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Briefs: How to eat healthy as a couple

Women are more likely to gain weight after marriage, according to a recent study from Ohio State University. One solution: Understand your nutritional needs. "Don't think you and your significant other can eat the same amount of food," says Jessica Levinson, a registered dietitian in New York City.

Don't match him bite for bite. Men often are taller and more muscular than women and can eat more without gaining weight. While women generally need 1,600 to 2,200 calories a day -- the higher number is for younger, more active women -- the range for men is 2,200 to 2,800.

Know your needs. Talk to a registered dietitian or find an online calculator for calorie recommendations based on gender, age, size and exercise habits. Consider a multi-vitamin that offers sex-specific formulas; women often need more of certain substances (iron) and less of others (protein).

Eat well when you're alone. Fill up on fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.

Don't "let yourself go." Share diet and fitness goals with your significant other, ask for support and identify behaviors that interfere with them. Also find an exercise you can enjoy as a couple.

Be a creative cook. Tweak favorite "manly" foods: Bake chicken with bread crumbs rather than frying it, for example, grill with olive oil instead of butter and use low-fat cheeses in sandwiches and recipes.

Sprouted grains and beans go mainstream

A healthy new trend is sprouting up in markets -- sprouted foods. Germinating, or sprouting, seeds, beans and legumes super concentrates their power and makes them more nutritious and digestible. A few products to try:

Food for Life has been sprouting foods since the 1960s, starting with Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted bread and now including sprouted cinnamon-raisin cereal ($5.97,16 ounces). It's serious rather than sweet and somewhat gravelly. Made from sprouted grains and beans including barley and lentils, a 12-cup serving has 190 calories, 1 fat gram, 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams protein.

Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Grain Pasta ($4.99, 16 ounces) offers a field's worth of sprouted grains and beans from barley to soybeans. It cooks in 5 minutes, tastes mild and offers germinated nutrition. A 2-ounce serving (dry) contains 210 calories, 2 fat grams, 7 grams fiber and 9 protein grams.

Garden of Life Apple Cinnamon Super Seed Bar ($2.99, 2.4 ounces) tastes like a Fig Newton but is made with 18 sprouted grains, nuts and beans, plus honey and dates for a satisfying sweetness. One bar contains 250 calories, 35 milligrams sodium, 6 grams each of protein and fat and 4 grams fiber.

Get to the root of sprouting with truRoots sprouted grains and beans. The company sources sustainably, and their sprouted products cook superfast. Even lentils ($5.99, 10 ounces) cook in less than 10 minutes. A quarter cup of dry sprouted lentils contains 140 calories, 1 fat gram, 7 fiber grams, and 10 protein grams.


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