ll need the right equipment, of course, but once you have a coffee or espresso maker on your countertop, a morning mug might be just what the doctor ordered.

3. Coffee Shake

What if you love the taste of coffee but are trying to cut back on the caffeine? Consider a coffee shake instead. You don’t even have to use real coffee beans; just combine coffee-flavored syrup or candy with things like skim milk, vanilla protein, and hazelnut butter.

4. Grapefruit Juice

Drink it plain or throw it into a blender with strawberries, raspberries, and bananas. Why implement grapefruit juice in your diet? To begin with, grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C, which enhances your immune system, safeguarding you from nasty colds.

Also, grapefruit is thought to prevent the appearance of kidney stones – a common problem among Americans. What’s even better about grapefruit is that it actually burns fat. This isn’t a rumor; it is a fact based on scientific research. On top of that, grapefruit juice is rich in vitamins and minerals that support good cardiovascular health, so it’s one of your best options when considering liquid breakfast ideas.

5. Milkshake

The key to creating a healthy milkshake is to watch your ingredients. Instead of chocolate, use cacao powder which has numerous health benefits. Instead of thick, fatty milk, use a lighter brand of rice milk or soy milk. The final result will hit the spot just like a doughnut, but it’ll be so much better for your long-term health. It’s a win-win situation.

6. Green Tea

Have you ever heard of catechins? They’re the antioxidants that make green tea such a popular recommendation of doctors and herbalists. These potent compounds could actually reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, safeguarding the molecules and cells from damage. Indulge in a hot, steaming mug on a cold morning to wake yourself up and reap the rewards of an organic choice.

breakfast options

7. Yogurt Bowl

Okay, you might need a spoon for this one, but it’s still a quick and easy breakfast that doesn’t require gnawing on a granola bar. The best thing about yogurt is that it contains probiotics. Probiotics are also referred to as friendly bacteria, which are typically present in the digestive system. In this respect, some probiotics aim at boosting the immunity, while promoting the health of the digestive tract. Ideally, yogurt bowls can be topped with everything from berries to flaxseed, so they’re a very versatile dish. For the most health benefits, use plain Greek yogurt.

8. Peach and Ginger Smoothie

Ginger is one of the best things around for all-natural digestive health, and its flavor is really set off by the power of peaches. If you’re tired of milk and juices in the morning, you can even substitute them for fat-free vanilla ice cream to create a thick, creamy but ultimately healthy smoothie.

9. Orange Juice

Orange juice is a fantastic source of Vitamin C. Even better; you don’t have to add anything to it to get the full benefits of its skin-clearing and immune-boosting properties. If you want more than a simple glass of OJ, however, consider turning it into an orange juice smoothie with bananas or peaches.

10. Oatmeal Shake

Indulge in the childhood nostalgia of oatmeal without having to sit down at the table for a drawn-out breakfast. All you have to do is combine a cup of dry oatmeal with your choice of protein, whey, cinnamon, honey or maple syrup. Use milk for a thick shake or water for a low-calorie one.

Preparing an oatmeal shake is a breeze, and it is linked to a handful of health benefits. To be more precise, oats consist of essential vitamins, antioxidant plant compounds, and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, zinc, iron, folate, vitamin B5, and vitamin B1. And you get all these benefits in exchange of a minimal caloric intake.

These are just a few ideas for a healthy liquid breakfast. What do you think? Did we leave off your favorite smoothie or fruit juice? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Best and Worst Food For a Healthy Digestive System

Digestive System

All we eat is processed in our body through a naturally and perfectly designed system that we call digestive system.

However, what we eat has great impact on our health and stomach functions. We need to eat a balance of everything in a diet to maintain our stomach functioning in a proper way.

An upset stomach can lead to severe other health conditions.

Why we should eat a balanced and healthy diet?

A balanced and healthy diet keeps our digestive system and stomach functions in proper track and prevents many diseases. Junk food or imbalance diet can cause different health issues. We must not eat what is not good for our health in any way. So always encourage and support healthy eating and balanced diet. And say no to junk food.

What is a balanced diet?

A balanced diet is a mix of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and vitamins that our body need on daily basis to function properly. Eating more or less can cause problems. One should not eat that much that he or she may gain extra weight because all we eat is broken down in calories to give us energy supply for doing work.

And one shouldn’t also eat that much less that it may cause any deficiency in body.

How nutrients are processed and how they act in stomach?

In order to maintain proper stomach functioning you need a happy stomach always. First of all you should know that your body is having proper mix of nutrients.

Let has have a look on nutrients and how they can act on your stomach functioning.

  • Carbohydrates

Different types of sugar are summed up together to make energy bombs. Carbohydrates digest up easily and provides instant energy to body. They are less burden on stomach. But they provide energy faster and consume it even faster. You feel hungry early and can end up in eating improper fractions of food that is not good for your stomach to function properly. As once a food is in your stomach your stomach will start processing it even if it is one bite. Irregular eating or eating after every short while can create burden on your stomach.

Carbohydrates have sugars like fructose, lactose and sucrose etc.

  • Proteins

Unlike carbohydrates proteins don’t digest easily. They provide you with energy that stays longer and you don’t feel hungry for a time period. Proteins are necessary nutrient for our body but eating a lot of protein can cause acidity and burden on your stomach as stomach need time to break down proteins in to amino acids.

  • Fats

There are two types of fats. The good ones and the bad ones. Good or healthy fats are necessary for our heart health also. Bad cholesterol can create sever health problems. Omega 3 is good fats that our body need to consume and junk food is considered as source of bad fats.

Eating fat that creates bad cholesterol is totally problematic for stomach functioning. Eating fats can cause acidity and inflammation in stomach.

  • Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential for body and usually act as co-processor for protein breakdown in stomach.

Food that are best or worst for stomach

After knowing the value of nutrients let us have a look at which food is good or bad for our stomach

  • Food rich in fibers

Food that is rich in fibers are heaven for stomach. They are good source of energy and less burden on stomach.

Whole grains are source of dietary fiber. They prevent stomach bloating and acidity. They make you feel full and lowers the cholesterol level in your body.

  • Meat and fish

Meat and fish are good source of energy but white meat and fish is good for you and red meat are burden on your stomach. So try eating white meat and fish more than other meat for easy digestion.

  • Fruits

Fruits are best for your stomach. They are good source of energy and digest easily in your stomach without creating burden on stomach functions.

Berries in fruits may be good for your health but worst for your stomach as seeds in them are not easily digestible by stomach.

  • Milk and dairy

Milk is good for your health but you need to avoid dairy products like cheese, butter etc. because they can cause problems to both stomach function and health. These dairy products are also rich in fats that are not good for your body.

On the other hand, Yogurt is another product made of milk that is extremely good for your digestion and is blessing for stomach as it eases stomach function and improves digestion.

  • Corns

Corns are good for health but stomach can’t digest corn easily. They are heavy on belly. You just need to be careful while eating it. Chew it properly and take only necessary portions.

  • Tea, coffee and beverages

They are worst for your stomach. They can cause heart burn and acidity in stomach and can start and boost stomach problems.

  • Chocolates

Chocolates are worst food for stomach as they are not easily digestible and are not good for any reason. They can cause bowel irregularities and constipation.

  • Alcohol

Alcohols are not good for health. They can cause inflammation and heart burn. They can also cause diarrhea and cramping.

  • Spicy food and fried food

Both are not good for stomach and can cause problems in digestion. They can cause ulcers, irregular bowels and heartburn.

AUTHOR BIOSarah Carey

ABOUT Sarah Carey

Sarah Carey is internet savvy health and lifestyle blogger. She covers health, relationship, fitness, diet and many more topics. Currently, she is associated with BrainBlog Team.

6 Foods That Will Help You Improve Your Brain Health

brain health food

Are you looking for ways to ensure that your brain remains healthy and capable of learning new things well into your old age? Do you want to improve your intellect?

Boosting your brain power is possible, but the real question is how can we make it happen without putting in a lot of effort? This article will tell you exactly that.

Did you know that 60 per cent of your brain consists of fats? To be more specific, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 essential fatty acids, is a major building block of the brain. In fact, DHA is a key structural component of neuronal membranes. It is responsible for the growth and efficient development of the brain in infants and the maintenance of optimal brain function in adults.

However, these essential fatty acids are not synthesized within the body, and hence, must be consumed in sufficient amounts, via external sources. Thus, inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet should be an utmost priority for every individual because they play an integral role in ensuring optimal neurological health.

Moreover, research has revealed that pregnant women who eat foods rich in essential fatty acids give birth to babies with enhanced cognitive abilities who continue to reap long-term benefits that go beyond early brain development.

The brain also requires a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to perform all of its functions efficiently. Following is a list of foods that can enhance your brain health significantly:

Fish

Fish has a well-deserved reputation as the ultimate brain food.

Deep water fish like salmon, herring, mackerel and sardine, are abundant in omega-3 oils. These are healthy fats, and provide the most important nutrients for the brain. They reduce the risk of psychological ailments like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), unipolar depression, undue anxiety, uncharacteristic aggression and neurological disorders, characterized by cognitive deterioration like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Studies have shown that people with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood stream are less likely to develop degenerative brain diseases.

The benefits of eating fish do not end here though!

Amino acids, the building units of protein, are used in the formation of neurotransmitters like serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, which are often referred to as ‘happy hormones’. Since fish has high protein content, it is a well-known mood booster too.

As an added benefit, fish is a great source of vitamin D and vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy functioning of the nervous system.

Experts recommend eating two average meals (up to 6 ounces each) of fish per week. However, it is advisable to make sure that the fish being consumed has low mercury content.

Berries

Berries are delicious little treasure troves bursting with brain boosting nutrients. They are packed with flavonoids that contain useful antioxidants along with dietary fibres and vitamins. Anthocyanins, a subgroup of flavonoids, are responsible for their bright, beautiful hues.

These powerful antioxidants don’t only protect brain cells from oxidative damage caused by harmful free radicals but also assist in improving cognition and motor performance. They reduce the risk of depression and anxiety as well thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Additionally, berries also facilitate autophagy, which prevents age related mental decline and defend against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In simple terms, autophagy refers to the brain’s natural housekeeping mechanism by which it breaks down and recycles toxic accumulations of protein.

So make these luscious treats – whether fresh or frozen -- a regular part of your diet to garner all their fruitful benefits. Incorporate them into fresh salads, add them to your breakfast cereals or blend them into smoothies – the choices are endless!

Leafy greens

Ever wondered why your mom always forced you to eat your greens? The answer is quite simple: Leafy greens are super foods for brain health.

Spinach, kale and broccoli happen to be quite the nutritious powerhouses. They have incredible health benefits as they are loaded with vitamins C and K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene. Also, they are fantastic sources of antioxidants that can maintain proper brain function, halt memory loss, enhance mental agility in the golden years and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Furthermore, the presence of magnesium in these vegetables protects against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, both of which are most likely to cause hindrance in the brain function.

A recent study, which monitored the dietary habits and cognitive abilities of more than 950 older adults, the average age of the participants being 81, revealed that individuals who ate one or more servings of spinach per day, had the cognitive abilities of a person 11 years younger to them than those who did not consume any leafy greens regularly.

Therefore, eat your veggies regularly and amp up your brain power!

Nuts

All nuts are great sources of proteins, vitamins and minerals and hold miraculous brain boosting abilities. Nuts also contribute a great deal towards improved cognitive performance in individuals.

However, walnut is, undoubtedly, the best nut for brain health. Not only does it look like a brain, it also contains the plant-form equivalent of the essential omega-3 fatty acids that make up the better part of the human brain. This indicates that integrating walnuts in your diet will boost memory, IQ and ameliorate any age associated neurological decline.

Furthermore, walnuts also contain a unique antioxidant with properties that can inhibit chronic inflammation in the brain and, hence, reduce the risk of depression or anxiety.

Experts recommend at least one tablespoon of walnuts, for the maintenance of cognitive wellbeing, on a daily basis.

Eggs

Whole eggs are a great source of nutrients that are full of proteins, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids acetylcholine and citicoline. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which deals with memory and learning capabilities of individuals. Whereas, citicoline improves blood flow to the brain, so that it can utilize the glucose in the blood stream as a source of energy. It also guards brain cells from damage and aging.

Thus, it is essential to include 2 to 6 eggs per week in your regular diet plan to sharpen your memory, thinking and focus!

Dark chocolate

Chocolate is the most popular pleasure food all over the world, but what many people don’t know is that dark or unsweetened chocolate is also abundant in flavonoids, which aid brain plasticity.

They contain natural mood boosting stimulants that promote the production of hormones that can make you feel elated, blissful and euphoric. Consequently, these feelings of happiness affect your brain health positively.

Chocolate aids your cognitive health too by improving your focus, concentration, reaction time and memory.

So go ahead and indulge yourself a little. But remember to consume it in moderation i.e. no more than 1 to 1.5 ounces per day, if utilizing health its benefits is the main goal.

Your brain is a powerhouse that requires the right variety of nutrients to function optimally. So, now that you know the major types of foods that are essential for your brain health, it is time to integrate them into your diet plan.

Remember that, ‘you are what you eat’. Therefore, it is imperative that you develop a brain healthy lifestyle as early as possible.

AUTHOR BIO: Audrey Throne

Audrey Throne

Audrey Throne is a mother and a professional blogger by choice. She has completed her masters in English literature from the University of Birmingham. As a blogger she wrote quite a few posts on health, technology as well as management.

Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.

Significance of Good Nutrition in Health Management

nutrition management

A well-balanced and nutritious diet combined with regular exercise and avoiding lifestyle habits such as smoking forms the basis of optimal health. Good nutrition includes the consumption of healthy carbohydrates, proteins fats, vitamins and minerals as well as water.

Eating healthy involves reducing your intake of saturated fats, processed foods and alcohol. When you eat correctly, you make it easier to maintain the daily functions of your body, to prevent different diseases and control your weight.

General Health

The nutrients that food contains enhance your body’s functionality, give your cells protection from possible damage from the environment and help to repair cellular damage. Protein serves the purpose of promoting a string immunity system and rebuilding injured tissue.

Carbohydrates give your body fuel while the normal processes of your body are supported by vitamins and minerals. Without a balanced and healthy diet, the important functions of your body’s system may be compromised.

Weight Management

Both the quality and the quantity of the food that you eat everyday matter when you are developing better eating habits. Consuming the same amount of calories that you burn will lead to stabilized weight over time. Alternatively, if you consume more calories than what you burn, you will gain weight when your body turns the extra calories into fat.

Accumulating fat tissue increases the risk of various health problems such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Healthy meals that do not contain excess calories will help you to feel better and lengthen your lifespan. Find elisa products here.

nutrition management

Preventing Illness

While obesity is usually highlighted as a nutrition-based cause of illness, the reality is consuming fewer nutrients than what you need and eating too much can both lead to health challenges. For example, you will be predisposed to low bone density, developing osteoporosis and weak bones if your diet lacks calcium.

Excess saturated fat can result in heart disease and an unhealthy diet that excludes vegetables and fruits may increase the risk of disease. It is important to consume foods from various sources to make sure that your body has access to the nutrients that it requires to prevent health issues.

Gradual Changes

If you have not been eating a balanced and healthy diet that can improve your health and wellbeing, gradual adjustments will make it possible for you to adopt healthier eating habits on a long-term basis. Substituting unhealthy choices such as fizz sugary drinks and opting for water instead, witching to low-fat products, choosing lean meats rather than fatty cuts and swapping refined grains for whole grains are some of the simple but effective ways to improve your diet.

Conclusion

The food choices that you make every day have an impact on your current and future health. Good nutrition promotes overall health while unhealthy eating contributes to obesity that affects adults and children. Even if you are able to maintain optimal weight, if you consume a poor our unhealthy diet, you will expose yourself to major health risks. Making wiser food choices will help to protect you from serious health problems that can diminish your quality of life.

Author's Bio

Trudy Seeger is a freelance writer with more than 5 years of experience in print and digital media. He is passionate about business development and marketing. His hobbies include bike riding and swimming.

Best Alternatives to Jenny Craig

diet program

Jenny Craig is a diet program, which includes prepackaged foods, consultations, and motivation for users. It is marketed as the solution for losing weight. The manufacturers claim that you can lose up to 2 pounds per week. The limit of calories ranges between 1,200 and 2,300, taking into account your gender, height and weight parameters.

As for the quality of ingredients, Jenny Craig contains many cheap ones, which can cause some issues, including obesity. You may often find such components in semi-finished food. Corn Syrup is one of them. It is a sweetener, which can cause tooth decay, obesity and even heart disease. There are available more than 100 various kinds of low-calorie products on the package of Jenny Craig.

Despite the relatively cheap ingredients, the price of the full package is rather high, including $99 of enrollment fee, $19.99 cost for 3 consultations.

Since the quality of the product’s ingredients in low, the weight loss efficiency of Jenny Craig is also quite arguable. Customers’ feedbacks show that the results are unsatisfying if using for long period.

Fortunately, Jenny Craig is not a single product on the market, therefore, look at its best alternatives.

Dukan Diet

Dukan Diet is a weight loss solution, envisaging specific high protein ration. It is claimed that you will lose up to 4 pounds a week. The beginning of the diet is characterized with the reduction of fats and carbohydrates. Dukan Diet consists of 4 phases:

- Attack – you are offered with 68 various products with high protein content. In addition, the daily rate of water consumptions is also increased.

- Cruise – 32 options of vegetables are added to your current diet.

- Consolidation – Such products as certain starchy foods, fruit, bread and cheese are back to your ration.

- Stabilization – The final stage, which has no strict restrains except for one – to follow the recommendations of consolidation phase portion.

As for the prepacked foods, they are not necessary, since Dukan Diet emphasizes cooking own meals.

The price depends on the groceries you choose, so the range is unlimited. The online support on the official website costs $29.99 per month. However, it is optional. The actual benefit of the Dukan Diet is not proved, since many customers claim of poor efficiency and some health issues, including hair loss, headaches, low blood pressure etc. The majority of consumers experienced also the lack of energy due to the low carbohydrates amount.

High Protein Diet

High Protein Diet is aimed at not only losing weight but also for muscle building. There are many options of this diet and all of them are based on high protein level. The diet includes many products, which are the source of protein. These include whey protein, pork, poultry, seafood, seeds, nuts, eggs etc. The price also varies depending on the selected foods.

The overall quality of the High Protein Diet is huge, since the protein suppresses appetite, hence, you consume less food. The users of this diet are mostly satisfied with the results. The best one was the loss of 15 pound in a month. Due to the variety of foods, you may diversify your ration and not to get bored of the same meals.

So, the High Protein Diet proved its efficiency according to the customers’ feedbacks. In addition, it is an easy solution of diet, since there are various food options.

18 Shake Diet

18 Shake Diet is considered the best meal replacement product in 2017. The shake is actually good, being helpful for losing weight purposes. The protein source of 18 Shake is whey that proved its benefits in many researches. Besides, each serving of the product contains 1g of sugar that is essential to regulate sugar in the blood and to prevent any weight gain issues. The other ingredients include natural cocoa, stevia extract, digestive resistant maltodextrin, and many other natural components.

The shake is offered in many flavors, containing no fillers or unhealthy ingredients. It has a high content of quality protein (extracted from the cheese production). The cost of the shake is $59.99 and almost no negative feedbacks were found. The best features of the shake are the taste and good appetite suppression. It is recommended to use this shake for weight loss purposes, as well as in combination with some fat burners, such as Sletrokor.

18 Shake is not a diet program but a meal replacement supplement. Nevertheless, it shows amazing weight loss performance and will fit almost any diet program you choose.

What Is the Best Protein Powder for Recovery and Your Health?

Protein Powder shake


Protein is a crucial and versatile biological molecule that has several forms and functions all over our body. They are involved in the structure of almost all of our tissues and organs – from our skin and hair to our nails, bones, and muscles.

The building blocks of proteins are amino acids, which play a central role both as building blocks of proteins and as key intermediates in metabolism. We supply our body with these building blocks primarily through our diets. Protein sources include meat, dairy (eggs and milk), and even some vegetables (beans and peas).

The Power of Protein

Aside from contributing to most structures within our body, proteins also play important roles in cellular and tissue construction and repair. Moreover, proteins can also be enzymes or hormones. One important hormone whose production is boosted by protein consumption is the insulin-like growth factor 1 or 1GF-1.

The Struggle for Longevity: IGF-1 and Protein

IGF-1 is a hormone that works with the human growth hormone (HGH). This tandem promotes cellular growth which eventually leads to tissue growth and muscle building.

IGF-1 promotes and increases your lean body mass while burning fat in the process. Because muscle growth is regulated consistently, thanks to the hormones, muscle endurance and performance then develop.

Protein and Recovery

Protein itself is already crucial in recovery. Remember that muscle cells are made of protein. After a strenuous workout, your cells will need protein for repair. You’ll need to give your muscles the chance to recover, and extra protein in your diet can make that possible.

In addition, the way that IGF-1 boosts protein synthesis also leads to quicker cellular repair which results in rapid tissue recovery. However, like many biological components, our IGF-1 and HGH levels decline, too, as we age. Lesser IGF-1 in our system means less support with muscle growth. And with lesser muscle mass comes the decrease in our strength as well.

We are however not helpless when it comes to this matter. Athletes have long discovered protein supplements which are mostly available to any health conscious person today.

Hormone Matters: The Usual Balancing Act

Just like other hormones, the key to maximizing the functions of IGF-1 lies in optimizing its levels in our body.

In addition, because IGF-1 is related to growth, it is advisable to maintain its optimal levels in a cyclic manner. This is because growth mechanisms require energy and rest. Overworking the system will only wear out the cells and tissues involved, and that could lead to less efficiency.

Too little IGF-1, on the other hand, may also be genetic in nature (Laron syndrome), and results in extreme cases into the condition we know as dwarfism.

Now, to influence the balance of IGF-1, you may adopt certain supplement plans. And for the choice of supplement to boost IGF-1, you can try protein powders.

What Are Protein Powders?

Proteins can be found in different food sources. As we know, each type of food is made up of different chemical and biological structures that the body has to break down during digestion before absorbing the essential components we require. Protein powders are extracted proteins from whole foods.

Depending on the manner of extracting the proteins, protein powders can be classified into:

  • Protein concentrate – 70 to 85 percent pure protein with carbohydrates as its remaining non-protein components
  • Protein isolate – 95 percent pure protein with around 15 percent remaining non-fat composition

In addition to these classifications, the variety of amino acids contained in a formula leads to another protein categorization:

  • Complete protein – contains all the nine amino acids that cannot be naturally produced by the body also known as essential amino acids
  • Incomplete protein – only contains some essential amino acids

Why Would You Need Protein Powder?

For those who do not get enough protein from their diet, protein supplements such as protein powders do a good job in bridging the gap. Bodybuilders are especially in need of ample amounts of protein for energy, lean muscle building, and post workout recovery.

Today, protein powders are among the supplements whose popularity is backed by their health benefits and efficacy. These supplements do not cost nowhere as much as the amount you’d spend on tons of meat to get the same muscle growth boost, and they’re easy to prepare. You can also bring them anywhere.

Protein Powder Types

A further guiding characteristic one should consider when picking a protein powder for supplement is the protein powder source. There are animal-derived proteins, plant or vegan proteins, and even protein powders from edible insects.

Whey

Whey is a by-product of cheese production from milk. It is an affordable source of easily digestible and complete source of proteins, particularly branched-chain amino acids like Leucine.

Whey promotes lean muscle growth and fat loss. And as it is quickly absorbed by the body, whey is then able to boost muscle recovery especially when taken as a post-workout formula.

Aside from improving muscle mass and performance, whey also assists in metabolism and promotes cardiovascular health.

It may be a concern for some that whey is produced mixed with some lactose. Some people may not be able to digest lactose though most of it can be lost when processing whey anyway. Lactose-intolerant people may then opt to find a different protein powder source.

Casein

Casein is a protein that can also be found in milk. A significant difference it has with whey is its slower digestion and absorption by the body.

This slower mechanism is because of the reaction when casein comes in contact with stomach acids. It becomes a gel-like substance that slows down stomach emptying eventually delaying the protein absorption that should follow.

As protein absorption is slowed down, the delivery of amino acids to the muscles is also delayed while being distributed in consistent supply. This gradual mechanism consequentially decreases the breakdown of muscle proteins.

This slow and steady phase yields similar benefits with whey intake. Specifically, one benefit of casein is the promotion of muscle anabolism after exercise. This is achieved together with increased muscle mass.

To maximize casein’s slow processing, it is recommended to take it before sleep to help in post-exercise recovery overnight.

Now, there are also lesser known sources of powder protein. These include collagen, vegan proteins, and the exotic but probably the best source in this list: insect protein.

Collagen

Collagen is great for those who want to reverse or minimize signs of aging. But a youthful appearance is not the only advantage of taking collagen. It’s health benefits are not at all skin-deep.

Being a fibrous protein, collagen contributes to the structure and elasticity of joints and other connective tissues. In addition, collagen has high concentrations of amino acids (glycine, lysine, and proline) that contributes to healthy hair and nails.

At least one recent study also got results that collagen intake combined with resistance training improves body composition through increasing fat-free mass, muscle strength, and fat mass loss.

Like casein, collagen is recommended to be taken before sleep.

Insect Protein

The search for food alternatives is not a new trend, and today, edible insects made it to the menu.

The following are only a few of studied and farmed edible insects:

  • Cricket
  • Domesticated silkworm
  • Honeybee
  • Mopane caterpillar
  • Yellow mealworm
  • African palm weevil larvae

Edible insects present a variety of nutrient composition aside from their protein content. Producing insect-derived protein powders usually turns the insect into flour first, like cricket flour. This flour can then be further processed to extract pure proteins by reducing fat and other non-protein contents.

Among the popular insect protein powders is the cricket flour. Its nutritional benefits include high iron content, twice the amount of protein in beef, magnesium, zinc, and even Omega 3 fatty acids which are good for the heart.

Insect proteins have also been made available in nutritious protein bars in different flavors so you don’t have to worry about any odd tastes. They are also relatively cheaper than meat, poultry, and pork.

With such nutritional value, insect protein can go beyond as an alternative and even be considered as a superior protein source.

Vegan Proteins

Vegan proteins sound like a contradiction but some plant sources like legumes, grains, soy products, nuts, and seeds, can be sufficient protein sources given the consumption of a balanced diet.

It is true that animal-derived protein is more complete than those found in vegetables but limiting protein source only from animals may present other health concerns. It is then important to have a varied protein sources through a balanced diet when possible.

Some vegan proteins can be formulated with only a single plant source (pea protein, rice protein, hemp protein) while mixed plant proteins may also exist and include:

  • Alfalfa
  • Artichoke
  • Brown rice
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Quinoa

Choosing the Best Protein Powder

To wrap it up, choosing the best protein powder for you will involve the evaluation of:

  • Protein content (Complete or incomplete?)
  • Protein powder processing (Concentrate or isolate?)
  • Protein source (Animal-derived or vegan proteins?)
  • Any predisposed medical conditions (e.g. Lactose intolerance when considering whey protein, allergy from nuts when considering vegan proteins)
  • The benefits you are after (Muscle gain? Weight loss? Anti-aging? All?)
  • Preference (Can you stomach insect protein?), and of course
  • Budget

Grass-fed whey is the recommended option for those who want to build lean muscles not just because of the excellent protein content but also because it has high CLA (conjugate linoleic acid) content. CLA is known to enhance metabolism, which means that it helps the body burn fat. It also boosts muscle growth.

However, if you are not uncomfortable with taking insect proteins, you should just go for those. Insect proteins are so nutrient-dense that they can be considered a superfood. Most insect powders also come with various vitamins.

For vegans or vegetarians, nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts and macadamias are the best sources of protein and healthy fats.

If you’re looking for a good protein powder, here are some options you can start with.

Final Words

With the many functions proteins serve from tissue structure to hormone production, it is only proper to attempt to meet our daily needs through a protein-rich and balanced diet.

However, for those with limited meal options, supplements through protein powders can help you bridge the gap and achieve increased lean muscle mass, muscle growth, performance, endurance, and recovery.

Top 5 Appetite Suppressant Shakes (Stave Off Hunger!)

Do you know what’s one of the hardest things to find? Great tasting, healthy meal replacement shakes that leave you feeling full, that’s what!

best meal replacement shakes for weight loss

Image Via Pixabay

Meal replacement shakes are a good option for weight management. What you don’t want, however, is to spend your hard earned cash on something that tastes so terrible you can’t stomach it and it ends up in the trash. Neither do you want a shake that leaves you hungry an hour after you’ve finished it.

That’s where my reviews of the best weight loss shakes come in. I’ll give you a rundown of 5 of the leading meal replacement shakes, looking closely at taste, nutrient support and ability to leave you feeling full and satisified.

Meal Replacement Shake Comparison Table

Image

Model

Sugar

Calories

Price

Rating

best meal replacement shake for weight loss

IdealShake

1g

100

$$$$

best meal replacement shakes to lose weight

SlimFast Original

22g

200

$

best meal replacement shakes for weight loss

ViSalus VI-Shape

<1g

90

$$

best meal replacement shakes for weight loss

Amazing Grass Superfood

<1g

30

$

best meal replacement shakes for weight loss

GNC Total Lean

4g

200

$$$$

Top 5 Meal Replacement Options:

1) IdealShake

best meal replacement shake for weight loss

IdealShake ranks pretty high in customer reviews for taste, with most users finding it creamy and without any chalkiness or chemical aftertaste. I’ve tried several of the IdealShake flavors and was pleasantly surprised by how delicious they were. Its smooth taste accompanied 11 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and half of the daily requirements of 20 minerals and vitamins.

In terms of appetite suppression, I would say that for a full 3 to 4 hours after having an IdealShake, I was still feeling full and nicely energized. That puts IdealShake among the top meal replacement shakes for weight loss.

2) SlimFast Original

best meal replacement shakes to lose weight

It’s no surprise this longtime contender makes a list of tasty and healthy shakes to lose weight. Customer reviews consistently attest to the great taste of each of its flavors (the chocolate being my personal favorite). As far as nutrition goes, Slimfast has 10 grams of protein per serving, along with 4 grams of fiber and one third the recommended daily intake of many vitamins and minerals.

It’s a strong 200 calories per serving and most users report feeling full for three to four hours. It’s definitely one of the top hunger blockers when compared to other brands and formulations throughout the industry.

3) ViSalus VI-Shape

best meal replacement shakes for weight loss

ViSalus is among the tastiest of healthy meal replacement shakes because of its awesome cake mix flavor (and who doesn’t like the idea of drinking cake mix?) Let me be quick to point out though, that it has less than 1 gram of sugar – so, it’s tasty minus the extra calories. ViSalus’ admirable nutrient profile has an impressive protein blend, 23 vitamins and minerals, fiber, probiotics and calcium.

I have to join the majority of customer reviews and say that as a hunger suppressant, while it doesn’t feel as filling as a regular meal, it does stave off hunger for much longer than I thought it would.

4) Amazing Grass Green Superfood

best meal replacement shakes for weight loss

I must admit I am not a fan of Amazing Grass Green SuperFood’s taste. I was quite surprised, though, by the number of customer reviews that thought its rich earthy flavor was a real selling point. Hence, it made its way onto my best meal replacement shakes for weight loss list. Nutritionally, it is totally vegan and provides 5 to 9 servings of fruit and vegetables to give you antioxidants, fiber, digestive enzymes and probiotics.

As an appetite suppressant, its impressive fiber content really does the trick. For weight loss it’s definitely worth a try. One of the 10 flavors may be to your liking or you could have it in a smoothie to improve the taste.

5) GNC Total Lean

best meal replacement shakes for weight loss

In the taste category, GNC Total Lean Shake was a bit lacking, but much better tasting than many others I have tried. I would say its taste is more in the realm of protein shake than meal replacement (due to its remarkable 25 grams of protein per serving) bit it also contains impressive quantities of 24 minerals and vitamins. That puts it squarely among the top meal replacement shakes for weight loss.

For blocking hunger, I found other users agreed with my observation that it fell a bit short. It didn’t quite fill me up and after a couple of hours I had the urge to grab something else to eat.

Conclusion

“Tasty” and “meal replacement shake” don’t usually end up in the same sentence, especially when talking about using protein shakes to lose weight. We normally expect, that in order to give us the nutrients we need, these products would have to sacrifice good taste for descriptions such as “chemically”, “metallic” and “gritty”. These five options, however, prove that in some cases you can have your cake (flavored protein) and eat it too! Some of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss on the market not only help with appetite control and good nutrition, but also provide the great tastes we’ve been looking for.

For many of us weight loss has always been a struggle and meal replacement shakes can offer some real help when traditional diet and exercise just isn’t enough. It’s even better they make with your belly and your taste buds happy!

Product images via their respective pages on Amazon.com

Pros And Cons Of Isagenix (High Protein, Tastes Good, But…)

Image Via Pixabay.com

Image Via Pixabay

Is all the talk about the benefits of Isagenix leading you to consider giving it a try? The reviews on Isagenix are mixed, leaving many of us wondering if it’s really as good (or as bad) as we hear.

The Isagenix line offers different products to be used as energy boosters, weight loss drinks, meal replacements and cleanses for flushing toxins from the body. They are made by Isagenix International, LLC, which has been in operation since 2002. Although their products were once distributed mostly through direct sales you can now purchase them from various retailers including Amazon.

I’ll help you sort through more Isagenix facts below, looking closely at the pros, cons and other information provided by actual Isagenix users. By the end of my review, you’ll be able to decide if Isagenix is right for you.

Criteria For A Great Weight Loss And Wellness System

isagenix reviews

A healthy weight loss system needs to not only help she pounds, but do so while helping provide improved overall well being. We expect it to contribute to our physical and mental health by supplementing our daily vitamin and mineral intake and curbing our appetite. It should also provide a natural boost in energy that helps keep us at the top of our game throughout the day.

We all know any wellness system works best in conjunction with exercise. So, we are hoping the one we choose will add to gains we make from working out, such as fat reduction and increased muscle mass.

Other things on our checklist are

  • Price – Affordability to go with value is always a good selling point.
  • Convenience of using the product – Figuring out dosages and combinations should not be rocket science.
  • Any side effects – We want results but not if it means putting up with nasty side effects to get them.

So, how does the Isagenix line match up? Time for this Isagenix review to take a look at what the system offers.

Overview Of The Isagenix Wellness System

Isagenix is a suite of products packaged together as a wellness system, not a standalone product like Almased. It includes meal replacement shakes and bars along with herbal supplement capsules and powders. They are meant to promote weight loss, assist detoxification and support nutritional intake. Products may be used separately or in combination and you can select ones to use in the morning, at night or on the go.

The most popular product in the Isagenix line is perhaps the IsaLean Shake. According to the company, the shake serves as “a nutritious, balanced meal replacement with protein, energy-boosting carbohydrates and good fats that promote reduced cravings, healthy weight loss, and fat burning while building strong, lean muscle mass.”

That’s quite a claim! Does Isagenix have the qualities to back it up?

Pros

isagenix reviews

The Isagenix products stand out against the competition in quite a few categories and these are most often mentioned in Isagenix reviews you come across. First up, is the high protein content. The IsaLean Shake, for example, gives you 24 grams of protein in each serving. That compares favorably with most other meal replacement shakes on the market. The protein used is said to come from “Cheerful Cows”, meaning they are not treated with hormones, or antibiotics and are grass-fed.

The products are all nutrient packed. The Isagenix Cleanse for Life Rich Berry Powder, for instance, boasts over 100 nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. As another high point, Isagenix reviews tend to cite the meal replacement shakes and bars as effective at curbing hunger.

Cons

“Tastes good but loaded with sugar!” That’s according to one Isagenix review I read for the IsaLean Shake powder. A quick comparison showed that the shake has a good deal more sugar per serving than many similar meal replacements. For instance, one serving of Pure Protein Shake has just 1 gram of sugar while the IsaLean Shake comes in at a whopping 11 grams in one serving.

Another major concern is the price – it’s an issue even for  dedicated users. Isagenix 30-day Cleansing and Fat Burning System will set you back all of $390 and a jar with 14 servings of IsaLean Shake powder is $50 (about $100 per month if you intend to have it once a day). As far as the shake goes you could get similar quantities of CalNaturale Svelte Organic Protein Shakes for half that price.

Price, however, should always be considered relative to the benefits of the product. Many people would gladly pay a little extra if they’re getting the results they’re after.

Conclusion

There are some convincing arguments for going with Isagenix, but the relatively high price and mixed customer reviews make me think twice about recommending it as a top choice. While many folks swear by this system (and it just may work for you) it’s quite possible you can achieve the same results by using other products that won’t leave such a noticeable hole in your wallet.

Product images via their respective pages on Amazon.com

25 Top Healthy Food Blogs (Must Follow For Epic Health)

Best-2Healthy eating is a huge trend right now.  Even though it’s easy to eat fast food and unhealthy snacks, more and more people want to cook healthy, nutritious food for themselves and their families.  It’s not easy to know what is good for you, so many people like to follow bloggers who show you how to eat and cook healthy meals and keep your body healthy.  Here are some of the best new bloggers

Health Food Blogs to Follow

The Model Foodie

BaileeBailee’s site focuses on her definition of eating clean, which means focusing on organic whole foods and making sure your diet includes lots of greens and proteins.  She also tries to find a balance between taste and health, because you should always enjoy the food you eat.

 

Madeleine Shaw

lucyAs someone who previously struggled with her relationship to food, Madeleine’s goal is to show you how to eat foods that are simple, delicious, and leave you feeling good and full of energy.

 

Whole Heartedly Healthy

LauraLaura’s motto is “Love you food, love your body, love your life.”  This blog gives you ways to accomplish this goal, from creative and healthy recipes to advice on how to live a happy and healthy life.

 

Picky Eater Blog

Laura
AnjaliAnjali’s blog is inspired by her efforts to get her husband to eat healthy food, and her focus is on taking familiar recipes and finding a way to adapt them and make them healthier.   

 

 

Lunch Box Bunch

KathyKathy is a cookbook author whose blog is devoted to healthy vegan recipes–that means all of her dishes are free of not only meat, but all other animal products.  Her blog contains recipes and general information about veganism.

 

Food Heaven Made Easy

Wendy & JessWendy and Jess are friends and dieticians who want to help you find way to incorporate fresh, easy, delicious and healthy food into your diet.  Their website features recipes, podcasts, and other resources about sustaining a healthy diet.

 

The Almond Eater

ErinErin’s blog features all sorts of recipes that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, because she knows you’re busy and don’t have tons of time to spend in the kitchen.  Her recipes are simple and feature lots of fresh ingredients.

 

My Darling Lemon Thyme

EmmaEmma is a food blogger from New Zealand, and her recipes focus on gluten-free and vegetarian options.  Her site also has information on organic gardening, which is a great way to incorporate fresh produce into your diet.

Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

LexiLexi’s recipes are mostly gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, paleo and free of refined sugar.  A lot of her food is also vegetarian or vegan.  Her blog focuses on ways to make lifestyle changes so that you can be the healthiest version of yourself.

 

Jerry’s Kitchen

JerryThis blog features a food truck in Philadelphia that offers a rotating seasonal menu of food that features all sorts of recipes, from vegan meals to meat-filled options.

 

The Cute and Dainty


TheresaTheresa’s blog focuses on lifestyle and beauty, and the food blogs she posts focus on helping you find foods that will enhance your appearance by making your skin radiant and your hair shiny and strong.

 

 

Kalyn’s Kitchen

KalynKalyn’s blog focuses on low-carb recipes that are perfect for sustaining weight loss and managing other health issues, like your blood sugar levels.

 

Fit Bottomed Girls

JenniphersThis blog is led by a group of women who want to help you find balance in your life through healthy eating and fitness.  In addition to their healthy recipes, they also feature sections on exercise.

 

Clean Food Dirty Girl

MollyMolly’s blog is dedicated to finding ways for people to incorporate whole, plant-based diets into their lives so they can prevent diseases in the first place.

 

Something New for Dinner

Kim & LaurenThe focus of this blog is on finding ways to use healthy dinners to bring families together.  It features recipes of all varieties, so you can focus on the specific needs of your family when searching for recipe ideas.

 

Sprouted Kitchen

SaraSara’s blog focuses on ways you can incorporate natural ingredients like healthy fats and lots of fresh produce into your diet in order to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Olives for Dinner

Erin OlivesForDinnerOlives for Dinner is a health food blog that focuses on showing you recipes that are created with ethical vegan eaters in mind.  

 

Cookie and Kate

KateKate’s blog is centered on showing you ways to eat healthy, vegetarian meals on a daily basis.  Her recipes feature many different types of food, from Italian to Mexican.

 

Carrots n Cake

TinaTina’s blog strives for moderation.  Most of her recipes are healthy and nutrient dense, but she also loves a good slice of cake.  Combined with her tips on exercise and fitness, her blog will help you stay happy and healthy.

 

Purely Twins

Michelle & LoriErin and Lori’s blog offers you twice the advice you find in other places, since both twins are lifestyle and fitness coaches.  They provide healthy recipes, advice on beauty and self-love, as well as exercise tips.

 

Katie Hussong

KatieKatie’s blog features holistic health, meaning she will show you ways to be healthy in all areas of your life.  Not only does her blog include healthy eating advice, but it also includes information on other subjects, such as mindfullness, as well.

Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen

RachelRachel’s goal is to cut through all of the confusion surrounding healthy food to help you connect with your food, enjoy eating it, and love the way it makes you fell.

 

Nutty for Nutrition

ChantalChantal focuses her blog on how transitioning from convenient but unhealthy foods to nutritious foods can make your life happier, healthier and more satisfying.

 

Deliciously Ella

EllaElla’s blog began as a way for her to use healthy eating to manage her own health problems, and now she wants to share that information with you, so that you can be the healthiest version of yourself too.

 

Green Kitchen Stories

LuiseDavid and Luise’s blog focuses on how they keep their family healthy through fresh, nutritious, and mostly vegetarian food.  They also have a cookbook that you can use to find more healthy ideas.

In today’s world, there are a lot of different messages about what food is healthy, what food isn’t, and what you should be eating if you want to be healthy.  Everyone’s body is different, and there are many types of diets and lifestyles that you can choose from.  These blogs give you many different options, but all of them will help lead you to a happier and healthier life.

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