The Tequila Diet

I hate drinking.  It's not that I don't like catching a much need buzz from time to time, but the act of drinking alcohol just doesn't appeal to me.  As a selective vegan (don't put a brownie in front of my face) and someone who's obsessed with staying fit, posioning myself through drinking just doesn't make sense with my lifestyle. However, I'm still human.  Welcome tequila...

Living in NYC and Hoboken now, my work and social life revolves around cocktails. I typically order a glass of wine and nurse it for the night simply so I don't have to hear, "Why aren't you drinking?" over and over again.  When your preferred drink is ice water, you're automatically labeled as no fun.  And then, when everyone around you catches a good buzz, being the only sober person really isn't fun.

Recent research presented at the American Chemical Society this week suggests that agavins, the natural sugar found in the tequila-producing agave plant, can help with weight loss and diabetes.  How?  Because unlike other sugars, agavins aren't absorbed into the body and since they're a source of fiber, they'll make people feel fuller, longer.

This had me thinking.  I actually Googled "benefits of drinking tequila" since I knew that the it was low in calories to begin with and this Forbes article came up.  Since there are about 100 calories in a shot of tequila, and you know the saying: one tequila, two tequila, three tequila... it wouldn't be such a sin.  While agavins aren't on the market yet, I could be a fan of the skinny girl margarita for now.  Sour mix? Ew. Save it for the fatties.

5 Foods That'll Make You More Beautiful

You are what you eat.  Literally.  Giving up milk made me find my collar bone that was there, but now it's predominate thanks to the lack of dairy (see post).  There was literally what I like to call a 'coat of bloat' (hot right?) lying on top.  Just like the way I decided to eliminate food for beauty, there are also foods we should be eating to enhance our beauty.  An old friend of mine, Jolene Hart, a certified beauty and health coach and author of Eat Pretty, filled me in on five essential beauty foods.

1. Lemons. My skin has extra glow ever since I made it a priority to start my day with a simple detox drink: warm lemon water. Lemons are full of collagen-building vitamin C (our collagen production slows as we age, so a collagen boost means more youthful-looking skin), plus they clean out the digestive tract and balance aging acidity in the body.

2. Avocado. Half an avocado will instantly supercharge a smoothie, and it makes a beautifying snack spread on gluten-free bread or sprinkled with a little sea salt and spices. Avocado burns quickly and easily for energy, naturally detoxes the body and supports strong, well-hydrated skin cells.

3. Greens. The greens in my kitchen change with the seasons and my mood; they might be dandelion greens in the spring, watercress in the summer or kale in the winter. With fresh greens at hand, I can whip up a green drink, throw together a salad, or create an instant dinner by steaming them and tossing with a protein-rich grain like quinoa and fresh sauce. Greens have their own unique benefits, but all tend to be high in vitamin A, a beauty nutrient known to smooth skin, renew and repair skin damage and fight acne by regulating sebum production.

4. Cinnamon. Spices are beauty powerhouses and, since I have a major sweet tooth, cinnamon is the spice I reach for most often. When paired with high glycemic foods like sweets, it reduces the aging, blemish-causing blood sugar spike that we experience. It’s a favorite beauty secret to fight wrinkles, breakouts and signs of aging.

5. Ginger Root. In the winter, fresh ginger is a cold-fighter; in the summer, ginger makes a cooling addition to spicy food. Ginger supports healthy digestion and reduces inflammation— two powerful essentials for a calm, even, radiant complexion.

Jolene's book, Eat Pretty, offers plenty more!  Check it out on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight

Last week I was venturing to one of my fave cafe's in NYC, One Lucky Duck, to grab a salad with a friend and he was telling me he once tried an apple cleanse – a three day cleanse where you only eat apples.  Sounds crazy right?  Well, if you're anything like me and aren't attracted to the idea of eating apples for three days straight, check out these foods that Dr. Perricone told can help you lose weight. Apples Despite their relatively high sugar levels, apples actually exert a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, thanks in part to their high fiber content, but also because they contain phloretin: a blood-sugar-stabilizing phytonutrient found exclusively in apples.

Salmon Wild Alaskan salmon leads the pack in helping us to shed weight and keep it off. It's rich with flavorful, healthful omega-3 fats, which makes it a top weight-control food. Sardines and anchovies are also great sources of omega 3's.

Beans and Lentils Legumes--dried beans, lentils and company--prompt burning of body fat, stabilize blood sugar and have more protein than other plant foods. They also burn body fat and provide energy and protein! A meal with legumes raises blood sugar slowly and moderately, making you feel fuller for longer.

Yogurt Calcium is important in weight loss, especially dairy foods with probiotics, such as yogurt. In a recent clinical study, participants who ate yogurt lost about 10 pounds of fat and an inch and a half off of their waists, compared to six pounds and a quarter of an inch lost by those who just took calcium supplements. Sixty percent of the yogurt eaters' weight loss was lost abdominal fat, the hardest to lose. Finally, yogurt was about twice as effective at preserving muscle, the only kind of tissue that burns calories while your body is at rest.

Look Better Naked Without Giving Up Booze

Are you a victim of  trying any fad weight loss diet or swearing by those diet books filled with empty weight loss promises and unrealistic diet plans. (Give up booze forever? Let's get real.) Even if you follow one for several weeks and manage to loose a few pounds, as soon as you go back to "living" you're back to your normal self. Well, I have news for you, there's a new book on the market that will transform your figure in just six week (yes, just in time for bikini season) and it's not like the rest. Editor-In-Chief of Women's Health, Michele Promaulayko, (who's always been in fab shape), just launched Look Better Naked! The 6-Week Plan to Your Leanest Hottest Body-Ever. It's the most motivating get-in-shape book I've seen in years because it's realistic (and believe me, I read a lot of them because I'm health and fitness obsessed).

It includes a diet and fitness plan that allows for two glasses of wine per week or Michele's Look Better Naked signature cocktail, which is vodka, St. Germain, lime juice and seltzer garnished with mint leaves.  (For exact proportions you'll have to get the book!)

Crazy fact, 77% of women say that they're highly motivated to look better naked.  What the heck is wrong with the other 33%?  They're either Brazillian (already perfect) or just lazy!  Are you ready for the six week challenge?  It's totally doable and won't interfere with your social life.  Snatch Michele's slimming, tightening and toning secrets here.