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Revving Up Metabolism

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We are deep into the holiday season where waistlines are expanding and folks are starting to think about how to reign in the holiday weight gain. Boosting metabolism is on a lot of people's minds. Karin Hosenfeld, registered dietitian, has tips on how best to do this.


1: Lean Protein

Protein has been shown to boost metabolism by 30 percent in studies. The key though is LEAN protein. It's too easy to fall back on fast food and fatty restaurant choices. Choosing lean proteins helps to keep you feeling full, takes more work for the body to digest (more calorie burn), and boosts metabolism. These are some proteins that you may not be used to including in your life but should:


Greek yogurt

Turkey jerky for snacking

96% Lean ground chuck

Grass-fed beef

Cold-water fishes (salmon, tuna, cod, etc)

Black beans


2 : Super Grains

Super grains have multiple functions that help the body perform at its peak. Quinoa is a great example. A lot of people have seen it, don't know how to pronounce it, but are curious to try it. Quinoa is high in not only protein that we just discussed, but also FIBER, which helps to boost metabolism in a big way. Think about it this way: your body tries to break down fiber and it just can't. That's work and calorie burning that ignites metabolism.

This is a simple recipe for the supergrain quinoa that's so easy anyone can try it. It's a great recipe for your New Year's parties as well.

Quick Quinoa Meat Balls


· 1/2 cup washed quinoa

· 1 pound lean ground pork (optional: tofu)

· 1/2 cup diced shallot

· 4 garlic cloves, smashed

· 2 large eggs

· 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

· 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

· 1/2 teaspoon paprika

· 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

· 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

· 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. 1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. 2. Put the quinoa and 1 cup water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once you have strong bubble action, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Check occasionally and stir to make sure no quinoa is burning at the bottom of the pan. Take the saucepan off the heat, transfer the quinoa to a medium mixing bowl, and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.

3. 3. While the quinoa is cooling, add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Using your hands or a spoon, mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed and well combined.

4. 4. Shape the meat mixture into balls that are a little smaller than a golf ball. Place them in even rows on the lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven and cook the meatballs until they're slightly browned and crispy on top, 12 to 15 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, the safe internal temperature for pork is 165°.


3: Spicy metabolism booster

Few things boost metabolism like spices! In fact, a spicy dish may boost metabolism by 8 percent in studies. But, spicy foods have also been shown to increase satiety, or that feeling of fullness you get after eating. Eating a spicy appetizer at a meal or party can help do double duty.

Sweet and Spicy Almonds


1/4 cup white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 1/2 cups whole almonds

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon olive oil


1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread the almonds onto a baking sheet, and toast until the nuts start to turn golden brown and become fragrant, about 10 minutes. Watch the nuts carefully as they bake: they burn quickly.

2. Stir together the sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper in a mixing bowl; set aside.

3. Stir together the water, honey, and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the mixture begins to bubble, stir in the toasted almonds until evenly moistened. Pour the almonds into the sugar and spice mixture, and toss until evenly coated. Spread onto baking sheets in a single layer, and cool to room temperature

Lastly, other metabolism boosters include the methylxanthines in coffee and green tea and of course increasing your body's muscle mass is a huge way to boost your metabolism. How do you do that? Good old fashioned exercise.



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