Archive Monthly Archives: August 2016

Eat to Compete: Endurance Athletes Need Fuel 24/7


Eat plenty of healthy carbs before a race.

As an endurance athlete, you have special nutrition needs that must be met in order for you to perform at your best. Here are some tips on eating to compete from Dr. John Heiss of Herbalife that I’d like to share with you.

1. Fuel up in the morning. Since your stored fuel reserves will have dropped during an overnight fast, this is important. Training and racing take a toll on the body, and starting the day with a healthy meal balanced with carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals provides a solid nutritional foundation for your performance.

2. Hydration is essential. Because hydration directly impacts your athletic performance, it’s even more important for you to keep fluid levels topped off. Electrolytes (important body salts) are also essential–they support proper muscle function and help regulate body temperature. It’s important to hydrate during the event, but also important to sip fluid throughout the day in order to stay hydrated, and to be fully rehydrated before the next stage of your competition. Sports drinks provide not only necessary fluid, but also electrolytes that have been lost through perspiration. They also contribute carbohydrates, too, to help fuel working muscles during the event.

3. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel during exercise and they’re essential to keep your body running. In an endurance race, calories are king and getting enough is essential for performance. Make sure to get plenty of carbohydrates both before and during the race. Getting proper nutrition while competing also helps shorten recovery time, which is very important in a multi-day event. In addition to carbohydrates, a small amount of protein during exercise can help speed recovery.
4. After a race, your body needs the right ratios of carbohydrates and protein to begin recovering. Recovery is two-fold, and requires carbohydrate for replacing glycogen stores, as well as protein for rebuilding damaged muscle.

5. During a race, your nutrition needs are so extreme that it may be difficult to meet them with diet alone. But that being said, it is important to keep in mind that supplementation is just that–a supplement to a regular healthy diet. As an athlete, you should get the majority of your calories and nutrients from whole foods, primarily healthy sources of “good” carbohydrates–whole grains, fruits and vegetables–and protein from lean meats, poultry, fish, low fat dairy products and plant sources such as soy.

Written by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD. Susan is a paid consultant for Herbalife.


Kitchen Tools: Must-Haves for Healthier Eating


Use a blender to make healthy smoothies.

The right kitchen tools can make it faster and easier for you to eat healthy.

Eating healthier is a lot easier when you have the right tools in your kitchen. There’s a reason you turn to the same kitchen tools again and again–or me, it’s primarily because these tools save me time in preparation and/or cleanup. But I also rely on tools that utilize healthy cooking methods (like steaming, slow cooking or microwaving), and those that make it easier for me to work more healthy foods into my daily meals.

I also prefer kitchen tools that are versatile–I don’t have much storage space in my kitchen, so I simply don’t have a lot of room for single-purpose gadgets like strawberry slicers or flower-shaped ring molds for my fried eggs. But that’s just me–everyone is different, and you may find that the more specialty tools you have, the healthier your meals tend to be.

My list of must-have kitchen tools might not be the same as yours, but these are seven of the most useful tools I have–and they’re the workhorses I turn to day after day to help me prepare healthier meals quickly and easily.

The 7 Best Kitchen Tools For Healthier Eating

Your blender is a real multi-tasker. I use mine every morning to make my protein shakes–its powerful motor works its magic on the frozen fruits or vegetables that I add, pumping up the volume and creating a wonderfully smooth texture. Blenders are also great for making soups (one of my favorites: cooked veggies in broth and blended with soft tofu). I also use my blender to make hummus–it gives a smoother result than the food processor does–and for all sorts of sauces. You can blend up herbs with a little olive oil and garlic into a pesto, make a quick mango-chili salsa for fish or chicken, or buzz some canned tomatoes with a little garlic and basil into a sauce to toss with shrimp, poultry or pasta.
Blender Benefits: healthy breakfast smoothies; more fruits, veggies and beans; flavorful sauces.

Mandoline Slicer
If you’re not familiar with it, a mandoline slicer is a tool that allows you to quickly cut foods into uniform slices, strips and other shapes. I used to think a mandoline was an indulgence–until I bought one. Now, I have two: a large, heavy duty tabletop model that I use when I have a lot of slicing to do, and a smaller hand-held mandoline that I use all the time. A mandoline makes very quick work out of slicing vegetables, and since I like to prep a lot of my vegetables ahead of time this gadget has become one of my kitchen favorites. I use my mandoline to prepare salad veggies–like red onions, peppers and cucumbers that I can store for a few days–and I also love it for shredding cabbage for slaw. Cutting raw pears or apples into paper-thin slices takes a lot of patience (and good knife skills), but it’s a snap with a mandoline. Try shaving both apples and fennel (anise) bulbs–then toss together with a little lemon, olive oil and mustard for a beautiful, delicious and healthy salad.
Mandoline Slicer Benefits: more fruits, veggies; time saver.

Steamer Basket
Steaming is a preferred method for cooking vegetables because it helps retain nutrients, and it’s a no-fat cooking method, too. The simplest steamers are designed like baskets – usually a collapsible metal insert or silicone basket that snuggles into your saucepan. Steamers are great for all kinds of vegetables – from leafy greens to broccoli florets to whole artichokes – but you can also steam other parts of your meal, too. Steamed fish, shrimp or poultry is incredibly moist and especially tasty if you brine or marinate it first. If you experiment a bit with timing, you can actually steam your whole dinner in one pot. If you’ve got some cooked brown rice or other grain stashed away in your freezer you can start with that first, then add your fish or poultry, and after a few minutes, add your veggies. Healthy, delicious and easy cleanup–what more could you want?
Steamer Basket Benefits: more veggies, less fat, retains vitamins; time saver.

Salad Spinner
A daily salad is a healthy habit and a great way to work more veggies into your day, but washing leafy greens can be a real chore. Having a salad spinner can help–it gets your greens really, really dry which means you can process a lot at one time and they’ll stay fresh and crisp in the refrigerator for days. And, extra-dry greens won’t dilute your salad dressing, so you can use less and save some fat calories. Salad spinners are also great for washing greens that you’re planning to cook–like spinach or kale–or for washing and drying firm veggies like broccoli or cauliflower florets.
Salad Spinner Benefits: more veggies, less fat; time saver.

Slow Cooker
Slow cookers address several hurdles to healthy eating–they save you preparation time, they save you clean up time, and the recipes tend towards flexible, all-in-one dishes that allow you to pile in additional healthy ingredients (like extra vegetables), and ingredients that require longer cooking times (like beans). And, with a good-sized slow cooker, you can probably make enough for several meals–another huge time-saver. Main dishes like soups, stews, curries, or chili are naturals for your slow cooker, but it’s also great for making foods that take long cooking times like steel-cut oats, beans, or even a whole turkey breast.
Slow Cooker Benefits: more veggies, whole grains and beans; time saver.

I have several different graters at home, but the one I use the most is the standard four-sided box grater with different-sized holes on each side. I use the smallest holes for citrus zest, which I like to add to salads or steamed veggies. The small holes are also perfect for grating fresh ginger root and garlic (so much faster and easier to clean than most garlic presses), or for a light sprinkle of hard cheese on salad, vegetables or grain dishes. Or try this quick fresh tomato sauce: simply grate the cut side of fresh tomato halves over the large holes of your grater directly into a sauté pan with a little olive oil and cook for a few minutes and then grate in some garlic, too! Other vegetables to grate: raw root vegetables (like carrots, beets or turnips)–which make delicious salads drizzled with a little citrus and olive oil–or zucchini (courgette) which makes a nice finishing touch of flavor and color to soups or other one-pot dishes. I also use my grater to make egg salad–I rub the hard cooked eggs over the large holes of the grater, grate in some fresh onion and then mix with mashed avocado or mustard. Some box graters also have a side for slicing which can be used to make uniform, thin slices of firm fruits and veggies, like apples or cucumbers.
Grater Benefits: more veggies, more seasoning; time saver.

Muffin Tin
A standard muffin tin is a fantastic tool for portion control–and not just for baked goods. Muffin tins can be used to make individual, portion-controlled servings of all kinds of foods like meat loaf, lasagna or other pasta dishes, and casseroles. I like to make eggs in a muffin tin–lightly oil the muffin cups, pour beaten eggs into the muffin cups (one egg each or three egg whites), top with chopped veggies, and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until puffed and brown. Store any leftovers in the freezer and you’ve got them handy for a quick breakfast or snack. Or, ladle soup into the muffin tins and freeze, then pop them out and store in a freezer bag – the snack-sized portions will heat up quickly in the microwave.
Muffin Tin Benefits: Perfect portion control.

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.


Challenge Yourself: Enjoy the Rewards of Embracing Competition


Race in the right shoes for you.

Being active is fun and rewarding in itself, but adding an element of competition can take you to a whole new level.

Whatever your fitness level, there’s bound to be something out there that will light up your competitive spirit. Obviously, as an ex-competition sprinter, my thoughts always go to running first, but you can find a way to challenge yourself in any type of sport or activity. Maybe you could challenge a family member to a bike race, take part in a community activity day or join a swim team. I’m going to give you examples related to running a 5K, but my tips can be applied to any type of competition.

I like 5Ks because they can provide a level of competition for all fitness levels. Maybe you can just challenge yourself by walking the full five kilometer course, or at the other end of the spectrum, you could try to complete the distance in the fastest time. Whether you are a seasoned athlete, a stay-at-home parent, or a weekend warrior, setting your sights on walking, jogging, or running a 5K is an achievable and rewarding goal.

To make sure you’re ready for competition, ask yourself these four simple questions: 

1. Is my training routine the best routine for me?
Training for a competition is not a ‘one size fits all’ situation. Recognizing your own strengths and weaknesses will enable you to address the areas of your body that need work.

5K example: If you’re constantly tight in your hamstrings and hip flexors, then adding more extensive stretching to your training plan may help you run more freely.

2. Do I understand how I need my body to perform?
Think about your competition—if you’re covering a long distance, then pacing yourself is vital. If you need a powerful start, then your training needs to focus on those first moments of your challenge.

5K example: A 5K race involves using your aerobic system approximately 80% of the time and your anaerobic system approximately 20% of the time. Following a training plan that trains both of these systems effectively can result in a faster time on race day! Training your anaerobic system will give you a confidence boost, too, because knowing you can “out-kick” people in the final stretch is a great feeling.

3. Am I fueled efficiently both before and after training?
When it comes to an endurance competition, selecting quality fuel to power your training and eating high-quality foods to help you rebuild and regenerate after your workout is critical. Just like a car cannot run without gas, you cannot compete well on an empty tank. When you are preparing for a competition, make smart choices and ensure you are consuming beneficial carbohydrates and proteins.

5K example: Unlike running a marathon, when preparing for a 5K race, you don’t need to overload the night before with carbohydrates and fats because the duration of the race is so short. Carbs and fats are an essential energy source for high-intensity aerobic exercise, but your body probably has sufficient fat stores to call on if needed. As a result, you can focus on fueling up on quality carbs before your run.

4. Does my equipment suit my needs?
Selecting equipment based on your personal needs can drastically improve your performance. When you first get started out on an activity, make sure you are comfortable and if necessary, protected. Then, if you decide to take part in an activity regularly, consider investing in equipment that’s tailored to you. Often specialized equipment can give you an edge, provide extra support or improve your technique.

5K example: Just because your friend loves to run in one type of shoe doesn’t automatically mean they are right for you. Did you know that excessive pronation (foot instability) can slow each stride down by 0.2 seconds? It may not sound like much, but when you think about how many strides you take in a 5K, that 0.2 seconds can multiply into a few minutes.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.


6 types of edible seeds that you should add to your diet


Chia seeds are a rich source of soluble fiber.

Edible seeds add flavor, texture and nutrition to foods. Wondering what seeds you can eat? Maybe you’ve heard that edible seeds are good for you? Here are six edible–and tasty–seeds you should try.

Edible Seeds: Lots of Nutrition in a Tiny Package

You probably eat seeds more often than you realize. It’s a safe bet that you don’t pick the seeds out of berries, bananas, eggplant, cucumbers or summer squash–but whenever you eat these foods, you’re eating the seeds, too. And, if you eat kiwi fruit, pomegranate or tomatoes, you probably eat those seeds, too, without really thinking about it. The seeds in these fruits and vegetables just ‘go along for the ride’–they’re small or soft enough that we hardly even notice them. But there are also seeds that we deliberately add to our foods. These edible seeds add more than just flavor and texture–although that’s reason enough to eat them. Seeds naturally contain healthy fats and fiber and contribute small amounts of vitamins and minerals, too.

Edible Seeds are Nutrient-Packed

Just what is a seed, anyway? It’s basically a miniature plant that’s packaged up inside a protective coating, along with some food inside to nourish it and help it grow. In fact, plant seeds contain the same trio of protein, carbohydrate and fat that nourishes the human body, along with fiber and an array of vitamins and minerals.

Since the seed has the potential to become an entire plant–and since it contains the nutrients necessary in order to make that happen–it’s easy to see why the seeds of many plants can provide a lot of nutrients in a tiny package.

Six Edible Seeds You Should Try

Sesame seeds aren’t just decoration for bagels and hamburger buns–they’re also a good source of the minerals copper and manganese, and they are higher in protein than many other seeds. Sesame seeds are particularly good on stir-fried vegetables and in salads. I like to press them onto one side of fish filets or poultry breast before I sauté them–it makes a tasty, crunchy crust.

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family. And these little seeds have a unique quality–they’re such a rich source of soluble fiber that they can absorb about 10 times their weight in water. If you put chia seeds into any liquid and let it sit for a few minutes, the liquid will thicken up quite a bit. Not only does this improve the texture, it can make the food more filling, too. Chia seeds are great for thickening up shakes, and I like to add the soaked chia seeds to meatballs or use them to thicken up soups. Another trick with chia seeds: stir some into your homemade salad dressing and you can probably reduce the amount of oil you use.

Flax seeds–like many other edible seeds–provide omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Flax seeds are also the richest source of compounds called lignans, which act as antioxidants in the body. The outer coat of flax seeds is very hard, though, and the whole seeds tend to pass through the digestive tract untouched. So, to get the most benefit of the nutrients inside, it’s best to eat flax seed in ground form (also labeled as flax meal). Try stirring some into yogurt, or add to protein shakes, hot cereal, soups or stews.

Hemp seeds have an impressive 5 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons, and offer up healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and zinc, too. They’ve got a mild, nutty flavor and are great sprinkled onto vegetables and salads or added to grain dishes during cooking. You can also add hemp seeds to smoothies, stir into hot cereal or add to recipes for baked goods.

Cumin seeds are less well-known than other seeds, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying their nutty, peppery flavor in grain dishes or spicy curries and stews. Cumin is an important flavor component in Indian, Middle-Eastern and Mexican cuisine and the seeds provide several minerals, including iron, copper, zinc and phosphorus. Try adding cumin seeds to rice or lentils during cooking to perk up flavor.

Sunflower seeds are larger than most other seeds, which may be one reason why many people enjoy eating them on their own. If you buy sunflower seeds still in their pretty black and white shells, it takes a while to crack them open and eat them– which helps with portion control. That’s worth mentioning because –like other seeds–sunflower seeds are rich in healthy fats, so the calories in edible seeds can add up quickly unless you use them sparingly. But sunflower seeds also contribute zinc, folate and vitamin B6, and they contain choline–a nutrient that supports cellular health and nervous system function.

Now that you know more about seeds, I’m sure you’ll realize your diet contains plenty of edible seeds, just in the fruit and vegetables you choose every day. You can also make a more conscious commitment to add edible seeds to your meals. I hope my suggestions above have inspired you–and shown you a few of the benefits of edible seeds.

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.


Healthy Skin Care for Teens

August 18, 2016


Healthy skin promotes self-esteem.

There’s no better time than the present for teenagers to learn about healthy skin care practices.

Skin care isn’t something that can be neglected. It needs to be part of your daily routine. It needs to be part of your daily routine. It is something that should be as common and important as taking a shower and brushing your teeth. As adults, we tend to recognize and understand the importance of cleansing, moisturizing, treating and protecting our skin. However, have you taken the time to explain the importance of healthy skin care practices to your teenagers? If not, then there is no time like the present.

Many teens struggle with skin conditions that are totally influenced by their hormones. They tend to have oily skin and experience blemishes and breakouts. Educating your teens on the basics of a healthy skin care regimen and other daily practices can have lifelong effects. Think about it – did anyone every sit you down and explain the basic how-to’s of taking care of your skin? Well, if not, let’s make sure that you do it for your children. Being a teenager is challenging enough and unfortunately, so much of their self-esteem is directly related to their appearance. Let’s take a diligent approach to teaching the basics so they too can reap the rewards of healthy, youthful looking skin. Here are a few healthy skin care tips just for teens:

Use a Facial Cleanser, Not an Ordinary Bar Soap

Teens must understand the importance of washing their face every morning and every evening before bedtime. Cleansing helps remove excess oils from the surface, along with dirt, makeup and other pore-clogging debris. Cleansing the skin is non-negotiable! So, let’s make sure we are providing them with the necessary tools. Get them started on a healthy cleansing routine using a facial cleanser specifically formulated to target oily skin. Choose a sulfate-free cleanser for a gentler approach and be diligent on reminding them to cleanse twice a day. Clean skin can help put your teen on the path to clear skin quickly. Make sure they pat their skin dry and never rub post cleansing. Remind them to use only a clean towel to dry and never reach for the family hand towel. Any towel that isn’t clean is a breeding ground for bacteria. Yuck!

Teach the Importance of Sunscreen

Teenagers spend a lot of time outdoors. Between hanging out with friends, sports programs or simply walking to school and back, they are exposed to the damaging UVA/UVB rays of the sun. All teens need to realize that even minimal exposure to the sun can cause long-term damage, including burning, aging and skin cancer. Teens need to understand that they should always apply sunscreen, or a moisturizer with sunscreen, before heading to school in the morning. A product with a minimum of SPF 30, that is both water and sweat resistant, is ideal. Inform them that even on a cloudy day, in the dead of winter, that the sun’s rays can still cause damage to the skin. If we instill in our teens the importance of using sunscreen, it will become an everyday practice that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Hands Off

Picking at a blemish is a major no-no for everyone, not just teens. Make sure to tell your teens to never pick at a pimple! If they do, it can aggravate the condition even further and lead to permanent scarring. Explain why in general we need to resist the urge to touch our face. Our hands can be riddled with germs and bacteria and the last place we want these germs to end up is on our skin.

Moisturizer is a Must

Now is the time to get your teen to use moisturizer. Moisturizer keeps skin hydrated and elasticized. For the face, choose a product containing UVA/UVB SPF 30 protection. For the body, look for a product that contains Aloe vera and shea butter. They are great, natural hydrating ingredients. Look for label claims stating that there are no added parabens, the product is dermatologist tested and there is clinical testing available to support the claims. Remind your teen to apply every morning!

For Our Teenage Girls

There are a lot of makeup trends and products geared specifically for teenage girls, however, buyer beware. Talk to your girls about the importance of making the best product choices in the name of healthy looking skin. Plan a girls’ day, go to the store together and check out beauty products to make sure that they are selecting the right products for their skin. Look for oil-free cosmetics so they won’t encourage or aggravate any skin conditions. Inform them that while makeup may look nice, too much of it can cause breakouts and result in skin imperfections. Be sure to reiterate the point that if you wear makeup, washing your face before bed is MANDATORY! Makeup left on the skin while sleeping is a catalyst for clogged pores and breakouts. Also, remember that teens who have acne should use approved products to treat that condition in accordance with their labeling and seek the advice of their doctor for serious conditions.

Tip: Go with your teen to the cosmetics counter at your local department store and get a makeover from a professional. They can teach the ins and outs of the products and make sure your teen is getting the best products for her skin. You will both leave looking fabulous. It’s a great way to bond while educating your teen and having fun.

For Our Teenage Boys

Most boys start shaving in their teen years. Use this time as a teaching opportunity – this is a great time for a dad or an older brother to take the lead. Explain the different types of razors on the market. Electric razors are a great place to start with a newbie, while disposable razors are effective for a closer shave. This all depends on the teen. It’s important to walk your teen through the basics of shaving so he can learn how to carefully avoid nicking his skin. If your teen is suffering from blemishes, nicking the skin can be painful and can lead to further irritation. So educating them on how to shave, including choosing the right razor and shaving cream, will be a valuable lesson. In addition to shaving procedure, make sure you educate them on the importance of cleaning their electric shaver and when to use a fresh blade.

Take the time to teach your teens the importance of daily hygiene and best skin care practices. These are lessons that will provide them with wonderful, lifelong results. Remember, the healthiest skin is always the most beautiful.

Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.

Look Beautiful, Feel Beautiful

August 18, 2016


Try a new look to boost your confidence.

Ever had a day where you know you look the same as the day before, but for some reason, you just don’t feel beautiful? Here are some things you can do to feel gorgeous again.

We’ve all had those days where we’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed, gone to look in the mirror, and just wanted to hide from the world. Even though we probably look the same as every other day, we just don’t feel beautiful. It’s not as though anything drastic happened to our looks overnight – which goes to show that feeling beautiful is a state of mind. Here are a few ways to get into the mindset of feeling gorgeous, even on the worst of days.

Confidence is Essential

It may sound cliché, but the key to making yourself feel beautiful on any given day is confidence. Confidence is the reason that some people always manage to be the center of attention regardless of what they look like – and it’s something you can use to your advantage. If you want to look the part, you need to act it, so banish negative thoughts and start giving yourself positive reassurances throughout the day. Focus on the attributes you really like about yourself and dismiss any negative thoughts about your looks that may cross your mind.


An instant mood booster (and another way to look beautiful) is to smile. Don’t believe me? Just try putting a smile on your face, even if you don’t feel like it, and tell me how you feel. In addition to its mood-boosting benefits, it’s been said that smiling makes a person look and feel beautiful. When a person smiles, it causes others to perceive them as more attractive – talk about an easy way to look better!

Stop the Comparisons

It’s easier than ever to compare ourselves to others and all too easy to fall into the trap of seeing how we measure up to others, but it does nothing for our self-confidence. Every person is a unique individual, and you have positive assets that others may feel they lack. The best way to feel beautiful is to view yourself as an individual, not as one person in comparison to another.

Try a New Look

Sometimes we’re just stuck in a beauty rut, which can contribute to not feeling beautiful. Why not change things up with a fun makeover? Reinventing your look could provide excitement and the change you need to get out of your rut and feel beautiful again. Switching it up with a new haircut, wardrobe, or cosmetics could be just the change you need.

I have seen some people who are stuck in past decades because they’re set in their ways or lack the confidence to change things up. But, we live in a modern world, and it’s important to act like it. Embrace a style that feels good, but remember to freshen it up with a new color or cut (of clothes or hair). You will gain confidence knowing you look great, and you’ll face the world beautifully.

Watch Your Posture

The way you sit and stand says a lot about the way you think of yourself. Those with good posture signal to the world that they feel confident and beautiful with non-verbal communication cues. Even if you don’t feel beautiful; sitting or standing tall with your shoulders back will radiate your self-assurance to the outside world. Every time you catch yourself slouching over, take a few seconds to correct your posture. You should feel more poised, confident, and maybe even beautiful!

Treat Yourself

Sometimes, you just need a good pampering session to feel beautiful. When you’re feeling tired, stressed, or anxious, you probably won’t be feeling your most beautiful. Try taking a break, whether for an hour or a whole day, to get back in touch with your true self. If you are in a relaxed state of mind, you are more likely to have positive feelings toward yourself. You can try any relaxing activity, whether it’s an afternoon out at the park (with sunscreen, of course!), visiting the salon, or purchasing a new outfit. My personal favorite is getting my hair done – it works like a charm on those days I don’t feel beautiful!

Written by Beauty Expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.