Shrimp and Spinach Pasta Salad

Pasta and shrimps, a family-favorite dish.

Full of fresh ingredients, this pasta salad with shrimp will become a favorite dish in no time. Whole grain pasta to give you the right amount of carbs, shrimp to add protein, lots of greens to meet your vegetable needs, and olive oil with garlic to add lots of flavor will make this dish your perfect choice for a special occasion.  It’s a complete meal in no time, with 40 grams of protein and 600 calories.

 

 

25 g / 400

Protein (approx.) / calories (approx.)

40 g / 600

Protein (approx.) / calories (approx.)

½ TBSP ½ TBSP Olive oil
2 tsp 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
Dash Dash Garlic powder or ½ clove fresh garlic, minced
¼ tsp ¼ tsp Dried basil
Any amount Any amount Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups 6 cups Baby spinach leaves
1 cup 1 cup Raw vegetables, diced (bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, tomato)
1 cup 2 cups Chopped, cooked and chilled vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, broccoli)
3 oz. 5 oz. Cooked shrimp
½ cup 1 cup Cooked whole grain pasta
1 TBSP 1 TBSP Parmesan Cheese

In a mixing bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Add spinach, vegetables, shrimp and pasta and toss well. Top with Parmesan cheese.

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Grilled Chicken, Broccoli and Quinoa Salad

Healthy green meal.

Fluffy and soft quinoa, juicy and tender slices of chicken, broccoli cooked to perfection, and a hint of lemon juice will transform this salad into a healthy green meal with 25 to 40 grams of protein and 600 calories.

Every ingredient in this salad works together to create a dish full of flavor and with LOTS of protein.

 

25 g/400

Protein (approx.)/calories (approx.)

40 g/600

Protein (approx.)/calories (approx.)

1 TBSP 1 TBSP Olive oil
2 tsp 2 tsp Lemon juice
½ tsp ½ tsp Dijon-style mustard
Any amount Any amount Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups 6 cups Mixed leafy greens
1 cup 2 cups Broccoli florets, cooked and chilled Cooked quinoa, chilled
½ cup 3 oz. 1 cup Cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced

 

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Tempeh and Noodle Salad

Complete meal in a bowl.

Spice up your salad with this simple but delicious vegan recipe.

It’s a salad, but it’s also a complete healthy entrée. Made with fresh vegetables and delicious noodles, tender and juicy tempeh has 25 to 40 grams of protein, 600 calories and a lot of flavor. What else can you ask for?

25 g/400

Protein (approx.)/calories (approx.)

40 g/600

Protein (approx.)/calories (approx.)

1 tsp 1 tsp Sesame oil
2 tsp 2 tsp Canola oil
2 tsp 2 tsp Rice vinegar
1 tsp 1 tsp Low sodium soy sauce
Dash Dash Ground white pepper
½ cup 1 cup Cooked soba (buckwheat) noodles
1 1 Carrot, grated
2 2 Green onions, chopped
1 cup 2 cups Asparagus spears, cooked, chilled and chopped into 2-inch pieces
2 oz. 4 oz. Tempeh, crumbled
½ cup ½ cup Cooked edamame (green soybeans)

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A Roast with the Most: Fall Harvest Veggies

Roasting veggies brings out their sweetness.

The change of seasons brings with it a new group of fruits and vegetables. Apples, root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes and all the cabbage family foods, like broccoli and cauliflower, are at their peak now. And many are great for roasting—one of my favorite fall cooking methods.

With the grilling season over, I start giving a lot more foods the roasting treatment. The oven’s dry heat will caramelize the natural sugars in foods and brings a depth of flavor to fruits and vegetables that summer grilling can’t touch.

Root Veggie Roast

If you’ve never roasted root vegetables, you should give it a try. Roasted carrots are particularly delicious. Toss them with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spread out on a cookie sheet and roast at 425 degrees for about a half hour until they’re tender. The vinegar turns into a sticky, syrupy glaze that coats them irresistibly. You can give the same treatment to sweet potatoes or beets—tossing them with something tart before roasting, like lemon or lime juice, vinegar, or even pomegranate juice to contrast with their natural sweetness.

Roasted veggies make a great side dish, but on the off chance there are any leftovers, they’re great added to soups and stews. Or you can slice them up cold and dress with vinaigrette, or add to mixed greens to give some fall flavor to your tossed salad.

Cauliflower Power

I was never much of a cauliflower lover until I started roasting it; now it’s become a fall staple at my house. Roasting softens the strong flavor. The cauliflower gets sweeter, and the texture becomes almost meaty. I coat the florets and a sliced onion with a dash of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and curry powder and then roast. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts—other veggies that are often a hard sell—are also delicious roasted with some oil and garlic.

You can roast fruits, too. Fall apples are fantastic when they’re prepared this way. Pretty much any variety will do, and you don’t need to peel them. Just cut in halves or quarters, remove the core and spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprayed with nonstick spray and roast like you would the veggies. You can toss them with a little lemon juice, apple juice or, if you want, spices first. But if you start with tasty fresh apples, they’re really good on their own.

Here’s another fall favorite recipe:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Parmesan

Even those who think they don’t like Brussels sprouts will admit that these are delicious. Roasting quickly with high heat mellows the flavor, and the Brussels sprouts end up tender and sweet. Tossed with a little fresh garlic and parmesan cheese, they make a fantastic side dish. If you have any left over, refrigerate and add to a tossed green salad the next day.

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet (large enough to hold sprouts in a single layer) with foil, and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place baking sheet in the oven while you prepare the Brussels sprouts. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Place in a medium bowl and add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat with olive oil mixture. When oven is hot, toss sprouts onto prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes or so, shaking the pan every 5 minutes until some of the outer leaves are nicely browned and crispy and sprouts are tender. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl, add garlic and parmesan cheese and toss to coat.

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3 ways to help your fruit and vegetables pack a nutrient punch!

3 ways to help your fruit and vegetables pack a nutrient punch! Herbalife nutrition adviceThe way you select, store and prepare your fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards locking in the most nutrition – and will help you get the most nutritional benefit from the fruits and vegetables that you eat. This week, I’m looking at how you can lock in the nutrients in fruit and vegetables.

In order to keep the most nutrients in your fruits and vegetables, it’s sometimes helpful to understand how those nutrients can get lost in the first place. Fruits and vegetables can lose some of their nutritional value if they’re not properly handled.

For example, exposure to air, light and water can cause the loss of some nutrients, while short cooking times at moderate temperatures helps to keep nutrients in. And, in some cases, the way you prepare your foods can even make nutrients more usable by the body.

How to Shop for Fruits and Vegetables to Keep Nutrients In

Choosing the freshest fruits and vegetables is the first step in making sure the nutrients are locked in. The freshest fruits and vegetables are easy to spot – they’re free of blemishes and soft spots, they’re firm, and their colors are bright rather than dull. And, the freshest fruits and vegetables will have had the least exposure to air, light and water – all of which can cause nutrient losses.

Buying fruits and vegetables in season is a good idea, too. When you buy fruits and vegetables out of season, they’ve had a long way to travel from the farm to your fork – time in which valuable nutrients can be lost. If you’re fortunate to have a farmer’s market available to you, try to take advantage. In most cases, the fruits and vegetables are fresher and more locally sourced, which means less chance of nutrient losses.

When fresh fruits and vegetables aren’t available, keep in mind that frozen fruits and veggies actually retain their nutrients quite well – in some cases, frozen produce may actually offer more nutrition than fresh. For one thing, fruits and vegetables that are headed for the freezer case are usually picked at their peak of ripeness – a time when they’re most nutrient-packed. And they’re processed very quickly after picking and then flash-frozen, which locks in freshness and nutrients.

How to Prepare Fruits and Vegetables to Keep Nutrients In

When it’s time to prepare, lightly wash – but don’t soak – your fruits and vegetables. If the first utensil you tend to grab is your peeler, you might want to reconsider. The skins and peels of fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. There’s no need to peel foods like apples, potatoes, carrots and cucumbers – and even foods that we usually do peel, like eggplant or kiwifruit – have edible skins. With citrus fruits, grate some of the tangy zest into salads and cooked vegetables to get a healthy dose of antioxidants, and don’t pare away the spongy white interior of the citrus peel – it’s full of water-soluble fiber.

Watch what you cut away, too. There’s more vitamin C and calcium in broccoli stems than the florets, more nutrients in asparagus stalks than the tips, and the hard center core of a pineapple has the highest concentration of bromelain, a natural enzyme which aids digestion.

Some nutrients – particularly, a group of antioxidants known as carotenoids – are more available for the body when foods are lightly processed through chopping or cooking.

The carotenoid lycopene for example – which gives tomatoes their red color – is more readily usable by the body when it’s obtained from cooked tomatoes than it is from raw. And your body will take up more lutein (a carotenoid that gives the yellow-green color to foods like spinach and kiwifruit) from chopped spinach than it will from whole spinach leaves.

A tiny amount of fat helps with the absorption of carotenoids, too, so a few slices of avocado in your spinach salad, or a little olive oil in your tomato sauce will boost your uptake.

How to Cook Fruits and Vegetables to Keep Nutrients In

When it’s time to cook vegetables (or fruits), the key to retaining nutrients is to use methods that require the least water. Steaming is one of the best techniques. Since the food never comes in contact with the water, steaming helps to preserve precious water-soluble B vitamins and vitamin C.

Microwaving also uses very little water and – despite popular misconception – microwaving does not destroy nutrients. With either method, use as little water as you can. The other advantage to these methods is that they’re quick – shorter cooking times help preserve nutrients. For this reason, stir-frying your vegetables is also a good option to lock nutrients in.

Pairing your seasonings with your vegetables can boost nutrition, too, since the thousands of different antioxidants in plant foods work together to protect your health. So add garlic to your broccoli, lemon peel to your green beans, or parsley to your carrots. Along with a flavor boost, you’ll get more nutritional value from your vegetables, too.

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

7 tips to make your vegetables taste better than ever

7 tips to make your vegetables taste better than ever | Herbalife Eating AdviceDon’t like vegetables? Here are my top seven tips to make your vegetables taste great. And, I’ve included my three best sauce recipes to accompany veggies if you’re looking for extra flavor!

No matter how many times I tell you that you should “eat your vegetables”, that can be pretty hard to do if vegetables just don’t taste good to you. When people tell me that they don’t like veggies, it’s often a combination of things – some people don’t like the texture of vegetables, while others say it’s the taste or the odor of vegetables that turns them off… and sometimes, it’s all three. If the only words you associate with “vegetables” are “mushy”, “smelly” and “bitter” that’s a shame – because when vegetables are well-prepared, they really can taste great.

How to make your vegetables taste great!

Cook vegetables only until tender-crisp
When vegetables are overcooked, their texture suffers and they can lose a lot of their fresh flavor, too. On top of that, overcooking veggies can also destroy the beautiful bright colors, which makes them a lot less appetizing to look at. To preserve taste, texture and color, most vegetables are at their best when they’re cooked until just tender-crisp. That means they’re heated and cooked through, and you can easily bite them – but they’ve still got a bit of a ‘snap’ to them.

A little healthy fat makes veggies taste better
Most vegetables are quite low in calories, so the addition of a little bit of healthy fat won’t drive the calories per serving up too high. You can sauté veggies in a little bit of flavorful olive oil, or drizzle on a tiny bit of sesame or walnut oil after they’re steamed. Just a sprinkle of nuts or seeds can add a lot of flavor, too – try sesame seeds, toasted pine nuts or finely chopped walnuts or pecans.

Roasting vegetables mellows the flavor
Roasting is one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables – especially carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. The dry heat of the oven caramelizes the natural sugars in vegetables which brings about an amazing depth of flavor. And, it’s super-easy. Cut broccoli or cauliflower into florets, cut Brussels sprouts in half and cut peeled carrots in half lengthwise and then into 2” pieces. Fire up your oven to 425 F / 220 C. While the oven is heating, toss the vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spread out on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes or so, turning occasionally, until they’re browned and tender. Try this method with other veggies– roasted beets, asparagus or green beans are delicious, too.

Smaller vegetables have a milder flavor
Baby vegetables are often milder in flavor than their more mature counterparts, so you might prefer baby versions of artichokes, squashes, turnips and Brussels sprouts. Smaller leafy greens are more tender and mild than more mature ones, so look for ‘baby’ greens like spinach, kale or chard – especially if you’re going to eat them raw.

Blanching vegetables can improve flavor
Blanching your veggies in hot water for just a minute takes away much of the raw taste, but minimizes vitamin losses because the process is so quick. This works really well with strong-tasting, firm vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower florets. Bring a pot of water (with or without a little salt) to a boil, then drop in the veggies and leave them for about 45 seconds. Drain, then give a quick rinse with cold water and drain again. They’re now ready to stir-fry, or just chill and add to salads or use for dipping. Another top vegetable tip: hot vegetables carry odors, so if that’s what stops you from eating them, this blanch-and-chill method might work really well for you.

Give kale or cabbage a massage
I love kale and cabbage salads, but the flavor and texture can be a little strong if the greens are used raw. So try this vegetable tip- shred your greens very finely, and then put them in the basket of a salad spinner or colander. Gently run hot water over the greens while you “massage” them for just a minute or two. Follow with a quick rinse under cold water to refresh, then drain the greens well and add your dressing. This method takes away some of the “raw” taste away and wilts the greens just a bit, which gives a better texture to the salad.

The right seasonings take vegetables from drab to fab
3 recipes for delicious sauces to accompany vegetables | Herbalife Healthy Eating AdviceI’m not sure why so many people don’t season their vegetables. It’s a shame when people tell me they just can’t stand “plain steamed vegetables” – as if that’s the only way they should be eaten. The addition of herbs, spices, garlic, onion, citrus juices or vinegar can add a load of flavor with no additional calories. There are no hard and fast rules here – so feel free to experiment – but some ‘classic’ pairings are basil with tomato, ginger with carrots and garlic with leafy greens. Sometimes a little sweet flavor can take away the bitter bite, too. I usually dress my kale salad with a little vinaigrette, but the addition of something a sweet – some diced mango, apple or fresh oranges, or a few golden raisins or dried cranberries – really takes the edge off.

My 3 Best Sauces for Vegetables

Lime-Dill Sauce for Vegetables

-  1 tablespoon lime juice
-  1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
-  ½ tsp. dried dill weed
-  Salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Lime/Dill sauce is great on steamed carrots.

Lemon-Garlic-Mustard Sauce for Vegetables

-  1 tablespoon lemon juice
-  1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
-  1 tablespoon olive oil
-  1 clove garlic, minced
-  ½ teaspoon sugar or honey
-  salt and pepper to taste

Mix dressing ingredients together. Try this lemon/garlic/mustard sauce drizzled on steamed green beans.

Spicy Hoisin Sauce for Vegetables

-  2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce*
-  1 tablespoon soy sauce
-  1 tablespoon rice wine* (Mirin)
-  2 teaspoon sugar or honey
-  1 garlic clove, minced
-  ½ tsp. chili paste*

Mix the spicy hoisin sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Good on stir-fried broccoli or asparagus.

*Available in Asian grocery stores or ethnic foods section of supermarket.

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

Nine Food-Swap Ideas for a Healthier Diet

Replace your bowl of cereal with a protein shake.

Trying to make your diet healthier, but don’t know where to start? Just a few easy food swaps can give your diet a nutrition boost.

Knowing how to choose a healthy diet is one thing, but putting healthy eating into practice can sometimes
be a lot harder to do. This week, I’m going to show you nine food swaps that can put you on the path to
healthy eating in no time.

Sure, your diet would probably be a lot healthier if you cut back on fats and sweets, opted for leaner proteins, ate more fruits and vegetables and chose better snacks. But all that can seem overwhelming—especially when you can barely even manage to work in a banana or a side of green beans every once in a while. When you feel as if there are too many things to change all at once, you may decide it’s simpler to just do nothing. So, why not try making a food swap plan instead and in the process, make your daily diet a whole lot healthier? Here are some ideas:

Nine Easy Food Swaps to Make Your Diet Healthier

1) Protein shake instead of bowl of cereal.

A bowl of cereal with milk is quick and easy, but you can pack a lot more nutrition into an equally easy protein shake.

Why it’s better: A protein shake made with protein powder, milk or soy milk and fruit will give you more protein, which gives your meal more staying power. Plus, the fruit contributes vitamins, minerals and filling fiber. Since you’ll be drinking the milk, rather than leaving it at the bottom of the cereal bowl, you’ll get a good dose of calcium, too.

2) Plain yogurt and fruit instead of pre-mixed yogurt.

Pre-mixed fruit yogurt has very little fruit,
and often a lot of sugar. It really doesn’t take that long to slice some fresh fruit into plain nonfat yogurt and drizzle with a little honey or maple syrup. Or, zap some frozen fruit in the microwave for a minute or two, then stir in your yogurt.

Why it’s better: You’ll be getting more fruit and fiber, more protein and less sugar.

3) Spinach salad instead of iceberg lettuce.

Leafy greens are great, but some greens like spinach are nutrition superstars. Instead of lettuce, try making salads with mild baby spinach.

Why it’s better: A serving of spinach has three times more potassium, calcium and vitamin C, and
50% more vitamin A than a serving of iceberg lettuce.

4) Beans instead of rice or pasta.

Starchy sides of white rice or regular pasta don’t pack the vitamins, minerals and fiber that whole grains do. While brown rice or whole grain noodles would be better, a serving of beans offers up even more nutrition.

Why it’s better: Swapping in beans for a side of rice or pasta means you’ll get more iron and more
protein.

5) Edamame soybeans instead of chips.

When you’re craving something savory for a snack, try some edamame soybeans instead of salty chips. Look for bags of frozen edamame in the pod at your grocery store. After a five minute dip in boiling water, they’re ready to eat.

Why it’s better: A half-cup of shelled edamame soybeans has about 9 g of fiber, 11 g of protein, and around 10% of your daily needs for vitamin C and iron—all for about 120 calories. Show me a chip that can do that! Also, it takes time to remove the beans from the pods, which slows down the rate at which you eat.

6) Canned salmon instead of canned tuna.

Canned tuna is a great food, but canned salmon (which works well in most recipes calling for tuna) has a nutritional advantage since it contains more beneficial fat.

Why it’s better: Wild-caught salmon (nearly all canned salmon is wild) contains a higher proportion of omega-3 fatty acids compared to farmed salmon. Being a fattier fish, a serving of salmon has about twice the omega-3 fatty acids as a serving of tuna.

7) Avocado instead of mayonnaise or other fats.

Avocado can be a great substitute for less healthy fat sources in all kinds of dishes. One of my favorite ways to use it is to replace the mayonnaise used in tuna (or salmon!) salad. Mashed avocado can replace fatty dressings and sauces: it makes a great dip for raw veggies, and it’s wonderful on grilled fish or chicken.

Why it’s better: Avocado is a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, similar to what’s found
in other beneficial fats like olive oil and nuts.

8) Berries instead of orange juice.

If you’re trying to work more fruit into your diet, whole fruit is the way to go. The calories in fruit juice can add up quickly, and juice just doesn’t fill you up.

Why it’s better: Fiber is what makes whole fruits more filling compared to fruit juice, and berries
are some of the highest fiber fruits around. Spend 50 calories on a serving of raspberries, and you get a whopping seven grams of fiber in return.

9) Veggie burger instead of beef.

If beef burgers are a menu staple, try this food swap. Go for veggie burgers made with soy protein or beans instead. When they’re crumbled on top of a salad or nestled on a whole grain bun with plenty of onion, lettuce and tomato, they’re a pretty good substitute for the real thing.

Why it’s better: You’re getting your protein from a plant source, which means a lot less fat and saturated fat than what you’d get from the ground beef.

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

How Your Diet Affects Your Skin

Fruits and veggies promote good skin health.

Did you know a healthy diet can lead to healthier-looking skin?

Your complexion is one of the first things people notice about you, and the health of your skin says a lot about the way you eat. The condition of your skin really reflects what you put in your body, and a healthy diet is really an “inside-out” approach to healthy skin. The healthier you are on the inside, the more it shows on the outside.

Pimples and breakouts

Pimples and acne are more common in adolescents, largely due to hormonal changes. But adults can suffer from breakouts, too. In the past, it was thought that certain foods caused pimples, especially those favored by adolescents, like chocolate, pizza or French fries.

A diet that consistently delivers a high load of refined carbohydrates into your system, day after day, can promote mild, chronic inflammation throughout your body. This chronic inflammation is a kind of slow, simmering fire that has been linked to various health issues, including skin problems like pimples and acne.

Sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles

The texture and elasticity of your skin is determined, in large part, to the proteins, collagen and elastin that lie just under the surface of your skin. Anything that causes damage to these proteins can promote fine lines and wrinkles, which can make you look older than you actually are.

One reason it’s so important to protect your skin from sun exposure is because ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun promote the formation of highly reactive molecules called free radicals, which can do some serious damage to collagen and elastin.

This is where diet comes in.

Antioxidants—compounds that are abundant in colorful fruits and vegetables—help to fight free radical formation. And there is a clear connection between the levels of antioxidants found in the skin and the texture of the skin itself. People who have low levels of antioxidants in the skin tend to have a rougher skin texture. Those with higher levels of antioxidants in the skin have a smoother textured skin.1

Foods that promote healthy-looking skin
  • Fish.

    Fish is an excellent source of protein, which your body uses to build collagen and elastin. Fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which promote skin health by working to reduce inflammation. These healthy fats are found in abundance in fatty fish like salmon and trout. But all fish contain omega-3s, so aim for several fish meals per week.

  • “Good” carbohydrate sources.

    Try to clear out the refined ‘white’ carbohydrates and sugars from your diet as much as possible. Replace them with the ‘good’ carbs—veggies, fruits, beans and whole grains. When you choose these healthy carbohydrates, you’ll be consuming foods with a lower glycemic index, which will reduce the overall carbohydrate load in your diet.

  • Colorful fruits and vegetables.

    Many deeply colored fruits and vegetables get much of their color from compounds called carotenoids. Some of these can be converted into vitamin A, which is needed to help your skin cells reproduce. This is a vitally important function, when you consider that your body sheds 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells every single day. Many fruits and vegetables are also good sources of vitamin C, which your body needs in order to manufacture collagen. Carotenoids and vitamin C also act as antioxidants and help fight the formation of damaging free radicals.

  • Nuts and seeds.

    Tree nuts like almonds and walnuts, and seeds like flax and chia, provide healthy omega-3 fats. And certain nuts (Brazil nuts in particular) are excellent sources of selenium, a mineral that also acts as an antioxidant.

  • Plenty of fluids.

    In order for nutrients to move in and waste to move out, your skin cells (and all cells in your body) rely on fluid. Water is great, and so is green tea since it provides not only fluid but antioxidants. Be sure to stay well hydrated when the weather is hot. When you sweat, your body relies on fluids to help remove waste products from your skin.

For a healthy skin blend, add to your protein shake some flax or chia seeds for omega-3, mango chunks for vitamin C and some baby spinach leaves for carotenoids. What do you like to eat to keep your skin healthy and your complexion clear?

1 Lademann J, et al. Exp Dermatol. 2011 20(5):377-82.

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Fruits vs. Veggies: Which One Is Better for You?

Fruits and vegetables have vital nutrients.

Fruits and vegetables offer up natural plant compounds that help keep the body healthy, and variety is the key.

If you’re not a big fan of vegetables, you might think that you can make up for not eating them by eating lots of different fruits instead. It’s easy to see why. We almost always mention them in the same breath (“eat plenty of fruits and veggies”). Since they’re healthy plant foods, it’s natural to assume that they’re more or less interchangeable in terms of providing the nutrients the body needs.

To some extent that’s true. You can get your vitamin C just as easily from berries as from broccoli; potassium lurks in both beets and bananas. But fruits and veggies also offer up a dizzying and varied array of phytonutrients––natural plant compounds that can promote good health. So, getting the broadest range of phytonutrients is a lot more likely if you’re eating both fruits and vegetables.

Phytonutrients are responsible for the flavors and colors in fruits and vegetables. When you think about fruits and vegetables more from the standpoint of the huge range of flavors and hues they provide––and not so much as simply sources of vitamins and minerals––you can begin to appreciate how dissimilar they really are.

Berries and broccoli, for example, may look similar when it comes to their vitamin C content, but their phytonutrient profiles couldn’t be more different. Berries get their red-purple color from certain compounds that are a lot more widespread in fruits than in vegetables. On the other hand, there are different phytonutrients that are responsible for the strong odors found in broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. But you won’t find these smelly compounds in fruits. Another natural pigment, lycopene, gives a rich red color to fruits like tomatoes (yes, it’s a fruit), pink grapefruit and guava––but you’d be hard-pressed to find much in most vegetables.

I meet plenty of people who assume that eating fruits or vegetables is just as good as eating fruits and vegetables. So, I often use these examples to encourage them to get more variety in their diet. If this sounds like you, think of the hurdles in your way and how you might get over them.

Fewer people dislike fruits than veggies, and it’s often an issue of texture. If you don’t like the soft texture of ripe fruit, try whirling fresh or frozen fruit in the blender and add to smoothies or use as a topping on cottage cheese or yogurt. If some fruits are too tart for you, try the sweetest varieties. Tangerines, for example, are often sweeter than most oranges.

If you don’t like the texture of cooked veggies, try them raw. If strong flavors keep you from eating veggies, play around with seasonings, like herbs, garlic or citrus. You can also sneak them into soups, pasta sauces, casseroles and other healthy recipes. Or, cook them until tender-crisp, then chill and toss into a salad. That way you won’t pick up their strong odors in the steam.

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

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