hangover….leaving you high and dry….

hangover_cure[via]

Drink a little too much over the weekend, did you?  Well, this is where the “bratty little sister” comes out of me because I don’t drink and I TALK IN ALL CAPS JUST TO MESS WITH YOU!!

Ok…sorry.  But I do want to help you out, my little saucy friend.  You obviously found out a long time ago that alcohol invariably results in a hangover.  But just how much alcohol is necessary to produce that hangover depends on the biochemical individuality of the person drinking and also what that person is drinking.

Liquor

Distilled liquors, like whiskey and gin, have a more immediate impact than wine or beers.  And did you know that all alcohol is absorbed more quickly when mixed with a carbonated beverage?  Yup!  Once it hits the bloodstream, the alcohol reaches the brain in minutes.

First acting as a stimulant, then a bit of euphoria, down a few more and then comes central nervous system depression and feelings of numbness and finally sleep or unconsciousness THINK, PEOPLE!  Drinking too rapidly, especially a large amount of alcohol, can be fatal.

According to Linda Page’s, Healthy Healing, “a hangover should be gone by five o’clock the next day.  If it isn’t, you probably have alcohol poisoning.  This severe type of hangover is alcohol poisoning with dehydration thrown in.” 

Great.  Now look what you’ve done.

Ok.  Let’s just stop spinning for a moment and see what we need to do.  First let’s see what she says about diet:

NUTRITIONAL THERAPY PLAN

  • Restabilize your body with Vitamin B rich, high fiber foods like brown rice and vegetables to soak up the alcohol.  Add antioxidant foods like cruciferous veggies and soy foods to help detoxify.
  • Drink cranberry juice to protect your liver.
  • NO ‘hair of the dog’ drinks; they drag out a hangover.  Eat crackers and honey at bedtime instead to burn up and soak up alcohol.
  • Drink up several glasses of water at bedtime and in the morning to stave off a killer headache.

ANTIOXIDANT HANGOVER CHASERS

  • Drink plenty of OJ and tomato juice.  Fructose helps your body burn alcohol.
  • Mix tomato juice, green and yellow onions, celery, parsley, hotpepper sauce, rosemary leaves, fennel seeds, basil, water, and Braggs’s Liquid Aminos.  Drink straight down.
  • Knudsen’s Very Veggie Spicy juice

BEST FACE FORWARD

  • If you forgot to take off your makeup before you, literally, fell into bed (GASP) use a gentle remover, not soap.
  • Be gentle, your skin is probably still puffy and sensitive
  • Use an oil-free moisturizer or a tinted moisturizer.  Blend with your fingers to start blood flow, while gently ‘piano tapping’ under eyes.  Use a bronzing powder and stay away from pinks…don’t make it worse than it is, sweetie.
  • Drink lots of water to wash away bloating and toxins and to replace the lost fluid
  • If possible, try to get out into some sunlight and get some light exercise.  It will work the alcohol out of your system by increasing your intake of oxygen.
  • Refresh your face throughout the day by carrying a spritzer bottle filled with chamomile tea that is cooled.  The chamomile will calm down the redness of your face and keep you hydrated.
  • And for crying out loud, put on some sunglasses and bright lipstick.

Next time?  Fake it. 

Have sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice…..nobody will know the difference and you will wake up looking fan-freaking-tastic!!!  You’re welcome!!

imagesCAKFXKPU[via]

cancer? let’s start with prevention…

Main sites of metastases for some common cance...
Main sites of metastases for some common cancer types. Primary cancers are denoted by “…cancer” and their main metastasis sites are denoted by “…metastases”. List of included entries and references is found on main image page in Commons: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cancer.  It’s here.  It doesn’t surface overnight, but is a long process that can take years to raise it’s ugly head.

Prevention is all about making sure we are eating as healthy as possible and staying away from cancer landmines.

Here are a few landmines that have the potential to make cancer cells grow and multiply:

  • SMOKING:  According to the National Cancer Institute, there are over 7000 chemicals in cigarette smoke with 250 being harmful.  Do you smoke? STOP.
  • ALCOHOL:  Excessive alcohol intake (more than 2 servings/day for men and 1 serving/day for women) has been linked to an increased risk of cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, colon, rectum and liver.  Medical News Today says 15% of all breast cancer deaths may be linked to alcohol.  Drink AND smoke?  STOP.
  • RADIATION:  Not just limited to x-rays, microwaves and nuclear reactors, radiation is also the light that comes from the sun and the heat that comes off our bodies.  Leukemia, a type of cancer that is centered in bone marrow, is the most common radiation induced cancer.  Severe sunburns also increase the risk of developing cancer.  Still tanning? STOP.
  • HORMONES:  Some hormones help cancer to grow and spread, such as breast and prostate cancers.  The longer women are exposed to high levels of estrogen, the greater the risk of developing breast cancer.  Your physician can recommend a hormone receptor test to see if cancer cells are sensitive to hormones.

There are other factors that contribute to cancer such as processed and red meats, salty foods, or meats cooked at dangerously high temperatures.

REDUCE YOUR RISK OF CANCER

Mayo Clinic says try these 7 tips to reduce your risk of cancer!

  1. Don’t use tobacco

    Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, bladder, cervix and kidney. And chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer.

  2. Eat a healthy diet

    Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it might help reduce your risk. Consider these guidelines:

    • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans.
    • Limit fat. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-fat foods, particularly those from animal sources. High-fat diets tend to be higher in calories and might increase the risk of overweight or obesity — which can, in turn, increase cancer risk.
    • If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active

Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.

Physical activity counts, too. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.

Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. But for substantial health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine — and if you can do more, even better.

4.  Protect yourself from the sun

Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer — and one of the most preventable. Try these tips:

  • Avoid midday sun. Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Stay in the shade. When you’re outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-rimmed hat help, too.
  • Cover exposed areas. Wear tightly woven, loosefitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Opt for bright or dark colors, which reflect more ultraviolet radiation than pastels or bleached cotton.
  • Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Use generous amounts of sunscreen when you’re outdoors, and reapply often.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. These are just as damaging as natural sunlight.

5.  Get immunized

Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about immunization against:

  • Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for certain high-risk adults — such as adults who are sexually active but not in a mutually monogamous relationship, people with sexually transmitted infections, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, and health care or public safety workers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids.

Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is available to both men and women age 26 or younger who didn’t have the vaccine as adolescents.

6.  Avoid risky behaviorsAnother effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer. For example:

  • Practice safe sex. Limit your number of sexual partners, and use a condom when you have sex. The more sexual partners you have in your lifetime, the more likely you are to contract a sexually transmitted infection — such as HIV or HPV. People who have HIV or AIDS have a higher risk of cancer of the anus, liver and lung. HPV is most often associated with cervical cancer, but it might also increase the risk of cancer of the anus, penis, throat, vulva and vagina.
  • Don’t share needles. Sharing needles with an infected drug user can lead to HIV, as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C — which can increase the risk of liver cancer. If you’re concerned about drug abuse or addiction, seek professional help.

7.   Get regular medical care

Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, prostate, cervix and breast — can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screening schedule for you.

Take cancer prevention into your own hands, starting today. The rewards will last a lifetime.

source:  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-prevention/CA00024/NSECTIONGROUP=2

dropping acid? acid vs alkaline foods…

ph-scale

Ahh…..ye old pH Scale…. so what is it? 

The pH scale (p standing for potenz or power, and h standing for hydrogen) measures the level of acid vs alkaline.  The scale starts at 1 (which is the most acidic) and ends at 14 (which is the most alkaline).  Obviously the 7 is in the middle of the road and is neutral.

  • Who cares?  Well, apparently your body does.  Everything you eat or drink will have a pH above or below 7.  This means that your body has to work harder to maintain a proper blood pH.

Did you know that EVERY DISEASE KNOWN TO MAN can only exist in an acidic environment Yikes!  So you can safely assume that an acid/alkaline balance can affect a plethora of health concerns!

Most Americans on the standard American diet, are most likely to going to be too acidic (too low in pH) with a level below 7.  So even if you want to achieve or maintain healthy weight loss you need to UP your pH!  Go Alkaline!

  • How?  First you can request a ph blood test so you can see if you are low on the scale.  Dr. Robert O. Young has authored several books and has a very helpful website, http://www.phmiracleliving.com/.  He says it takes about 3 to 4 months for the body to recycle all its blood cells, so you get a whole slew of new blood cells every 3-4 months.  So a mere 12 weeks out of your life, you can jump on his pH program so you will be at the peak of health!

Here are a few of his recommendations:

  1. Hydrate
  2. Eat right
  3. Exercise
  4. Take proper supplements
  5. Take care of your heart, mind and soul
  6. Set goals
  7. Clean yourself from the inside out

It’s all about good choices….make the right ones and start living NOW!

woman choosing between pizza and orange

the cake is a liar…

“No thank you, I’m allergic to cake.  It makes my butt swell,”  I sighed…

Well, here is just another reason to drop those pounds around the middle.  According to a study published in Cancer Research, postmenopausal women who were overweight or obese and lost at least five percent of their body weight had a measurable reduction in markers of inflammation!

The researchers measured levels of C-Reactive protein, serum amyloid A, interleukin-6, leukocyte, and neutrophil in 439 women.  Women who lost at least five percent of their body weight had the most significant reduction in the above measured categories.  (via)

So what’s a big gal to do?  Here are a few tips:

Move more:  As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine and do strength training exercises at least twice a week. 

Eat Less:  Opt for fruits, more vegetables and whole grains.  Remember lean portions of protein.

Grab a friend:  Exercising with a friend or just surrounding yourself with a support group can help you stay committed.

Just say no:  It’s not easy, but be firm.  Don’t look the cake in the eye.

 Eat protein prior:  Have some protein prior to the hoopla so it will be easier to walk away.

Keep in mind when temptation strikes, try to decipher if you are really hungry or if you are bored, thirsty or even feeling a bit down.

Even pastry chef’s know that old age can crepe up on you….

Did you know that according to the United Nations World Population Prospects,  the average lifespan of a woman  is 80.8 years?  The “point 8” is interesting to me.  I need to know if that is hours or days, mainly because of my blog.  Someone is going to have to either shut ‘er down, or take the wheel.

Aging happens to all of us and usually much quicker than we would prefer.  The key is to age gracefully. 

Our cells, on the other hand, don’t age.  They are just sloughed off as their efficency diminishes and are replaced by new ones.  So many, many years of chemical-laced foods, pollutants, overuse of prescription drugs and antibiotics all seem to weigh down our bodies and show up on our skin.  If you add stress to the mix, then our minds and spirit will suffer also.

So what’s a middle-aged gal supposed to do?  Give in?  No, my friend! 

AGE IS NOT THE ENEMY….ILLNESS IS.

We can increase our lifespan, boost our metabolism and enhance our immune response!  According to Dr. Linda Page, we can start our anti-aging campaing by examining which lifestyle factors affect aging the most.

  • Take a long hard look at the prescription drugs you use: Many drugs lead to serious body imbalances by impairing your nutrient uptake.  They also tent to interact, especially drugs that affect hormones, like Viagra or Andro or Propecia.
  • Take another look at your diet:  You’ve probably already cut the fat and fried food.  But the chemicals in foods like lunch meats and pre-prepared meals are the culprits for early aging.  They can create an over-acid condition in the blood, trigger many allergies and like drugs, set up a free-radical cascade favorable to disease.
  • If you eat a lot of sweets or have hard alcohol drinks regularly, your diet is probably high in sugar:  Sugar is also a hidden ingredient in most processed foods.  A high sugar diet wipes out immunity and reduces tissue elasticity.  Artificial sweetners with aspartame are linked to degenerative nerve disorders.
  • Take a look at your teeth and gums:  almost nothing shows age faster than discolored teeth, lost teeth or red, receding gums.  Consider taking CoQ-10 for gum problems, about 200 mg daily at least for the first month and see a good holistic dentist to solve the discoloration problems.
  • Take a look in the mirror: If your neck is no longer straight, but at a slight angle, or if your shoulders are hunching, you may be losing bone density.  Start a strengthening exercise program right away.  Exercise can rapidly reverse this aging sign.

We’re all trying to look for that “magic bullet” to slow down the aging process, and adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, adequate rest, avoiding tobacco, and a diet full of healthy foods and beverages can be the best defense against aging.

“Dietary choices are critical to delay the onset of aging and age-related diseases, and the sooner you start, the greater the benefit,” says Susan Moores, RD, a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association.

Remember….. smart lifestyle choices are within your control, and are among the best things you can do to help prevent disease and retard aging.

more wrecking balls…

Yes, our diets are being sabotaged!!!  It’s an outrage!!  What else are we doing wrong??  Let’s take a look…

Granola

The low-fat version of this crunchy cereal has only 10% fewer calories and is still full of sugar. Plus, the low-fat label can easily lead you to overeat. A study at Cornell University found that people ate 49% more granola when they thought it was low fat — easily blowing past the measly 10% calorie savings.

Food Fix: Look for low-sugar, whole-grain cereal, and sweeten it with fresh fruit.

LOW FAT YOGURT

Too often this nutritional superstar — rich in protein and calcium — contains shocking amounts of added sugar. Some brands add 30 or more grams of fructose, sucrose, or other sweeteners Compare plain to fruited yogurts to see the difference between naturally-occurring milk sugar and added sugar listed on the nutrition facts panel.

Food Fix: Six ounces should be 90-130 calories and under 20 grams of sugar. Avoid sugary “fruit on the bottom,” or blend sweetened yogurt with plain, nonfat yogurt.

MULTI-GRAIN

When you see “multigrain” or “seven grain” on bread, pasta, or waffles, flip the package over and check the nutrition label. Even with more than one type of grain, the product could be made largely from refined grains — such as white flour — which have been stripped of fiber and many nutrients.

Food Fix: Look for “100% whole grain” (oats, wheat) as the first ingredient. Or choose the brand with more fiber.

OLIVE OIL

Anything labeled “light” is enticing when you’re watching your weight. But often the food is not what you expect. Light olive oil, for instance, has the same calorie and fat content as other types — it’s just lighter in color and taste.

Food Fix: Some light foods do provide significant calorie savings. Compare the labels in the store.

Bottled ICE TEA

The antioxidants in iced tea don’t make it a health food. Too much added sugar can turn a tall glass into a health hazard. A 20-ounce bottle can have more than 200 calories and 59 grams of sugar.

Food Fix: Skip “sweet tea” in favor of unsweetened iced tea. Lemon or artificial sweeteners add zing without calories. Herbal and berry teas taste mildly sweet without sugar.

MICROWAVE POPCORN

The word “snack” can be a little misleading on microwave popcorn. One popular brand packs 9 grams of bad fat, including 6 grams of trans fat, into each “snack size” bag.

Food Fix: Compare nutrition labels and get a lower-fat popcorn that has no trans fat at all. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese or low-salt spice blends for added flavor without a lot of fat.

ICEBERG LETTUCE

This popular lettuce is big on crunch but a big “zero” when it comes to vitamins and flavor. And its boring taste leads many people to overdo it on the dressing and toppings.

Food Fix: Add spinach or arugula to the mix. Crumble 2 tablespoons (100 calories) of blue cheese or feta on top. Then splash the salad with a little oil and vinegar to spread flavor without a lot of calories.

SALAD BAR TOPPINGS

Processed artichoke hearts, chickpeas, and olives are just a few of the salt shockers lurking on the salad bar. To avoid an unhealthy amount of sodium, limit anything that comes out of a can. Also pass up cured meats. Choose beans or tuna, but not both.

Food Fix: Radishes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and other fresh vegetables are low in sodium. Rinse canned beans to remove a lot of the salt.

HIDDEN TRANS FATS

One cinnamon roll can have 2 grams of trans fat — hitting the daily limit for this unhealthy type of fat before you have the second one. Pastries, cookies, and crackers often contain trans fat — and have ridiculously small serving sizes. And in a trick of labeling, less than 0.5 grams per serving can be labeled “trans-fat free.” Eating too many servings may add up to too much trans fat when you think you’re not getting any.

Food Fix: Check the back label for trans fat per serving. Don’t eat out of the bag or box. Doing so leads to overeating.

SO DO YOUR HOMEWORK…..READ THE LABELS……..EAT AT HOME……EAT SMART!!  (all info from webmd.com)

are we being duped?

Excuse me?  Just when you think you’ve made some healthy choices in your day, you realize that maybe….just maybe….you’ve wandered down the wrong road.  Especially with food.

I was stumbling around the web and caught this article from Prevention Magazine describing 11 foods that might be tricking you into thinking they are ‘healthy’.  I’m sure there are many, many more…but here are the top 11…….

1. Baked Potato Chips

Yes, they’re lower in fat. But they’re still high in calories and low in nutrients, with little fiber to fill you up.

 Smarter Sub: Popcorn You’ll get the salt and crunch of chips plus fiber, and around 65% fewer calories per cup. Look for oil-free microwave popcorn or brands that are air-popped or popped in healthful oils such as olive or canola.

Health Bonus: Heart-healthy whole grains Adults who eat popcorn take in as much as 2 1/2 times more whole grains than people who do not, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Try: Good Health HalfNaked pre-popped popcorn, made with olive oil One serving (4 cups) has 120 calories, 0 g sat fat, 4 g fiber.

2. Gummy Fruit Snacks

Although these products may contain some juice, they’re usually nothing more than candy infused with vitamins. They also contain high fructose corn syrup, which is linked with obesity, and heart-unhealthy partially hydrogenated oils.

Smarter Sub: Fresh or dried fruit Both are packed with filling fiber, which you’ll miss if you opt for gummy snacks.

Health Bonus: Cancer-fighting antioxidants Real fruit is loaded with immune-boosting nutrients that fruit-flavored snacks could never mimic. A recent Greek study found that women who ate the most fruits and veggies were the least likely to develop any type of cancer.

Try: Peeled Snacks Fruit Picks dried fruit (peeledsnacks.com) One serving (one bag) of Go-Mango-Man-Go has 120 calories, 0 g sat fat, 2 g fiber

3. Light Ice Cream

Light ice cream can have fewer calories than regular, but there’s no guarantee. Take Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche light ice cream: With 220 calories per 1/2 cup serving, it’s still higher in calories than the average full-fat ice cream, which has around 140 calories per serving. What’s more, some light ice creams can lack the rich taste you crave, so you’re less satisfied and may be inclined to eat more than one serving.

Smarter Sub: Dairy-free ice cream Soy and coconut milk ice creams may save you a few calories, and they have a creamy, satisfying texture.

Health Bonus: Digestion-friendly fiber Some dairy-free ice creams are made with chicory root, a natural source of inulin, a prebiotic fiber that can increase healthy bacteria in the gut and help the body absorb calcium and iron.

Try: Turtle Mountain Purely Decadent One serving (1/2 cup) of vanilla has 150 calories, 7 g sat fat, and 6 g fiber. It’s made with coconut milk, but studies show that the saturated fat in coconut may not raise cholestrol levels.

4. Diet Soda

In a 2008 study, researchers linked drinking just one diet soda a day with metabolic syndrome—the collection of symptoms including belly fat that puts you at high risk of heart disease. Researchers aren’t sure if it’s an ingredient in diet soda or the drinkers’ eating habits that caused the association.

Smarter Sub: Flavored seltzer water. It has zero calories and is free of artificial sweeteners but provides fizz and flavor. Beware of clear sparkling beverages that look like seltzer yet contain artificial sweeteners—they’re no better than diet soda. Or try a sparkling juice; we recommend watering it down with seltzer to stretch your calories even further

.
Health Bonus: Hydration (without chemicals) Water is essential for nearly every body process.

 Try: Your supermarket’s low-cost seltzer brand The taste is the same as the bigger name brands.

5. “Calorie-Free” Spray Margarine

Even though some spray margarines claim to be “calorie-free,” labeling laws allow products with fewer than 5 calories per serving to claim to have zero calories. So, while one spritz may be inconsequential, the whole bottle could have as much as 900 calories.

Smarter Sub: Spray-it-yourself olive oil In this case, a bit of real fat is more healthful and flavorful—and within a reasonable calorie range if you watch your portions. Investing in an olive oil mister ensures you don’t put on too much.

Health Bonus: Decreased inflammation Olive oil lessens inflammation throughout the body, which helps your heart and lowers cancer risk, thanks to monounsaturated fatty acids.

Try: Misto olive oil sprayer Find one at any kitchen store for around $10.

6. Nonfat Salad Dressing

Fat-free salad dressings are often packed with sugar—so your dressing may be loaded with calories. Ironically, a salad without fat is not living up to its potential. “You need a little fat to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K and other nutrients,” says Katherine Tallmadge, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Smarter Sub: Oil-based salad dressings You’ll get good-for-you fats instead of the saturated fat found in some creamy dressings. Look for ingredients like olive oil, vinegar, and herbs.

Health Bonus: Vision protection As many as five times more carotenoids—antioxidants that are essential for eyesight—are absorbed when salads are consumed with fat rather than with no fat.

Try: Newman’s Own Olive Oil & Vinegar Dressing Two tablespoons have 150 calories, 2.5 g sat fat, 0 g fiber.

7. Low-Fat Cookies

Do you remember the SnackWell’s craze? Low-fat cookies are still popular, and many dieters think they can indulge guilt free. The problem is that most of these snacks are made with extra sugar, which means they often have just as many calories as the full-fat version, if not more.

Smarter Sub: Oatmeal cookies These are a great way to indulge a cookie craving while also getting whole grains. Not all are created equal, though: Skip those made with high fructose corn syrup, white flour, and butter in favor of varieties made with honey or cane juice, whole wheat flour, and oil.

Health Bonus: Lower cholesterol The fiber found in oatmeal keeps your body from absorbing bad cholesterol.

Try: Kashi TLC Cookies One cookie has 130 calories, 1.5 g sat fat, 4 g fiber.

8. 100-Calorie Snack Packs

You might want to skip these if you’re trying to lose weight. A recent study showed that people may eat more food and calories if the portions are presented in small sizes and packages. With smaller serving sizes, study participants didn’t feel the need to regulate their intake, so they ate more than one portion before feeling satisfied.

Smarter Sub: A small serving of almonds Their healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, and protein will tide you over until your next meal.

Health Bonus: Stronger bones Almonds are an excellent source of bone-building magnesium, as well as the immune-boosting antioxidant vitamin E.

Try: Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds A 1 oz serving has 160 calories, 1 g sat fat, 3 g fiber.

9. Pretzels

The label may shout fat free and they may seem like a better alternative to chips, but they’re made with refined white flour stripped of its vitamins and antioxidants. They’re also dense so they pack a ton of carb calories for a small amount that isn’t filling. Think of it this way: One 15-ounce bag contains the equivalent of 24 slices of white bread.

Smarter Sub: A whole grain snack chip with seeds Crackers made with organic grains and sunflower, sesame, and other seeds provide a satisfying crunch along with a healthy dose of fiber and protein.

Health Bonus: A flat belly Sunflower and sesame seeds make this a MUFA-rich meal if you’re following the Flat Belly Diet.

Try: Dr. Kracker Seeded Spelt Snack Chips A 1-ounce single-serving package contains 120 calories, 4 g fiber, and 5 g protein

10. Spinach Wraps

It looks green and good for you, but spinach powder is a scant ingredient. These wraps are typically made from refined white flour, and the green hue primarily comes from food colorings (Blue No. 1 and Yellow No. 5.). Not only does this not count as a veggie serving, you won’t find the same immune-boosting vitamins A and C found in fresh spinach.

Smarter Sub: 100% whole grain breads Choose whole grain wraps, pitas, English muffins, or bread. Look for 100% whole grain on the label.

Health Bonus: Reduced risk of disease Research shows whole grains are linked to a reduced risk of nearly everything you’re trying to prevent: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.

Try: Rudi’s Organic Bakery Multigrain Bagels One bagel contains 160 calories, 0 g sat fat, 3 g fiber, and 5 g protein.

11. Vitamin Water

Yes, it has vitamins, but at up to 200 calories per bottle, just one of these a day can cause a 20-pound weight gain in a year’s time if the calories aren’t burned off.

Smarter Sub: Calorie-free flavored waters Instead of added sugar and artificial sweeteners, a few bottled brands contain just a hint of natural flavoring to entertain your tastebuds.

Health Bonus: Hydration Water is the most important nutrient in your body, regulating temperature and filtering out waste.

Try: Ayala’s, Hint, Metromint, or Wateroos Each bottle is free of sugar, sweeteners, preservatives and–best of all–calories.

(all information from www.prevention.com)