Blog Posts by Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

  • Healthier Hot Chocolate

    By Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, SELF magazine

    Q. Now that the weather is getting colder, I'd love to treat my family to a healthy version of hot chocolate. Any recipes or recommendations?

    Related: 20 superfoods for weight loss

    A. Hot chocolate is a lovely cool weather treat for kids and adults alike. But grocery store mixes often contain ingredients like hydrogenated oils or artificial sweeteners. I suggest making up your own "instant" hot chocolate mix using cocoa powder, sweetener, and powdered milk.

    Here's a basic recipe:

    • 2 cups powdered milk
    • 2/3 cup sugar (or less, see below)
    • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (more if you like it extra chocolaty)
    • Pinch salt

    Combine all ingredients and store in an air-tight container. To make a cup of hot chocolate, measure 1/4 cup of mix into a mug, add boiling water and stir until blended. The recipe makes about 14 servings. (Click here for a complete nutritional analysis.)

    Make it healthier:

    • For a creamier cup (plus some extra
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  • The 4 Best In-Season Fall Foods

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    Everyone loves summer produce. But even as the farmer's market season comes to an end, fall is actually an amazing -- and underrated -- time to enjoy fresh-from-the-Earth eats. To find out what we absolutely should not miss this season, we spoke to foodies and registered dietitians Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, contributing editors at SELF and co-founders of C&J Nutrition.

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  • 5 Healthy Reasons to Love Tabasco Sauce

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    Hey there, hot stuff!

    On Wednesday, the folks at Tabasco offered Healthy SELF a virtual tour of their Avery Island, La., headquarters, where they have been brewing and bottling their iconic hot sauce since the 1860s.

    Throughout the hour-long tour, we were impressed by the healthy perks hidden in that slim red bottle. Here are 5 good-for-you reasons to hit the sauce:

    Related: 20 superfoods for weight loss

    1. It's pure. Tabasco has zero calories, zero salt and zero artificial sketchiness. That beautiful color isn't dye -- it's the true color of the peppers, which the Avery Island hot sauce engineers match against a wooden dowel to make sure they're the perfect shade of ripe red. The only ingredients: Aged pepper mash, distilled vinegar and a touch of Avery Island salt.

    2. It's not packed with salt. One bottle of Tabasco is less than 2 percent salt. Not all hot sauces are this low in sodium, so read your labels!

    3. It helps stoke your metabolism.

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  • Natalie Morales' 4 Rise and Shine Morning Tips

    By Ashley Mateo, SELF magazine

    Ever wonder how A.M. newscasters look sooo not like they work up at a wee hour? Morning Glory, starring Rachel McAdams, casts a bit of light, and for real illumination, Today's Natalie Morales shares her sunny-style tricks.

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  • 4 Best Snacks in the Frozen Food Aisle

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    We've already told you which snacks to steer clear of in the frozen food aisle. Now comes the fun part: The frozen treats that you can guiltlessly indulge in.

    Related: 20 superfoods for weight loss

    Frankly, the frozen food aisle is a minefield when it comes to nutrition. Obviously, frozen fruits and veggies are always a safe choice, but after spending an hour analyzing nutrition labels (good thing we wore a scarf to the store!), we were able to come up with a list of other healthy gems that are a bit more fun and snack-like.

    Skinny Cow Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream: Although they are relatively low in fat and have no sugar added, Skinny Cow's frozen goodies somehow manage to be rich, creamy and satisfying. Pick up the 5.8-ounce package (which is one serving) of this yummy flavor to keep chocolate cravings in check. It has just 150 calories and 2 grams of fat (1 gram of saturated fat).

    Edy's/Dreyer's Acai Blueberry Fruit Bars: With zero fat,

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  • Red meat: Not so bad after all?

    By Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, SELF magazine

    A lot of people I know have cut back on meat--specifically red meat--in an effort to make their diets healthier. I think there are lots of good reasons to eat less meat. (See also: Meatless Monday gets a boost from European study) But regular readers of this blog will know that I've long been suspicious of this idea that "red" meat is any worse for you than "white" meat.

    Related: 10 Ways to Lose Weight Like a Guy

    This idea that red meat is unhealthy is self-reinforcing. Because we've all convinced ourselves that this is true, studies which find a link between red meat and some sort of disease are much more likely to be published and get a lot more press than studies which find no such link. Never mind that what we categorize as "red" and "white" makes absolutely no sense, either nutritionally or zoologically.

    So I consider it my duty to point out that a recent meta-analysis published in the Nutrition Journal found no association between

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  • Beat the Thanksgiving Rush: 5 Things You Can Do Now to Get Ahead

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    Thanksgiving can't come soon enough (we always look forward to seeing family, friends and having a day or two off of work!) but, at the same time, it's coming way too quickly (there's so much to do before then!).

    Related: Diet-Friendly Thanksgiving Side Dishes

    The good news is that if you start planning now, T-Day doesn't have to be so stressful. Though it's still T minus 16 days until go-time, here are some small things you can do this week to get a jump on planning and make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

    1. Plan Your Menu:
    Use SELF's Nutrition Data tool to analyze the nutritional value of your Thanksgiving faves (it's a holiday, so splurge in some places, but make up for it by choosing, say, healthy side dishes or a fruit-based dessert), then use this cool menu-planning tool from our friends at Epicurious to finalize your menu.

    Related: Detox Diets Debunked

    2. Place Orders Now: Most grocery stores and gourmet food joints are already taking

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  • What You Need to Know About Whooping Cough

    Recently, there's been a lot of news about whooping cough -- a potentially deadly, infectious bacterial disease characterized by cold symptoms that slowly develop into a nasty cough.
    Related: Detox Diets Debunked

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 2000-2009, the total number of whooping cough cases reported was approximately 150 percent higher than the total number of cases reported during the 1990s. California, in particular, is experiencing its worst outbreak of the infection in 60 years, and 10 infants have died so far in 2010. Additionally, significant increases have been reported in Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Arizona, Minnesota, Idaho, South Carolina and several other states.
    We assumed we were vaccinated for this infection as kids, so are we protected or not? And what can we do to make sure we (and our children) don't get sick during this outbreak?
    Related: 10 Ways to Lose Weight Like a Guy

    While nobody really knows why cases of whooping cough -- more

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  • Why Tuesday is the Worst Day of the Week

    By Lindsey Palmer, SELF magazine

    The most stressful moment of the week is Tuesday at 11:45 a.m., according to a new British poll of 3,000 workers. The culprit? For the majority of us, it's major slacking on Monday and then having it all catch up to us by the following morning. No wonder Tuesday is the day when workers are most likely to eat lunch at their desks, and when nearly 20 percent stay after-hours to play catch-up.

    Related: 10 Ways to Lose Weight Like a Guy

    Work stress can be a real drain on your emotional and physical well being, so it's important to find ways to cope--no matter what day of the week it is. Try these tips:

    1. Be Positive
    "When you find yourself in a negative state and thinking something like, 'Ugh it's Tuesday,' your stress response is automatic and makes it difficult for you to think clearly and creatively," says Eva Selhub, M.D., senior physician at The Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. "Short-circuit that

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  • 4 Metabolism Boosters You've Got to Try

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    After a weekend of fun and -- we admit it -- a bit of gluttony, we're on the hunt for ways to jump-start our metabolism.

    Related: 20 superfoods for weight loss

    Sure, we've heard that you should eat spicy foods and run intervals, but we wanted a few more proven strategies to add to our post-2 a.m. pizza repertoire.

    Here are 4 metabolism-boosting strategies we're psyched to use this week:

    1. Ditch the Treadmill: Trade in your treadmill jogs for this approach from Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director at Quincy College in Quincy, Mass. Choose 8 strength moves and do 12 to 16 reps of each (taking 2 seconds to raise, and 2 seconds to lower the weight), without resting between moves. Repeat once. You're done in 20 minutes, but you'll jack up your resting metabolic rate by up to 9 percent for three days.

    Related: 10 Ways to Lose Weight Like a Guy

    2. Eat Breakfast Within 90 Minutes of Waking: When you cut way back on calories, your body

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