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Joy Bauer’s Supermarket Smarts


Joy Bauer's Supermarket Smarts

Photo: © Sroop Sunar

Shopping for groceries can be daunting, and for good reason: My local supermarket sells more than 80 types of cold cereal, at least 20 varieties of bread and nine different types of milk! To add to the confusion, shoppers are lured with promotions (like "buy one, get one free"), which often translates to buying products you really don't need. But you canbeat the system and buy only what's good for you, and I'm here to show you how.

Produce

Choose a variety to get the widest range of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. The brighter, the better: Deeply colored fruits and vegetables like berries, spinach, kale, red bell peppers and carrots have the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants and nutrients. If fresh produce is hard to come by, head to the freezer section; frozen fruits and veggies retain as many nutrients as fresh, if not more. Go organic when you're buying the following: apples, bell peppers, blueberries, celery, cherries, imported grapes, kale, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach and strawberries. Experts call these the "dirty dozen" because they're higher in pesticide residue than other fruits and vegetables.


Dairy

Stick with fat-free (skim) or 1% milk, and nonfat or lowfat yogurt and cottage cheese. Go for lowfat cheese (2% reduced fat), and have no more than an ounce or two daily. No need to buy fat-free cheese—a little fat goes a long way in terms of flavor and texture.

My picks: Nonfat Greek yogurt (plain and flavored); Cracker Barrel 2% reducedfat sharp Cheddar; Sargento shredded 2% reduced-fat cheese; Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges. Photo: Francis Janisch/Woman's Day


Fats and Oils

Olive oil and canola oil are the healthiest options for cooking, marinades, sauces and salad dressings. I also keep a bottle of toasted sesame oil on hand—a small drop in a stir-fry adds volumes of flavor. If you can't live without real butter and cream cheese, buy the "whipped" versions of each, as more air means less fat. Skip stick margarine, which has trans fats, and use reducedfat, trans fat–free spreads in tubs.

My picks: Smart Balance Light; Promise Light; I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Light.


Meat, Fish, Poultry

Fish is my top choice for lean protein. Look for fatty types such as salmon and sardines, which have the highest levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid high-mercury fish like swordfish, king mackerel, shark and tilefish, and eat tuna no more than once a week (light canned is the lowest in mercury). Skinless chicken and turkey are second on my list—and that includes the dark meat, which is only a bit more caloric than white. Ground turkey and chicken (at least 90% lean) are also good choices. If you like red meat and pork, go with top or bottom round, sirloin, ground sirloin (at least 90% lean) and pork tenderloin. Photo: Kate Sears/Woman's Day


Bread, Wraps, Tortillas, Crackers

Look for 100% whole-grain or wholewheat breads, wraps, tortillas, English muffins and pitas with at least 2 grams of fiber per serving. Also go with 100% whole-grain or whole-wheat crackers with at least 3 grams of fiber and no more than 180 grams of sodium per 130-calorie (or less) serving.

My picks: Pepperidge Farm, Arnold, Sara Lee, Nature's Own or Martin's wholewheat sliced bread.


Cereal

Make sure the first ingredient is a whole grain (such as whole wheat, whole corn, oats or brown rice) or bran—oat bran, corn bran or wheat bran. Each 1-cup serving should have at least 3 grams of fiber, and no more than 150 calories and 8 grams of sugar. Go easy on granola, as it's typically loaded with calories and sugar. Try mixing it with a low-sugar cereal.

My picks: Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls; Cascadian Farm Cinnamon Crunch; Kashi Heart to Heart, Honey Sunshine; Plain and Multigrain Cheerios; Wheaties.


Pasta

Go for 100% whole-grain, and all the grains/flours in the ingredients list should start with whole. (Brown rice and quinoa flours are automatically whole-grain.) If you can't get used to the 100% whole-grain types, try a whole-grain/ refined flour combo or one of the new specialty blends. Many contain lentils and beans (for extra protein and fiber) as well as flaxseed, and are a step up healthwise from white pasta.

My picks: Whole-grain: DeCecco; Hodgson Mill; Heartland. Wholewheat/ white combo: Ronzoni Healthy Harvest; Barilla Whole Grain. Specialty blends: Barilla Plus, Heartland Plus.


Tomato sauce

It's always better to make your own, but if you're going with jarred, it should have no more than 6 grams of sugar and 400 mg of sodium per serving.

My picks: Ragu Light (no sugar added); Francesco Rinaldi ToBe Healthy; Classico: Cabernet with Herbs, Fire-Roasted Tomato & Garlic, Mushroom & Ripe Olives, Roasted Garlic, Spicy Red Pepper, Tomato & Basil, Triple Mushroom; Whole Foods 365 Classic Marinara, Mia Cucina Marinara.


Canned goods

The main danger here is salt. Skip canned veggies (frozen or fresh is better), but stock up on beans. Buy low-sodium ones if you can, or just rinse before cooking to remove excess salt. Always choose lowsodium soups, broth and chili.

My picks: Amy's Light in Sodium chili and soup; Progresso Reduced Sodium soups; Campbell's low-sodium line; Healthy Valley 40%-less-sodium line; Eden Organic Canned Beans and Chili; Goya low-sodium beans.


Snacks

Try to pick snacks that contain no more than 200 calories per serving and some nutritional value. For example, popcorn has fiber and nuts have protein.

My picks: Light popcorn; granola bars (Nature Valley, Kashi TLC, Kind, Luna); graham crackers; unsalted nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, pistachios, sunflower seeds); soy crisps (Genisoy, Glenny's); Sun Chips (original flavor); Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips; Triscuit "Hint of Salt"; Goldfish Cheddar "Made with Whole Grain."


Frozen Foods

Pick ones with the shortest ingredients list to avoid excess additives, including salt. Choose entrées that have no more than 600 mg sodium and 4.5 grams of saturated fat.

My picks: Dr. Praeger's or Amy's veggie burgers; Applegate Farms Organic turkey burgers, breakfast sausages (chicken and sage); Kashi frozen entrées; Dr. Praeger's California Veggie Pockets; Amy's Brown Rice & Vegetable Bowl, Mexican Casserole Bowl or Shepherd's Pie; Amy's burritos; Kashi Thin Crust or South Beach Living frozen pizza; Breyers Smooth & Dreamy ice cream; Whole Fruit strawberry sorbet.



Re: 10 Morning Workout Motivators


Did you know that exercising in the A.M. helps you sleep better, revs up your metabolism and boosts brain function? It's also a great way to make fitness a priority since you start off your day with a sweat session—and don't have to worry about work/kids/family derailing your workout plans. Yet if you don't consider yourself a "morning" person, despite your best efforts, you may find yourself hitting the snooze button instead of the pavement. To help motivate you, WD spoke with some of our favorite healthy living bloggers to find out how they get moving in the mornings.

Schedule a Workout You Want to Do 

Julie Fagan, blogger at Peanut Butter Fingers, is a dedicated morning exerciser. By 8:30 on weekday mornings she's already hit the gym, walked her dog, showered, dressed, made breakfast and blogged! When first starting out, she suggests you do something you really want to do—"Don't tackle sprints or a 5-mile run on your first morning, if that's the workout you dread most." Instead, she recommends doing your favorite aerobics class, walking the dog or doing yoga with friends—anything you'll look forward to when the alarm sounds. Photo: Persson, Magnus, Per / Getty Images


Get Some Sleep 

Kath Younger, RD, the force behind Kath Eats Real Food, has the most energy in the A.M. But, even if you're not a morning person, Younger says the key to getting out of bed is going to sleep earlier the night before. She suggests "counting backwards seven, eight, nine hours of sleep—however much you need—and get in bed 30 minutes before then." If you're not used to falling asleep that early, check out our " 11 Ways to Destress Before Bed" guide to learn about how things like powering down your computer, TV and phone can help your brain unwind. Photo: Brand New Images / Getty Images


Buy a Lamp 

Light can really affect the way your body adjusts to an early morning wake-up call. Marathon runner and author Tina Haupert at Carrots 'n' Cakeinvested in a lamp to help her get up. Her routine is simple but effective: "As soon as I shut off my alarm clock in the morning, I immediately turn on my bedside lamp, which is a short distance from my pillow. Even just a little light gets me moving." Need some lighting suggestions? Choose from these affordable and stylish Reiko Table Lamps ($39.99;BedBathandBeyond.com) or this simple yet modern Room Essentials Stick Lamp ($16.99; Target.com) for a bright addition to your bedroom.


Lay Out Your Clothes the Night Before 

Sweet Tooth Sweet Life blogger, Courtney Horan, swears by getting organized the night before. Not a morning person herself, Horan says, "If I lay all my gear out the night before, clothes, socks, sneakers, water bottle, iPod and everything else I need, knowing that it's waiting for me is a great motivator to get me up and moving." Plus, it's one less thing to worry about in the morning, and helps you get out the door faster. Photo: Noel Hendrickson / Getty Images


Utilize Social Media 

Author Caitlyn Boyle, who writes for Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful, emphasizes how important things like Facebook and Twitter are for working out. "Tell your social online networks about your plans—blasting out your intention to do a 5-mile run before work on Facebook the night before might just be the motivation you need to stick to your promises." Another plus? Your friends might decide to join you! Photo: Gianni Diliberto / Getty Images


Eat a Small Snack

Runner Meghann Anderson of Meals and Miles is a pro when it comes to hopping out of bed for morning workouts. Most days, she runs three to four miles before breakfast! However, she can't do it without a little snack. "The small snack prior to my run gives me the boost I need to complete my workout while still feeling strong." Anderson's favorite pre-workout snacks include LUNA minis, a slice of bread with a tablespoon of peanut butter, a handful of cereal or CLIF kid bars.


Visualize How You'll Feel 

Runner, foodie and graduate student Anne P. of fANNEtastic foodsuggests really thinking about how you'll feel later if you put off your workout. "For me, thinking about how I'd have to work out later in the day when I'm tired and just want to relax is usually enough to get me out of bed. Plus, I hate showering twice," she explains. If you work out in the morning, it'll be easier to join in on fun dinner and happy-hour dates with coworkers or friends instead of rushing to the gym after work. Plus, you can pat yourself on the back when you walk into work with four miles already under your belt. Photo: Rob Melnychuk / Getty Images


Create a New Playlist 

Starting your engines with a new set of tunes will almost always guarantee a successful workout. Gina Harney, personal trainer and mastermind behind The Fitnessista, emphasizes that "creating a new and amazing playlist the night before will always get you going." A few of her favorite picks include "Don't Let Me Fall" by B.o.B for warming up, "Born this Way" by Lady Gaga for a quick tempo cardio session and "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele for stretching and cooling down. Photo: David Muir / Getty Images


Give Yourself a Break 

Fit Chick in the City writer and exercise guru Jess Underhill reminds us that we don't have to exercise in the morning every single day of the week. Taking a break can keep you rejuvenated and excited for the next workout. She suggests "giving yourself permission to sleep in one day during the week—it will be easier to get up on the mornings you have a workout scheduled." Photo: Yasuno Sakata / Getty Images


Don't Think About It—Just Do It

Turns out, the people over at Nike were on to something with their slogan, "Just Do It." Photography lover, baking guru and avid runner Allie Mak ofLive, Laugh, Eat says she has a tendency to overthink her workouts. Her thought process is often something like "Should I go now or later? Do I want to work out at all?" She's found "it's easiest and most efficient to stop thinking and just go—thinking about working out wastes precious time and energy." Photo: Stockbyte / Getty Images



Workout Series: Flexibility Exercises II

Increased flexibility can improve your exercise performance, decrease risk of injury, reduce muscle soreness, improve posture and do a slew of other things, so it's time to jump on the stretching bandwagon! That's why stretching before and after your daily workout is so important (but if you can't do both, picking one is fine too). Flexibility not only increases your range of motion, but it enables you to do more exercises, as well, helping you burn more calories. Beginning October 18, WD started our new workout video series featuring a different exercise to improve your flexibility every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon. Watch Monday's video here as fitness expert Shanay Norvell guides you through a series of hamstring stretches and then follow along with today's video as Diet.com personal trainer Katrina demonstrates a simple five-minute stretch routine.

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Work Out Anywhere: Tree Exercises

Think you need to go to the gym to get in a workout? Think again! Check out our newest WD video series, Work Out Anywhere, to see various exercise moves that you can do in the unlikeliest of places, such as at the grocery store or in your office. Today's video demonstrates different ways you can get fit in the park or in your yard!

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Workout Series: Flexibility Exercises III

Women may be naturally more flexible than men, but that doesn't mean we should skimp out on stretching. After all, increasing your flexibility can help you train harder, decrease risk of injury, reduce muscle soreness and even improve posture. That's why on October 18, WD began our new workout video series featuring various exercises to get you loose and limber. On Monday we featured a wide range of hamstring stretches here, followed by Wednesday's simple five-minute stretch routine, which you can check out here. Today, watch as fitness expert Angela Joyce demonstrates an easy and effective back exercise to increase your body's flexibility. Be sure to check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon for new exercise moves.

Read More About: workout routines

Workout Series: Flexibility Exercises IV

Even though stretching is one of the most important parts of working out, more often than not it's where we slack the most. But increasing your flexibility can help you train harder, decrease the risk of injury, reduce muscle soreness and improve posture. That's why, beginning on October 18, WD started our new workout video series featuring various exercises to help get you loose and limber. To begin, watch Friday's video here in which fitness expert Angela Joyce demonstrates easy and effective back exercises to improve your body's flexibility, then watch today's video as Joyce walks us through isolated leg stretches. And make sure you check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon for new exercise moves.

Read More About: workout routines

Workout Series: Flexibility Exercises V

Your workout is practically guaranteed to be more productive if you stretch beforehand because lengthening your muscles will extend your range of motion. Plus, in addition to increasing flexibility, stretching also helps prevent injury. To get you started, WD has a new workout video series that demonstrates flexibility exercises every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon. Watch Monday's video here, as fitness expert Angela Joyce breaks down the most effective ways to loosen up your hamstring muscles. Today's video explains how you can do a full-body warm-up with just three exercises: quad stretches, spinal twists and shoulder rotations. Warm with these basic exercises and make sure to check back each week for more exercise tips.

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Workout Series: Flexibility Exercises VI

Stretching before and after your workout is a great way to prevent injuries. By lengthening muscle fibers you make your body more adaptable to physical stressors. That's why WD's new workout series features exercise moves to help you improve your flexibility. Catch Wednesday's video hereto learn how to warm up your larger muscle groups before a full-body workout. And in today's video, Carol Ann, fitness instructor at Studio Group X, gives pointers for traditional stretching. Be sure to check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon to learn more fitness moves!

Read More About: workout routines

Workout Series: Flexibility Exercises VIII

Sitting for long periods of time stiffens your back, resulting in lower back pain. Stretching can prevent this pain, increase your range of motion and improve your posture. In the third video of WD's flexibility series, fitness expert Angela Joyce prepped you for the backbend by using a stability ball for support. Once you're comfortable with this position, try stabilizing yourself without the ball to both strengthen and stretch your back. Certified personal trainer Amy McCauley shows you how to do so in today's video, demonstrating safety tips and proper form for executing an unassisted bridge, one of the most efficient exercises for increasing back flexibility. Follow her guidelines for fast results and check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon to learn more about how stretching can improve your flexibility.

Read More About: workout routines

8 Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked

When it comes to losing weight, we all do some pretty wacky things to burn a few extra calories, like "forgetting" to eat before the gym, scarfing down celery by the bunch and jogging half naked in the winter (OK, maybe not the last one.) The bad news? Most of these strategies are a waste of time and, worse, may even stall weight loss. To help uncover the truth about burning calories, we've turned to diet and fitness pros to discover which habits to skip—and what you should be doing instead.

1. Celery, cucumbers and iceberg lettuce have negative calories.

The concept goes something like this: some veggies are so low in calories that they require more energy to digest than they contain. The result? Eating celery, cucumbers or iceberg lettuce can give you a "negative calorie balance." Sounds great in theory, but "the calories you need for digestion won't ever exceed the number of calories any type of food contains," says Los Angeles-based nutritionist LeeAnn Smith Weintraub, RD. However, these non-starchy, low-calorie veggies can still help you lose weight since their fiber and water content will keep you feeling full for longer. So go ahead and pile them on generously when you hit the salad bar for lunch. Photo: iStock



2. Doing cardio on an empty stomach burns more total fat for the day.

It sounds like it makes sense: Your body needs energy for a morning run, so not eating beforehand forces your body to dip into its fat stores for fuel, allowing you to burn more fat. Exercise physiologist Brad Schoenfeld, CSCS, author of Women's Home Workout Bible, spent years researching the theory, hoping to confirm it as fact. Instead, he found that while you do burn more calories from fat if you exercise sans snack, ultimately it doesn't matter because, as he notes in the Strength and Conditioning Journal, "if you burn more fat during a workout, your body physiologically adjusts to burn less fat post-exercise—and vice versa. So it all evens out." Sports nutritionist Cassie Dimmick, RD, adds, to eat or not to eat before a workout is a personal preference, but "most experts advocate pre-gym noshing because it provides the fuel you need to exercise longer and harder and therefore burn more calories." She recommends opting for a filling, nutrient-rich snack, such as a piece of fruit, applesauce or a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter. Photo: Martin Mark Soerensen / Thinkstock


3. All calories are created equal.

You've heard "a calorie is a calorie," meaning your body processes them all the same way regardless of where they come from. But not so fast: 100 calories of chocolate cake are not the same as 100 calories of carrots. As it turns out, your body burns nearly 50% more calories after eating a meal packed with whole foods versus an equivalent meal made of processed fare, according to a 2010 study published in the health journal Food & Nutrition Research. During manufacturing, processed foods are broken down and stripped of many nutrients, making it easier for the body to digest them. On the other hand, whole foods, such as multigrain bread, apples or zucchini, contain good-for-you nutrients like fiber that the body has to work overtime to break down, temporarily boosting metabolism. Plus, "eating smarter calories via foods packed with filling fiber or satisfying protein, like a chicken breast instead of potato chips, will help you naturally eat less over time," explains Weintraub. Photo: Shutterstock


4. Always work out in the fat burning zone.

The "fat burning zone" has a nice ring to it, right? Using this function on cardio machines keeps you working out at a slow, steady pace—around 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate—and this low-intensity form of exercise is thought to help your body burn a higher percentage of calories from fat. (So if you burn 100 total calories, 60 of those may come from fat and 40 from carbohydrates in your body.) The problem? The total number of calories burned is the only thing that matters—not what type of calories—and working out at a low intensity ultimately burns fewer calories since you're not pushing yourself as hard as you should be. In order to maximize calorie burn (and, ultimately, fat loss) in less time, do high intensity interval training instead, says Schoenfeld. To try it, alternate one or two minutes of easy running (or pedaling) with a quick one-minute burst of speed (you should be breathing heavily at the end of the interval.) Repeat intervals for a total of 20 minutes, and do two to three interval workouts per week for the best results. Bonus: Studies show intense workout sessions stoke metabolism for up to 24 hours after you've left the gym, burning at least 100 extra calories throughout the day, Schoenfeld says. Photo: Ron Chapple / Thinkstock


5. To lose weight, you should only focus on cardio.

When it comes to dropping pounds, the first thing many of us think about is sweating it out by running or cycling. However, "strength training actually has more of an effect on helping you lose weight than cardio," says Schoenfeld. Charleene O'Connor, a Florida-based personal trainer, agrees: "There's a reason that if you go into a gym, you'll see lean people lifting weights," she says. "Building lean muscle raises your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories when you're doing anything, whether that's running or just sitting at your desk." But that doesn't mean that you should abandon your cardio routine. Cardio workouts keep your heart-health in check and burn lots of calories in little time, so continue to hit up your favorite Spin class—just keep in mind that a routine that mixes cardio and one or two strength workouts a week is the best way to maximize results. Photo: Ron Chapple / Thinkstock


6. Eating six small meals a day boosts your metabolism.

While most of us were raised with the notion that we should eat three square (read: large) meals a day, many people now believe that it's better to eat smaller portions more frequently in order to help keep your metabolism stoked all day. But does grazing on six mini meals really burn more calories? While conflicting evidence does exist, a 2009 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found no differences in weight loss among dieters who ate three or six times a day (total daily calories was the same for both groups). And, after reviewing 18 studies on the topic, the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that meal frequency doesn't boost metabolism or encourage weight loss. However, researchers did note that eating frequently may help keep between-meal hunger at bay. Bottom line? Settle on an eating plan that keeps you satisfied and full so you're less likely to binge due to hunger. "I find that many of my clients do well with three regular meals and one or two small snacks," notes Weintraub. Photo: Shutterstock


7. Working out in cold weather burns more calories.

OK – we'll admit that this one's half true. Because shivering from cold temperatures revs up calorie burn, you will torch more as your body works to heat itself up. However, the difference is negligible at best, says O'Connor. "Trying to shiver away calories is not a smart—or effective—strategy," says Schoenfeld. So when the mercury plummets, be smart and bundle up—the miniscule bump in calorie burn isn't worth increasing your risk of frostbite or hypothermia. Photo: Shutterstock



8. You have to burn 250 calories every time you work out in order to lose weight.

To lose a pound a week, you have to cut 500 calories a day, and some health experts suggest achieving that by eating 250 fewer calories while burning 250 more daily. However, losing weight isn't about what you burn day-to-day, but rather what you do over the course of a week—or even a month—allowing you the flexibility to make up for days when your diet gets derailed. That means if you're not feeling well one day and skip a workout, it won't make a big difference in the long run, says Schoenfeld. The next day, just stay at the gym 10 minutes longer or try a higher-intensity yoga class. "As long as you're burning more calories in the long term, you'll lose weight," he says. Photo: Shutterstock