Month: May 2016

15 Best Foods for a Flat Belly

When you’re trying to slim down your stomach, core exercises and ab workouts go a long way—but what you eat also plays a huge role. In addition to drinking enough water, eating fresh produce and healthy fats, and avoiding notorious belly-busters (think alcohol, soda, and sugar), certain foods are particularly good for shrinking your gut.

“If you want your abs to feel flatter, choose foods that will help decrease bloating in your stomach, such as water-packed fruits and veggies,” says Keri Gans, RD, a New York City-based nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet.

These 15 foods will help keep your waistline slim by reducing bloat, boosting metabolism, and giving your body important nutrients that encourage weight loss.

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Why not start a Juice Plus+ franchise – it’s good for you

“Don’t sell Juice Plus+ – it’s all sounds too good to be true,” my husband said three years ago.

“Juice Plus+ sounds like a pyramid scheme,” a friend warned when I revealed my new found love for the product.

I must admit I too was sceptical about the whole thing. In fact if it hadn’t been for the respectable nature of the gentleman who first introduced me to Juice Plus+ then I would probably never have taken the leap of faith that I did.

My husband and I are now delighted that we took the road less travelled though.

Indeed after a few months of both taking the product and encouraging others to do the same I thought: ‘Where have you been all my life, Juice Plus+.’

In hindsight, starting a franchise business, which involves selling a product that transformed my health and would soon transform my life, was a no brainer.

Of course it was a daunting prospect in the beginning. I was completely new to what’s known as network marketing. I tried my best to ignore advice from people who had for whatever reason misinterpreted what the franchise model was all about.

I didn’t give in to the intentions of the scaremongers who branded it a pyramid scheme. For a start I knew that a pyramid scheme involved investing heavily in stock. Then of course was the small matter of pyramid schemes being completely illegal.

It helped enormously that my mentor in Juice Plus+ was a former school principal. He’s a pillar of his community who in his spare time runs his own thriving franchise business.

That’s the whole joy of the Juice Plus+ business model. Franchise owners can run hugely successful businesses on their own time. There is no financial investment required, only your time. Return on investment is measured in commission gained from sales. It is a concept that is an integral part of the Irish dream; the harder you work, the more money you make.  Everyone works for each other which encourages tremendous teamwork in the Juice Plus+ family.

Most importantly though is the product, which is the highest standard whole food supplement you’ll find anywhere.

Becoming a successful mentor is all about finding the right people to work with. It’s about partnerships that click.

The people I work with come from various walks of life. They include stay at home mums, school teachers, high flying professionals and already successful business people.

My greatest partner of all, however, is my husband Seamus –  a man who would never have entertained the idea several years ago. Coming from a traditional business background and working on the assumption that you never get something for nothing, Seamus soon came to believe that rethink was in order.

Both the high quality of the product – which he discovered through using it – and the warm reactions of those who purchased it helped change his mind quite quickly.

Seamus is now one of the key advocates for the business model and reaped the rewards from it in a time when his own business was destroyed by economic crisis and construction crash.

It did take a leap of faith but it is one which has paid off for us and those we mentor.

So when someone tells you “don’t sell Juice Plus+” I agree with them –  I say don’t sell Juice Plus+ until you read our story.


To find out more about how to start a new and rewarding career as a Juice Plus+ franchisee simply get in touch.

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Intermittent Fasting Is All the Rage—But Is It Healthy?

When you hear the word “fasting,” you probably think of gimmicky diets—and, um, feeling “hangry.” But a growing body of research suggests that cycling super low-calorie days into your normal eating plan could potentially improve your health (more on that later). But before you skip lunch and let your gut start growling, read on for everything you need to know about intermittent fasting. 


What is intermittent fasting (IF)?

In very basic terms, IF is occasional starvation done in a strategic way. The idea is to cycle between periods of regular eating and fasting, during which you severely restrict your calorie intake or don’t consume any food at all. Some people fast for hours, while some may go for a full day or longer.


Fasting isn’t one size fits all

IF may mean something different depending on who you talk to. One of the more commonly known fasting systems is the 5:2 diet, which involves restricting calories for two non-consecutive days a week and eating without calorie restraints on the other five days. (Jimmy Kimmel credited the 5:2 diet with his weight loss in a Men’s Journal story last year.) 


Others may fast on a day-to-day basis by eating only during a specific time window. Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging in Maryland who has researched the subject extensively, shared with the New York Times that most days he skips breakfast and lunch and eats all of his calories within a six-hour window starting in the afternoon. And, Hugh Jackman revealed that he fasted for 16 hours and ate within an 8-hour window to get in shape for his role as Wolverine in 2013. 


The health benefits of fasting go beyond weight loss

Fasting may improve your overall health and extend your life, likely due to the ways that it affects cell and hormone function, according to several studies. In one recent study in Cell Metabolism, for example, periodic fasting was linked to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and aging.


So why does fasting have such a positive health impact? During the fasting phase, many cells die and stem cells turn on, which starts a regeneration process and gives rise to new, younger cells, study author Valter Longo, PhD, recently explained to Health. “It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not,” he said.


Other studies have shown that intermittent fasting may decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, as well as inflammation. Additionally, IF may improve insulin resistance, which, in turn, helps stabilize blood sugar levels.


RELATED: 49 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Feeling Full


It typically focuses on when to eat, not necessarily what to eat

There’s no one-size-fits-all fasting diet; plans can be highly individualized. Some folks allow themselves to drink black coffee and green juice during the no-food period, while others may give themselves a cap of 500 calories on fasting days.


For instance, Kimmel told Men’s Journal that on fasting days his “meals” might consist of peanut butter and an apple, the whites of hard-boiled eggs, or possibly a bowl of oatmeal. “The rest of the week I’m a glutton—pizza and pasta and steak,” he told the mag.


But here, Kimmel reveals one of the issues with fasting diets, says Libby Mills, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “The focus isn’t always on nutrition,” she says. “A lot of the time it’s just about calories.” 


“Some people may also interpret the normal eating time as free rein to go calorie crazy,” Mills adds, “which can backfire.”


It can help with weight loss, but it may not work for everyone

Hey, it helped Kimmel and Jackman shape up. But Mills warns that while a fasting program may aid weight loss, it’s not a plan that is practical or sustainable for everyone.


“It’s not something that I personally recommend in my practice because I think there are lots of ways to get a jumpstart on weight loss without going cold turkey with food,” she explains. “You can instead focus on eating more vegetables and fruits. That way you’re focusing on picking healthy calories and adding nutrients. It’s a positive change as opposed to an all-or-nothing mindset.”


You also don’t know how you will react physically and mentally to calorie restriction, she adds. “You may not know how your body will respond to, say, low blood sugar,” Mills says. “Or, some people find that fasting seems like a piece of cake until around 3 o’clock, and then suddenly cravings come on and you end up eating all sorts of things you normally wouldn’t.”


The bottom line? “You have to consider how you personally are affected by restriction,” she says.


RELATED: 4 Reasons NOT to Try Intermittent Fasting


You should talk to a doctor before trying a fasting diet

Your personality is just one factor to consider before you try IF; your overall health is another.


“Whether you’re thinking about trying a fasting system for preventive reasons or as a treatment, the doctor should be involved,” Longo says. “There are many factors that must be considered, like your current diet, or whether you have diabetes or a metabolic disorder.”


Also, it’s important to determine with a health or nutrition professional what sort of system makes sense for your lifestyle.


“An athlete with a perfect pescatarian diet may benefit from only fasting twice a year,” Longo explains. “But someone with high cholesterol and excess abdominal fat may see more improvement by doing it more regularly.”


The long-term effects of fasting diets aren’t well understood. Much of the research on the topic has been done across short time frames. And while experts have done some studies in humans and are doing more, a lot of the current info is from animal samples.


A lot more research needs to be done, Mills says. But if you are curious about incorporating fasting into your eating plan, you should ask a health professional to help you design a plan that ensures you are eating the right foods on both fasting and non-fasting days to guarantee you stay in good health.

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Is It Possible to Eat Too Much Fruit?

You’ve been told since you were a kid how important it is to eat fruit. But is there such thing as too much? As a nutritionist, I’ve worked with clients on both ends of the fruit-eating spectrum: Some shunned fruit completely due to its carb and sugar content, while others loaded up on fruit because it’s rich in nutrients. The reality is, the ideal amount lies somewhere in between these two extremes, and it varies from person to person. To help you figure out your own sweet spot when it comes to fruit, here are four important things to keep in mind.

Stick with two to four servings

As a general rule, you probably need somewhere between two to four servings of fruit a day. What’s a proper serving? Either one cup, or a piece of fruit about the size of a baseball. But if your activity level varies from day to day, your fruit needs might change as well. For example, many of my female clients eat one serving of fruit with breakfast, and another as part of a daytime snack (a good go-to strategy!). But on days they have a tough workout, they may add a third serving, such as a small, pre-exercise banana. However, for active men, teens, and tall, younger women with active jobs, four servings a day tends to be about right. Some of my pro athlete clients need more than four servings a day, but that’s not the norm for most of us.

Your fruit needs are based on your fuel needs

Here’s why you shouldn’t eat an unlimited amount of fruit, or even overdo it: While it may be packed with nutrients, fruit is also a major source of carbs. One medium apple, a cup of blueberries, and a small banana each contain about 20 grams. It’s important to get a healthy amount of carbs in your daily diet, to fuel the activity of your cells. But when you eat more carbs than you can burn after a meal or snack, the surplus can either feed existing fat, or even increase your body fat stores. For this reason, your total carb intake—including nutrient-rich foods like fruit—should correspond to your fuel needs, which are based on your height, ideal weight, sex, age, and physical activity level.

The taller you are and the higher your ideal weight, the more of you there is to fuel, and therefore the more carbs you need. Men generally need more than women, younger people more than older adults, and active folks more than inactive individuals. (Men are on average taller than women, and even at the same height they have more muscle mass—two reasons they require extra fuel.) For example, if you’re a petite woman who mostly sits at work and exercises for 45 minutes five days a week, you don’t need as many servings of fruit per day as a tall, muscular man with a physically demanding job.

Timing matters

Since the carbs in fruit fuel the activity of your cells, when you eat berries, apples, and the like makes a big difference. Downing a huge fruit plate late at night while you’re watching TV or surfing the web (i.e., when your fuel demand is low) may be healthier than eating cookies or candy. But if you don’t burn off all those carbs, then—yep you guessed it—surplus city! So try to eat fruit before you’re going to be more active, so you’ll use the carbs for fuel. If you really enjoy eating fruit in the evening, at least try to limit your portion to, say, one cup of grapes (as opposed to three big handfuls).

The nutrients in fruit are worth the carbs (if you don’t overdo it)

While carbs are a consideration, it’s also important to remember that fruit is chock-full of other key nutrients. Natural substances in fruit—including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and prebiotics—do wonders for your health. And the nutrients found in one fruit family, like berries, differ from those in apples and pears, stone fruits, melon, or citrus. So rather than limiting yourself to apples and berries only, aim for variety, and work in seasonal options.

Another thing: Don’t freak out about the sugar. Even the strictest nutrition guidelines zero in on added sugar, not naturally-occurring sugar from whole, fresh fruit. That’s because sugar found in fruit is unrefined, far less concentrated, and bundled with a number of other key nutrients. For example, one whole orange provides about 17 grams of carbs, around 12 of which are natural sugar. But that orange also supplies fluid, 12% of your daily fiber, nearly 100% of your vitamin C needs, B vitamins, potassium, and compounds like herperidin—which has been shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and act as an anti-inflammatory. In comparison, one level tablespoon of table sugar contains 16 grams of carbs, all from refined sugar, and is devoid of nutrients. In other words, fruit and refined sugar don’t belong in the same category.

So please, enjoy fruit as part of a balanced diet. If you’re strategic about the timing and amount, you won’t have to worry about these healthy plants causing weight gain or preventing weight loss, and at the same time you’ll better protect your health.

Do you have a question about nutrition? Chat with us on Twitter by mentioning @goodhealth and @CynthiaSass.

Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Yankees, previously consulted for three other professional sports teams, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Sass is a three-time New York Times best-selling author, and her newest book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Connect with her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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Feel the power of One Simple Change


Feel the Power of One Simple Change.
Trying to change your diet—or make other healthful changes, such as becoming more physically active—doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. It’s much better to make #OneSimpleChange at a time.
Adding Juice PLUS+ Complete to your daily life is One Simple Change that you’ve already made. How about another?
One Simple Change
To get you thinking about another #OneSimpleChange you can make on your journey towards better health, here are a few suggestions:
  Healthy eating. Clean your fridge and pantry and get rid of processed food. Try eating half as much.
  Hydration. Drink a full glass of water as soon as you wake up. And replace fizzy drinks with a healthy alternative such as water with fresh lemon or lime.
  Physical activity. Make it to the gym once a week. Take a break from sitting, and go for a walk at lunch time. Park further from your destination, or get off the train or bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the rest.
  Sleep and stress. Take time to focus on yourself and no-one else at least once a week. Wake up an hour later on Sunday. Laugh out loud once a day.
Fight Cravings
Many of the above ideas are also helpful if you feel food cravings. And knowing what causes those cravings can help you prevent them. Here are a few tips to help you break the cravings cycle:
  Eat regularly so your blood sugar doesn’t dip and spike.
  Fill your stomach with a glass of lukewarm water, unsweetened fruit juice or herbal tea.
  Get some fresh air by taking a short walk if you have a food craving between meals. You may find that you don’t actually need a snack!
Start your day Complete



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Ugly Food Is Hot: Why You Shouldn’t Throw Out Imperfect Produce

When it comes to produce, most of us behave like Goldilocks: We want the peppers and peaches that look just right. That pickiness may contribute to the truckloads of food waste generated each year. But looks aren’t everything. Oddball fruit and veggies are just as nutritious as their pageant-worthy cousinsand often more delicious, says Rachel Beller, RD, a Los Angeles-based nutritionist and founder of the Beller Nutritional Institute.

RELATED: 11 Ways to Save Money on Healthy Food

“Look, any kind of produce—both fresh and frozen—adds value to our diets,” she says. “Many people fall short of getting enough fruits and vegetables, so discriminating against imperfect produce will further compromise their intake.”

And less-than-perfect fruits and veggies are still fine to eat, Beller assureseven if they’re not super fresh. “Produce is valuable no matter what, because it’s produce,” she explains. “This stuff is good for you.” A bruise on a piece of fruit, for example, may be a sign that it’s injured in that area or beginning to spoil, but “why not just cut it out and eat the rest?” 

Same goes for slightly soft fruits and veggies. “If produce has been sitting around for awhile, it may have less nutritional value, but that’s not a reason to discard it,” Beller says. “Newer is better than older, but it’s still good.”

RELATED: The Surprising Truth About the Dates on Food Labels

One effort to reverse the waste: Whole Foods Market has partnered with Imperfect Produce—a startup that delivers misshapen or undersize produce to your door at a low cost—to offer “ugly” fruits and veggies at some of the chain’s Northern California locations. 

Next time you’re shopping, remember: As far as nutrition goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts!

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The Perfect On-The-Go Snack for Busy Mums

Hey mums – Sure, you pay attention to every scrap your children eat, but during a jam-packed day of work, errands and picking up the kids, it’s all too easy to forget about nourishing yourself. The result? A frenzied trip to the drive-thru. But don’t make the same mistake again – Juice Plus+ recognizes the demand for portable easy-to-eat foods and offers on-the-go solutions.

Juice Plus+ Complete helps you achieve a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle by providing whole food nutrition in convenient shakes and nutrition bars. Whether you’re looking for the perfect pre or post workout snack to complement your fitness nutrition or as part of your everyday health routine, Juice Plus+ Complete shake mixes and nutrition bars have the nutrients, protein and fiber of whole foods to keep you going all day long.

No matter which type of mum you may be, Juice Plus+ Complete is the perfect addition to your busy, healthy lifestyle.

As a healthy breakfast: Mornings can be hectic and if you’re like most mums, you barely have enough time to nab a cup of coffee in the morning, let alone a healthy breakfast. But as you probably know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Fuel your body for the day ahead with a Juice Plus+ Complete shake. Not only quick and tasty, Juice Plus+ Complete shakes provide balanced nutrition in every scoop, leaving you full and energized to take on the day. You can even add additional fruits and veggies and make it a delicious smoothie!

As an on-the-go snack: Between carpooling the kids, running to the grocery store and helping with homework, it can be difficult to find time to eat healthy. Juice Plus+ Complete Nutrition bars provide balanced nutrition on-the-go. Packed with protein and fiber, our new bars are perfect for busy, on-the-go mums like you! So the next time you pack snacks for your kids, remember to fill your purse with a Juice Plus+ Complete bar for a midday pick-me-up.

As a pre or post-exercise drink: Protein is an essential component of any diet, especially for mums with an active lifestyle. Juice Plus+ Complete drink mix provides the protein your body needs pre and post workout. Whether you spend your free time lifting weights, training for marathons, or simply practising yoga to relax, Juice Plus+ Complete shakes will provide balanced nutrition in every scoop.

No matter which type of mum you may be, Juice Plus+ Complete is the perfect addition to your busy, healthy lifestyle.


Will you be giving Juice Plus+ Complete a try for your on-the-go needs? Let us know in the comment section below.




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3 New Breakfast Rules You Should Follow, According to an RD

You’ve heard the old saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But if you’ve been paying attention to some recent headlines, that age-old diet advice may now seem debatable. For example, a brand new UK study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at obese adults who ate the a.m. meal and those who skipped it, and found no differences between the two groups in weight change, or most health outcomes.

But despite this latest research, I’m still a breakfast believer. In my practice, I find that clients who skip their morning meal tend to overeat in the evening, when they’re less active and less likely to burn off the extra food. In fact, that recent UK study backed up my observations: It found that breakfast skippers had higher calorie intakes later in the day, while breakfast eaters were more physically active in the morning. That research didn’t observe any weight loss, but it was only a six-week trial. Over longer periods of time, these habit shifts could have a major impact on weight and body composition.

Also among my clients, I’ve noticed that breakfast skippers tend to fall short of their recommended servings of important foods like veggies, fruit, lean protein, and healthy fat. That’s because a quality breakfast is a prime opportunity to fit in key nutrients. To make the most of your first meal, check out my three fundamental breakfast rules.

RELATED: Not Losing Weight? 4 Breakfast Mistakes You Might Be Making

Quality is king

While “breaking the fast” is a good way to support your metabolism, you won’t feel energized and nourished if your breakfast is a white flour-laden muffin, a processed bagel with cream cheese, or a bowl of sugary cereal. In fact, some experts argue that regularly starting your day with these foods does more harm than good. So from now on, commit to eating whole foods for breakfast at least six days a week. Choose meals that are rich in protein, healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Some quick options include a veggie, herb, and avocado omelet with a side of fruit; muesli made with fruit, nuts, rolled oats, and cinnamon mixed with Greek yogurt; or a smoothie made with fresh greens, other veggies, fruit, protein powder, almond milk, and fresh ginger root.

If you don’t have time to make even a simple meal, toss a “clean” protein bar in your bag. I recommend looking for brands with simple ingredient lists that read like a recipe you could make yourself. A few of my favorites: Amrita’s Chocolate Maca vegan bars (15 grams of protein), Rise’s Lemon Cashew vegan bars (15 grams of protein), or RxBar’s egg white-based bars (12 grams of protein).

You can break up the meal

While I do think it’s best to eat something within about an hour of waking up, you don’t have to eat a full breakfast in one sitting to reap the benefits. For example, if you work out in the morning, try “splitting” your breakfast. Have a medium banana or small bowl of oatmeal pre-exercise to fuel your muscles; then eat a combo of veggies, lean protein, and healthy fat for post-workout recovery. Or if you’re more of a grazer, it’s a-okay to start your day with just a cup of coffee and nibble on snacks (like a handful of almonds, Greek yogurt, and fresh fruit) throughout the morning.

RELATED: 10 Best Foods to Eat for Breakfast

Unconventional is okay

If you can eat breakfast for dinner, why not try dinner for breakfast? Plenty of my clients enjoy eating a savory dish in the morning, which can be a great way to jumpstart your veggie intake for the day. One way to do this is to make a double portion of your dinner the night before, and eating the second half in the morning for a quick breakfast. You could try a toasted slice of gluten-free bread topped with mashed avocado or pesto, chilled sliced chicken or turkey breast, and a layer of veggies; or herbed cottage cheese mixed with chopped veggies and tahini. For a plant-based meal, try a pulse—like white beans, lentils, or chickpeas—tossed with chopped veggies, Italian herb seasoning, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Each of these unique breakfasts is easy, delicious, and oh-so-energizing.

Do you have a question about nutrition? Chat with us on Twitter by mentioning @goodhealth and @CynthiaSass
Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Yankees, previously consulted for three other professional sports teams, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Sass is a three-time New York Times best-selling author, and her newest book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Connect with her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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