#398 3/2/2010 QUICK AND EASY SNACKS
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7 Days, 7 Snacks

By Joe Wilkes

The toughest part of the day for a lot of us is the time in between meals. The temptation to graze through the office or kitchen, while dipping into candy dishes, doughnut boxes, and chip bowls, can be great. We may not count these "found" calories, but our scales and measuring tapes absolutely do. The best strategy is to prepare for attacks of the munchies by having your own healthy snacks on hand.

Chalene Johnson Holding Strawberries

Note: All nutritional information is for one serving.

Sunday: Tony Horton's Sticky Bar

Banana and Granola BarThe father of P90X® has created the granddaddy of all snacks, as far as I'm concerned. The worst cook in the world can mash up these three ingredients for an easy, healthy bite. The key to this recipe is the quality of those three ingredients. The banana's pretty easy. Better to look for organic, but most bananas come in their own protective gear. The peanut butter should likewise be easy to choose. Just get the one with one ingredient: peanuts. No sugar, no salt, no problems. The granola is where things can get crazy. While ostensibly a wholesome cereal, all manner of sins have been committed in the name of granola, like soaking the poor oats in high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. Just read the label to make sure you know what you're getting. A good granola should be low in fat, low in sugar, and high in fiber. If your local supermarket isn't giving you what you need, you might consider investigating making your own so you can control what goes in.

  • 1/2 medium-size banana
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened granola

Mix and mash all three ingredients into a bowl. Spoon onto a sheet of wax paper. Roll up the contents into a hot dog/cigar shape. Stick in the freezer. Ready in about 90 minutes. Cut off little bites or eat the whole thing. Eat it frozen or throw it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Serves 2.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Freezing Time: 90 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
389 17 grams 47 grams 9 grams 14 grams

Monday: Orangeberry Shakeology®

Glass of Shakeology and OrangeWhile I think Greenberry Shakeology is delicious on its own, it's even better when mixed with orange juice. Some have even commented that the flavor resembles a popular shopping-mall beverage that has the same name as a famous Roman emperor.

  • 1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Ice to taste

In a blender, mix all ingredients until frothy.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
252 1 gram 43 grams 3 grams 19 grams

Tuesday: Cottage Cheese Surprise

Cottage Cheese with Hot SauceI'll leave it to historians to decide Richard Nixon's place in the presidential firmament. For my own life, his greatest contribution would be his love of the odd culinary mash-up of cottage cheese and ketchup. Much as I departed with some of his policies, I wasn't a big fan of ketchup. Most ketchup these days is just a bottle of corn syrup with an odd tomato or two thrown in (not technically a vegetable, as one of President Nixon's succeeding administrations would have had us believe). I'm more of a hot sauce man, but Nixon did inspire me to enjoy cottage cheese as a savory snack instead of a sweet one. Most of the leftover condiments in my refrigerator have made it into a protein-rich bowl of cottage cheese at some point along with other leftover veggies. Hot sauce and Parmesan cheese are my standbys, but I also recommend kimchi, salsa, chopped herbs, garlic, chives, or anything else that is flavorful and low-cal in the fridge (that's the surprise!).

  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • Hot sauce to taste

Mix ingredients in bowl. (If only one cup of cottage cheese left, mix ingredients in cottage cheese tub for easy cleanup!)

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
216 7 grams 8 grams >1 gram 29 grams

Wednesday: Edamame

EdamameThis has become my go-to snack for watching TV. Full of protein and a slightly salty treat (but careful not to make it too salty), these soybeans are delicious and nutritious, and if you shell them yourself, the unshelling process will slow down your chow time, so you get fuller faster on fewer pods.

  • 1 cup edamame

Buy frozen or fresh edamame, and steam or reheat according to package directions.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
189 8 grams 16 grams 8 grams 17 grams

Thursday: Trail Mix

Trail Mix in a JarTrail mix is a great way to combine some of your favorite snacks and avoid the world of nacho-flavored fatty and salty snacks. You can mix up the recipe to create your favorite crunchy treats. The best ingredients include nuts, dried fruit, and unsweetened granola. Try and steer clear of less wholesome ingredients. If you're adding M&M'S® or chocolate chips to your recipe, who are you kidding? You could trade in your favorite nuts or dried fruit into this recipe. This is a good time to bust out the individual serving bags, so you don't end up going down the trail of oversnacking.

  • 1 cup peanuts, shelled
  • 1 cup unsweetened granola
  • 1 cup raisins

Combine ingredients into airtight container. Shake to combine. Serves 6.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
320 17 grams 37 grams 5 grams 10 grams

Friday: Chalene Johnson's Crispbread

Peanut Butter and a StrawberryHere's a quick little snack to tide you over between meals inspired by Turbo Jam® and ChaLEAN Extreme® trainer extraordinaire Chalene Johnson. She recommends the following recipe, although you could try some other fun variations with cottage cheese instead of peanut butter or different fruits or vegetables, both fresh and dried.

  • 1 Wasa® crispbread (or similar low-fat cracker)
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced

Spread peanut butter on cracker, and pile sliced berries on top.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
241 16 grams 17 grams 6 grams 9 grams

Saturday: P90X Peak Performance Protein Bar

P90X Peak Performance Protein BarsSometimes the easiest snack just involves opening a wrapper. If you haven't tried Beachbody's P90X Peak Performance Protein Bars in a while, treat yourself. All of the flavors have been recently reformulated and taste even more delicious, plus there are new flavors like Chocolate Fudge and Wildberry Yogurt. With 20 grams of protein per bar, you'll feel full and have energy for hours. And you can't beat the preparation time!

  • 1 P90X Peak Performance Protein Bar

Preparation time: 1 minute (longer if you don't have opposable thumbs)

Nutritional information (per serving; for Café Mocha flavor):

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
260 7 grams 29 grams 1 gram 20 grams

Feel free to eat any of these snacks on any day of the week. And repeat your favorites. Most of these can be integrated into your favorite Beachbody meal plan, including P90X. Bon appétit!

Click here to get more healthy recipes, personalized meal plans, and diet advice when you sign up for Team Beachbody®.

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Related Articles
"7 Days, 7 Breakfasts"
"7 Days, 7 Lunches"
"7 Days, 7 Dinners"

Joe WilkesGot something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, March 8th, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chat Room!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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RevAbs™ Fitness Challenge: Bençao Push Kick Sit-ups

Bençao Push Kick Sit-ups

Trainer Brett Hoebel has designed RevAbs using many of the disciplines he's mastered himself, including the Brazilian art of capoeira. Check out this abdominal exercise from RevAbs—and click here for even more of Brett's cool moves.

Begin lying on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor, bringing your arms to your chest.

Inhale deeply as you perform a sit-up, drawing your left knee into your chest. Keep your foot flexed and your hands up, as shown.

"Fire Your Abs" as you push your left leg out, leading with your heel, and sweep your right arm across your chest to block. Your left arm extends left, "protecting' you from the left. Return to starting position. Alternate 8 on each side for 16 reps (total time: 60 seconds).

Trainer Tip: This exercise is adapted from capoiera. It's offensive, defensive, and all abs!

Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, March 8th, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chat Room!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Climbing Michi's Ladder: Natto

By Denis Faye

If you're asking how an obscure Japanese foodstuff made from fermented soybeans found its way onto Michi's Ladder, I don't have an answer for you. Such is the magical mystery of Michi.

Natto on Rice

The origin of natto isn't completely clear, but one possible version dates back to Japan's great shogun Minamoto no Yoshiie. Legend has it that his men headed into battle sometime around 1087 A.D., leaving some recently boiled soybeans unattended for several days. When they returned, the beans had fermented, smelling like cheese with the consistency of stringy paste. Undaunted, the warriors tasted the beans and liked them.

The fact that they were willing to eat food in this state of decay might explain why the Minamoto clan no longer rules Japan, but luck was on their side that day. Natto, as it would eventually be named, turned out to be highly nutritious.

The nutrition facts

There are a number of proposed health benefits to natto, such as the claim that the presence of the compound pyrazine and the enzyme nattokinase can reduce blood clotting. If that's a draw for you, these claims are definitely worth more research.

Otherwise, natto is still filled with good old-fashioned nutrition. Half a cup contains 186 calories, 10 grams of fat (2 of which are saturated), 13 grams of carbs, 16 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber. For vitamins, you'll find 19 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)* for vitamin C; 26 percent for vitamin K; 10 percent for riboflavin and thiamin; and little bits of vitamin B6, folate, and pantothenic acid. For minerals, there's 29 percent of the RDA for calcium, 42 percent for iron, 25 percent for magnesium, 15 percent for phosphorus, 18 percent for potassium and zinc, 29 percent for copper, and 67 percent for manganese.

How do you eat this stuff?

Most people eat natto straight or on rice with a little soy sauce or mustard. I'll tell you right now, it's an acquired taste. Before you gross out completely, though, consider this: You've been eating fermented milk as cheese and yogurt longer than you can remember and fermented grapes as wine longer than you care to remember, so what makes fermented soy beans any weirder?

1 cup of natto (175 g)
Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
371 19 grams 25 grams 9 grams 31 grams

Michi's Ladder is Beachbody's guide to nutritious eating. If you only ate from Tiers 1 & 2, you would have a near-perfect diet!

Related Articles
"Climbing Michi's Ladder: Artichokes"
"Climbing Michi's Ladder: Barley"
"Climbing Michi's Ladder: Arugula"

Denis FayeGot something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, March 8th, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chat Room!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Latisse®: Luscious Lashes or Scary Side Effects?

Woman with Long Eyelashes

We're all for longer lashes, but what lengths will we go to get them, and what are we willing to risk?

Latisse—a prescription treatment meant to grow longer, fuller, and darker lashes—was actually released in 2001 as a glaucoma medication called Lumagen. The side effects of Lumagen were longer lashes. But what are the side effects of Latisse?

View the full article to see the reported risks of prescription lash growth treatment, Latisse, and some safe alternatives.

Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, March 8th, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chat Room!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Test Your Human Heart IQ!

By D. V. Donatelli

Human HeartThe human heart—nobody knows what it does, but most doctors agree it's pretty sweet. Although science has yet to discover its exact purpose, mankind has extrapolated a fair amount of knowledge concerning its structure and uses. Today, we will test and expand upon that knowledge in the hopes that one day this "torso lub-dubber" can be better understood.

True or False?

  1. False. The adult heart pumps about 5 gallons of blood per minute. The heart pumps about 5 quarts of blood per minute. Ironically, the heart is grossed out by the sight of blood, but, fortunately, the heart is love, and love is blind, so the heart never sees all that icky blood it pumps.
  2. False. The human heart is located on the left side of the torso. Technically, the heart is located in the center of the torso, between the lungs, but the bottom of the heart tips to the left, which is why you feel a stronger heartbeat on that side. It tips to the left because the left ventricle is stronger, and also because the heart is a liberal Democrat.
  3. True. Oxygen-poor blood enters the heart from the right. Oxygen-deprived blood enters the right side of the heart through the inferior and superior vena cava. Oxygen-rich blood enters from the left, where the much-stronger left ventricle pumps it to the rest of the body. And, of course, love enters the heart from the middle, where it enriches every aspect of the human experience like a beam of light clearing away the fog of interpersonal isolation.
  4. False. The average adult system of blood vessels, lined up end to end, is 5 miles long. It's more than 60,000 miles long! That's long enough to circumnavigate the world more than twice. As always, if you don't believe me, try it yourself.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Reviews
Total number of Reviews: 4
Submit a review  

"I just have to say - I love you BB writers. Faye, Wilkes, Donatelli and others. You are informative, well written, often witty and mostly downright funny. Thank you for sharing your gift and your humor. I appreciate you - and wanted you to know."

– Lisa, St George, UT

"The drug name is actually spelled Lumigan. Whoever wrote this so-called article should have at least done a little research or the website who promotes it should up their standards."

– Alexandra, Philadelphia, PA

"Sorry but unless you are someone who spends hours everyday working out or an athlete who trains for several hours everyday a couple of these snacks are rather high in both calories and carbs to be considered mere snacks. A snack that packs close to 400 calories and 47 grams of carbs is bound to sabotage the weight loss or weight maintenance program of most average people who exercise 45 to 60 mins a day, Better for most of us to keep snacks around 200 calories and under 20 grams carbs."

– janice garthe, Whiting, NJ

"in the picture you have the natto over white rice...try it with brown rice instead. much better for you and tastier, too."

– donna, chicago, IL

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