Archive for Fitness

Set Yourself up for SUCCESS!!!

I’m a firm believer that in order to achieve our goals and aspirations we must surround ourselves in an environment set up for us to succeed!  In order to assist in getting your mind right, you have to get other aspects that make up your life in order.  This week I received a QCC regarding working out/training sessions (that I’m always tweeting about) and how to be successful with these goals.  I love this question for I feel that over the year’s I’ve coined a regimen that works for me and is conducive to my work schedule. For my long time SC family…you know I love sharing some of my “tools of the trade” when it comes to health and wellness. 
 
Like most people, I work a strenuousness 8-10 hours/day weekly, travel significantly and am very involved in the community. Having all this on my plate makes it….”interesting” to find time to get my exercising in.  So how do I manage all of these….first let me clarify: I try to stay active and purposefully set weekly schedules to workout/train (either at home or in my neighborhood gym) to stay healthy overall!  This is not just for weight loss, but I have seen the power of healthy living habits and the positive results it has on all facets of life.  Those who know me via outside of this blog are aware that I take my health/overall fitness very seriously.  Due to this, getting training sessions in at least 5 days a week (min 2 days of strength training) is a very important aspect of my life. 
 
 

But back to the question – how do I stay motivated to do this DAILY and achieve my fitness goals?  I set myself up for success by laying out my gear for the day.  Not only do I leave the house with a cute scene (like the picture above) waiting for me when I return, but I also set out my attire. This way when I walk in the door after work and put all my items down/away, I see the DVD’s, weights and/or my exercise clothes calling my name.  These motivational scenes can be done the night before (if your mornings are chaotic enough) or prior to leaving the house.  Either way, you’ve already previewed your brain to what is to come later (then you can use the rest of the day battling that “devil” on your shoulder trying to convince you all the reason why not to work out after work)…achieving that daily goal and being a step further for your greatness!
 
 
So what do you all think SC family?  Any suggestions on  how to keep us ALL motivated to achieve our fitness goals?   The orAKAle has spoken….

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5 Day Detox (Food Intake & Exercise)

if Lola can do it....so can you

Silky Chronicles needs YOU……

The holiday is upon us and to be frank…one of my favorite ones.  Good family, entertainment and definitely gooood EATING.  Due to the indulgence that is not uncommon for us to have during the 4th, I thought this would be a perfect time to post a challenge to YOU the SC readers.

Starting July 5th, I will be doing a 5 day detox.  The purpose is to cleanse the body (again) of unneeded toxins, etc to continue with my CLEAN eating initiative.  A distant acquaintance is a vegan chef, and solicited volunteers for a piloted program she is creating….so I figured I would pose some of the same to you the readers.

What is clean eating????

Short and to the point…food that is closest to its NATURAL state.  This means no processed and refined foods (put the boxed lasagna down), sugary drinks (i believe in NOT drinking my calories), saturated and trans fats, etc.  The intent is to consume the food as God intended.  You can however jazz up your dishes by being creative with your spices/cooking oils, versus entrusting that duty to someone else (fast food joints, mass food production companies, etc).   Remember, you can create some great delicious dishes without weighing it down with that junk that keeps those unwanted pounds on and/or worse….. clog your arteries.

When grocery shopping you have to remember to read labels.  Just because the front says “no fat” or “sugar free”, doesn’t mean that the ingredient list on the back says the same.  My suggestions to avoid food trickery is listed below:

  • Research foods prior to grocery shopping
  • Write out a list BEFORE walking into the store (will save your life & wallet)
  • READ the nutrition label AND ingredient list (you won’t know what to look for if you don’t do number 1)
  • When in doubt, leave it out 🙂

NOW….my challenge to you all is more than just the foods you consume…but also exercise.  In order to live life to the fullest you can’t just focus on what you put into your body, but also the energy that is being exerted daily.  It has been proven that daily/weekly exercise helps to relieve stress, illnesses and of course weight loss.  Starting on the 5th I want all SC readers to vow to exercise IN SOME WAY for 5 days straight.   This can include (but is not limited to):

  • Gardening
  • Cleaning (house work and lawn)
  • Running/Walking
  • Lifting weights (heck lifting kids at that…lol)
  • Taking the stairs
  • Any and all cardio or weight machines at your local gym
  • Home workout routines (see below link for suggestions)

So are you up for the challenge?????  If so, email me at silkychronicles@gmail.com and let me hear from you.  I will be available to answer any other questions you may have, along with motivate you DAILY to not give up.  I’m confident that if you seriously commit to 5 days of this detox, you will feel better and ready to begin a more healthier life.

the orAKAle has spoken…………


To read more about clean food eating, click here
To read more about at home workout routines, click here

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Summer Time is HERE: Tips for Natural Hair and Health

FINALLY summer is here family!  I have been waiting, and waiting and waiting to the end of the semester AND for the sun to come out.  Well I finally got my prayers answered all.  May (to me) officially started the summer….the students are gone, so the celebration has began at my house.  Lol

As the warmer weather draws near, I wanted to give my readers some helpful tips to get you through the next few months; as it relates to natural hair and your overall health.  Remember, living a full and healthy life is not just about hair; but also about how you view yourself, prayer life and hygiene, etc!   So with that being said, I present to you the orAKAle’s 2010 Summer Tips for living life to the FULLEST:

Hair – these are must haves for all my natural divas!  These will be life savers to accomplishing those styles and textures for the change in weather.  Most of these can be purchased at your neighborhood beauty supply. For the orAKAle’s recommendations on hair products, search “product review” in the box to the left for my MUST TRY product lines:

Spray Bottle (will help with daily moisturizing of those coils and styling)
Denman Brush
Hair Milk and Butters (KBB and Oyin are my favs)
Satin Cap (a must have for any and all naturals)
Wide Tooth Comb

**orAKAle’s tip: Add your favorite leave in conditioner and/or essential oil to your spray bottle for a daily (and light) spritz!  Ideal for the summer time since the heat changes

Skin – with the weather changing…you have to switch up your regimen and application. Now, I am not saying run and throw out all your skin care products that are getting YOU results…but consider implementing some of the below (if you haven’t already) to protect the skin from possible sun damage.  For more information check out my posts Acne pt1 & Acne pt2)

Non Pore Clogging Face Wash (suggestion – Purpose and/or Cetaphil…both dermatologist recommended)
SPF 30 Facial Creams
Witch Hazel (great astringent substitute that doesn’t clog or strip the pores)
Limit the Make Up (remember sweat and make up is not cute)
Limit Your Sun Intake (if you must lay out on the beach, apply appropriate sun protecting lotion)
Body Butters/Creams vs. Shea Butter
 

Health – like everyone else…who isn’t always worried about their health; AND looking for new/natural and innovative ways to be a healthier person….well the below list are my suggestions to consider for the summer to 1) enjoy your break and 2) prepare for fall and winter.

Get a Physical
Go See the Dentist
Drink Plenty of Water (I believe you should get a minimum of 8 servings/64 ounces of H2O/day)
Fruits and Veggies (the keys to healthy and long living.  Not only do they help with digestion, but they also help with skin, weight loss and strong bodies)
Multivitamin (currently I take One A Day – Women’s Weight Control…but will be trying a new one soon…TBC)
Exercise, Exercise and Exercise
 

Sleep – self explanatory….get at least 6-8 hrs of sleep DAILY.  Studies have shown that people who get these amounts of sleep daily perform better, stress levels are lower and overall live happier HEALTHIER lives.  While I am sensitive to the many responsibilities that we all have, in our daily lives, that pull us in all sorts of directions….how can you be the BEST YOU CAN BE if you are not resting…..think about it.

Mental – I am a firm believer that we should all have planned/scheduled down time to not only regroup, but to also revitalize daily.  If you are not taking the time to mentally stimulate yourself (positively) this entire post will be irrelevant and you will definitely not be happier….because seriously…don’t you deserve to be happy too…

Read Daily (this is not including work/school related publications)
Clean up your Inner Circle of Acquaintances
Take a Vacation (this can be with or without the kids..lol)
Pray, Pray….and then Pray again (if you are not spiritually grounded, you will not be successful at any of the above)
Tell those around you how much they mean to you/that you love them

While I know it may not be easy to implement all of these initially, you should at least try to accomplish some this summer.  I am no expert in these areas by any means; but I have done all the above and have seen some positive results in  I hope these tips help you like they’ve helped me.

The orAKAle has spoken………

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QOTW: What’s on Your Playlist?

This week’s question comes from SC reader “LoveKarmen” about workout tips and preparations for success:

Hey orAKAle,

I am trying to incorporate more physical fitness into my regular weekly regimen.  I’ve already set up a schedule to follow weekly to stay active and get my heart pumping.  I must admit changing the way I viewed exercise AND making the effort to implement it into my schedule was difficult, but I know I am doing what is best for my overall health; and I want to thank YOU and this blog for keeping me encouraged and motivated to get healthier.

My question is, what do you listen too when you work out?  You seem to be very empowered, excited and self motivated when you tweet about your exercise for the day, or if you have just left the gym, etc.  So what are you listening to that keeps you going to complete your workouts?

First and foremost, congrats to making a life changing decision on your health.  I commend you, wish you well and am honored that The Silky Chronicles was able to assist in some of your health progress.

As for what I listen too….first, I must warn you all that I am somewhat of a music schizophrenic!  Lol.  The diversity in my music, especially for my work outs, is CRAZY! Why….for I like to always keep myself guessing on what is coming next (to set my pace, energy level, etc.).  I have numerous playlist that are specifically designed for my workouts.  A few of them are listed below

  • Marathon Running”: when I was “training”, but now just used for outside power walking and jogging
  • 2010 Jamz: which is a collection of the new popular songs (what our youth may be listening too…lol)
  • So You Think You Can Dance (SYTUCD)”: a dedication to my favorite reality dance show AND a great playlist that gets me amped and keeps the heart pumping…never know what is on this list
  • Encouragement: which is a compilation of Christian/spiritual music that keeps me going, but inspires at the same time? I  also use this play list when I have to force myself to work out/be active (I know you all have those days too….lol)

As for artist/songs selection, below are a few that is always in rotation:

  • La Route (newer artist to me, but her music is somewhat techno…great for cardio)
  • Lady Ga Ga (I always feel like I’m ready to choreograph a routine when I hear her music…lol)
  • Usher (his new album has many upbeat songs)
  • Janet Jackson (her #1 album is a good source of fabo songs)
  • Micheal Jackson…..nuff said
  • Ciara – “Work”, “1 2 Step”
  • Any and all Chicago style/ house music
  • Lil Wayne (only a couple of his hits…mostly mix tape….cause I can only do so much of him)
  • Panic at the Disco
  • Drake (my NEW boo)
  • One Republic
  • Adam Lambert – “What do You Want from Me”
  • Beyonce (I despise her…but “Get Me Bodied” and “Single Ladies” are both GREAT running songs)
  • Kirk Franklin
  • Tye Tribbett – any album really…..
  • Brittany Spears (her number one album has ALL the VINTAGE Brit songs…lol)
  • The Script
  • Santagold
  • Taylor Swift (this little girl is adorable)
  • Jay Z – “On to the Next One”….totally be feeling myself when listening to this one.
  • Gap Band (cause I’m ol skool)
  • Earth, Wind and Fire…..MY FAVORITE GROUP OF ALL TIMES….stays in rotation
  • The Noisettes
  • Pit bull
  • Dj Khalid (some of his songs….he is hit or miss)

Well that is all I can think of now.  My playlist for workouts are constantly changing, so this is not the say all, be all of the list.  So what you all think….a bit much?  Do you all suggest any songs SC family?  What say ye? Lol.

The orAKAle has spoken……….

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Adult Acne (pt. 2) – Healing the Natural Way

As promised in part one of our Adult Acne series, below are some NATURAL ways to battle and heal your self from acne.

Do you know that YOU can assist in controlling your acne, without breaking your bank account from purchasing numerous amounts of marketed facial creams and surgeries? Upon doing research, I learned of many vitamins and foods that your body can use to keep your skin evenly toned, hydrated and to naturally heal the aftermaths of acne caused blemishes. While we all know that putting healthier foods and supplements into the body can do wonders for you overall, I did not know that there are specific green veggies and vitamins that target acne and can help to increase the healing process.

Below is a nice long list of vitamins that help in controlling ones acne. I suggest that you take a look at the back of your vitamin bottle to see if you are getting your daily vitamin intake to combat your acne prone skin. Please consult with a doctor before trying any new vitamins or supplements outside of your normal routine:

Vitamin A (with carotenoids) – strengthens the protective tissue of the skin and prevents acne. It helps reduce sebum production. This vitamin is essential for the maintenance and repair of the tissue which the skin and mucous membranes are made of. Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant needed to rid your body of toxins. Did you know that a deficiency in vitamin A can actually cause acne? Recommended dosage to fight acne: 10,000 IU If you are pregnant, do not take more than 5000 IU.

Vitamin B Complex – help to maintain healthy skin tone. They are also helpful in relieving anxiety and stress. Stress can be a major player in causing acne. The B vitamins should always be taken together. The vitamins in the B complex are Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin (Nicotinic Acid, Niacinamide), Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine and Cyanocobalamin. Each one of these vitamins has a specific role in promoting healthy skin, as well as overall health.

    • Thiamine (Vitamin B1) acts as an antioxidant ridding your body of toxins. It enhances circulation and assists in proper digestion. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.
    • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Riboflavin works together with Vitamin A to maintain and improve the mucous membranes in the digestive tract. It is also essential for healthy skin, hair and nails. Acne is a symptom of Riboflavin deficiency. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.
    • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is vital for healthy skin by improving circulation and helping your body with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. A deficiency in Niacinamide will cause acne. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 200 mg 3 times daily.
    • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) is popular for reducing stress. It is needed for the proper function of the adrenal glands. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.
    • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) is important in the functioning of your immune system and your antibody production. A deficiency of vitamin B6 can result in acne. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 100 mg 3 times daily.

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids – is another “super vitamin”. It is an antioxidant that is required for at least 300 metabolic functions in the body, including tissue growth and repair.Vitamin C protects against infection and enhances immunity. Bioflavanoids have an antibacterial effect. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 1000 to 1600 mg 3 times daily If you have diabetes, ask your doctor about the proper dosage.

Chromium – aids in reducing infections of the skin. To get the adequate amount of chromium in your diet, chromium should be taken in supplemental form called chromium picolinate or chromium polynicotinate. Chances are you are chromium deficient because the form of chromium in foods is not easily absorbed and is lost during processing; and high quantities of sugar in the diet cause a loss of chromium from the body. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 150 mcg per day.

Zinc – aids in healing of the tissues and helps prevent scarring. It helps prevent acne by regulating the activity of the oil glands. Zinc promotes a healthy immune system and the healing of wounds. It is also an antioxidant which helps to fight and prevent the formation of free radicals. Acne can be a sign of Zinc deficiency. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 25-30mg per day.

Vitamin E – an antioxidant that enhances healing and tissue repair. It prevents cell damage by inhibiting the oxidation of lipids (fats) and the formation of free radicals. Recommended dosage to fight acne: 400 IU daily.

Here is a list of foods that help to prevent acne as well. I’ve tried some of these, but can not guarantee if your skin will be effected by these foods. As always, consult with a doctor before eating anything new (outside of your normal routine) if you are not sure how you may react:
  1. Organic Green Tea – This is rich in an anti-inflammatory chemical called catechins, which helps to combat free radicals and prevent fine lines.
  2. Olive oil – good monounsaturated fats like olive or sesame oil contain essential fatty acids that are needed for good health. Fats are an integral part of cell membranes and will help to nourish the skin and give it an inner glow.
  3. Walnuts – They are rich in omega-3 oils, another powerful antioxidant that helps to keep the skin plump and flexible. Omega-3 oils are also found in oily fish such as salmon, or in flaxseed oil.
  4. Berries – Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries are all rich in phytochemicals that are protective of skin cells. You can’t get the same results though, from frozen or preserved fruit.
  5. Lemon Juice – It’s a natural bleach and can be used to fade sunspots and freckles. Put a slice of lemon over the spot and leave it for 10 minutes everyday for a week, or exfoliate by rubbing a cut lemon and half a teaspoon of granulated sugar over the skin for a few minutes. Be careful not to get any lemon in your eyes and stop immediately if you get a bad reaction as some people have extremely sensitive skin.
  6. Watermelon – Some people believe that rubbing their faces with the rind of a watermelon will give them beautiful skin.There is plenty of truth to this, as the pulp of the fruit is a good exfoliant and watermelon is rich in vitamins A, B and C. The fruit contains a lot of water which serves to hydrate the skin and the gentle massaging action will stimulate lymphatic drainage.
  7. Low-Fat Dairy Products – One the most important components of skin health is vitamin A. One of the best places to get it is low-fat dairy products. In fact, experts say that the health of our skin cells is dependent on dietary vitamin A.
  8. Whole-Wheat Bread, Cereals and Brazil nuts – Dietary selenium comes from nuts, cereals, meat, fish, and eggs. Brazil nuts are the richest ordinary dietary source. The mineral selenium connects all these foods for healthy skin. Experts say selenium plays a key role in the health of skin cells. Some studies show that even skin damaged by the sun may suffer fewer consequences if selenium levels are high.
  9. Yogurt – Yogurt is a very important natural beauty aid. Apply yogurt on the face every morning. Wash it off after a few minutes with cold water. This will keep the complexion smooth, healthy and fresh. A mixture of yogurt and lemon juice is ideal for softening hands.
  10. Water – While the exact amount you should drink each day varies, no one disputes the role good hydration plays in keeping skin looking healthy and even young. When that hydration comes from pure, clean water – not liquids such as soda or even soup – experts say skin cells rejoice.

I hope the information in this series has been helpful and let me know your acne secrets (if you have any). Lol. The orAKALe has spoken…..


For further research, check out the below sources on more tips and strategies to combat adult acne:
About.com: Holistic Healing
Acne Care Tips

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Apple Cider Vinegar

First, let me say that I am very excited to be posting this topic to the readers!  I am constantly asked about this Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) thing; that I keep using, referencing, promoting, etc….and I have finally gotten around to posting the many benefits of this supplement. First, did you know that ACV is a total natural product?  For years, people have been using this supplement to consume in food AND for medical purposes.

So what are these “benefits” I keep referring too?

Cooking Ingredient – adding a little ACV gives a little kick and added flavor to your favorite meals and/or homemade recipes.  Personally, I love to add my daily serving to my homemade fruit smoothies or shakes.  This way, no sugar is needed to sweetened OR even out the flavor!
Weight Loss – If  you do your own research online, you will see that doctors have and still recommend this supplement for weight loss. While it is not definite HOW it specifically works, it does (however) suppress the appetite, aiding in reducing the amount of food you consume.  Below I’ve included sources that go into detail about this supplement and weight loss….
Detoxification – while this subject is at times viewed “private” and even “gross”, we must talk about how we rid our bodies DAILY of toxins. It is vital that you have regular “movements”…with that being said, ACV is great to assist your body with removing these toxins from the body…safely and smoothly.
Hair The neat thing about ACV is that it can be used as a cleaning agent BUT it will not stripe the hair of natural oils.  This product can help to eliminate product build up (that naturally is gathered threw out the week from styling, matriculation, etc), and leave your natural tresses feeling clean and soft!

SC reader, Tracie asks

” How do you use ACV in your daily diet/regimen?  Also, do you suggest a certain brand? “….

WELL I’m glad you asked Ms. Tracie.  My brand of choice…….. Patricia Bragg’s ACV…… for it’s TOTALLY organic!  No fillers, no additions…just straight ACV in the bottle!  You must proceed with identifying your brand of ACV with caution…for not all are organic; that is the difference in the benefits you get from using it.  Also, Bragg’s ACV is one of the few certified organic products that I use for my overall health.  You can’t get better than that….but I digress….

As for my regimen, I take 2 teaspoon of ACV daily in either an 8 oz or 16 oz glass/bottle of water (refer to my post on 2010 Healthy Living Habits)  Or, as I mentioned above, sometimes I add it to my homemade blending concoctions. Lol.  I love the fact that adding ACV gives me a natural sweetener AND I can cleanse the body at the same time.  I’ve also recently implemented weekly ACV rinses of the hair (1/2 cup of ACV to 1/2 cup of water). Usually I cleanse the hair with my favorite shampoo/conditioner and conclude with my rinse to seal the deal!

So how about you SC family…has anyone used ACV differently and have any suggestions?    The orAKAle has spoken…..

Sources:  Bragg Live Foods, Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

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12 Tasty Substitutions When Cutting Carbs

Hey SC Readers,

Received a GREAT article for all you carb counters/watchers out there. Not sure about you, but I am always looking for new ways to reduce my carb intake, but not loose the taste of my favorite foods…along with totally eliminated them at that.  Below is a great post from Men’s Health Magazine on how to substitute some of your favorite dishes, to a more “carb friendly” option.  Enjoy!  The orAKAle has spoken………..


“The best way to cut carbs from your diet is to make creative substitutions,” says Arthur Agatston, M.D., author of The South Beach Diet. “That way you can still eat the foods you love, without busting your diet.”

Dr. Agatston told us how to make cauliflower taste like mashed potatoes. Other nutrition experts gave us tricks for cutting white flour, pasta, and potatoes and replacing them with lower-carb alternatives that taste nearly identical. We then had some loyal carbo-cravers taste-test these dishes. Turns out some of them are so good, you’ll wonder why you weren’t eating them in the first place.

Sandwiches

Substitute: Napa or Chinese cabbage for bread
Slap your turkey and Swiss onto a leaf of cabbage and roll it up. “I’ve made some great-tasting BLTs using cabbage instead of bread,” Battaglia says. Dip the roll in low-fat mayonnaise or mustard.
Carbs Eliminated: 29 g per sandwich
The Taste: “Better than eating plain cold cuts.”

Beef-a-Roni

Substitute: Eggplant for pasta
Mixing diced eggplant with ground beef is healthier and more highbrow than this old skillet special—call it moussaka American style. You have to soften the eggplant first, says Williams. Cut it in half, brush it with olive oil, and then broil for 10 to 20 minutes. “Let it cool, dice it up, and mix with hamburger, tomato sauce, and spices,” she says.
Carbs Eliminated: 26 g per cup
The Taste: “Exactly like Hamburger Helper, in a good way.”

Pizza

Substitute: Portobello mushrooms for pizza crust
Cut the gills out of the inside of the mushroom, says Ruben, “then place the mushroom on an oiled cookie sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes so it dries out slightly.” Add tomato sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni or other toppings and broil until the cheese begins to melt.
Carbs Eliminated: About 20 g per slice
The Taste: “Like pizza, but moister. Give me a fork!”

Cheese-Flavored Chips

Substitute: Low-fat string cheese for chips
Just crazy enough to work: Cut sticks of string cheese into quarter-inch-thick slices and scatter the rounds on a cookie sheet coated with nonstick spray, leaving them an inch or two apart. Bake at 375 F for 4 to 5 minutes or until the cheese melts and turns golden brown. Let them cool, then peel the chips off the tray.
Carbs Eliminated: Up to 90 g per serving
The Taste: “Like the cheese you pull off the top of a pizza.”

Pasta Salad

Substitute: Mixed vegetables or black beans for half the pasta
Same idea as the mac and cheese, but try black beans, diced tomatoes, and chunks of ham, tuna, chicken, or hard-boiled eggs, suggests Richard Ruben, an instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. “These kinds of salads are a blank slate, so you can top them with anything from a creamy blue-cheese dressing to vinaigrette, or even lime juice and slices of avocado,” Ruben says.
Carbs Eliminated: 10 g per cup
The Taste: “Awesome. I don’t miss the extra pasta at all.”

Macaroni and Cheese

Substitute: Diced vegetables for macaroni
Even instant mac and cheese can go lower-carb; use only half the pasta in the box and bulk it up with a couple of cups of frozen mixed vegetables, says Sandra Woodruff, R.D., coauthor of The Good Carb Cookbook.
Carbs Eliminated: 13 g per cup
The Taste: “I hate broccoli, but I wouldn’t mind eating this.”

Scalloped Potatoes

Substitute: Tempeh for potatoes
You may think you don’t like soy-based foods, but that could be because you don’t cook them right, says Beckette Williams, R.D., a San Diego-based personal chef. “Tempeh can be really bland, but if you jazz it up with herbs and spices, it’s a great substitute for potatoes.” Her recommendation: Saute a couple of cups of thinly diced tempeh with garlic and onions. Then pour a cheese sauce (sharper is better) over the tempeh cubes and bake for half an hour.
Carbs Eliminated: 11 g per cup
The Taste: “Just like a slightly nutty baked potato.”

Pancakes

Substitute: Oatmeal and cottage cheese for pancake mix
Here’s a can’t-fail recipe from The South Beach Diet. Mix together half a cup of old-fashioned oatmeal, a quarter cup of low-fat cottage cheese, two eggs, and a dash each of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Process in a blender until smooth. Cook the mixture like a regular pancake.
Carbs Eliminated: 45 g per pancake
The Taste: “With syrup, you could never tell the difference.”

Spaghetti

Substitute: Spaghetti squash for spaghetti
A cooked spaghetti squash is like Mother Nature’s automatic spaghetti maker—the flesh becomes noodlelike strands. “All you have to do is cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Then place each half—cut side down—on a plate with a quarter cup of water,” says Elizabeth Perreault, a chef at Colorado’s Culinary School of the Rockies. Nuke the squash for 10 minutes or until it’s soft to the touch. Let it cool, then scrape out the “spaghetti” strands and top with pasta sauce and cheese.
Carbs Eliminated: 30 g per cup
The Taste: “Great. Spaghetti squash has exactly the same consistency as real pasta.”

Lasagna

Substitute: Zucchini slices for noodles
Slice four to five medium-size zukes lengthwise into three-quarter-inch-thick strips, instructs Lise Battaglia, a New Jersey chef whose past clients include Jon Bon Jovi. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on the strips, place them in a single layer on a nonstick cookie sheet, and bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. You want them firm, not crisp. “Then simply make the lasagna as you normally would, replacing lasagna noodles with the baked zucchini,” she says.
Carbs Eliminated: 36 g per serving
The Taste: “Delicious. The zucchini provides texture that you don’t get from noodles alone.”

Mash Potatoes

Substitute: Cauliflower for potatoes
One of Dr. Agatston’s favorites: Steam some fresh or frozen cauliflower in the microwave. Then spray the cauliflower with butter substitute, add a little nonfat half-and-half substitute, and puree in a food processor or blender. “Salt and pepper to taste and you’ve got something that quite honestly can compete with the real thing any day,” says Dr. Agatston. To make it even better, try adding roasted garlic, cheese, or sour cream to the mixture.
Carbs Eliminated: 30 g per cup
The Taste: “After a couple of bites, you forget it’s not potatoes.”

Hash Browns

Substitute: Squash for potatoes
Summer squash (the football-shaped yellow kind) tastes similar to potatoes when cooked—but has just a fraction of the carbs. Grate the squash, mix in an egg as binder, make patties, and fry them in olive oil, says Mary Dan Eades, M.D., coauthor of The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook.
Carbs Eliminated: About 15 grams (g) per hash-brown patty
The Taste: “Not as firm and crispy as regular hash browns, but the potato flavor is there. “

Source: Men’s Health List (www.menshealth.com)

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