Nutrisystem Cost: How Much per Month?

the cost of nutrisystem

How much does Nutrisystem cost?

Before starting any weight loss program, it’s essential to consider the pricing. If maintaining your diet isn’t within your price range, then chances are it’s unlikely to work towards your cause in the long-term.

To estimate the price of Nutrisystem, you will be required to add three things: supplemental food/groceries, your chosen plan, and optional extras.

By doing that, you will be estimating your total coast every day, week, and month.

Looking to calculate your Nutrisystem price? Now, I’m not a math whiz, but this is pretty much the equation you’ll want to consider when trying to figure out what you might expect to pay for Nutrisystem every month:

Groceries + Meals Out + Nutrisystem Meals, Snacks, & Shakes = The actual monthly cost of the diet.

With that in mind, let’s look at each of these three pricing factors in more detail:

1.Nutrisystem Prices for

 

Nutrisystem’s cost will be dependent on your plan choice and the promotion they’re offering when you sign up. At last check, they were offering their BOGO sale, which is some of the best Nutrisytem pricing we’ve ever seen.

So which is the best plan? Nutrisystem has four plan levels that both men and women can choose from, together with Nutrisystem D plans for those having diabetes, and a vegetarian plan. The programs are basically the same, but for an increased menu variety, you will have to pay more, which includes frozen foods in the Uniquely Yours Plans.

Here’s the latest pricing (Last Updated: )

Nutrisystem Cost for Women

Women’s plans are a bit cheaper than the plans for men. The prices we’ve outlined below are what you can expect to pay normally for these plans. If you are lucky enough to lock in their BOGO promotion, you can expect to save about a $1 per day on all of their plans.

Or take the monthly cost, and cut it in half.

  • Core: $9.72/day, $62.84/week, $272.30/mo.
  • Uniquely Yours: $11.87/day, $76.68/week, $332.30/mo.
  • Uniquely Yours Ultimate: $13.19/day, $83.08/week, $369.22/mo.
  • Vegetarian: $11.87/day, $76.68/week, $332.30/mo.

For those who have Type 2 Diabetes or are pre-diabetic, Nutrisystem D has a unique selection of foodstuffs and is on offer as Uniquely Yours and Core at the same cost as standard plans.

Nutrisystem Cost for Men

Depending on the promotion plan you are signing up with and the plan you selected, the price of Nutrisystem for Men varies.

Here are some of the current Nutrisystem prices with their fan-favorite 40% off sale applied:

  • Core: $11.04/day, $71.36/week, $309.22/mo.
  • Uniquely Yours: $13.19/day, $85.20/week, $369.22/mo.
  • Uniquely Yours Ultimate: $14.51/day, $93.72/week, $406.15/mo.
  • Vegetarian for Men: $13.19/day, $83.07/week, $369.22/mo.
  • Nutrisystem D for Men provides food specially selected for diabetic men. They offer both a Uniquely Yours ‘D’ and Core plan at the same pricing as the standard plans.

Now let’s have a look at the extra expenses of being on Nutrisystem, not included in the marketing price.

2. Cost of Groceries & Flex Meals

grocery shopping for flex meals

Whereas Nutrisystem’s prepared food covers the majority of the expense, you will have to buy additional food, which includes groceries and four weekly ‘flex meals’ when dining out or at home.

Here is what you should be planning to spend on extra food:

Cost of Groceries

Supplemental groceries: Nutrisystem recommends supplementing their meals together with SmartCarbs (veggies and fruits) and PowerFuels (lean and dairy meats).

These will end up costing you around $5 each day,

DIY Meals at Home: You will want to have some accountability for groceries required for home-cooked Flex meals that cost about $4.00 per meal.

Keep in mind, you have control over how much you want to spend at the grocery store. If you want to save money, shop sales, or think outside the box for some cheaper meal options.

There are plenty of ways to bring these costs down if you’re a savvy shopper.

Restaurant Food & Flex Meals

It’s will eventually cost you more if you opt to utilize your Flex Meals in Restaurants. As a matter of fact, the average meal out costs around $12.75each, although you could end up spending a lot more.

3. Optional Nutrisystem Extras: (Shakes, Snacks, Vitamins, etc.)

While checking out, you will be provided with a couple of additional options, such as protein bars, probiotic vitamins, and extra shakes.

At signup, I personally don’t recommend any of the mentioned extras since you can consider to add them later on or purchase an affordable equivalent from the drugstore.

For this particular price estimate, I will not be adding any optional extras.

A la Carte Food & Menu Prices

You have the freedom to add extra a la carte food in any order and include shakes, snacks, and frozen food.

When purchasing frozen food, you’ll end up paying a $9+ shipping fee or otherwise have to spend $75+to get free shipping.
This doesn’t really factor into the total cost, however, because it’s an optional expense.

For most, you’ll want to consider the Nutrisytem a la carte menu to help you transition off their full delivery program. If you enjoy their snacks and shakes, it’s a great way to help you maintain your weight loss after you’ve hit your goal.

Nutrisystem Price Per Year?

How much does a Nutrisystem year cost?

For women, a year of the favorite Nutrisystem Core plan can end up costing around $3600 for $4000 for men. To get the annual cost total, add groceries and supplemental food expenses, which can vary per person.

The good news here? Most people won’t be on Nutrisytsem’s full meal program for a full year.

How Much Does Nutrisystem Cost at Walmart?

If you want to try Nutrisystem food before you join, at Walmart, you can purchase 5-day kits. Their prices vary, but typically start at about $45 for a 5-day kit.

Summary: Are There Cheaper Diet Delivery Options Than Nutrisystem?

Nutrisystem is one of the most affordable diet delivery options we have reviewed, and in fact, we have yet to find one that is cheaper.

Nutrisystem has plans and pricing options that should meet the criteria of most special diets and budgets. It’s affordable, works great for weight loss when used correctly, and right now is a great time to buy.

At last check they were offering their BOGO deal, which cuts the price for your first month in half.

Check latest Nutrisytem sales and prices here.

Noom Reviews, Pros & Cons, Food List PDF

Noom

Losing weight has never been easy, but it’s simpler than ever thanks to advances in new technology. Diet apps can give people the tools they need to plan and stick to a healthy diet.

With that said, researchers have found that only a small percentage of apps provide accurate weight loss information [1]. It’s essential to use a diet app that’s research-based and proven to be effective.

With over 45 million users, Noom is one of the most popular weight loss apps in the world. It’s also incredibly effective. Noom was designed by behavioral psychologists and works to help users lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

It’s a high-quality diet program that will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

What is Noom?

Noom is a subscription-based diet app that is designed to help people make healthy lifestyle changes. While restrictive crash diets usually fail, Noom will help you lose weight the right way. With Noom, you can change the way you think about food.

The Noom app provides users with a wide range of tools and resources, including:

  • Exercise, weight, blood sugar, and blood pressure logging
  • Food tracker and database
  • Personalized diet plan
  • Searchable recipes
  • One-on-one coaching
  • Quizzes and articles

The goal of the app is to provide you with more information about the food you’re eating while tricking you into developing healthier habits.

Noom works because it doesn’t overload you with rules. Instead, it teaches you how to pick the right foods for your body.

What helps to differentiate Noom from other diet apps is that it considers the psychology behind food choices. Noom doesn’t tell you what to eat.

Instead, it helps you to understand why you reach for certain types of foods. It also gives you valuable information about the nutritional value of foods so that you can make better decisions about what you eat.

How Noom Works

The Noom diet app is personalized for each individual user. After purchasing a subscription, users will be asked a series of questions. The Noom app will use that information to design a healthy weight loss plan that addresses that user’s needs and weight loss goals.

Noom also pairs users with a health coach.

The health coach will be available to provide support and answer questions during business hours. Having a coach can be a great source of motivation, and it can also be an excellent source of accountability.

Noom also has a massive food database that’s designed to help you choose healthy foods. When you’re logging foods or deciding what to eat, you can either search for foods or scan barcodes for more information. The app will allow you to get instant feedback on foods so that you can make better decisions about what you want to eat.

While Noom always takes a personalized approach, it offers two separate programs so that users can get the type of support they need.

The Healthy Weight program is targeted at users that are interested in weight loss. The Diabetes Management Program is designed to help people with diabetes manage their diet.

Both programs use the same color-coded system, but foods are categorized differently based on the program chosen. The Healthy Weight program is designed to help you choose foods with a lower calorie density.

The Diabetes Management program looks at the carbohydrate density of foods. Although the Healthy Weight program is the more popular of the two, both programs are easy to follow and highly effective.

Noom Food List: Green, Yellow, Red Foods (+ PDF)

Noom’s database contains more than 700,000 foods, and new foods are added to the database all the time.

All of the foods on the list are divided into three categories: green, yellow, and red. Green foods are low in calories but have plenty of nutritional value. These are the foods that should make up the bulk of your diet.

Green Foods

Examples of green foods include:

  • Green beans
  • Spinach
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Tofu
  • Polenta
  • Pears
  • Onion
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Non-fat yogurt
  • Almond milk
  • Whole-grain cereal

Yellow foods have a higher calorie density than green foods. These foods contain some healthy nutrients, but don’t offer the same benefits that green foods do. These foods can and should be a part of your diet, but should be eaten in more moderate portions.

Yellow Foods

Examples of yellow foods include:

  • Tuna
  • Grilled chicken
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • White rice
  • Black beans
  • Deli meat
  • Hummus
  • Turkey breast
  • Greek yogurt
  • Avocado
  • Guacamole
  • Tempeh
  • Diet soda
  • Couscous

Red Foods

Noom doesn’t require you to give up the foods you love. However, you should be cautious around red foods. These foods tend to be high in calories and have little nutritional value. Ideally, these foods should be once-in-a-while treats.

Examples of red foods include:

  • Fried meats
  • Pizza
  • French fries
  • Ranch dressing
  • Hot dogs
  • Hamburgers
  • Peanut butter
  • Whole milk
  • Potato chips
  • Wine
  • Sugar
  • Juice
  • Pancakes
  • Bacon
  • Cookies

Noom Pros & Cons

Pros

Backed by Science

One of the biggest pros of Noom is that it’s evidence-based. The tips and guidance that you’ll receive in the app have been tested and are proven to work.

Learn Healthy Habits for Life

Noom regularly provides users with articles and cited studies so that they can learn more about healthy weight loss.

Noom also makes it easy for users to make smart food choices. The app doesn’t encourage restrictive eating and allows users to pick the foods they want to eat.

Food List is Easy to Understand and Follow

However, the color-coded food list makes it easy to evaluate different foods and decide what you want to eat throughout the day. If you know you want to have a red food, like pizza later, you can make a point of eating green foods throughout the day.

Syncs with Popular Fitness Trackers

If you use a fitness tracker, you’ll be glad to know that Noom syncs with popular trackers like Fitbit and iHealth.

Noom doesn’t have to be the only weight loss tool you use. You can use it alongside other tools for better results.

Cons

What are the downsides to Noom?

Although Noom offers plenty of features, it’s likely you won’t find all these features to be useful. If you’re not much of a reader, you may not be interested in Noom’s behavioral modification articles. If you’re an introvert, you might not want to take advantage of Noom’s group chat feature.

Thankfully, since Noom offers a variety of features, you should still be able to get your money’s worth.

It’s also less than ideal for people that want more guidance and support. Noom puts you in the driver’s seat and lets you choose what you want to eat.

Noom will provide you with more information about food, and it offers a variety of recipes, but it won’t be preparing your meals for you. If you’re hoping to have meals sent to your house, you’ll want to explore other diet plans.

Noom is a subscription-based service, which means you won’t be using this app permanently. When you sign up for Noom, your program will be designed to last for a pre-determined number of weeks.

If you decide you want to continue with Noom, you’ll be billed again when your program ends. If you decide you want to stop using Noom, you can contact your coach to cancel.

This has both positives and negatives. It’s great that you have full control over how long you use Noom. However, when you end your subscription, you’ll lose access to Noom’s food database, tracking tools, and the other resources that Noom provides.

What Are Real Customers Saying?

Noom has an “Excellent” rating on Trustpilot and has received rave reviews from real customers. “I’ve lost over 14 pounds,” says one user. “Noom is just what I needed,” says another.

Users appreciate that the app isn’t focused on restrictive eating and helps people to modify the behaviors that caused them to gain weight.

Many users are impressed by how much Noom teaches them about nutrition and healthy eating. “The information and daily articles are great,” reads one review. Another reviewer says that she is “learning lifelong lessons.”

Although some reviewers say that there is too much reading, everyone seems to agree that Noom is a fantastic teaching tool.

Users also really seem to appreciate the coaching aspect of Noom. Real users have said that having an individual and group coach makes it easier for them to stay on track. “The coaches are super helpful,” raves one reviewer. Users also appreciate how easy it is to customize your Noom experience.

Noom Complaints: Bad Reviews?

Noom has plenty of positive feedback, but not all comments are positive. Some users are dissatisfied with the coaches that are assigned to them.

A number of reviews mention that the coaches sound “robotic” and aren’t a great source of support.

Another common criticism is that Noom is targeted towards users in the United States. Reviews say that many European food products aren’t in the database.

Thankfully, since Noom adds new foods to the database regularly, it’s possible that this complaint will be addressed in the future.

Even though users appreciate the articles and information that Noom provides, some people say that there’s too much of a good thing. Several reviews say that there’s an “information overload” and that they simply don’t have time to read all of the articles that Noom says them.

Noom does allow you to save articles to read later, but even so, some users say that it can be difficult to keep up with the app. More than one review describes the app as “overwhelming.”

Some users say that they were able to cancel Noom by contacting their coach, but other users describe canceling as a “nightmare.”

If you decide to take advantage of Noom’s free trial, or if you know you want to cancel when your plan is finished, it’s best to start the cancellation process sooner rather than later.

Review Summary

Noom is an easy-to-use app that provides users with tons of valuable resources. The coaching system gives users the motivation and accountability they need to push through plateaus.

Best of all, the app is a genuinely effective weight loss tool. According to Scientific Reports, 78% of Noom’s users were able to lose weight and keep it off for nine months or more. (shorturl.at/ilIOS)

While many people want to lose weight, it can be difficult to break bad habits and change behaviors. Noom was created with that in mind. The behavioral psychologists behind the app understand why diets frequently fail.

This is an app built for real, sustainable weight loss. With Noom, you won’t just lose weight. You’ll be able to keep weight off and improve your health.

Noom isn’t perfect, and it’s not the right app for everyone. Some people won’t be able to afford Noom’s subscription fees.

Other people might prefer programs that provide ready-made meals. Still, it’s hard to deny that Noom delivers results. This research-based weight loss app deserves a closer look.

Sources

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4704947/
  2. Noom Cost

2020 South Beach Diet Review: Frozen Food Menu Pros & Cons + A New Keto Menu?

south beach diet

We all know that losing weight is not easy.

With so many diets, plans, fads, and options available it can be hard to know where to turn. As most of us have discovered on our weight loss journeys, fads and promises of quick, easy weight loss never seem to pan out.

When it comes down to it, the key is to reduce the number of calories you consume and eat a well-balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods, to not only lose weight but lose it permanently and maintain good health as well. There really are no secrets when it comes to weight loss.

The South Beach Diet is a plan that is based not on fads or quick weight loss schemes but is instead grounded in sound nutritional principles and focuses on healthy eating and long-term lifestyle changes. It is a diet that you will want to seriously consider if you are looking for a proven, reputable, and healthy diet.

Even better, the South Beach Diet now offers a delivery service where you can have meals and snacks based on the famous diet delivered directly to your doorstep.

In this South Beach Diet review and cost report, we will be covering all of the important aspects of the South Beach Diet and its delivery service so that you can make an informed decision on whether it is the right service for you to help you achieve your weight loss and health goals.

What is the South Beach Diet?

According to Miami cardiologist Arthur Agatston, creator of the South Beach Diet, the key to getting healthy and losing weight fast is not to cut out all fats and carbohydrates from your diet.

Instead, it is to learn how to select the right fats and the right carbs to consume. That is the focus of the three-step program that the doctor created to help his heart patients lower their cholesterol levels and lose weight.

The South Beach Diet book was first published in 2003 and has become one of the most popular and well-known diets in the world.

There is now a full-service meal delivery program available where you can have South Beach Diet meals, snacks, and shakes based on the principles of Dr. Agatston’s diet delivered directly to your doorstep.

The South Beach Diet emphasizes foods that are full of nutrients and fiber. The diet is lower in carbohydrates and higher in healthy fats and protein. The South Beach diet claims it will help to jump-start the weight loss process, curb your cravings, and help you keep excess weight off for good.

The diet focuses on encouraging a healthy lifestyle along with weight loss and offers guidance for maintaining healthy body weight after you have achieved your weight loss goals.

50 percent off

South Beach Diet Phase 1, 2, and 3

The diet is comprised of three Phases. Phase One is called Body Rebook Week. The purpose of this phase is to kickstart your metabolism. This is the most restrictive phase of the diet. You will consume a carefully chosen range of snacks and meals that are high in lean protein, low in sugars and carbs and includes plenty of healthy fats and vegetables.

Phase Two is the Steady Weight Loss phase. There are fewer restrictions and a more varied menu. Good complex carbs are reintroduced into your diet and you can also consume fruit and more types of vegetables.

This is the phase of the diet that will help you lose weight steadily and slowly until you achieve your weight loss goals.

Phase Three is the Maintenance Phase. It comes after you have reached your weight loss goals and helps you maintain your ideal body weight. You enjoy the foods you like in moderation and continue to follow the principles outlined in the South Beach Diet.

How Does it Work?

The South Beach Diet meal delivery program, based on Dr. Agatston’s diet, is comprised of three phases. You do not need to count calories, carbs, or anything else.

Most of your food shows up directly to your doorstep so there is very little guesswork involved.

Frozen Food Plans

South Beach Diet offers 4 different monthly plans along with a 1-week Body Reboot kit (sold separately and also as week 1 of the monthly plans).

The monthly plans include the Silver Plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), Gold Plan (meals plus snacks), Platinum (meals, snacks, and shakes) and a special plan for diabetics called the Diabetes Gold Plan.

You receive three meals per day, and snacks if you are on the Gold or Platinum plan. There are also keto-friendly shakes available. You are responsible for covering two DIY breakfasts, lunches, and dinner per week. You are provided with a free diet app, and plenty of guidance, articles, recipes, grocery lists, and more to help you fill in the gaps.

You can stay on the South Beach Diet for as long as you like, depending on your weight loss and lifestyle goals.

You receive your 4-week supply of frozen foods once per month, delivered free of charge by FedEx. The plans auto-renew until you cancel.

Phase 1 Frozen Foods & Snacks

Phase One of the diet comes in the form of the 1-week Body Reboot, where you are supplied with two snacks along with three meals. During this phase, you will be eating lean protein (turkey, chicken, shellfish, fish) and healthy fats. You will want to add your own fresh vegetables and you will need to avoid alcohol, sugary foods, whole grains, starches, fruit juice, and fruit during Phase One.

Phase 2 Frozen Foods & Snacks

Phase Two is the “steady weight loss phase” where “good” carbs are reintroduced into your diet including fruit, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and whole-grain bread.

You eat three meals along with three snacks per day. To complete this plan you will need to buy some fresh foods and snacks to go along with your monthly South Beach Diet delivery plan. You can cook your two DIY meals per week or eat out. A couple of glasses of alcohol can be added during this phase. You will stick with Phase Two until you have achieved your weight loss goals.

Phase 3 Frozen Foods & Snacks

Phase Three is the “Maintenance Phase.” This is after you have established your lifelong healthy eating habits.

There are no foods that are prohibited during this phase and you can continue to order South Beach items a la carte at this point or continue on your monthly plan according to your own goals and preferences.

See Full Menu and Check Latest Prices Here

South Beach Diet Keto-Friendly Menu: How Does it Work?

As the Keto diet has continued to become increasingly popular within the weight loss world, the South Beach Diet created a new keto-friendly plan designed to help individuals lose weight and keep it off for good.

Dr. Arthur Agatston, the creator of the South Beach Diet, added the fat-burning principles offered by keto to his original, powerful South Beach Diet.

Those fundamentals have been harnessed to create the new keto-friendly South Beach Diet meal delivery plans that offer you all of the powerful benefits of the South Beach Diet combined with the convenience of having your keto-friendly meals, shakes, and snacks delivered directly to your doorstep.

The keto-friendly approach to weight loss offered by the South Beach Diet provides you with around 50 grams of net carbohydrates per day. Although the South Beach diet takes a healthy-fat, low carb approach, it is not strictly keto and has not been designed to allow people to maintain or achieve ketosis, while still allowing you to enjoy many of the benefits offered by a keto-friendly weight loss diet.

The South Beach Diet has taken the best characteristics of the Keto diet and made it easier to follow by offering a healthy-fat, low-carb approach.

Keto-friendly is the South Beach Diet’s way of making the classic Keto diet “friendlier” by allowing you to enjoy more food variety, higher protein levels, and more quality carbs.

You will get to eat many of the foods that are prohibited on the Keto diet such as beans, whole grains, and milk.

Does it Work for Weight Loss?

The new keto-friendly South Beach Diet is designed to help you lose weight. It has been shown by research that the key to losing weight is to control your calories.

The South Beach Diet delivery plans do all of the calorie-counting for you and provide you with a healthy and balanced approach to losing weight. There are no absolute guarantees but the South Beach Diet is one of the most popular diets in the world with many satisfied users who have been able to achieve their weight loss goals by following the diet.

More research is needed on the effectiveness of the meal delivery programs, but they are based on the principles of Dr. Agatston’s diet.

The South Beach Diet reports that during Phase 1 you can expect to lose an average of 6 to 7 pounds, and during Phase 2 you can expect to lose up to 2 pounds per week.

Foods You Can Eat, And Foods to Avoid

The foods that you can eat and should avoid will depend on which phase of the South Beach Diet you are in.

Phase One is the most restrictive phase.

Foods to eat: plenty of lean protein such as eggs, seafood, poultry, and beef. Some fats, including avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, and canola oil. Carbs with the lowest glycemic index, which includes vegetables like eggplant, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli.

Foods to Avoid in Phase 1

  • Alcohol
  • Dairy Products
  • Starchy Foods
  • Fruit Juices
  • Fruit

In Phase Two, you reintroduce healthy carbs gradually back into your diet, including sweet potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain rice, whole-grain bread, and fruit.

Foods to Avoid in Phase 2

  • Foods high in natural or refined sugar
  • Saturated fats
  • Fatty meats

Phase Three is focused on maintaining your weight after you have reached your weight loss goals in Phase Two. You do not need to follow a food list.

Do They Have Plans for Special Diets?

The South Beach Diet offers a meal delivery Diabetes Gold Plan for people with diabetes. The plan is a reduced-calorie, low-fat, portion-controlled comprehensive program that is designed to help individuals with type 2 diabetes with their weight loss goals.

The monthly (4-week) plan comes with fully-prepared meals and snacks that take a low-sugar, low-carb, and high-protein approach.

The program is designed for effective, safe weight loss and to provide you with more energy for an active, healthy lifestyle.

Frozen Food Menu

The South Beach Diet offers fully-prepared meals, snacks, and shakes. The meals are keto-friendly. They are low in added sugar and carbs, high in lean protein and contain heart-healthy fats.

The entrees come frozen and just need to be heated up. So the only times you will need to cook is for your DIY meals throughout the week. T

hey offer a good selection of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and shakes.

The following are some of the selections that are available:

Breakfast

  • Turkey, Sausage & Egg Muffin
  • Salsa & Cheese Omelet
  • High Protein Pancakes.

Lunches

  • Artichoke & Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast
  • White Bean Chicken Chili
  • Margherita Pizza

Dinner

  • Chicken Fajita Bowl
  • Steak & Asparagus
  • 7 Spice Shrimp & Chicken Stir Fry

Snacks

  • Dark Chocolate Nut Bar
  • Cheddar Cheese Crisps
  • Double Chocolate Cookies

Shakes

  • Beach Shack Chocolate Shake
  • Beach Shack Cappucino Shake
  • Beach Shack Vanilla Shake

Is it Hard to Follow?

The monthly diet delivery plans make it relatively easy to follow the South Beach Diet. You are supplied with most of your meals, and snacks are included on the Gold and Platinum plans.

There is also the option to purchase shakes or receive them as part of the Platinum plan. You will need to supply two DIY breakfasts, lunches and dinners every week to supplement what you receive in your monthly package. South Beach Diet does offer a free diet app and plenty of guidance and tools to help you plan your own DIY meals.

So overall, when you use the diet delivery service, the South Beach Diet plan is fairly easy to follow without a lot of prep work, cooking or guesswork required.

South Beach Diet Pros & Cons

Like all diets and delivery plans, the South Beach Diet has both strengths and weaknesses. The following are some of the most common pros and cons mentioned by users and reviewers of the South Beach Diet and its delivery program.

Pros

  • Effective diet for losing weight
  • A varied, balanced and healthy diet
  • A long-term diet focused on lifestyle changes
  • Diet can help to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Heart-healthy diet
  • Range of plans to suit various budgets and lifestyles
  • Very flexible
  • Counting calories is not required
  • Tracker app, recipes, guides and articles available for additional help and support
  • Fully-prepared frozen meals – no cooking, just heat up
  • All three meals, snacks, and shakes are available
  • Good selection of meals

Cons

  • Phase 1 of the diet is fairly restrictive
  • Must strictly follow the diet to see best results
  • Some users have complained of small portion sizes
  • Some users do not like how the meals taste
  • Meals come frozen, no fresh fruits or vegetables
  • One shipment per month – need room in your freezer
  • Cancellation policy. If you cancel before the second shipment you are charged $125 for the “discount” you received on your first shipment. There are no additional charges after the second month.

Review Summary

jessie james decker

The South Beach Diet meal delivery service is a good program to consider, particularly if the convenience of not having to plan and prepare your own meals is something that appeals to you.

The monthly plans supply you with most of the meals and snacks you need each month in the form of frozen meals that simply need to be heated up. So it is a very simple program to follow.

The program is based on the principles of Dr. Agatston’s proven South Beach Diet, which has been updated to include keto-friendly principles to help you lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle.

The South Beach Diet is based on eating nutrient-rich and healthy foods and a diet that can be used for life and not just a quick fix for losing a few pounds.

The main drawbacks are that meal delivery services do not come cheap and as convenient as they are, not everyone likes the taste of the heated up frozen meals. You also need to have plenty of freezer space to store your month’s worth supply.

But if you are looking for a proven diet plan that can be delivered right to your doorstep, then it is definitely worth it to consider the South Beach Diet meal delivery service.

>>See Latest Prices and New Menu Items at the South Beach Diet Website

Sources

  1. https://www.webmd.com/arthur-agatston
  2. https://www.southbeachdiet.com/home/index.jsp
  3. South Beach Diet vs. WW
  4. South Beach Diet vs. Nutrisystem
  5. South Beach Diet Cost

2020 Nutrisystem Reviews, Pros, Cons, Personal Plans Menu

nutrisystem

Losing weight is easier said than done and the average person tends to struggle with the process.

This is why millions of people continue to struggle with their weight and refuse to make appropriate dietary changes. While working out and other similar changes are wonderful, it always comes back to your time spent in the kitchen. Are you eating the right way? Are you eating the foods necessary to lose weight for your body type?

With a quality, new-age diet plan, you can cut away potential errors and get started on a meaningful change. This is where Nutrisystem comes in as a power-packed diet plan with a unique set of features.

This review will take a look at what the diet plan is all about, how it works, and whether or not it is the best option for losing weight.

What is Nutrisystem?

Nutrisystem is a comprehensive diet program designed to provide personalized assistance for all dietary purposes. The company offers a well-designed program catered to a person’s dietary and weight loss needs while including prepackaged foods that are delivered straight to your front door.

The package includes a set of instructions including when each food has to be consumed. Since everything is already portioned based on your dietary requirements, Nutrisystem takes care of potential human errors that can be made during the dietary change. This is what makes the diet program unique in comparison to similar alternatives.

How Does it Work in 2020?

The premise of Nutrisystem is straightforward and that’s what makes it such a respected program among enthusiasts.

The general goal is to set up a monthly plan with Nutrisystem, go through the initial assessment, and allow the company to tailor the program based on your weight loss requirements. They will ensure everything is tailored to those requirements and this includes the prepackaged foods sent to your front door.

You get a monthly package with all of the meals. This allows you to go through with the diet and follow it to a tee.

Learn More About their 2020 Plans and Get Best Price Here.

How Does the New Personal Plans Program Work?

The new Personal Plans Program is designed to offer a unique way to lose weight for those who want to diet correctly. In general, this program involves the idea of personalizing each aspect of the weight loss journey based on body type, age, food preferences, and goals. It adds a unique touch to the program and makes it fully customized based on what is important to you.

For those willing to take a hands-off approach with the planning process, these personal plans offer a step-up compared to everything else. It’s a wonderful way to go about your life without having to think about the meals or how many calories are being consumed. This simplicity is why these personal plans are thriving.

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Food You Can Eat

The reason most members love Nutrisystem has to do with the menu and the number of foods you can eat. The menu is jam-packed with wonderful meals that are going to fill you and make it a tasty process. Instead of having to eat the same bland salad as other programs make you eat, why not go with Nutrisystem?

This is a dietary program that offers a long list of foods that can be eaten.

For example, you can eat lean proteins, whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and various desserts (as noted by Nutrisystem). Since you have such a variety to choose from, it never does get boring.

Nutrisystem also does a great job of updating its menu and continues to add a wonderful selection of meals to the list. This is great for those who want to sign up for a monthly plan and sustain it over the long-term. Since you can eat all of these foods, it is easy to maximize your results and feel good about what you’re eating.

Foods to Avoid

It’s important to note, Nutrisystem doesn’t restrict a specific type of food and even offers desserts on its menu. However, you cannot drink alcohol or eat outside food.

Plus, you are expected to follow the set diet plan as listed by Nutrisystem. This means eating one meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is the only way you are going to see results with Nutrisystem or you are going to end up overeating. This can be tough at first for those used to eating multiple meals but it has to be done.

You may also want to avoid the use of toppings as they add calories to your diet. Even a little bit of mayo can ruin your diet, which is why Nutrisystem steers you away from such condiments or toppings.

Do They Have Plans for Special Diets?

If you are someone that is a vegetarian then there is a special plan in place for you.

Nutrisystem has taken the time to consult with professionals when it comes to building meaningful, nutritious diet plans for these individuals. When it comes to finding a high-quality vegetarian plan, Nutrisystem is right up there with the best in the industry. They have analyzed everything in detail and offer an impressive menu with a wide array of vegetarian dishes. This alone makes it an ideal fit for those who want a specialized solution.

Is it Hard to Follow?

It becomes easier with time but it does take a bit of time to understand.

The average person will have a set routine when it comes to eating and that can include multiple cheat meals throughout the week. If you are someone that lacks structure with their diet plan, this is going to take a few weeks to get used to. This is a normal reality for thousands of members with these types of weight loss programs.

As long as you are willing to stick to it and have the mindset needed to lose weight, the program will become easier to follow.

Real Customer Testimonials

The new Nutrisystem Personal Plans program has opened up to some very positive reviews. Here’s what customers verified by Consumer Affairs had to say:

Just want to say thanks. I’ve sent several emails to counseling support in the few days that I’ve been on the plan and they are so helpful and encouraging. They gave me a good outline of how to incorporate a food, wild rice, and how to use as a Flex Meal. I like the emails as this way I can save for reference. Thanks Nutrisystem!

I know everyone finds something that works for them. I have tried everything, surgery, urine injections from pregnant women, Weight Watchers multiple times, calorie counting, Jenny Craig was a huge failure and I had given up. Truly, I have not dieted for 2 to 3 years, but I’m still 2 sizes bigger than I wanted. So, I finally decided to try Nutrisystem. I’m really pleasantly surprised. The app makes it so easy, the food is good! You do have to learn portion control, but that was needed or I wouldn’t be 2 sizes larger! The app makes it so easy, it’s the best app I have used on any program. The best part is, I had 2 simple questions and I called customer service. They couldn’t have been nicer and more assisting! Great experience. I’m sold. I can see me on this plan for a long, long time. That gives me hope to not only to lose but to maintain, which is truly the hardest part. Thanks Nutrisystem!

Read more reviews and pick the best Nutrisystem plan for you here.

Nutrisystem Complaints & Bad Reviews

1) Requires a Consistent Investment

There are four specific monthly plans offered by Nutrisystem and each one comes at a set monthly price. This means members will only receive access to this information and the prepackaged meals if they are willing to pay. This is a challenge for those who want to remain on a budget and may not like the idea of having to foot a monthly bill like clockwork. This is a concern some customers have with regards to the system and all that it has to offer. While it does offer a long list of advantages, it’s still something to keep in mind before settling for a certain plan.

2) Takes a Bit of Time to Get Used To

Another customer complaint has to do with how long it takes to get used to the new diet plan. While it is going to be tailored to you, it is still not going to be the same as opening the fridge and taking out whatever you want to eat. Instead, you will have to follow the accompanying meal plan and make sure it is eaten properly. If not, you aren’t going to see the desired weight loss results, which ruins your investment. This is a problem for some members as they want to get started right away without having to worry about anything else.

3) Reduces Ability to Eat Out

If you are someone that likes hanging out with friends and/or family at local eateries, it’s going to become an impossible task to manage with the Nutrisystem diet plan. You are going to be restricted as to what can be consumed and how much can be eaten. If this is something that starts to bother you, it is going to take a bit of time to implement. This is a complaint customers have as they want to eat out. It can start to become a hassle to avoid restaurants because it is going to ruin your diet plan.

Nutrisystem Pros and Cons

Pros

1) Exceptional Menu

The menu is incredible and offers a diverse set of options for members to choose from. Rather than being stuck with 1-2 dishes, you can easily sift through the menu and tailor the foods based on what your palate requires. This alone is a major plus point and it’s something to keep in mind when investing in a brand-new dietary program. The team behind Nutrisystem has made sure people can enjoy what they’re eating daily.

2) Easy to Follow

The beauty of following Nutrisystem has to do with its simplicity. The nutritionists behind this have taken the time to process complex nutritional info and make it user-friendly. This is what allows members to make the most of what they’re eating while leading a healthy lifestyle. It’s this simplicity that wins you over as soon as it’s time to put the program to use.

3) Pre-Planned Meals

If you are someone that doesn’t want to prepare different meals and wants things done for you then Nutrisystem is a good fit. It offers a beautiful selection of pre-packaged foods that are ready to go out of the box. This is essential as it allows you to have a ready-made meal as soon as you want it. Having pre-planned meals means you can easily go about your day without having to think about what to eat.

4) Includes Desserts

Do you like eating desserts during the dieting process?

A lot of people don’t like the idea of being force-fed vegetables and not getting an opportunity to relax a bit. If you are someone with a noticeable sweet tooth then it’s time to go with Nutrisystem. This is one of the better dietary programs because it offers high-quality desserts. You will enjoy the varied options and all that comes along with them.

5) Affordable

Nutrisystem offers one of the most affordable diet delivery programs we’ve found. That makes them nearly the perfect combo: A diet that’s affordable, and actually works. Get full pricing details on our Nutrisytem cost page.

Cons

1) Eliminates Cheat Meals

While this is one of the better dietary programs on the planet right now, it does come with a certain set of flaws. One of the flaws would have to do with the elimination of cheat meals. If you are someone that wants to try other foods from time to time, it’s simply not going to happen. The diet plan is strict and has to be followed to a tee for good results.

2) Costly

If you are someone that is looking to budget while dieting then this is going to take quite a bit out of your wallet. While it’s still one of the most respected and trusted names in the industry, it is a sizable investment. You will have to continue with the membership to get the prepackaged foods, which means it is going to become a set cost.

If you are willing to pay up, the results will come the way you want them to.

3) Includes Processed Foods

While you are going to want to eat healthy foods all the time, it’s not always the case with this program. It does offer processed foods because of the packaging process and this has to be taken into account.

While you are going to see amazing benefits from Nutrisystem, it still does include the use of certain processed foods.

4) Not Ideal for Certain Allergies

Do you have allergies that pop up when you eat the wrong types of foods?

This is a common issue and it’s something members should account for right away. If you are someone with serious allergies then it may become a hassle to worry about what Nutrisystem has to offer and how it works. While this isn’t a major concern and the nutritionists do a good job of offering healthy foods, you should take the time to go through the menu in detail. This will ensure you remain healthy over the long-run.

Review & Pricing Summary

Nutrisystem is an all-encompassing diet plan with a wonderful set of advantages.

It’s easy to use, fast-acting and offers a comprehensive change with regards to losing weight. If the goal is to go with a well-designed and well-established diet plan then Nutrisystem is an ideal option moving forward. The average person will want something organized and easy to follow, which is the case here.

Along with being the perfect dietary solution, it also offers a way to regulate your health.

The reason this program tends to work so well has to do with the pre-planned meals. It helps maximize each portion based on your dietary needs. Rather than following a traditional diet plan, you will know what’s going into the body and that’s a major difference-maker. This is an essential plus point associated with Nutrisystem and it’s something that pushes it ahead of the competition.

For those wanting to lose weight and stay healthy, Nutrisystem is the right way to go.

Get the best Nutrisystem prices here.

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Coconut Oil: A Do or a Don’t?

coconuts

While Dr. Oz continues to tout the health benefits of coconut oil, the American Heart Association argues otherwise. The contradicting advice is confusing to say the least.

Why Coconut Oil?

The fats in our diet are made up of fatty acids linked together into chains, similar to the classic plastic chain links found in nearly every toybox. The length of these chains vary depending on the type of fat, ranging in categories from short to very long. Coconut oil falls into the medium group. Why does size matter? The size largely impacts where and when in the digestive process that this fat will be broken down and how well it will be absorbed into our system. The shorter size of coconut oil is thought to be less absorbed than that of other saturated fats such as butter.

While I have not come across the science supporting this idea in great length, what I have learned is that the type of saturated fat found in coconut oil does not raise our lousy LDL cholesterol levels to the same degree that saturated fats from animals (butter, lard, red meat) do. This is surely why the American Heart Association has yet to change their stance on these tasty tropical oils. With the majority of the American population battling high cholesterol and other heart health issues, health experts are not quite ready to recommend the addition of yet another saturated fat to our diet.

Why Olive Oil?

Olive oil remains atop the leaderboards in the race of healthy fats. One of the all-star oils of the Mediterranean Diet, the most highly accredited diet worldwide (along with the DASH diet). And the science is overflowing with support for this rich oil.

  • Made of unsaturated fats which help to boost our healthy HDL cholesterol levels
  • Filled with antioxidants (especially extra virgin olive oil) which help to fight off the inflammation in our body
  • Health benefits whether cooked or served chilled on salad

There is Certainly Room For Both.

We stock both types in our kitchen (along with sesame, flax and canola).

I keep the olive oil at the ready for our morning French Toast, midday sweet potato fries, or the roasted chicken and veggies the evening may bring. This oil fits the bill! But if I am preparing no-bake cookies or attempting to bring a slightly unique flavor to our stirfry, I will opt for the coconut oil.

As one of the annoying things dietitians everywhere are preaching, “all foods fit”.

The way I see it, olive oil is numero uno in the field of fats. Butter and lard are towards the bottom of that list. And coconut oil is somewhere in the middle. Therefore if butter is your frequent flying fat of choice, coconut oil would be a great switch for you! However, if you tend to stick with olive or canola oil, keep on keeping on (your heart and brain will thank you!).

Though for the coconut lovers everywhere, remain hopeful! This trendy ingredient hit supermarket shelves only recently. The saturated fat found in chocolate was once demonized as a contributor to heart disease, yet is now believed to be safe.

What we do know is that unsaturated fats (think those made from plants, nuts, seeds, olives and fatty fish) are heart healthy. Aim to include these in your diet instead of those made of saturated fats (butter, lard, coconut or palm oil) or trans-fats (partially hydrogenated oils).

For more information on how to incorporate healthy fats into your family’s diet, visit choosemyplate.gov.

Jessica Corwin, MPH, RDN

5 Reasons To Enjoy (and EAT!) Your Easter Eggs

easter eggs

Eggs. Are they healthy or unhealthy? While you may have fallen prey to the belief that eggs are unhealthy or cause heart disease, as a nutritionist, I’m here to help clear up the confusion. Here are five reasons to crack open those colorful eggs this Easter without guilt.

  1. Protein packed snack. Did you know a single egg contains 6 grams of protein? That’s over 1/3 the amount needed by children ages 4-8 years in the entire day! Despite popular belief that the protein is only found in the egg, nearly half is actually found in the yolk (don’t toss out the yolks, please!). This makes an egg quite comparable to the protein found in one-serving of yogurt, yet at a mere 70 calories, the egg is often found at half of the calories.  Paired with a fiber-rich piece of fruit, this duo makes a snack to power you and your kiddos through the day!
  2. Bone building. It may come as a shock, but egg yolks contain vitamin D, one of the few dietary sources of this disease fighting, bone building and mood boosting nutrient. As vitamin D is one many of us are lacking, it gives all of the more reason to grab an egg.
  3. Brain booster. A single egg provides 125 milligrams of choline, half of the amount your kindergartner needs each day. This micronutrient helps aids memory support and brain function.
  4. Egg-cellent eyesight. Lutein and vitamin A are two essential nutrients for eye health, both of which are found in eggs. Help to maintain your kiddo’s eyesight by serving them eggs, along with other eye friendly foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and leafy greens.
  5. Heart healthy fats. Eggs come with monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, two ingredients key to heart health! If you opt for the eggs with extra omega-3 fats you can feel even better about adding them to your family’s day as omega-3 fats are often lacking in the American diet (also found in fatty fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts).

But wait, what’s the link between eggs and heart health?

The American Heart Association recommends limiting egg yolks to 3-4 per week for those at risk of heart disease, however healthy Americans may happily enjoy an egg a day.

We continue to learn how foods impact our cholesterol levels and disease risk. One thing research is finding is that the types of fat we consume play a bigger role in raising or lowering our cholesterol levels than does the dietary cholesterol we consume (as is found in egg yolks). One long-term study I like to reference is the Framingham Heart Study, though there is also the Harvard Egg Study, in both scientists were unable to link healthy adults dining on one egg each day with the risk of heart disease.

What’s more? Recent research from the USDA found that eggs actually contain 14% less dietary cholesterol than we previously thought.

This certainly helps me feel good about serving reasonable amounts of eggs, including the yolks, to my family. If you feel the need to serve large portions, you can always add extra egg whites to your egg scramble to stretch your meal without having to think twice about the extra cholesterol.

So, go ahead, crack into an egg (or two) and enjoy the beautiful leftovers this Easter! At  less than 15-cents apiece, they’re worthy of a splurge.

Protein Fiber Packed Turkey Sausage Lentil Soup

turkey sausage

Sausage + Lentil Soup

  • Serves 8
Protein packed, fiber rich, and ready in minutes. What else should a recipe do for you?
  • Prep Time
  • 10 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 1 hr

Ingredients

  1. 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  2. 2 cups chopped onion
  3. 1 cup chopped celery
  4. 4 ounces turkey sausage,
  5. chopped (about ¾ cup)
  6. 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  7. 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  8. 1 teaspoon paprika
  9. ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  10. 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  11. 1 can (14 ½ ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
  12. 1 cup lentils
  13. 5 ounces fresh baby spinach

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onions and celery, stirring about 3 minutes or until softened. Add sausage and cook, while stirring, until brown. Add the spices and herbs, stirring for another 2 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes and lentils, and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add fresh spinach, stir and simmer until wilted. Serve hot.
By Jessica Corwin, MPH, RDN

11 Superfoods to the Rescue with Recipes

super foods
Any “bargainista” can share her tips on getting the most bang for your buck when grocery shopping, but how do you know if you are getting the most nutrient bang for your buck? According to Webster, you may want to fill your cart with “superfoods” to start.

I must admit, despite the fact that I am a registered dietitian and live and breathe nutrition, I truly thought the term SUPER food was merely a media and marketing term to add more hype to the market. Shockingly, a coworker informed me that these powerful foods are at least legit enough to be defined by the classic dictionary.

“a food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health; Superfoods increase energy and vitality, regulate cholesterol and blood pressure and may help to prevent or fight cancer and other diseases.”

In other words, foods that are essential for optimal wellness! The (dark) cherry on top? Superfoods are straight from Mother Nature and naturally void of added sugars, trans fat and preservatives.

For example, you’ll get more nutritional value when opting for blueberries over fruit snacks, because the berries are bursting with vitamins—whereas the fruit snacks are mostly added sugars. When it comes to our diet and those of our children, choosing superfoods is the ideal way to add a dose of super nutrition! But what about getting them past a picky palate? Just keep trying (seriously. 20 tastes later, they may love it as painful as it is to reintroduce and reintroduce…). As you are (re)serving your superfoods, try using one of the 11 delicious recipes below. Each one is family approved and sure to please.

Introducing, Your SuperFoods!

#1 Avocado

Why It’s Super: Each creamy serving of this fruit provides nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including vitamin K, E and folate. What’s more is the healthy monounsaturated fats found in this green powerhouse are key to helping our bodies absorb fat-soluble vitamins; and with nearly 5 grams of fiber per 3-ounce serving, you will surely be left satisfied.

How to Serve It: Add a slice of avocado to top off a black bean burger, mix it up with cocoa powder and Greek yogurt for pudding, or add diced avocado to your salad to amp up the flavor.

Try this recipe: Avocado Tuna Salad

Serves 2

Prep time: 10 minutes
1 5-ounce can light tuna, drained  and flaked
½ avocado, diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons celery, thinly sliced

1 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish

1 Tablespoons diced red onion (optional)
Pinch of black pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix together, slightly mashing the avocado into the salad. The lemon juice will delay the avocado from browning.

Serve over a bed of leafy greens or between two slices of whole-grain bread for a delicious twist on a tuna salad sandwich.

#2 Pomegranate

Why It’s Super: The seeds of this fruit are often served on New Year’s Day as a symbol of good luck throughout the coming year. And it’s clear to see how luck may result when you consider the bounty of fiber and vitamins C and K packed within each bite.

How to Serve It: Toss a handful of seeds onto oatmeal, yogurt, salad or even ice cream for a unique splash of flavor.

Try This Recipe: Pomegranate Seeds

Serves 1-2

Prep time: 10 minutes

1 large pomegranate
Medium bowl filled with water

Cut off about a ½ inch from the top of the pomegranate. Be careful of juice splashing and staining your clothes and countertop. Without cutting through the skin, lightly score the pomegranate from top to bottom into quarters. Place the pomegranate into the bowl filled with water, pull apart each quarter, and begin to separate the seeds from the flesh. By doing this portion under water, you will be able to prevent the juices from splashing and staining your skin. While the seeds sink to the bottom of the bowl, the pith of the fruit will float to the top. Skim off the pith, drain the water and pour the seeds into a fine colander to rinse. Enjoy the seeds alone or serve them as a tasty topping for other food.

This part is SO much fun for little ones! And did you know that the pomegranate is a symbol for good luck?? We enjoy one every New Year’s for that very reason. Enjoy the seeds alone or serve them as a tasty topping for other food.

Once you have the seeds (aka. arils) separated, enjoy them alone for a crisp and juicy snack or serve them as a tasty topping for other food.

#3 Lentils

Why They’re Super: Lentils are an excellent source of protein, providing 18 grams per cup cooked, about as much as 3 ounces of beef. These legumes are rich in B vitamins, fiber and potassium. Plus, they are incredibly economical when purchased dry, and can be cooked in less than 20 minutes.

How to Serve Them: A simple lentil soup is by far the most popular option for moms as it is SO EASY to make, though lentils are often served as the star in a cold salad, made into a vegan sloppy joe or mixed into a veggie burger. The options are endless for this power house pulse!

And did you know that this very year, 2016, has been deemed the International Year of Pulses by the United Nations? Watch out, Kale. The pulses are moving in as the top trend among foodies!

Try this recipe: Turkey Sausage and Lentil Soup

Serves 8 (1 cup each)  Prep time: 10 minutes    Cook time: 15 minutes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
4 ounces turkey sausage,
chopped (about ¾ cup)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 can (14 ½ ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup lentils
5 ounces fresh baby spinach

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onions and celery, stirring about 3 minutes or until softened. Add sausage and cook, while stirring, until brown. Add the spices and herbs, stirring for another 2 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes, and lentils, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add fresh spinach, stir and simmer until wilted. Serve hot.

#4 Berries

Why They’re Super: Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or strawberries, whatever berry you choose, these tiny fruits possess super nutrition. Low in calories, rich in fiber and exploding with antioxidants and vitamins. It’s amazing to think that each beautifully bright berry, no matter how small, is able to squeeze in so many nutrients to fuel our bodies.

Oh, the power of smallness!

How to Serve Them: Serve these delights fresh by the handful. Whether enjoyed atop breakfast cereals, on a fruit and cheese kabob, or used to brighten a smoothie, this fruit won’t disappoint.

Try this recipe: Blueberry Topping for French Toast

Serves 7 Prep time: 2 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes

1 16-ounce bag frozen blueberries
Prepared (Whole Grain) French toast

Add blueberries to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring berries to a boil, stirring occasionally, until they begin to thicken into a syrupy consistency. Serve ¼ cup over warm slices of French toast.

(Like this recipe? We also have a Maple Raspberry Topping that is loaded with syrupy goodness!)

#5 Walnuts

Why They’re Super: Walnuts provide vitamin E for radiant skin and nails, plus omega-3 fatty acids to support strong vision and a healthy nervous system.

How to Serve Them: Combine walnuts with dried fruit and whole-grain cereal for a tasty trail mix, grind up walnuts as a topping for fish or chicken (in place of breadcrumbs) or simply toss a handful into banana pancake batter for added texture.

Try this recipe: Sweet Walnut Butter 

Makes 8 servings (2 tablespoons each) Prep time: 10 minutes
2 cups raw walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Place walnuts in a food processor and blend until a thick paste is formed. Slowly pour in the oil until the paste begins to combine. Additional oil may be needed to create a smoother texture. Blend in cinnamon and honey to taste

Tip: This nutty butter makes an excellent meal on the run when spread over a whole grain tortilla and topped with chopped apples, raisins and a dash of honey.

#6 Leafy Greens

Why They’re Super: From spinach to broccoli rabe, romaine to endive, or rainbow chard to collards, the world of leafy greens is one you do not want to miss. Calorie for calorie, dark leafy greens may just be the most nutrient-dense food on the block. Within each vibrant leaf you will find a powerhouse of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants believed to help prevent the risk of several chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer.

How to Serve Them: Add bok choy to your stir-fry, roast kale into crunchy chips, replace a tortilla with a Boston bibb lettuce leaf or toss a handful of baby spinach into a smoothie. Who knew there were so many options for green veggies

Try this recipe: Spinach Bites 

Serves 12 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

1 16-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
¾ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ cup wheat germ, crushed walnuts or ground flax seed
Garlic powder, basil, oregano and pepper to taste (optional)
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Mold mixture into bite-size pieces (balls, nuggets or sticks) and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, flipping bites halfway through cooking time. Serve warm.

#7 Cherries

Why They’re Super: Cherries are naturally rich in a flavonoid known as quercetin, a potent warrior in cancer prevention.

How to Serve Them: Whether you mix black cherries into your favorite granola bar recipe, simmer them down into a glaze for chicken or top off a yogurt parfait, you can’t go wrong with this sweet treat.

Though if you’re short on time, just pop out the pit and enjoy them as is! (Just watch out for the quick-t0-stain juices as they easily pour down toddler chins and onto their shirts – or under your nails as you pit them!)

Try this recipe: Chocolate Cherry Pinwheels

Serves 1 Prep time: 5 minutes

Whole-grain tortilla or slice of bread
¼ cup fresh cherries, halved and pitted (Tip: If your kiddo is averse to strange textures, fine dice or puree the cherries for more of a jam-like feel)
2 Tablespoons chocolate nut spread (such as Skippy’s Dark Chocolate or Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter)

Spread the nut butter evenly over the tortilla, top with cherries and roll. Slice into 4-8 pieces and serve.

# 8 Sweet Potato

Why It’s Super: This budget-friendly veggie packs a powerful antioxidant punch, serving up potassium and beta-carotene for a healthy heart and vital vision.

How to Serve It : Rather than ordering the often-greasy versions available in restaurants, bake your own sweet potato fries or chips. You can also roast fresh potatoes alongside a turkey breast for a sweet baked or mashed side.

Try this recipe: Sweet Potato Fries 

Serves 6 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes
Nonstick cooking spray
3 large sweet potatoes, sliced
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or 3 egg whites)
Salt and pepper to taste (alternatively, cinnamon is a great flavor enhancer!)

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Scrub potatoes thoroughly under cold running water and cut into fry-size pieces leaving skins intact (I go back and forth between rounds and sticks, though rounds are certainly faster!). Toss your cut sweet potatoes with olive oil (or egg whites) and seasoning in a medium mixing bowl. Once evenly coated, place onto a (dark) rimmed baking sheet. Spread fries into a single layer (preferably without touching as this can cause them to steam and prevent them from becoming crisp) and bake for about 15-20 minutes before taking a peek. If there are any beginning to brown too much pull them out now (not every piece will be cut evenly and will therefore cook at different rates. That is, unless your name is Martha… ). Otherwise, allow your fries to continue baking for another 5-10 minutes or until you have crisp edges and a soft center.

Serve plain or as my boys prefer, with ketchup.

Tip: If you choose to use egg whites in place of oil (hello, protein!), they will stick a ton more, so this is where the cooking spray will  be beneficial.

# 9 Oats

Why They’re Super: Whole-grain oats are free of added sugar, salt, and preservatives, a far cry from the average breakfast cereal geared toward kids, which packs upward of 4 teaspoons of sugar alone – and that is merely in ONE serving which no one honestly sticks with (be honest). Outside of missing the not-so-nutritious additives, oats provide filling fiber that will keep you and your kids feel full for longer. The fiber also helps stabilize blood sugar and maintains healthy cholesterol levels.

How to Serve Them: Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, a spoonful of nut butter and a pinch of raisins to 1 cup of cooked oats (1/2 cup dry) for a delicious and nutritious breakfast. You can also get breakfast started at night by combining steel-cut oats, diced apple, walnuts and a pinch of brown sugar in your slow cooker to create a ready-to-serve meal for hectic mornings.

Or if you just can’t get enough of flavored oatmeal mixes, make your own to save yourself the extra money and added sugar.

Try this recipe: Homemade Instant Oatmeal Mix

Serves 1 Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 2 minutes

½ cup oats
2 teaspoons dried milk powder
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄8 cup nuts or seeds (almonds, crushed walnuts, pumpkin seeds)
1⁄8 cup dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, raisins, diced apricots)

Combine ingredients in a small, re-sealable plastic bag for a ready-to-use packet of instant oatmeal. When ready to cook, place about 1/3 cup into a small bowl or mug with 1 cup steaming water or milk, allowing the heat to cook the oats. Top with fresh fruit or ground flax seeds if desired.

# 10 Salmon

Why It’s Super: Salmon is an all- star when it comes to heart health, fighting off inflammation in our bodies and reducing the rate of fatty buildup in our arteries. As a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, this fishy find should be served at least once a week. Choose wild Alaskan salmon, as it tends to be the lowest in mercury.

How to Serve It: Shape canned salmon into patties (as we did in our summer 2012 issue) or make your own fish nuggets with crunchy panko breading.

Try this recipe: Sweet Broiled Salmon

Serves 4 Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

2 Tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup crushed walnuts
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 lb. salmon fillet
Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a small roasting pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat pan. Place salmon in the baking dish and top with a second tablespoon of oil. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove salmon from oven and switch to broil. Top salmon with crushed walnuts and brown sugar (you may also top with the pan juices). Return to oven and broil about 5 minutes or until walnuts begin to brown.   Cut fillet into 4 pieces and serve.

# 11 Greek Yogurt

Why It’s Super: This creamy delight provides the key to a healthy heart, muscles and bones, thanks to plentiful potassium. When compared with other yogurts, organic, plain, low- fat Greek-style yogurt provides double the protein, making it a hearty addition to your little one’s diet.

How to Serve It: Build your own parfait! Rather than buying the varieties loaded with added sugars, create your own fruity goodness by mixing in colorful berries and a sprinkle of a crunchy whole-grain cereal. You can also swap plain Greek yogurt for sour cream in any of your favorite dips.

In our house, we have been serving Greek yogurt with sprinkles as of late. With sprinkles being a combination of chia seeds (“black sprinkles”) and actual colorful sprinkles. Thankfully both mom AND son win with this healthy concoction!

Try this recipe: Strawberry Whip Fruit Dip

Serves 6 Prep time: 10 minutes

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
8 ounces whipped topping
½ cup strawberries, mashed

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, whipped topping, and berries. Serve with fresh fruit or graham crackers for a fun treat.

By Jessica Corwin, MPH, RDN

Resident MommyRD + Owner of Eat. Grow. Live.

Spiderweb

spiderweb
With candy bars lurking behind every door and candy corn piled up on each desk you greet, “healthy” and “Halloween” are rarely found in the same sentence. Yet as the festivities for this ghoulish holiday stretch long before and after the evening of trick-or-treating, moderation is desired (by most moms, anyway!). As a dietitian and mom of two, I am thrilled when I can find ways to make food that is GOOD for us, FUN to boot! It is the perfect cherry on top of my family food sundae so to speak.
So, for those of you who share my sentiment, here is a fantastic “no-recipe” recipe that doesn’t require fancy kitchen skills whatsoever. Simply tear apart your string cheese, add a grape-a-licious spider, and the work is complete! Or better yet? Invite your kids to do the spooky work for you!
Happy Halloween!

Create a spooky spider in his web!

  1. Peel string cheese and lay it on the plate in a pentagon shape starting on the outside layer.  Move inward, creating another smaller pentagon within the first, and so on.  I ended up with four layers of pentagons.
  2. Next, lay additional string cheese at the junctions of the different corners, and anywhere else you’d like, until you have what looks like a web!
  3.  Next, slice a grape in half for the spider’s body.  Thinly slice the other half of that grape plus half of another one to create the spider’s legs.
  4.  Finally, add some raisin eyes, and he is finished!
By: Amy Hudson with Creative Kid Snacks.

Vitamin D levels are falling is your family deficient

sunshine

Is your family getting enough vitamin D?

Current data indicates that more than half of us are deficient and that is tough to hear, especially as evidence continues to arise pinpointing benefits beyond bone health alone.

This ‘vitamin’ is actually not a vitamin at all, rather a prohormone that is transformed into a vitamin by our skin in thanks to the sun. What happens during the darker days of winter? Research shows that vitamin D levels drop to their lowest levels February through April. That means those of us North of the equator are only just beginning to lose our stored amounts. Though I must mention that even if you live in the Sunshine State you may not be safe from vitamin D losses. Despite your geographical location, sunscreen and long sleeves tend to cover up our skin most of the time, therefore reducing your skin’s ability to create this vital nutrient.

It is no wonder the majority if of us are missing out!

What does vitamin D do?

We have long known vitamin D as being essential for bone health. I remember teaching a group of ladies about how to reduce their risk of osteoporosis, describing vitamin D as the ‘key’ to unlocking the door on our bones to allow calcium inside. A perhaps oversimplified way of explaining how vitamin D helps to build strong bones… but it worked!

What is exciting is that 2015 continues to bring increasing evidence of additional benefits. We are now learning that low levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of diabetes, ADHD, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancer. One of my favorite child nutrition experts, Maryanne Jacobsen RDN, wrote about the health benefits of much greater detail here. 

What foods contain vitamin D?

Thankfully vitamin D is found in more than cod liver oil alone (meh!). Families can serve up this micronutrient in the form of salmon (canned or fresh), certain types of mushrooms (those grown under UV light) and fortified milk (most forms are fortified nowadays, whether from a cow, soybean, or almond).

When it comes to our kiddos, some of these foods can be a bit tricky to make sure we are providing enough to meet the daily recommended amount of vitamin D. But this vitamin is being added to some beverages, snack foods, and breakfast cereals, just read the Nutrition Facts Panel to know for sure.

What about supplements?

Of course, there are always vitamin D supplements to help ensure we are getting enough, a tool the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for babies and children. In fact, the AAP encourages all nursing moms to supplement with 400 IU for their babies as vitamin D does not appear to be high enough in breastmilk (some pediatricians may recommend even higher amounts for mom, though 400 IU is perfect for baby, I used this one with ease). This same amount is recommended for baby once they begin to wean off of breast milk because while infant formula is fortified, baby needs at least 1 liter or 1 quart of fortified formula or milk per day to ensure they are getting enough.

How do I make sure my family is getting enough?

For me, I try my best to serve grilled salmon, corny salmon cakes (thank you, Meal Makeover Moms!), mushrooms, and milk on a regular basis. We are far from perfect, but I’m trying. Case in point, my toddler is going strong on his 12 months (and counting!) stand-off against milk in a cup (if only he could drink out of a bottle forever 😉 ). And he is not always thrilled at the idea of salmon, but I will continue to serve it even if he tells me he doesn’t like it.

What about you and your family? How do you make sure you’re getting enough? 

Thanks for reading!