How To Shed Winter Weight In The Spring

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned how that I would be extending blogmas until December 31st. These posts won’t be holiday related as Christmas has since passed (Yesterday) Happy The Day After Christmas. What I will be doing Is adding some New Year’s related content to help you continue to stay on track and I will slowly be adding more of my normal content over the next week or so.

PLEASE READ: I have been thinking that I wanted to do something different for my blog next year and that Is more content that you want to see. I know that at the and of every post I ALWAYS ask what you would like to see. I MEAN I REALLY want to do more content related to what you want to see. It can be “Diet” related, fitness, nutrition or even advice posts. I post what I post because It means something to mean I won’t post something if I didn’t believe in it. I want to take this blog to the next level and I want you all of my followers (friends) to be apart of the ride. So please don’t hesitate in reaching out with any and all suggestions. You can find all of my links at the end of every post in the “Thank You” section and in the section “Where You Can Follow Me”. 

If you have missed #Blogmas all the links are listed in the section titled Blogmas which will be in right under this.

Welcome back for #Blogmas Day 25! Blogmas Is flying right by! To catch up here are the links to the first 22 Days of #Blogmas

Blogmas Days 1-25

*I realized that my #blogmas days had repeated tagged posts and that not every post was linked. I caught the mistake and fixed it. Every link should now be clickable and days 1-18 are now linked. If you are new to #blogmas you can catch up below.

Blogmas Day 1 Blogmas Day 2 Blogmas Day 3 Blogmas Day 4 Blogmas Day 5 Blogmas Day 6 Blogmas Day 7 Blogmas Day 8 Blogmas Day 9 Blogmas Day 10 Blogmas Day 11 Blogmas Day 12 Blogmas Day 13 Blogmas Day 14  Blogmas Day 15  Blogmas Day 16 Blogmas Day 17 Blogmas Day 18  Blogmas Day 19 Blogmas Day 20 Blogmas Day 21 Blogmas Day 22 Blogmas Day 23 Blogmas Day 24 Blogmas Day 25 Blogmas Day 26


If the thought of coming out from beneath your baggy cold-weather sweaters is making you break out in a cold sweat, relax! You still have plenty of time to lose weight and look your best before sundress season arrives. Spring is actually the best season to find foods that are packed with the weight-loss-super star, fiber. This macronutrient helps fill you up, can clean you out, and makes achieving your weight loss goals a whole lot easier. What’s more, these particular foods are also bursting with micronutrients that help turn off your fat-storage genes, leading to even more rapid, sustainable weight loss.

When you eat foods that are in season, they’re not only more affordable, but they’re also fresher and packed with the highest amount of flavor and nutritional value. We’ve compiled a list of 20 fruits and veggies that are in peak season every spring—they’re all easy to find, too! Since many of them will only be on sale for a few weeks of the season, you better act fast.

So, say goodbye to stews and slow cookers and start blasting away those extra winter pounds with these spring foods. To help you incorporate them into your diet, I’ve also included some bloggers favorite recipes and ways to enjoy them.

Fiddlehead Ferns

Spring foods fiddlehead ferns

These delicate spirals are the furled fronds of a young fern, which is why they are only around for a few weeks in early spring. They’re packed with manganese, vitamin C, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber, which inhibits the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin, helping you to minimize munching. And if you thought bananas were the potassium powerhouse, then you’ll be interested to know these give the yellow fruit a run for its money. Fiddleheads actually have more of the bloat-banishing mineral per gram than bananas, which can also help lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.

How to Eat It: Clean the veggie by removing any of the papery outer coatings; then soak it briefly in a bath of cold water with a bit of lemon and salt. Drain and then steam them for four or five minutes. Add the steamed fiddleheads to a skillet with a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter and cook on each side for a minute or two. They’ll turn golden like asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!


Rhubarb

Spring foods rhubarb

This plant might look like red-hued celery, but if you’ve ever been adventurous enough to cook with it, you know that this vegetable is much more flavorful than its vibrant twin. Tart rhubarb loves to partner with fruit to become a sweet treat. (Just don’t eat the leaves—they’re poisonous!) Rhubarb is high in catechins, the same compound that gives green tea its belly-fat fighting properties. Catechins blast adipose tissue by triggering the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly) and then speed up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy.

How to  Eat It: Wash, dry, and trim the stalk at the root and leaves. Cut a slit under the edge of the rhubarb skin at one end and pull down the remove the stringy fibers, similar to what you would do with celery. Cut stalks into 2-inch pieces, toss with cinnamon, honey, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and roast in a 350-degree oven until the rhubarb is tender, about 30 minutes. Serve on top of some full-fat Greek yogurt and top with crunchy pistachios.


 Mushrooms

Spring foods morel mushroomsThese mushrooms are the third highest vegetable source of vitamin D (only behind two other mushrooms), serving you 23 percent of your daily value in a single cup. This vitamin has many biological functions beyond its classic role in bone metabolism, one of which is regulating your immune system. One study found that when vitamin D concentrations were low in a group of runners had a biomarker for increased inflammation. When your body is in a state of chronic inflammation, it can lead to clogged arteries, worsened insulin resistance, and even weight gain. So besides climbing out of that cold, dreary hole that you dug yourself into this winter and catching some Vitamin-D-producing rays, make sure to grab some morel mushrooms!

How to  Eat It: These wild mushrooms are prized for their smoky, nutty flavor, which pairs well with Parmesan in a risotto. First, because of their folds and ridges, they’ll need to be washed under cool water and scrubbed thoroughly. Sautée them up with olive oil, a little butter, and chopped garlic until golden brown. Season with salt, pepper, fresh thyme, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Throw on top of risotto, like this one from Pinch of Yum, with freshly grated parmesan and some lemon zest.


Asparagus

Spring foods asparagus

The ultimate spring vegetable, asparagus is rich in potassium and low in sodium, which helps your body achieve proper electrolyte balance and works to reduce bloating. Add the plant’s anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and health-promoting antioxidants—like glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful free radicals—and you’ve got yourself a powerful weight-loss arrow in your quiver.

How to  Eat It: You probably already know that these delicious veggies don’t need much to make them taste great, but feel free to shake things up a bit with a quick vinaigrette. Whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and minced garlic. Pour half the vinaigrette over the spears and grill until tender. Once cooked, plate and drizzle the rest of the vinaigrette on top.


Red Leaf Lettuce

Spring foods red leaf lettuce

One serving of red leaf lettuce is only 14 calories, but it’s bursting with fiber. It’s one of the world’s greatest weight loss foods because it will fill you up and keep you feeling full for hours after you eat it. Even better, two generous cups of lettuce provide 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement for strong, healthy bones. A report from the Nurses’ Health Study suggests that women who eat a serving of lettuce every day cut the risk of hip fracture by 30 percent than when compared with eating just one serving a week.

How to  Eat It: Create a simple vinaigrette with red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, minced shallots, a touch of honey, salt, and pepper. Combine roughly chopped red leaf lettuce with arugula, another spring lettuce, and top with spring veggies like roasted beets, orange slices, and walnuts.


Peas

Spring foods peas

You may have pushed them around your plate as a kid, but we’re hoping that stopped when you learned of their anti-aging, immune-strengthening, and energy-boosting antioxidants. Besides teeming with carotenoids and polyphenols, these little green poppers contain a hefty 7 grams of hunger-quelling fiber and 8 grams of muscle-building protein per cup!

How to Eat It: To elevate the humble pea, saute up some crispy prosciutto. Add some finely chopped white onion and a bit of minced garlic. Once tender, add in your peas, and a little bit of chicken stock, and simmer until peas are tender. Add back in the prosciutto, chopped fresh parsley, and mint, and toss it all together with your favorite pasta and freshly grated parmesan.


Artichokes

Spring foods artichokes

Unfortunately, a hefty, creamy artichoke dip will never make it onto any diet-friendly list, but one of its main ingredients does! One medium artichoke boasts an impressive 10.3 grams of fiber, including inulin, a prebiotic soluble fiber that helps promote the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria. Incorporating it into your diet may also aid weight loss efforts—for every 10 grams of fiber you eat daily, your middle will carry almost 4 percent less flab, according to researchers. On top of that, artichokes contain a compound called cynarine, which promotes fat digestion and can serve as a natural diuretic by helping to eliminate water retention.

How to Eat It: When was the last time you ate a whole artichoke? Well, with whole artichokes fresh and in season, now’s a perfect time. Follow blogger Camille Style’s recipe for Grilled Artichokes with Lemon Garlic Aioli. She walks you through how to cut, trim, cook, and dress them with her deliciously simple parsley oil. If you feel the aioli is a little too heavy, sub it out for a plain, full-fat Greek yogurt and combine with roasted, caramelized garlic and fresh lemon juice.


 Onions

Spring foods vidalia onions

The Vidalia Onion earns the title of one of the nation’s most iconic agricultural products, having been discovered accidentally in the state of Georgia and rocketing to popularity. And just like Champagne has to be from France, a Vidalia onion has to be from Georgia. These onions are a rich source of fructooligosaccharides, a cluster of fructose molecules that lead to better gastrointestinal health and improved digestion by stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria and suppressing the growth of harmful ones. Want more ways to improve your gut health?

How to Eat It: Vidalias are so sweet, delicious, and versatile, it’s hard to pick just one recipe to share. For starters, they’re the perfect onion to add to your summer BBQ: lightly coat with canola oil, salt, and pepper and throw on the grill to get some good caramelization before adding to your burger. Looking to indulge a little? Make these Healthy, Baked (not fried!) Onion Rings from How Sweet It Is.


Radishes

Spring foods radish

After a winter of blues and grays, it’s nice to get a little pop of color in your life. Colorful vegetables are key to weight loss, and radishes are no exception. Their red hue is due to anthocyanins, a phytochemical that has been shown to burn fat and reduce the risk of diabetes. They’ve also been shown to reduce cholesterol, insulin resistance, and inflammation. In a Japanese study, rats fed radishes for three weeks showed reduced levels of bad cholesterol and insulin and a boost in good HDL cholesterol.

How to  Eat It: Eat radishes whole as a high-fiber, belly-filling snack, add a layer of slices to a goat cheese toast, use them as a salad garnish, or make them the star of the salad alongside another seasonal veggie, the carrot, in this Ginger Carrot Radish Salad by blogger, Healthy Seasonal Recipes.


Fennel

Spring foods fennel

Shimmy into those cute spring fashions with confidence by adding fennel to your meals. Although it’s known to be a winter veggie, it’s still in peak season during the early spring. Cherished for its licorice-like flavoring, fennel contains a unique blend of phytonutrients—including the flavonoids rutin and quercetin—that make it a powerful antioxidant. These active compounds help to reduce inflammation, and when combined with the fiber that’s already present in fennel, they can help eliminate potentially carcinogenic toxins from the colon to prevent colon cancer.

How to  Eat It: Make its fronds into pesto, and use the rest in raw fennel, apple, and celery salad or roast it up and add it to your creamy mashed potatoes.


Apricots

Spring foods apricot

These sun-like fruits are sure to brighten your day. While dried apricots are a good source of fiber and iron, they’re also more concentrated in sugar—which is why they’re one of the 20 Healthy Foods You Better Eat in Moderation. Pick up some fresh ones during their short season in late spring to load up on vitamin A (a nutrient that helps your skin glow) and potassium. When you don’t have enough of this essential mineral, it can make your body hold onto water, resulting in weight gain. Besides flushing out extra water weight, potassium also keeps your metabolism running high, and is crucial for the digestion of nutrients such as carbohydrates and fat, as well as the absorption of energy from these nutrients.

How to  Eat It: These juicy sweet and tart fruits are such rarities fresh, so allow them to be the star of your dish. Combine them with blueberries to make a fruit crisp, saute them up to make an apricot compote you can serve over ice cream or yogurt, make a batch of apricot jam you can enjoy throughout the summer, or eat them whole with this Roasted Apricots with Ricotta and Honey recipe from Kitchen Repertoire.


Spinach

Spring foods spinach

Spinach might be available year round, but the freshest, most tender spinach is easily obtainable in the spring. We love it because it’s rich in muscle-building protein and iron, satiating fiber and vitamins A, C, and K. It’s truly one of the healthiest greens out there. It also contains powerful appetite-suppressing compounds called thylakoids to keep your bikini body “diet” on track. A recently published long-term study at Lund University in Sweden found that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast could significantly reduce cravings and promote weight loss. Add this leafy spring green to your meals liberally throughout your day, and you’ll feel your cravings start to vanish.

How to Eat It: Spinach is undoubtedly one of the most versatile foods out there. Due to its subtle flavor and texture, spinach can be added to many meals undetected. Toss it in your morning smoothies, whip up a lunchtime salad or soup, use it in sauces, pasta dishes, dips, and stir-fries, or sauté for a healthy side dish.


Radicchio

Spring foods radicchio

Radicchio is the small red or purple leaf that comes in ahead about the size of a softball. It’s one of the best dietary sources of polyphenols—powerful micronutrients that serve a role in preventing disease and losing weight. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who consume 650 milligrams a day of polyphenols have a 30 percent chance of living longer than those who consume less than that. A cup of chicory leaves clocks in at about 235 milligrams, so consider adding a little leafy red into your leafy greens.

How to  Eat It: Firm heads of lettuce, like radicchio, take well to the transformative powers of the grill. Halve or quarter the heads and drizzle with olive oil. Grill over high heat until the outer leaves are blackened and wilted, and the center is softened. Serve radicchio drizzled with balsamic. Get the whole recipe for Grilled Radicchio with Fig Balsamic Syrup, Parmigiano, and Honey-Roasted Almonds from A Beautiful Plate.


Fava Beans

Spring foods fava beans

Similar in likeness to edamame, these green legumes come in their own pod. Besides containing a high concentration of thiamin, vitamin K, vitamin B6, selenium, and magnesium, they’re a great source of lean protein with a whopping 10 grams per cup. Protein is essential not only for bulking your biceps; it’s also essentially in increasing feelings of fullness, as well as helping the body retain its muscle while scorching fat to increase your weight loss. For more slim down tips, don’t miss these 30 Fascinating Weight Loss Tricks You Haven’t Tried.

How to  Eat It: Fava beans have a buttery texture and a lovely, nutty flavor, making them a great addition to soups. But when you get them fresh as you would in the spring, they can really shine in a salad, like From the Land We Live On’s Golden Beet and Fava Bean Salad with Fresh Mint and Crumbled Ricotta.


Dandelion Greens

Spring foods dandelion greens

Seeing those orangey yellow dandelions pop up is definitely one of the first signs of spring. But did you know that besides being a bit of a pest in the garden, they also make a great snack? These bitter-sweet spring greens are bursting with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are also a diuretic, which means they can help blast excess weight by helping your body get rid of extra fluids. A recent study found that steaming the greens increased their total antioxidant properties by 67 percent. And studies have found that this plant is protective against obesity as well as depression, fatigue, immune system problems, and even cancer.

How to Eat It: Sub dandelion greens for spinach in salads, soups, smoothies, and quiches, or blend them into a pesto.


Watercress

Spring foods watercress

Don’t be fooled by its diminutive size—this tiny herb is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. In fact, it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet making it our reigning healthiest vegetable. Gram for gram this slightly peppery green contains four times more beta-carotene than an apple, and a whopping 238 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin K per 100 grams—two compounds that keep skin dewy and youthful. What’s more, it might help diminish your risk of cancer. Results from a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest daily supplementation of 85 grams of raw watercress (about two cups) could reduce DNA damage linked to cancer by 17 percent.

How to  Eat It: Exposure to heat may inactivate its cancer-fighting compounds, so it’s best to enjoy watercress raw in salads, cold-pressed juices or smoothies, and sandwiches.


Ramps

Spring foods ramps

With a mildly sweet flavor, these wild leeks are loaded with vitamins A and C and taste similar to onions and garlic. Like all variations of onions, ramps are also a great source of chromium—a mineral that helps with the metabolism of fats, carbs, and insulin. What’s more, they can pack up to a gram of satiating fiber a pop.

How to  Eat It: You can eat them raw, make pesto, or add them to eggs (with asparagus!) for an amazingly fresh tasting spring treat. We love them in Katie at the Kitchen Door’s protein- and fiber-packed Quinoa & Cauliflower Cakes with Wild Ramps. Ramp season is quick, so grab them when you see them or else you just might miss them.


Stinging Nettles

Spring foods singing nettles

Contrary to what you might think, the common nettle is more than a pesky, stinging weed. Since ancient times, it has been used as an important source of food, fiber, and nutraceuticals. An abundant spring green, nettles are also a powerful diuretic. This plant has been used for years in the UK as a springtime cleanse to rid the body of toxins after a winter filled with fatty foods.

How to  Eat It: Stinging nettles are best enjoyed as a hot tea for cleansing the liver and ridding the body of excess fluids. By steeping the leaves in water and straining (a French press pot works great for this) you can avoid being stung by the tiny hairs that coat the leaf stems.


Broccoli

Spring foods broccoli

There’s a reason almost every diet includes a hefty dose of broccoli. The green superfood is rich in sulforaphane, a compound that not only increases testosterone and fights off body fat storage but also blocks enzymes linked to joint destruction and inflammation.  If you want to stay lean and active for life, maintaining healthy joints is a must! The green veggies are also rich in vitamin C (a mere cup of the stuff can help you hit your daily mark), a nutrient that can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which will further aid your toned body efforts.

How to  Eat It: You’ve probably been cooking broccoli since you learned how to whip up a bowl of pasta. And with the global market extending its season year-round, we know there’s no short supply. However, if you can get your hands on this spring-season-grown cruciferous veggie, we’d recommend eating it root-to-leaf, like Sassy Kitchen does in this Shaved Broccoli Stem Salad with Lemon and Pecorino.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

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How To Recover From Thanksgiving

4,500 calories. That’s how much food energy the average American consumes on Thanksgiving, according to the Calorie Control Council. That sort of energy blitz would be a major blow to your weight loss goals at any time of year. But Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a five-week period of holiday parties and other festive social events where we all want to look and feel our best—and there will be plenty opportunities to eat and drink to excess. It’s enough to make you want to throw your hands up and completely write off the whole month of December.

The hard truth? There’s no silver bullet to recovering from the gastronomic onslaught that is the last Thursday in November. But by adopting some of the small and manageable changes below, you can feel slimmer, rev your metabolism, tackle the rest of the holiday season mindfully and ring in the New Year feeling good about your health-and-fitness goals for 2019.


Add Dumbbells to Your Black Friday List

No time for the gym? Invest in a pair of dumbbells. Free weights and your own body weight are all you need to challenge every major muscle group in your body. The more muscle you can pack on, the faster you’ll be burning the extra food energy you gobbled up at Thanksgiving and will continue to consume over the holiday season.


Get to Stepping

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a whirl of activities, get-togethers, and obligations. That can mean you’ve got less time to work out and recover from a feeding frenzy. So do yourself a favor. Instead of waiting to be active at the gym, sneak in steps all day long. Invest in a pedometer or a Fitbit and try to hit at least 10,000 steps a day. This way, if you miss a workout, you’ll know you’ve already fit in some movement, and it won’t throw your progress totally off track.


Swap Egg Nog for Green Tea

You can get back on track ASAP by drinking green tea every day. In a recent 12-week study, participants who drank 4 to 5 cups of green tea daily, then did a 25-minute workout, lost an average of two more pounds and more belly fat than the non-tea-drinking exercisers. Why? The brew contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that triggers the release of fat from fat cells and helps speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy.


Fill Up on Fiber and Protein

If you want to lose weight, it’s important to keep your blood-sugar levels stable, so you don’t overeat. That’s key when trying to recover after Thanksgiving and throughout December.  To help you stay fuller longer, make sure that every time you eat, you’re consuming a combination of fiber (one of the most satiating nutrients out there) and protein.


Work Out First Thing

The best strategy for not looking and feeling like 10lbs of sausage in a 5lb bag after Thanksgiving is to work out soon after waking up. Hit the gym, take a long stroll or workout at home and do some treadmill sprints on an empty stomach to burn fat. Your body is already in a calorie deficit, and it will ignite your body’s fat-burning ability. Glycogen levels are depleted during sleep so your body will utilize body fat as an energy source.


Stop Eating at Sunset

Make winter’s short days an advantage: Use the last of the sunlight as a cue to stop eating. This may help you lose more weight, even if you eat more food throughout the day, according to a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism. Researchers put groups of mice on a high-fat, high-calorie diet for 100 days. Half of them were allowed to nibble throughout the night and day on a healthy, controlled diet, while the others only had access to food for eight hours but could eat whatever they wanted. The result of the 16-hour food ban? The fasting mice stayed lean, while the mice who noshed ’round the clock became obese—even though both groups consumed the same amount of calories!


Take Hot Bedtime Showers

A UCLA study of some of the world’s last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes noted that drops in temperature were an important sleep cue for our paleolithic forebears. We no longer sleep under the stars that much, but you but you can recreate a sunset-like temperature dip by taking a hot bath or shower. That pause to refresh can help you fall asleep faster and make shuteye — prime pound-shedding time.


Let Some Winter in

A striking new study published in the journal Diabetes suggests that turning down the heat in winter may help us attack belly fat while we sleep. Colder temperatures subtly enhance the effectiveness of our stores of brown fat — fat that keeps you warm by burning through the fat stored in your belly. Participants spent a few weeks sleeping in bedrooms with varying temperatures: a neutral 75 degrees, a cool 66 degrees, and a balmy 81 degrees. After four weeks of sleeping at 66 degrees, the subjects had almost doubled their volumes of brown fat. (And yes, that means they lost belly fat.)


Eat an Apple Every Day

This crisp, refreshing fruit is among the most super of superfoods: Apples boast the powerful antioxidant quercetin and vitamins C and B-6, which keep your cholesterol levels low and slash your risk for heart disease. But thanks to their high fiber count, an apple a day can do more than keep the doctor away — it can help you trim down during the holidays too.


Make Healthy Cocktails

The holiday season doesn’t only bring laughter, cheer, and goodwill to all — it also brings unwanted weight gain from all those festive foods. It’s inevitable that you’ll lose gym time or splurge on “just one more” piece (we’ve all been I’ve been there this week) of the pie, but don’t let that stop you from making healthy choices. Instead of traditional cocktails like eggnog, or sugar-laden spiced cider, opt for a Hot Toddy, which is made with ginger, tea, and whiskey!


Get Intense

Interval training is the best way to shock your body back into shape, increase your metabolism, improve your cholesterol profile, and improve insulin sensitivity, especially during the holidays when you’re being pulled in every direction. At the gym, sign up for a HIIT class, or turn your favorite aerobic exercise (running, biking, even walking) into an interval workout by adding periods of intense speed (start with 30 to 60 seconds) followed by periods of rest (normal speed) for the same amount of time. Do this six to 10 times to complete a fat-slashing workout. As you get better, slowly increase the amount of time of increased intensity.


Fit in Quick Reps

A busy holiday schedule of parties, shopping and gift wrapping isn’t a reason to skip your workouts and lose some of that turkey weight. In fact, slacking off could slow your slim-down progress. Thankfully, fitting in fitness doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Trade exhaustive hourlong sessions for one daily resistance exercise (like a bicep curl, squat, lunge or shoulder press). Spending five minutes doing one daily resistance exercise is all it takes to build and maintain muscle, reduce fat, and protect bones.


Learn to Love Legumes

You’re not socially obligated to scarf cheese dip (But.. Dip). Whip up some hummus instead. Legumes such as lentils ( If you can have lentils) and chickpeas, a rich source of vegetarian protein, have been shown to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, promote fat metabolism and boost satiety. They’re also a source of resistant starch, a slow-digesting fiber that triggers the release of acetate, a molecule in the gut that tells the brain when to stop eating.


De-bloat with Fruit Salad

Do your pants seem to be snugger than they were just a day or two before? That rich, salty holiday meal and sugary wine could be causing water retention and constipation. Working bloat-fighting foods into your diet can ease your discomfort and help you slough off a holiday bulge. Kiwi, honeydew melon and papaya all contain compounds that kick sluggish bowels into gear and fight water retention. Use them in a fruit salad or keep them around the house to snack on throughout the season.


Take a Long Winter’s Nap

Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night ( I get It stress might be keeping you up) If you are looking for a natural way of destressing Click Here to learn all about meditation and how it can help with stress). Slacking on shut-eye depletes your energy levels and wreaks havoc on your hormones, causing you to eat more. Over time, this can contribute to significant weight gain, especially in the wake of a 4,500-calorie holiday meal. In fact, according to a recent study, losing as little as 30 minutes of sleep can up your risk of obesity by 17 percent!


Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the “red bush” plant, grown exclusively in the small Cederberg region of South Africa, near Cape Town. What makes rooibos tea particularly good for your belly is a unique and powerful flavonoid called Aspalathin. According to South African researchers, polyphenols and flavonoids found in the plant inhibit adipogenesis–the formation of new fat cells–by as much as 22 percent. The chemicals also help aid fat metabolism. Plus, Rooibos is naturally sweet so you won’t need to add sugar.


Drink Whole Milk

Studies conducted at The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee suggest that consuming calcium — which whole milk has plenty of — may help your body metabolize fat more efficiently. Other studies have shown that increased calcium intake from dairy products (though not from supplemental calcium carbonate) caused study participants to poop out more fat as opposed to it sticking around on the body. (During Thanksgiving day alone, the average American eats a staggering 229 grams of fat, according to the Calorie Control Council!)


Muscle Up

Even when you’re at rest, your body is constantly burning calories. In fact, 75% of the calories that you burn each day are being used up just keeping you alive. “Resting metabolic rate” is much higher in people with more muscle, because every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself. If you can pack on just five pounds of muscle and maintain it, you’ll burn the caloric equivalent of three pounds of fat over the course of a year. That’s especially useful when you’re overindulging over the festive period.


Make Hearty Weight-loss Soup

You know how the USDA wants you to get between five and nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day? Think of soup as your extra credit, the perfect chaser to a rich holiday meal. A well-crafted soup can give you three or four servings of vegetables and fruits, and presto, the fiber will have you feeling satisfied and less bloated.


Drink More Water

Most of us know that we need to drink water during workouts to stay hydrated, but many of us overlook the importance of sipping water throughout the day. Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger, so regularly drinking water can keep excess calories off of your holiday plate— and, more importantly, out of your mouth. Also, the extra sodium we eat during holiday meals will cause more water retention and belly bloat. You can flush it out with more water!


Order a Blender

First thing in the AM, silence your iPhone alarm, hit the shower and then make your way over to the blender. Buzzing up a fat-burning homemade smoothie for breakfast is a great way to stay full make up for some of that overindulgence on Thanksgiving.


Eat Out, Don’t Pig Out

People tend to eat at restaurants more during the holidays. That’s a recipe for packing on extra pounds. But it doesn’t have to be. When dining out, order two appetizers instead of an appetizer and an entrée. This is instant portion control, and usually, appetizers are lighter overall.


Forgo Diet Soda

Yeah, yeah, it has zero calories, but diet soda can derail your goals of staying in shape this season. Research published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism shows that artificially sweetened beverages may screw up the body’s normal metabolic response to sugar, actually increasing appetite! Increasingly, diet drinks are being linked with weight gain, metabolic syndrome and a host of other ills.


Watch the Wine

Wine contains 120 calories per 5 oz pour. It’s easy to overlook that, especially when you’re making merry and the vino is flowing. But after a few hefty pours, you’ve consumed over 400 calories — and that doesn’t include dinner! Cut back to one 5 oz pour a day, or scale back your drinking overall by 25%, and you’ll see a few pounds come off and to blast even more fat.


Snack on Almonds

Cookies, brownies, candy canes. All kinds of empty-calorie treats are within easy reach during the holiday season, and they can add to the damage done on Turkey Day. Swap them out for almonds. Their combination of satiating protein and fiber will stave off snacking for hours! The nut is rich in the amino acid L-arginine, which can actually help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts, according to a study printed in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism.


Eat Three Square Meals

Bodybuilding lore holds that you must eat every few hours to keep muscles fueled and metabolism high. But don’t discount the weight-loss potential of three squares a day. A study in the journal Hepatology put two groups of men on weight-gain diets. One group had three small meals, with snacks in between, while the second group ate the same number of calories in three square meals. Although both groups gained weight, researchers found that belly fat — the dangerous kind that boosts heart-disease risk — only increased in the high-meal-frequency group.


Eat Bananas

The humble banana—botanically, actually a berry!—is perhaps the least-heralded supermarket staple, a superfood more associated with kids, monkeys and slapstick comedy than with steel-cut abs. But it can help you lose weight, reduce bloat and increase your energy.


 Ho-ho-hoing

The holiday season is all about good times with friends and family, and probably a few laughs. That’s a good thing for getting back in shape. Genuine laughter may cause a 10 to 20 percent increase in basal energy expenditure and resting heart rate, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity. That means a 10-15 minute giggle fest could burn up 40 to 170 calories.


Snack on Dark Chocolate

There’s plenty of chocolate around during the holidays, but you should concentrate on snacking on a little bit of the good and dark stuff. In a study by Swiss and German researchers, lucky participants ate about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily for two weeks. Ultimately, these chocolate nibblers had lower stress-hormone levels and a more regulated metabolism than a control group. Scientists speculate that chemicals in cocoa, such as flavonoids, play a role in regulating metabolism by alleviating stress that can cause your fat-burning engines to go on the fritz. Should you think this is a license to go wild, take heed: I’m talking about small amounts of high-quality dark chocolate. Researchers say 1.5 ounces is enough. Not sure which brand to choose?

Click Here if you would like to learn some of the best dark chocolate bars around


Obey the 80% Rule

Holiday buffets make it easy to supplement the damage you did on Thanksgiving. Your move? Eat until you’re 80% full, then stop. In Japan, this method is called Hara Hachi Bun Me, which roughly translates to “eat until you are eight parts (out of ten) full.” Remember, you can always eat again later.


Make Detox Water

H2O can rev your metabolism, help you lose serious weight and maintain a flat belly. Now take it to the next level. Combine plain water with proven fat-burning superfoods to create detox water, and you’ll have an elixir that energizes you, fights bloating and helps you achieve your weight loss goals.


After The Turkey

Salmon may be the very best protein for your metabolism. That’s because most cases of an underactive thyroid are due to inflammation of the gland, and salmon boasts significant anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its rich omega-3 fatty acid content. In fact, one study of weight loss and seafood consumption showed salmon to be the most effective at reducing inflammation — better than cod, fish oil, or a no-fish diet! The fatty acids may also trigger cells in the liver to burn more fat, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.


Increase Fiber

A Thanksgiving meal can really outstay its welcome. Send it on its way — ahem — by increasing your fiber intake in the holiday’s aftermath. Aim to consume more fiber from less processed sources, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. A good goal is 25 to 38 grams daily. It’s easy to ensure you’re getting enough.


Boost Your Metabolism with Coffee

In addition to green tea, coffee is one of the best drinks for weight loss because it boosts your metabolism. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee was 16 percent higher than that of those who drank decaf! A cup of black coffee is a good choice for a pre-workout beverage, too: Researchers found that cyclists who took a caffeine supplement were able to ride about a mile farther than those who took a placebo. Make yours a venti (or a Trentsaand skip the sweeteners.


Take Vitamin D

If there’s one supplement most Americans should be taking, it’s vitamin D. It’s essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue, but researchers estimate that only 20 percent of Americans get enough in their diet. You can nail 90 percent of your recommended daily value (400 IU) in a 3.5-ounce serving of salmon, but taking a daily supplement makes a lot of sense. Other good dietary sources of D: tuna, fortified milk and cereal, and eggs.


Increase Fat Burn 73%

While drinking in moderation every so often won’t do too much harm to your waistline, making it a habit can slow down your metabolic rate. Why? When your body has a cocktail to break down, it takes precedence over any food that you’ve already eaten that’s waiting to be digested. This slows down the entire metabolic process. In fact, some researchers claim boozing can decrease the body’s fat-burning ability by up to 73 percent! On the occasions that you decided to indulge, stick to low-calorie drinks. Alternate your alcohol with water to slow your pace, and cut yourself off after two drinks. Avoid ordering high-cal bar food like fries and burgers.


Make Fat-burning Pasta

Yes, you can eat pasta and lose weight! If you’ve ever been to Italy, you may have marveled at how Italians maintain their slim figures when they consume carb-laden dishes on a daily basis. Here’s the deal: They use simple, wholesome and fresh ingredients, and they keep things small.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments or concerns you may have. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can ALWAYS find my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching you can contact me my from all of my links the I left below.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

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Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

Your Body On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is here again, and if you’re one of the people who use the holiday as an excuse to stuff your face silly, I’m not judging. But we are curious about what happens to your body on Thanksgiving.

Giving into cravings —and then subsequently dozing off on the couch with your top button unfastened —is what the holidays are all about. But after the big meal enters your stomach, the situation inside is anything but serene. In fact, your entire body goes into overdrive the second you smell the holiday spread.

Today I am going to explain exactly how your system deals with the Thanksgiving dinner overload. And to get your stomach super tight after the holidays.

When You Walk Into the Kitchen

Woman cooking in kitchenThe second you walk into the kitchen and get a whiff of the turkey and other holiday fares, gastric fluids and other enzymes needed for digestion begin to secrete inside the stomach, priming the digestive system for the meal ahead.


After the First Appetizer

Pigs in a blanket appetizerOnce you start chewing the first bite of food, the stomach immediately begins to expand because it knows more food is on the way that will need to be digested. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract also perks up a bit because it knows more food is on the way. This prompts more digestive enzymes to release from the stomach, pancreas and the intestine. “Insulin, the hormone that helps glucose move from the blood into the cells, is also released when you begin to nosh and sugar from the food enters the bloodstream. This subsequently triggers a release of the hormone, leptin, which helps the brain register that we’re eating, and allows for more insulin secretion.


Five Minutes Into the Meal

Thanksgiving turkeyOnce you start digging into carbs and sugar-laden dishes like mashed potatoes and stuffing, your body releases serotonin, the feel-good hormone. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for all month: Carb-o-bliss.


Ten Minutes Into the Meal

Mashed potatoesThe serotonin then activates the reward system in the brain which tells you, ‘This tastes awesome, I’d like some more’ when you eat something delicious. This explains why it’s so hard to say no to Turkey Day two.


Twenty Minutes Into the Meal

Passing pie at ThanksgivingWhen you start feeling full, sensory nerves in the stomach and appetite controlling hormones like ghrelin activate the satiety centers of the brain, telling you you’ve eaten enough. However, those signals are easy to ignore if others around you are still munching away or the spread looks particularly appealing… Plus if you eat super fast your brain may not get the signal that you’re full until you’ve already served yourself seconds.


Five Minutes After Your Last Bite of Dessert

Apple crispAfter your last bite of pie, the stomach secretes enzymes and acids that help break down your meal into smaller pieces so it can eventually fit into the small intestine. Starchy and water-based foods are then broken down further into liquid, but fatty foods like Grandma’s buttery mashed potatoes, stick around in the stomach because they aren’t able to break down as quickly, causing that uncomfortable, bloated feeling.


Fifteen Minutes After Dessert

Man holding stomachBy now all your food has made its way from the stomach down into the small intestine. Once it’s arrived, it signals the release of enzymes from the pancreas and gallbladder that helps to digest carbs and proteins and break the food down into amino acids and simple sugars to be absorbed into the bloodstream.


Thirty Minutes After Dessert

Sleepy thanksgivingFeeling tired yet? Yup, that’s what I thought. While many people get sleepy after eating their Thanksgiving dinner, the turkey is not to blame. There just isn’t enough tryptophan in a standard serving of the meat to have that kind of effect. The fatigue is most likely a result of your stuffed stomach. Blood rushes out of the extremities into to the abdomen to assist with the digestion process which causes feelings of fatigue.


Two Hours After Dessert

Thanksgiving clean plateYour liver is beginning to break up your dinner into nutrients that your body can absorb and use to stay healthy. At this point, your body will also begin to use the food you’ve eaten for energy. Anything you don’t burn off later tonight will be stored as fat.


Two Days After Thanksgiving

Bathroom toilet paperFinally, you’ve excreted your Turkey Day meal. Anything that’s been sitting in your stomach giving you a bloated midsection should finally be out of your system! Only 363 days till next Thanksgiving! In the meantime.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments or concerns you may have. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can ALWAYS find my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching you can contact me my from all of my links the I left below.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

The Best Hot Chocolates

Happy Halloween! Today’s post will be in orange and black to celebrate today being Halloween. If it’s too hard to read let me know and I will change it back to normal. It’s officially time to unpack our wool sweaters and oversized scarves and search the internet for the best hot chocolate you can warm up with. After all, frigid early mornings and cozy nights in just calls for hot cocoa. And it’s hard to argue with the fact that half the fun of drinking the wintry beverage is making it.

That’s why I got some taste testers to taste and teste five popular boxed mixes to find the absolute best hot chocolate mix. (For reference, we used 2 percent dairy milk as the base.) Skip the usual cup at your local 7-Eleven, and make a mug at home with their top pick. Mmmm!


How They Were Graded 

List checkmark boxesHere are the three metrics we used to determine each hot chocolate mix’s final grade.

Nutrition

Because most mixes didn’t vary too much across the nutritional board, my taste testers didn’t consider this metric too heavily. After all, hot chocolate is an indulgence (or it should be).

Consistency

Is the texture creamy enough to complement the milk, or does it fall flat? Did the unexpected aftertaste ruin your comforting experience?

Taste

Of course, taste is their top determining factor and we docked major points for mixes that lacked the cocoa notes we crave.


From Worst… To Best

Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Mix

Swiss miss milk chocolate hot cocoa mix

PER PACKET (39 G): 160 calories, 2 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 28 g sugar), 1 g protein

SHOP NOW ON TARGET.COM

Their Verdict:

In retrospect, this mix tasted way better as a kid—They said that their adult palates craved something richer. One taste tester said that this mix “smelled nostalgic,” while another proclaimed that it “tasted like a snow day.” However, this hot chocolate reminded them of our childhood, but the aqueous consistency resembled a mix that was stirred into water (although they used “regular” milk and almond milk), and the artificial aftertaste made this pick less tasty when compared to its competitors. Rather than boasting a pronounced cocoa flavor, Swiss Miss relied mostly on sugar and vanilla undertones to form its flavor base.


Nestle Classic Rich Milk Chocolate

Nestle classic rich milk chocolate hot cocoa mix

PER PACKET (20 G): 80 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 12 g sugar), <1 g protein

SHOP NOW ON INSTACART.COM

Their Verdict:

Although it didn’t coat the mouth, Nestle’s classic hot chocolate mix was richer than the Swiss Miss envelope. They can probably chalk that up to the higher fat content in Nestle: Nestle boasts 2 grams of fat per 20-gram packet, while Swiss Miss boasts the same amount of fat per almost double the serving size (a 39-gram packet). Nestle’s cocoa gave a pleasant flavor, with no particular flavor note sticking out. One of my taste testers proclaimed that this mix tasted just like your average milk chocolate bar.


ShopRite Instant Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa With Mini Marshmallows

Shop rite milk chocolate hot cocoa

PER PACKET (28 G): 110 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 12 g sugar), <1 g protein

SHOP NOW ON SHOPRITE.COM

Their Verdict:

Surprisingly enough, this grocery-store find trumped two ubiquitous, classic boxes—but only marginally. Although the mix was just as excessively sweet as Swiss Miss, ShopRite’s powder boasted the perfect touch of salt, which helped balance out the sweetened cocoa. The taste was comparable to the leftover milk in a bowl of Cocoa Puffs—yum! All in all, the milky chocolate flavor was neither too rich nor underwhelming, and the mini marshmallows added a nice contrasting texture and subtle vanilla flavor to this mix.


Godiva Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa

Godiva hot cocoa

PER 3 TBS: 130 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 5 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (2 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 1 g protein

SHOP NOW ON AMAZON

Their Verdict:

Out of all the offerings they taste-tested, Godiva’s milk chocolate hot cocoa was concocted with the cleanest ingredients, which was definitely noticeable with every sip. We commend the chocolatier for producing a spot-on cocoa flavor, but I really wished that the drink’s texture was more decadent. Something tells me that Godiva’s dark chocolate hot cocoa mix might be more up their alley than the milk chocolate version.


Land O Lakes Chocolate Supreme Hot Cocoa Mix

Land o lakes cocoa classics supreme chocolate hot cocoa mix

PER PACKET (35 G): 140 calories, 2.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (1 g fiber, 24 g sugar), 3 g protein

SHOP NOW ON AMAZON

Their Verdict:

Land O Lakes’ mix completely set itself apart from its competitors, thanks to its super decadent, authentic taste. This mug was velvety and coated the mouth (likely due to the addition of coconut oil), and the relatively high sodium content highlighted the rich cocoa notes. Whether you’re entertaining guests, whipping up a cup for your kids before bedtime, or just enjoying a warm mug on your couch, Land O Lakes Chocolate Supreme Hot Cocoa Mix will deliver the comforting cocoa you crave.

 


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? I know that It’s only October (Happy Halloween). Hot chocolate is something that is sold all year round. I personally enjoy hot chocolate in the winter during a snowy night (i know cliche). I figured since tomorrow is November first and the weather is slowly getting cooler (depending on where you live where I live it’s in the low 70’s) why not give all of my hot chocolate peeps a hot chocolate post. If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. 

You can find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you are looking for one on one coaching you can comment on any post or you can reach me at the email I provided in the “Thank You” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂


The Best Store-Bought Chocolate Cupcakes

We Tested 5 Chocolate Cupcakes, and This Is the Best One

When you’re craving a treat that’s decadent and satisfying, nothing satisfies a cocoa craving better than a chocolate cupcake. With thick frosting blanketing a fluffy cake, and perhaps even a squiggly white icing drizzle, the perfectly-portioned treat makes for a tasty, pre-portioned dessert. To find the best cupcake in your local grocery store, I had some friends taste-tested five different chocolate cupcake brands and crowned only one king or queen. See which pick you should sink your sweet tooth into.


 How I Graded Them

List checkmark boxes

Here are the three metrics I used to determine each cupcake’s final grade.

Nutrition

Let’s face it: My friends are not noshing on chocolate cupcakes because of their nutrition—these treats are for dessert purposes only! While nutrition wasn’t our top determining factor when it came to ranking these sweets, They favored brands with the least amount of sugar to help break ties.

Taste

Chocolate cupcakes should boast a rich cocoa flavor that’s obvious, but not sickly sweet. Plus, we shouldn’t have to swig an entire glass of milk to eliminate any off-putting aftertastes.

Texture

Moist and fluffy is how I like my cupcakes. Dense, sticky treats get the boot.


From Worst… To Best

 

Hostess Chocolate Cupcake

Hostess chocolate cupcake

Nutrition: Per 1 cupcake (½ package): 165 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 175 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (1 g fiber, 18.5 g sugar), 1 g protein

 Verdict:

Hostess’ package comes with two mini cupcakes, which boasted a chunky chocolate cake and the signature squiggly line piped with white icing. Considering Hostess is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous packaged snack brands, we expected the flavors to taste authentic and homemade. However, they were met with much displeasure after the first bite. The chocolate flavor was beyond artificial, and the aftertaste was completely off-putting. One of my taste testers asserted that the cupcake tastes just like pure frosting.


Duncan Hines Perfect Size For 1 Chocolate Lover’s Cake

Duncan hines perfect size for 1 chocolate lovers cake

Nutrition: Per pouch: 300 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 380 mg sodium, 53 g carbs (2 g fiber, 32 g sugar), 4 g protein

 Verdict:

My friends applaud Duncan Hines for shunning artificial preservatives and colors in its ingredient list, but this mug cake didn’t live up to our expectations. They liked that the prep was easy: You just add three tablespoons of water along with the contents of the pouch into a microwave-safe mug, stir, and nuke it for a little over a minute. The minimal effort resulted in a portioned cupcake that boasted an inconsistent texture—it was both airy and sticky—and a way-too-subtle chocolate flavor. Considering one cupcake contains 300 calories and 32 grams of sugar, They expected this pick to be more flavorful and indulgent.


Entenmann’s Chocolate Creme-Filled Cupcake

Entenmann's chocolate creme cupcakes

Nutrition: Per 1 cupcake (½ package): 155 calories, 5.5 g fat (1.25 g saturated fat), 220 mg sodium, 26.5 g carbs (1 g fiber, 18.5 g sugar), 1 g protein

 Verdict:

Upon unwrapping and sinking Their teeth into Entenmann’s creme-filled chocolate cupcake, the overall consensus was that it tasted like a glazed doughnut. The frosting that coated the top overpowered any other flavor notes, while the cake’s texture was soft and moist. Our taste testers agreed that this pick was lackluster and forgettable. It was aptly deemed “not binge-worthy.”


7-Eleven Chocolate Cupcake

7 eleven chocolate cupcake

Nutrition: Per 1 cupcake (½ package): 200 calories, 7.5 g fat (2.25 g saturated fat), 305 mg sodium, 34.5 g carbs (1 g fiber, 26 g sugar), 1.5 g protein

 Verdict:

7-Eleven’s Hostess knock-off was surprisingly lightyears tastier than its twin. While the frosting was oddly glittery and the cake was a bit oily, the flavor did not disappoint. The convenience store cupcake was perfectly moist and rich, and the chocolate flavor was pronounced by the higher sodium content and caramel undertones. If you’re choosing 7-Eleven’s pick over Hostess’, just note that it contains significantly more calories, sodium, and sugar per cupcake. If you’re in need of a chocolate fix, split this two-packer with a pal.


Tastykake Chocolate Bells

Tasty cake chocolate bells

Nutrition: Per 1 cupcake: 210 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (2 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 2 g protein

 Verdict:

A thick and velvety coating covers a light and fluffy cake, and the combination was oh-so-perfectly decadent that we were actually delighted to polish off the entire treat. The cupcake’s creamy filling was rich without overwhelming the palate, and it helped balance out the rich chocolate. Tastykake has been baking their treats in Pennsylvania since 1914—arguably before Hostess materialized its famous cupcake recipe—and has become a hit ever since. If you’ve got a hankering for cocoa and need a quick sweet treat, you won’t regret this classic. 

 


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments or concerns you may have. You can find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

 

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

The Truth About Some Peanut Butters

Beware peanut butter lovers. You may have heard that traces of flame retardant and carcinogens have been found in some peanut butter brands, but those aren’t actually responsible for the risk involved in some PB purchases. Since these traces are not enough to do you any damage, the real issue lies with the commonplace ingredients you’ve never looked twice at. So take a closer peek at this shopping list staple before you pair it with jelly, add it to smoothies, or dip fruit into it. I’ve laid out the biggest risk factors for you to keep in mind next time you hit the peanut butter aisle.

If you are interested in the worst of the worst peanut butters you can Click Here And if you want to know the best of the best peanut butters you can also Click Here

The Sweetener

spoon of sugar

Some brands add xylitol to their peanut butter, so be sure to check nutrition labels before throwing any old jar into your cart. Like many sugar alcohols, this sweetener has laxative-like effects in high doses thanks to its low digestion intolerance, and it can also cause not-so-sweet bloating.


The Trans Fat

belly fat squeeze

The ingredients list on the back of your peanut butter jar shouldn’t include much more than peanuts. Look out for brands that are adding mono and diglycerides or hydrogenated vegetable oil to their spreads. Adding these ingredients adds trans fat to your body, which will show itself through inflammation and high cholesterol.


Sugar

different sugars

I’ve already got you keeping an eye out for artificial sweeteners, but you should be avoiding the real thing as well. Sugar can raise blood glucose and insulin levels, and it wiggles its way into almost everything you eat. So why would you want to consume extra every time you whip up a peanut butter banana sammy or slather celery with your favorite spread?

These additives may not seem that harmful, but you’d be surprised at how quickly they can add up over the course of the day. You’d be much better off sticking with the best peanut butter brands on the market, which will only contain two ingredients: peanuts and salt. But if the last thing you want to do is check the label on every single PB variation in the store, I’ve made things a little easier for you. I left links at the beginning of today’s post of the best and worst peanut butter that are currently being sold on the market today.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments or concerns you may have. You can find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


 

Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

 

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………

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Should You Have Cheat Meals or Cheat Days?

As the obesity epidemic rises, the search for effective weight loss strategies becomes increasingly fervent. While choosing the right regimen can be tough, often the biggest weight loss challenge is making and sticking to new habits that support your health or weight loss goals without missing out on the foods you love. The incorporation of cheat meals or cheat days into a “diet” plan has been popular among fitness enthusiasts for some time, but it’s now making its way into mainstream “diet” culture by way of social media. Today I discuss cheat days and meals, their effectiveness and whether to incorporate them into your health and fitness journey.


What Are Cheat Days?

Cheating within a “diet” plan involves giving yourself calculated, planned permission to temporarily break strict “diet” rules.

The theory behind this reward-based “diet” strategy is that by allowing yourself brief periods of indulgence, you’ll be more likely to stick to your prescribed “diet” the majority of the time.

When using the cheat strategy, people will typically employ either a cheat meal or cheat day approach. As the names imply, a cheat meal is a single meal that veers from your planned “diet” pattern, while a cheat day allows for free food choices for an entire day.

Cheat “diet” methods are highly variable. How they’re implemented may look very different for different people, depending on an individual’s “diet” preferences and goals.

The foods you eat as cheat meals will also vary from person to person due to individual tastes, but they often consist of high-calorie foods that wouldn’t otherwise be permitted on a typical “diet” plan.

There is no specific guideline for when or how frequently your cheat meal or day should occur. Often people will include one cheat per week, but this can change depending on what the person’s health or weight loss goals are.

Some people do what is called 3-1-2-1 I did a post all about it and how it can help someone who can’t just have one cheat day per week. If you are interested in reading all about the 3-1-2-1 for weight loss and cheat days you can Click Here

In this way, the cheat strategy is adaptable and can be implemented alongside many different “diet” patterns.

Side Note: that the cheat meal approach is not appropriate for all “diet” styles. Some “diets”, such as the ketogenic “diet”, require very strict adherence with no room for cheating. Therefore, the cheat strategy is best utilized in “diets” that allow for some flexibility.

Cheat meals are scheduled meals that include indulgent foods that wouldn’t ordinarily be permitted on your “diet”. A cheat day is when you allow yourself to consume any foods you want over an entire day.

Does Cheating Really Work?

Weight management and body composition changes are complex processes. Not everyone will respond the same way to the same strategies — the best “diet” plan is the one you can stick to.

It’s well known that if you eat fewer calories than you burn, weight loss is likely to occur. In this way, the reward-based cheat meal or cheat day strategy may be effective if you’re able to execute a well-planned “diet” and maintain overall reduced calorie intake.

Weight Loss and Metabolic Changes

It’s frequently claimed that using cheat meals will lead to measurable changes in body composition and improved metabolic function due to fluctuations in the hunger hormone leptin.

Leptin is a hormone responsible for suppressing feelings of hunger. Some research indicates that when someone experiences significant weight loss, leptin levels may decrease. However, this result is inconsistent with other studies.

A common weight management theory is that with lower levels of circulating leptin, you’re more likely to overeat because you don’t have enough of the hormone sending you signals that you’re satisfied and full. This may lead to rebound weight gain.

Proponents of the cheat meal strategy for weight loss further theorize that intermittent periods of higher-calorie foods will trick your hormone cycle into producing more leptin temporarily and prevent the desire for rebound overeating.

Unfortunately, there is little rigorous scientific research to support this theory.

It’s still unclear how fluctuations in leptin levels associated with weight changes affect someone’s ability to control their eating behaviors and maintain weight loss. As a result, more research is needed.

At this stage, it’s more likely that weight loss occurs for some people with the cheat method because of a reduction in overall calorie intake that is achieved by sticking to a well-planned diet most of the time and limiting high-calorie junk foods.

Using Planned Indulgence as a Motivator

Another component of the cheating diet strategy is the theory that by occasionally allowing yourself to indulge in foods not permitted on your diet, you’ll then have the motivation to stick to your planned diet most of the time.

This is where the cheat meal strategy is tied to the psychology of weight loss.

Some people can effectively resist temptation knowing that their cheat day is coming up, but not everyone can regulate their own eating behaviors in the same way. Thus, the same results cannot be guaranteed for every person.

Furthermore, if you’re unable to maintain some degree of self-control within your cheat meals or days, you run the risk of undoing your prior weight loss efforts if you end up eating more calories than you should.

Even cheat meals or days should be appropriately planned. They shouldn’t be framed as a free ticket to excessive overeating.

To reiterate an important point: the most effective weight loss strategy is the one that you can stick to.

For some people, cheat days or meals may be a great way to maintain overall healthier dietary habits — for others, a different approach may be more appropriate.

The causes of obesity and the best methods for losing weight can be complex and will look different for everyone. Cheat meals can be effective for some to reduce overall caloric intake, as long as you’re careful not to overdo it on cheat days.



May Encourage Unhealthy Behaviors

The trend of incorporating cheat meals into your diet plan has become increasingly popular in the Western “diet” and fitness culture, especially across social media platforms.

It’s common to see photos of highly indulgent foods alongside people with fit, muscular physiques giving the impression that the cheat meal dieting strategy is the key to acquiring their culturally praised physical appearance.

While the cheat meal approach may work for some people, it could also have some potentially detrimental effects.

Cheat or Treat?

Successful and sustained weight loss is about more than eating fewer calories than you burn in a day. Your attitude toward food can also significantly impact your ability to resist temptation and regulate eating behaviors.

The word “cheat” has a culturally negative connotation and is associated with feelings of guilt. Using that term to describe a food or meal could impair your ability to maintain self-control even within the cheat meal framework.

One three-month study noticed that people who associated chocolate cake with celebration had more success with their weight loss goals than those who linked this food to feelings of guilt.

Because the cheat meal or day strategy focuses on a reward-based system, it may be ineffective for those who have a difficult time self-regulating emotional eating. Some people may even experience feelings of hopelessness and guilt.

Reframing a cheat meal with a more positive message, such as a treat meal, could help to better support self-regulation and healthy eating behaviors with this kind of diet pattern.

Binge Eating

A major concern with the cheat meal or day strategy is the potential for it to encourage a binge-style eating behavior.

Causes of obesity can widely vary — it isn’t always as simple as calories in and calories out.

The cheat meal method could exacerbate eating-related issues for people dealing with food addiction tendencies, disordered eating or an inability to self-regulate eating habits.

Research shows that people who use food as a coping mechanism may be more susceptible to binge eating.

Understanding your motives for eating desired cheat foods ensures that you’re choosing the healthiest approach to weight loss for your individual needs.

Even a cheat meal or day should be approached healthfully and with a plan. Cheating should not mean you ignore hunger and satiety cues under the assumption that you can eat as much as you want of any food on your cheat day.

Focus on Physical Appearance

The social media culture associated with cheat meal or cheat day diet patterns places a strong emphasis on physical appearance.

Because the cheat meal strategy is very popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts on social media, an unrealistic portrayal of body image can be propagated, which may be harmful to vulnerable populations.

Excessive focus on the superficial aspects of weight loss could be mentally damaging, as it can enhance feelings of anxiety and encourage disordered eating tendencies, especially among younger women.

As with any weight loss or diet plan, it’s important that the cheat meal strategy is approached with a healthy mindset alongside realistic goals and expectations that will support both mental and physical health.

The cheat meal or day strategy could trigger unhealthy eating behaviors, especially in those who struggle with emotional eating, food addiction or eating disorders.

Other Strategies to Consider

Whether or not implementing a cheat meal diet strategy is the right choice depends on the individual. Remember that the best, most effective diet plan is one that you can stick to over time.

Incorporating cheat meals into your “diet” may be an effective method to support your health goals, but it shouldn’t stand alone. There are other strategies you may want to consider in conjunction with cheat meals to better support your unique personal needs long-term.

Being Mindful

One thing that can determine the success of your cheat dieting strategy is being mindful of what you’re eating — even when you’re having a cheat day.

Mindful, or intuitive, eating is paying attention to your body’s hunger cues and eating when you’re hungry but stopping when you’re full or satisfied. It also involves slowing down while eating so that you can enjoy and savor your dining experience.

Early research indicates that mindful and intuitive eating approaches may help to reduce tendencies of emotional and binge eating. They may also reduce weight gain, but further research is needed.

Combining these types of eating approaches with your “diet” may support your ability to stick to your “diet” plan more easily and successfully. Furthermore, it may help prevent you from going overboard during more indulgent cheat meals.

Focus on One Cheat Treat

Another strategy that may benefit your “diet” efforts is to focus on just one or two cheat foods, instead of trying to fit them all in at once.

For example, if you’re planning a cheat meal, instead of eating the cheeseburger, sugary cocktail and dessert, pick only one or two of these indulgent options.

By focusing your attention on just one treat, you’ll be less likely to tip the scales in an unhealthy direction by overconsuming during your cheat period.

Additionally, you can continue eating healthy and avoiding foods you know you have difficulty controlling yourself around while still bending your “diet” rules.

This may look like a day of not tracking calories or macronutrients or enjoying a meal out without worrying about what you choose from the menu.

These strategies may be most useful for those who have a hard time with self-control during eating scenarios.

Plan for Success

The key to success with any major lifestyle change is being prepared. If you have a solid plan in place, you’re less likely to give in to temptation because your plan is set up to support you.

With cheat days or meals, it can be difficult for some people to know when to put on the brakes. This lack of self-control could end up making your diet goals less successful in the long run.

Implementing a plan for cheat days — just as you do on regular “dieting days” — is a good way to stay on track. This means that even though you’re allowing yourself to consume foods you normally wouldn’t, you can still maintain control over the situation.

For example, planning when and where your cheat meals will occur is a good first step. If you know you’ve got a birthday party or other social event coming up at the end of the week, it may be wise to plan your cheat meal or day around this event.

From there, you can also plan to maintain portion control, even with more indulgent foods. For example, plan to have one or two slices of pizza instead of sitting down with the whole pie.

Another option worth exploring is framing the cheat day as a time to continue with a balanced, healthy meal approach without tracking calories and macronutrients. This gives you a mental break from tracking without increasing temptation from certain foods.


Make Your Everyday Diet Enjoyable

A contributing factor to why diets are difficult to maintain is because you don’t like the food you’re eating. Portion control and planned diet regimens can be difficult to follow on their own, and it can add fuel to the fire if you’re filling it with foods you don’t enjoy.

Just because a food is deemed healthy doesn’t mean you’re required to eat it. Not to mention, eating foods you hate isn’t a requirement for reaching your health and weight loss goals.

Incorporating foods that you enjoy even when you’re not having a cheat day can be a great tool for making your “diet” feel like less of a chore. It can also help you maintain more self-control during both “diet” and cheat days.

At the end of the day, working toward a healthier “diet” or lifestyle should be about making sustainable changes that meet your unique needs and tastes — there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

If you’re unable to make this work on your own, consider consulting with a dietitian or other qualified health professional, who can help you build an effective and enjoyable diet plan to reach your health goals.

Incorporating other dieting strategies into cheat meals or days can help support your ability to stick to your goals. Having a plan for cheat days, incorporating mindful eating practices and including foods that you enjoy on diet days are some examples.

 


Final Thoughts

Cheat days or meals, which allow room to indulge, can effectively motivate some people to stick to their “diet” but may be unhealthy for people with emotional, binge or disordered eating tendencies. This strategy may be more successful alongside other tools, such as mindful eating and self-control practices.

If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please don’t hesitate in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. You can find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

 

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

 

Protein Bars That Are So Delicious You Won’t Believe They’re Keto

First I want to start by saying hello and welcome to all of my new followers. I’m thrilled that you chose to join my little community. Here at Amanda Explains It I always aim to bring you Informative Information every day. If you have any questions you can comment or you can find all of the links at the end of the post. 🙂

Today I talk about Keto-Friendly Protein Snack bars. I’ve done a lot of snack posts but I never really did a dedicated snack post for anyone that is following or anyone who knows someone that is following the Ketogenic “Diet”. 

If you are looking for a protein snack that tastes good or you might be new to the ketogenic lifestyle then before you read this post Click Here If you want to learn more about the ketogenic lifestyle I have many blog post dedicated to the keto lifestyle. All the links to Ketogenic posts will be linked at the end of today’s post.

These Protein Bars Are So Delicious You Won’t Believe They’re Keto

It’s not easy saying sayonara to your favorite carby snacks when you’re on the ketogenic diet. Goodbye granola, au revoir toast, adios crackers. No one knows how challenging it can be like Mark Sisson, founder of Primal Kitchen and author of The Keto Reset Diet. That’s why he created a new line of protein bars that are made just for keto followers.

Packed with healthy fats such as cage-free eggs, coconut oil, and flaxseed, the bars have either five or six net carbs total, making it the perfect low-carb treat when you’ve got a serious hankering. Choose from Peanut Butter, Almond Spice, and Coconut Lime to tame your carb cravings. Looking for something crunchy? There’s a little bit of everything for everyone in this keto-friendly snacks round-up. Here’s how the Primal Kitchen protein bars compare nutritionally:

Peanut Butter

Primal kitchen peanut butter protein bar

200 calories, 15 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 1 g added sugar), 9 g protein

This soft, chewy bar is made for peanut butter lovers who appreciate its salty and sweet flavors. At 200 calories and 9 grams of protein per bar, it’s the perfect post-workout snack when you need something quick and nourishing.


Almond Spice

Primal kitchen almond spice protein bar200 calories, 16 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 1 g added sugars), 8 g protein

You’ll reap the benefits of healing spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice in this flavorful bar. And with almonds as the base, it’ll keep you satiated and energized to tackle your morning before midday hunger strikes. I love that it’s also gluten-free, so people with sensitivities or Celiac disease can indulge.


Coconut Lime

Primal kitchen coconut lime protein bar

200 calories, 16 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (5 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 1 g added sugars), 8 g protein

One bite of this tropical-inspired bar will immediately transport you to the Florida Keys. The bold citrus flavor of lime and the subtle sweetness of coconut are a match made in keto heaven. With 16 grams of fat and only 2 grams of blood-sugar-spiking sugar, it’s better than any fat bomb you can imagine.


Ketogenic Blog Post Links

Keto Mistakes  Keto Grocery List  On-The-Go-Keto-Snacks  Keto Myths  How to get Into Ketosis   0 Carb Whip Cream 2 Ingredients  Keto Pizza Sauce  Bulletproof Coffee (Vegan,GF & Keto)  Keto Mousse


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? With every blog post, I always aim to bring you informative information about everything related to the health world. If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please don’t hesitate in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments, or concerns you may have.

You can find my email in the ”Thank You” section and you can find all of my social media links in the ”Where You Can Follow Me”.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

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The Best Store-Bought Taco Seasonings

The Best Store-Bought Taco Seasonings—Ranked!

Can we all agree that tacos are among our favorite go-to weekly meals? I wish Taco Tuesday could be every day of the week. It’s because tacos are so versatile, so easy to make, are a relatively well-balanced meal, and are the perfect default dinner whenever I don’t want to spend more than a minute thinking about what I want to cook. Plus, those flavorful packets of taco seasonings make taco night come together even more seamlessly. With a simple tear of a seam, you can transform any boring ground beef or chicken breast into a star protein you’d happily buy from your local Mexican restaurant.


Here’s How It Went Down.

I went to my local grocery store and picked up five of the most popular taco seasoning packets and two and a half pounds of ground beef, or a half a pound per packet. I made one large batch of ground beef and then split it into 5 servings.

To honor the brands, I seasoned each batch of ground beef according to each packet’s instructions—just cut in half (because each packet is intended for one pound of ground beef). Each packet recommends mixing the seasoning with a certain volume of water. We simply halved the amount of seasoning and water.

For McCormick and Ortega, we mixed half a packet of seasoning with 1/4 cup plus two tablespoons of water; for Bearitos and Old El Paso, we mixed the seasoning with 1/3 cup of water; and for Simply Organic, I mixed the half packet of seasoning with 1/4 cup of water. I brought each batch up to a boil and then down to a simmer for 3 minutes. Finally, time to taste test!


The results, listed from My Taste Tester least favorite to His favorite (the winner!).

Disclaimer: before I get into the rankings: all of these taco seasonings tasted very similar. My taste tester expressed some difficulty noting the differences between brands when he tasted the ground beef on its own, and it was nearly impossible to distinguish between brands when we paired the beef with a tortilla chip. I ultimately came to the conclusion that you can feel comfortable buying any of these taco seasoning packets to flavor your meat because they’re very similar in taste and all the toppings you’ll add to the tacos will really level the taste playing field.

Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix, 40% Less Sodium

Ortega taco seasoning mix 40 percent less sodium

It might be healthier because it’s lower in sodium, but testers agreed that this seasoning was the worst because it was very bland. The amount of seasoning and water needed made this meat look the most like cafeteria taco slop.


Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix, Original

Old el paso taco seasoning mix original

Although my tester agreed this flavoring was fairly underwhelming, he didn’t rank it last because there was a sense of familiarity in the flavors. While he likened it to Lunchables meat, another noted it tasted like “that yellow packet taco seasoning my mom used as a kid,” which was right on the money! He was surprised to find that their mom’s go-to seasoning didn’t quite stack up to the other blends once he tasted the other kinds.


Simply Organic Spicy Taco Seasoning Mix

Simply organic spicy taco seasoning mix

He agreed this was the most distinctive seasoning blend out of all five choices. That’s because it’s very spice-forward and leans toward the “spicy” side. While it was ranked mid-range for some who thought it to be a bit too powerful, others fawned over it and marked it as his top choice. Because it was pretty polarizing depending on your spice preference, it landed in his #2 number two spot.


McCormick Original Taco Seasoning Mix

Mccormick original taco seasoning mix

Now, the overall winner: McCormick! With flakes of garlic and a well-rounded flavor profile, tasters pleasantly chowed down on this taco meat. Not too spicy and not at all dull, this taco seasoning packet was just right. Grab the red packet in your grocery store to make your protein the perfectly-spiced canvas for all your favorite taco toppings.


 Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? Some take Taco Tuesday’s very seriously so I wanted to bring you something you can use or pass on to other taco lovers. I know it can be difficult to find a taco seasoning that you or your friends like. This list is based on a friend’s opinion who take his taco seasonings very seriously. For his taste test regular meat was used but if you are vegetarian and or vegan you can always use vegan “meat”. If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please don’t hesitate in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

 

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

 

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

Ways To Measure Weight Loss Without A Scale

Happy First Day Of Fall! It Is now acceptable to go hard for all things pumpkin and fall! If you are new to my blog hello how are you? My name is Amanda and I run the blog AmandaExplainsIt. Here I talk about health, fitness, nutrition, exercise related things. I also talk about the best and the worst of something. If you ever have any questions about anything please don’t hesitate in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. You can reach me at the links and email I provided at the end of the blog.

If you missed yesterday’s blog I talked about what may happen to your body when you lose 50+ pounds. If you are interested in reading it you can Click Here

Recently I did a few posts about fall and pumpkin related food you can find all those things at the end of today’s blog.

If you’ve browsed weight loss forums or are currently following a “Diet”, you might have come across the acronym “NSV.” It’s short for non-scale victory,” and it’s a way for dieters to measure their weight loss progress without being constrained to a single measurement of a scale. Although scales can surely measure how much overall weight you’ve lost on your new healthy eating plan, they aren’t always the most reliable gauge. For starters, a scale doesn’t read body composition. There is a difference between water weight, fat weight, and muscle mass. As an example, the scale’s needle can stay at the same number or even tip higher if you have successfully gained muscle mass while losing body fat.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other, overlooked ways to measure the progress of your healthy eating journey and clock in those non-scale victories. I’ve rounded up a few of these confidence-boosting NSV that dieters often share with each other below. And if you’re married to the scale, stick to stepping on it just once a week or twice a month even better would be once a month. Use the same scale on the same day at the same time. Your weight shifts throughout the day, so what may be perceived as weight gain can be discouraging. Consistency gives you a more accurate read. Also, waiting a week allows time for the scale to actually show your weight loss.

Progress Pics

Taking before-and-after photos is a classic NSV and a sure-fire way to measure progress and maintain it. Twice a month, wear the same clothing and snap a selfie from the same angle each time. Just remember to take a picture at the same time of day—preferably right when you wake up, before breakfast—to render the most consistent results. Seeing changes via juxtaposed (place or deal with close together for contrasting effect). Images will help you realize your success better than looking in the mirror.




Try On a Pair of Jeans

Woman wearing jeans

If one of the reasons you began a weight-loss plan is to fit into your old skinny jeans, then why not measure success by doing the wiggle test? Try on the same pair of skinny jeans every two weeks or so—the less effort it takes to zip them up and the less fat hanging over the beltline, the more fat you’ve lost. While you’re at it, strap on a pair of heels and celebrate your weight-loss wins.


Use a Tape Measure

While a scale can compute your body mass, a good ol’ fashioned measuring tape can evaluate actual fat loss. Depending on whether your goal is to gain muscle or lose fat, measuring specific areas such as your waist, hips, and arms can determine if you’ve lost or gained inches. Plus, if your goal is weight loss, tracking where you lost the most inches can help you better understand how and where you naturally drop pounds.

Tip: Remember to keep stats of your starting measurements and then your once a month or so measurements.



Try an At-Home Body Fat Test

Body fat caliper

At-home tools like skin calipers and mPort, a 3D body mapping app, can help you figure out your body fat as opposed to a scale, which gives you a reading on the total weight (factoring in water weight and muscle mass, which you likely don’t want to account for). Once you receive your results, note this: A healthy range of body fat for women is 20-25 percent, compared to men who are at a healthy range from 10-15 percent.


Test Your Body Fat Professionally

Services like DexaFit’s Fit3D body scan maps the surface of your body in three dimensions to measure the amount of mass you hold onto in specific areas as well as provides summaries of your fitness progress. If you’re open to trying some trends, take a stab at hydrostatic weighing, which estimates your body composition based on the difference in weight between your normal body weight and your weight while completely submerged underwater. Another option is a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), which involves calculating body fat by running electrical currents through your body—psst, it’s painless!


Get a Fitness Tracker

Woman looking at fitness watch on a run

Fitness tech like the Fitbit can help you track your activity levels, heart rate, and food, which can help you gauge progress over time. If you notice your heartbeat slowing down during a HIIT session that used to leave you gasping for air, that’s an NSV! If you clocked in more steps this month than you used to on average, that’s an NSV, too. Stopped snacking post-dinner? Noticing all these factors—and extra calories burned—written down can reassure you that you’re nearing your body goals.


Try a 30-Day Challenge

You know those plank and squat challenges that litter your social media feeds? Why not take a stab at them? Day one may be tough to hold a 30-second plank or do 20 air squats, but once you continue the daily plan, you’ll notice your body getting stronger after you complete each challenge. And you might just see that 4-pack peeking through.


Check For Clearer Skin

Woman touching face

McMaster University researchers found that men and women aged 40 and up who exercised frequently had skin closer in composition to that of 20–30 year-olds—even if they were past age 65! Sweating during exercise helps your skin detox and remove toxins that can lead to acne and clogged pores. Be sure to thoroughly wash your face before and after your spin sesh to reap the benefits.



Recall Your Joint Pain

If you’re overweight, shedding some pounds can help you reduce your risk of the most common joint issue: osteoarthritis. Holding onto excess weight adds unnecessary stress on your knees—often causing you to cut your cardio routine short. According to Harvard Health, adding incline to your treadmill hikes up the force on each knee by two to three times your body weight while squatting adds four to five times your body weight in force. Losing weight not only helps relieve some of this weight-related pressure but also reduces your risk of inflammation associated with joint pain.



Assess Your Energy Levels

Woman running

It only makes sense that the extra weight you’re holding onto is actually weighing you down. Many folks report on experiencing an energy boost after losing weight, whether it’s because their confidence and motivation skyrocketed as a result of seeing results or because their joint pain subsided and fitness level increased enough for them to stay active with ease.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. If you missed yesterday’s blog post I talked about what happens to your body when you lose 50+ pounds if you are interested in reading it I left a link at the beginning of today’s blog. If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or any general questions you can always reach me at the links I provided in the section called “Where You Can Follow Me”. 

 


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

 

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

 

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

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➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

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