Diet and Recipes

Blenders are normal kitchen appliances and they are commonly used in almost every home. When new models come out, they do not necessarily hit the news unless there is some special kind of special feature that is out of the ordinary and is expected to change the way we make smoothies and milkshakes. In this case, there is a high chance that this particular new model will warrant quite a high price tag. But of course, most of the time, we just need a high quality model that will blend everything properly and allow us to make a consistent smoothie or milkshake. To help you find the best blender for smoothies, we have done a lot of research and written the detailed result below.

The Top-Rated Smoothie Mixers

The Ninja Professional NJ600 tops this list and it genuinely is one of the best models that you’ll ever get the chance to use. On top of that, the $100 price tag is not too high and will be considered by some people to be a bargain. This will be able to do lots of different jobs but will perform brilliantly in some but not great in others. In our opinion, it would be the best smoothie blender, making smoothies and anything that involves crushing ice. It does this perfectly and has a fantastically powerful motor that will allow you to do lots of different jobs. However, when making things like a puree, it might not yield excellent results in terms of uniformity. The overall quality of this blender is impressive because it seems to be quite durable and the best part is that you will also be able to remove the blade for cleaning. 

The Ninja Professional NJ600 is the best blender for smoothies right now.

The PBB225 by Waring Pro is another high quality model that is fighting to be labeled as the best blender for smoothies. In my opinion Waring Pro is an excellent manufacturer and one that is well known for the quality of its appliances. When compared to the Ninja Professional NJ600, this even made far better puree. I think it performs perfectly if you want to do different jobs with it. The protein shakes and smoothies will be mixed fantastically well. Considering the fact that this model is made by Waring Pro, I would not have any questions about the durability. On top of that, the model is simple to assemble and certainly very easy to use.

The Kitchen Aid Diamond smoothie blender is the final recommended model. This looks decent but is available to buy in a huge range of colors (15 to be precise). This can be highly appealing to some customers who all have their own personal likes and dislikes. Aside from the appearance, the blender function is pretty impressive too. It has 5 different speed settings but the unique thing is that this smoothie blender will start the motor slowly. This will pull the ingredients towards the blades followed by an increase of speed to crush the ingredients. Most similar models are great at blending smoothies and protein shakes because they are great at crushing ice and other hard ingredients. However, they fail short when crushing things like seeds and nuts. This Kitchen Aid Diamond blender satisfies this aspect too as using a higher setting will sort this problem out. The only problem is that this smoothie mixer will cost you up to $150 but what can you expect from a model that performs like the best blender for smoothies, protein shakes and almost every other drink type.

Weekend Diaries

Saturday was an interesting day. I don’t remember ever being this busy before, with birthdays, family parties, vacations and to-do lists — hopefully by mid-June things will calm down a bit — and the only thing it’s good for is my diet, because it means I have less time to think about food, eat food, cook food, shop for food, etc.

Saturday was the busiest day I've had in a long time.

So Saturday was interesting, because although my morning involved picking up two and a half dozen cupcakes (of which I only ate one), the rest of the day involved three cocktails, two cups of coffee and very little food. I had this weird feeling driving home that night (LONG after the cocktails, don’t worry) and as I was putting the little one to bed, I felt very light. Not even what you would call hunger; I really had no desire to eat. But I truly felt light, airy, energetic, almost light-headed — not in a bad way, but in a way that made me realize the next day: Is this what hunger feels like? Do I maintain such an even (i.e., full) keel throughout the day that I don’t even know what it’s like to feel true hungry any more? Do I reach for the crackers, lattes and chocolate when I feel even the slightest twinge of hunger, or is it an emotion I’m feeling, not a physical symptom? I may have just discovered for certain that most of my snacks and even some of my meals — like after a full, heavy round of appetizers and drinks at a family party — are not based on hunger or nutritional need but rather boredom, anxiety and habit. I eat because it’s X time of day. I eat because everyone else is eating. I eat because I’m antsy. I eat because that’s simply what I do. I eat.

I don’t plan on having many more of those days filled with more cocktails than actual tomatoes, but I can’t stop thinking about that feeling, or, rather, the absence of feeling overstuffed, full and uncomfortable. I have to remember it every afternoon between the hours of 3-6PM, when my body says, “Stop working!” and my mind says “Eat!” It’s okay to be hungry. It’s not okay to eat if you’re not hungry. Would you go to sleep if you’re not tired? Use the loo if you don’t need to use the loo? I think you get my point here. And it will take some time to undo years of feeding my stress level instead of feeding my appetite, but I’m determined to work on it.

Diet and Recipes

We all get hungry in between meals. It’s critical that you don’t give in to eating junk food when you’re hungry or bored. The above video will give you ideas on making some healthy snacks instead. This way, you can still enjoy delicious snacks at regular intervals but don’t have to worry about eating unnecessary junk food.

Let me know what you think of it and do share your favorite healthy snacks.

Diet and Recipes

People often ask me why I’m on a diet or why I choose to eat the way I do. So I thought I would devote a post to describing my lifestyle and some basic rules for clean, healthy eating.

First, I am not on a diet. I choose to eat a certain way all the time, not just short term to reach a weight goal. Unlike diets, I never feel restricted or that I am missing out on certain foods. There are certain things that I don’t even consider eating or drinking. I have found that after a while these eating habits stuck. Here are a few foods and drinks that I completely avoid: soda, potato chips, french fries, pizza, refined carbs such as white rice. I also like to avoid things like donuts and sugary sports drinks.

Here are 4 tips to help you start eating clean.

When I eat any of these foods, my body reacts negatively. For example, if I drink soda I feel bloated and uncomfortably full. So I have learned to avoid it. The key is to listen to your body. A lot of people refer to certain foods as “comfort foods”, but usually these foods tend to make you actually feel uncomfortable after eating them. Greasy foods like pizza or french fries tend to upset my stomach, and I know I am not alone with this feeling. For me, the after-effects of eating these foods outweigh the taste.

The foods listed above are all very low in nutritional value. When I am thinking about my next meal, I think about how to pack the most nutritional benefit into it as possible. Having a donut for breakfast does nothing for your body. As many nutritionists would say it is like eating “empty calories” because the calories in a donut are not benefiting your body in any way.

So here are my 4 tips for clean eating:

  1. Choose whole, natural foods

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, fish, meat, nuts, and seeds all fall into this category of whole foods. Fruits and vegetables give you the most benefit in their natural form. Think about reaching for an apple as opposed to a sugary juice. For meat, look for lean cuts such as a chicken breast or lean ground turkey meat. These foods should be consumed as close to their natural form as possible to reap the most nutritional benefits. For example, fish sticks aren’t an acceptable source of protein. Instead, a salmon or tilapia fillet sautéed or grilled with a little oil is a great source of clean protein.

Whilst not ideal, if you don’t have much time throughout the day, it might be worth buying some whey protein protein. It’s not exactly natural but it still gives you plenty of nutrients.

  1. Make as many meals at home as possible.

Restaurants can be a healthy eaters worst nightmare for a few reasons. First, the portion sizes are often much larger than what your body needs. Also, even if something appears healthy like a chicken dish with vegetables and rice there could be a lot wrong with it. The meat is most likely doused in salt and cooked in butter or oil. The vegetables are likely prepared similarly. The rice is probably a refined carbohydrate with a good amount of butter added. Even a salad could derail your health efforts with heavy dressings and large portions. To know exactly what is going into your meals, prepare them at home as much as possible. If you know you’re going out to eat, try and take a look at the menu ahead of time. The nutritional information is likely to be posted somewhere on the website.

  1. Plan ahead

To reduce the possibility of reaching for a bag of chips or a slice of pizza, plan your meals in advance. This doesn’t have to involve hours of meal prep. A simple list of your meals for the next day can be enough. Here’s an example of what I would plan:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with a banana and peanut butter with coffee
  • Mid morning snack: Chobani 100 vanilla Greek yogurt with slivered almonds
  • Lunch: salad with dark greens, tuna, mixed veggies, sunflower seeds, and an oil and vinegar dressing
  • Afternoon snack: carrots and hummus
  • Dinner: Chicken breast with sautéed kale, quinoa, and a side salad

I recommend writing down what you plan on eating for the next day the night before and getting all of your ingredients together. For me, this usually consists of putting everything I am going to have in the same spot in the fridge and throwing the pantry ingredients in a brown bag. It doesn’t have to be extensive, but a simple list will help you stay on track.

  1. Don’t resist cravings

Resisting a craving will likely have you overindulging at some point. I typically try to create a healthy version of what I’m craving and it usually does the trick. If you are really craving pizza try making cauliflower pizza. If you have a craving for ice cream, try making banana ice cream. If your sweet tooth is going crazy, there are tons of healthy options for you. Check out Chocolate Covered Katie for healthy dessert ideas and recipes. Remember, having the real thing every once in a while is not going to derail your health efforts. So, have a scoop or two of ice cream when you really want it. It’s what you do a majority of the time that truly matters.

Clean eating is a lifestyle that is sustainable versus a diet that makes you want to eat everything in sight. Eating well has so many positive benefits for your health and you will feel the difference. You will find that you have more energy and are generally in a better mood. Your hair, skin, and nails will also benefit from clean, whole foods. Additionally, if you are trying to slim down this method is the best because you will lose the weight and keep it off with ease.

Lessons

Although it may seem obvious, I feel it necessary to state that, of course, everything that goes into both your life and mine is constantly changing. A never-ending journey. We grow, regress and cycle back around again. But if you pay attention, you can learn a thing or two while you’re at it — it’s sometimes just difficult to remember tips and tricks in those moments of sheer panic (screaming child, late for a meeting, forgot to send that email, overslept). So this list is something I’ve been working on for some time in terms of budgeting, avoiding food waste and staying true to my values without feeling deprived. It goes a little like this.

Here are some things I've learnt over the years.

  • Even if you’re trying to save money, don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. To a savvy shopper this may seem obvious, but I don’t mean avoiding impulse buys only because of the price; I also mean the less-obvious kind of bargain shopping traps: Forgetting to compare the sale price of the brand name to the generic. The generic may still be cheaper than the brand name on sale! And then there’s this.
  • Don’t buy something that’s on sale if you’re not going to eat/use/enjoy it. Sometimes, the generic kind of cheese, bread or cleaning product just plain stinks. If you don’t like the smell of the carpet cleaner or are always throwing out celery, don’t try to force yourself into liking it just because it’s cheaper than the name brand or you swear this time you’ll use it up. I cannot tell you how aggravating it is to me to constantly be throwing out yogurt I think I’m going to eat and don’t, piling up more and more overripe bananas in my freezer to one day make banana bread and the countless snacks my son “thinks” he wants that just end up in the garbage. And I’m the one doing the food shopping?
  • Try to stick to what everyone likes. I know all about picky eaters, trust me — but aside from having a picky 2-year-old, I also have food allergies and my husband has some serious food aversions resulting from life-long gastritis. So although sometimes I’ll “splurge” on garlic and onions to flavor foods and will then take them out whole for his sake, most often I just leave them out. This saves money and guarantees (well, sort of!) that everyone will eat the same meal and I don’t end up feeling like a short-order cook.
  • It’s not all or nothing. I may very well be the girl at the grocery store with organic cabbage and conventional ice cream in my shopping cart, but it depends on the day…Sometimes I feel overly concerned with budgeting, and on other days I’m giving in to the demands of my 2-year-old. At times I just want some chocolate; on a good day I’m much more intentional and thoughtful about what goes into my cart. This is me. This is realistic.
  • Applaud yourself for the little things. I’m just proud that I denied my son his fishy crackers one day at the store and sugary trail mix the next. I know I may not be as strong next time, but somehow you have to find a balance when it comes to food, finance AND your sanity. If you’re not eating from the drive-thru every night, that’s a good thing! If you’re not eating white bread with your sandwich, that’s a good thing! And if you stop after just one cookie, well, it’s better than eating two or four or ten.

Above all, know yourself and try to see things objectively whenever possible. You may be too hard on yourself most of the time, like me, and try to live up to expectations of perfection. On the flip side, you may sometimes be the one who thinks, “this burger isn’t going to kill me.” But the side of fries and the soft drink, every day, plus all the other processed garbage, well, there’s plenty of evidence in the direction that it sure isn’t good for you. Keep learning and growing, but be kind to yourself along the way. “Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” including yourself — and we should be so lucky that “What To Eat” may be our biggest quandary today. Use your head, make a decision and move on. It’s a much more peaceful way to live.

Diet and Recipes

Believe it or not, although I am a cooking fiend, I do, from time to time, succumb to take-out.

Usually it’s pizza: Cheese or spinach, now that I’m not eating meat. There’s just something about Friday nights, my cool basement (even in summer) and movies that screams pizza. And although I rarely indulge in Chinese because of my soy allergy, if it’s what’s being served I like to know what I can eat ahead of time. Mexican? I’ve got that down. Italian? No sweat.

I normally order pizza when I'm in the mood for a take-out.

Do you break out in a sweat every time you head out to a restaurant or order take-out, confused and bewildered by all the options, never sure what’s worse, a creamy sauce or a thick breading? Check out my list below and you’ll know whether you should love it or leave it next time.

Chinese food

Love it: Steamed shrimp and veggies — they’ll be fresh and oil free, which is absolutely your best bet. (And don’t skip the fortune cookie, it’s only 45 calories!)

Leave it: General Tso’s chicken — you could be eating a day’s worth of calories.

Sushi place

Love it: Stick with sashimi. White rice = empty calories. Just don’t eat too much tuna.

Leave it: Tempura. Sounds exotic but translates to deep-fried and calorie laden.

Italian joint

Love it: Order the fresh fish from the specials menu, as long as it’s wild-caught and doesn’t come in a cream sauce, with cheese or is fried. If that’s the case, try their roasted chicken.

Leave it: If you’re anything like me and can’t avoid the breadbasket, skip the pasta AND the dessert. I can’t say no to wine and bread, so I have to say no to the “optional” carbs.

Sub shop

Love it: Go for a regular veggie sub or double the lean meat and halve the bread. Pile on the lettuce, tomatoes and peppers, choose low-calorie condiments like mustard and you’ll be set.

Leave it: Repeat after me: Meatball subs are the devil. Just. Don’t!

Mexican

Love it: Order the chicken fajitas, but don’t use all of your tortillas. Fill up one or two with chicken and veggies, and skip the sour cream. Pile on all the salsa you want, and a dab of guacamole is OK too — it may be high in calories, but it’s full of healthy fat.

Leave it: If meatball subs are the devil, chimichangas are el diablo! Take a burrito the size of your head, then deep fry it. Great idea, right? Gross! Do not, under any circumstances, order this. And if you really want to be good, tell the waiter you’re allergic to corn. No chips for you. Sweet!

Convenience store/gas station

Love it: Pick up an apple or a banana from the counter, if available, and a jar of overpriced (sorry!) peanut butter. If there’s no fruit, check the fridge for yogurt, or spread the PB on some whole grain crackers or bread. If you look hard enough, you can find something healthy anywhere.

Leave it: Where to begin…chips, candy bars, ice cream, giant sodas, disgusting revolving hot dog machines, microwaveable taquitos, frozen slushy slurpy sugar bombs – just turn the other cheek. You can do so much better than that.

Coffee shops

Love it: Hate me now or hate me later — but try herbal tea for once. Lots of them have caffeine anyways, and very few need much sweetener, if any. Think you need your joe? Go nonfat on the milk and skip the flavored syrups. If that’s what you want, you’re really craving sugar, not coffee. Feed your sweet tooth (wisely) elsewhere.

Leave it: Okay, hate me now. Nothing healthy comes in a 20-ounce cup with four inches of whipped cream on top. If you must frap, go Coffee Light in the smallest size possible. (Some cafes will serve you a “short” or kiddie size even if they’re not listed on the menu.)

Local deli

Love it: Two words — turkey and whole-wheat. (Is that three words?) Make sure your sandwich isn’t premade (God knows what they put on there and how long it’s been sitting), and order the turkey on whole wheat with mustard and whatever veggies you can. Get an apple on the side to serve as the crunch factor and you’re off.

Leave it: Stay away from any sandwich that has the word “salad” in it. That’s code for fat, cholesterol and mayo.

Diner, drive-in or dive (oh yes I did)

Love it: Egg-white omelet with spinach and onions. You can even skip the cheese; I swear it will still be good with salt, pepper and a piece of dry toast! Suck down that coffee and you’ll lack nothing.

Leave it: Why waste your calories on gooey, mushy pancakes? Are they really better than something you could make at home? I guarantee that your version would be healthier. Save the “cake” for your b-day.

Pizzeria

Love it: Enjoy one to two (triangle) slices of veggie pizza. Don’t think cheese is better because less stuff means fewer calories. Eat your nutrients; don’t neglect them just because you’re too lazy to cook tonight.

Leave it: Stuffed anything means you’ll be uncomfortably stuffed later. Thin crust is best, and make sure to eat slowly so you realize when you’re getting full. Stop there and don’t look back.

Did I miss anything? Let me know what your favorite take-out or restaurant is, and let’s hash it out together. Unless you live in NYC, a lot of eating establishments are probably still hesitant to publish their nutrition info — so you have to be vigilant. But you can still eat out without fear, and, of course, take home a doggy bag. Leftovers for lunch mean one less thing to do tomorrow. Hurray for that!

Diet and Recipes

Looking after the little things can be hard, especially when those long hours at work keep us from balancing our lives. For some reason, it is always our health that ends up second best. This is why people will search for solutions on getting fit as quickly as possible. The right diet for a day can just trigger enough hope, and enthusiasm towards a healthier lifestyle. Although if you do take steps in proceeding with a short term diet, it will not guarantee permanent results, but it might just be the answer you were looking for in changing your eating habits forever.

A detox diet is probably one of your best options because it will contain lots of fruit, vegetables and water. Vegetables are excellent sources of beta-carotene (this comes from vitamin A), vitamin C, and some B vitamins. These normally help to keep your eyes, bones and skin healthy. “Super” vegetables like cauliflower, swede, broccoli, cabbage, and tomatoes can be the answer to the diet equation.

The following combinations of fruit and vegetables need to be consumed throughout the day while breaking it into six small meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between the main meals).

Vegetable Diet for a Day

  1. Here are some vegetables that you should eat daily.Piece of cucumber (5cm)
  1. One cereal bowl of salad leaves
  1. One medium tomato or 7 cherry tomatoes
  1. Serving of cooked carrots or peas (High in fiber)
  1. Eight Brussels sprouts (Also very high in fiber)
  1. One corn-on-the-cob

Be sure to retain the nutrients in the vegetables by either steaming or microwaving it for a short amount of time. Do not use additional components like butter or cream for extra flavor. Instead, use freshly ground pepper, lemon juice or chopped herbs for a greater taste.

Fruit Diet for a Day

Fruits are naturally sweet, and high in vitamins & fiber. It is also rich in antioxidants, and low in calories & fat. The antioxidants will destroy any harmful substances in the body and will be very important for your dieting needs.

  1. These are the best fruits to eat daily.Half a grapefruit
  1. One wedge of melon
  1. One tablespoon of raisins
  1. One medium size apple or pear
  1. Three apricots or two plums
  1. 100-150ml of 100% fruit juice.

All of the above are ideal snacks, and can easily be prepared before working hours. They are nutritious, and will give you enough energy to get through your busy schedule. Try to get into the habit of buying a good selection of fruit and vegetables the night before. If you are going to make your diet successful in just one day, all the ingredients need to be fresh, and ready for use.