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Month: June 2017

The Healthiest Food Choices at a Barbecue

The Healthiest Food Choices at a Barbecue

The Healthiest Food Choices at a Barbecue There’s nothing more fun than a classic summer barbecue. Just the thought of the food, fun and summer vibes can instantly make you happy and hungry. While all these things are good reasons to get together, the food […]

8 No-Churn Ice Creams That are Totally Doable

8 No-Churn Ice Creams That are Totally Doable

8 No-Churn Ice Creams That are Totally Doable Homemade ice cream is often thought of as a luxury dessert, something you make for a special occasion or right at the beginning of summer. The end product is amazing, but it’s such a process. If you […]

How This Southerner Fought off Fried Food & 250 Pounds

How This Southerner Fought off Fried Food & 250 Pounds

How This Southerner Fought off Fried Food & 250 Pounds

Two years ago, when he was in the middle of a bad divorce after 20 years of marriage, Greg Ellis walked into a weight-loss clinic. He weighed 456 pounds.

“I knew there was a possibility that I could be single for the rest of my life,” he says. “I needed to figure out how to take care of myself.”

At the clinic, the staff took his measurements and asked about his diet. “It was terrible,” Ellis says. “I’m from the South. Everything’s fried.”

The clinic staff outlined the plan: Take weight-loss pills, drink 64 ounces of water daily, do cardio three times a week and download MyFitnessPal to stay below a maximum of 90 grams of carbs per day.

“I took the pills, but didn’t like the way they made me feel,” he says. “So I did the rest on my own.”

Ellis set a goal weight of 250 pounds and educated himself on his new lifestyle between 12-hour shifts at a steel factory in northeastern Arkansas. For the first time in his 46 years, he learned about protein, calories, workouts and how to plan and prep meals. “I just kept plugging away,” he says. “I learned everything I could from social media, Pinterest and Under Armour blogs.”

When the weight started to come off, he was thrilled. “It taught me how to be confident and that I could set a goal and achieve it,” he says. “On the other end of the spectrum, it made me very upset with myself because I’d let myself get so obese.”


Another part of what kept him going was the fear of falling back into his old ways. “I’ve been overweight my whole life,” Ellis says. “I don’t ever want to go back. There’s so many things I’ve missed and so many new things I’ve experienced. I went to Six Flags last summer in St. Louis and, for the first time in my adult life, I could ride the rides.”

He credits one choice at a time — and being willing to go against the grain. “Sometimes it makes my family uncomfortable because my diet is so different, especially during the holidays,” he says. “My father kept offering me pies during Thanksgiving. I had some roasted turkey and salad. He got used to it.”

The combination of smart eating, exercise and education saw Ellis through to his target weight. Today, he stays comfortably between 238 and 240 pounds and just passed 700 consecutive days of logging in MyFitnessPal.

Mornings that used to begin with buttermilk biscuits now start with a protein shake, four egg whites and one whole egg. Lunch looks like a skinless chicken breast with steamed broccoli and a sweet potato. He has Greek yogurt for a snack, baked fish and cabbage for dinner and logs everything religiously into MyFitnessPal.

“MFP clicks with me because I’m a creature of habit,” he says. “I don’t eat for taste anymore as much as getting my macros. About once a week, I’ll have sushi for a cheat meal. I crave it, but don’t go overboard.”

And if he had his way, he’d be in the gym daily. “My girlfriend calls it ‘the other woman,’” he laughs. He focuses on a rotation of arms, legs, back and core during four visits a week and uses his FitBit to stay in a calorie deficit.

“My doctor told me one time, for every pound you lose, it’s 10 pounds of pressure off your knees,” he says. Do the math; he’s relieved more than 2,100 pounds since beginning his weight-loss journey.

For Ellis, being overweight affected everything from how he went to the restroom to how he walked down halls. “At 456 pounds, you wobble,” he says. “And you don’t dare take the stairs unless you absolutely have to. You’re looking for that elevator. It’s so hard to pick the weight up and put it down.”

Even after his massive weight loss, Ellis is hesitant to call himself a success story. “I still see the obese person I was, even though everyone tells me different,” he says. “There are times I feel guilty because my stomach has shrunk so much, and it takes less food to make me feel full.”

Besides maintaining his target weight, Ellis’ new goal is to remove the loose skin he’s learned to hide. “It may be a pipe dream,” he says. “I don’t want to become vain, but it’s not what I want to see in the mirror.”

So what does he want to see? “I just want to be healthy and strong,” he says. “I haven’t accomplished anything that comes close to this weight-loss journey.”

 

Danny BonvissutoUnder ArmourJune 30, 2017

Get Down and Dirty with these 2 Beach Workouts

Get Down and Dirty with these 2 Beach Workouts

Get Down and Dirty with these 2 Beach Workouts I believe in protecting the body today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives. But I also love, love, love playing in the sun! I chase it every chance I get. Those that know me, […]

Everything You Want to Know About Sweat and Sweating

Everything You Want to Know About Sweat and Sweating

Everything You Want to Know About Sweat and Sweating If you work out, you break a sweat because when you exercise, you’re increasing your body’s core temperature. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself down, so while it may not always be pretty, it’s […]

Are You Getting Enough Magnesium?

Are You Getting Enough Magnesium?

Are You Getting Enough Magnesium?

 

By Rachel Green, Contributing Blogger

With summer in full bloom, fresh fruits and vegetables are abundantly available, but most Americans do not actually consume the recommended amount. Therefore, many Americans are not meeting the requirements for magnesium, a mineral best known for its role in maintaining normal heart rhythm.

Magnesium is an essential “helper” in more than 300 reactions throughout the body. It helps create usable energy from glucose stores, builds DNA, controls blood sugar levels, regulates blood pressure, and develops bone tissue. The average adult’s body contains approximately 25 grams of magnesium, with 50-60% present in the bones and the rest in the soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Dietary Reference Intakes (RDI) for magnesium vary based on sex and age and are listed below:

Female

  • 1-3 years – 80 mg
  • 4-8 years – 130 mg
  • 9-13 years – 240 mg
  • 14-18 years – 360 mg
  • 19-30 years – 310 mg
  • 31-50 years – 320 mg
  • 51+ years – 320 mg

Male

  • 1-3 years – 80 mg
  • 4-8 years – 130 mg
  • 9-13 years – 240 mg
  • 14-18 years – 410 mg
  • 19-30 years – 400 mg
  • 31-50 years – 420 mg
  • 51+ years – 420 mg

While the above recommendations are adequate for healthy individuals, there are several conditions that require increased consumption of magnesium. Gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s or Celiac Disease, type 2 diabetes, and alcohol abuse all cause the body to absorb less of it. The early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. If you don’t get enough over a long period of time (like months or years), it can eventually cause several chronic illnesses, like hypertension and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches.

Fortunately, magnesium is found widely in plant and animal foods and beverages. Therefore, a well-rounded and balanced diet can provide the adequate amounts of magnesium. In general, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are the best sources. Here are some great sources of magnesium:

  1. Almonds, dry roasted (1 oz.) – 80 mg
  2. Spinach, boiled (1/2 cup) – 78 mg
  3. Cashews, dry roasted (1 oz.) – 74 mg
  4. Cereal, shredded wheat (~1.5 oz.) – 61 mg
  5. Black beans, cooked (1/2 cup) – 60 mg
  6. Bread, whole wheat (2 slices) – 46 mg
  7. Avocado (1 cup) – 44 mg
  8. Potato, baked with skin (3.5 oz.) – 43 mg
  9. Rice, brown, cooked (1/2 cup) – 42 mg
  10. Yogurt, plain, low fat (8 oz.) – 42 mg
  11. Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked (3 oz.) – 26 mg
  12. Milk (1 cup) – 24-27 mg
By Rachel Green, Contributing Blogger
With summer in full bloom, fresh fruits and vegetables are abundantly available, but most Americans do not actually consume the recommended amount. Therefore, many Americans are not meeting the requirements for magnesium, a mineral best known for its role in maintaining normal heart rhythm.
Magnesium is an essential “helper” in more than 300 reactions throughout the…

Toby AmidorToby Amidor NutritionJune 28, 2017

7 Ways to Survive Workouts on Brutally Hot Days

7 Ways to Survive Workouts on Brutally Hot Days

7 Ways to Survive Workouts on Brutally Hot Days Ah, summer. The moment you step outside, it feels like you’ve walked into an oven — it’s a lot easier to stay indoors or choose the comfort of an air-conditioned gym. But what happens if you […]

4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Fitness This Summer

4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Fitness This Summer

4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Fitness This Summer Each summer day is a precious opportunity. It’s a season that provides a unique platform to propel yourself toward being a different level of athlete. This is your chance to take control. Don’t end […]

10 Homemade Ice Pops to Keep You Cool All Summer

10 Homemade Ice Pops to Keep You Cool All Summer

10 Homemade Ice Pops to Keep You Cool All Summer

These are not the store-bought ice pops you grew up with. Nope, none of that sticky-sweet, impossibly red or improbably blue stuff here. Instead, we’re making homemade ice pops packed with fresh ingredients. And, bonus, they’re easy to put together.

Blueberry-Oat Breakfast Ice Pops (pictured above)
Want to impress your kids first thing in the morning? Give them an ice pop for breakfast. It’s OK, because they’re healthy!

Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding Pops

Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding Pops
Any time I have leftover chia seed pudding, I throw it into ice pop molds and serve it again the next day. New, improved and enjoyed to the last lick!

Yogurt Parfait Ice Pops

Yogurt Parfait Ice Pops
Not every ice pop can be packed with protein, but thanks to a hefty shot of yogurt, these frozen treats keep kids full all afternoon long.

Frozen Chocolate-Banana Pops

Frozen Chocolate-Banana Pops
There is no better way to use ripe bananas in the summertime. Blended with cocoa powder, heavy cream and a splash of maple syrup, these are like a sundae to-go but so much healthier.

Peaches & Cream Ice Pops

Peaches & Cream Ice Pops
These decadent pops are perfect for peach season. Fresh peaches with actual cream make for a little bit of heaven on a stick.

Coconut Pie Pops with Blueberries

Coconut Pie Pops with Blueberries
That’s right. Here we have the creamy taste of coconut pie, plus a pop of whole blueberries in every bite.

Fruit Pops

Mango Strawberry Fruit Pops
Ready to get really fancy? Whip up a batch of The Pioneer Woman’s striped fruit pops.

Melon & Mint Ice Pops

Melon & Mint Ice Pops
This flavor combination is so fresh and satisfying that everyone from teething toddlers to thirsty kids digs in with gusto.

Blackberry Cream Pops

Blackberry Cream Pops
Fresh blackberries, plain yogurt and a dash of maple syrup make these frozen treats sing.

Pineapple Spinach Pops

Pineapple Spinach Pops (Yes, Really!)
Just blend fresh spinach with frozen pineapple, and fill those molds. The spinach is so mild and the pineapple is so sweet that the whole thing becomes well-balanced and a surprisingly huge hit.

 

Trust us: These are not the store-bought ice pops you grew up with.

FoodletsFood Network FeedJune 28, 2017

What’s the Healthiest Thing to Eat at McDonald’s?

What’s the Healthiest Thing to Eat at McDonald’s?

What’s the Healthiest Thing to Eat at McDonald’s? With 14,155 restaurants in the United States alone, and 22,744 additional locations outside of the U.S., McDonald’s is arguably the most well-known fast-food chain in the world. And, if you’re taking a road trip, this summer it […]