7 ‘Shrooms You Should Be Eating For Major Health Benefits

The selection of mushrooms in produce aisles everywhere has been expanding lately, and for good reason. Mushrooms are loaded with nutritional value, while being low in calories—yet many people overlook them because, well, they’re a little weird.

Yes, a mushroom is a fungus. Sure, that doesn’t sound too appealing, but we’re not talking about toe fungus here! If there’s a type of fungus you do want in your life, it’s mushrooms. Consider this: Mushrooms are the only source of vitamin D you’ll find in the produce aisle, and unless you drink fortified milk or eat cod liver oil, it’s pretty hard to get in your diet. They also contain some fiber—about a gram per cup. While that might not sound like much, the type of fiber is beta-glucan, which is beneficial for blood sugar and cholesterol management. Oh, and did I mention a cup of mushrooms is only 20 calories?

Also, mushrooms tantalize your tastebuds with something called ‘umami’ (pronounced o’o-MAH-mee’), which is the fifth element of taste after sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Mushrooms are dynamic because they’re savory, with a hearty flavor that comes to life even more when they’re cooked. They taste almost meaty, but without the fat and cholesterol found in many animal proteins.

Not sure what variety to pick up on your next grocery run? Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular types of mushrooms—and what makes each so great:

White button mushrooms: Also known as ‘crimini mushrooms,’ these are probably the most common type of mushrooms you’ll see at salad bars and supermarkets. These guys contain selenium, a trace mineral that’s important for cognitive function and a healthy immune system—and supports prostate health.

Portobello mushrooms: Portobellos are an excellent source of riboflavin (also known as vitamin B2), a vitamin that is important for energy production because it helps the body break down carbohydrates into sugar for fuel. Portobellos are also a good source of selenium.

Porcini mushrooms: Many of us don’t seem to get enough potassium—but luckily porcini mushrooms are a good source of this mineral, which keeps your brain, heart, and muscles functioning properly. Porcinis also contain ergosterol, a compound needed to make vitamin D3. Finally, these mushrooms possess antioxidant properties that may help the body ward off damage from free radicals.

Related: What Makes Antioxidants So Good For You, Anyway?

Reishi mushrooms: This variety is trendy right now for its potential immune system and cardiovascular benefits. These ‘shrooms pack beta-glucan, that type of fiber I mentioned earlier, which also helps activate and support the function of immune cells. Reishi mushrooms also contain ganoderic acid, a substance that is said to support healthy cholesterol levels.

Shiitake mushrooms: Shiitakes are a good source of soluble fiber, which supports healthy cholesterol levels. They also contain those beta-glucans found in reishi mushrooms. Plus, shiitakes contain a compound called lentinan, which helps to strengthen the immune system.

Enoki mushrooms: These ‘shrooms are rich in B vitamins, particularly niacin (vitamin B3), which promote cardiovascular health and are key for energy production.

Maitake or ‘Hen of the Woods’ mushrooms: These mushrooms actually resemble the feathers of a fluffed chicken and are a popular ingredient in dietary supplements and powders. Preliminary animal studies suggest these funky-looking mushrooms may promote a healthy insulin response and support healthy blood sugar levels.

You can probably find many of these mushrooms fresh in the produce section of the supermarket, but you can also buy them canned.

Cleaning fresh mushrooms can be a little tricky: They’re all dirty but you’re not supposed to wash them! (Trust me, they get slimy and lose flavor.) Instead, try wiping your mushrooms off with a damp paper towel before prepping and cooking them.

Ready to make these tasty fungi a more regular part of your grub? Try sautéing mushrooms with other veggies and folding them into an omelet or adding them to your next stir fry. You can even mix diced mushrooms into ground meat or poultry when making burgers—their flavor and texture fit right in.

One of my favorite ways to eat mushrooms is simple: I sauté a variety of mushrooms with olive oil and garlic. Fragrant and flavorful!

Related: Pack ‘shrooms into smoothies and more with a supplement.

Your refrigerator guide to fungi: 

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Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N., C.D.N., is an award-winning author, spokesperson, speaker, consultant, and owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants, LLC. She has been featured on TV, radio, and print, as well as in digital media, including Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Women’s Health, and U.S. News & World Report. She is a recipient of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Media Excellence Award.

The 10 Most Masterful Meal Preppers On Instagram

Few things mesmerize us more than scrolling through countless symmetrical arrangements of Tupperware packed with proteins and veggies. Call us crazy, but considering there are 5,361,719 photos on Instagram tagged #mealprep (and that’s just as of 11:13 P.M. on May 26, 2017), it’s safe to say we aren’t the only meal prep lovers out there.

We spent hours staring at bowls of hard-boiled eggs, entire sheets of roasted veggies, and grills filled with chicken breasts, to identify the Insta-meal-preppers that do it best. Consider their feeds all the inspiration you need to go ahead and order that 20-pack of food containers

@kaleandcarrotsticks

Seven types of veggies, one photo. Feast your eyes on an endless variety of produce and cinnamon-y sweet potatoes. Shots of beautiful avocado toast and eggs will leave you looking like the heart-eyes emoji.

It's that mealprep Sunday for a lot of you. In case you were looking for some ideas or motivation hopefully this can help a little. 1. Crustless egg quiche (see previous post for the recipe) 2. Overnight oats with strawberries 3. Veggie burger with roasted asparagus, zucchini and carrots 4. Lentil and bean chili 5. Protein almond butter balls 6. Fresh veggies, hummus and bean for salads 7. Post workout shake with a banana 8. Dark chocolate and pecan covered pineapple treats (see previous posts) 9. Lemons for my water #mealprepsunday #foodporn #mealplan #mealprep #macros #fitspo #nutrition #diet #mealprepideas #whole30 #fitspiration #eatright #wholefoods #healthy #iifym  #fitnessmeals  #dieta #fitfood #cleaneating #cleaneats #mealprepmonday  #mealprepping #mealplanning #foodprep  #weightloss #healthyfood #mealprepdaily  #mealprepmondays

A post shared by Marek (@marekfitness) on

@marekfitness

With every meal, snack, and sweet treat accounted for, this is the ultimate day of healthy, balanced eating. Check out the feed for crustless quiche and oatmeal bake recipes that’ll last all week long.

Here's what each day looks like this week. Quick tip if you wanna shred lbs after the holidays… don't eat any sugar or carbs before your workout… hit that fat burning zone on nothing but BCAAs and a little protein and fat (like a handful of nuts), and the energy will be derived from burned fat rather than the sugar in your blood. Easiest to do this is the AM. 🍽 Pre-Workout (6:30am): Cashews, BCAAs, MCT oil, Whey Protein Isolate, * Breakfast/Post Workout (9:00am): 4 Soft boiled Eggs, half Avocado, Blueberries * Lunch (12:00pm): Rosemary & Thyme Chicken, Steamed Asparagus & Broccoli, Baked Sweet Potatoes * Snack (3:00pm): Protein Pancake, 4 Soft-Boiled Eggs, half Avocado, Homemade Kombucha * Dinner (6:00pm): Tex-Mex Salad – Spinach, Ground Turkey (spicy seasoning), Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Black Beans, Corn, Hemp Seeds * Snack (9:00pm): Bell Pepper, BCAAs, Casein Protein

A post shared by Chris Rocchio (@chris.rocchio_fit) on

@chris.rocchio_fit

These meal prep pics take all of the guess-work out of what a day of healthy eating looks like. Rosemary and thyme chicken with steamed asparagus and broccoli and baked sweet potatoes for lunch, anyone? Some posts even include the macros for these healthy meals.

Related: What Is The ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ Diet—And Should You Try It?

@pbfingers

Short on time but still trying to pull off a quick meal prep? One-pan meals to the rescue! Expect bright, colorful recipes with a side of adorable toddler pics from this meal-prepper.

So whilst we all tuck into our tupps I thought I'd share what's in mine this week (I'm actually on the tube but I'll be having mine soon). . Top row we have overnight oats as modelled by me this morning 💁🏻and some pork shoulder on a bed of pearl barley with courgette and shrooms. . Middle row: layered chicken, turmeric rice and veggies; steak with cabbage, peas, peppers and carrots; and some hard-boiled eggs for snacking. . Bottom row: turmeric basa on a bed of quinoa and red onion with a little tub of houmous; some veggies to go with my fish – I couldn't fit it in the tub; and some protein pancakes with chia, tahini and bloobs. . All set for my four day working week 🤗🍱 . #mealprep #mondaymotivation #foodprep #tupperware #food #pork #stew #veggies #steak #eggs #pancakes #chicken #rice #oats #glutenfree #brofood #gainz #fatloss #macros #protein #carbs #healthychoices #fitness #fitfood #bodybuilding #healthyeating #healthyfoodporn #nutritious #foodporn #foodstagram

A post shared by Danny Andrea (@dannysfitfood) on

@dannysfitfood

This fit chick proves that healthy eating can be packed with flavor—and pretty dang photogenic. When you’re sick of chicken breast, you’ll find plenty of other protein options here, including venison, trout, and hake fish.

Related: How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

@foodprepprincess

The symmetry in this arrangement of meal containers, bags of veggies, and pieces of fruit is almost museum-worthy. And look out for the occasional healthy sweet treat recipe! We’re currently drooling over a shot of PB and chocolate protein squares…

@theleangreenbean

Who says healthy baked goods can’t be a part of meal prep? Sweet potato cookies, waffle French toast, and banana pancakes for the win. This Crossfit®-loving mama is all about enjoying healthy food and nailing box jumps.

@zsofkaa

This Hungarian fit chick’s produce pics will make you want to hop in the car and drive right toward your local farmer’s market. We may not speak the same language, but our bellies hear the call of those smoothie bowls and produce-packed snacks loud and clear.

@michellevodrazka  

Let it be known that meal prep can totally involve cinnamon buns. Cinnamon bun-flavored protein bars, that is. This feed is perfect for all the gluten and dairy-free preppers out there.

Related: Find a protein bar to post in your own meal-prep pics.

14 Ways To Get Your Matcha Fix—Other Than Making Tea

Matcha, a powder made from green tea leaves, has taken over lattes and Instagram feeds everywhere. Considering it’s chock-full of nutrients and antioxidants, as well as a natural source of caffeine, we’re not complaining.

But if a mug of piping hot matcha doesn’t appeal on warm-weather days—or if you’re new to the slightly-bitter flavor—you can enjoy the benefits of this green super-powder in baked goods, energy bites, smoothies, and more.

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photo: Epic Matcha

Matcha Limeade

Why not enjoy a nice dose of antioxidants in that refreshing glass of limeade? Epic Matcha’s recipe takes matcha straight into the summer.

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photo: Oh, How Civilized

Matcha Banana Nice Cream

With a couple of frozen bananas and a good blender or food processor, you’re never more than a minute or two away from a healthy ice cream alternative. Swap out your usual flavor add-ins for matcha powder to create a delightfully green frozen treat, courtesy of Oh, How Civilized. (Sub in coconut milk for the condensed milk for a dairy-free option.)

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photo: Living Well Mom

Matcha Energy Bites

Five simple ingredients come together for these chewy and sweet bites from Living Well Mom. Matcha newbies can add slightly more maple syrup for a little extra sweetness.

Related: Is Matcha Really A Miracle-Worker?

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photo: The Grateful Grazer

Coconut Matcha Energy Bars

Making energy bars at home can save major cash—on top of the added sugar many bars are packed with! Swap sugar for antioxidants with this recipe from The Grateful Grazer. They’re also loaded with healthy fats from almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, and coconut.

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photo: Salu Salo Recipes

White Chocolate Matcha Cookies

The ultimate gateway matcha recipe, these matcha cookies play off your favorite traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe. Salu Salo Recipes mixes matcha into the dough and swaps your usual chocolate chips for white chocolate. Soft and chewy—and party-friendly.

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photo: Desserts With Benefits

Matcha Overnight Oats

This easy make-ahead breakfast is the perfect canvas for different flavor combinations. Desserts With Benefits sweetens up these matcha overnight oats with vanilla and almond extracts. Plus, you can always add your favorite vanilla protein to give your oats a boost.

Related: 8 Overnight Oats Recipes That Make Breakfast Taste Like Dessert

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photo: Pastry Affair

Coconut Matcha Chia Pudding

No instant pudding packets here! Soaking chia seeds in coconut milk creates the perfect creamy, slurp-worthy pudding texture you’ll want to spoon up for breakfast, snack-time, and dessert. Top this treat from Pastry Affair with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and you’re golden.

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photo: Fearless Dining

Matcha Banana Bread

Starting to realize you can add matcha to just about any baked good your heart desires? Fearless Dining’s classic banana bread recipe packs a bunch of our favorite healthy baking ingredients, like coconut oil, almond flour, and almond milk.

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photo: Becomingness!

Raw Matcha Brownies

No baking required for these ooey-gooey matcha brownies by Becomingness! Cacao powder, pecans, dates, and vanilla extract come together to make these fudgy brownies, while cacao butter, matcha, and a sweetener like honey or maple syrup create a creamy layer of matcha goodness.

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photo: Milly’s Kitchen

Matcha White Chocolate Bark With Coconut And Raspberries

Chocolate bark isn’t just for the holidays—this colorful matcha white chocolate bark screams springtime. With just four simple ingredients, it’s easy to make and sinfully sweet. Tweak this recipe from Milly’s Kitchen by swapping in different toppings for the raspberries and coconut.

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photo: Goodness Is Gorgeous

Matcha Pistachio Ice Pops

Since you’re not about to be sipping hot matcha poolside, these frozen matcha pistachio pops are the ultimate summer antioxidant boost. Get your ice pop molds ready for Goodness Is Gorgeous’s recipe!

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photo: Living Well Mom

Matcha Fudge

Coconut butter, coconut cream, and coconut oil make the most delightful base for this light and sweet fudge by Living Well Mom. Plus it’s free of the refined sugar in most fudge—and sweetened with pure maple syrup and vanilla extract instead.

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photo: Sarah Hearts

Matcha Rice Krispie Treats

Because six-year-olds and full-grown adults alike can appreciate a good rice krispie treat (or four), why not add matcha to the crunchy, marshmallowy mix? Swap coconut oil in for butter to make Sarah Hearts’ recipe dairy-free.

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photo: My Life Cookbook

Mango Matcha Green Smoothie

This summery smoothie from My Life Cookbook packs all sorts of greens, including matcha, spinach, and (our personal favorite) avocado. Mango naturally sweetens up the blend for a tasty, nutrient-packed drink.

Related: Shop matcha products, including powders, tea bags, and whisks.

Your Boron Supplement Does These 5 Important Things

Sure, the word “boron” probably makes you think of a sci-fi movie character, but funky name aside, boron is actually a vital trace mineral required for your physical health.

That’s because it’s an “activator,” as described in the journal PLoSOne, which means it assists in or activates many functions in the body. A study in the journal Integrative Medicine, for example, shows that boron increases the body’s ability to absorb calcium and magnesium.

A boron deficiency can be serious—rendering cells unable to properly transfer nutrients—but luckily, boron is abundant in foods (to name a few: dates, avocado, soybeans, nuts, chickpeas, peanut butter, kidney beans). People who don’t have a varied diet can consider a boron supplement.

Here are five important ways boron contributes to your health:

1. Boron For The Bones

One of boron’s superpowers is in the bone-building process. According to a study done by the journal FASEB, boron initiates estrogen by helping convert vitamin D into an active state. Then, estrogen improves the absorption of calcium.

Boron also helps to prevent vitamin D deficiency, which is linked to osteoporosis. That’s because when the bone’s metabolic function is working correctly, osteoporosis is less likely to occur, indicates a study in Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism. If osteoporosis is diagnosed, boron can play a major role in helping the body replace lost calcium.

2. Boron For Teeth & Gum Health

Got strong teeth? You may have boron to thank. Boron also plays an important role in healthy teeth, gums, and the prevention of tooth decay. By converting the vitamin D to its active form, it increases calcium uptake and absorption into the bones and teeth. If you do have tooth decay, you could kick up the amount of boron in your diet, or via supplements.

3. Boron For Arthritis

The journal Environ Health Perspect also shows that boron may assist in preventing some forms of arthritis. In fact, the study says that in some places in the world where boron intake is typically low, incidence of arthritis is higher. On the other hand, areas of the world with higher intakes of boron have lower levels of arthritis.

Related: What It’s Like To Have Arthritis In Your 20s

4. Boron & Hormones

Another FASEB study also shows that boron can affect the metabolism of steroid hormones—especially the sex hormones. Supplementing with boron increases low testosterone levels in men and estrogen levels in menopausal women. This could be great news for those who want to jumpstart their libido. Or for weight lifters who want to boost their testosterone levels.

Boron bonus points: The mineral may also provide some relief from vaginal yeast infections. According to American Family Physician, women can use a 600-mg vaginal suppository administered twice daily for 14 days.

5. Boron for Cognitive Performance

Looking to improve your cognitive function? Boron may be able to support that. According to a study done by Biological Trace Element Research, low levels of boron may be linked to poor performance of motor speed tasks, poor attention span and short-term memory, and poor dexterity.

Related: Shop boron tablets, capsules, and fluid.

I Drank Kombucha Every Day For Two Weeks—Here’s What My Gut Had To Say

I’ll just come right out and say it: My stomach has always been trouble. Fried food usually leaves me curled up on the couch for hours. Anything loaded with carbs or sugar? Cramp city. The older I get, the more sensitive my stomach becomes.

Over the years I’ve tried just about every gut remedy out there. My desk at work is well-stocked with ginger tea, I faithfully take a probiotic every day, I guzzle water, and I eat a lot of fiber. Still, though, my stomach doesn’t always cooperate. (I’ll spare you the details, but you know what I mean.)

The latest gut-friendly trend to make its way onto my to-do list: kombucha. The fizzy fermented drink—made by adding sugar, yeast, and bacteria to tea—has invaded the refrigerated section of even the most basic grocery store after winning over my fellow health nuts with its funky flavors and promise of probiotics. (These good bacteria live in our gut and help us digest food, destroy harmful microorganism, and produce vitamins, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.)

A sucker for trendy health foods, I was already a fan of other probiotic-packed fermented foods like kimchi, and I’d splurged on a bottle of kombucha here and there—but it wasn’t until after a belly-decimating, cheese and pastry-filled trip to Europe that I was ready to really commit to drinking it regularly. My gut needed some serious TLC.

Since I’d recently cut out dairy (yep, even my morning Greek yogurt got the boot), I wondered if it was time I find myself another fermented food to replace it with—and kombucha seemed like an easy way to bump up my daily probiotic intake. I mean, I wasn’t about to commit to eating kimchi every day, but I was already used to drinking lots of water, so why not throw some kombucha into my daily sips? Easy peasy.

So I stopped by the East Rutherford, New Jersey, The Vitamin Shoppe to stock up on kombucha. (Complete with eight kegs of Aqua ViTea kombucha and refillable glass bottles and growlers, this place is like a Health Enthusiast heaven.) I filled a growler with a mix of the ginger and turmeric flavors and headed home, ready to rock my gut’s world.

Related: 8 Foods And Drinks For When You Just Can’t Go To The Bathroom

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The Experiment

To find out if drinking this effervescent beverage on the reg would really make a difference, I decided to have a glass every morning for the next two weeks. (Aqua ViTea’s website recommended starting with four to six ounces a day, so I stuck with a small glassful.)

My first morning of the experiment, as I sipped my way through a glass of the bubbly tea while checking my email, I noticed that I felt super-full—but not in a heavy, just-ate-a-cheeseburger kind of way. Simply sated.

And I had a second realization: Kombucha could really get things moving. Not in a frightening Bridesmaids-movie-scene kind of way, but whoa.

The same pattern continued through the rest of the work week. I drank my glass of kombucha about a half-hour or so after breakfast, hit the bathroom sometime around mid-morning, and felt awake and satisfied until lunch. After a few days, I also noticed that I felt more awake and alert as I went about my morning routine. Placebo effect or not, I didn’t mind. (My kombucha was made from a blend of black and green tea—but I learned that very little of the caffeine in those teas survives the fermentation process. Kombucha does contain some B vitamins, which we associate with energy, though.)

I rationed out my 64-ounce growler so it’d last me the full week, and refilled it with my turmeric-ginger mix for week two. By then, I looked forward to my fizzy sips each morning, especially because my stomach felt so great.

As my gut got used to the daily bubbles, I didn’t feel quite as full after drinking them. Somewhere in the middle of week two, I started drinking a second glass around mid-afternoon, when an itch for something sweet and a dip in energy hit. I felt revitalized—and you know that slightly groggy, sloth-like feeling of a meal lingering in your stomach? (I call this the ‘after-lunch blahs’.) Gone.

I was becoming a kombucha-holic—with less than a third of my second growler left with four more days to go in my kombucha streak—so I started diluting my bubbly beverage in a little sparkling water to avoid yet another growler refill. My growler lasted through the end of week two, though just barely.

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The Verdict

After two full weeks of kombucha-drinking, my toilet time was more regular than it’d been in a while and I felt like my stomach was moving and grooving—no gas, no bloating. A major win in my book, considering I was used to feeling like there was a balloon in my stomach at any point of the day.

I also no longer felt the need to brew up a double mug of green tea for a caffeine boost around lunchtime; my mind was clear and my focus steady. A splash of kombucha in plain bubbly water kept my taste buds happy (and made it much easier to stay hydrated) all day long.

I’ll definitely continue to hit up the kombucha bar at The Vitamin Shoppe for my weekly growler fill-up, and may even get myself a second growler to stash at home. Yeah, I love it that much.

Related: Shop a variety of drinks, from sparkling waters to teas to energy-boosters.

5 Fitness Apps That Helped Me Drop—And Keep Off—75 Pounds

I’ll be the first to admit that technology and I aren’t on friendly terms. Sure, I’m able to feel my way around Seamless and Uber, but the idea of using my phone for something important like fitness and nutrition tracking had always seemed so daunting. After getting to a point where I really needed help losing weight and eating healthy, however, I decided to throw caution to the wind—and load up on the very best wellness apps out there.

Finding the “very best wellness apps out there” isn’t as easy as it may sound. There are hundreds of apps designed for weight loss, fitness, sleep, yoga, meditation, and anything else that might need tracking, and I ended up trying dozens of them, for more than a week at a time, in order to narrow it down. Here are the five I stuck with—and that helped me drop 75 pounds.

Related: How I Quit Dieting And Finally Stopped My Weight From Fluctuating

1. GenioFit

Front view of black, white and gold modern smartphone with blank white screenAn app built on the research of Dr. Paul Arciero and his scientifically proven PRISE protocol, the GenioFit app takes the guesswork out of making your next healthy lifestyle decision. Based on the goals you set, Genio develops a customized plan for physical activity and fitness, nutrition, mental well-being, and overall health and vitality. Basically, it does all the thinking for you.

I decided to try this app to improve my overall health and increase my workout performance, and let me tell you: It really works. The PRISE protocol is based on five simple ideas:
            P =Protein pacing (4-6 evenly spaced meals/day each containing 20-40 gms. protein)

            =Resistance functional training

            I =Interval high intensity training

            S =Stretching

            E = Endurance training
GenioFit helped me get my daily protein in while maximizing my workouts each day.

Front view of black, white and gold modern smartphone with blank white screen2. Sworkit

I love, love, love this app. If I’m short on time and haven’t planned out my next gym session, I  can tell it the amount of time I have to exercise and what I might be in the mood for (yoga, weight training, cardio, or stretching), and in a matter of minutes, Sworkit will provide me with a killer workout guaranteed to deliver results.

The app comes with a timer, music options from Spotify, exercise demonstrations, and body area focus options. You can also sync your results directly to several other fitness apps.                                    

Related: Shop weight-management products to keep you on your game.

 

3. Runkeeper

As a runner for over 20 years, I added Runkeeper Front view of black, white and gold modern smartphone with blank white screento my app lineup, but with a bit of hesitation. I tend to be one of those “free thinkers” when it comes to running: Put your shoes on, turn on some tunes, and get outside. But when I was struggling to add miles to my weekly runs, I realized it was time to take it up a notch.

Runkeeper allowed me to set goals, follow a plan, and use GPS to track my routes and elevation—all while giving me audio feedback during my workouts (no need to look down at my phone while running).

For me, the best part was being able to see my results after the app tracked, logged, and displayed my progress for each run.

4. Lose It!

This is the brilliant app that helped me lose over 75 pounds in just one year. Its goal is simple: help real people achieve real weight loss without using gimmicks, fad diets, or spending money.

Front view of black, white and gold modern smartphone with blank white screenThe app’s simplicity and user-friendly approach is one of the main reasons I have kept my weight off, too.

Even after I reached my goal weight, I still tracked my nutrition with Lose It, just to make sure my macros were where I wanted them to be. And with a database of over seven million items (including foods and exercise types), I never get bored of using it.

The strong community of users available to provide support, along with the ability to link with my FitBit device and Runkeeper app, make this one of my favorite all-around apps of all time. Not to mention, I LOVE the barcode scanner and new “Snap It” feature that allows users to snap a picture of their daily meals and snacks, input some data, and then get approximate calorie counts.

A runner-up for tracking? MyFitnessPal. It’s another excellent app to track eating. It is used by millions for weight loss and many claim it connects better to other apps and devices than Lose It!.

5. Nike+Training Club App

Front view of black, white and gold modern smartphone with blank white screenTouted as “your ultimate personal trainer,” the Nike+Training Club App will create a personalized training plan based on your needs, then continually adapt as you go. And with instructional audio and video clips featuring Nike trainers, users can workout knowing they are receiving expert information—something I think is super-important.

The app has over 130+ workouts available for all levels, which allows me to vary my intensity each day, pick between bodyweight or equipment, and choose the duration of my workouts.