Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Labor Day Grill

This Week's Menu
Joyce
I can't believe we're approaching the Labor Day Weekend.  Summer is ending  and I didn't get a chance to give out any recipes for summertime drinks.
Angelique
Well there's always next year or you can squeeze in lemonade now and ice tea at Thanksgiving.  You know a cranberry ice tea would be a nice change over that "sparkling" apple cider.
Joyce
I know you're trying to be sarcastic but that's an excellent idea, “Cranberry Ice Tea” for Thanksgiving instead of apple cider, I'll do it! 
Angelique
Oh brother!  Yeah mom, there's no rule  that says lemonade and ice tea are just for the summer months.  Just because they're cool refreshing drinks best served during the heat of the day doesn't mean they can't be served on a cold winter day.
Mom
Lucky for you Ms Smarty Pants there is no time for chatter, this is the last cookout of the summer and I have lots of recipes to introduce.

Have a Safe and Soulful Labor Day!
Angelique & Joyce


Curried Deviled Eggs
8 Servings
Ingredients:
8 large hard-boiled eggs
½ Cup Vegan Mayonnaise - [link to recipe]
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch cayenne pepper - optional
½ - 1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced chives
Paprika

Instructions:
Peel the eggs and cut them lengthwise in half. 

Remove the yolks and place in a small bowl. 
Mash the yolks until smooth and add the mayonnaise and mustard. Mix until a smooth paste forms.
Mix in the cayenne, curry, salt, pepper and chives. 
Spoon the mixture into the egg halves, or pipe using a pastry bag and star tip. Dust lightly with paprika. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours before serving. 


  New York Strip Grilled to Perfection
4 Servings
Ingredients:
4 NY Strip steaks,  6 ounces each
granulated garlic
granulated onion
coarse sea salt
coarsely cracked black pepper
Instructions: 
See Grilling 101 First   

Remove steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling and season both sides with granulated garlic, onion, salt and pepper. 
Preheat grill to high, cook for 3 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare. 
To create attractive cross-hatched grill marks, using tongs, give the steaks a quarter-turn halfway through cooking on each side.
When done, allow the steaks to rest for 10 minutes before cutting them. This helps them retain their juice.


Note: Use your finger and poke your steaks.   As steaks cook, they becomes firmer and firmer.  A rare steak has a lot of give [like pudding]; a medium steak feels springy [like jello]; a well-done steak feels very taut [no movement].


Cilantro Lime Grilled Yams
 8 Servings
Ingredients:
4 sweet potatoes/yams, unpeeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 lime, juiced
¼ - ½  teaspoon crushed chili pepper
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:
Parcook the potatoes: Place in a pot of water and boil until just fork-tender.
Cool them down by dipping them in an ice bath [equal parts ice and water].
Once cool drain and slice each potato lengthwise into eighths.
In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, lime, chili peppers, oil, garlic and cilantro.
Add sweet potatoes and toss gently until wedges are coated with the mixture.
Preheat a grill to medium; using a towel and tongs, wipe down the grill with grapeseed oil to prevent sticking.
Place the potatoes on the grill and grill until golden brown on all sides, about 1½ minutes per side.

 8 Servings
Ingredients:
4 sweet potatoes/yams, unpeeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 lime, juiced
¼ - ½  teaspoon crushed chili pepper
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:
Parcook the potatoes: Place in a pot of water and boil until just fork-tender.
Cool them down by dipping them in an ice bath [equal parts ice and water]. 
Once cool drain and slice each potato lengthwise into eighths.
In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, lime, chili peppers, oil, garlic and cilantro.
Add sweet potatoes and toss gently until wedges are coated with the mixture.
Preheat a grill to medium; using a towel and tongs, wipe down the grill with grapeseed oil to prevent sticking.
Place the potatoes on the grill and grill until golden brown on all sides, about 1½ minutes per side.

8 Servings
 Ingredients:
4 large Roma tomatoes, ½” dice
1 large red bell pepper, ½” dice
1 large green bell pepper, ½” dice
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup feta cheese, diced
3 large cucumbers, seeded, diced
½ cup kalamata olives, halves
1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped

For the Dressing:
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon oregano, dry
½ teaspoon thyme, dry
½ teaspoon sage, dry
½ teaspoon basil, dry
½ teaspoon rosemary, dry
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions:
Dice tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and feta [about a half inch dice].
Cut cucumber in half [lengthwise], scoop out the seeds with a spoon and dice.
Slice or cut olives in half.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Thoroughly whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour ½ of the dressing over the vegetables. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving. 
Serve on a bed of red leaf lettuce, add more dressing if needed.
Remaining dressing can also be used as a marinade for meat, fish or vegetables.


Melon Salad
8 – 12 Servings
Ingredients:
⅓ cup honey or agave syrup
½ cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
¼  teaspoon crushed red chili peppers - Optional
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cantaloupe, seeded, peeled, diced
1 honeydew melon, seeded, peeled, diced
1 watermelon, seeded, peeled, diced

Instructions:
In a small bowl, combine honey, orange juice, lemon juice, chili peppers and mint, mix well.
Place melon cubes in large serving bowl and pour honey mixture over. Toss gently to coat and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

  Strawberry Lemonade
Yields 1 Gallon
Ingredients:
3 ½ quarts [14 cups] cold water
2 cups sugar
2 cups strawberries
10 ounces [1¼ cup] freshly squeezed lemon juice [6 – 8 lemons]

The secret to perfect iced drinks is to start by making a simple syrup. Dissolving equal parts sugar and water effectively disperses the sugar in the liquid, instead of having the sugar sink to the bottom.

Instructions:
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves [This is a simple syrup].
Add strawberries and cook 10 – 13 minutes stirring occasionally. 
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before using.
Pour remaining water and the lemon juice into a large container.
Using a mesh strainer, strain the strawberry syrup.  Use a spoon and gently mash the strawberries through the strainer.  Discard the seeds and any pulp remaining in the strainer.
Pour 3 cups of syrup into the lemonade and mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate until lemonade is cold, then serve over ice.


The Labor Day Grill

This Week's Menu
Joyce
I can't believe we're approaching the Labor Day Weekend.  Summer is ending  and I didn't get a chance to give out any recipes for summertime drinks.
Angelique
Well there's always next year or you can squeeze in lemonade now and ice tea at Thanksgiving.  You know a cranberry ice tea would be a nice change over that "sparkling" apple cider.
Joyce
I know you're trying to be sarcastic but that's an excellent idea, “Cranberry Ice Tea” for Thanksgiving instead of apple cider, I'll do it! 
Angelique
Oh brother!  Yeah mom, there's no rule  that says lemonade and ice tea are just for the summer months.  Just because they're cool refreshing drinks best served during the heat of the day doesn't mean they can't be served on a cold winter day.
Mom
Lucky for you Ms Smarty Pants there is no time for chatter, this is the last cookout of the summer and I have lots of recipes to introduce.

Have a Safe and Soulful Labor Day!
Angelique & Joyce



Curried Deviled Eggs
8 Servings
Ingredients:
8 large hard-boiled eggs
½ Cup Vegan Mayonnaise - [link to recipe]
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch cayenne pepper - optional
½ - 1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced chives
Paprika

Instructions:
Peel the eggs and cut them lengthwise in half. 

Remove the yolks and place in a small bowl. 
Mash the yolks until smooth and add the mayonnaise and mustard. Mix until a smooth paste forms.
Mix in the cayenne, curry, salt, pepper and chives. 
Spoon the mixture into the egg halves, or pipe using a pastry bag and star tip. Dust lightly with paprika. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours before serving. 


  New York Strip Grilled to Perfection
4 Servings
Ingredients:
4 NY Strip steaks,  6 ounces each
granulated garlic
granulated onion
coarse sea salt
coarsely cracked black pepper
Instructions: 
See Grilling 101 First   

Remove steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling and season both sides with granulated garlic, onion, salt and pepper. 
Preheat grill to high, cook for 3 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare. 
To create attractive cross-hatched grill marks, using tongs, give the steaks a quarter-turn halfway through cooking on each side.
When done, allow the steaks to rest for 10 minutes before cutting them. This helps them retain their juice.


Note: Use your finger and poke your steaks.   As steaks cook, they becomes firmer and firmer.  A rare steak has a lot of give [like pudding]; a medium steak feels springy [like jello]; a well-done steak feels very taut [no movement].


Cilantro Lime Grilled Yams
 8 Servings
Ingredients:
4 sweet potatoes/yams, unpeeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 lime, juiced
¼ - ½  teaspoon crushed chili pepper
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:
Parcook the potatoes: Place in a pot of water and boil until just fork-tender.
Cool them down by dipping them in an ice bath [equal parts ice and water].
Once cool drain and slice each potato lengthwise into eighths.
In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, lime, chili peppers, oil, garlic and cilantro.
Add sweet potatoes and toss gently until wedges are coated with the mixture.
Preheat a grill to medium; using a towel and tongs, wipe down the grill with grapeseed oil to prevent sticking.
Place the potatoes on the grill and grill until golden brown on all sides, about 1½ minutes per side.

 8 Servings
Ingredients:
4 sweet potatoes/yams, unpeeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 lime, juiced
¼ - ½  teaspoon crushed chili pepper
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:
Parcook the potatoes: Place in a pot of water and boil until just fork-tender.
Cool them down by dipping them in an ice bath [equal parts ice and water]. 
Once cool drain and slice each potato lengthwise into eighths.
In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, lime, chili peppers, oil, garlic and cilantro.
Add sweet potatoes and toss gently until wedges are coated with the mixture.
Preheat a grill to medium; using a towel and tongs, wipe down the grill with grapeseed oil to prevent sticking.
Place the potatoes on the grill and grill until golden brown on all sides, about 1½ minutes per side.

8 Servings
 Ingredients:
4 large Roma tomatoes, ½” dice
1 large red bell pepper, ½” dice
1 large green bell pepper, ½” dice
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup feta cheese, diced
3 large cucumbers, seeded, diced
½ cup kalamata olives, halves
1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped

For the Dressing:
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon oregano, dry
½ teaspoon thyme, dry
½ teaspoon sage, dry
½ teaspoon basil, dry
½ teaspoon rosemary, dry
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions:
Dice tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and feta [about a half inch dice].
Cut cucumber in half [lengthwise], scoop out the seeds with a spoon and dice.
Slice or cut olives in half.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Thoroughly whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour ½ of the dressing over the vegetables. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving. 
Serve on a bed of red leaf lettuce, add more dressing if needed.
Remaining dressing can also be used as a marinade for meat, fish or vegetables.


Melon Salad
8 – 12 Servings
Ingredients:
⅓ cup honey or agave syrup
½ cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
¼  teaspoon crushed red chili peppers - Optional
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cantaloupe, seeded, peeled, diced
1 honeydew melon, seeded, peeled, diced
1 watermelon, seeded, peeled, diced

Instructions:
In a small bowl, combine honey, orange juice, lemon juice, chili peppers and mint, mix well.
Place melon cubes in large serving bowl and pour honey mixture over. Toss gently to coat and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

  Strawberry Lemonade
Yields 1 Gallon
Ingredients:
3 ½ quarts [14 cups] cold water
2 cups sugar
2 cups strawberries
10 ounces [1¼ cup] freshly squeezed lemon juice [6 – 8 lemons]

The secret to perfect iced drinks is to start by making a simple syrup. Dissolving equal parts sugar and water effectively disperses the sugar in the liquid, instead of having the sugar sink to the bottom.

Instructions:
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves [This is a simple syrup].
Add strawberries and cook 10 – 13 minutes stirring occasionally. 
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before using.
Pour remaining water and the lemon juice into a large container.
Using a mesh strainer, strain the strawberry syrup.  Use a spoon and gently mash the strawberries through the strainer.  Discard the seeds and any pulp remaining in the strainer.
Pour 3 cups of syrup into the lemonade and mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate until lemonade is cold, then serve over ice.


New York Strip Grilled to Perfection

  New York Strip Grilled to Perfection
4 Servings
Ingredients:
4 NY Strip steaks,  6 ounces each
granulated garlic
granulated onion
coarse sea salt
coarsely cracked black pepper

 
Instructions: 
See Grilling 101 First   

Remove steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling and season both sides with granulated garlic, onion, salt and pepper. 
Preheat grill to high, cook for 3 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare. 
To create attractive cross-hatched grill marks, using tongs, give the steaks a quarter-turn halfway through cooking on each side.
When done, allow the steaks to rest for 10 minutes before cutting them. This helps them retain their juice.


Note: Use your finger and poke your steaks.   As steaks cook, they becomes firmer and firmer.  A rare steak has a lot of give [like pudding]; a medium steak feels springy [like jello]; a well-done steak feels very taut [no movement].

Cilantro Lime Grilled Yams

Cilantro Lime Grilled Yams
 8 Servings

Ingredients:
4 sweet potatoes/yams, unpeeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 lime, juiced
¼ - ½  teaspoon crushed chili pepper
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:
Parcook the potatoes: Place in a pot of water and boil until just fork-tender.
Cool them down by dipping them in an ice bath [equal parts ice and water].
Once cool drain and slice each potato lengthwise into eighths.
In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, lime, chili peppers, oil, garlic and cilantro.
Add sweet potatoes and toss gently until wedges are coated with the mixture.
Preheat a grill to medium; using a towel and tongs, wipe down the grill with grapeseed oil to prevent sticking.
Place the potatoes on the grill and grill until golden brown on all sides, about 1½ minutes per side.

Greek Salad

8 Servings
 Ingredients:
4 large Roma tomatoes, ½” dice
1 large red bell pepper, ½” dice
1 large green bell pepper, ½” dice
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup feta cheese, diced
3 large cucumbers, seeded, diced
½ cup kalamata olives, halves
1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped

For the Dressing:
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon oregano, dry
½ teaspoon thyme, dry
½ teaspoon sage, dry
½ teaspoon basil, dry
½ teaspoon rosemary, dry
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions:
Dice tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and feta [about a half inch dice].
Cut cucumber in half [lengthwise], scoop out the seeds with a spoon and dice.
Slice or cut olives in half.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Thoroughly whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour ½ of the dressing over the vegetables. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving. 
Serve on a bed of red leaf lettuce, add more dressing if needed.
Remaining dressing can also be used as a marinade for meat, fish or vegetables.

Melon Salad

Melon Salad
8 – 12 Servings
Ingredients:
⅓ cup honey or agave syrup
½ cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
¼  teaspoon crushed red chili peppers - Optional
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cantaloupe, seeded, peeled, diced
1 honeydew melon, seeded, peeled, diced
1 watermelon, seeded, peeled, diced

Instructions:
In a small bowl, combine honey, orange juice, lemon juice, chili peppers and mint, mix well.
Place melon cubes in large serving bowl and pour honey mixture over. Toss gently to coat and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Strawberry Lemonade

  Strawberry Lemonade
Yields 1 Gallon
Ingredients:
3 ½ quarts [14 cups] cold water
2 cups sugar
2 cups strawberries
10 ounces [1¼ cup] freshly squeezed lemon juice [6 – 8 lemons]

The secret to perfect iced drinks is to start by making a simple syrup. Dissolving equal parts sugar and water effectively disperses the sugar in the liquid, instead of having the sugar sink to the bottom.

Instructions:
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves [This is a simple syrup].
Add strawberries and cook 10 – 13 minutes stirring occasionally. 
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before using.
Pour remaining water and the lemon juice into a large container.
Using a mesh strainer, strain the strawberry syrup.  Use a spoon and gently mash the strawberries through the strainer.  Discard the seeds and any pulp remaining in the strainer.
Pour 3 cups of syrup into the lemonade and mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate until lemonade is cold, then serve over ice.

Curried Deviled Eggs

Curried Deviled Eggs
8 Servings
Ingredients
8 large hard-boiled eggs
½ Cup Vegan Mayonnaise - [link to recipe]
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch cayenne pepper - optional
½ - 1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced chives
Paprika

Method
Peel the eggs and cut them lengthwise in half. 

Remove the yolks and place in a small bowl. 
Mash the yolks until smooth and add the mayonnaise and mustard. Mix until a smooth paste forms.
Mix in the cayenne, curry, salt, pepper and chives. 
Spoon the mixture into the egg halves, or pipe using a pastry bag and star tip. Dust lightly with paprika or curry powder. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours before serving.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

EATING FAT MAKES YOU FAT & OTHER MYTHS THAT MAKE YOU FAT


20 Habits That Make You Fat


Decades ago, around the time of Steven Tyler's last haircut, a completely wrong-headed idea started being passed around America's dinner tables: Eating fat makes you fat.


Wrong. Eating fat won’t make you fat, any more than eating money will make you rich. Calories make you fat, and most “low-fat” or “fat-free” foods actually have just as many calories as their full-fat versions, because of added sugar and chemicals. And there’s no debate on this one: Since we made “cut down on fat” our favorite food craze roughly 30 years ago, the U.S. obesity rate has doubled. Among children, it has tripled. That’s a failed food policy if ever there was one.
But it’s just one of many “get fat” habits that can be turned into a “slim-down” habit, starting today. All you need is a pinch of resolve and a few new routines. Here are the 20 habits you can replace right now, compliments of the Eat This, Not That! No-Diet Diet. 
FAT HABIT #1: Eating "low-fat"
It sounds crazy, but I want you to stop buying foods marketed as low-fat or fat-free. Typically, they save you only a few calories and, in doing so, they replace harmless fats with low-performing carbohydrates that digest quickly—causing a sugar rush and, immediately afterward, rebound hunger. Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that meals that limited carbohydrates to 43 percent were more filling and had a milder effect on blood sugar than meals with 55 percent carbohydrates. That means you’ll store less body fat and be less likely to eat more later.


FAT HABIT #2: Not seeking nutrition advice
Good news here: By reading this, you’re already forming habits that can help you shed pounds. When Canadian researchers sent diet and exercise advice to more than 1,000 people, they found that the recipients began eating smarter and working more physical activity into their daily routines. Not surprisingly, the habits of the non-recipients didn’t budge. Follow me on Twitter for the fat-melting weight loss tips I come across every day as the editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine—and lose your belly without ever dieting again.


FAT HABIT #3: Sleeping too little or too much
According to Wake Forest researchers, dieters who sleep five hours or less put on 2½ times more belly fat, while those who sleep more than eight hours pack on only slightly less than that. Shoot for an average of six to seven hours of sleep per night—the optimal amount for weight control.
FAT HABIT #4: Eating free restaurant foods
Breadsticks, biscuits, and chips and salsa may be complimentary at some restaurants, but that doesn’t mean you won’t pay for them. Every time you eat one of Olive Garden's free breadsticks or Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits, you're adding an additional 150 calories to your meal. Eat three over the course of dinner and that's 450 calories. That's also roughly the number of calories you can expect for every basket of tortilla chips you get at your local Mexican restaurant. What's worse, none of these calories comes paired with any redeeming nutritional value. Consider them junk food on steroids.


DID YOU KNOW? You don't need to make big changes to your diet to lose 10, 20, or even 30 pounds. You just need to make the right small tweaks. Change how you look and feel—fast and forever—with this must-see report on the 25 Best Nutrition Secrets Ever!
FAT HABIT #5: Drinking soda—even diet!
The average American guzzles nearly a full gallon of soda every week. Why is that so bad? Because a 2005 study found that drinking one to two sodas per day increases your chances of being overweight or obese by nearly 33 percent. And diet soda is no better. When researchers in San Antonio tracked a group of elderly subjects for nearly a decade, they found that compared to nondrinkers, those who drank two or more diet sodas a day watched their waistlines increase five times faster. The researchers theorize that the artificial sweeteners trigger appetite cues, causing you to unconsciously eat more at subsequent meals.   
FAT HABIT #6: Skipping meals
In a 2011 national survey from the Calorie Control Council, 17 percent of Americans admitted to skipping meals to lose weight. The problem is, skipping meals actually increases your odds of obesity, especially when it comes to breakfast. A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who cut out the morning meal were 4.5 times more likely to be obese. Why? Skipping meals slows your metabolism and boosts your hunger. That puts your body in prime fat-storage mode and increases your odds of overeating at the next meal.
FAT HABIT #7: Eating too quickly
If your body has one major flaw, this is it: It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s had enough. A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that slow eaters took in 66 fewer calories per meal, but compared to their fast-eating peers, they felt like they had eaten more. What’s 66 calories, you ask? If you can do that at every meal, you’ll lose more than 20 pounds a year! 
FAT HABIT #8: Watching too much TV
A University of Vermont study found that overweight participants who reduced their TV time by just 50 percent burned an additional 119 calories a day on average. That’s an automatic 12-pound annual loss! Maximize those results by multitasking while you watch—even light household tasks will further bump up your caloric burn. Plus, if your hands are occupied with dishes or laundry, you’ll be less likely to mindlessly snack—the other main occupational hazard associated with tube time.
SNACK YOURSELF THIN! It can be a challenge to find snacks low in sugar and high in protein and fiber. Our list of the 50 Best Snack Foods in America will help keep you lean and full all day long!
FAT HABIT #9: Ordering the combo meal
A study in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing shows that compared to ordering a la carte, you pick up a hundred or more extra calories by opting for the “combo” or “value meal." Why? Because when you order items bundled together, you're likely to buy more food than you want. You're better off ordering your food piecemeal. That way you won't be influenced by pricing schemes designed to hustle a few more cents out of your pocket.
FAT HABIT #10: Facing the buffet
Cornell researchers found that when eating at a buffet-style restaurant, obese diners were 15 percent more likely to choose seats with a clear view of the food. Your move: Choose a seat that places your back toward the spread. It will help you avoid fixating on the food.
20 NEW TERRIBLE FOODS! Some restaurant foods have an entire day's worth of calories and several days' worth of fat and salt. Avoid these shocking diet disasters at all costs: The Worst Foods in America!
FAT HABIT #11: Eating off larger plates
One study found that when given an option, a whopping 98.6 percent of obese individuals opt for larger plates. Translation: More food, more calories, and more body fat. Keep your portions in check by choosing smaller serving dishes. If need be, you can always go back for seconds. 


FAT HABIT #12: Putting serving dishes on the table
Resist setting out foods buffet- or family-style, and opt instead to serve them from the kitchen. A study in the journal Obesity found that when food is served from the dinner table, people consume 35 percent more over the course of the meal. When an additional helping requires leaving the table, people hesitate to go back for more.


FAT HABIT #13: Choosing white bread
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionfound that when obese subjects incorporated whole grains into their diets, they lost more abdominal fat over the course of 12 weeks. There are likely multiple factors at play, but the most notable is this: Whole grain foods pack in more fiber and an overall stronger nutritional package than their refined-grain counterparts. 


FAT HABIT #14: Taking big bites
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who took large bites of food consumed 52 percent more calories in one sitting than those who took small bites and chewed longer. By cutting food into smaller pieces, you can increase satiety and enjoy your food more thoroughly. A good general rule? The smaller your bites, the thinner your waistline.
FAT HABIT #15: Not drinking enough water
Adequate water intake is essential for all your body’s functions, and the more you drink, the better your chances of staying thin. In one University of Utah study, dieting participants who were instructed to drink two cups of water before each meal lost 30 percent more weight than their thirsty peers. And you can magnify the effect by adding ice. German researchers found that six cups of cold water a day could prompt a metabolic boost that incinerates 50 daily calories. That’s enough to shed five pounds a year!
BEVERAGE BONUS: Drinking water is always a smart idea, but there are some beverages that should be avoided at all costs. Protect yourself—and your waistline—from the 20 Worst Drinks in America.
FAT HABIT #16: Having overweight friends
Research from the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that when a friend becomes obese, it ups your chance of obesity by 57 percent. This probably has to do with the social norms that you’re exposed to. Rather than ditch a friend who starts to put on a few extra pounds though, suggest healthy activities that you can do together, and avoid letting him or her dictate the meal (“Let’s split the cheesecake!”)
FAT HABIT #17: Eating too late 
Your body can burn flab while you sleep, but only if it isn't too busy processing a full stomach. A new study in the journal Obesity looked at the sleeping and eating habits of 52 people over seven days, and it found that those who ate after 8 p.m. took in the most daily calories and had the highest BMIs.
FAT HABIT #18: Not using a scale
Looking at your body weight reinforces weight-loss goals and makes it difficult to cheat your diet. When University of Minnesota researchers observed dieters who weighed themselves daily, they discovered that the routine of stepping on a scale helped those people lose twice as much weight as those who weighed themselves less frequently. Avoid being thrown of by natural fluctuations in body weight by stepping onto the scale at the same time every day.


FAT HABIT #19: Drinking fruity beverages
Most restaurants and bars have ditched their fresh-fruit recipes in favor of viscous syrups made mostly from high fructose corn syrup and thickening agents. As a general rule, the more garnishes a drink has hanging from its rim, the worse it is for your waistline.
FAT HABIT #20: Eating when emotional
A study from the University of Alabama found that emotional eaters—those who admitted eating in response to emotional stress—were 13 times more likely to be overweight or obese. If you feel the urge to eat in response to stress, try chewing a piece of gum, chugging a glass of water, or taking a walk around the block. Create an automatic response that doesn't involve food and you'll prevent yourself from overloading on calories.
YOUR NEW SHOPPING LIST! There are more than 45,000 options in the average supermarket. Some will wreck your waistline; some will shrink it. The easiest way to choose: Go ahead and put anything from our list of the 125 Best Supermarket Foods in your shopping cart—and watch the pounds drop away!
------------