Nutrition

Can You Say “I’m So Full” On Your Diet?

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Please don’t diet.

Diets in their traditional sense are not sustainable long term. They usually make you feel terrible, starved, irritable, hating life, etc. That’s why people don’t stick to diets and why there is a multi-billion dollar industry built around our propensity to quit and re-start the next diet fad. The results are an exhausting yo-yo through our healthy living journey. What’s the latest diet craze? Keto. No carb. Calorie In Calorie Out? Anyway, whatever is the latest thing is what people will do…and ultimately quit leaving their temporary results behind. Ugh. There must be another way. Good news!

I’m no foodie, and I’m actually not very good at healthy eating. I can dive off the wagon as fast as anyone, chomping cookies all the way to a delightful belly ache. But I’m now 1/2 way through an 80 day eating plan that has my nutrition dialed in like never before and I have to tell you what I’ve learned so far.

1. Using portion control containers is a pain to learn, then super easy.
Portion control containers is not a new concept, but it’s new to me. I loathed the idea of measuring my food, and I was certain it was complicated. Yep, I’m guilty of formulating an opinion without any real evidence or trying it myself.

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Here’s the thing. I have a complete written guide that spells out what the containers are for, when I should eat them, and in what combination. I really don’t have to think about it. Just follow the instructions.
2. I’m so full. I can’t eat anymore.
Mind blown on the first day. I selected the nutrition plan that suits my weight and goals based on a simple calculation to pin my calorie range. Mine happens to be about 2,400 calories per day to maintain weight (I’m not interested in losing weight) with 30-60 minutes of daily exercise. I ate so much food that by dinner time I was not even close to hungry. I ate anyway, as prescribed. Hey, I’m a rule follower. It seems very counter-intuitive to eat so much when you are supposed to be eating healthy, but when you eat the right foods at the right times the results will follow. Even Angie’s plan (designed for her to drop a few pounds) has her tummy full every day and she is losing inches and LB’s consistently.
One more thought about this. Simply counting calories and eating whatever you want does not work. You will be hungry because your body is starving for NUTRIENTS not calories. You must feed the machine that is your body!
3. “Meal prep” sounds like a curse word, until you actually do it.
Guilty again of opinion without personal experience. I assumed it would be terrible. “Who has time for meal prep?” Seven weeks in, I testify that meal prep works. Make a mess in the kitchen once and be done for the whole week. Having all your food set for the week is liberating. It’s easy to pack, so it can be taken to work (no excuses) and I don’t have to dig through the fridge/ pantry to find something to eat.

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4. My budget likes when I eat well.
You save money when you grocery shop with a plan. We no longer buy things that don’t align with the eating plan, so there is no wasted food and no worthless snacks in the cupboard. Our plan comes with a long list of options for every food category to take any guesswork out of shopping. Buying produce doesn’t go bad when you use it every day. Frozen veggies and fruits last a long time. Most boxed snacks, cereal and other “foods” are expensive if you consider that eating a serving of cookies or chips leaves you hungry in 20 minutes.

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5. Having a partner in this is the best.
I would really struggle doing this alone. Angie is my support and I am hers. We are in this together and that makes it more rewarding and fun. This adventure is something we have in common, and we pick each other up when it gets hard. It’s not all easy. Sometimes cookies sound better than carrots, but we have goals, a plan, and each other to press on. We are also in a larger “virtual” support group through a handy phone app with daily check ins and encouragement from others doing the same thing.

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6. I feel great!
Eliminating hunger from my daily struggle on my healthy living journey is FREEDOM! I don’t think about food like I used to. I eat what I’m supposed to, when it’s time, and it works. I don’t have sugar spikes and crashes, no bloating, my digestion is excellent, mental clarity is improved, skin feels better, I’m losing fat and adding muscle in all the right places.

So there you go. I guess this is my 40 day review of the nutrition part of the 80 Day Obsession program Angie & I are doing now. I didn’t even touch the workout part – maybe some other time. But even if this amazing Beachbody program isn’t for you, learning portion control and healthy eating has never been easier. Don’t be fooled by elaborate schemes, special “protein bars” or expensive mail delivery meals as seen on TV. You don’t need them. Do this. I’m happy to show you how.

Fitness, Nutrition

How to Lose Weight On a Budget

Here’s Pro tip #1 on how to lose weight on a budget: Don’t spend your paycheck on imported superfoods, a personal trainer, and spendy meals.

Losing weight on a budget is completely doable, says Krista Maguire, R.D., C.S.S.D., and Beachbody nutrition manager. What’s more, eating healthfully on a regular basis doesn’t have to cost significantly more.

Maguire points to research showing that the healthiest diet patterns cost only about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diet habits.

That adds up to about $40 extra a month, an amount you can easily save in other areas, like meal prepping or making coffee at home.

That said, there are still a number of smart budgeting and creative hacks to help you stretch your dollar even further, says Maguire.

Before you get started, though, it’s important to map out your weight-loss strategy.

Identify Your Goals and Create a Budget

First things first: Spend a little time brainstorming your specific weight-loss intentions, whether it’s exercising three times a week or eating one serving of vegetables at every meal.

Next, consider what will motivate you to follow through (or not) with your goals. Do you need to participate in a guided workout program to exercise regularly? Or do you need a detailed grocery list to avoid temptation?

Having a clear idea of what’s necessary to carry out your weight-loss goals will help you stay on-track and effectively determine where to allocate your spending money.

13 Weight-Loss Tips If You’re On a Budget

1. Stock up on simple, healthy staples

“You don’t need fancy foods like chia seeds, coconut kefir, or organic sprouts to lose weight,” says Maguire. “Keep it simple and stock up on some basic veggies, fruit, lean protein, canned beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains [that you can] mix and match to make a variety of meals.”

Maguire adds that Beachbody’s Ultimate Portion Fix eating plan, which comes with a comprehensive food list and color-coded portion containers, can help you prepare inexpensive, nutritious, and delicious meals that won’t break the bank.

Not sure what to make? Check out Autumn Calabrese’s cooking show FIXATE for great healthy recipes and consider trying one of the hundreds of recipes available on the Beachbody Blog!

(Pro tip #2: Check out this comprehensive guide on how to lose weight with simple adjustments to your diet.)

2. Rely on budget-friendly sources of protein

Instead of meat, which can be expensive, look to more affordable sources of protein for your meals, suggests Jackie Newgent, RDN.

“Eggs are delightful beyond just breakfast time, [and] lentils and beans contain both protein and fiber; this nutrient combo is especially satiating,” she says.

If you’re a vegetarian, you’re probably well-versed in budget-friendly vegetarian sources of protein, like yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, quinoa, and teff, to name just a few.

For ideas on how to incorporate more plant-based proteins into your meals, check out these vegetarian recipes.

3. Do at-home workouts

You don’t need to belong to a pricey gym or buy an expensive (and space-hogging) treadmill to get fit and healthy.

When you join Beachbody On Demand, you can stream workouts from the comfort and privacy of your home.

You’ll have 24/7 access to hundreds of different workouts designed for exercise newbies, advanced athletes, and everyone in between.

(Pro tip #3: Find out which Beachbody program is right for you.)

4. Drink Shakeology

All Beachbody programs include a nutrition plan to help you learn how to eat a healthy, balanced diet, fuel your body, and make the most of your workouts.

Shakeology is an important part of that nutrition plan. It isn’t a meal replacement, but it can be part of a healthy meal, and it’s a great way to help curb junk-food cravings so you won’t be tempted by sugary or fatty (and expensive!) snacks.*

This superfood protein shake can also help you hit your daily nutrient targets when you’re on-the-go or don’t have access to a wide variety of healthy fruits and veggies.*

(Pro tip #4: Concerned about the cost? Find out how a Team Beachbody Coach manages to fit Shakeology into her tight monthly budget.)

5. Double down on water

Make water your go-to beverage, Newgent suggests. “It quenches thirst, provides zero calories, and can be virtually free,” she says.

Water should be an essential part of your diet, regardless: Up to 60 percent of your body is composed of water, and your body needs plenty of it to function properly.

The amount you need will vary by individual, but Beachbody experts recommend consuming half your body weight in ounces of water each day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water daily.

Don’t like plain water? Infuse it with your favorite fruits and herbs for a hydrating and delicious drink.

In terms of cost, consider this: Replacing your morning coffee drink or afternoon soda with a tall glass of good old-fashioned H2O can save you anywhere from $2 to $5 a day, which amounts to a whopping $60 to $150 a month.

The same goes for alcoholic beverages, like happy hour cocktails and mimosas at brunch, which tend to be high in cost, sugar, and calorie count.

6. Go grocery shopping with a list

Instead of ambling through the grocery store with only a vague idea of what you want to buy, go prepared.

“Once you know what you plan to eat for a week, even if it’s just a rough outline, then you can wisely plan your shopping list,” says Newgent.

And a good shopping list will help you stick to your budget and your healthy meal plan. The key to creating one? Be specific, yet flexible.

“Keep some foods in general categories on your weight-loss menu and shopping list,” says Newgent.

Instead of listing apples and pears, for example, just list “fruits,” then wait until you see what’s on sale/in season in the produce aisle.

“As a bonus, it’ll likely be what’s most seasonal and [in] its peak of nutritional value and flavor,” Newgent explains.

7. Move more throughout the day

Ramping up your daily activity level outside of your regular workouts is an effective and affordable way to burn even more calories.

When you’re going about your day, all your movements — washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, and taking out the garbage — are often referred to as NEAT: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

Research calls NEAT an “essential tool” for controlling body weight. A Mayo Clinic report shows that the differences in energy expenditure between two people of about the same height and weight can vary as much as 2,000 calories per day based on NEAT.

So, get your NEAT on by making small changes to your routine: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car farther from the store. Do a lap around the office every hour, or see how many calf raises you can complete while your coffee is brewing.

(Pro tip #5: Get more [almost] free ideas on how you can move more here.)

8. Buy healthy food in bulk

8. Buy healthy food in bulk

“You don’t have to shop at Whole Foods or Erewhon to be healthy and lose weight,” says Maguire. “Stores like Costco sell organic produce and other high-quality foods in bulk for lower prices.”

Before you head to the store, make a list of healthy foods you reach for on a regular basis. That’ll help you stick within your budget and prevent food waste.

Items like apples, carrots, eggs, mixed greens, beans, lentils, nuts, and whole grains are great staples to have on hand at all times because you can use them in a wide variety of meals and snacks.

9. Meal prep and cook at home

If you adopt just one new habit from this list of weight-loss tips, make it this one.

Preparing your own nutritious meals and snacks can do wonders for both your body and your bank account.

Let’s face it: Dining out regularly can get expensive, not to mention super challenging if you’re trying to eat the proper portions and cut back on processed foods.

“By cooking more at home,” Newgent says, “you’ll have more control over calories and cost.”

Research shows that people who cook at home are more likely to choose nutritious foods and consume fewer calories per meal than people who dine out.

To maximize your grocery budget and save time, try meal prepping nutritious foods for the week so you always have something calorie-friendly at the ready, says Newgent.

For instance, if you cook a big batch of low-calorie soup and whole grains and chop your veggies at the beginning of the week, all you’ll need to do is mix and match and you’ll have dinner done in a snap.

As Maguire notes, buying presliced or precooked foods (say, a head of romaine lettuce versus a prepackaged bag of it) is often more expensive than doing the prep work yourself.

10. Skip the processed snacks and make your own

Processed packaged snacks can be pricey, not to mention loaded with refined sugar and other additives.

Making your own healthy grab-and-go snacks requires a little more effort, but it’s a weight-loss tip that can save you precious money and calories.

Planned snacks can help keep you satisfied and curb overeating at mealtime,” says Newgent.

For a high-protein snack, try mixing cashews, almonds, and pumpkin seeds with roasted edamame. Or try your hand at making your own protein or energy snack bars.

Or satisfy your sweet tooth with a Chocolate Caramel Delight Smoothie or a Pineapple Mango Smoothie.

11. For produce, go seasonal or frozen

When buying produce on a budget, it’s a good idea to look for seasonal fruits and vegetables.

“Produce that is in season is not only more fresh and nutritious, it is [also] more economical,” says Maguire.

But if you want produce that’s not local or in season — say, strawberries in January or brussels sprouts in the summertime — go for the frozen variety.

“It’ll be both budget-friendly and diet-friendly — and in ready-to-fix form,” says Newgent. Bonus: Frozen produce means less food waste because it won’t spoil as quickly as fresh, giving you more time to use it, adds Maguire.

12. Find your tribe

Exercise groups can help make working out more fun. They can also help keep you accountable for working out, increasing your exercise consistency — and your odds of achieving your fitness goals.

With a Beachbody On Demand membership, you’ll be assigned a Team Beachbody Coach who hosts online groups with other like-minded members and provides one-on-one guidance and support.

With groups, you can check-in, ask questions, share workout advice, and track your progress.

The Beachbody community is also a great place to get encouragement, find inspiring success stories, and share your own journey.

13. Be creative with leftovers and scraps

“Food waste can add up to a lot of wasted money,” says Maguire. Before you buy more groceries or call for takeout, try to use up whatever is left in your fridge or pantry.

Leftover brown rice? Use it to bulk up soup. Four eggs, half an onion, and a can of beans that haven’t been used? Make a filling scramble. Berries that are about to go bad? Throw them in a shake.

If you can’t eat food that’s about to expire, don’t stress — just freeze it to enjoy later on, Maguire suggests.

Check out these tricks from the pros that will make your leftovers taste like new:

  • Store leftover plain pasta with a little oil to keep it moist. If your pasta is sauced, reheat it in the oven (covered) at 350º F until heated through.
  • Use the stove for “soupy” grains like risotto; and use the microwave for grains like quinoa and rice — add a little water or broth to keep them from drying out.

The Bottom Line

With some practical hacks, smart choices, and a little elbow grease, you’ll find that losing weight on a budget is totally doable and may even save you money in the long run!

Author: Paige Smith is a freelance writer, editor, and perpetual optimist from Southern California. When she’s not tapping away on her keyboard, she loves to travel, read, drink tea, and get sandy (not necessarily in that order). See more of her at paigeashleysmith.com.

Fitness, Nutrition

10 Easy Healthy Eating Resolutions

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Ah, the New Year. Everyone is talking about the tricks to making this your best year yet. But “have the best year yet” is a pretty lofty resolution that probably gets ditched before Groundhog Day. Am I right, or am I right? Instead, why not resolve to make small changes that add up to a great year – starting with eating healthier – cuz it seems everyone vows to eat better in January.

Here are 10 healthy-eating resolutions to help you feel and look your best, no joke. The great news is they’re all easy — so you can choose one or all 10! Regardless, I promise even one small change from this rock star list will lead to a healthier you.

1. DITCH THE PACKAGED PRODUCTS

The first (and best!) way to clean up your diet is to ditch the packaged products lurking in the pantry. That’s right, the ones that are full of all of those chemical preservatives and fillers you can’t pronounce. Read the ingredients list and not just the nutrition label. Ingredients is king when it comes to healthy eating. Cookies, crackers, canned soups, instant grain mixes and microwave meals: Pitch them all and start fresh with a clean pantry.

Ask yourself how many of those things you really need. Then, figure out the ones you can make yourself. We can help! For example, make your own nut butter or a one-hour jam with fresh produce (and no preservatives). Instead of keeping ancient jars of salad dressing, mix up your own vinaigrette.

2. FILL YOUR PANTRY WITH PRODUCE-FRIENDLY STAPLES

Now that your pantry has been cleaned of packaged products, you’ll need to restock with healthy grains, herbs, spices and ingredients that will help you transform all that fresh, seasonal produce into delicious meals! Great olive oil, lemons, whole grains, legumes and a nice loaf of whole-grain bread are good places to start!

3. DRINK MORE WATER

Healthy eating means healthy drinking too. A super simple way to keep yourself full and reduce the portions you eat is to start each meal with a large glass of water. Many of us don’t drink enough water anyway, and there are so many health benefits to being well hydrated. Substitute your daily soda with water and watch your body change! You will feel better, have more energy, and you will lose weight with this one thing.

4. BUY A RICE COOKER, SLOW COOKER OR AN INSTANT POT

If you’re still making everything on the stove top a la minute, you’re missing out on a great healthy eating hack (and therefore missing out on a nearly-no-brainer way to make healthy meals). Pick up a rice cooker, slow cooker or Instant Pot and completely revolutionize the way you cook and eat this year. The model you choose depends on how you eat; slow cookers (recipes) are the least precise of the bunch, but high-end rice cookers have functions for every grain you can imagine wanting to cook and they’ll cook it precisely while you’re out playing, working or getting in your workout. (Your rice cooker will even cook oatmeal perfectly while you’re sleeping so you wake up to a delicious breakfast!) Instant Pots are great, too, and cook entire meals in pressure-cooker style. Regardless of the model you choose, picking one of these counter top helpers sets your healthy eating on the right track.

5. EAT FOR COLOR

Having great ingredients on hand is key to making and eating healthy, delicious meals but pairing the foods together to make them nutritious and balanced is also vital. Aim to get 4–5 different colors in your bowl at each meal. It’s easier than you think, and certainly more fun. By adding colorful foods to each plate, you’ll add interesting flavors and appealing textures — and each of those ingredients brings a whole lot of nutrition to your meal. Crunchy purple cabbage, brilliant orange pumpkin, vibrant and fresh cilantro and crunchy black sesame seeds are all great examples of ingredients that might not be in your repertoire but guarantee you’ll never have one of those boring green salads again! And, if you find yourself in a pinch, you can always add a colorful smoothie to your lunchbox or breakfast spread.

6. BYOL (BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH)

Bringing your own lunch is another super-simple way to guarantee a great, healthy meal in the middle of the day. It’s a money saver, too. Practice the eat-for-color rule above, and prepare yourself a little mini-picnic with great leftovers from last night’s dinner. It doesn’t take much more than a bit of forethought to produce a great packed lunch. By bringing your own meal, prepared in your own kitchen, you’re doing something good for your body and your wallet.

7. BATCH COOK FOR THE WEEK

This year, make a vow to have leftovers. Really! And, promise yourself that every week you’ll spend a little time preparing them — all at once. By picking a day each week to batch cook for the week ahead, you’re setting yourself up for a week of healthy meals. Select a protein, grain and several colorful vegetables to prep and have on hand so meals come together in a snap. This makes colorful eating and lunch packing a breeze, and means you’re never feeling left in a lurch when it comes to dinner.

8. MAKE BREAKFAST AHEAD

When life gets crazy, breakfast is the easiest meal to miss. But, we all know it’s also the most important meal to eat. Eating a balanced breakfast helps keep your metabolism running and is vital to loading up your system with healthy nutrients you’ll use throughout the day to work, play or exercise. Without them, your body and brain get sluggish and you lose motivation and focus. By making breakfast ahead in Mason jars to take with you as you rush out the door in the morning, you’re making sure you never head into a nutrient deficit, and instead head into the day feeling ready to face it! I love having my daily dose of dense nutrition for breakfast every morning. It’s technically made ahead, takes only 2 minutes to mix, and keeps me full until lunch.

9. MAKE SALAD FOR DINNER

Even if you batch-cook and fill your pantry and refrigerator with beautiful, healthy ingredients, there will be nights when you realize you just really didn’t think about dinner. For nights like that, keep a bunch of kale or spinach on hand and make it your salad for dinner night. Even just once a week, you’ll find that this lighter, fresh, healthy, balanced meal is a nice way to re-balance yourself. Alternatively, you can have breakfast for dinner to mix it up.

10. SWAP YOUR SWEETENERS

No healthy eating strategy should be without healthy treats, so vow to swap out refined sugars for healthier options at every meal. Think about the source of the sugar and consider using maple syrup or honey instead of refined sugar. And, when you’re reaching for dessert, try having fresh fruits and antioxidant-rich dark chocolates instead of their super-sweetened counterparts.

Special thanks to Lentine Alexis for doing the heavy lifting on this article and for my friends at 90/10 Nutrition for helpful links that make this article a great resource.

Fitness, Nutrition

How I Can Afford Shakeology

I must admit, I didn’t always love Shakeology.

Even though I researched Shakeology’s ingredients and thought they were amazing, for a long time, I was into making my own real food smoothies.

Due to budget constraints, I thought that making my own smoothies from scratch was the best I could do, and the best I could afford. They were healthy all right, but they didn’t taste very good!

But when I decided to take a chance on the 100% money back, bottom of the bag guarantee, I ordered a Challenge Pack, which came with a 30-day supply of Shakeology, and signed up as a Team Beachbody Coach to get the biggest discount.

A short time later, Angie appreciated the many benefits of Shakeology so she needed her own supply if we were to both drink it daily. Now we buy 2 bags of Shakeo every month (Vegan Chocolate and Vegan Tropical Strawberry), and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I know what you’re thinking: Dang, that’s expensive, so how can I swing it?

Well, with just a few tweaks to our spending habits we found it extremely doable. Here’s how we do it…

How I Can Afford TWO bags of Shakeology Every Month

Things we DO NOT buy:

• We DO NOT buy fancy coffee drinks. This sounds crazy to some of you who “need” coffee like air, but we don’t do coffee at all. This is easy for us. It is possible to wean yourself off coffee. Take baby steps; reduce the drive thru trips at first, and pay yourself for the money you save. That jar will add up fast. You can replace your foo-foo coffee with a much cheaper home brew. Ask yourself why you need coffee. Is it the taste of coffee (and all the sweetners that go with it), or is the the caffeine shot? Either way, the Cafe Latte Shakeo has you covered.

• We DO NOT buy gum, candy, cookies, snackie things, or desserts. It wouldn’t make any sense to care enough about our health that we buy the best shake on the planet to nourish ourselves with and then turn around and tear down our health by filling our body with junk food. Truth be told, you will occasionally find treats in our house – for special occasions, for Brandon, etc., we are human after all. But we are quite picky about the ingredients of our treats (whole grain tortilla chips, Kind bars, fruit popsicles, etc.)

• We DO NOT eat out very often. Some months, we eat out twice (or order in), and other months, we eat out zero. We buy good food from the store and make good meals at home.

• We DO NOT subscribe to cable TV. We watch so many things online. We haven’t paid for cable in 15 years and don’t miss it at all.

• We DO NOT have a fancy phone or expensive plan. Angie’s phone is 3 generations old, and I’ve never owned a phone other than what is provided for work.

• We DO NOT have a gym membership. Instead, we work out right in the living room, at the touch of the remote, with Beachbody On Demand programs that are created by some of the best trainers on the planet. Plus, it costs me ZERO gallons of gas getting to and from my workouts.

• We DO NOT buy extra vitamins and minerals. Because Shakeology delivers dense superfood ingredients, and with our healthy eating strategy, we do not need additional supplements. Note: I’m not saying you can immediately quit ALL vitamins/ supplements recommended by your doctor to treat your special circumstances, but it’s very possible that you can!

Why I Think Shakeology Is a Great Deal

• Shakeology helps curb my junk food cravings.*† Because it’s so nutritionally dense, Shakeology gives my body what it needs in a form that can be easily absorbed. Plus, it’s so incredibly delicious that it feels like I’m having a treat. It’s the best of both worlds!

• Shakeology is super convenient. Just add it to water and it mixes easily. Or take 2 minutes and blend it with ice, banana, frozen fruit, peanut butter, or whatever suits you (find tons of delicious recipes here) to make a super filling meal. That’s how we roll.

• Shakeology is packed with nutrient dense real food. I used to buy separate “superfoods” to add to my smoothies. Then I realized that I was spending way more on my separate ingredients per month, even from discount sources, than I would spend on Shakeology.

Compared to what I used to spend, I’m actually saving money by purchasing Shakeology!

Why My Body Loves This Stuff

Before becoming a Shakeology fan, when I looked into the ingredients of other shakes there was always something in them that made it a compromise for my health goals.

I have a digestive health issue, so there are some ingredients I have to watch out for. Shakeology is the first shake that is filled with ingredients that are ALL the ones that I can have. I drink the Plant-Based Vegan flavors and have been thriving on them.

During the time that I thought I could not afford Shakeology, even though I was very impressed with it, I still thought I didn’t need it. But once I took inventory on the benefits I was experiencing (regular digestion, less bloating, more energy & mental clarity, improved skin, boosted immunity, etc.) I realized that I was not getting this result from all the other homemade tricks I made, or the cheap powders and potions I tried. I was convinced that Shakeology is all that I was looking for, and more.

And yes, I drink it every single day! It’s “bottom of the blender good.”

My Secret Weapon

I believe that Shakeology affects my body in the best possible way when I drink it every day. If I only drank it every other day, my results would not be as great. If I only drank it a couple times a week, my results would be even less.

I get great results because I drink it every single day. It’s my secret weapon. It wasn’t until I had been using it every day for a while that I realized what a difference Shakeology could make in my life, and I can say with 100% confidence that it works.

It is so powerful, simply because it is a blend of some of the most densely nutritious ingredients that money can buy — and to me, it’s worth it. I am worth it. My health is worth it.

Ready to take the next step?

Then set yourself up for success with a Beachbody Challenge Pack: You get Shakeology, a full year of unlimited workouts on Beachbody On Demand, and a free Team Beachbody Coach (me) who can help support and motivate you to stay on track. Start here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

†Vitamins C, B6, and B12 contribute to normal energy-yielding metabolism.

Nutrition

Stop Using These 7 Health Buzzwords

These days there are so many so-called superfoods and labels on packaged foods that it’s hard to know what’s really healthy and what’s hype. Why does a green juice need to have “vegan” on it or a salsa need to say “gluten free,” when both foods are naturally those things?
“On one hand, ‘buzzwords’ definitely work as far as traction and traffic go — they can help get someone to read an article that may be very helpful and informative, and they are what everyone is Googling,” says Keri Glassman, RD, founder of Nutritious Life. “But it’s important to keep in mind that many times a buzzword is just that and you need to read beyond the word.”
This is especially true because not all buzzwords have a standard definition, nor do they mean a certain food is healthy. “One of the things that happens is that they create a health halo around a particular food. We think, ‘Oh, that’s going to be better because it’s a non-GMO gummy bear,” says Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, owner of Active Eating Advice. “So then we overlook the fact that it’s still a cookie or a cheese puff, and we consume unnecessary calories and spend more than we normally would.”
Be especially wary of these seven buzzwords dietitians are sick of hearing:

1. NATURAL

While it may seem as though, ‘Duh, who wants to eat something unnatural?’, this term isn’t defined by the FDA, so from a packaged food standpoint, it can really be anything, Glassman says.

2. CLEAN

“Clean means free of what?” Bonci asks. “This is not a term that provides any useful or helpful direction.”

3. SUPERFOOD

We can all admit this term is overused. First it was acai, then it was kale and then quinoa. Now almost anything gets labeled a superfood. “What makes one food more super than another?” says Bonci, noting that different foods are high in different nutrients, plus a lot of the claims about superfoods are just that — claims, not proven scientific facts. “Nobody can only eat acai berries and call it a day,” Bonci says. “And you’re not jeopardizing your health if you’re not eating superfoods.”

4. FAT-FREE

“Research has shown that fat is our friend,” Glassman says. “And it’s well known now that when fat is removed, other ingredients like sugar are added to make up for it.” That added sugar often makes fat-free or low-fat foods have just as many calories as the regular version. Plus, fats help the body absorb many vitamins in addition to keeping you full.

5. -FREE

Bonci goes a step further and says to avoid a label saying a food is “free” of anything. “It doesn’t mean it’s any better, and oftentimes the foods never had that ingredient anyway,” she says. “It’s one thing if you need to watch out for gluten or dairy, but we have transcended that. There’s gluten-free water.”

6. NON-GMO

“Here again, foods that would never have GMO ingredients in the first place get slapped with this label because food companies know many consumers are concerned about GMOs,” Bonci says. There are only eight genetically modified crops commercially available in the US: papaya, sugar beets, corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa and squash. If none of those foods are on the ingredients list, then of course it’s GMO-free.

7. SIMPLY MADE

“Nobody is going to put ‘complicated’ on the label,” Bonci says, adding that “anything in a package had to go through some processing.” That doesn’t make the food any better or worse per se. Plus, “you don’t see ‘simply made’ on an apple, but it grows on a tree from the ground,” Bonci says.

About the Author: Brittany Risher
Brittany is a writer, editor and digital strategist specializing in health and lifestyle content. She loves experimenting with new vegan recipes and believes hummus is a food group. To stay sane from working too hard, she turns to yoga, strength training, meditation and scotch.