What Your Food Label Really Means…

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Do you spend extra time and money to purchase “all natural” foods, in hopes of fueling your body with only the best ingredients?
If you fit in this category… Congrats! You are amongst the 60% of people that say they look for the term “natural” on food labels (according to a survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center).
About two-thirds of people surveyed said that they believed that “natural” means that there are no artificial ingredients, pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However… the FDA has not developed a true definition of the term for food labels and they won’t object to the claim that something is natural, as long as there are no artificial or synthetic ingredients in a product. This leaves a huge gray area for the term natural and is therefore misguiding consumers.
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Replace This With That

There are an endless number of substitutions or replacements that you can make in your daily meals to cut down on your fat, sugar and carbohydrates while increasing your protein and nutrient intake! While I have only listed a few, in the grand scheme of things, you can make substitutions on your own by looking at the nutritional information on the foods that you are eating!
Replace This With That
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17 of the Best Meatless Protein Sources

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I go through spurts… Sometimes I love a steak medium-well, other times just the thought of meat is repulsive. At times I crave an egg and cheese bagel, but most of the time I cannot stand the taste of eggs. Some people think it’s weird and others cannot understand how you can eat a balanced diet without eating meat everyday. For me, preparing the meat myself is the worst. It makes it a lot easier if I order meat at a restaurant, but even then…
Growing up, my family rarely ate meat. An occasional hamburger or grilled chicken, turkey on Thanksgiving, ham on Christmas, other than that we were fed meatless sources of protein. Carnivores often times laugh at the idea of tofu, calling it a hippie food, although there are a number of great tofu recipes (like my Black Soybean Tofu Lettuce Wraps). Tofu is definitely not the only meatless protein source; in fact the list below provides a number of options for anyone (vegetarian or not) looking to reduce their meat intake and increase their protein intake.
What is protein?
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How Your Food is Deceiving You

The smoothie was filled with strawberries, bananas and frozen yogurt and 55 grams of sugar!
Yes fruit is high in natural sugar, but it is important to recognize just how much sugar, sodium and fat you are taking in when eating out. Unfortunately some of the most innocent sounding meals are filled with the unhealthiest ingredients and they are invisible because you are not preparing the food yourself.
It is important to be wary of exactly what you are eating. While some options are much healthier than others, they might not be as healthy as you think!After my delicious smoothie this morning, I came to the understanding that many places add ice cream, sugar or sherbet to their smoothies for a better taste but the consumers are completely unaware. A smoothie can be a very healthy treat but making it at home allows you to control the amount of sugar and fat that is added!
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The Benefits of Lemon Water

Lemons are packed with vitamin C, B-complex, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber!
Lemon water provides a number of benefits including giving your immune system a boost through the high levels of vitamin C, especially during times of high stress.
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Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia!

No, not the silly childhood toy that was commonly advertised on TV, chia pets, but chia seeds!
Chia seeds are very versatile and provide a number of benefits if added to your daily diet!
Chia seeds come from a flowering plant that is native to Mexico and Guatemala. In ancient times, the Aztecs, Incans and Mayans used it for medicinal purposes, mostly as a major source of energy!
They provide two times more protein than most grains and five times more calcium than milk. The calcium and phosphorous in chia helps to maintain strong teeth and bones. It also has high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, soluble fiber, potassium and antioxidants. A one-ounce serving of chia has nearly 11 grams of fiber, which is about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults and important for digestive health.
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Black Soybean Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Last night for dinner, I had a bunch of veggies to use up so what better to make than a stir-fry?

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I decided to cut up zucchini, carrots and onions along with black soybean tofu. I am a huge fan of tofu because one of the healthiest foods!
Tofu, a staple in many Asian dishes, originated in China and is made from soya. It is made in a very similar way to traditional dairy cheese in that soya milk is curdled; the remaining liquid (which is whey) is pressed then cooled into tofu!
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