What you do in the kitchen is just as important as what you do in the gym. To effectively achieve your fitness goals, proper nutrition is an absolute must!

17 Tips For A Healthy Thanksgiving!

431A few years back, I shared 11 tips for a healthy Thanksgiving. Just to recap, here they are:

  1. Just take a small scoop of cranberry sauce. It’s loaded with sugar and can have 300 calories per half cup.
  2. Remove the skin. While the skin adds great flavor and is a nice treat for special occasions, it does contain extra calories and fat – and is usually coated in butter.
  3. Go light on the gravy. Gravy, depending on how it is prepared, can be loaded in fat, calories and tons of sodium. Just use a touch of it.
  4. Eat before dinner. Have a healthy lunch before going to Thanksgiving dinner so that you’re not hungry. This will help prevent overeating.
  5. Opt for healthy sides. Instead of going for buttery, cheesy or creamy sides, opt for steamed vegetables and smarter choices.
  6. Save your calories for the dinner. Appetizers, munchies and finger foods are notoriously high in calories and unhealthy fat. Moreover, they’re not filling. Save your calories for the main course.
  7. Drink lots of water. Water boosts your metabolism and helps you feel full. And it’s definitely a much wiser choice than eggnog.
  8. Use a small plate. Studies show that if we use a small plate, we eat less. Moreover, wait 15 minutes before going back for seconds. It takes time to feel full.
  9. Talk! Instead of chowing down, take time to talk with your friends and family. By eating slower, you give your body time to digest and feel full – thereby lessening the likelihood of overeating.
  10. Have a few bites of dessert. If you have room, just take a few bites of the dessert options. It will satisfy your sweet tooth without overindulging. And if you’re full, take your dessert to go rather than cramming it down.
  11. Don’t feel guilty. Thanksgiving only comes once a year, and if you eat a lot – so be it. All of us occasionally indulge and it’s part of creating balance in your diet. Don’t feel guilty about it – because guilt often manifests itself as additional overeating.

Today, I’d like to share 6 more strategies that you can use.

  1. Smarten up your recipes. If you have any influence over the foods being prepared, it’s easy to make your dishes healthier but cutting the recommended quantities of ingredients like sugar or butter. You can also replace ingredients like butter with healthier substitutions – including avocados!
  2. Skip seconds. While you may feel inclined to load up a second plate of food, resist the urge. Instead, give yourself a good fifteen minutes to digest your first plate. You’ll probably discover that you’re already a lot fuller than you think.
  3. Load up on protein and fiber – before the meal. When eating breakfast or lunch before Thanksgiving dinner, opt for foods that are high in protein and fiber. Because fiber and protein digest slowly, it will take the edge off of your appetite.
  4. Minimize alcohol. Though consuming alcohol may help make family conversations more bearable, it’ll also load your meal up with empty calories. That is, most alcoholic beverages are high in calories but low in nutrients.
  5. Play football instead of watching it. While it’s tempting to sit on the couch and watch a football game (though, honestly, that doesn’t tempt me at all), it’ll be far healthier to engage in a family game of football in the backyard or a nearby park. It’ll burn off some of that pumpkin pie. If football isn’t your thing, try another activity – or just go on a walk.
  6. Focus on your family. Sometimes, a shift in perspective can make a big difference. Instead of thinking about Thanksgiving in terms of the food, shift the focus to friends and family. The main event isn’t the buffet; it’s spending time with the important people in your life.

The reality is, Thanksgiving is one of more than a thousand meals that you’ll consume this year. It’s not going to make or break any diet. But having said that, you can use the above tips not just on Thanksgiving – but each and every day to improve the way you look and feel.

P.S. If you want to upgrade your diet (and, in turn, your life), I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. Especially with the holidays coming, it’s a wise investment in the quality of your life.

Review: Gallon Of Water Per Day For A Month!


Well, this makes me thirsty…

A month ago, I came across an article describing a woman who drank a gallon of water per day. She lost weight, decrease her waistline by an inch and experienced remarkable improvements to her skin. The bags under her eyes disappeared and she looked ten years younger.

I was skeptical, but sometimes you need to try things for yourself.

And so I did.

As promised, I’ve been drinking a gallon of water per day for the past month. As many of you reminded me, too much water can be dangerous. But with Mayo Clinic recommendations of 13 cups of water for men (with more if you exercise) and nine for women, the 16 cups in a gallon of water should fall within the margin of safety. Of course, it’s always wise to check with your doctor.

Each morning, I filled up a gallon jug of water. Throughout the day, I used the jug to monitor my progress. Of course, eating in a restaurant made the science less exact – so, in some instances, I had to use my judgement and estimate. Nonetheless, I completed the challenge for the full month.

So, what’s the verdict?

First, I was surprised how easy it is to drink a gallon of water per day. It sounds and looks like a lot, but I’m pretty sure I drink almost a gallon on a daily basis even without the challenge. Truthfully, it probably only amounted to an extra few cups. And the only change that I noticed was having to get up once or twice during the night to pee.

All in all, I don’t look or feel any different.

Perhaps the woman in the article was severely dehydrated when she started the challenge. If that’s the case, it’s likely that the challenge did provide some pretty substantial benefits. But if you’re already fairly well hydrated like myself, you might not notice any changes.

Having said all of that, I really do like the idea of having a gallon jug of water to better track my hydration. Sometimes, sipping water isn’t a priority and the jug is a good reminder to drink up. For that reason, I may continue with the challenge when I’m home or when it makes sense.

Did you try the gallon of water per day challenge? Let me know how it went in the comments below!

Which Fats Are Good And Bad?

mens_fitness_18793A decade or two ago, low fat diets were popular. If you’re looking to drop body fat, cutting dietary fat would seem logical. But that’s not really how things work. Through science, we’ve come to realize that things are a bit more complex than that – and that we still have a lot to learn.

If you read the nutritional labels (and I hope you do!) of the foods you eat, you’ll notice that there’s total fat, saturated fat and trans fat. Here’s what they all mean.

  • Total fat: The cumulative fat content in a serving, displayed in grams and as a percentage of your recommended intake. Keep in mind these percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your actual caloric needs may be different. Total fat doesn’t seem to have an effect on health. Instead, it’s the type of fat consumed that has an impact.
  • Saturated fat: Until recently, nutritionists have warned against saturated fats because they raise the type of cholesterol that clogs your arteries. However, researchers have been unable to establish a correlation between saturated fat and the risk of heart attack or stroke. As such, saturated fats may actually be neutral. But that’s not a free pass to eat a pound of bacon.
  • Unsaturated fat: These are the heart-healthy fats found in fish, olive oil, etc., that appear to have a protective effect on your health. Of course, unsaturated fats are still calorie-dense – so continue to eat these fats according to recommendations.
  • Trans fat: These are the bad guys, and are most often found in processed foods. Trans fats simultaneously raise bad cholesterol while lowering good cholesterol. As such, the American Heart Association recommends minimizing trans fats in your diet by not exceeding more than 1% of your total caloric intake. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, that’s 2 grams of trans fat per day. You can find trans fats in many cakes, fries, doughnuts and baked goods. Though many manufacturers are moving away from trans fats, it’s important to check nutrition information.

The truth is, all of us need essential fats to survive; cutting all fat out of your diet would be a very bad thing. Instead, be mindful of the type of fat you eat – with an emphasis on heart-healthy unsaturated fats.

P.S. If you want to cut body fat, there’s no better way to do it than by downloading Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Program. Through a strategy called high intensity interval training, you’ll incinerate excess body fat while preserving muscle.

Is Milk Actually Good For You?

lady-drinking-milk-1We’ve always been taught to drink our milk. In fact, the USDA recommends that adult men and women should get three dairy servings per day. But are these guidelines outdated – or downright wrong?

A number of recent studies have shown that milk might not be so great, after all. Just a few weeks ago, a new study was published in the journal BMJ. Researchers set out to determine if high milk consumption is associated with mortality and fractures in men and women.

More than 100,000 Swedish adults were recruited for the study. Over the course of several decades, mortality rates and fractures were tracked. According to the data, researchers concluded that having three or more glasses of milk per day increased mortality rates for both men and women, and increased fractures in women.

So does drinking three glasses or more of milk really cause you to die earlier?

Researchers advise caution, and feel that more data is needed before making any conclusions. If this link proves to be true, researchers speculate that it could be due to an ominous ingredient in milk called D-galactose. In animal studies, this ingredient led to premature aging in the body and bones and internal inflammation, which can lead to health issues including cancer and heart disease. But all of that is a big ‘if’ at the moment.

Of course, we do know that milk does have some benefits – mainly, that it’s rich in calcium. But there are plenty of other calcium rich foods like kale, oranges, beans, green peas, chickpeas, quinoa and seeds.

Milk also contains a great deal of sugar in the form of lactose. One cup of milk contains 13 grams of naturally occurring sugar… or just over 3 teaspoons. It’s one of the reasons why I always opt for unsweetened almond milk. It’s creamier than milk, but without the sugar or extra calories. Regardless of whether or not these studies prove to be true, I highly recommend making the switch.

P.S. To look good and feel great through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. It comes with a free gift!

5 Tips For Healthier Burgers.



Mmmm. Burgers.

According to The Economist, the average American eats 3 burgers per week. That adds up to 40 billion burgers annually. The problem is, most burgers start with fatty cuts of meat and then go from bad to worse with unhealthy toppings.

By upgrading the nutritional value of our burgers, we can take a huge step in the direction of a healthier diet. Here are a few simple and delicious tips for getting more out of your burgers.

  1. Start with lean meat. While turkey can be leaner than beef, it really depends on the cut. The USDA defines ‘lean’ as meat containing less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams cooked serving. You can also opt for extra lean for further reductions. If beef is your choice, grass-fed provides nutritional benefits over conventional beef. To cut down on calories per serving, I like to sneak lots of veggies into my burgers. I’ll chop up an onion and a few cloves of garlic to add into the meat mixture. Alternatively, a marinated Portobello mushroom burger can also be perfection.
  2. Select a whole grain bun. A wheat bun isn’t the same thing as a whole wheat bun. Whole grains contain all parts of the grain kernel; they contain more protein, fiber and nutrients. Read the ingredients to ensure that the first item listed has the word ‘whole’ before it. You can even ditch the bun and sandwich your burger between to lettuce leafs.
  3. Opt for healthier condiments. Mayo, BBQ sauce and ketchup are tempting. But the first is loaded in unhealthy fats and the second and third contain huge amounts of sugar. In fact, ketchup is 25% sugar. The good news is that all of these condiments are replaceable. Use a thick slice of tomato instead of ketchup. Avocado is another great condiment upgrade.
  4. Load up on the good stuff. Don’t stop with tomato and avocado. I love adding microgreens to my burgers. Sun-dried tomatoes and olives are also nice. You could use salsa and cilantro. Or red onions and spinach. Sometimes, I even top my burgers with an egg. Yum!
  5. Grate the cheese. Cheese has some health benefits, but it’s calorie dense and often loaded with unhealthy fats. If you absolutely must include cheese on your burger, opt for grated cheese. By grating your cheese, you reduce the portion.

The good news is that burgers can be a part of any healthy diet. It’s just important to be mindful of the ingredients you select. And if you have any tips for building a better burger, share them in the comments below!

P.S. To look and feel great by changing the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. You’ll even get my five video ab workout series (A $59 value) as a free gift!