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Twice Baked Sweet Potato and Egg

These baked stuffed sweet potatoes are so easy, healthy, satisfying and flavorful. SERVES: 4. CALORIES: 206. FAT: 12 grams. CARBOHYDRATES: 17 grams. PROTEIN: 7 grams. INGREDIENTS: 2 medium sweet potatoes, 1 yellow onion (diced), 4 eggs, 4 raw cloves of garlic, 4 tsp Greek yogurt, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp chives (chopped), 1 dash salt and pepper. DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Scrub potatoes, pierce them with a fork and put them in the oven rack for 30-40 minutes until soft. 2. In a large frying pan heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté the onion with garlic for about 5 minutes until soft. 3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle cut potatoes in half, lengthwise, scoop the interior out of each leaving about 1/4 inch shell of potato flesh and skin. Add the scooped-out potato flesh, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper into the pan and stir well to combine. 4. Place the potato shells on the baking sheet and feel them with the mixture. Press the mixture with a spoon so a whole is formed to make space for the eggs. Sprinkle chives on top and crack an egg on top of each stuffed potato. 5. Cook at 200°C (400°F) for 10-15 minutes until the egg is set. The whites will be set while the yolks are a bit runny.

 

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The Food That Fights Cravings

You know that eating breakfast is key for keeping your appetite under control throughout the day. But what you eat in the a.m. may be just as important as whether you eat at all: Adding peanuts or peanut butter to your breakfast can help control cravings for up to 12 hours afterward, according to a study published recently in the British Journal of Nutrition.

For the study, researchers from Purdue University and the Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil put 15 obese women through three experiments: In the first, they ate 1.5 ounces of peanuts with orange juice and Cream of Wheat cereal. In the second, the same women swapped the peanuts out for 3 tablespoons of peanut butter. Finally, in the last experiment, they had only the juice and cereal (researchers adjusted the portion sizes so that calorie counts remained the same throughout all three phases).

After each experiment, researchers took participants’ blood samples and asked them to rate their appetite levels. Turns out, those who ate peanuts in the a.m. reported feeling fuller eight to 12 hours after breakfast—and peanut butter had an even stronger appetite-suppressing effect.

The results of the blood work indicate a couple of reasons why this might be the case, says Richard Mattes, PhD, professor of food and nutrition at Purdue University: For one thing, participants who ate peanuts had higher levels of peptide YY, a hormone that makes you feel full after eating (levels of the hormone were even higher in participants who ate peanut butter). When the women had eaten peanuts or peanut butter with breakfast, their blood sugar levels also spiked less after they had a carb-heavy lunch.

Ready to sprint to the closest grocery store and load up your cart with peanut butter? Not so fast. While peanut butter packs a ton of good-for-you nutrients like magnesium, zinc and vitamin E, it also comes with a fairly high calorie and (healthy) fat count. To reap peanut butter’s hunger-squashing benefits—without overdoing it in the calorie department—Mattes suggests limiting yourself to a two-tablespoon serving with breakfast.

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5 Fruits and Veggies You\'ve Been Eating Wrong

If you're anything like us, you would eat a lot more beets, pomegranates, and kiwis if you could just figure out an easy way to prep them. Luckily, some of our favorite food blogs have come up with pretty ingenious ways to simplify the process. Take a look, then try these tricks for yourself:

Mandarin Oranges
"I love how peeling an orange gives me sticky hands," said no one, ever. Which is why we're obsessed with this mess-free method from JewelPie. Just use a paring knife to slice off either end, cut a slit in the orange peel, and roll the whole thing out in a strip. We can't say for sure if this method works with other varieties of oranges, but you can bet we're going to try it

Beets
Raise your hand if you know how to cook beets. Yup, thought so. Well, get this: You don't have to cook them at all. You can eat beets raw, just like carrots, as we learned after reading this post from TheKitchn. Simply peel the beets (it helps to cut off both ends first), and thinly slice them using a knife or a mandolin. You can also season them if you want to add some extra flavor.

Pomegranates
If you've ever cut a pomegranate in half, then you know that it gets the job done—but there are some casualties along the way (R.I.P., cute T-shirt that got stained with pomegranate juice). Instead, use this technique recommended by Wit & Whistle: Cut a small cone out of the top of the fruit with a paring knife (so you're removing the piece sticking out). Then slice a sliver off of the opposite end, lightly score each of the ridges that run from the top of the fruit to the bottom, and pull the whole thing apart. The seeds will come out easily with no mess.

Kiwis
Here's another brilliant tip from the geniuses over at TheKitchn: To make kiwis portable, just cut them in half and then eat the insides with a spoon. So smart! (And another fun thing to do with kiwis if you're willing to do some advanced planning is freeze them and then eat them as push-pops.)

Avocados
Did you know that half of an avocado is only about 160 calories?  So while we're on the subject of produce you can eat with a spoon, it's actually kind of the perfect afternoon snack to scoop right out of the shell, like Lukas Volger's Veggie Madness suggests. To switch it up, try sprinkling the avocado with salt and pepper or drizzling a bit of soy sauce on top first.

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Brain Food: What to Eat and What to Avoid

Dark chocolate is my favorite treat, so I never get tired of hearing and sharing good news about it. The latest tasty tidbit, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, is that drinking cocoa may improve brain function. So add mental power to your list of reasons to indulge in reasonable amounts of cacao-containing goodies (in case the facts that chocolate is a longevity-boosting superfood that may give you energy, make you more beautiful, improve cholesterol levels, and help your heart aren't enough reasons to justify your chocolate consumption).

In other good-for-your brain news, the August issue of the Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter reports that Smart Fat Choices Protect Your Brain. The article explains that recent studies add to an increasing body of evidence that consuming more omega-3s and unsaturated oils and fewer foods high in saturated fat may reduce risk of cognitive decline, so remember to load up on fatty fish, nuts, and olive oil. 

On the bad news front, you may have read reports from earlier this year about a study that linked the extract of ginkgo biloba, a purported brain booster, to cancer in lab animals. The Center for Science in the Public Interest is now urging the FDA to prohibit the use of ginkgo in food and dietary supplements, while Dr. Andrew Weil says perhaps we needn't worry too much. Taking into account the new studies as well as a study from a few years ago that suggested ginkgo doesn't improve memory, I don't think I'll add it to my menu soon (particularly not in highly concentrated extract form), especially not when I could be eating chocolate instead! 

Epicurious' article Eating for Alzheimer's Prevention explains more ways that changing your diet might help improve your brain health (preview: stick with those healthy fats mentioned above and add some kale, berries, and turmeric). Here are the brain-boosting recipes I've recently added to my recipe box: Red Lentils and Kale with Miso, Oven-Poached Fish in Olive Oil, Hanoi Turmeric Grilled Fish with Dill and Onion, and Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies. How about you?

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14 Reasons You Should Start Eating Cucumber

Cucumbers are number four most cultivated vegetable in the world and known to be one of the best foods for your overall health, often referred to as a super food. Pick a handful of firm, dark green cucumbers and drop them into your shopping cart. Congratulations! You have just bought yourself stuff full of good health.

Cucumber rehydrates body

If you are too busy to drink enough water, eat the cool cucumber, which is 90 percent water. It will cheerfully compensate your water lost.

Cucumber fights heat inside and out

Eating cucumber will get your body relief from heartburn. Apply cucumber on your skin and you will get relief from sunburn.

Cucumber eliminates toxins

All that water in cucumber acts as a virtual broom, sweeping waste products out of your body. With regular eating, cucumber is known to dissolve kidney stones.

Cucumber replenishes daily vitamins

Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. A B and C, which boost your immune system keep you radiant and give you energy. Make it more powerful by juicing cucumber with spinach and carrot. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because it contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 12 percent of the daily recommended allowance.

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Healthy diets

Do you want to adopt a healthy diet but aren't sure where to start? As you consider the parade of healthy diets in magazines and cookbooks, make sure to look for one that:

    1- includes a variety of foods from the major food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean protein, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats
  2 - Provides guidelines for how much food to choose from each group
   3- Includes foods you can find in your local grocery store
    Fits your tastes, lifestyle and budget

Also consider your health risks. Do you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure? If so, be sure to follow a diet that's low in salt, saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. For personalized advice, talk with your doctor or a dietitian.

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