A trip to the ice cream parlor used to mean a single scoop of ice cream atop a sugar cone, a perfect little 200-calorie treat. Now, at places like Häagen-Dazs, Baskin-Robbins, and Cold Stone—where serving sizes have grown out of control and high-calorie add-ins are the standard—that same trip to the scoop shop may set you back 1,000 calories. When it comes to dessert, it’s best to stay in—especially if you learn to make granitas, frozen desserts that are every bit as satisfying as ice cream and easy enough for a 6-year-old to make. And that’s where our espresso granita comes in.

Nutrition:
170 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated), 28 g sugar

Serves 4

You’ll Need

2 cups espresso or very strong brewed coffee, warmed
1⁄2 cup sugar
Light whipped topping (If you have the time and don’t mind the extra 50 calories, fresh whipped cream is best. Beat a cup of heavy cream in a cold metal mixing bowl with a tablespoon of sugar until soft peaks form.)
1⁄2 cup shaved dark chocolate

How to Make It

  1. Combine the espresso with the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. (If the espresso has cooled, you may need to microwave it for 45 seconds to help the sugar dissolve).
  2. Pour the mixture into a shallow metal baking pan (there should be about an inch of liquid) and place in the freezer.
  3. After 15 to 20 minutes, just as the mix has begun to freeze, remove the dish from the freezer and use a fork to scrape the ice crystals developing on the surface.
  4. Careful scraping will help you achieve a light, almost creamy granita, rather than a chunky, icy one. Repeat this step once every 30 to 45 minutes until the granita is entirely frozen.
  5. For each serving, place a small scoop of the granita in a chilled wine glass, top with a spoonful of whipped topping and a bit of the chocolate, then repeat with a second layer.

Eat This Tip

The same granita technique can be applied to dozens of different products with amazing results. Try these, too:

  • Lemon or lime: Blend 2 cups water, 3⁄4 cup sugar, 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • Blueberry ginger: Blend 2 cups blueberries, 3⁄4 cup water, 1⁄4 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • Watermelon basil: Blend 4 cups watermelon chunks, 1⁄2 cup sugar, juice of 1 lemon, 8 basil leaves

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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This is a remake of the old Homer Simpson special: pork chops and applesauce. Only, this isn’t some ordinary overcooked cartoon chop with a scoop of Mott’s from a jar, and it happens to be much healthier, too (no one ever accused Homer of having good nutrition). This pork is soaked in a sweet, garlicky teriyaki marinade, and the apples are sautéed with ginger and Chinese spices, making for a perfect, sophisticated, yin-yang partnership (cue prolonged Homer drooling noise). These teriyaki pork chops are easy enough to throw together on any given busy Tuesday night, but they’re seemingly fancy enough to serve to dinner guests on a special Saturday.

Nutrition:
315 calories, 9 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 890 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

4 pork chops (about 6 oz each)
1 cup bottled teriyaki marinade (we like Soy Vay)
1⁄2 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
1⁄2 onion, diced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1⁄2 cup apple juice
1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
Salt and black pepper to taste

How to Make It

  1. Combine the pork chops and teriyaki sauce in a shallow bowl or sealable plastic bag, turning the chops to coat.
  2. Cover the bowl or seal the bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 8.
  3. Preheat a grill, grill pan, or large cast-iron skillet.
  4. While the grill warms up, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Add the onion and ginger and cook for about 2 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  6. Add the apple, apple juice, vinegar, and five-spice, and stir to combine.
  7. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the fruit is softened (but not mushy) and the liquid has thickened enough to cling lightly to the apples.
  8. When the grill or pan is hot, remove the pork from the marinade, blotting off the excess with paper towels, and grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until lightly charred all over and firm but slightly yielding to the touch. (Be careful—if the grill is too hot, the sugars in the marinade will burn. Ultimately, you want a nice medium heat.)
  9. Serve each chop with a scoop of the apple chutney.

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The Moroccan pantry is one of the finest on the planet, overflowing with powerful spices, tantalizing condiments, and healthy whole grains. It’s the perfect source for healthy and delicious eating inspiration, yet so few restaurants—big or small—take cues from this North African culinary powerhouse. We won’t make the same mistake. This sweet and savory combination of spices could be rubbed on chicken or pork, but it takes especially well to the (healthy) fattiness of the salmon. The quinoa pilaf is a healthy, complex, and textured grain that gives this recipe a hearty, filling feel, too. It might become your new favorite salmon pairing!

Nutrition:
310 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 780 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

1 cup quinoa
1 1⁄4 cups chicken stock or more if needed
1⁄2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1⁄4 cup raisins (preferably golden), plumped in hot water for a few minutes
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted in a pan or the oven for a few minutes
1 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp black pepper
1⁄4 tsp cumin
1⁄8  tsp cinnamon
1⁄8  tsp cayenne
4 skinless salmon fillets (4–6 oz each)

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions, using chicken stock instead of water.
  3. Stir in the parsley, raisins, and pine nuts. Cover and keep warm.
  4. Combine the salt, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and rub over the salmon fillets.
  5. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the fish flakes with gentle pressure from your finger, 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.
  6. Serve each salmon fillet over a generous scoop of the quinoa pilaf.

Eat This Tip

OK, omega-3s aren’t so secret anymore, not with the throngs of researchers around the country attesting to their potential ability to stave off cancer and heart disease and bolster brain power. Despite mixed reports on just how essential omega-3s are in your diet, the foods that contain them tend to be tremendously healthy in all regards, so eat up. Here are some of the top sources of omega-3s, based on 200-calorie servings:

  • Flaxseed = 8,543 mg
  • Wild Atlantic salmon = 2,843 mg
  • Walnuts = 2,776 mg
  • Mackerel = 2,142 mg
  • Raw oysters = 1,977 mg
  • Striped bass = 1,586 mg

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One of the many by-products of the Great Burger Boom of the 21st Century is what you might call the bourgie burger. You’ll recognize it by its exotic condiments and its 20-syllable menu name. Even chains like Ruby Tuesday and Chili’s have tried their hands at the bourgie burger—with predictably precarious results. Our take on the upscale dish is a mushroom swiss burger, and it’s a snap to make, tastes like it costs 20 bucks, and packs fewer calories than an average salad.

Nutrition:
390 calories, 13 g fat (5 g saturated), 360 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

2 strips bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1⁄2 cup red wine
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 lb ground sirloin
1⁄2 cup shredded Gruyère or other Swiss cheese
2 cups arugula
4 potato buns, lightly toasted on the insides

How to Make It

  1. Cook the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, until browned and crispy. Remove and reserve.
  2. Drain off all but a teaspoon of the bacon fat, then return the pan to the stove.
  3. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned.
  4. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.
  5. Add the red wine and balsamic and simmer until the liquid begins to cling to the vegetables. Fold in the reserved bacon. Season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Preheat a grill, grill pan, or cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  7. Gently form the sirloin into 4 equal patties.
  8. Season the patties on both sides with salt and pepper and cook for about 4 minutes, until nicely charred on the bottoms.
  9. Flip, immediately cover with the cheese, and continue cooking for another 4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the burgers are firm but gently yielding to the touch.
  10. Place a handful of arugula on the bottom of each bun and top with a burger.
  11. Divide the mushroom mixture among the 4 burgers and top with the bun tops.

Eat This Tip

Other fancy-pants burger ideas:

  • Lamb burgers with grilled eggplant, roasted peppers, and feta cheese
  • Tuna burgers with roasted red peppers and Chimichurri
  • Ground brisket burgers with smoked Cheddar and caramelized onions

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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Whether it’s discovering that first wrinkle, a gray hair popping up at your temple, or realizing that the senior discount at your local movie theater now applies to you, getting older can be an intimidating prospect for anyone. Luckily, just because you’re not a teenager anymore doesn’t mean you have to have to resign yourself to a future full of naps in recliners, elastic-waist pants, and strong opinions about the price of stamps. By staying active and being mindful about your food choices, you can keep looking and feeling youthful, no matter how many candles are on your birthday cake. Incorporating these Zero Belly Breakfasts tips for aging into your routine can keep you looking and feeling better than you ever thought possible. Think of it as your anti-aging secret! Add in the 50 Ways to Age in Reverse, and you’ll be turning back the clock in no time.

1

Start Your Day With Green Tea

Green tea

While it may be tempting to kick off your day with a big sugary coffee, starting with green tea can keep you healthier and leaner, especially as you age. Not only is green tea loaded with inflammation-fighting catechins, which have been linked to lower rates of breast, liver, and digestive cancers, it’s also a major boon to your weight loss. Research published in the International Journal of Obesity reveals that catechin supplementation was effective at increasing weight loss and improving weight maintenance over time, too. For more ways to hydrate the healthy way, make the 50 Best Detox Waters for Fat Burning and Weight Loss part of your weight loss routine!

2

Walk It Out

Couple walking dog

You might not be in the mood to hit up SoulCycle anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in a good workout well into your later years. Walking is a great way to burn some calories and tone your lower body without wreaking havoc on your joints, and how fast you walk may even predict how long you’ll live. Research published in JAMA reveals that individuals with faster gaits were significantly more likely to be alive and well 10 years after the study concluded than those who walked at a more leisurely pace.

3

Make the Most of Your Mornings

Woman in sunlight

Embracing your inner early bird could make it easier to stay healthy as you age. A study conducted at Northwestern University links exposure to early morning sunlight to lower BMIs, and researchers at the University of Sydney have identified getting up early as one of the six factors proven to increase longevity.

4

Hydrate

Water pouring into cup

Healthy, youthful skin and a flatter belly start with the same easy addition to your diet: more water. As we age, our skin tends to lose some of its natural moisture, which adding more water to your diet may help replenish. Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign found that increasing water consumption by between one and three cups a day reduced people’s caloric intake by as much as 206 calories and lowered their intake of sugar, salt, and cholesterol, too.

5

Make Dark Chocolate Your Dessert of Choice

Dark chocolate

A life without dessert sounds pretty bleak, but luckily, you don’t have to give up your favorite sweets to slim down. Dark chocolate is a good source of flavanols, antioxidant compounds that have been linked to reductions in blood sugar and body fat by researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Another study conducted at Columbia University Medical Center suggests that cocoa flavanols can help improve brain health and boost memory, keeping you both mentally and physically fit as you get older.

6

Find Some Inner Peace

Man meditating

Getting zen might just be the key to a longer life and a leaner body. A review of research conducted at Ohio State University, Columbus reveals that individuals who practiced mindfulness exercises, like meditation, lost significantly more weight than those who abstained. Meditation can also decrease your stress level, making it easier to fend off cortisol surges and the excess belly fat that often accompanies them. Stress isn’t the only thing standing between you and the body you want; the 40 Bad Habits That Lead to a Fat Belly could be throwing you off your game.

7

Pick Up Some Weight

Dumbbells

While you may not want to see extra weight on the scale, that doesn’t mean you should be weight-avoidant in the gym. Adding weight training to your routine can increase your lean muscle mass, helping you burn more calories even during periods of rest. Even better, research published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society reveals that the implementation of resistance exercises among a group of 75 to 80 year olds in Canada significantly reduced participants’ risk of a having a potentially-deadly fall.

8

Enjoy Some Non-Dairy Calcium

Leafy greens

We’ve all heard that milk makes strong bones, but if you’re eager to stay healthy and active as you age, non-dairy calcium may be a better bet. Research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that dairy consumption is associated with an increased risk of hip fracture, which can keep you off your feet, or may even prove fatal. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-dairy calcium sources out there, like fatty fish, beans, and leafy greens, all of which can help you maintain a healthy weight and strong bones, to boot.

9

Opt For Red Fruit

Apple basket

The first step to beating that belly fat creeping up on you? Start seeing red. Red fruits, like grapes, cherries, and red apples, are loaded with antioxidant pigment resveratrol, which has been linked to increased weight loss and reduced belly fat. Research published in Neurology also reveals resveratrol to be an effective means of reducing the progression of dementia, helping you keep your body healthy, from belly to brain.

10

Have Your Thyroid Checked

Thyroid test

If you find yourself sluggish, irritable, or are having a hard time losing weight, it might be more than just the natural progression of aging. Many people experience thyroid issues as they age, which can result in more serious health issues if not addressed quickly. Fortunately, many thyroid issues can be treated easily with a combination of diet and medication, the pairing of which can have you feeling like your old self again.

11

Eat More Regularly

Woman eating yogurt

It’s no surprise that our metabolisms have a tendency to slow down as we get older, but that doesn’t mean we have to just sit back and watch as the pounds pile on. By eating smaller meals on a more frequent basis, you can kick your metabolism into high-gear, keeping it stoked all day long. Just make sure you’re making your meals at home and not opting for convenience foods, which can add tons of salt, sugar, and preservatives to your diet. Expedite your weight loss by snacking on the 40 Best-Ever Fat-Burning Foods!

12

Listen to Your Body

Man at doctor

They say that with age comes wisdom, but that doesn’t mean we’re always listening to that wise voice in our head telling us what to do. It’s so important for everyone to start listening to their body, especially as they get older, when medical issues can become full-fledged health crises an in instant. Getting on top of what may seem like a minor health issue now can help you prevent the progress of more serious disease that can keep you sidelined and foster the perfect environment for serious weight gain.

13

Stop Stress in Its Tracks

Happy couple on beach

Getting older can be stressful, but you don’t have to let those anxiety-ridden moments translate to decades of poor health or a widening waistline. When we’re stressed out, our bodies release cortisol, a hormone that can trigger the storage of excess body fat, particularly around our midsection. Unfortunately, this particular distribution of fat is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and early death, but it can be prevented. Taking time to enjoy some mood-boosting exercise, indulging in your favorite leisure activities, and doing some deep breathing exercises can all help lower your cortisol levels and have you feeling less stressed in no time.

14

Trade in Those Cocktails For Red Wine

Red wine

While there’s a wealth of contradictory information about the relative health benefits of a wide variety of alcohols, one thing is for sure: those oversized, sugary cocktails are doing nothing for your body except making it bigger. A single frozen margarita can pack upwards of 600 calories and 80 grams of sugar, meaning if you toss two or three back, you’ve consumed a day’s worth of calories (and way more sugar than you should ever eat) without actually filling up. Switching to red wine means you can enjoy lower blood pressure with every sip and maybe even a slimmer waistline, too; red wine is a good source of belly fat-fighting resveratrol. Just make sure you’re picking a dry wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, or you could be getting a heaping portion of sugar with every pour.

15

Add Healthy Fat to Your Meals

Olive oil

The prescription for a healthier life as you age is simple: eat fat, get fit. Researchers at the University of Vienna found that individuals who added olive oil to their diet had higher serotonin concentrations and were less hungry in general than those who ate an olive oil-free diet. Other studies have also linked the consumption of olive oil to a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and dementia, making it the perfect addition to virtually any meal plan. Make your meals healthier and more satisfying with the 21 Healthy Fats to Make You Thin!

16

Channel Your Inner Yogi

Older women doing yoga

While your chances of joining the NBA after 40 are about as slim as winning the lottery, that doesn’t mean
you can’t commit to a new exercise plan as you get older. Yoga in particular is a great choice for older individuals, thanks to its ability to keep your muscles strong and limber, which can help prevent falls. Doctors at Columbia University Medical Center have even linked practicing yoga to improvements in bone density, even further reducing your risk of a serious injury as you age.

17

Skip the Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweetener

Many people turn to artificial sweeteners to help shave calories from their food, but those brightly-colored packets of fake sugar may actually be the reason you’re not losing weight. Research has linked artificial sweeteners to an increased risk of obesity and disturbances in the gut bacteria that can make your more susceptible to disease. Even though they’re not caloric, artificial sweeteners trigger the same parts of the brain as sugar, making you crave the real stuff after you’ve eaten yet another sucralose-soaked snack.

18

Fill Up on Fiber

Grilled vegetables

Quick fixes rarely yield long-lasting results when it comes to weight loss, but adding fiber to your diet might just be the exception. With just a spoonful of flaxseed or some extra veggies in your meal, you can fill up on fewer calories, making weight loss virtually effortless. For those concerned about their cancer risk, fiber can be seriously beneficial, too. Researchers at the American College of Gastroenterology have found a link between chronic constipation and an increased risk of colon cancer, the third most prevalent form of non-skin cancer in the United States, but adding extra fiber to your diet can send that risk plummeting.

19

Don’t Skimp On Sleep

Older couple sleeping

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the easiest ways to ensure not just your longevity, but a consistent weight. The Nurses’ Health Study reveals that chronic sleep deprivation increased study subjects’ obesity risk by as much as 15 percent. Sleep deprivation is also related to increases in ghrelin, a hunger hormone that can make sticking to a healthy eating plan more difficult than ever. We guess the old saying is true: you snooze, you lose. You’ll never endure another night of tossing and turning again once you discover the 20 Ways to Double Your Sleep Quality!

20

Laugh More

Family laughing

A little happiness can go a long way when it comes to your health. Taking life a little less seriously can yield some pretty major benefits when it comes to both weight loss and your overall mood. In fact, researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that laughing can burn up to 40 calories a day and increase heart rate by as much as 20 percent. Over the course of a year, this can lead to a whopping four-pound weight loss. Sounds like laughter really is the best medicine, after all. A happier you is just a bite away with the 23 Foods Happy People Eat!

 

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