Enjoy Your Vacation Without Gaining An Ounce

When you are on vacation, it's tempting to skip your morning jog and lounge in your armchair sipping orange juice and munching on greasy snacks. While there's nothing wrong with a little splurging, if you overdo it, you may be in for an unpleaser surprise.

With sensible eating you can maintain weight and still indulge. Follow these stay-fit tips on your next trip and you will not bring home extra pounds as a souvenir.

  1. Do not diet beforehand. A popular plan is to crash-diet before you leave, so you can pig out once you are away. If you try to drop pounds quickly, you will most likely lose muscle and water weight. Then when you overeat, you will replace that lost muscle with fat. It is better to eat normally but step up your exercise routine to burn fat and build calorie-burning muscle. For a few weeks before you go, add an extra 60 minutes of exercise, like running or aerobics, to your weekly workouts.
  2. Pack healthy snacks. Junk food is easy to find where you travel, but nutritious fare can be more elusive, especially if you are on a road trip, sightseeing all day or in a place where produce is scarce. To make sure you have access to healthy, portable snacks while on the go, take bags of dried fruit, unsalted nuts and low-calorie cereal.
  3. Budget your fat. Take a few minutes each morning to determine how you will balance the day's fat and calories. That way, you can still splurge on one whatever-I-want meal and not feel deprived. For example, if you know that dinner will be at a four-star restaurant, eat a lighter breakfast and lunch.
  4. Do not drink your calories. Popular vacation concoctions, such as Daiquiris and Pina Coladas, can contain as many calories and as much fat as an entitlement meal. Alcoholic drinks most likely to derail a healthy diet are those mixed with cream, milk, fruit juice or soda. Since alcohol also stimulates appetite and causes dehydration – which is often mistaken for hunger – drink a glass of water after each drink.
  5. Stock up on fruits and veggies at buffets. It is easy to get carried away when there is an abundance of all-you-can-eat treats lined out before you. To avoid giving in to temptation, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, one-quarter with carbohydrates and one-quarter with lean protein.
  6. Eat slowly. At home, your fast-paced schedule has you grabbing food on the run or gorging after skipping meals. Take advantage of having few times time constraints to relish the sensory experience of dining, say, while you are sitting at a beachfront table watching the sunset. When you really taste every bite of your food, you will eat only until you are no longer hungry, not until you are stuffed.
  7. Opt for active after-meal activities. To burn more calories, schedule high-energy activities after meals. Sign up for post-breakfast beach volleyball, cycle to and from that brunch spot, or spend the evening at a restaurant that offers live music and after-dinner dancing.
  8. Research fitness options. Knowing what exercise opportunities are available at your destination increases the likelihood that you will work out. Find out the facilities available at your hotel.
  9. Choose food by the "BSBR" rule. Scan menus for entrees that are broiled, steamed, braised or roasted. These simple preparations keep food low in fat and calories.
  10. Eat family-style. If you are vacationing in a place where the food is extraordinary, you can sample a wide variety without stuffing yourself. The key is to share, like splitting, appetizers and dinner entrees with friends. This allows you to taste everything without eating everything.
  11. Use your hotel wisely. When you check in, ask for a room that is three to five flights up so that you can climb the stairs each day. Schedule a daily wake-up call to fit in morning workouts. Avoid mindless munching by keeping the mini bar locked.
  12. Maximize your exercise. Moves such as squats, push-ups, lunges, dips and crunches are perfect for travelers. You can do them anywhere, and because they involve more than one muscle group, you can work your whole body in less time.

Lighten Up Your Favorite Foods With These 15 Raw Vegan Recipes

While following a raw food diet may feel too extreme for some people — especially those of us who enjoy incorporating a bounty of different kinds of meals into our diet — sometimes raw meals offer a nice refresher or detox after enjoying an indulgent meal (or two, or three). Proponents of raw foods diets have tips and tricks on how to save money on the diet, and how to successfully incorporate more raw foods into your life if you haven’t done so before.

If you feel like the idea of raw foodism is daunting, don’t worry — it’s actually pretty simple, and we’re here to help you implement more raw foods into your diet if you desire. Below, we’ve put together a list of some of America’s favorite types of foods and provided you with some recipe examples from our Food Monster App of how these dishes can be made raw.


1. Raw Harvest Soup

This Raw Harvest Soup is beautiful and creamy. It’s full of fresh, nutritious vegetables that are good for your heart and soul.

2. Raw Romesco Soup

This Raw Romesco Soup is inspired by Romesco sauce, which is a Spanish sauce made from red peppers and almonds.

3. Raw Spinach and Carrot Soup

This Raw Spinach and Carrot Soup is made creamy with avocado, which balances out the green earthiness of the spinach, while carrots add just a hint of sweetness, and parsley adds freshness. This soup can be warmed just slightly to keep it warm, but we recommend enjoying it on a hot day.


4. Raw Pasta With Three Sauce Choices

This Raw Pasta With Three Sauce Choices is satisfying, nutrient-dense, low-calorie, and raw in every sense of the word.

5. Raw Zucchini Marinara Pasta

This Raw Zucchini Marinara Pasta is so energizing. It is incredible how light and refreshed you can feel after eating a delicious pasta, no tired, and sluggish feeling.

6. 5-Minute Basil Pesto Raw Zucchini Pasta

This 5-Minute Basil Pesto Raw Zucchini Pasta is a super simple recipe that’s a breeze to make, so filling, and satisfying. To make your pasta base from fresh whole zucchinis, you will need a handy little piece of kitchen equipment called a ‘Spirooli.’ If you’re keen to expand your repertoire of healthy, gluten-free gourmet dishes then it’s well worth your time to hunt one down. Get your hands on the biggest bunch of fresh, local basil you can find, and blend up the creamy pesto sauce in 5 minutes or less. Enjoy!

7. Raw Spaghetti With ‘Bolognese’ Sauce

This Raw Spaghetti With “Bolognese” Sauce is incredibly fresh, and you can easily have it ready in under 15 mins.

8. Creamy Kimchi Zucchini Pasta

This Creamy Kimchi Zucchini Pasta is a kimchi lover’s dream! The luxurious sauce is made from a blend of raw cashews and kimchi and seasoned lightly with sesame oil and tamari — and of course, it’s topped with even more kimchi! Not only does it taste good, it’s good for your gut, since kimchi is a probiotic.


9. Raw Lasagna With Cilantro Pesto

This Raw Lasagna With Cilantro Pesto is so colorful and bright, and features an array of delicious and fresh vegetables. You could eat the entire thing and still feel energized and healthy.

10. Raw Mushroom Lasagna With Zucchini Cheese

This Raw Mushroom Lasagna With Zucchini Cheese is made with mushroom meat, golden zucchini cheese, garlic herb tomato sauce, and eggplant/zucchini “noodle” layers. Don’t be warded off by the fact that there are four layers! This is a fairly simple recipe since once everything is prepped, you just have to assemble the layers and pop it in the oven or dehydrator.

Popsicles and Ice Cream

11. Raw Coconut Milk Fruit Popsicles

These Raw Coconut Milk Fruit Popsicles are going to make you so happy. They are almost too easy to make and almost too good to eat.

12. Raw Coconut Blood Orange Ice Pops

These Raw Coconut Blood Orange Ice Pops are actually super easy to make and even more fun to eat. The top portion is a creamy, homemade coconut ice cream while the bottom is made from frozen blood orange juice. The luxurious creamy vanilla ice cream is complimented by the sweet, slights sour flavor of the blood orange juice in a combination that is unbeatable on a hot day.

13. Raw Strawberry Shortcake Nice Cream Bars

These Raw Strawberry Shortcake Nice Cream Bars are inspired by long lost childhood treats. The creamy strawberry and vanilla nice cream are coated with a crumbly shortcake shell and the stuck on a stick – just like the ice cream man served them back in the day.


14. Raw Swedish Princess Cake

This Raw Swedish Princess Cake is light and fluffy, made from coconut and almond flour and is covered with sweet strawberry chia jam, a layer of vanilla custard, whipped coconut cream, and raw marzipan.

15. Raw Rainbow Chakra Cheesecake

This Raw Rainbow Chakra Cheesecake features natural, fruity, and delicious flavors begging to be devoured. This is a fun weekend project for when you have a bit more time, once it comes together it is absolutely worth the wait.

Want more fun, raw recipes like these? Our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook has you covered. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. We highly recommend checking it out!

Lead image source: Raw Mushroom Lasagna With Zucchini Cheese

The "What, Why, When and How" of a Content Plan

For a moment, visualize your website without the words, the images, the videos, the audio, the embed apps or even the raw data! How does it look and feel now? Empty, inanimate, useless, and worthless! Well, that sums up the value of web content. That said, you cannot fill up your website with just anything. The content you place and distribute over the World Wide Web, ought to have a purpose, which may be brand building, boosting online sales, simply delivering information to the visitors or a mix of all of these. When the content fails to hit these targets, it is nothing but noise. So, what differentiates a meaningful, relevant, goal-oriented content from the noise? The answer is – a strategic Content Plan.

“What is Content Plan & Do I have one for my website?”

The question is an obvious unless you are an online marketer who spends hours mapping digital marketing campaigns. In the plainest words, the Content Plan is a blueprint of what content you publish online, when, on what platform, for whom and with what objective. The other experts may add to the definition to widen its scope, but the essence is extracted in this one sentence. Now, addressing the latter part of your question, “Do I have one for my website”; well, if you have a documented plan for what content you release on the internet, your answer is a yes. Otherwise, you are still in need of one.

“Okay! I don’t have a Content Plan, and I think I don’t need it either”

That’s a common perception, and there’s nothing wrong if you feel the same way. However, please answer these questions to see if there is a shift in position regarding your Content Plan claim.

  1. Are you glad about the cost per visitor you extract from your website?
  2. Do you remember who published the last web page/blog post on your website?
  3. Is your Facebook page “Likes” & “Comments” count shooting up?
  4. Do you plan and discuss the online content at par with other marketing content?

The 4 straight ‘No(s)‘ or even 3 of them, is an eye-opener – a Content Plan is required.

“Agree! Suggest me a Content Plan then!”

To get a Content Plan that’s tailored exactly as per your business requirements, you may seek assistance from the professionals who are expert in Web Content Development. In case, you want to do it yourself, here is an outline of the entire content planning process.

“How Do I Start?”

For a new website, you begin Content Planning when you are through with the user research. In case, you already own a website with no content strategy, the process can be divided into the following broad stages.

  • Network Research

This is about identifying the online networks and communities where brands like you are discussed so that you can listen to the traffic and develop suitable content.

  • User Research

What the users want? The better way is to ask them. Conducting informal research and getting friends and acquaintances take up survey questions can be a good way of user research if you are all on your own.

  • Content Profiling

What type of content is a hit among the users on a particular platform, network or online community? Content profiling involves the analysis of available content from similar brands so as to develop an engaging content in the form of text, images, audio, videos, apps and the like.

  • Content Scheduling

An integrated content calendar is a must for a successful digital marketing campaign. It involves scheduling of content releases on various platforms. Articles, blogs, tweets, Facebook status updates, and all other content type is planned in advance and tailored with an eye on trends and seasonality.

  • Content Generation & Sourcing

This is the most demanding part and involves combined efforts from the content strategists, editors, writers, data analysts and user behavior specialists. You may commission specialist content like video, infographics, mobile applications, etc. and serve the users with valuable, relevant matter. Linking to third-party content and directing visitors to useful content is another smart way of using the best content available on the subject.

  • Distribution

The greatest of content, if not distributed, on the right time on the right space, will rot and eventually lose user-value. The techniques of Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Optimization, syndication, paid search and content partnership play a defining role on how well the content circulates in the exploitable channels.

  • Audit & Measurement

You need to audit and measure the results of your content marketing efforts. It provides a keen insight on how the targeted users are influenced and how positive they are about the content, which will eventually govern the required modifications.

Hopefully, all these details about the Content Plan will guide you devise an effective content strategy and help your website get bigger and better.

Are dog food companies selling owners a raw deal?

Much like any diet fad, raw meat based diets (RMBDs) abound with reasons why

they’re the healthier choice over cooked varieties.

Advocates of raw, as well as the companies selling them, often dazzle prospective buyers with anecdotal language that might include statements such as biologically appropriate, ancestral food source, or insinuate that somehow they’re healthier because of its compatibility with the diet of a wolf.

I admit, the compelling language can be fascinating. Unfortunately, there’s no science to back it up. There are, however, numerous scientific studies verifying the critical flaws in RMBDs. For example, in a European study (Dillitzer et al, 2011) that evaluated 95 homemade raw diets by calculating twelve important nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A, scientists revealed serious excesses or deficits in those nutrients.

As far as bacteria is concerned, raw meats are a veritable breeding ground. Salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7, Clostridium, Campylobacter, Listeria among others are abundantly available even in human-grade, previously frozen and freeze-dried varieties.

One Canadian study found that 21-percent of all RMBDs tested were contaminated with Salmonella and that the bacteria was resistant to an alarming 75-percent of the antibiotics tested (Finley et al, 2008).

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) agrees with the science and “discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens.”

Dr. Wefer and Dr. Delaney, co-founders of Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital in Monmouth County have banned RMBDs from their practice entirely. “Despite what the proponents of raw diets say about how natural they are for you dog, such diets pose health risks to your pet and your family. You see warnings every day in supermarkets regarding the safe handling of meats. This is because our processed meats are often contaminated with potentially dangerous aforementioned bacteria in addition to Campylobacter (responsible for food poisoning) and Shigella (responsible for diarrhea, fever). One simple break down in personal hygiene (hand washing) can lead to dire consequences when people are exposed to such bugs. The risks far outweigh any advantage in feeding your pet raw food.” Dr. Wefer added.

Dr. Delaney is in agreement with his partner. “Considering the risk of infection from Salmonella and other bacteria, as well as the added costs and extra time for preparation and cleanup, prohibiting raw meats in our practice is a good choice for

Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is not alone. Other renown practices such as the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University has permanently banned RMBDs due to the dangers they pose to pets as well as those who handle it.the dog as well as the family,” Dr. Delaney said.

As far as my two-cents is concerned — especially in regards to comparing a wolf diet with that of the domesticated dog as a selling point — it’s estimated that dogs have been ingesting cooked food remnants for about 400,000+ years. Likely, this is one of the key reasons why dogs have flourished and wolves have not.

Additionally, since dogs are scavengers by nature the likelihood that their ancestors enjoyed fresh large kills are pretty slim. Ancestral diets likely consisted of days-old carcasses as well tiny mammals, insects and a variety flora before man began farming and domesticating livestock. So, I think it’s safe to say we can put the ancestral diet claim to bed.

Depending upon the source, there’s no shortage of opinions on what qualifies as a healthy diet for our dogs. Generally speaking, the area of canine nutrition is an under examined subject. Until more is known about the subject I prefer to err on the side of safety. My decision is a personal one because my husband has an autoimmune disease. This means exposure to certain bacteria could mean life or death for him. When it comes down to it the decision on what to feed your pet is a personal one as well and should be decided between you and your vet.

Karen Fazio, CDBC is the owner of The Dog Super Nanny professional dog training and is the Director of Behavior at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital.

This Drink Can Save Your Life

I have had many health drinks over the years but nothing comes close to this one. It actually was one of the most important parts of my healing from Inflammatory Bowel Disease and has helped many people overcome all diseases including cancer.

Get even more raw food health videos at my member site!


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Music by Joseph Israel

Weight Loss – Obesity, Diets and Holistic Health

Diets are defined in the traditional sense of following a specific eating plan for weight loss / obesity.

Sure, following any of the hundreds of plans that have been promoted in the last few decades may result in some weight loss, but the benefits typically do not last.

Sadly, there is no magic bullet. No, not even those prescription medications that are common these days. Sure, they may result in shedding some pounds, but I've been observing nasty side effects in people that use them, and without lifestyle changes are made, the pounds will come back.

The average American keeps getting heavier, especially children, and the new miracle diets keep coming, and the average American keeps getting heavier, especially children, and …

I suspect you get my point.

But wait, I have this diet that works and I offer a guarantee and … Gotcha! Sorry, there are no simple, miracle solutions / plans. There was never any and there never will be.

I am happy to report that what does work for weight management, always has and always will work, is this: careful food selections, self control, occasional splurging (yahoo!), Acceptance of how God made you, and eating slower, smaller more Numerous meals.

This is the holistic approach and it's what I advocate.

Why do not you see this type eating advice advertised on TV or in magazines anywhere? It's because nobody makes any money when you do it. Surprise! In fact, many people will make less money when you follow a healthy holistic eating lifestyle, sometimes doctors because you will likely be ill less often.

Please become aware that the media and it's advertisers are becoming increasingly talented at getting and keeping our attention, particularly when it comes to our physical appearance. They place pictures of beautiful people with gleaming muscles (they are oiled), rippling six pack abdomens (they are airbrushed or do dozens of sit-ups immediately before the picture is taken), or even yet the people are taking steroid type drugs to enhance Their physiques. These "models" are not representative of we typical humans. You and I need to be wise to this, even though we enjoy looking.

Also, be wary of some of the food products, their claims, and what's in them.

The top 10 deceiving "healthy" foods that lead to weight gain and other health problems:

– margarine, because it lacks the essential oils necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system.

– artificial sweeteners, because they contribute to inflammation

– soy, because it can mimics the hormone estrogen

– most granola bars, because they contain excess sugar

– most dehydrated fruits, because they have added sugar

– most juices, because they lack pulp and contain excess added sugars

– whole grain products, because many people have hidden gluten allergies

– commercially grown apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, and imported grapes because they are the top 5 most chemically treated produce and contain toxins.

– all orange juice, because it is well known to increase inflammation

– commercially raised chicken because it's likely raised indoors, given antibiotics and probably hormones for faster growth

So scrap the diet plans and get the mind set that weight management benefits lifelong "good" eating habits. Simplistic is not it? Better yet it's either difficult or expensive.

So what's a person to do? The answer is this: small changes done consistently. Step one takes getting your thinking right first. Your brain has to change before your body will. Without that, all diets fail long term.

Here are a few tips:

– Eat smaller quantities and more often
– Eat fresher foods
– Eat organic grown varieties
– Eat slower
– Do not drink more than a few sips while eating
– Start a garden
– Eat more variety
– Add more fresh herbs and spices

Get to know the list of the 10 most chemically treated produce (avoid them), some detox / cleansing routines, recipes, and even some tips on simplistic gardening. These realistic weight management tools will produce results that last. Do not hesitate to seek professional guidance if needed.

I also recommend eating a big salad every day, possibly making a meal out of it by adding some quality protein like walnuts, fish, chicken, or beans.

And yes, do not worry, we can still enjoy goodies like ice cream on occasion, but with self control please.

Follow the above guidelines for the best management of weight loss / obesity.

Can adults develop food allergies? | Life and style

You have always loved prawns, but suddenly they make your mouth tingle. You bite into an apple and your throat feels itchy and tight. But surely they can’t be food allergies if you have eaten them all your life without problems? Should you ignore the symptoms, or cross prawn cocktails and apples off the menu?

The solution

Allergies can indeed start in adulthood. Nearly 52% of Americans with food allergies develop them after the age of 18. This preliminary data comes from a national study that shows shellfish is the most common food allergy in adults (affecting 3.9% of Americans), followed by peanut allergy (2.4%) and tree nut allergies, including walnut, almond, cashew and brazil nuts (1.9%).

Whereas children may grow out of allergies, especially those to egg, milk and wheat, once an adult develops a food allergy, it usually persists, says Dr Stephen Till, consultant allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust.

Adults are more likely than children to get oral allergy syndrome – a type of food allergy caused by raw apples, fruits with stones and uncooked vegetables. The most common symptom is tingling in the mouth and throat that starts as soon as you begin eating and goes very quickly. It affects people who are allergic, even mildly, to birch tree pollen or grass pollen.

The syndrome is caused by the body’s immune system confusing proteins in pollen with those in raw fruit and vegetables. Stomach acid destroys the proteins quickly, so the effects usually go as soon as you swallow. If you have the syndrome, you should avoid smoothies as concentrated doses of raw fruit or veg can provoke more serious symptoms such as a rash, tight chest and wheezing.

We don’t know exactly why adults suddenly become allergic to foods, says Till. One theory is the globalisation of the food industry. As he points out, the prawns we got used to in our cocktails are a different species from the Vietnamese tiger prawns available today.

There is not an inevitable rise in the severity of reactions. Till says lots of factors influence an allergic reaction, including how much of the allergen you eat, and how much alcohol, exercise, stress and sleep deprivation you have had. Genetics also plays a part. However, if you have any symptoms of any severity, you should see your GP – and ideally a specialist.

A guide by Sense About Science warns of some of the mythology about allergies: for example, far more people think they have a food allergy than actually do.

Dick Gregory, Barrier-Breaking Comedian and Civil Rights Activist, Dies at 84

LOS ANGELES — Dick Gregory, the comedian and activist and who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health, has died. He was 84.

Gregory died late Saturday in Washington, D.C. after being hospitalized for about a week, his son Christian Gregory told The Associated Press. He had suffered a severe bacterial infection.

As one of the first black standup comedians to find success with white audiences, in the early 1960s, Gregory rose from an impoverished childhood in St. Louis to win a college track scholarship and become a celebrated satirist who deftly commented upon racial divisions at the dawn of the civil rights movement.

Image: Dick Gregory dies at the age of 84

Entertainer and activist Dick Gregory receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015.