Things I Learned From Sabotaging My Whole30 Plan (and Why I’ll Try It Again)

I tried and failed to complete the Whole30 challenge ¡ª but it’s OK| because the experience has set me up to succeed on my next try. When I received the Whole30 cookbook ($18) in the mail| I was intrigued and inspired to turn my health around with this diet plan of no grains| legumes| sugar| or alcohol. “Paleo on crack|” is what some people even call it. And I stuck to it fervently until day 18. That’s the day I effed it all up and had a glass of Champagne . . . followed by a loaf of bread. And just as the book predicted| once a cheater| always a cheater. The next day I put cream in my coffee. So what did I learn| and why will I try this crazy diet again? Take a look so you can avoid the same mistakes.

Image Source: Walt Disney Studios

Your cravings are temporary. Your pride is forever.

The book claims that your food cravings only last a matter of minutes ¡ª which I found to be true. They even warn you that after several weeks of not consuming alcohol and sugar| you’ll start to see it everywhere| also true. By day 18| I acted like a partially rabid animal around the sight of sugar and Champagne (my favorite beverage of choice). But as soon as I took a sip of the good stuff| it didn’t make me feel good! Why? Because I had broken the agreement I had made to myself of sticking to this diet for 30 days. The thrill of “sinning” didn’t outweigh the shame. OK| I get it now ¡ª submitting to my cravings doesn’t taste as good as “tiger blood” (how you supposedly feel the second half of the program).

Image Source: Comedy Central

Sugar and alcohol are the worst things ever.

Part of the Whole30’s purpose is to discover which foods send your health in a downward spiral (make you bloated| exhausted| break out| etc). Even though I only got through day 18| I discovered alcohol and sugar are my worst enemies. One beer or one chocolate chip cookie is enough to give me a raging headache. As much as I hate to admit it| I have to limit myself on these beloved treats| and I’m appreciative that this diet helped me see that dairy/gluten/legumes aren’t the big dietary issues for me.

Image Source: Walt Disney Studios

If you didn’t make it yourself| chances are it has sugar (or alcohol) (or gluten) (or everything noncompliant).

The book tries to set you up for success when dining out. The problem is| this diet is complicated. I tried to explain to waiters| “It’s gluten-free| sugar-free| alcohol-free ¡ª ghee| but no dairy.” Their eyes glazed after I told them| “No| this isn’t an allergy-related diet.” And you know what? After the exhausting back-and-forth| I’d still end up with a burger with [sugared] pickles or a salad with [sugared] dressing. There’s no avoiding it unless you buy from sources that are Paleo. But even Paleo has different rules| and you may end up with something coated in coconut sugar. It’s exhausting. So| I’m determined to cook 100 percent of my meals next time during a month in which I can commit to eating at home.

Image Source: Little Stranger Films

Get the support of your friends and family.

I tried to do this thing solo ¡ª bad mistake| as most of my family members and friends were enablers| taunting me to cheat on my plan. Even though the Whole30 talks about its supportive forum| nothing beats having a friend| significant other| or family member on board with you. So the next time I try this thing out| I’m enlisting the support of a buddy!

But enough about the fact I only made it to Whole17 1/2. I’m going to try this challenge again and complete it| because I learned so much already from this experience. I did drop a jeans size and five pounds (in addition to sticking to a workout regime)| so the diet does help shed excess weight. I got a glimmer of “tiger blood” as my workouts were way| way stronger| my hips and back pain miraculously stopped| and my menstrual cramps became nonexistent. I also felt like I was much more productive and focused at work| especially since midmeal hunger didn’t send me scrounging around for snacks. There’s too much good stuff to deny that the Whole30 does make a difference. Therefore| I’m telling you all now| world. I’m trying the Whole30 again in Februrary| and I’m sticking to it.

10 Ingenious Kitchen Hacks That Help Make Life Healthier

10 Ingenious Kitchen Hacks That Help Make Life Healthier

Making your kitchen a healthy haven should not feel like a constant struggle. Whether you’re constantly chopping| tossing leftover produce| or talking yourself out of enjoying your favorite foods| check all the time-saving| food-optimizing hacks we swear by.

u2014 Additional reporting by Jenny Sugar and Michele Foley

| DIY Smoothie Packs

If you’re not prepared| making a smoothie can turn into a 15-minute production! These DIY smoothie packs are the perfect solution to this predicament. Prep all the fruits and greens you use in your smoothies| and freeze individual serving sizes in quart-sized freezer bags (glass mason jars work well too). Note any additional ingredients that need to be added to the blender| and your smoothie is as good as done.

| Sub in Avocado

Rich and decadent dishes get a lightened-up makeover from one amazing ingredient: avocado. Aside from adding a creamy consistency to dishes| avocado can up the fiber content and heart-healthy fats in your favorite recipes. The next time you’re making a dish that calls for milk| butter| cream| or cheese| you’ll want to take a look at our avocado-substitution guide to see how easy it is to replace those ingredients with the green goodness of this fruit.

| Divide Your Salad

Buying in bulk saves money| but how frustrating is it when a funky aroma and wilted greens greet you from the crisper drawer? Try this trick: divide your big container of greens into two to four smaller plastic bags. Place your fist over the opening| blowing through your hand and into the bag to fill it with air (carbon dioxide). Then seal the bag by twisting the top a few times before closing it firmly with a twist tie. Place it in the fridge| and your greens are good to go.

| Skip the Pasta u2014 Bring in the Veggies

Swapping out noodles for veggies is all the rage for good reason. It’s an easy technique to cut carbs and bring more nutrition to your plate. Check out these veggie noodle recipes to see how to make best use of your spaghetti squash| zucchini| and more.

| Pack (Crisp) Salads For a Full Week

Don’t have time to cut up a salad every single night? There’s a way to make all the salads you need for your workweek at once. Whether you prefer plastic containers or mason jars| here are the directions you need to know. Once you read through these| you’ll never have to deal with a mushy salad again.

| Bring Beans to Dessert

Considering beans’ fiber| protein| and iron content| everyone should include more legumes in their diet. If you’re having trouble stomaching a bowl of beans| you can still reap the healthy benefits without your taste buds even realizing it. There are tons of bean-loaded dessert recipes to appeal to your sweet tooth.

| Freeze Your Greens

Tired of tossing greens week after week? This ice-cube hack will help you out. Pick up some BPA-free ice cube trays or baby food trays| and buy a variety of greens. You can puree them separately in a food processor or blender or puree them together| adding a little water to yield a smooth consistency. Pour the puree into the little wells| attach the lids| and freeze them. Once the cubes are frozen| you can leave them in the trays or pop them out into gallon-sized freezer bags. When you’re ready to make your smoothie| just grab a few| and throw them in your blender u2014 it’s a great time saver.

You can also use ice trays to store herbs and sauces| too.

| Go Greek

Skip oil| butter| and heavy cream| and bump up levels of calcium| protein| and probiotics by using Greek yogurt. It can easily sub in for mayo| sour cream| or heavy milk in your favorite recipes.

| Store For Freshness

Just tossing your produce is the fridge won’t make it last. Check out a simple chart that lays out where to store your most common produce| whether at room temperature| on a refrigerator shelf| or in the crisper (the coldest fridge drawer). Print out this PDF from POPSUGAR Food| and post it on your fridge for reference.

| Bake With Applesauce

Applesauce works as a substitute for both eggs and butter. The ratio of applesauce to butter is one to one: if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter| simply sub in 1/2 cup of applesauce. For every large egg a recipe requires| toss 1/4 cup of applesauce in its place. Try out this banana apple chunk bread in which the applesauce complements the other fruity flavors while keeping each bite dreamy and moist.

32 Vegan Lunches You Can Take to Work

32 Vegan Lunches You Can Take to Work

Whether you follow the “”vegan before 6 p.m.”” routine| you’re taking a Beyoncu00e9-like vegan challenge| or you’re animal free through and through| it seems like more and more of us have tried a vegan diet. While going vegan may take a bit more thought and effort than an unrestricted diet| with a little preplanning u2014 like checking ingredients in store-bought breads and stocking up on vegan pantry essentials u2014 you can still enjoy delicious| exciting meals no matter what time of day. To start your workweek| we’ve found 32 tasty and creative vegan lunches that are perfect for brown-bagging to work. Click through for the recipes!

| Veggie Sandwich

Nothing is as satisfying as a perfectly prepared veggie sandwich. This basic hummus veggie sandwich recipe will be a brown-bag favorite.

| Tabbouleh Quinoa Salad

Need a refreshing midday break? This tabbouleh-inspired quinoa and tomato cucumber salad won’t weigh you down.

| Sweet Potato Mason Jar Salad

Mason jar salads are perfect for lunch; they keep well and stay fresh| even when you pack them all at once for the week. This sweet potato mason jar salad is full of flavor and protein.

Related: How to Pack Salads on Sunday Night So They’re Fresh All Week

| Mexican Tempeh Quinoa Salad

Spice up your quinoa salad routine with a Mexican tempeh quinoa salad. At only 350 calories and 17 grams of protein| this filling vegan salad is a winner.

| Sweet Potato Quinoa Patty

After frying up these spicy sweet potato quinoa burger patties| store them in an airtight container in your fridge; you can use the patties as protein-packed toppings for a salad or make a deliciously satisfying burger that will be the envy of your co-workers.

| Vegan Chickpea Soup

You’re in luck: this addictive| creamy vegan chickpea soup comes together with staples you probably already have in your kitchen and tastes even better the next day once flavors have had time to meld.

| Pea Soup

Make a hearty split pea soup sans the ham using this vegan split pea soup recipe| or go for a raw cold pea soup that you can whip up in your blender. Either way| both are better options than bringing a sodium-laden can of soup to work!

| Spicy Sweet Potato Salad

This How to Make Sweet Potato Chips

| Butternut Squash Lentil Soup

If you’ve got a slow cooker| making this vegan butternut squash lentil soup will be a breeze. This recipe makes eight servings| so you can make enough for dinner| lunch| and then some.

| Vegan “”Chicken”” Salad

If you’re in need of a filling| creative vegan lunch that comes together fast| it doesn’t get any better than this mayo-less vegan chickpea and avocado salad.

| Vegan Pasta Salad

Even if a barbecue isn’t in your near future| you’ll want to whip up a batch of this 15 Healthy Vegan Dinner Recipes You Should Add to Your Rotation

| Cold Soba Salad With Ginger Peanut Dressing

You’ll want to make a big batch of this soba noodle salad with ginger peanut dressing for dinner; the leftovers will make an even tastier lunch! Creamy| tangy| and with a kick| this will become one of your favorite vegan lunch options.

| Cumin-Spiced Lentil and Quinoa Stew

Give your regular quinoa salad routine a spicy makeover with this Vegan Cookie Dough Fudge Made With Lentils

| Colorful Cabbage Salad

An avocado-topped colorful veggie salad will be something to look forward to when it’s time for lunch. This detox cabbage and carrot salad comes with a tangy tahini dressing that will satisfy taste buds.

| Cauliflower “”Rice”” Stir-Fry

Don’t become victim to that late-afternoon| post-takeout slump. This paleo-friendly cauliflower “”rice”” stir-fry recipe satisfies your greasiest cravings with fresh produce atop “”rice”” made from cauliflower.

| Asparagus Quinoa Salad

There are a million ways to make a quinoa salad| but this asparagus chard quinoa salad recipe shines with the use of fresh| detoxifying produce and a light vinaigrette. Filling| but not too heavy u2014 perfect for your next office lunch.

| Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

If you’re going low carb and vegan| this Cook a Whole Spaghetti Squash in a Crockpot

| Vegan Chickpea Curry

Change up your midday meal with a light curry that you can make (and eat) the night before. This zucchini chickpea tomato curry recipe will have you excited for leftovers for lunch.

| Vegan Mac and Cheese

If you’re craving a cheesy American classic (without the dairy| of course)| try this vegan mac and cheese. Nutritional yeast and Earth Balance butter make this vegan version a still-delicious take on meals from yesteryear.

| Avocado Pasta

Whether it’s last night’s leftovers or a quick batch you throw together the night before| this creamy avocado pasta will be the perfect vegan meal come midday.

| Chickpea and Hijiki Salad Sandwich

Reminiscent of tuna salad| this vegan chickpea and hijiki salad sandwich from Vegan With a Vengeance contains chickpeas mashed with carrots| apple cider vinegar| vegan mayo| and other tuna salad staples. If you can’t find hijiki| try using another type of seaweed instead.

| Vegan Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are another veggie-filled meal that is supereasy to make. Nutritious fresh vegetables like carrots| cucumbers| and lettuce are the stars| so grab your rice paper and check out 5 High-Protein| Vegan-Friendly Breakfasts

| Vegan Banh Mi

The lemongrass| soy sauce| and garlic-marinated tofu in this Vietnamese sandwich are so flavorful that you won’t miss the meat.

| Asian Sesame Buckwheat Salad

If you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet| buckwheat groats are an ideal addition to your lunch rotation. This vegan buckwheat salad recipe includes tempeh bacon and an Asian sesame dressing for even more flavor.

| Edamame Patu00e9 California Rolls

Have some fun with your lunch with these edamame patu00e9 California rolls. Once you get a hang of rolling| making sushi is a cinch| and a few of these rolls served alongside a salad will keep you full and full of energy.

| Thai Curry Burrito

This recipe has it all u2014 Thai green curry flavors| appetite-suppressing chickpeas| and a dollop of soy yogurt| all wrapped up in an easy-to-eat burrito package. Get the Vegan Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito

| Egg(less) Salad

In curry quinoa burgers for dinner and save a patty for the next day’s lunch.

| Garlic Toast With Mashed Avocado and Salsa Verde Spread

In this recipe| toasted bread rubbed with garlic gets topped with a creamy and subtly spicy mix of avocado (smashed with oil and salt) and ready-made salsa verde.

| Vegan Caesar Salad

No eggs or anchovies here! Instead| this vegan Caesar salad dressing uses flaxseeds| walnuts| dijon mustard| and fresh lemon juice.

| Tahini Salad

Can’t get enough of chickpeas? This hearty vegan tahini salad will keep you full and energized for the rest of the workday.

| Millet Lentil Tomato Salad

When it comes to your grain choice| if you’re in the mood for something a little different| try The Gluten-Free Grain You Should Be Eating

Reach For This Green Smoothie When Dessert Cravings Hit ¡ª?It’s That Good

A dessert craving hits| but you’re trying so incredibly hard to cut back on refined carbs and sugar. And while the occasional cupcake or ice cream cone is good for the soul| it’s probably better for the body to not make dessert a three-times-a-day habit. For those times a sweet treat is needed| bust out your blender for this green smoothie. Don’t be decieved by its uber-healthy hue ¡ª this simple green smoothie tastes just like a gooey caramel apple| but is packed with good-for-you nutrients like iron| potassium| and fiber.

Caramel Apple Smoothie

From Simple Green Smoothies

Caramel Apple Smoothie

Healthy Caramel Apple Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups fresh spinach2 cups almond milk| unsweetened1 Granny Smith apple| cored1 banana4 medjool dates| pitted1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lose Weight With These 32 Lunches Under 400 Calories

Lose Weight With These 32 Lunches Under 400 Calories

When you’re looking for a light and healthy lunch| it’s important to take calorie counts into consideration| but you want the right mix of fresh ingredients that will keep you feeling full and satisfied. If you’re in need of some homemade inspiration| look no further than these 32 healthy| filling| and delicious lunches| all 400 calories or fewer.

| Sweet Potato| Chickpea| and Quinoa Burger

This sweet potato| chickpea| and quinoa veggie burger is perfectly spiced and completely satisfying. At 202 calories per patty| you can add a 120-calorie whole-wheat bun and lettuce| tomato| and ketchup (34 calories) and still come in at well under 500 calories. Make multiple patties in advance to enjoy as a sandwich or on top of greens for the week.

Calories (with bun and fixings): 356

| Summer Veggie Black Bean Salad

This fresh and produce-packed Summer salad needs to make its way into your dinnertime rotation. It’s a vegetarian-friendly recipe high in fiber and protein to help you feel full once the meal is done. Mix up a big batch the night before| and let all the flavors meld overnight for best results.

Calories: 274

| Veggie and Hummus Sandwich

If you’re tired of a vegan-friendly sandwich that doesn’t satisfy| prepare to build the best veggie sandwich ever. Hummus and avocado provide the fiber and protein you need to stay fueled| and layers of tasty veggies offer crunch| flavor| and important nutrients your body needs.

Calories: 336

| Spicy Chicken Chili

Substituting ground chicken for beef in this spicy chili recipe brings the same traditional flavors and textures of the classic you crave u2014 just lightened up for your healthy diet. Make a pot on Sunday night| and pack up a hearty serving for lunch.

Calories: 324

| Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

If you’re always left wanting something else after chowing down on a standard Greek salad| this Mediterranean quinoa salad is the answer to your olive- and feta-filled prayers. The addition of this complex carb fills you up with even more fiber!

Calories: 397

| Vegan Bean Salad

After a hard midday workout| this vegan bean salad is the perfect| protein-packed refreshing meal. It has more than 13 grams of fiber and nearly 17 grams of protein to fill you up and help your muscles recover.

Calories: 349

| Rainbow Quinoa Salad

This beautiful veggie-packed quinoa salad is under 350 calories| offering 13 grams of protein and seven grams of fiber. Any vegetarians or vegans looking for a protein-rich recipe to support weight loss will fall hard for this salad.

Calories: 331

| Santa Fe Vegetable Soup

This Paleo-friendly vegetable soup simmers nicely in your slow cooker overnight for lunch the next day. While this recipe uses shredded chicken and chicken stock| you can substitute them with more beans and vegetable stock for a vegetarian dish that still packs in the protein you need to fight fat.

Calories: 321

| Thai Citrus Chicken Salad

The combination of cabbage| carrot| and daikon in this citrus chicken salad is an antioxidant-rich trifecta! This recipe supports your digestive system and keeps your body hydrated. It’s also high in protein and low in fat| carbs| and calories. In short| it’s everything you’re looking for in a filling salad.

Calories (including one serving of dressing): 223

| Healthy Chicken Salad

Traditional chicken salad clocks in at 500 calories| but this healthy chicken salad is 139 calories per serving. The secret? A simple swap of Greek yogurt for mayo. Serve with one or two slices of bread (like wheat bread| 220 calories for two slices).

Calories (with two slices of wheat bread): 359

| Chinese Chicken Salad

Colorful| crispy| and packed with nutrition| this Asian chicken salad will satisfy your cravings for the fried restaurant alternatives. With nearly 20 grams of protein and clocking in at just over 230 calories per filling portion| it’s a much healthier alternative you’ll enjoy just as much.

Calories: 230

| Cauliflower Crust Pizza

This veggie-powered cauliflower pizza crust proves that you don’t need flour to make an amazing pizza. Freshly grated cauliflower serves as the base for the creative and delicious crust that you can fold up just like traditional pizza. Cook it up the night before| and enjoy leftovers reheated the next day.

Calories: 272

| Flat-Belly Salad

Made with fiber-rich bibb lettuce| this flat-belly salad gets an extra boost from every ingredient tossed into the mix. From the monounsaturated fats from the avocado and almonds to the chia seeds in the dressing| every tasty ingredient in this satisfying vegan salad helps fight belly bloat and supports healthy weight loss.

Calories: 340

| Goop’s Mustard Lentils

Naturally gluten-free and full of fiber| these tiny legumes are a healthy pantry staple you should always have on hand u2014 and they’re absolutely delicious in this lentil salad from Goop. Tangy and clean| this recipe makes for a light yet filling recipe and even better leftovers; the longer this salad sits in the fridge| the better it tastes.

Calories: 253

| Burrito Bowl

Move over| Chipotle. This healthy burrito bowl recipe is half the calories and easy to make (the secret is precooked chicken breast). In under 10 minutes| you’ll have a fresh lunch that hits all your Mexican takeout cravings. Plenty of protein plus a dollop of Greek yogurt keep bloat at bay.

Calories: 350

| Tomato Lentil Soup

Make a bulked-up twist on classic tomato soup. This tomato lentil soup makes for a satisfying meal with more than 14 grams of protein per serving.

Calories: 260

| Watermelon-Bowl Salad

Could anything be more refreshing than serving up a tasty salad in its very own watermelon bowl? Highly doubtful. This vegan-friendly recipe is packed with tons of fresh produce and plenty of protein to fill you up.

Calories: 311

| Raw Gorilla Wraps

Give your cold-cut sandwich routine a rest and opt for this creative lunch instead. These fresh| raw| and fast wraps feature a unique filling: ground walnuts| seasoned with tamari (a Japanese soy sauce that contains little to no wheat)| cumin| and other spices and topped with your favorite salsa.

Calories (per wrap): 275

| Broccoli Slaw Salad

Instead of fatty coleslaw| mix up this lightened-up broccoli slaw salad recipe instead. Served with lean protein like grilled chicken breast| it makes for a low-calorie| filling comfort meal.

Calories: 313

| Cheddar Soup

A hearty bowl of creamy cheddar soup can soothe the soul| but it’s not always so great for the waist. This healthy cheddar soup recipe keeps the texture you crave but nixes calories by using cauliflower to create a creamy soup base.

Calories: 247

| Hemp and Cabbage Detox Salad

If you’re on the hunt for a quick and tasty detoxifying recipe| this crunchy cabbage and hemp salad is for you. If you haven’t had them yet| it’s time to give hemp seeds a try. They’re a great source of omega-3s and vitamin E for vegans and vegetarians| and the combination of the cold-pressed oil and seeds in this recipe gives this fresh salad a nutty flavor you’ll love.

Calories: 381

| Lemon Tuna Salad

Substituting lemon and olive oil for mayonnaise makes for a lighter| brighter tuna salad that’s perfectly in line with the Mediterranean diet. Tuck yours into a pita| or serve it on top of a bed of fresh greens.

Calories: 323

| Cucumber Caprese Salad

Another riff on the classic caprese comes in the form of this hydrating and refreshing cucumber caprese salad that might turn into your new go-to recipe. Higher in protein| fiber| and anti-inflammatory omega-3s| this delicious salad aligns with your healthy goals.

Calories: 253

| Tortilla-Less Soup

A spicy low-carb “”tortilla”” soup that’s ready in 20 minutes? Sign us up. Since there are so many flavors in this comforting Mexican soup recipe| you won’t even miss the high-calorie| high-carb strips of tortilla.

Calories: 194

| Raw Veggie Salad

High in fiber| vitamin C| and vitamin A| this raw rainbow salad adds color and flavor to any meal. The water content in romaine works to hydrate your body| while the high fiber content in the red cabbage and carrots aids in healthy digestion| making it a great addition to any long-term weight-loss or shorter detox plan. Add avocado| quinoa| or lean protein to bulk up this salad for a satisfying lunch.

Calories (with dressing| including a quarter of an avocado): 275

| Zucchini Lasagna

You’ll crave this low-carb zucchini lasagna all year long! Thin layers of sliced Summer squash are the perfect alternative for lasagna noodles| while the ricotta mix and amped-up sauce offer the protein your body needs to fuel up and stay satisfied.

Calories: 344

| Blueberry| Quinoa| and Kale Salad

This colorful salad has a bit of everything: blueberries| carrots| tomatoes| almonds| nori| kale| and quinoa| all blended with an Asian-inspired soy-ginger dressing. Talk about eating the rainbow!

Calories: 377

| Sweet and Sour Chicken

Save money and hundreds of calories by opting for a lightened-up version of Chinese takeout. This sweet and sour chicken recipe is light on calories and fat.

Calories: 348

| Toasted Quinoa and Cabbage

If you need a break from a weekend of heavy foods| then make this digestion-aiding lemony toasted quinoa and wilted cabbage dish.

Calories: 348

| Spicy-Sweet Potato Salad

High-fiber sweet potatoes in this spicy salad recipe can regulate blood sugar and help you lose weight| while a spicy| antioxidant-rich red pepper and jalapeu00f1o dressing ties everything together.

Calories: 270

| Chickpea Curry

When you’re craving Indian food| cook up this nutrient-dense chickpea and sweet potato curry instead of picking up takeout that’s loaded with cream and butter. This vegan recipe is rich in protein| fiber| and flavor and is even better the next day.

Calories: 397

| Apple Cabbage Detox Salad

For a lightened-up take on classic coleslaw| whip up this detox salad. Apples marry with the dynamic duo of red and Savoy cabbage| combining for a fiber-filled meal that aids in digestion. The addition of fennel seeds adds to the fiber factor| plus a kick of cayenne boosts your metabolism.

Calories: 289

If You Want to Cook Healthy, These Kitchen Items Are a Must

If You Want to Cook Healthy| These Kitchen Items Are a Must

Abs aren’t the only thing made in the kitchen. So are tight buns| shapely thighs| and chiseled arms. No matter how hard you’re working in the gym| if you put garbage in your mouth| it’ll show. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re eating a healthy diet| and these kitchen gadgets can help make that happen.

| Blender or NutriBullet

If you make the occassional smoothie| a basic frozen fruit ice cream| soups| all-natural nut butters| and flours from whole grains.

| Food Processor

Although a really powerful blender like a Vitamix can be used to puree just about anything| the wider base of a protein bars| unique desserts like these vegan salted caramels| as well as making your own baking ingredients like oat flour and almond meal| a food processor is a must. It can also be used to make big batches of baby food or creamy soups that you can freeze for later.

| Juicer

If you’re a huge fan of juices for their nutritional benefits| or you like to do periodic juice cleanses| you’ll save money and get the freshest juice possible by making it yourself. Beyond fresh juice blends| you can even make smoothies and almond milk with this Hurom juicer ($300).

| Crockpot

Especially in the colder months| a create healthy meals| but huge batches of them| so it’ll ensure you eat healthy for the next few days. You can make soups| filling curries| chilis| steel-cut oatmeal| layered egg casseroles| and even whole squashes.

| Immersion Blender

If you’re a creamy-soup-lover| this little gadget ($60) enables you to puree your recipe right in the pot| which is so much easier (and safer!) than pouring small patches of boiling hot soup into your blender or food processor. This means you can throw in tons of healthy ingredients like canned beans| kale| and silken tofu| and all you’ll taste is the delightful smooth texture. It can also be used to quickly mash potatoes or bananas for bread| or to chop ingredients for recipes such as veggies or nuts.

| Cast Iron Pan

If you’re freaked out by the chemicals in those nonstick pans| get your hands on a good cast iron pan (or better yet| one small and one large one). Once the pan is properly seasoned| you’ll love how it distributes heat evenly| requires less oil| can be used directly on a grill| and boosts your iron intake. It’s perfect for stir-fries| one-pan dishes like this spaghetti squash with roasted broccoli| eggs dishes like these spicy baked eggs| and skillet breads.

| Good Knives

If you’re aiming for a healthy diet| that means eating tons of fruits and veggies. So you’ll need a good set of knives ($300) to slice and chop everything from delicate tomatoes to tough squashes.

| Glass Mason Jars

A little organization and prep can make all the difference in eating healthy. If you store whole grains and dried beans in mason jars| having them all lined up and at eye level when you open your pantry will inspire you to use them more than if they’re tucked away in the plastic packages they came in. Jars of all sizes can also be used to store a week’s worth of salads| bring your morning smoothie or overnight oats to work| make fresh sprouts| or pack healthy snacks.

| Spiralizer

If you’re interested in cutting down on carbs| a vegetable noodles made out of zucchini| butternut squash| carrots| and sweet potato.

| Silpat

While this definitely isn’t something you have to have| a reusable baking sheet like a fruit leathers| crispy baked spinach chips| crunchy carrot chips| and baked tofu.

Time For Dessert! Post-Workout Snacks That Satisfy a Sweet Tooth

Time For Dessert! Post-Workout Snacks That Satisfy a Sweet Tooth

You’ve spent 45 minutes working hard to define those muscles| so don’t undo all your work with a stop at the vending machine. Satisfy your sweet tooth with nutritious post-workout snacks that calm sugar cravings while helping you replenish energy and rebuild muscles. Read on for a few of our favorites!

| Peanut Butter Protein Balls

An outer layer of crispy rice cereal on these peanut butter protein balls make the sweet treats an irresistible snack for before or after your workout.

| Strawberry Banana Creams

The fact that an entire bowl of these yogurt-and-banana-stuffed strawberries is under 150 calories makes this sweet snack a healthy-yet-decadent-seeming treat after your workout.

| Black Forest Shake

This chocolate-cherry smoothie from Runner’s World fuels you up before a workout u2014 but has the carbs and protein you need to make a delicious recovery treat as well.

| Vanilla Banana Protein Smoothie

This simple| low-calorie vanilla banana protein smoothie can be enjoyed before or after a workout; protein powder and almond milk help fuel your workout| and adding half a banana to the mix helps keep your electrolytes balanced.

| Chickpea Cookie Dough

This dessert may look like your favorite guilty pleasure| but in reality it’s so much healthier. A serving of chickpea “”cookie dough”” will satisfy your sweet tooth while offering your tired muscles a much needed dose of carbs and protein.

| Recovery Vegan Ice Cream

Yes| you can eat ice cream after a workout. This protein-packed vegan ice cream will cool you off and help you recover after a sweaty workout.

| Coconut-Banana Smoothie

After a sweaty run| you need to refuel and rehydrate fast. Whip up this quick coconut-water recovery smoothie| which is packed with protein from Greek yogurt and almond butter.

| Gluten-Free Molten Lava Cake

Why indulge on empty calories when your dessert can do a little work for you? This high-protein molten lava cake is hiding a muscle-building secret u2014 over 20 grams of protein!