I once learned in AP European History that the first king of England was too fat to get on his horse, so he decided to eliminate all food from his diet and only drink alcohol in the hopes of shedding a few pounds. A thousand years have gone by, and it feels like our diets haven’t really progressed (and tbh his sounds pretty logical). We’re constantly being harassed by new diets and healthy foods, and some of the facts can get confusing, mostly because it all comes down to your own individual body. Although there aren’t specific foods that will straight-up make you fat, there are some foods that are marketed as super healthy, but they aren’t really doing you any favors. Here are some of health foods that are not so healthy.
1. Gluten-Free Bread
The “gluten-free” buzzword is often written on food items, but unless you’re actually gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease, these products aren’t necessarily healthier for you. In fact, gluten-free bread is usually packed with so many artificial ingredients and sugars to make up for the lack of gluten. You’re honestly better off eating regular bread.
2. Orange Juice
The whole “fresh orange juice” health fad started like, 60 years ago, but let’s keep in mind that women were still smoking while pregnant at the time. AKA, it’s outdated. I mean, I’m not saying orange juice made with minimal ingredients is at all dangerous for you, but if you think you’re drinking a glass of health with your oatmeal in the morning, you’re wrong. Orange juice is basically a cup of sugar, and even if it’s just made with oranges, which have a ton of vitamins, it’s a lot of sugar to gulp down at once. Plus, lower sugar fruits like strawberries and papaya have more vitamin C than oranges do, so there goes that excuse.
Granola is one of those foods that really isn’t terrible for you, but it’s marketed as this magic bag of health and wellness, and honestly, nobody takes the serving size into account. Most granola companies, even the ones that use “clean” ingredients, don’t make it clear that the serving size is usually 1/4 cup. Anyone who’s ever looked at a measuring cup knows that is tiny. Many people (hi) end up eating entire bowls of granola, ingesting like, 600 calories in one snack. Granola is meant to be sprinkled on top of Greek yogurt or snacked on in small doses, so keep that in mind when eating half the bag before lunch.
4. Restaurant Veggie Sides
I’m one of those people who are guilty of going out to dinner and ordering a bunch of vegetable sides, thinking that it’s the healthiest option on the menu. Honestly, they’re usually not that healthy. It’s pretty much known that vegetables suck, taste-wise, so these restaurants often douse them in oils and sauces and butter to make people want to order them. Like, if you’re wondering why your Brussels sprouts appetizer tastes like french fries, maybe it’s born with it, maybe it’s tons of added fat. You’re better off ordering a lean protein, like fish or grilled chicken. You don’t have to avoid vegetables completely, but just be wary of what you’re actually ordering when you’re out to eat.
5. Agave Nectar
Ever since Miley went vegan and açai bowls became trendier than Momofuku cake, agave nectar is trending in the wellness world—but unless you’re vegan, it’s not that healthy for you. Like, agave is supposed to be the “healthy” sugar substitute, but the reason it has a low glycemic index is because it’s filled with fructose, which, when ingested in large quantities, turns to fat because your liver can’t turn it into energy. Instead of demonizing sugar and turning to agave as an alternative, just add sugar in moderation and realize what you’re actually putting into your body when you buy these alternatives.
6. Dried Fruit
Ugh, this one makes me so sad because dried mango is actually the best thing since watermelon Sour Patch Kids. Dried fruit is similar to granola in the sense that it’s really not harmful for you, but nobody talks about serving sizes, and they’re SO sad. Dried fruit is all carbs and sugar, and often companies add even more sugar to them. Like, have you ever realized why Craisins are so much sweeter than actual cranberries? Spoiler: it’s sugar. If you’re eating dried fruit, find a brand that has no added sugar, and try not to eat the whole bag in one sitting. You can do this.
Images: Jannis Brandt / Unsplash; Giphy (4)
Kourtney Kardashian is proof that your body can actually look better with age. She’s also proof that people seriously buy that shit you pass in Whole Foods and ask, “Organic mushroom cordyceps? WTF has this world become?” Aside from working out on a daily basis and adhering to a strict gluten-free, dairy-free diet, Kourtney Kardashian’s diet includes shit-ton of weird supplements and wellness tricks. Like, it’s worse than you’d think. I’ve always been down to try different wellness routines and health tricks, so I took a look at Kourtney’s daily routine and picked five wellness rituals I thought I’d be able to stick to for a solid amount of time. I quickly eschewed the spoonful of ghee butter every morning, but I found five that seemed realistic. Here’s what I learned.
1. Probiotic Supplement
I’ve already raved about the benefits of daily probiotics on this site, so this one was easy for me to take on. I’ve taken different multivitamins and iron supplements in the past and had never actually felt their effects, but when it came to taking a probiotic, it was a game-changer. Probiotics are basically healthy bacteria for your gut, and they help balance the microbiome in our bodies. They’re supposed to improve the immune system, lower blood pressure, and help regulate digestion. I took one in the morning before my coffee, and within a couple days, I already felt like my digestion was better and my stomach didn’t hurt at all during the day. IDK what brand Kourtney Kardashian’s diet includes but I assume they’re all pretty similar, so get on board.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Kourtney has raved about this one for a while now: The daily ACV. Kourtney drinks a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar mixed with water in the morning, and she claims it does wonders for her skin and body. I was kinda skeptical about this one because the idea of drinking vinegar on an empty stomach makes me wanna hurl, but I sucked it up and did it. Honestly, I’m not sure if it did anything for me. It actually made my esophagus feel pretty acidic and weird, and mixing it with water just made it taste like watered down vinegar. Not a fan.
3. Vegan Probiotic Shot
A key part of Kourtney Kardashian’s diet is the vegan probiotic shot that she takes in the morning before her avocado pudding, and honestly I still don’t know what this is. Luckily I live down the street from Pressed Juicery so I asked them for anything that related to a vegan probiotic shot. They gave me their Digestion Shot, which turned out to be a tiny bottled concoction of ginger, probiotics, parsley, aloe vera, celery, moringa, and yup—that goddamn apple cider vinegar again. The actual shot tasted pretty good and it wasn’t hard to get down. I’ve taken ginger shots in the past when I’ve felt a cold coming on, and this was a piece of cake compared to those things. But like, not actual cake, obviously. It’s essentially a shot of celery and aloe vera. Keep expectations low.
4. Gallon Of Water
I know a gallon of water seems like a lot, but if you’ve watched enough episodes of Keeping Up, you know what the Kardashian’s supply of refrigerated Smart Waters looks like, so it’s not that surprising that this girl is chugging water all day. If I had a designated fridge for water I’d probably drink more of it, too. Anyway, drinking a gallon of water everyday was difficult, especially in the winter. When it’s warm out it’s probably easy to get more water down, but I live in New York City and I don’t really feel like chugging a 24-pack of Poland Spring when I’d rather be sipping on a hot cocoa. I was also running to the bathroom to pee every five minutes. Why don’t they show that on the show?
5. Vegan Protein Supplement
Kourtney eats a lot of lean protein sources, like grilled chicken, fish, and eggs, but she also adds vegan protein powder to her post-workout shakes for some added protein. Once again, IDK what brand Kourtney uses, but I bought an organic blend of pea protein and brown rice protein from Whole Foods and mixed it with vanilla almond milk after my workout. Honestly, it was pretty good. Vegan protein is known for being a little more grainy and not as creamy as whey protein powders, but after an aggressive shake, the powder mixed pretty well and tasted kinda like a watered down vanilla milkshake. It sounds gross but like, it’s a vegan protein shake… IDK what I expected. Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries.
Images: Giphy (5); Shutterstock
Sometimes I scroll through Instagram and wonder if someone switched my settings to only show posts about people’s diets. Like, I don’t care about your Sunday meal prep, your gluten-free Paleo bread, or your #Whole30 results. I feel personally victimized by diets. I eat pretty healthy on my own and I don’t like being told what to eat. But recently, a couple of my friends started raving about a diet that caught my attention: Intermittent Fasting. In case you’ve never heard of it, you essentially eat whatever you want in a specific window of time, and then you fast for the rest of the day. The alleged results? Increased energy, better long-term health, mental clarity, and weight loss. I did some research and decided to try it out for myself. Here’s what I learned.
Before trying the diet, I did a ton of research on IF (lesson one: that’s what the cool kids call it) and it turns out people structure their fasts differently. Most people fast for about 16 hours and eat for eight, but some people take their fasts for even longer than that. Unlike many modern diets that advise you to eat small meals every few hours to keep your metabolism on its toes, IF preaches the opposite.
The idea is to fast for most of the day, and then eat 2-3 big meals within your eating window. So, instead of ordering a Skinny Latte and a scooped out bagel within minutes of waking up, I would have to wait it out and break my fast around 1 pm like the rest of the IF elitists. And yes, that dieting superiority complex totally comes with it. Like, are you seriously eating breakfast right now? Have some self-control.
You can drink zero calorie beverages and sugar-free gum during the fasting phase, and some people say you can even have a few nuts or berries if you need to, but for the most part, you’re consuming nothing. Let’s just say that by the time the eating window comes and you’re allowed to break the fast, you literally cherish those eight hours like they’re your last eight hours on this planet. I mean, unless you’re willing to split a deluxe sushi boat with four appetizers and no talking whatsoever, we’re not making lunch plans.
When I first heard about IF, I immediately called bullshit. I mean, there’s no way that consuming all your calories in an eight-hour window is good for you. It went against everything I knew about eating every few hours and listening to your body. Then I did some research and spoke to a few people who swear by it, and it turns out there might be some magic to this shit. I decided to be a responsible adult and look into the science behind the diet and its claims before starting. You should also know that I needed my sources to dramatically dumb this down for me, because well, I took science pass/fail freshman year and barely passed.
So let’s talk about what happens to your body during intermittent fasting. When you fast, your insulin levels drop and your growth hormone increases. That means your body is more likely to burn fat, reduce oxidative stress, and reduce inflammation. Oxidative stress is what ages your body and could cause chronic diseases, so people say fasting has long-term benefits for your heart health and bodily functions.
Aside from preventing chronic illness and increasing your energy levels, there’s also the weight loss promise. People on social media swear that they’ve lost half their body fat by fasting, and I honestly wasn’t sure if this diet was some code we were using for Lipo. I mean, those before and after pics are so annoying but I can’t seem to look away.
Anyway, losing weight on this diet is two-fold. Firstly, your actual caloric intake for the day will probably go down if you’re not eating for most of the day. It’s that simple. If you’re eating fewer calories, you’ll probably lose weight. Secondly, when your insulin levels lower and your growth hormone levels increase, the noradrenaline in your body increases the breakdown of body fat and uses the fat for energy. So, you’re actually boosting your metabolism in the process and allowing your body to burn more fat while at rest. Take that, apple cider vinegar shot.
To be clear, I did intermittent fasting for no more than four days and basically gave up before the whole “it takes a few days to get used to it but then it gets sooo much easier” stage. To really get the most out of IF, you need to do it for at least a week or two to train your body. It takes a while to get the hang of it, and I was impatient and frankly just over the whole thing.
I fully acknowledge that I did it wrong, but I thought I’d share my experience anyway.
The first day was the hardest. I was told that at first I’d obviously be starving, and for me, this was especially prevalent. I’m a huge breakfast eater, and I’m also a regular snacker. If I don’t have packets of raw cashews and mini M&M’s in my handbag at all times, I’m not well. I could go through each day individually, but all four days were equally as difficult. Like, really difficult. First of all, I tend to work out in the morning and I need food directly afterwards. It’s kind of a non-negotiable for me, and frankly I don’t even understand people who aren’t starving after the gym. One 45-minute workout and I literally feel like Jennifer Lawrence after dieting a month before the Oscars.
I realized on the second day that once it was time to sit down and do work with nothing in my system but a black iced coffee, I had already gone somewhat crazy. People told me they felt increased mental clarity and an overall energy boost during their fasting periods, but I was too busy Googling pictures of grilled cheese to even think about that.
You probably think after reading my experience that I wouldn’t recommend IF to anyone, but here’s the thing I realized: Even though I almost died of starvation and had to quit a few days in, I think a lot of people I know would actually kill it on this diet. If you’re not a breakfast person and you’re not much of a snacker, you’ll have no problem waiting until your eating window. And if you’re unemployed and you can sleep until noon on a weekday, you’re golden.
I’m not saying this diet is for everyone, but if it has this many proven health benefits and cult followers, it’s worth a shot. Plus, people who stick with it for a long time end up looking and feeling amazing. You can even try it for yourself and let me know how it goes. Just please don’t Instagram a before and after pic. For everyone’s sake.
Images: Brooke Lark / Unsplash. Giphy (7).
I’ll be totally honest that I don’t exactly Keep Up with the Kardashians, but like, I hate-stalk Kylie with every fiber of my being, so that’s got to count for something. But in terms of the OG Kardashian sisters, I don’t know a whole lot about them, other than what I gather from other Betches articles. Like, Kim is the vain one (I am the Kim of my family), Khloé is the funny one, and Kourtney is the healthy one who like, cares a lot about eating organic and gluten-free shit. Right? I think I’ve got the bases covered. And given that Kourtney is also the hottest one (don’t fight me on this; her face has changed the least over the years compared to her sisters), it’s understandable why people would want to know what Kourtney Kardashian eats. How does she look better at age 38 with three kids than I do after a good week where I stick to my diet and fitness regimen? I mean, probably because she has a very expensive
plastic surgeon personal trainer and her livelihood literally depends on her having a desirable physique. But other than that, her diet probably plays a role. So what does Kourtney Kardashian eat to stay skinny? Let’s investigate.
On Kourtney’s members-only website (who is paying for this?), she revealed some key ingredients she swears by. As we all know, Kourtney went gluten- and dairy-free last spring, but she also has a serious sweet tooth, because LOL! She’s just so relatable. Kourtney previously told PEOPLE that she uses gluten-free flours like almond and sweet rice flour. Groundbreaking stuff. She also uses lots of coconut products like coconut oil and coconut flour. Apparently, behind the paywall on Kourtney’s website, you can find recipes for some of her fave coconut recipes, like coconut macaroons and pudding. And that’s how she sticks to her diet while still “indulging” in
bootleg desserts that sound gross. IDK, I feel like if you’re about to go bake a cake out of coconut flour, you should either just make a regular fucking cake or eat some fruit. It’s like Ron Swanson says: Don’t half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.
If there are people out there who are really paying to see Kourtney Kardashian’s coconut macaroon recipe, please comment below because I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you.
Oh, Passover—you’re back again. Because Passover desserts are often referred to as the 11th plague, we decided a really fucking great coconut macaroon recipe is in order. Funny how Passover is the one time of year you crave desserts—maybe this is what my therapist said about me always wanting what I can’t have. Macaroons are a Passover staple because they’re easy to make and not completely chalky. If you don’t like macaroons, go ahead and pour yourself another glass of Manischewitz. Then another. Then another. Now you’re suddenly hungry for dessert. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
Queen of all things betchy, snotty, and Jewish, Ina Garten is here to help. We’ve adapted her bitchin’ recipe for coconut macaroons 1) because she clearly knows WTF she’s talking about and 2) you know these will be good for all the adults at the party since Ina hates kids and is all about classy shit. We added melted chocolate for dipping because, like, is it really Passover if your grandma doesn’t hint at the fact that you’re getting fat? No. So on that note, make these macaroons and try not to eat them all in one sitting.
- 14 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
- 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted — if you can’t figure out how to melt chocolate, we cannot help you
Preheat your oven to 325F. While that heats up, combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a pretty big bowl. Grab your KitchenAid mixer (if you don’t have one, Ina would literally never be your friend) and whip the egg whites and salt on high speed until you’ve got medium-firm peaks. Now pause for some fuckboy to make a joke about the fact that I just said the words “firm peaks.”
CAREFULLY fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. If you’re rough and not cute about it, that shit will deflate faster than your self-esteem at a runway show or like, your will to not eat bread on the third day of Passover. Too much? Ok, yeah. Let’s go with the runway metaphor.
Drop the batter by rounded ½ tbsps onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 25 minutes or until those bitches are as golden brown as you aspire to be this summer. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let cookies cool.
Dip the bottoms of the macaroons into the melted chocolate, letting any extra drip back into the bowl or into your mouth, you animal. Drizzle extra chocolate over the top. Be fancy and Jewish.