I thought this would be a fitting post after a holiday weekend, and one that marks the beginning of summer! Hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend. Mine was interesting to say the least. We had some friends in town working on another film. Here’s a few things I did this weekend I’ve never done before: Met Brett Favre. Ventured out of New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Went to a Kenny Chesney concert- my first country music concert ever- where we got to watch the whole show back/sidestage. Explored the Lousiana swampland and did a ‘gator tour!

Now back to our blog topic…Losing weight in a sustainable and healthy way isn’t about starving ourselves- it’s about eating the right foods that will nourish us at the same time they are helping us meet our weight goals. Here are 10 foods to help:

1. Oats:
Oats are carbohydrates, something most people trying to lose weight fear.  However, oats can help you lose weight.  The reason is, unlike other refined carbs, oats digest slowly, are packed with fiber and have little impact on your blood sugar. I recommend eating oat groats because they have the highest nutritional value of all oats.  Generally, all oats are healthy and can help you lose weight, as long as they are minimally processed. Avoid “instant” oatmeal.

2. Cinnamon:
Cinnamon may seem like your everyday spice, but many people don’t realize that it can actually help you achieve your weight loss goals.  Cinnamon helps cure sugar sugar cravings in-between meals and some studies show it helps control blood sugar levels, and by offshoot fat levels. Try my cinnamon-containing Vegan Vanilla Latte recipe.

3. Avocado:
They may be high in fat, but don’t be fooled, avocados are still a top weight loss food.  That’s because they contain heart healthy beauty fats that help you stay satisfied longer, along with fiber and lots of minerals.  Make sure you use portion control– depending on the size and your activity level, ½ – 1 ½ of a small-medium avocado is allowable.  Remember, moderation is key in any healthy diet, especially when trying to shed some extra pounds.

4. Watercress:
Everyone already knows that vegetables are your best friend when trying to lose weight, but most people don’t know about this leafy green.  Watercress has natural cleansing properties, as it contains isothiocyanates, which boost our body’s detoxifying capabilities. This also helps keep our skin clear and glowing. It is also a great source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, manganese, carotenes, calcium, fiber, iron and copper.  Try adding watercress in green salads and add a bit to your Glowing Green Smoothie.

5. Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil are primarily made up of medium chain fatty acids, that have been proven to promote weight loss,  because the medium-chain fatty acids tend to be converted into energy, rather than stored as fat. Though it is a saturated fat, it contains no cholesterol, like saturated animal fats. It also boosts thyroid function and helps to increase the metabolism. Use it as your cooking oil and utilized in one of many good desserts.

6. Lemon:
Adding lemon to food and drinks is probably the easiest thing you can do to kick start your weight loss.  Drinking lemon water is known to help control the appetite.  But that’s not all, lemon’s enzymes help rejuvenate liver tissue, our main fat-burning organ. High in vitamin C, lemon also helps support skin collagen. Be sure to have your hot water with lemon in the morning, as well as adding it to your smoothies and salads.

7. Rooibos Tea:
When it comes to tea, rooibos is a great, caffeine-free choice that helps with weight loss.  Not only is it calorie free and naturally sweet tasting, but rooibos also contains powerful antioxidants.  Drinking rooibos is a great compliment to a healthy diet when trying to lose weight.  Try sipping it in between meals instead of sugary sodas, coffees and juices, you’ll be surprised how satisfied you are! It is also great late at night when we don’t want to eat right before bed!

8. Sea Vegetables:
Sea vegetables are a true super beauty food, as they are packed with vitamins and minerals that improve your overall health, and iodine, which supports thyroid function and therefore our metabolism. It’s a great source of vitamins A, B6, C, E and K, and its naturally low in calories.  It’s adds a “salty” flavor to food while being low in bloating sodium. Find dulse, nori, laver or kelp at the Asian section of your health store and sprinkle on salads and in soups.

9. Seeds:
Seeds are a great food to incorporate your diet when trying to lose weight.  They are high in nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, making them a great energy source.  Seeds are also a good source of vitamin E, they taste great, plus they add a nice texture to compliment many dishes.  Try adding seeds on top of salads, in smoothies, or on top of oats.  I recommend eating flax, chia seeds, sunflower, hemp and pumpkin seeds.

10. Dark Chocolate:
Chocolate is often viewed as a sinful indulgence, however eating a small amounts has been proven to be good for your heart. Especially while transitioning your diet, it can help squash sweet cravings for heavier desserts which will set us back. Be sure to get the dark chocolates which are at least 72% cacao. They have more antioxidants and contain no dairy.

I hope they foods are very helpful to you in helping you achieve your weight goals!

Love, Kimberly