What to Do With Leftovers?

Great ideas for holiday leftovers

You’ve heard it time and again. For many people (and I may be one of them) the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday and all the preparations. But after a couple of days of gearing up, it seems like the meal goes by in a flash. So, it’s nice to have a leisurely weekend to get creative with the leftovers.

While I don’t know exactly what’s in your fridge the day after the holiday, it’s safe to say that you’re likely to have turkey, some potatoes (white and or sweet), a bit of cranberry sauce, a little stuffing, a dab of gravy and probably a container of the ever-popular green bean casserole. Reheating is fine, but after a couple of meals, I’m usually looking for a change in taste.

Creative Tips for Your Leftovers

Hands down, my favorite thing to make after the holiday is turkey soup. Once the turkey bones have been stripped of all their meat, I simmer them with onion, celery, carrots, salt and pepper for a few hours to produce a heavenly stock. From there, you can do a basic turkey noodle, or add your leftover mashed potatoes for a creamy soup base. A dab of leftover gravy will add a lot of flavor—but go easy, since it’s loaded with calories.

The turkey lends itself to a million uses, but if you have so much left over that you don’t think you’ll use it in a few days, shred it into meal-sized portions and freeze. It’s great to have it handy to add to dishes like soup, pasta or burritos. Here’s something you may not have thought of—turkey lettuce cups. Heat up some minced leftover turkey with some diced scallions and a little Chinese hoisin sauce, then spoon into iceberg lettuce leaves. It’s a light and refreshing change from the usual turkey sandwiches.

Cranberry sauce is amazing on top of plain yogurt or oatmeal, or spooned over mixed fresh fruit for a quick dessert. You can also blend it with nonfat cream cheese for a tasty spread for your whole grain toast. I also like to spike my cranberry sauce with some ginger, garlic and soy sauce and serve on grilled fish or tofu. It tastes like a really sophisticated barbecue sauce.

If your original sweet potato dish wasn’t too sweet, you can dice up the leftovers with the leftover turkey, then sauté with some onions and other veggies for a one-dish hash. Serve with a green salad and you’re all set. Sweet potatoes would also make the start of a pretty great curry with some leftover turkey added.

Stuffing and green bean casserole are some of the highest calorie leftovers, so you’ll want to use them sparingly and stretch them out with some healthier ingredients. Add some canned tomatoes and chopped turkey to your leftover stuffing to make a filling for stuffed peppers. And that leftover green bean casserole? Try heating it up with some white wine or broth, then add some garlic and hot pepper flakes and toss with some whole grain pasta.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

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.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Protein Shakes – A Beginner’s Guide

Add fruit to your protein shake for
flavor and nutrition.

Curious about protein shakes, but don’t know where to start? Here’s your go-to guide – how and why to use protein shakes, how to choose a protein shake mix, how to make a shake and how to personalize your protein shakes!

If protein shakes aren’t part of your regular diet, it may be because you think they’re only meant for heavy-duty athletes or serious bodybuilders. While it’s true that many athletes use shakes to refuel after exercise, there are plenty of reasons why “regular folks” might want to consider protein shakes, too. Plus, they’re quick, convenient, and fun to make!

Related Article: 7 Ways to Add Protein to Foods

What’s in a Protein Shake?

While there is no set definition as to what a protein shake actually includes, it’s basically a drink that provides protein – and oftentimes additional nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Some shakes are designed to simply supplement the diet with protein, while others are more nutritionally complete and can be used to replace a meal. Some protein shakes are sold in ready-to-drink form, but many people prefer to make their own protein shakes by combining – at the very least – a protein powder and a liquid. These are often customized by the addition of other ingredients, such as fruits and vegetables.

When and Why to Use a Protein Shake

As a quick, balanced meal
Protein shakes that are designed to replace a meal are great for people who are meal-skippers. They’re quick and convenient and can provide balanced nutrition when time for meal preparation is limited.

As a meal replacement to help you lose weight
For those who are trying to lose weight, a meal replacement shake can be used to replace one or two meals per day. Aside from being convenient, protein shakes have a defined calorie content and are portion controlled, which makes it easier to accurately count calories and control total intake for the day.

As a supplement to help you gain weight

For those who are trying to gain weight, protein shakes can be used to provide supplementary calories. Drinking a protein shake between meals or at bedtime can help to boost calorie intake.

To supplement your protein intake
Another reason to consider using a protein shake is to boost your overall daily protein intake, if it’s difficult for you to meet needs from your meals alone. When you make your own protein shakes, you can adjust the amount of protein in your shake according to your individual needs.

As fuel before and after exercise
Many people use protein shakes after a workout, but they’re also useful as pre-exercise meals, too. Those who work out in the morning often like to ‘top off the tank’ with a light meal, and protein shakes can fill the bill.

As a means to improve your dietary balance
A simple protein shake is like a blank canvas, you can add all sorts of things to your shake that can help you meet your daily nutrition goals. It’s easy to add a serving of fruit or vegetables, but you can also boost your fiber or your intake of healthy fats with the proper add-ins.

Choosing the Right Mix for Your Protein Shake

Some protein shake mixes are “complete” – they’re designed to be prepared simply by mixing them with water. But, more typically, protein shake mixes are designed to be mixed with milk – the combination of shake mix and milk provides the right nutritional balance in the finished shake.

Protein powders derived from animal sources include whey and casein (both come from milk), as well as egg white protein. For those who prefer to get their protein from plant sources, there are powders derived from sources such as soy, rice, pea, quinoa or hemp.

Some protein powders contain a blend of proteins. One reason for this is that different proteins are digested at different rates (whey protein is digested more quickly than casein, for example), so some people feel that blends are better at satisfying hunger.

With the exception of soy, another reason is that vegetarian proteins are not considered nutritionally complete. Many vegetarian protein powders contain a blend of several plant proteins – this way, the final product provides the full complement of essential amino acids and it’s, therefore, a complete protein.

Many protein powders are flavored, although you can find plain, unflavored powders, too. Most people find that the tastiest shakes start with a flavored protein powder, such as Herbalife® Formula 1. Then they’ll customize the amount of protein in the shake by adding extra unflavored protein powder, like Herbalife® Personalized Protein Powder if necessary for their needs.

Most protein shakes, when made according to the directions on the label, typically have about 15 to 20 grams of protein per serving. An Herbalife® Formula 1 shake mixed with 8 oz nonfat milk or soy milk supplies 18 grams of protein.

Choosing a Liquid to Make Your Protein Shake

In order to get the proper nutritional balance in your shake, it’s important to make your shake according to the label directions.

If your protein shake mix calls for milk:

  • Many protein shake mixes are designed to be mixed with milk, so that the finished product will have the nutritional balance that the manufacturer intended. For this reason, only cow’s milk or soy milk should be used in products that are designed to be mixed with milk.
  • Both cow’s milk and soy milk contribute additional protein to your shake – another 9 grams or so. These milks also provide additional vitamins and minerals that complement the nutrients in the shake mix, making the finished shake more nutritionally complete.

If your protein shake mix calls for water:

  • Water should be used only in those protein shake mixes that call for it. These products are nutritionally balanced on their own and do not rely on additional nutrients from the “mixer” liquid. In place of plain water, you can also use black coffee or brewed tea if you like.
  • Rice, almond, hemp or oat milks provide very little protein, so these liquids are typically used in those protein shake mixes that are designed to be mixed with water. These ‘milk alternatives’ will add a bit of flavor and a few extra calories to the shake, but with very little protein.
  • Fruit juice doesn’t contribute any protein to your shake, either – so, again, it should be used in products that are designed to be mixed with water. But fruit juices contain quite a few calories, so keep that in mind if you’re calorie-conscious. On the other hand, if you’re trying to boost your calorie intake, using fruit juice in your shake might work for you.
  • Of course, milk or soy milk can also be used with protein shake mixes that are designed to be mixed with water. The addition of milk or soy milk will just boost protein content (and calories).
Five Add-ons for Your Protein Shake

Extra Protein
Even though your protein shake already contains protein, you might want to include more if your protein needs are high. You can add plain protein powder, of course, but you can also add foods like low fat cottage cheese, yogurt, ricotta cheese or silken tofu to boost protein content.

Fruits and Vegetables
Adding fruits and vegetables to your protein shake is an easy way to get more servings of these healthy foods in your daily diet. Frozen fruits and vegetables are convenient, and they give your protein shake a thicker texture. Experiment with different fruits and vegetables such as sweet veggies like carrots or butternut squash, and try different combinations – like pineapple with carrot, or banana with butternut squash. When you’re feeling a little bold, try adding more unusual ingredients to your shake – like baby spinach leaves or beets.

Fiber
Most protein shake mixes don’t contain a lot of fiber, and most people don’t eat as much fiber as they should, so try adding high fiber foods to your shakes. Obviously you can choose a dedicated fiber powder or go with fruits and vegetables, rolled oats, bran, or seeds such as sunflower, flax or chia seeds, which all contribute fiber.

Calories

If your calorie needs are high, you can add rolled oats, nuts, nut butter, avocado, or dried fruit to boost the calorie content of your shake.

Ice
Ice makes a nice addition to a shake because it thickens up the liquid. Ice also adds volume to your shake, so it increases the portion size without adding calories. A great trick for those who are watching their weight!

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Cooking With Kids: Healthy Eating Starts in the Kitchen

Cooking can instill a sense of pride in kids.

Kids love to cook—and it might help them to make better food choices, too.

I think it’s fair to say that most kids—given the chance—like to spend time playing around in the kitchen. And why not? Cooking is creative and messy and fun, and it tickles all the senses. On top of that, your efforts are rewarded with something that’s (hopefully) delicious to eat. But cooking can deliver some additional benefits, too—spending time in the kitchen can help kids to develop an appreciation for healthy foods, and foster better eating habits, too.

RELATED ARTICLE: 12 smart tips for getting your kids heart healthy

The significance of this really shouldn’t be overlooked. In the last few decades, obesity and overweight rates among American kids have risen dramatically—a reflection, in part, on a diet that includes too many calories and nutrient-poor foods, and too little in the way of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich dairy products.

And eating out is a contributing factor. Meals eaten away from home are higher in calories, fat and saturated fat—and provide less calcium and fiber—than home-prepared meals. On the other hand, eating more meals at home is associated with a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and dairy products, with less fat and calories.

Cooking with Kids: The Many Benefits
  • Cooking at home and eating together helps kids develop an appreciation for healthy foods. When parents serve as good role models with their food choices, kids develop a similar appreciation for healthy foods. And, the comfortable, supportive environment of home helps to reinforce these healthy behaviors.
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  • Kids enjoy eating what they’ve prepared. When kids are involved in the selection of ingredients and preparation of foods, they’re more likely to try their creations.
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  • They’re more likely to try new foods. Even if kids decide that they don’t particularly like what they prepared, the cooking experience will help to cultivate an open mind when it comes to trying new foods.
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  • Kids derive a sense of pride and independence when they cook. Kids love to boast that “I did it all myself!” When they are able to prepare something on their own—no matter how simple—and serve it to family, it instills a sense of pride and independence. Help your kids by guiding them toward age-appropriate recipes.
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  • Cooking is creative. Once kids have some basic skills and learn to follow recipes, they should be encouraged to get creative. You can start with a very simple basic recipe—for example, a smoothie made with flavored protein powder and milk—and allow them to experiment by adding different fruits, vegetables, spices or extracts. Once they’ve come up with their own recipes, many kids enjoy creating their own recipe file.
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  • Cooking together can be fun, quality time. Spending time together in the kitchen can be fun and relaxing for both kids and adults. Many kids don’t need much coaxing to join you in the kitchen, so use this time to simply enjoy each other’s company and talk about how good—and good for you—your meal is going to be.
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Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Eat to Compete: Endurance Athletes Need Fuel 24/7

Eat plenty of healthy carbs before a race.

As an endurance athlete, you have special nutrition needs that must be met in order for you to perform at your best. Here are some tips on eating to compete from Dr. John Heiss of Herbalife that I’d like to share with you.

1. Fuel up in the morning. Since your stored fuel reserves will have dropped during an overnight fast, this is important. Training and racing take a toll on the body, and starting the day with a healthy meal balanced with carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals provides a solid nutritional foundation for your performance.

RELATED ARTICLE: Do-It-Yourself Strength Training Workout

2. Hydration is essential. Because hydration directly impacts your athletic performance, it’s even more important for you to keep fluid levels topped off. Electrolytes (important body salts) are also essential–they support proper muscle function and help regulate body temperature. It’s important to hydrate during the event, but also important to sip fluid throughout the day in order to stay hydrated, and to be fully rehydrated before the next stage of your competition. Sports drinks provide not only necessary fluid, but also electrolytes that have been lost through perspiration. They also contribute carbohydrates, too, to help fuel working muscles during the event.

3. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel during exercise and they’re essential to keep your body running. In an endurance race, calories are king and getting enough is essential for performance. Make sure to get plenty of carbohydrates both before and during the race. Getting proper nutrition while competing also helps shorten recovery time, which is very important in a multi-day event. In addition to carbohydrates, a small amount of protein during exercise can help speed recovery.
4. After a race, your body needs the right ratios of carbohydrates and protein to begin recovering. Recovery is two-fold, and requires carbohydrate for replacing glycogen stores, as well as protein for rebuilding damaged muscle.

5. During a race, your nutrition needs are so extreme that it may be difficult to meet them with diet alone. But that being said, it is important to keep in mind that supplementation is just that–a supplement to a regular healthy diet. As an athlete, you should get the majority of your calories and nutrients from whole foods, primarily healthy sources of “good” carbohydrates–whole grains, fruits and vegetables–and protein from lean meats, poultry, fish, low fat dairy products and plant sources such as soy.

Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Food for Kids: Healthy Ideas They’ll Love

Oatmeal is kid-friendly and nutritious.

Kids can be picky eaters, but here’s a short list of some nutrition-packed foods that most kids enjoy.

It’s always funny to me when people ask me how my kids ate when they were little. I’m sure that most of them think that since I do what I do, my kids must have been perfect eaters – or that I had some special tricks up my sleeve that made them beg for broccoli. Truth be told, my kids were no different from most other kids – they had their likes and their dislikes – and they’d go on food tears where they’d want to eat the same thing every single day.

RELATED ARTICLE: Raising healthy, active kids: 6 tips for family fitness

Naturally, it did concern me a bit that their nutritional needs weren’t always being met, but there were several really healthy foods that they were almost always willing to eat. I just downplayed the “healthy” part – because once you tell kids something is “good for you,” that’s one of the quickest, surest paths to rejection.

So here’s a list of my top-rated foods for kids – they’re good, and good for them:

  • Tuna fish – Many kids turn their noses up at fish, but they’ll eat tuna salad. Like all fish, tuna is a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and is rich in protein. Try mixing your canned tuna with mashed avocado instead of mayonnaise for a healthier tuna salad, and serve with some whole grain crackers – kids love to make their own little cracker sandwiches.
  • Smoothies – A lot of kids fall short when it comes to meeting their calcium needs, and many don’t eat enough fruit, so smoothies can help fill both gaps. They’re quick and easy to make, and they’re great when things get rushed in the morning. Kids love to make their own – if you’ve got low-fat milk, protein powder and some frozen fruit at hand, your kids can take it from there.
  • Carrots – Kids and vegetables often don’t mix, but sweet, crunchy, raw carrots are an exception. Carrots are rich in beta carotene to help support healthy skin and eyesight, and they’re also a good source of fiber. They’re fun to eat plain, or dipped in fat-free ranch, salsa or guacamole.
  • Oatmeal – It takes just a few minutes to cook up some rolled oats, which are naturally rich in fiber and B-vitamins. Try making it with nonfat milk or soymilk rather than water, to boost calcium and protein, then sweeten lightly, and stir in some diced fruit like bananas or apples.
  • Strawberries – Kids love strawberries because they taste so good – but they’re also packed with vitamin C, potassium and fiber. When fresh berries are unavailable, use the frozen whole berries in smoothies or mixed with yogurt.
  • Nuts – Instead of chips, offer kids nuts to satisfy their craving for something crunchy and salty. Tree nuts like almonds, walnuts or pistachios provide healthy fats, protein and minerals like zinc and magnesium.
  • Beans – Beans do double nutrition duty for kids – they’re not only a good source of iron but they’re a great fiber source, too. Most kids will eat canned beans seasoned with a touch of ketchup, barbecue sauce or salsa – you can also try bean soup, or whirl some beans in the blender with a little salt, lemon and olive oil for a tasty hummus dip for raw veggies.

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

How to Plan Quick and Healthy Meals

Save time – prep for more than one meal.

It’s easier to stick to a healthy diet when you use these tips for quick and nutritious meal planning.

It seems to me there are two extremes when it comes to meal planning. There are people who never plan; they prefer to ‘wait and see’ what they feel like eating. They’re also the ones who, understandably, don’t have much discipline when it comes to sticking to a diet plan. On the other hand, there are those whose meal planning is just a tad too routine.

When I was in high school, my best friend’s mom stuck to the same menu week after week: Monday was chicken, Tuesday was spaghetti…you get the idea. The only time I’d accept an invitation for dinner was on Sunday—or, “surprise night.” Somewhere in between these extremes, though, lies a healthy approach to meal planning that doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming. If your idea of meal planning means choosing between sausage or pepperoni on your pizza, listen up: here are some pointers that might help.

Quick Tips on Meal Planning

  • Keep a stash of quick, healthy recipes you can turn to. Simple and nutritious recipes are easy to find in cookbooks, magazines and on the web. When you’ve got a couple dozen to pick from, you can rotate them over a few weeks and your dinners won’t become too routine.
  • Always have healthy staples on hand. Keep veggies, fruits and seafood in the freezer, and keep your pantry stocked with staples like whole grains, canned beans, tuna and tomatoes, chicken or vegetable broth, spices and herbs. With these items on hand, you’ve got the start of a healthy soup, curry or pasta dish that you can throw together in no time.
  • Look for convenient shortcuts you can use. Frozen veggies can be substituted for fresh, and convenience items like pre-washed salad greens or pre-cut vegetables can really save you prep time. Whole cooked chickens or ready-seasoned meats from the grocery store are also great timesavers.
  • Prep once, cook twice. If a recipe calls for half of a chopped onion or bell pepper, don’t stop there—keep chopping and stash the rest for another day. As long as you’re browning ground turkey for spaghetti sauce, why not brown extra to use in tacos or stuffed peppers for tomorrow? Make extra brown rice or quinoa and freeze for another meal. The grains stay moist and reheat well in the microwave.
  • One dish meals generally combine your protein, your vegetable and your starch all in one dish. They’re healthy, they’re balanced and you’ll have a lot fewer pots and pans to wash.

If you’re organized enough to plan your meals for a few days, it does make life a lot easier. Once you’ve chosen your recipes, you can make your shopping list for the week. When you’ve got your menus down and your ingredients on hand, the meal planning battle is practically won.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

4 Summertime Food Safety Tips

Make sure to cook food thoroughly
when barbecuing

Don’t spoil your summertime fun with the chance of getting sick from contaminated food. Here are some tips for maintaining food safety during warm weather.

Nothing says summer quite like backyard barbecues, picnics and camping. But nothing spoils a picnic more quickly than unwelcome guests—and I’m not talking about party crashers. These other unwelcome guests come in the form of food-borne bacteria, which can multiply quickly in hot summertime temperatures and make your picnic foods risky to eat.

The bacteria in foods that can make you sick grow quickly at room temperature, and even faster when the thermometer climbs to 90 degrees F (32C) or so. Keeping foods cold discourages the bacteria from growing, and cooking foods destroys them. So, the most basic rule is this: keep hot foods hot, and keep cold foods cold.
Here are four tips for proper food handling during those warm weather months:

Pack Your Cooler the Smart Way

If you’re going to carry raw meat to grill at the park or your campsite, pack your cooler carefully. Season or marinate the meat and put it in a tightly sealed plastic container or zippered plastic food storage bag, then keep it separated from any foods that are ready-to-eat in your cooler. You don’t want any of those raw meat juices dripping onto your fruits, veggies and side dishes. And pack your cooler with plenty of ice or ice packs, so that everything stays nice and cold.

Don’t Let the Outside Fool You

When it’s time to serve foods from the grill, check thick foods like bone-in chicken pieces to make sure they’re cooked all the way through before serving. Sometimes they cook quickly on the outside, but they’re still raw or undercooked in the middle. If you have a few hours before it’s time to grill, you can also partially cook chicken pieces in the microwave, then drop them in a zippered plastic bag with the marinade and refrigerate. Since the chicken is partially cooked, it takes less time to finish it on the grill; it tends to cook more evenly and it’s less likely to be dry.

Don’t Double-Dip

Once your fish, meat or poultry comes off the grill, it might be tempting to dunk it back in the marinade—but don’t. Since the marinade was in contact with raw or undercooked meat, it could harbor some harmful bacteria that could cause illness.

Follow the 2-2-4 Rule

When it comes to leftovers, an easy way to remember food storage guidelines is simple: two hours, two inches, four days. These numbers make up the “2-2-4 rule.”
Two hours is how long foods can safely stay at room temperature after you’ve taken them out of the oven or off the grill. In the case of cold foods, that’s how long they can safely stay out of the refrigerator or cooler. But there’s an exception to this rule: the limit drops to just an hour if the outdoor temperature is 90 degrees F (32C) or higher. Once the time limit is reached, the food should be refrigerated or frozen. So, if you’re away from home, be sure to pack up your food and place it back in the cooler with your ice packs to keep them at a safe temperature.

The two inch rule means that you should store leftover foods in shallow containers—no more than two inches deep—so they can cool down evenly and quickly. If containers are too deep, it takes too long for the food in the middle to cool down.

The last rule says that you should use your refrigerated leftovers within four days. Otherwise, you should toss them out. But picnic leftovers are pretty tasty, so chances are that they’ll be long gone before then.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Five Tips to Help Your Child Athlete Fuel Up for Exercise

Active children need proper hydration.

Getting fueled up for activity is really no different for kids than it is for adults – the right pre-sport meals, staying hydrated and refueling after the event are the biggest concerns.

Active children can burn through a lot of calories – so much so, that it often seems there’s no way to satisfy their appetites. Children who participate in sports may have intensive practices and games several times a week, burning through calories like there’s no tomorrow.

RELATED ARTICLE: Healthy Skin Care for Teens

When their appetites are out-of-control, it’s tempting to let active children eat what they want – thinking that they’ll just ‘burn it off’. But even when calorie needs are high, kids (and their parents) need to understand that it doesn’t give them license to eat foods with little nutritional value.

Getting fueled up for activity is really no different for kids than it is for adults – the right pre-sport meals, staying hydrated, and refueling after the event are the biggest concerns. The only wrinkle is that kids are often more picky about what they’ll eat than adults are, so it can be a bit more challenging to meet the nutritional needs of a child athlete.

Kids who are serious about sports, though, are often more receptive than others to trying new foods. When children understand that a healthy diet can help them with performance, it’s often a lot easier to encourage them to take in more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans – and less fat and sugar.

Children need to understand that their body is like an engine – one that needs the right fuel to run properly. Healthy carbohydrates – from fruits, vegetables and grains (like whole grain breads, crackers, cereals or pasta) – are the body’s preferred source of fuel. They help to not only sustain exercise, but are needed afterwards to help replenish body stores.

The body also needs healthy lean proteins – from foods like lean meats, poultry, fish, milk, yogurt, eggs and soybeans – to help build and repair muscles after exercising, and small amounts of healthy fats (from foods like avocados or nuts) to help meet calorie needs.

  • Before games or practice, kids need to ‘top off the tank’ with some carbohydrates to provide energy. Give them something easy to digest like a smoothie, a carton of yogurt or a small bowl of cereal and milk. Keep meals low in fat so they’ll be easy to digest.
  • During exercise, keeping kids hydrated is key. Water is fine, but a hydration drink is great for extended exercise or when the weather is particularly hot or humid.
  • After exercise, it’s important to refuel muscles with some beneficial carbohydrates and protein. Chocolate milk is an all-time favorite recovery food since it provides fluid, potassium, carbohydrates and protein – all of which the body craves after activity. Other great post-exercise foods are sandwiches, fruits, yogurt and smoothies.
  • Kids need fiber, but it’s best to offer high-fiber foods after exercise, rather than before, to avoid stomach upset. Save the whole grain breads and pastas for after the game.
  • For those kids with high calorie needs, you can offer higher calorie foods that are also nutrient-rich like nuts, 100% fruit juices, dried fruits, peanut butter and trail mix.

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

Men: Is Your Diet Lacking These Four Essentials?

Men should snack on fruits for fiber.

If your diet lacks enough fruits, veggies and whole grains, you might also be lacking some vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Every few years, the US Department of Agriculture releases data that reveals the state of the American diet. The most recent report1 highlighted what most of us in the nutrition world already knew: many of us are eating too much, and yet getting too little of some important nutrients. And, while nutrient shortages occur across all ages and both genders, a closer look at the data indicates that men might be wise to put more focus on a few key nutrients that are likely lacking in their diets.

Related Article: Nutrition and Bone Health

According to the data, men simply aren’t getting enough servings of fruits, veggies and whole grains. Only about 20% of adult men meet the recommended intake for fruits and vegetables (a combined total of about 4 ½ cups a day), and nearly all adult men fall short when it comes to whole grain intake.

When you consider that these foods provide an abundance of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, it’s easy to see why men not getting enough of these four essentials may result in a nutritional deficiency:

Fiber. The recommended fiber intake for adult men is 38 grams a day, but most men get only about half that amount. You know it’s important for regularity, but fiber serves other purposes, too. Fiber helps to keep you regular, it fills you up, and certain fibers encourage the growth of ‘good’ bacteria in your digestive tract. But getting enough fiber can be tough – many of the grains in the typical US diet are refined (which means most of the fiber is stripped away), and men’s diets often lack high fiber fruits and veggies.

The fix: Eat fruits and veggies for snacks, and add them to as many foods as you can – smoothies, sandwiches, salads, soups, stews, omelets, etc. And make an effort to, as the US Dietary Guidelines suggest, “make half your grains whole” –  rather than refined grains, choose whole grain products such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley and 100% whole grain breads, cereals, crackers, rice and pasta.

Magnesium. Magnesium isn’t a mineral we think about much, but it contributes to literally hundreds of bodily functions. Magnesium helps your cells to produce energy and most of the magnesium in your body is found in your bones so it helps keep your skeleton healthy, too. Magnesium is abundant in plant foods like in leafy veggies, nuts, beans and whole grains, but our reliance on refined foods has stripped much of the magnesium out of our diet. [CBS:  state rec intake for Mg.]

The fix: Try a handful of nuts or roasted soybeans for a snack; toss some beans into a leafy green salad; work more whole grains into your diet – opt for whole grain versions of bread, cereal, crackers and pasta; switch from white rice to brown, regular pasta to whole grain.

Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth, due to its role in assisting with the absorption of two key minerals – calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is also needed for proper muscle function and supports the activity of the immune system. But, only about a third of American men meet the recommended intake of 600IUs. One reason is that vitamin D is found naturally in just a few foods – fatty fish, egg yolks and liver. Dairy products are often fortified with vitamin D, but many men don’t consume sufficient amounts to meet needs. Your body can manufacture the vitamin – it’s made under the skin when it is exposed to sufficient sunlight.

The fix: Incorporate more vitamin D-fortified dairy products (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese) into your day; eat a couple of fish meals a week; spend a bit more time outdoors; consider a vitamin D supplement.

Potassium. Potassium is such an important mineral – it supports the function of nerves and muscles, it helps regulate blood pressure and also helps us get energy from our food. And all muscles require potassium in order to properly contract. But, the foods with the most potassium – fruits, veggies, beans and dairy products – don’t make it to the plate as often as they should.

The fix:  Include a potassium-rich fruit or veggie at every meal (particularly rich sources include tomatoes, bananas, beans, melons, avocados, citrus and strawberries); a serving or two of dairy can do double-duty – not only is dairy a good source of potassium, but it can help you meet your needs for vitamin D, too.

1http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/06-chapter-1/d1-3.asp

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com