5 Things You Need to Know about Meal Replacement Shakes.

Hoping to sip your way to a healthier and slimmer you? Then meal replacement shakes might just be your golden ticket. These shakes are low in calories and high in essential vitamins and minerals.

But, before you decide, you need to really understand what meal replacement shakes are and how they work. Read on to learn five things you need to know about meal replacement shakes before deciding if this weight-loss method is right for you.

1. Meal replacement shakes aren’t what you think they are.

You’ve seen your neighbor drinking them, and you’ve seen them advertised on TV showing people’s amazing before and after photos. But do you really understand what a meal replacement shake is? First off, they’re not going to magically help you shed 50 pounds (no matter what that inspiring commercial showed), they’re not meant to be used to starve yourself and they’re not protein shakes.

Meal replacement shakes do contain ample amounts of protein and other nutrients your body needs, and they can help you lose some weight, when used right. That means you drink a nutrient-rich shake in replacement of one or two meals a day to help you cut your calorie intake during that mealtime.

2. Successful meal replacement diets require more than drinking shakes.

You can’t drink a shake, wait 10 minutes, step on the scale and expect to see that you’ve lost a couple pounds. If you really want to lose weight, you have to eat less and exercise more than you currently are. Meal replacement shakes help with the first part. When you drink a shake packed with good nutrients, it’s less than eating a normal meal that’s typically filled with unneeded calories, fats and sugars. It should also keep you full longer so you don’t get the munchies before your next meal.

The exercising part, that’s on you. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends you exercise 150 minutes a week.

3. Meal replacement shakes are filling—when they’re made with the right ingredients.

A growling stomach too often keeps people from being able to lose weight. Feeling hungry, and having others hear your hunger pains, is what causes many of us to overeat during and in between meals. But, meal replacement shakes help keep you full and slim down. And the best meal replacement shakes contain a healthy trio of ingredients:

  1. Protein—Helps you stay fuller for a longer time frame.
  2. Fiber—Makes you feel full instantly.
  3. (Good) Fat—Work with your body’s hormones to tell you to stop eating.

4. It’s an easy, convenient diet to follow.

Some people worry they won’t be able to follow the strict rules some diets require. But with meal replacement shake diets, it’s a pretty easy daily system to follow that doesn’t require calorie counting at every meal or reading every label of everything you cook with. Just replace one or two of your meals a day with a meal replacement shake, most choose breakfast or lunch, and then eat a healthy mid-afternoon snack and a balanced dinner.

Along with easy to follow, it’s also convenient. Wouldn’t you rather sleep longer and whip up a shake in five minutes or less in the morning that you can drink in the car on the way to work than wake up 20 minutes earlier to make and eat a hot, healthy breakfast?

5. You can choose whichever meal you want.

The best time to drink a meal replacement shake is whatever time you feel is best for you. Nobody knows your body better than you. Some people choose breakfast because they’re not super hungry in the morning and need something convenient, and shakes are light and filling, plus easy to make and take. Others pick lunch so they’re not tempted to get a calorie-filled, drive-thru meal on their 30-minute lunch break or for dinner as a post-workout source of protein that supports muscle repair and recovery. It’s up to you to decide which meal or meals you want to replace with a shake.

If you’ve decided to try meal replacement shakes, then you need some delicious, nutrient-dense shakes to drink. Check out our favorite shake recipes that give you a healthy, well-balanced meal replacement option and don’t skimp on the flavor.

 

 

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman

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25 Ways to Increase Fiber Daily

Fiber is one of those often-overlooked necessities.

You know you need it, and you like it when you have it, but it doesn’t top the list the way Protein or Omega-3 does.

Fiber is pretty important to supporting cardiovascular and digestive health, so why the fiber hate? Because when most of us think fiber, we think fibrous, and cardboard-esque. Not very appetizing. Luckily there are a lot of ways to add fiber to your diet without compromising on taste, texture, or appeal. Here are 25 ways you can increase your daily fiber intake.

  1. Use whole fruit: It is tempting to use fruit juice in your morning smoothie or protein drink, but if you drop a whole apple or orange in your high powered blender, rather than the juice, you are going to get as much as 3 grams more fiber.
  2. Sprinkle on the flax seed or chia: You can stir a few spoonfuls into cereal, granola, yogurt, etc, to add extra fiber to what you are already eating.
  3. Sub nectar for juice: It has more pulp and more fiber, giving you a fiber boost with each glass.
  4. Eat nut butters: Almond butter, cashew butter, and other nut butters can be spread on toast, pancakes, and more for an additional few grams of fiber, a tasty treat, and a great dose of healthy fats. Just look for the lower sugar options to keep it healthy.
  5. Drink cocoa instead of coffee. While the caffeine boost of coffee is great, cocoa has a lot more fiber, as much as 3 g per cup!

 

Need more fiber? Try Nature’s Sunshine: Everybody’s Fiber or Psyllium Hulls Combination

 

Also:

  1. Eat more beans. Throw a few spoonfuls into your favorite soup, lentils and beans have a good amount of fiber.
  2. Add spice to your dish. A teaspoon of oregano or basil can add a gram of fiber.
  3. Use sesame seed buns instead of plain.
  4. Choose whole wheat over white flour. This can add more fiber per serving for whatever you are eating.
  5. Add the greens. Cabbage, kale, spinach, etc. all have fiber, so stack your sandwich high, put some on your burger or dog, and eat it on the side.
  6. Snack on popcorn. Popcorn has a lot more fiber than a bag of potato chips, so next time you need a salty snack, choose popcorn!
  7. Eat nuts and dried fruits. When you have the choice, pick up a handful of trail mix for a snack rather than a bar or square, the mix will have about twice as much fiber!
  8. Choose sweet potato instead of white. They have 2 grams more fiber.
  9. Add a side of cooked veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are all great for adding fiber, and cooking them makes the fiber more readily available to your body!
  10. Choose berries. Add fresh sliced berries instead of syrups, and when you have the option pick raspberries over strawberries or blueberries as they boast nearly twice the amount of fiber.
  11. Eat pears. If looking for a quick snack, try a pear, preferably an Asian pear, as they have as much as 5 grams of fiber, and can be eaten raw, with a nut butter, or prepared a number of ways. Just be sure to eat the skin.
  12. Try oatmeal and oat bran. Swap out your regular breakfast for a steamy cup of oatmeal for a great fiber increase. Top with berries or bananas for even more fiber.
  13. Artichokes are low calorie and have a ton of fiber. Make a soup, dip in a low calorie dip, or make into a dip, and enjoy!
  14. Add green peas. Keeping a bag of frozen green peas on hand is a great way to add fiber to your diet without fuss. Stir them into macaroni and cheese, throw some atop a salad, or add them as a side dish to any meal for about 9 grams of fiber per cup.
  15. Lentils and Bulgar: Experiment with lentils and whole grains you may not be familiar with. Try them in your regular recipes for added fiber and flavor.
  16. Squash. There are so many varieties of squash, from spaghetti, which makes a great substitute for grain noodles, to butternut, which makes excellent soup. Squash is packed with fiber, so add more squash to your diet.
  17. Vegetables: Add vegetables to everything you can, from an extra helping in your morning omelets, to veggies in your spaghetti sauce. They are a great source of insoluble fiber.
  18. Go ethnic: American foods often have lower fiber than ethnic cuisines, so try something from Mexico, the Middle East, or the Mediterranean, which usually have beans, lentils, and other good sources of fiber.
  19. Up your dips: Dipping is fun, but try hummus, bean dips, and artichoke dips which are both full of fiber as opposed to a dressing.
  20. Add a little when baking. Give your cookies, cakes, breads, and muffins more fiber by subbing in some whole-wheat flour and oats.

 

~ Rev. Tiffany White Sage Woman, Nature’s Sunshine Independent Distributor and Holistic Health Practitioner

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