am very careful about what I eat, but I am not losing weight. Why not?
Your question may have a simple answer. Have you considered what you are drinking? How many cups of sugar and cream-laced coffee or cans of sugary soda do you drink each day? Some drinks can have as many as 500 calories (Like those Tim Horton’s Iced-cappuccinos). If you consider that most people need somewhere between 1800 and 2500 calories to maintain their weight (and less to lose weight), you can see how what you are drinking might affect your success.

A recent study showed that 21% of Americans’ calorie intake comes from the beverages they drink. Americans are drinking more sweetened beverages than ever before. Between 1977 and 2001, the proportion of calories obtained from calorically sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks (sweetened fruit beverages, not 100% fruit juices) increased three times.

Your body does need liquids to keep it healthy. The amount of liquid you need depends on your health and body size. Meeting all of your fluid needs with beverages containing sugar is not a good idea.

What is the best thing to drink?

Woman Drinking Glass of Water

For calorie-free hydration, you cannot beat good old water. Water is one of the best fluids to drink, because it contains no calories, no artificial flavors or colors, and no sugar.


Other calorie-free beverages, such as black coffee and tea without sugar or milk, are good beverage choices. Although these beverages do contain caffeine, they do not appear related to any health problems. The Beverage Guidance Panel recommends you limit your intake of caffeine-containing drinks to three to four 8-fluid-ounce (fl oz) servings/day.

Artificially sweetened teas, lemonades, and sodas also are calorie-free choices that are preferred over sugary drinks, such as soda, fruit punches, and regular lemonade. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved artificial sweeteners are considered safe. Using this type of beverage can add variety and taste without the extra calories.

milk glasses

Low-fat milk, skim milk, soy milk, and 100% fruit juices are good beverage choices, because they are loaded with nutrients your body needs. However, it is important to realize that these drinks contain calories. Too many calories, even healthy ones, can result in weight gain. Therefore, you should limit yourself to three 8-fl-oz servings of low-fat milk/day and one 4- to 6-fl-oz serving of juice/day to help meet your nutritional needs without adding to your waistline.

What about sports drinks?
Sports drinks contain sugar and also small amounts of nutrients. Most experts agree that sports drinks can replenish nutrients, such as sodium and potassium, when you exercise for more than 60 minutes. However, sports drinks do contain around 150 calories for 12 fl oz. For the average exerciser, the electrolytes lost during exercise are easily replenished through eating a healthful diet. Unless your exercise is long and intense, water is a great calorie-free way to quench your thirst.

Does alcohol have more calories than soda?

red wine, sunny afternoon
Alcohol and soda are both high in calories. A 12-fl-oz beer has about the same number of calories as a 12-fl-oz cola. However, a 1.5-fl-oz serving of spirits (gin, vodka, etc) has about 100 calories. Combine that with 8 fl oz of a mixer and your drink will have more than 200 calories. Large specialty drinks can contain up to 500 calories. To save calories, drink diet soda or water, use diet sodas as mixers, or drink lite beer or wine. Remember, the larger the portion of any drink, regular or alcoholic, the more calories you will consume.

I love specialty coffees. Are they healthy?

Latte, closup
Many of these delicious coffee and tea drinks are loaded with calories. For example, a 16-fl-oz café mocha with no whipped cream contains 240 calories. Whipped cream, cream, and whole milk add many calories to any coffee or tea drink. Instead, order a smaller drink with skim milk to save fat and calories.

The following table shows the number of calories in 12 fl oz of several different types of drinks. This 12-fl-oz serving is the size of a beer or soda can.

Beverage (12 fl oz) Calories Beverage (12 fl oz) Calories
Fruit punch 192 Whole milk 150
Lemonade 168 Fat-free milk 90
Kool-Aid® 174 Orange juice 168
Tonic water 124 Grape juice 255
Sports drink 99 Coffee 0
Cola 136 Tea 0
Fruit smoothie 225 Beer 139
Frappuccino® 320 Lite beer 110
Diet cola 0 Wine (3.5 fl oz) 70


Reasons to Exercise and Stay Active

Woman Sitting in Meditation

  • Attitude.  Working out keeps me mentally sane and balanced.  I just have a better attitude when I’m active.
  • Health.  From preventing heart disease to avoiding diabetes to controlling my asthma, health-related reasons to be active abound.  I want to be around a long time and I want to be healthy while I’m around.

Woman in a Swimming Pool

  • Outlook. (And not the microsoft kind). Holy positive.  I am a much much more positive person when I take the time to invest in myself.  Suddenly the birds are chirping and I’m thrilled about the rest of my day.  Yes it may sound cliché, but come on… there are definitely endorphin side effects to exercise (and happy people just don’t kill people!  What movie?? :))
  • Confidence.  When I’m active, I feel like I can take on the world.  Whether it comes to pushing myself out of my comfort zone socially, pushing myself physically, or pushing myself to go stinking shopping even though I don’t like it – I’m more confident!!  And believe me, confidence just makes life easier.

Women at health club.

  • Keeping up!  When I’m in great shape I’m much more of a “yes” girl.  Want me to join a dodgeball league?  Yes.  Want to run a 5K with a day’s notice in green tights?  Yes.  Want to go hiking?  Heck yes.  I just don’t have the excuses to say no.  “I can’t keep up” or  “I’m not in good shape” aren’t in my vocabulary!
  • Taking care of myself for others.  My friends and family receive major benefits when I work out.  I’m kinder, more balanced, and more passionate about life.  In addition, I’m healthier and more durable for whatever life throws my way.  If I can’t get myself to work out for me, often thinking about them will be the extra push to get me out the door.

stability ball

  • Nutrition.  Fact: when I’m active, I make better food choices.  There is such a symbiotic relationship between food and activity  – I love reaping the benefits from both!
  • Looking good.  Let’s face it, one of the side effects of fitness is looking your personal best.  It’s nice to look good and feel comfortable in your skin.  It helps with confidence and being a “yes” person!

People Exercising at a Gymnasium

  • It’s relaxing and therapeutic.  Or at least it can be…eventually. 🙂  It took me a long time to view running as a ‘relaxing’ activity – but it’s awesome to just take time away and focus on yourself.  Be one with the run (or zumba or crossfit or whatever)!
  • The challenge.  I love setting goals and reaching them.  Fitness is an awesome place to compete against yourself for yourself.  It can be very motivating and satisfying to see yourself reach them.  The first time I did a pull-up I just about cried!??????????????????????
  • To enjoy treats.  Okay I had to add this one… regular working out makes the occasional crack-filled cookies from my mom totally doable (Note: not filled with actual crack).  Everything in moderation is one of my favorite phrases, and working out regularly allows me to really live this phrase out!  Because I just can’t say no to cupcakes every time.

I HONESTLY DON’T NEED A REASON TO EXERCISE – IT IS JUST PART OF MY LIFESTYLE LEARNED FROM MY PARENTS.  We lived on a corner lot and we shoveled snow as a family – I was the baby of the family and had my very own shovel; we went to Delaware Park and sledded, we walked the neighborhood and delivered newspapers; we sailed and swam in Lake Erie, my father created baseball games on the beach for us; we had water balloon wars and three legged races.  We raked leaves at the cottage and jumped in the piles and played tennis together.  Exercise is just a part of my life and it is mostly FUN!!

You may want to check out this website for more info: Races, Reps, and Ramblings


Fresh vegetables falling

RED: Extreme moderation or not at all
While many of these foods are nutritionally solid, they are greater than 30% fat and/or calorically dense.

Use the following foods with extreme moderation or not at all:

  • Bacon
  • Black olives
  • Blue cheese
  • Croutons
  • Eggs
  • Feta cheese
  • Green olives
  • Marinated salads
  • Nuts
  • Pepperoni
  • Raisins
  • Reduced-calorie dressings
  • Regular salad dressing
  • Salads made with mayonnaise
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Tofu

Tossed Salad and Salad Dressings

YELLOW: In moderation
While many of these foods are full of important nutrients, they are also 20%–30% fat and/or moderately calorically dense (especially when compared to the GREEN category of foods).

Use the following foods in moderation:

  • Beets
  • Chickpeas
  • Cottage cheese
  • Kidney beans
  • Tuna
  • Peas


GREEN: Unlimited
These foods are low fat and low calorie, but also full of important nutrients, vitamins, and fiber.
Use the following foods without any limits:

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Bean sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Green pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Pickles
  • Radishes
  • Red pepper
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Vinegar
  • Zucchini

Smoked Salmon Salad and Apple Lunch

A tale of two salads

Salad #1   Salad #2
Food/Amount Calories Food/Amount Calories
Lettuce, 1 C 55 Lettuce, 1 C 55
Tomato, 1 small 20 Tomato, 1 small 20
Cucumber, 3 large slices 2 Carrots, 6–8 strips 12
Cauliflower, ½ C 14 Avocado, ½ avocado 188
Carrots, 6–8 strips 12 Kidney beans, ¼ C 55
Broccoli, ½ C 20 Tuna, ¼ C 78
Beets, ¼ C 21 Hard-boiled egg, 1 egg 72
Red cabbage, ¼ C 6 Coleslaw, ½ C 45
Radishes, ¼ C 5 Pasta salad, ½ C 160
Green peppers, ¼ C 6 Diced ham, ¼ C 113
Green onions, ¼ C 11 Cheddar cheese, ¼ C 112
Mushrooms, ¼ C 5 Croutons, 2 Tbsp 132
Kidney beans, ¼ C 55 Bacon bits, 2 Tbsp 48
Tuna, ¼ C 78 Sunflower seeds, 2 Tbsp 102
Lite dressing, 2 Tbsp 30 Salad dressing, 2 Tbsp 140
Total 340 Total 1332

C=cup, Tbsp=tablespoon




Many of us have a sluggish metabolism. This can make it really difficult to lose weight and extremely easy to gain weight. A slow metabolism can also make you tire out easily so you don’t get to enjoy all that life has to offer. However, there is good news. You can easily boost your metabolism naturally if you know how. Below, you will find 7 ways to increase your metabolism:

1. Early Morning Intense Exercise – A short burst of intense exercise when you first get up can do wonders for your metabolism. Dr. Oz has advocated for this method of speeding up the metabolism. The best part is you only have to do about five minutes of intense exercise to reap the benefit all day. The exercise you do can be really simple. Examples would include running in place, jumping jacks, and lunges. Of course, if you have a stair master or a jogging machine, that would work too. Just get your heart rate up for five minutes and cool down for two minutes.


2. Eat More Spicy Foods – Hot spices like curry, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cumin, and turmeric all help the body speed up your metabolism. There are other “hot” spices that you may not think of as hot but they react in the body in this way. They include cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Try adding these tasty spices to your soups, stir-fries, casseroles, and other dishes. Curry goes great in some type of salads like quinoa salads. Some people love the taste of cinnamon in their coffee. Just add it to the grounds before you brew it.

3. Drink Lots of Water – Water is magical in this way. Drink a lot of water and your metabolism will magically increase because the metabolic process needs water to fuel it. It’s even better if you make sure you are drinking alkaline water.


4.Keep Your Thyroid Healthy – To work efficiently, the thyroid needs selenium, zinc, copper, and iodine. However, the American diet is notoriously low in these important minerals. To get more of these minerals, eat more seafood and nuts.

5. Never Skip Breakfast – Unfortunately, in this fast paced world we live in, many of us have a tendency to skip breakfast or grab something nutrient poor on the way out the door. This is one of the worst things you can do for your metabolism. Always eat a healthy breakfast. This should include a healthy protein like eggs from pasture raised chickens and fruit bursting with antioxidants like blueberries or strawberries.

Cereal 9

6. Don’t Eat As Much Late In the Day – Unfortunately, most of us eat more at dinner than we do at breakfast. We also tend to snack at night before bedtime. This is exactly the opposite of what you want to do to speed up your metabolism. Try to eat more earlier in the day and less at dinner. Plus, try not to eat for at least three hours before bedtime.

7. Build More Muscle Mass – Weight training isn’t just for body builders. Building muscle mass should be part of all fitness programs. Even if you can’t join a gym or buy fancy equipment, you can build muscle mass. A couple of cans of food or water bottles filled with water can serve as weights for your arms and you can use those big rubber bands (cheap) or your own body weight to provide resistance to your legs to build more muscle mass.





This Chicken Salad has crushed pineapple in it so you have a moist salad without adding so much Mayo. 1 pound chicken breasts 8 oz can crushed pineapple with the juice 1/2-1 cup Mayonnaise 30 seedless red grapes 3 ribs … Continue reading


Snack Ideas With 100 Calories
(all items listed are approximately 100 calories, ±20 calories)

Notice the portion sizes – yes you can have tortilla chips or cookies if you can limit yourself to a small portion.  Like I always say, EVERYTHING IN MODERATION!

  • Almonds (3 tablespoons [Tbsp])
  • Apple, raw (1 medium)


  • Applesauce (½ cup [C])
  • Apricots, canned (6 halves)
  • Apricots, dried (10 halves)
  • Apricots, raw (6 medium)
  • Baked potato chips (1 ounce [oz])
  • Baked tortilla chips (½ oz) and hummus (2 Tbsp)
  • Baked tortilla chips (¾ oz) and salsa (¼ C)
  • Baked tortilla chips (1 oz)
  • Banana, raw (1 medium)
  • Bell pepper (1 each) and fat-free ranch dressing (3 Tbsp)
  • Bell pepper (1 each) and hummus (3 Tbsp)
  • Blueberries, raw (1 C)
  • Broccoli and cauliflower, raw (1 C) and fat-free ranch dressing (3 Tbsp)
  • Cantaloupe, raw pieces (2 C)
  • Carrots, baby (6 each) and hummus (3 Tbsp)
  • Carrots, baby (6 each) and lite cream cheese (2 Tbsp)
  • Carrots, baby (6 each) and peanut butter (2 teaspoons [tsp])
  • Carrots, baby (12 each) and fat-free ranch dressing (2 Tbsp)
  • Cashews (2 Tbsp)
  • Celery (1 stalk) and peanut butter (1 Tbsp)
  • Celery (1 stalk), lite cream cheese (2 Tbsp), and raisins (1 Tbsp)
  • Cheese (1 oz)
  • Cherries, canned in juice (¾ C)
  • Cherries, raw (20 each)
  • Chicken noodle soup (1 C)
  • Chocolate, dark (¾ oz)
  • Corn tortilla (1 each), lite shredded cheese (½ oz) and salsa (2 Tbsp)
  • Cottage cheese, low fat (½ C)
  • Crab, imitation (2 oz) and cocktail sauce (2 Tbsp)
  • Cranberries, dried (¼ C)
  • Dates, dried (5 each)
  • Edamame, boiled (⅓ C)
  • Egg, hard boiled (1 large)
  • Flatbread crackers (1 oz)
  • Frozen waffle, toasted (1 each) and apple butter (1 Tbsp)

100 calorie snacks 1

  • Frozen yogurt, lite (½ C)
  • Fruit cocktail, canned in juice (1 C)
  • Graham crackers (3 squares)
  • Graham crackers (2 squares) and peanut butter (1 tsp)
  • Graham crackers (2 squares), lite cream cheese (2 tsp), and strawberry jam (2 tsp)
  • Granola bar, crunchy (1 each)
  • Grapefruit, canned in juice (1 C)
  • Grapefruit, raw (1 medium)
  • Grapes, seedless (2 C)

Grapes on grapevine, close-up.

  • Guava, raw (2 medium)
  • Ham, lean deli slices (2 oz)
  • Hot chocolate milk, low fat (6 fluid ounces [fl oz])
  • Kiwifruit, raw (2 medium)
  • Mandarin oranges, canned in juice (1 C)
  • Mixed berries (1 C) and yogurt, lite (¼ C)

100 calorie snacks 3

  • Nectarine, raw (1½ medium)
  • Orange, raw (1½ medium)
  • Papaya, raw (1 medium)
  • Peach, raw (2 medium)
  • Peach, sliced (1 fresh) and cottage cheese, low fat (¼ C)
  • Peaches, canned in juice (1 C)
  • Peaches or pears, canned in juice (½ C) and cottage cheese, low fat (¼ C)
  • Peanut butter (1 Tbsp)
  • Peanuts (2 Tbsp)
  • Pear, raw (1 medium)

100 calorie snacks 8

  • Pears, canned in juice (1 C)
  • Pecans halves (2 Tbsp)
  • Pineapple, canned in juice (¾ C)
  • Pineapple, raw pieces (1 C)

100 calorie snacks 4

  • Pineapple, raw pieces (½ C) and cottage cheese, low fat (¼ C)
  • Plantain, cooked without fat (½ C)
  • Plum, raw (3 medium)
  • Pomegranate, raw (1 medium)
  • Popcorn, low fat, microwave style (3 C)
  • Popcorn, white cheddar, reduced fat (2 C)
  • Pretzels (1 oz)

100 calorie snacks 7

  • Prunes, dried (5 each)
  • Prunes, stewed (½ C)
  • Pudding, sugar free (½ C)
  • Raisin bread (1 slice) and margarine, lite, trans-fat free (1 tsp)
  • Raisins, dried (¼ C)
  • Raisins (2 Tbsp) and peanuts (1 Tbsp)
  • Raspberries, raw (1½ C)
  • Rice cake (1 each), lite cream cheese (1 Tbsp), and apple butter (1 Tbsp)
  • Sandwich cookies (2 each)
  • Shrimp, boiled (10 large) and cocktail sauce (2 Tbsp)
  • Strawberries, raw (2 C)
  • Sunflower seeds, hulled (2 Tbsp)
  • Sunflower seeds (1 Tbsp) and raisins (2 Tbsp)
  • Three-bean salad, canned (½ C)
  • Turkey breast, deli slices (3 oz)
  • Turkey breast (1 oz) wrapped in corn or flour tortilla (1 oz)
  • Vegetable or tomato juice (1 C) and rice cake (1 each)
  • Vegetable soup (1 C)
  • Veggie “chicken” nuggets (2 each) and ketchup (2 Tbsp)
  • Walnuts (2 Tbsp)
  • Watermelon, raw pieces (2 C)

Slice of Watermelon

  • Wheat crackers (about 1 oz, see label)
  • Wheat crackers (4 each) and soy cheese (1 slice)
  • Yogurt, sugar sweetened, fat free (4 oz/½ C)

Yogurt and berries

  • Yogurt, lite, artificially sweetened, fat free (8 oz/1 C)
  • Yogurt, lite (½ C) and almonds, slivered (2 Tbsp)
  • Yogurt, lite (½ C) and bran cereal (½ C)

Download a copy for use with your clients at: Nutrition 411

Click on Diabetes Center/For Your Patients/Diet & Nutrition



Young Couple with Their Daughter and Son (8-12) Going on a Picnic

Easy exercises for you and your child to do together at every age level — work out and burn extra calories.

Sneak in Daily Exercise at Any Age
Twelve minutes. That’s how much more exercise slim kids get each day than overweight children do, according to a recent Swedish study of 8- to 11-year-olds. Those dozen extra minutes can burn 100+ calories, and that really adds up, says lead researcher Magnus Dencker, MD.  Here are some ideas for every age to get in those 12 minutes and then some!

For babies 3-18 months

family fitness 1

Take a dip together.

Check out the book Learn to Swim by Rob and Kathy McKay for tips. Holding your baby in the water is a great arm workout.

Calories burned in 30 minutes: 128

Build a Sand Castle

Build some serious sand castles. Head to your local beach or playground sandbox with plenty of shovels and buckets. Go to for building tips and links to designs for over-the-top structures.

Calories burned in 2 hours: 672

18 months to 5 years

Hispanic Man, Woman and Child having fun in the park.

Dance It Off!

Try dancing with the kids in your living room. Got two left feet? Check out your local library for some dance DVDs – Zumba is especially fun and exhilarating

Calories burned in 30 minutes: 144

Good Ol’ Games

Family fitness

Play an old school game with your kids, like Red Rover, Kick the Can, or Red Light, Green Light, in the backyard — fun and nostalgic for you, a blast for them! Rusty on the rules? Look ’em up online. One site to try:

Payoff: 320 calories burned in 60 minutes of games.

Neighborhood Fitness

Do a fitness swap with a friend or neighbor. Raid each other’s garages and borrow three pieces of equipment each — a mini trampoline, tennis racquets, a bocce ball set. Then try them out with your kids. It’s a great way to mix things up and test different activities without springing for all-new gear. Or have a neighborhood fitness block party. Pick three or four neighbors; do an activity at one house, then run to the next!

Payoff: 112 calories burned in 30 minutes of bouncing on a trampoline.

Home Bowling

Create a bowling alley in your driveway using empty water bottles as pins and a softball as the bowling ball. Setting up the pins and running after the ball really boosts your heart rate. (Hey, there’s no auto-return here!)

Calories burned in 1 hour: 336

Visit the Zoo

Take a full-on walking tour of the zoo — no tram, all on foot. Before you go, log on to for cool facts to chat about during your visit.

Calories burned in 2 hours: 420

5 to 8 Years

Family Walking In The Park

Go Scavenging

Go on a backyard treasure hunt. Try Scaventure Kids, a kit that provides cards and instructions; $19.95 Or create your own hunt: Make a map and clues that lead explorers to the treasure.

Calories burned in 1 hour (includes 30 minutes of set-up): 256

Roofball, Anyone?

Dream up a wacky game with your kids. One example: roofball. Volley a beach or kick ball onto the roof of your house, and when it rolls off, try to hit it back up again.

Payoff: 192 calories burned in 60 minutes of volleying.

Wacky Noodles!

Have a noodle race in the pool. Pick up buoyant foam water noodles ($4.50 each at cheaper at WalMart), hop into the water, and center them under your bellies. Then swim back and forth across the pool at least five times. Even if your child isn’t a completely confident swimmer, the noodle will help keep her above water. (And yes, you should let her win a race or two.) Find other fun pool activities at (search for “water games”).

Payoff: 192 calories burned in 30 minutes of swimming.

Go Berry-Picking

Take the kids to a pick-your-own-berries farm. Pluck lots of extras, and when you get home, bake low-fat muffins for everyone.

Calories burned in 2 hours of berry picking and baking: 672

Ride Bikes

Get into biking. Take yours in for a tune-up, and start working to get those training wheels off. For child-safety tips and gear, go to

Calories burned in 30 minutes: 336

8 To 13 Years


Try a Trail

Mark off time on your calendar to try two new parks, trails, or bike paths this month. For ideas, call your local parks and recreation department (or check online).

Calories burned in 90 minutes of biking: 576

Activity Calendar

Create an activity calendar. Cut out magazine pictures of biking, hiking, and running through the sprinkler, laminate them, and put double-sided tape on the back. Let your child choose the first one and stick it on the calendar. Fill it up so you have four or five days of activities weekly.

Payoff: 384 calories burned in 60 minutes of cross-country hiking.

Walking Club

Start a 10,000-Step Club. Buy a pedometer (check out the cute selection at Then plot several walks throughout the day — around the neighborhood, on a local nature trail, up and down the library steps, at the mall (10,000 steps, or about five miles, is what the experts say we ought to average daily to stay fit and keep the extra weight off).

Payoff: 224 calories burned in 60 minutes of walking at a brisk 3.5 mph pace.

Create an Obstacle Course

Design an obstacle course. Set out cones to weave through, overturned buckets to leap over and a limbo pole. Try to beat your speed using the cute Bell Stopwatch, which you can wear on your belt loop. ($12.99; Kmart)

Calories burned in 1 hour: 420

In-Line Skating Clubs

Try an in-line skating club. Find one at, where you can look up local indoor and outdoor places to skate, plus classes that teach safety, moves, and more.

Calories burned in 1 hour: 1,050

Cute little eight year old boy holding a baseball bat.

Have a Family Game of Baseball

Use a tennis ball and fashion some homemade bases.  Catcher’s mitts optional!!

13 Years and UP

A female soccer player heading the ball

Turn on the Waterworks

Cool off by having a water fight! Fill water balloons, grab some Super Soakers, and chase each other around the yard to see who can get who the wettest.

Calories burned in 30 minutes: 160

Bike Race!

Stage a mini Tour de France. Map out a course that’s at least five miles — with plenty of hills — and get the whole family in the race. You can even have a short “time trial” course and give awards for other impressive feats, such as “king of the mountain” (to whoever pedals fastest up the hills). Be sure to watch the real Tour for inspiration, or listen to it online; it runs from July 7 to 29. See

Payoff: 512 calories burned in 60 minutes of bicycling at 12 to 13.9 mph.

Get Gardening

Grow a kid-friendly garden. Dig up a patch and start planting in your yard — or buy pots and soil for a deck garden. Try cherry tomatoes or herbs like basil that kids can pinch off, taste, and smell. For more ideas on what to grow, go

Payoff: 576 calories burned in 2 hours of gardening.

Hula Hoop!

Have your kid teach you a sport or a game — skateboarding, ultimate Frisbee, soccer, hula hoop.

Calories burned in 30 minutes of hula hoping: 210

Go Rafting

Embark on an athletic adventure like white-water rafting. Get inspired by the athletic feats showcased on Check out 10-year-old Jordan Romero, who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!

Calories burned in 3 hours: 1,260




Cereal 1

THESE 8 CEREALS WERE SELECTED OUT OF 40 CEREALS SUBMITTED TO FITNESS MAGAZINE’S NUTRITION EXPERTS (ALL RDs)   Each one contains at least 3 grams of fiber, no more than 13 grams of sugar (some of which comes from dried fruit), and less than 230 calories per serving, and the testers ensured that they taste great.

Cereal 2

Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds

One bowl delivers close to half the fiber you need in a day. (180 calories per cup)

Cereal 3

Post Grape-Nuts Fit Cranberry Vanilla

Pair this blend of barley and oats with a small carton of nonfat Greek yogurt—  favorite way to eat it — for 23 grams of power-you-up protein. (220 calories per 2/3 cup)

Cereal 4

Three Sisters Multigrain Cinnamon

Many cereals contain almost 200 milligrams of sodium per serving. But these frosted squares, which are just the right size for snacking, have only 10, the least of any cereal tested. (190 calories per cup)

Cereal 5

Health Valley Organic Oat Bran Flakes

This “hearty, filling” cereal has nearly a third less sugar than the frosted-cornflake version. (190 calories per cup.)

Cereal 6

Bear Naked Fit Autumn Blend

Between the dried apples and lightly salted pumpkin seeds, this tastes like fall in a bowl — but you’ll want to eat it year-round! Eight kinds of whole grains make that totally great. (210 calories per cup)

Cereal 7

Van’s Natural Foods Cinnamon Heaven

Many gluten-free cereals are low in fiber, but this one has five grams of the filling nutrient. Plus, the subtle cinnamon flavor is so good, it’s “sinful.” (120 calories per 3/4 cup)

Cereal 8

Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats Crunch Brown Sugar

These are sweet enough to satisfy an afternoon sugar craving, but not too sugary to eat for breakfast.  They stay crunchy in milk to the last spoonful! (200 calories per cup)

Cereal 9

Kashi Blackberry Hills

This six-ingredient cereal drew raves for its big freeze-dried berries and crispy flakes.  (180 calories per cup)



Stuffed Peppers (4)


4 green peppers (mine were small so I used 5)
1 pound 96% lean ground beef
1 (15oz) can lentils slightly drained
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup uncooked instant brown rice
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Remove tops, core and seed peppers. In medium bowl mix remaining ingredients with 1 cup spaghetti sauce and cheese. Fill peppers with mixture. Pour 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce plus 1/2 cup water into slow cooker. Stand pepper upright in slow cooker and cover. Cook on LOW 5-7 hours (HIGH 2 1/2-3 1/2 hours).

I like them with extra sauce and grated parmesan cheese!