9 Ways a Simple Ice Cube Tray Can Help You Drop Pounds

That unassuming little ice cube tray that sits in your freezer isn’t just for water. It can actually be an effective tool to help you lose weight. Here’s how.

    Cookies: Anyone who’s ever baked a homemade batch of cookies knows it’s impossible to eat just one. So the next time you craft a batch, bake half and scoop the rest into ice cube trays. Then when your sweet tooth kicks in, pop out one and bake it to satisfy your craving without breaking the calorie bank.Juice: Freeze juice from fresh-squeezed lemons, limes, or oranges to add a touch of sweetness to water or seltzer ¡ª it’ll be much fewer calories than a full glass of juice or soda.Herbs: Whether you grow your own or buy them fresh at the store, stuff washed and chopped herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, and cilantro into each section and fill with veggie broth or water. Pop the frozen herb cubes out to add to soups, sauces, and whole grains for a flavor boost without a lot of calories.Smoothies: Make a huge portion of your favorite smoothie recipe when fruit is overripe or on sale. Fill an ice cube tray (or two) and freeze, then pop a bunch out to easily blend in a blender for a healthy and super quick low-calorie breakfast, snack, or dessert.

    Ice cubes with a boost: Instead of adding plain ice cubes to the blender for smoothies, throw in frozen cubes made of coconut water. It’s a great way to add potassium to your diet, which will help you rehydrate even more effectively. You can freeze soy or almond milk too.Fruit: Puree fruit such as strawberries, peaches, pineapple, or mango and freeze. Pop out a cube or two and stir into plain yogurt to make your own flavored yogurt ¡ª it contains fewer calories than store-bought brands that contain added sugar. You can also add the pureed fruit to oatmeal instead of brown sugar or thaw and pour on top of pancakes instead of high-calorie maple syrup.

    Veggies: Freeze pureed veggies such as peas, spinach, sweet potato, squash, and carrot to add extra fiber to soups, baked goods like these oatmeal cookies, mashed potatoes, dips, smoothies, cooked whole grains, pancake batter, and pasta dishes, or use as a sandwich spread. For a time and money saver, you can also buy greens like spinach and kale in bulk, and puree and freeze them for smoothies. Eating fiber fills you up so you eat less and it also keeps you feeling full longer so you’re not tempted to reach for high-calorie pick-me-ups.Quick snack maker: Each section of an ice cube tray is roughly an ounce. Use it to quickly measure out one-ounce portions of nuts or cheese, and then spoon them out into your own snack baggies to take to work or throw in your purse or gym bag. Leftover vino: No need to polish off the last few ounces in that bottle of wine so it doesn’t go to waste; you could end up drinking an extra 100 calories or more. Freeze it instead and you can use the frozen wine cubes in recipes later.

Remember, be sure to use BPA-free ice cube trays. These OXO Tot 2-pack baby food trays are meant for freezing homemade baby food, so you know they’re safe. Plus they have a cover that slides on securely so you can stack a few trays without worrying about the contents spilling or getting contaminated.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

9 Ways a Simple Ice Cube Tray Can Help You Drop Pounds

That unassuming little ice cube tray that sits in your freezer isn’t just for water. It can actually be an effective tool to help you lose weight. Here’s how.

    Cookies: Anyone who’s ever baked a homemade batch of cookies knows it’s impossible to eat just one. So the next time you craft a batch| bake half and scoop the rest into ice cube trays. Then when your sweet tooth kicks in| pop out one and bake it to satisfy your craving without breaking the calorie bank.Juice: Freeze juice from fresh-squeezed lemons| limes| or oranges to add a touch of sweetness to water or seltzer ¡ª it’ll be much fewer calories than a full glass of juice or soda.Herbs: Whether you grow your own or buy them fresh at the store| stuff washed and chopped herbs like basil| oregano| rosemary| and cilantro into each section and fill with veggie broth or water. Pop the frozen herb cubes out to add to soups| sauces| and whole grains for a flavor boost without a lot of calories.Smoothies: Make a huge portion of your favorite smoothie recipe when fruit is overripe or on sale. Fill an ice cube tray (or two) and freeze| then pop a bunch out to easily blend in a blender for a healthy and super quick low-calorie breakfast| snack| or dessert.

    Ice cubes with a boost: Instead of adding plain ice cubes to the blender for smoothies| throw in frozen cubes made of coconut water. It’s a great way to add potassium to your diet| which will help you rehydrate even more effectively. You can freeze soy or almond milk too.Fruit: Puree fruit such as strawberries| peaches| pineapple| or mango and freeze. Pop out a cube or two and stir into plain yogurt to make your own flavored yogurt ¡ª it contains fewer calories than store-bought brands that contain added sugar. You can also add the pureed fruit to oatmeal instead of brown sugar or thaw and pour on top of pancakes instead of high-calorie maple syrup.

    Veggies: Freeze pureed veggies such as peas| spinach| sweet potato| squash| and carrot to add extra fiber to soups| baked goods like these oatmeal cookies| mashed potatoes| dips| smoothies| cooked whole grains| pancake batter| and pasta dishes| or use as a sandwich spread. For a time and money saver| you can also buy greens like spinach and kale in bulk| and puree and freeze them for smoothies. Eating fiber fills you up so you eat less and it also keeps you feeling full longer so you’re not tempted to reach for high-calorie pick-me-ups.Quick snack maker: Each section of an ice cube tray is roughly an ounce. Use it to quickly measure out one-ounce portions of nuts or cheese| and then spoon them out into your own snack baggies to take to work or throw in your purse or gym bag. Leftover vino: No need to polish off the last few ounces in that bottle of wine so it doesn’t go to waste; you could end up drinking an extra 100 calories or more. Freeze it instead and you can use the frozen wine cubes in recipes later.

Remember| be sure to use BPA-free ice cube trays. These OXO Tot 2-pack baby food trays are meant for freezing homemade baby food| so you know they’re safe. Plus they have a cover that slides on securely so you can stack a few trays without worrying about the contents spilling or getting contaminated.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

Celebrate Hanukkah With 5 Healthy Latke Recipes

Celebrate Hanukkah With 5 Healthy Latke Recipes

Hanukkah is here, and that means latkes! Crispy on the outside, soft and hot on the inside, they’re traditionally made with shredded potatoes, but you don’t have to stop there. Here are five healthy twists on the basic latke recipe. Pair your potato pancakes with salsa or homemade fruit chutney for a satisfying appetizer, but be warned: they’re so irresistible, you might make an entire meal out of them.

| Zucchini Potato Latkes

Add a little green to your potato pancakes with this recipe for zucchini potato latkes. Savory and slightly more moist, they’re easy to whip up for Hanukkah or any time of the year.

| Sweet Potato and Carrot Latkes

Here’s a sweeter twist on the traditional latke. This version adds shredded sweet potato and carrot to the basic latke recipe for a vitamin-A-rich treat that kids and adults will love equally.

| Crispy Baked Zucchini and Sweet Potato Latkes

These potato latkes aren’t fried u2014 they’re baked u2014 perfect if you’re watching your fat intake. Made with vitamin-A-rich sweet potatoes and low-calorie shredded zucchini u2014 which adds extra fiber, potassium, and vitamin C u2014 these savory, crispy potato pancakes are low in calories at just 59 calories per latke.

| Crispy Carrot Rosemary Potato Latkes

Made with russet potatoes and organic carrots, these crispy latkes also have a hint of fresh rosemary. Served with apricot applesauce, each latke is about 60 calories.

| Curried Sweet Potato Latkes With Homemade Apple Pear Sauce

Add a little spice to the dinner table with these curried sweet potato latkes. Made strictly with sweet potatoes, these latkes are soft and sweet. Couple them with homemade apple pear sauce for a delicious way to celebrate the holiday. Two latkes and a serving of the warm, chunky fruit sauce will run you about 260 calories.

Celebrate Hanukkah With 5 Healthy Latke Recipes

Celebrate Hanukkah With 5 Healthy Latke Recipes

Hanukkah is here| and that means latkes! Crispy on the outside| soft and hot on the inside| they’re traditionally made with shredded potatoes| but you don’t have to stop there. Here are five healthy twists on the basic latke recipe. Pair your potato pancakes with salsa or homemade fruit chutney for a satisfying appetizer| but be warned: they’re so irresistible| you might make an entire meal out of them.

| Zucchini Potato Latkes

Add a little green to your potato pancakes with this recipe for zucchini potato latkes. Savory and slightly more moist| they’re easy to whip up for Hanukkah or any time of the year.

| Sweet Potato and Carrot Latkes

Here’s a sweeter twist on the traditional latke. This version adds shredded sweet potato and carrot to the basic latke recipe for a vitamin-A-rich treat that kids and adults will love equally.

| Crispy Baked Zucchini and Sweet Potato Latkes

These potato latkes aren’t fried u2014 they’re baked u2014 perfect if you’re watching your fat intake. Made with vitamin-A-rich sweet potatoes and low-calorie shredded zucchini u2014 which adds extra fiber| potassium| and vitamin C u2014 these savory| crispy potato pancakes are low in calories at just 59 calories per latke.

| Crispy Carrot Rosemary Potato Latkes

Made with russet potatoes and organic carrots| these crispy latkes also have a hint of fresh rosemary. Served with apricot applesauce| each latke is about 60 calories.

| Curried Sweet Potato Latkes With Homemade Apple Pear Sauce

Add a little spice to the dinner table with these curried sweet potato latkes. Made strictly with sweet potatoes| these latkes are soft and sweet. Couple them with homemade apple pear sauce for a delicious way to celebrate the holiday. Two latkes and a serving of the warm| chunky fruit sauce will run you about 260 calories.

4 Poses, 4 Minutes, and Your Hips and Back Will Thank You

If you have the ever-popular office job that involves sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, it can wreak havoc on your precious body, creating tight hips and lower back pain. Many stretches for your hips also stretch out your lower back, so these poses are like two for the price of one. It will only take about four minutes, but that’s all you’ll need to ease tension.

Butterfly

Sit on the floor, bend both knees, and bring your feet together. Using your hands, open your feet up like a book, pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch, extend your arms out in front of you.Stay here for five breaths (about 30 seconds).Half Happy Baby

Lie flat on your back. Bend the left knee and hold onto the outside edge of your flexed foot with your left hand. Keep your left arm on the outside of your leg.Gently use your upper body strength to press the left knee to the floor below your armpit. Try not to tense your shoulder or chest, but keep everything relaxed. Stay like this for five deep breaths, and then switch legs.Then do both legs together for another five breaths. Pigeon

Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you. If your hips are flexible, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling, draw your right foot back in toward your body.Rest your hands on your hips or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.Hold here for five breaths, and then repeat Pigeon on the left side.Double Pigeon

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your knee, shin, and foot on the floor so they’re parallel with your pelvis. Bend your left knee and place it on top so your knees, shins, and ankles are stacked. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you gaze down and see that your legs make a little triangle.To make this pose more intense, place your hands in front of your shins and walk them out as far as you can, folding your chest toward your legs.Stay here for five breaths, slowly release, and then switch legs so your right knee is on top.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson

4 Poses, 4 Minutes, and Your Hips and Back Will Thank You

If you have the ever-popular office job that involves sitting at a desk for eight hours a day| it can wreak havoc on your precious body| creating tight hips and lower back pain. Many stretches for your hips also stretch out your lower back| so these poses are like two for the price of one. It will only take about four minutes| but that’s all you’ll need to ease tension.

Butterfly

Sit on the floor| bend both knees| and bring your feet together. Using your hands| open your feet up like a book| pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch| extend your arms out in front of you.Stay here for five breaths (about 30 seconds).Half Happy Baby

Lie flat on your back. Bend the left knee and hold onto the outside edge of your flexed foot with your left hand. Keep your left arm on the outside of your leg.Gently use your upper body strength to press the left knee to the floor below your armpit. Try not to tense your shoulder or chest| but keep everything relaxed. Stay like this for five deep breaths| and then switch legs.Then do both legs together for another five breaths. Pigeon

Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you. If your hips are flexible| inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling| draw your right foot back in toward your body.Rest your hands on your hips or walk your hands out in front of you| allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.Hold here for five breaths| and then repeat Pigeon on the left side.Double Pigeon

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your knee| shin| and foot on the floor so they’re parallel with your pelvis. Bend your left knee and place it on top so your knees| shins| and ankles are stacked. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you gaze down and see that your legs make a little triangle.To make this pose more intense| place your hands in front of your shins and walk them out as far as you can| folding your chest toward your legs.Stay here for five breaths| slowly release| and then switch legs so your right knee is on top.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson

Amy Schumer’s Response to Her Nude Pirelli Calendar Shoot Is Yet Another Reason We Love Her

Oh, Amy Schumer, we love you because you are real, just like us. This photo of you posing half-naked in your lacy undies and heels with coffee cup in hand for the 2016 Pirelli calendar is awesome on its own, but you went ahead and amplified its awesomeness with this caption on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds:

“Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman. Thank you Annie Leibovitz!”

This is what beauty is. Amy’s bravery and confidence are what make her stunningly gorgeous. And sexy! Damn! This photo reminds us that this is what real women look like, not the photoshopped ones we constantly see in magazines. The world needs to see more photos like these because ¡ª and this might blow society’s mind ¡ª women have belly rolls and cellulite and stretch marks. And the more we expose this real side of women’s bodies, the more women will love their bodies. So thank you, Amy, for openly loving your normal and beautiful body ¡ª you’re inspiring more women than you know. And her facial expression is just the cherry on top. She’s like, “Yeah, I’m hot. I know it. And now you know it too. Now shut up and let me drink my coffee in peace.”

Related: April Will Be Your Favorite Month After Seeing Serena Williams’s Bare and Beautiful Calendar Shoot

Image Source: Pirelli / Annie Leibovitz

Amy Schumer’s Response to Her Nude Pirelli Calendar Shoot Is Yet Another Reason We Love Her

Oh| Amy Schumer| we love you because you are real| just like us. This photo of you posing half-naked in your lacy undies and heels with coffee cup in hand for the 2016 Pirelli calendar is awesome on its own| but you went ahead and amplified its awesomeness with this caption on your Facebook| Twitter| and Instagram feeds:

“Beautiful| gross| strong| thin| fat| pretty| ugly| sexy| disgusting| flawless| woman. Thank you Annie Leibovitz!”

This is what beauty is. Amy’s bravery and confidence are what make her stunningly gorgeous. And sexy! Damn! This photo reminds us that this is what real women look like| not the photoshopped ones we constantly see in magazines. The world needs to see more photos like these because ¡ª and this might blow society’s mind ¡ª women have belly rolls and cellulite and stretch marks. And the more we expose this real side of women’s bodies| the more women will love their bodies. So thank you| Amy| for openly loving your normal and beautiful body ¡ª you’re inspiring more women than you know. And her facial expression is just the cherry on top. She’s like| “Yeah| I’m hot. I know it. And now you know it too. Now shut up and let me drink my coffee in peace.”

Related: April Will Be Your Favorite Month After Seeing Serena Williams’s Bare and Beautiful Calendar Shoot

Image Source: Pirelli / Annie Leibovitz

Make Your Morning Even Better With These Healthy Pancake Recipes

Make Your Morning Even Better With These Healthy Pancake Recipes

Go ahead and serve yourself a stack! These healthy pancake recipes offer fewer calories and less fat than buttermilk flapjacks| with a healthy dose of protein| fiber| and other nutrients. Power up your metabolism| regulate your blood sugar| and satisfy your cravings for a sweet and decadent brunch with one of these tasty twists on the traditional pancakes.

| Quinoa Pancakes

If you’re not sure what to do with leftover quinoa| whip up a batch of fluffy pancakes this weekend. This creative twist on the breakfast classic offers more folate| protein| and fiber than traditional recipes.

| Wheat-Free Pancakes

If gluten is off-limits for you| whip up a batch of these wheat-free pancakes made with almond flour and flaxseed. They’re high in protein and fiber but low in sugar.

| Apple Ring Oatmeal Pancakes

Slice fresh apples u2014 any variety will work u2014 and dip them in oatmeal pancake batter to make these apple ring pancakes. We’re talking more fruit| more fiber| and fewer calories. They’re so sweet that no syrup is needed!

| Banana Sweet Potato Pancakes With Honey Nut Yogurt

Roasted sweet potatoes mixed into the batter not only add a warm| autumnal orange hue| but also increase the fiber and offer a soft moistness you’ll love. Top it off with Greek yogurt sauce to cut down on sugar while upping the protein| and this veggie-filled breakfast will fill you up and keep your energy high all morning long.

| High-Protein Pancakes With Banana Cream Sauce

While Greek yogurt| eggs| and protein smoothies are excellent high-protein breakfast ideas| here’s a scrumptious meal that’ll offer over twice the amount of protein u2014 almost 30 grams per 378-calorie serving!

| Strawberry Protein Pancakes With Strawberry Cream Sauce

It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to make a sweet pink heart-shaped breakfast. Aside from being low in calories u2014 under 260 u2014 these adorable heart-shaped flapjacks are made with protein powder. The pancakes are also topped with a Greek yogurt sauce| so the protein punch (almost 20 grams) will keep you energized for a butt-kicking workout later.

| Blueberry Banana u2014 and Spinach! u2014 Pancakes With Sweet Cream Sauce

If you’re into throwing greens into your fruit smoothie| then you’ll love this recipe that adds spinach to your pancakes. Although the greens add a slightly teal earthy hue| they also add fiber| calcium| iron| vitamin A| vitamin K| and folate.

| Whole Wheat Mixed Berry Pancakes With Maple Cinnamon Yogurt

Save calories by topping these mixed berry pancakes with maple cinnamon Greek yogurt.

| Protein Coconut Flour Berry Pancakes

These protein coconut flour berry pancakes are naturally sweet and satisfying.

| Lemon Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes

Made with the goodness of quinoa| Greek yogurt| and egg whites| this scrumptious recipe is one to check out.

| Whole Wheat Vanilla Strawberry Pancakes

Made with whole wheat flour and nonfat milk| these vanilla strawberry pancakes are delicious| moist| and fluffy!

| Pumpkin Pancakes

Fall flavors never tasted so good! This recipe for pumpkin pancakes is hearty and healthy| not to mention tasty!

| Basic Yet Brilliant Vegan Pancakes

We take the milk and eggs out of this recipe| but these vegan pancakes still stack up against a batch of buttermilk ones.

| Banana Almond Oatmeal Pancakes

Here’s a whole wheat pancake recipe that includes hearty and fiber-rich oats and fresh bananas.

| Whole Wheat Cinnamon Pancakes

Skip the all-purpose flour and go with this whole wheat pancake recipe. It’s made with cinnamon for flavor and because it can temper the blood-sugar surge that follows a sweet treat.

This Treadmill Workout Will Probably Be the Most Intense 30 Minutes of Your Day

It didn’t take much convincing to see why Sandra Bullock, Amanda Seyfried, and Kim Kardashian all flock to Barry’s Bootcamp ¡ª 15 minutes into my first class, I was in love. The hourlong mix of high-intensity treadmill intervals and circuit training left me a sweaty mess, and I was already planning my next class on the way out of my first.

While nothing beats the full 60-minute class, the running segments are a workout on their own. For days when strength training isn’t in the mix, we have a 30-minute treadmill workout from Barry’s Bootcamp trainer Alycia Stevenin to give you a taste of what the class is like. You’ll move through sections of intervals, hill work, and sprints, which will challenge both your endurance and speed. While the workout is meant to be done as a whole, you can easily pull out any section and repeat it four to five times if you’d prefer to focus on a specific area.

Ready to do this at the gym? Take our printable workout with you!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography