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25 Halloween Costumes w/Your LBD

The easiest way to create a last-minute or inexpensive Halloween costume is to start with things you already have. I do it every year, because I get so frustrated with how expensive yet poorly-made most Halloween costumes are. I'd rather use what is already in my closet, or spend a little extra on accessories or a new dress that I can wear anytime of the year. A little black dress is the easiest way to use what you have to create a Halloween costume with a few inexpensive accessories and other accessories you probably already have in your closet.Pictured Above: Halloween Black Mesh Dress

1. Black Cat - This is the easiest way to use your little black dress on Halloween. I know it's pretty much the most generic costume in history, but for good reason - it's just so easy and affordable. It's the perfect last-minute costume for women, because you could really use any black outfit even if you don't have a little black dress. Pair it with your black flats or heels and a…

My Get-Fit-Quick Grocery List

It's always a priority of mine to continue to get healthier and stay in shape, but I mostly try to stay balanced, rather than killing myself to get skinnier. Though occasionally there are time when I really crack down on my diet. We all go through those phases when we need to get in shape quickly, whether it's for swimsuit season or to fit into a dress for a special event. Or simply because we've slacked off on a healthy diet and need to get back on track.

For me it's not about some crazy weight loss supplement or a bunch of juice "meals" that will make me (excuse my French) shit six ways from Sunday. It's also not just about which foods to avoid. Getting in great shape quickly but in a healthy way is about eating enough and eating the best kind of foods to give me the strength and energy to work out as much as I can. It's also about getting enough fiber and protein to feel fuller on fewer fat and calories. These are the foods I stock up on to fuel my body properly.

1. Green Tea - This is one of the most-known natural metabolism boosters, as I'm sure you've heard. Not only because of the catechins in green tea, but also the caffeine, which has been proven to give metabolism a boost when consumed prior to working out. Green tea is also said to promote fat oxidation, and of course it's known for its antioxidants.

2. Greens - Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens are great sources of nutrients and antioxidants. I especially love kale, because I never could stand the taste of cooked spinach, and I don't like the texture of it in my smoothies. Kale is so mild both when cooked or blended raw in a smoothie, it's such an easy way for me to sneak in a few extra servings of veggies every day. Dark green leafy veggies are great for getting vitamin A, iron, vitamin K, and folate. Related: Pineapple Kale Smoothie Recipe

3. Colorful Veggies - The best healthy eating advice I've ever heard was to eat the rainbow. Don't just get a few things into your diet like fruit and salad. By eating all kinds of vibrant colorful produce, you can bet you're getting a balanced diet full of all the necessary nutrients to keep your body working at its best. I really love sweet bell peppers in particular. People tend to reach for oranges for a boost of vitamin C, when just 3 sweet baby peppers contains 270% recommended daily intake of vitamin C. And they have a nice crunch to help combat my snack cravings.

4. Berries - I actually have to try to not eat too much fruit in a day. I could seriously be satisfied eating fruit all day long, but I know I need to balance it with veggies and other foods, so I try to make the ones I eat count. I stock up on high-fiber fruits like blueberries and raspberries that are packed with antioxidants.

5. Frozen Fruit -This I stock up on for two reasons - 1. As a quick and guilt-free dessert.  2. To toss into my smoothies to make them sweet and frozen like a fruity frapp, so my protein smoothies taste yummy and are something I look forward to rather than something I feel I have to drink.

6. Protein Powder - As you can tell from what I've already mentioned, I like smoothies. I add protein to them with a quick protein powder. I don't totally love doing this, because they tend to have a lot of additives (especially the more affordable ones), but you just can't beat the convenience and the high amount of protein. You simply can't get that much protein in your smoothie, especially without a ton of extra fat and calories, by using something like nut butter or yogurt. I do like the flavor (and the price) of Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder in both chocolate and vanilla, but for a protein powder that is non-dairy and non-soy, gluten-free, and rich in amino acids; try this PlantFusion Complete Protein Powder.

If you want a really quick way to boost your metabolism without testing all kinds of crazy supplements? Start eating protein with every snack and every meal. Just make sure you don't get too much. Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as getting too much protein, so first figure out how much protein you actually need.

7. Almond Milk - This is for my protein smoothies or for whenever I want something to drink other than water. Almond Breeze unsweetened almond milk only has 30 calories per 8oz., and it has plenty of nutrients like calcium and vitamin E.

8. Lean Meats - If I have time to cook; lean meats like fish, chicken, and turkey are the best way to get a good amount of protein. When I'm eating on my best behavior, I leave out the bread and pasta and pair lean meat with veggies, healthy fats found in products like Spectrum Refined Organic Coconut Oil, and a little fruit for dessert.

9. Old Fashioned Oats - Oats are packed with filling fiber, and they're an incredibly inexpensive way to eat clean. I love to make mine with mashed banana, cinnamon, and stevia. Get the recipe here >

10. Eggs - Eggs are feared among people who are trying to lose weight because of the cholesterol content, but they're actually just fine. They're affordable, low in calories, and they're a good source of protein with all of the essential amino acids. If you're just having a few eggs a few times a week, have the yolks! They're full of vitamin D and many of the other nutrients found in eggs.Whenever I can splurge a little, I prefer Eggland's Best Eggs. They're a little more expensive, but they're packed with more nutrients than the average egg.

11. Mrs. Dash - These seasoning blends are all sodium-free and full of flavor. For a quick, healthy side or even for my main dish during lunch, I love to steam veggies then top with healthy oil and Mrs. Dash fiesta lime seasoning blend.

12. Quinoa - I LOVE this stuff! It's probably the priciest of the healthy foods I eat, but it's worth the splurge. It contains anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, a good amount of protein, fiber, iron, and eight essential amino acids, among other things. You can read more about the health benefits of quinoa here >. Best of all, it gives me a craving fix whenever I'm cutting back on pasta and rice.

13. Dried Black Beans - Lentils and beans are all low in calories but high in protein and fiber, not to mention cheap! Black beans in particular are also high in iron, something a lot of women are deficient in, which can be a big source of fatigue. And I simply prefer the taste of black beans to other beans. They go great with lime, cilantro, and cumin.

14. Bananas - I eat bananas every single day. They're great on their own for their nutrition and ability to de-bloat, but they're also great for sweetening oatmeal recipes, adding creaminess to smoothies, and for replacing unhealthy fats in dessert recipes.

15. Brocolli - This is another veggie I always have in my fridge. Broccoli is very low in calories but is a good source of fiber and vitamins and is a great detoxifying veggie. It's also a heck of a lot cheaper than asparagus or brussel sprouts.

There are so many other healthy foods I rotate into my diet like sweet potatoes, onions, fresh garlic, and so many others. The ones listed are just the ones I tend to always have on hand and especially whenever I'm trying to get in shape. What are your go-to foods for getting and staying healthy? pictured: Vitamix small appliance / Tesco Asparagus Tips 125G

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  1. Bananas and blueberries figure into my eating habits on a regular basis, and I've taken in the last few years to eating oatmeal for breakfasts, something I wouldn't have done years before.


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