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    20 Most Filling Fruits and Veggies

    Despite conventional wisdom, losing weight and a rumbling stomach don't need to be synonymous. Fill your shopping cart with these satisfying fruits and veggies to nosh your way to a leaner, healthier you! "All I've seen you eat today is rabbit food. Aren't you hungry?" my cousin asked me on our most recent family vacation. Before responding to her, I stopped and thought about what I had nibbled on: an apple, berries, carrot sticks, a salad, and some things like whole grains and proteins, too. But I saw where she was coming from. Unless you're a person who primarily eats fruits and veggies, it's hard to imagine just how filling they can be. "No, not at all, I replied. "I'm eating the ultimate combo meal: fiber and water." The experts agree that the two are seriously satisfying—even when these nutrients are coming from low-calorie things like carrots and apples. "Both fiber and water help to fill up the stomach and make us feel full," registered dietitian Isabel Smith tells us. "Fiber also helps to slow digestion and helps to regulate appetite and blood sugar levels." If you're interested in filling up your plate—without filling out your pants—we're here to help! Below, you'll find a ranking of the 10 most filling fruits and 10 most filling veggies, based on their fiber and water content. Pick up a few of your top picks (along with some of these 40 Things Healthy Cooks Always Have in Their Kitchen) next time you hit the market, start munching, quell your hunger, and watch that excess weight melt away! FIRST, THE FRUIT… 10. Cherries With just 87 calories per cup, cherries make a smart sweet and tart addition to any diet. Although it's a little-known fact, these ruby red treats are also a potent source of potassium. One cup has 306 milligrams of the powerful mineral—which is about what you'd find in a small banana. Nosh on cherries solo as a snack or add them to a bed of arugula or spinach along with some crumbled goat cheese, red onion, and dry-roasted pistachios for a filling side salad. You can even top if off with grilled chicken or fish to make it a meal. 9. Strawberries Not only is it uber satiating, strawberries are a great source of powerful natural chemicals called polyphenols that have been shown to aid weight loss and stop fat cells from forming. Studies also show that eating the bright red fruit can help relieve stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Eat them plain, add them to yogurt or oatmeal, or blend them with a banana, almond milk, and ice for a sweet, sippable snack. 8. Apples with skin As one of the easiest fruits to eat on-the-go, apples are one of my favorite fruits. And it's one that nutritionists love, too. "I've eaten an apple every day since high school," Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT says. "Typically, I have one with breakfast; it's the perfect sweet crunch in the morning. Plus, it's a great way to get healthy, energy-revving carbs and a boost of fiber to keep my blood sugar level stable so I don't come crashing down. Not to mention, since apples are packed with heart-healthy flavonoids like quercetin, when I eat one a day I really feel like I'm helping to keep the doctor away!" 7. Blueberries While they've never been marketed as a couch snack, I'd argue that water-packed blueberries are one of the best things to nibble on if you're a fan of nibbling in front of the TV—which is one of the most dangerous forms of mindless eating. Each little blue bite of heaven has less than a calorie—so you could literally eat a hundred—yes, I said 100—without derailing your diet. The berry is also loaded with polyphenols, which are chemical compounds that help prevent fat from forming and catechins (the same stuff that makes green tea such a fat melter). In one Tufts University study, participants who regularly consumed catechins increased their belly fat loss by an impressive 77 percent! 6. Banana Though it's more often associated with monkeys and slapstick comedy than weight loss, we'd argue that bananas are one of the very best foods for those on a quest for flat abs. Not only can the fruit's water and fiber content keep you away from the vending machine, its potassium can fight off water retention and bloat. The mineral also aids post-workout muscles recovery. Translation: The faster you can get back to the gym after a tough session, the sooner you'll reach your better body goal. 5. Cranberries As long as you aren't eating the sugar-sweetened kind (whether that be granny's Thanksgiving recipe or the dried ones sold in bags), cranberries make for a smart addition to your diet. Not only will their high fiber and water contents quell tummy rumbles—making it easier for your to eat fewer calories—they may help to keep you cancer-free, too. In an analysis of the cancer-fighting phenol antioxidant content of 20 fruits, cranberries were found to have the highest amount. The red tart fruit also contains compounds that help keep bacteria like E. coli and staph from sticking to our cells. It's no wonder the pilgrims and other early settlers ate the berries to fight off disease. Not sure how to prep cranberries without giving yourself a sugar rush? Try making a salsa by combining fresh cranberries with celery, white onion, jalapeño, fresh cilantro, sea salt, sugar, and fresh lime juice. Simply pulse everything in a food processor and voila—snack time! 4. Blackberries These antioxidant-rich berries not only help ward off disease but also pack more fiber than most other fruits. Not to mention, every cup of blackberries contains half the day's vitamin C, a nutrient that can help lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that triggers fat storage in the stomach—the very last place anyone wants to see it. Add them to oatmeal, cold cereals, or salads, blend them into smoothies, or eat them plain to reap the benefits. 3. Raspberries Not only are raspberries rich in water and fiber, they're also notably low in calories and sugar. A cup of the refreshing berry has just 84 calories and 5 grams of the sweet stuff, making this fruit a solid choice for those following a low-carb eating plan. 2. Dates With 66 calories and 16 grams of sugar a pop, it's easy to understand why so many dieters steer clear of dates—but trust us, it's really not necessary to kick this food to the curb in the name of weight loss. In addition to all those calories, each fruit serves up nearly a half-gram of protein and 2 grams of fiber—which is what you'd find in 12 cherries! If you're worried about the sugar, though, cut yourself off after two, and smother them with all-natural nut butter, a salty-sweet protein-rich combination that registered dietitian Alissa Rumsey says she loves. 1. Avocado We know what you're thinking: 'Aren't avocados vegetables?' Nope! 'Cados are actually a single-seeded berry native to Mexico. They're also the numero uno (see what we did there?) most filling fruit on the planet. Jam-packed with fiber, a half-fruit serving provides 25 percent of the day's recommended intake. We can't ignore the avocado's many other benefits, either. The green machine provides nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, including B6, C and E, bloat-banishing potassium, magnesium, and folic acid! (Wowza!) And thanks to its high monounsaturated fat content, it can also prevent body fat from forming around the belly. In short, it's a total rockstar! NOW THE VEGGIES... 10. Celery No, eating celery won't actually help you burn calories like the rumor mill would have you believe. (It only takes a little more than half a calorie to digest a stalk.) But it is a neutral-tasting veggie that works well in tons of dishes and can keep you full and satisfied. Add it to soups and stews, toss it into salads, quinoa, rice, and savory oatmeal dishes, or just smear some peanut butter on a stalk as a snack. Yum! 9. Asparagus Not only is asparagus packed with water and fiber, it's rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps the body flush out water and sodium—two things that make you bloat. Roast some in the oven with some EVOO and dried spices for a simple, yet filling side dish. 8. Cauliflower Stealing the #8 spot on our veggie countdown is cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable that's over 90 percent water. Aside from it's filling attributes, kale's white, tree-shaped cousin is rich in the cancer-fighting compounds, glucosinolates, that work to reduce cancer-causing inflammation. 7. Cabbage Considering they're both part of the Brassica oleracea family, we're not surprised that cabbage has many of the same health-protective properties as cauliflower. It also provides 2.3 grams of fiber per cup, as well as a hefty dose of glucosinolates. Noshing on this bitter veggie can also help to lower your cholesterol levels by preventing the bile (the fluid secreted by the liver that aids digestion) from absorbing fat after a meal. We like to mix cabbage into Asian-inspired salads and stir fries. 6. Brussels Sprouts Yup, that's right, another member of the cabbage family is on our list! Filled with H20 and a fair share of fiber, sprouts are also one of Shaun T's go-to weight loss foods. "When cooked with a bit of olive oil and spices, Brussels sprouts taste amazing. Plus, they're filling, heart-healthy, and rich in vitamin C," Shaun T. tells us. 5. Raw Broccoli Broccoli, one of these 40 Best-Ever Weight-Loss Superfoods, makes its mark smack dab in the middle of our veggie line-up. Aside from its satiating properties, one study found men who ate three or more half-cup servings of broccoli per week had a 41 percent decreased risk for prostate cancer compared to men who ate fewer than one serving per week. To get in on all of the health-boosting, belly-flattening benefits, add it to soups, salads, stir-fries, or simply dip it in hummus as a snack. 4. Baby Carrots They may be small, but baby carrots are sort of amazing. No matter how you enjoy them—dipped in hummus, baked with EVOO and spices, or transformed into a creamy soup—this filling orange vegetable contains nutrients that boost immunity, reduce cholesterol, protect the heart, and yes, keeps your peepers healthy, too. The fact that noshing on them will keep you full and slim is just another one of its many benefits. 3. Snap Peas Throw a cup of these in a Ziplock back and chow down when that afternoon hunger strikes. Pairing them with hummus will up the fiber count even further—just plan to stick to one of these best hummus choices to ensure you stay on track with your healthy eating and weight loss plan. 2. Beet Greens If you typically toss beet leaves in the trash you might want to consider changing your ways. Packed with vitamins K, A ,and C, and ample amounts of fiber and water, the leafy green is both filling and health-protective. 1. Artichokes And the veggie winner is… the almighty artichoke! A large French artichoke contains just 76 calories and packs a fair share of the day's fiber, a nutrient that's been linked to lower body fat. The veggie also has a powerful diuretic effect, meaning it can banish that pesky belly bloat and excess fluid that's making your six-pack look more like a two-pack. By Dana Leigh Smith via Eat This, Not That

    11 Tricks to Add Years to Your Life

    The reality is you have more control over your lifespan than you may think. Genetics only play a small role in how long you live. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy is 78.8 years. If you want to live to the average, or surpass it, you should start making changes in your life now. The secrets to living longer go far beyond the obvious acts of eating healthy and reducing stress. Simple things such as improving your oral hygiene, making new friends and getting enough sleep all play a role in how long you will live. Did you know that having a positive attitude can actually add years to your life? It’s true, individuals with that have positive emotions encounter more happiness in their lives and happiness is strongly related to how long you will live. Start today and take action; use these tricks to make positive changes to your life and further your longevity.

    1. GET MOVING Adding more walking to your day can add years to your life. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking can help you maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease and high blood pressure, strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your mood, and improve your balance and coordination. 2. EXPAND YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK Making new friends and expanding your social network has been proven to extend lifespan. Researchers say people with strong social relationships increased their odds of survival over a certain period of time by 50 percent. Friends help us deal with stress, influence us in a positive way and encourage healthy behaviors. 3. FLOSS YOUR TEETH According to 21st Century Dental & Sleep Center, “flossing helps keep your immune system young... the same bacteria that cause periodontal disease also trigger an immune response, inflammation, that causes the arteries to swell.” Therefore, poor oral hygiene puts you at risk for gum infections. Flossing your teeth helps prevent infections, leading to a longer healthier life. 4. EAT YOUR VEGGIES Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial to a long life. Vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients. Helping you keep a healthy weight while also nourishing your body. The U.S. Food Pyramid encourages 3-5 servings of vegetables per day. (See: 26 Foods with Superpowers) 5. GET ENOUGH SLEEP Depriving ourselves from sleep can lead to serious mental and physical health problems. Some of these include high blood pressure, impaired concentration and weight gain. Getting enough sleep helps maintain vital functions. According to research, “major restorative functions in the body such as tissue repair, muscle growth, and protein synthesis occur almost exclusively during sleep.” 6. QUIT SMOKING Within 12 hours after you smoke your last cigarette your body will begin to heal itself. The levels of carbon monoxide and nicotine in your system will decline and your heart and lungs will begin to repair the damage caused by cigarette smoke (quitsmokingsupport.com). 7. DRINK WATER Water makes up around two-thirds of the human body, it is essential to maintaining a healthy long life. We use water to protect our organs, regulate body temperature, promote proper digestion and eliminate toxins. It’s important to avoid dehydration click here to find out why. 8. TAKE A MULTIVITAMIN It’s almost impossible to consume all of the nutrients your body needs on a daily basis. That’s why multivitamin supplements are extremely important. It’s a healthy way to consume the nutrients and reap the benefits of whole foods. WebMD explains, “vitamin and mineral supplements can help prevent deficiencies that can contribute to chronic conditions.” 9. EAT BREAKFAST Eating breakfast has numerous health benefits. It has been proven to improve concentration, give you energy, aid in weight loss and boost your metabolism. Skipping breakfast can put a damper on your overall lifespan. It has been linked to high blood pressure and obesity. 10. CUT OUT SUGAR Sugary drinks and candies have been shown to cause harm to our heart, aid in obesity and affect our physical appearance. Cutting sugar out of your diet can lower blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol, reduce the risk for heart attack, decrease the risk for depression and will keep your skin looking young. 11. HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE Having a positive attitude and looking at life with an optimistic approach has been show to contribute to a longer life span. Jon Gordon explains, positive people tend to live longer, outperform negative work environments, make better decisions under pressure, are more resilient when facing challenges and have more friends. By Nicole Dossantos via msn health

    6 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

    Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is a time for feasting. As much as we are happy to give thanks, what most of us are looking forward to is the meal itself. This isn’t a bad thing. But wouldn’t it be nice if we found ways to stay healthier on the annual day of overeating? Here’s a small list of ways you can feel a bit better as you push yourself away from the table this year.   1. Get Out and Play Having the family over for Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get out and be active together! Would you rather catch up with everyone huddled around the TV or outside over some fun backyard games? This is a great way for you and the family to get some much needed exercise before or after the big feast! Create memories for a lifetime and burn some calories in the process of creating a new holiday tradition.  

    2. Go Heavy on the Veggies
    It’s easy to eat too much of the bad stuff on Thanksgiving. And you know who the culprits are: Stuffing, finger foods, chips, etc. The list goes on and on. I’m not saying to avoid these delectable holiday staples, just be sure to ration them. Go ahead and enjoy your favorites, but be reasonable! If you are still starving come time for the big meal, be sure to eat plenty of the vegetables at the table. You will feel better about the delicious desserts that are on their way!
      3. Slow Down! One of the biggest reasons for weight gain on Thanksgiving is over-eating. Sure, you may think this is a staple of the holiday. But, it certainly doesn’t have to be. You’ve waited all year for this moment. Shouldn’t your goal be to savor the meal? Eat as slow as you can. This will give your body time to realize it’s full and control its caloric intake. Be sure to put the fork down when your body says it’s had enough!
      4. Lose the Diet for the Day Don’t try to stick to a strict diet on Thanksgiving. It is simply unfair to your mental health to put unreasonable constraints on yourself during the holiday meal. Instead, focus on weight management. Don’t be thinking about weight loss on Thanksgiving, but rather an objective of maintaining your current weight. Save your diets for after the holiday when you can realistically achieve your goals.
      5. Don’t Skip Breakfast
    The big meal of the holiday is daunting. You know you are going to eat. And despite my advice, you will probably eat too much! That’s fine. But, the worst thing you can do is skip the most important meal of the day! Many people will opt to skip breakfast when the big meal is on the way. However, eating a healthy breakfast will kick-start your metabolism and prepare your body for the feast. Not eating in the morning will actually cause greater weight gain. So grab a light breakfast and your body will be thankful!
      6. Take Time to Be Thankful This may seem very straightforward and a bit cliché. However, there are few better ways to improve mental health than reflecting on what it is you and your family are thankful for. Take time out of the chaotic day to reflect on all of the good in your life and your mind will certainly be grateful.
      These are just a few ways for you to be healthier this Thanksgiving. The important takeaway here is to have fun and not worry about your diet or weight gain so much. Follow these simple tips and you can feel confident about your health this holiday weekend!   By Pat DeRiso Sources: webmd.com, huffingtonpost.com