8 Healthy Cheat Day Foods

Going too crazy on a cheat day can erase all the hard work you put in during the week. If you'd still like to have a cheat day, but keep it healthy, give these eight options a try.More

8 Healthy Cheat Day Foods

If you've ever been on a diet, you are probably familiar with the concept of the "cheat day." This is the one day a week when you can eat whatever you want, without worrying about sticking to your diet. However, going too crazy on a cheat day can erase all the hard work you put in during the week. If you'd still like to have a cheat day, but keep it healthy, give these eight options a try.

  1. Falafel

Falafel is a vegetarian option that tastes indulgent without being bad for you. For the healthiest option, go for a version that is baked instead of fried. Choose a whole-wheat pita, bed of vegetables, hummus or brown rice to accompany it. If you are enjoying it in a sandwich, add plenty of fresh veggies and go light on the cheese and sauce. 

  1. Whole Wheat Vegetable Pizza

People typically think of pizza as being junk food, but it doesn't have to be. Choose a whole wheat crust and vegetable toppings instead of refined flour crusts and greasy meats. Or, you can try a vegetable crust, such as cauliflower. To cut down on calories, choose a thin crust over a thick one. Go light on the cheese or omit it altogether to cut fat and calories. 

  1. Protein Shake

If you have been craving a milkshake, but don't want all the fat, sugar and calories of a regular milkshake, consider having a protein shake. You can purchase premade shakes or make your own with protein powder.

There are lots of different flavors available, from standards such as chocolate, strawberry and vanilla to more adventurous flavors such as coffee and salted caramel. You can further reduce fat and calories by using non-dairy milk as the base.

  1. Zoodles

If you love pasta, but don't love all the empty calories, consider giving zoodles a try. Zoodles are zucchini that have been sliced into thin strips that resemble noodles. They provide some of the texture of regular noodles but have more nutritional value and fewer calories. You can make these at home using a spiralizer or purchase them pre-cut at the grocery store. Zoodles can be used in pretty much any pasta dish you like.

  1. Veggie Chips

Potato chips are another junk food most people try to avoid when dieting. If you'd like to indulge in a healthier alternative on your cheat day, consider veggie chips. You can purchase these pre-made at the grocery or make your own using kale, zucchini, seaweed or another vegetable you like that can be sliced thin and fried or baked to get a crispy texture.

Add a bit of salt or other seasonings to get some extra flavor. If you'd prefer to stick to potatoes, you can make your chips healthier by baking them instead of frying them.

  1. Fonuts

Fonuts are a vegan version of traditional donuts that are baked instead of fried and gluten-free. These donuts have all of the flavors of a traditional donut but contain much healthier ingredients. 

  1. Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Cake is usually a very indulgent food, but you can make this dessert staple healthier by using gluten-free flour and substituting honey for sugar. Add some chocolate protein powder to give your cake some additional nutritional value. 

  1. Fruit

You don't have to wait for a cheat day to eat fruit, but if you've been craving something sweet and healthy, fruit can really hit the spot. Try macerating some strawberries in balsamic vinegar and a bit of sugar. Make some banana ice cream. Turn your watermelon into a frozen gremolata. There are lots of tasty and healthy options.

A cheat day can be a good way to avoid dieting burnout by occasionally taking a break from your diet. Keeping your cheat day options healthy allows you to get the benefits of taking a diet break, without risking blowing all the hard work you put in the rest of the week.

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Written By:

Lewis Robinson is a freelance writer and expert in health and fitness. When he isn’t writing he can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.

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Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed , a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at .

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A New Study Points to MDMA as a Powerful Treatment for PTSD

From club drug to therapeutic

A New Study Points to MDMA as a Powerful Treatment for PTSD
according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The condition, characterized by depression, hopelessness, memory problems, difficulty maintaining relationships, and recurrent visions of the trauma-causing event is notoriously hard to treat. Up to a third of people with the condition are still symptomatic 10 years after diagnosis, and the main therapeutic drugs of choice—the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors sertraline and paroxetine—fail in up to 60% of patients. A study published yesterday, however, suggests that there may be a powerful new medication to battle the condition: MDMA, the primary chemical in the drugs colloquially known as ecstasy and molly.

In a Phase 3 trial led by neurologist Jennifer Mitchell of the University of California, San Francisco, treatment with three doses of MDMA—accompanied by one-on-one therapy—over the course of 18 weeks was significantly more effective in treating symptoms of PTSD than the same talk therapy accompanied by a placebo. In some cases, the people who received the MDMA no longer even met the diagnosis for PTSD at the end of the study period.

The sample group of subjects who participated in the study was relatively small—just 90 people—but they had suffered long, on average going 14.8 years since the onset of symptoms. The group included veterans who’d experienced combat trauma, victims of sexual assault and/or domestic violence, people who had been through mass shootings, and some who had suffered childhood trauma.

Before the study began, all of them were scored on three scales. The first, the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5), is a 30-item survey asking subjects to rate such symptoms as unwanted memories of the traumatic event on a zero to four scale, with four being the most severe. The second, the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS), is a similar self-rating survey, asking subjects to evaluate on a zero to 10 scale how much their PTSD interferes with their professional, home and social lives. The third, the Beck Depression Inventory, is a 21-question survey that asks subjects to rate feelings like sadness, hopelessness, self-criticism and self-loathing on a zero to three scale. In all of the surveys, MDMA appeared to be dramatically better at improving outcomes—when combined with talk therapy—compared to the placebo.

At the end of the 18 weeks, the researchers found, the average CAPS-5 score fell 24.4 points in the MDMA group compared to the 13.9-point drop among those who received the placebo. The SDS scores fell 3.1 points in the MDMA group against 2.0 for the placebo. For the Beck Inventory, the difference was a reduction of 19.7 points compared to 10.8. More dramatically, at the conclusion of the study period, 67% of the people who had taken MDMA no longer met the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis, compared to 32% of the placebo group. All of this, Mitchell believes, means that MDMA could become the treatment of choice for PTSD going forward.

“I speculate that the demand will be unprecedented,” she said in an email to TIME. “There are so many people suffering from PTSD and the current treatment options leave much to be desired.”

It’s unclear how MDMA works, but the paper suggests that the chemical might increase the availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain; the researchers also cite animal studies showing that MDMA may decrease the reactivity of the amygdala, the brain center where primal feelings like fear, anger and anxiety are processed.

The investigators concede that the course of the study was brief, and more follow-up is needed to determine how long the positive impacts of the MDMA treatment last. In addition, the study’s findings by no means indicate that traditional intervention can’t be effective; indeed, on average, all the subjects benefited from their 18 weeks under care. But the MDMA group clearly did better. The researchers write that this could be chalked up to the ability of the drug to make people more prosocial (or better able to connect with others), which could in turn enhance the relationship with a clinician, making talk therapy more effective.

The findings were powerful enough that Mitchell believes they not only could mean that MDMA will become a frontline treatment for PTSD, but that similar drugs could emerge with their own therapeutic value. “My hope is that this will open the door to testing other psychedelic compounds for other conditions—such as LSD for alcohol use disorder and psilocybin for OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder] and end-of-life distress,” she says.

Source : Time More   

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