In terms of essential minerals, magnesium has the second highest concentration within all of our cells, therefore it plays numerous roles in our body. It is believed that the majority of the population are not getting anywhere near the recommended daily dosage of magnesium (RDA= 400mg), this may be down to poor soil, food processing methods and our poor diets consisting of refined sugars, fast foods and non-organic products.
So if you suffer with…constant tiredness, physical and mental fatigue, irritability, poor memory and concentration, headaches, muscle cramps and stress then this may be down to a magnesium deficiency.
But don’t panic, consuming magnesium rich foods in your diet may help to reduce these issues:
Many of you might already know how excited I am that my co-author, NFL Future Hall-of-Famer, Tony Gonzalez won his first NFL Playoff game last week after 16 years in the NFL! The thrilling game was an emotional one for me as me kids told me to stop screaming at the tv with all the roller coaster ride game. To see Tony overcome with emotion after the win made me cry, too. I know his incredible work ethic well. He never missed a call or meeting when we worked on our book. I’ve worked in pro sports for 15 years and trust me, that is unique. He always took extra practice catching passes which prepared him for the big catch he made to put them into field goal range to make it into the NFC Championship game this Sunday. I will be cheering for Tony and the Falcons!
Let’s now talk about how you can enjoy watching the NFL Playoffs without mindless munching? Try snacking like the pros. Although you’re not physically in the game, you can still fuel your body like NFL superstars. I tell my professional athlete clients that smart snacking is key to maintaining optimal energy levels.
Try these “5 SMART SNACKS” this Sunday while watching the NFL Football Divisional Championships:
1. HASS AVOCADOS: did you know that 158 million avocados will be eaten during Big Game gatherings this year but The Big Game is not the only event that brings out our passion for avocados. Last year Americans ate a whopping 1.5 billion pounds of avocados! Hass avocados provide nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and healthy fats. Football Snack Ideas: Here’s my delish guacamole recipe from the book I co-authored with NFL Future Hall-of-Famer, Tony Gonazlez, The All-Pro Diet.
All-Pro Diet Guacamole
Makes 8 Servings
3 Hass avocados
1 lemon, juiced
1 tomato, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Cut avocados into halves. After removing seeds, scoop pulp out and place into small bowl; use fork to mash avocado.
Gently stir in lemon juice, tomato, garlic, cumin, sea salt, and cilantro. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour prior to serving.
Nutrition Information Per Serving, About: 116 calories, 2 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat
Reprinted from: The All-Pro Diet ©2009 by Tony Gonzalez. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098.
2. WHOLE-GRAIN PITA: skip the potato chips and Cheetos this Sunday and opt for whole-grain pita instead. You’ll taken in more fiber and feel full in less time! Football Snack Ideas: Make homemade pita chips. Just cut up the pita, sprinkle with olive oil, and bake in the oven until crispy. You’ll have delicious whole-grain pita chips without the tons of oil and salt used in store-bought products. Serve whole-grain pita or your homemade pita chips with hummus, black bean dip, guacamole, or salsa!
3. MINI CARROTS: when you’re looking to quickly satisfy a “munchie” during the game turn to your pal the baby carrot. This snack isn’t only for kids anymore. Sneak in a vegetable while you munch on this vitamin A filled snack. Serve fun baby carrots with hummus, black bean dip, or almond butter.
4. CLEMENTINES: football is not the only thing in season this time of year. Clementines are also. This is a great fruit to snack on during the game because it takes time to unravel, which equals less time of mindless munching! Set out a big bowl of clementines and it will be a fun snack to pass (or throw!) around to guests.
5. PISTACHIOS: satisfying, delicious, nutritious, – these are one of the MVP snack foods! This is the perfect playoff snack since pistachios are known as the “Skinny Nut”. You get to eat 49 pistachios which provides 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber which will keep you satisfied throughout the games! Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat snack nuts per serving compared to any other snack nut. Some preliminary reserach shows that pistachios may help slow consumption with the empty shells offering a visual cue which can reduce calorie intake. Football Snack Ideas: Very simple- a bowl with pistachios! Munching on these will be a hit with your guests!
Serve these snacks on game day and see how you’ve become a smarter snacker!
Disclosure: I’m a spokesperson for The Hass Avocado Board
When the desire to overindulge hits it can be very difficult to get the thought out of your head. To avoid giving into these temptations it takes a little self-control and a few tricks to distract your brain. Below are five tips to help balance your calories and prevent overindulging.
What tricks do you use to manage the urge to overindulge?
With the New Year upon us, it is that time again when many Americans commit to getting fit and losing weight. Weight loss is never easy, especially when your hormones are working against you. Fortunately, by understanding the hormones that are at play and how to manage them, you can improve your body’s metabolism and reduce hunger pangs. Learn more about the five major hormones involved in regulating appetite and fat burning so you can get fit and lose fat in 2013!
This hormone is released by fat cells and helps to increase the body’s metabolism, increase the rate of fat burning, and also reduce appetite. You can increase your levels of adiponectin by getting leaner through exercise. Replacing carbohydrates with more monounsaturated fats in diet may boost levels as well.
2. Cholecystokinin (CCK)
CCK is released from intestinal cells in response to the digestion of proteins and fat. CCK both slows digestion and communicates satiety to the brain. Both mechanisms keep you feeling full for longer and thus reduces food intake. You can boost CCK levels by making sure to include some lean protein and healthy fat with every meal or snack.
You know the rumbling in your tummy that occurs when your stomach empties and it’s time to eat? Well you can thank Ghrelin for that unpleasant sensation of hunger. Instead of giving in and returning to old eating habits, make sure to work out on a regular basis. Exercise appears to be the most effective way to decrease ghrelin levels.
You have probably heard of this hormone before in relation to diabetes. That is due to insulin’s role in managing blood glucose (sugar). The pancreas releases insulin when our blood sugar levels rise after eating. Insulin then travels throughout the body, signaling cells to take up blood glucose to use for energy or to store as fat. When insulin levels remain high, our body does not want to burn fat; therefore, lowering insulin is important for weight loss. Reducing starches in the diet and replacing them with carbohydrates from vegetables and some fruit can help to reduce insulin levels.
Like adiponectin, leptin is released from fat cells throughout the body. This hormone is one that we want to take advantage of since it signals the brain to stop eating and the body to burn calories. To maximize your sensitivity to leptin, make sure to get plenty of sleep at night and to also include lots of antioxidant rich fruits such as berries and vegetables in diet.
Reprinted with permission from 435 South Magazine.
This is one of my easiest and most loved recipes. I make it for my family a lot but I have also made it for parties, new moms and others when I need a quick and easy delicious entree that I know they will enjoy. Plus you are getting some vegetables by loading it up with spinach!
The best part of this recipe is that it only costs $1.59 per serving! It is only 6 ingredients and I bought them all at Walmart!
Quick and Easy Spinach Lasagna
8 oz package whole wheat lasagna noodles (9 strips)
25 oz prepared spaghetti sauce
32 oz 1% cottage cheese
6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
6 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
6 oz fresh baby spinach
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9 x 13 inch baking pan, place a small amount of spaghetti sauce to coat the bottom. Put three strips of uncooked lasagna noodles lengthwise. Spread with 1/3 spaghetti sauce, 1/3 cottage cheese, 1/3 spinach and 1/3 mozzarella/cheddar cheese, repeat this layering process two more times. Cover with a non-stick foil and bake in 350 degrees oven for 30 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking an additional 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.
Enjoy! Let me know how your family likes it!
Have you ever tried partially or fully substituting the white pasta in your dish with tastier, more calorie-saving alternatives? Of course making the switch to whole grain pasta is a great option but you can also surprise your taste buds with these additional healthier options.
1. Zucchini is not only great for roasting. The versatile vegetable can be spiralized and be incorporated into a tasty pasta dish. Dress this up with pesto or a garlicky, marinara sauce.
2. Spinach pasta has a delicious earthy flavor that is quite delightful when coupled with low-fat alfredo sauce. Add mushrooms and sweet peas for some extra flavor.
3. One cup of spaghetti squash can save you up to 180 calories. Load up on the spaghetti squash and you can save room for a healthy dessert! Black Bean Fudge-Walnut Brownies anyone?
4. Kelp noodles have virtually no calories. Start off by rinsing off the noodles and softening them with some lemon juice and sea salt. Rinse off the noodles again and top with your favorite pasta sauce. Try this delicious new recipe from the Sea Tangle Noodle Company:
KELP NOODLE AND VEGETABLE STIR FRY
Sauté the garlic in the olive oil. Add the vegetables and sauté until cooked. Add the rinsed Kelp Noodles along with the soy sauce, sugar, and broth and mix. Sauté until the noodles have softened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remember that you don’t have to sacrifice on taste while saving on calories when substituting some or all of that white pasta.
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Welcome to my mixing bowl of clean eating, cooking, baking, traveling, writing, and sports!
I'm a nutritionist, foodie, author, and mom of 2 volleyball loving girls. My family calls Kansas City home after years of living in San Francisco.
I'm a firm believer of equal parts fun, clean food, and exercise while still enjoying my chocolate molten lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream!
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