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10 Best Things to Eat and Drink If You Do Pilates

10 Best Things to Eat and Drink If You Do Pilates

You’ve done the work, but in order to maintain that flexibility, strength, and stamina that you’ve built through your Pilates regime, be sure to eat (and drink!) accordingly.

Although Pilates has been around since the early twentieth century, it’s only growing in popularity. With so many new studios on the rise, while you get in shape with the fitness craze that many pro-athletes swear by, make sure you’re eating the right food to complement your workout.

Since Pilates is core-centered, for example, you might think about skipping a pre-workout nosh. After all, no one wants to feel queasy during practice. But, to stay focused and motivated through your class, it’s important to keep your body fueled. To achieve this, try for a complete meal one to two hours before you sweat or a healthy snack 20 minutes prior to your class. Foods that keep your blood sugar up are key, but make sure not to try anything too adventurous before your class, especially if you don’t know how your body may react.

Once you’ve finished your workout, even if you’re not hungry, head for the fridge. You’re in recovery mode, and it’s important to feed your body to repair muscle tissue and replenish your energy. Chef and Pilates instructor at New York’s Uptown Pilates, Vehia Walker, recommends snacks or meals that are high in proteins and carbohydrates and low in sugar. Here are ten terrific food and drink options that you can keep in the kitchen for before and after you hit your Pilates program.

Stay Hydrated!

Although you should do your best to avoid most sports drinks, which are often filled with added sugars, make sure to drink lots of water; 8 to 10 glasses a day is ideal for those who are dedicated Pilates practitioners.

Skip Juices

Instead, choose actual fruit, which will give you added fiber. Guava tops the fiber chart with nine grams per serving, but raspberries provide a respectable eight.

Read More About the 10 Best Things to Eat and Drink If You Do Pilates

Sophie Rosenblum is a native New Yorker with a passion for Texas. Her writing on food and travel has appeared in Spoon Magazine and the Houston Press. She will eat anything, but she especially loves finding innovative vegetarian restaurants while traveling with her husband.


What Foods Are Best to Eat on an Intermittent Fasting Diet?

Although the word “fasting” sounds pretty ominous, intermittent fasting (IF) is causing quite a stir in the overcrowded world of dieting.

A decent amount of research (although with less-than-massive sample sizes) suggests that the diet can lead to weight loss and improved blood sugar levels. Stockman M-C, et al. (2018). Intermittent fasting: Is the wait worth the weight? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5959807/ No wonder everyone and their aunt seems to be jumping on the IF bandwagon.

Maybe the appeal is in the lack of food rules: There are restrictions on when you can eat but not necessarily on what you can eat.

However, the what is also important. Should you be downing pints of ice cream and bags of chips in between fasts? Probably not. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of the best foods to include in your IF life.

“There are no specifications or restrictions about what type or how much food to eat while following intermittent fasting,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club.

But Mary Purdy, MS, RDN, chair of Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine, counters that by advising that “the benefits [of IF] are not likely to accompany consistent meals of Big Macs.”

Pincus and Purdy agree that a well-balanced diet is the key to losing weight, maintaining energy levels, and sticking with the diet.

“Anyone attempting to lose weight should focus on nutrient-dense foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, as well as dairy and lean proteins,” suggests Pincus.

Purdy adds, “My recommendations wouldn’t be very different from the foods I might normally suggest for improved health — high-fiber, unprocessed, whole foods that offer variety and flavor.”

In other words, eat plenty of the below foods and you won’t end up in a hangry rage while fasting.

1. Water

OK, OK, so this isn’t technically a food, but it’s gosh-danged important for getting through IF.

Water is central to the health of basically every major organ in your body. You’d be foolish to avoid this as part of your fast. Your organs are pretty important for, ya know, being alive.

The amount of water each person should drink varies based on sex, height, weight, activity level, and climate. Meinders A-J, et al. (2010). How much water do we really need to drink? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20356431/ But a good measure is the color of your urine. You want it to be pale yellow at all times.

Dark yellow urine suggests dehydration, which can cause headaches, fatigue, and lightheadedness. Couple that with limited food and you’ve got a recipe for disaster — or, at the very least, really dark pee.

If the thought of plain water doesn’t excite you, add a squeeze of lemon juice, a few mint leaves, or some cucumber slices to your water.

2. Avocado

It may seem counterintuitive to eat the highest-calorie fruit while trying to lose weight. But, due to their high unsaturated fat content, avocados will keep you full during even the fastiest of fasting periods.

Research suggests unsaturated fats help keep your body full even when you don’t feel full. Stevenson JL, et al. (2017). Hunger and satiety responses to high-fat meals after a high-polyunsaturated fat diet: A randomized trial. DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2017.03.008 Your body gives off signs that it has enough food and isn’t about to go into emergency starvation mode. Unsaturated fats keep these signs going for longer, even if you feel a bit hungry in the middle of a fasting period.

Another study even found that adding half an avocado to your lunch may keep you full for hours longer than if you didn’t eat that green, mushy gem. Wien M. (2013). A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults. DOI: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-155

Out of inspiration? We’ve got 36 avocado recipes to blow your mind.

3. Fish and seafood

There’s a reason the Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest eating two to three 4-ounce servings of fish per week.

In addition to being rich in healthy fats and protein, Hosomi R, et al. (2012). Seafood consumption and components for health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4776937/ it contains ample amounts of vitamin D. Güttler N, et al. (2012). Seafood consumption and components for health. DOI: 10.1155/2012/729670

And if eating during limited windows is your bag, don’t you want more nutritional bang for your buck when you do chow down?

There are so many ways to cook fish that you’ll never run out of ideas.

4. Cruciferous veggies

Foods like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are all full of the f-word — fiber! (We know what you were thinking, and no, the f-word is not “farts.”)

When you’re eating during certain intervals, it’s crucial to eat fiber-rich foods that will keep you regular and help your poop factory run smoothly.

Fiber can also make you feel full, which may be a good thing if you can’t eat again for 16 hours. Clarke MJ, et al. (2013). The effect of fiber on satiety and food intake: A systematic review. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2013.791194 Woof.

Cruciferous veggies can also reduce your cancer risk. Learn more about anticancer foods here.

5. Potatoes

Repeat after us: Not all white foods are bad.

Case in point: Research in the ’90s found that potatoes were one of the most satiating foods. Holt SH, et al. (1995). A satiety index of common foods. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7498104/ And a 2012 study found that eating potatoes as part of a healthy diet could help with weight loss. Randolph JM, et al. (2014). Potatoes, glycemic index, and weight loss in free-living individuals: Practical implications. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2013.875441 (Sorry, but french fries and potato chips don’t count.)

5. Beans and legumes

Your favorite addition to chili may be your best friend on the IF lifestyle.

Food, specifically carbs, supplies energy for activity. We’re not telling you to carb-load to ridiculous levels, but it definitely wouldn’t hurt to throw some low calorie carbs like beans and legumes into your eating plan. This can keep you perked up during your fasting hours.

Plus, foods like chickpeas, black beans, peas, and lentils have been shown to decrease body weight, even without calorie restriction. Clark S, et al. (2017). The role of pulses in satiety, food intake and body weight management. DOI: 10.1016/j.jff.2017.03.044

6. Probiotics

You know what the little critters in your gut like the most? Consistency and diversity. That means they aren’t happy when they’re hungry. And when your gut isn’t happy, you may experience some irritating side effects, like constipation. Zhao Y, et al. (2016). Intestinal microbiota and chronic constipation. DOI: 10.1186/s40064-016-2821-1

To counteract this unpleasantness, add probiotic-rich foods — like kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut — to your diet.

We spoke with the experts about how probiotics work in the body.

7. Berries

These staples of your favorite smoothie are ripe with vital nutrients. And that’s not even the best part.

A 2016 study found that people who consumed a whole bunch of flavonoids, such as those in blueberries and strawberries, had smaller increases in BMI over a 14-year period than people who didn’t eat berries. Bertoia ML. (2016) Dietary flavonoid intake and weight maintenance: Three prospective cohorts of 124 086 US men and women followed for up to 24 years. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.i17

8. Eggs

One large egg provides 6.24 grams of protein and cooks up in minutes. And getting as much protein as possible is important for keeping full and building muscle, especially when you’re eating less.

A 2010 study found that men who ate an egg breakfast instead of a bagel were less hungry and ate less throughout the day. Ratliff J, et al. (2010). Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.01.002

In other words, when you’re looking for something to do during your fasting period, why not hard-boil the heck out of some eggs? Then, you can eat them when the time is right.

9. Nuts

They may be higher in calories than many other snacks, but nuts contain something most snack foods don’t: good fats.

And if you’re worried about calories, don’t be! A 2012 study found that a 1-ounce serving of almonds (about 23 nuts) has 20 percent fewer calories than listed on the label. Novotny JA, et al. (2012). Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.112.035782

According to the study, chewing doesn’t completely break down almond cell walls. This leaves a portion of the nut intact, and your body doesn’t absorb it during digestion. So if you eat almonds, they might not make as big a dent in your daily calorie intake as you thought.

10. Whole grains

Being on a diet and eating carbs seem like they belong in two different buckets. You’ll be super relieved to know that this isn’t always the case. Whole grains provide lots of fiber and protein, so eating a little goes a long way toward keeping you full. Venn B, et al. (2012). Whole grains, legumes, and health. DOI: 10.1155/2012/903767

So go ahead and venture out of your comfort zone toward a whole-grain utopia of farro, bulgur, spelt, kamut, amaranth, millet, sorghum, or freekeh.

We put whole-wheat and white pasta up against each other to see who’s best.


What to eat for kidney health?

Choosing the right food for kidney health is the best thing, which you can do to maintain your kidney health. It is not that much harder – for that keep your diet health-friendly, which helps to maintain your overall fitness.

You can find some of the good foods for kidney health. All of these will be rich in antioxidants that can fight against free radicals effectively. The best food for kidney health should not give extra workload to the kidneys.

Here I will share the best foods for kidney health, which may help the kidneys function properly and prevent further damage.


What you drink is just as important

Water should be your best friend before, during and after your workout. Hydration can impact your overall energy levels and performance just as much as food. While exercising, you can lose a lot of electrolytes through sweating, so making sure you replenish your fluids can help you recover more quickly.

It’s sometimes okay to substitute water with some coconut water if you really feel that you have lost tons of electrolytes (like if you exercised outdoors on a hot day for an extended period). But most of the time plain old water is the way to go — sports drinks contain way more more sugar than is necessary after a normal workout.


Brussels Sprouts Provide Potassium, Which Can Support Healthy Blood Pressure

Another potent cruciferous veggie, Brussels sprouts are loaded with immune-supporting vitamin C. A single cup of raw Brussel sprouts has about 75 mg of vitamin C, according to the USDA, which is 83 percent of your DV, making them an excellent source. Be mindful, however, that because vitamin C is heat sensitive, as an April 2018 study published in Food Science and Biotechnology notes, cooking Brussels sprouts will reduce this amount slightly.

Plus, you also score over 3.3 g of fiber, or 12 percent of your DV. A cup provides potassium, too (342 mg, for 7 percent of your DV).

And potassium is important for everything, from keeping your heart and kidneys functioning to your muscles contracting, according to the NIH. Meanwhile, too little intake of the mineral is associated with an increase in blood pressure, especially for people who eat a diet high in sodium, the NIH notes. The agency recommends increasing the amount of potassium in your diet by eating foods like Brussels sprouts, and limiting your sodium intake to help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke.

To make Brussels sprouts more tempting, consider roasting them. “Brussels sprouts have a naturally bitter taste, so I like to pair them with something mild, like bread and cheese,” says Rizzo. “Whether you add them as a topping to a traditional pizza or make an untraditional recipe, you’re going to love this new way to eat Brussels,” Rizzo adds.


These sweet snacks can also be found on the street, especially in the afternoon. Here, bananas are flattened and dipped into batter with black sesame seeds, before being deep-fried.

Snacking on this spider is another Cambodian delicacy that locals relish. Commonly deep-fried with chilli, the tarantula is crispy on the outside, with the body often containing a warm liquid centre of intestinal juice. Skuon, in between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh is where the majority of tarantulas are caught — by hand — in the jungle before being sold across the country.


The Best Foods to Eat Before and After Your Workout

Fuel up for optimal results&mdashand recovery. Here's what to eat before and what to eat after a workout to stoke your muscles and kick-start the healing process.

When it comes to fitness, there are certain universal questions that experts hear almost every day: How can I get the most out of my workouts? How can I lose weight faster, burn the most calories, and feel energized enough to power through every training session? While there are other elements that may affect your unique situation, there&aposs one simple answer that applies to all of these questions: Eat! More specifically, eat the right foods at the right time. Below, everything you need to know about what to eat before and after a workout.

Like many women, I used to think the best way to lose weight was to work out hard and wait until mealtime to eat. I now know that the key to getting and maintaining a knockout body is a combination of regular exercise and eating the right foods at the right times. (Read: Not starving myself!)

Keep reading for pro tips about what to eat before and what to eat after a workout to਋urn the most calories, stay਎nergized, build lean muscle, lose weight, and speed up recovery.

The Importance of Eating Before Your Workout

Whether you eat or don&apost eat before exercise, research shows the body burns the same amount of fat. However, you can actually cause muscle loss if you regularly work out on an empty stomach. (Related:਎verything You Need to Know About Burning Fat and Building Muscle)

Here&aposs why: When you&aposre hungry, your body goes into survival mode and draws protein from muscle instead of from your kidneys and liver, where the body normally looks for protein. When this happens, you lose muscle mass, which can ultimately slow your metabolism and make it harder for you to lose weight. Plus, if you exercise on an empty stomach, you&aposre not giving yourself the fuel you need to power through an intense training session. (Eat one of these snacks before your next workout and turn your body into a fat-burning machine!)

What to Eat Before a Workout

The best pre-workout bite contains some form of complex carbohydrate and a protein. The key is to have a mixed bag of complex and simple carbs so that the release of energy during your workout is slow and steady throughout your routine.

Here are some of the best pre-workout meals and snacks to keep਎nergized during your workout.

  • Brown rice (1/2 cup) with black beans (1/2 cup)
  • Small sweet potato with steamed or lightly salted broccoli in olive oil (1 cup)
  • Banana with almond butter (2 tablespoons)
  • Apple with almond butter (2 tablespoons)
  • Multi-grain crackers (10) with hummus (3 tablespoons)
  • Oatmeal (1/2 cup) with berries (1 cup), sweetened with stevia or agave
  • Apple and walnuts (1/4 cup)
  • Whole-wheat toast (1 slice) with a sliced banana and dash of cinnamon
  • Greek yogurt (6 ounces) with trail mix (1/4 cup)

The Importance of Eating After Your Workout

During exercise, your body taps glycogen (the fuel stored in your muscles) for energy. After you&aposve cranked out that last rep, your muscles are depleted of their glycogen stores and broken down. When it comes to what to eat after a workout, eating or drinking something that combines protein and carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour after your workout refills energy stores, builds and repairs your muscles that were broken down, and helps keep your metabolism burning strong. And know this: If you&aposre looking for ideas on what to eat after a workout to lose weight, the answer is still the same. Regardless of your goals, your body needs these macronutrients to refuel, otherwise, it will actually hang on to more calories because it&aposs in that survival mode mentioned above.

The sooner you start refueling, the better off you&aposll be. Research shows that your body&aposs ability to refill muscle stores decreases by 50 percent if you wait to eat just two hours after your workout compared to eating right away. Try to plan ahead and bring your recovery drink to the gym, or pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat when you&aposre finished. (Jelly isn&apost the only way to enjoy PB. Whip up one of these healthy peanut butter recipes for your next snack or meal.)

What to Eat After a Workout

According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the best foods to eat after a workout contain protein and a little carbohydrate — and you want to get those nutrients in immediately.

For what to eat after a workout, try these quick post-workout meal ideas to speed up recovery, maximize exercise benefits, and help maintain lean muscle:


Here's a list of summer drinks to beat the heat:

1. Aam Panna

An absolute lip-smacking drink that is mostly popular in Maharashtra is made with our favourite king of fruits- mango. This refreshing summer drink is prepared using mango pulp and blended with cumin, jeera and mint leaves. This drink does not only keep you refreshed but also energized through sunny days. Here's an amazing recipe of aam panna that you'd love to savour every day.

An absolute lip-smacking drink that is mostly popular in Maharashtra is made with mango.

2. Jaljeera

Jaljeera is made using jeera and water. The cumin seeds or jeera is roasted and made into coarse powder and mixed in water. This solution is best for people dealing with digestion problems, especially during summers. Gulp down a chilled glass of jaljeera and endure summers like never before. Here's a recipe of iced jaljeera that you'd love to savour every day.

Jaljeera is made using jeera and water​.

3. Sattu Sharbat

What's better than bringing a desi summer drink to your rescue? Sattu sharbat is one specialty from Bihar that keeps the body cool even during the sunniest day. It is made with sattu flour, sugar and water that's all it needs. It's not only refreshing but also filling. Here's a refreshing recipe of sattu sharbat that you will definitely fall in love with. https://food.ndtv.com/recipe-sattu-cooler-951290 Also, if you wish to make savoury sharbat, we have got you covered here's a recipe of sattu ka namkeen sharbat you must try.

What's better than bringing a desi summer drink to your rescue​?

4. Buttermilk (Chaas)

Buttermilk or popularly known as chaas is an amazing curd-based drink that is undoubtedly an Indian favourite. Chaas is a brilliant digestive, and the addition of spices like jeera only enhances the benefits it has to offer. Go on and use this masala chaas recipe to make this hot sunny day a refreshing one.

Buttermilk or popularly known as chaas is an amazing curd-based drink.

5. Coconut Water

A chilled glass of coconut water can instantly cheer you up. The mild sweetness and fresh taste makes it just the perfect drink to keep summer blues at bay. It also makes for a great electrolyte, so every time you feel dehydrated, load up on some coconut water and you are good to go.

A chilled glass of coconut water can instantly cheer you up.

6. Sugarcane Juice

Sugarcane juice is used as a natural remedy to a host of problems. It makes for an energy drink and helps build up plasma and body fluids, helping you counter dehydration and dullness. Adding mint leaves to the juice will only help enhance the taste of your summer drink.

It makes for an energy drink and helps build up plasma and body fluids​.

7. Lassi

What's better than the Punjabi lassi? This smooth and creamy yogurt based refreshment is considered to be an amazing summer cooler. The best part is, you can easily add many variations to it, from classic to mint, avocado, mango to banana walnut lassi and more. If you haven't tried any of these yet, fret not. Here are all the recipes you would need.

What's better than the Punjabi lassi?​

8. Barley Water

Barley water makes for an ancient remedy for good health. All you need to make this elixir is pearl barley, water, salt, a dash of honey and lemon and you are good to go. Here's how you can make barley water at home.

9. Nimbu Paani Or Lemonade

Why to miss out on the most sought after summer drink, our very own nimbu paani or lemonade? A quick drink to make and amazingly delicious, this drink is prepared using mint leaves, lemons, sugar, salt and water. You can also add spices like cumin, coriander powder, black pepper, et al to make it interestingly tasty. Here's a recipe of nimbu paani you must try.

Why to miss out on the most sought after summer drink​?

10. Watermelon juice

One of the best summer fruits is watermelon and what's even better is its juice. It is super refreshing and its hydrating properties help keep your body hydrated and fresh.

One of the best summer fruits is watermelon and what's even better is its juice.

So go ahead and enjoy these drinks and ensure a happy and healthy summer 2020!


What to Eat and Drink to Lower Blood Sugar

If you have been told by your doctor that you have diabetes or prediabetes, or even if you are just concerned about developing diabetes in the future, you should think about your diet as a key element in keeping your blood sugar level. (The complications from diabetes are serious and numerous you can learn more about that here). Unfortunately, there are no foods that actually lower your blood sugar, but there are foods that do not spike your blood sugar quickly. Think about high fiber foods, carbohydrates that do not come from refined sugars, and carbohydrates that are slowly digested by your body, like those that come from vegetables and whole grains.

What is the Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index is a number given to foods to indicate how fast they will affect the glucose level in your blood (on a scale from 1 to 100). Dr. David Jenkins developed the glycemic index at the University of Toronto in 1981. 5 Dr. Jenkins was conducting research on how people with Type 1 diabetes can control blood sugar, and that led him to understanding more about the role of carbohydrates in blood glucose levels. When you eat, your body converts the food to energy for the body, and one of those conversions is to provide sugar to the body. Foods that convert to sugar more slowly provide a more continuous source of energy, without the spikes in blood sugar that can lead to a "crash", causing low energy and lethargy. The list below is incomplete, but it can help you start thinking about foods that that provide slow and steady energy to the body. Harvard has a longer list of foods and their glycemic index at this link 2 .

Foods that do not spike your blood sugar:

  1. Avocados
  2. Fish
  3. Whole Grains
  4. Garlic
  5. Apples and other high fiber fruits
  6. Oatmeal
  7. Sweet Potatoes
  8. Leafy Green Vegetables
  9. Nuts
  10. Eggs
  11. Berries
  12. Legumes, lentils and other beans
  13. Carrots and other high fiber vegetables
  14. Green Tea and Coffee
  15. Cinnamon
  16. Flaxseed and Chia seeds
  17. Yogurt and Skim milk

Foods Without a Glycemic Index Number

Foods that have few or no carbohydrates do not have a glycemic index value. The glycemic index refers only to foods with carbohydrates, so meat, chicken, pork, and eggs are examples of foods that do not have a glycemic index.

About Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is growing significantly in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stating that 9.4% of the country's population (30 million people) has diabetes. Another 84 million have prediabetes, which can lead to full blown diabetes within 5 years if not treated. 3

Diabetes can be silent, developing without any symptoms or indications that it is damaging the body's organs. The complications from diabetes are numerous. Having diabetes puts one at significantly higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness. Circulation problems in the legs can develop because of diabetes, and in the worst instances, can lead to tissue death requiring amputation. Diabetes can also damage the nerves (called neuropathy), causing tingling, numbness, and burning pain in the hands and feet. Diabetes also damages the filtering system in the kidneys, leading to kidney disease that could require dialysis or a kidney transplant. Symptoms of depression are more common in people with diabetes, which can affect diabetes management.

Treatment for diabetes may include insulin, medications to stimulate insulin production in the pancreas, weight loss, and increased activity. People with diabetes are required to monitor their blood glucose levels several times a day. 4 Recent research also shows that patient education about diabetes, what causes it, and how to manage it, results in better outcomes. 4 This could include seeking the help of a nutritionist or physical trainer. The new research also recommends that doctors manage the risk for heart disease caused by diabetes, especially if glucose targets are not being met consistently. Patients with a BMI of 40+ may also be referred for weight loss surgery, as this has shown to be effective in controlling and sometimes even eradicating diabetes.


33 Things to Eat When You Have No Food at Home

Accidentally delicious meals made out of total desperation.

When you're hungry, it's basically death to stare into your fridge and find a barren wasteland there instead of the food you were hoping for. But starvation combined with limited resources can breed creativity &mdash or at least make the hot sauce sitting in the corner suddenly seem very enticing. As long as you've got something, you can get out of this dire scenario alive.

When You've Got Nut Butter.

1. . and an apple. Take slices of apple and dip them in nut butter.

2. . and noodles and hot sauce. Toss cooked pasta with melted peanut butter. Top with some hot sauce and you've got easy peanut noodles.

3. . and crackers. Spread nut butter on saltines (especially if you are a third-grader at heart).

4. . and Greek yogurt. Have nut butter with Greek yogurt and you've got protein on protein, plus lots of creamy things coating the inside of your mouth.

5. . and bread and cheese. Spread nut butter on a slice of bread, add a slice of cheese, top with another slice of bread, and you've got yourself some nut butter and grilled cheese goodness.

6. . and a banana. Spread nut butter on slices of banana for a cute and easy snack.

7. . and honey. Add honey to your nut butter and call it dessert.

8. . and a spoon. Crack open a jar of Trader Joe's Cocoa Almond Spread and get lost in a chocolaty, nutty dream.

9. . and milk, a banana, and cinnamon. Blend nut butter with milk, a banana, and some cinnamon for a breakfast (or any meal of the day) smoothie.


How To Eat Like A Ballerina

You don't have to be able to arabesque in pointe shoes to get the graceful, sculpted body of a dancer. What you do need: our fat-blasting Ballet Boot Camp Workout. Created by Sadie Lincoln, founder of Barre3 fitness studios, these quick-slim moves combine yoga, Pilates, light weights, and a secret weapon that in-the-know exercisers (including celebs like Ricki Lake) swear by&mdashbarre work. We know the plan works because we tested it on real women. For 25 days, they followed our Ballet Boot Camp plan, as well as Hot Body Eating Guidelines and Recipes, created by Andrea Nakayama, a functional nutritionist in Portland, OR (find them below!).

The results were astonishing: One tester lost 12.8 pounds (9 were gone after only 11 days!), another trimmed her hips by more than 2 inches and whittled her waist by 3 inches, and tough-to-change upper arms shrank by up to 1.5 inches! The group also saw improvements in posture, grace, and balance&mdasheven lower-back pain!

Lose weight and tone up like our testers by following this healthy eating plan.

Hot-Body Eating Tip No. 1: Wean yourself off sugar
Curbing your consumption will cut mega calories&mdash1 cup of the sweet stuff packs nearly 800 calories&mdashand speed fat loss by reducing insulin levels. Packaged foods, including everything from yogurt and cereal to baked goods and soda, often contain hidden sugar, so be sure to check labels (sucrose, fructose, and corn syrup are common sugar derivatives). Craving a treat? Grab some fruit or add a packet of stevia (a natural, no-calorie sweetener) to unsweetened Greek-style yogurt, tea, or coffee.

Hot-Body Eating Tip No. 2: Reach for water
Feeling hungry even though you know you're well fueled? Stop and drink a tall glass of water and see if you can avoid that trip to the bakery or vending machine, says Nakayma: "It's important to remember that you often think you're hungry when you're really just thirsty." Aim to drink half your body weight, in ounces, of water each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces&mdasha little more than 9 cups&mdashof water daily.

Hot-Body Eating Tip No. 3: Fill up on (healthy!) fats
Omega-3 fats, like the type found in salmon, olive oil, walnuts, avocados, and flax, hemp, and chia seeds, are good fats that are critical for brain and hormonal health, notes Nakayama. They also help keep you satisfied, so you'll be less likely to snack between meals.

Hot-Body Recipes

Get-Up-And-Go Smoothie
Serves 2-3

¼ c chia seeds
2 c water or coconut water
8 pitted prunes (if hard, soak them overnight)
2 med frozen bananas
1 lg handful of spinach, chopped
2 Tbsp almond or sunflower butter
10-15 drops vanilla stevia or 1 tablespoon honey
Pinch sea salt
Dash cinnamon (optional)

If you don't have a high-speed blender, pour the chia seeds into the water and allow them to sit there while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This will soften them for blending. One by one, add the remaining ingredients to blender, blending between each addition separately so that you can achieve a smooth consistency. (If you have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec, everything can go into the blender at once and blend on high.)

MYO Energy Bars
Yields 16 bars

Coconut oil, for greasing pan
1¼ c gluten-free rolled oats
1 c chopped toasted nuts (try combinations or full quantity of almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, or macadamia)
¾ c combination of any of the following ingredients: ground flax seeds, oat bran, sesame seeds, ground coconut, raw wheat germ, or more ground nuts
1½ c puffed or crisped grain cereal without added sugar
1 c dried fruit (try raisins or juice-sweetened cranberries, coarsely chopped, or larger dried fruits such as apples, pears, dates, or prunes chopped into pieces)
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ c brown rice syrup or raw honey
¼ c nut or seed butter (almond or peanut butter or tahini or sunflower butter work particularly well)
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
½ tsp sea salt
1. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with the coconut oil.
2. Combine the oats, nuts, ground seeds or grain, cereal, dried fruit, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Combine the sweetener and nut butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat gently and stir until smooth. Turn off heat and add vanilla or almond extract and salt.
4. Pour liquid ingredients over cereal mixture and stir until well combined and evenly incorporated. Spread into prepared pan. Using wax or parchment paper, press mixture tightly into pan. (Take your time doing this and use a bit of force to really press out all the air bubbles and get the mixture as compact as possible.)
5. Refrigerate for several hours or over night before cutting into 16 bars.
6. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

Grain-Free Lemony Biscuit Scones
Yields 6

Dry ingredients:
1½ c almond flour
½ c ground chia seeds
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp xantham gum
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
Pinch salt

Wet ingredients:
1 flax "egg" (1 Tbsp flax blended with 3 Tbsp water)
2 Tbsp yacon syrup, coconut nectar or pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix together dry ingredients in a food processor. In a small bowl, whisk wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients into the food processor along with the dry ingredients and pulse until combined.
3. Form into a ball of dough and place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. With slightly wet hands, press the dough into an even circle, about ½ inch thick.
4. Score the scone circle into 6 even wedges.
5. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cut through the scored wedges to separate. Place back in oven for 2 to 4 more minutes to allow the edges of the scones to harden slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm from the oven with glee!

Andrea's Favorite Granola

3 to 4 cgluten-free rolled oats
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ c chopped nuts
¼ c sesame seeds
½ c Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, gently melted
1 Tbsp carob powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ c dry coconut palm sugar or same amount brown rice syrup
½ tsp sea salt
Set aside any combination of the following:
½ c shredded coconut
½ c raisins
½ c chopped dates
½ c dried (fruit-sweetened) cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix together the oats, sunflower seeds, nuts, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, carob powder, cinnamon, sweetener, and salt. Add this mixture to the large bowl and combine well.
3. Spread the mixture evenly in a lasagna pan or on 2 flat cookie sheets, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top layer is browned. Then, flip/mix with a spatula and place back in oven for another 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven. The mixture will be moist, but will dry and harden as it cools. Mix in dried fruit ingredients and let cool, stirring every so often to prevent clumping. Store in an air-tight container.

** Alternately, you can place all initial ingredients in a slow cooker or crock pot overnight and add the fruit in the morning.

DIY Spice-Rack Chai

½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp cardamom
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
¼ c warmed coconut milk
½ dropperful of vanilla liquid stevia
¾ c hot water or hot brewed rooibus tea

Add all powders to an 8-ounce tea cup. Pour in your warmed coconut milk and whisk to blend, making sure to dissolve any clumps. Add liquid stevia. Pour hot water over the top of the mixture. Carefully whisk, and enjoy.