Is you pantry getting in the way of your weight loss? That's why we want to share 3 foods to stock your kitchen. High-fat and high-sugar foods are the culprit that bring your energy up and have you crash in a few hours. With less than 75 days left until Memorial Day, the countdown to beach season begins and Jennifer Iserloh, CEO of Skinny Chef Culinary Ventures and nutrition expert on LIVESTRONG.COM's Advisory Board, wants as the smart pantry makeover tips to get your bikini body ready in no time. As a trained chef, author, and nationally recognized expert in healthy cooking, Jennifer has created thousands of delicious recipes for TV, print and web publications including The Today Show, SELF, and AOL Kitchen Daily, Jennifer knows the best food to stock up on to makeover your pantry and get your body slim for summer.
3 foods to stock your kitchen
Not only is cabbage extremely good for you, but it's also one of those foods that fill you up with hardly any calories. 1 cup of cabbage has only 17 calories but will give you almost half of your vitamin C needs and 2 grams of fiber, about 7% of what you need in a day. High fiber foods also help to keep you full longer as they take much longer to digest. My pic is Napa cabbage since its tender leaves cook quickly. I suggest making a brown rice stir-fry and adding 2 cups of cabbage to increase portion size with hardly any calories. You can also make a hearty weight loss soup by cooking 1 small Napa cabbage with a chopped onion in some olive oil, and adding your favorite low sodium tomato soup or canned tomatoes.
Kale is in the same family as cabbage but is absolutely loaded with vitamin A, along with many other high levels of powerhouse anti-oxidants. So while you trim, give your body an anti-oxidant boost that will make your skin glow! Clocking in at only 34 calories, 1 cup of raw chopped kale can be made into low-cal kale chips that sooth my craving for carb rich salty snacks at night. You can find more nutritional benefits of kale and a recipe for kale chips here.
Artichokes are a fiber all-star, and extremely versatile. Instead of going for that second slice of pizza, add them to your first slice for a bigger portion that will fill you up more. Add them to salads, on your sandwich in place of tomato, or bake them with a teaspoon of feta cheese for a low-carb snack. 1 cup of artichokes has a whopping 8 grams of fiber, and only 76 calories. Frozen artichokes are a lot lighter in sodium compared to the canned and can store in your freezer for up to 6 months. Just run them under cold running water to defrost.
3 items to purge:
Diet sodas might seem like a healthy no-cal way to enjoy a carbonated beverage, but high doses of artificial sweeteners can harm your bladder and trigger confusion in your body that calories are coming in when they are not, which may be linked to moodiness. Studies have also shown that the phosphoric acid in diet soda pulls calcium from the body, so opt for the good old fashion beverage of champions- water!
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Frozen Diet Meals:
Sure those frozen meals are all about calorie control, but where they lack calories they front load in sodium. Just one frozen diet meal can have three times the amount of sodium you should have in one meal. They also tend to be made with white carbs and are very low in all the vitamins and minerals we need, usually delivering only 10% of your needs for the day. Fiber, a powerful weight loss tool, is sorely lacking. You should be aiming for 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day, and most frozen meals contain only 2 to 3 grams. Looking for a freezer make-over? Stock you freezer with frozen veggies for fast simple meals. Throw together a stir fry with left-over cooked brown rice in minutes with frozen veggies.
For me, protein bars are candy bars masquerading in workout clothes. Sure they look healthy, but they are high in sugar, high in preservatives, and high in artificial colorings. Some of them are fortified with vitamins and minerals but I feel it's hard won since you're getting a lot of sugar and calories on top of that. Most bars range from 150 to 200 calories, and you can have a large apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter which is double the portion size and real food. Oh and the protein? It's easy to get your protein load for the day with real food. To put it in perspective, 1 grilled chicken breast, 2 tablespoons of chick peas and 1 hard boil egg is 54 grams of protein at around 300 calories. Women need around 50 grams and men around 60 grams a day.
3 pantry staples:
Kiwi is a naturally high fiber fruit that is an explosion of vitamin C with only 45 calories. Vitamin C can be your skin's best friend during the sunnier months since it helps your skin guard against permanent sun damage and wrinkles. Eating lots of low-cal veggies and fruit are not only slimming but getting a good load of vitamin C can also help your body purge itself of everyday toxins that we get from air and chemical pollution, meaning cleaner skin and more energy.
Mesclun isn't just for fancy restaurants; it'??s a great salad base that is usually sold pre-washed for a fast summer meal. 1 cup is only 10 calories and can be the base for tuna fish, grilled veggies, and shrimp on the grill or any summer cook-out protein. Mesclun mixes usually include dark red greens, red cabbage, dandelion, and other baby greens that are bursting with nutrients like vitamin A. Your body needs vitamin A to repair skin tissue, another get-your-glow reason to eat your greens.
Fresh grapefruit is a sweet tart fruit that is the perfect refresher at the beach or pool side and high in potassium, a mineral that is responsible for the water balance in your body. It also happens to be high in water content so you get the best of both worlds. Grapefruit juice is also lower in calories compared to orange juice and 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice mixed with sparkling water makes a delightful summer drink for only 45 calories.
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