Greatist RSS https://greatist.com/ Greatist covers all things healthy, providing the most trusted and fun fitness, health, and happiness content on the web — from healthy recipes to workout tips. Here's to healthy en Mon, 15 Oct 2018 21:21:26 -0400 Mon, 15 Oct 2018 21:21:26 -0400 Greatist RSS https://greatist.com/sites/default/files/greatist_Logo_145x40px_0.png https://greatist.com/ This Super-Simple Apple Nachos Recipe Is the Perfect Game-Day Treat https://greatist.com/eat/caramel-apple-nachos-recipe?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist This Super-Simple Apple Nachos Recipe Is the Perfect Game-Day Treat This Super-Simple Apple Nachos Recipe Is the Perfect Game-Day Treat Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:15:42 -0400 Suze Kaufman 16282 at https://greatist.com/ Every Monday on our Instagram stories, we share a super-easy, seven-ingredients-or-less recipe. Follow us for a new episode each week!

Fall isn't just fun because of sweater weather, PSLs, and apple picking. It's also fun because it's football season! And football season is fun because it means snacks on snacks on snacks on snacks.

Instead of reaching for the wings or popping another cheese-covered tortilla chip, check out this dessert version of nachos, which calls for apples and caramel sauce in place of the usual chips and cheese. OK, so it's not exactly the healthiest dish, but at least there's fruit involved.

Share a photo of your own caramel apple nachos on Instagram and tag us @greatist.

A plate of apple nachos covered in caramel sauce and chocolate chips

Caramel Apple Nachos

Recipe by: All Things Mama
Makes: 8 servings
Ready in: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

3-4 green apples, sliced
1 jar caramel sauce, melted in the microwave
1 package mini chocolate chips
1 package Heath bar pieces
Various toppings of your choice (coconut, cinnamon, nuts, melted peanut butter)

DIRECTIONS

1. Arrange apples on a large plate or platter so that no apple slice is completely covered by another.

2. Using a fork, drizzle warm caramel sauce over apples, making sure every apple gets some sauce.

3. Top with mini chocolate chips, Heath bar pieces, and any other topping you like.

4. Serve immediately!

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7 Ways to Have Better Poops Every Day https://greatist.com/live/what-helps-you-poop?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 7 Ways to Have Better Poops Every Day 7 Ways to Have Better Poops Every Day Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:17:06 -0400 Lauren Fusilier 16366 at https://greatist.com/ Everybody does it. No one wants to discuss it. But what does your poo say about you? Turns out—quite a bit.

Taking a peek into the throne can actually help us understand what's going on with our bodies. Bowel movements reflect our overall digestive health and are indicators that our diet, exercise routine, stress levels, and water intake are at healthy levels. Links have been made between proper digestive functioning and disease prevention, so it's time to wake up and pay attention to what's happening behind the bathroom door.

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The first step is doing a once-over of your doo to assess the situation. Here's a guide to deciphering whether or not your BMs are earning A's, but if you're not satisfied by what you leave behind in the bowl, it's time to start taking action. The question is, how can you improve your poop? We've come up with some tips to help you do just that.

1. Fine tune your fiber.

We've all heard that fiber is the key to the perfect poop, but how do you figure out the best balance? Dietary fiber refers to the parts of plants that don't break down in digestion and is made up of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber absorbs water and swells into a gel-like consistency, while insoluble fiber doesn't break down and passes through the system largely unchanged. Dietary fiber helps us feel satiated, reduces gut inflammation, is linked to preventing chronic digestive diseases and cancers, and helps improve overall immunity.

There are many benefits to consuming a high fiber diet, but don't rush to overhaul your grocery list all at once. Shifting from low- to high-fiber diets too suddenly has been linked to symptoms such as bloating, nausea, and flatulence. Research has also shown that eating too much fiber can sometimes make constipation worse, instead of improving symptoms.

The American Heart Association recommends getting 25 grams of fiber per day in a 2,000-calorie diet. Most Americans aren't hitting that goal, so consider working in more fiber each week until you reach the mark. Art Capperauld, certified clinician of Whole Food Nutrition and founder of Concepts for Health, emphasizes that digestive health is linked to diet. He recommends working salads with carrots and cucumbers into your daily routine to up your intake of soluble fibers, which improve stool form and fight constipation.

2. Bust a move.

Exercise is great for us for a ton of reasons, and its ability to help keep you regular is one of them. Constipation has been linked to sedentary lifestyles, and exercise is often prescribed as a cure, as it has been shown to stimulate intestinal muscle contraction to improve bowel motility.

Capperauld likens it to giving your colon a massage to help get things moving and help break down food faster. One study showed that the transit of food through the body went from 52 hours at rest to about 35 hours when daily exercise was incorporated. So keep your pipes clear with regular physical activity!

3. Don't forego your morning coffee.

There are plenty of horror stories haunting the internet about how bad coffee is for you, but don't pour out your morning cup of joe just yet. There is plenty of evidence out there to prove that coffee is, in fact, full of health benefits, and studies show that coffee is great for powering your poop.

Roshan Razik, M.D., a gastroenterologist with Cleveland Clinic Akron General, explains that the caffeine in coffee relaxes the sphincters in our intestinal tracts, leading to movement in the lower colon, which leads to a good morning No. 2.

In fact, research has pointed to regular coffee's stimulant effect being 60 percent stronger than water and 23 percent stronger than decaf. One study has shown that the stimulation can occur within four minutes of chugging down that first cup. (And of course, we've got some suggestions on how to amp up the health points of your morning cup.)

4. Kick artificial sweeteners to the curb.

Sugar substitutes such as aspartame and stevia are a dieter's dream: They offer the sweetness of sugar without the calories. But these non-nutritive sweeteners have come under fire for potentially altering the gut microbiome, causing glucose intolerance (which can lead to diabetes), and have even been tied to weight gain. The jury is still out—there are conflicting studies on whether there is a negative impact on the gut microbiome—but you may want to choose to avoid these in case.

Razik notes that the short-chain carbohydrates in artificial sweeteners can lead to excess gas production in the gut, resulting in bloating and pain. So even if you're dieting, skip the sweeteners to keep your digestion on track.

5. Mind your PUFAs and MUFAs.

What, you may be asking, are PUFAs and MUFAs? Why, polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids, of course! These are the key players of team "good" fat. You can find them in foods such as nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, and plant-based oils.

One study even showed that eating healthy full-fat dressing on salads helps the body absorb more nutrients from the meal than fat-free or low-fat alternatives. Learn more about the myths surrounding fats and the truth behind them here.

While all fats contain the same amount of calories (9 per gram, to be exact), healthy fats pack many benefits like anti-inflammatory properties, lowering blood pressure, and—you guessed it—aiding digestion.

Razik recommends replacing foods that are high in animal and hydrogenated fat (saturated fats found in foods like margarine) with natural alternatives high in healthy fats. Reach for canola or olive oil when cooking, he advises, as they've been associated with a range of beneficial effects in the digestive system. Links have been made between irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and high-fat diets, so switching to healthier fats will help your colon to keep calm and carry on.

6. Pack in some probiotics.

Probiotics may be all the rage in the health world, but you may be asking what, exactly, they are—and what they actually do. Our gut is filled with bacteria, and the balance of our own personal gut microbiota (the population of microbes living in our guts) is linked to our overall health.

Some "good" bacteria are reported to improve intestinal health, the immune system, food sensitivities (like lactose intolerance), and brain function. Ongoing research is also being done on the use of good bacteria to treat and prevent various diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal infection.

Razik explains that ingesting probiotics, which can increase your "good" gut bacteria, are beneficial in four major ways: They suppress the growth of pathogenic (bad) bacteria, improve the barrier function of the intestinal lining, modulate the intestinal immune system, and reduce pain.

So, what are the best ways to get more probiotics? You can take two routes: Incorporate more probiotic-heavy foods into your diet or take over-the-counter supplements.

If you're the type to go au naturel in your health routine, eating probiotics might work better for you. Razik points to fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, tempeh, miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi for a boost of good bacteria. Fermented foods pack health benefits because the very microorganisms that are introduced to milk, cabbage, and other bases in order to ferment them are good for you and alter the bases to bring new health benefits to them as well.

If you want more a no-muss, no-fuss approach, try a probiotic supplement. Studies have shown that taking a pill delivers much more bacteria to your gut than dietary modifications alone. So reach for the probiotic with the most diverse strains of bacteria, as multi-strains have been shown to have the most benefits.

7. Bone up your broth game.

Since the 1930s, studies have shown that slow-cooked broths (those that have been simmering for 24-48 hours, typically) made from animal bones, vegetables, and spices are filled with protein and minerals—so the health benefits of bone broth aren't exactly new.

These days, those who swear by broth point to the benefits of collagen and gelatin, though there isn't enough scientific evidence to link those claims up to digestive health, specifically. We've explored our skepticism of the broth movement, but Capperauld notes that broth is an easy-to-digest food, so it's a great, tummy-friendly way to get in lots of minerals and amino acids.

Maybe don't use it as a cure-all, but what's the harm in drinking down a healthy dose of protein? Here are some recipes to help get your bowels on their way to making a smooth move.

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19 Seitan Recipes That Will Make You Love It, Even If You Can't Pronounce It https://greatist.com/eat/seitan-recipes?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 19 Seitan Recipes That Will Make You Love It, Even If You Can't Pronounce It 19 Seitan Recipes That Will Make You Love It, Even If You Can't Pronounce It Mon, 15 Oct 2018 05:46:00 -0400 Anisha Jhaveri 16371 at https://greatist.com/ By now, tofu and tempeh are widely known as awesome alternatives to meat. Add mushrooms and legumes to the list, and you’re good to go as far as plant-based substitutes go—well, almost good to go. There’s one more important—and seriously amazing—option that needs to be in your vegan protein repertoire: seitan.

Pronounced say-tan or say-tahn, it’s made from the gluten found in wheat, and when mixed with spices and hydrated with water or stock, turns into a chewy high-protein source that works well in everything from wraps to roasts. Plus, it’s often found in mainstream grocery stores, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home so it’s way more accessible than you might think.

But don’t just take our word for it—try it out for yourself. These 19 seitan recipes prove that while its name may sound kind of devilish, you’ll feel #blessed once you make it part of your life.

Photo: Sunnyside Hanne

Everyone loves a grain bowl these days, but make yours grain-free by using mashed kabocha squash instead. The naturally sweet veggie is a perfect flavor and texture match for the seitan, which is coated in a homemade, lower-sugar teriyaki sauce, while some steamed broccoli rounds out the dish.

Photo: Dietitian Debbie

Next time Meatless Monday rolls around, try this take on a stroganoff. The creamy gravy here uses plant-based milk instead of dairy, incorporates seitan strips along with portobello slices for extra beefiness without the beef, and is served on top of polenta instead of egg noodles just to keep things interesting.

Photo: Brewing Happiness

Seasoned generously with chili powder, paprika, coriander, and cinnamon, the seitan in these gyros have a complexity that proves just how flavorful vegan cooking can be. Fresh spinach and cucumber plus sautéed bell peppers add some crunch, while a zesty vegan aioli adds a touch of richness.

Photo: Emilie Eats

Diced mango chunks add a surprising but totally welcome burst of sweetness to this otherwise savory stir-fry, without adding a ton of sugar as most teriyaki sauces do. It’s a quick and easy way to get your take-out fix without the unhealthy ingredients.

Photo: Matthew Prescott

No grill needed for these seitan kebabs—all you need is a working oven. The made-from-scratch wheat protein is kicked up in flavor with herbs, liquid smoke, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce, so the skewers taste exceptional enough on their own. But you really don’t want to leave out the accompanying peanut sauce—creamy and addictive, it’s what really makes the satay shine.

Photo: Mary's Test Kitchen

A really good meatless burger is hard to come by. Store-bought ones taste too processed. Black bean ones can be dry. And portobello ones, well, they’re not convincing anyone. But this one, with seitan for meaty texture, dried porcinis for umami flavor, and beets for some authentic color, may just end your hunt for an herbivore-friendly hamburger.

Photo: Delish Knowledge

Ground seitan makes for an uncanny imitation of pork in these light but filling bundles. Cooked with maple syrup, lime juice, lemongrass, and serrano chili, it makes for a sweet, sour, and savory filling that’s perfect with the cool and crisp Boston lettuce.

Photo: Kiip Fit

Add some protein to your Asian-inspired vegetarian noodles by tossing in a pack of seitan strips. They provide a meaty bite to the dish and hold up impressively to the rich, slightly spicy peanut sauce.

Photo: Lettuce Eat Veggies

These Middle Eastern-inspired pita pockets resemble the popular shawarma sandwich, but instead of roasted meat, it’s skillet-cooked seitan tucked inside, and instead of regular yogurt, this tzatziki sauce is a vegan blend of cashews, garlic, and lemon. It rivals anything you’d get from a food truck!

Photo: Yup It's Vegan

Thickened up with cornstarch and sweetened with coconut sugar, this Mongolian-inspired sauce is a quick, better-for-you alternative to store-bought condiments that come with hidden sugars and MSG. Pan-cooking the seitan separately makes sure it can get nice and crispy before being tossed into the sauce.

Photo: Happy. Healthy. Life.

As the name probably implies, there’s usually nothing vegan about a Philly cheesesteak. However, this recipe makes a few clever, herbivore-friendly swaps by using seitan strips for the meat and nondairy cheese, plus throwing in a heap of sautéed peppers and onions for some extra veggie action. Stuffed into hoagie rolls, they make for a fun, casual yet hearty dinner.

Photo: Well Vegan

If you’re too time-crunched to cook a Bourguignonne and too vegan to eat beef, this version of the classic French stew might be what you need. You’ll still get the rich, red wine-kissed broth, the sliced carrots, and the fresh herbs, but seitan stands in for the meat, and the whole thing comes together in just an hour (as opposed to several).

Photo: Lorimer Kitchen

It’s the most annoying when everyone else around you gets to tuck into adorable meat sliders while you’re stuck with a big-as-your-head portobello bun. Now, you can get in on the mini burger fun with these mini seitan sliders. Packed with a Sriracha avocado spread, seitan pieces sautéed in pineapple juice, and a cilantro pineapple salsa, they may be small in size, but they’re enormous on flavor.

Photo: 40 Aprons

Most of the ingredients in this long-looking list are basic pantry spices like cumin and oregano, so don’t let it scare you off. While you will have to make sure you’ve got a dark beer, seitan, and cornmeal on hand, they lend such depth of flavor and hearty texture to this meatless chili that you’ll be so glad you didn’t skimp on them.

Photo: Cooking Chat Food

For a speedy 20-minute meal that gets in a hefty dose of protein and fiber, this skillet-cooked seitan and veggie dish fits the bill. Seasoned with soy and cumin and delicious served with rice, potatoes, quinoa, or even tortillas, it’s an especially helpful recipe to have on hand when you need something versatile and simple.

Photo: Fat Free Vegan

Making seitan from scratch sounds intimidating, but it’s surprisingly easy. This recipe kneads vital wheat gluten with oatmeal, yeast, and flax, then rolls the dough to resemble hot dogs that get put in a steamer. Making these at home also means you can pile on all the fixings you like.

Photo: Rabbit and Wolves

Rather than the unrecognizable mush that was once served in school cafeterias all over, this meatless take on Salisbury steak is something you’ll actually look forward to eating. Made from a combination of lentils and wheat gluten then smothered in a mushroom and garlic gravy, it’s hearty and rustic—the ideal cold weather comfort food.

Photo: Cooking Chat Food

Sick of lentil tacos and bean burritos? There are other ways to do vegan Mexican night at home, like these juicy seitan fajitas. The wheat gluten is tossed with sliced veggies in a sweet and spicy honey, soy, cumin, and cayenne mixture and cooked until the sauce gets nicely absorbed. Scooped into tortillas, the filling is so tasty, you may not even need toppings.

Photo: Weelicious

Give tofu and mushrooms a break, and fill your crunchy (or soft) taco shells with this mouthwatering mix of crumbled seitan instead. Seasoned with a homemade spice mix of cumin, paprika, and garlic and onion powders, it’s a ridiculously easy recipe that yields a ridiculous amount of flavor.

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7 Healthy Fall Getaways to Book Right Now https://greatist.com/eat/healthy-weekend-getaways?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 7 Healthy Fall Getaways to Book Right Now 7 Healthy Fall Getaways to Book Right Now Fri, 12 Oct 2018 06:00:00 -0400 Meredith Heil 16364 at https://greatist.com/ As savvy travelers know all too well, fall is the season for scheduling a rejuvenating weekend excursion. Summer crowds have started to dwindle, the ski bunnies have yet to hit the slopes, and the raucous kiddos have (finally) gone back to school, leaving you to enjoy your peace and quiet in, well, peace and quiet. (Not to mention that prices tend to plummet around now.)

Are you the type of person who prefers clipping into a road bike to conquer a countryside path and greeting the dawn with a mountaintop yoga session before digging into a garden-fresh gourmet breakfast? These seven amazing vacation destinations are tailor-made for all types of active trip-takers with an appetite. Take your pick because it's time be OOO.

Tucked away in the majestic Catskills, this Scandinavian-inspired hillside hideaway is the ideal blend of chic, design-forward bliss and rustic outdoorsiness. With 19 picture-perfect rooms, including three cozy “Lushna” cabins—their version of glamping, albeit with lush linens and to-die-for private bathrooms—this former hunting and fishing lodge was recently converted into your new favorite boutique hotel and onsite craft cocktail bar.

But don’t let the streamlined design, delicious drinks, and crackling fireplace keep you inside. A quick jaunt in any direction will deliver you to some of the East Coast’s most beautiful mountains, valleys, and streams, primed for everything from biking, hiking, tubing, and fly fishing to downhill and cross-country skiing. The adorable town of Windham is also home to a whole host of locavore-inclined restaurants. Pack your boots and your slippers—this is where hygge meets health.

(From $159; eastwindny.com)

Little known fact: If you’re anywhere near the Pacific Northwest, this gorgeous lakeside escape is practically in your backyard. A short drive from Spokane and you’re surrounded by soaring pine trees broken up by the bluest, most serene waters, green landscaped fields, and this fully-loaded getaway, teeming with old-school charm.

If you can drag yourself out of your ridiculously spacious room (his and her closets, soaking tubs, gas fireplaces, open-air balconies with stunning views), you’ll want to spend your time bouncing between blood-pumping activities like zip-lining, parasailing, fishing, jet skiing, hiking, swimming, and the resort’s world-class golf course, marked by a famous floating green.

Afterwards, fuel up at Beverly’s, a five-star restaurant with farm-fresh Northwest cuisine, incredible panoramic views, and one of the region’s largest wine collections. Speaking of wine, the resort is also a stone’s throw from Idaho’s burgeoning wine country. Looks like you’ve got some exploring to do.

(From $199; cdaresort.com)

For something a tick more tropical, head south of the border to this peaceful oceanfront refuge. Los Cabos is far enough away from the tequila-shooting spring breakers in Cabo San Lucas to provide some real R&R while still buzzy enough that excellent, chef-driven restaurants and dazzling beaches abound.

The fitness center is massive and modern, there are 13 different pools (including one with a swim-up bar), and if you’re looking for a unique experience, try out the tranquil Jasha Spa’s Temazcal, a guided sweat lodge-style meditation inspired by pre-Hispanic healing practices.

You can also partake in outdoorsy adventures like biking, boating, fly-fishing, hiking, horseback riding, scuba diving, surfing, whale watching, water skiing, golf, and visits to nearby gardens and a nature preserve. And don’t forget to hit up Café des Artistes for tasty high-end, locally inspired Mexican fare with a skillful French touch.

(From $215; marriott.com)

Picture waking up in the belly of a Colorado mountain range, sipping coffee on the porch of a luxe yurt-style cabin (complete with WiFi, rustic-chic decor, and a comfy queen bed, of course) surrounded by piñon trees, rolling hills, and crisp blue skies.

Then add in an endless roster of adrenaline-fueled thrills at your fingertips, like epic white water rafting, angling, Jeep tours, mountain biking, climbing, hiking, and zip lining. Plus some much-needed farm-to-table sustenance, including tons of local craft beer, at any number of area restaurants, and maybe even an in-room massage to wind things down. Heaven on earth? Pretty much.

(Glamping from $179, Cabins from $355; royalgorgecabins.com)

This masterpiece of a country inn has been delighting nature-starved vacationers in one form or another since its humble beginnings as a quaint tavern back in 1793. Since then, it was overseen by Laurance and Mary Rockefeller (yes, those Rockefellers) before being totally born anew in the 1970s and has undergone continual transformation ever since.

Today, the whole place just oozes with New England-style, from the airy, strikingly modern spa, pro golf course, and giant—we’re talking 42,000-square-feet—athletic center to its renowned all-day restaurant The Red Rooster, which sources many of its ingredients from nearby Kelly Way Gardens, a majestic hillside oasis that also offers tours and dinners.

In terms of activities, expect to take advantage of the rugged Vermont beauty that surrounds you with some hiking, mountain biking, birding, downhill and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, tennis, swimming, fly fishing and, believe it or not, courses in falconry.

It’s a tad on the pricier side, sure, but all that access, plus an undeniably friendly and accommodating staff (and a downstairs game room with vintage pinball!) make the extra bucks well worth it.

(From $259; woodstockinn.com)

Southern Utah’s sun-soaked, rust-hued cliffs and canyons are breathtaking, to the say the least, and this health and wellness-focused St. George resort is the perfect place to take it all in.

Work up a sweat and then get in on some excellent, super-clean eating at Canyon Breeze Restaurant. Guided morning hikes through the sandstone-covered landscape kick things off followed by biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, paddle boarding, rappelling, yoga, meditation, and more.

End the day with a relaxing sunset kayak or some post-hike pampering at Sagestone Spa and Salon. And if you can’t get enough of Canyon Breeze’s delicious and nutritious cuisine, you can even bring the serenity home by signing up for a healthy cooking class led by the wellness team.

(From $185; redmountainresort.com)

This one-of-a-kind desert retreat combines timeless Southwestern design (think: adobe walls, frescos, patterned tiling, wood-burning fireplaces) with a foodie-approved restaurant that makes ample use of the expansive onsite farm.

If that’s not enough, resident peacocks can be spotted strolling through the 25-acre lavender fields, beehives (and thus fresh honey) abound, and cruiser bikes are yours for the taking. Guests also have access to organic cooking classes, “meet the farmer” sessions, yoga classes, guided bird walks, and even terrarium workshops. All that for less than $200 a night.

(From $175; lospoblanos.com)

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Everyone Talks a Good Game About Loving Their Body, but This Mom Is Doing the Hard Work https://greatist.com/live/loving-your-postpartum-body?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist Everyone Talks a Good Game About Loving Their Body, but This Mom Is Doing the Hard Work Everyone Talks a Good Game About Loving Their Body, but This Mom Is Doing the Hard Work Fri, 12 Oct 2018 05:04:00 -0400 Princess Gabbara 16369 at https://greatist.com/ Everyone talks about how important it is to love ourselves, flaws and all, but do we walk the walk when it actually matters the most?

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For more than a decade, Anupa King was an avid marathon trainer and runner with rock hard abs. In 2017, while carrying her youngest son, Levi, the Guyana-born social media influencer expected to put on some extra weight (NBD, right?)—but what she didn't expect was to still look pregnant nearly a year after giving birth.

"My abs had split open, and I hadn't even recognized it until I started losing weight. I noticed my stomach was wrinkled and bulging, and I absolutely hated it. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror," King says. "Through having multiple conversations with other moms on Instagram, I realized that what I'm going through is very normal. Social media tells us that we have to bounce back right away, but that wasn't the case for me at all. I was very motivated to move forward, but I needed to love me to do that. I needed to know that the body I was in did a miraculous job of creating life, nurturing those two lives, and keeping them healthy, alive and happy."

Recently, the mom of two wrote a poignant letter to herself on Instagram, a year into her postpartum journey.

As King says: Stop hating you for thinking you have an ugly stomach and start loving you for how absolutely stunning and beautiful you were and still are for carrying and caring for you two gorgeous little humans.

Stop thinking about how hard you need to work at bouncing back after baby even if at 1 year postpartum you still look pregnant and focus on your objectives at staying healthy and happy and active.

Stop worrying about what others will think if they see your wrinkled stomach and start thinking about how absolutely blessed you are for what you've created.

Be you! Be the best you, your negative energy about you and your body shows and it's ugly. Give yourself some grace (a lot) and time (a whole lot) to heal emotionally, mentally and physically. You're one tough mama and you've got this.

King admits that feeling 100 percent like herself again isn't a reality most days, but she urges new moms to be gentle with themselves because it makes a world of difference.

"There's something so wrong about having all my hard days documented and not having the days where I need motivation documented, or not documenting the days where I had something extremely exciting happen," King says. "So I started writing these letters to myself about how much I criticized my body when I shouldn't, how much I need to love myself because of what my body has done, and what it's capable of continuing to do. I needed the reminder that what I'm doing is everything and it means everything to them."

Amen to that.

Follow Anupa King on Instagram @denupzter.

Princess Gabbara is a multimedia journalist and storyteller. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @PrincessGabbara. Visit her website at princessgabbara.com.

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10-Minute Single-Serving Recipes to Cook for You and Only You https://greatist.com/eat/cooking-for-one-quick-meal-ideas?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 10-Minute Single-Serving Recipes to Cook for You and Only You 10-Minute Single-Serving Recipes to Cook for You and Only You Thu, 11 Oct 2018 10:28:14 -0400 Anisha Jhaveri 16324 at https://greatist.com/ Eating alone can be a great way to experiment with dishes and discover flavors you really love. But for a lot of us who dine solo at least once a day, cooking can be more of a pain than a pleasure. So many recipes out there make multiple servings, meaning you’re stuck with the same leftovers for longer than you’d like. Plus, why spend an hour making a meal you’re going to inhale in five minutes?

Next time you find yourself on your own for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even dessert, pick from one of these 21 quick meal ideas that are ideal when you're cooking for one. Each makes just one perfectly portioned serving, and better yet, takes 10 minutes (at most!) to come together. These meals are exactly what you need when you’re short on time and dining companions but don’t want to be shortchanged on quality.

Breakfast

Photo: Tina's Chic

There’s a reason avocado toast is the world’s most popular breakfast these days: It’s super easy, filling, and a healthy way to feed just one person. This recipe goes the extra mile to make it a full and filling meal, piling two scrambled eggs and wilted kale on top. And yup, the whole thing really can come together in 10 minutes!

Photo: Imma Eat That

Cookies for breakfast is every sweet tooth’s dream, and this one—made skillet-style, in a ramekin—doesn’t disappoint. Packed with oats, a dash of cinnamon, and a touch of maple syrup, it’s really not all that different from a regular bowl of oats, but it’s so much more fun to eat in cookie form.

Photo: Natural Chow

Give potatoes a break and pair your eggs with a hash made from Brussels sprouts instead. A quick, eight-minute flash in the pan gets them slightly charred and crispy, and they put you well on your way toward your vegetable quota for the day.

Photo: Cit Nutritionally

In just 10 minutes, this recipe meets an impressive number of requirements: It’s quick, it satisfies a chocolate craving, it has no added sugar, and it keeps the carb count in check by swapping out half the oats for riced cauliflower! If a bowl of oatmeal could mic drop, this one totally would.

Photo: Ononomopia

No waffling about what to eat for breakfast with this recipe around. Dairy-free and whole grain, it’s simply flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, studded with pecans, and cooked to single-serving perfection.

Photo: Homemade and Yummy

Swapping out the ice cream for Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, the chocolate syrup for strawberry jam, and whipped cream for fresh berries allows this classic soda fountain dessert to be transformed into a breakfast delight. Playful but healthy, it’s a really fun way to start the day.

Photo: Jar of Lemons

For a gluten-free departure from oatmeal, this quinoa bowl comes together in a jiffy with the help of the microwave. With the grain cooked until soft, fresh fruit for sugar-free sweetness, and lots of nuts and seeds for crunch, it’s a flavor and texture treat. And don’t worry about its season-specific title—this is too good not to enjoy all year round.

Photo: My Uncommon Everyday

With an entire zucchini grated into the batter, these 10-minute pancakes aren’t just fast, they’re also full of fiber. Held together with an egg, coconut flour, and almond butter, they’re also a lower-carb alternative to a regular short stack. And the very best part? The entire batch is yours to eat.

Main Meals

Photo: Quite Good Food

Most pasta dishes need more than just 10 minutes to come together, but if you’re really short on time, you can still get your noodle fix by making a speedy and scrumptious sauce out of hummus and some lemon juice. Tangy and robust, it’s great for jazzing up spiralized zucchini but even holds up well with regular spaghetti.

Photo: Feasting at Home

With an entire avocado and half a cup of chickpeas, this recipe makes a huge serving that you get to enjoy all by yourself. Packed between two slices of hearty wheat bread, it’s a way to seriously step up your sandwich game.

Photo: Tastes Lovely

An avocado a day keeps the doctor away (no, really). Stuff it with protein-rich tuna, lycopene-filled tomatoes, and fiber-packed celery, and you can pretty much count on feeling good after this meal—and all it takes to make is five minutes.

Photo: Whisk and Shout

It makes an inevitable appearance in all our fridges once in a while: that carton of leftover rice from the takeout you ordered last night. Repurpose it into this fast fried rice by sautéing it with your favorite veggies, a touch of soy and miso paste, and ginger and garlic. If you don’t already have baked tofu on hand, the plain extra-firm variety should work just fine.

Photo: Haute and Healthy Living

If you’re looking for a lower-carb way to eat smoked salmon than putting it on a bagel, try rolling it up in an omelet with a touch of Dijon mustard and some wilted spinach. It’ll keep you protein-powered, and it’s delicious without being too much work.

Photo: Sip and Spice

Beans on toast is a good start. But for one extra minute, you can toss in some garlicky wilted kale for even more flavor, plus a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, and K. To take it over the top, finish with some chopped basil and a dusting of Parmesan.

Photo: The Blue Bride

Sometimes, tossing random ingredients in a skillet can yield some surprisingly fantastic results. This recipe is proof: With crumbled tempeh, crushed tortilla chips, slivered almonds, and grape tomatoes, it’s an experiment gone very, very right.

Photo: Build Your Bite

It’s really easy—and fast—to slap way too much cheese between two tortillas and call it dinner, but this quesadilla opts for some fillings that are just as quick and much more substantial: protein-rich refried beans, shredded carrots for more fiber, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for dairy-free cheesy flavor. Grill until crisp and top with sliced avocado—now that’s a proper quick-fix dinner.

Photo: The Tiptoe Fairy

Casseroles are usually made in huge dishes, designed to serve hungry crowds. But why should a lone diner miss out? Using ready-made rice, a few spoonfuls of cheese, and a handful of broccoli florets, this microwave-made meal is quick but as comforting and convenient as the real deal.

Desserts

Photo: Kirbie Cravings

From the cream cheese filling to the graham cracker crust, this mini-cheesecake is every bit as good as a regular-sized version, and you don’t even need to worry about the size of your slice because this entire thing is for you. If you have a few extra minutes, we recommend popping this in the refrigerator before you eat it so that it can chill and taste even better.

Photo: The Big Man's World

Free of eggs and dairy and even suitable for Paleo eaters, this coconut flour-based, gluten-free treat gives you all that crumbly cookie dough goodness without the risk of feeling sick afterward. Pro tip: If you’re into smoother cookie dough, just stir in more water or plant-based milk.

Photo: Happy Food Healthy Life

It usually takes a crumble a while to get golden and crisp in the oven, but this recipe smartly uses granola to get those all-important clusters without adding extra time. Meanwhile, a zap in the microwave softens the apple just enough. You’ll be digging in in all of two minutes.

Photo: Amy's Healthy Baking

If your take on chocolate is “the more bitter, the better,” this brownie is for you. Made with unsweetened cocoa powder and just two teaspoons of agave, it’s a fudgy delight for dark chocolate fans.

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Have You Been Using "Asexual" Wrong? Here's What It Really Means https://greatist.com/live/what-is-asexual-and-what-does-asexual-mean?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist Have You Been Using "Asexual" Wrong? Here's What It Really Means Have You Been Using "Asexual" Wrong? Here's What It Really Means Thu, 11 Oct 2018 07:22:31 -0400 Tikva Wolf 16368 at https://greatist.com/ Sexuality is different for everybody. Some people notice sexual attraction right away, while others only experience sexual attraction if there is a strong emotional or intellectual shared connection first.

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And some people don’t experience sexual attraction or interest in sex whatsoever, or they experience very mild or only occasional interest in engaging in any kind of sex. In a sex-obsessed society, the concept of some people being immune to sexual desire might be difficult to grasp. Read on to find out what it’s actually like to be asexual.

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1 Simple Rule That's Actually Helping Me Lose Weight https://greatist.com/live/the-best-way-to-lose-weight-for-me?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 1 Simple Rule That's Actually Helping Me Lose Weight 1 Simple Rule That's Actually Helping Me Lose Weight Thu, 11 Oct 2018 05:30:00 -0400 Amber Petty 16360 at https://greatist.com/ Slim Chance Welcome to "Slim Chance," a twice-monthly series in which author Amber Petty documents the happiness and crappiness of losing weight.

Weight: 236.2 pounds

Lost in Two Weeks: 2.2 pounds

Total Lost: 16.8 pounds

In the last chapter of my column, Slim Chance, I introduced Pamela Peeke, M.D., a saint of a woman who decided to work with me out of the kindness of her heart. The crux of her advice was to get rid of the "diet attitude" and stop counting calories, macros, or any other made-up point system.

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I was skeptical. I've heard people preach the "this isn't a diet" diet before, and even if you aren't counting every ounce of chickpeas in your salad, if you have to drastically watch what you eat… you're dieting. When I did keto, I didn't count my macros, but I had to treat rice like it was the devil and bananas like they were some kind of C-list demon. Eventually, that got old, and the keto weight loss disappeared.

Thankfully, Dr. Peeke's technique honestly doesn't feel like a diet to me. I know everyone says that! I've seen that exact statement on Weight Watchers message boards, and IMO, WW is the most diet-y of diets. But for me at least, Dr. Peeke's rules for eating have helped me rein in bad habits without feeling like all the joy of food is gone.

Get to the rules already!

  • Keep at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.
  • Avoid processed food.
  • Don't eat starchy or grain-based carbs after 3 p.m.
  • Try to eat most of your calories in the afternoon.
  • Try to stop eating for the night by 7 p.m.
  • Walk about an hour every day.

Then, before you eat something, ask yourself:

  • Will this make me lose control?
  • Will it cause me shame, blame, or guilt?

If the answer is "yes" to either question, then put that food away. It doesn't mean you can never have it again, it just means it's not for you right now.

And the only rule that's really set in stone is the 12-hour rule.

No matter when you finish eating for the day, do not eat again until 12 hours have passed. So, if you finished eating dinner at 7 p.m., don't eat again until 7 a.m. (or 11 a.m. for a 16-hour no-eating period, if you choose).

The other rules are flexible because life changes constantly, and if your way of eating is too rigid, it'll break.

I also email Dr. Peeke every night about my Mind, Mouth, and Muscle for the day—a quick update on my overall outlook (mind), how I feel around eating (mouth), and what I did for activity that day (muscle). She responds, gives advice, and cheers on my successes.

Isn't this just intermittent fasting?

"First, this is not fasting. Instead, it's eating (and living) based on natural circadian rhythm. You've got rhythm!" says Dr. Peake. Though the mechanics of having a nourishing period (the 8-12 hours a day you eat) and a rejuvenation period (the rest of the day when you're not eating) are similar to intermittent fasting (IF), changing the words around it and knowing the reason why you're restricting your eating times make a big difference, according to Dr. Peake.

Fasting is part of several religious holidays, Peake notes, and so the word can often have that connection. "It can also feel draconian, with visions of gnashing and grinding of teeth as you force yourself not to eat," she says. "Forget all of that." Instead, this is about giving your body ample time to regenerate and restore (without all that tiresome digestion getting in the way).

"Roughly six hours after your last bite, your body switches from digestion to housecleaning: Envision Dyson vacuums cleaning out cellular debris, which stimulates the growth of new cells throughout the body," Dr. Peake says. "The scientific word for this is 'autophagy' (self-eating/cleaning), the discovery of which was rewarded with the 2016 Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology."

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Though Dr. Peake recommends a diet of non-processed foods and avoiding simple carbs after 3 p.m., the rest of the diet isn't really that important. "Research has shown that the type of dietary pattern is less important than adhering to those 8-12 hours of eating time. The when factor is critical," according to Peake.

Dr. Peake's recommendations are supported by the findings of the Salk Institute, and a recent mouse trial found IF helped with weight loss and longevity. Now, you can't jump to conclusions based on rodents, but the medical study included some cute mice cartoons, so I give them extra credit for that.

Author Amber Petty leaping and looking awesome Author Amber Petty, looking glam and giving some serious jazz hands.

Can you really lose weight without counting anything?

I have been. Since I started this plan a month ago, I've lost about 10 pounds. Now, one of those weeks I only lost .2 pounds, while another week I lost 4, so it's all over the map. But overall, it seems to be working.

Here's the thing that's really changed: I'm not thinking about food all the time.

For me, having a couple simple rules to follow makes things much easier. And the fact that I can eat carbs also makes a huge difference. Who knew that I'd be over the moon to have permission to eat quinoa, but here I am.

Is it hard?

This way of eating has been an adjustment. Typically, I like to eat very little during the day, then eat all of the things at night. When I had to stop eating by 7 p.m., I had a couple of hungry evenings and light cravings for dessert. Not hog-wild "I'll hunt down every grocery store in a five-mile radius until I find the ice cream I want" style cravings (... and yes, I've absolutely done that).

Just light ones, like, "Oh, it would be nice to have some berries. I suppose they'll have to wait till the morrow"-type thoughts. I mean, my thoughts probably weren't that genteel, but my inner monologue has become more Jane Austen than Stone Cold at this point in my weight-loss journey.

But in less than a week, my eating schedule completely changed. I was less hungry at night, naturally wanted to eat more during the day, and my polite cravings faded even further away.

Of course, the thought of a See's candy followed by a slice of pizza still crosses my mind, but I'm able to push it aside easily, which hasn't been my experience with diets in the past.

I can't really explain why, but I'm not in that constant cycle of worry about food. I'm not freaked out about every choice I make. I just follow the rules. And when I ask myself, "Will this make me feel shame, blame, or guilt?" I always know the answer.

Right now, nachos are not going to happen. They'll make me feel out of control. But an occasional tiki drink from a bar I love? That's a yes. Tiki things bring me great joy so I'll drink a Navy Grog once in a while, push aside the tortilla chips, and feel like I'm living a normal, healthy life.

Following a set of rules about what you eat—that's just a diet, right?

This really feels different. My typical way of eating was broken. So, weight loss or no, I did have to change it or I'd wind up with diabetes and even more self-hate. Dr. Peeke's recommendations may not work for everyone—they may feel too restrictive or won't gel with your style or issues. That's totally fine. But so far, this plan has simply guided me away from emotional eating and reintroduced me to my more intuitive, moderate self.

Also, I want to be clear that I like this becuse it's working for me, but restricting your eating might not be best for everyone. Maybe the idea of writing MMMs every night sounds like a nightmare to you, and that's totally fine. I recommend finding what fits your life, even if it doesn't look anything like what I'm doing.

Will you have to eat like this forever?

Yes. Yes, I will.

The reality is, if I want to lose weight, I'm going to have to change my choices and thoughts about food. There's no getting around it. You can't magically "have it all," no matter what Oprah says.

But this approach is helping me feel healthier—mentally and physically. Instead of masking my feelings with food, I'm starting to actually deal with my emotions. I'm sharing with my husband more and reaching out to people for help (or just to vent—thanks, Mom!).

I'm starting to trust myself with food and realizing that I'm not just a binge-eating monster who'll take down an entire buffet in less than an hour. I know what foods are good for me, and instead of feeling like a failure because I ate a banana and screwed up my carb counts, I can eat a banana and move on with my day.

Will I eat a diet rich with Pop Tarts and pizza again? No, not the way I did. I can make my own pizza with good ingredients (and believe me, I will), but a lot of the processed food of my past needs to no longer be part of my diet. That idea used to upset me, but as of right now, it doesn't feel bad at all.

I still have a lot of weight to lose and a long way to go to fix my body image and self-talk. But things seem to be moving in the right direction.

There's a little part of me that thinks: "You did it! Now, enough with that healthy stuff and go back to your old ways." So I have to silence that backsliding voice and keep up the practice of eating well and being reasonably active. It doesn't sound like much, but it's work.

Amber Petty is an L.A.-based writer and a regular contributor to Greatist. Follow along as she shares her weight-loss journey in her new bi-monthly column, Slim Chance. Take singing lessons from her via Sing a Different Tune and follow her on Instagram @Ambernpetty.

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9 Tofu Scrambles That Give Eggs a Run for Their Money https://greatist.com/eat/tofu-scramble-recipes?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 9 Tofu Scrambles That Give Eggs a Run for Their Money 9 Tofu Scrambles That Give Eggs a Run for Their Money Thu, 11 Oct 2018 04:15:00 -0400 Tara Goodrum 16322 at https://greatist.com/ Eggs are the king of breakfast these days. With high-fat diets gaining in popularity, eggs make up the majority of seemingly every breakfast plate. But we like variety. And we'd also like to let you in on a little secret: Tofu scrambles are freakin' good. (Vegans, you're on to something...) Though soy is shunned in many of today's trendy diets, we say do you—as in, don't worry about what anyone else is sayingand give these nine tofu scramble recipes a try.

If you're one of the many that believe mastering the tofu scramble is tricky, this recipe will change your mind. Requiring one skillet, 10 ingredients, and less than 30 minutes, this scramble is perfect for both tofu novices and those who eat it every day. Made with kale, red onion, bell pepper, tofu, and a simple homemade Southwestern sauce, it's a great way to pack in the protein and veg. Pro tip: Press the tofu the night before to shave off some prep time.

Our love for burritos is strong—and that's putting it lightly. Not only do they mean we can stuff our favorite ingredients into a soft layer of carby goodness, but they also mean we can eat that goodness on the go. This recipe packs curry-spiced scrambled tofu with avocado, chopped bell pepper, and tomatoes into a cushy tortilla, creating a warming, filling meal you can enjoy while walking out the door. For an extra hit of protein, spread a layer of hummus on half of the tortilla before filling.

Garlic lovers, this recipe is for you. Made with a whopping 12 garlic gloves—that's six cloves per serving—this recipe certainly isn't lacking in bite. Bulked up with sweet potato chunks, sliced onion, and shredded cabbage and spiced with garam masala, turmeric, and Tabasco, if this recipe doesn't wake you up, we don't know what will. Though it sounds pretty spicy, this recipe is actually pretty mild when it comes to heat, so feel free to turn it up a notch. (More hot sauce, anyone?)

Whether you're vegan or not, it's hard to deny that cheese can make recipes taste pretty darn good. To mimic the flavor without reaching for dairy, try nutritional yeast. The little flakes taste remarkably similar and seriously amp up the flavor. Loaded with veggies—onions, mushrooms, kale, peppers—and spices, this tofu scramble could basically be a salad. (Psst... pile it on a bed of arugula, and it will be!)

Breakfast, lunch, dinner... there's no wrong time to eat this meal. Tofu is mixed with pinto beans, turmeric, and sea salt for the scramble and loaded with homemade rancheros sauce to make it extra rich. (Don't worry, the sauce is easy. Simply pop ingredients into a food processor and blend.) The rest is DIYT—do your own taco. Load the scramble into your tortilla of choice, add whatever toppings you have on hand (it goes without saying the avocado is a great choice), and eat away.

What is it about breakfast sandwiches that are so satisfying? While we could spend hours debating, we say it's a better use of your time to simply make one. This recipe uses an everything spice bagel, which is extra sturdy and flavorful. The rest is all about layers. Start with a simple scramble; top with avocado, tomato, and sprouts; and spice and sauce as needed. We recommend a thin layer of pesto or olive tapenade.

If runny eggs make you squeamish—hey, yolk porn isn't for everyone!—tofu scrambles are a great alternative. Not only does scrambling tofu dry up excess liquid—though most should be removed when pressing the tofu before cooking—but it also allows tofu to act like a super sponge, soaking up all those incredible spices and excess juices from cooked veggies. This recipe keeps things simple with kale, bell pepper, onions, and black beans, and lets the flavor of the spices shine through. Top on whole-wheat toast for extra fiber or throw into a wrap to eat on the go.

As much as we love scrambles, they can take a bit of time. Pressing, crumbling, chopping... even small steps can add up. This recipe strips scrambling down to basics, taking only five minutes to make—meaning you can snooze 15 minutes longer. Spiced with turmeric, cayenne, and pepper and mixed with nutritional yeast, spinach, and tomatoes, this recipe is an easy one but doesn't skimp on flavor.

Though most tofu scrambles insist on pressing—and credit the best texture to the lack of moisture—this recipe uses water-filled tofu to its advantage. Unpressed tofu is simmered with a peppery tomato base and is left on the heat until the liquid cooks off. Yes, this does mean more stove time, but it also means you can skip the press and multitask while you're simmering. Wrap the saucy tofu in corn tortillas when it's ready—warm the tortillas so they don't break—and top with a dollop of guac.

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Black Don’t Crack (and 4 Other Black Skin Care Myths You Shouldn’t Believe) https://greatist.com/live/black-skin-care?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist Black Don’t Crack (and 4 Other Black Skin Care Myths You Shouldn’t Believe) Black Don’t Crack (and 4 Other Black Skin Care Myths You Shouldn’t Believe) Wed, 10 Oct 2018 06:05:00 -0400 Kelly Glass 16301 at https://greatist.com/ My grandmother's dresser held a collection of creams, sprays, and serums that were as mysterious as they were out of my reach. Like the porcelain knick-knacks she displayed around the living room, I knew not to risk touching a single one. All I knew was that her skin was smooth and supple, and foundation was not in her repertoire. "Black don't crack," my mother would say. Twenty-four years later, that notion started falling apart for me.

Myth No. 1: Black Don't Crack

Well, sort of. "Black may not crack, but it sure does fold!" says dermatologist Dornechia Carter, M.D. The melanin in our skin provides a natural, built-in sun protection factor, and our oilier skin type provides even more protection against the signs of aging. That doesn't mean, however, that our skin isn't susceptible to the damaging elements—and it also doesn't mean our skin won't need a little TLC.

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Maintenance is key. "When asked for a great basic regimen, I recommend three things: sunscreen, moisturizer, and vitamin A-based cream, such as one containing retinol or adapalene," Carter says. "Antioxidants such as vitamin C or vitamin E also help." Now it makes a lot more sense that grandma owed her perfect complexion not only to genes, but the diverse bottles and jars of skin care products on her dresser as well.

Myth No. 2: We Don't Need No Stinkin' Sunscreen!

Oh, but we do, sis. "The biggest misconceptions that I hear regarding Black skin surround our relationship with the sun," Carter says. "That we cannot get sunburned. That we are not susceptible to skin cancers. This is simply not true." In fact, when Black people do get skin cancer, we are more likely to die from it.

Sunscreen also protects against the sagging skin, loss of volume, and laugh lines associated with aging. "While darker skin tones do filter out more ultraviolet rays than a lighter complexion, rays and free radicals still damage and burn the skin," says aesthetician Nicole Toni.

The damage caused by UV exposure will also make your skin age more rapidly. Because hyperpigmentation is more common and often more severe on darker skin, this hardworking skin care essential is especially important to reduce uneven skin tone and texture.

Myth No. 3: Natural Is Better

The natural hair movement has moved many Black women away from chemical hair straighteners, which can cause hair breakage and loss as well as scalp conditions. Along the same lines, we tend to reach for products with promises of natural oils and plant-based ingredients. Natural, however, isn't always better.

"I often tell people poison ivy is natural, so just because it is natural doesn't necessarily mean it's better," Carter says. Lime juice, for example, is an acid that is touted as beneficial for brightening the skin. But homemade remedies and products with lime juice, when combined with sun exposure, can cause a severe, painful, blistering rash."

What's more surprising is that the use of "organic" labels on skin care products is not regulated in the United States. Vetting all skin care products by reading and understanding the label ingredients is a better strategy than relying on the natural or organic phrases on the front of the package.

Myth No. 4: Oily Skin Doesn't Need Moisturizer

Putting moisturizer on oily skin is like bringing sand to the beach, right? Actually, forgoing moisturizer on oily skin is complicating the existing problem. People with oily skin tend to favor products that strip the oils from the skin, Carter says.

"I don't recommend this at all. When your skin is overly dried out from product, it responds by producing the only thing it can in a short period of time: more oil." To prevent this vicious cycle, use a light moisturizer to keep excess oil at bay without drying out the skin's necessary oils. Although shea butter and coconut oil are all the rage in the Black skin care community, Carter says these oils tend to sit on top of the skin rather than soaking in and truly moisturizing.

Myth No. 5: Skin Care Professionals? I Got This!

"My skin is good, so I don't need to use any cleansers or product. I just use hot water."

Aesthetician Nicole Toni has heard these exact words from several of her Black clients, but we really need cleansers to wash away the impurities our skin collects from the environment daily, she says.

"You wouldn't go to a person who lacks proper credentials to fix your car or your plumbing," Carter says. "Your visage is key to making a strong and clear first impression, and so each person should treat it with care."

Kelly Glass is a writer living in college-town Illinois with her husband, ambitious toddler son, and neurodiverse teenage son. Her interests focus on the intersections of race, parenting, health, and culture. Follow her on Twitter @kellygwriter.

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Is Running Every Day Even Safe? https://greatist.com/fitness/is-running-every-day-safe?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist Is Running Every Day Even Safe? Is Running Every Day Even Safe? Wed, 10 Oct 2018 06:00:00 -0400 Gabrielle Kassel 16326 at https://greatist.com/ Whether you're a seasoned marathoner or a slow-and-go non-competitor, that euphoric runner's high is so easy to get hooked on—all you have to do is lace up your sneaks and put one foot in front of the other. Chasing those endorphins is exactly why some pavement-pounders and treadmill-trotters run on the daily.

But while it's clear that running has many health benefits—spanning from boosted mood to improved cardiovascular mortality—is running every single day actually safe?

Let's talk about streaking.

No, not that kind: In the running world, the term "streaking" refers to the increasingly popular practice of logging at least one mile every day. The goal isn't necessarily speed or distance so much as consistency. At face value, the trend seems like a motivating way to build a good-for-you habit. But according to experts, running every day can be a fast track to burnout, overtraining, and injury.

"Streaking challenges are often geared toward beginners who don't usually run often," says Vinnie Miliano, a trainer at Mile High Run Club in New York City. "Increasing your running volume that quickly can lead to overtraining injuries like stress fractures and shin splints." Miliano says long-time runners will often challenge themselves to streak too. "But even for seasoned athletes, streaking isn't ideal, especially if they're running long distances every day—they're not giving themselves enough time to properly recover between sessions."

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"As a general rule, your muscles need 24 to 48 hours to recover from a workout," explains Robin Berzin, M.D., founder and CEO of Parsley Health. "Now, if you're going on a run two days in a row, you might be fine. But running multiple days in a row doesn't give your muscles enough time to repair and can put you at risk for overtraining."

And there's science to back this up.

Researchers from Denmark set out to discover what too much running might do to the heart and found that long-term excessive exercise may be associated with coronary artery calcification, diastolic dysfunction, and large artery wall stiffening. In people terms: They found that overtraining is bad for your heart.

"As a cardiologist, my instinct is to steer people toward exercise as opposed to away from it," says Kunal Karmali, M.D., a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital. "But we do have some extreme runners who come in, and we end up suggesting more intentional marathon training plans that mix in many different distances and rest days to help prevent overtraining syndrome."

Another study had a group of recreational cyclists and triathletes overload their regular training volume by 150 percent for three weeks, while a control group continued their normal routine.

Scientists found that the athletes who had increased their training volume had a high level of resting sympathetic nervous system activity, which is generally considered unhealthy because it indicates increased heart rate and increased blood pressure. And while this study wasn't done specifically on runners, Berzin says that it does indicate that overtraining can counteract other positive benefits of moderate exercise and actually become harmful.

The common theme here? Too much is… just too much.

"Too much volume and intensity are unsafe," Berzin says. Karmali adds that if you're experiencing chest pains or pressure, those are two big signs that your run-volume is affecting your heart. But there are other signs of over-running too, like insomnia, lowered immunity, decreased exercise performance, and frequent pain in muscles and joints, says Berzin, who notes that overtraining syndrome has been career-ending for famous runners like marathoner Alberto Salazar and ultrarunner Ryan Hall.

That's why the American Council on Exercise recommends you run for 20-30 minutes three days a week and take rest days—or cross-training days—for the rest of the week.

Is it possible to streak safely?

Maybe. One study found that running just five to 10 minutes each day at a moderate pace may help reduce your risk of death from heart attacks, strokes, and other common diseases. But (and it's a biiig *but*) other research shows that these heart-healthy perks top out at four and a half hours a week and that you only need to run at a moderate pace (as in a ten-minute mile).

Another study found that when a group of 51 healthy adolescents ran for 30 minutes at a moderate-intensity pace every morning for three weeks, their sleep, mood, and alertness during the day tested better than a control group of non-runners. However, other research suggests you may be able to experience these same perks for other, lower-impact activities like walking or yoga.

"Running a ten-minute mile every day probably isn't bad for you, but it's also probably not getting you to your fitness and health goals," Berzin says. "Plus, if you're only running, you lose out on some of the major health perks of other types of exercise."

Runners are a special breed of people—they thrive on pushing their limits and are notorious for putting their training before all else (sorry, bae). So for those who can't be sidelined by the risks of streaking, your training plan should include two days a week of slow, short runs. To that same point, if you're going to run every day, recovery needs to become your jam. And if you don't feel your best, take a rest day! You only get one body—make sure you're giving it the love it deserves.

Gabrielle Kassel is an an athleisure-wearing, adaptogen-taking, left-swiping, CrossFitting, New York based writer with a knack for thinking about wellness-as-lifestyle. In her free time, she can be found reading self-help books, bench-pressing, or practicing hygge. Follow her on Instagram.

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The One Thing I Swore I'd Never Try That Finally Helped My Anxiety https://greatist.com/does-marijuana-help-with-anxiety?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist The One Thing I Swore I'd Never Try That Finally Helped My Anxiety The One Thing I Swore I'd Never Try That Finally Helped My Anxiety Wed, 10 Oct 2018 05:49:00 -0400 Jandra Sutton 16321 at https://greatist.com/ If you would have told 15-year-old me that I’d try marijuana one day, I would’ve laughed at you (... and to be honest, if you’d told 10-days-ago me that I’d be writing about it for the entire world to see, I would’ve called you insane). In the very conservative small town I come from, drug use is… frowned upon, to say the least.

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I remember middle-school health classes that spent far more hours discussing the horrors of illicit substances than learning about the human body, reproductive organs, or safe sex. And marijuana? Marijuana was somehow the worst imaginable—more so than ecstasy or LSD—because it was a "gateway drug."

So I spent years being uncomfortable, even in casual conversations, about marijuana use. I didn’t want to be around it. Although I swore that I wouldn’t judge anyone for choosing to use it, I was kind of freaked out by it. But recently, I traveled to a state where marijuana is legal, and I decided that I wanted to try it for myself.

So, why did I change my mind? Well, I’ve spent the last four years dealing with crippling anxiety and panic disorder.

Over the course of the last year, I’ve heard more and more stories about people with similar issues turning to legal marijuana to ease their anxiety. Earlier this year, I spent months confined to my house in my worst case of borderline-agoraphobia to date, and the tension in my shoulders had been so omnipresent that I could honestly barely feel it anymore.

Anxiety tore my life to pieces, but after trying everything (with varying degrees of success), I wanted to breathe. You name it, I’ve done it: mindfulness, yoga, cutting caffeine, trying various antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, herbal supplements, weightlifting, therapy, tapping… the list goes on. And, while I’d found some relief during different periods of my life—mostly thanks to weightlifting—I was exhausted.

When I walked into my first dispensary, I felt like an absolute fraud.

The man checking IDs at the door welcomed me with a laugh, saying, "We love getting people from a dark state"—the term for a state that hasn’t yet legalized marijuana. Inside, I was surprised to find it bright, cheerful—nothing like I expected (a smoky, dimly lit back room with a Humphrey Bogart character lifting an eyebrow in the corner? I’m not sure), and the person behind the counter helped explain different options available.

I opted for a watermelon-kiwi flavored gummy infused with a moderate dose, paid (after a second ID check), and left. Nervous, impatient, and entirely unsure of whether or not I would actually go through with it, I popped the gummy into my mouth in the backseat of the car and set a timer for when the man at the dispensary said it should kick in.

Honestly, I didn’t think anything would happen. I’d tried to smoke marijuana the day before with no success, and I ended up camping out with my laptop to get some work done once we got back. When my timer finally went off, I still hadn’t felt like anything had changed.

But then, I didn’t feel out of control—I felt light.

The tension in my shoulders melted, the stress I’ve been carrying around for years disappeared, and the anxiety I’d been feeling all morning simply washed away. It wasn’t anything to write home about, and I didn’t feel like the partier, the stoner, or whatever other perceptions I’d held about marijuana use in my head.

That night, I got the best night of sleep I’ve had in ages, and I woke up feeling refreshed and, well, good. Unlike alcohol, which also has the ability to "take the edge off," I didn’t feel groggy, and I realized that my behavior during was far tamer than I’d ever experienced while drinking, even with a light one-to-two drink buzz. That edible made me feel happy, relaxed, and just… OK.

It wasn’t until months later, while hiking with my husband, that I realized my marijuana experiment turned into a greater understanding of the whole "legalization" debate. I’d always held the belief that marijuana was dangerous, that it was a gateway drug that would lead to further drug use and had the power to destroy lives. But thinking about it, I realized that the only reason marijuana is a gateway drug is because we make it one.

Think about it this way: If you’d been told your entire life that a substance was bad for you, that it’s dangerous, and you finally try it, only to discover the opposite—what would you think about every other so-called dangerous substance? Maybe something like, "Well, if a little bit of weed wasn’t that bad, then maybe trying bath salts will be fine." (Note: It won’t be.)

More and more research shows that cannabis has the potential to offer many health benefits, including the treatment of anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, and more.

And while marijuana is not without its adverse effects, a recent study concluded that alcohol and nicotine (both legal substances) are both higher risk than cannabis.

I know that I’m not an expert, but I’ve come to acknowledge that a public health approach, like the one being taken in Canada, offers a much stronger potential to moderate overall drug use through regulation and restriction—the way we do alcohol and tobacco—as opposed to criminalization. (I mean, we all know how well Prohibition worked.) And, more importantly, the racial implications of the war on drugs hold more weight than I could even begin to fully understand or cover.

When it comes down to it, I’ve realized that the legalization of marijuana isn’t as terrifying as some people in my youth made it out to be (and some people are still making it out to be). It’s past time for these conversations to happen, and—if we want to protect younger generations and reduce overall drug use—we have to start examining our preconceived notions about marijuana use and whether or not those are grounded in reality. Mine certainly weren’t, and now I can see that there’s a bigger picture here that needs to be addressed.

Jandra Sutton is an author, historian, and public speaker. She lives in Nashville with her husband and their two dogs, and Pluto is still a planet in her heart. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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9 Healthy Frozen Meals That Aren't Your Childhood TV Dinners https://greatist.com/eat/healthy-frozen-meals?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 9 Healthy Frozen Meals That Aren't Your Childhood TV Dinners 9 Healthy Frozen Meals That Aren't Your Childhood TV Dinners Wed, 10 Oct 2018 05:35:29 -0400 Natalie Rizzo 16251 at https://greatist.com/ Whether it's due to convenience, affordability, or sheer laziness, we've all enjoyed a frozen meal at some point in our lives. There's something so satisfying about a dinner that only requires a microwave (without the meal prep).

The only catch is that most frozen meals are on the same level as junk food: loaded with sodium and fat. But in this day and age, frozen meals are so much more than processed crap. Many varieties now contain plenty of protein, fiber, and veggies, and they won’t fill you up with unnecessary sodium.

While there aren’t any steadfast “rules” for picking healthy frozen meals, here are a few guidelines to follow: First, look for frozen meals that have at least 10 grams of protein. While that may not be enough for one sitting, it’s a good starting point and can easily be doubled or tripled with additions like two eggs, three ounces of chicken, or a half-cup of beans or quinoa.

Try to stay under 750 milligrams of sodium, which is about 33 percent of the daily sodium recommendation in a typical 2,000-calorie diet. Lastly, look for options that are loaded with veggies because, well, veggies are good for you. Get the nukers ready because these nine healthy frozen meal options fit the bill.

This vegan Asian noodle bowl contains all the flavor of Thai food with a creamy cashew sauce. Made with red pepper, lemongrass, ginger, edamame, cashews, and buckwheat and semolina noodles, this bowl is loaded with protein and fiber, and the flavor will give you all the feels of a home-cooked meal.

Per serving: 390 calories, 18 g fat, 460 mg sodium, 45 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 13 g protein

(Visit Kashi's store locator for purchase options)

Yes, you read that right. This fancy frozen bowl features red wine-braised beef, polenta, and veggies, including collard greens and butternut squash. Each bowl has a serving of beef with a side of fiber and flavor. Double win for meat lovers and red wine drinkers who don't have time to marinade.

Per serving: 300 calories, 10 g fat, 410 mg sodium, 32 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 19 g protein

($6.99; shop.luvofoods.com)

This frozen meal needs to be prepared in the oven or grill, but it’s worth it. Love the Wild uses sustainable fish, and each dish comes with homemade frozen saucy ice cubes (the ingredients list only contains items you have in your kitchen). This version brings the flavors of “bold red coconut curry sauce, with notes of Thai basil and kaffir lime” to your plate. If that's not worth lighting up the oven, then we're not sure what is.

Per serving: 430 calories, 27 g fat, 360 mg sodium, 5 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 37 g protein.

($9.99; lovethewild.com)

Saffron Road offers delicious Indian food without the hassle of ordering takeout. Chicken tikka masala is a fan favorite, and this version has chicken simmered in Tandoori spices and basmati rice straight from your freezer.

Per serving: 300 calories, 9 g fat, 690 mg sodium (29%), 39 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 17 g protein

($5.49; freshdirect.com)

Finding a vegetarian frozen meal that has protein and veggies can be tough. Luvo made it easier with this So Cal Kale and Beans bowl, made with red rice, kale, white beans, and shiitake mushrooms. The bowl boasts one and a half cups of veggies and tons of fiber.

Per serving: 300 calories, 7 g fat, 360 mg sodium, 53 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 10 g protein

($5.99; shop.luvofoods.com)

Don’t be fooled by the name—Lean Cuisine has plenty of hearty and tasty meals. This mango chicken with coconut rice is a great bring-to-work lunch option that won’t stink up the entire office like your coworker's can of tuna fish. As a bonus, the toasted coconut and sweet and spicy mango sauce will make you feel like you’re on an island when really, you're sitting at your desk.

Per serving: 330 calories, 6 g fat, 620 mg sodium, 50 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 19 g protein

(View Lean Cuisine's store locator for purchase options)

When you’ve got a hankering for pasta but don't feel like going out or cooking that "easy" homemade sauce with too much salt, Amy’s has got you covered with their Light in Sodium line. This veggie lasagna is layered with a tomato sauce made with organic tomatoes, cheese, and organic veggies. It’s also got more protein than many of Amy's bean dishes, so why not make it a pasta night?

Per serving: 320 calories, 9 g fat, 340 mg sodium, 44 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 16 g protein

($5.29; freshdirect.com)

Skip Chipotle and nuke this fire-grilled steak bowl by Evol instead. With steak, black beans, rice, peppers, corn, cheese, and a cilantro lime pesto sauce, this bowl gets it done right without wasting a whole day's worth of calories in one sitting... so you can still have dessert.

Per serving: 400 calories, 18 g fat, 520 mg sodium, 40 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 20 g protein

($3.99; jet.com)

A healthier version of spaghetti and meatballs? Count us in! Made with turkey meatballs, organic veggies, fettuccini noodles, and shaved Parmesan, this frozen meal maybe isn't Nonnie's homemade dish, but it's a light and satisfying choice when you're craving pasta. The entire bowl is just 250 calories, so serve it with a side if that's not cutting it.

Per serving: 250 calories, 3.5 g fat, 590 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 17 g protein

(Visit Good Food Made Simple's store locator for purchase options)

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3 Doable Ways to Make Real, Positive Change in Your Life https://greatist.com/live/stop-the-blame-game?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 3 Doable Ways to Make Real, Positive Change in Your Life 3 Doable Ways to Make Real, Positive Change in Your Life Tue, 09 Oct 2018 10:00:40 -0400 Susie Moore 16327 at https://greatist.com/ "He screwed me over again!" my friend Sam said when her boyfriend broke up with her a second time—and left owing her $1,000.

Not only did he take her money, but he would also often disappear for days at a time and had even damaged her car ("I'll take it to the mechanic tomorrow," he said, though he never did). While of course, I had sympathy for her, in the end, she was giving him power—allowing herself to be stuck in a repeating cycle of being wounded and ripped off.

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Sam knew this guy's player reputation and dated him anyway. She decided to lend him money. She made the decision to take him back after he already let her down more than once. In the end, what she needed more than anything was to take accountability for her role in this relationship.

Of course, when it comes to ending bad relationships, I'm talking exclusively about the garden-variety, that-person-is-such-a-jerk type—not instances of emotional or physical abuse. That's a whole other kettle of fish and usually involves making a plan to get out. You can learn more about it here.

But if you're stuck in a run-of-the-mill cycle of complaining and not making changes—with your friends, your work, or yes, even a relationship that's simply not fulfilling your needs—you may be in what's called a "victim loop," and the only way is to transform it into an "accountability loop."

Here's how:

1. Notice the signs.

What are you currently complaining about: Not having enough money? Being unfit? Having flaky friends?

In many cases, you can harness your earning power—for example, by learning fresh skills, asking for a raise, or starting a side hustle.

And if you're not as fit as you'd like to be, the truth is that no one controls how often you slip on those sneakers but you.

If you're sick of flaky friends, who exactly is responsible for you taking initiative with new (non-flaky) friendships? Or having a grown-up conversation with current friends about your needs being met as a reliable pal? Yep—that's you and you.

As an extremely punctual person, I told a chronically late friend how unfun it was to always be sitting at a bar or cafe for 20-25 minutes waiting for her while she did I-don't-know-what. I mean, once in a while is unavoidable, but not every time. Because my time matters too. She's rarely been late since—and said it's been a source of pride for her (even other people have been pleasantly surprised by her newfound punctuality).

Signs of dissatisfaction add up over time—rarely is something going wrong a total shock. What signs are you ignoring? A dwindling bank account, tighter jeans, annoyance over yet another cancellation text? Pay attention. The earlier you notice the signs, the sooner you can take decisive action to correct them.

2. Be flexible in shifting your focus to you.

A great way to begin is to start all sentences with the word "I."

Think about how much more power you have when you say, "I'd like to learn how to be a better conversationalist" instead of "People judge me for interrupting them, but that's just who I am!"

Where can you start using "I?" "I can," "I have," or "I will" is even better!

Let's say you can't cook (... I'm with you on that one). I constantly say things like, "Cooking is hard!" "Ingredients are expensive, and they always get thrown out!" and "Ugh, it's so annoying that at the end of an exhausting day we have to figure out what to eat!"

Instead, I could say:

"I can learn a couple cooking hacks—hey, these don't look too tricky" (and Nos. 6 and 20 look extra delish).

"I have a Trader Joe's four blocks away—I can make this happen."

"I'll benefit from less-salty Seamless orders, that's for sure!"

When we start a sentence with "I," it's empowering. It feels different. Because you are playing the active role! And that means you have the powaahhh! Try it even for a day and notice what it does for you.

3. Decide to accept full accountability for your life.

When something bad happens, thinking it's anyone's fault but yours is not going to help you—ever. When you declare your own accountability, not only are you acting as your highest, most mature self, but something remarkable happens. The change-making magic of control is put squarely in your hands, and it starts to feel pretty damn powerful.

Here are couple of ways to activate your accountability:

Be honest with yourself.

When something upsetting happens, be quiet with yourself for a minute. Put both hands on your heart and ask yourself, "What do I know to be true?" Your inner guide will give you new direction. And it will only be based on what you are to do—not fixing anyone or proving anything to any other human. All of the answers are within you when you decide to take your power back. And exquisite honesty yields exquisite capability.

Be willing to shed something.

When we are willing to let go of something—a person, a physical object, a belief… after the initial scariness and sadness, there is space. That space allows fresh thinking and new opportunities to flow to you. Think about it—nature does this all time. Shedding is natural and healthy. We don't freak out when dead leaves fall off the tree, right? The tree ain't dead! It's in the cycle of renewal. Our bodies need to shed old cells and create new ones, and so do we.

Do you need to shed something in your life sooner rather than later? You know the truth.

Sam never got her money back, but her heart healed, and she learned a lesson worth way more than $1,000:

The biggest mistake we make when we give away our power is thinking we don't have any.

Susie Moore is Greatist's life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!

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The Kinda-Freaky Ingredient That May Make You Rethink Your Tampon Choice https://greatist.com/live/what-are-tampons-made-of-and-are-tampons-bad-for-you?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist The Kinda-Freaky Ingredient That May Make You Rethink Your Tampon Choice The Kinda-Freaky Ingredient That May Make You Rethink Your Tampon Choice Tue, 09 Oct 2018 05:50:02 -0400 Claire Hannum 16264 at https://greatist.com/ If you're on the internet too often (guilty), you're probably aware that there's an ongoing conversation about tampon ingredient transparency. The discussion of what exactly is in your tampons has developed over the years, but it all started with a 2013 report revealing that ingredients like dioxides, furans, unidentified fragrance chemicals, and pesticide residues may be used in the manufacturing of some tampons and pads.

None of that sounds exactly warm and fuzzy, but what makes it extra concerning to a lot of folks is that the FDA has regulations around menstrual products that many advocates consider far too loose. The situation is certainly murky, but is it actually worth stressing over? Here's what you need to know.

How are tampons regulated?

Tampons are classified by the FDA as "medical devices," which means that companies aren't legally required to divulge the ingredients in the tampons they sell. Tampons are typically made of cotton, rayon, or polyester, but beyond that, consumers aren't always privy to info about which materials go into the manufacturing process. This lack of required transparency is at the center of many people's concerns about the issue.

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While ingredient lists are voluntary, the FDA does suggest that tampon manufacturers include some basic details about what the product is made of, which is why you'll see lots of tampon boxes including phrases like "may contain" followed by a nebulous list of chemicals.

That said, tampons are subject to an FDA review "to determine whether they are substantially equivalent to, including as safe and effective as, a legally marketed tampon."

Which ingredients in tampons have people worried?

A handful of ingredients are on advocates' radars, but few have caused more discussion than dioxins. These persistent organic pollutants are thought to be left behind as a byproduct of the bleaching or purifying process during tampon manufacturing.

Research on whether dioxins in tampons might be harmful is somewhat conflicting. A study that directly focused on the effect dioxins in tampons and diapers has on humans found that the concentration was too low to be worth worrying over. Humans have a daily limit of how many dioxins is "too many" to be exposed to, and this study reported that the trace amounts in a tampon are so low that they hardly make a blip. (In fact, the study noted that we're exposed to many dioxins via the foods we eat.)

On the other hand, research on nonhuman primates has found a connection between dioxin exposure and endometriosis. This link hasn't yet been found in humans, but it's still worth keeping in mind.

How concerned do we need to be?

Some experts have argued that while the concentration of dioxins in a single tampon may be inconsequential, the scale looks different when you consider just how many thousands of tampons a menstruating person uses throughout their life—basically, that exposure can add up. At this point, it's tough to say if that's a genuine risk, but it's something to consider.

Up until the 90s, the tampon manufacturing process involved bleaching the materials used in tampons with chlorine gas. That was halted in an attempt to reduce dioxin risks (clearly, we've been worried about them for quite a while now). These days, big tampon brands claim to use chlorine-free bleaching processes instead.

The jury is still out, but based on where the research stands right now, remaining cautiously aware is the important thing. There's no need to panic or throw all your tampons in the trash. That said, it's worth paying close attention to any new research as it develops.

Just as with household cleaning products, the clothes we buy, and the foods we eat, concern about ingredients is all relative. There are so many chemicals involved in the making of our products and our food, and most of them are not linked to health issues by any evidence. (Of course, that can always change in the future, so it's important to keep an eye on research.)

What are the alternatives?

At the end of the day, it's up to you to do a gut check on how comfortable you are with what you're buying. If the murkiness surrounding major tampon brands makes you uneasy, there are plenty of organic tampons on the market you can opt for instead. (LOLA, Cora, and Seventh Generation are a few organic brands to use as a jumping-off point).

There are also menstrual discs, like FLEX, and cups, like Saalt, Lena, and Lunette, which are great alternatives since they vastly reduce your (already very small) risk of contracting toxic shock syndrome.

However, there's also a real learning curve using these, so it's a good idea to have a backup method for the first couple of cycles, like panty liners or a pair of Thinx period underwear (which can also just be your method, especially if your cycle is pretty light or you're getting toward the end of your cycle).

In an ideal world, we'd have a lot more transparency about what goes into tampons. But until that day comes, the best we can do is stay aware and continue to put pressure on tampon brands to be more forthcoming. In the meantime, there's no need to panic: Go forth, find a menstrual product that works for you, and don't lose any sleep over it.

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19 Air Fryer Recipes for Fall So You Can Give the Crock-Pot a Break https://greatist.com/eat/19-air-fryer-recipes-perfect-for-cool-weather?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 19 Air Fryer Recipes for Fall So You Can Give the Crock-Pot a Break 19 Air Fryer Recipes for Fall So You Can Give the Crock-Pot a Break Tue, 09 Oct 2018 04:34:28 -0400 Anisha Jhaveri 16302 at https://greatist.com/ Maybe it’s the cold weather that sparks cravings for warm, hearty eats. Maybe it’s all the tailgating and game-night gatherings. But there’s no denying it: When the dog days of summer give way to chillier fall, foods like wings and fries start looking especially good.

And while there may really be nothing like greasy, old-fashioned onion rings, all that fried food can leave us heading into the holidays with a sluggish, all-around blah feeling.

But what if we told you that there was a way to have your favorite fried foods all season long and still feel pretty amazing at the end of it? Thanks to the air fryer, it's totally possible to enjoy not only typically fried dishes like crispy potato wedges and falafel, but also a range of other goodies like pizza, tacos, and even dessert! Turn to these 19 air fryer recipes to keep you full, happy, and healthy.

Savory Dishes

Photo: Stay Snatched

When it’s a little nippy outside, the idea of staying home with a movie and pizza is just *so* much more appealing than going out. Make it even more enjoyable with customizable pita-pizzas, where you can control exactly how much sauce, cheese, and pepperoni you want. No need for a pizza stone or even an oven to make them, either. The air fryer has 'em ready in less than 10 minutes.

Photo: Low Carb Yum

With fall comes football season! But instead of being that person who brings veggie sticks to game night, impress your friends and family with spicy, air-fried chicken wings coated in homemade buffalo sauce instead. You’re the only one who has to know they’re healthy.

Photo: Cotter Crunch

Take two of fall's best seasonal ingredients and turn them into cumin- and cilantro-flavored, air-fried patties fit to put on salads, in wraps, or just on a plate all by themselves. The ranch seasoning kicks up the flavors a notch, while pumpkin seeds add crunch and even more fall-inspired flair.

Photo: From Val's Kitchen

Not in the mood for a cold salad when there’s a chill in the air? Usually, a plate of fried vegetables wouldn’t exactly be an appropriate alternative, but with the air-fryer method ensuring minimal oil, these tempura veggies could be a totally viable salad swap. Lightly coated in Japanese bread crumbs and egg before getting tossed in the air fryer, they’re crunchy, light, full of fiber, and fantastic with your favorite dipping sauce.

Photo: Hungry Couple NYC

While cauliflower is being used year-round for everything from pizza crust to rice these days, let’s not forget that this veggie is at its peak in the fall. Rather than use it as a disguise for carbs, this recipe puts cauliflower clear in the spotlight, dredging it in a smoked paprika, garlic, cheese, and beer batter and air frying until they’re golden brown.

Photo: Philly Fit Foodies

Brussels sprouts are practically synonymous with fall, but no one wants to eat them boiled—yuck! Instead, let the air fryer cook them until they’re charred and crispy, then toss them into tortilla shells with a sweet and tangy balsamic honey sauce. You’ll never call Brussels sprouts boring again.

Photo: From My Bowl

Need a tailgating snack that satisfies hungry eaters but also meets your criteria for healthy munchies? These onion rings are your answer. Not only do they require zero oil thanks to the air fryer, but by using plant-based milk, nondairy bread crumbs, and no egg, these golden, crispy bites also totally vegan.

Photo: Cool Mom Eats

Make good use of your air fryer with this recipe, which uses the gadget to both cook the sweet potatoes and to crisp up the assembled taquitos. With black beans and cheese also in the mix, these can totally work as a satisfying plant-based meal.

Photo: Two Sleevers

Fall is a perfect time for warm and filling pasta dishes, but this lasagna recipe gives you the comfort food without the carbs. In the absence of noodles, zucchini slices are layered with sausage, marinara (make sure it’s free of added sugar), and cheese (duh), then baked in the air fryer (yep, it bakes too!) until browned and bubbly.

Photo: Wldrnessa

Kale produces its best leaves when temperatures drop, so it’s the perfect veggie to put in these fall falafels. The gluten-free chickpea patties are air-fried, so they’re lighter than your regular falafel, and perfect for adding extra protein to your meal without also adding a ton of extra oil.

Photo: Veggies Save the Day

Warm and hearty, these un-fried potato wedges fit the bill for a perfect cold weather snack or side. Made crispy in the air fryer with just one teaspoon of oil, they’re then generously drizzled in a nondairy cashew “cheese” sauce that’s much more heart-healthy than any spray cheese you’ll ever find.

Sweet Dishes

Photo: Healthy Slow Cooking

With warm stewed fruit and a buttery streusel-style topping, a crumble is a quintessential fall dessert. And you can totally use your air fryer to make one! This low-sugar recipe makes use of both fresh apples and frozen berries for the base, while a vegan topping made of brown rice flour keeps the dessert gluten-free. It’s a perfect cozy treat for two.

Photo: Stay Snatched

You may know empanadas as fried envelopes filled with meat and cheese, but once you try these sweet and spiced pockets, you may actually prefer the dessert version of the usually savory dish. With no dough to roll out, just a touch of raw honey for sweetness, plenty of fresh apple flavor, and zero oil involved, they’re easy, healthy, and super tasty all at once.

Photo: Cotter Crunch

Lightly tossed in coconut oil, dusted with cinnamon and sugar, and air-fried until crispy—this is how sweet potatoes should always be eaten, especially when they’re at their sweetest peak in the fall. We’ve never met a French fry we didn’t like, but we might just love these best.

Photo: Wine Lady Cooks

One of the best things about heading into fall is knowing that the holiday season is just around the corner. Get started early by baking up a batch of these vegan and gluten-free, cranberry-kissed pecan muffins—except instead of an oven, you’re using an air fryer, which slashes the cooking time in half.

Photo: Veggies Save the Day

If you can’t bake brownies without eating them all in a day (we’ve been there), this recipe may be exactly what you need. Not only does it make a small batch for portion control, but it’s also much healthier, with no eggs, oil, butter, or gluten—so really, you could technically eat the whole thing and still come out feeling pretty good.

Photo: Stay Snatched

With back-to-school season in full swing once fall hits, it’s all about easy breakfasts, ideally to take on the go when running late. Yielding six servings to last all week, this recipe evokes your favorite childhood toaster treat and is way healthier than the packaged kind, thanks to reduced-sugar jam, Greek yogurt, and reduced-fat cream cheese.

Photo: Glue and Glitter

The air fryer is basically a contraption that lets you eat fried food without actually having to fry any food. So it’s as if the gadget was tailor-made for this dessert: a glorious fusion of churros and donuts, two typically fried confections, which has all the cinnamon, sugary coating, and flaky dough, but none of the grease.

Photo: Awe Filled Homemaker

Coconut and banana sound more like a summer combo but not when the two are served warm and with a hefty pinch of cinnamon. Dipped in eggs and tapioca flour, these fruity bites are a ridiculously simple way to satisfy a sweet tooth while still feeling like you’re indulging in something a lot richer.

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21 Vegan Mushroom Recipes for When You Want Meaty Without the Meat https://greatist.com/eat/mushroom-recipes-for-plant-based-diets?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 21 Vegan Mushroom Recipes for When You Want Meaty Without the Meat 21 Vegan Mushroom Recipes for When You Want Meaty Without the Meat Mon, 08 Oct 2018 04:49:00 -0400 Anisha Jhaveri 16167 at https://greatist.com/ All veggies should be part of a healthy diet, but if you’re vegan or just trying to cut back on meat, it's time to pay special attention to mushrooms (no, not those kinds). Their hearty bite and texture make them perfect meat substitutes for plant-based diets, whether you’re using them for burgers or spaghetti sauce.

Don't worry, you don't need to settle for portobello every time: There are so many varieties to try that give you that sought-after umami flavor all while being a solid source of plant-based vitamin D. What’s not to love?

These 21 mushroom recipes give you plenty of ways to feast on the edible fungi; from appetizers to main courses, there’s always room for more mushrooms in your meals.

Appetizers

Photo: Who Needs Salad?

Sliced thick to look exactly like the classic seafood appetizer, these oyster mushroom bites could fool just about anyone. Their meaty texture offers the ideal contrast against the fresh, three-ingredient minty pea topping.

Photo: Eat Healthy Eat Happy

Even vegetarian stuffed mushrooms so often involve cheese, but these vegan bites are totally dairy-free, with a pecan, ginger, and veggie filling that’s the perfect balance of rich and light. They don’t even need bread crumbs on top, so they’re easily gluten-free too.

Photo: Beauty Food Blog

Even meat eaters might shudder at the thought of a traditional pâté made with liver, so this mushroom-based version works for everyone. Brown sugar, miso paste, sage, and fresh thyme add tons of depth to the spread, while walnuts and lentils provide a richness alongside the meaty shiitakes.

Photo: Lands and Flavors

Who says ceviche can only be made with raw fish? This vegan take does require some stove work for cooking the oyster mushrooms, but once you toss them with jalapeño, cucumber, avocado, and onion, it won’t taste any different from the marinated seafood appetizer.

Photo: Contentedness Cooking

For a lower carb alternative to bruschetta, spoon your tomato and basil mixture into portobello caps instead of onto bread slices. The “cups” are adorable and are a perfect light starter to a heavier main course.

Photo: Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Whether you’re looking for a healthy snack or a party appetizer, hummus is never a bad idea. Next time you make it, use this recipe, which jazzes up the chickpea pureé with some roasted mushrooms for a lot of extra savory flavor.

Photo: Damn Delicious

No grill? No problem! These kabobs are actually made in the oven, so you can whip 'em up any time of year. Another bonus? The marinating process only takes 15 minutes, so they can even come together as a last-minute appetizer.

Salads and Soups

Photo: Chickfood TV

Mushrooms don’t need to be the main star of a dish to stand out. Here, they show off their earthy flavor to an ensemble cast of ingredients. From the tiny grains of quinoa to the juicy cherry tomatoes and the fresh and crunchy corn, this salad is a total party of textures.

Photo: Vegan Sandra

Yup, you can totally have a soup that’s silky and vegan at the same time. How does it get its creamy texture? Potatoes and sunflower seeds are added to the mushroom broth, then the whole thing is pureéd until it reaches that glossy consistency.

Photo: Happy Hearted Kitchen

Warm toppings go a long way toward making salads feel more like a main meal than a side—in this case, it’s a simple sauté of mushrooms and navy beans on a bed of arugula. And don’t worry, making the pine nut Parmesan isn’t nearly as complicated as you might imagine (all you need is a food processor).

Photo: Simply Quinoa

For a soup that can double as a full meal, try this soup-er (we had to) satisfying recipe. With healthy fats from the coconut milk, protein-packed quinoa, and a variety of mushroom types, it's got a ton of flavor but is easy to make—no blending necessary.

Photo: Cookin' Canuck

Chopped, toasted pecans and crushed rosemary join baby bella mushrooms to make this warm salad totally cold weather-worthy. With a simple, herb-kissed dressing, it’s the perfect addition to a fall or winter menu.

Photo: Delicious Everyday

Mushrooms and lentils pair up for a powerhouse plant-based salad that doesn’t skimp on protein, fiber, or—thanks to plenty of lemon and garlic—flavor. The veggie and legume mixture can also be eaten hot or cold, making this a solid meal-prep option.

Photo: Salad Menu

In the time it would take you to assemble a regular cold salad, you can make one that's semi-cooked to give you a little more comfort in your meal. Mushrooms are cooked on a skillet with garlic and scallions, then tumbled onto a pile of spinach and sprinkled with fiber-filled flaxseeds and drizzled with a tangy Dijon vinaigrette. It’s surprisingly simple and perfectly light but satisfying.

Main Dishes

Photo: Connoisseurus Veg

While you’ve probably seen a portobello burger as the vegan option in every bistro you’ve ever been to, this particular recipe stands out for needing only four basic ingredients. Also, instead of being carelessly slapped on a bun, these mushroom caps are generously brushed with a sweet, tangy, and quite frankly, very addictive maple syrup and Dijon mustard sauce before being baked or grilled.

Photo: Will Frolic for Food

It may look fancy, but this creative vegan spin on crab cakes and remoulade is a surprisingly simple 30-minute meal. Chickpea flour holds the baked artichoke and oyster mushroom patties together, while the mayo-free, sesame seed-based sauce takes no time to whip up in a blender. Make this when you want to seriously impress your fellow diners.

Photo: Cit Nutritionally

We probably had you at “tacos,” but the fact that these take all of five minutes to put together may make them your new go-to recipe for Mexican night. It’s all thanks to the mushrooms, which are known to cook quickly and need nothing more than a bit of garlic and onion to become the perfect tortilla filling.

Photo: Health Starts in the Kitchen

For a show-stopping vegan entrée, this meat and seafood-free paella is an absolute winner thanks to the addition of gorgeous, golden chanterelles and black trumpet mushrooms. It takes a bit of time to let the saffron, white wine, thyme, and garlic flavors soak into the dish, but one bite of the end result, and you’ll be so glad you put in the effort.

Photo: Earth and Oven

Mushrooms on toast is one of those easy meals you can throw together on a busy evening, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be special. This recipe goes for an upgrade by using more exotic oyster and shiitake 'shrooms instead of the standard button variety. Fresh herbs and a spread of hummus kick up the complexity of the flavors too.

Photo: Rhian's Recipes

We will always be thankful to ingredients like plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, and—duh—mushrooms, for allowing us to enjoy meatless and dairy-free versions of dishes like this. Cooked into a creamy, rich sauce to ladle over pasta, this stroganoff proves that going vegan doesn’t have to mean compromising on foods we love.

Photo: Rabbit and Wolves

Pick naturally sweetened apricot preserves to keep this dish lower in sugar. You’ll still get their fruity flavor, which, along with some fresh orange juice, is crucial for giving this recipe its sweet flavor. With soy sauce for a savory balance and chili flakes for a spicy kick, you’ve never had mushrooms quite like this.

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This No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Fudge Tastes Like Jumping in a Pile of Leaves https://greatist.com/eat/pumpkin-spice-freezer-fudge-recipe?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist This No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Fudge Tastes Like Jumping in a Pile of Leaves This No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Fudge Tastes Like Jumping in a Pile of Leaves Sun, 07 Oct 2018 16:43:42 -0400 Suze Kaufman 16263 at https://greatist.com/ Every Monday on our Instagram stories, we share a super-easy, seven-ingredient-or-less recipe. Follow us for a new episode each week!

'Tis the season for all things fall. We can't wait to jump into a pile of leaves and celebrate. One thing we're not thrilled about? All the sugar and processed ingredients in our favorite pumpkin spice foods.

So we set out to find a treat that tastes like fall and also feels good in our bodies. What did we find? This bomb pumpkin spice freezer fudge. It's a no-bake recipe and has only six ingredients, so you could probably whip it up right now.

Share a photo of your own fudge on Instagram and tag us @greatist.

Pumpkin Spice Freezer Fudge

Recipe by: The Healthy Maven
Makes: 16 pieces
Ready in: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature (not melted)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 cup almond butter (the drippier, the better)
1/4 cup dark chocolate, melted (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, mix together coconut oil and maple syrup until blended.

2. Add pumpkin purée, pumpkin spice, and almond butter. Mix until combined.

3. Cover a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and pour mixture into pan, spreading evenly.

4. Freeze for at least one hour and cut into 16 squares. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.

5. Serve immediately or store in freezer.

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19 Copycat Italian Recipes That Are Way Healthier Than What You Get at Restaurants https://greatist.com/eat/healthy-italian-recipes?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 19 Copycat Italian Recipes That Are Way Healthier Than What You Get at Restaurants 19 Copycat Italian Recipes That Are Way Healthier Than What You Get at Restaurants Fri, 05 Oct 2018 06:00:00 -0400 Anisha Jhaveri 16253 at https://greatist.com/ There’s never really a bad time for Italian food. Whether you’re planning a fancy date night, need a crowd-pleasing cuisine for a group dinner, or simply want a casual slice of pizza, you can count on Italian as a pretty safe and satisfying bet.

That said, we’re not going to lie—a lot of the food at American-Italian restaurants these days can leave you feeling like there’s a huge rock in your stomach, thanks to being heavy on the carbs, drenched in rich dairy, and often pretty meaty.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. From eggplant Parmesan to risotto, these recipes take some of the most commonly found menu items in restaurants and give them a healthier spin. Buon appetito!

Appetizers

Photo: Ceara's Kitchen

Considering they're usually fried and packed with cheese, nothing about traditional arancini balls are that healthy (or vegan). They are mouthwatering, though, so re-creating them is a must. This recipe uses nutritional yeast for the cheesiness factor and bakes the balls to keep them practically oil-free. What could make them even better? A marinara dipping sauce, made creamy with the addition of tahini to keep everything dairy-free.

Photo: Pure Ella

Minestrone soup in restaurants usually contains tubular or shell macaroni, but when it’s your kitchen, it’s your choice—why not switch things up with gluten-free spaghetti torn into shorter strips? Plus, while most versions of this soup contain a ton of ingredients, this one takes the “less-is-more” approach and relies on fewer than 10 main components to create a well-seasoned, super-filling vegetarian soup.

Photo: The Cookie Rookie

The king of all Italian salads is also probably one of the simplest and most satisfying. In restaurants, you’ll find it presented as thick slices of tomato and mozzarella, with basil leaves in-between and balsamic drizzle on top. This version serves it up slightly differently, with cherry tomatoes, balls of the cheese, chopped herbs, and balsamic reduction all mixed up in a bowl. Rest assured, this way tastes just as good, if not better.

Photo: Whitney Bond

This pasta and bean soup can usually be counted on as a healthy starter at most Italian restaurants, but making it at home guarantees quality control on every single ingredient. This recipe uses fresh veggies and canned beans, while opting for gluten-free pasta and swapping the bacon out for ground beef to make it a heartier dish.

Photo: The Healthy Toast

Egg whites, oats instead of white bread crumbs, and lean ground chicken instead of beef for the meatballs make this Italian wedding soup a good deal lighter than the regular kind, while pearled couscous instead of pasta simply switches up the textures. Plus, while most wedding soups use spinach or escarole as their green of choice, this one opts for kale for a chewier bite and tons of vitamins.

Photo: Kitchen Concoctions

Few restaurants are memorable for their salads, but Olive Garden’s bread crumb-studded, cheese-garnished pile of veggies drizzled in creamy dressing can’t be beat. While this recipe is super faithful to the salad ingredients (down to the black olives and the pepperoncini peppers), it takes a somewhat healthier approach to the dressing, with Greek yogurt option instead of mayo and presumably less sugar.

Photo: Nourished Simply

At restaurants, antipasto salads are more like bowls of chopped meat and cheese with a few peppers thrown in. Not this one. With romaine, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, and mushrooms, the veggies are the stars here. Don’t worry, though: Provolone, ham, and salami certainly make their presence felt, but a little of each goes a longer way than you’d think.

Main Meals

Photo: Wholefully

Sure, Noodles and Company isn’t the epitome of authentic Italian food, but there’s no denying that its penne rosa dish is the kind of fantastically creamy and carb-loaded meal you want to face-plant into. Before you do, whip up this copycat version, which uses Greek yogurt instead of cream, whole-wheat pasta, and lots of fresh spinach for added fiber. All right, now you can face-plant.

Photo: Well Nourished

This veggie-packed Bolognese recipe is notable for thoughtfully offering several ways to enjoy this Italian restaurant staple without compromising on your dietary choices. Need to make it Paleo? Serve it over zucchini noodles. Go for gluten-free pasta if you wish. Not a meat eater? A can of lentils works great in place of the beef or chicken. No matter how you choose to eat it, there’s no way you’ll go wrong.

Photo: Jar of Lemons

Oodles of cheese. A meaty filling. Thick sheets of refined flour pasta. How could you possibly healthify the decadent lasagna? For starters, layer lots of sliced veggies in-between the other ingredients. Then, substitute cottage cheese in place of the ricotta. With just those two simple tweaks, you can turn this restaurant favorite into a meal you don’t have to save for special occasions.

Photo: Layers of Happiness

Leave that take-out menu in the drawer. Instead, you can roll out a pizza dough, layer on the toppings, and bake the entire thing, all in just 20 minutes! Don’t believe it? Try it for yourself and let us know how it worked out in-between bites of thin, crispy crust, juicy tomato sauce, and ooey-gooey cheese.

Photo: The Live-In Kitchen

Eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge, meaning that deep-frying it—as one does for regular eggplant Parm—essentially amounts to eating glugs of extra fat that may leave you feeling weighed down and queasy (and that’s before the cheese is added!). For results that are equally delicious but come without the food coma, this recipe broils the eggplant slices without breading them, uses thin slices of cheese instead of entire layers, and opts for a light bread crumb topping.

Photo: Super Healthy Kids

With cheese, eggs, bacon, and pasta—and sometimes, even cream—pasta carbonara is basically the dish that inspired this article. Give it a makeover with turkey bacon, less cheese, and whole-wheat pasta without losing the killer sauce that the egg yolk creates. You’re welcome.

Photo: Trois Fois Parjour

You may not think of a luxurious risotto as the type of meal you can cook at home, but not only is it possible, it’s also a quick, 20-minute endeavor! With a pinch of saffron, a splash of white wine, and just enough butter and cheese, this has all the ingredients it needs to achieve restaurant quality without nearly as much richness.

Desserts

Photo: Shoot the Cook

Spongy, espresso-soaked ladyfingers, heavy whipping cream, that light cocoa dusting… it’s really not the end of an Italian meal unless tiramisu makes an appearance. These individualized cups not only make for easy portion control but also use honey for a slightly healthy sweetener, while ricotta instead of mascarpone cheese adds more protein.

Photo: My Little Italian Kitchen

A crunchy shell on the outside, a creamy sweet cheese filling on the inside… what’s not to love about cannoli? This healthier version keeps all the good stuff about this quintessential Italian pastry but leaves out the less desirable bit, going for a baked method instead of deep-frying the dough. It’s healthier, less messy, and just as finger-licking good.

Photo: Destination Delish

With eggs, cream, and generous spoonfuls of sugar, this fluffy, semi-frozen dessert is like the cousin of an ice cream cake—no ice cream maker necessary. This egg-free recipe makes it a tad healthier, using part-skim ricotta and reduced fat cream cheese, plus just three tablespoons of honey in the entire thing.

Photo: The Spiffy Cookie

Zabaglione essentially amounts to egg yolks whipped with sugar and wine to make an impossibly airy yet rich custard. Pretty simple, right? This recipe doesn’t stray far from that basic formula but jazzes things up with the addition of biscotti and fresh strawberries to make a pretty, layered dessert that couldn’t be easier to make.

Photo: Bon Aippetit

Finally, a panna cotta even nondairy dessert fans can enjoy! While its name literally translates to “cooked cream,” there isn’t a drop of the stuff in this custard. Instead, that gelatin, coconut cream, and pumpkin puree combine with cinnamon and cloves to form a mildly spiced, silky mixture that, when chilled, rivals any restaurant rendition.

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You Can Stop Stress Acne (Even If You Can't Totally Stop Stress) https://greatist.com/live/why-am-i-breaking-out-stress-acne?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist You Can Stop Stress Acne (Even If You Can't Totally Stop Stress) You Can Stop Stress Acne (Even If You Can't Totally Stop Stress) Fri, 05 Oct 2018 05:46:00 -0400 Jane Chertoff and Jess Novak 16248 at https://greatist.com/ For many of us, a quick news catch-up and glance at the number of unread emails on our phone have our stress levels climbing at 7:05 a.m. By the time we get through our commute and into work, our anxiety levels are only creeping higher and higher. So if the trials of modern life are taking their toll not only on your psyche but also on your skin, you're not alone.

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We checked in with dermatologists for their advice on how to get a handle on breakouts—so the stress can stop showing up on your face, at least.

Why does stress acne happen, anyway?

If you've ever experienced a breakout after a performance review or the night before a Bumble date, you can thank your trusty ol' hormones for that.

"While stress does not directly cause acne, it can exacerbate it, and if you are already acne-prone, stress can make your acne worse," says Michele Green, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. "Acne is an inflammatory disease that can be exacerbated by hormones released during stress, which increase inflammation."

To break it down further, your skin basically goes into "defense mode" at the first sign of stress. Hormones, including cortisol and adrenal androgens, plus neuropeptides, are released to protect you. Unfortunately, this also triggers and inflames the sebaceous glands—yep, the oily ones, which can cause a flare-up of skin conditions (including acne) as a result.

Green says you can usually tell if you're experiencing stress breakouts because they will be accompanied by redness, itching, and an increased number of blackheads and whiteheads. And even if your acne is usually under control, Green still sees them in patients who are going through an anxiety-filled time.

"I see a lot of stress breakouts," she says. "In adult patients, if they are going through a difficult time at home or work, this can cause their once-controlled acne to flare." And final exams tend to cause them in students.

The good news is that even though the underlying cause is because you're stressed AF at work, the treatment is similar to that for other acne breakouts.

How to get rid of stress acne

Your first stop is your local drugstore: Pick up some topical spot treatments, says Robin Evans, M.D., a dermatologist in Connecticut. "Topical benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which are both over-the-counter, can be directly applied as a spot treatment to individual lesions or over the general affected area if it doesn't cause too much dryness or irritation for you."

If you're experiencing a painful stress cyst, she also recommends a holding a warm or cold compress over the area to reduce pain and redness.

Plain old ice can also do a surprising amount for stress acne—consider making ice cubes from green tea, which has been shown in some clinical trials to help reduce sebum production, for a double-whammy, super-cheap DIY treatment.

Other damage control options can include alpha hydroxy acid solution, such as beauty editor-favorite Paula's Choice, and applying a hydrocolloid patch like Mighty Patch to especially tough spots.

Making sure you're staying hydrated and consider switching to a low-glycemic diet, which can help too.

If this happens a lot, switch up your skin care routine.

Make sure you're using a pH-balanced cleanser, like EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser, and a moisturizer that doesn't clog your skin's pores, like Cerave Ultra Light SPF 30 in the morning and Cerave PM at night. Applying one of the gentler vitamin C serums, like Mad Hippie, after you wash but before you apply your moisturizer is also a great idea for fighting acne (and can help with plenty of other skin concerns too).

And if this is a really regular occurrence, Green also recommends seeing your dermatologist for a more serious treatment regimen. "The sooner you act to get an appointment with your dermatologist, the better, because it will prevent or minimize acne scarring," she says. "Your dermatologist can prescribe medication to control and regulate hormones."

Your derm can also book you for treatments such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion that can help clear up acne, and microneedling to help reduce acne-caused scars.

Stop stress acne before it starts by learning a few solid ways to manage stress.

While you can't just stop engaging in stressful situations (unless you go off the grid and get a cabin in the woods somewhere, which… no), there's no denying that stress is bad for your body. And while you may not be able to take time (or money) out for a full spa day, Evans says you should perform some self-care every once in a while—doctor's orders.

"Find the method that works best for you, whether that's yoga, meditation, a walk, a talk with a friend, a therapist, or modification of stressors in the workplace." And when your schedule is too packed for any of that—remember that just taking a deep breath goes a long way.

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What Are Medicinal Mushrooms—and Should You Be Eating Them? https://greatist.com/live/adaptogens-and-medicinal-mushrooms?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist What Are Medicinal Mushrooms—and Should You Be Eating Them? What Are Medicinal Mushrooms—and Should You Be Eating Them? Fri, 05 Oct 2018 05:30:00 -0400 Stepfanie Romine 16166 at https://greatist.com/ Before I moved to Asheville, North Carolina (the wellness mecca of the South), I had never even heard of medicinal mushrooms, let alone tried them. Soon after my move, however, foraging for mushrooms and herbs became part of my regular routine. So much so that in 2014, I went to work for an herbal supplements company, where one of my projects was researching the burgeoning market for medicinal mushrooms.

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Fascinatingly, if you compare DNA, mushrooms are actually closer to humans than they are plants. And we love to snack on them—we eat about three pounds of mushrooms annually (up 20 percent from 2000). In adaptogenic drinks and supplements, mushrooms were a top trend in the natural products industry this year.

Millennials (and modern science) are catching on to what herbalists and traditional healers have known for millennia: Mushrooms are medicinal.

Mushrooms generally do one of two things, health-wise: They help with stress and/or the immune system. Even the button mushrooms in your regular grocery store have some medicinal benefits, and plenty of less common varieties are loaded with nutritional and health benefits—with the studies to confirm it. (One of the leading mycologists, Christopher Hobbs, Ph.D., published a comprehensive review of medicinal mushrooms in 2017 that cited 122 clinical research studies).

"They are excellent for immune system-supportive and antioxidant properties," says Erica Steele, N.D., a functional medicine practitioner. "Many of them have potent antiviral and antitumor properties, while some support metabolic and inflammatory conditions such as hypertension and cholesterol."

When Mary Bove, N.D., a naturopath and herbalist based in New Hampshire, began practicing more than 40 years ago, medicinal herbs were not found on grocery store shelves, and few species of mushrooms were readily available, either. And as we've collectively started to rediscover the value of holistic and natural healing practices, we've also taken a renewed interest in mushrooms.

This fungal renaissance has perfect timing. "Mushrooms are effective and poignant for our current time and needs," Bove says. Basically, we're sick and we're stressed, and we're sick of being stressed, so our neuroendocrine systems are breaking down. According to the most recent Stress in America survey, nearly two-thirds of us think this is the lowest point in history that we can remember—and we're worried about our health and health care too. (The real kicker? Stress interferes with immune function, so we're creating a vicious cycle.)

Clinical herbalist and nutritionist Sandi Ford thinks mushrooms are the perfect food to help counteract the stress of our busy modern lives, which can be very taxing on the immune system. "I consider them a food for an anti-cancer lifestyle," says Ford, who practices in northern California. "Mushrooms are strengthening to our immune systems."

Let's look at how mushrooms support our health and take a dive into the most popular medicinal varieties, plus what they've been shown to do for us in clinical trials.

How Mushrooms Help Your Immune System

All mushrooms contain a type of complex carb called beta-glucans that stimulates your immune system and helps suppress tumor growth. Mushrooms play both sides of the field in your immune system: On defense, mushrooms like cordyceps and turkey tail directly fight viruses and bacteria. These are called "immune stimulants."

On the offense, mushrooms (including reishi and shiitake) help nourish and even strengthen your immune system and its parts, like bone marrow or white blood cells. These mushrooms are called "immune tonics."

How Mushrooms Help You Manage Stress

You likely know some herbs (like ashwagandha, tulsi, and maca) that are adaptogens, helping the body adapt to both environmental and psychological stresses. But mushrooms (including cordyceps and reishi) can also be adaptogens. This category of herbs supports the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems, and they support the adrenals, which are in charge of stress management. Ford explains that this class of herbs "helps rebuild and strengthen an empty tank" when you've run out of energy.

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Steele says that adaptogens meet you where you are. "If the person is too manic or frantic, it will help ground them, and vice versa—if the person is sluggish, tired, or fatigued, they can help stabilize the body. I view them as a strong stabilizer in our hectic, sometimes unpredictable world."

Things to Know Before You Start Making Mushrooms Lattes

I'm no mycologist, but I have spent the last few years studying and cooking with medicinal mushrooms. In fact, I wrote the book (or a book, rather) on these 'shrooms. (Cooking with Healing Mushrooms, my first solo cookbook, came out in July!) There are a few things you need to know before you start getting creative in the kitchen with your mushrooms:

  1. Never eat them raw. Yeah, you might enjoy a sliced baby bella in your salad, but tbh, it's not great for you—although no, it's not going to kill you. The thing is, mushrooms contain an anti-nutrient called agaritine, which cooking helps reduce. And the cell walls of mushrooms are mostly chitin (the same material as shrimp shells), which is not digestible raw, but cooking mushrooms breaks down the cell walls, unlocking their nutritional properties. Some mushrooms (like morels) are toxic if eaten raw, and others (like shiitake) can give you a rash or a bellyache. (An Instagrammer's cookbook was actually recalled over recipes that included raw morels!)
  2. Know which ones need to be extracted. In my book, I call mushrooms either tough or tender. Any edible mushroom that's soft enough to slice and sauté is tender—that includes shiitake, maitake, and buttons. Hard mushrooms like chaga, reishi, and turkey tail need to be extracted using water and/or alcohol, then made into capsules, tinctures (alcohol-based liquids), or powders. Extracts can be added to lattes and the like, but raw mushrooms (even dried ones) need to be cooked.
  3. Mushrooms aren't magic. No herb, mushroom, or supplement is a cure-all. Don't expect major changes to happen overnight, and as with any wellness or health regimen, you still have to put in the work. If you're taking cordyceps for stress but making no effort to reduce or manage what you're experiencing, you can't expect your stress to simply disappear. As with herbs, supplements, or pharmaceuticals, you need to do your part to deal with the root cause of your issues, not simply treat the symptoms.

The Beginner's Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms

Here's a quick breakdown of some of the common types of mushrooms, and what to do with them:

Chaga

Used for: antioxidant protection and immune health

Flavor and texture: bitter and must be extracted; pleasant with spices, like chai

The basics: With a long history of use in Eastern Europe, chaga is considered a tonic (it helps your overall wellness/immune health) and has strong antioxidant properties.

"Chaga is used to ward off the common cold, support the skin and hair, and lower inflammation within the body typically caused by stress," Steele says. "It also is a powerful antitumor agent."

How to use it: Add the extract to chai, broth, coffee or smoothies.

Cordyceps

Used for: adaptogen (energy, stamina, and endurance), immune health

Flavor and texture: tender and pleasant when fresh; mild when dried; usually extracted due to rarity

The basics: Used in China for stamina and energy for generations, cordyceps is now popular with athletes. It's an adaptogen that has a laundry list of traditional and modern uses—including fighting fatigue and boosting immune health.

"Cordyceps increases energy," Steele says.

How to use it: Add dried cordyceps to soups and broths; use the extract in smoothies, sports drinks, or energy bars.

Lion's Mane

Used for: brain health, including memory and cognition

Flavor and texture: like a cross between chicken and fish in both flavor and texture; mild and chewy, with a sweet scent

The basics: This mushroom actually looks like a lion's mane—it's white and shaggy. Lion's mane boosts memory and cognition (and may even improve mild cognitive impairment) and is considered to be a nootropic, or a cognitive enhancer. It's another one that's gaining favor among athletes.

How to use it: Slice and saute fresh lion's mane as you would chicken or fish; add the extract to smoothies, coffee, or your morning oatmeal.

Maitake

Used for: immune health, blood sugar levels

Flavor and texture: rich, meaty yet delicate texture; very juicy; woodsy

The basics: Maitake (aka "hen of the woods") is known to boost the immune system and influence blood sugar levels. "Maitake is one I like to eat as much of as I can," Ford says.

How to use it: Sear over high heat, then braise; as an extract, add to smoothies, coffee, or tea.

Reishi

Used for: stress, sleep, immune health, lungs

Flavor and texture: bitterness is a sign of potency; must be extracted or made into tea

The basics: Also called the mushroom of immortality, reishi has been used for 4,000 years in China and Japan. It has traditionally been used as an adaptogen, to balance and support the endocrine system, and to promote healthy sleep. Modern research backs up its use for cancer, diabetes, and more.

How to use it: Use in chocolate truffles, coffee, smoothies or warm milk.

Shiitake

Used for: immune health, antioxidant support, healthy skin and liver

Flavor and texture: savory, rich, meaty, plentiful umami; dense and chewy, especially when broiled

The basics: Perhaps the best-known medicinal mushroom due to its long-term use as food, shiitake is used to boost the immune system for ailments ranging from sniffles to tumors.

"Shiitake is a strong antitumor and antiviral as well as a potent immune-supporting agent," Steele says.

How to use it: Simmer dried shiitakes in soups and stews; saute fresh ones; use extracts in smoothies and other drinks.

Turkey Tail

Used for: immune support, liver protection

Flavor and texture: bitter and earthy; must be extracted

The basics: Turkey tail is an extensively researched mushroom; it's actually used with standard cancer treatments in Japan. Turkey tail has traditionally been used for cholesterol, liver health, and immune health. "Turkey tail helps aid digestion and is an immune system supporter for infections," Steele says. Ford uses it for acute infections, boosting deep immunity, and to protect the liver.

How to use it: Simmer fresh or dried mushrooms in teas or broths or add extracts to smoothies and other drinks.

Stepfanie Romine is an ACE-certified health coach, fitness nutrition specialist, and registered yoga teacher based in the mountains near Asheville, N.C. She has co-authored several books about healthy living, including The No Meat Athlete Cookbook. Her first solo cookbook, Cooking with Healing Mushrooms, is out now. Find her at The Flexible Kitchen or connect with her via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Some copy adapted from Cooking With Healing Mushrooms: 150 Delicious Adaptogen-Rich Recipes that Boost Immunity, Reduce Inflammation and Promote Whole Body Health (Ulysses Press, July 2018) by Stepfanie Romine.

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7 Tips That Will Make Running in the Rain Suck Less https://greatist.com/fitness/running-in-the-rain-tips?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 7 Tips That Will Make Running in the Rain Suck Less 7 Tips That Will Make Running in the Rain Suck Less Thu, 04 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0400 Allie Flinn 16303 at https://greatist.com/ There are two types of people in this world: those who love running and those who would literally rather do any other form of exercise. Add a downpour to the mix, and I think we can pretty much all agree that the proper response to running is lol no thanks. Waterlogged clothes, soggy shoes, and chafing (oh, the chafing) don't make for the most enjoyable 5k.

However, in some places (*cough* this writer's home state of Oregon *cough*), you'd rarely ever get to run outside if rain were the mitigating factor in your workout routine. Besides, there's only so much time you can spend inside running on a treadmill before you want to throw a dumbbell at the TV screens inexplicably playing The Great British Baking Show (seriously, who needs a reminder that cupcakes exist when you're trying to be healthy?). So we chatted up the experts to get their best tips on how to run in the rain—without it totally sucking.

Some of them even described it as fun.

"Running in the rain is a different experience—it's something new, and the variety alone makes it more exciting," Aaron Forrest, a Boston Marathon finisher and certified coach at Gixo, says. "It's nothing to be afraid of, and with a little preparedness, you might even look forward to the raindrops."

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Plus, there's an awesome benefit to running in the rain: It keeps you cool. "I actually ran faster in the crazy rain/wind storm this year compared to last year's marathon, likely because my heart rate was lower throughout the workout because the heart has to work harder in hot temperatures," Forrest explains. "Sure, you need a little more mental toughness, and it feels hardcore—but who doesn't want to feel a little more hardcore?"

Accurate. Ready to get hardcore with your runs? Here's how you can turn a run in the rain into something you'll actually enjoy.

1. Embrace the fact that you're going to get wet.

Wrap your head around it: You're not commuting to your office with an umbrella and rain boots, so yeah, you're going to get wet if you go for a run outside when it's raining. "I run in the rain quite often," says Shaun Bohnsack, director of product for the Nature's Gym category at Merrell.

"Living in Michigan, we have great fall weather and that leads to some fun rainy—sometimes snowy—runs. If I'm going out for a short run on the trail and it's not too cold, a lot of times I will just embrace the rain. Run in a long-sleeve, lightweight shirt, shorts, and shoes that drain well."

Paul Ronto, content director at RunRepeat, says that, contrary to what you might think, you should skip the rain jacket on your run. "When you head out for a run in the rain, you are going to get wet— own it. All a rain jacket is going to do is help you overheat, and odds are, you'll be carrying it or tying it around your waist before the end of your run," he says. "Instead, layer correctly to ensure you are warm enough but not trapping in heat."

2. Never wear cotton.

Srsly tho. Cotton absorbs water, which means that when you get wet—which you will—your cotton clothes will hang onto all that water and create a generally soggy experience. "Anyone who's ever gotten wet in cotton knows that it doesn't feel good," says Gillian Goerzen, personal trainer and health coach who lives on the "Wet Coast.”

"Not only will it be more prone to chafe because the wet, cold fabric sticks to your skin—you'll be more likely to chill. It sounds funny, but technical wool is actually fantastic because it doesn't feel cold and soggy when wet." Ronto adds that materials like merino wool or polyester have thermal properties (even when soaked), making them a warmer, all-around better fabric choice for running in the rain. We especially love this shirt from Smartwool for cooler rainy fall runs.

"As the saying goes, there's no bad weather, only bad gear," adds Mirna Valerio, ultra-runner and Merrell ambassador. "If you have the right gear, you and rain can be friends."

3. Put on a baseball cap.

This tip seems like a no-brainer, but it's especially important to put a lid on your head if you wear contacts. "I'm a contact lens wearer, and there is pretty much nothing worse than rain in the eyes and irritated contacts," Goerzen says.

"Hats rock in the rain—contact lenses or not," Ronto says. "Although it won't keep your head dry, it will keep some of the rain out of your eyes, making it easier to see."

4. The right socks will save your life.

Those cotton ankle socks you bought in a 12-pack off of Amazon were a great bargain, but they are absolutely not coming on your run in the rain. It's time to bust out your heavy-duty socks because if your feet ain't happy… well, you know the saying. "Good socks are worth the investment!" Goerzen says. She's partial to wool running socks (like these or these) and says that the no-cotton tip above is especially important when it comes to socks. (Say socks again. Socks!)

5. You don't always need waterproof shoes.

Waterproof shoes seem like an obvious choice for a rain run, but Goerzen says that's not always the case. "If you're a roadrunner, a waterproof shoe can go a long way in keeping your feet dry," she says. "But if you're a trail runner, I'd personally recommend skipping the waterproof shoes. You'll more than likely come upon giant puddles you can't always avoid, or small creeks. Consider that once the water is in, it needs a route out."

Bohnsack runs in the Agility Synthesis Flex. "I find that the tighter mesh handles mud and wet really well. Though it's not waterproof, it works to keep debris out," he says.

6. Get thee some Vaseline.

Chafing is the most unfair thing that can happen when you're out being a total badass running in the rain. Congrats, you motivated yourself to work out in the rain: Your reward is raw, burning flesh!

"Think about adding some Vaseline to areas like where your socks end on your ankles, under your armpits, and on your bra straps. Nothing ends a run quicker than hot spots and raw skin," Ronto says. You can also pick up an anti-friction stick like Megababe Thigh Rescue for $14, which protects skin from chafing with a blend of aloe, vitamin E, and grapeseed oil.

7. Change up your mindset.

Instead of being all Ugh, rain, try to be like, Hey rain isn't ideal, but guess what? My body is capable of cool things, and I'm not the Wicked Witch of the West so some sky water isn't going to melt me.

You're being active in less than perfect conditions, and that makes you that much stronger. "Your focus should be on your run, how you feel, and the results," says Andrew Nuñez, LA-based Barry's Bootcamp and running coach. "See the rain as a tool and focus on how it can help you during your run—it can cool you down as you clock in the pace you're striving for. Think of it as another minor obstacle to get stronger!"

Allie Flinn is an LA-based beauty, fitness, and wellness writer. She's passionate about working out, neutral colors, young adult novels, and her rescue dogs. Follow her fitness journey on Instagram @allieflinn.

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19 Fat Bomb Recipes That Taste Like Bites of Heaven https://greatist.com/eat/fat-bomb-recipes-for-keto-dieters?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 19 Fat Bomb Recipes That Taste Like Bites of Heaven 19 Fat Bomb Recipes That Taste Like Bites of Heaven Thu, 04 Oct 2018 05:00:00 -0400 Tara Goodrum 16239 at https://greatist.com/ Would it be cliché to say fat bombs are the bomb? Maybe, but if truth-telling is wrong, we don't want to be right. Low carb and full of (fatty) flavor, fat bombs are so ridiculously good looking—err, tasting—we can hardly snack on anything else. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, we say keep up the keto and keep things interesting with these 19 fat bomb recipes.

Photo: These Wild Acres

One of our favorite things about fat bombs—aside from how freaking good they are—is how simple they are to make. This five-ingredient recipe only requires whipping the mixture, filling it into tin cups, and popping the espresso-filled bomb into the freezer. Is this what they meant when they said "breakfast of champions"?

Photo: Perry’s Plate

Who said coffee grinders were only good for coffee? This recipe uses the multifaceted device to blend freeze-dried raspberries into a chalky powder and then layers it with a coconut oil and cacao butter topping. Cheap, easy, and filling... this is what we'd categorize as a dream snack.

Photo: Cakes Cottage

Not all fat bombs need to include coconut oil and nut butter. These meat-based bombs use chicken, bacon, cream cheese, and jalapeños to spice up your (fat bomb) life. The only modification required is sticking to sugar-free barbecue sauce or substituting a similar sauce, like peri-peri—which you should also make sure is sugar-free.

Photo: Bakerita

Bye bye, crusty pecan pie. We're trading in the sugar-filled holiday staple and turning to these beauties. Made with pecans (naturally), shredded coconut, coconut butter, a handful of seeds (chia, flax, and hemp), and some simple flavorings (like vanilla extract and cinnamon), these are a great substitute for classic holiday cookies—or simply an awesome everyday snack.

Photo: What Molly Made

These peanut butter fat bombs have us all buttered up. Taking only five minutes to make, these freezer-friendly nibbles are the perfect thing to make on the weekend and enjoy throughout the week. If you want to keep the recipe strictly keto, swap vanilla extract for the maple syrup and skip the dark chocolate. (Honestly, they're satisfying enough without any sweetener.)

Photo: Forget Sugar Friday

Beef eaters, this one's for you. Balls of ground beef are layered with butter, cheese, and even more beef, and cooked in a muffin pan to create hardy balls of burger joy.

To amp up the flavor, add onion or garlic powder to the ground beef, and to avoid any spillage—it can get pretty oily—place the muffin pan on top of a baking dish while it's in the oven. We say, "Oh heck no," to oil overflow.

Photo: Gnom Gnom

It's hard to believe this melt-in-your-mouth cookie crumble qualifies as a healthy snack. Start with the cookies, which requires quickly toasting almond flour—a non-negotiable step—and mixing in cocoa powder, sweetener, and coffee. Once the first layer is frozen—and the extra crumbles placed aside—whip up the vanilla cream and wait for the final product to freeze. Patience really is a virtue.

Photo: Forget Sugar Friday

Take a break from the ultra-rich, dessert-like fat bombs and sail away—metaphorically speaking—with a bite of these summery piña colada balls. Though coconut oil often steals the keto diet spotlight, coconut manna—also known as coconut butter—gets to take all the credit for the creamy texture and frosting-like flavor in these tropical treats. Live every day like it's a vacation day... ?

Photo: Officially Gluten Free

This recipe is the perfect antidote for the days you're feeling extra crabby. Mixed with cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, garlic, and spices and rolled in crispy bacon, these crab bites are the perfect example of just how versatile the keto diet can be.

Though fresh crab often costs a pretty penny, this recipe keeps things on the more affordable side with canned crab—and honestly, with all that garlic and cheesy deliciousness, you can't even taste the difference.

Photo: The Castaway Kitchen

Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin oatmeal... We know there's no shortage of ways to eat pumpkin—especially come fall—but this is the one we can't get enough of.

Aside from its amazing flavor—and secret boost of collagen (though feel free to skip it if you don't have it on hand)—we love that this recipe moves away from the tradition ball and opts for slices. Whether enjoying as a snack or serving at Thanksgiving as a healthier pumpkin pie, this recipe is sure to steal your pumpkin-spiced hearts.

Photo: Real Balanced

Finding the right keto-friendly sweetener is no easy feat. Not only can they be hard to find—let alone to pronounce!—but some can leave recipes with a grainy texture and an artificially sweet taste. Thanks but no thanks.

These almond butter bombs use monk fruit sweetener, one the most natural tasting and easy to find (thanks, Amazon!). But the perfect sweetness is hardly the best part when it comes to this recipe. We also love the 100 percent cacao chocolate chips and amazing amount of almond butter and coconut oil.

Photo: Three Olives Branch

This twist on jalapeño poppers has our taste buds poppin'. A great party appetizer or snack to keep for yourself (it can be our little secret), these cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped bombs are everything we want when craving something savory.

We're all for using whatever sausage you please, but if you want to keep things strictly keto, make sure the variety you buy isn't hiding any sugar. (We know, sausage with sugar?! Yup, these things happen.)

Photo: How to This and That

A candy bar that boosts energy? Sure, store-bought candy bars can certainly give you a sugar high (followed by that infamous crash), but these candy bar fat bombs give you a boost that lasts—and a healthy one at that. Made with butter, almond flour, coconut, sweetener, sugar-free chocolate chips, and a bit more butter and almonds, these bombs give candy a way better rep.

Photo: Body Unburdened

Sick of chocolate-coconut fat bomb combos? (OK, we aren't either, but who doesn't like to change things up?) These minty matcha bombs are a nice—and refreshing—departure from other super-sweet varieties. With creaminess from coconut butter, earthiness from matcha powder, and minty freshness from peppermint extract, we've been downing these bites as though they were breath mints. (TBH, they work just as well!)

Photo: The Nourished Caveman

These savory prosciutto bombs are simply Brie-lliant. Made with only four ingredients—prosciutto, pecans, Brie, and black pepper—and taking less than 20 minutes to make (most of which is the baking), these fat bombs are a great way to get your fat boost from savory flavors instead of sweet. Another great holiday app, this recipe is a foolproof people-pleaser. (Seriously, you can't mess it up.)

Photo: Jennifer Banz

Gingerbread cookies, meet gingerbread fat bombs. Though we do miss the decorating, the flavor of these ginger bombs really does nail the cookie-like flavor: They're spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and bulked up with butter, almond flour, and sugar-free sweetener. When you turn up the holiday tunes while making them, you won't even taste the difference. Bonus: When you eat these, you don't have to behead anyone.

Photo: Girl in Healing

If you're a sucker for caramels, try these cashew bites on for size. Made with cashew butter, actual butter, vanilla extract, honey (use sugar-free sweetener to make them keto), and a pinch of sea salt, these fat bombs not only look the caramel part, but they taste like it too. Whether using muffin tins to freeze or popping them in ice molds, we say don't skip the cooling process, as that's what makes them extra chewy.

Photo: Fat For Weight Loss

We don't even know where to begin when it comes to these balls of cheesy goodness. Made with cream cheese, garlic, olives, and Parmesan cheese, these savory fat bombs are great as is or even greater turned pizza-style, with an added slice of pepperoni and touch of basil. Though cream cheese holds well in the fridge, we say eat the lot in one go (and share them with others if you dare), as they taste much better the day of.

Photo: Buns in My Oven

These four-ingredient fat bombs are extra awesome because you likely already have all of the ingredients on hand—meaning you can make them as soon as hunger strikes. Made with almond butter (cashew butter tastes great too), coconut oil, butter, and either maple extract or sugar-free maple syrup, these fall-like bites make for a perfect afternoon pick-me-up or late-night snack when you're craving something sweet.

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11 Thai Recipes That Are Way Better Than Takeout https://greatist.com/eat/thai-recipes-that-are-better-than-takeout?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 11 Thai Recipes That Are Way Better Than Takeout 11 Thai Recipes That Are Way Better Than Takeout Wed, 03 Oct 2018 05:40:00 -0400 Tara Goodrum 16262 at https://greatist.com/ Spicy noodles, drunken noodles, peanut sauces, lime galore... There's so much to love about Thai food—which is probably why we end up ordering it so much. Plus, making it at home requires so many ingredients. Or does it? These 11 Thai recipes, from pad Thai to Thai red curry, are not only easy but they also only include easy-to-find ingredients. Take that, takeout.

Anything that takes 20 minutes is right up our alley. This recipe kicks things off by cooking ground beef with shallots, one of our favorite secrets for meat that has just a touch of extra flavor. But that's just the beginning. The sauce really gets going when you throw in the chilis, garlic, fish sauce, lime, and sugar.

Just the right amount of sweet and tangy, this beef dish makes a great last-minute dinner and can be modified any way you need. Are you a veggie? Sub tamari for the fish sauce. Don't love beef? Use chicken or pork.

Gone are the days of noodles that can't stand up a whole lot of sauce and toppings. (Sorry, zoodles, but sometimes you're just not sturdy enough!) Pad see ew uses wide rice noodles, meaning you'll be able to scoop up plenty of that delicious beef and broccoli.

Though this recipe does call for two Thai staples—Chinese broccoli and Thai soy sauce—feel free to use regular broccoli and any soy sauce you have on hand. Since Thai soy sauce often has more salt, we often prefer the taste of regular anyway.

Though veggie noodles aren't right for every dish, they work perfectly in ones like this simple salad, where the dressing is light, and the ingredients are small enough to spread across every bite.

We love subbing edamame for chickpeas when we have frozen ones on hand and upping the protein with shredded chicken to make it a main meal. (Psst... a drizzle of Sriracha tastes pretty nice too.)

This dish is the perfect recipe for using up leftover rice. (Jasmine brown rice tends to taste best, but any rice will do!) Simply heat a large wok or castiron skillet, quickly scramble some eggs, and set aside. Then let the real magic begin by caramelizing the pineapple, charring the bell pepper, and making things extra Thai-tastic with garlic and green onions. This is another dish that goes great with added protein—like tofu or shrimp—and is a super-simple solution to post-work hanger.

As much as we love being authentic—in life and in the kitchen—sometimes we just need to fake it a little. This recipe skips Thai noodles and opts for spaghetti but pulls in Thai flavor with a sauce of sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and Sriracha. Feel free to stick to the suggested veggies or think outside the box with the likes of broccolini, water chestnuts, baby corns, or zucchini.

Yay for satay. These little skewers are so darn delicious we can hardly stop eating them. (But really, can someone come over to help?) Made with a simple Thai marinade and equally as simple peanut sauce, the hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the chicken to cook so you can dig in. Because the marinade is so versatile, feel free to use beef, shrimp, pork, or tofu for the skewers. Heck, you could even use mushrooms!

You may not find this recipe on an actual Thai menu, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't indulge. Though not a common Thai ingredient, sweet potato is great because it's robust enough to soak up all of those amazing Thai sauces.

This recipe opts for a mango coconut sauce—drool, we know!—and cooks the potatoes in chili paste to give them a little extra kick. Top with cabbage, herbs, and cashews and any other toppings you choose.

"Easy" and "curry" don't often go in the same sentence, but we're here to tell you that making an amazing curry is more than doable. This recipe uses coconut milk, red Thai curry paste (which is widely available), and fish sauce for the incredible broth and bulks it up with diced chicken breast, a slew of veggies, and a generous handful of basil. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it. (And when you find easy recipes for notoriously tricky dishes.)

Talk about chicken soup for the soul: Spicy, tart, and even a little tangy, this recipe brings all kinds of life to the classic comfort dish. If you don't have rice noodles on hand, feel free to sub a pack of ramen. And as with most Thai dishes, use whatever protein you prefer, as this dish tastes great with pretty much anything. Just don't go light on garnish. The more, the merrier has never been truer.

Crab cakes we've heard of, but shrimp cakes? A similar concept with a Thai twist, this protein-packed snack is made by mixing shrimp (frozen works fine) with curry paste, egg, fish sauce, sugar, and coconut milk in a food processor or blender.

The blended shrimp—we know, that doesn't sound so nice but trust us, it does taste nice—is then joined by green beans and basil for a little extra flavor and cooked in a skillet. Dip in the homemade sweet chili sauce or feel free to skip this step and use store-bought.

As crazy-delicious as takeaway pad Thai is, it's one of those dishes that's often packed with extra oil and sugar—meaning you may not feel so great after eating it.

This vegan version skips excessive sweetener and uses a simple sauce of veggie broth, tamari, tomato paste, Sriracha, and just a dash of maple syrup for an equally as tasty (but much more healthy) Pad Thai sauce. The rest of the ingredients are as expected, with rice noodles, bean sprouts, carrots, red bell pepper, cilantro, and plenty of peanuts and lime.

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8 Tips for Eating to Get Swole (Without Breaking the Bank) https://greatist.com/fitness/eating-to-get-swole-without-breaking-the-bank?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 8 Tips for Eating to Get Swole (Without Breaking the Bank) 8 Tips for Eating to Get Swole (Without Breaking the Bank) Wed, 03 Oct 2018 05:30:00 -0400 Saysha Heinzman 16266 at https://greatist.com/ Whether you're trying to get stronger, recovering from nagging injuries, or just want enormous muscles because you think they look cool, one of the most awesome yet challenging parts of building serious muscle is figuring out how much you need to eat.

Building muscle tissue requires a surplus of calories paired with heavy lifting over a long period of time. But even if you've done your homework and created a nutrition plan that makes sense for your goals, toss in a hefty amount of meal prep and the price tag of most healthy foods, and the results can be paralyzing. As a personal trainer, I've seen firsthand that most people end up not eating enough to see real changes in the gym.

Unless you have a friends-and-family discount at Whole Foods, it's hard out there for folks trying to get strong without blowing a ton of money on groceries—so how do you fuel yourself to get super swole without breaking the bank?

1. Learn to love your kitchen.

After a long day, sometimes all we have the energy for is plopping on the couch and scrolling through Seamless or Grubhub—but lukewarm pad Thai isn't going to get you to those gain goals, so it's time to channel your inner Gordon Ramsay and fall in love with your kitchen.

First, you'll want to make sure you have some quality essentials, like a non-stick grill pan, a slow cooker and food storage containers. Investing in the right tools will ensure that they last longer and can make meal prepping a way more enjoyable experience overall. Then take a look at the week of training ahead and make a grocery list based on the kind of meals you want to support your workouts. If a magnetic dry erase board on your fridge feels like a fun way to map out your weekly eats, do it to it!

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2. Practice frugal shopping.

A lot of large grocery chains offer frequent shopper rewards, so do some research and seek out stores that have them. Try giving yourself a limit of 50 bucks and see if you can buy your weekly groceries without going over. Clip those coupons, embrace your inner bargain hunter, and make a game out of sticking to your list (don't even think about going shopping without your list!). Most importantly, never ever ever go to the store hungry—you'll probably leave with a $14 cheese and some bougie organic stone-ground crackers.

3. Prioritize affordable protein.

Protein is definitely the crown jewel of your grocery list—it preserves muscle mass and stimulates the growth of new tissue in the form of amino acids, and you're going to need a lot of it to build muscle and maintain steady energy and blood sugar levels.

Think about what sort of protein you'd like to eat that week (chicken? Beef? Tofu?) and calculate how many meals you need a day based on your goals. If you're a carnivore, chicken thighs are more affordable (and more flavorful in my opinion!) than chicken breasts, and both beef top round roast and pork shoulder are on the cheaper side and awesome for slow cooking. A carton of whole eggs is always cheaper than the pre-separated whites, and you can trim your costs on beans by buying them dried and in bulk.

Most meatless alternatives can get pretty pricey, so vegetarians and vegans who aren't trying to survive exclusively on lentils have it a little tougher when it comes to protein. Checking out places like Trader Joe's or Costco for items like veggie burgers and tofu is your best bet.

As for prep, I'm a huge fan of batch-cooking my protein. It's super easy to dump chicken thighs and salsa in a crockpot on low for a couple hours or grill a big batch of salmon or steak with some seasoning. Once your protein is cooked, you can weigh it and put it in food storage containers or plastic baggies. Yeah, this is the most time-consuming part of your prep, but it's absolutely worth the time and attention—once it's done, it's done!

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4. Eat your veggies!

I throw a handful of spinach or cooked greens into most of my meals for added vitamins, fiber, and energy. Any green, leafy vegetable will do: kale, collards, Swiss chard, whatever floats your boat. Fibrous veggies like sweet potatoes are dirt cheap, packed with vitamins, and super-versatile to cook with.

Keep an eye out for what's in season and buy the whole and unbagged bunches of veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots instead of their prepackaged counterparts. Sure, you'll have to rinse and chop, but it'll help keep overall costs down considerably.

5. Fats are your friends.

Healthy fats are essential for overall health and gaining mass, and olive oil, whole nuts, and nut butter are all excellent sources. Butters and oils tend to be pricey, so look out for deals (I buy Trader Joe's EVOO) and try to scoop your whole nuts from the bulk food section. If you tolerate dairy, whole milk is a relatively cheap and easy way to add extra fat and calories as well.

6. Carbs = energy.

Carbohydrates are awesome. Complex carbs like pasta, rice, potatoes, and oats are all cheap, delicious options. You can cook large batches of rice or pasta and store them to toss in meals later. Try to consume most of your carbs around your training time so they help you fuel and recover from training more efficiently.

7. Assemble and keep it simple.

Organize your fridge in sections (I like my protein on the bottom shelf, veggies in the middle, and dairy on the side or top) so that everything is easily accessible when you're hangry. I prefer to meal-prep on Sunday and Wednesday, but figure out a schedule that works best for you.

When you're just starting out, keep everything as simple and streamlined as possible. Pick a cooked protein, a handful of veggies, a serving of healthy fats, and an energy-appropriate serving of carbs. Don't forget to add seasoning spices, mustard, yogurt sauce, or hot sauce for some flavor—once you get in the habit of prepping, you can experiment with different flavors and get creative.

8. Progress, not perfection!

One of the best things about training to gain muscle is that you can have some higher-calorie meals sprinkled into the week—just make sure your choices support your goals and your budget. You'll probably perform, digest, and recover better if you're eating your prepped food on a regular basis, but if you want to occasionally hit up the taco truck after a heavy squat session, it definitely won't hurt you.

Don't stress about doing the "perfect meal-prep" and filling your fridge with aesthetically pleasing, perfectly stacked containers of food. If you're able to eat prepped food most of the time, you are well ahead of the game.

And if you find yourself unable to afford all the food you need, examine your overall budget and see where you can tighten things up. Coffee, alcohol, buying clothes and gadgets—all of this stuff adds up. Eating for gains on a tight budget doesn't have to be stressful or expensive, it just requires a little planning ahead and creativity. Lift heavy, eat big, and let's all get strong as hell together!

Saysha Heinzman is an 84kg powerlifter, USAPL Certified Club Coach, and strength/hypertrophy specialist. She has been teaching people how to get stronger for more than 13 years. She offers private technique instruction, online training, and seminars. She lives and trains in Brooklyn, NY.

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3 Little Words That Can Help You Connect With Everyone https://greatist.com/live/how-to-make-someone-feel-better?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 3 Little Words That Can Help You Connect With Everyone 3 Little Words That Can Help You Connect With Everyone Tue, 02 Oct 2018 06:30:00 -0400 Susie Moore 16250 at https://greatist.com/ One rainy afternoon, I was on a crosstown bus when a young woman jumped on. She had a child with her who must have been about three or four years old.

The bus was full, bumpy, and it soon got noisy, as her kid began crying—he was upset he couldn't sit next to his mother. There were a couple of open seats, but they weren't together, so she sat down on one and told him to sit on the other. But he wanted his mom. She was flustered and looked embarrassed (not to mention tired).

Then another woman, a little older, stood up and moved so that the mother and child could sit together. The mum smiled as a thank-you. And then three words came out of the older woman's mouth that elevated the entire energy of that bus ride:

"I've been there."

Simple, undramatic, and honest. In that moment, it seemed to unite the diverse people of New York City.

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Why? Because almost all experiences are shared human experiences. They're universal. We forget that as we forge through life, focused on our own troubles and needs—which are actually less unique than we think.

How can these three words create more connection in your life?

Ask: "Where am I holding back?"

Sometimes painful past experiences prevent us from wanting to open up to others because we don't want to revisit our own history. But one thing I know for sure is this: Healing others helps heal yourself.

I noticed this recently with my friend, Tracy, who took a new friend who had suffered a miscarriage under her wing. Tracy had three of them before having her daughter two years ago. Our intellect needs a doctor to explain the medical side of things, yes. But our souls need human connection to help us along. No one can do that better than someone who has been exactly where you are.

And a wonderful way to honor your past hurt is to help soothe another's current pain.

Ask: "Am I the first person on Earth to get a divorce/go through an illness/lose a job?"

When I was so sad and scared to leave my first husband (one weekend, I didn't get out of bed once—aside from buying two bottles of Yellowtail chardonnay), I had a thought. After crying, sitting in darkness, and thinking woe is me for what felt like weeks, I asked myself, Am I the first woman to go through this?

It actually made me laugh. Yes—laugh. You know that sudden moment of relief when tears turn to laughter? It's like a mini awakening. Damn, I thought. I'm not the first person to have a broken heart and I sure as heck won't be the last. It was sobering (emotionally and physically). I wasn't healed overnight, but I felt more grounded, and that feeling of groundedness helped me back up. The millions of women that I'd never meet who'd been in my shoes lifted me up.

Notice common emotions, not matching circumstances.

When I was a kid, we lived on donations from local families and clothing from the "lost and found" baskets. It was humiliating for me at the time—I lived in fear of being caught in a friend's cast-off item.

Even when it was hot, I refused to take off a layer in the classroom for this reason… in case "cool Rosie" saw I was in her cardigan (it had her name written on the inside in permanent marker: ROSIE KIM). Now I don't meet people who are in this exact situation, but I do notice when someone is struggling with financial shame or feels less than other people they meet. And I'm quick to say some version of, "I've been there."

Can the essence of these three words help you make a small difference right now? It can be as simple as volunteering your seat, sharing some helpful advice, or even lightening the mood with a joke when you notice that someone's uncomfortable—because we're all in this together.

Susie Moore is Greatist's life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!

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19 Mediterranean Diet Dinner Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less https://greatist.com/eat/mediterranean-diet-dinner-recipes-in-30-minutes-or-less?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 19 Mediterranean Diet Dinner Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less 19 Mediterranean Diet Dinner Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less Tue, 02 Oct 2018 05:50:00 -0400 Anisha Jhaveri 16216 at https://greatist.com/ The Mediterranean diet is a blessing for those of us who want to step up our diets without actually having to go on a diet. With its emphasis on eating more of the right foods (e.g., whole grains, good fats, lean proteins) instead of restricting entire groups of macronutrients, it’s a lifestyle that’s both sensible and sustainable.

It’s also all about enjoying your meals–which, let’s be honest, is hard to do if you’re spending too much time making them in the first place. After all, no matter how good for you a recipe might be, who’s going to have the energy to savor it if it takes upwards of an hour to get on the table?

But it's totally possible to put together the fresh, whole-food meals that the Mediterranean diet encourages in a reasonable time frame so that you truly can sit back and enjoy every bite. Drawing on flavors and ingredients from the Mediterranean, these 19 healthy dinner recipes take 30 minutes or less from start to finish.

Photo: Spain on a Fork

Most seafood isn’t supposed to be cooked for very long, so it can be a great choice for a meal you need to be ready in 30 minutes or less. This recipe requires only four minutes for pan-cooking the cod and wisely using the remaining 20 minutes for simmering a flavorful paprika and pepper-kissed tomato sauce for the fish.

Photo: Eating Bird Food

Nixing the dairy in favor of heart-healthy walnuts and with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, this peppery and lemony arugula sauce is a vegan pesto lover’s dream. Here, it coats rotini and fresh veggies for a bright and zesty pasta salad, but you can easily use it as a marinade or a spread too.

Photo: Hummusapien

A light coating of rice flour allows these pollock fillets to get perfectly seared without being burned. Serve it on a bed of semi-pearled farro and veggies for a full meal. Using the semi-pearled grain gives you the best of both worlds: It takes less time to cook than unpearled farro, but still retains more fiber than the fully pearled variety.

Photo: Emily Kyle Nutrition

Shakshuka has origins in North Africa as well as the Middle East, but it’s just as common a dish in the Mediterranean region too. Plus, the ingredients of this take on “eggs in purgatory”—olive oil, tons of veggies, and protein-rich eggs—are perfectly suited for the produce and lean protein-loving Mediterranean diet.

Photo: The Gourmet RD

Looking for a heart-healthy carbohydrate that comes with more antioxidants, fiber, and cholesterol-lowering benefits than many others? Meet kamut, a superfood wheat that meets all that criteria. Make this ancient grain a new part of your diet, starting with these grain bowls, where they’re topped with even more healthy goodness like avocado, baked salmon, and just enough cheese.

Photo: Midwest Foodie Blog

With couscous at its base, feta cheese for protein, and hearty artichoke hearts in the mix, this may be a salad, but it’s also got enough substance to qualify as a light main meal. No creamy dressing weighing it down either; true to the Mediterranean diet’s principles, it’s tossed in a much more heart-healthy mix of olive oil, fresh basil, and lemon juice.

Photo: The View From Great Island

After slicing the onions, pretty much the only work you have to do for this recipe is lay out all the ingredients on a sheet pan. That’s it. No cutting the salmon fillet, no stirring the veggies, nothin’. The oven takes care of it all.

Photo: Family Style Food

Toasting the orzo before cooking it gives it an especially nutty flavor that goes perfectly with the pine nuts in this hearty salad. Other star ingredients include blanched asparagus, savory feta, and creamy chickpeas, all of which are bound by a lemon dressing that enhances the dish without overpowering it.

Photo: Seasonal Cravings

A handful of dried herbs like oregano and basil makes this simple chicken, Swiss chard, and tomato skillet taste like the kind of meal you’d imagine eating on an Italian coastline. Pro tip: Boil some quinoa while the dish cooks, and you’ll still have a full, balanced meal ready to go in less than 30 minutes.

Photo: Lemons and Basil

With multiple components, grain bowls can be time consuming to put together, but this one takes just 30 minutes while still managing to pack in several items. The trick is to pick a quick-cooking grain like pearl barley, which takes just as long to boil as it does for the veggies to roast. Then, top with no-cook ingredients like store-bought hummus and avocado.

Photo: Bowl of Delicious

Despite having “fritters” in their name, there’s no deep-frying involved in the making of these crispy yet soft shrimp and veggie pancakes. Lightly pan-cooked in olive oil (hey, it’s the Mediterranean diet, after all!), and topped with a refreshing Greek yogurt sauce, they’re a light and easy 30-minute meal—not to mention, a great way to eat zucchini if you’re sick of zoodles.

Photo: Jar of Lemons

These may be called salad bowls, but there isn’t a single leaf of lettuce anywhere in sight. Instead, the base will be a protein-packed mix of couscous, feta, and veggies, while broiled beef meatball skewers (lean red meat is OK in limited quantities!) make for a super-satisfying topping.

Photo: The Mediterranean Dish

You can totally still have pizza on the Mediterranean diet, but instead of globs of cheese and meat, opt for toppings that aren’t as hard on your gut (or your cholesterol)! This thin flatbread is piled with fresh veggies, cooked shrimp, and a sprinkling of Parmesan and feta, and is ready in a speedy 15 minutes!

Photo: The Food Girl

Red meat isn’t exactly the epitome of the Mediterranean diet, but fish sure is! So next time you’re hit with a burger craving but trying to lay off the beef, turn to these salmon patties. Bound with sundried tomatoes, feta, and red onions, they pack way more of a flavor punch than even regular hamburgers, and the creamy tahini sauce is a serious step up from ketchup and mayo.

Photo: Salted Mint

Peppers are often used in Mediterranean-inspired recipes, but this recipe flips the script, putting the Mediterranean-inspired recipe in the peppers instead. Here, they’re the perfect edible vessels for the stuffing of couscous, marinated artichokes, and baby mozzarella balls; with a sweet and tangy balsamic drizzle on top, they make for a classy vegetarian meal that’s done in just 25 minutes.

Photo: Swoon Food

Pasta will inevitably make an appearance on the Mediterranean diet (Italy is part of the region, after all!), but if you’re looking for a lighter way to satisfy your need for noodles, zoodles are where it’s at. The spiralized veggie, along with seared chicken, is tossed in a tomato sauce that’s seasoned with pungent spices like ras el hanout and sumac for meal that’s big on flavors and low on carbs.

Photo: Rachael Hartley Nutrition

These incredibly easy quesadillas take a detour from Mexico to the Mediterranean with the addition of olives, roasted red peppers, and hummus. Want to complete the effect? Serve them with a creamy, yogurt-based tzatziki sauce instead of salsa and sour cream.

Photo: Healthy Nibbles and Bits

Once you scoop the seeds out of delicata squash halves and bake them, they become the perfect serving vessels for healthy stuffings. This recipe makes a sweet and savory date, chickpea, and olive filling that perfectly complements the mild sweetness of the veggie.

Photo: The Mediterranean Dish

If you haven’t jumped on board the "eggs for dinner" train yet, this tomato and feta omelet might convince you to. Sweet paprika, dill weed, dried coriander, and fresh mint leaves give it a totally unique flavor that’s different (and healthier) from anything you’d find at your local greasy spoon. And the open-faced choice means you don’t have to deal with the risk of a failed omelet flip.

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8 Awesome Podcasts to Listen to on Your Next Run https://greatist.com/fitness/podcasts-to-listen-to-while-running?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 8 Awesome Podcasts to Listen to on Your Next Run 8 Awesome Podcasts to Listen to on Your Next Run Tue, 02 Oct 2018 05:15:00 -0400 Sarah Ellis 16252 at https://greatist.com/ Whether you're training for your first 5K or your zillionth marathon, one thing is undeniable: Your go-to running playlist is about to get really old, really fast. Don't get me wrong—I love a good Justin Timberlake bop as much as the next girl. But after weeks of pounding the pavement to "Can't Stop the Feeling" on repeat, I'm totally burned out.

Thank the heavens for podcasts. Nothing gets me motivated to tackle a long run like the promise of witty banter, inspirational life lessons, or nerve-racking murder trials. And because podcasts are best consumed fresh, I've been asking some of my favorite runners for their picks to add to my queue. Here are some of their tips for what to listen to the next time you lace up those sneakers.

There's something about endurance athletes that seems superhuman, so it's no wonder we can't get enough of hearing about their day-to-day practices. Nike's new podcast delves into the real lives of extraordinary athletes and wellness leaders, starting with 2017 NYC marathon champ Shalane Flanagan. It's encouraging to hear the pros talk about how they have rough training days too (hey, don't we all?) and how they push through. The episodes also have helpful nuggets of information about the science of endurance and tips for using your mindset to affect your performance, which definitely applies to life both inside and outside the gym.

Curious about the history of plastic straws? An obscure punctuation mark called the "interrobang"? This podcast covers it all in episodes that are around 30 minutes long, which is just enough time for a quick weekday jog. I've learned so much random information that I've gone on to share with friends or at parties—basically, you'll feel like a straight-up genius, or at least first-picked for the team at trivia night. I also love the editing and pace of this one, and it keeps me interested from start to finish.

The premise is simple—entrepreneurs talk about how they built their companies from the ground up. My friend, Michelle, who has several marathons under her belt, loves this podcast because she says it's a metaphor for running: There's a specific goal each person sets out to achieve, and they (very literally) create something new by the end of it. It leaves you with that same sense of accomplishment you feel when you've finished a great training run.

Our associate fitness editor, Jamey, clued me into this one—it's perfect for super-long runs as the episodes are usually around two hours long. Rich Roll, vegan endurance athlete and author, interviews wellness leaders about everything from meditation to gut health. Rich is insightful and really knows his stuff, and he's a pro at getting his guests to share what makes life meaningful for them. You'll come back from your run feeling enlightened and probably inspired to pick up a new healthy habit.

You may remember Kelly Roberts from her viral half-marathon selfies with hot guys during the New York City half-marathon in 2014. She's since gone on to launch her own brand and start a podcast, where she shares her running journey and whatever goal she's working toward (right now, it's qualifying for the Boston Marathon). This podcast is my go-to because it's the perfect mix of humor and serious motivational material—it's like a personalized pep talk that will put you in a guaranteed good mood, no matter how tough your run.

This one's for all you crime junkies out there. Criminal isn't just about murders and mysteries, although that's certainly an undercurrent. It dives into the dark depths of the criminal justice system, showing you a side you'd never expect. Host Phoebe Judge (yep, that's her name, and she also has one of the best voices for audio I've ever heard) interviews everyone from trauma surgeons to prosecutors that were involved, directly or peripherally, in the justice system. The result is often chilling, sometimes disturbing, but definitely something you won't be able to turn off.

If you're a historian at heart, you'll love this creative way to learn about people and events from the past. The stories range from informative to hilarious to just plain bizarre, but I geek out over them and often end up in a dark hole of random Google searches about little-known historical events. The two hosts, Holly and Tracy, play off each other in a way that keeps things fresh and new, without feeling like a chapter of your old high-school textbook. It's so entertaining it almost feels like a work of fiction, perfect for when you're trying to crank out that last mile.

Ever wonder what the CEO of Flywheel, Jennifer Lopez's personal trainer, and the founder of a motorcycle shop have in common? They've all overcome what host Emily Abbate calls a "hurdle" by leaning into wellness as a source of strength. The episodes are awesome interviews with super-successful people, and they span a bunch of different industries. Each person's "hurdle" moment is a great reminder that you never truly know what someone's going through—even when it looks like they've got it all figured out. With a hefty dose of inspiration and relatability, who knows—you might even be convinced to start your own company by the end of your run.

Sarah Ellis is a grad student, runner, writer, and very bad dancer. Right this very second, she's probably drinking kombucha and pretending chocolate is a health food (because it is, duh).

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9 Overnight Oats Recipes That Are Basically Fall in a Bowl https://greatist.com/eat/overnight-oats-recipes-for-fall?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 9 Overnight Oats Recipes That Are Basically Fall in a Bowl 9 Overnight Oats Recipes That Are Basically Fall in a Bowl Tue, 02 Oct 2018 04:58:00 -0400 Brandon Doerrer 15946 at https://greatist.com/ What doesn't go with oats? Fruit, spices, nuts—you name it and there's a good chance it'll feel right at home in a big ole breakfast bowl of them.

Factor in that they're easy as heck to make and you're gonna wonder why you don't use them every morning. These overnight oats recipes double down on convenience so you don't have to do anything in the morning, besides maybe bust out a sweater and some flannel.

Depending on how strapped for time you are, this recipe can range from 'sweet lord, this is the promised land' to 'I'm definitely still on Earth, but this is delicious.' If you've got time, you can bake the pears in maple first. If not, simply mix everything together and enjoy it hold or cold the next morning. Either way, this'll take you no more than 15 minutes, tops.

Take a classic oatmeal flavor on the go by making it the night before and putting it in a mason jar. It's a good, gluten-free alternative to sugary granola bars if that's all you find yourself having time for most mornings (like many of us).

Using actual cinnamon sticks is optional, but man does it look good. This recipe even offers some alternatives for maple syrup haters and people with nut allergies.

Apple picking season is here, so prep for it with a minimally prepped baked apple breakfast. There's not much sugar in this recipe, but if you really need it (totally not projecting) the creator recommends maple syrup, and we're gonna second that. Nut butter makes the oats extra creamy—just try to resist taking it out of the fridge until morning.

Have you tossed all your shorts and tank tops out the window yet? If not, you might after tasting the pumpkin pie flavor in these oats. This recipe is a little more involved in that you make your own pumpkin puree, but once that's done, you can enjoy a healthy dessert-tasting breakfast in just a few minutes.

It's like Starbucks in a jar of oats. Unfortunately, there isn't any actual caffeine in this recipe, but it looks so good we think it'll make up for that. With spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, this is a nice, toasty way to wake up. The creator even recommends cutting open a real vanilla bean and using full-fat coconut milk to get that authentic chai taste.

Soup, curry, oats—is there anything squash can't be used for? Heat a chunk in the microwave for around 5 minutes until it's soft then mash it up and combine with vanilla extra, yogurt, fruit, and honey. Quick, easy, and delicious.

It's not Christmas yet, but it can't hurt to prepare (plus gingerbread is delish year round). This recipe calls for yogurt and a sweetener of your choice, as well as chia seeds and a bit o' salt. The chia adds a nice serving of fiber and protein so you can feel even better than you already do in the morning.

We've been sweet this whole time; it's time to get a little tart. Cranberries give oats sweetness if you don't want a bland breakfast but want to branch out from maple syrup and honey. Pecans and chia seeds bring the protein, and it's business as usual from there with yogurt, almond milk, and unsweetened dried coconut.

Last but ABSOLUTELY not least, the unsung hero, sweet potato, makes an appearance. It's no secret that sweet potatoes are filled with nutrients and taste great, so honestly it was about time they showed up for breakfast.

This recipe calls for baking your sweet potatoes, so it's a takes a bit longer than everything else on this list (but it sounds so worth it). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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5 Good-for-You Snacks That Aren't Totally Depressing https://greatist.com/eat/healthy-snack-ideas-that-arent-depressing?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 5 Good-for-You Snacks That Aren't Totally Depressing 5 Good-for-You Snacks That Aren't Totally Depressing Mon, 01 Oct 2018 16:18:57 -0400 Healthyish Generation 16131 at https://greatist.com/ This article was created in partnership with Julie's Real.

There's nothing wrong with classics like veggies and hummus or trail mix, but sometimes your snack game needs a bit of a shake-up. Bonus points if the snack is packed with fruits or veggies and delicious and satisfying. Naturally (pun intended), we turned to Julie's Real for inspiration.

Julie's Real makes borderline-addictive nut butters and grain-free granolas that are so good we could eat them every day (TBH, some of us at Greatist do). And they use only real, whole-food ingredients—think vanilla beans, cacao nibs, organic honey—that can be enjoyed by gluten-free, Paleo, peanut-free, soy-free, and dairy-free dieters alike. Together we're bringing you a lineup of healthy, dietitian-approved snacks guaranteed to satisfy all your cravings, whenever they strike.

1. Guilt-Free Banana Split

Banana + Julie’s Real Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Almond Butter + dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs

Sweet tooths, rejoice. Maria Zamarripa, M.S., R.D., says pairing the fiber from a banana with the healthy fats and protein from almond butter helps to balance blood sugar and prevent cravings later in the day. Translation: You'll feel energized and full. Just slice the banana lengthwise, add a swipe of Julie's Real to each side, and top with chocolate chips or cacao nibs. Dessert is served.

2. Plant-Powered Cucumber Bites

Cucumber + hummus + hemp seeds

Finally, a veggie snack you don't have to force-feed yourself. Like watermelon, cucumbers are super hydrating (they're 95 percent water) and great for your skin (bye bye, redness!). To prepare, slice cukes into rounds, then top with a flavored hummus (store-bought or one of the amazing DIY options here) to add flavor, fiber, and protein. Finish with a sprinkle of magnesium-rich hemp seeds, stack on another cucumber slice, and enjoy sandwich style.

3. Yogurt Parfait 2.0

Whole-milk or dairy-free yogurt + Julie’s Real Cacao Coconut Grain-Free Granola + blueberries

Yogurt and granola often sneak in a ton of sugar. This gluten-free version gets all the sweetness it needs from coconut, organic honey, and vanilla beans. Top plain yogurt (use dairy-free to make it Paleo) with Julie's Real Cacao Coconut Grain-Free Granola, which contains just 6 grams of sugar per serving, then add blueberries for extra vitamin K.

4. Avocado Egg Salad

Avocado + hard-boiled egg + salt and pepper

This one couldn't be easier to prep: Mash together half an avocado with a hard-boiled egg and season with salt and pepper. Not only is this egg salad twist rich in healthy monounsaturated fats (good for lowering bad cholesterol) and protein, but it's also not weighed down with mayo or unnecessary dressings. If you're feeling extra hungry, spread over whole-grain toast.

5. Sushi Rice Cake

Smoked salmon + sliced avocado + brown rice cake + seasoning (dill, salt, pepper)

Layer salmon and avocado onto a brown rice cake for a snack that feels like a meal (in a good, not-too-full way). The omega-3s in salmon boost brain health, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure, says Zamarripa, while brown rice gives you slow, digestible energy.

These recipes were created by Maria Zamarripa, M.S., R.D., the nutritionist behind Food Farmicist R.D. Zamarripa is not affiliated with Julie's Real.

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8 Drug-Free Ways to Calm Anxiety in Minutes https://greatist.com/live/ways-to-calm-anxiety-when-you-are-nervous?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 8 Drug-Free Ways to Calm Anxiety in Minutes 8 Drug-Free Ways to Calm Anxiety in Minutes Mon, 01 Oct 2018 05:55:00 -0400 Jandra Sutton 16249 at https://greatist.com/ Pretty much everyone deals with anxiety at some point in their lives, and you don't have to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder to need a release—so we spoke with experts about how to identify anxiety (and how to deal with it).

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"Anxiety can show up in our lives in many different ways," says Ginger Poag, MSW, LCSW, a licensed therapist at Brentwood Wellness Counseling in Nashville, Tennessee. "But the most common are often irritability, lack of patience, worrying, difficulty sleeping, avoiding certain situations or people, inability to focus or concentrate, inability to relax, stress eating, tense muscles, and headaches."

If you're dealing with anxiety, it can be tough to keep going, and while there are a lot of ways to reduce anxiety in your life, we found some very specific options that you may want to try.

1. Listen to This Song

It may sound weird, but research suggests that listening to this song could help reduce anxiety by up to 65 percent. Music therapy has been shown to help reduce anxiety for patients undergoing procedures—and it may even help reduce pain.

Try This: Block out a few minutes and pop in your headphones to listen to this song. (Yes, I tried it. And yes, it actually works.)

2. Get App-y

Anxiety can make you feel like you're on an island, which is why it can be super helpful to talk to someone about how you're feeling. Some people process things verbally, so talking about what's going on in your head can help you begin to understand and cope with your anxiety.

"We can begin to catastrophize the problem and make ourselves believe the problem is much bigger and worse than what we originally believed," Poag says. "I encourage clients to talk their anxiety out with a trusted friend or family member—by getting out our concerns verbally, we can begin to see the reality of our worries."

However, sometimes it can be hard to talk to your friends and family when you're feeling anxious, and therapy can be expensive or overwhelming.

Try This: Download an app like 7 Cups to work through any anxiety that pops up in your life. The app offers free trained "listeners" who are other users of the app, group chats, and even virtual therapy sessions to help when you're feeling overwhelmed. Even just working through the app's guided activities can help improve your overall emotional wellness and distract you when you're feeling anxious.

3. Drop Into Cat-Cow

Need to relax fast? There's a yoga pose (OK, a lot of yoga poses) for that. However, cat-cow pose is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety so you can focus on your breathing.

Studies show that a regular yoga practice can have a significant impact on anxiety levels in your daily life, so taking the time to find your zen can be good for both reducing existing anxiety and preventing more in the future.

"A regular yoga practice can teach you how to become aware of the present moment," says Lauren Zoeller, a certified yoga instructor and Whole Living Life Coach. "When you learn to live in the present moment, your body and emotions are able to cope with anxiety more efficiently."

Try This: Using a yoga mat, blanket, or the space behind your desk (we won't tell anyone!), position yourself onto your hands and knees with your shoulders aligned with your wrists and your hips over your knees.

With your weight balanced evenly, inhale as you slowly look up and let your stomach drop toward the floor. After a brief hold, exhale and tuck your chin to your chest. Moving gently, draw your navel toward your spine and round your back up toward the ceiling. Repeat slowly for one minute.

4. Breathe With a .GIF (Seriously)

This might sound a little redundant—hello, we're already breathing—but experts agree that deep breathing can have a serious impact on stress and anxiety.

"Deep breathing allows the brain to receive more oxygen, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which, in turn, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, which allows the body to experience calmness and relaxation," Poag says.

Translation: The parasympathetic nervous system is what helps you relax, which is definitely helpful when you're feeling anxious.

Try This: Use the handy .GIF below to focus on your breathing. Set a timer to give yourself a mini-break and turn your phone on silent while you breathe.

"Two minutes of controlled breathing can significantly change your attitude and will immediately decrease your stress level," Zoeller says. "Even if that means locking yourself in the bathroom stall at work." a .GIF of a geometric pattern
Don't worry about controlling your thinking or needing to find your zen, which can sometimes leave you feeling more anxious. Be gentle with yourself and focus on the movement—and getting that sweet oxygen—as much as possible.

5. Take a Five-Minute Break

"It is proven that a regular meditation practice can help you cope with difficult situations, ease mental and physical pain, and eliminate the common factors associated with anxiety," Zoeller says. "Five minutes of meditation a day can drastically your decrease your anxiety level."

In fact, one study showed that 20 minutes of mindful meditation practice for four days cut anxiety levels by nearly 40 percent. Yep. That much.

Meditation has long been known for its benefits, and they're totally backed by science. Not sure where to begin? Turns out you only need five minutes to get started.

Try This: Poag suggests downloading a guided meditation app to help the process along, or you can try watching a video on guided meditation on YouTube. It only takes a few minutes to reap the benefits of meditation, making it a perfect tool to combat anxiety.

6. Turn Anxiety Into Excitement

If you're feeling anxious about a big work project, a date, or karaoke night, studies suggest that traditional anxiety-relieving techniques might not do as much as we'd like.

Try This: Harness your anxiety and focus on turning it into excitement instead. Research on performance anxiety in highly skilled musicians shows that those who view anxiety as a good thing are more likely to perform better.

And, honestly, it makes sense: Perception matters, and science suggests that a little bit of stress can actually be beneficial. We spend a lot of time talking about getting rid of stress and anxiety (which, let's be real, totally makes sense). But in reality, those things—in small doses—aren't actually the worst things for us, so long as we perceive them as good.

7. Chew Some Gum

Chewing gum might not be the first remedy you think of when it comes to anxiety, but studies suggest that it may reduce fatigue, stress, and anxiety, and even boost your mood. Of the 101 study participants, chewing gum was also associated with a better perception of work performance.

A small study concluded that chewing gum helped reduce anxiety and increase alertness, and another determined that chewing gum reduced stress-related responses in the brain.

Try This: Pop a piece (or two) of gum into your mouth. This isn't the time for casual chewing—one study suggests that the best benefit comes from more, uh, enthusiastic chewing.

8. Use the 5-4-3-2-1 Method

Project LETS—a nonprofit organization dedicated to erasing the stigma surrounding mental illness, diversity, trauma, and neurodivergence—suggests the 5-4-3-2-1 method as an emergency intervention for panic attacks or anxiety.

It involves using all of your senses and engaging your mind to find calm in the midst of anxiety. Plus, it's something you can do out loud when you're alone or in your head if you're around other people.

Try This: Look around the room you're in, and name 5 things you can see. Next, name 4 things you can touch or feel. Then, you'll look for 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and—finally—one thing you can taste.

It might take practice, but the Mayo Clinic suggests that trying this grounding technique when you're feeling anxious can help take the focus off your thoughts and place it on your surroundings instead. This might not seem like much, but disrupting anxiety before it builds can actually make it easier to cope in the long term.

The Bottom Line

Anxiety can make a big impact on your life, even if it's not something you regularly deal with. If it is—and you're struggling to identify the difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder—try talking with a doctor or therapist.

"Anxiety is often related to an event or situation and tends to only last for the duration of that situation or event. Everyone may feel anxiety at some point, such as when a deadline is approaching," Poag says.

Anxiety disorder, she says, is different in several ways. It can pop up for no specific reason, it's often long-term and not situation-based, and it can seem impossible to control—especially if you start avoiding certain people or situations and worry excessively.

"Individuals should seek professional help if they have tried to control the anxiety and worrying with no success, and it has lasted for at least six months," Poag says. "Or when anxiety begins to negatively impact relationships, work, or routine tasks."

Stress and anxiety might be unavoidable, but that doesn't mean we can't take steps to prevent them from negatively impacting our lives.

Jandra Sutton is an author, historian, and public speaker. She lives in Nashville with her husband and their two dogs, and Pluto is still a planet in her heart. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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21 Paleo Instant Pot Recipes https://greatist.com/eat/paleo-instant-pot-recipes?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 21 Paleo Instant Pot Recipes 21 Paleo Instant Pot Recipes Mon, 01 Oct 2018 05:37:00 -0400 Anisha Jhaveri 16224 at https://greatist.com/ Back in the day, when cavemen (and women!) were hunting for meat and fishing for seafood and foraging for veggies, they actually had to come home and cook that stuff over fires they built themselves. Um, time-consuming, much?

Thankfully, in the time between the Stone Age and present day, inventions like microwaves, blenders, and induction cooktops have sped the process along quite a bit.

But perhaps no invention has been as genius in recent times as the Instant Pot, an all-in-one gadget for steaming, sautéing, and simmering pretty much anything—that too in record time. So next time you want to go Paleo, whip out the convenient contraption to help you get your meals on the table in minutes. Your early ancestors would be so proud.

Poultry

Photo: Primavera Kitchen

In just 20 minutes, you'll have a dinner that’ll make you feel like you’re eating on the coast of Italy. The Instant Pot sautés, then steams the chicken in a sauce of tomatoes, black olives, and dried herbs. Sop it up with bread, serve it over rice, or eat it alongside a salad for a lower-carb option.

Photo: Real Food Whole Life

Coconut milk gives this dairy-free Paleo-friendly chowder its creaminess, while potatoes and cauliflower add bulk alongside the chicken to make it a fully balanced meal. But what makes this soup really stand out is the lemon juice that’s added toward the end; while most chowders are rich and heavy, the fresh burst of citrus totally brightens this one up.

Photo: Hungry Hobby

When you can’t stuff sweet potatoes with cheese or beans, opt for the high-protein filling of ground turkey. In less than 30 minutes, the Instant Pot pressure-cooks the spuds, sautés the meat, and wilts the spinach—the greens are optional, but we highly recommend adding them to round out the meal with some extra fiber and iron.

Photo: The Roasted Root

A regular turkey wrap won’t do on a diet that says no to grains. Swap out the flour tortilla for leaves of romaine and use them as the envelopes for the Instant Pot-cooked ground turkey and mushroom mixture.

Photo: Tessa the Domestic Diva

Chicken tinga isn’t something you see on a lot of restaurant menus, but if you want traditional Mexican food, it should definitely be making an appearance on your dinner table. This Instant Pot recipe helps get the slightly spicy, shredded chicken dish ready in less than 45 minutes—doing everything from sautéing the meat to reducing the garlic and chipotle pepper sauce—giving you authentic flavors without the work.

Photo: Tasting Page

When you’ve got spaghetti squash standing in for noodles and a cauliflower, cashew, and coconut milk puree stepping in for the cream sauce, pasta alfredo is made possible. What makes it super easy? An Instant Pot that cooks the squash and the cauliflower in a fraction of the time an oven would take.

Beef and Pork

Photo: The Natural Nurturer

No grill at home? Sick of serving up Paleo burgers in lettuce wraps? Just in the mood for something warm and comforting? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, you need this soup in your life. The Instant Pot browns the ground beef perfectly before veggies and a creamy tomato puree join the party. Protein-rich and filling, it’s an ideal meal in a bowl.

Photo: Instant Pot Eats

All these ground beef balls need are some pantry seasonings to give them all their flavor, while a four-ingredient tomato sauce makes the recipe even easier. You may not be able to ladle this dish over spaghetti if you’re going Paleo, but it’s equally tasty over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.

Photo: The Saucy Sitch

OK, so this recipe does take 90 minutes to make, even in the Instant Pot, but let’s put things in perspective: The same dish would require up to 10 hours in the slow cooker. And there’s no compromising on texture or flavor with the Instant Pot method either; you’ll get the same, melt-in-your-mouth shredded beef that’s juicy from soaking up all the spicy, garlicky broth.

Photo: Gluten Free Palate

This beef dish needs fewer than 10 ingredients, but every one of them, from the cooking sherry to the cracked pepper to the savory mushrooms, packs a significant punch. With just one simple step in the Instant Pot, it’s about as low maintenance a meal as you can get.

Photo: Real Simple Good

Pork chops are totally Paleo-friendly, but the sugary glazes poured over them are almost always not. This recipe lets the Instant Pot cook fresh apples, onions, and balsamic vinegar down into a reduction that’s 100 percent naturally sweet for a topping that’s caveman-approved.

Seafood

Photo: The Movement Menu

With no okra in sight, this isn’t your usual gumbo, but the sea bass and shrimp more than make up for it. Cooked in a tangy tomato and vegetable broth and flavored with plenty of Cajun seasoning, it’s best served over cauliflower rice.

Photo: The Natural Nurturer

No matter how much we diligently meal plan, even the best of us forget to take the fish out of the freezer on sometimes. On those days, turn to this speedy salmon dinner. Thanks to the Instant Pot, there’s no thawing necessary to get this superfood from frozen to flaky in just 20 minutes!

Photo: Two Sleevers

Just a few minutes in the Instant Pot make sure the shrimp here remain perfectly crisp but are also juicy from being totally submerged in coconut milk. Instead of a ton of fancy spices, all this gravy needs is a kick of cayenne and a pinch of garam masala to achieve slurpable status.

Photo: Savory Tooth

The salmon gives this dish its healthy base, but it’s really the sauce that sings here. Including spicy jalapenos, zesty lime, earthy herbs, and a touch of sweetness from honey (yep, it’s Paleo-friendly!), the mix is so good you’ll want to make extra for drizzling on everything you eat long after this meal is over.

Photo: Bowl of Delicious

Clam juice instead of broth instantly makes this stew taste like it's being served straight from the Mediterranean, while sea bass fillets and potatoes give it plenty of volume. It’s the ideal meal for when you want comfort food that won’t weigh you down.

Meatless

Photo: Cook With Manali

No more tiptoeing around the idea of making Indian food at home—this Instant Pot recipe removes all of the intimidation, leaving you with nothing but a richly flavored dish of potatoes simmering in a spiced spinach puree. While it’s most often eaten with bread, keep things Paleo by serving it with cauliflower rice.

Photo: Recipes From a Pantry

One look at this soup and it’s hard to believe there isn’t an ounce of dairy in there. That velvety texture isn’t even the work of coconut milk. Instead, it’s a blend of potatoes and almond milk, giving you a silky blend that’s lower in fat but still has that creamy consistency.

Photo: What Great Grandma Ate

If cauliflower isn’t fooling you as a rice substitute, this recipe may just change your mind. It may be grain-free and dairy-free, but thanks to meaty shiitake mushrooms, coconut milk, and nutritional yeast, it’s as creamy, cheesy, and hearty as any real risotto—only much quicker to make. It’s a great option for entertaining too.

Photo: Tried and True

This Mexican stew always includes pork, but when you’re going vegan and Paleo, a few cans of jackfruit can step in for the meat, no problem. Not only does it soak in the traditional flavors of red chile, garlic, and hominty, but its resemblance to shredded meat will make anyone do a double take.

Photo: Fed and Fulfilled

Most people hear asparagus soup and imagine a watery green liquid. This is anything but that. Leeks, cauliflower, coconut milk, and even a white sweet potato (if you want to throw one in) are cooked in the Instant Pot, then blended with the green veggie to create an almost stew-like concoction that’s spruced up with the addition of lemon and parsley.

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These Chocolate Fruit Skewers Will Be the Star of Your Next Party https://greatist.com/eat/chcolate-fruit-skewers-recipe?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist These Chocolate Fruit Skewers Will Be the Star of Your Next Party These Chocolate Fruit Skewers Will Be the Star of Your Next Party Mon, 01 Oct 2018 03:03:46 -0400 Suze Kaufman 16128 at https://greatist.com/ Every Monday on our Instagram stories, we share a super-easy, 7-ingredients-or-less recipe. Follow us for a new episode each week!

Fruit makes for a delicious dessert. Sometimes. But more often than not, a big bowl of fruit just doesn't satisfy a sweet tooth. The easiest way to dress it up? Chocolate, duh.

Don't worry, you don't have to douse it and completely eliminate the health value—a drizzle will do the trick. In this recipe, we also opted to pop the fruit onto skewers to make this a refreshing party-friendly treat. The whole thing only takes 10 minutes from start to finish.

Share a photo of your own chocolate fruit skewers on Instagram and tag us @greatist.

Fruit skewers on a plate with a chocolate drizzle

Chocolate Fruit Skewers

Recipe by: Jenna Haufler
Makes: 5 skewers
Ready in: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 banana, sliced
10 red grapes
10 pineapple chunks
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of room temperature maple syrup
Pinch of salt
5 skewers

DIRECTIONS

1. Slide one banana slice, one grape, and one pineapple chunk onto a skewer. Repeat in that order until the skewer is filled up with fruit, leaving room on each end of the skewer. Repeat with all five skewers.

2. In a small bowl, whisk melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and salt until smooth.

3. With a spoon, drizzle chocolate over each skewer. Place skewers in the fridge to set for 15-20 minutes.

4. Serve immediately!

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7 Pavlova Recipes That Look Impressive but Are Easy to Make https://greatist.com/eat/easy-pavlova-recipes?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 7 Pavlova Recipes That Look Impressive but Are Easy to Make 7 Pavlova Recipes That Look Impressive but Are Easy to Make Fri, 28 Sep 2018 05:05:00 -0400 Tara Goodrum 16217 at https://greatist.com/ You may not have heard of pavlovas, but you've definitely seen the Instagram-worthy nests of sugary heaven—Pinterest addicts, we're looking at you—floating through the social sphere and taking our taste buds by storm.

Made with a meringue base and traditionally topped with whipped cream and berries, this showstopper dessert is nothing but impressive—in taste and looks. These seven pavlova recipes let you reap the benefits of flavor without needing to spend forever in the kitchen. (Because who has time for that?)

There's something graceful about pavlovas. (Well, the dessert is named after a ballerina.) This recipe keeps in tradition with whipped cream and berries but adds a twist—or rather, a zest—with tangy lemon curd.

To keep things simple (as promised), opt for store-bought curd and abide by these foolproof meringue tips: 1) wash and dry your mixing bowl and whisk to remove any leftover residue, 2) use room temperature egg whites (but separate the yolks when they're still cool), and 3) use caster or fine granulated sugar for the best texture.

Desserts can often end in a crash—especially when they're sugar-filled, like these crunchy meringues. (Hey, the splurge is worth it every once in awhile!) We love that this recipe helps stave off the sugar crash by infusing it with caffeine.

Jazzed up with dark chocolate, Nespresso (powered espresso or plain ol' coffee works too!), and a little surprise vinegar, this coffee and cream pavlova makes for the perfect holiday treat or dinner party dessert.

As much fun as it is to make (and eat) a giant meringue, sometimes individual sizes are the way to go. These chocolate cherry pavlovas make a perfect single serving or can be great to share if you're looking for just a few bites (we applaud your self-control).

We love the combination of rich chocolate with tart cherries, but the recipe tastes equally as good with blackberry, raspberry, or even orange compote in its place.

Pavlovas have a reputation for being complicated, time-intensive, and difficult to master. Don't tell your dinner guests this, but they're actually pretty simple if you have the right tricks up your sleeve.

For example, when it comes to adding melted chocolate (like in this drool-worthy salted caramel pavlova), the chocolate should be fully cooled. And when you start mixing, start slow. You want to see lots of tiny bubbles as opposed to a few big ones. This makes for a sturdier base and ensures there won't be any cracks and crumbles when baking the meringue.

This recipe nails it with the detailed step-by-step guide, but what's even better is the butter-filled caramel sauce that's drizzled on the final (perfectly baked) product.

The recipe creator of this divine peach pavlova did everything wrong before getting it right, making it the perfect place for a novice pavlova maker to start.

Though the recipe calls for "hokey pokey," a crunchy dessert native to New Zealand, we say skip the extra cooking steps and add graham cracker crumbles or pieces of halva (a Middle Eastern sweet that can be found in specialty shops). The mascarpone cream and roasted peaches make a truly perfect pairing.

Intentionally made to look a bit messier, this pavlova gets rid of room for error by focusing on fun. (Plus, drizzles of caramel sauce and sprinkles of chopped chocolate could never look bad, could they?)

Aside from the awesome name and amazing flavor, we love that this recipe sticks to basic meringue ingredients and focuses on the toppings: a decadent mix of sliced banana, crushed sugar cookie, chocolate chunks, and beloved caramel.

You had us at Nutella whipped cream. These mini pavlovas are perfect for a party, as they're easy to make ahead, are just about bite-sized, and really deliver when it comes to flavor.

To make things extra simple, make the meringues in advance and whip up the cream right before serving. Though we love the look of the drizzled ganache, we say top the cream with chocolate chunks instead. You get the same flavor but don't have to worry about the melting, cleaning, or messy drizzles. (And a little extra crunch never hurt anyone.)

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9 Frozen Edamame Recipes to Finally Use That Bag https://greatist.com/eat/frozen-edamame-recipes?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 9 Frozen Edamame Recipes to Finally Use That Bag 9 Frozen Edamame Recipes to Finally Use That Bag Fri, 28 Sep 2018 04:03:00 -0400 Tara Goodrum 16170 at https://greatist.com/ We always buy frozen edamame with the best of intentions. But more often than not, we use it for icing our sore joints instead of in a delicious meal. As important as post-workout R&R is, we say it's time to let edamame live up to its full potential. These nine frozen edamame recipes are so tasty (and easy!), you may never end up with extra bags in your freezer again.

Cabbage salads are tricky. The dense veggie produces so many shredded leaves it feels impossible to use them all—especially when recipes call for green and purple varieties. (There's only so much cabbage one can eat!) This salad, however, changes the game. It's so crunchy and satisfying you'll actually look forward to leftovers all week. And since cabbage is so dense, you won't have to worry about it getting flat and lifeless like other lettuce. Another bonus: It tastes good with all kinds of protein. Chicken, shrimp, tofu... you really can't go wrong.

We know: It's hard to get sick of hummus. But for the moments when you are looking for a fresh dip, we say set those chickpeas aside and instead reach for frozen edamame. Made with garlic, olive oil, lemon, and fresh herbs (basil is our fave), this dip will be gone faster than the time it takes to make it. In fact, you may even want to double the recipe (particularly if you're hosting).

Simple, savory, sweet... This salad checks all the boxes. It also makes a snazzy side dish or snack. Simply defrost frozen edamame, toss with cranberries and olive oil, stir in Feta crumbles, and cover with freshly cracked black pepper. We also love stuffing the salad into a pita pocket and adding diced cucumber and red onion to turn it into a full meal.

And speaking of pita pockets, here's another fun spin on the beloved Mediterranean sandwiches. Edamame stands in for chickpeas to create St. Patrick's-worthy falafels (with the help of parsley and scallions too) and is covered in a garlic herb spread and nestled between spinach leaves. Feel free to use whatever sauces you please—hummus, harissa, tzatziki—and get creative with toppings. (Though pickled onions and kalamata olives are a great choice, if we may say so.)

Edamame is often used as a substitute for chickpeas, but in this recipe, they become a protein-packed dream team. (Oh, and peas join the party too.) Simply cook the orzo according to the package, add the frozen ingredients to the pot two minutes before it's done boiling, drain, return to the pot, add the chickpeas and spices, splash with olive oil, and enjoy your comforting bowl of protein-packed goodness. For extra flavor, add a drizzle of thick balsamic or top with red pepper flakes.

We have some serious beef with this recipe. Just kidding. Easy, tasty, and healthy... this recipe can do no wrong. Homemade sauce is splashed on thin strips of flank steak—chicken or shrimp would taste great too—and mixed with broccoli, edamame, and brown rice for a filling and flavorful easy weeknight dinner. Feel free to substitute store-bought teriyaki sauce if you're short on time (or ingredients), but keep an eye out for added sugars—which often accompany store-bought sauces.

Some ingredients are just made for each other—like broccoli and edamame. What strengthens their union even more: Peanut sauce. To make the most of these triple threat flavors, boil or roast broccoli florets, toss with edamame and chopped peanuts, mix in the peanut sauce, and top with scallions and sesame seeds. The perfect side for sautéed chicken breast or tofu, this salad will make anyone a fan of broccoli—yes, even youngins.

Black bean burgers, lentil burgers, mushroom burgers... the list of vegetarian burger options runs deep. But edamame burgers? This was news to our ears—and boy are we glad we heard it. The frozen soybeans are mixed with the likes of sweet potato, garlic, onion, oats, greens, and a heap of spices and sauces (like tahini) to create the most savory veggie burger we ever sank our teeth into. Serve with whole grain mustard, barbecue sauce, hummus, tzatziki, or any other accoutrements, and feel free to freeze the leftovers (they thaw like champs).

Zucchini shouldn't have all the fun. This recipe skips the squash and opts for crunchy cucumber as it's spiralized veggie of choice. Mixed with red bell pepper, jalapeño, edamame, and a homemade ginger vinaigrette, it's the perfect light dinner after a heavy day of eating—we've all been there—or simple weekday lunch. Add shrimp or salmon for some protein and toasted sesame seeds for a little extra color and flavor.

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13 Ways You Can Nail (Heh) This Kinda-Scary Sex Skill https://greatist.com/live/how-to-deepthroat?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 13 Ways You Can Nail (Heh) This Kinda-Scary Sex Skill 13 Ways You Can Nail (Heh) This Kinda-Scary Sex Skill Fri, 28 Sep 2018 04:00:00 -0400 Aly Walansky 16228 at https://greatist.com/ Deepthroating can totally feel super intimidating, and many of us start off feeling like it's something we are just never going to accomplish. If you want to learn, however, you absolutely can—with a few handy tips and some practice, of course.

1. Go for some citrus.

"I personally love to take shots of lemon juice beforehand," says adult star Daizha Morgann. "It makes me drool way more, and makes it easier to take it ALL in." Your dentist may not love what it does to your enamel, but this is a special-occasion kind of adventure anyway.

2. Find your angle.

"You may find it easier to be on your knees, or you can try leaning your head off the edge of the bed, which can help open the throat," shares sexpert Antonia Hall.

You can keep a moistened grip on the end of the penis by the testicles to allow for greater control, Hall says—especially while first becoming comfortable with deepthroating. "Open your mouth and throat as wide as possible, flattening your tongue against the floor of the mouth and stretching your neck as long as possible," Hall says.

3. Remember your breathing.

If your gag reflex is an issue, inhale while the penis is being inserted and exhale while it's coming out. You'll also want to focus on trying to breathe out of your nose. "If it's too hard, try and find a nice rhythm that allows you to take little breaths out as he slides out of your throat, and hold it while he is down in your throat," says Bethany Ricciardi, a sex and relationship expert with TooTimid.

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4. Consider opting for a throat spray.

You can try using a relaxant, like Doc Johnson's popular GoodHead Deep Throat Spray, on the back of your throat. "It has a small amount of benzocaine (5 percent) so one spritz to the back of the throat is often the perfect amount to help alleviate the gag reflex. You want to be relaxed, not numb," says Stephanie Salyers, who has been a sexuality educator for more than 10 years and is a SAR certified sex coach.

Keep in mind that the gag reflex is reminding you to breathe, so the trick is to relax enough to manage it without trying to completely suppress it. "Your gag reflex is part of the body's innate self-protective instincts, so please don't try to bypass this feeling," Salyers says.

5. Have you tried putting wine on it?

If you're feeling anxiety about deepthroating—like, you're wracked with the extremely reasonable fear that you'll choke–it's worth taking a minute beforehand to relax. "There are a couple factors that I think really help," Morgann says. "For me, I definitely think a glass of wine helps to ease the anxiety." Right there with you.

6. Conversely, stay as hydrated as possible.

Drinking lots of water totally makes oral sex more comfortable. "Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can vary in cause and severity, but even something simple like too much caffeine and not enough water in your system can reduce your saliva production and cause a parched feeling," Salyers says. Drinking water helps keep your mouth wet—a key component to oral of any kind.

7. Sheathe your swords.

When it comes to deepthroating, you have to look at your teeth as swords, says Ember Snow, adult performer and cam star. "Sheathe those swords when you slide the penis into your mouth—once you can do that, step it up a notch by sticking your tongue out," Snow says.

8. Practice, practice, practice.

Don't be afraid to practice on a toy. "Choose a silicone, realistic dildo—something as close as you can get to the real thing. Repeatedly stick it down your throat—try holding it there," Ricciardi says. "Move it in and out, all around, and even try swallowing around it. Each time you feel that gag start to kick in, stop and try to take a second to suppress it," Ricciardi says. The more you practice this, the more likely you get past that gagging urge.

9. Take breaks if you need them.

If you're having trouble mastering a breathing rhythm, don't be afraid to take breaks as needed. "If you have to, just take a break every 10 seconds to catch your breath and then keep going," Ricciardi says. "Make sure the person receiving oral is respectful to you and can understand the difficulty of the task." They need to be patient too—that way, there's no pressure or anxiety when trying to perform!

10. Spit is just fine.

If you're icked out by spit, now's the time to learn to embrace it. "Your partner will probably think it's sexy—use it to your advantage and let the spit help the penis slide in and out of your mouth," Ricciardi says.

11. Maintain the intimacy.

Deepthroating may conjure up images of porn, but it's also very intimate. You're basically giving deep sexual pleasure to your partner by making love to them with your mouth and throat.

"There's often an element of surrendering to one's partner by the giver and a sense of power and control by the person receiving," Hall says. "The receiver will experience the intimate depth of the person's mouth and the back of the throat, which is soft and feels particularly good against the tip of the penis," Hall says.

12. Don't be afraid to swallow.

No, you definitely don't have to swallow, but it's sexy and actually kind of an advantage. "If you don't like the taste or sensation of them coming in your mouth, you won't feel it happening!" Ricciardi says. Deepthroating to completion and swallowing while they're still down there is definitely a skill—and might be for someone more advanced. But beginners can always work their way up.

13. Ball play is the best play.

Another more advanced technique that you can try is to bring in some ball play. "If you're kneeling in front of your partner, and they're deep inside your throat, you're in a perfect position to stick your tongue out and lick their balls," Ricciardi says.

"You'll want to keep the penis deep, don't move it in and out, but continue deepthroating while licking!" Ricciardi says. You can always massage the testicles with your hands or reach up and grab their nipples for extra stimulation as well.

Aly Walansky is a New York-based lifestyle writer. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @alywalansky.
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The Most Helpful Advice a Doctor Ever Gave Me About Losing Weight https://greatist.com/live/how-doctors-can-really-help-weight-loss?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist The Most Helpful Advice a Doctor Ever Gave Me About Losing Weight The Most Helpful Advice a Doctor Ever Gave Me About Losing Weight Thu, 27 Sep 2018 05:00:00 -0400 Amber Petty 16219 at https://greatist.com/ Slim Chance Welcome to "Slim Chance," a new, twice-monthly series in which author Amber Petty documents the happiness and crappiness of losing weight. Read the first, second, and third chapters here.

Weight: 238.6 pounds

Lost in Two Weeks: 8.4 pounds

Total Weight Lost: 14.4 pounds

Here's a brief timeline of my experience with doctors:

Age 17, 180ish pounds

Amber: I'm really tired all the time.

Doctor: Neat. I can't do anything about that, but how about you lose 30 pounds?

Age 18, 180ish pounds

A: I'm having my period twice a month.

D: It's probably stress. I can't give you anything for that. You should probably lose some weight.

Age 22, 190ish pounds

A: I have a cold.

D: Ever thought about losing weight?

Age 25, 220ish pounds

A: I'm feeling sick a lot and can't lose weight.

D: You need to cut out gluten. And also lose weight.

Age 25, 190ish pounds

A: I don't sleep well and I feel dizzy a lot.

D: Hmm, you should eat more fiber and lose 10 pounds.

Age 25 and 1 month, 180ish pounds

A: I lost 11 pounds. I still feel bad.

D: Isn't that something. Lose… weight?

Age 31, 230ish pounds

A: My stomach has been hurting for two months.

D: Are you sure?

A: No, I just love coming to the doctor.

D: Cool, well I did a cursory check and you seem fine. There's nothing I can do. Lose some weight.

See a pattern? Now, I'm not saying these doctors were wrong, exactly. I did need to lose weight. But oddly enough, when I weighed less, the doctors were much more adamant that I lose weight than they are now. When I was actually becoming straight-up obese, it was more of an afterthought. They couldn't ignore my complaints and just say "there's nothing wrong with you," so they added a quick "lose weight."

One visit really took the cake.

A few years ago, after I clocked in at 275, it was clear that my weight was a major issue, and I needed to lose some pounds. So I started counting calories and kept to 1,500-1,800 a day (usually much closer to 1,500). Though counting calories drove me to an obsessive, unhappy state a few years before, I still did it, and I was doing OK this time around. In about six weeks time, I'd lost 10 pounds.

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Then I went to a new doctor for an ordinary check up. I told her about my weight gain, getting diagnosed with depression, and my desire to be smaller. As I described my current diet, she interrupted, saying, "You should eat 1,200 calories a day."

"But I'm already eating about 1,500," I said.

"Well, you should really keep it to 1,200," the doctor said.

She knew I had body issues—but why should she bother concerning herself with my history when she could just shout out "1,200" and move on to the next, hopefully more lucrative appointment?

After this, we went into the examination room, and as I lifted up my shirt for the lungs check, the doctor visibly recoiled from my fresh stretch marks.

"What are those?"

"I think they're just stretch marks. You know, from gaining a bunch of weight," I said. "The very emotional and physical problem I just told you about." Sadly, I didn't actually say the last part, but my glare did.

"Oh, well I hope they're just stretch marks," she said dismissively as she pulled out her stethoscope. Sure, this was an overweight doctor in her mid 60s, but apparently, my stretch marks were a bridge too far.

The rotten cherry on top of this crappy sundae were her parting words: "You know, I feel sorry for Harvey Weinstein. Now that all these women are saying things, I really feel bad for him."

Yes, this woman found a way to DEFEND HARVEY WEINSTEIN during my appointment. This was a month after the allegations broke, and it was crystal clear that Weinstein was a garbage monster.

Long story short, I don't love doctors.

To be fair, I know that this dismissive behavior isn't entirely doctors' fault. They have way too many patients, very little time to spend with them, and they've probably been annoyed by a litany of hypochondriacs over the years. Still, I don't appreciate hearing "you're fine" when I'm not. Hell, tell me I'm insane and making up my pain, I'll take it. But the "it's nothing. On a side note, lose weight" doctor visit gets really old.

So, imagine how surprised I was when a doctor recently reached out to me and did something a medical professional had never done before—she listened.

After the first chapter of Slim Chance came out, I got a lot of lovely feedback. Between emails and DMs, I was shocked how many people read and were moved in some way by my story.

So, in the midst of this unexpected positivity, I got an email from Pamela Peeke, M.D. She wanted to have a call and give me some advice. In a very unlike-me move, I did not get to the email. I'm very good about responding to email, which has to be one of the lamest brags of all time, but in a world full of ghosting, I'm proud of my prompt replies. But I messed up, and a week and a half later, I got another email. Dr. Peeke wanted to make sure I got her message.

This time, I responded, scheduled a time, and lowered my expectations. I figured it would be cool to talk to a doctor for free since I was feeling like a trash pile. We'd probably be on the phone for 15 minutes, she'd tell me to eat more protein, "move more," and give me an Instagram handle to put in my next article.

That Saturday, I spoke with Dr. Peeke—who said she loved my article and wanted to help. She could tell that my mind was in the right place to make changes, though she had a feeling that I might be making the same dietary mistakes that lead me astray in the past.

Then we were on the phone for two hours! Two! The doctor wanted to hear my whole history with weight, from all the diets I've tried to when I started hating my body.

We covered everything from my parents' size to my negative self-talk. I cried. Multiple times. But she wanted to know and truly listened to me.

After about an hour of my weight story, Dr. Peeke gave advice. "I want you to stop counting calories," she said. The mindset of being on a "diet" was never going to work long-term, so she suggested I quit counting and follow a couple of simple eating rules instead (which I'll explore in depth next time).

The call wrapped up, and I was so grateful that someone had reached out in such a selfless way. Here's the thing all doctors can learn from Dr. Peeke: Whether you're talking about weight loss or depression, the story makes a difference. And when a doctor dismissively says, "Eat 1,200 calories" without knowing if you've had an eating disorder or great stress around food, that can be exceptionally damaging.

Besides, I'm an American woman above the age of 12—you can go ahead and assume that I don't love my body, doctor. And when you tell a chubby-to-fat woman that she should lose weight and that the way to do this is "eat less, move more," you're not actually helping. Your patient already knows this.

You know how you really can help? Be like Dr. Peeke. By listening to my physical and mental struggles around weight, she was able to give advice that was different, actionable, and effective.

Most importantly, she stressed that changing my mentality and fixing my body hatred were just as important as losing pounds.

No doctor has ever said that to me before—and so far, it's made a huge difference. In the two weeks since talking to Dr. Peeke, I lost 8.4 pounds! Now, I don't expect this pace to keep up, but it's pretty freaking great. Also of note: I'm not making myself crazy about my diet.

Before she hung up the phone, Dr. Peeke said one last thing: "Every day, I want you to email me your MMMs: mouth, muscle, and mind." This was just a quick recap of how I felt around eating (mouth), what I did for activity (muscle), and my overall outlook (mind).

This daily reflection (not a food log or calorie count) has been a great way to see where my issues are—and give myself mini-congratulations for the good things along the way. If there's anyone out there who would like to set up a similar system of accountability, please reach out. I can't provide the same level of expertise, but I can listen. And trust me, it helps. some super goth succulents

Because my mindset has improved, I've started walking every day. I'm reversing some of my negative self-talk, and I'm more impressed by the tiny, positive things in life, like these dark purple succulents that grow in my neighborhood.

It's such a little, weird thing, but they look like spooky goth roses, and they light up the Wednesday Addams in my heart whenever I walk past.

Amber Petty is an L.A.-based writer and a regular contributor to Greatist. Follow along as she shares her weight-loss journey in her new bi-monthly column, Slim Chance. Take singing lessons from her via Sing a Different Tune and follow her on Instagram @Ambernpetty.

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9 Mediterranean Diet Breakfast Recipes We're Always in the Mood For https://greatist.com/eat/mediterranean-diet-breakfast-recipes?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 9 Mediterranean Diet Breakfast Recipes We're Always in the Mood For 9 Mediterranean Diet Breakfast Recipes We're Always in the Mood For Thu, 27 Sep 2018 04:28:00 -0400 Tara Goodrum 16223 at https://greatist.com/ Whole grains, healthy fats, a little red wine every now and then... what's not to love about the Mediterranean diet? Far from a fad diet, the Mediterranean diet sticks to healthy, accessible staples and doesn't boast rigid rules or all-or-nothing guidelines. Instead, it focuses on delicious, nutritious foods that are satisfying and simple to whip up. And while we don't recommend red wine for breakfast, per se, we do think these protein-packed Mediterranean diet breakfasts are a great way to kick-start your day.

Salad for breakfast? Hear us out. Full of staples like soft-boiled eggs, avocado, and tomato, breakfast salads aren't that far of a departure from some of your favorite morning meals. And though your taste buds may not be screaming for lettuce in the morning, peppery arugula is a great ingredient for soaking up that runny egg yolk. Another bonus: the crunch from chopped almonds (we love toasted) and the boost of fiber from quinoa.

Yeah, yeah, we know: Avocado toast is old news. But there's a reason this trendy dish is sticking it out in the limelight. For starters, it's incredibly filling and delicious—thanks to heart-healthy avocado and fiber-rich whole-grain toast.

But perhaps even better is the fact that it takes mere minutes to make. This recipe goes next-level by adding smoked salmon, a poached egg, splash of soy sauce, and a handful of microgreens. Good morning, indeed.

Though the Mediterranean diet is low-dairy, it isn't no dairy (thank goodness). This recipe is great for when a creamy craving hits or for those who prefer a less savory breakfast.

Made with a whole-grain English muffin, fresh ricotta, sliced peaches (feel free to substitute berries or figs), and a drizzle of honey, this breakfast is a breeze to make and pairs perfectly with a fresh cup of coffee. Because what's a morning without at least a little caffeine?

When it comes to ease in the kitchen, nothing beats meal prep. And when it comes to protein-packed meal-prep breakfasts, few things beat egg cups. Easy to make and easy on the wallet, egg cups are a great way to plan breakfast in advance while allowing for fun when it comes to flavor.

This recipe uses bell pepper, mushrooms, goat cheese, and basil to liven up the eggs, but feel free to substitute any veggie you like. Broccoli, onion, asparagus, peas, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet potato... the (vegetable-based) sky is the limit.

There's something about eggs being served in their own individual dish that makes them feel extra special. This recipe is a nice upgrade from hard-boiled eggs with avocado slices—a favorite breakfast of ours—with eggs cracked on top of avocado, sprinkled with feta, and baked until the yolk is done to your liking (12 minutes should do the trick).

We love adding sautéed onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, or spinach to bulk up the veggies, and pairing with whole-wheat toast slices or an English muffin.

This sandwich is almost too beautiful to eat. But hey, that's never stopped us before. The combination of herb-infused eggs, roasted tomatoes, crunchy bread, pesto, and melted cheese make this simple sandwich a breakfast dream come true.

It's also incredibly easy to modify. No time to roast tomatoes? Substitute sun-dried, pop them in the microwave, or give them a quick sauté. Don't love cheese? Skip the muenster, opt for vegan pesto, and use egg yolks to add a bit more flavor. And if whole-grain ciabatta isn't available, use whole-grain toast of any kind or turn it into an omelet.

Pancakes often get put in the #treatyourself pile, but if you skip the syrup waterfall and add in some sneaky ingredients, they can actually be quite healthy. This recipe uses Greek yogurt to create a dreamy texture and bulk up the protein, making it a pretty wholesome breakfast.

To take it even further, use whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose (or coconut flour), skip the sugar and sweeten the mix with vanilla extract, and top with loads of fresh fruit. Who said pancakes aren't a legit adult meal?

If you love the idea of egg cups but don't find them filling enough, try these Mediterranean quinoa muffins. Made with spinach, onion, tomatoes, olives, oregano, eggs, quinoa, and feta, they're not only full of protein, but also have plenty of fiber too.

To keep things in line with the Mediterranean, we say skip the vegetable oil and use olive oil instead. As for the quinoa, opt for white, which tends to be less firm when cooked and will blend better with the eggs.

Ever heard of shakshuka? This is a Mediterranean spin on the Middle Eastern classic. Eggs are baked with a slew of veggies—in this case, yellow onion, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes—and topped with feta cheese and fresh herbs.

If you're a fan of the classic, skip the sun-dried and use canned tomatoes instead (it makes for some nice dipping!) or spice things up with a touch of harissa paste. Another pro tip: Use whole-wheat pita slices in place of a spoon.

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Does Having Diabetes Mean Your Fitness Goals Have to Change? https://greatist.com/fitness/does-having-diabetes-change-your-fitness-goals?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist Does Having Diabetes Mean Your Fitness Goals Have to Change? Does Having Diabetes Mean Your Fitness Goals Have to Change? Wed, 26 Sep 2018 09:00:47 -0400 Rob Howe 16220 at https://greatist.com/ Most people don't know the specifics of a chronic disease until it directly affects them or a loved one—and I was no different. When I was 16 years old, I was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes (T1D). But despite the whirlwind of information I was suddenly processing, I only had one real concern: How would diabetes would affect my dream of playing professional basketball?

Fortunately, my doctors assured me that as long as I stayed on top of it, all my goals were still achievable. I decided I didn't want diabetes to define who I was or what I was capable of, so I pursued my passion: I led my high school team to the state championship game, played four years of college basketball on scholarship, and even got to travel the world as a pro (most famously as the first type-1 diabetic member of the Washington Generals).

It wasn't easy: I even had to hide my diabetes from pro teams who could have used it as a reason not to sign me.

But I'd made up my mind that it wasn't going to stop me—and it didn't. After my days as an athlete were over, I founded Diabetics Doing Things, an online community and podcast that tells the stories of people living with T1D through long-form interviews. Our mission is to show people with diabetes what's possible for their lives by introducing them to other amazing people who are living life to the fullest with T1D. We just celebrated our 100th podcast episode, and interviewing people from across the world has taught me lessons that help me face each day.

Here are three things I know to be true about living with T1D:

1. Exercise is key but doesn't come without challenges.

It's hard enough for people to make it to the gym without diabetes. You have to plan your entire day around your workout, wake up extra early or pack a bag for after work—not to mention turning down all of life's little anti-workout distractions (goodbye, happy hour!). Now, imagine you did everything within your power to make it to the gym, but in the middle of your workout, your blood sugar drops. Or you get disconnected from your pump during your HIIT workout, and your blood sugar shoots super high. Those kinds of uncontrollable snags are a common occurrence when working out with T1D.

Photo: Rob Howe rocking Wolaco

Until recently, I always disconnected my pump when I worked out because it was hard to keep it still while jumping or running around. But companies like Wolaco have developed top-notch performance shorts that also have pockets built into the compression, so I can securely stash my pump close to my body. Now I even play basketball with my pump on, so I can avoid as much of those highs and lows during a workout as possible—plus, I feel awesome when I score a bunch of points on someone who isn't wearing a medical device. No handicaps here.

2. Celebrate the small wins.

This mantra should apply to every aspect of life, but it's especially important for those living with chronic illness: Every day that you don't end up in the hospital is a good day.

Chronic disease doesn't just disappear, and there still isn't a cure for T1D. We have to wake up and slay the diabetes dragon every single day, and there's no parade for us afterward—and that can get heavy. But I've learned that you can celebrate the small wins, like managing your blood sugar, exercising, having a drink with friends, going for a long walk with your dog, or just making it to work on time. Remind yourself that you're doing great. And build up a reserve of self-love, because you'll need to tap into it when the going gets tough.

Photo: Rob Howe

3. Find your tribe and hold on to them.

I spent my first 10 years with diabetes managing it completely on my own—and I was burned out on a consistent basis. I never knew how much I needed the support of the T1D community until I got over my pride, showed some vulnerability, and put myself out there. Asking to be a part of the T1D community has drastically changed my life for the better—the love and support I've gotten in return has been exponential, and I'd encourage everyone who is dealing with a challenge on their own to use their voice and be open about their struggle. As my dad used to say, "If you don't A-S-K, you don't G-E-T."

This year, 40,000 people will be diagnosed with type-1 diabetes, and most of them will likely learn about it for the first time. They'll wonder if the dreams they've had up to that point are still within reach, and I'm living proof that they are. I wouldn't let it stop me from being the athlete I wanted to be, and it doesn't have to stop you from chasing your dreams either.

Rob Howe is the founder of the online community and podcast Diabetics Doing Things. Check it out on Instagram.

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What Is CBD? And What Does CBD Oil Really Do? https://greatist.com/live/what-is-cbd-oil-and-cbd-tincture?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist What Is CBD? And What Does CBD Oil Really Do? What Is CBD? And What Does CBD Oil Really Do? Wed, 26 Sep 2018 06:01:00 -0400 Sabrina Weiss 16191 at https://greatist.com/ If you believe the hype, CBD oil cures everything. Allegedly, cannabidiol, the chemical extracted into CBD oil, can treat anxiety, epilepsy, acne, pain, schizophrenia, and basically everything else that ails you.

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Is this all the wishful thinking of the people who have worked so hard to legalize weed? Well, not exactly. But despite all the very hopeful reports out there about the ways it may work, we're still at the very early stages of research.

"We still don't fully understand all of the mechanisms involved in CBD's actions," says Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D, who studies CBD and its effects, primarily on PTSD. "We know some pieces but definitely not the whole story at this point. A lot of our understanding of the many potential benefits of CBD is rooted in work either on the cellular level or in preclinical models with rodents."

So keep calm and read on to find out what science actually knows so far—and what's on the horizon for this maybe-miracle drug.

CBD 101

The cannabis sativa plant (yup, that's a marijuana or hemp plant) produces chemical compounds called cannabinoids, and cannabidiol is just one of them. The one most of us are better acquainted with is THC, the chemical responsible for, you know, getting you high.

Research into cannabis has been going on for several decades, but it wasn't until the early 90s that scientists uncovered the endocannabinoid system—which is how the body actually reacts to the chemicals from cannabis and also produces its own similar chemicals, called endocannabinoids.

It turns out that this system also helps regulate the nervous system, the immune system, and organs throughout the body. As far as researchers can tell so far, THC plugs in directly to the body's cannabinoid receptors—but CBD does things a little differently, Bonn-Miller explains.

"CBD increases the circulating levels of your natural endocannabinoids, which, in turn, interact with your cannabinoid receptors," Bonn-Miller says. "CBD has also been shown to interact with serotonin receptors, and that may be part of why it has some beneficial effects on anxiety. It also interacts with some pain receptors, which may be why we're starting to see effects on pain and inflammation."

Basically, Bonn-Miller says that because CBD works indirectly, it has a much broader reach with the potential to treat a variety of mental and physical ailments.

And while we don’t know exactly how the cannabinoids work to address different diseases (such as epilepsy, discussed below), we do know that CBD does not appear to work with the same receptor that THC does, which likely explains why people don't experience psychoactive effects (a.k.a. feeling stoned) when taking CBD.

What CBD Definitely Helps: Pediatric Epilepsy

Let's start with the most officially proven medical use of CBD. Earlier this year, the FDA approved the first-ever drug containing CBD, Epidiolex, to treat two rare forms of pediatric epilepsy. To get to that point, the drug's manufacturers had to do a whole lot of randomized, placebo-controlled trials on humans. They had to study how much children could take, what would happen in case of overdose, and any possible side effects that would occur.

Though research into CBD and epilepsy began due to anecdotal reports (people telling their doctors how well it worked for them or their children), this doesn't necessarily mean that any over-the-counter CBD oil would work, Bonn-Miller cautions.

"The data supporting efficacy and dosing are specific to one product: Epidiolex," Bonn-Miller says. "That's not necessarily translatable to 'Joe Bob's CBD Blend.'" A CBD extract you buy online or in a dispensary will almost certainly have less CBD in it, he explains, and will contain other cannabinoids—meaning that it will work differently and will need to be dosed differently. "This is not to say that 'Joe Bob's CBD Blend' definitely isn't going to be effective for pediatric epilepsy, but it means that we need to study it before we know."

What CBD May Help: Anxiety, PTSD, Depression

No other potential use for CBD has been studied as extensively as epilepsy treatment, but researchers are getting there. There's a lot of anecdotal evidence to support the claims that CBD is great for anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and studies have already proven that CBD works for these issues in mice, but of course, mice aren't people.

"There haven't been gigantic clinical trials of CBD for anxiety, but there are some small sample human studies that have shown a signal that indicates it is a condition that we should be pursuing in larger studies," Bonn-Miller says.

What It May Help: Pain and Inflammation

You've probably heard about athletes taking CBD oil for their aching muscles and celebrities rubbing it on their feet to endure red carpets in high heels. Is it really working?

"CBD seems to be an even more potent anti-inflammatory than some steroids," says Bruce Nicholson, M.D., director of Pain Specialists of Greater Lehigh Valley. "Some studies also suggest that CBD oil can function as a nerve protectant and treat nerve injury pain, but because it is not legal in every state, it's been difficult to research."

CBD and Beauty

There is also a whole lot of hype out there about how CBD is ideal for treating skin conditions.

"CBD has multiple uses in improving inflammatory conditions like eczema, including improving wound healing, itch, and pain, and has even been reported to improve a rare blistering disorder of skin," says Rachel Nazarian, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group.

But again, CBD as a topical ingredient for skin hasn't been researched in large-scale human tests yet. As with many other ingredients we pay top dollar for in our lotions and potions, CBD is not yet a sure thing, and because cosmetics are not rigorously regulated by the FDA, the manufacturers can make whatever claims they want.

Still, Nazarian says she and her colleagues believe in its promise, and they are especially encouraged by the fact that it seems to be quite safe to use.

"Although we are certainly in need of more studies, these take a lot of time and money from the medical community to be done properly—and as physicians, we prioritize helping our patients if the evidence is encouraging, and the risk is minimal," Nazarian says. "CBD oil offers a great option for many people."

Buyer Beware

It's the Wild West out there. Without any federal regulatory body checking labels, consumers have very little way of knowing what they're buying when they purchase CBD oil. Bonn-Miller co-authored a study that found that 26 percent of CBD products on the market contained less CBD than their label claimed. So the amount you need for an effective dose could vary drastically, not just from product to product, but from bottle to bottle of the same product.

"A CBD company may create a CBD oil, test it, and use the test results to create their label," Bonn-Miller says. "The problem is if they never test their product again, or they test it once a year, you have no idea whether each batch is the same as the first one that they used to create the label. The vast majority of companies are not using manufacturing standards that assure product consistency over time. Companies should be testing every batch they make and tossing batches that don't fall within the specs of their label."

As a consumer, you can look at the manufacturer's website to see whether they batch-test their products, or ask them directly. You could also send a sample of your CBD oil to a testing facility yourself, something Bonn-Miller says he would do if he were trying to treat someone with a severe issue such as epilepsy. Testing can also determine whether the product contains pesticides, heavy metals, or other toxins.

Bonn-Miller says in an ideal scenario, CBD companies would fund more of their own research to back up their claims.

"Right now, any claims and dosing recommendations by any company making a CBD product for the medical marijuana market is purely anecdotal," he says. "Asking 100 people who use your product whether they feel better isn't real science. The products on the market are also different from what was used in the scientific studies that they are basing their claims upon. If a study found an anti-anxiety effect when dosing humans with synthetic CBD, that doesn't mean that your CBD oil that contains 18 percent CBD is going to reduce anxiety. It might even have the opposite effect."

What Are the Risks of CBD Oil?

The good news is that most of the official research done on CBD oil has shown that there are very few negative side effects from using it. However, CBD is not without some side effects. Most notably, in the clinical studies for epilepsy, sedation was one of the more common side effects. Decreased appetite and diarrhea were also seen in some patients. Depending on what other medicines they are taking, certain patients may need to have periodic blood tests to check on liver function.

In addition, CBD may cause some drug interactions. However, Bonn-Miller also adds that there is evidence that it does not have any dependence potential.

The legality of CBD is a real conundrum, which is a hurdle making it difficult for many necessary studies to get off the ground. Hemp (a cannabis plant with less than .3 percent THC) is legal in all 50 states, but when you start extracting CBD from the flowers of that plant, that might be technically redefining the plant as marijuana.

Marijuana-derived CBD, on the other hand, is only legal in any state that has legalized marijuana. CBD and anything else derived from a cannabis plant is still classified by the DEA as a Schedule I drug (defined as a drug with "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse"). And in 2016, the DEA stated that all extracts containing more than one cannabinoid would remain classified as Schedule I. However, the approval of Epidiolex may change that.

All this means that scientists can still only obtain marijuana-derived CBD from farms licensed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (which until this year meant only one farm owned by the University of Mississippi). As for whether you should have a preference for CBD that comes from hemp, marijuana, or a pure synthetically produced version, there are some theories that THC—and even the smell and taste of cannabis—might make CBD more effective, but Bonn-Miller says these ideas have yet to be proven.

Then there's always the risk that you're wasting your money if some of the claims around CBD turn out to be overblown (or the product you're buying is bogus). But if CBD does even a fraction of what we think it does, by all means—pass the dropper on the left-hand side.

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6 Vegan Yogurts Worth Eating https://greatist.com/eat/vegan-yogurts-worth-eating?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https--greatistcom-- Greatist 6 Vegan Yogurts Worth Eating 6 Vegan Yogurts Worth Eating Wed, 26 Sep 2018 06:00:00 -0400 Meredith Heil 16165 at https://greatist.com/ Gut health is all the rage these days, with studies linking the state of your insides to everything from energy and mental health to skin problems, hormonal imbalance, and a weak immune system.

Probiotics are key, but while yogurt is a fast, easy and effective way to soak up those tiny gut cleaners you need to keep things in check, finding a dairy-free alternative that does the job without tasting like tangy mush can be a frustrating process. We put together this list of six bad-bacteria-busting vegan yogurts to help you beat the bloat and enjoy your afternoon snack too.

Aside from its sleek, attractive branding, these 5.3-ounce cups have a lot to offer the dairy-weary: nine different gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan flavors, including pineapple, key lime, blueberry, strawberry, plain, vanilla, and the ever-popular peach made with California peaches. Each is stocked with protein and plenty of gut-friendly probiotics. The European-style varieties are as silky smooth as the real thing, if not smoother, and most clock in around the 160-calorie mark.

($4.99 for 2; jet.com)

When it comes to ingredients, I’m generally in the “less-is-more” camp, and these organic, plant-based numbers definitely fit the bill. Whether you’re opting for unsweetened plain, blueberry, strawberry, vanilla, cherry, lemon, or coconut, you’re looking at just a handful of ingredients, including six live active cultures. It’s not the most protein-packed cup on the shelf, with most varieties hovering around 2 to 3 grams per serving, but what it lacks for in that area, it makes up for in clean, crisp flavor, an unbeatably creamy texture, and comparatively low calorie counts (most around 140) and sugar content (12 or fewer grams).

($1.89; jet.com)

A longtime leader in the soy sector, this nondairy pioneer has jumped on the almond milk train with its line of velvety plant-based yogurts. Creative options like superfood-charged mixed berry acai and rich dark chocolate coconut stand out from