FALL INTO A HEALTHY ROUTINE THIS SEASON #513 10/23/2012
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7 Healthy (and Yummy!) Halloween Treats [SLIDESHOW]

By Rebecca Swanner

Fall is in full swing and candy seems to be dropping from the trees. Luckily, there's a way to make it through the season without looking like a pumpkin by January. These 7 recipes feature the cozy autumn flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, and apples and will satiate even your sweetest tooth from Halloween to the holidays.



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Cinnamon Apple
  1. Cinnamon Apple. Invoke the flavors of fall without piling on the calories. For this simply delicious fall treat, core your favorite apple variety and slice it into 8 pieces. Sprinkle the slices with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and enjoy. Click here to get the recipe.
Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
  1. Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal. It's important to start each day with a healthy, hearty breakfast that can help you curb cravings all day long and may even help you shrink your waistline. For the fall season, try this Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal that's high in flavor but low in sugar. Click here to get the recipe.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
  1. Pumpkin Spice Latte. As soon as the leaves start to change color, we know what your mind drifts off to: pumpkin spice lattes. They're delicious, creamy—and crazy unhealthy. And that's even before taking into consideration all the additives in the syrup. Here's a recipe that uses actual pumpkin and real spices to satisfy your pumpkin spice latte craving without the guilt. Click here to get the recipe.
Spiced Nuts
  1. Spiced Nuts. For a sweet and spicy fall snack to munch on while the kids are trick-or-treating (or you can set some out for your Halloween party guests), try this spiced nuts recipe. Mix together your preferred nuts and add curry powder, rosemary, and cayenne to give it a kick . . . and just a touch of maple syrup for sweetness. Just be mindful—though nuts are a great snack, they're also high in calories. Click here to get the recipe.
Chocolate-Drizzled Apples
  1. Chocolate-Drizzled Apples. Candy apples are yummy. They're also covered in candy. Usually of the high-fructose corn syrup, teeth-rotting, fattening variety. For a treat that's just as tasty and still feels indulgent, here's a simple recipe. Essentially, you'll melt down a variety of luxury dark chocolate bars and use those to drizzle apples with one to two ounces each. For nut lovers, sprinkle an ounce of coarsely chopped nuts on top before the chocolate sets. For some extra flair, fill a squeeze bottle with chocolate and draw spooky bats, cats, or other Halloween-themed designs onto your apple.
Scary Ice Cubes
  1. Scary Ice Cubes. This one isn't a treat per se, but these scary ice cubes do add a little Halloween-themed fun to any party. Simply peel a radish, leaving part of the red skin on, slice off the top, and hollow out the middle using a paring knife. Then, slide a small olive into the hollow and voila! You've got an eyeball. Add it to your ice cube tray and fill with water as normal. Your guests will be surprised when their drink stares back at them!
Baked Apples
  1. Baked Apples. Want to fill your house with the scent of fall? Fill 4 apples with a blend of oats, spices, and a touch of sugar. Bake them until they're soft and aromatic for a dessert that tastes like apple crisp. Click here to get the recipe.



Related Articles
"6 Healthy Foods That Are Easy on Your Wallet"
"9 Ways to Eat Healthily (and Cheaply)"
"Summer Snack Attack! 23 Easy, Beach-Friendly Snacks Under 150 Calories!"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Check the Team Beachbody Chat Room for the next impromptu video chat. Or, if you just can't wait, log onto the Information & Education section of the Team Beachbody Message Boards for questions, answers, and scintillating conversation.

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. We may even answer your question right here, for all the world to see!

And if you'd like to know more about Beachbody Director of Results Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration. You can also read a more scientific (not to mention snarky) take on many of the topics we discuss here at The Real Fitness Nerd blog.

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Halloween Images
Halloween can be a tricky time to maintain a healthy diet. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Shakeology—the superfood protein shake that acts like a salad and tastes like a dessert!

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Consult your physician and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program or using any supplement or meal replacement product.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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Ask the Expert: When Should I Stop Eating at Night?

By Denis Faye

Recently, the media branded the "Don't Eat Before Bedtime" rule as a myth. As usual, they've taken a complex topic, distilled it down to a catchy headline, and gotten it completely wrong. The correct answer is much more nuanced. The short answer is that sometimes it's okay to eat before bed, but mostly, it's probably a bad idea.

Woman in front of refrigerator, woman eating chocolate and woman eating late at night

The old thinking was that when you ate before bed, your body would be more prone to store food as adipose tissue—in other words, as fat. This might be an oversimplification, but current research indicates there's truth to this supposed myth. A 2009 Northwestern University study separated mice into two groups and fed them both high-fat diets. They allowed half the mice to eat at night, which happens to be the normal feeding time for the nocturnal rodents. The other group ate during the day, when they'd normally be sleeping. By the end of the study, the night eaters had a 20% weight increase and the day eaters weight went up 48%.(1)

The researchers credited the weight gain to a domino effect that began with the disruption of circadian rhythms (the biological clock that indicates what your body needs and when it needs it every 24 hours). Knocking these rhythms out of whack caused an imbalance of leptin—a satiety-regulating hormone that's heavily influenced by the amount you sleep.

In 2011, Northwestern published another study that further supported the results of the first. This one tracked 52 human subjects over a week. The results indicated that "caloric intake after 8:00 PM may increase the risk of obesity, independent of sleep timing and duration."(2) While neither of these studies is conclusive (one wasn't on human subjects, and the other worked with a limited sample size), they're both compelling.

Man in front of refrigeratorThat said, there are a couple times when eating before bed is okay. If you're trying to build muscle, casein protein (found in dairy but available in pure, powdered form) before bed might be worth trying. According to a study in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, men who strength-trained for an hour, consumed 40 grams of casein, and then hit the sack experienced a 22% rise in amino acid circulation for the full 7.5 hours of sleep. In other words, the protocol gave their muscles better access to the building blocks they need to recover and grow.(3)

Also, consider those hectic days when you just haven't had time to eat during the day. (Not ideal, but we don't live in an ideal world.) Add to this the hard workout you did. In these situations, your priority should probably be to replenish lost nutrients such as electrolytes and make sure your body has all the protein (among other things) it needs for recovery. You don't need a four-course dinner, but a light, balanced meal would be to your benefit.

Finally, there's the psychological factor to consider. Last night, my 8-year-old said she couldn't sleep because she was hungry. I chopped her up an apple. We chatted as she ate half of it. Then, she shuffled off to bed and slept just fine, circadian rhythms be darned. We all have an inner 8-year-old, so sometimes, you're going to find it easier to sleep with a little somethin'-somethin' in your tummy. I wouldn't suggest institutionalizing the nighttime snack, but if you need the occasional piece of fruit or air-popped popcorn to detangle your nerves and send you off to dreamland, it's not the end of the world.

In general, though, here's what I recommend: If you're trying to lose weight, stack the deck in your favor and go to bed on a relatively empty stomach. You can follow the 8 PM rule of the second study or, if that's just not going to work with your schedule, then avoid eating within 3 hours of going to bed. Or, if you're trying to build mass, supplement with casein before bedtime.

The "Ask the Expert" Mailbag

Thanks for all your letters regarding our Ask the Expert debut. As it turns out, we left out one small detail regarding how to eat pre-workout, so we asked Steve Edwards to follow up. Take it away, Steve!

"What should I eat if I work out first thing in the morning? I eat several small meals throughout the day, but when I work out first thing in the AM, it has been hours since my last meal." —David Akers

You're not alone. I got a lot of similar questions. I can't believe I forgot to cover it. Morning eating is tricky because your body can store glycogen overnight so you may not need to eat anything at all—just drink water. However, when your diet is lean and you're training hard (a very common scenario for Beachbody-ers) you can use up all of your glycogen for the previous day's recovery, leaving your tank empty when you wake up. Here is our standard recommendation for this situation.

Woman drinking shakeTry eating a banana (or half, depending on your size) or a half serving of Results and Recovery Formula® in the morning just before your workout. If you feel better during your workout, especially near the end, you've figured out that you're running out of glycogen. If this is the case you can do one of two things: keep eating the banana or something similar (about 100 calories of mostly carbs) or add a serving of carbohydrates (rice, sweet potato, etc.) to your evening meal. Both should accomplish the same thing.

When your workout is over, you've burned through your glycogen and want to replenish it, which means either Results and Recovery Formula for breakfast or a meal that's mainly carbs with a little protein, like fruit with yogurt or cereal with milk.

Resources:

  1. Arble, Deanna M et al. "Circadian timing of food intake contributes to weight gain." Obesity Silver Spring Md 17.11 (2009) : 2100-2102. (http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v17/n11/full/oby2009264a.html)
  2. Baron, Kelly G et al. "Role of sleep timing in caloric intake and BMI." Obesity Silver Spring Md 19.7 (2011) : 1374-1381. (http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v19/n7/full/oby2011100a.html)
  3. Res, Peter T et al. "Protein Ingestion Prior To Sleep Improves Post-Exercise Overnight Recovery." Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 44.January (2012) : 1. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22330017)

Related Articles
"7 Colors of the Phytonutrient Rainbow: How Eating a Variety of Colors Can Keep You Healthy"
"7 Tips for Portion Control"
"Sleep and Muscle Growth"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Check the Team Beachbody Chat Room for the next impromptu video chat. Or, if you just can't wait, log onto the Information & Education section of the Team Beachbody Message Boards for questions, answers, and scintillating conversation.

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. We may even answer your question right here, for all the world to see!

And if you'd like to know more about Beachbody Director of Results Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration. You can also read a more scientific (not to mention snarky) take on many of the topics we discuss here at The Real Fitness Nerd blog.

Submit a CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

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10 Tips to Get the Best Sleep Ever

By Sarah Stevenson

When is the last time you had a good night's sleep? Most of us have a million things to do every day and to get them all done, something's got to give. So why not skimp on downtime? After all, there's nothing wrong with shortening your snooze when you're on the go, right?

Woman Sleeping

Think again. According to a new study in the journal Science Transitional Medicine, adults who limit sleep to roughly 5 hours a night greatly increase their risk of obesity and diabetes(1). And for those of you trying to blast P90X® or INSANITY®, even more downtime might be in order. A recent study from Stanford University's Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory reported that athletes heighten their performance levels after a solid 10 hours in bed(2).

But before you stop reading and head for the sheets, keep in mind that 6 to 8 hours of good rest should be enough for most of us. Unfortunately, even if you're sleeping enough, it's likely, given the pace of modern society, that you're not sleeping particularly well, so let's take a look at your sleeping habits and conditions. With a few small changes, you could dramatically improve your quality of life.

  1. Man ExercisingExercise. Exercise won't just help you get fit, it'll help you sleep better. When you exercise, you increase your internal body temperature. According to Professor Jim Horne, who runs the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University, the post-workout cooling down process makes you sleepier, given that right before sleep, your body expels heat to help you shut down. Interestingly, exercising outside in the cold isn't as beneficial because it's a zero-sum gain, heat-wise(3).
  2. Quiet the Noise. If you live only a thin wall away from neighbors (or a partner who snores!), excess noise is keeping you from getting quality rest. A pair of $3 drug store earplugs can eliminate outside and inside noise and help you feel more rested in the morning.
  3. Get Great Lighting. According to Dr. Phyllis C. Zee, associate director at the Center for Sleep & Circadian Biology, Northwestern University School of Medicine, light has an enormous effect on circadian rhythms—your body's daily physiological clock(4). Too much exposure to light before bed can keep your body from entering a restful state and may prevent you from remaining asleep for long enough. Keep lights dim at night and don't sleep with the light on. You may even consider wearing an eye mask as one Chinese study found that earplugs and eye masks worn during sleep increases the levels of melatonin produced in the body(5). Or, you could invest in blackout curtains. These curtains are specifically designed to reduce noise by up to 40%, block out 99% of light, and help you save up to 25% on home heating and cooling costs.
  4. Woman Taking a BathTake a Bath. As is also the case with exercise, once you leave the bath your internal temperature cools down, giving your body the hint that it's time to catch some ZZZs. Furthermore, hot water relieves tension and the pressure that gravity places on the joints and muscles.
  5. Ban the Electronics. You may love watching Netflix® in your boxers, but according to The National Sleep Foundation, electronics are a no-go in the bedroom. Just like overhead lighting, the glow of your iPad®, laptop, or the TV messes with your circadian rhythms. Your best bet is to teach your brain to associate your bed with sleep . . . and maybe sex, but that's a topic for a different article.
  6. Time Your Caffeine. Caffeinated beverages can hinder sleep for up to 6 hours after you drink them(6). On the other hand, foods containing the amino acid tryptophan increase your serotonin levels and serve as a natural sedative(7). Foods high in tryptophan include red meat, dairy, nuts, seeds, legumes, soybeans, tuna, shellfish, and turkey. So gobble them up if you want to get totally "trypt" out.
  7. Man Drinking MilkHave a Drink. Try this ancient ayurvedic recipe: warm milk, a pinch of cinnamon, and a pinch of cardamom(8). Milk contains tryptophan, which, as stated earlier in this article, is a great sleep aid. This is why so many folk remedies include warm milk. Try it out, you will feel like a sleep bug snug in a rug.
  8. Set a Bedtime. Researchers from Minnesota's University of St. Thomas conducted a study on college students with inconsistent weekend sleeping habits(9). Subjects who pulled all-nighters on Saturday or Sunday found it difficult to sleep the rest of the week. Your brain needs consistency. You create patterns of sleep just like you acquire all of your good and bad habits. In fact, a consistent bedtime can help you train your brain to be its own alarm clock.
  9. Fall for Soft Rock. Save Megadeth for getting ready in the morning and spin Mumford & Sons at night instead. The calmer music, the better. Researchers from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in Cleveland, Ohio, conducted a study on older individuals listening to soft, calm music before bed and found that it significantly improved their quality of sleep(10).
  10. AromatherapyUse aromatherapy. Herbs like lavender, chamomile, bergamot, and sandalwood have been used for centuries to calm the central nervous system, bring on a sense of relaxation, and help to induce sleep(11). Place scented candles in your bedroom, ask your partner to massage you with lavender oil before bed, or take a warm bath with any of these herbs at night to put yourself in the mood for sleep.

Resources:

  1. American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2012, July 1). Sleep deprivation effect on the immune system mirrors physical stress. ScienceDaily.
  2. The Effects of Sleep Extension on the Athletic Performance of Collegiate Basketball Players. Cheri D. Mah, Kenneth E. Mah, Eric J. Kezirian, William C. Dement Sleep. 2011 July 1; 34(7): 943–950
  3. Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University: http://www.lboro.ac.uk
  4. Phyllis C. Zee, Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders ACCP Sleep Med Brd Rev 2009 4:63-76 Lee IS, Lee GJ.
  5. Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Rong-fang Hu, Xiao-ying Jiang, Yi-ming Zeng, Xiao-yang Chen, You-hua Zhang, Critical Care. 2010 14:R66.
  6. Sleep homeostasis: a role for adenosine in humans? Landolt HP. Biochem Pharmacol. 2008 Jun 1; 75(11): 2070-9. Epub 2008 Mar 4
  7. Simon N. Young, Marco Leyton. The role of serotonin in human mood and social interaction: Insight from altered tryptophan levels. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Volume 71, Issue 4, April 2002, Pages 857–865
  8. Chopra, Ananda S. (2003). "Ayurveda". In Selin, Helaine. Medicine Across Cultures: History and Practice of medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Pp. 75-83. ISBN 1-4020-1166-0
  9. Sleep Patterns and Predictors of Disturbed Sleep in a Large Population of College Students. Hannah G. Lund, Brian D. Reider, Annie B. Whiting, J. Roxanne Prichard Journal of Adolescent Health February 2010 (Vol. 46, Issue 2, Pages 124-132)
  10. Lai, H.-L. and Good, M. (2005), Music improves sleep quality in older adults. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 49: 234–244.
  11. A single-blinded, randomized pilot study evaluating the aroma of Lavandula augustifolia as a treatment for mild insomnia. Lewith GT, Godfrey AD, Prescott P. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Aug; 11(4):631-7.

Related Articles
"The Rub on Massage: 8 Great Ways to Relax and Rejuvenate"
"Top 10 Reasons to Give Up Soda"
"7 Myths About Sleep"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Check the Team Beachbody Chat Room for the next impromptu video chat. Or, if you just can't wait, log onto the Information & Education section of the Team Beachbody Message Boards for questions, answers, and scintillating conversation.

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. We may even answer your question right here, for all the world to see!

And if you'd like to know more about Beachbody Director of Results Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration. You can also read a more scientific (not to mention snarky) take on many of the topics we discuss here at The Real Fitness Nerd blog.

Submit a CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

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Recipe: Pirate Pumpkin Grog Shakeology®

(Makes 1 serving)


 Pirate Pumpkin Grog Shakeology
Avast, me hearties! You moms and dads have been dealin' with your scurvy crew of kiddos all Halloween long with nary a concern for yerselves! You, too, deserve a share of the treasure, but if nutrient-poor spoils like candy and booze make ya want to walk the plank, fill your tankard with this saucy, high-fiber concoction suited for captains and kings alike. It'll put some pep in your step and help you look eyepatch-popping hot in the sexy pirate costume that you saved for after the kids are tucked into their hammocks.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1-1/2 tsp. pure rum extract
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup ice

Preparation

  1. Place water, almond milk, rum extract, Shakeology, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: (per serving)

Calories Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Sodium Carbs Fiber Sugar Protein
255 4g 1 g 0 mg 231 mg 36 g 12 g 19 g 20 g

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.


Body Beast and P90X®/P90X2® Portion Information

Body Beast Nutritional Information:

Protein Veggie Starch
2 3 1



P90X/P90X2 Nutritional Information:

Protein Carb/Starch Veggie
1 1/2 1





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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