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Success Story: Lindsey McAdams

Q: What inspired you to start losing weight?

A: What inspired me to lose weight was my 29th birthday. 9years ago I made a promise to myself that I would not be overweight and unhealthy in my 30’s. On my 29th birthday I weighed my highest, 278lbs. I felt unhealthy, out of shape and depressed.  I realized I had 12 months before I would turn 30. Since March 2014 I have lost 90lbs and currently weigh 188lbs. 38lbs shy of reaching my goal!! 

Q: What has been the most difficult part of the process?

A: The difficult part of the process was exercising in the beginning. My dogs helped get me out my negative phase quite quickly.  Once I started walking them, there was no way I could say “no” to those excited eyes every night.  I now run them, so they also say thanks to Noom!

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of the process?

A: The most rewarding part of the process so far, I will have to selfishly say, is when I went clothes shopping for the first time after having lost 85lbs. I went from squeezing into a size 18 to having room in a size 12.  It was a very positive and emotional experience for me. Can’t wait to shop again soon!

Q: What’s your #1 piece of advice for losing weight?

A: My #1 piece of advise for losing weight is to set goals and stay motivated. It’s all mind over matter - Anyone can do it!!! 

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Ingredient Focus: Salmon

WHAT IS IT?

Salmon includes a variety of species, most of which originate from the North Atlantic tributaries and Pacific Ocean. Some species live only in fresh water, while others migrate between salt and fresh water for reproduction.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

Salmon is renowned for its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Don’t let the word “fatty” scare you off - these fats may reduce the risk of heart disease and help with a multitude of normal body functions, such as the control of blood clotting. Salmon is also a rich source of protein.

HOW DO I USE IT?

Salmon is sold in a variety of forms: smoked, fresh, frozen. We suggest salmon fillets or steaks. They can be grilled, seared, or broiled, and pair well with any green veggie. A word of advice on the source: many health experts steer clear of farm-raised salmon, as the potentially harmful farming practices are thought to reduce the quality of the fish and even add calories. Though more expensive, the safest bet is Alaskan Wild Salmon.

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Guest Post: Ginger Lychee Smoothie (Urban Fitopia)

Lychee is a really fun fruit that hails from china. Because of its high water content, the Lychee Ginger Smoothie feels more like a juice than a smoothie. The fresh ginger in the blend makes it revitalizing and spicy. If you can’t find lychee near you, try substituting them with grapes. 

Ingredients

  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 6 lychees - peeled, pitted
  • 1/2 lime - juiced
  • 1/2 inch ginger - peeled
  • 1 tbsp hemp seed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes

This smoothie turns out more like a juice than a thick smoothie. It is perfectly refreshing for a warm summer day. Lychee fruit hails from China and grows naturally in the rainforests in Guangdong. The fruit tastes like a sweet, skinless grape. But remember, after peeling, lychees have a pit in the middle that must be removed before blending.

Post by Jenna Tanenbaum. Jenna is a smoothie queen and fitness nomad. When she isn’t thinking up the next smoothie recipe for her company, Green Blender, she is running around the streets of New York City trying out the next fitness trend.
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Guest Post: Tortilla Soup (from The Picky Eater)

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Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Creative Toppings

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

Soup:

  • 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 large red onion, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth

Toppings

  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into matchstick chips

  • Olive oil spray

  • Salt (to taste)

  • 1/4 cup of goat cheese, crumbled

  • 30 small yellow or red grape tomatoes

  • Mexican shredded cheese blend

  • 1 avocado, diced

  • Diced yellow onion

  • Cilantro (chopped)

  • Lime juice

Directions

  1. Tortilla Strips: Spray the tortilla strips/quarters with olive oil spray and salt. Turn them out onto a baking sheet, arrange them across the pan and bake in a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden and crispy. (Mine might have taken a little longer than 10 minutes to get fully crispy). Set aside when done. (You can also just leave them in the turned-off oven to keep them warm and crispy!)

  2. Roasted Tomatoes: Halve the tomatoes lengthwise and put them in a small roasting pan, oven proof dish, or rimmed baking sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil and season with salt. Bake in a 350F degree oven for 40-45 minutes (less time if you use smaller tomatoes), or until the tomatoes are shrunken and golden around the edges. Set aside.

  3. The Soup: In a big pot over medium-high heat cook the garlic and onions using 1/2 Tbsp olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt for just a minute or so. Stir in the spices and then the tomatoes. Cook down for about five minutes or so, it should thicken a bit.

  4. The Soup Continued: Remove from heat, add two cups of the broth and puree with a hand blender (or puree in a traditional blender). Add the remaining 0.5 cups of broth (you can add more if you want a thinner soup) and puree until smooth. Bring the soup back up to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

  5. Avocado Salsa: Create the “avocado salsa” by mixing the avocado, red onion, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl. Super easy and takes 2 minutes.

Ideas for Serving

Option 1: With Mexican Shredded Cheese and Avocado Salsa. Take some soup in a bowl, top with 1 Tbsp shredded mexican cheese blend, and 1-2 Tbsp of the Avocado Salsa. This combination is great because the cheese melts into the soup, and the avocado salsa has a creaminess and a crunch that gives the soup amazing texture.

Option 2: With Goat Cheese, Roasted Tomatoes, and Tortilla Strips. Top soup with 1-2 Tbsp goat cheese, a handful of roasted tomatoes, and a handful of tortilla strips

See more from Anjali on her blog, The Picky Eater!

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Ingredient Focus: Quinoa

WHAT IS IT?

Pronounced KEEN-wah, quinoa is a grain crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It was domesticated thousands of years ago in South America. It contains many essential amino acids such as lysine, calcium, and iron.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

Quinoa is best known for its protein content, lack of gluten, and relatively low caloric density. It provides riboflavin, which can reduce the frequency of migraines. It also contains high quantities of fiber, which promotes healthy digestion.

HOW DO I USE IT?

Quinoa is a great substitute for any grain from rice to pasta. In fact, some pastas are made out of quinoa. It can be prepared in fewer than 25 minutes; just be sure to rinse the grain before boiling, for it is covered in saponins, which can be toxic in large quantities. It can be included in granola or hot oatmeal, served up in burger form or sprinkled over any salad for a delicious, highly nutritious treat!

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Guest Post: Healthy Snacking from Brie Peers

Healthy Snacking On-the-Go

 

We all have busy lives filled with jobs, appointments, social events, and meetings. Just because our planners may be filled every day, it does not mean that we should let our health fall to the side. We can still keep up with our busy lives and maintain a healthy lifestyle if we can plan ahead and always be prepared. As a college student, I am often gone from my room for most of the day between classes, studying, meetings, working out, and meeting up with friends, but there is one thing I always keep on hand with me wherever I go—healthy snacks. My backpack always has at least one healthy snack on hand (if not more than one!) to keep me going and so I don’t have to rely on eating from the vending machine. I go through a rotation of snacks so I always have something with me when I end up taking longer at a meeting or my stomach starts grumbling during class.

My go-to healthy snack is a bar. I always have a steady stock of bars on hand in my kitchen and it is the easiest thing to grab on the go. Of course, not all bars are created equal and it is important to read the ingredients and nutrition facts before buying bars and look at the sugar content. Some bars have as much sugar as a candy bar! I also check to see if there is a good amount of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.  And it is definitely a winner if it has some chocolate in there too ;).

Trail mixes are another great snack for on-the-go. Nuts, dried fruits, and seeds are a perfect combination that can keep me satisfied for hours. I always go for a small serving of trail mix when my sweet tooth is calling! Look for trail mixes that are low in sodium and low in sugar since nuts and seeds can sometimes be loaded with sodium (salt) and dried fruit can be filled with sugar. This is another snack that is perfect with the right amount of chocolate too.

Fruit is a great on-the-go snack because it can give you an instant energy boost and help you get in important nutrients. It is easy to grab an apple or a banana and throw it in your bag so whenever hunger hits, you have something on hand. Bananas are perfect post-workout!

The one snack that I recommend everyone prepares is vegetables and hummus. This one isn’t one you can always have on hand if you will be gone all day, but if you have access to a fridge or will only be gone for a little while, this snack is perfect. I absolutely love vegetables with hummus and they are the perfect afternoon snack. If I take some time the night before to chop celery, bell peppers, carrots, and sugar snap peas and put some hummus in a sealed container, I can easily grab the snack and go. The crunch from the vegetables satisfies my craving for anything crunchy like potato chips and I am also getting in a healthy dose of nutrients too.

 

Leading a busy life doesn’t have to compromise our healthy eating if we take the time to have snacks on hand and easily ready in our bags. I try to eat every three hours to avoid any negative side effects of feeling too hungry. When I know I have a busy day ahead, I can pack snacks to have on hand throughout the day and be prepared to take on whatever comes up during the day, with a snack in hand.

Follow my blog and social media to see how I snack healthy on-the-go and for recipes, workouts, and tips!

Blog: http://leancleanandbrie.com

Twitter: @leancleanbrie

Instagram: @leancleanbrie

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Guest Post: Peach Coconut Smoothie

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Electrolytes are important for proper hydration and muscle function. This smoothie will help replenish you! Coconut water is an natural source of electrolytes that won’t spike your blood sugar and will quench your thirst. 

Ingredients

  • 2 handfuls baby kale
  • 1 banana
  • 1 peach - pitted
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
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Success Story: Maria Gonzalez

My name is Maria Gonzalez. I am a food addict. I will always be a food addict. In April 2013, at 232 pounds, my weight loss journey began. While I was walking my daughters to school, my shoestring became untied and I attempted to bend down to tie my shoe, but I couldn’t. Embarrased, I asked my eldest daughter if she could tie my shoe. The vision of her on her knees tying my shoes moved me to do something about my health. 

At the same time, my 22 year old nephew was diagnosed with Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, meaning he was in renal failure. He was on dialysis twice a week and would need a transplant. I decided  to get tested. My weight was down to 200 pounds; I was having success with Noom! And I was a match! In August 2013 I weighed in at 170. I received a call from my nephew’s transplant coordinator asking if I were interested in being his donor. Interested!  To be able to save his life…yes! My answer was yes. Our surgery was on November 19th, 2013 and I weighed in at 154. The surgery was a success in more ways than one. He’s doing great and I am now 150 lbs. Without Noom I would have never qualified to be his donor.My kidney may have saved his life, but he has saved mine in return. 
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Guest Post: Tangy Dough Boy Smoothie (Kath Eats)

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For TWO Dough Boy Smoothies

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (I had to mix in a little Scottish because we were out of rolled and that seemed to work fine)

  • 2/3 cup milk

  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt ( <—the tang!)

  • 2 smallish ripe bananas

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1tsp cinnamon

  • Pinch salt

  • Plus 1/2 cup milk for AM

Mix together in blender (just with a spoon). Put in fridge overnight. In AM, add 1/2 cup milk and blend away!

Topped with the amazing Lynda’s Granola and Flying Squirrel PB – Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed!

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Success Story: Ben Castillo

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Q: What inspired you to start losing weight?

A: There was a point where I almost reached 198 pounds (90 kilos). My overall health was also pretty bad, and that’s where I knew I had to make a change. So I started.

Q: What has been the most difficult part of the process?

A: First, the negative people. There was (and there still are) people who said I would fail, and some others who tried to discourage me. Second, the change; the new healthy food, working out, the general change was very tough at the beginning. And third, the process; I had to study and learn a lot about nutrition, medicine and other fields in order to do things right.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of the process?

A: Inspiring others. When other people who first did not believe in you start to see you changing (in and out), they get motivated and ask you for help, and there is no greater joy for me than helping others.

Q: What’s your #1 piece of advice for losing weight?

A: Stay focused, and stick to your goals. Things are gonna be tough, but if you stay strong and on, you will get there, there is no doubt.