Thursday, June 23, 2011

7 foods to flat belly

Let's get right into it.

1. Super duper Dark Chocolate -- I'm talking about the kind that has AT LEAST 72% cacao content or higher. I'm sorry to say but milk chocolate will only contribute to the spare tire around your waist so stick with the super duper dark version. Just 1 or 2 squares a day will do the trick.

If you have a sweet tooth, dark chocolate can satisfy your cravings for a lot less calories than reaching for the cookies, ice cream or pie. 1 to 2 squares is between 30 to 40 calories compared to the hundreds of calories in desserts. Plus dark chocolate has antioxidants so you can feel good about this semi sweet dessert. If you're thinking of doing your body a favor and eating the whole bar in one sitting, you may want to back up the chocolate train. Super duper dark chocolate, like any chocolate, is very calorie dense so you need to stick to the 1-2 squares rule!

Just a thought: use organic unsweetened cocoa powder in smoothies and other recipes. It has the antioxidants but way less calories.

2. Coconut milk, coconut flour, and coconut oil -- Why? Because they contain a healthy type of saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) and lauric acid, which is a powerful nutrient for your immune system for example. The body uses MTCs as fuel and doesn't store it as fat. GREAT NEWS!

Let's talk about coconut flour. It is a healthier option in baking because it is extremely high fiber & protein and it's gluten free! Most of the carbs in this flour are fiber and not starch. That's huge because all of the carbs I eat seem to know to travel to my spare tire immediately. I think it's time to change white flour to coconut!

Word of warning: if you are going to use coconut flour in baking, it has to be mixed with other flours and more liquid added than the recipe calls for. It sucks up moisture so it may make your goodies dry.

3. Grass-fed (pasture-raised) butter -- Yummy deliciousness! This kind of butter actually has nutrients in it and you don't have to avoid it to stay/become skinny. Please read this article by Mike Geary, a fitness guru, to find out how real butter (pasture raised, grass fed) can make you leaner.

4. Whole Eggs, including the yolk (not just egg whites) -- GaSp! And all this time you've been tossing the yolk! Too bad because the yolks are the healthiest part of the egg with lots of bio-available protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The yolks also contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate and panthothenic acid. IThey contain vitamins A, D, E and K as well as all essential fatty acids.

However, you have to choose organic free roaming eggs instead of the regular cheepo grocery store eggs. Why? Because the nutrient content and the Omega 3 (healthy) & 6 (inflammatory) fatty acids in the eggs are like night and day. Organic free roaming chicken eggs come out on the top.

Here is a link to Mike Geary's article on eggs if you'd like to read it.

5. Grass-fed beef or bison -- What do these animals eat when they are out in the wild: Soy? Corn? Grass? Same principal applies here as with the chicken: when cattle or bison eat their natural diet, they produce superior meat that is nutritious for us. All in moderation of course.

There are actual chemical changes to the meat when cattle or bison eat soy and/or corn, and that translates into the meat. Diet is very important to everyone, even these animals, to stay healthy and well. Remember sick animals produce sick meat. This is the reason you see rising levels e-coli in the meats in the grocery stores.

Grass fed meat has: * more Omega 3 and less Omega 6 * more vitamin E * high levels of Conjugated Linoleic acid which helps burn fat and build muscle. I need some of that for sure!

6. Avocados -- They are fruit bursting of antioxidants, minerals, micro-nutrients, mono saturated fats and vitamins. I think I hear guacamole calling my name! It is actually a very healthy way to eat avocados, so go ahead and have your daily serving, just leave the chips on the shelf in the pantry! Instead try it on your grass fed bison burgers, fish, chicken, salads, breads, green or fruit smoothies or crackers.

This fruit helps you maintain your hormone levels while reducing your appetite. So healthy and delicious, the avocado is one of the few guilt free pleasures in life.

7. Nuts: Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Pecans, Brazil Nuts, Macadamias, etc -- Let the burn begin! These are healthy fats that provide vitamins, minerals and other good stuff the help you shed pounds. They are a good source of fiber and protein also.

Nuts help to maintain the appropriate levels of fat burning hormones in our bodies and because of the fiber, act as appetite suppressants. When you get a craving for something sweet, try popping a few nuts in your mouth. It's very satisfying and way less calories for sure. Now please remember to try to find organic raw products as much as possible.

For variety, you could be adventurous and try other nut butters like almond butter. I think it's very tasty and makes a wonderful addition to smoothies or just spread on whole wheat crackers or bread.

Mike Geary suggests that you eat a handful of nuts about 20 minutes before lunch and dinner to control your appetite. This way you'll end up consuming less calories than you normally would but yet your body gets the healthy fats and vitamins & minerals contained in those nuts. They are so yummy!

Those are the 7 foods that can help you with the battle of the bulge. Remember that as with anything, moderation is the key! Also, there are so many websites that urge people to try this that or the other product that actually is not good for you. I've said it before and I'll say it again: PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH BEFORE BELIEVING WHAT I HAVE TO SAY! Although I believe everything in this article to be fit and healthy for our bodies, I would feel so much better if you also gained that testimony on your own.

Here's to health!

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