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Are fresh fruits & vegetables better than frozen?

Flash frozen vegetables are a great option because their nutrients are sealed at peak ripeness.

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How do I stay on track while traveling?

Whether it’s walking around the terminal or bringing protein powder in your suitcase, Herbalife Nutrition expert Susan Bowerman shares her top tips for healthy, happy traveling.
More ideas on how to stay on track while traveling:

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How does your age affect your body composition?

As you age, your lean mass lowers. That's why implementing healthy eating now will benefit you in the long run.

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How can I order take out guilt-free?

What types of foods are best when ordering take out? Focus on lean proteins (like chicken and seafood) and vegetables to keep you satiated.

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Controlling the Candy Monster This Halloween

Keep candy in small, sweet portions.

When I was little, there was a guy down the street who bucked the Halloween candy trend, and instead pulled quarters from behind our ears. His place was really popular.

He also knew all the kids in the neighborhood, so we all knew that one quarter was the limit—no circling the block and coming back for more. But now it seems that in this era of supersizing—where more is always better and there are almost no limits—we’ve managed to supersize Halloween, too.

No longer is it just about scary costumes and fun with friends and family. The focus seems to be more on who can collect the most candy. I don’t recall exactly what I used to carry my loot, but I’m positive it wasn’t a pillowcase. Thanks to its light weight and large size, that seems to be the preferred method for hauling Halloween booty.

Does anyone really need a pillowcase full of candy?

I don’t want to spoil anyone’s holiday—but when you recognize that Halloween revelers spend the evening collecting a staggering 600 million pounds of candy from strangers, perhaps there are things we can do to make us feel as if we’re contributing just a little bit less to the madness.

We’ve learned some lessons from food psychology research that might well apply here. For example, we know that people eat less from smaller bowls or plates than larger ones. People judge ‘how much they have’ based on how well it fills up a plate, bowl or cup. We also know that people serve themselves less when they’re dipping or pouring from small containers rather than larger ones.

So, what if we dole out candy from a small bowl rather than a huge cauldron? Maybe kids would take a little less. And if we provide our own kids with smaller containers for collecting goodies, they might be satisfied with less, too. All they really want is to go home with a full container—whatever size it is. So, out with the pillowcases, and bring back the old-school plastic jack-o’-lanterns.

The other thing we’ve learned is that the more variety we’re faced with, the more we’re likely to serve ourselves. We tend to eat more at buffets for this reason. The same should hold true for candy. If you offer the little goblins an array of candy, they’re probably going to try to take one of each—and you might feel a twinge of guilt for indulging their gluttony. But limit your offerings to just one type of candy, and it’s more likely they’ll just take one.

You could, of course, buck the candy trend altogether. Pulling coins from behind kids’ ears may have lost its appeal, but you could pass out small packs of nuts, colorful stickers, pencils, temporary tattoos and Halloween-themed party favors—all guilt-free alternatives to traditional sugar-laden treats.

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Five-Minute Workouts to Keep Your Fitness on Track

Start your day with a core workout.

Some exercise is always better than doing none at all. Commit to doing quick five-minute workouts any week you feel too busy to hit the gym.

The great thing about Halloween, if you have kids, is the extra walking minutes you can accumulate for the entire family as you go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. The week leading up to Halloween, however, can be hectic and interfere with your usual workout routine. The extra treats consumed can mess with your waistline too, so here are some fast and effective workouts you can squeeze into your day to keep your results on track.

We all know that busy days are a part of life, and as a busy working mom myself, I know all too well that some days getting in a workout seems almost impossible. But with a no excuses attitude, I also know that you don’t have to let your hectic schedule interfere with getting in a quick burst of exercise. If getting in your daily 30 minutes is challenging this week, commit to five-minute bouts of exercise to ensure that you stay on track with your personal body composition goals.

Here are five quick at-home routines that you can add to your day.

Morning start: Jump out of bed and do this fat burning routine in your p.j.’s. It’s not as intense as a HIIT workout, but it will help get your blood flowing and promote the release of your natural feel-good endorphins to help you start your day feeling good.

Mid-day blast: This workout will get your heart rate up and challenge your body. It has lots of my favorite athletic style moves that promote muscle strengthening and, because it’s high in intensity, you will burn calories for a while afterwards as your body recovers.

Lower-body Fix: Working the muscles of the posterior chain – a.k.a. the booty and legs – is great because this major muscle group burns calories faster than working smaller muscles, making a lower-body routine a perfect choice when you are short on time.

Upper-body focus: This quick upper-body workout is great for toning the chest and arms.

All about the abs: This core focused abdominal workout is sure to make you feel great. If you have little ones at home, this routine is great for when they are taking a nap.

Stress relief before bed: If you are wound up at the end of the day, consider spending some time before bed doing this stretching routine. It will help you connect your mind, body and breath. Stretching at the end of the day may help clear your mind and slow your energy down to help you get a good night’s sleep. It’s not a big calorie burner, but the relaxation and muscle stretching benefits feel great.

Short workouts are a perfect option for days when you know you are busy. If you perform all six workouts, that’s your 30-minute health benefits of exercise met for the day. If you only have time to do one or two routines, get in the rest of your exercise minutes with walking and staying generally active.

An at-home workout can be highly effective. Even if you only have time to squeeze in a few minutes of exercise, it can make a big difference with how you feel. Getting your body moving each day can build your self-confidence and your muscles too. Make this Halloween a healthy and fit one.

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How Good Nutrition Promotes Healthy Hair

Healthy hair needs protein, too.

A healthy diet plays an instrumental role in the health of your hair.

We talk about the importance of nutrition when it comes to our skin, but it doesn’t stop there. A healthy diet also plays an instrumental role in growing healthy hair. With so many products on the market today, including shampoos, conditioners, gels, sprays and more, you’d think that the only thing we can do for our hair is cover it up with product. But that just isn’t the case. Like our skin, the condition of our hair can be a true reflection of what’s going on inside of our bodies. Let’s take a look at the importance of nutrition and our hair.

Our hair is part of our unique look. It can be conservative, quirky or free flowing, and everyone is different. Some like long, bouncy curls while others like a short, polished look. And some prefer no hair at all. No matter what your style is, there’s one thing that experts agree on. A healthy diet that includes a variety of nutrients, including proteins, vitamins and minerals, can help improve how our hair feels and looks. That’s right. Our diet is a direct link to the overall health of our hair.

The Nutrition Link to Healthy Hair

What is Healthy Hair?

Healthy hair is full, bouncy, manageable, shiny, soft and silky. Healthy hair grows out of every hair follicle without issue. It’s strong, doesn’t break easily and it’s attached to a healthy scalp. A balanced diet is important to give your hair the nutrients required to look and feel healthy. And guess what one of the most important things for our hair is? Protein.

The Power of Protein

Did you know that hair is comprised primarily of proteins called keratin? Keratin is actually a family of proteins that are a major component of hair, skin, teeth and even the horns and hooves of animals. In fact, hair is made of approximately 95% keratin. Because of this, hair requires adequate amounts of protein from our diet to thrive.

As Susan Bowerman said, “Many women, especially when they’re watching their weight, often don’t eat enough protein as they try to get by on a lot of salads. Since protein is so important for healthy hair, it’s something they should pay more attention to.” And, boy, is she right. In fact, there are many studies that indicate that occasional hair loss may be due to a lack of protein intake. Crash diets that exclude protein or unhealthy eating practices in general can be damaging to our hair, and may contribute to hair loss. But don’t worry, because including adequate amounts of protein in our diet from chicken, meat, eggs, fish, tofu, nuts and other sources can solve the problem. We never start my day without a delicious protein shake, and our afternoon snack is always a protein bar. Just remember the power of protein.

Nutrition and Your Hair

While protein is important for healthy hair, it’s not the only thing. Trace minerals like iron, copper, magnesium and selenium are helpful, as are vitamins E, D, and C. These nutrients are involved in the production of keratin, so it’s important to include them in your diet. Deficiencies in any of these nutrients can compromise hair health and cause hair loss. Be conscientious of the foods you’re eating, and take a daily multivitamin to ensure you’re providing your body (and hair) with what it needs to flourish. Using the right hair care products is also important. Choose formulas that contain antioxidant vitamins, natural hydrating ingredients like shea butter and aloe vera, and those that are sulfate-free. The combination of inner and outer nutrition is great for your hair.

Here are some of our favorite fun facts about hair.

  • Hair grows all over our bodies except for the palms of hands, soles of feet, eyelids, mucous membranes and lips.
  • When wet, a strand of hair can stretch 30% beyond its normal length. This is why it’s important not to brush or comb hair too vigorously after washing. We don’t want to damage or break the hair strands.
  • Red hair is the most rare, and it’s found in about 1% of the world’s population. Blond hair represents about 2%, with black being the most common color of all.
  • Freaking out over hair in the shower drain? Don’t. The average person has 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on their head. It’s normal to lose 40 to 150 strands each day. The good news is that when a hair falls out, it usually grows back up to 20 times in a lifetime.
  • A single hair can have a lifespan of 5 years. So, take care of it by choosing a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Look for products with clinical tests to improve hair strength. And don’t abuse your hair with excessive drying and styling practices.
  • The only part of the hair that isn’t dead is the hair inside the scalp. So give your scalp a nice massage when cleansing to stimulate blood flow. It’s beneficial and feels great, too.

A healthy diet can lead to healthy skin and healthy hair. It’s our number one beauty secret to looking and feeling fabulous. And it’s that combination of taking care of our bodies inside and out that really makes a difference. It’s about being healthy. And remember, the healthiest skin (and hair) is always the most beautiful.

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Restaurant Quiz: How to Avoid Empty Calories

Make healthy choices when dining out.

The choices you make when you eat away from home can have a huge impact on your waistline. Can you spot the best choices in restaurants? Take this quick restaurant food quiz and find out if you’re savvy when you dine out.

The typical American eats in a restaurant about four times a week. Even if you’re not sitting down at a restaurant, there are plenty of other times when you may be picking up foods prepared away from home. Examples are your mid-morning coffee drink, your afternoon snack from the vending machine, or the prepared meal you pick up on the way home. When you add up all of the calories Americans eat in a day, nearly one-third of them come from foods prepared away from home. That’s why making careful, wise choices when you eat away from home is so important.

Think you know the best choices when you dine out? Take my restaurant quiz and see how savvy you are.

(Note: Portion sizes and calorie counts vary from restaurant to restaurant. The suggested “best choices” in my restaurant quiz below will generally be the lowest calorie choice, as well as the choice that provides the best nutritional value. Examples are not meant to represent any particular dining establishment or restaurant chain, but are used to highlight typical choices you might face when dining out.)

Restaurant Quiz: What’s the Best Choice When You Eat Out?

You’re meeting a friend for coffee. You decide to skip breakfast at home and plan to eat at the coffeehouse. Which of the following would be the best choice?

a. Low-fat muffin and some nonfat hot cocoa
b. Half a multigrain bagel with light cream cheese and a small nonfat latte
c. Slice of coffee cake and black coffee

Answer = b. Don’t be fooled by the low-fat labels on the muffin and the cocoa. Many low-fat baked goods often have nearly as many calories as traditional items. Even though they have less fat, they often have a lot more sugar. Typical coffeehouse muffins, even low-fat ones, can have nearly 500 calories, because they’re enormous. A medium-sized nonfat cocoa can have nearly 200 calories, due to all the sugar. A slice of coffee cake and black coffee sounds light because it’s relatively small, but it could still run you at least 400 calories. The bagel and the nonfat latte would be the best choice of the three. Half a bagel with cream cheese has about 200 calories, and the nonfat latte would cost about 100 calories more. You’d also be getting some protein from the latte.

You’re running late to pick up a friend at the airport, and you’re starving. The only place to stop is the drive-through window of a hamburger chain. Considering both calories and nutrition, which would be the best choice under the circumstances?

    a. Fish sandwich without mayonnaise and a diet soda


    b. Hamburger with mustard and ketchup only, and iced tea


    • c. Green salad with two packets of ranch dressing and water

Answer = b. In most fast food places, the fish on the fish sandwiches is fried, so the calories can climb as high as 400 per serving—without any mayonnaise or spread. Your best bet of the three selections above would be the hamburger, which would have about 300 calories. Why not the green salad? The salad alone has a low calorie count, but adding the two packets of dressing dumps about 350 calories of fat onto your greens. And without any protein in your meal, you’ll be hungry again in no time.

After a busy day of shopping at the mall, the Chinese food at the food court smells good to you. Which of these items would be your best choice?

    a. Stir-fried vegetable chow mein


    b. Chicken and broccoli with half a bowl of steamed rice


    • c. Two egg rolls and a bowl of wonton soup

Answer = b. Chicken and broccoli would be your best bet of the three. Stir-fried vegetable chow mein is typically very oily, because the noodles soak up a lot of grease. This dish at one popular chain adds up to about 500 calories—and there’s almost no protein to satisfy your hunger. Two egg rolls and a cup of wonton soup sounds like a light meal, but the two fried egg rolls add up to 400 calories and the soup adds another 300 or so. Chicken and broccoli with a small portion of steamed rice offers protein and vegetables and not nearly as much fat as the other two options. This meal adds up to about 450 calories.

The appetizers at your favorite steakhouse all sound tempting, but you want to be sure you have calories left over to spend on your main course. Which of the following would be the best appetizer choice?

    a. Chicken wings with barbecue sauce


    b. Sliced tomatoes and mozzarella with basil


    • c. Spinach dip with pita chips

Answer = b. The sliced tomatoes and mozzarella is probably your best bet of the three. Mozzarella is a low-fat cheese and does contribute some protein, and the tomatoes contribute a vegetable serving at a low calorie cost. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the dip is healthy, because it contains spinach. Typically, spinach dip is loaded with rich, creamy ingredients and is very high in calories. And a single pita chip will cost you about 12 calories, so even a few handfuls can bust your calorie budget in no time. Chicken wings, while small, are usually fried and the portions are often generous. At one popular chain restaurant, an order of wings with barbecue sauce has about 500 calories.

After finishing up a restaurant meal with friends, you’d like some dessert but don’t want to go overboard. Which of these would have the fewest calories?

    a. Slice of strawberry cheesecake


    b. Scoop of ice cream with berries and a drizzle of chocolate syrup


    • c. Slice of carrot cake

Answer = b. Of the three, the ice cream is probably your best choice. A single scoop of ice cream will have about 150 calories, the fruit doesn’t add much, and chocolate syrup has only about 50 calories per tablespoon. So, you’re looking at around 250 calories total. Even a small slice of cheesecake can have close to 500 calories because it’s so rich. Carrot cake is loaded with oil and is typically frosted with sweetened cream cheese, so the calories are comparable to the cheesecake—sometimes even higher.

You’re on a vacation and you head down to the breakfast buffet at the hotel. Which of the following would be the best choice?

    a. 3 large pancakes with just syrup, no butter, and a large glass of orange juice


    b. 2 scrambled eggs with diced ham and some fresh fruit.


    • c. A bowl of granola topped with raisins and low-fat milk and a glass of cranberry juice

Answer = b. Don’t be fooled by the healthy-sounding granola. Some granolas have as much 450 calories a cup. So, unless you really control your portion, you could run up a hefty calorie bill by the time you add raisins (at 30 calories per tablespoon), low-fat milk (120 calories) and wash it down with a glass of cranberry juice (160 calories). The pancakes with syrup and orange juice could cost you nearly 600 calories. With almost no protein in the meal, it won’t have much staying power. Ham is a relatively lean meat, so the calories aren’t nearly as high per serving as fatty bacon and sausage—and the fresh fruit adds fiber to help keep you full. This meal adds up to about 400 calories, making the egg breakfast the best choice of the three.

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Fast-Track Your Fitness Results with a Balanced Exercise Plan

Stretch for body confidence.

Get better and faster results by customizing your workouts – discover what’s missing from your current routine.


Taking a balanced approach, in my opinion, is the best approach to living a healthy, active lifestyle. Training in a balanced and structured way will help you to more accurately progress your workouts, may help you to avoid unnecessary injuries, and following a balanced routine may enhance your overall training results, helping you reach your goals faster.

We all have our individual likes and dislikes when it comes to exercising, so customizing your routine based on what you love is the best way to ensure you stay motivated and dedicated towards achieving your goal.

Here are four elements of exercise that every good plan should include.

Stretching: Stretching on a regular basis can help you gain body confidence and make you become more conscious of your posture. Stretching is also great for improving joint stability, muscular flexibility and alleviating muscular tension.

Dynamic warm-up stretches and static post-exercise stretching can take as little as 10 minutes of your time, yet can make a dramatic difference in how you feel. Ensure that every workout starts with a warm-up and ends with a cool-down.

Cardio: Engaging in cardiovascular activity is good for your heart and great for burning excess calories. Your heart is a muscle, and pushing it to work hard a few days each week may help improve your cardiac output. If you engage in cardiovascular activity on a regular basis, you may lower your overall resting heart rate, which is good for your long-term health. There are so many activities you can choose from; walking, running, cycling, dancing and swimming are all very popular, but any exercise that gets your heart rate up will work.

Performing moderately intense cardio based activities for at least 150 minutes per week or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity – or a combination of the two – is a good amount to aim for to reap the health benefits associated with exercising.

Strength: When you add resistance based training to your routine, you will start to notice changes in how you look and feel. You may loose excess body fat and gain lean muscle mass, which is not only great for your appearance, but it also helps your body become more efficient at burning calories. A body with a high percentage of lean muscle mass requires more calories just to sustain itself than a person of the same weight who has a higher percentage of body fat.

You can stimulate muscle tissue to grow by exercising, using your body weight as resistance or by lifting weights on a regular basis. Performing resistance based activities three to four times per week, combined with consuming a protein-rich diet can help you achieve great results.

Endurance: Engaging in regular, prolonged physical activity can improve your muscular strength and boost your overall endurance level. When you exercise, your body must deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues in order to help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily tasks. You can improve cardiovascular endurance by extending the duration of your workouts, and muscular endurance can be achieved by increasing your weight and reps at the gym.

Spend at least one session per week focusing on your endurance based fitness level.

We all have different goals for our bodies, so taking a personalized approach to your plan is the best way to ensure that you are striving toward becoming your best self. You get to decide how much of each mode of training you incorporate into your week to feel at your best. Keep an exercise journal as you experiment with your plan, so that when you do find the perfect exercise combination for your body, you will have it written down for future reference.

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