Fitness: Discover the AVAC® Difference!

12 Food Tips That Will Make Your Body Smile

via Silk Bloom – BuzzFeed

1. Embrace the art of cooking.

The Slow Food movement is anchored in the belief that ingredients, flavors, and preparation matter to your health. Cooking for yourself makes you acutely aware of what you’re eating, and as a result, you eat healthier. It also tastes a lot better, too.

2. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

12 Food Tips That Will Make Your Body Smile

Anyone can thrive on a plant-based diet, but to do it right, you need variety. The colors of vegetables are reflective of different minerals and antioxidant properties. The more colors in your diet, the better you’ll feel.

3. Focus on the perimeter of the grocery store when you shop.

12 Food Tips That Will Make Your Body Smile

The food located on the walls of the grocery store (vegetables, fruits, bread, dairy, and meat) is the fresh stuff, while the food in the center aisles is generally processed and less healthy.

4. Cut processed and fatty foods from your regular meals.

12 Food Tips That Will Make Your Body Smile

One of the quickest ways to start feeling better with your diet is avoiding fatty, processed food. Avoiding fast food completely is the best place to start.

5. Go nuts on nuts.

Go nuts on nuts.

Gilles Gonthier / CC BY 2.0 / Via Flickr: gillesgonthier

Nuts are packed with protein, which leaves you feeling sated, and they also contain unsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to improve heart health.

6. Darker greens mean healthier greens.

Darker greens mean healthier greens.

Laurel F / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Via Flickr: laurelfan

There’s a huge difference between a salad made of iceberg lettuce and one made of spinach. Heartier greens such as kale, chard, and collard greens pack a high concentration of vitamins and minerals.

7. Understand the meaning of label buzz words.

Understand the meaning of label buzz words.

tiffany terry / CC BY 2.0 / Via Flickr: 35168673@N03

The word “natural” can be applied to almost anything, even food that is processed and not healthy. Rely instead on the label and seek out fresh food with healthy ingredients you recognize.

8. Replace candy and desserts with fresh fruit.

Mauren Veras / CC BY 2.0

Flickr: mauren

Ramnath Bhat / CC BY 2.0

Flickr: ramnath1971

Processed sugar spikes your energy, but eventually leaves you feeling drained. If you’re in the habit of snacking on candy throughout the day, get your sweet fix from fresh fruit.

9. Embrace unbleached flour and whole grains.

Embrace unbleached flour and whole grains.

Migle Seikyte / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Via Flickr: 69668444@N03

Processed white flour is mostly empty calories. Your body will be at its best if you get your starch intake from complex grains and dark, whole-wheat breads.

10. Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.

WordRidden / CC BY 2.0

Flickr: wordridden

Jessica Spengler / CC BY 2.0

Flickr: wordridden

Selecting the fruits and vegetables that correspond to the season will result in better-tasting meals and cheaper grocery bills. For example, focus on your tomato and squash dishes in the summer and beets and hearty greens like kale in the winter.

11. If you’re eating out, ask about the source of your meat.

If you're eating out, ask about the source of your meat.

Nicholas A. Tonelli / CC BY 2.0 / Via Flickr: nicholas_t

If you eat meat, a good rule of thumb is to eat animals that eat well. This typically means animals raised on natural foods without reliance on antibiotics. Most nicer restaurants are now accustomed to answering questions about dietary restrictions and food sourcing, so don’t feel bad about asking.

12. Seek out balance in all things related to food.

12 Food Tips That Will Make Your Body Smile

And finally, don’t get stressed about being a food perfectionist. Perhaps the most important food tip is to mix things up, eat foods from every food group, eat a variety, and explore innovative ways to prepare it yourself.

Vegetarian Chickpea Sandwich Filling

via Fishlove – All Recipes


Serve this tasty sandwich spread on crusty whole grain rolls or pita bread, with lettuce and tomato. Other raw, chopped vegetables can be substituted for the celery. Your favorite salad dressing can be substituted for the mayo.

Original recipe makes 2 to 3 serving
  • 1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Pour chickpeas into a medium size mixing bowl and mash with a fork. Mix in celery, onion, mayonnaise (to taste), lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper to taste.


via Marcus EdwardesAVAC


I’m usually very diligent about hydrating before, during and after Spinning  – and as a result, I am going to re-up my commitment to pre-class fueling with a sports drink or electrolyte enhanced water.

Here’s an Amazon link to the Electrolyte tabs I use – you just pop ‘em in a glass of water before and after a Class or Workout.

There’s a lot of scientific and anecdotal information out there if you Google cycling and hydration – but in my opinion it’s different for everybody…

I know what works for me:

  • 16 oz of  electrolyte enhanced water before my workout (try to finish it 20 mins before you get on the bike to allow proper absorption) PLUS a banana or half PBJ if I haven’t eaten for over 4 hours.
  • 16- 20 oz of water for every 45 Mins I spend on the bike. On Sundays I do 2 big bottles.
  • 16  oz of electrolyte enhanced water after my workout (within half an hour) – and then a balanced meal (see below for nutrition article)

I feel so much more powerful after 30 minutes on the bike when I’m properly hydrated. You may think – “I don’t need to worry about this – I don’t sweat much” but have you ever arrived at a Spin Class and thought “i don’t feel much like riding hard today…” (or, half way through the class – felt like you hit the wall?) That’s your body, telling your mind that you aren’t properly hydrated and your blood sugar levels are running low.

If you do adopt a similar hydration program to me and pay attention to nutrition, you will give your body and mind the fuel it needs to work at maximum capacity during your Spin and complete the class with energy to spare!

Here’s a really good article on Nutrition for Riders

Cheers, Marcus

1 Comment

29 Healthy Versions Of Your Favorite Comfort Foods

via Rachel Sanders – BuzzFeed

1. Light Chicken Parmesan

Light Chicken Parmesan

Get the recipe.

2. Double Chocolate Brownies

Double Chocolate Brownies

Brownies are easy to lighten up, because chocolate will cover a multitude of tweaks (even whole wheat flour and yogurt). Get the recipe.

3. Healthy Spinach and Ricotta Pizza

Healthy Spinach and Ricotta Pizza

Homemade pizza will always be way better for you than Domino’s, but you can help it be the most better for you by adding whole wheat flour to the crust and using plenty of veggies. Get the recipe.

4. Light Cherry Cheesecake

Light Cherry Cheesecake

Get the recipe.

5. Shepherd’s Pie with Healthier Mashed Potatoes

Shepherd's Pie with Healthier Mashed Potatoes

Subbing cauliflower for half the potatoes slashes carbs and calories without being any less delicious. Get the recipe.

6. Three-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Three-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

Secret Cauliflower saves the day. Get the recipe.

7. Chicken Pot Pie with Green Beans and Squash

Chicken Pot Pie with Green Beans and Squash

Plenty of veggies and a cute pastry hat served separately. Get the recipe.

8. Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

Spicy, smoky chipotle chiles make up any flavor extra-lean beef might lack. Get the recipe.

9. Healthier Meat Lasagna

Healthier Meat Lasagna

Just don’t tell Garfield. Get the recipe.

10. Greek Yogurt Blueberry Pancakes

Greek Yogurt Blueberry Pancakes

Definitely an excuse to eat pancakes every day of the week. Get the recipe.

11. Baked Fish & Chips

Baked Fish & Chips

Get the recipe.

12. Low-Fat New England Clam Chowder

Low-Fat New England Clam Chowder

Broth made with stock and fat-free half-and-half is lighter but still creamy. Get the recipe.

13. Vegetable Meat Loaf with Balsamic Glaze

Vegetable Meat Loaf with Balsamic Glaze

Don’t worry, there’s turkey in there too. Get the recipe.

14. Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Get the recipe.

15. Vegetarian Brown Ale Chili with Winter Squash

Vegetarian Brown Ale Chili with Winter Squash

Between the beer, the spices, and the beans, you’re definitely not going to miss the meat. Get the recipe.

16. Baked Garlic Fries

Baked Garlic Fries

With all the added flavor, you aren’t likely to miss the extra oil. Get the recipe.

17. Lighter Lemon Meringue Pie

Lighter Lemon Meringue Pie

Get the recipe.

18. Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

Stick with whole wheat pasta for more fiber and filling power. Get the recipe.

19. Crispy Baked “Fried” Chicken

Crispy Baked "Fried" Chicken

This chicken is a heck of a lot lighter than it would be after taking a hot oil bath, and equally crispy-crunchy. Get the recipe.

20. Greek Yogurt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Crispy on the edges and soft in the middle, just like they should be. Get the recipe.

21. Hot Artichoke-Spinach Dip

Hot Artichoke-Spinach Dip

Use low-fat cream cheese and cannellini beans to dial down the saturated fat in everyone favorite vat-o-cheese. Get the recipe.

22. Lighter Sesame Chicken

Lighter Sesame Chicken

Get the recipe.

23. Baked Beer-Battered Onion Rings

Baked Beer-Battered Onion Rings

These onions are making me cry…with JOY. Get the recipe.

24. Low-Fat Chocolate Pudding

Low-Fat Chocolate Pudding

Get the recipe.

25. Lighter Chicken and Biscuits

Lighter Chicken and Biscuits

Bechamel sauce is everybody’s best friend. Get the recipe.

26. Healthy Fettucine Alfredo

Healthy Fettucine Alfredo

Secret Cauliflower strikes again! Get the recipe.

27. Healthier Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Healthier Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Applesauce is a secret weapon in making baking recipes healthier. Get the recipe.

28. Alton Brown’s Buffalo Wings

Alton Brown's Buffalo Wings

Steam and then bake for super-tender texture without getting out the deep fryer.Get the recipe.

29. Healthified Boxed Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Healthified Boxed Mac 'N' Cheese

OK, this is obviously cheating. BUT: An entire box of Kraft is the ur-comfort food, and you can feel less terrible about eating it if you swap butter for yogurt or cottage cheese, and throw in a few veggies. Get the recipe.


Pina Colada Smoothie

via Cooking Classy


  • 1 cup Almond Milk Plus Protein, divided
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 (5.3) oz Vanilla or Strawberry Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 overripe banana, chilled
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple, chilled
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract
  • 5-6 ice cubes


  • In a large microwave safe bowl, combine 1/2 cup Almond Milk with 1/4 cup quick oats. Microwave on high power 2 1/2 minutes. Pour cooked oat mixture into a blender along with remaining 1/2 cup almond milk, Greek yogurt, banana, pineapple and coconut extract. Blend mixture on low speed for 2 minutes or high speed for 1 minute. Add in ice cubes and puree until well blended. Serve immediately.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


If you want an even colder smoothie, stir the oatmeal after microwaving and allow to cool at least 5 minutes before blending into smoothie.